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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  August 30, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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>> conan o'brien gets tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight the president calls robert mueller's probe illegal and won't say in a bloomberg tonight the president calls robert mueller's probe illegal and won't say in a bloomberg interview if attorney general jeff sessions will last beyond the mid-term elections. plus an indiana rally tonight donald trump suggests he might have to get involved and get in there if the justice department and fbi. and despite all this he began the day by calling the white house a smooth running machine. but all signs suggest otherwise. "the 11th hour" on a thursday night begins now. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. i'm ali velshi in for brian williams. day 588 of the trump administration, and after a busy morning of trashing the media
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and the russia investigation on twitter, president trump decided to go after the department of justice and the fbi during his rally tonight in indiana. >> our justice department and our fbi at the top of each, because inside they have incredible people. but our justice department and our fbi have to start doing their job and doing it right and doing it now. because people are angry. people are angry. what's happening is a disgrace, and at some point i want it to stay out, but at some point if it doesn't straighten out properly i will do their job. i will get in there. disgraceful. >> the president also hit on the
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wall, trade, immigration and ms-13 in his more than hour long speech. and of course he also took plenty of time to trash democrats and the media. >> today's democratic party is held hostage by left wing haters, angry mobs, deep state radicals, establishment cronies and their fake news allies. our biggest obstacle and their greatest ally actually is the media, you can believe it. we've got stories so big and the media doesn't pick them up. we have stories if that was about a republican or conservative it would be front page of every newspaper, and we have them and they just don't
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want to write them. it's a dishonest group of people, i will tell you that. >> the president started off his day with a tweet storm. quote, the rigged russia witch hunt did not come into play even a little bit with respect to my decision on don mcgahn. but a white house official tells nbc news the president was referring to his decision to accept the terms of mcgahn's planned departure and that mcgahn was not ousted from his position. the president post adshort time later, quote, i am very excited about the person who will be taking the place of don mcgahn as white house counsel. i liked dan, but he was not responsible for me not firing bob mueller or jeff sessions. so much fake reporting and fake news. according to bloomberg asked whether he would comply with a
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subpoena from mueller to answer questions trump said in an interview i'll see what happens, i view it differently. i view it as an illegal investigation because great scholars have said that there never should have been a special counsel, the president said. the president also said jeff sessions' job was safe until at least the mid-term elections in november. quote, i just would love to have him do a great job, trump said thursday in an oval office interview. asked if he'd keep sessions beyond november he declined to comment. let's bring in our lead guests. sam stein, mimi roca, now a distinguished fellow in criminal justice at the pace university school of law. barbara mcquade is a former u.s. attorney for the eastern district of michigan. and matthew miller is the former chief spokesman for the justice department. all four are msnbc analysts. thank you for joining us here on a thursday.
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barbara, let me start with you. the president said -- you heard him say just moments ago, if this doesn't straighten out soon i'll have to get involved. that's ominous talk because we don't know what if this doesn't straighten out soon looks like. >> yeah, injecting politics into the department of justice is so incredibly damaging. you know, the department of justice has a history of acting with independence. and from day one president trump has tried to politicize it. if they don't do what he likes then he's going to have to get involved. i think it really undermines the credibility of the department and insults the wonderful public servants who work there, who dedicate their careers to serving the public. i think it's very harmful and has a harmful effect long-term to suggest that there's a political agenda there and he needs to straighten it out. >> sam, but what he is doing, and we have seen historical precedent for this in other
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regimes, i'll have to say, around the world is establishing an us and them with the establishment, with the deep state radicals with whom he speaks, with the fake news media with whom he points at the back of the room. and polling indicates he's not entirely unsuccessful at this. >> yeah, i mean if you were to just drop in right now and take an assessment of what's going on, you might assume president trump had zero power at all, that all his enemies were treating him so poorly. but the fundamental truth is this is grievance politics. what he's doing is saying look at all these people attacking me, the department of justice, the media, the deep state radicals. it's pernicious obviously. the justice department is run by his most prominent senate endorser, but, you know, to your point it is having an impact. i mean the polls do show, you know, not as much as it used to, but it does show the public perception of the mueller probe
