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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  May 12, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock. >> that's tonight last word. tonight steve schmidt joins brian to discuss john mccain. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight, at&t says hiring michael cohen was a big mistake. donald trump can't help but weigh in on twitter and now we learn mueller looked into cohen's overtures to an iconic american company. plus kelly tries to walk back on his comments about trump being embarrassed while serving up new comments about the kind of immigrants we don't want. and still no apology from the white house after a staffer's comment about john mccain. steve schmidt is here to talk to us as "the 11th hour" gets under w
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way. good evening, day 477 of the trump administration, exactly one year to the day since we heard this. >> i was going to fire comey, he made a recommendation but regardless of rem decontamination i was going to fire comey. i said to myself, i said this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story, it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that she should have won. >> the president's comments to lester holt became an enormous component in what is now a year-long russia investigation, tonight there's new reporting on one of the largest remaining questions about this inquiry and this is whether or not the president will sit down with mueller and his team. jonathan lemire of the associated press has spoken with trump lawyer rudy giuliani he writes, quote, friday preparation with trump for a possible interview with federal investigators would likely be delayed until after this june 12 summit in singapore because,
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quote, i wouldn't want to take his concentration off something far, far more important. giuliani, who also suggested special counsel robert mueller's team had indicated it would not attempt to indict trump said he hoped to resolve the question of an interview by may 17, the one-year anniversary of mueller's point but that was no longer feasible. now that target date has gone by the boards, quote, the president would probably like the resolution of an interview, said giuliani to the a.p., but right now we're not there. this week we also learn's about mueller's interest in trump's long time personal attorney michael cohen of new york. the special counsel has questioned novartis along with at&t about their payments to cohen who sold himself as something of an adviser on how to deal with the incoming trump administration. the "wall street journal" reporreport s mueller contacted ford motor
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company about cohen trying to contact them about services that ford rejected. today at&t's ceo called the hiring of michael cohen a mistake and according to politico, giuliani says cohen no longer represents donald trump. meanwhile, comments from white house chief of staff john kelly about the russia investigation and president trump's reaction are reverberating throughout washington. last night we read you kelly's comments as they were made public. now we have the audio with jo johner be net. >> do you think this is a wish snunt. >> from what i read, something that's gone without meat on the bone suggests there is nothing therer there. >> is there a cloud because of this white house? >> there may not be a cloud but certainly the president is somewhat embarrassed when world
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leaders come in, bibi netanyahu is here, he was under investigation himself, you walk in and the first couple minutes of every conversation might revolve around that. >> this afternoon, kelly tried to walk back his remark about the president being embarrassed. speaking to reporters off camera in the rose garden he explained it this way, it's a witch-hunt, right? it distracts him. not too much but it's unfair. let's bring in our panel, josh gerstein is back with us, white house reporter for politico. catherine lucy, white house reporter for the associated press, we also welcome back jennifer rodgers, former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, now the executive director of the columbia law school center for the advancement of public integrity. counselor, i know you can handle two questions off the bat. on this behavior by mr. cohen. no one expected donald trump to win, there was no acceptance speech written by the campaign,
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only a concession backstage so michael cohen looks around and his friend and long time client has been elected president. it's not illegal to say hire me and i may be able to infer the thinking i'm picking up. >> that's true. we know after the election when he did know trump was going to the white house he expected a post in the administration and didn't get it so he's scrambling to figure out how he can make something of this. it's not illegal to share his expertise with people. illegality comes in two possible ways here, putting aside the lobbying without registering which isn't that big of a deal. either there's a quid pro quo where he does manage to get people in the administration to do something like grant a merger or give a government contract in exchange for money to cohen or he's defrauding people, saying i can get things done he knows he cannot get done, pay me this money i will do something for
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you and he knows he can't. so those are the two possible illegalities. >> now we move on to mr. giuliani and something he said to the daily beast. giuliani said cohen's business relationships did not contradict trump's campaign promises to end pay-to-play schemes and drain the swamp because cohen did not get for his newfound client what is they wanted. quote, whatever lobbying was done didn't reach the president, giuliani said, offering as proof the fact that at&t's proposed merger with time warner has not gone through. quote, he did drain the swamp, the president denied the merger. they didn't get the result they wanted. jennifer, that reverberated tonight because that goes contrary to a whole courtroom full of filings that the proposed at&t time warner merger which the president didn't like because he didn't like cnn, a big part of time warner, was
