tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC May 23, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
so that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell," where ari melber is in for lawrence o'donnell tonight. good evening. >> good evening. i felt like you broke news in your hour with congressman schiff saying maybe the gang of eight will be in the news tomorrow. >> i didn't know it when he said it. it's a hugely controversial thing that the white house has ordered if not organized from the white house's point of view what they said is the department of justice, fbi, dni will be asked to brief two republican members of congress on this confidential human source who was involved in the investigation into whether or not the trump campaign and russia were in contact while the russians were launching this attack on the election. congressman schiff told me tonight that it's not going to be -- that he has been advised that it's not to brief trey gowdy and devin nunes alone.
he said he's been advised by a cabinet member, the head of an intelligence agency, the phrase he used, that it's a gang of eight meeting. it's still something that should never be briefed but that's the more appropriate group in congress to brief rather than the two random people in congress. >> you did have the breaking news we're going to be discussing, does it mean in your view then that you had a thing that was a conspiracy theory meeting, which is bad but now instead of only people with tinfoil hats there, there will also be other legitimate people to discuss, what you and others have suggested today was still a conspiracy theory? >> there's a few different ways to look at this, right? i mean, if we think back to what we know happened during the campaign when the fbi had opened the counterintelligence investigation into russia's attack and whether or not the trump campaign was involved in it, whether there were russian
agents who were in contact with members of the trump campaign, that was briefed during the campaign to congress. i think it was james comey, if not john brennan, one of the two of them, went and briefed the gang of eight. it ultimately ended up being a sort of source of controversy because harry reed wrote we know you're sitting on information about trump/russia contacts no one knew what they were talking about. so another briefing about the gang of eight about a continuing investigation, it wouldn't break precedent in exactly the same way. whereas telling devin nunes and trey gowdy, who's not a member of the gang of eight, would be a bigger break with law enforcement traditions. so it would materially change it.
it also might mean there's going to be a fight tomorrow between the intelligence community and the white house as to who can be in that meeting. >> yeah, and i think you -- that makes a lot of sense what you're saying, is it an oversight activity or this conspiracy-oriented political meeting which as you documented would be something quite different. i wish i could keep you but you get to go we have other guests. thank you for sticking around. >> thank you, ari. >> we have breaking news on this, the control room is telling me there's an update on confirmation of what rachel and i were discussing. there is legal heat on trump world right now and a stunning set of statements from donald trump's latest member of his legal team, an unpaid lawyer, rudy giuliani. now the first statement that giuliani makes here is breaking news as well tonight, makes him look out of the loop and makes donald trump look pretty silly. tonight giuliani telling a reporting he hasn't talked to his client, donald trump in
weeks. so pause on what that means. one during giuliani's recent lengthy media tours where he's held forth on the facts of this case and whether donald trump will testify with bob mueller, he's been doing all that without talking to his client at all. two it means that giuliani may be communicating with bob mueller more than donald trump at times. we know they've held in person meetings. this means whatever donald trump and rudy giuliani are planning they are planning through tv since they both watch coverage about themselves and each other. and finally, this speaks to giuliani's competence, he didn't need to reveal this information. he could say his talks with his client are privileged and that means what they discussed, how they discussed it and how often is privileged. that means every answer costs
him nothing and spares any embarrassment for him. all that is the context for what else he said, he tells buzz feed other lawyers talk to the white house, and says i'm not, people from my office are talking to the white house and that when those people talk, asks how that work, he said if you talk talking and correspondence, a couple times a week. that's where rudy stands. as for a legal strategy it's a waiting game with the interview with bob mueller, saying no decision until the details of this, quote, spygate situation are figured out. that's what rachel and i were discussing, what would be basically a conspiracy theory. the ap reporting today that trump basically told an ally this week that he wanted to brand this informant as spy believing the term would resonate more in the media and with the public.
that rhetoric tries to take back the power of scandals ending in gate. many compare trump's russia problem to watergate. and he's looking for ways to allege others of misdeeds. it can be effective rhetorically. consider in the last month of the 2016 campaign fake news stories online helped trump and many people, including barack obama, were criticizing fake news by name. trump hijacked that term to attack the real news and a lot of people consider that as his term now. that's the framework for what's happening on a bigger scale as trump says spygate could be one of the biggest political scandals in history. and he took to the lawn about what's happening. >> all you have to do is look at the basics and you'll see. it looks like a serious event. we'll find out.
