tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC March 30, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
children, how effective they've been. >> thank you-all. before we go, quick reminder, my book, "a colony in a nation" is available. good evening i'm lawrence o'donnell and this is tonight's "last word" live from los angeles. no one got fired from the white house today, no one forcefully escorted out of the building by security. every cabinet member who had had a job at breakfast today still had the same job at sun down today because the president of the united states spent his 104th day playing golf. so far the golfiest president of all time has not actually fired anyone while playing golf, except possibly some caddies who are not on the white house payroll. many inside the white house are
reporting this week the white house staff has moved beyond worry to near panic that the president of the united states is now completely unleashed. that is to say, somehow measurably more unleashed than he already was. and it's all about the woman who had to suffer the world-wide humiliation of a public trump today -- yesterday, actually, on her way out the door. just watch how natural this is. that was donald trump reduced to sign language because he needed to keep that far away. a great distance away from reporters so that he would not be able to hear any of their shouted questions about stormy daniels or anything having to do
with the governing of the united states. the white house did not release a translation of the sign language. i, for one, have no idea what it means to stand beside a person and just point at her repeatedly. so please feel free to share any of your suggested sign language translations with us on twitter. the woman the president was pointing at is the youngest white house communications director in history and not the most incompetent only because she was preceded in the job by the unforgotable, anthony scaramucci, who was the most unleashed white house communications director in history, as well as the most incompetent. the "new york times" reported today, there is a palpable worry among those in the west wing about who the president will now confide in and how many other people might be able to occasionally pull him back now that ms. hicks is gone.
several reports have indicated this week that white house chief of staff john kelly has lost whatever confidence the president had in him and is unable, therefore, to excerpt even the minimal amount of influence over the president that he might have had in the past. according to politico today, the president announced he was firing the veterans affairs secretary in, quote, a snap decision that surprised his own chief of staff and knocked the government's second largest agency deeper into disarray. white house chief of staff john kelly had spoken with david shulkin by phone wednesday morning reassuring the now former va secretary that he wouldn't be fired by tweet that afternoon. hours later, kelly had to phone shulkin again telling him plans had changed. david shulkin's firing was so chaotic and of a sudden that it is possible that donald trump didn't even know that donald trump was going to do it earlier in the day when donald trump
spoke with david shulkin. >> when's the last time you spoke to him? >> i spoke to the president yesterday. >> what was that conversation like? >> we spoke about the progress that i was making, what i needed to do from a policy perspective to make sure that we were fixing the issues in va -- >> wait, that's before you were fired? >> that's correct. >> you spoke to him, he made no mention of the fact that he was about to terminate you? >> that's correct. >> and then you found out via tweet? >> right before that the chief of staff kelly gave me a call, which i appreciated, gave me a heads up. so -- but that was much after the phone call. >> the trump administration has always been choosing from the bottom of the republican barrel of talent and there is no possibility of that changing according to a report in "the washington post" today, the postreports that the presidential personnel office that's responsible for recruiting and vetting thousands of trump administration aolympian tees is being run by a
college drop out with arrests for drunken driving and arrests, and a marine corpse reservist. the post reports that it became something of a social hub, where young staffers from throughout the administration stopped by. in january they played a drinking game called icing to celebrate the deputy director's 30th birthday. it involves hiding a bottle of smirnoff and the person who finds it guzzles it. thereby bringing a new definition to the term drunk with power. but the governing style of the trump administration is always a more serious version of drunk with power.
this week we learned that team trump will begin detaining pregnant undocumented women. it will add a question to the census that state attorney generals warned could cause a population under count. donald trump is golfing when most of these decisions are made and only becomes aware of them if they are mentioned on fox news and only approves of them when they are mentioned approvally on fox news. the government from the start has behaved like a horde passing a bottle of smiroff ice. hope hicks never stopped a minute of that madness. and john kelly is known to have encouraged some of it.
