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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  December 17, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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and according to "the post," it was that criminal referral that pushed zinke out the door. which means he'll be dragging a was forced to quit his job in the cabinet. his sudden departure might have also had something to do with the fact that he like ryan zinke was being scrutinized not just by ethics investigators but by federal prosecutors with the justice department who were looking into whether pruitt broke laws while he say running the epa. cnn reports that that doj investigation into pruitt, the criminal one, it conveniently stalled once scott pruitt up and quit. that's maybe an important precedent if you're ryan zinke, right? he seemed to have taken a page out of scott pruitt's handbook. but maybe this is the rule. you quit before the criminal inquiry actually grabs crow, get
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out of town, hope the whole thing fizzles before you're gone. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. now it's time for the "last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> and you know who else quit when the investigation pressure became too tough? president richard nixon. so there is a presidential model of quitting when the investigation stuff gets too tough. >> and a vice presidential model with spiro agnew, my buddy. i know. we didn't know pruitt was under criminal investigation until he left the epa months later. we know that about zinke even as he leaves. >> and there are so many investigations now in trump world that some of them, surely some of them will outlive at least this first and possibly only term of the trump presidency. >> people are now starting to make lists of what actual like
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criminal investigations we know are under way with regard to the trump administration, and you have to compartmentize them. you have to do the ones just about the president and his family, just about about current cabinet members, just about other organizations that the president ran. i mean, you have to narrow it done down. >> it's a lot. thank you, rachel. 17. as of tonight there are 17 investigations of the president of the united states. with robert mueller and his team of special prosecutors leading the way. and so if you're donald trump, you've got to ask yourself the dirty harry question. you've got to ask yourself the question that clint eastwood told the bad guys in dirty harry that they had to ask themselves, do i feel lucky? donald trump has to ask himself, do i feel lucky because think about how lucky donald trump is going to have to be to survive 17 investigations.
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donald trump has probably felt lucky most of his life, but he didn't feel lucky when his atlantic casinos went bankrupt and when he was approaching a trial in the trump university case which he avoided by paying $25 million to the former trump university students who accused him of fraud. so donald trump knows what it is to not feel lucky. but until now he did not know what it felt like to be the subject of 17 investigations. and he's certainly tweeting like a man who doesn't feel lucky. he's tweeting like a panicked president. think about those words together. a president of the united states who is panicking, a panicked president. but donald trump's strategy to try to prove to the world that he is not panicking is to send to send the strangest presidential lawyer in history on tv to say profoundly strange
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things. here is rudy giuliani trying to say -- trying to say that the president will not agree to an interview with the special prosecutor. but is that what he actually ends up saying? >> no interview. >> they're a joke. over my dead body but, you know, i could be dead. >> i could be dead. if your rhetorical skills are so limited that you find yourself using the over my dead body construction to express your opposition to something or just how unlikely it is that something will happen, you are never supposed to end that with, i could be dead. that's the giuliani touch. that's the giuliani magic. it's his way of saying i have no idea what i'm saying. it took 170 years for allen bennett's brill i want play to arrive in london after the reign of king george iii ended.
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it took 170 years for london to sit down and take a good hard look at the madness of king george. future allen bents writing about the trump era will be delivering the madness of donald trump to a broadway stage much more quickly. and surely there will be a dramatist or many who find the gold in the madness of rudy giuliani. rudy giuliani will continue to be interviewed on television, and he will continue to create more problems for the president by saying things like, donald trump was pursuing a deal to build a trump tower in moskow all the way through the end of the presidential election campaign. that statement was even more incriminating of donald trump than michael cohen's previous statement that he and donald trump were pursuing a deal in moskow up to june of the campaign year. that was incriminating enough.