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considered independent of any white house view. >> so i've seen the reporting as well that that's very unusual that the white house would have any influence on that decision and people are taking giuliani's comments to mean he did have influence which is its own problem but to the point of whether this is swampy or not swampy, i think most people think it is swampy to be monetizing access to the president and to suggest to people you can have influence on government processes if you pay michael cohen a big bucket full of money. so the whole they didn't get what they want so the swamp is drained most people will look as as laughable. >> allow me to correct myself. tonight's report, the interview was huffington post, i said daily beast. josh, allow me to read the president's tweet this evening. he says why doesn't the fake news media, capitalized, state that the trump administration's antitrust division has been and is opposed to the at&t purchase of time warner in a currently on
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going capital t trial. such a disgrace in reporting. that is what people are saying that this was an antitrust finding, not the president interceded. >> it seems this is another example of rudy being rusty for lack of a better word. you have the president being more cautious and more accurate in framing what transpired with the rans action, at least the official position saying it's a decision the justice department made as opposed to a decision he made but it's unhelpful to have giuliani, unhelpful for the administration to have giuliani suggesting the president made this decision when there is so much scrutiny giving given to michael cohen's role. >> kat rip, because everybody gets a dramatic reading, yours is a tweet by our friend maggie
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haberman. giuliani tells the associated press he believes mueller isn'ting on calling kushner or trump's children for interviews. quote, our understanding is that he's pretty much finished. as far as we know, we're basically the last witness. as far as i know you're not on the legal team on either side but do you think giuliani has the standing and knowledge and direct orders or ability to say that? >> that is what he is saying for now. he is the president's attorney and we do know there is a lot of interest and intensive thety around whether those interviews would be. k the piece you mentioned that john lemire did today speaking to giuliani, they may end up
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delaying decisions around an interview until after his trip to hold this meeting with the north korean leader but they are interested in trying to resolve this so this is part of that everyday, trying to get to the end of this. >> jennifer, based on your understanding of the feds as a former fed does it sound like mueller would say to mueller, great, we won't bring in the kids and you're pretty much the last witness. >> probably not. he's not going to make any promises until he's far enough along to know for sure so i think this is giuliani saying what he feels like he wants to say instead of what he is learn i ing. >> so a cliernlt list of one. the "wall street journal" was on the board reporting cohen was
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gauging the interest in ford motor, the problem with the stormry was that mueller has known about this, questions about it have been asked and answered and that is in keeping with a lot of the news we consume, the feds have been several steps ahead. >> it changes the narrative for those of us reading in the media but these are things that mueller's office knew about months and months ago i'm somewhat bowled over by some of the reports about the michael cohen situation when people claim they're aghast that we have influence or access to the white house being sold. just two years ago the supreme court rules it was perfectly legal or at least that it wasn't bribery to sell meetings with any government official, directly or indirectly so if that's all he was doing, selling access as opposed to providing
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guarantee it seems this this is not something mueller will get a great deal of leverage over. >> josh, another devil's advocate way, is it cleaner or nicer or more sanitary if a guy went to andover with poppy and is charging the same going rate as opposed to a guy from new york who knew donald trump back in the day? >> it's a different crew, was very unexpected trump found himself for the white house and big companies were scrambling to find somebody and some of these characters may seem more unsavory and unpolished in their presentation and we may see that when we look at their e-mails but i hope there's more there there on the russia front or the slush fund with stormy daniels because that seems more interesting. the influence peddling, there are many folks drinking on k street who would meet these same
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definitions. >> catherine, you get the last word and that is that somewhere, either perhaps washington or boston, the kelly family is celebrating john kelly's 68th birthday. it was a sporty 68th birthday where his career is concerned. he had to walk back a comment or two. he's made further comments on immigration coming up as our broadcast continues tonight. a rare foray into public statements and media, in this case an npr interview that backfired. >> >> it was a rare interview and it was wide ranging, but one thing i thought was interesting was that he sought to stress his relationship with the president, the time he spends with the president, hours a day, this comes after months of speculation ant the relationship and reporting about how the relationship has cooled, that
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they don't have the same bond they once did, that he doesn't have the same influence in the west wing so it seems he was trying to send a message. we'll see if that holds. >> josh gerstein, catherine lucey, jennifer rodgers, thank you for spending another friday night with us after what's been another long week. coming up after a break, steve schmidt will join us with his reaction to a white house that cannot and will not apologize to john mccain who is fighting terminal cancer and later what the chief of staff meant to say about his boss the president. "the 11th hour" just getting started at the end of the week on a friday night. (vo) we came here for the friends.
