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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  September 10, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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say -- now saying he'll let the mba go away. i don't know, it sort of seems like michael cohen and donald trump are working together again, at least their lawyers are on this case. these happened in quick secession. we are not really sure what the implications of this are. if stormy daniels is in fact winning here her lawyer actually seems not happy about it. why is that? well, the good news is you're about to find out straight from the horse's mouth because michael avenatti is coming up live on "last word" with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. and i'm going to time this so you can get home in time to watch michael avenatti. he's not going to be on at the top of the show. those are all my questions this weekend, and because i had time today flying down from toronto i which he'll time to read michael
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avenatti's filing on this. i believe it's over. they just surrendered to michael avenatti so there's no case anymore, but it turns out there is. and a close reading of michael avenatti's pleading explained that to me. but it'll be even better to have him here as he will be to explain it to all of us. this case looks like it is going to continue. >> and it seems like he seems confident he's going it depose the president in relation to this case, which of course would be a huge freaking deal. >> i have to say having read all the documents in it, there's a very strong whiff of confidence omin the avenatti documents and not in the trump and cohen documents. >> fascinating. looking forward to it. thank you. we have new devastating polls on president trump released today that show the president getting what one poll says is his lowest grade for honesty since he was elected. with 60% of the country saying he is not honest. and an even larger group, 65% of
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the country saying he is not levelheaded. and that is the essential picture of the president that emerges in bob woodward's new book, that he is not honest and he is not levelheaded. and that is the same picture that emerged in the anonymous op-ed piece published in "the new york times" last week by a senior official in the trump administration saying that, quote, many trump appointees have vowed to coo what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting mr. trump's more misguided impulses until he is out of office. a poll done this weekend asked for a verdict from the public on that "the new york times" op-ed piece with this question. as you may know there have been anonymously published allegations that senior advisers to president trump worked behind his back to stop him from making what these advisers believe are bad decisions. do you believe these allegations are true or not?
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55% believe that the president's staff work behind his back to stop him from making bad decisions. only 28% do not believe that. and 17% are not sure. so only 28% of americans believe donald trump is in control of his presidency. 28%. and that poll was being taken this weekend in reaction to the recent revelations about the trump administration. when that poll was being taken mike pence brought the presidency to a new low. >> do you think you know who anonymous is? >> i don't. i don't know. but i do know that they should resign and leave this administration. >> should all top officials take a lie detector test, and would you agree to take one? >> i would agree to take it in a hea heartbeat. >> and there mike pence took his place in history as the first
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vice president to volunteer to take a lie detector test. and he did it because he lives in fear of donald trump, a man mike pence knows and we all know would never take a lie detector test about anything. and as donald trump has destroyed any pretense of the dignity of the presidency mike pence has done the same for whatever remains left of the dignity of the vice-presidency as the plea bargain, his conviction for tax evasion while he was vice president in order to avoid charges of bribery and he resigned the vice-presidency in a deal that allowed him to escape prison time. and it's at times like these when vice preside-- mike pence lie detector test in a heartbeat, why? because the president won't believe him if he doesn't take a
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polygraph test? so what? does he think the president can fire him? mike pence is one of two people in the trump administration who was elected to his job, and he's the only person in the trump administration who has repeatedly used the 14th century word, lodestar. meaning a star that leads the way or guides our way. the anonymous op-ed piece says senator john mccain should be our lodestar. quote, we may no longer have senator mccain but we will always have his example, a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. mr. trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them. >> one of the words in the op-ed is lodestar. and it turns out it's a word you have used many times. >> let's again be our lodestar.