when they look at the documents, i think people are going to see a lot of bad things happen. i hope it's not so because if it is, there's never been anything like it in the history of our country. if you look at clapper, he sort of admitted they had spies in the campaign yesterday inadvertently. i hope it's not true, but it looks like it is. everybody wants this solved but a lot of bad things have happened. we now call it spygate you're calling it spygate a lot of bad things have happened. they'll sit in a room and hopefully work it out among themselves. >> that's the big story, who's going to sit in the room. it's a bipartisan member of the gang of eight, telling her it will include the gang of eight. >> i was informed by the head of our intelligence agencies earlier tonight that the meeting would be a bipartisan briefing at a gang of eight level and that would be it.
i expect them to live up to the commitment. that is the right procedure. if there is any information that could compromise a source or methods. that's been around for decades and i expect them to follow it. we have heard conflicting things from the white house. >> that's adam schiff saying that to rachel. now i'm holding something from the department of justice, time stamped 10:00 p.m. tonight. it describes a first meeting with john kelly, devin nunes, and gowdy. and a second meeting with the department of justice and the same individuals and all gang of eight members. the white house putting this out through the doj quite late at night. let's get to it. mimi roker, john allen, and
kimberly, an msnbc analyst. what do you think of the news and why is it coming out so late at night. >> why would it be so different than breaking news that breaks on another day. i think there has been a bit of a scramble to put together exactly how this meeting that the president has demanded and which was apparentlyset up by rod rosenstein to placate the president who seemed ready to take a more drastic action against this investigation. this is something that is not normal. normally when there is an ongoing investigation by federal authorities, the oversight doesn't come in the middle. it comes once it's complete, once there's conclusions, and then if there's questions about the process then the folks go in
and take a look at it so the investigation itself is not compromised so there are no problems. so yeah there's no real protocol as to how to do this. so it's small wonder that there is some confusion, that there's changes in the plan, different statements coming from differing agencies about how exactly this is going to work. >> john what is your view according to this brand new itinerary the original partisan meeting is still on the books? >> it's a good way to put that ari. the white house obviously was scrambling today to try to sort of counter the democratic requests for a meeting of the gang of eight, chuck schumer and nancy pelosi sent a letter to that effect and they were beside themselves that this kind of meeting would go on without the bipartisan leadership of the intelligence committees in congress and the leadership of both political parties in both houses of congress. what you have now is two
separate meetings one where all the good stuff is going to be talked about between the members of congress who are trying to get information that they might then share with the white house from a justice department that, you know, is generally left alone by white houses during its investigations, particularly investigations of said white houses. i did a story earlier this week about president trump now launching an investigation of the investigators. i talked to john dean, who was the white house counsel during the nixon years and he said this all has echos of watergate. >> why do you think they're doing this? is it a fig leaf or a sign things matter and they buckle to push back? >> they do buckle to push back. it's a sign things matter we're not going to be in the room to see the difference between the briefing or the discussion between chairman nunes, gowdy and the justice department -- >> we're not but we're human beings with logical faculties
and either these individuals are doing the same thing twice in a highly inefficient manner for very busy people who the white house chief of staff, intelligence fbi director, or they're doing something different in the first meeting than the second meeting. >> the only reason to do this is you want separate conversations with separate content. >> fair. >> mimi. >> this sounds to me like a judge meeting with the defendant alone and then coming out and meeting with both parties, that's not supposed to happen. this doesn't feel like congressional oversight. this feels like, as i said, a subject of an investigation going to a judge and saying, i want to see the evidence now before anything's been charged while you're in the middle of an investigation, might jeopardize the investigation, i don't care, and a judge would say absolutely not to that. but here for whatever reasons,
the department of justice is giving something. we don't know yet what they're giving. i do think it's important to note that. we don't know they're turning over documents or showing them documents or whether they're briefing them on things that they consider not as harmful to -- you know, to brief them on. but it's -- it's such a dangerous precedent. and it has just no parallel in our criminal justice system, which this is a part of. this is a criminal investigation going on and being jeopardized by this. >> do you think the members of the gang of eight, which are both parties and supposed to in theory be nonpartisan to these matters. should they object the first meeting is still there? we got this news while we were live air, but my instinct is it feels very trumpy in that it's saying fine, you know what we'll make so much noise we'll have a second fake meeting you can come to. it happens to be two hours later, but it could be two days, two months later.