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president trump has the most inadequate team of presidential defense lawyers in history. they are mostly inexperienced and there's only a few of them. just a small handful. and when they started they thought their job was defending the president in one investigation. now there are 17 investigations. we're going to need a bigger boat. we're going to need a bigger boat for all the lawyers donald trump really needs to defend him in these investigations. he needs a minimum of 17 lawyers. that's just minimum. and when the congressional investigations start next year, when the democrats take over the house of representatives, donald trump is going to need a lot more lawyers, a lot more. house republicans had their final day of fun with former fbi director james comey today in a closed door hearing that clearly infuriated james comey who spoke to reporters as soon as it was over. >> what do you think is going to happen when the president calls michael cohen a rat, someone
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cooperating with the investigation, there's a question how his office was raided by the fbi. >> it undermines the rule of law. this is a president of the united states calling a witness who's cooperating with his own justice department a rat. say that to yourself at home and remind yourself where we have ended up. this is about what does it mean to be an american? what are the things we care about above our policy disputes, which are important? as a set of values that represent the glue of this country and they are under attack by things just like that. we have to stop being numb to it. whether you're republican or democrat you need to stand on your feet, overcome your shame and say something. >> leading off our discussion now, joyce vance, former federal prosecutor, mimi rocoh and jennifer ruben. and i want to get your reaction to what james comey had to say today.
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>> i think comey hits the nail on the head, and it's surprising to us who had the opportunity to work with him when he was inside the justice department to see him so upset. he's someone obviously measured in his tone. he says the diminishment of law in this regard. something that works inside of doj is that people who might disagree about politics agree upon principles and one of those principles is the rule of law. now we have the president undermining the rule of law from the white house. and it doesn't matter what political party you identify with, we should all be outraged by that. >> jennifer ruben, i'm beginning to wonder if the trump use of giuliani strategy is to suggest to the world that donald trump is not the craziest person in washington, that there's another one. and doesn't donald trump look sane by comparison to rudy giuliani?
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>> and smart, too. right. it is a mystery to me why he goes out there and as you say says more incriminating things. and admits, well, he didn't, maybe he did, well if he did, it wasn't a crime. i don't know what purpose he's serving other than perhaps entertaining donald trump. he certainly isn't representing him in any context. but the wonderful thing about it is we've reached that stage where what rudy giuliani says doesn't matter at all. it matters what the facts are, it matters what it law is. it matters what the southern district of new york and what the state investigators in new york and their investigation and what robert mueller and his team have. it's the law, the facts, the judges and rudy giuliani just doesn't matter. >> and mimi, it's really striking you could say that about a presidential lawyer. giuliani's function now it strikes me as purely nrlt entertainment.
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it's purely to supply little things for media to use in these kinds of scripts and for others to use. what he says has nothing to do with had president's case, has nothing to do with what's going to happen next. everyone knows that a giuliani interview is just an utterly ridiculous exercise, and yet we will i'm sure continue to have them. i've just never seen a lawyer used this way or perform this way in any situation. >> well, he hasn't been acting like a lawyer. he's been acting really like a pr person. >> and the worst pr person ever. >> to be fair i think what we all were acknowledging to some extent before the facts really started to come out, the giuliani-trump strategy of trying to smear mueller and calling it a witch hunt were having some impact. none of us agreed with it or bought it, but it seemed to have some impact. it with worked until the facts started to come out. now they're coming out. and i don't think we're seeing
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even the tip of the iceberg or whatever metaphor you want to use. and you can't fight facts and evidence with that kind of pr strategy. for example, yesterday giuliani said flynn was a perjury trap. he was still saying that yesterday. even by the brief he knew that wasn't true. if that was a perjury trap it was the worst trap i've ever seen laid because they were giving him every opportunity to tell the truth and he just wouldn't do it. so, again, what he says has no basis on fact. >> 302, of course, the fbi interview reports of michael flynn that became public today in which we see exactly how the interviews went and the sequence and how many chances michael flynn was given to correct the record. what was your recording of those fbi reports that were released today? >> so of course we don't know for certain why judge sullivan ordered the fbi, ordered the justice department to take the