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the white house is continuing to feel the wrath of some lawmakers after a white house aide mocked senator john mccain this week. as we reported last night, multiple sources say special assistant kelly sadler dismissed mccain's opposition to gina haspel's cia nomination by saying in a meeting in front of many others, quote, it doesn't matter, he's dying anyway. senator mccain, of course, is battling brain cancer. the comments have generated a whole lot of reaction over these past 24 hours. mccain's fellow republican senator from arizona jeff flake simply wrote on twitter, quote, there are no words. vice president joe biden, a close friend of mccain's released a statement that said, quote, people have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom
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with this administration. it happened yesterday. mccain is a genuine hero, a man of valor whose sacrifices for his country are immeasurable. as he fights for his life he deserves better, so much better. earlier today on "the view," senator mccain's daughter meghan mccain responded to kelly sadler. >> kelly, here's a little news flash and this may be a bit intense for 11:00 in the morning on a friday but we're all dying. i'm dying, you're dying, we're all dying and i want to say since my dad has been diagnosed the past almost a year, july 19, i feel like i understand the meaning of life and it's not how you die, it's how you live. >> right. [ cheers and applause ] >> i don't understand what kind of environment you're working in where that would be acceptable and you can come to work the next day and still have a job. that's all i have to say about it. >> the white house has not denied the account of sadler's comments nor will they apologize
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no one on the payroll. they provided a statement reading we respect senator mccain's service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time but at today's white house press briefing, sarah sanders dodged all manner of questions related to this matter. >> does she still have a job? >> i won't comment on an special staff meeting. >> does the white house not think you need to condemn these remarks? >> again, i'm not going to validate a leak one way or the other out of an internal staff meeting. >> are you saying she didn't say this? >> again, i won't validate a leak out of an internal staff meeting. >> is there a tone set from the top where it is allowed for an aide to say he's dying anyway? >> there's not a tone set here. we have a respect for all americans and that's what we try to put forward in everything we do in word and action. >> why not just apologize to
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senator mccain. >> again, i won't get into a back-and-forth because people want to create issues of leaked staff meetings. >> does kelly sadler still work at the white house? >> yes, she does. >> does the president set the tone? does he bear responsibility for the tone within this white house? >> the president as i mentioned just a moment ago supports all americans. >> the one guy we wanted to talk to is here with us tonight, steve schmidt, a republican political veteran of the bush white house and the john mccain presidential campaign. he's an msnbc political analyst. steve. this quote and subsequent hubbub today's briefing have gutted folks and i know they gutted u you. >> well, they don't say anything about john mccain. john mccain's valor, his heroism, love of country, perfect love of the country, the fact that but for six months
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when he first ran for congress that he spent every hour of his adult life from age 17 when he put on the uniform in annapolis in service to the american nation. he's a giant figure in american history, he's a giant for the ages, a living legend, a statesman, a soldier, a peacemaker. one of the things we don't talk about enough is the role he played along with john kerry in bringing reconciliation between the united states and vietnam. peace so this generation of americans can be in peace with vietnam so that we can be friends. we are there not as a warrior but as a peacemaker as he is in many parts of the world so the greatness of john mccain is not dispensed by this white house.
