tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC June 14, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
rich and poor, north, south and east and west have an equal stake in air and water. on that note, that is our broadcast this thursday evening. thank you for being here with us, good night from nbc read quarters here in new york. >> so did i not say there was going to be a ton of news this week? we knew in advance this week was going to be nuts but that was an understatement. so lots to get to tonight. there are a lot of ways to get yourself an advantage in an election. you can, for example, get an edge on your opponent if you are great on the issues and explaining your position so you win all of the arguments and debates and thereby win the race. you can win if you are an incumbent and people like the job you are doing so inclined to
keep you around and they win more than lose. so that's one way to win. you can win by spending your opponent into the ground. you can win because your lucky or your opponent is a creep. there's lots of above-board more or less koegser ways to win an election. if there is no incumbent and nobody is a creep and you both have money and explaining your appealing take on the issues, maybe in that case you win because you out-hustle or run harder or a smarter more efficient campaign. there's lots of ways to get a l leg-up. lots of ways to win. some are nicer and more fair than others. obviously, you are not allowed to win a national election in the united states because you got the help of a foreign adversary. that is not allowed.
that's what the special counsel robert mueller is investigating when it comes to the donald trump campaign. we got chapter and verse on two other ways you are not supposed to get help to win an election in this country. in this block buster day of news, president trump benefitted from both of these things to get him where he is today in the white house. the first one, was that you are note supposed to benefit by illegal expenditures by a fake charity. is not one at all and designed to look like one. we will have more on that story tonight. that's one way you are not supposed to get a leg up with a fake charity illegally contributing to their campaign. he benefitted from doing that.
we learned that today. in addition to that, number two, you are also not supposed to get help in your election bid from the fbi. from the fbi breaking its own rules in ways that are designed to or having the affect to hurting your opponent and helping you. in this remarkable day of news today, the inspector general report from the justice department is and this new lawsuit from the general attorney of new york. this illegal donald j. trump foundation. the foundation used illegally to benefit trump's presidential campaign and used to benefit trump himself. the ag demanding that it be shut down and the assets seized and given to other real charities. the ag demanding that the president should pay $3 million
for res t restitution and wants the president and others involved all banned from appearing on the board of any other actual registered charity in new york state because of the bad behavior associated with the trump foundation. and the ag lawsuit comes with federal and criminal referrals of alleged tax crime to this the irs and alleged violations of campaign finance laws. so we got that allegation from the new york state attorney general today and that was a surprise. we got senator elizabeth warren here today and joined by the top democrat on the intelligence committee. we will talk about the lawsuit with both of them and we'll talk about the report from the justice department. both from the new york lawsuit and the report from the justice department, i feel like today
with this two huge pieces of news, we got information about possibly illegal or improper ways that this president got help in his presidential campaign. we also today, we got a ton of stuff settled. official determinations on so much stuff today that we have reported and discussed and fought over for more than a year now. a lot to get to. let's start with the long waited inspector general report into whether or not the fbi and justice department followed the right policies and procedures during the 2016 election. when they investigated hillary clinton. and investigated if the justice department or fbi decisions about the handling of the case were based on improper considerations or bias of any kind. and honestly, the origin of this report from the justice department inspector general was
the repeated claim by donald trump and his campaign in 2016 and pro-trump republicans that hillary clinton should have been locked up and the fbi infected with a pro-hillary clinton bias that resulted in not bringing criminal charges against her. the inspector general investigated what the crowds have been chanting for a year and a half and what they found is the opposite was true on the question of whether or not if hillary clinton should have been charged. we found no evidence, we determined that they were based on the prosecutors assessment of the facts, laws and past department practice. so the justice department inspector general said the reason hillary clinton was not charged in the e-mail scandal, despite that, the reason she was
not charged is because there was not reason to charge her. inspector general investigated that quite thoroughly and it wasn't based on bias or political intentions but the law. and past justice department practice and all of the thing that is prosecutors are properly supposed to consider when making a decision like that. that doesn't bode well for the whole lock her up thing republicans have been running with for the last year and a half since the trump campaign started. where the inspector general did find serious fault is with james comey when he decided to make public statements about the clinton e-mail investigation. public statements that hurt her campaign and helped donald trump. the first time was july 2016 when announced that no charges are going to be brought and only
