tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC August 27, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
the example and leadership of america to become another better place. what greater cause could anyone ever serve? >> senator john mccain gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right now. new tonight from the "wall street journal." paul manafort sought a plea deal. that was until talks broke down reportedly because of robert mueller. plus, rudy giuliani's pr play. why trump's lawyer is down to swaying public opinion as the only way to win the war. and remembering an american hero. the late john mccain leaves a parting message for his fellow americans as the white house reverses course today, sending flags lowered in respect until mccain's burial. "the 11th hour" on a monday night begins now.
good evening once again from our msnbc headquarters here in new york. i'm nicole wallace in for brian williams. the president has finally spoken about john mccain two days after he passed away. this as the flag at the white house was lowered to half staff to honor mccain. we'll have more on that in just a moment, but first we're following news on multiple fronts about robert mueller's russia investigation. less than a week after paul manafort was convicted on bank and fraud charges, the "wall street journal" is reporting that mupaul manafort sought a dl in the next trial. those discussions took place while he was deliberating in his last one in virginia.
quote, the plea talks on the second set of charges stalled over issues raised by special counsel robert mueller, one of the people said. it isn't clear what those issues were, and the proposed terms of the plea deal couldn't immedi e immediately be determined. president trump said, i feel very badly for paul manafort and his wonderful family. justice took a 12-year-old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and unlike michael cohen, he refused to break, make up stories in order to get a deal. such respect for a brave man. and giuliani said he believes that since mr. trump is essentially having his day in court, in realtime, his jury is the public. the aggressive defense starts with his base, then it stretches
out to independents, then to democrats, giuliani said. he readily acknowledged that he would never win over many on the left, but maintained that for others, impeachment was going too far. we saw some of this strategy over the weekend when giuliani said, quote, just a few days before 60-day run-up to 2018 elections. if mueller wants to show he's not partisan, then issue a report on collusion and obstruction. they will show president trump did nothing wrong. then we will have to admit you were fair. and we will. >> former u.s. attorney joyce vance who spent 25 years as a federal prosecutor. eli stokels, white house reporter for the los angeles times, and robert costa, political reporter for the "washington post" and "political week" on pbs. while donald trump was tweeting about how paul manafort was the stronger character last week
during his week from hell, paul manafort was working on a plea deal with mueller's prosecutors. >> right, the president after the manafort trial praised him for not flipping and lamented. he said it should be illegal to work with prosecutors and try to cut a deal, and go figure, days later we learned that manafort's attorneys were at least in conversation with the prosecutors about a possible agreement, possibly getting some leniency from the sentencing. we don't know what the president will say, how he'll try to spin that. maybe we'll find out tomorrow morning on twitter, but it certainly does -- the most interesting thing is the fact that they couldn't reach a deal. usually if there is going to be a deal, it's of some benefit to both parties. we have no idea if it's simply that the investigators thought that they just couldn't get anything that valuable out of paul manafort at this point, but it is a fascinating wrinkle in this case. >> another fascinating wrinkle, matt miller, is the prospect or the possibility of a pardon for
manafort. how do you read the "wall street journal" reporting tonight that as recently as last week, manafort was considering cooperating with federal prosecutors at the same time the white house has been rumbling, rudy giuliani putting out some fires himself late last week, about the prospect of a pardon for paul manafort? >> nicole, i think possibly this report raises more questions for me than it gives answers. the most obvious one is what causes these talks to break down not just on a guilty plea but on cooperation. if you want to get an actual serious reduction in jail time, he was going to have to come in and fully cooperate against the president or anyone close to the president. but the other question it raises toe to me is why is this leaked now? there would only be two parties, i think, paul manafort and bob mueller. it seems fairly obvious that this came from manafort and his team. the only explanation i could think of that would make sense
for that type of leak is their legal strategy from the beginning has seemed to me to play for a pardon. there is overwhelming evidence in both these cases, one in virginia and the one coming up in d.c. where the evidence is even stronger against manafort, and this just might signal the presidency. look, i've been out here taking a bullet for you. i took a very serious one in virginia last week, i'm certainly going to be sentenced to jail time. i'm now looking at another one coming up in september. i'm trying to be as strong as you asked me to, but i need a little help. i need the promise of a pardon. i need something more tangible than just a possibility. this may have been a signal to the president that if i don't get those assurances, i have another out. >> joyce vance, the president called out flippers, that it ought to be outlawed. he also sent a signal to stay strong to his one-time security adviser, mike flynn. mike flynn has been cooperating, i believe, the longest with team
