tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC January 5, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
aily. started off the show tonight by talking about the conspicuous fact that attorney general jeff sessions is not going to camp david along with most of the rest of the cabinet and congressional leadership and the president and the vice president this week. that's interesting both for jeff sessions' feelings and the prospect the president is looking to get rid of him and consequential for the russia investigation. two republican members of congress called for jeff sessions to resign. well, tonight, we have just got a third. chris stewart, congressman from utah, is now the third republican member of congress calling for jeff sessions to resign. and the attorney general not invited to the sleepover at camp david this weekend. now growing calls for resignation of congressmen. watch this space. that does it for us tonight. see you monday. now lime for "the last word with
katy tur." >> in the words of donald trump that is not nice. he came out and endorsed him. a big deal. >> here's one thing this might be nice about it. alabama never gets as cold as camp david is going to be this weekend so it's possible he's a delicate flower. >> well, there's that. >> and the president wanted to spare him. >> usually i do the awkward handoffs with ari melber and can be awkward and not sure how to throw you off your game, though. >> oh, there's -- i can give you infinite possibilities. you just sit here and look at me weird for a few seconds and i crumble. see? okay. there you go. bye, katy. >> thank you. it is exciting to take it away from you. i appreciate it. and i'm katy tur in for lawrence o'donnell. michael wolff's much anticipated book "fire and fury." inside the trump white house. officially arrived in bookstores despite and probably because of the president's attempt it is stop the publication. the book is flying off the
shelves around america, not just in new york and d.c. but also in wichita, kansas, where a local bookstore owner told the local paper it's crazy. there's a scramble right now to get as many books in retail outlets as possible. and we're just kouptd ogen the publisher to deliver. in tempe and phoenix, arizona, the owner of a small bookstore book chain told a reporter we clearly underordered. if they don't get it they'll look for the juicy parts online. you can find similar headlines in texas, raleigh, north carolina, and cincinnati, ohio. not to mention the bookstore down stairs here in rockefeller center where "fire and fury" is sold out. here's what michael wolff said about making donald trump the tell-all most demand book in america tonight. >> the president's lawyers sent a cease and desist letter threatening legal action to you and the publish to which they said? >> they sent it yesterday before
they wraed the book but what i say is, wait, where do i send the box of chocolates? >> you think he's helping you sell books? >> absolutely. and not only helping me sell books but helping me prove the point of the book. i mean, this is extraordinary that a president of the united states would try to stop the publication of a book. this doesn't happen. has not happened from other presidents. would not even happen from a ceo of a mid-sized company. >> the president and the white house claim wolff's reporting is a quote book of lies and trump tweeted this this morning. now that the collusion of russia is proving to be a total hoax and only collusion with hillary clinton and the fbi russia, the fake news media mainstream and this phony book new book are hitting out at every new front imaginable. they should try winning an election. sad. wolff who says he has audio to back up the book responded to trump's attack this way.
>> would you release any of those recordings since your credibility is questioned? >> my credibility is being questioned by a man who has less credibility than perhaps anyone who's ever walked on earth at this point. >> wolff doubled down on the portrait of president trump which he says is shared by 100% of the people around him. >> everyone around the president, senior advisers, family members, every single one of them questions his intelligence and fitness for office. >> let me put a marker in the sand here. 100% of the people around him. i will tell you the one description that everyone gave, everyone has in common, they all say he is like a child. and what they mean by that is he has a need for immediate gratification. it's all about him. i mean, this -- this letter for
the cease and desist letter, i mean, i still have sources in the white house and i know everybody was going, we should not be doing this. this is not smart. and he just insisted. he just has to be satisfied in the moment. >> here's what some of the people around president trump have said. >> should americans be concerned about the president's mental fitness that he appears to be speaking so lightly about threats regarding nuclear button? >> i think the president and the people of this country should be concerned about the mental fitness of the leader of north korea. >> i've never questioned his mental fitness. i have no reason to question his mental fitness. >> her's the thing. might be more noticeable what they did not say. no one the white house addressed the claims that it's chaos inside the white house. no one from the white house has addressed directly the claims that trump acts like a child. will they? it's hard to say. but tonight, axios reports more
than half a dozen of the more skilled white house staff contemplating departures. many leaving are quite fearful about the next chapter of the trump presidency. joining us now are neera tan den president of center for american progress, daniel dale, washington correspondent for the toronto star and jennifer reuben, conservative opinion writer at "the washington post." guys, welcome. i find it noticeable that so many of donald trump's sympathizers, donald trump supporters are going on cable outlets and dismissing this book wholeheartedly but they're not getting into many of the details. there is one detail that really just struck out for me. one detail that i noticed and that's from sam nunberg i had on the 2:00 p.m. show earlier today and trying to explain the constitution to a man who was running to be the president of the united states. take a listen to what sam said. >> michael says i went in there to teach him the constitution.