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unusual step of releasing these 302s, they're heavily redacted. but even with that releasing 302s is very unusual. there are reports of interviews that fbi agents make near to the time they undertake that interview. and once you read this 302 oats just abundantly clear that flynn was appropriately charged with lying to the government. they as mimi says they give him every opportunity to tell the truth and he simply resists at every turn, lying perhaps when the truth would have served him better. the 302s are just a stunning confirmation of the reason why flynn had to plead guilty in this case. he's guilty. >> yeah, and jennifer, this is something flynn has brought on through this sentencing process. we weren't necessarily going to
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see these if flynn wasn't trying to suggest through his lawyers he was somehow taken advantage of, wasn't phrasing it anything like donald trump with the crazy perjury trap language, but he did seem to be trying to get some kind of sympathy from the judge about being somehow taken advantage of by fbi agents. >> he does, and he did and it's absurd on its face. he was a general in the united states military. and if anybody understands that when fbi agents come to your office and interview you, you better tell the truth, it would be an ex-general i would think. more over it was clear from the interview they were asking specific questions. this was not just, hey, have a beer, let's talk about the family and the kids. this is straight interview. they go back again and again asking him ability his contacts. at one point the agents even say didn't you have some conversation about the u.n., and flynn without missing a beat says oh, good reminder. and he says, well, we didn't
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really tell them not to do anything, we didn't tell them anything about sanctions, which again was a lie on top of a lie. so he has brought this on himself just like he has brought himself immense shame by representing the government of turkey while he is advising a presidential candidate in the transition and has been named to be the national security advisor while he is representing the government of turkey. that is absurd. and we've never seen behavior like this reallien my lifetime and not with a military person. politicians, perhaps i hold to a lower standard but military men representing in secret a foreign government. >> and some of the his associates now indicted in that representation of turkey. >> and look, flynn could have been indicted in that. that is clear. >> and new indictments today. >> yes. and i think now when we look at flynn's cooperation before everyone said mueller is recommending jail time, he must be providing very valuable
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information. i think that is true. now that is ten fold true because this is very serious indictment -- >> and flynn is clearly an informer on this indictment and his associates. >> he's clearly cooperating but i don't think he would be getting all this credit just for cooperating against his associates which really are somewhat lower on the totem pole. so the question is still out there and now i think it's who and what has he given information on? i think it's bigger than him, bigger than this. and i think the question still remains on why he lied about that phone call or those conversations with kislyak? because he had to know he say recorded. because my sense was reading the 302, he didn't want to say yes because he would have then had to explain more about why he had those conversations with kislyak. there were more conversations going on behind the scenes that he didn't want to be have to be asked about. >> and joyce, this is so stunning to read about because you see the fbi agents reminding him what about this, they
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clearly know -- he can tell in the conversation they know the truthful answers to the questions that he's not answering truthfully. >> you know, as the interview went on longer and longer it has to have become clear to him at some point that they knew everything that he had been lying to them about. there's one interesting detail in the 302 that's released, and we learn that flynn was actually on a trip to the dominican republic with his wife when he had this phone conversation with kislyak. perhaps he was on a scrambled channel, but for whatever reason he believed that his conversation with the russian ambassador was not monitored. unfortunately for him that wasn't the case. >> joyce vance, mimi, jennifer ruben, thank you all for joining us tonight. and when we come back how russia helped donald trump suppress the vote in 2016. how russia helped donald trump win the electoral college. and later what could be a
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disturbing trend for president trump that began in the united states senate today. the in-laws have moved in with us. and, our adult children are here. so, we save by using tide. which means we use less. three generations of clothes cleaned in one wash. those are moms. anybody seen my pants? nothing cleans better. put those on dad! it's got to be tide. after bill's back needed a vacation from his vacation. so he stepped on the dr. scholl's kiosk.
