tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 18, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
the same with george w. bush. they loved the stenographers. george w. bush used to say, i love the stenos walking out of a room because we're there to misquote them. >> thanks for joining us. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. >> thank you. good evening. today, the white house said it was considering a request made by the russian government to hand over to russia for questioning america's former ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul. the white house and this president have done a lot to shock people over the last 72 hours. this is kind of at another level. the great national security reporter, spencer ackerman rounded up a response tonight from some u.s. officials. current and former u.s. diplomats are discussing disgust and horror over the white house's willingness to entertain
permitting russian officials to question a prominent former u.s. ambassador. one serving diplomat, currently in the government, who spoke on condition of anonymity said he was quote at an f'g loss. he didn't say f'g. quote, it's beyond disgraceful, fundamentally ignorant with regard to how we conduct diplomacy or what that means, by failing to reject the idea out of hand immediately and forcibly, trump signaled absolutely nothing is off-limits when it comes to putin. this is a currently serving u.s. official, saying about this threat, basically, that the white house is now making they might hand over mike mcfaul to russia, saying quote the president has first and foremost his interests, his interests at the top of his mind opposed to the government's. that is very clear over the past week and a half between bleeping, a word that starts
with sh, bleeping on our nato allies and kissing putin's butt but he didn't say butt. this is a serving u.s. diplomat. he cares more about hisself and the nation than any of us who serve it. either he's compromised by putin or he's a word that starts with p, in which case he should grab himself. this is a serving u.s. official, a current u.s. official who just said that tonight. and there's more from america's former ambassador to afghanistan, if the u.s. would make a former diplomat available for questioning to a foreign government without evidence of wrongdoing that would be quite horrifying. ambassador to the u.n. calls it
outrageous. if the u.s. cannot protect our diplomat they are serving a hostile foreign power and not the american people. former chief of staff at the state department saying the white house refusing to disavow putin on mcfaul, refusing to stand up to putin on mcfaul crosses a line for american diplomats from demoralizing to dangerous. literally, what the white house said today in response to a question about this russian demand the u.s. government hand michael mcfaul over to putin, what the white house said in response to that is quote the president will meet with his team and let you know when we have an announcement on that. they're talking it over. the president is meeting with his team because they need to do something, do a little chat chat over whether or not we're going to hand over an american ambassador to putin, so putin can do whatever he wants to. might do it. they've got to talk about it.
putin asked. not like we'll just say no, right? this is unbelievable. to the extent that this seems like a marginal new development, this is not that. this is a qualitatively different thing. we have these abstract idea and ideals about patriotism and not betraying your country, right? we have a sort of ominous but maybe vague worry about what it might mean for us as individuals, american citizens, if there's somebody in power in our government who's subordinate to a hostile foreign government. it sounds very ominous and very bad. what's the real concrete nuts and bolts threat to any one of us? what could that really mean in our daily lives? it could mean people you know, americans you know are handed over to foreign dictators when those dictators ask, not because that american has done anything wrong, not because there's any
real allegations against him or her, that foreign dictator doesn't like that american and wants him or her eliminated and they hold sway over somebody in power in this country he can order to do what he wants and so an american gets handed over. that's what it could mean. yes, this president could be trying to dissolve nato. he could be trying to tear apart the european union and all of america's most important international alliances. yes, he can continue to do his best to attack and weaken american law enforcement and american intelligence. among other things, russia can keep running what ever operations they want to keep running over here. we've been watching all these things russia wants this president has been working diligently to get done. another thing he could start doing is handing over to putin americans who putin wants dead. the president, the white house says as of today the president is meeting with his team about
that. talking it over, thinking about it. we will have the man in question, master michael mcfaul to respond in just a moment tonight. today in washington, there was one expected but rather ominous development in one of the criminal cases brought in the russia scandal. in another case there were a few surprises, starting with the expected but ominous category that was this order today from the federal judge in d.c. hearing one of the two felony cases that concerns paul manafort, the campaign chair. the judge in d.c. denied manafort's latest motion he was trying to deny prosecutors the right to use evidence they seized from him with a search warrant. if that sounds familiar, it's because paul manafort keeps losing motions like this over and over again in both jurisdictions he's being tried. in fact, i think this gets us
pretty close to the end of the road in terms of manafort's attempted defense thus far. with the exception of a few motions very early on after he was initially arraigned where his lawyers did succeed in briefly loosening the conditions of his house arrest for a while before that fell apart and manafort ended up in jail, where he is right now, i think today's motion means the president's campaign trail, paul manafort has shot the moon, i believe batting 1,000. he has a perfect record now of losing on every single substantive motion that has been brought before the judge in both of his cases. i think he's lost every single thing his defense has tried thus far, every one. that is not a good sign for the president's campaign chairman, especially not now, when the first of his two felony trials is to start one week from today. that was not unexpected but
ominous for paul manafort today. the other case we're watching today, the maria butina case today, there were definitely some surprises. we knew she would be appearing in this washington courtroom whether she would be put in jail before being put on trial. she was put on charges of operating as a secret foreign agent for the russian government and she pled not guilty. then, there was this little surprise. this was from the transcript of today's hearing. courtroom deputy, quote, this case is on the calendar for detention hearing and arraignment. the judge says, good afternoon. mr. kennerson speaks, eric kennerson, the federal prosecutor who appeared at monday's hearing as well. good afternoon. >> look at this, somebody else pops up and says hello.