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with vim lns and resolve as our lodestar. it really was the lodestar. >> do you think someone purposely put that nat in the essay to set you up? >> i wouldn't know. >> he knows. he knows if he wasn't the author of the op-ed piece then, yes, the author was definitely trying to set him up by using the word lodestar. that would mean the trump resistance in the white house is as disdpusgusted with mike penc with donald trump. if you disapprove as so many as the anonymous author of the op-ed piece obviously does, then you are part of an overwhelming majority. a poll shows approval at 38% with 54% disapproving. and a new cnn poll tonight shows
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only a 36% approval and a 58% disapproval. but the most important number in the polls is the one that shows a majority agreement with the anonymous author of the op-ed piece and with the trump administration sources in bob woodward's book that donald trump is not fit to serve as president. 55% of america say the president is not fit to serve as president. joining our discussion now john holland, national affairs analyst for nbc, the co-host and executive show times the circus which returns this sunday, michael, and maria, president and ceo and an msnbc contributor. and john heilemann, mike pence, if he's not the author of the piece, knows that word lodestar was put in there for him
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specifically to let him know he is regarded the same way the resistance inside the trump administration regards trump. >> other that or he's really thick, one or the other. it's hard to imagine mike pence's purchase as vice president, hard to imagine not to get this, what's going on here. you think about the people inside the trump administration and the kind of people who might have written the op-ed, and as you suggest now there are dozens of administration officials who share these views. they may uniformly have a disregard for pence that is overwhelming because as much as trump -- as much as they disregard donald trump, they fear trump and they think trump is a danger, they look at pence not in the way they look at themselves. and i'm only talking about their mind-set now and not ours. but they look at themselves as guardrails of democracy. they're keeping the president
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from doing terrible things, if you believe what the op-ed says. they look at pence and see his behavior in the last 18 months and they see what we see in them in many cases, which is an abject enabler of donald trump. >> and we've seen in the new polling a really big drop in any kind of support among independents for the president. there's a 31% among independents in the cnn poll, 31 approve, 59% disapprove. don't know, 10%. and thepec poll shows something similar. but also of course the policy of the southern border, separating children from their parents, all of this has been happening as we lead up to where we are now. >> absolutely. and this could not happen at a
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worse time for the administration. he's basically -- they're all hobbling into a mid-term election. and what these polls are saying are that americans including independence democrats and moderate republicans are fed up with the chaos that's happening in the country. people are sick and tired of coming in and basically feeling uneasy. and that's what the polls are talking about. when you look at pence and pence basically does not want to create any light between he and the president, he recognizes if something happens to donald trump, if he were to get impeached, he's going to need that base as much as possible. he needs to be able to demonstrate is the appointed heir when it comes to this administration in this white house. that's why he's saying he's not the lodestar, but he's trying to be the lodestar for that administration on the fringe. >> and axios has pointed out gary cohn and a former white house reporter who was forced to
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leave on allegations of sexual assault against his former wife became public, but we have axios reporting tonight trump is privately fure ws with gary cohn and rob porter, and sources with direct knowledge of trump's thinking tell me it's possible he publicly attacks porter and cohn this week. what's he waiting for? >> well, you don't say. and boy, he's never attacked one of his own people before. that would be unprecedented. you know, lawrence, we have here a situation obviously that's unlike anything we've ever lived through. but it is reassuring at least to see these polls and to see that in poll after poll a solid majority of the american public just on some really basic psychic level doesn't accept that donald trump is a legitimate president of the united states. i mean, they might accept he's there in the office doing the job such as he does it every day, but they don't approve of him being there. they don't trust him. they don't think he belongs
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there. they wonder what the heck is going on, and that is solid majority and his support is shrinking. i mean, two months ago he was 43, 45. well, that's not so terrible and not so different from where barack obama maybe was in 2010 when the economy was so terrible. but now he's down 36, 37 and it's a different ball game and it seems to have settled there. and john heilemann to that point, he just made, the economic statistics are very good. the president couldn't ask for better economic statistics and that isn't helping him at all. >> it's one of the most stunning things at all about it. you could argue maybe the economics are a bit better given the wage growth, a few other things. but he has a lot to brag about and he does all the time. you have to work at it to have an approval rating in the 30s with unemployment under 4% and the kind of job growth, which is
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consistent with more or less what president obama had in the last part of his term, and what you're seeing now is finally this moment where we've seen him in 36 and 38, but what we now is a consistent downward ticking in the polls. the forecaster tweeted tonight each one has approvalal ratings down from the previous ones. the collective weight, not just from a couple of these big moments, helsinki or kids in cages from the border, but the collective weight of all it is finally beginning to settle as we get closer to election day. it's how these things work. >> there's the question, is trump someone you are proud to have as president. 64% say no to the question of is trump someone you are proud to have as president. so that kind of fundamental