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♪ there's no place likargh!e ♪ i'm trying... ♪ yippiekiyay. ♪ mom. ♪ donald trump is both the president of the united states and the leader of the party that believes it cannot survive without voter suppression. >> they didn't come out to vote for hillary. they didn't come out, and that was the big -- so thank you to the african-american community. and the african-american
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community was great to us. they came through bigly. bigly. and frankly, if they had any doubt, they didn't vote. and that was almost as good. >> the bipartisan members of the senate intelligence committee have released two reports today showing that russia's attack on our presidential election included an attack on african-american voters trying to suppress their vote. according to one of the reports in the days leading up to the election a russian agency began to deploy voter suppression tactics on the black community targeted accounts. the suppression narratives were targeted almost exclusively at the black community on instagram and facebook. here's the leader of the defense fund with chris hayes earlier tonight. >> well, african-americans have to deal with the challenge of voter suppression that is -- you
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know, that comes at us from state and local governments and since the trump elication even from the federal government. now what we're learning is we have to face voter suppression efforts by foreign governments. >> joining our discussion now richard stengel and jason johnson, politics editor. both are msnbc contributors. and jason, your reaction to these two reports and the targeting of black voters. >> i'm not surprised, lawrence. i mean this has been going on for a while. you have prominent members of black twitter who have said for years you have these sort of hostile bots going after active feminists and sewing discord. as much as russia may have tried to exploit existing racial divisions in the country there were existing racial divisions. hillary clinton had her own problems with black people. the russians did not make her say super predators. the russians did not make bernie
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sanders say all live matter. so i think as problematic as foreign intervention is, it is a reflection of pre-existing problems and democrats need to be aware heading into 2020, to not let this happen again. >> let's take a look at one of the memes the russians put othere in social media. it's about voter discouragement, about trying to grab onto those elements, attach points jason was just mentioning and in any way they possibly can, discouraging the black vote from turning out. when you were under secretary of state, one of your jobs was to monitor social media around the world for terrorism, trying to counter terrorism influences on social media. but did you reach over into what the russians were doing? >> yes, we started the first counter russian disinformation unit at the state department based on what we saw the russians doing around the
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annexation of crimea. >> so well before the presidential election? >> 2014, the spring of 2014 we saw that. we kind a tsunami of russian misinformation and propaganda about what they were doing in ukraine, they were uniting it, it was part of russia. so we saw that on social media. i argue in my book that this is template to what they did in 2016. it was much more successful than they thought it was going to be and much easier than they thought it to be. so the internet research agency which has been mentioned in st. petersburg, that's where it is, it's a troll factory. and hundreds of people go in every day creating content, using bots, using persona. that's what they did to try to suppress the black vote in the election. >> that's the way social media work. you just fire it out there in every conceivable venue that you possibly can. >> right. and there's a long history of
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this. they've been writing about this for years. this goes back to the 1960s. the russians have always seen america's sort of multicultural population as one of the weak points they could attack us on. they used to approach black activists in the 1960s saying this country will never love you, give us information. this is not new. social media is just a modern version of it. what i question is this, though, i don't know this method was necessarily going to be successful if you didn't have the candidates on the table that you had. i don't know that this would work against a beto o'rourke, against a joe biden in 2020. there are lots of different reasons people didn't choose to vote. i don't think this memes were as much a driving force as the people that were running for office. >> and when you look at what they were doing, david axelrod, who ran two successful presidential campaigns for barack obama said today the trump margin in the electoral college was so tiny, the way he picked up these small clusters
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of votes in a couple of states that this is the kind of thing that could have turned that. >> yes. it's impossible to know. i mean the thing about the russians is they're not very creative. they don't create content out of nothing. what they do is they increase sentiment. so what they were trying to do in those places, in those industrial states, increase certaintiment for trump voters to come out and decrease sentiment for sillry voters to come out. we're not very good at measuring how the internet changes peoples mind. but we are good at measuring whether they incruse enthusiasm or decrease it. >> we saw the graph showing that black voter turnout decreased in to16, the first time it's decreased since 1996. >> i would say first it was the voting rights act, the suppression you had in wisconsin, michigan, north carolina. i think a key thing of what the russians were successfully doing is it ratcheted up white racial anxiety.