i didn't go in there to teach his the constitution. it was a week and a half before the first debate. i was scared. i go in and have a brief. let's get you a gotcha question on this and that. i could get to the fourth amendment before four other people walking in, he tells me -- you know? >> you didn't say that in the book. you said his eyes rolled back in his head. you implied that he could not understand. >> that's not -- >> maybe didn't care enough. that's what it was. >> didn't care about learning the kons too us? >> no. >> i don't think he cared about preparing. >> for the debate, didn't necessarily care about learning the whole constitution as sam nunberg was saying in that book. daniel, he is now in the white house. who in the white house cares about the constitution for the president of the united states? >> well, i think, you know, everyone around him is responsible for making it appear as if he has the level of
knowledge that every previous president had. what's curious to me is that the media in the u.s. has never -- rarely if ever pressed him to demonstrate this knowledge. the kinds of gotcha questions that previous candidates without political -- >> is that a gotcha question, though, daniel? what's in the constitution. >> i think candidates consider it one. you know, trump, himself skates away in interviews 0pining on things and as diverse as the constitution, health care policy, middle east policy, it's not clear that he has basic knowledge. you know, where is israel? what are its neighbors? what is medicaid? what does obamacare actually do? so from all of those things and the constitution, we just don't know what precisely this president actually knows. >> jennifer, what do you think readers will take away from the book once they can finally dig into it? >> first of all, katy, i'm sorry the president didn't threaten to ban your book. i'm sure that would have been a
big help. >> he did tweet saying i had no access. there's that. >> there's that to fall back on. i hope that the american people take away two things. one is that the people around him are not doing the country a favor. they are misusing their power and they're committing a horrible miscarriage of justice and miscarriage of the constitution. if he is incapable of carrying out the duties of the presidency, it's not their job to disguise that or run around doing the job. we didn't elect any of them. if he's not fit, they need to come forward to the american people and we have a vice president for precisely that reason. so, i think the american people should be very concerned that he is not fit for office and that these people are disguising this, hiding this from us. the second issue i think that we should be very alarmed about is that there's an awful lot of evidence between this and "the new york times" release this week in terms of obstruction of justice and this, fact, involves the attorney general.
i have been one who said we shouldn't fire the attorney general and there to protect mueller. now he i think he has to go and direct evidence that he's implicated in an obstruction of justice in trying to cook up a phony reason to get rid of the fbi director at the time. and i think he has to go. and i think the little component parts of a claim of obstruction of justice are coming together. >> but, jennifer, who would replace him and get by a confirmation? >> you know what? we have a deputy attorney general and that person can act in the attorney general's spot for as long as need be. >> rod rosen steen. neera, can you imagine a scenario where michael wolff would get this sort of access to any other white house? >> i mean, the whole thing is really stunning. i have to agree with jennifer. i worked in two different white houses and the obama white house and in the clinton white house and books portrayed to be
insider details but they -- you know, they did not -- none of those authors sat out in the west wing for months at a time and i mean, i think when's really stunning about this book is just the universal view of trump's own aides thinking he's unfit to be president. and basically, in the last 48 hours reporter after reporter sort of blindly -- like, you know, in a way basically confirm that the staffers will go on tv and defend the president and then roll their eyes about him or actually confess privately to hold serious doubts. and so, you know, i don't think -- i think this is like a -- you know, kind of existential moment for the country. do we have a president who is fit to serve as leader of the free world and as leader of our country? if you can't read memos or read your presidential daily briefing
or have no interest in doing so, it's hard to do the hardest job in the world. and, you know, i just -- this is like a -- i think this is like a big moment for the country, actually. >> daniel, the thing about this book is that although it is shocking in its details and it's riveting in the gossipy aspect of it, it falls in line with the reporting we have been seeing since donald trump took office about the chaos within his white house. when you said the axios reporting talking about folks considering tendering the resignation, how much stock do you put into that? >> well, we know that. we know that's true. i don't know if the precise names that axios is floating are correct but we know, for example, rex tillerson is thinking about it for a listening time. gary cohn is thinking about it for a long time. this is a president that suffered unprecedented first year turnover for a modern president an by all indications once these staffers hit the
