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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  November 30, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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0 minutes it will be crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and on your table. the ninja foodi, the pressure cooker that crisps. that's going to do it for us tonight except for one teeny tiny best new thing in the world. my wonderful mom and pop celebrate their 50th anniversary today. my mom was fresh off the boat from new finland and she wore a white mini dress. my dad was a captain in the air force and he wore his uniform. no, you can't see the wedding picture thatch that's private. but it was in this state in 1968 in san francisco. and today marks a half century for them since then. 50 years for better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health. happy 50th mom and dad, you're amazing. and with that, now it's time for the "last word" tonight with ari melber sitting in for lawrence. >> can i wish your parents a
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happy anniversary? >> everybody is allowed to. you are absolutely allowed. >> happy anniversary. i have to ask you we cover this stuff a lot daily, you might say. but am i look at this week it does seem like much more of an inflection point in that it's the first time mueller has identified trump family members as relevant to filing. it's the first time he's charged on an american lying in a way that helps russia. does it feel like we're getting to an inflection point for you or are you just taking it one day at a time? >> no, it feels like we have now entered a new phase, and it may have started with the manafort stuff at the beginning of the week in terms of taking that hard 90 degree turn in the cooperation deal with him, announcing he's in breach, he's lied, there's going to be a full explanation from the special counsel's office, which we may get next week in terms of what he has done and how that fits into his larger role in the scandal. but then to get the michael
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cohen stuff and to get the trump tower moskow project including the involvement of individual one, president trump, put front and center and made the subject of a felony conviction, this is -- this is new phase. and we are going to get a lot more from the special counsel's office over the course of the next few days next week. but i think that we should expect this to be rolling out fast now. >> exactly. and i will say on a laul now sc note and letting you go, letting you read the intense factual drama of a hearing, law schools all across america could use that. it was more interesting than reading the transcript which i've done from time to time. >> it's kind of me just reading the transcript out loud, but i do the little voices. eventually i'm going to get puppets or maybe friends. >> rachel, i wish you a great weekend and a happy anniversary weekend to your family. >> thanks very much. much appreciated, my friend. >> thank you, rachel. today we begin with this
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thought that is a fact. a united states president arrives at a major foreign policy summit with the world credibly wondering whether that president is actually there representing the united states, which is what he's supposed to be doing, or is he there representing himself, as a private businessman who simply uses his role in american politics and global geopolitics to that effect? is he a compromised former candidate who owes russia? that question hung over the scene you just saw there because of what i was just discussing with rachel. donald trump's former lawyer, michael cohen, admitted things in court this week that actually go beyond crimes, which of course matter because there was a crime. but go towards something else, which is u.s. national security. cohen telling the world he lied about the president's business interests in russia as they were being pursued during the campaign and that the russian government was in on the truth that they were lying to us about. just think about that, just that
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part before we get to the rest. that's what we learned this week. cohen and trump had a lie designed to deceive american voters and american press and american government, but the russian government knew it was a lisle. they were in on it the whole time. they knew donald trump was trying to build this trump tower in moskow worth potentially millions while donald trump was running for president. and some people at the kremlin reportedly knew the trump organization wanted to give putin a $50 million penthouse gift at that tower if it were built. the acting director of the cia tweeting overnight putin had, yes, the seeds of blackmail. so as this g-20 summit gets under way today, no one was involved in any of this who follows the news or foreign policy, could miss this extraordinary moment. vladimir putin and the crown prince of saudi arabia, another leader who donald trump has at times inexplicably defended, something something between a
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bro-hug and a high five on the world stage. we don't know the extent of those business interests either, we don't have those tax returns. what were those two celebrating? democratic senator bob menendez tweeted, quote, that feeling when you own the president and can do whatever you want, end quote. that is just one critic's view but remember donald trump's first national security advisor, mike flynn, president trump was of course forced to fire him because flynn lied about his contacts with the russian ambassador and the justice department found out. >> the russians also knew about what general flynn had done, and the russians also knew that general flynn had misled the vice president and others. not only do we believe that the russians knew this but that they likely had proof of this information. and that created a compromised situation. a situation where the national