ms. curtis. the judge says, at the table is a lawyer the court recognized buts who name was not called. could you add for the record your name? miss curtis says thank you, your honor, good afternoon your honor, deborah curtis on behalf of the united states. this is new. we knew butina was not being charged by the special prosecutor's office, robert mueller's office, by a u.s. attorney, federal prosecutor in d.c. we knew at the initial appearance while the case was still under seal, the prosecutor leading the government's case was eric kennerson. today, they added another prosecutor in the courtroom. the person they added is the deputy chief of the national security division at the dcus attorney's office, an
experienced counter espionage prosecutor. before her current national security advisor gig she was at main justice in the national security division of the justice department where she was the deputy chief in ne espionage office for the department of justice. they brought someone the lead of the espionage department of the government into the maria butina case. there was a moment where we have the transcript, her lawyer is arguing his client should not be in jail. she's sitting there in an orange jail jumpsuit and the lawyer is arguing to the judge the injustice of that and unnecessary she is being held in jail. the lawyer said, i submit to you, your honor, she is entitled to leave on her own rec
recognizance. this is not an espionage case, not a spying case, her lawyer says. actually, don't look behind you but veteran counter espionage prosecutor from the national security of the division of the justice department has actually been brought in to try this case. you may not want this to be an espionage case but there's a counter counter espionage prosecutor and your client is being charged with a secret russian agent, rhymes with pie but starts with an "s." in this hearing today and filings in the case today, prosecutors argued at length maria butina should not be released from jail, should not be released from her own recognizance or recognizances. they argue she will try to flee
the country if not held and will we lie contacts with russian government officials and russian intelligence agent operating out of the russian agency in d.c. prosecutors say this, quote, due to international law and treaty restrictions, law enforcement would be prevented from stopping miss butina from entering the russian embassy. under such circumstances a passport would not be necessary for butina to depart the united states even with the most restricti restrictive measures, house arrest, monitoring or forfeiting property, even in confined with the most restrictive measures, she could leave the facility, and law enforcement could not stop her or have recourse of
remedy in the event miss butina decided to seek safe harbor in a diplomatic facility. saying you let her out of here, judge, she will go to the embassy and we will never see her again. the prosecutors actually brought in a witness from the diplomatic security service, the part of the state department, to explain not only will miss butina seek refuge at the agency, she could get picked up by an accredited russian diplomat in this country in that diplomat's car. if she were in the car the car would offer her safe harbor, too. that would essentially be a mini russian embassy an that would allow her to escape from having to turn up in court, too. >> the prosecutor says to the witness, are you familiar with ways in which a foreign country could get a foreign national out of the country if they so
desired? witness, yes. >> what are some of the ways? >> answer, forever they chose to put somebody inside a vehicle and drove it we cannot stop or arrest anybody inside the vehicle for in violability for diplomatic containment. if they got inside the compound we cannot implement any kind of arrest or search warrant. this is the prosecutor arguing bringing forward witness testimony to show she is a dramatic flight risk and must be kept in jail because she's not just some random russian in the united states, charged with operating as a secret agent for the russian government and very easy for the russian government to spirit her out of this country or reach of the court if anybody lets her set foot outside before trial. and she would get picked up in a russian diplomatic registered vehicle and game over, never see her again. that was one big argument today from the prosecutors.