america, which is what one former federal prosecutor called the mueller special counsel investigation. talk about what bob mueller could get from paul manafort. he already has his deputy, rick gates, he already has mike flynn. what would mueller want with manafort? what would mueller demand for any sort of leniency or any sort of deal for paul manafort? >> i have maybe a slightly lessen sags les less sensational, less interesting view of what the topic of these negotiations might have been. manafort doesn't really look like someone who has the ability to go in and engage in sort of the full cooperation that prosecutors would demand to complete a cooperation agreement. so what would manafort have that he could offer? prosecutors who just finished trying a case in the eastern district of virginia now have to gear up and go to trial again in washington. that's a considerable expenditure of time and resources, especially if they have the intention to work on
additional cases. so if manafort were to offer to plead guilty, it would, for o , prosecutors, be an efficiency gain. he could probably seek from them a leniency for the amount on his property that might be seized, leaving him with resources that might provide for his family while he's in prison. so i would resist leaping to the conclusion that the conversation fell apart over cooperation and think that it might be a much more mundane sort of negotiation over a plea. >> robert costa, donald trump was talking about his approval ratings as the country was largely marking the passing of senator john mccain. but one thing that doesn't get very good approval ratings is the idea of pardoning paul manafort. 60% of americans think it's inappropriate. only 11% of americans think it's appropriate. what are you hearing from rudy giuliani and sources close to this president about the
calculation down the road to possibly pardon paul manafort? >> giuliani has told me that he has had a discussion back in early august about the remote possibility, is the way he put it, but he urged the president to not even consider it. but the fact that they even had a conversation that broached the topic shows that it's on the radar of president trump's legal team, something they know could be a political bombshell that would make republicans alarmed as well as democrats if they moved in that direction. and they also feel -- speaking of people close to the president, that they don't have a lot of visibility now into where this manafort investigation and trial is going, especially on the mueller side. they know manafort was a long-time friend of roger stone, who is under a lot of scrutiny, his associates, at least, right now from robert mueller and his investigators. so that's what everyone is trying to figure out the chess moves here by mueller. does manafort have any connection to the stone inquiry at all, the stone-related inquiry by mueller?
>> >> eli stokels, we have a story in the "new york times." what's interesting about this plea is this appears to be about all they've got. their message is you can't indict a sitting president and mueller is running a witch hunt. that seems to be a thread that's going to run a little bit short of trying to impune the integrity of an investigation and ensnare the president at this hour. >> rudy giuliani in the "new york times" is telling us what we already know and have discussed numerous times on this channel, and that's the fact that this has always been the political response to this legal matter. it's obvious they think that's their best shot at defeating this in the court of public
opinion and inoculating the president from the consequences of the mueller probe because his support remains strong enough with his base that republicans and congress won't go after him. the problem with that strategy, as we're seeing now, is this investigation has metastasized to the southern district of new york. there haven't been efforts and i don't know how you would make an effort to brand the southern district of new york as part of the deep state. he's been tweeting about mueller and 13 or 17 angry democrats. it's hard to sort of animate your base against the southern district of new york and going to be very hard to answer for some of the wrongdoing and the crimes that may be unearthed. we've already seen that michael cohen has pleaded guilty. they've given immunity to the cfo of the trump organization. you don't give immunity to somebody unless they've had some legal exposure unless they've done something wrong. so if they've done things wrong, people who worked on the inside of trump tower, obviously it
looks like this investigation is looking -- setting their sights higher than cohen or weisselberg, and i think that is very scary to the president and that is not something that giuliani or any really legal strategy at this point, especially a pr strategy, will be able to effectively mitigate. >> eli makes a good point. the southern district especially known for tariffs. hard to make a left wing campaign against the president. but i want to ask you about justice department official bruce orr. he's the official that has been the latest target, the latest sort of exhibit from donald trump and his allies in the right wing media of something that they have targeted as evidence of a conspiracy, part of their wackadoo campaign against the rule of law and the doj. tomorrow bruce orr is expected to testify behind closed doors with the judiciary committee. we've seen some of their ananti.