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because the same way they were promoting memes in the black community and saying hey, don't vote for these people, they were pushing out these same extreme memes in the white company saying black people were going to attack, black people were going to take over. so i think there's a way these things work together. i think the lack of black turnout could primarily be pushed through voter suppression. i really do wonder going forward depending on what happens in this country how this is. the lgbt community, the latino community, they'll find some other crease in our community to exploit. >> if you look at the report today, what they are always trying to do is sow dissent. always trying to make the american people feel like the government is not legitimate. they targeted lgbt voters, other
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people who might be unsympathetic towards the status quo. it's not like they're sympathetic with african-americans or anything like that. they're trying to sow dissent. >> but the republicans most importantly did everything they possibly could to suppress the black vote, everywhere they could possibly influence that in any way including reducing polling places, all sorts of things they could do. and then the russians come in and try to make that vote a bit more reluctant. so if it's become extremely difficult for you to vote and now you have this russia social media saying oh, voting's not that important, those two things together can factor in. >> and we can't forget also the illegal things russia was doing. of taking people's i.d.s and starting fake organizations against black people to discourage black people from voting. i saw those kind of memes among my own students. information that wasn't true about hillary clinton and bernie sanders.
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and the problem i really am concerned about is when this is connected in the future, they are going to get more sophisticated. they're going to have people assist them. and when they start putting out false information, if we're not vigilant, if facebook isn't vigilant, if twitter isn't vigilant, this is information that moves faster than you can stop it. we've already seen voter suppression isn't going to stop. >> thank you both for joining us on this subject. and we're going to have much more still ahead including what trump now has to fear from some republican senators. but first we have some great news about your generosity this weekend. since you heard her tell you on friday night how important the kind fund scholarship has been to her education now she's a freshman at the college in milawy, that brings the total we have raised for the kind fund to just over $19 million.
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and as most of you know, that money is used to build desks at factories in mulawy and deliver those desks to schools that don't have desks. we have a very long way to go to deliver desks to every school in malawi and so your continued generosity remains hugely important. yesterday jane edith wilson tweeted this. bake sale under way, four year my son has organized out here with his best friend, lots of treats. thank again, lawrence, for inspiring the kids, los angeles, msnbc. hey, jane, i was on the other side of town yesterday. if i had known about this i would have been there. so let me know next year. you can donate to the k.i.n.d. fund in any amount and you can donate at lastworddesk at msnbc.com.
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tomorrow members of the congressional hispanic caucus will travel to the southern border to investigate had circumstances of the death of 7-year-old jakelin who died in custody of the u.s. customs and border protection. buzzfeed reports that the department of homeland security is refusing to allow the members of congress to question the border agents involved in that case.
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cal perry has been reporting for us from the border where he found children and their parents marked with numbers on their arms while they wait to be processed. and joining us now is cal perry with reporting from both sides of the border. and there are reports tonight of people tonight. >> there's a bit of standoff. two members of congress passed into mexico to bring 15 honduran migrants back across the border. they crossed into the u.s. and they were stopped by customs border and protection. customs and border protections said we are full, they're now in a 10 by 10 area being held. the members of congress along with the immigration attorneys are waving wildly to authorities to try to get them to cross. we have it video. we were able to speak to the immigration attorney and there it is. these individuals are in
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america. by law they should be able to apply for asylum. they are not being able to do so. we are seeing this across the country. we've seen this in the past few months specifically in the el paso area. while this is now in san diego, we've been seeing this in el paso. and what we've been seeing in el paso are people being stopped not able to cross into the u.s., being held in migrant shelters in juarez which is dangerous city and it's having a negative impact on children especially. ruben garcia is welcoming yet another bus load of migrants just processed and released from i.c.e. custody. he's the director of enunciation house, a group of volunteers providing shelter and food for thousands of migrants a week. he's always asking for support.