one-year mark on january 20th, the pace of turnover probably will accelerate. they're sick an tired of dealing with this president and dealing with such a dysfunctional environment. some of them have been determined to stick it out to get to one year as a resume item or a sense of personal accomplishment but by all accounts there's an additional exodus in coming weeks and months. >> jennifer, if they're sick an tired of it and an open secret of questions about the president's mental stability and as people within the white house say that they're questioning it, as well, two reporters, i got a text of somebody that used to work empty white house asking me if i think the president lost a step, and three months ago after my book cake out and then looked at the president on television, given all of that, why are we not seeing resignations before now? why are folks sticking around? >> this is the great moral delimb ma. why did they go in and stay and remain quiet? and i think the real and very
disappointing answer is people do this because they're careerists, because they love the excitement of working in the white house, they love the power. i would like to think that they're patriots, their conscience move us to do something. there's one person who's resigned because he thought something foul was going on and that's mark carallo, spokesperson for the legal team on donald trump on the flight on air force one when they were crafting and re-crafting the cover story for the famous june meeting in trump tower and he apparently told mr. wolff, listen, i thought there was obstruction of justice. he quit. why don't we we have more than a single person this that's a good question and i think that part goes to the fact of quality attracts quality, the fish rots from the head and skilled, experienced people didn't want to work for the white house and we got what we got. my hope is they're be more forthcoming and testify before congress, come on the air.
they'll explain what they have seen. and maybe we can come up collectively with a short circuit for this presidency because i think we are in a dangerous, dangerous spot right now. >> trying to blunt the book, the white house and the president have been attacked steve bannon saying this is all about steve bannon being crazy and spinning lies. michael wolff, the author pushed back on that on "today" this morning. listen. >> the president tried to put this, this book is about steve bannon so let me say very forthrightly. this book is not about steve bannon. this book is about donald trump. >> neera, let's play devil's advocate here. could you say this book is about steve bannon's version of donald trump? >> well, i presume that michael wolff has a lot of sources. it seems like he has a lot of sources from his book. obviously, i am absolutely no steve bannon fan. i think he's a terrible person
and has proposed terrible policies for the country and incredibly divisive. i think what people are losing sight of here is that steve bannon is an eyewitness to a lot of events. jennifer referenced some of them but he is an eyewitness to the president's responses, to donald trump's response to the russia investigation. the fact that he calls the campaign that he later was a ceo of treasonous and unpatriotic and basically alleges or argues that there's a lot wrong going on here, then the president attacks him viciously, i think, you know, he has a lot to offer congressional investigators and obviously mueller in being a witness to what happened here. witness to possible cover-ups that happened inside the white house, around what happened in the campaign. and so, you know, i think we're talking about two people who basically have guns to each
other's heads here and for one to live the other must die and i don't know which way it goes in the end. >> listen. a lot of folks have been predicting donald trump's demise now since he announced. >> yeah. i'm not betting on it. >> yeah. >> i'm just saying -- >> that's what -- i'm saying not saying you are betting on it but people say it's detailing how nuts it is inside the white house, you can't survive this. neera, do you think this book is going to -- or, actually, jennifer, do you think this book is going to leave a mark? is this going to last? or is this going to be another way that the president of the united states can say everybody's out to get me, the media's out to get me, the mainstream political establishment is out to get me, the deep state is out to get me? look at all they're doing to try to embarrass me. >> i don't think anything is going to end this presidency until, neera, you got me. until you have a democratic congress, a group of people willing to impeach this
president. democrats are not going to sit still. i wonder what republicans will think going into november when the democratic opponents say we know that you have been enabling an unfit, unbalanced president. we democrats will do what is necessary to protect the country and you won't. i don't know what the possible response to that is. >> just to underscore -- go ahead. >> only thing to hadd to this i this book is against the backdrop of a special prosecutor investigation and steve bannon in this book, other references in this book will be fodder for the special prosecutor to investigate. i'm not saying that the book itself will take down donald trump although i think a lot of republicans have to recognize that it's not me saying the president's campaign was treasonous but steve bannon saying that and just saying at the end of the day there's a legal process under way to create possible accountability for the president and this book
will be part of the record of that legal process that mueller himself can choose to investigate. if i was on the team, i may call in steve bannon for a question or two. >> no doubt about. stay with us. new nbc reporting about the white house crusade to stop jeff sessions from recusing himself from the russia investigation. the man that created the dossier christopher steele. later, all the things that trump administration did this week. shawn evans: it's 6 am. 40 million americans are waking up to a gillette shave. and at our factory in boston, 1,200 workers are starting their day building on over a hundred years of heritage, craftsmanship and innovation. today we're bringing you america's number one shave at lower prices every day. putting money back in the pockets of millions of americans. as one of those workers, i'm proud to bring you gillette quality for less, because nobody can beat the men and women of gillette.