announced that at the end after he spent the rest of the time speaking nationally criticizing hillary clinton and calling her extremely careless. that lead to months of attacks on hillary clinton from republicans and from the press. all bolstered by this bizarre unprecedented critical statement from the fbi director. the inspector general put out the report on that and called james comey's decision to be unjustified authority. extraordinary and insubordinate and comey's announcement unusual and concentrated on criticizing former secretary clinton's uncharged conduct. this was contrary to longstanding department practice and protocol. witnesses told us that
criticizing individuals for conduct that does not warrant prosecution is not what they do. the head of the national security division don't say we are closing something but let me tell you bad stuff but doesn't rise to the level of bringing a case case. we don't do that. declini declining to prosecutor someone and dirtying them up with facts. one major purpose of including neg ti negative comments to send the message that the fbi was not condoning her construct. failed to recognize the seriousness of her conduct and letting her off the hook. we recognized that this information was subject to scrutiny not typical of the average criminal case. does not provide a basis of
well-established department norms and trashing the subject of investigation with uncharged misconduct that comey and every agent and prosecutor agreed did not warrant prosecution. none of the justifications provided by witnesses why such criticism wass warranted. so that's the inspector general talking james comey's decision to hold the press conference in july, the heat of the campaign to talk smack about millry clinton announcing there won't be charges. he went out of his way to be critical about what he thought she did. this is what the inspector general says about the decision several months later, eight days
before the election to -- 11 days before the election to make yet, another public statement about the clinton e-mail investigation. you'll remember this time it was in october 2016 before the election and comey went back to the issue again and notified congress that he was reopening the clinton investigation to look at some more e-mails that turned out to be nothing. this by the way was the action by james comey that the clinton campaign costs them the election on how close it was to the actual vote. here is what the inspector general said about that, far too little was known about those e-mails in october 2016 to justify departing from department norms and policy and precedent. instead of referring to and guided by longstanding fbi policies, comey conducted an ad hoc comparison of the the risks
-- concealing the e-mails as catastrophic to the fbi and department and it would subject them to allegations they acted for political reasons to protect hillary clinton. he chose the option assessing to be bad. even in the flawed construct, he did not assess risks evenly. paramount significance to the risk that held be accused of hiding the e-mails to protect clinton. places no value on the corresponding risk of making a public statement that he and the fbi would be accused to be violating practice and also be unfairly accused of hyping the e-mails in a manner that hurt candidate clinton. that's the big, i think,
political lesson here. all right. the inspector general isn't find that james comey did what he did during the campaign because he wanted to hurt hillary clinton's campaign and try to e being elect donald trump. that's not the claim. the inspector general find that is james comey didn't care if he might be seen as acting in a way that would hurt hillary clinton's campaign. he didn't care if it looked like he might be hurting hillary clinton. but he really cared and took great extraordinary action to avoid appearing like he is helping hillary clinton in anyway. if it looks like i'm hurting clinton, don't care, if it looks like i'm helping her, that's a disaster. that's how we hagued tow he weie
decisions. you wonder why the president and republicans today are attacking the fbi and the justice department all of the time. this is why. if you can just hit them hard enough. if you can use conservative media to attack them hard and consistently enough. you can make the justice department and fbi worry about they may be perceived as soft on democrats. once they look like they are worried, they will break policy and help the republicans instead. and so why did the closed no prosecution, no there there clinton e-mail investigation get all of this exhaustive public
attention? and this extraordinary disclosure and criticism of the candidate from the fbi during the campaign? while the simultaneously investigation and the trump campaign involvement got no public disclosure. they never mentioned it. they didn't talk about the russia thing, both candidates were under investigation. they only talked about the one that turned out to be nothing. turns out the inspect general looked into that. july announcement about the e-mails and the second announcement in october, engaged in ad hoc decision making based on personal views even if it meant rejected longstanding practice. we found unpersuasive as to why
transparency was more important than practice with regard to the clinton e-mail investigation and department policy and practice was most important to follow with regard to the russian investigations. department policy and practice says don't talk about on going investigations, we better follow that thing when it comes to the russian thing and trump. department policy says don't talk about it, let's talk about it when it comes to clinton. james comey made this decision. the american people had to know that hillary clinton's e-mail was of grave concern to james comey even though there were not going to be charges. but the american people could not be allowed to know about the other candidate being part of a investigation leading to 20 indictments including the candidate's campaign chairman and five guilty pleas.
