tv Deadline White House MSNBC March 31, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
by his thinking, why deprive good friday visitors of a good visit to an iconic irish pub. submit ted without judgment. that is our program for a friday nig night. whatever your persuasion, we wish you a good weekend. good night from our headquarters here in new york. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. icing is in and public criticism of russia is still very much out. nbc news with extraordinary reporting about donald trump's
-- quote, president donald trump's national security advisor spent months trying to convince him to sign off on a plan to supply new u.s. weapons to ukraine to aid in the country's fight against russian-backed separatists. when the president finally authorized the major policy shift, he told his aides not to publicly tell his decision because doing so might agitate russian president vladimir putin. quote, he doesn't want to bring it up, one white house official tells nbc news. it is not something he wants to talk about, this source says. this new reporting helps fill in the blanks around what trump watchers have coined the president's do not congratulate call. that one where trump, over the objections of his national security advisors and in sharp contrast to the public statements from other american elected officials, congratulated vladimir putin on his election victory. nbc news reports that president trump also said to putin, quote, if you want to have an arms race, we can do that. now, while americans have debated whether to take trump literally or not, putin wasted no such time with that kind of foolishness, testing a new ballistic missile earlier today to help unpack the increase
-- increasingly bizarre relationship between donald trump and russia, we brought in some of our best exporerts and reporters. nbc news national security military reporter courtney cube, one of the by lines of the report we started with. jill colvin, white house reporter for the a.p. chuck rosenberg, former u.s. attorney, former senior fbi official, now lucky for us an msnbc contributor. and steve schmidt is back with us today. courtney, let me start with you on your reporting, and i think this is a development since your story broke. i'm sure prompted by the incredible detail in this account. but i understand that the much now expulsion of russian diplomats didn't have anything to do with the number of russian diplomats in this country at all. the head count could very much remain the same. it seems like another data point in the picture you paste -- you paint of a very conflicted donald trump when it comes to russia policy and russia p.r. >> that's right.
so he was presented last week with -- president trump was presented with three different options and he ended up going with the middle one, the one that was in the middle of a lighter option against vladimir putin and the one that was the harshest, and that included expelling the diplomats from the united states. what we found here was president trump has to be really pushed along when it comes to doing things -- when it comes to any kind of response to vladimir putin and russia's continued provocations. one of the specific cases that we looked into was arms sales to ukraine. the proposal to send javelin anti-tank missiles to ukraine in their fight against russia sat on the president's desk from august until december. now outgoing secretary of state rex tillerson along with other administration officials had to really continue to press president trump to approve this deal and to send the weapons to ukraine. >> courtney, do you get any sense from being in the building
that you cover that, you know, these military relationships, some of the intelligence relationships have been described to me as almost existing in a parallel reality with donald trump's public pronouncements and twitter feed. do you get any sense that this clash, that the fact that this sat on his desk for a good and important ally that has relied on the united states of america in previous administrations, that this is starting to strain the relationship between some of our important allies, at least from the pentagon's perspective? >> no, i mean -- you were spot on that they have a very different relationship, that it exists in a whole parallel universe. we often hear about general dunford, having discussions with his russian counterpart. there is this continuing no matter all the diplomatic problems that happen, there is this continuing de-confliction line. what that is, it's a way for the russian military and the u.s. military to talk on the phone directly to make sure that there's no altercations or any
kind of problems in the air over syria where they're operating in really increasingly close space all the time. while there are sort of the incidents here and there, they continue no matter what happens on the diplomatic side, no matter what happens on the provocations from vladimir putin or conversations the u.s. military and the russian military continue to operate in a pretty professional way, nicolle. >> jill colvin, you cover that building. i'm guessing there is nothing on background here from white house officials that surprised you. but it's pretty stunning to read in sort of the public sphere, courtney and our colleague kristen and carol's reporting, that aides said we can't go there, we can't talk about it. he doesn't want to tout his policy decisions. is this consistent with sort of the -- what you hear from being in the building you cover, the one behind you? >> you know, what's so interesting about that is that kind of really provided the internal script of what we all see play out every single day, which is we see -- we've seen
the press conferences, the president's twitter feed he won't go after putin, after the nerve gas attack in london. the president has not weighed in. the two issues he doesn't want to talk about stormy daniels and vladimir putin, the two people folks say again and again he doesn't want to criticize. there was something interesting in that story, that was his concerns about the potential arms war, the new nuclear weapons that putin claims to have created here. i thought it was really interesting that was the one area the president really seemed to get up there and be willing to be confrontational with putin telling him, you know what, if you're going to go and build these, we're going to build them even bigger.