sooner or later the gang of eight is going to have meetings. and it doesn't address what you and rachel were addressing about the original meeting, which is there is not a good reason, a valid, legitimate reason to take the nonpart investigation of the russia probe, dni director, and leave them to a criticaling by partisans who are implicated. >> and take what they learn undoubtedly and relay it to the lawyers, at least, of one if not all of the subjects of that investigation, which is just so -- >> you're putting your finger on it. you're saying this is more than just protocol. you're saying that any actionable investigative information that nunes or gowdy are gleaning could be relayed back to the suspects? >> yes. >> why wouldn't be obstruction.
>> it could be. i bring it back to the parallel of an ordinary criminal case that americans face every day. >> it is. >> but ordinary people don't have the power that the president has to say you must have this meeting and turn over this information. a judge would -- >> ordinary people. >> -- laugh in their face. >> john i turn to you. and i'm not going to make a john legend ordinary people reference. go ahead. >> let's remember devin nunes, recused himself from his own committee's organization because of the coordination he had with the white house in the early days. so it's not surprising that people would be concerned that his motive might be to collect information that the white house and other people under investigation is seeking but cannot get from the justice department. >> that's his thing. >> right. >> that's his thing. that's what he got busted doing.
>> yet now he appears to no longer believe he needs to recuse himself. he's obviously played a part as a -- as a defender, protector and, you know, conspirator, i don't mean that in a criminal sense, but conspirator with the president on this russia situation pretty much from day one. you know, and as far as these meetings go, can you imagine robert mueller meeting with chuck schumer, nancy pelosi, sharing information with them about the investigation and saying we'll have a bipartisan meeting later. >> like in the middle of the benghazi probe, no. kimberly atkins, take a look at take a look.
>> kimberly, you know well how it works, the negative space in that painting is potent because people serve at the pleasure of the president if they don't have his confidence. >> that's as second time in as many days that he refused to answer the question about rod rosenstein's future. so that does not bode well, particularly with this president who has expressed his frustration with him openly. so i think rod rosenstein understands he's in a tough position right now. he's trying not to just save his job but keep the investigation intact and up against the president who's very eager to attack both things. so i don't think it bodes well. i think that's one of the biggest things we have to look at what comes out of this meeting tomorrow. and to the point about devin nunes. look, there's precedent for a lot of what's happening now.
devin nunes was the author of a memo that was confidential, declassified by the white house, over the objection of the justice department, and released and released first and then the white house said, okay, later we'll also release this democratic memo that refuted the original memo. it seems to be the mo here that republicans are given the first shot at this to help the president's claim that this is a nefarious investigation and possibly even a criminal one, something that's false, there's no evidence indicating that anything that's happened in this investigation has been nefarious in any way, but that's the messaging that the president is seeking to support. and he seems to be interested in getting that however he can. >> kimberly you make a analogy that i think is helpful. the memo was about why carter page was surveilled, which was done prior to donald trump
becoming president because of evidence approved by independent judges that he appeared to be a candidate for russian spies trying to flip and use it within an asset, because of that he looked bad and they release this information, he shouldn't have been surveilled. and again, in this case it doesn't mean it's bad for the informant. a lot more on the breaking news, the doj putting this out at the late hour, at 10:00. and michael cohen may have been brokering foreign meetings without registering, raising new criminal liability for him. that's next. find the remote yet? nah. honey look, your old portable cd player. my high school rethainer. oh don't... it's early 90s sitcom star dave coulier... cut...it...out!