nbc news reports tonight that multiple trump white house officials urged jeff sessions not to recuse himself in the russia investigation. in addition to top white house lawyer don mcgahn. "the new york times" first reported on thursday that president trump ordered mcgahn to stop sessions from recusing himself last march and robert mueller is aware of that demand. the revelations come as republican senators attacked one of the first sources on the trush russia collusion. chuck grassley and lindsay graham asked the justice department to consider criminal charges against christopher steele, the former spy that compiled the document known as the trump dossier. a source familiar with the investigation tells nbc news the referral stems of at least one statement steele made to the fbi about the timing of discussions with journalists about the con
at the present time of the dossier which conflicts with what he told another source. it's the first criminal referral by senate republicans in the russia investigation and it drew this reaction from democratic senator richard blumenthal. >> i have seen no evidence, none whatsoever, that would justify this criminal referral. stunningly and sadly, this first major action by the republican leadership of the judiciary committee is aimed at someone who reported wrongdoing rather than committed it. but seems more like an effort to distract from the real priorities, what should be the priorities of the committee. >> joining us now, jill wine-banks, also ken delaney with nbc news. ken, let's start with you. what more do we know about this potential investigation into
christopher steele? >> well, kay katy, this is a partisan referral by the republicans only on the judiciary committee and something that the viewers should keep in mind. and the other thing to know is it's classified. we don't have the exact details but i have been doing some reporting an talking to some sources and i have come away the impression it is essentially about what christopher steele said about his contacts with reporters. apparently something he told the fbi contradicted with something that appeared through another source and important to understand, too, that the republicans not alanlging that christopher steele intentionally lied here but a material misstatement in a criminal investigation. that's leading a lot of democrats to really question the whole premise of this, why this would be a criminal referral and sort of underscores the point to which the republicans have really been going after steele and the dossier and fusion gps, the firm that hired steele for
months. they have been spending hours and hours of committee time investigating the matter an appears to be one of the results of the investigation. >> jill, is there a legal reason to go after christopher steele? >> the only reason would be to divert attention from the real issue. congress should be looking at what the russians did. we know they interfered with our election. we need to know before the next election how to stop it. to prevent them from interfering once again and whatever christopher steele's possible misstatement was, we don't know what it is, we haven't seen it. it can't be worthy of an investigation any further criminal charges. it is a disgraceful act that they have done this. i totally disapprove of it. and think that we need to get focused on the people who committed crimes, not reported them. he is the one that brought it to the attention of the fbi. so this is -- it is just wrong. it's totally wrong.