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what her comments show is the viciousness, the cruelty, the meanness, the constant miasma of putrid crap coming out of the white house. up with more member of a team that's doing real staining of the national fabric. so the judgment of donald trump matters not. donald trump frankly in my view is unworthy to say john mccain's name outloud and the reason i suspect the mccains don't want donald trump near john mccain's funeral is the point meghan made earlier, it's about how you lived your life. and john mccain has led a glorious life of service to others and the country, donald trump's life has been the story of selfishness, greed, he never sacrificed anything for anyone, he's a con man.
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does anybody have any doubt that if donald trump was sitting in the vietnamese torture cage and they asked him if he wanted to go home early what he would do? the man is a coward. john mccain is a hero and that's why those two men are different. >> steve, john mccain knows who his friends are and there he is at his beautiful ranch in arizona. he's been visited by so many of them over these past few weeks as he deals with his illness. are you frustrated that your friends and other republicans have not risen up and raised their weapons and gone into the battle these past two days? >> there's nobody who loves a flood saloon fight more than john mccain so if it's time for a saloon fight, so be it but it's not about john mccain, it's about the values john mccain
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stood for selflessness, service, sacrifice, valor. valor that beggars the imagination. they're good and right and these were the values and virtues that built the united states of ameri america. we're a flawed people, john mccain is a flawed man but the idea of america. the nation that said all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, the first country in the history of the world founded on that idea, it's a per if he can idea. the whole story of america is the battle to achieve that idea from our flawed reality and john mccain has been in that fight. all of the virtues that define his life are necessary for the thriving and survival of the nation. they're as necessary for the
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nation as air and sun and water are for the forest and this vile white house's attacks are not on john mccain but on the materiel importance of those values in the line of the nation and the degradation of those values and the constant assault on them, the assault on our institutions and goodness and decency, that's what the fight is about. >> >> that's why we wanted to hear from steve schmidt, steve, thank you for joining us tonight. a break in our coverage. we'll be right back to talk about the chief of staff's comments on immigration. i'm your phone, stuck down here between your seat and your console, playing a little hide-n-seek. cold... warmer... warmer... ah boiling. jackpot. and if you've got cut-rate car insurance, you could be picking up these charges yourself. so get allstate,
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banned workplace discrimination, and more. antonio for governor. this has been a tough week for one of the tougher guys in the trump west wing and that's the chief of staff john kelly, the retired marine corps general. not only has he been forced to witness this shameful quote about fellow veteran john mccain, let's not forget, which has gone without criticism or apology by kelly among other ot now he's taking heat for these remarks he made in that npr interview. >> let me step back and tell you the vast majority of people that move into the united states are not bad people, not criminals, not ms-13 but they're also not people that would easily assimilate into the united states. they're overwhelmingly rural
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people in the countries they come from, fourth, sixth fifth, sixth grade educations are the norm. they're coming here for a reason and i sympathize but the laws are the laws. >> we have two returning guests, we have the national political reporter for bloomberg and marah gaye, a member of the "new york times" editorial board. let's talk about kelly before we get to the subject matter. it's been pointed out on cable that all of the previous kellys came from an agrarian island with as much school learning as any of the folks who preceded us here. people who know kelly, know he's been a hard-liner on immigration. was the difference people hearing him say it? >> one thing about kelly that progressives thought was that he was going to be a moderating force on issues like immigration and that hasn't been the case. my reporting tells me he's the
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kindred spirit of hard-liners. and he scuttled the daca deal. i think kelly had a hard line on this and he continues to do that with dhs. some of the things he said don't bear out in the data. immigrants, second-generation immigrants in particular are higher achieving and commit crimes at fewer rates than native born americans. >> marah, even if everything he said had been true, the educational standard, fourth, fifth, sixth grade learning, that would have disqualified most of our forebearers, anyone brought to this country in bondage and as someone said on cnn tonight, what tells me he's not talking about scandinavians. >> that's right. all of that is true but a couple things stand out.