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feeling that presidents are hope they can have out there in the country and trump doesn't have any of that. >> and i think this actually really speaks to what kind of person we want in the white house and we've always looked at our presidents as being the moral authority, basically the grownup in the room that basically tries to tone down any divisiveness and he's the complete opposite. and i do believe the american people are tired, they're also registering to vote in record numbers, they're present. and it's not something that's been happening slowly. it started after the very first special election in december after he was elected. and what's going be interesting is whether or not the people that come into that congress, they're going to do their job to be the front line and checks and balances to ensure while this person is in the white house, he doesn't take any extreme measures and doesn't put the country in undue harm. >> and so, mike, as usual the president is drawing as much
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attention as he can to a book that's highly critical of him. in a presidential tweet this morning he said the woodward book is a joke, just another assault against me in a barrage of assaults using now disproven, unnamed and anonymous sources. dems can't stand losing, i'll write the real book. >> yeah, well, he's not going to win an argument with bob woodward in this town or in the national media. i think that much is obvious. and, you know, lawrence, the fact of the woodward book and that "times" op-ed piece coming out is the one-two punch. they just excerpted the woodward book and the next day "the new york times" posted that op-ed, and those two events just so reinforced each other and so said the same thing. and now woodward's book is going to go onto sell i don't know how many copies 1 million to 3 million perhaps.
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people are going to read it. americans are going to read that book and it's really going to sink in. we've now reached a point where this opinion of him seems to have really settled in. >> yeah, and we have scratched the surface of the woodward book. there's just a mountain of horrifying things in there having to do with policy, the president's lack of comprehension and basic things. and we'll be covering more of that book as the week goes on. thank you for starting us off tonight. and coming up, as we said at the beginning to rachel, donald trump has actually surrendered to michael avenatti. he has legally surrendered to him in the case stormy daniels brought against the president. but michael avenatti is not accepting that surrender. michael avenatti will join us and explain why. and up next, sources inside the white house are very, very worried about just what the president can do in terms of a possible national security
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crisis. there is a report in bob woodward's book about a tweet that brought us possibly close to war with north korea, a tweet from the president that someone convinced him not to send. this is an insurance commercial. but let's be honest, nobody likes dealing with insurance. which is why esurance hired me, dennis quaid, as their spokesperson because apparently, i'm highly likable. see, they know it's confusing. i literally have no idea what i'm getting, dennis quaid. that's why they're making it simple, man in cafe. and more affordable. thank you, dennis quaid. you're welcome. that's a prop apple. i'd tell you more, but i only have 30 seconds. so here's a dramatic shot of their tagline so you'll remember it. esurance. it's surprisingly painless. start with 100% cleancheese? ingredients. so you'll remember it. like vermont white cheddar. then... add bacon, bbq chicken, or baja blend. catering and delivery now available. panera. food as it should be.
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kim jong-un. and that of course was before the president then embraced that very same dictator and started saying more praiseful things about him than he has ever said about america's strongest allies. but during that dangerous period when it seemed that donald trump was creeping toward war with north korea, we always knew that it wasn't going to happen tomorrow or that week or the next week because one necessary prerequisite to any military action on the korean peninsula would be to remove all of the families of american military personnel in south korea. that's about 28,000 people. some experts told me that would take weeks to evacuate those people, and it would be impossible to do it secretly. so as long as we weren't evacuating anyone, kim jong-un knew there was no immediate threat of war. but in bob wood ward's new book,
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we just discover we might have been one tweet away from a war. president trump wrote tweets declaring he would evacuate all u.s. troops from south korea. woodward wrote the possible tweets scared the daylights out of leadership mattis and done ward, almost unthinkablech the north koreas made it clear they would consider that a sign the united states was preparing for war. and then what would north korea do? just sit there and wait to be struck? luckily for the world as bob woodward reports, the tweet was never sent. >> the people who work for him are worried that he will sign things or give orderers that will threaten the national security or the financial security of the country or the world. >> joining us now, a former cia
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operative and richard clark, former senior white house advisor to three presidents on issues from cyber security to counter terrorism. he's host of the new podcast, future state, which launched today featuring his first guest president bill clinton. richard clark, i want to get your reaction to that report in bob woodward's book about the tweet that wasn't sent, the tweet that would have said to north korea the president is preparing to strike. >> what this underscores is the fact that having a president being able to tweet and no one to edit his tweets is a terrible way to do diplomacy. i once wrote a threatening letter to the leaders of iran, but before it was sent, before the president signed it scores of experts poured over it and rewrote it. that doesn't happen with tweets. so you have the risk of him doing something where no one can stop him and it being misunderstood and causing a