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has dipped and i think it's poisoning the well for the inevitable public submission of that report to the department of justice so when it comes out the president can say i told you it was rigged from the beginning. >> matt says the president's tweet storm late this week reflects a certain agitation with the news swirling around him, according to people close to trump including a growing anxiety within the white house about the possibility the "i" word as the president sometimes refers to as impeachment and what a democratic take over of the house would mean. this is trump at war with the elites, war the opposition media, tech oligarchs, the antifa anarchists. steven bannon wrote, this is the reason trump is president, to take on the vested interests in this country for hardworking americans. evaluate that for me. >> the problem the president has
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right now is he is fighting on too many fronts. he's fighting an investigation led by bob mueller, essentially an unindicted coconspirator in an investigation in new york. that investigation may continue. his form were campaign manager is about to go back on trial, and if congress does flip or if one branch -- if the house flips, he immediately is facing investigations not just for his conduct with respect to russia but every other scandal that has plagued this administration. so in the face of it what is he doing, he's lashing out over and over. he's lashing out at his enemies and also trying to become the sole arbiter of truth for that narrow base he sees is key to his political survival. he may not be able to convince the entire country he hasn't committed crime or he shouldn't be impeached but if he can
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convince 30% of his base that the media is lying, google is lying about him and social media networks, that's his chance to hold on. >> so when the president says, if it doesn't straighten itself out soon, i may have to get involved. none of us have really gone there. what does getting involved in the department of justice and fbi look like? what we know is he can fire jeff sessions and he might. we know he's talked about getting rid of mueller with don mcgahn. but what do you think it looks like? >> you're right, we don't know what it looks like. as bart alluded to earlier is the president stays away from controlling, running, interfering in the work of the department of justice and that's for good reason. because the department of justice and the work that it does should be free from political influence. i mean it's ironic or hypocritical, whatever you want to call that the president is claiming the department of justice is politicized, and that's exactly what he's trying
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to do and it is so dangerous. he obviously could exert control in many way, one through personnel. if he really does fire jeff sessions he's doing it for one reason. to have somebody else put in he thinks will be more beholden and listen to what trump wants, which is to impede or shutdown or derail this investigation. he can do it by i suppose firing rod rosenstein and, you know, again having a deputy a.g. who would be, you know, less open to the things that perhaps mueller is asking permission to do in his investigation. because we do know they're consulting. so there are serious things he could do, but he is doing enough damage just by what he is saying even if he doesn't do anything. >> and barb, the fact is he's not saying that jeff sessions sticks around after the mid-term elections. the implication is that he's not unless something very drastic changes. i'm the not sure what can
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change. jeff sessions isn't going to un-recuse himself from the russia investigation, so ultimately he's sort of taken him out at the knees. what does that lead to, in your opinion? >> well, it's an interesting phrase he uses which is i'm not going to fire him until after the mid-terms. or i'm going to keep him around until the mid-terms. that suggests he will be gone at the mid-terms. i'm not sure what it looks like. i think getting someone confirmed could be really difficult because i would hope that in a confirmation process there would be a lot of hard questions asked about a successor because of all of parade of horribles mimi just laid out about the way he could oversee the mueller investigation and make decisions that could really impact it one way or another. one thing he has the power to do, though, is under the vacancy reforms act put in an acting
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attorney general for 120 days, and that would be plenty of time to do some mischief, to fire mueller or do something he disproves in the case. so that would be some way of doing an end run around the confirmation process and for a short period of time, that could be enough to derail the investigation. >> let's talk about that. sam, sessions might even resign. if you put that kind of pressure on him. we know he's offered to do so before and for some reason there are some senators that have spoken to him and have encouraged him to live to fight another day. and he came out with a pretty strong statement contrasting that of the president's comments last week. but mueller is not going to resign. so in the end how does that play out? there are some people who say maybe we're going to see the results of a mueller investigation soon. but ultimately the president can't force mueller's hand all that much unless he fires him. >> that's right. and i'm not entirely sure when we'll see the results of the mueller investigation.