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kelly is working for a president who started his campaign by calling mexicans rapists. when people are willing to talk about more vulnerable people who can't fight back, for example kelly's remarks on immigrants, we shouldn't be surprised that the people around anymore the room will say the same thing about senator john mccain. so that's something for people to consider when they decide when they're appalled. and we already know these comments are wrong that john kelly made. everybody knows that. the real question isn't are they offensive or wrong, we know they are. the question is what are bosses going say to their employees, what are parents going say to their children, what kind of country do we want to be. we're at an inflection point and it's time everybody stand up and
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make it clear what kind of country we want to live in. this is offensive, it should offense every american, not just immigrants, it should offense all of us and our sense of who we want to be. >> sahil, a long time protege of general kelly, kirstjen nielsen, is now the secretary of homeland security. she apparently received a tongue lashing in front of the full cabinet about wall building and p putting a lid on immigration. john roberts said kelly called her and implored her not to resi resign she has not resigned but another crazy chapter in this week in the west wing. >> she's a long list of trump administration officials and former and current staffers who have been humiliated and the process of working for the white house and the administration,
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she's an ally of john kelly, some trump aides say she's going to stay because kelly is protecting her, this is one of the reasons the president has a bond with john kelly, that they share a common view on the issue of immigration which is the centerpiece of the president's campaign, many current and former senior trump administration officials have threatened to quit, some have not, like attorney general jeff sessions, some have like gary cohn. there's a lot of almost quits. >> we have a list compiled by our friends at axios of people who some have left but certainly these folks started out by threatening to leave so you see familiar faces and names on that list. mara, do you buy the theory volatility is baked into the cake? that it's an active measure to on the part of this administration? >> i don't know if it's the part of the administration but certainly on the part of the president. i don't know if there's a real strategy behind that but aside
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from the chaos, one thing that stood out to me is the amount of sniping that goes on behind the scenes. you have so many people in the white house who are willing to sell out thesitting next to them. >> and reporters know that, we talk to them. >> and i think that says a lot about the kinds of people that the president surrounds himself with. and there are a number of people who have considered quitting for various reasons and have stayed because some of them believe and have told us that they believe if they leave it would be scary to see what would happen to the agency they're leading so they're trying to bring some competence to the job and they're afraid of who might replace them. >> a tradition as old as government, those who feel the genuine sense of duty that keeps
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them on the job, sahil and mara, thank you for spending part of your friday night after a more active-than-normal week. coming up for us, we talked to not one but two presidential historians standing by about this week in the trump white house. that's when we continue. liberty mutual stood with me when this guy got a flat tire in the middle of the night. hold on dad... liberty did what? yeah, liberty mutual 24-hour roadside assistance helped him to fix his flat so he could get home safely. my dad says our insurance doesn't have that. don't worry - i know what a lug wrench is, dad. is this a lug wrench? maybe? you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you™. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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whether it's a ride to the doctor or help around the house. oh, of course! tom, i am really sorry. i've gotta go. look, call right at home. get the right care. right at home. >> the week that started with the white house campaign to be best, as the first lady called it, is ending, shall we say politely, far from that mark. let's bring in two smart guys to talk about it. with us from houston is jon meach meacham, pulitzer prize winning author, biographer of president bush 41 whose book is out this week we note in time for mother's day, and we hate to note things like that is "the soul of america, the better for our better angels." with us from washington, michael beschloss, author and presidential historian and
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biographer of, among others, president lyndon johnson. before we say another word, i'm going to put a picture on the screen that mr. beschloss supplied to us. it looks like two high school kids visiting 41 in kennebunkport. in the center of your screen, television veterans will note dead ringer for ken olin of "30 something" now executive producer of the runaway nbc hit "this is us." but those are young men, meacham and beschloss, probably trying not to get seasick and listen to the 41st president of the united states. so on that note, john, i note as his biographer, you happened to be in houston tonight inquiring minds wan t to know if you visited with the former president today. >> i spent an hour with the former president who i first met, introduced to the bushes by my friend michael beschloss. that's exactly 20 years ago, wasn't it, michael?