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security advisor essentially could be blackmailed by the russians. >> and according to this man who used to run the cia, the russians had the seeds of blackmail on the president. donald trump began the day defending the entire operation that we know, he knows he lied about. here's how he puts it now. quote, very legal and very cool. adding, lightly looked at doing a building somewhere in russia. put up zero money, zero guarantees and didn't do the project. witch hunt. now, let's be clear about why i'm even showing you that. it is because facts matter, and the president is no longer clinging to the lie that he was busted for. he could, i guess. but he knows even in an environment where he's leaning on his own people to think of everything as a witch hunt, that is too much. so you're looking at the president changing his story. before michael cohen's plea
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trump had said he had nothing to do with russia, now he lightly looked. the president also ignoring the question of how he's compromised. but it's difficult to ignore that question as trump and putin find themselves there at the g-20 summit as we witnessed foreign policy in the making. the president seemed to intentionally keep some distance from putin, and the decision to cancel that meeting which he tweeted just a few hours after cohen's guilty plea had nothing to do with any of this. in fact he invoked the attack of the attack from russia on ukrainian ships. >> we look forward to meeting with president putin, but on the pa basis of what took place with respect to the ships -- >> and here's the kremlin's reaction, basically taunting the president's explanation today. saying, quote, we've heard the official explanation and taken
quote
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note of it, but is it true? i think the true reason is rooted in the domestic political situation in the u.s. if you've heard about donald trump trolling people, it looks like he's getting trolled back but by this adversary that may or may not have all this stuff on him. russian state media also indicated trump and putin might somehow interact at the g-20. and putin's own spokesperson said, well, they might meet on their feet like some other leaders there. >> frankly, in light of what happened with ukraine with the ships and the sailors, it just wouldn't be the right time. but i will meet with him. i think we have a very good relationship, and i think we're going to have a very good relationship with russia and china and everyone else. i think it's important, so i'll meet with him at the appropriate time. >> that is the new spin replacing the old spin. i'm joined by george mclaughlin
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and msnbc national security analyst for us as well. i'm joined as well by malcolm nance, and ruth marcus, deputy editorial page editor and columnist at "the washington post" and contributor for us as well. good evening, to each of you. john, this looks like a national security problem even if it is not itself illegal the business dealings, which is yet to be investigated. >> that's right. i think by lying to the american public as he did and by the fact that the russians knew he was lying, had this never come to light, this would be a classic case of what the russians call kompromat. sometimes people compare that to what we call opposition research here, but in fact opposition research here in the united states is carried out to weaken an opponent. russians do this sort of thing to gain leverage. and that's what they would have gained had this come to light at some point in the future, they would have been able to pull him aside and say, remember when you
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were talking in your election about your dealings with us, you know that wasn't true. that would not be something he would want to come out. >> how do you distinguish, though, between what we might call conventional kompromat where something is undeniably bad and someone has it on, and versus what you describe here, the lying and conduct of trump and cohen, not the fact that someone in some point in time who was in business sought more business. >> that's correct. and it isn't traditional kompromat in the sense the russians brought and doctored it out. it ends up when you take something you shouldn't take, information, sex, money, those are classic russian cases. the trump tower meeting would be another case where had that never come out through the media in the future had this been a normal administration and had the russians wanted to exert
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some leverage, simply holding an e-mail in which donald trump, jr. had said, yes, i'd love to have dirt on hillary clinton in the middle of a campaign, that too, would have been a card they could have played had it never come out. >> you said had this been a normal administration. are you saying this is not a normal administration? >> well, i think you know what i mean. just follow the last week or two. it's not a normal administration in the sense that there's so much corruption. there's the mueller investigation. >> you don't have to answer that seriously. it's a super bonkers administration. i think we all know that. >> super bonkers. >> ruth, we need to do a re-education of all the times donald trump was overtly lying about this during the campaign because reasonable people who may have disliked him at the time still wouldn't assume, maybe, that everything he was saying about russia was a lie then. a lot of it looks worse now just with these disclosures tonight.