>> ken, you also have more reporting adding to "the new york times" that it wasn't just don mcgahn doing donald trump's bidding the try to get jeff sessions not to rekoouz himself. who else was? >> there were other white house officials who called we are told, katy. we don't know who they are but an important strand here because there was a full-court press to convince jeff sessions not to recuse from this investigation. apparently because donald trump really thought that he could benefit of sessions being in there as a protector. he wanted an attorney general who was loyal to him to run roughshod over the investigation and nothing good happened to donald trump in this investigation since jeff sessions recused himself and not sure, you know, whether -- and what that means in terms of what was good for the country, katy. >> jill, if it's not just don mcgahn and multiple people in the white house and telling jeff sessions not to recuse himself, can you dismiss it as innocent and thinking that jeff sessions is doing a good job or does it
prove a pattern or an intent? >> i think it shows consciousness of guilt on the part of donald trump. why does he need a protector in the attorney general's seat? if he has as he claims done nothing wrong, why wouldn't the investigation go forward? why would he need any protection? it's clear that he knows that he's guilty and that's why he wanted to keep him. and i would further suggest that he knows that the attorney general had lied to congress about his meetings, that he had had meetings and may have thought that he would also be personally involved in wanting to stop the investigation. not just on behalf of donald trump but on behalf of himself. so that he could be relied upon. >> jill, the legally speaking, do you think you could actually present a concrete case to say what you just said, that you think it's clear that he wanted to fire or, excuse me, wanted jeff sessions to protect him because he needed protecting,
legally can you make that argument soundly? >> i think that what you have to do is take the pieces of the puzzle and put them together. and then you see a clear picture. no one fact alone says it all. but when you take everything and put it together, to me it becomes a pretty clear picture that he is obstructing justice and that he knew he was obstructing justice and, again, i want to point out that obstruction is a totally separate crime from whatever the underlying crime was. whether he or anyone on his staff worked with the russians to interfere in our election, it doesn't matter. there was a legitimate investigation of the russian misconduct and he interfered with it. he wrote a phony statement which was intended to mislead the public and the fbi about the june meeting. he fired comey when comey didn't do his bidding. he's taken a series of steps that all put together say -- and
he admitted to lester holt that he fired comey because of the russian investigation and he admitted to have sessions stay because he needed a protector. he said, where's my roy cohn. i could point out how evil roy cohn as the person involved in the mccarthy hearings but a mentor to roger stone and donald trump and when he says i want my roy cohn or i want my protection, that says, you put it all together, he has some consciousness that he's done something wrong and needs protection. >> ken, is this an investigation now about collusion or obstruction? >> it's clearly about both, katy. and, you know, jill's making some very strong points. i would just say there's many legal scholars saying that the obstruction case is difficult one to make and may hinge on the question if the president has the right to fire the fbi director for any reason and
whether it's construed as an attempt to obstruct justice, part of a conspiracy and then all the other acts we have been hearing about were furtherance. to say there was no collusion, the effort to say comey to go easy on mike flynn and part of what robert mueller is looking at. >> guys, thank you very much. >> good to be with you. >> thank you. coming up, new fire and fury -- the new "fire and fury" book reveals a lot about trump. and women. it's complicated. that's next.
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with shocking anecdotes of donald trump and women. one is sally yates fired ten days after president trump took office after refusing to enforce the trump administration's original travel ban. we later learned that sally yates also had warned the white house that then national security adviser michael flynn had lied about his contacts with russians and could be vulnerable to blackmail. details trump's preoccupation of sally yates even after firing her and quotes donald trump saying sally yates is, quote, such a see you next tuesday. quote, the transition report said trump wouldn't like the 56-year-old atlanta-born university of georgia career justice department lawyer slated to step up to acting attorney general. there was something about a particular kind of obama person. something about the way they walked and held themselves. superiority. and about a certain kind of
woman who would immediately rub trump the wrong way. obama women being a good tipoff, hillary, women another. later this would be extended to quote doj women. back with us, general reuben and neera tan den. ladies, thank you for joining us. neera, you were an obama woman. when you read something like that, what do you think? >> you know, i think the book actually just confirms something we have already seen. just to follow trump's twitter feed or the things he says. he went after elizabeth warren, senator warren from massachusetts with a racist remark. calling her pocahontas which is, you know, essentially disgusting and then attacked kirstin gillibrand with the worst form of sexist innuendo. i think donald trump goes after a lot of people. but obviously, has a problem with strong, intelligent women.
and he's shown that time and time again. you don't need the book to tell you that. >> the book also talks about how he feels closest to women and women understand him most and you can't deny the fact to play advocate donald trump promoted women in the trump organization and in the white house two women leading communication roles for the first time in the white house history. sarah huckabee sanders, spokesperson, of course, and hope hicks and doesn't it make it slightly more complicated than -- >> i'd say it's a little complicated because the -- >> also, true. >> and the cabinet or even in his white house overall. as u.s. attorneys. very low number of appointees. >> not directly around him and might be part of it. >> right. but also, you know, we don't know what the nature of those relationships are. they may coddle him and soothe him and mommy him and so he loves it when women think he's
fabulous and we know what donald trump thinks about women. he said it on the "access hollywood" tape. you can't disregard the 20 women or so who made allegations and a few people figured out how to connive, butter him up doesn't disprove the main thesis. deeply misogynist and xenophobisa and won't like salary yates. >> she went against him, certainly, to a degree at the very least. when donald trump was talking about the stuff in the tape or even saying what he said on howard stern and so much documentation of him saying questionable and putting it lightly questionable things about women, supporters write it off saying he used to be an entertainer, he's going to be different in the white house. here's anecdote of the book i tweeted out the other day and got quite a lot of attention.