especially the worst cruelties the trump administration has inflicted on immigrants. each of them might, at some point, have talked the president out of an utterly insane tweet, but what donald trump has proven from the start with his two white house chiefs of staff and his five white house communications directors, is that he has been unleashed since day one in the presidency, but is always capable of getting much, much worse, and always does. joining the discussion now, ana marie cox, also joining us daniel dale, washington correspondent, jason johnson, politics editor, and jonathan kaypart. and anna, i want to begin with what seems to me, from my distance, the methology of hope
hicks created by the white house press corpse which seems to believe she's a confidant of donald trump's and secondly without her things will be so different that the president will be lonely and petulant and therefore we'll see something completely different without hope hicks there making it all make sense. >> because he was so not lonely before. if hope hicks is standing between us ando blifon, we're at oblivion. i thought your summation was spot on. it's not the dismissals, i don't want to use the term on television but the blank show in the white house, it is actually all the bureaucracy that's tumbling apart and as it tumbles upon people. the detaining of pregnant women,
questioning of citizens on the census. they're doing this thing where they're rolling out the abortion reversal medicine. they're starting to push that in more states and that is something that the trump administration is behind. there's all these minor changes in policy that are all but invisible because we're paying attention to what's happening in the white house. but people are suffering and hurting. i'm like everyone else, i can't take my eyes off this either. but i really feel like we need to be looking at what's happening in more cities and towns. you know, i.c.e. breaking people's doors down, black men shot in their own back yard. these are things that are happening in part because trump is such a terrible manager and president. but let's not get distracted by him. let's pay attention to some of the things we can have an affect on because they're at the local level.
i hope people can take hope in that. >> the notion that the trump white house can be be more chaotic, dangerous, i guess it can but it's hard for me to believe that has anything to do with who the white house personnel are. >> this has nothing to do with the personnel -- in a sense it does. the one person we've been talking about since election day, and that's the president. there was so much hope put into john kelly, even i was one of those people who said now that john kelly is there he'll bring order and discipline to the white house. i also said the firing of anthony scaramucci would be the height of his career. but what we know from the twitter firing of david shulkin yesterday, we know president trump is going to do what he wants to do. the crazy that's happening in the white house, in the west wing, is something that would be untenable for any other president and certainly
something that was unimaginable for a republican president. but to anna marie's point, those policy changes that you mentioned in your lead in, lawrence, it's not about the bureaucracy falling apart, it's about the nationalist agenda that buoyed president trump into office that's been implemented despite the chaos in the white house. this is where i again agree, we have to pay attention to all these little things that the administration is doing while the dumpster fire on 1600 pennsylvania avenue is happening, they are these people in all these agencies enforcing these rules, changing regulations that, you know, cheer the president's 35% base but have real impacts on millions upon millions of
everyday americans who thought life was preceding in one way and just upended by the stroke of a pen. >> jonathan we all accept your good friday confession about having once been hopefully about john kelly's ability to organize this white house. it was unnecessary, i wasn't going to put that up in front of your face. let's listen to a republican presidential campaign operative, steve schmidt giving his assessment of this personnel situation rj from a personnel perspective we've never seen the assemblage of crooks, weirdos, wife beaters, drunk drivers, complete and total incompetence that's been assembled. if you took the ten greatest hr managers in the history of the world and said we want to form a 1927 yankees of incompetence, it's not possible they would
have done a better job than assembling this team and it's not possible this team could have let loose more chaos than they have. evan is right, as we get right to the hour of tragedy that will come from these type of people around an office where life and death decisions are made. >> jason johnson i'd like to say he took the words out of my mouth but it's more eloquent than anything i could come up with. and, of course, wife beaters and drunk drivers, he meant it literally. >> it's like a police academy, there's a level of incompetence. i'm waiting for a guy making voice impressions and someone with a squeaky voice. that's the only thing they could put in this administration to make it lower. here's the larger problem, all of the competent people in d.c. and around the country who don't beat their spouses, have criminal records, aren't trying to abuse the public, they don't
want to participant in this administration anymore because they don't want it on their resume. so it's made it more difficult to attract competent people. usually a year into into the administration, they figured things out, know where the bathrooms are, the copy machine, we have people that haven't settled into their office and are already fired. there will be economic and voting decisions people make because of the nonsense they see in d.c. right now. >> i want to get your perspective on why the white house press corp. seems to methologize hope hicks as an anchor in the rough sea of the trump white house. >> that's a good question. i don't have an answer. she's young, glamorous, relatively friendly. the couple times i've spoken to her, she was more pleasant than
other people in the trump administration. i think it's possible, lawrence, to some extent, she did mitigate, at least temporarily some of trump's worst instincts but we see a tendency towards methology in the trump administration. we saw it with john kelly. so i think there's a tenancy in the press corp. that covers the white house to see the people in the white house as, you know, these heroic figures in various ways when there's very little evidence to confirm that at all. >> in your experience with the people at the white house, do people like hope hicks realize before the age of 30 she has written the first line of her obituary and it is not a good one? >> i don't know if that's true. i think she has time to make a name for herself in some more flattering light.