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this is him discussing putin in 2015. take a look. >> do you like vladimir putin's comments about you? >> sure. when people call you brilliant it's always good, especially when the person heads up russia. >> well, i mean, also it's a person that kills journalists, political opponents and invades countries. obviously that -- it would be a concern, would it not? >> he's running this country and at least he's a leader unlike what we have in this country. >> but, again, he kills journalists that don't agree with him. >> well, i think our country does plenty of killing also, joe. so, you know. >> well, these comments were appalling and shameful at the time and they were different from what any other republican or democratic candidate for president or pretty much any other office short of a dogcatcher would say. but to see those comments and a
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lot of the other comments he made about vladimir putin and russia during the campaign and afterwards and to understand those now in light of what we now know about his business interests and business dealings during the campaign, remember we knew some of this already, that not from him and not during the campaign because it had already come out that, yes, there was in fact this moskow project that was going on. now we know it extended for way longer during the campaign than we could have imagined. so to look at all of this now, all of his comments now in light of what we now know is just extraordinary that it sheds some light onto help at least explain why he has been so loving towards vladimir putin and so submissive towards russia. both throughout his candidacy and in his presidency. >> malcolm, i want to ask you something that's been on my mind that i don't think we've dug to the bottom of and we've been
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covering this story now a couple of days in a couple of forums. and that is why do you think that the trump folks wouldn't take this moment to say you know what, we made some bad calls about business, but this is all about business. there's no election collusion, there's no hacking conspiracy. what i'm saying is a good criminal defense attorney for this president and some of the people around him could seize this moment and say this is the thing, it's a business thing, but this is what was on his mind when he said all those weird russia things, not some larger criminal conspiracy to defraud the united states. why do you think they haven't done that? >> because i think it's being directed from the top down. and this is the way donald trump has always done business. i believe that what we have here is a very broad-based criminal conspiracy. but it's a conspiracy to them that they don't believe since they now run all the wheels of government. they don't believe that any of this is of a matter, if it has
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to deal with donald trump making money and donald trump advancing the trump family organization. that being said, this is -- it's very clear, and john mclaughlin made this very well in his tweet, what we have here is not just the edge of blackmail. we're 2 1/2 years into blackmail here because as we see it the person who has kompromat on him, has leverage from a former kgb case officer, the person whose job was to exploit this, was the president of the united states. which means we don't know whether the nuclear posture of the united states has been compromised. we clearly see the foreign policy of the united states has been compromised on multiple levels by multiple players. you know, the way that foreign spies get their victims is through an acronym that's used in the intelligence community called mice, m-i-c-e.
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they get you through money, ideology, coercion or corruption or play to your ego. donald trump is an example how a can turn. >> john, here is how putin handled the public discussion of that potential kompromat. >> do you -- does the russian government have any compromising material on president trump or his family? >> yeah, i did hear these rumors that we allegedly collected compromising material on mr. trump when he visited moskow. that's difficult to imagine. please just disregard those issues and don't think about
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this anymore again. >> and i would have to say if they had it, it would have been out long ago. >> i'm curious of all your analysis of that given what we know now and including donald trump's decision to jump in on a question that was not posed to him there. >> putin didn't say no. that's the main thing. he talked all around it, and he said don't talk about this anymore. and trump jumped in to kind of underline the point in an odd sort of way. so it leaves you not knowing, but it leaves you as the whole helsinki summit aftermath left you, scratching your head about what really went on in that room. the fact that i actually can't think of another presidential summit at that level on which we know so little. they're entitled to confidential discussions, and there's
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classified information that they don't have to put on the table, but so very little has been said about what actually transpired in that room that it stands out i think in the history of presidential summits. >> right, and it becomes another piece of archive or history that has to be reassessed given the incriminating evidence that's coming out just this week alone. thanks to each of crow on quite a busy friday night. >> squooefb a lot more in this episode of the "last word." the michael cohen confession revealing trump family members could face legal jeopardy over what they did. and later some republicans standing by the president until they don't. there is a gop reckoning coming, and we have some proof to show you. that's tonight. george woke up in pain. but he has plans today. hey dad. so he took aleve.