the president is someone who likes to project this strength and this air of power about him. and if you've got putin who is kind of trying to play that same game with him, that's one area you might see the president potentially step up. >> steve schmidt, do you think that might have anything to do with any nuanced understanding of the cold war? do you think it would have to do with having bigger and better missiles? >> i think for sure he's making it up as he's going along. there's been no articulation, certainly not of a coherent strategy with regard to what's arising geopolitical adversary russia. a country with thousands of nuclear weapons, though its economy is smaller than the state of california's, it poses significant risk. and vladimir putin's number one objective is to undermine faith and trust in democracy across the western world. and in donald trump, he has a faithful ally because it is the president of the united states and his administration with their constant attacks on the rule of law on the intelligence community, on the justice department, and other vital institutions that are doing vladimir putin's dirty work.
vladimir putin looked at the country and he saw how easy it would be for the united states, in this election process for us to be turned against each other, for us to turn at each other's throats. i think he's enjoying every second of it and he has to take particular pleasure in the great divider who sits in the oval office. be >> chuck rosenberg, i'm so glad you're here today because the fact that what courtney wrote about was a decision to arm the ukrainians is so interesting on a day when the latest developments in the mueller probe is that bob mueller and his investigative team want know exactly what went down at the republican convention in cleveland when, for the first time in the history of the republican party conventions, the platform was changed to articulate a far more russia friendly policy, and it's not worth reading the two different versions, but essentially what it was altered to was precisely what vladimir putin would have wanted u.s. policy to reflect. can you speak to, you know, as a former colleague of bob mueller's, can you speak to why
that would be of interest to him and what sorts of crimes he could be possibly investigating if this change in the platform and all of the context and communications between trump campaign officials and russians that we now know about are on bob mueller's radar, too? >> sure, nicolle. thanks for having me. some acts appear on their face to be benign, some appear to be ambiguous, some can appear to be nefarious. changing the platform on its face can be completely benign. let me give you an example. if you and i went out and bought ski masks that would be benign. particularly if we went skiing. if we bought ski mask ands robbed a bank, that purchase looks quite nefarious. the mueller team is collecting all this data, asking tons of questions, trying to understand motives because what may appear ambiguous can in retrospect turnout to be quite nefarious.