and the deputy and the foreign policy adviser and the security aide and that's just thus far. the inspector general report found evidence that some fbi employees expressed political opinions and lisa paige said in a text message, trump is not ever going to become president. and fbi act peter struck said, no we are going to stop it. concluded that there is no evidence it affected the agents work. did not find improper considerations or bias directed the specific investigative decisions we reviewed. our review did not find evidence in the messages to this specific evidence we reviewed. but the result of discretionary
judgment by the agents and prosecutors and these judgment calls were not unreasonable. so now we've got the findings. no one at the fbi or doj did a particular thing or investigation because they were pursuing a political agenda. that said, the clinton e-mail investigation was mishandled by james comey in terms of his public statements that hurt hillary clinton. not just looking at doj and fbi and james comb yes sey and donap and hillary clinton. that mishandling, those statements about that on going investigation which resulted in no prosecutions. those statements that james comey made that hurt clinton's
campaign potentially fatally, those happened because of the pressure campaign on the fbi and doj. it worked. anti-clinton, public pressure on law enforcement lead james comey to bend over backwards and break the rules and prove wrong the public criticism against the fbi that the fbi was too soft on her. it works. and democrats even today keep expressing shock that the trump, white house and republicans keep attacking and pressuring and keep criticizing the law enforcement. law enforcement generally the justice department, fbi and special counsel koigoing after them. democrats the republican party keeps attacking law and orderer.
there's a reason why they do it. it works. it turns out. the bullying, it works. that's the political bottom line of the inspector general report. you make the fbi feel paranoid on whether they are soft on democrats, they will go harder and break the rules to do so. the bullying you are seeing by the president and the white house and republicans against the fbi and law enforcement is bullying with an intended outcome. we know that same bullying pushed the fbi director to push the last election to help e being elect donald trump. that's how it happened and that's why they are still doing it now. elizabeth warren is the interview and then adam shift.
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be getting a work out. or eyeball strain. page left intentionally blank. there was a bunch of them. blank pages intentional and explicitly so. i thank you. truly from the bottom of my heart. this puppy, long awaited report is 568 dense pages about the handling of the clinton e-mail investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign. by a few intentional blank pages. no political bias in the investigation itself but they conclude the then fbi director seriously screwed up when he made the public statements he did about the clinton investigation. the in response to criticism of the fbi for not being hard enough on hillary clinton.
here to help us understand, adam shift, congressman thank you for joining us. >> great to be with you. >> a window into the behavior of the fbi and justice department. you heard what my bottom line take away is on the report i'm curious as to what yours is. >> it is the same. no question that director comey and the fbi reacting to the republican attacks. being too easy on hillary and james comey thought hillary clinton was going to win. i think that informed his decision making. you're right to point this out because we are at risk of making the same mistakes again. the republicans beating up on the department of justice and demanding information and one thing the report didn't go into
is part of james comey's mistake and max mus transparency policy outweighs the department rules and regulations was providing information to congress and witness interviews, 302s and testifying about the details of a pending or closed case or soon to be reopened case. at the time i remember saying what you are calling transparency will soon come to be known as another name, mistake. we are at risk of that mistake again. >> in terms of the interactions, the issue of transparency and handing things over about investigations. the briefing you attended today leadership in congress including yourself as the top democrat on the intelligence committee about aspects of the russian investigation a follow up
briefing that republicans demanded, what can you tell us about that briefing and whether you think it was proper? >> this is the parallel i was mentioning in the clinton e-mail investigation you had republicans and congress demanding information about the inve investigation to make it public and tear down hillary clinton. and here you have them on the committee like wise demanding information from the fbi, the department of justice which they hope to use against the department and support and defend the president and which rudy giuliani expects to get his hands on that is more abusive and congressional behavior there. the conclusion we reached of the president's claps of politically