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financial crisis, a stock manipulation or causing a military scare. >> and evan, this is one of the tweets that other people got to see before it went out. but we certainly have plenty of indications that are many, many other tweets that many don't get to see before it goes out. so luckily the people who saw this tweet were able to prevent the president pum sending this tweet about evacuating the families and military personnel in north korea. >> that's right. you start to wonder in this environment how long will the people last in this environment under president trump? i think president trump now is smarting about the fact there are -- there's an op-ed written about him and books, a stream of books and there will be more. cataloging all the instances of which his own staff think of him as a fool and as dangerous and stand in the way of him doing
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what he wants to do. and i think at a certain point he's going to say and he already has but increasingly will, why do i want these guys around, i should get rid of them and have people on my staff that are willing to do what i want to do. and that's where i get concerned especially with regard to general mattis which i think does the country a tremendous service in his status as a defense secretary. but now reports the president is considering removing him especially after bood woodward's reporting which mattis says allegedly or credibly i think that president trump has knowledge of a sixth on the korean peninsula and other issues. perhaps general mattis isn't going to be there much longer and that's concerning, too. >> i want to listen to something bob woodward said on the show this morning, and it's not clear to us for people not in the
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intelligence community. here's what he said. >> here's the problem, this has not been treated seriously enough, and the things -- some of the things trump did and does jeopardized the real national security. this country does some things in the intelligence world which are so important to protect. they are astonishing. they are secret, they are called special access programs and he jeopardizes them. >> richard clark, few reporters know more about that intelligence community than bob woodward does. what were your interpretation of what he was talking about there. >> i'm not sure i want to talk about special access programs, but i think it's clear -- >> so let me just stop you there, that a particular phrase referring to particular things. >> special access programs are things above top secret. they are activities that go on
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in the world that are restrict today a very small handful of people, the knowledge of those activities. they're usually collection activities and they're extremely sensitive. which means knowledge of them would mean that they would end if they were exposed. and they are usually ways that we collect very vital information, often about foreign leadership. i mean, just stop at the fact -- i don't think the intelligence community is telling the president about them. they may be telling him some of the results, but they're certainly not telling him how we collect it. because who knows what he would say to the russians. who knows what he would say to the press. he doesn't know whatn not to sa and when not to say it. so there probably is a wealth of information that he doesn't get. >> and edward mullein, you can see just in the way bob woodward
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was talking about it, he was doing it with as much care as richard clark there, knowing how sensitive this arena is. it's hard to conceive donald trump being around information like that. >> that's right. and i think richard may be right about information at this point isn't getting to it the president, which is truly sad. because we need a leader who has this kind of information and can use it to make wise decisions. we need that for our own security. but the reality is there are certain things that the central intelligence agency, for example, simply can't do without the president's signature. and then the question becomes, okay, is that -- are those things happening or are they not happening under president trump's leadership. i think many of them are happening, which means the president knows about them. those are things done in a secretive manner to achieve our interests, to protect our security. but that if they were known could put people's lives at risk or could put our security at risk, could trigger greater problems.
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and so, yes, we have to be concerned about the president's access to information. but what i'm more concerned about is what he will do with his power. it may be the power to thumb 180 character tweet that triggers conflict or the preparations for conflict. it may be that he authorizes a military action that is then executed that was ill-informed and unwise, that triggers a broader conflict. that's what i'm more worried about. >> edward mcmullen thank you for joining us, richard clark, thank you for joining us. and congrats on the new podcast called future state. when we come back michael cohen and donald trump finally met their match in michael avenatti who has ruined both of their lives in so many ways, and so they have decided to surrender to michael avenatti. president trump doesn't want to fight michael avenatti anymore. and a president had his lawyer tell a judge in california he
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gives up. and michael avenatti said he's not going to let him quit. michael avenatti will join us next and explain why. (burke) that's what we call a huge drag. seriously, that's what we call it. officially. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ your hair is so soft! did you use head and shoulders two in one? i did mom. wanna try it? yes. it intensely moisturizes your hair and scalp and keeps you flake free. manolo? look at my soft hair. i should be in the shot now too. try head and shoulders two in one.