what they're going to look at of course is not just what happened at the convention, but a whole pattern of conduct. only with a pattern can you begin to divine intent and only with intent can you begin to successfully prosecute an obstruction of justice or a conspiracy to interfere in the election. >> all right, chuck, we're going to take our viewers into the weeds on this. they can be interns on this mueller probe they know so much about it. i want to get specific here because paul manafort said to george stephanopolous during the campaign that there were no ties between the trump campaign and putin, and we know that -- he's been charged with all sorts of crimes. but we know that that on its face is a crime and i want to watch it and ask you about it on the other side. >> are there any ties between mr. trump, you or your campaign, and putin and his regime? >> no, there are not. that's absurd, you know, there's no base to it. >> so, sunday i'm going to bring a cake to the graphics
department and put next to that all the people that were meeting possibly at the same time he was on gma with russians during the convention, and then the obvious output, this change in the platform. i have to say even at the time it didn't look as innocent as it would look if two skiers went and bought ski masks. during the convention we know that jeff sessions, sitting attorney general now, carter page, someone who four different judges approved fisa surveillance of him, and j.r. gordon, all of them were in contact with russians in and around the convention. so, just press this one more time. there's an op-ed in the paper today suggesting that mueller could be looking at whether bribes were paid. you know, we talk about foreign policy crimes like collusion. it could be something old-fashioned like just good old bribery. >> it could be good old bribery, nicolle, and for instance -- by the way, the platform thing lends itself well to a bribery
analysis, right? if done for completely innocent reasons, if the republican party decided their platform was better without these planks than with them, then that's fine. that's the product of discussion and contemplation and negotiation. if they did it in return for something, something of value, either money or some other consideration, that could well be bribery. and so what's mueller looking at? bribery and obstruction of justice and interfering in the election. in several different manifestations, maybe to steal data and use it to the advantage of the campaign, or perhaps to just keep the russian government from releasing compromising information on the president. i don't know what the answer is yet, but i know that this pattern of conduct will help elucidate that. >> steve schmidt, one of the most searing memories of the 2018 campaign which we both served on mccain, he started
most days by talking to one of his dearest friends, the leader of georgia, and i remember i was on the road with him and you called me. he talked every morning on his cell phone, on a colleague's cell phone. the reason for that was he was reassuring him at this time of russian aggression and incursion that america would stand with the people of georgia. i remember a day it was a critical juncture in the campaign, i was on the road with senator mccain, joe lieberman, lindsey graham, he started a political rally in a battle ground state by saying today we are all georgians. you were furious. not that americans are dumb, but in the middle of a presidential campaign, they're not thinking of who he is and they're not thinking about the country of georgia. i wonder what you think about the fact that that was the man that the republican party nominated in 2008, and in 2016 the gop platform was changed to articulate precisely, in full view, in public, vladimir putin's desired policy vis-a-vis ukraine.
>> one of the things that's fundamentally changed, nicolle, it used to be not so long ago that the american people would look at the american system of government and view it as superior to the russian system. they would have faith and trust and belief in the virtues and ideals of the american republic. but that's all been undermined both domestically and globally. if you're looking at the united states at the dysfunction of this administration from abroad, how can you possibly make the argument that this is a superior political system? and this is at the core of putinism. he's doing everything he can to draw no distinctions between the democracies of the west and the autocratic system that he favors. typically the american president would represent american ideals on the world stage.
the american president would be hostile to autocrats. the american president would celebrate freedom and liberty and the concept of the dignity of the freedom of the human being. this president has no interest in it. what we've seen is vladimir putin act with impunity, with very little push back. he's seeing what he can get away with. he's getting away with a lot. and i think the danger that lies ahead, what happens if vladimir putin instigates an article 5 nato crisis, for example, in one of the baltic republics? what will the response be? is it possible that putin could break nato over the next couple of years? we don't know the answer to any of it, but we have seen an american president who is, for whatever reason it is, absolutely timid for the first time since harry truman confronted the rise of the cold war, for the first time an american president will not confront an adversary, and specifically the leader of russia. it is bizarre.