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breaking news, the department of justice announcing late tonight, in this hour, there will be two meetings tomorrow, one will include the gang of eight, this is all about donald trump's allegations that there was something wrong with an informant being involved in the fbi review of his campaign. i want to bring in ned price, a former cia analyst. your reaction. >> under almost all scenarios this makes no dense. i'll tell you why, devin nunes is a member of the gang of eight as the chairman of the house intelligence committee he's entitled to that second briefing. the odd man out is trey gowdy, the chairman of the house oversight committee, trey gowdy as someone who is not a member
of this exclusive club does not have the same clearance that these other eight individuals do. so what would make sense, what would be rational and reasonable would be to have a gang of eight meeting that all the details could be shared and if there needs to be a second meeting, have a second meeting with trey gowdy because he doesn't have the same clearance. the only way this makes sense is if somehow gowdy and devin nunes are entitled to more information than the gang of eight. and that doesn't make sense. that doesn't seem to be the case here. something smells fishy about this. >> i hate to get this far in the weeds. it is important, though. you have 12 plus one, the gang of eight, which is devin nunes in both cases. the four people from the white house, doj, fbi involved in the
thing, and then you have gowdy. >> that's right. >> so the theory we were discussing before the commercial break here is is the whole thing a sham because the second meeting, the gang of eight meeting, that in a normal world -- we don't live in one anymore -- in a normal world would be the high level intel eyes only, it's only a cover for the first meeting anyway. >> that's what it sounds like to me, ari. the way these things typically work when you have separate bifurcated meetings you typically give just about everything, you don't give the names of sources or tactics to the gang of eight but you give essentially everything else to the gang of eight and if there has to be a separate briefing that is called a downgraded briefing it would be held at the top secret level instead of the top secret code world level. >> let's grasp what kind of
trumpyness this is. you have more experience in this than most of us. isn't there some actual duty on the intelligence people in the room to limit what they say to someone like gowdy and don't they have to check each other before they go into the gang of eight meeting where they would be asking what did you do in the first meeting and did you betray any of your duties which has been a partisan attempt to undermine a probe. >> under normal circumstances yes, that would be the case. the intelligence officers, law enforcement officers, they know who it is they're briefing, they know that individual's level of clearance, and they hold each other to that. but this is not just any ordinary briefing, not just any ordinary administration.
you get the impression there is high level white house input into this. you remember this briefing was not going to happen, doj, fbi and the director of national intelligence they were dragging their feet until john kelly called all of them together and lo and behold within hours this meeting was announced. you get the impression this was coming from on high. and when you have principled and dedicated intelligence officials and law enforcement officials behind this, if it's coming from the president, the chief of staff, it's difficult for them, especially in this administration, to say no. >> ned price, i appreciate your insights on this breaking news. i want you to stay with us. there are these other allegations that -- excuse me, we're going to keep going. michael cohen was not only selling access to his client, donald trump but doing so in a way that was illegal. specifically using the same law
they had against michael flynn and paul manafort. cohen received secret payment to fix talks between the ukrainian president and president trump. the bbc reports the part that creates the jeopardy, cohen not registered as a representative of ukraine as required by law. that meeting took place last june, after the payment. a source also saying they gave him a gift. i'll tell you, msnbc news has not confirmed the bbc story. cohen denies it and giuliani saying maybe there was a discussion of doing this, adding on on neither end was it con sue mated. mimi rocah rejoins. what does this mean for michael cohen? >> i think there's three
different sort of buckets to this story. one is the one you mentioned already, which is a violation or breaking of the foreign registration act law, which is the same law that flynn has been charged with, as you mentioned. and that would be cohen acted essentially as an agent of the ukrainian government without registering as he is required to do so. >> so you know what i have to do so, you're a lawyer, he's a lawyer, if that's all it is, why didn't he register? >> well, exactly. i mean, look, the reason for the law is we want to know when foreign governments are having an influence on u.n. u.s. policy -- >> buying the president's lawyer? >> exactly. clearly they didn't want anyone to know that, cohen didn't. >> do you think he knowingly took that suspicious risk for some reason? >> i can't say that he -- i mean, it seems clear that he was aware that that's something he to do. it would be pretty hard for him to claim that it isn't.
but i think the second, and possibly bigger piece that we just don't know the answer to yet, is was there some kind of bribe going on? in other words they paid cohen to get a meeting with trump. what came out, what we know from the report assuming its true, is ukraine changed its policy, they stopped investigating manafort. that also benefitted trump because it hurts the mueller investigation because then they weren't cooperating with mueller digging for more information about manafort to cooperate with mueller. was that something promised by trump? did trump promise anything in return? >> were there strong leads that bob mueller wouldn't get. >> if there are leads in in the ukraine, it would be hard to get them without the government. getting leads from a foreign country, even a cooperative one can be cumbersome so that's very important. >> ned, how weird does this strike you?