we've seen them beat up on rod rosenstein and their department. from the "new york times" tonight, we learn a little more about bruce ohr's expertise. he knows about the russian mob. can you lay out some of the complicated errors of bruce ohr? >> the thing that ties them all together is kind of this scorched earth approach to try to destroy anyone at the justice department who he can just to discredit the investigation into him. bruce ohr is someone who i worked with at the justice department. i know he's a long-time career prosecutor who has worked to target organized crime in russia, allover t over the glob behalf of the u.s. government. he's someone i thought was doing the right thing. he got what he thought was discerning information on donald trump. he was challenging the fbi after
the fbi made the deal. you've seen the president attack him, turn him into the latest whipping boy as we've seen peter struck and others inside the justice department for the last year and a half now. it's not just the president's attacks, but we saw jeff sessions come out on friday and defend himself, and it was the second time he's done it and i saw a lot of people praising sessions for finally doing that. the thing we haven't seen from jeff sessions is attacking the president. when the president attacks him by name and he attacks him by position, you never hear anything from sessions defending those people inside the justice department. i think it's a weakness by the leadership of the department and of course it's a terrible indictment on the president and his casual character. >> and the president is checking
out bruce ohr. if the president punished him by stripping his clearances, that would be another one. coming up, as robert mueller plows forward, one trump insider predicts more indictments are on the way. on capitol hill, they are bracing themselves for investigations. john mccain worked the other side of the aisle while never giving up the fight. donald trump just recently uttering mccain's name. "the 11th hour" is just getting started. is just getting started. next question. do you offer a satisfaction guarantee? a what now? a satisfaction guarantee. like schwab does. man: (scoffing) what are you teaching these kids? ask your broker if they offer award-winning full service and low costs, backed by a satisfaction guarantee. if you don't like their answer,
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well, i think if it isn't over by september, then we have a very, very serious violation of the justice department rules. they shouldn't be conducting one of these investigations in the 60-day period. >> just a reminder there that president trump's personal lawyer has said his client will not sit down with the special counsel after september 1st. if he agrees to an interview at all. september 1st is this saturday, and as the clock ticks down to trump's deadline, mueller's team remains silent and the administration finds itself dealing with legal issues on several other fronts. former trump fixer michael cohen is now an admitted felon, and to other associates is, a tablet executive, and the other one in the trump organization are said to be working in new york. the myth of trump is now unraveling, said barbara res.