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donald trump has officially in writing surrendered to michael avenatti. one of the president's many lawyers put that surrender in writing on saturday in a filing in federal court in california in the stacacase of stephanie clifford also known as stormy daniels. and michafinally doing that, is
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is simply finally free stormy daniels from that agreement. they immediately tried every trick they could think of to try to stop stormy daniels from going public including michael cohen threatening to bankrupt him that they would visit upon her for violating. michael cohen is convicted felon tonight and donald trump is an unindicted coconspirator tonight because of the way they chose to fight stormy daniels. a fight they were so confident they were going to win until they heard from stormy daniels' lawyer michael avenatti in court and on this program and elsewhere. and they should have realized as soon as they saw michael avn
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avenatti that they should drop this case. and now they are finally trying to drop this case. finally going into a court saying we release stormy daniels from the nondisclosure agreement. therefore the case is closed, but michael avenatti says not so fast. and michael is joining us here. i have to tell you when i saw they were dropping the case i thought, okay, they are slow learners but that's the way out of a civil case. either side can get out of a civil case simply by doing what the other side wants. and your case was we want storm ea daniels to be able to speak, and they said okay, forget it, she can speak. and i thought that was the end of it until i started reading your pleading today until it turns out there's a lot more to this case. >> let's back up. i've been saying for a while we've been playing chess and they've been playing
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tic-tac-toe. and it's true in the last week and 72 hours as well. if you'll recall we filed a very basic complaint to start this case in march. there was reason for that. we then made an offer of settlement shortly thereafter and offered to return the $130,000 and there were some other parameters. and we gave cohen and donald trump a set time to respond to that offer. they blew that offer off and shortly thereafter we filed what was call an amended complaint and we asked for much more than we had in the initial complaint, and that was a reason frathat. and the reason we did that, lawrence, is i anticipated someday we'd be sitting in a seat like this where we are right now. the problem is michael cohen and donald trump are in too deep. they didn't do what i thought they should have done frankly six months ago. and now what they want to do is
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cancel the case, they want to call no glory, completely surrender and we're not willing to accept that surrender under the terms they want to offer. >> what are some of the claims in your case that would not be satisfied if they were allowed to drop out of this cosnow. >> for instance, we still have the defamation cause of action or claim against michael cohen, against donald trump, and another against michael cohen and keith davidson in hiding documents from my client. and furthermore we wanted a determination that mda was not just null and void but an illegal contract proposed by donald trump in an effort to violate campaign financial law. obviously he's not going to agree with that. >> you and i discovered only today specified this in your complaint that you want this as a finding which they could then do as an admission. they could write it out as an admission in their next filing
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and say arb where can orb yes, it was. so you've end up asking for much more than she be released from the nondisclosure agreement. there's also the issue of attorneys fees. they've poured lawyers into this thing which ran up the costs on the stormy daniels side of the case and your side of the case. and now they're saying after having done that, well, let's everyone just go home. >> correct. we put this finding of illegality we saw there in there for a reason, because we boxed in trump. because we knew never in a million years he'd be in a position to admit that. >> you do now have that admission on record from the other party in this case, michael cohen. he's now on record in court saying exactly what you've demanded in effect here. >> now we're closer to home. we're going to get an admission or judicial finding by way of competent evidence that donald
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trump conspired with michael cohen to do this, to violate campaign financial law. we're either going to get that by way of admission, which i don't think we're going to get or by cross examineimation and ultimately a trial. and that is my goal. >> it's possible here you might get all of that from michael cohen in writing because there's no damage to him at this point and that might leave you only with donald trump as a defendant. cohen might be able to work his way out of this. it is fascinating. when will the judge make a decision whether this case continues. >> on september 24th we have a hearing and this is dynamic situation and things happen a very quick pace. but i just hope they keep playing tic-tac-toe and i'm confident they will. >> here's the thing, i'm going to be right here on the 24th of september at 10:00 p.m., so come on and we'll talk about how it turns out. when we come back in the last hour former senate judiciary staffer lisa ray uh-uh
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accused brett kavanaugh of lying under oath in the confirmation process. she's not the first to make that accusation. that's next. ♪ ooh, heaven is a place on earth ♪