the other big argument from prosecutors today was interesting about the unnamed american person who is basically described as her co-conspirator. you may have seen the head lines about sex and deceit and too juicy for anybody to avoid writing about it. you should know why the sex part of this is legally important. sounds so weird to say. i'll show you what i mean. this is the prosecution laying out their case why maria butina needs to be in jail, why she might flee, why she has to be kept in custody, can't be released on her own recognizance. in this court filing you see the headline. number 5, butina's "tie" to the united states is a duplicitous
relationship. during the course of this investigation the fbi has determined that butina gained access through the u.s. person 1 to an extensive network of u.s. persons in the united states. butina, age 29 and the person age 56 are believed to have cohabittated and been involved in a personal relationship during the kowrcourse of the activities in the united states but does not represent a strong tie to the united states because butina appears to treat it as part of being in the united states. for example on at least one occasion, butina offered an individual other than u.s. person 1 and complained about living with u.s. person one and expressed disdain for having to cohabit with u.s. person one. ouch ouch ouch. if you're u.s. person one, that
probably hurt your feelings legal reference, she only has ties to russia. not ties to the united states. if she's out of the courtroom and awaiting trial she will be in russia faster than you can say -- her supposed american boyfriend is an intel operation, not love. this veteran counter espionage prosecutor saying, dude, it wasn't love. it was spying. we have the documentation to prove it. that probably hurts the feelings of u.s. person one. that said, if you are u.s. person one, you may have bigger worries. it is noted in passing late in today's hearing, u.s. person one, the american basically implicated as a co-conspirator in this spying case, u.s. person one is apparently the subject of another federal investigation involving the fbi and u.s. attorney and federal prosecutor
in south dakota. from the transcript, mr. kennerson as the prosecutor says, it's my understanding miss butina's case offer is one in which she was not a subject. u.s. person one is the subject. the judge said, what is the basis of your contention if that is so? the prosecutor says, it is in both conversations with counsel and with the fbi agent who is in south dakota. this appears to be the first direct russia collusion indictment we have seen in this whole scandal. u.s. persons accused of knowingly conspireing with agents of the russian government in a secret influence operation designed to affect politics in the 2016 campaign. the accused russian agent in this alleged scheme is now being held without bond. the unnamed american alleged co-conspirator apparently thought he had a real girlfriend here. prosecutors say he did not. there is also apparently another federal case, another fbi
investigation already unfolding related to him, where he lives in south dakota. lots more shoes to drop there. the other important person in this indictment, the other important unnamed person, russian government official. he's easier to figure out. he's believed to be a former member of the russian parliament and senior official at russia senior bank and believed to have significant ties to russian organized crime. he is now sanctioned by the u.s. government. mr. tortian kanno longer visit people like scott walker in the united states. but prosecutors accused miss butina acting at his direction secretly in this country and provided a lot of evidence of their interactions. some of their interactions is just public facing social media, like this photo of them together from the maria butina facebook page. mr. tortian also maintains a robust presence on twitter
including this remarkable post from july 6th, 2016s, in which he shows a medal he received from the russian spy agency. this guy is somebody who works at the russian central bank. why did they give him a medal for his work, a medal of appreciation right after donald trump clenched the role of president? i don't know why he got a medal. in the case against maria butina, accused of being a secret agent in the united states, one of the things we learned in the charging documents is how she spent election night for 2016. among the documents the fbi says it obtained. a couple hours after the election was called for trump, they discussed online who trump would nominate as secretary of state. a couple days later, butina sent
tortian a message who she predicted might be the secretary of state and how she felt about that potential nomination. here's what jumps out and why they might want to know about this particular charging document. a mayor published a profile of christopher steele, the man behind the infamous steele dossier. part of the bombshell of jane mayer, in addition to the dossier buzzfeed published and we all saw, there was a previously unknown, previously unreported additional memo christopher steele wrote after the election. one subject steele was believed to have discussed with special counsel robert mueller versions
a memo after his contract with fusion ended. this memo did not surface publicly with others, shorter than the rest. that official said he was relaying talks circulating in the ministry of foreign affairs. what he heard was astonishing. people were saying the kremlin intervened to block trump's first official choice for secretary of state, mitt romney. jane mayer published that scoop a few days ago. a couple weeks later the "wall street journal" published this after the election of 2016, russian backed online trolls flooded social media to try to block mitt romney from getting the secretary of state job. several most popular accounts linked to a pro propaganda agency slammed the governor encouraging their tens of thousands of followers to take action. we all know how this story ends. trump picked as his secretary of state, not mitt romney but out of nowhere, the exxon ceo, rex