he's becoming more obvious and people are starting to know what he's like and what he's doing. matt miller, joyce vance and eli stokel are all here. joyce, it sounds like people who know him best, people like the 20-year veterans of his company, are saying you're seeing what we've always known. it's not like some giant business that's well-run with controls and law-abiding employees. this is a slightly corrupt mom and pop operation. is that what's being revealed as the bright lights of the southern district and robert mueller's probe shines on it. >> the justice department seems determined to go after whatever criminality they can find in this investigation, and i think your point is a good one. sometimes businesses or anything that appears one way from the outside doesn't look quite the same when it's exposed to the harsh glare of the spotlight. it doesn't look like trump org
is this fabulous business that trump has held it out to be. there is an interesting comment in this article that talks about trump testifying in a deposition and saying, the value of my business is whatever i say it is. so we may see that the kbrer em at the end of the day doesn't have any clothes or at least not as many as he's tried to tell folks he has all along. >> and it's a family business. they caught our attention today about don jr. let's watch. >> i predicted yesterday based on excellent sourcing that the special counsel is going to charge donald trump jr. with lying to the fbi. notice that they're not charging him for having an illegal meeting with a russian at trump tower because there is nothing illegal about that meeting. >> with friends like those, innocent on collusion, but yes, he obstructed justice. matt miller, what do you make of roger stone? >> first of all, i think the disclaimer by roger stone, you
always have to take everything with a grain of salt that he says. it could have been a crime that donald trump jr. committed in taking that meeting. but the second big thing is it might be a little bit of news that he gave, probably inadvertently there, if it's true that donald trump jr. actually met with the fbi. so far we haven't seen any reports that he has met with the fbi, that he's been subpoenaed to the grand jury. politico reported a couple months ago that mueller has not subpoenaed or asked for interviews with any of the trump dhi children, including don jr. that is news that donald trump jr. is a very serious subject if not borderline target that he has not been contacted by the special counsel. there may be someone actually inadvertently helping donald trump jr. news if it's true he was contacted for an interview and has gone in and talked to bob mueller. i am a little bit skeptical of that report. i think given all the exposure that donald trump jr. has in this case, if he was contacted by the special counsel, i think
it's very unlikely he has sat down and given him an interview. >> eli, let's report on something from axios today. it has house republicans pretty distraught at this hour. axios sun gop spreadsheet, congressional republicans are getting ready for hell. axios has obtained a spreadsheet that that's circulated through republican circles on and off capitol hill, including at least one leadership office, that meticulously pre views the investigations. publicly, house republicans are putting on a brave face about the midterms. but privately, they are scrambling. >> it tells you the president is not confident about this election and even the white house political shop is not
confident about the house. they're sending the president out to defend a lot of these republican senate seats. as far as the house, they're taking a wait and see approach, but basically writing that off. it also tells you this spreadsheet that circulated about the republicans sort of acknowledging, whoever wrote this, acknowledging all the areas of oversight where the current house majority, the republicans, have sort of shielded the president from oversight. they recognize there are a lot of possible areas that could be investigated, and they haven't done any of it. that's no surprise to anybody that's watched the house intel community, prosecu sort of prost prosecute the hearings into the investigation of collusion. more broadly, the house speaker paul ryan, this is his legacy, too. there are a lot of areas where the white house almost demands oversight and the house republicans have consistently looked the other way. >> paul ryan may rue the day he
left devin nunez in charge of that committee. thank you all so much. coming up, was it negative tv coverage about donald trump that finally convinced him to offer condolences to the mccain family? after a very important course correction this afternoon, the flag once again flies at half staff at the white house tonight to honor the late senator. "the 11th hour" back after this. . now i'm doing more to lower my a1c. i take tresiba® once a day. tresiba® controls blood sugar for 24 hours for powerful a1c reduction. (woman) we'd been counting down to his retirement. it was our tresiba® reason. he needs insulin to control his high blood sugar and, at his age, he's at greater risk for low blood sugar. tresiba® releases slow and steady and works all day and night like the body's insulin. (vo) tresiba® is a long-acting insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults with diabetes. don't use tresiba® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis,
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going to the family of senator john mccain. there will be a lot of activity over the x number of days, and we very much appreciate everything that senator mccain has done for our country. >> those are the very first public words spoken by president trump about senator john mccain since he passed away saturday. earlier today this was the president's response when asked about mccain. >> mr. president, do you haany on john mccain? any thoughts on john mccain, sir? mr. president, do you have any thoughts on john mccain? do you have any thoughts at all about john mccain? do you believe john mccain was a hero, sir? nothing at all about john mccain?
any probable cause lo mags about john mccain? why won't i say anything about john mccain? >> wow. the american legion and other veterans groups criticized the white house for raising the flag over the white house to full staff less than 48 hours after the senator's death. after a morning of public pushback, the flag was lowered to half staff again and president trump issued a statement that read in part, quote, despite our differences on policy and politics, i respect senator john mccain's service to our country, and in his honor have signed a probable cause -- probable causclamationy the flag of the united states at half staff until the day of his interment. trump also suggested to advisers that many people speaking out on television were looking for ways to attack him, and that all the
people now praising mccain previously didn't like the senator. he said over the weekend that lavishing praise on mccain would not be genuine because he didn't feel that way. quote, everyone knows you didn't like him. trump wrote much of monday's statement, and wanted to express that he disagreed with mccain on policy and politics. senator mccain wrote a statement before he died meant both to be a farewell to the country that he loved and a warning. rick davis, his long-time friend and campaign manager, read it at a press conference today. here's some of that. >> we weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sewn resentment, hatred and violence on all the koercorners of the g. we weaken it when we hide behind walls rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.