if you want to be real politic about it, people would say there are countries that do amoral, unethical favors for other countries. >> i'm less concerned with the money changing hands here. we'll all become used to the pay for play schemes from this administration. i'm more concerned about the ukrainians dropping their investigation into paul manafort. we've seen a pattern here, a pattern in which american foreign policy is accruing personal benefits to donald trump, not our national interest. the example in ukraine where they dropped the manafort investigation. later in ukraine, we learned from the "new york times" earlier this month that the ukrainians signals they would stop cooperating with the mueller probe just as the government was decided to provide them with anti-tank missiles. >> right.
we learned today jared kushner went back top mueller, spent over six hours there and we heard from his side. here's abbe lowell, his lawyer on that. >> i have done this for a bunch. i will tell you today's witness is tomorrow's indicted person. i don't ask that question. these are the titles that are handy for the media to use. i didn't ask. i will tell you in my experience, the kinds of questions they asked, the statements he made, the information he has, reflects they understand he's a witness to the events. >> a lawyerly way of saying he hopes his client jared kushner is a witness but he has no idea. >> right. he's certainly better at this than giuliani. the answer he gave was a better answer. he's saying i'm not throwing a term out there because everyone is saying he's a witness today, subject tomorrow. so you know -- but then again, i don't know that he can read into, from the questions that his client is just a witness.
i think that's -- you know, he's sort of claiming to look through a crystal ball i'm not sure you can look through. it is interesting that kushner was called back recently. you would think that if someone was -- it can go either way. because you either want to give someone a chance to explain before you decide, yep, they're really a target or you've ruled out they're someone likely to be indicted and you are treating them as a witness. so it can go either way, which is why i'm saying it's dangerous for us or him to read into that status. >> my big take away is abbe better than rudy? >> i think so. >> thank you both. coming up there is a lot more going on. donald trump's base loves his talk on immigration. on capitol hill turning that into action is dividing republicans, turning speaker ryan's job in jeopardy. ♪ ♪ ♪ raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens ♪
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breaking news tonight after significant pressure the white house announcing while it is maintaining a meeting about an informant used in the russia probe tomorrow with trey gowdy and devin nunes, which has been controversial, they added a second meeting with the entire gang of eight, news that was initially informed by adam schiff on the news with rachel maddow. now we have arranged dialing for news with haley jackson working her sources late in the night and is able to join me late night. thank you for continuing a long day and second what can you tell us from your sources?
>> reporter: the meeting has been notable for a number of reasons. the first indication we received from our sources earlier in the day was the gang of eight meeting set for 2:00 eastern tomorrow, was supposed to happen after the memorial day recess, i was on the phone just before our evening broadcast with an official who said yeah we think he's going to happen after memorial day but the nunez gowdy meeting is still ongoing. john kelly is going to be at both of the meetings tomorrow. just yesterday sarah sanders was at the podium and said kelly would not attend. she said, at this point he is not expected to be there. he was charged with putting this meeting together, setting up the logistics and then will step away. however i'm getting the impression because of the backlash on capitol hill, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle upset the gang of eight
was not included, people wanting it to be more partisan. even the president saying this super cedes democrats. so clearly it build to bring in democrats to the meeting. and you have john kelly attending. originally it was going to be one of rod rosenstein's deputies there at the department of justice, now it will be rosenstein himself leading the meeting with the officials. over the last eight to ten hours it has been a moving target but it's clear what's going to happen in a matter of three, four hours tomorrow afternoon. >> very significant. a lot of pressure given where mueller is going, think about jared kushner news leaking, and michael cohen in court in new
york and cannot be pardoned by the defendant. we had to build a firewall between white house staff that works for the president and the personal legal staff that works for donald trump with regard to the russia probe, kelly said. so it seems he might be the bridge. and what does that say with him attending the meeting. >> reporter: based on my reporting, fanning the flames about this quote/unquote flame. it's rudy giuliani on the president's legal team, the outside external legal team. so it is my understanding and my reporting that giuliani feels as though this is a way, by pushing this story line, to help potentially undermine the mueller as a whole, according to folks sort of around the president's orbit there. so you have that piece of the puzzle, then you have inside the