i'm going to read it. this is about trump talking about his friends' wives. trump liked to say a thing that made life worth living is getting the friends' wives into bed and persuade her the husband is not what he thought and have the secretary to ask the friend into the office, once arriving trump would engage in what was for him constant sexual banter. do you still like having sex with your wife? how often? you must have had a better blank than your wife. tell me about it. i have girls coming in from los angeles at 3:00. we can go upstairs and have a great time. i promise. and all the while trump would have his friends' wife on the speakerphone listening in. do you think that's a damning anecdote, jemnnifer? >> i think that's sick. that's a twisted personality. i don't know what is going through his mind. but that's just the kind of bizarre personality. listen. the republicans decided character didn't matter and went
out and they found the worst human being who ever held office let alone the presidency and stuck him in there and now it's coming home to roost. i think that's a telling comment about his considerations of loyalty, loyalty runs one way with him. i think it's telling comment about how he uses women and a telling comment it's all about him. it's always been about him. so, in some ways that kind of wraps up the whole ball of wax when you're talking about donald trump. >> 2018 may be all about donald trump and curious to see if 2018 is about me too movement. >> i would just add that quick point which is, it is that women are reacting to donald trump. >> yes. >> you see women voting in high numbers. they're white college women are moving steadily against the republican party. they moved to decidely for democrats in virginia and alabama. i would say that like american women are looking at what's happening in this presidency and they are shifting their support
because of him. >> i'll see how much of the book is trotted out in the campaign trail. jennifer and neera, ladies, thank you so much. >> sure. >> thank you for having me. coming up, this week the trump administration is reversing actions of the obama presidency and republicans in the house and senate sounding the alarm. that's next. mayhem? what are you doing up there? i'm a lightning rod. waiting to protect your home from a lightning strike. it's my new years resolution. whatever. can you get my plane? yeah, i don't do planes. i just do lightning. ♪
administration is working on policy changes that you may not have heard about but republican senators in blue states certainly have. first, interior secretary announced a proposal to significantly expand offshore drilling in nearly all u.s. coastal waters. all of them. the proposal would undo an obama era ban and give energy companies access to leases off the california coast where offshore drilling has been banned since an oil spill in 1969. maine republican senator collins tweeted the plan poses significant risk. collins joins florida republican senator marco rubio, governor rick scott and congresswoman ross lehnen. the governors of california, washington, oregon, new jersey,
virginia, north carolina and south carolina also oppose the proposal. second, attorney general jeff sessions rolled back another obama era policy and gave federal prosecutors the go-ahead to aggressively enforce federal marijuana related charges in states where its production and sales are legal. colorado republican senator gardner says jeff sessions and president trump went back on a promise they both made in 2016. >> we were told that states' rights would be protected and not just by the attorney general. then the nominee to be attorney general. we were told that by then candidate donald trump. i call on attorney general sessions to explain to me why president trump was wrong in 2016 and what changed their minds. until he lives up to that commitment i will be holding all nominations to the department of justice. >> 29 states and the district of columbia allow some form of
legalized marijuana including california that began selling recreational pot on monday. third, the state department announced it's suspending security assistance to pakistan until the pakistani government takes action against extremist groups including the afghan taliban and caused protests in pakistan. spokeswoman heather nuart said she couldn't provide a dollar amount since the administration is figuring out which types of aid are impacted by the decision. and then there's what the trump administration did today on an anti-segregation rule. that's next. okay, i picked out my dream car. now's the really fun part. choosing the color, the wheels, the interior,
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the marijuana thing is such a big thing. i think medical should happen, don't we agree? i think so. then i believe you should leave it up to the states. it should be a state situation. >> joining us now, hunter walker, white house correspondent for yahoo! news, and back with us, daniel dale. trump was more for states rights on the campaign trail than he seems to be now, especially with it comes to marijuana policy. so many people in this country want marijuana to be legalized, 61% of americans say it should be legalized. that's a lot of folks who potentially might vote on this issue in 2018. any concern in the white house about this?