>> back with us to talk about all of this is robert costa. and joining the conversation, ashley parker, pulitzer prize-winning reporter for the "washington post" and jill colburn, reporter for the washington press. you saw the president arms crossed, mumbling thank you, thank you, barely making eye contact with jonathan carl or anybody else in the pool asking about john mccain. what was it that pushed him over the top? was it, as the "washington post" reports, the crush of news coverage, or was it the revolt on his own white house staff that finally got him to make this turn? >> it seemed to be a combination of those factors. the president was just peppered with questions. four different opportunities this afternoon where the president was asked about john mccain. do you have nothing else to say about him? do you believe he is a hero? why is that the only statement you have to the nation, referring to that tweet he put out, his only public response up
until this afternoon. you could feel the pressure mounting. you could sort of see in the president that he understood and he felt the tension in the room as we were all bombarding him with those questions. there's also reporting there were a number of staff members, john kelly, and others urging him, this is not a good look for you. the president was also seeing just endless criticism. you had the shot of the flag up at full staff this morning and you had the washington monument in the background, you're looking at it right now, with all those flags at half staff. veterans groups, the president has claimed he is such a champion of, coming out and criticizing him, and in the end he decided to do exactly what his aides urged him to do and put out that statement. >> deeply skeptical that anyone in the white house staff was offended on behalf of an
american hero. this was the same white house staff, sarah huckabee sanders in particular, who took the podium in the briefing room and defended kelly sadler when she said, john mccain will be dead soon. so i have a hard time believing it was anything more than donald trump's political standing that brought out the pressure. am i getting that wrong is this. >> your skepticism is absolutely fair. i will say one of the reasons, for instance, as the post reported that president trump initially nixed putting out a statement calling senator mccain a hero, praising his life and military service, is because there were a number of people in that white house who were really sickened by the president's initial behavior. that said, a lot of their dismay and disagreements sort of took place in private or in anonymous quotes to reporters, and there is a difference in this white house between people often
saying they don't like the behavior, they're personally disgusted, and then sort of taking the next step, that more crucial step, and taking an actual public stand. we did not see that. we did see them ultimately, through that combination of cable news coverage and the president getting peppered with questions and private pressure being applied, get the president to a public place. but again, no one resigned and no one in that white house stepped forward to say that they disagreed with the way this was handled initially. >> robert costa, what is the sort of ripple if don mcgahn through a boulder in the middle of a peaceful pond, what does it look like in the gop if donald trump in death were able to shame donald trump in life? >> many people were appalled at him not keeping that flag at half staff. you saw pressure throughout the party calling into the white house saying there has to be a republican party in lockstep
here. this is a city republican senator, a veteran republican senator, a military veteran and a war hero. there's going to be proceedings at the capitol. he's going to lie there this week. the funeral in washington, buried at the naval academy in annapolis. all these factors have led the republican party, mostly privately, though, we should point out, mostly privately to reach out to the white house and say, change your mind. this is more than just a personal battle. >> i spoke to a presidential ally and friend and outside adviser this morning, and i said, what's wrong with him? john mccain is on his way to heaven, had, you know, left everything on the field, if you will, left nothing unsaid. this is hurting donald trump. why can't donald trump be big for five minutes just so save himself? did you get any insight in your reporting with white house officials as to why this sort of insistence on always biting his nose to spite his face? >> part of it again was the president sort of saying, as he
did and we reported over the weekend, that he -- people know that he and senator mccain did not get along, did not like each other, and a small bit of that was sort of that authenticity people seemed to like about him and staying true to himself and staying true to his feud. but the real reason or the core reason is that president trump especially, he cannot stand not being the center of attention, the person who all the adulation is focused on. again, even in this behavior that is politically bad for this white house, bad for this president, president trump managed to do what he does best and enjoys most, which is to make it all about himself. today was a day about mourning the late senator from arizona, and while that did happen, at its core was president trump and the controversies of his own making, and that is where he feels most comfortable.