tillerson whom vladamir putin had previously ordered the russian role of friendship in honor of the big oil deals they did together. he was someone he had never met and never had any dealings with. where did he come up with that as a choice for secretary of state? the russian trolls up in arms about the prospect romney might be the choice, they were publicly delight when trump picked this guy he never met before, when he picked rex tillerson. the idea that a foreign adversary may have exercised some kind of veto power over our president's cabinet choices, that is an explosive allegation. that's not affecting the election, affecting the conduct of the u.s. government after the election. at this point, we have potential evidence that may have happened and it comes from several different sources including now a federal indictment. there's the medal that russian
official number one from the latest indictment got from the fsb when trump got the nomination and the medal russian president vladamir putin gave for the surprise pick of secretary of state right after russian official one and accused spy, maria butina talked about checking out whether the choice for secretary of state was okay for our people. that seems like something warrants looking into. did russia just not help elect donald trump? did they pick the cabinet? if republicans in congress professing to be so concerned and puzzled and concerned about trump's behavior in helsinki this weekend, if they're concerned about what's gone on between trump and russia, this is exactly the sort of thing they could hold hearings on, if they wanted to. and a lot of other things besides. ambassador michael mcfaul joins us next. er cell by the body's
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question one off america's former diplomats, they want to question former u.s. ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul. they would like the united states to make mcfaul available to russia for questioning. being a diplomat in a country that's an adversary of the united states can make the host country really mad at you, right? sure. diplomacy is like that. diplomacy is hard. we protect our diplomats as a matter of course. you might expect the u.s. government would just instantly tell russia that when they made this demand about ambassador michael mcfaul. no, today, the trump white house said they're considering it. the white house secretary telling reporters the president would meet with his team and will let you know when we have an announcement on that. that went off like a rocket today. here's a taste from democratic congressman eric swalwell saying online, take this to the bank, donald trump, you turn over ambassador mack fall to putin, you can count on me and millions
of others to swiftly make you an ex-president. we know how at least one member of congress feels about this. what does ambassador mcfaul think about the white house's apparent willingness to consider handing him over to russia. joining us is ambassador michael mcfaul, former russia ambassador to president obama. thank you for joining us. i guess this is a weird couple of days. >> definitely a weird couple of days. thanks for having me on. >> my guess is having had conversations with you the last couple of years, you are not surprised russia has made this demand they want to question you. i guess you are surprised by the u.s. government fielding the request, not rejecting it and essentially saying they're considering it? >> correct. you're right. vladamir putin has been after me for a long time, even when i was ambassador harassing me in ways no other u.s. ambassador there has ever experienced.
i wrote a whole book about it to try to educate the american people about this man. he's done some outrageous things around the world but even to our diplomats and to me personally. what i was totally flabbergasted by was the white house would not defend me. i'm an american citizen. i worked for the government for five years. it would have been so easy to bat it back. it's not just about me. i want to make sure people understand this. by not doing that, they are allowing moral equivalency between an indictment issued by mr. mueller last week against russian intelligence officers and a handful of us, it wasn't just me, several american government officials to request, for this crazy scheme, nothing is true in what they said about it the president allegedly said, okay, i will look into it. he said at the press conference
in helsinki, i think it's a great idea. in 48 hours later you would think they could come up with a policy as to why this is so crazy and not in america's national interests. i hope by tomorrow they will get a better statement out. >> what is the diplomat community, what is the understanding how a normal white house would be expected to respond to this kind of thing? if as you say, you're being generous here, you expect the white house might eventually find their way to getting this right and responding the right way, what is the right way for them to respond? >> see, aren't i great diplomat, rachel? actually, they should call up their counterparts at the state department. i think the statement they put out today was correct. i would add a few more adjectives. it's outrageous. you can't establish this precedent. you can't put people like me --