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there's a sort of an informal deadline giuliani has talked about. and a preliminary finding report thad could guide them, so in terms of timing it's not entirely clear. in terms of personnel that's equally unclear. yes, you could see president trump getting rid of sessions, you could see a messy confirmation about sessions' replacement. but you could see an interim idea, that was rumored when we had the talk of scott pruitt potentially switching over from epa, the way of doing that was that particular route. i will say this and maybe the lawyers and prosecutors on the panel will know this better than i, it does seem from my vantage point the investigation has been so diffuse, it's been so far down the path even if he were to make these type of aggressive
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personnel moves to try to limit what mueller could do, that so to speak, the cart's out of the barn basically. you can't really put this back in the bottle. i don't know if it's true in part because we don't know what mueller has. >> it does seem like the investigation may not just be about getting rid of bob mueller at this point. it's got enough tentacles. mimi, let's talk about that a little bit. the september 1st dead lune is made up. but if you just dropped in from space and listening to rudy giuliani talk, he says they've built-up an entire counter argument to the investigation. i can't imagine or i guess they'd know more about it than we around this table would. but they can't know much more about it.
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>> the idea they've already laid out their defense to charges, if you will, that don't already exist is prepostterous. mueller's report is going to be based on evidence and fact. even if it's not going to be in a court, which we don't know that it is, he is going to base it on arguments that can be proven in court. giuliani is countering with made up things. and i think some of the reporting is that his counter report is going to talk about, you know, this evil prosecution team. so that's how a former u.s. attorney is going to counter mueller's importance. he's going to smear the career prosecutors who have been working on this. it's disgraceful. >> it's kind of interesting, we do forget that rudy giuliani is a former u.s. attorney. he doesn't talk like somebody who entirely knows how the law work. >> he's not just a former u.s. attorney but a former associate attorney general, and he
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represents the president of the united states who's ultimately under the constitution. he has a different responsibility than your standard off the street defense attorney. and when you see him come out and attack fbi agents and call them storm troopers, compare them to agents of nazi germany, undermine the justice and know full well it has not just in this case but the justice department's ability to do its job in all security cases is reprehensible and kind of cynical behavior from a former prosecutor who not just should know better but knows better and just doesn't care. >> thank you. coming up a closer look at the legal implications of the national enquirer reportedly sweeping up trump dirt for decades. and later laughter and tears as former vice president joe biden takes part in arizona's farewell to john mccain. breathe freely fast with vicks sinex. my congestion's gone. i can breathe again! i can breathe again!
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as the president ramps up his offensive against robert mueller he's also speaking out about the ongoing federal investigation into his former lawyer michael cohen. trump's long time chief financial officer allen weisselberg, this man, has been granted immunity in exchange for about the president's hush money payment to cohen. >> 100% he didn't. he's a wonderful guy. it was a very limited little period of time. >> bloomberg reports that the very limited little period of time refers to weisselberg's cooperation with prosecutors. there's also new reporting from
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"the new york times" tonight that trump and michael cohen may have tried to buy more than those women's silence. quote, he and his lawyer at the time, michael d. cohen, devised a plan to buy up all the dirt on mr. trump that the national enquirer and his its parent company had collected on him dating back to the 1980s, according to several of mr. trump's associates. "the seattle times" reports that it was never finalized and adds it was hinted at in a secret recording released last month of cohen and trump discussing the pay offs. meanwhile the president's attorney rudy giuliani tells the daily beast today, that the trump legal team, is quote, crafting a counter report that will seek to delegitimize special counsel mueller's investigation. and present counter veiling arguments. and it'll include, quote, possible conflicts of interests by federal law enforcement authorities, allegations of collusion with russian government agents and obstruction of justice allegations.