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leave no room behind with xfi pods. simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. new, let's turn to a story i've been arguing is pretty important when you take in the whole week. bob mueller just name checked donald trump's family for first time. and that itself is big. now, sure here on the news and in politics people discuss all the time how the trump family seems implicated in problems related to the trump business and the trump campaign and the trump presidency. but now this is different because the special counsel is telling a court that the family's involvement is relevant to at least one indictment, as michael cohen discussed his status and progress of that moskow project with individual one, donald trump, and quote, briefed family members of individual one within the company about the project.
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shortly after this plea deal was revealed then reported multiple sources asserting that ivanka trump and donald trump, jr. were also working to make donald trump moskow a reality. joining me now a former district attorney for the southern district of new york, and joyce vance, a u.former northern district attorney. what do you see legally for the family? >> i think you could put it into three different. you've got the big unknown, which is what their role was in what we've been calling
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collusion. and your right to point out that michael cohen's indictment and his criminal information references his connection to trump tower. but bob mueller is not investigating trump tower moskow. he's not investigating the trump organization. he is investigating russian collusion. and there has to be a materiality component to these false statements. so they have to have influenced mueller's investigation. so the big question is how does the trump tower moskow connect with russian collusion? that sort of remains open. and then there's this issue which connects them to a little bit, and particularly don junior in that june 2016 meeting, which is sanctions. if you need to remove the sanctions in order to do the trump tower deal, then don junior talking to russians in june of 2016 about sanctions becomes a lot more close -- a lot closer to what bob mueller
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is looking at. >> and you're using a little bit of legal jargon there talking about materiality. what you're saying is it can't be a random insignificant lie. it's got to be an important back to the collusion. so what are you getting at there? >> that the trump tower moskow and what michael cohen lied about has to have been capable of influencing the investigation. that's what materiality means. it has to matter, and it has to matter to the investigation. and i guess the main point here is that this is not the southern district of new york charging michael cohen with making false statements about trump tower. it's bob mueller who's investigating the campaign. so somehow these two things have to connect. and we're waiting to see how mueller will connect them. >> and joyce, do you see that connection as involving money? >> you know, it's interesting. we see so much of the contours of the investigation, but we
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don't know exactly where the pieces are on the chessboard or what roles they play. i think dan is actually dead on the money on his assessment of this. we talk about materiality and try to decide if it's money or something else, a way that's helpful for me to think about it is if you're investigating me for branch robbery and i lie to you about my hair color, nobody cares very much. it's not material. but if i lie to you about being asked to drive the get away car, then that would be an important matter and something that i could be charged interefor lyin about. it's the same deal here. it looks like a lot of the smoke surrounds the money and am ony making potential. dan mentions the foreign corrupt act. >> on the family member side, they would argue they weren't originating this plan. this is coming from felix seder and cohen's the one making the calls, and they're receiving,
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you know, this kind of information or plotting that didn't ultimately come to fruition. it's still a little different from their old defense and eric trump sounding like his dad. >> we have no dealings in russia, we have no projects in russia, we have nothing to do with russia. >> daniel? >> well, look, i mean this is where we get into semantics. ultimately there was no deal in russia. that is true. but what they were hiding were their efforts to make a deal in russia that miraculously and perhaps, you know, not coincidently ceased on the same day that it became public that russia had hacked the dnc's e-mails. so there is a link right there, and we get a sense of around the edges of a lot of links, and unfortunately, ari, and for the
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viewers we're going to have to wait until bob mueller connects these dots. i am guessing there are more e-mails and i am guessing michael cohen's testimony is a lot more robust than what's in that criminal information. that is really going to tell the story. >> joyce, a final thought from you on that point and while mueller puts what he includes in this and what he's holding back. >> mueller doesn't put out anything beyond what he has to in order to accomplish his immediate goal. in order to achieve the cohen plea it was important to put certain facts into the pleadings and he's given us those. but it has to be true there's a lot more. we know cohen has cooperated for a large number of hours. there are other cooperators. perhaps felix seder or others who are not aware are cooperating yet. at end of the day it looks to me all this financial dealing in moskow will somehow converge on what we've all called the collusion, the effort by russia to influence the outcome of the
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election. and it will get neatly wrapped up into one package. we just don't know exactly how that all works out yet. >> it's pretty fascinating stuff. up next, michael cohen's guilty plea has some republicans warning their own party they be to be reldy fady for a day whery can no longer accept the president's defenses. today... back pain can't win. now introducing aleve back and muscle pain. only aleve targets tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve back & muscle. all day strong. all day long.