let's be clear, they don't just want to question me about this crazy scheme mr. brouder landered money and gave $400,000 of it to the clinton campaign. in helsinki, they said $400 million but corrected the record, they are insinuating i and other americans were part of the conspiracy, whether we're criminals and why they want to question us. you have to push back on crazy stuff like that. it's in not just the interests of people like me and others, it's in the american national interests. you can't in any way dignify such and outrageous claim of tit for tat, moral equivalency, for some reason our president continues to do when it comes to vladamir putin. >> i think the reason -- i don't mean to -- i'm not even playing devil's advocate here. i can see a reason why they're doing this, to create an equivalency between the indictments brought by the justice department over the
russian interest interference in our election and crazy conspiracy about there being russia trying to help elect hillary clinton and it being a scam against vladamir putin where he's the real victim. to create that kind of equivalence is the kind of thing the trump administration would love to do in order to undermine the justice department's investigation. that to me doesn't at all seem nuts. my question for you in terms of being at the sharp end of this, does this put you in danger? does this change the ability to travel? are you worried about your safety? >> well, it's a good point about, that's a classic putin ploy, right? i think there was even 11 americans, if i'm not mistaken. the equivalence was very clear, imagine that one-on-one meeting between the two president, no note takers there, laying all this out. i've been in those meetings with putin. he's a good story teller, adding little facts, not real facts but pieces of information to spin it
together. i hope our president didn't just nod along. with respect to me, i have confidence, i still do, in the american government, the system, the department of justice. i don't see how they will let this go forward. just to remind you, vladamir putin actually outlined the treaty in the press conference in helsinki under which people can be interrogated in this way. i expect them to push back. i do have to worry about interpoll if ever they go farther and indict me. i hope that doesn't happen. if it does happen, then i will have to experience the horrific harassment mr. browder has been living unseveral years now. >> and the u.s. government officials can usually expect their government to protect them. michael mcfaul. i'm sorry about the circumstances and you're one of the americans caught up in this. thanks for talking to us about it. >> sure. thanks for having me. that's why there's otezla.
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we need a cleanup on aisle three, please. at the top of the show i referenced a report from "the daily beast" in which a diplomat and current serving officials expressed disgust and disbelief the white house is apparently entertaining the idea of handing michael mcfaul to russia because they demanded to question him. the diplomats in responding used
some swear words in their statement about this matter because they were upset. we apparently showed some of that on the screen without blurring it or putting in the asterisks. we had an asterisk failure and that makes me a giant asterisk. i'm very sorry. won't happen again. be right back. it's easy to think that all money managers are pretty much the same. but while some push high commission investment products, fisher investments avoids them. some advisers have hidden and layered fees. fisher investments never does.
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of penetration. some people in the law enforcement community were surprised to see that. hey, we can do that and we can let everybody know we're doing that? while it was extraordinary and made for fascinating reading and makes for a very airtight indictment, it wasn't unnecessarily unprecedented. indictments like this are rare but they exist, a relatively new phenomenon. prior to 2014, they didn't exist when that all changes the u.s. government brought an indictment against military hackers working for a foreign government. 2014. >> reporter: the justice department today filed the first ever criminal charges for officials of a foreign government for stealing secrets by a computer. inside this building in shanghai, prosecutors say, five
members of a chinese army hacked directly into the u.s. computers. they say it's unlikely they will ever see the inside of a u.s. courtroom. they say it's a way of letting the chinese know the u.s. is watching more closely than ever. >> a way of letting them know the u.s. is watching that closely. question, i think both then, with that ground breaking indictment and now with this new blockbuster one, what's the overall strategic benefit here? why disclose all this technical information what the u.s. government knows and how it knows it, when those same foreign military hackers really won't see inside a u.s. courtroom. you spell out what we knew about the russian hack and how we penetrated their operations. that means we all know and americans know america was on them and what our capabilities are of looking at that kind of foreign operation.
what they call a sources of method standpoint, it sounds like a lot of information to give up particularly if the people you're charging are never going to jail because they're never coming to this country. like mueller's indictment of the chinese hilt hackers was meticulous in detail down to specific actions and locations of specific individual named chinese hackers. the architect of that 2014 indictment and strategy behind it was a former u.s. attorney for the western pennsylvania, cybersecurity expert, the guy who started us down this path and now we're seeing how it works for the russia scandal. joining us for that interview is from the western district of pennsylvania, thank you so much for coming in. nice to have you here. >> thank you for the invitation. >> was that a fair description that chinese hacker was the first time that had been done?