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back with me to talk about this, mimi and barbara. i'm trying to get my head around how giuliani and his legal team are crafting or have crafted a defense to something that has not been disclosed and is not out there yet. >> yeah, it's really bizarre. i think that tells you it's really more of a propaganda piece, a pr piece than a legal piece. you can't really reach legal conclusions until you know what the facts are. what robert mueller is doing is collecting the facts. that's what you do when you gather the facts and look at the arguments and then decide whether some law has been broken. without seeing what those facts are it's really impossible. i imagine giuliani and crew can look at what's publicly been reported and try to craft legal arguments around that, but until you know all the facts it's really impossible to respond to it. that's why i think this document
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is really nonsense and more of a public relations vehicle than any sort of document. >> mimi, as we were talking about in the last block, giuliani is reported not new to this whole thing. he's been a lawyer and an important lawyer in the government for a long time. he must know that this public relations campaign is not the same as a legal response to the mueller investigation. >> he absolutely does, and, you know, i think it's important to say because people may not know this, if this were a case in court, you know, if there was a judge presiding over this, giuliani would not be allowed to say these things. they would prohibit it. what he's doing is taking advantage of the fact that there is no technically pending case with the judge, and he can just go and say whatever he feels like saying, apparently.
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i mean i've said several times, i think some other people have said i think if he hasn't already crossed the line he's close to crossing the line of ethical rules. we're sort of in unknown uncharted territory of an investigation, is trump a party to that investigation? but the point i think people should understand is that giuliani full well knows that he can get away with this because this isn't in a court of law, and so he's just taking advantage of that and saying things that most criminal defense attorneys would not say or do. this is not how they act. >> barbara, i want to talk about this michael cohen tape we all heard some weeks ago. and when we heard it we assumed the reference was about a pay off to karen mcdougal, a playboy playmate. now that we have this new information, this new reporting
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about all the dirt that the national enquirer was collecting on donald trump from the '80s that donald trump and michael cohen were trying to buy, i think we need to relisten to this tape in the new context and listen to what michael cohen says right at the beginning of the tape. >> i need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend david, you know, so that -- i'm going to do that right away. >> give it to me. >> and i've spoken to allen weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with -- >> so what are we going to do? >> -- funding. yes, and it's all the stuff, all the stuff. because you know never know whether that company -- >> maybe he gets hit by a truck. >> correct. so i've spoken to allen about it. >> it's fascinating when you hear something in a new context, what it all means.
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i want to repeat some of the words in there. transfer all of that info regarding our friend david. transfer all the stuff, it's all the stuff because you never know with that company, never know where he's going to be, maybe he gets hit by a truck. and the whole implication here, hits by truck, maybe there's a whole lot of stuff we need to get out of his hands. tell me what you think of that? >> if there are additional contemplation of payments that could be additional, you know, violations of the law. but i think the fact that they're talking about other things beyond perhaps marital infidelity i think lends credence to the theory this really was about influencing the election. they're talking about kind of it goes back into the '80s but only a few weeks before the election do they care about putting this to bed and locking it all up. so i think that adds to the argument like michael cohen has said, that the purpose of this was to influence the outcome of the election. i think it bolsters the argument that it is about violating campaign finance laws. >> thank you to both of you for joining us, mimi roca and barbara mcquade. always good for you to analyze
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things that become a little complicated for those who haven't studied the law. how the president describes the current state of the white house when "the 11th hour" continues.
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within the republican party the highest poll numbers, i think it's -- well, they have
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92% and they have 93%. the highest poll numbers ever. ever. is that crazy? i actually asked them, i said did they do polling when honest abe lincoln was around? you know what, nobody's been able to give me that answer but i'm assuming they did, okay. so we can say we beat honest abe. >> president trump tonight touting hypothetical poll numbers to his cheering supporters in indiana. trump steered clear of the mountb reports that his west wing is in chaos. just this past week saw new questions about sessions departure and writing, they love to purport chaos in the white house when they know chaos doesn't exist. just a smooth running machine with changing parts.