but it's very possible this will be what she's remembered for p it's not a good era. >> jason, go ahead. >> there's a difference in saying i might have had a bad boss and i used to work at enron. this is that situation. if you have white house 2016 to 2020 and beyond on your resume. ethicalle people don't want to work with you. they don't want robert mueller checking into their background. hope hicks has danieled her career. i have no sympathy for her. she helped write letters to damage the reputation of women speaking out about domestic abuse in the past. i don't think donald trump realizes that but all the competent people that don't want to work there do. >> what do you think about the infighting we're hearing about the communications job? do you think it's possible
donald trump will leave it empty and continue to be what he's always been, which is his own director of communications. >> anything is possible with donald trump. i think he values communication more than anything else. i think he wants to fill the job. i know almost nobody wants what should be a hugely glamorous, desired position. i think it's possible kellyanne conway will get it. her husband deleted a series of anti-trump tweets he tweeted this week. he's falling back on people he personally likes. that's more important to him than any qualification. we saw that from john bolton from fox news. and we saw that with mike pompeo, his new secretary of state, who he liked from his intel briefings. so i guess he will fill the position and fill it with someone he knows and likes. >> daniel dale thank you for
joining the first round, everyone else stand by for more. coming up the special prosecutor delivered a subpoena in a dramatic fashion. and an autopsy released today shows that stephon clark was shot in the back by sacramento police. what does it take to make digital transformation actually happen? it takes dell technologies, a family of seven technology leaders working behind the scenes to make the impossible... reality. we're helping to give cars the power to read your mind from anywhere... and we're helping up to 40% of the nation's donated blood supply to be redirected to the people that need it most. magic can't make digital transformation happen... but we can.
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show after ridiculing david hogg. today on msnbc when asked if he accepted laura ingraham's apology that she tweeted yesterday, david hogg said this. >> no. because realize this, in the same tweet she apologized to me she tried promoting her show at the same time and i found that sickening. >> also sickening to many catholics and christians and holy week observers was her dragging holy week into her apology. she said on reflection in the spirit of holy week -- that provoked me and many others to ask if laura ingraham would have apologized on any other of the 51 weeks of the year and to ask in what spirit was her original insulting tweet since it was also written during holy week.
ana marie i want to get your assessment where this particular controversy stands. while you're speaking, i would like to put up a graphic of the 13 companies, their names, that have pulled their ads from fox news since they're not advertising on fox news at this hour, america should still know that these companies are in business and would like to do business with them. go ahead. >> in the spirit of infrastructure week -- >> yes. >> -- i'd like to slightly change topics. i'll just go off topic. no. the larger issue for me is that david hogg specifically, the parkland students in general but david hogg specifically seems to have triggered all these snow flakes on the right in this extreme way. like i'm fascinated that they are so activated by them and by
him in particular. i can't quite put my finger on what it is about these children, really, these kids, these students, that is so upsetting that they find so intimidating, quite frankly. i wonder if it's their idealism or i wonder if it's the sense that when you see young people this motivated, this organized, you know that this is the biggest threat that there is to, you know, the standing order. these young people -- >> jason -- >> go ahead. >> i was going to say, jason, do you have an answer to ana marie's question about what is it that gets people like laura ingraham going with these kids? >> because they're young well spoken white kids. and they're supposed to be -- that's supposed to be bailiwick of the republican party. they're young, attractive. wasn't it a month ago, laura ingraham was saying shut up and
dribble. no one was boycotting them. when she says something about young white kids in a tragedy, everyone wants to say something. i'm glad that david hogg had the clap back. my problem is if she gets cancelled she'll end up in the white house. >> david hogg is the one that pointed out it was the students of color at parkland that hasn't gotten the attention he has. parkland is 25% minority. and he's pointed out the media has done a disservice to these other kids who have a specific reason for not wanting armed teachers in their school. they haven't gotten the voices that david himself has. and it's not his fault. >> of course. >> we know if laura ingraham goes from fox news to the white house, she will lose influence over donald trump. >> absolutely.