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>> it was, indeed. this fall. >> it was the fall of '98. >> and i think you can see in that picture as ever, beschloss is smarter than i am because he was behind the glass of the beet and the wind was not blowing him. i had a parachute zwrakt and was lomb blown out to sea. spent an hour with the president, he was zipping his martini, and i want to say to perhaps as a subtle or not so subtle contrast to what we've seen from the incumbent in the white house this week and his staff that while i was there, an old navy veteran who served with president bush, his family called because this man is on his deathbed in florida and he called and the family wanted president bush to know this.
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president bush looked at his chief of staff and said "let's get him on the phone. the phone was picked up, the president spoke a few words to him, spoke a few towards the family, the daughter who answered the phone was sobbing because the former commander in chief of the united states who served with her father in the great struggle against tyranny took the time to reach out to a friend and it's the reminder of the humanity and dignity that's so self-evidently missing from our national life today. >> michael beschloss, let's fast forward to a heroic naval aviator shot down in the vietnam war who has been at the crux of our news coverage for all the wrong reasons. what has this quote from inside the white house, someone paid with taxpayer funds, what has this quote and the white house's failure, refusal to apologize revealed or shown about this white house right now? >> it makes me furious.
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can you imagine if george h.w. bush had employed someone at his white house staff said something like kelly sadler was reported to have? >> no. >> that person would have been out of that white house so far and to hear sarah sanders say almost nonchalantly that that person is still on the white house staff, i don't know any president of the last one hundred years who would leave someone on the staff about such a horrible thing about one of the great war heroes of american histo history. >> jon, you said during 4:00 p.m. hour eastern time, you said this period is a test of citizenship. >> it's a stress test. there are five or six institutions in the life of the republic that form our national being. there are the people, the press, the courts, the congress and the
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presidency. as it has evolved since 1789 and right now the president and congress are not heing the long journey toward what winston churchill called the bright sun lit up lands. the people and the press but the people centrally have to protest, they have to resist, they have to have conversations like this. the republic is only as good as the sum of its parts, it's a perennial truth about republican -- lower case "r" -- life. and to some extent we have to say to the president and the presidency this is not acceptabl acceptable. he won't care, he keeps doing it. he keeps kicking the soccer ball and we're like third graders, we chase it across the field to some extent but this is an hour to quote lincoln that we will be lit in honor or dishonor down to
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the last generation for how we stand up against this indignity from the presidency itself. >> let's just sneak in a commercial break and continue right after this. ♪ he eats a bowl of hammers at every meal ♪ ♪ he holds your house in the palm of his hand ♪ ♪ he's your home and auto man ♪ big jim, he's got you covered ♪ ♪ great big jim, there ain't no other ♪ -so, this is covered, right? -yes, ma'am. take care of it for you right now. giddyup! hi! this is jamie. we need some help.
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and thanks to these xfi pods, the signal reaches down here, too. so sophie, i have an xfi password, and it's "daditude". simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. >> the price of greatness is responsibilities. one cannot rise to be in many ways the leading community in the civilized world without being involved in its problems. when we confront suffering, when we save lives we breathe hope into the devastated populations, strengthen and stabilize society and make our country and the world safer. >> that was a big deal for 43 to give that speech quoting winston churchill, president george w. bush warning against the dangers of isolationism. this week, president trump took steps toward his america first
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platform while angering some of our closest allies. a look at the headlines from the week proved some context as to how others see us and the cover of der spiegel in germany is as close to is as close to self-explanatory as we're going to get. jon meacham, michael beschloss continue to join us. i never thought i would have a fronter row seat to this. i thought carter to reagan was the biggest swing to the pendulum. politically that i would ever witness as an american adult, but do you have reason to think that we're in for something even greater, say nothing of the obama to trump swing of the pendulum? >> yeah, that's for sure, brian. sure looks that way. just the juxtaposition that you're suggesting between george w. bush and donald trump with barack obama in between, you know, people will be arguing for the next 50 years whether george
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w. bush was too interventionist, but there is no one who is going to doubt that george w. bush is an idealist about democracy. contrast that with donald trump, who in the people's white house, where every president has lived since john adams told bill o'reilly last year, o'reilly said putin is a killer, and donald trump replied, what makes you think that we americans are not killers, too? what makes you think we're so innocent? i never thought i'd live to see the day when i saw a president say such a thing. >> jon meacham, same question. >> i think president bush, whose father received the same award, actually, and it was an award from the atlantic council about diplomacy. it's funny to think back ten years or so when people would not have thought that possible, when the cool conventional wisdom was that bush had torn up our alliances and that sort of thing. we now see that perhaps it was far more complicated, more nuanced than we think.