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the facts on the russia probe clearly got worse for donald trump this week, from his lawyer confessing to those russia lies to his campaign chair getting busted for an alleged double cross operation
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against the special counsel to these damning facts that we've all seen accumulate, and it may mean trump critics and independents for sure or at least harden the resistance that's already out there, but what about conservatives and republicans? well, tonight i can report some of it may be changing. take a conservative with a very conservative iconic last name who announced while he has long been a self-described skeptic of the collusion with the russia story, two big developments now show there may be collusion. and two i'm reading from him, quote, the first possible connection between russian intelligence and actions taken by the president, credico told corsi wikileaks. and he didn't just announce that
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there, he wrote it and published in the very conservative rupert murdock owned new york post for many other conservatives to see and judge for themselves. or take another republican who now warns his fellow conservatives they should question how they will react in the future if mueller's evidence does show what he calls nefarious and criminal actions that go at the height of the administration. quote, we should be ready to accept the very real possibility that serious misdemeanors were committed and lies told. the people who defend the indefensible, who put quote, loyalty to a man, not principle or america, above all else will not be judged well by history. joining me now for a little contemporaneous history is the opinion writer for "the washington post," and back at the table here in washington,
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ruth marcus. e.j., two op-eds does not a revolution make, but what is happening here in your view? >> i think it should be said that they've always been a little more independent from donald trump than most republican politicians. and i think it's going to take more evidence to put republicans against trump now than it took to push them against richard nixon in 1973 and '74 because this is much more conservative and less presidentially independent party. but we did have an interesting moment this week when the senate voted by a very big margin against the president's position on saudi arabia. and there were a lot of republican defections. and a political scientist i was
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talking to tonight had an interesting idea this was kind of a trial run. these republicans will be able to see how much push back do they get for breaking with trump like this. now, the saudi issue is not one i suspect trump's passionate support r supporters have really strong opinions on. but it is an indicator it is possible for republicans to break with trump. mueller is going to have to come up with a lot of evidence before most of them are ready to walk away. >> ruth? >> so i'm an op-ed editor, so i think i have to say two op-eds can a revolution make. and what we have seen all along and during the trump administration is an increasingly the capitulation of the elected part of the
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republican party. certainly a lot of the conservative comteariate has accommodated itself in a quite disappointing way itself as well. but it's the elected officials that have really not stood up to him. >> how do you explain that after a november election that you delivered 39 seats to democrats, a larger popular margin than we've seen in 40 years including the mid-terms after watergate, a higher voter turnout since women were given the right to vote in mid-terms. i mean just a huge blue wave that shows, and that's mid-terms that further reckoning may be coming for republicans who don't find their own independence here. >> so a reckoning may be coming, but a few things. one is before the general election reckoning is a primary reckoning, and it goes back to something e.j. mentioned, which is you can imagine a world maybe not that many months from now in
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which mueller comes out with a devastating report and congressional support for president trump begins to crumble in the way that it did during watergate, and we sort of have this rosy view of watergate where brave, honest republicans stood up. no, they didn't. they didn't turn against richard nixon until they had to turn against richard nixon. >> and the people turned first. >> and the people turned first. so when republican senators and republican house members are convinced that their electoral fate is better off diverging themselves from donald trump, they will do that because there's no love lost for donald trump among most of these. but when you have a jerry mandered, very polarized primary base electorate that's still solidly with trump, they are the voters and their leaders or elected officials will follow for them. >> and e.j., that goes to a migration we've seen in a lot of