she's never more powerful than she is right now if she wants to influence the president of the united states. look, i think the power of david hogg is in the responses from both ana marie and jason. and that is, here is a well-spoken white kid who cares about all of his friends. he is not simply complaining and speaking out because he himself suffered some tragedy. he deeply cares. i think you showed in the b roll when he came here to washington in the run up to the march for our lives, he went to a school in washington and talked about the fact that he is there and recognizes that because of his -- because of his privilege and his background, a lot of attention is paid on him and the students of parkland but he recognizes and knows that the kids in that room and other african-american kids and kids of color have been dealing with
this for a long time and he wants to use that power to help everyone. and that -- that disrupts the order that laura ingraham is so desperate to hang onto. but as jason know, as ana marieknows, as everyone watching the show knows, that world that laura ingraham is fighting so hard to maintain is gone. it doesn't exist and hasn't for a long time now. >> i was going to say it's gone except -- >> go ahead. >> i was going to say it's gone unless it can be held together with the threat of violence, quite frankly. >> when do you think president trump is going to get into this fight with laura ingraham and her sponsors. let's put those sponsors up as ana answers this again so the president can know this weekend exactly which so far 13 companies he has to attack on twitter.
>> i don't actually wish this, because i know it would do bad things for the lives of the students. but part of me wants him to go after the students. because that's classic trump. that is trump. talk about punching down, right? that is the kind of thing he would do. i bet he is itching to go in and do that, and that is the kind of thing a good communications director would keep someone from doing. so if he becomes his own communications director that is what he might do. he might try to get in a proxy war with the advertisers. he'll do whatever they say on fox and friends. there was a rumor going around one of the candidates for the va trump thought they would do more good on fox and friends, and he is correct.
>> it's our turn to squeeze in a commercial now. ana marie cox, thank you for joining the discussion. be careful when you step off that plane from london because you might get hit with a subpoena from a special prosecutor but that's only if you're in too deep with trump world. that's next. ♪ hey, sir lose-a-lot! thou hast the patchy beard of a pre-pubescent squire! thy armor was forged by a feeble-fingered peasant woman... your mom! as long as hecklers love to heckle, you can count on geico saving folks money. boring! fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
trump supporter and friendly with roger stone and the british champion of the brexit movement. the fbi questioned him about his involvement in the trump campaign and the connections to roger stone and wikileaks. he said they also asked if he ever visited julian assange to which he said he replied no. the fbi seized his cell phone. he says he will appear before mueller's team next month. joining the discussion now ronato marinoti and back with us is jonathan kaypart. what do you make of the way the subpoena was served and what they obtained? >> first of all whenever you are subpoenaing a subject of an investigation, you know, there are times where you're going to use a little bit of intimidation find out what you can from the
person. sometimes we would plan out carefully how agents would approach a subject. at times we would even have evidence that we would show the person just to give them a glimpse of what we had on them. this was clearly an effort to intimidate him and get him to cooperate. the fact they were able to obtain his cell phone is because he was -- he was actually at an international boundary. there is a heightened ability for law enforcement to conduct searches there. i suspect he may have given his consent to do that or they would have at least sought to have his consent. if not, what they would be hanging their hat on there would be the heightened ability to do it at the border. this tells us he is somebody who is of interest to mueller. clearly mueller is interested in finding out whether or not people in the trump camp knew
about the hacking of the dnc serves in advance and the dissemination of the e-mails on wikileaks. >> it seems like there's a warning in there for other people in trump world if you are reentering this country, you better have your cell phone backed up. >> yes. at a minimum. but this isn't the first time we've seen mueller go to the airport to nab a witness. he did that with george papadopoulos. way back when before anyone knew who george papadopoulos was. so the message here is, one, if traveling back up your cell phone, but two, if you have any kind of connection, it seems, to the trump campaign, the trump transition, the trump white house, you have to be very concerned that the knock on the door or the person approaching you is someone who is on mueller's team.