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i was thinking today because of the mccain comment and because of the pulling out of the iran deal about an observation of president johnson's, who michael spent so much time listening to and transcribing those diaries so wonderfully in which he said that nothing tests or shows us a man's conscience more than the presidency. it literally opens his soul. >> right. >> and no longer can he write off hopes and needs, he has to engage the great challenges of the time. and we're living through a fallow period, to say the least, where the hopes and needs and aspirations of the people are going to have to be carried by the people themselves, because the president for political and selfish reasons to stick with his base, to continue to be a kind of entertainer and provocateur in chief, not a commander in chief, he's decided that he's going to play this as a reality show. so the reality falls to all of
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us. >> beschloss, your name was invoked. you get 30 seconds. >> am i allowed to say a nice thing about jon's book? >> yeah, sure. we've got 30 seconds for that. >> all right. as you've suggested, we've been friends for more than 20 years. but it's an absolutely wonderful book. "the soul of america," as you can see from what jon has been saying, show us that we americans can make it through the toughest times. i urge our viewers, everyone buy ten copies, read it ten times. >> we've done just about that in my house. i've got a copy. my wife and mother-in-law are both reading it as well. there you have it. i think that should be reflected on the amazon totals as we go into the weekend. jon meacham and michael beschloss, friends, historians, and two of the great authors we get to all enjoy today. gentlemen, thank you very much. have good weekends. >> thanks, brian. you too. when we come back, the blunt message to members of the supreme court who may be thinking about retirement. here is your hat. what's your hurry?
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(vo)have to happen?idn't i didn't see it. (vo) what if we could go back? what if our car... could stop itself? in iihs front-end crash prevention testing, nobody beats the subaru impreza. not toyota. not honda. not ford. the subaru impreza. more than a car, it's a subaru. well, there they are. and the last thing before we go tonight is this. it is likely most americans want to believe there is majesty to our supreme court. those nine justices are really our living link to the framers. they are the court of last resort and their only job is to
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decide what is and what is not constitutional. they are different from us, starting with the quality of their intellect but also including their lives and how they live them. where they work, they have a robing room. we don't in our office. where they work, a clerk announces oyez, oyez when they enter the courtroom. so it was remarkable this week when senator chuck grassley, republican of iowa, said in an interview with hugh hewitt, quote, my message to any one of the nine supreme court justices, if you're thinking about quitting this year, do it yesterday. grassley went on to say, i'm suggesting to them that if they're the type of people that want trump to replace them, that they ought to think about retiring yesterday. well, of course, elections have consequences. we could end up without a republican senate, he went on to say. there, that last part gets to the heart of it. grassley is a cagey old pro who runs the judiciary committee in the senate. when we say elections have
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consequences, we mean that short of sending troops into war, the most awesome power of the presidency is getting to shape the courts and thus governance of the nation for decades after you're gone from the white house. grassley may fear a democratic wave in november. and he fears the time left to confirm another trump-leaning justice just might be ticking away. so, something to think about over the weekend, especially if you're a supreme court justice. for everybody else, enjoy our weekend. that's our broadcast on a friday night and for this week. thank you so much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york.
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hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. for west wing proud of its alternative facts and boastful that voters seemingly forgave the president's transgressions on election day voting for the first self-described grabber of women's private parts it's futile to speculate what might constitute noteworthy or newsworthy evidence of the depravity of the west wing. it's close to unremarkable when they speculate on who is next to leave or who may or may not be screwed in the various investigations, it's barely breaking news when the president fires someone on twitter. and there are so many cabinet secretaries under dark ethical clouds that we don't always find time to cover them here. but today, today we have an example of behavior from the trump white house and from people aligned with donald trump that's worth hitting the pause button for. it's worth noting what our politics now permit or even encourage. this woman, kelly sadler, is a

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