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and for those that rely on us every day. ♪ judge brett kavanaugh now takes his place in history as one of the very few supreme court nominees to be accused of lying in the confirmation process. but that hasn't stopped senate judiciary committee chairman chuck grassly from scheduling a
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vote thursday on the nomination. democrats may be able to use procedural rules it delay that vote by a week, but that'll still allow the senate to vote before the end of the month. the the rush to confirmation as democrats rush concerns to the senate. senator leahy's tweet came after he questioned kavanaugh about tweets that appeared to show in 2003 kavanaugh received information from congress when he was working in the white house. democratic staffer's information stolen by a republican staffer to try to help republicans in their senate confirmations. >> in 2004 and 2006 you testified a number of senators both republicans and democrats asked you, and you said you'd never received any stolen
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materials. that doesn't appear to be accurate. on june 5th, 2003 you received an e-mail from a republican senate staffer with the subject line "spying." that is not overly subtle. she says she has a mole for us and so forth. none of this raised a red flag with you? >> it did not, senator. again, people have friends across the aisle who they talk to. at least this was my experience back then. maybe it's changed. >> judge, i have born at night but not last night. >> brett kavanaugh is accused of not testifying truthfully about at least four more issues. judge kavanaugh testified in 2006 he did not know about a brush era wiretapping program. he said he was not involved in the bush administration's policy on the treatment of captured terrorists and he denied under oath he was involved in the nomination of two controversial bush judicial nominees. but e-mails published "the new
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york times" and "the washington post" seem to refute those odoao statements. susan collins told the portland press herald over the weekend that if in fact kavanaugh was not truthful then obviously that would be a major problem for me. republican leader mitch mcconnell reportedly urged the president not to choose brett kavanaugh from the short list of finalists for this nomination because mitch mcconnell knew that brett kavanaugh was going to run into exactly these kind of problems in senate confirmation. brett kavanaugh was the only name on the short list that mitch mcconnell was not sure he could get through the united states senate. and the longer this nomination lingers the more trouble brett kavanaugh could get into and that's why republicans have been rushing it. in the last hour senate judiciary committee staffer -- former senate judiciary committee staffer lisa graves appearing on rachel maddow's
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show accused brett kavanaugh of lying. she is not the first to make that accusation. we will see that next. this is important for people with asthma. yes. it's a targeted medicine proven to help prevent severe asthma attacks, and lower oral steroid use. about 50% of people with severe asthma have too many cells called eosinophils in their lungs. fasenra™ is designed to work with the body to target and remove eosinophils. fasenra™ is an add-on injection for people 12 and up with severe eosinophilic asthma. don't use fasenra™ for sudden breathing problems or other problems caused by eosinophils. fasenra™ may cause headache, sore throat, and allergic reactions. get help right away if you have swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue, or trouble breathing. don't stop your asthma treatments unless your doctor tells you to. tell your doctor if your asthma worsens or if you have a parasitic infection. fasenra™ is a targeted treatment for eosinophilic asthma.
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lisa graves was on the democratic staff of the senate judiciary committee brett kavanaugh was working in the bush white house on senate confirmations for federal judges. lisa graves believes not just that brett kavanaugh should not be confirmed for supreme court
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but that he should be impeached from his current job as a federal judge. >> i am convinced by that and some of the other provided that brett kavanaugh repeatedly unde oath to the united states senate about these matters. and it's a very serious matter for the integrity of the courts and also for the integrity of the united states senate itself. >> john heilman and mac tomowski are back with us and that was in lisa's hour in which she elaborated on an article she wrote. we haven't seen anything like this, a nominee challenged this way, and so credibly on so many points. >> there are many facets of this that are different than i've seen. this is one example. it could be around documents to which this is connected. the extraordinary range of cases, even though he is citing
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justice kagan and others and ginsberg, there are a number of cases he's not willing to offer opinions on, even ones that are in the far distant past. this is a problematic nomination on a lot of levels. the math still difficult for a lot of democrats, but on thursday they will get this delay of the committee vote and it will buy them another week. and given the pace of news and the pace at which this is traveling, this is not just a democrat stamping their feet. they're biding this time because they think this time could actually change the outcome. >> and i think for the democrats, they're just thinking every day is another possibility for us, and this is what mitch mcconnell feared. this is what mitch mcconnell was telling the white house. brett kavanaugh already got into trouble up here in his first runs at confirmation hearings for the judgeship he has now, and mitch mcconnell saw this coming. >> and it makes me wonder why the white house went ahead with kavanaugh in the first place.