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but tonight the associated press is out with new reporting that says with vacancy abounding in the white house and more departures on the horizon there's growing concern among trump allies that the brain drain at the center of the administration could hardly come at a more perilous time. it cites that administration allies who are expressing concerns that the west wing is simply unprepared for the potential troubles ahead joining us now is white house editor for the l.a. times d.c. bureau and ellen blake. jackie, let's begin with you. it's hard for someeme to believe the white house is unprepared. it's been no surprise the things that are on the horizon and the
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likelihood of the democrats taking the house in november only exaggerates or amplifies the chances of investigations and subpoenas. why are they unprepared? >> well, they're constantly reacting as we are in our own way to the things that the president does that they weren't expecting like announcing this week that don mcgahn is going to be leaving soon. i mean that's something that's expected privately, that will happen eventually, but you didn't expect the president to be announcing it unbeknownst to them or don mcgahn. but it's just, they don't have the bandwidth. they've lost a lot of people that haven't been filled. three of his top five deputies are leaving and a fourth has gone. you know, it's -- you can't do the work without people -- there are just people that never were in place and now people are leaving. and it's just they don't think ahead like most white houses i'm used to dealing with have done. >> it's strange. aaron, to one deputy probably
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down about 24 lawyers i think is the number. usually they need about 30, 34 to operate during bill clinton's time when he was facing his impeachment i think they had up to 60. last night i asked richard painter what's the issue when it comes to lawyers and listening to their advice in the white house. this is what he told me. >> the bottom line is donald trump doesn't want to listen to good lawyers, good lawyers doesn't want to work for him, he ends up with people like michael cohen. it's been a disaster. i would never want to be donald trump's lawyer. i wouldn't want to end up going to jail. >> there's something to that, aaron. becoming a white house lawyer in most administrations working for the white house is generally good for your résume. in this one it might not be good for your résume or career becoming his lawyer. >> it's really remarkable the state of the president's legal team, they've been able to really fill it out the last several months here. rudy giuliani got onboard, and they eventually got emmitt
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flood. i think the status of the white house counsel's office is really telling here. this is a president who's heading towards who many in his administration believe could be impeachment if the democrats take the house, a president who believes in it himself, whether it happens or not. this is the one area of the white house you would expect them to be on top of. i think richard painter is right as well, it's a difficult white house to hire for. there was a telling quote, by the way, "the washington post" last night where the president according to one source was talking about how, you know, jared kushner has a good lawyer, why can't i have that lawyer? don mcgahn has a good lawyer, why can't i have that lawyer?
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well, you should be able to get those lawyers if you want to. you're the president, but he's proven to be a difficult client. >> jackie, i think that does speak to an earlier issue in the white house. wow, what an opportunity to work in the white house, but now it'd be unusual when you said you got a new job at nbc or l.a. times if someone asked you do you also have a good liar. this is becoming a problem that's sort of bigger than the white house counsel office. >> it absolutely is. and people should not underestimate how expensive it is for aides who are 20 something, 30 something, early 40s who have small children if they incur legal bills those could reach tens and even thousands or millions of dollars depending on how much they're implicated. it is not just a yellow light for people wanting to come into the administration. it is a red light for many. >> and the money point is important. you can't really use run of the mill people. >> i saw this happen in the
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clinton administration around impeachment. any number of people woo never even publicly knew about were having to get lawyers. >> aaron, in your piece "the washington post" by saying mcgahn was not responsible for the firing of bob mueller or jeff sessions, it suggests either someone else was responsible or that trump came to the conclusion himself. even if trump didn't explicitly admit that he did, it suggests that trump doesn't like the perception that mcgahn forced his hand. it sort of speaks to the earlier issue why have these lawyers, why have these advisers joined in these positions? donald trump is his communications director. >> and we saw that tonight that the president in his rally in indiana, the president cleary wants us to believe that firing jeff sessions, trying to fire robert mueller is something he believes he has the authority to do. he perhaps wants them to believe this is something he might do perhaps hoping that they'll take some actions that would be more
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favorable towards him. but this is -- you know, the question is where does the president's ego get the better of him here? is the ego impeding his -- you know, the requirement that he really should have to build up his legal team? is it getting the better of him when he talks about these tweets where he's essentially partially admitting to things that perhaps he shouldn't be admitting to and maybe making his obstruction of justice case more difficult? his legal team seems to be banking on this idea he cannot be charged with a crime, and there's good reason to believe that because that's the way the justice department generally does things. but that doesn't necessarily take him clearly out of the danger zone here. >> thank you both tonight. donald trump is appealing to his base while bashing almost everyone else. bill crystal has some theories on what's behind the most recent presidential behavior. "the 11th hour" back after this. ahh... summer is coming. and it's time to get outside.