>> jill culvin, there are six days of past presidents coming together to honor john mccain. how will this be most difficult for him? >> he was hosting the president of kenya today and he congratulated the president for having arrived on such a fabulous day because the president was announcing this small-scale deal trade agreement with mexico. it was a day when he was touting that the stock market was hitting a new high, so this was a really fabulous time to be visiting the white house. meanwhile, you have the rest of the nation in mourning. i think what you're likely to see is a series of split shots on your television screen of people across the country, in arizona, in washington honoring john mccain. there will be military processions that the president signed off on, and meanwhile you'll have whatever the president is doing, whatever
he's deciding to tweet about, whatever is angering him at the moment on the other side of the screen. >> robert costa, there was a half-baked attempt to change the subject, nafta and trade of the president with his base. reminding me of the verizon commercial, can you hear me now, can you hear me now. why not get some policy behind the potential of this president? >> you've seen the tension in the administration for months. the president himself is inclined to these bilateral trade agreements against the multilateral agreements that have often been the staple of u.s. trade policy, and he has had strained attempts to try to put these together with mexico, other countries like japan and the u.k. have been having talks and more informal talks about trying to sketch out their own bilateral agreements. but the president has a lot on his plate politically with the
mueller investigation. trade is what he keeps coming back to because it's a core front for him. he's always been pretty consistent on trade. but cutting these bilateral deals is complicated, and canada is watching, and there's not a lot of appetite in this whole region to get out of nafta even if the president is offering a few things to mexico. >> and anyone who didn't see the event, unedited but aired next to the credits for "veep," go see it, it's fantastic. coming up, i witnessed john mccain's restlessness up close and can attest to his impatience over too much analysis in history. as we lay this man to rest, america and all he represents seems larger than ever. more on the void he leaves when "the 11th hour" continues.
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on their first day in session since the passing of senator john mccain, senators from both parties honored their colleague on the senate floor. >> it is our honor as americans to say the late, great john sidney mccain iii, what we pray he has already heard from his creator. well done. good and faithful servant. well done. >> he was equally parts funny and furious, foul-mouthed and statesman-like. he could put the temper in temperament. he was a brave and honest man. he was a patriot. >> we are fortunate to have known him best in arizona, but he was bigger than any one state. he always belonged to america and to the world. and now he belongs to the ages. farewell, senator. farewell, john.