white house, this move now we're seeing tonight for more involvement in the white house into this discussion of what the intelligence is, what this says. keeping in mind the president has the ultimate power to declassify anything he wants to declassify. >> let me ask you about the politics of that. the law is basic, whether you call it surveillance, interrogation, all of those are used in an open critical probe, they knocked down michael cohen's door in his law office. we know that. we're not surprised by that in any journalistic or legal way. is that rudy giuliani, the mayor, the former presidential candidate saying he knows better because he knows how these things word but he's making a political bet about how this s word, spy, this conspiracy theory will help the president. >> reporter: it's coming from
the president. he's discussing it being quote/unquote spygate. when it comes to the politicalization of this, i will tell you a cause for concern more broadly from the folks i'm talking to and that is the potential politicalization of intelligence. of this critical piece of our national security apparatus, the idea you have this asset, informant, that's been publically outed. and as they go and review the documents tomorrow, might there be more leaks, and that is causing real concern, not just the leaks but the idea that you are taking what has been an independent, in large part the independent department of justice and politicizing it by having these meetings where it's just republicans in the first meeting, although there will be democrats in the second, ari. >> that makes me want to ask you
something else, which is paul ryan announcing within this hour that he has a pre-scheduled commitment and cannot go. >> reporter: he won't be there. >> how do i ask this question in a respectful and open-minded way? well, what on earth could be more important tomorrow for someone with the constitutional obligations that the speaker of the house has than a meeting with the heads of the fbi, the overseer of the russia probe and the other members of the gang of eights who he outranks in congress to deal with this fire storm? >> i can tell you what our colleagues on capitol hill is reporting is that the spokesperson, paul ryan, he has a long-standing schedule commitment, i'm quoting, and will not be there. they're also saying they want chairman nunez, and trey gowdy leading in this space for house republicans. so paul ryan handing over some of the leadership reigns on this particular issue, ari, to those
two members of congress. i will tell you nancy pelosi will be there. >> i heard there was profiles in courage. i guess there are profiles in google calendar and everyone has to make decisions about their day. hallie jackson thanks for your reporting. still put paul ryan's job in jeopardy. that's next. each day justin chooses to walk.
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policy story. a lot of folks say the worst thing donald trump does stem from being ignorant, like he's some bumbling idiot others say it's from him being ma nevada lont. donald trump calling members of the ms-13 animals was this the political debate he wants? words than want nothing from him in which he can use to suggest his opponents are coddling gang members. here he is on long island doubling down on the fight. >> i notice democrats, nancy pelosi for example are trying to defend ms-13 gang members. i called them animals the other day and i was met with rebuke. they said they're people. they're not people.
these are animals. and we have to be very, very tough. >> so he's into this fight. trump did briefly touch on policy, though it was basically foreign aid fan fiction. >> we're going to work out something where every time somebody comes in from a certain country we're going to deduct a large amount of money from what we give them in aid, if we give them aid at all. >> house republicans divided about giving dreamers a path to citizenship, paul ryan asked to put aside differences. ryan's call to unity fell on deaf ears and moderate republicans want to force a vote as early as june that could protect dreamers. those moderates would be about four signatures away from reaching a threshold to bring up the vote. conservative republicans said
they don't want any vote even if it's bipartisan for dreamers. the infight may have contributed to a loss last week. when the house freedom caucus defied paul ryan on a farm bill which touches on these issues as well. paul ryan also in the news tonight as i reported because he said this hour he won't go to the big gang of eight meeting tomorrow. maybe we'll get to that as well. but starting on immigration as promised, maria, what does this mean to you. >> i think not only is paul ryan in over his head. i think he had the idea that he was going to assume the speakership and basically do something with it and he hasn't been able to. this is the legacy he was hoping to cement and he's far from it. i think what we see the freedom caucus has them hostage. they should let the gop sign hig contested seats and they may
lose the midterms because of them. the freedom caucus will not. >> yeah. john, listen to another thing that the president said today, where he really likened immigration, which is a problem, documented, undocumented, that many countries have. he likened it to an occupying army. >> we have these trucks coming in. they used to call them paddy wagons. i don't know what they call them anymore. they throw them in these rolling jails. and you have people applauding. it's almost like you're in a war and you're getting rid of somebody that's occupying your nation. >> john, how does that figure into those on the hill? >> paddy wagon in the old days was an irish slur. in some ways in the same vein. irish and italian immigrants suffered the similar fights over time.