>> jill, let me let you jump in and pick up this thread based on the breaking news. just before we came on the air, we reported that bob mueller and his investigators detained a trump ally at the airport, at the logan airport. his name is ted malloch. he said he was told it was a felony to lie to the fbi. he would gladly cooperate with them. the agents produced a document allowing him to search his cell phone. i guess it was some sort of search warrant. chuck will correct me if i'm wrong. and malloch said the questions got more detailed about my involvement with the trump campaign which was informal and unpaid. whom i communicated with, whom i knew and how well. they had a long list of names. he said they asked him about former trump campaign advisor roger stone, author jerome coursy and wikileaks. he said he met stone a total of three times and always with
groups of people. he was asked if he visited the ecuadorian embassy in london where julian assange has been and he said no. how does this land, not the substance, everyone on the campaign is being pressed about ties to russia and potential conspiracy to commit crimes around the collusion investigation. but just the tactics. i remember hearing from white house sources that after the no-knock warrant was issued for paul manafort's home, after all the computers were seized, that people were more on edge. do these stories land with a thud in the west wing? >> at this point it's less of a thud than you've got a boxer who has been punched and punched and punched again and it's one more hit coming at them. this lands, this is the first time i'm hearing about this report. this lands as the president, as you know, is in mar-a-lago right now. he just got back from the golf course. the west wing is not particularly full today. people have chosen to take the day off or work from home right now. what's really interesting about this one is you see -- and we've heard this a little bit especially when sam nunberg was
on your air after he wound up being interviewed by mueller's team. they seem to be really highlighting roger stone and his potential interaction with julian assange and seeing that as a potential, you know, point of interest here clearly by these investigators. but every time the white house thinks that it moves on, every time they try to move to a policy issue, they try to break any new ground, it's again, russia, russia, russia. they just can't escape it. >> let me give you the last word, chuck rosenberg, in terms of helping us understand what this tells us about bob mueller's investigation and their interest in contacts with wikileaks. >> sure. first, i think that's right. they continue to poke and probe and prod at all connections russia. you are right, by the way, nicolle, they probably used the search warrant although at the border of federal law enforcement has a lot more leeway and may not need it. good prosecutors would have gotten one anyway to avoid litigating the issue. not all witnesses are crucial. this gentleman, i believe, is a british citizen so they have
jurisdiction over him while he's in the united states. why not hand him a grand jury subpoena while he's here and find out what he knows. that's what they did. >> why not indeed. courtney kube, congratulations on your unbelievable reporting. it kept me up last night. i read it right before i went to bed. congrats. jill colvin, thank you for your extraordinary reporting every day from that place. can't be easy. when we come back, fox news is having a bad week over laura ingraham losing supporters. a former fox news contributor writes today he should have left sooner and claims he was blocked on discussing how the russians might have ensnared our president. also ahead, the washington post pulls back the curtain on one of the most important white house offices, in details how the effort to hire the very best people may have been doomed before the president even took office. and his friends and family mourn the death of stephon clark an unarmed black man fatally shot by sacramento police. we'll talk to our friend rev al sharpton about the message he delivered at the funeral and his
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>> it is a support network that is -- will always react positively to everything that he does. it's not journalism. it is propaganda. >> our friend, that was our friend rick stengel on this program yesterday talking about where fox news fits into the white house. former fox news contributor the network worked to silence his concerns about the trump campaign in russia. ralph pete writing in the washington post, i was increasingly blocked from speaking on the issues about which i could offer real expertise. russian affairs and our intelligence community. i did not hide my views at fox and as word spread that i believed an investigation into russian interference was essential to our national security, i was excluded from segments that touched on vladimir putin's possible influence on an american president. his campaign or his administration. joining our panel today, evan mcmullen, former cia operative who recently ran for president as an independent. the rev al sharpton, host of politics nation here on msnbc. and president of the national action network. lydia, editor in chief, and brett stevens, op-ed columnist. steve schmidt is still here. let me start with you, evan.
this was not some squishy moderate that fox news kept around from the old days. this was a highly regarded, i think former -- served in the army. >> uh-huh. >> and his expertise, he'd been face to face with russian intelligence officers in his military career. and when he wanted to articulate his concerns, not simply about donald trump, but on behalf of america, he was shut down on fox news. what does that tell you? >> it's not a surprise. you used to have all kinds of conservative thinkers who refused to get on board with trump but would still be allowed on fox. that changed after the election and, you know, you don't see them any more. >> like george wells, they're all here right now. >> i'd like to say brett stevens, exactly. ralph peters was suspended by fox for being too critical or disrespectful to president obama. this guy has the sort of fox credentials and he also has
intelligence credentials and he is saying that, as you said, they wouldn't let him speak, use his expertise to tell the truth to the american people. that's a problem. but this is, this is how fox has become a propaganda mouth piece for the president, addressing a segmented audience, not with truth, not with facts, but with its own fake news, even as it calls out other reputable reporting that's not positive for the president, fake news. >> that's the what. what is the why? >> ratings. >> it is popular to offer political cover to vladimir putin? >> it's political audience. >> i can tell you when it happened, march of 2016, when it became clear that donald trump was going to be the nominee of the party and suddenly some of us who maintained our consistent opposition to trump's candidacy found ourselves being invited less and less often to the point of being never invited onto the network.