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republican thought which was, of course it would be wrong to get foreign help from a campaign to something much more muddled, which is preview of a strategy to minimize damaging things in the mueller report. i was thinking about this as i was interviewing jerome corsi this week because he is the red hot center of that. mueller has given him paperwork showing he may indict him for lying, but he was very blunt in our interview aing the whole point of the intel he was trying to gather from wikileaks was to help trump. take a look. >> everybody i knew, and knew it would help donald trump, and i was happy to do that. i was speculating but i was sure i was right. >> is it accurate to say you expected roger to tell trump? >> logically, should i have expected it, yes, of course. >> of course he admits he went to europe to get intel on the stolen e-mails and wanted to get
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it to trump. >> well, you know what, those two op-eds show is that it's become much harder to continue to support trump but it's not clear republicans are ready to stop now. to go to ruth's point i think the key is when do republicans start worrying more about a general election result than about a primary result? and as you suggested the results certainly in the house races said republicans have a lot to worry about. so i think there are four senators who will give us good indications. the two most vulnerable incumbents in 2020 are susan collins and cory gardener. they're going to be i think your leading indicators if there starts to be a break with trump. probably the next vulnerable are tom tillis and in iowa.
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if they break, then he's in real trouble and then we may have seen a point where there's so much evidence that the republicans can't hang on. >> you know what mark twain also said is every time it seems like susan collins is about to break with trump, she leaks for four days, gives a couple of press conferences and takes it all back on the senate floor. i'm sure you remember that old saying. >> mark twain said it as well as it could be said, that's right. and you saw that on the kavanaugh business for sure. and that's why saying it's going to take a lot to get these folks to break. but i think she above everyone has to most to worry about from her general election electorate in maine. >> not totally sure she's going to run again. i think that's still an open question and that'll be interesting to watch as well. >> she's got to be one of the most phony moderates around. >> well, sometimes she's voting against her party, but most of
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the time she's voting with them. and she did this last time around bigly, i think. >> bigly, you heard it hear first. i'm going to fit in a break but friday night politics and very special insights. my thanks to both of you. coming up, theories of the russia probe ranging from trump's involvement may be just a coincidence all the way up to it top, that there was a kind of russian double agent action inside the united states. there's some very interesting work on this. we're going to dig into it and where we're going on the mueller probe next.
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michael cohen's bombshell plea deal this week has raised the stakes for the president and his family. it's unclear still how much the stakes have been raised for other members of team trump. secrecy, of course, is hallmark of mueller's probe and the scope is still a big secret all the way in. abc news has reported nearly three dozen sealed criminal indictments have been added to the federal court dock in d.c. this year, which legal experts could at least some of them be tied to mueller and part of quiet effort to protect his investigation from any premature effort to shut it down. there are also big question marks over what would happen with paul manafort, michael flynn and michael cohen in these coming weeks. some of the big questions we have going forward is where is this headed, how much will trump be implicated? back when the investigation first began some of the talented and legal analysts broke down
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seven potential theories of the probe. this is what lawyers call the theories of the case and allows you to look at the innocence of the presence to most alarming scenario possible. again, just a theory that trump had been quote, compromised. let's walk through some of the theories. number one a set of coincidences or events. two, trump attracted rus russophiles, and third theory is it wasn't about the russian operation at all. another theory that russian intel penetrated the campaign but trump simply didn't know. that's true. there's nothing impeachable about any of it. or theory five, that russian
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intelligence actively penetrated the trump campaign and trump kb basically knew or there was so much smoke he should have known. there are two very extreme theories, i mention again this is from a piece known as theories. number six, kompromat. we were discussing it with the cia's john mclaughlin tonight. and then there's it the seventh theory that, quote, your president is a quote, russian agent. the information that's come out this week does affect where we are on those spectrums of theories and where this investigation heads next in the coming months, could shed a lot more light or even give us a final answer. i'm going to get exactly that next with malcolm nance and joyce vance. okie cutter portfol. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed.