embedded spies were bogus and remai remai remains bogus. >> in the case surrounding the president, an improper look at the on going investigation or what prosecutors are pursuing? >> well, this is the kind of information and i can't go into specifics, it is not the kind of information that is normally turned over to congress during a pending investigation. it raises alarm bells with me. certainly in our committee and with the governor reform committee, the whole purpose is to help the president's legal defense. it comes out of an improper motive. if it will ultimately have the impact on the investigation, that depends if whether who is receiving it abuse the information. i have to hope they won't but the record of the people who are
making the request are vir tu tis in that regard. >> thank you for your time. good to have you here. >> thank you. >> lots more to get to tonight on what has been a block buster news day. senator elizabeth rwarren is going to be with us live in a few. stay with us. the lincoln mkx, more horsepower than the lexus rx350. and a quiet interior from which to admire them. for a limited time, get 0% apr on the lincoln mkx plus get $1,000 bonus cash. get 0% apr on the lincoln mkx but climbing 58,070 steps a year can be hard on her feet, knees, and lower back. that's why she wears dr. scholl's orthotics. they're clinically proven to relieve pain and give you the comfort to move more. dr. scholl's, born to move.
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republican primary debate in iowa with a contenders and held his own event and built it as a fundraiser for veterans, a rally instead of going to the debate trump announced to the crowd every time a -- in the end trump announced the e event raised over $6 million for charities for u.s. veterans and over the next few days, trump traveled around and handing out novelty accomplishing clearinghouse style gigantic checks from the foundation. there was a lot of things weird about that. the trump campaign was never able to account for where the money went. david from the "the washington
post" went onto win a pulitzer prize on his reporting on the not so charitable giving. never able to track down the $6 million and then admitted they didn't raise $6 million and couldn't document how much they did raise or account for how much they gave out. didn't have evidence on if trump himself donated $1 million of his own money to veterans. all of the charities, none of them got money from donald trump. what happened to the million bucks? trump skipped debate for raising money for veterans. it was always shady. now today, according to a new lawsuit filed by new york's attorney general, alleging that the scheme is totally illegal. new york's acting attorney
general is barbara underwood. a legal super star. she filed suit against the trump foundation against donald trump himself and against his children, ivanka, eric and don junior on the board of the foundation. the lawsuit accuses them of a pattern of illegal conduct that includes improper illegal activities and self-dealing transactions. reveal that the foundation was more than a checkbook for payments to not for profits to mr. trump or the organization and resulting in multiviolations of state and federal law. regardless of the purpose, trump uses charity assets to payoff legal obligations of entities he controlled and promote trump hotels and purchase personal items and support his presidential election campaign.
to support it? yes. made expenditures to influence the outcome of an election. which is something you are not allowed to do with the charity foundation. that is illegal. you cannot weaponize your charity foundation to help you become president. those are state laws that violates. filed a petition to force donald trump to repay the foundation and double the money he spent from it and prohibit trump and the children to be officers of any other charitable organization in new york. there are federal laws against using your charitable foundation to help you get elected. alerted the irs and --
substantial penalties or fines. the evidence the new york attorney general puts forward is straightforward. the e-mails she put forward appear to show even though donations for veterans groups were solicited by and collected by the money was controlled and definitely dispersed not by the foundation but for the trump for president campaign. so they took it in for charity. didn't give it out for charity. writing to the guy who was in charge of the checkbook. is there a way to make dispurse meants this week in iowa specifically on saturday? that would be three days before the vote and a big help to the
iowa campaign to arrange to hand out the checks the days before the vote. get those checks cut before the vote, okay? that's illegal. righti writing the same day here is a list that mr. trump approved. it was put together by the campaign and approved by the candidate. that is inkind contradictions by the foundation to the trump campaign. mr. trump's conduct was willful and intentional as president and ultimate decision maker and presidential candidate and inkind contributions sought to influence and fully awared of and intended the benefits he would derive for the inkind contributions. it is supposed to be a charity. you cannot use it for a personal
slush fund or boost your presidential campaign. if you are going to do that, don't do it so obviously and leave a big paper trail. and so we will be waiting for this new york lawsuit against donald trump and his children to be e dijudicated and waiting to see if federal charges result or if the president tries to pressure the federal agencies in how they will respond. this new york attorney general in office less than a month. what is she going to do next? i'm to your bumper, cause....