now, whose decision -- >> that was your experience? >> that was my experience. whose decision was i don't know. it would be foolish to consider the possibility that a network owner who treasures his proximity to power, his proximity to the candidate and now his proximity to the president might be averse to having someone like ralph peters with impeccable conservative credentials attacking him for the right, precisely on this hypersensitive issue of russia because, of course, on this subject peters is absolutely right. >> i have to just say also, it's a business decision, right? if your audience is aligned with trump because of rote extreme partisanship, you have to keep that audience there. if you lose that audience, if they realize there is a problem with trump, they go to other competitors -- >> we put together, we wanted to show people who he was. he is such a right winger that fox is the only place he could find a tv home, i would guess. and so to the point -- but
that's the point. this is someone who is 99% -- you're talking about it as a business. in the interest of disclosure i have to say working for republicans it was sometimes nice to have fox cut the republican side some slack. but i've never seen steve schmidt -- what we see now day in, day out, the attack on bob mueller who was the republican pick to run the fbi after 9/11 and kept this country safe from terrorism. the attacks on the republican-run justice department, the attacks on the republican-trump appointed run fbi. this seems with the departure and whistle blowing, if you will, television version from this former contributor, this seems like a new layer of the conspiracy to cover up not just for donald trump, but for the russians. >> there was an extraordinary documentary, nicolle, that was unveiled in my hometown park city, utah, this past sun dance film festival. it was called "our president." it was a look at all of the russian television coverage of donald trump during the election
in the first months of the presidency. on russia state tv, he is routinely referred to as our, meaning, russia's president, russia's guy in the white house. and if you look at the themes that are spewed forth to the russian people on state-controlled propaganda tv about the conspiracy in the intelligence communities, the conspiracy in the justice department, the russia today coverage thematically is a very, very close to the type of stuff the american people are subjected to through fox news's misinformation campaign. in fact, i wouldn't fall out of my chair given the close coordination of stories whether by coincidence or design if there was a morning meeting to coordinate what we're going to talk about on the news of the day. but for sure, with the same exact intensity that russia today undermines america's
institutions, fox news undermines america's institutions with salacious and false attacks impugning the credibility and motives of american patriots with nonsensical conspiracy informations, fake news, and misinformation. and we have never, ever seen an american television network so subordinate itself for profit to fake alternate reality news at the service of a political figure. it's positively frightening to see it developing in the united states of america. >> let me -- steve is talking about america, not homeland. lydia, let me show you something that our colleague richard engel is reporting tonight. it is in line with this fox news contributor's concern. the russians are up to no good. let's watch and talk about it on the other side. >> this is your kgb card.
>> he says just last month he got a call from a friend still on the inside. >> he told me, look, be careful. look around. >> his source told him he was one of eight on a hit list. it includes skripal and christopher steele, author of the infamous trump/russia dossier. >> do you think that the fact that there are -- i mean, america -- it's so surreal. america's allies are responding to russia's actions in the u.k. against russians living there. do you think that there is a danger in not just people not seeing these stories, but being misinformed about the nature of vladimir putin's russia? >> there is no question that this is probably the grave est danger that faces our country right now. in that report which i watched earlier, you have the conclusion that the nerve toxin was likely
smeared on the doorknob of this man's home. i mean that's something out of the americans. what's next? are we back into cold war duck and cover? so, i think it's a huge problem. and what is most worrying for me is i saw recently a chart that was done based on some facebook data where they were asking people about trusted news sources and sorting them by self-identified conservative or liberal. liberals, of course, had a significant amount of trust with a wide range of mainstream news organizations. but on the conservative side you had one outlier and that one outlier was fox news. i think it's extremely worrying that we have this very polarized news consumption audience. and television is so powerful, so if you have a whole segment of the population that is essentially getting all of its news and information from fox news, i mean, nobody on this chart, nobody trusted breitbart, nobody trusted newsmax even though we've been extremely worried about those factors.