>> you know, the support for legalization is particularly strong among millenials. but the white house is happy to be able to say they're getting things done. the first year was not the most productive. and, you know, all this recent policy stuff in the past week that you pointed out makes this actually a week where they did get a lot done through executive order, which seems to be their favorite method. >> getting something done, it's a states' rights issue, and they campaigned on letting states have control of things. are they not going to shoot themselves in the foot with that? >> as someone who is in the briefing room, i can tell you any time you bring up something where they seem to have broken a promise or there seems to be a downside, they steamroll right over that and say it's fine. i can tell you that outside the white house, we're seeing signs that a lot of people think they can capitalize on this. i spoke with cory booker last night, and he thinks that this is actually going to increase momentum and support for
marijuana legalization he's proposed, and he's also eager to work, and he's calling it a cory caucus, with republican senator cory gardner who you showed earlier. i think critics see this as something they can jump on, but this is not a white house that ever apologizes or admits weakness or admits even that they changed a promise. >> the offshore drilling news, daniel, it's interesting to see republicans like marco rubio and susan collins coming out and saying, we don't want this to happen. i mean, even in states where they don't want it to happen, it's going to happen. does it white house have any concern about that potentially going against folks who need to vote on their agenda or potentially help vote in confirmations? >> from what i've seen, they seem to not care very much. they know that this is unpopular with people who usually support them, people like governor rick scott, people like senator marco rubio. but they sided with business interests as they usually do. i think, you know, it's fascinating, what we saw this
week was the trump administration go against local rights on marijuana, go against the wishes of local communities on oil drilling, and on the issue of housing segregation they overturned the obama era rule which intended to promote desegregation. so their interest in local rights, so-called states' rights, are very selective, shall we say. >> last question to you, hunter, pakistan. who in the white house is telling trump to revoke aid to pakistan? >> i think first off this is a policy that's really going to appeal to the president. he came in talking about taking a real hard line against, you know, terrorists and against terrorist threats posed from muslim nations. so you don't know that anyone would have needed to convince him here. but you know, i've heard diplomats say he's outsourced foreign policy to the military.
i think when you see a decision like this, it's coming from his group of generals there in the white house. one thing recall interesting is it seems like his tweet actually sped up their action on this. so this is a case where we saw the president send an inflammatory tweet and that actually dictated the way the policy took effect. >> it's a good reminder, don't pay attention to what they say, pay attention to what they do. daniel dale, hunter walker, gentlemen, thank you very much. >> thank you. coming up, tonight's last word on the michael wolff book "fire and fury." rrhea. rrhea. but it's my anniversary. aw. sorry. we've got other plans. your recurring, unpredictable abdominal pain and diarrhea... ...may be irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, or ibs-d. you've tried over-the-counter treatments and lifestyle changes, but ibs-d can be really frustrating. talk to your doctor about viberzi,... ...a different way to treat ibs-d. viberzi is a prescription medication you take every day that helps proactively manage... ...both abdominal pain and diarrhea at the same time. so you stay ahead of your symptoms.
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night comedy shows are handling the book. >> according to the book, donald trump didn't want to be president. he didn't want him to win. there's a name for that. the majority of american voters. >> he sprays his hair with just for men and ivanka makes fun of him for it. he's constantly leaking information about himself and then demanding to know who leaked the information. he didn't want to win the presidency and was horrified when he did. melania cried. we all cried, really. >> treasury secretary steve mnuchin and former chief of staff reince priebus believed trump to be an idiot, and the president's top national security adviser, h. where we mcmaster, considers him a dope. >> wow. trump's own people think that he's dumb as a watermelon. i guess the country isn't as divided as it seems. >> some believed that for all practical purposes, he was no more than semi literate.
>> huh. semi literate? sorry, haters, but that's still litera literate. >> apparently every night if trump was not having his 6:30 dinner with steve bannon, he was in bed by that time with a cheese burger. i'm going to hope, eating it. [ applause ] >> i love you, hamburger. what's that? >> on monday night the author of the book "fire and fury," michael wolff, joins lawrence live for wolff's first prime time interview. that's tonight's "last word." join me monday through friday at 2:00 on msnbc. you notice all of those shows
are watching msnbc. you should too. meanwhile, "the 11th hour" starts in and out of. tonight, a scathing book portrayal that launched warfare with a former top adviser. the author alleging trump is less credible than perhaps anyone who has ever walked on earth. on the russia front, debate over whether the president obstructed justice as two top republicans request a criminal probe of the trump dossier's author, christopher steele. "the 11th hour" on a friday night begins right now. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. i'm kasie hunt in for brian williams on this day 351 of the trump administration. is that it? and the end of course of the first workweek of 2018. this has been one of the most explosive weeks of donald