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very please to say that joining us now for the interview live in studio is massachusetts senator elizabeth warren. he should serves on the banking committee. she serves on the armed services committee. and she will not like to hear me say np she's also on the list of democrats, who a lost democrats around the country are hoping will run for president in 2020. senator warren, i'm sorry for that. >> i'm running for senate, massachusetts, 2018. >> okay. that's before 2020. >> less than five months. >> i'm not going to ask you about that because i feel like i know the answer to your questions about that. >> good. >> but i want to ask you about some of the stuff that's broken today that i'm still having a hard time getting my head around. let me ask you first about this remarkable and i think unexpected lawsuit that was filed by the new york attorney general today concerning the president's charitable foundation. the attorney general is asking for a number of remedies. she wants the foundation dissolved.
she wants donald trump and his children to not be allowed to serve on any charitable board again. she wants donald trump to pay back double the money that she says was mishandled. she wants criminal referrals to federal agencies in terms of the mishandling of those funds. have you seen that lawsuit and what's your take on it? >> the laws around charities are pretty clear about what you can and can't do. this is not deeply obscure law. it's the money comes, in the money is supposed to go for the charitable purpose. and there are quite reasonably penalties put in place if you don't do that. what gets me about this is not that he was fooled. it's the shamelessness of it. it's turning around and saying i know, let's take a trust and boy, if that's helpful to donald trump personally, donald trump's family, let's do it. to use veterans like that. all of my brothers are veterans. my oldest brother was career military.
he served 288 combat missions in vietnam. my other two brothers served. there's just something to me about the notion -- i get that we're talking about a grifter, someone who's always watching out for himself. but doing this with veterans, pushing veterans out front and claiming i'm doing this just for the veterans, and then turning it around just to break the law and take care of himself. and then on top of it i get there's been this kind of strutting, you know, shameless about everything. but shameless about illegality, about things that are clearly wrong? it's a reminder that we have somebody leading our government right now who -- it truly is. it's only all about him. it's not about our country. it's not about our veterans. it's not about rule of law.
it's not about anything else except him, him, him. and that's costly to all of us. >> so this -- with the charity issue it remains to be seen exactly what's going to happen here. the attorney general saying this violates a whole bunch of laws about charities in new york state. but in terms of pursuing criminal penalties here, one of the things the a.g. has done is written a formal detailed well footnoted letter to the irs saying these are the federal tax laws that were broken here and writing to the f.e.c. saying this is the way the president used this foundation, essentially to illegally finance his campaign. do you believe that federal agencies are fairly and robustly assessing allegations of criminal conduct against the president or has he infected that with his public pressure on law enforcement? >> well, let's start with the baseline, and that is that no one is above the law, not even the president of the united states. everyone is subject to the law. and now the question you're
really asking is just how corrupt has this government become? how much will people back off, how much will agencies back off from carrying out their duties? and that's part of what we're going to see over the next several weeks and several months. but it's what we're seeing all the way through government right now. an environmental protection agency that not only won't do its job on behalf of the american people but in fact is out there helping the polluters saying hey, listen, if it's cheaper for you to dump your crud in the river go ahead and do it. because they don't see it as their job to make sure that we can breathe the air and drink the water. the consumer financial protection bureau, someone in charge right now who wants to change the whole mission statement to say oh, but we're also here to help the creditors. wait a minute. this is the agency that's supposed to make sure people don't get cheated. on their mortgages, on their student loans, on their credit
cards. that's the whole reason that agency's there. and just trying to hollow that out from the inside and turn it around. a department of education where the head of the department of education, what's your job at the department of education? it's to promote public schools, to try to be helpful to public schools. to protect our students who are being cheated on student loans and make sure that doesn't happen. put good regulations in place and monitor it. and what's happening? we've got someone, betsy devos, heading up the department of education who's hiring, bringing on board people who work for those for-profit colleges that have cheated students and just recently announced, hey, we're going to put somebody in charge who is going to get the right again to be able to sign off on which schools are eligible to get federal loans after having been decertified because they signed off for a bunch of for-profit colleges that were