it's not even about facebook. but fox news, i think, as it's become more and more heat and had more and more conspiracy minded and is ignoring the core stories, the things that are really a threat to our democracy, i think has in some ways emerged as enemy number one to our democracy. >> i don't think it's only the -- that they are trying to project something that is different. it's outright demonizing those that will not go along with the narrative. it's one thing to be right leaning or left leaning. it's another thing where you are now reinterpreting what the right is about. and i think what is unfair to a lot of people, including schmidt and present company at the table is that we are seeing the redefining of what it means to be on the right by whether or not you're loyal to donald trump. that's where -- >> that's exactly the point.
>> that's where the danger is. >> fox news used to represent conservative opinion. now it represents a cultive personality. that's what's changed. >> that's my point. that's dangerous. and we never did that -- i mean, on this station, a lot of us were progressive, liked president obama, but there were people on the far left would come on this station and attack obama. he didn't define progressive politics. they are allowing trump to define the parameters of what it is to be a right winger. if you're anti-trump, you're no longer a legitimate right winger. that's dangerous. >> you come on over here. up next the shocker, the people in charge of hiring the very best people to work for donald trump do not appear to be the very best people based on an extraordinary piece of investigative reporting from the washington post. whoooo.
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we're going to use our smartest and our best. we're not using political hacks anymore. that's the people that do these deals. they're political hacks. we want experts, our finest people. we don't want people b level c level d level. we have to get our absolute best. >> i don't think so, mr. president. even your people in charge of hiring the best people aren't the best people. "the washington post" investigated the office responsible for hiring. we used to call it ppo or presidential personnel office and writes, quote, since the inauguration most of the staffers in ppo have been in their 20s, little professional experience apart from trump's campaign. even as demands mounted the ppo became something of of a social hub. for young staffers stopped by to hang out on couches and smoke electronic cigarettes. the panel picking their jaws up off the table. they're still here. >> this is vodka. >> i mean, i love my mommy water.
i worked in the white house for six years and never played a drinking game there. >> look, is it any surprise that the best and the brightest aren't exactly rushing to this white house? i would say in their defense, if you were working in this white house, nicolle, wouldn't you have already been drinking heavily? >> i mean, let's not be glib on that point because, one, i would have never worked in the white house. people called me as i'm sure they called you and sure they called you and asked if they should go in there and i've said, no, run. i don't have any sympathy for people that go in there. they choose to be in there. when they get savaged in the press -- i heard from a couple today who were in the middle of a couple fights themselves, i'm happy to listen but i feel no sympathy. they brought this on. and to me one of the biggest scams donald trump perpetrated on his voters was what we saw. hiring the best people wasn't some random thing he said. that was as central as building the wall. >> he made that central to his campaign implying that the president that was in at that
time and those that preceded him didn't have the best people. but again, as someone that knows him, look at his management style -- >> i'm going to say bush's bag person had a greater intellect and is more character than most of the people running around donald trump's west wing. i mean, the fact that they don't care who goes and works -- it makes me crazy. >> that's what tells you about whether they really care about the country. >> exactly. >> if you look at his management style, who did he have in the trump organization? his kids, michael cohen, and they paid homage to roy cohn. did he have the best and the brightest in the real estate business and in private industry? he's always operated that he's the smartest guy in the room, which means he by definition is going to have to have not so smart people in the room. >> let's think about the backgrounds of some of the people who have had trouble getting hired at this white house. never mind some very incompetent people working there. but you've had, you know,
domestic violence issues that have caused issues with security clearances, you've got dwis, allegations of assault, financial double dealing, all this kind of stuff. so, best and brightest i don't think so. >> evan? >> i would say it used to be in the conservative movement that was before trump -- and that's a whole other topic -- we would call for accountable government, right? and trump comes in with bannon and says, look, we're going to dee construct the administrative state. we're going to drain the swamp, all this stuff. that sort of call for accountable government has now become an anti-government approach and argument such to the effect that they're unwilling to conduct effective governance. and i think it's really going to create problems. we've been so lucky with the exception of puerto rico and what happened in texas, we've been lucky that we haven't had additional crises in this country during this presidency. that will not last.