i yield the floor. >> joining us now are michael jackson steele, former chairman of the republican national committee, and michael bechsloz, national historian. michael, let me start with you. what would a john mccain presidency have looked like either in 2000 or 2008? >> that's a very, very good question. >> bechsloz will bail us out if you or i flub it. >> i think it would have been an administration that was tempered by the harsh realities of the time. i think it would have been an administration that would have been far more open in its reach, not just across the aisle but
across america to communities that are now marginalized or outright ignored in many instances. i think he would have brought that temperament, talking about his temper, that temperament of statesmanship, discipline, but a sense of hope, a sense of vision, and a sense of the purpose of the country which i think it was a hallmark of his life. it's something that i think was sort of forged in him during those five years as a prisoner of war. his appreciation for not just the strength of this country but the beauty of its people and the power of its legacy. >> michael bechsloz, let me ask you the same question. someone asked me this question having worked for george w. bush. i recoiled at first, but i want you to tell us what you think a mccain presidency would have looked like if he had been our president on september 11. do you think we would have gone to war with afghanistan or iraq,
or do you think the country's path would have been different? >> i think it's hard to say what he would have done in that place. one of the advantages of being a historian is you can always say if abraham lincoln were alive today, this would be his view, and no one is ever going to say that you're wrong. but one thing, and you've spoken about it so well the last couple days, nicolle, is how different john mccain really was as a leader. i think one of the biggest parts of his legacy is going to be in the future when we refer to the mccain kind of leadership, that's going to mean something very specific to people. courage, humor, modesty, love of country, above yourself, desire to work across the aisle, all these things we've been hearing about the last couple of days. and that means that in certain ways, it could be that john mccain will be even more powerful after his life as he was during life, because in the future if a politician behaves badly and someone says, that's
not what john mccain would have done, that's sort of a corrective. and the other thing -- i don't want to jump ahead, but if we're talking about the primaries in 2020, the republican primaries, and let's say if donald trump is running against several challenge challengers, if there is a challen challenger who seems to have the mantle of john mccain republicanism, that's going to be a label that could be pretty powerful. >> i could have talked to you both for the whole hour but all i could get was another segment. neither of you are going anywhere. more "11th hour" after this break. in its class according to alg. better than cr-v. better than rav4. better than rogue. an adventure that starts with a subaru forester will always leave you smiling. get 0% percent apr financing on the 2018 subaru forester.
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but john mccain will help us. she had no idea he had a connection, he was just a guy who not only knew john's name but was a friend who would help him if he could. that's an extraordinary tribute, i think, to the global importance of john mccain and his innatepersonified the value country was founded on. he was the greatest speaker. >> he talked about the profound impact john mccain had around the world. john mccain would have been pleasantly surprised to see one of his best friends on the planet, really his political partner, one of his soulmates mark stalter go on tv and talk about him. john mccain got people to do things they didn't want to do. john mccain, his existence was
the most powerful rebuke of this most current moment in politics. his existence, his value of a free press. his decency, his humility, his capacity, his appetite for admitting his own mistakes and his own shortcomings. it seems like just breathing the air, john mccain rebuked donald trump. >> in so many ways that is true. it really kind of goes back to that moment during the town hall that's been played over and over again since his passing of john mccain rebuking one of his own supporters when she went after president obama, or then-candidate obama. so it says a lot about the man in moments like that. just as right now, nicolle, there are a lot of things that can be said about the man in the white house given this moment and the way he handles this moment. how you handle adversity, particularly when you're up against opponents you aren't
fond of, says a lot about you. no matter what john mccain felt about you personally, or felt about an issue, always strayaye true to the idea that he wanted to get something done for this country. i think that says volumes about him and why you're seeing the tributes pouring out on his behalf tonight. >> this is the second not just in state funeral, barbara bush was the first, where president bush will be invited, donald trump will not. how does history mark a moment like this? >> we've never seen it where the current president has no relationship with virtually all the living former presidents. it's very strange and also very horrible. it also touches on something else which is that half the job of a presidency, as you well know, nicolle, is chief of
state. it's not just to be a political leader. chief of state means someone who represents us around the world, someone who is a president who you want to hold up to your children and say, this is someone i want you children to be like. and donald trump, that's just a side of this office that he doesn't care about and he really doesn't fulfill. even friends i have who like donald trump will say, i would never want my children to be like him, but he's doing things that i like. so that's why, in a time like this, it's very important for us to think of particularly political leaders who are people who represent qualities that we would like our children to grow up to be like and also represent america around the world. so for that reason, i think the brighter john mccain's legacy, the better for all of us. >> michael steele and michael bechsloz, thank you so much for spending some time with us. coming up, a quick break for us. more "11th hour" after this. today...
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and florida. good night from new york. happy to have you with us. there has been a bunch of breaking news late this afternoon and into this evening including the surprise ruling tonight from a panel of three federal judges that could have a really big impact on the democrats' chances of winning control of congress. winning control of the house of representatives this fall. as you know, the mid-term elections coming up very fast. they are ten weeks away. but there has been ongoing litigation in multiple states about whether or not the maps that define congressional districts in certain states have been drawn fairly. well, tonight the three-judge panel of federal judges