caught cheating students, costing the taxpayer and costing those students both time and in some cases an enormous amount of money. and you can just keep watching this through government. the corruption of the trump administration and the twisting government. not to work anymore for the people but to work for the powerful and the rich and for a narrower. >> but they're doing that on purpose it's a feature of what they're trying to do. the thing that you find more shocking, like more surprising i guess is when they are getting caught, they are not getting in trouble. you mentioned scott pruitt now documented to have used epa staff and getting his wife a couple of different jobs, in one
case successfully, but blat antly illegal. >> he is delivering for femur who want them there. they are not going to get rid of him over personal corruption. >> when it is violating law, even if you have the reigns of power in terms of the white house and congress. >> every part of this, is you are asking me if we are a country that add heres to the rule of law and the answer is, i hope so but the problem we've got is the very people who have to enforce that law. they're the ones now on the front line and we're going to see a measure of how deep the corruption goes. it raises the question on what we are going to expect in 2018 in the election. >> i'm going to ask you about
going to work hard to make that happen and i run everyday filled with terror that it won't because if donald trump remains in control of the house and the senate and the republicans won't stop him, i don't know what happens in the next two years. but i think the democrats have got a terrific chance and the reason for that is because i feel democracy changing out there. i think that we're honing this down to the core things that matter. what's the difference between the democrat and a republican? the republicans work behinded closed and locked doors and going to give a trillion and a half dollars away to billionaires and giant corporations, and only let republicans and lobbyists and republican donors. they delivered the package, it will trickle down and it will be fine. democrats say if you have a
trillion and a half dollars to spend, there's a lot of things we value and care about. let's keep down the cost of health insurance so people can afford it. let's take care of the opioid problem in america. republicans say listen, i like to do that but we don't have any money for that. let's take care of the student loan debt crisis. a trillion and a half dollars that young people are right now and keeping them from getting their lives started. how about we really do an infrastructure plan. how about we actually put the money in to repair a crumbling infrastructure and build one for a 21st economy and a infrastructure to get us ready from what is coming from the fires and oceans out west. that's good jobs now and investing in good jobs later.
the republicans think if you give it to the billionaires it will trickle down. democrats think the governments work for the people and help make investments in the future. we can be the first generation who the kids don't do better than us. the first generation where they think it is better to invest in billionaires. we have a chance to keep driving home that your healthcare matters more. >> even if democrats get both houses donald trump is going to be in the white house and not going to sign anything practical. maybe you can change him. >> maybe he will see that as winning and sign off on bills. >> i can't get inside of the man's head and i'm uncomfortable trying. >> you gave a speech and you talked about corruption.
we were talking the rule of law and the threat of it in the country. whether or not the powerful are above the rule of law. with control of one part of washington, can democrats make a significant difference on that core issue while trump is still in the white house? >> yes. >> how? >> and they can do it partly by stopping some of the bleed, right? they can do it partly by saying, no, we want to hold the investigatory hearing. we are the ones who want to have a hearing and make it public. where democrat's power lies is in the truth. getting more people engaged and looking at it and understanding what's going on. it was the women's march. the largest protest rally in the history of the world. it was the fact that when donald trump said yeah, no more muslims coming to america that people
rushed out to the airports. who marched to protect our earth. it is now the kids who come off of the sidelines and said, gun violence has to stop. and west virginia and colorado and arizona who have said, i want my voice heard in this government. we get democrats back in control of the house and the senate, we can amplify. we can help direct. we can energize the voice of the people. as democracy itself takes this government over again. i believe that. >> senator elizabeth warren democrat of massachusetts. thank you very much. great to have you here. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell" lawrence, i'm sorry i ate your 33 seconds. >> cut it out. you and elizabeth warren i could watch the rest of the hour. you have as much of the real estate as you need. >> thank you, my friend. the pres