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back with me is malcolm nantz and joyce vance. joyce, what does the new information do to your working theory? >> well, i think number five, six and seven are all a sequence of events which have led donald trump to be not an agent, which is a term of art where you actually are paid and work for a frn government, but i think he's a witting asset to where he knows where the money is coming from. he knows they have kompromat on him and he knows they came into
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his campaign, he's a win-it-all type guy. >> joyce vance, when you think about whether the money will prove it and the defenses they need to make, meek mill who is a musician, has been to prison, he said 250 a show and they, the feds, still think i'm dealing crack. when you bring my name up to the judge, just tell him facts. the idea that his factual defense that his money is made from music is enough. do you think that kind of defense will work for the trump family members here? >> i don't know if the defense really works, but i think meek has a good point, which is that the government always has the burden of proof. you can't just assume that because there's smoke there's fire. you can't assume that because there are deals in russia that there's illegality. so the government will have the same burden in this situation that it would have in any other criminal prosecution, of showing
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that that money really is about illegality and complicity with russians. we just don't know enough publicly to say that yet. >> i wonder, joyce, what you think of some of the other things we're learning about michael cohen's legal oddes eeo. cnn came up with this, after the famous raid, one source said it headed south of the president, trump started distancing himself and then cohen knew things had changed and he acted to protect his family. what do you think of that arc, which doesn't put cohen in the light of just being patriotic now and what do you think so many people who think the worst of trump think he's promising pardons all over the place? >> it seems like a realistic arc
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here. cohen has never been someone who has had a change of heart and wants to personally further the american way of life. he's someone who is opportunistic and who is trying to save his soul. but that said, if there is evidence that the president knew about and was involved in dangling a pardon in front of michael cohen in an effort to keep him from cooperating with mueller, at least for some point of time in this investigation, then the president is in very, very dangerous territory. >> right, because that itself as you're saying, as with nixon, could bes will obstruct of. briefly, malcolm, house intel members said they think they may have other lies on the books. your view of that. >> oh, yeah. there are a lot of people who apparently were trying to stay on message for the president, which is now the operative term for lying before congress, lying before the fbi and lying before their wife and kids. i think that a lot of people are going to be hauled back, particularly eric prince, who
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has some deep connections to the russians and tothers who are jut going to have to clarify that or show their loyalty by going to prison. >> very interesting stuff. my thanks to this special impromptu law firm we've assembled of nance and vance. have a good weekend, you guys. >> thank you. >> what happens when you take stephen colbert, a mueller witness and msnbc and put them together? just one free hearing test at
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and now after a long week, it is time for tonight's last word. >> it turns out corsi's performance might just be for one viewer. >> i'm not counting on donald trump for anything, including a pardon. that's not the basis on which i made my decision. >> why are you bringing up a pardon in a television interview? >> you were talking about it before. >> but i didn't ask you about the pardon. you're bringing up a pardon. >> i'm bringing it up because i want to make it clear, i don't expect one, i'm not asking for one. >> pardon me. i beg your pardon. i'm not asking for a pardon by repeatedly bringing up pardons. pardon? also, you know who i love? dolly pardon, just so talented. >> so talented, beau stephen colbert and dolly pardon and
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anybody who might be bringing up pardons for all the reasons people do that sort of thing. tonight stephen colbert does get the last word and "the 11th hour" is up next. tonight at the g-20 summit, donald trump finds himself isolated among his peers, outraged over the russia probe and avoiding vladimir putin. we're live in buenos aires with the latest. plus, what is next in robert mueller's russia investigation? one of his former deputies today said trump could soon go from individual one to defendant one. "the 11th hour" on a friday night starts now. >> good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. i'm steve kornacki in for brian williams. d day 680 of the trump administration.

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