>> i want to read exactly what ted mallic said to nbc news. he said i am not an operative, have no russia contacts and aside from appearing on air and in print often to defend and congratulate our president have done nothing wrong. what message does this send? what message does it sent? >> the message it sends is that the fbi is aggressively investigating these crimes. and if you are tied to somebody or involved with somebody who is under investigation, you can expect to be questioned by the fbi and really the answer there is, you know, you may not -- whether he did anything wrong or not, we don't know. but if you are associated with people who are subjects of a criminal investigation and here he was associated with a campaign who has -- the chairman of the campaign is under federal indictment facing serious charges you can expect the fbi to take close notice of you.
instead of talking to nbc i think this man should be talking to a very good defense lawyer. >> with that heading into our next commercial break, jonathan kaypart your weekend starts now. >> thanks, lawrence. >> thank you for joining us, appreciate it. at the end of a stormy week for donald trump his lawyers have managed to get him in even more trouble with stormy daniels. ♪
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at the end of a very stormy week for the president, he finds himself in even more legal trouble with stormy daniels than he did at the beginning of the week when a record high "60 minutes" audience listened to stormy daniels' description of spanking donald trump, having sex with donald trump and then being threatened to stay quiet about it. joining us now is ronato moratti. a couple big developments this week for the president. one we had david schwartz, who has not filed an appearance for michael cohen in this case but acts as his legal spokesperson on tv. he said that the president knew nothing about this confidentiality agreement, had no idea it was executed, didn't sign it where the provision was made for him to sign it with the alias listed because the president didn't know it existed
or that the payment was made. what does that do to the case? >> it undercuts the case for michael cohen. i think the president's lawyer needs its own lawyer. i think the people at home know you can't agree to something if you didn't know about it. that agreement between stormy daniels and dd, who is listed in the agreement and who is ultimately donald trump. that agreement, the number of things that trump agrees to the document, where he makes a number of claims, agrees to ash trump administration, there's no way donald trump can do those things without informed consent, without knowing what's in the piece of paper. so i don't know how michael cohen plans to win this lawsuit at this point. frankly they're going to try to delay it as long as possible. but in the end they have a difficult road to hoe.
>> we also saw another development in it, which was a ruling by a federal court judge where stormy daniels' attorney asked for a speeded up process that would allow him to conduct the deposition of the president in a much faster way, expedited. the judge said, no, we can't expedite this, but there is a process for doing that and basically said what you're asking for now is premature. what does that tell us about the future of the case? >> it suggested to me that in the future stormy daniels would get the discovery she's looking at. if i'm in the president's camp, i would be telling trump, look, you're going to get deposed if this lawsuit continues, so will michael cohen, that has down sides, paula jones' lawyer deposed clinton and that had downsides for him. so at this point, delay it as
long as you can. the judge said it was premature until the president's lawyers and cohen's lawyers filed response to the complaints and also filed a motion to compel arbitration which they said they would do. that has to come at some point and once that happens, this expedited discovery will occur. the only way to avoid it would be to not compel arbitration, which would make it more open than if it were not arbitration. today, an autopsy that was released today shows that stephon clark was shot in the back by sacramento police officers. stephon clark was unarmed. we have the video of the shooting. that's next. there's little rest for a single dad.
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bullets were from behind. >> the autopsy conducted by the doctor hired by the family found that stephon clark was hit by eight bullets and seven of those bullets struck stephon clark from the back. we're going to show you some of the police video of the shooting. this was taken from the helicopter above the shooting. and you will see in the middle of the shooting after the bullets are fired, you will see stephon clark fall face forward to the ground not moving. and you will see that the shooting continues after he has fallen and is not moving face down on the ground. this is very disturbing video to see. i just wanted you to know that, and if this is not something you want to see, this is the time to turn away. this is that that video. >> one yard to the south.