we will face challenges and we're going to be unprepared for them. >> let me just -- >> yes. >> on a serious note, i remember in 2001 or 2000 when george w. bush was campaigning really against bill clinton more than al gore. he kept talking about restoring honor and integrity to the white house. and central to that sort of conservative view was that the white house was a sacred space, that it had to be treated with an immense out of respect. >> let me tell you how that manifested. we had to wear business -- if you went into the white house on the weekend, you didn't wear jeans and a sweater. i come into this building we're casually dressed, we were permitted to walk on the white house complex under george w. bush. there were policy disagreements with his administration. there is something that's been lost about what you said, the sacredness. steve, i want to read you something. i want to give you two facts and have you respond to them for us. let me read you one more chunk
from the story because i think it will blow your mind -- this story triggered me today. made me crazy. then i want to tell you who retweeted it. someone i follow on twitter. so, ppo leader hosted happy hours in their offices that included beer, wine and snacks for dozens of ppo employees and white house liaisons federal agencies. white house officials confirmed in january they played a drinking game in the office called icing to celebrate the deputy director's 30th birthday. icing involves hiding a bottle of smirnoff ice and the person who discovers it, in this case the deputy detectiveoirector, g. this article was retweeted by kellyanne conway's husband on twitter who has been spending some time deleting some of his tweets of late. what do you make of the story and of the fact that even the husband of one of the president's -- i think most people would argue supporters retweeted an article pretty critical of them? >> yeah, it's not cute. it's disgusting. the comportment of these people
is shameful. and none of these people who are working in the white house are hostages. in fact, we're the hostages and they're complicit with the hostage takers when we look at the assaults on these vital institutions and their work to degrade the office of president of the united states. it's just really a tragedy that we have tens of thousands of kids look at the president of the united states and they see a joke. you can't watch the evening news with your children because any different moment the newest porn star will be on explaining the relationship. and from a personnel perspective, we've never quite seen the assemblage of crooks, just outright weirdos, wife beaters, complete and total incompetence that's been assembled. if you took the ten greatest hr managers in the world and put them together 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 that this team could have let loose more chaos than they already have. evan is exactly right. as we get closer to the tragedy that will inevitably come to this type of people in an office where life and death decisions are made. >> just real quick. let's not forget that the place where trump has been most limited in terms of his choices of who to hire and getting people to come work for him is in foreign policy. >> right. >> none of the republican foreign policy establishment is willing to work for this guy at any level. and that should terrify all of us. >> and it is ridiculous, but it's also tragic the rev was in sacramento yesterday at the scene of another tragedy promising justice for the family and friends of stephon clark, an unarmed black man shot and killed by police. the rev also called out this white house for suggesting police violence is a local issue. we'll show you the remarks and talk to rev about the law and
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>> that was our friend and colleague the rev al sharpton speaking yesterday at the funeral for 22-year-old stephon clark, he was killed by police in his grandmother's sacramento backyard. nearly two weeks ago. the officers thought he had a gun but he was unarmed. he was just holding his cell phone. the part that upset so many in the community, officers arrived on the scene, they muted their audio on their body cameras. an independent autopsy ordered by the family revealed clark was shot eight times from behind or the side. >> it is unbelievable when you think about -- >> chilling. >> you have an overhead camera -- well, not camera, helicopter. that's videoing this guiding the police. so, why are you coming with deadly force when the most he could have done is go into a house that they would have found was his grandmother, called for back up, and apprehend him? the tape shows they immediately shot after saying show your hands.
and it's 20 shots, nicolle, one black cop, one white cop. the protests have been all nonviolent. many whites marching because this is not about white and black, it's about right and nonviolent. many whites marching. this is not about white and black but about right and wrong and law enforcement. we began to move towards some progress in this area under the last administration with president obama's commission and calling for cameras on police but when you have police men on tape saying mute the sound then you are engaging in the most frightening of all and that is we are not going to be transparent at all. let me just say this very quickly. george bush sr. dealt with rodney king and when the tape came out rodney king fortunately didn't die. always met with us even if we disagreed with police brutality.