what you've got going on -- and i talked to congressional sources since last week. you have a lame duck speaker who's dealing with essentially a fight for his job beneath him between kevin mccarthy and more quietly, steve scalise, the majority whip. he's lost the farm bill over it. it's something that's typically bipart in nature and has been for many, many years. republicans decided to go ideological and clamping down on food stamps. those bipartisan mcgovern dole food stamps. he's trying to resurrect it with an immigration deal. he's got republicans signing up for discharge petition to try to get something on the floor that will extend daca. he just doesn't have the juice or clout right now to get any of it done. the challenge was in that politico headline you just
showed which is that his calls for unity have fallen on deaf ears. the republican party doesn't agree on most of this. the vast majority of republican lawmakers have taken up with president trump. but the majority of the house believes in extending daca. so almost all of the democrats, if not all the democrats, and a portion of the republican party. >> yeah, speak to the time line and the politics of that. john mentioned the discharge petition, which is a technical way to get something to the floor without a speaker. but you don't usually pull that on a speaker unless you're not worried about them, and the lame duck seems to be why he's facing that threat. >> exactly right. that's one of the reasons why at the same time mccarthy is saying he doesn't want to push for daca. mccarthy lives in california in the central valley. the it's something, most of the republicans in his constituency would want him to present the daca bill. but he's set his heights on something higher, that is the speakership. he's making the lives of close
to 1.2 million people political. that's obscene, unfortunately. but at the same time, ari, wh enyou hear the president talk about these -- basically try to categorize a whole people as animals -- >> well, he sees it was just the gang members. >> well, let's think about that, right? when you start actually classifying anybody as less than without people being guilty. when you are increasingly living under a government that likes to racially profile people simply by how they look, that gives agency to anybody to actually start racially profiling folks. in fact, if you do actually provide some sort of protection, when you provide some sort of protection for undocumented immigrants that don't have to have a dotted line between law enforcement and i.c.e., they can come out and basically talk about ms-13. they can actually report crime. but this is the complete opposite. what he's trying to do is not only a slippery slope, it's dangerous. because all of a sudden you put literally a target on anybody that looks brown, that does not
look, or maybe speaks with an accent that does not like like what your typical americaning loos like. that's what he's doing. at the end of the day, both he and mccarthy understand the best way to gin up the base, their only shot is doing a defunct immigration reform that nobody has any interest in actually passing. >> tie it in with the lame duckness and paul ryan going m.i.a. tomorrow. he's having trouble with the immigration bill, he's skipping the meeting tomorrow. he's going out with a real wimper. >> oh, man. stick on some shades and roll back the convertible and drive one out of town to janesville pretty soon. >> you think this is made out of weakness? >> this is a headache to him. he wanted to get out of here. >> at the end of the day, he's going to be a fat lobbyist, he's going to be completely fine. but the people he's leave in his wake are not going to be. and that's a lack of leadership.
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with claim-free rewards. switching to allstate is worth it. >> bob mueller himself is not a partisan. he's an honest guy, a hard-working guy. he's smart. and you can't argue that the investigation hasn't been effective so far. had a number of guilty pleas, a couple of indictments. in a year. that's pretty good work. >> tonight's "last word" is honorable. you heard trump ally chris christie there describing mueller as honest, hardworking and smart.
we have this trump ally describing him as honorable. >> do you think mueller should be fired? >> i do not. he's an honorable guy. he he's a combat marine. he served his country. >> there it is. tonight's "last word." i invite you to join me weeknights on my new show "the beat" 6:00 p.m. eastern. tomorrow, i have stormy daniels attorney michael avenatti. and friday, a very special guest, former american editor of "vogue" magazine andre leon talley. should be fun. coming up, though, a lot more on the news that broke first here on msnbc in rachel's hour that doj will hold two meetings tomorrow after trump's claim about the investigations into his campaign. "the 11th hour" with brian williams is up next. tonight, the president now making a full-on claim of spying on his campaign without a lick of proof to back it up. an in a surprise move tonight, we learn that a second briefing has been added for a bipartisan group tomorrow. plus gomts today on the mueller front involving paul manafort,
george papadopoulos and jared jared kushner. and did russia actually affect the outcome of our election? one of the nation's foremost intel chiefs made that very claim tonight. as "the 11th hour" gets under way on this wednesday evening. good evening. from our nbc headquarters here in new york. day 489 of the trump administration. hours from a critical briefing about classified documents brokered by the white house amid the president's latest efforts to undercut and discredit the russia investigation while also attacking federal law enforcement. more on that meeting in a moment. because we want you to hear how the president is now branding what he alleges was an attempt by federal law enforcement, our own team, to infiltrate and illegally conduct surveillance on his 2016 campaign. all evidence thus far to the