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i touched on this in my "daily beast" column today. there are plenty of people out there who are just about every bit as conservative as brett kavanaugh who didn't have this kind of paper trail, who didn't spend all those years working in the bush white house, who didn't have these problematic confirmation hearings before in 2004 and 2006. i'm a little mystified by why the white house chose him, but the only theory i have is they did it because they could, just like the republicans did what they did to merrick garland in 2016, because they could. it looks like they'll probably get away with this one, too, although we'll see over the next few days how much pressure can be built in maine and in alaska on susan collins and lisa murkowski, because they are the key and they're going to have to act together. one of them is not going to vote no if the other one doesn't vote no, because that does them no good. he still passes, he still gets
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confirmed and they have voted on the wrong side. it's going to have to be both of them, i think. >> john, the big asset kavanaugh brought to this from the trump perspective was kavanaugh sought to change his mind when he was a prosecutor going after bill clinton leading toward impeachment to develop a very protective view of presidents and presidents being beyond the reach of even possibly subpoenas. >> yes. i mean, i agree with almost everything mike said with one exception. it seems clear to me why they chose brett kavanaugh. there are a lot of judges who are as conservative as he is. there are not a lot that has an expansive view now of executive power. i think if you look at the way rudy giuliani is playing the game now, daring bob mueller to subpoena donald trump. he's daring him because he thinks if this gets to the court, they can rely on kavanaugh's view on a variety of things, but particularly the
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question of subpoena power, it seems the only reason you would put a risky nominee forward, donald trump thinks there is a possibility he will get subpoenaed and he'll need that vote on the supreme court to be protected. >> listen to dick durbin talk about enhanced interrogation with kavanaugh. >> senator, i was not involved and am not involved in the questions about the rules governing detention of combatan krer combatance. >> you, under oath, told us you were not involved in any discussions involving combatance. you were involved in the discussion about detainees, you confirmed this in my office and there are multiple media reports as well. you were clearly involved in discussions about combatance. >> it rarely gets more black and white than that. the first part we saw was
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kavanaugh in his 2006 hearing saying he was not involved. he clearly was. that was absolutely untrue what he said in 2006. >> yeah. and the other instances that you cited at the top of the segment. you know, it's kind of shocking we're sitting here talking about collins and murkowski, long shots though they are. kind of shocking to me that we're just not even thinking about anybody else. there is not a single republican, and they're troubled by his position more on roe v. wade except collins did say that one thing recently. but republicans aren't bothered at all by this? it doesn't trouble them that he's caught basically red-handed in four or five lies, and they're all going to vote yes, of course. >> i don't think a nominee like this could have gotten through in the bush administration, certainly not in the clinton administration. i'm not sure where that corner was turned where a republican can say anything and get through. thank you both for joining us
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tonight. tonight's "last word" is next.
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time for tonight's "last word." >> look, what's going on here and my old boss hit the "washington post," ben bradley, the great editor used to say the truth emerges. sometimes it takes time. these people -- these are political statements to protect their jobs, totally understandable. but this is as carefully done as
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you can do an excavation of the reality of what goes on. >> bob woodward gets tonight's last word, and we will hear more from bob woodward when he joins rachel tomorrow night on "the rachel maddow show" 9:00 p.m. i will be watching rachel maddow as i'm sure you are. "the 11th hour" starts now. while the president fights back his new poll numbers, honesty have taken a dive. there are no missiles on the parade, but they are still making weapons on the sly as kim invites trump to meet again. and what may be the most immediate threat to americans, hurricane floren,

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