this president saying that is a local issue. >> let's watch that. >> certainly a terrible incident. this is something that is a local matter and that is something we feel should be left up to local authorities. we want to make sure that all law enforcement is carrying out the letter of the law. the president is very supportive of law enforcement but at the same time in these specific cases and these specific instances those are left up to local authorities to make that determination and not something for the federal government to weigh into. >> every major civil rights case and every civil rights movement had to go to the federal government because dealing with local prosecutors you deal with the politics of the intrinsic relationship between police and prosecutors. secondly, what do you mean it's a terrible incident but for local authorities? what about dealing with the national issue of policing?
one that you knew when you came into office, one this attorney general has to deal with. i think it was absolutely frightening to many of us to hear her say that. i wanted to address it at the funeral. >> i think that struck accord. you and i spent a lot of fall talking about this idea that it is too small for the white house to get involved in. he trolled the nfl every weekend. i want to show you how -- i lived in sacramento and was parade to see the owner of the sacramento kings' response. >> we recognize your people's ability to protest peacefully and we respect that. we here at the kings recognize that we have a big platform. it's a privilege but it is also a responsibility. it's a responsibility that we take very seriously.
and we stand here before you old, young, black, white, brown and we are all united in our commitment. >> i find that so important and significant because you take coach kerr with the warriors, you take the owner of the kings and you talk about the vacuum of morality and leadership. race relations in this country are a tender box. and the white house at best left the vacuum in place. are you heartened by the way you see some figures step into the vacuum? >> i think a lot of the family was who has been out front. the brother even said he wanted to see people work with them if they wanted to move positive. you have to remember all of these protests, dramatic, yes and drawing attention and so did all of us but all nonviolent.
the only violence we have seen in this whole situation was when the police shot and killed stephon clark. i think this president had the obligation to address this. he tweets on people talking on television. he tweets on athletes taking a knee. you don't have anything to say when the whole country is looking at a tape. this is a tape. >> this is a president who encouraged the police to roughly handle suspects when they put them in the car. >> and he just came out saying we should have the drug -- they didn't say leave that to the local police. what thunderstois the standard ? >> i challenge you to show a single time when donald trump showed moral leadership. >> i think it is a good point. i want to jump in on this local
issue. it's not just shirking the responsibility. going back to the civil war people who were racist or less sympathetic to the plight of african-americans would talk about federalism and state rights. this is a local issue. it's not for the federal government. our founders decided that the right to life was a federal issue when they put it in our declaration of independence. and so i don't want to hear that anymore. i believe that federalism is important but i don't want that to be carried by racists and bigo bigots. i have had enough of it. it's just i hate to hear that argument. i feel like we're going backwards and making america great again as though we are trying to go back to the civil war. >> if you talk to the effective police commissioners they will tell you the key to reducing
crime is trust for the community. it cannot be police against community. it has to be with it. that is what the president consistently fails to understand. >> you have a minute. button this up for us. >> it's a young man who shot down, shot eight times in his backyard while unarmed in a city that both you and i know well, a city that we both lived in for many years. it's a tragedy but it also speaks to a reality in the country where there is not justice for many people. and that is prevalent in the african-american community. and so this is an issue that needs attention, needs leadership, needs moral authority from the leaders of the country which we don't have right now. >> on that sad note we will sneak in our last break. we'll be right back. o and got more. more savings on car insurance? a-ha. and an award-winning mobile app. that is more.
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my thanks to steve evan, the rev, lydia and brett. don't miss the rev this sunday as we approach the 50th anniversary of the assassinations of dr. martin luther king and robert kennedy. that does it for our hour. i'll see you back here monday for deadline white house at 4 p.m. getting colder? let's play hard ball. >> getting colder? let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm steve kornacki. there are new signs tonight that the already strained relationship between the united states and russia is reaching a combustible new phase.