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i have a better education than they do from a much better school. the elite -- they're the elite. they're the elite. i went to better schools, i went to better everything. and by the way -- by the way, you ready for this, and i'm president and they're not. >> he sure is. that was earlier tonight but over the past few weeks the president has been ratcheting up his attacks on some his favorite targets. robert mule,b the justice department, the fbi, the media. just about anyone considers an opponent. bill crystal sent this out as the president was in the middle of his tweet storm. trump's melt down, i ponder if mueller's team has told giuliani they're no longer interested in sitting down with trump and that
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in fact he should consider himself a target of the investigation or that he's likely to we named as an unindicted coconspirator. there's a change in tone and flavor that we've seen in the last couple of weeks. >> yeah, and especially the focus on the mueller investigation. in his tweets he's been obviously obsessed with this for a long time. but there's no news i don't think in the last few days that would explain this. he may be doing just what he does and it may be random and you can't interpret the cycles of his tweets, and he may be upset with all the coverage of the late senator mccain and the memorial services for him and he's envious and jealous and trying to re-claim center stage. the interview with lester holt, i think that's the one you already talked about on the show -- >> he discussed the way in which it was edited. >> which it wasn't. it's been out for a year and
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trump has never said this before, which made me wonder why is he suddenly interested in the lester holt tape, or has he had a meeting at the white house where someone said, look, they're moving ahead on the russia investigation, and that sort of triggered something in his mind and he thought oh, my god i better start discrediting that as well. so i do wonder just weather his lawyers have been told certain things have happened, whether it's other witnesses flipping or mueller having certain things imminently ready to go in terms of indictments that have got trump really alarmed. >> fyi to our viewers, that tape as you said has been available. it's been online at nbc since the day it aired. and it is still available in its unedited fashion for anyone to watch.
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i was speaking to a senior editor in the trump administration for a long time. >> he sort of doesn't have any control. there was never any external control to speak of. way back he used to listen to people, but after that he became very famous and full of himself there was no sound control. but he did have a little bit of self-control. right now it looks like he's out of control. >> to the idea that the president may be becoming aware that his legal situation post-michael cohen, post-paul manafort, all discussions of pardoning manafort, the coded messages he's been sending to the manafort team and the manafort team has been sending back thanking him for his support, that may be contributing to this. >> and i thought that comment was interesting.
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if you think about it maybe his internal controls are less than what they used to be, but the guardrails that used to exist in the white house sort of have been going away. h.r. mcmaster, the security advisor who tried to stand up on some issues, and now don mcgahn the lawyer, i've criticized him lot for commenting on trump much more than a white house counsel should, and it's worth reporting he stepped in and mcgahn was going -- he either was going to leave it looked like in october once kavanaugh got confirmed it was going to be his victory lap for mcgahn. now trump wants to take credit for pushing him out.
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and now he's announced that mcgahn is going. so all the people who had some independent standing, some ability to say that, look, mr. president, you're right of course it's unjust and terrible but let me explain to you the way washington works, the way the government works, you can't quite do this. it seems they're going one by one. it seems he's got untrammeled trump here, people like rudy giuliani happily going on with attacks on the fbi, the justice department and so forth. >> a team of rivals this is not, but it is by design, bill, the president did at some point surround himself with people who might speak independently and he has by choice eliminated them one by one. it's a phrase, by the way, the president uses often to describe the media. a man accused of plotting to shoot-up a major city newspaper calling it the enemy of the people, when "the 11th hour" continues.