>> well done. that was the first time that tool had been used and we indicted nation state adversaries. we're very proud of that. it was very important not only because it was a legal event, it was representative describing what hacking meant to our citizens because we put a face on not only the adversaries attached to the back of the indictment we were able to describe the victims and tell the story of what the hacking meant in the context of the chinese signature. >> am i right in that indictment the american public, anybody who bothered to read that indictment essentially learned something not only about what china was doing, about what our government could do to witness that and document it, to trace it back to the bad actors who did it and to monitor those kinds of activities in the future. we learned a lot about america's counter-intelligence capabilities. >> we did. i'm among those who believe we
needed to reverse a default position in the government to allow hacking to occur without any consequence because it was difficult. our four principle state adversaries are china, russia, north korea and iran. that was about china and it reflected our unmasking of their signature. i personally believe long term russia is our most significant adversary and they have a different signature reflected in the mueller indictment of last week. because being invisible is the principle currency of our hacking adversaries, unmasking them is very important. >> how does it hurt them to show what they are doing? obviously, it means for the individuals who are charged, they can't come to this country, in some cases depending on the jurisdiction they may find it hard to travel internationally at large not just travel to the united states. how else does it hurt them if their government will never send them here to be tried. >> cyber hacking is not an incident, it's a campaign.
therefore, our response to it has to be a campaign. >> okay. >> so, by bringing these indictments, we are opening up the toolbox to expand the number of tools we can use against this. now, i brought that indictment against china and another one against russia two weeks after that with the full expectation we might be able to bring them to an american courtroom. i was not limited in that. in an actual fact the chinese indictment led, one year later, to an agreement between president obama and president xi in 2015 where there was an agreement between the two countries about the difference between spying and intellectual property theft. there are other forums we can take these cases to. we can take them to treasury and commerce and debar companies and used as president obama did for the basis for sanctions against north korea, where we can identify who the adversary is but can't necessarily get our hands on them now. we've done thisbury in this
country in regards to the drug wars we had in the '90s with a country called colombia we now have excellent extradition with and haven't solved the drug problem but some of the name na led arguments at that time. you can't get in the courtroom and, therefore, this is futile. that is a reasonable point of view, which i strongly disagree with. because we cannot -- we have to treat the effort to stop hacking like the effort to go to the moon. president kennedy said we do this not because it is easy but because it is hard. and i said that many times, as u.s. attorney. sure it is going to be more difficult to bring someone from china to pittsburgh for a trial. but what would we do otherwise? surrender? i think the significance of the recent disclosures brought by mueller is not only the specificity you outlined with respect to the timing and
sequence with regard to the campaign and the tease with regard to who might be the americans connected to these russians, but it reflects an important preposition. the architect chure sitting there -- >> the work they did. >> that has to be taken account of. that circle is now complete. >> david hickton is our guest. we'll be right back with him right after this. charmin ultra soft!
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hacking, spying and cyber theft for commercial advantage can and will be prosecuted criminally, even when the defendants are state actors. >> that was david hickton. that was him announcing in 2014 the first criminal indictments against state actors for hacking. in that case it was five chinese military hackers. it is wildly considered to be the blueprint to bring these counter intelligence charges. we are now livie ing through a important development with the special council bringing a big indictment against russian agents. back with us again is david hickton. let me ask you about, i guess, a narrower question about how to pursue these things.
organization one in the gru indictment from friday, everybody believes that's wikileaks. we don't know how big an organization it is anymore. they seem to very clearly have known that they were -- at least the indictment implying they knew they were dealing with russian military intelligence. why aren't they charged? would you expect a group that's identified that way in an indictment to be charged? do you expect more indictments related to that hacking? >> i can't answer the question why wikileaks hasn't been charged because i don't have enough information. that would be in the province in fact special counsel. i think an important point to make is, unlike china which was seeking economic advantage through our patents and our discovery for purposes of commercial purposes, russia seeks to destabilize us by
attacking our infrastructure, our air traffic control system, our energy grid. these are the things that are at risk. in the world's leading democracy, our election infrastructure. when we deal with russia, it is a different approach. and i would, not knowing all the facts, consider addressing the russian threat to be the principal challenge. and i think it is important for your visitors to -- your viewers to know that not only is it the principal challenge, it is a grave threat, but we can do something about it. >> david, former u.s. attorney in western penn, ground breaking thinker on these matters. thank you. we'll be right back. stay with us. ♪ ♪
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very quickly, we're going to have a big night here tomorrow. sally yates, former acting attorney general, the woman who personally brought the warning to the white house that national security adviser mike flynn was compromised by russia, she was fired when she wouldn't defend it because it was unconstitutional. we will join us live tomorrow. i have wanted to talk to her for a very long time. tomorrow night 9:00 p.m. eastern. sally yates right here. can't wait. now it is time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> good