>> go ahead. >> shots fired, shots fired. >> joining the discussion now the director of the black law enforcement alliance and a retired nypd detective and back with us is jason johnson. mark claxton, what do you see when you look at that video, the sequence of the shots and the autopsy drawing we saw today of the entry wounds? >> i see a disturbing pattern of police initiated violence against largely black and brown men and subsequent inexcusable actions by officials and government officials. i see a denial in what really ails us in denials to police involved shootings of black and
brown men across the nation. i see a large sense of denial. i see abandonment of proper police tactics, training. there's so many issues and things that are disturbing about what has happened to stephon clark and what has happened historically in this country at the hands of what should be professional police officers for many black and brown men. >> i want to stress against stephon clark was unarmed. he did have a cellphone. police are claiming they mistook the cellphone for a gun. let's listen to what the doctor who performed this autopsy had to say about the entry wounds. >> he was shot in the back six times. the seventh gunshot wound was slightly to the side of his body but to the back of the side of his body.
so you could reasonably conclude that he received seven gunshot wounds from his back. >> and jason johnson, when you see stephon clark face down and these bullets continuing to fly, they fired at least 20 bullets at him, and as usual they missed with most of their bullets. most police bullets miss most of it time. there was no possibility of those bullets really entering the body anywhere other than the back. >> right, right. and here's the thing, lawrence, at the core issue here we've seen this with trayvon, altten sterling, over and over again the absolute denial by police. it is part of police training apparently to shoot first and ask questions regardless of the race of the officers who are involved. at the core issue here was a man
who they were supposedly pursuing for breaking windows in cars. this is not someone that you needed to use lethal force. so to continue to shoot somebody when they're already on the ground is not just overkill in the rhetorical sense but overkill from the standpoint that the violence they felt comfortable using in that sense, bear ipmind the bullets could have ricochetted and hit somebody else, and they didn't care. at the end of the day these officers don't care because they're probably not going to face any consequences for the this, and another black men is going to be besmirched and smeared by police officers. they've already started dragging his reputation in order to justify an unjustifiable killing. >> as a matter of police tactics what disturbs me most about this is there's a second round of
firing. you can hear that there's a slight pause at the point where stephon clark falls and goes face down. and they decide -- they make a second decision to fire their guns again, which is different decision from the one they made the first time. the one they made the first time he was standing up. when they made that second decision to fire another round of bullets at him, he's lying face down and not moving, and that is completely different tactical decision by the police officers than the first decision they made. >> absolutely. as a matter of fact, lawrence, if you go deeper than that there are several decisions they made even subsequent to the firearm's discharge. listen, a police officer has to make a decision to pull his weapon, make a decision to raise the firearm, make a decision to put the finger on the trigger. he better have to make a decision as to whether or not to pull that trigger. so there are a series of
decisions that need to be made, and professional police officers should be guided and are trained to be guided by what we call the use of force continuum. that means the amount of force that you as a professional police officer, trained professional police officer should use in particular cases. you don't -- you don't fire a weapon for a person that's trying to slap you. there's an imbalance in that, and the use of force continuum is totally disregarded in this and so many other cases. and i think something significant and substantive has happened during the case of this week that gone largely unreported that even the comments that implicit police shootings in this case by unarmed black men, he said there's an implied bias in law enforcement and it's indeniable,
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>> today in case you haven't seen it the president was in ohio. he was in ohio talking about infrastructure. check your calendars. it is always infrastructure week. and talking about construction brought back some happy trump memories. >> that's what i do is build. i was always very good at building. i think better than being president. >> oh, don't sell yourself short, sir. you suck at both. >> i can't say that. steven can say it. stephen colbert gets tonight's "last word." coming up retired four star general discusses the present relations with north korea which starts now. tonight the mueller team strikes out of a scene out of a movie. a man gets off the plane at the logan airport and quickly surrounded and detained by the feds, questioned by the fbi about what he knows and then
served a subpoena to talk with the special counsel. >> and more trouble back in washington. bad news for members of the cabinet after a week of still more white house departures. fo cabinet after a week of still more white house departures. fascinating new numbers are out and you might be surprised to learn what kinds of americans came out last weekend to march and demonstrate against gun violence. steve kornacki will break it down for us as "the 11th hour" gets under way a friday night. we're almost there, and good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york on a friday night. day 435 of the trump administration, and as another week comes to an end there is a new figure at the center of the latest development tonight in the russia matter. our nbc news investigative unit reports earlier this week