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federal officials arrested a man in southern california today. he's charged with threatening the journalists of the "boston globe" repeatedly. officials say at one point, 6-year-old robert chain called the journalists the enemy of the people. tonight, multiple senior law enforcement officials tell nbc news that a significant amount of guns were found in his home after this morning's arrest. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams has more details for us tonight. >> reporter: a s.w.a.t. team swarmed the california home today of a man accused of threatening to attack "the boston globe." investigators say 68-year-old
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robert chain called the globe's newsroom a dozen times beginning august 10th, the same day the globe urged other newspapers to run editorials supporting a free press. as long as you keep attacking the president he said in one call, he would continue his threats according to the fbi. in another court document he told the globe i'm going to shoot you in the fing head later today at 4:00. the fbi says in several of his threatening calls he said "you're the enemy of the people." that's a phrase president trump has is repeatedly used to criticize the press for what he considers unfair coverage. >> i call the fake news the enemy of the people and they are the enemy of the people. >> the president used it again today in a series of tweets attacking the media including nbc news. >> it's a dangerous game because there's a risk that individuals who are upset with the media who support the president for whatever reason will take this kind of language literally. >> chain is charged with making threats and interstate communications. authorities say he had weapons and bought a rifle three months ago. >> thanks to pete for that report. coming up, john mccain's final flight from arizona to d.c. preceded by a moving memorial where republicans and democrats
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alike eulogized the late senator. we're back after this. the last thing before we go st
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the last thing before we go tonight. remembering a hero. senator john mccain has completed his final journey from his home state of arizona to washington, d.c. the plane carrying his casket and family arrived at joint base andrews at dick this evening met there by defense secretary jim mattis. at a memorial service in phoenix, arizona, earlier today friends and relatives gathered to celebrate the legacy of john mccain and the ideals for which he fought.
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♪ amazing grace >> senator john mccain from arizona. he served his country with honor. he fought the good fight. he finished the race. he kept the faith. john mccain believed in our constitution and he stood up for it. he fought for it every step of the way. so he would not stand by as people tried to trample the constitution. or the bill of rights. including the first amendment. he was resolute. he was courageous every step of the way. >> and in arizona, he was our hero. >> his accomplishments were many. u.s. senator, presidential
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candidate, statesman, warrior, and hero. his work ethic tireless. his fight legendary. he celebrated differences. he embraced humanity, championed what was true and just. and saw people for who they were. >> jackie robinson once said life is not important except in the impact that it has on other lives. senator mccain, we will miss the blessings of being in your presence. but we will never forget the impact you had on the world and more importantly, on each of the lives that you touched. ♪ i love you arizona >> john understood that america was first and foremost an idea. audacious and risky. organized around not tribe but around ideals.
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i've been thinking this week about why john's death has hit the country so hard. john believed so deeply and so passionately in the soul of america. that he made it easier for them to have confidence and faith in america. >> even though john is no longer with us, he left us pretty clear instructions. "believe always in the promise and greatness of america because nothing is inevitable here." >> after a private arrival ceremony tomorrow morning, john mccain's body will lie in state at the united states capitol rotunda. there will be a memorial service at the washington national cathedral on saturday and a private burial ceremony at the u.s. naval academy in annapolis on sunday that's our broadcast for tonight. thank you for being with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york.
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tonight on "all in" -- >> i need to open up a company for the transfer. >> donald trump's vault of secrets. >> you never know the company. >> new reporting by the "new york times" that michael cohen and donald trump were attempting to buy decades worth of dirt from the "national enquirer." >> i've always that, why didn't the "national enquirer" get the pulitzer prize -- >> then, saying that jeff sessions is safe until the mid-terms as he reportedly mocks his accent. >> make america great again. >> plus, how the birther candidate is now enacting

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