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>> the refugees coming in is not an el paso problem. it is a problem of the united states. >> those who made it this far are lucky. on this day garcia explains a process he calls metering, a control way of controlling the number of allowed to claim asylum each day. cbp has started stationing officers right at the international line at the tom of the bridges and asking for i.d. if you're a refugee they're pushing you back into mexico.
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>> to learn more we travel from el paso to casa del -- it's a 30 minute drive but for migrants seeking asylum it's still worlds away. he works closely with the father javier. they care for some 250 migrants at a time in the center. >> this is place we see migrants from all countries and nationalities. >> numbers are marked by mexican volunteers ensuring a place in line, the desire to breathe free in america is real. but parents' sacrifices come at a price. i don't want to separate from my son. is that his biggest fear? yes, it is. in this center are people talking about this with their kids? what are they telling their kids?
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>> that's what folks are talking about right now, the way they're going to be separated from their child. they said they really don't know what's going to happen. >> for some this is about the fabric of america. this is a defining american issue. 242 years and counting we are the strongest most successful country on the face of the planet precisely because we are a country of asylum seekers and refugees and immigrants. we lose that at our peril. >> texas congressman beto o'rourke isn't the only one on a collision course with the current administration. >> people have to understand asking for asylum is legal. these are not criminals, these people are not dangerous to our community. these are the most vulnerable. so the american thing to do consistent with our values and ideals as a country is to welcome them. >> after months on the road with the american dream in sight, these migrants who know the uncertainty ahead are allowing home to prevail over fear.
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>> these are folks who have hope, these are folks who have dreams and that's they're here because they think they have a better shot at life and they're not going to give up on their hopes and dreams we're not either. >> president trump has told those people to go to ports of entry. we spoke to border protection. port of entry facilities were not designed to hold hundreds of people at a time who may be seeking asylum. dhs is utilizing our limited resources as efficiently and effectively. they add the reality is unless congress responds to our requests for resources, we will continue to experience problems. you have questions. do we go through southern california where we will inevitably now end up in a standoff between u.s.
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authorities and mexican authorities and speaking of julia aimsly who's down stairs and helped break it, we can't help thinking this is what president trump wants, these pictures around the world as a deterrent, and he's using cruelty as his message. >> everything we saw is a result of trump policy. >> and this is going to be the next chapter. the next chapter is we don't have resources, give us more resources or these folks can't go anywhere. >> valuable reporting from the border. really appreciate it. when we come back, what donald trump might now have to fear from some republican senators. that's next.
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here's more of what former fbi director james comey had to say today after he testified to a closed door hearing organized by house republicans. >> republicans used to understand that the actions of a president matter, the words of a president matter and the rule of law matters and the truth matters. where are those republicans today? at some point someone has to stand up in the face of fear of fox news, fear of their base, fear of mean tweets, stand up for the values of this country and not slink away into retirement. but stand up and speak the truth. >> and so the question now is will lamar alexander slink away into retirement or stand up and speak the truth? senator alexander announced today he will not seek
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re-election to his seat in the tennessee. we will likely see a rerun in the senate in what happened to the house of representatives, a series of house republicans announcing they are not running for re-election. might that mean there might be stronger voice of opposition to donald trump in the republican senate than jeff flake and bob corker have been this year after announcing they will not run for re-election. "the washington post" fact checker polled americans on 11 prominent false statements by donald trump and found that on average fewer than 3 in 10 americans and fewer than 4 in 10 republicans actually believed those trump false statements. the poll found 71% of americans say donald trump regularly makes misleading claims. after a break, jason johnson and jennifer will join us to consider the new political landscape in congress including what will probably be a large
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number of retiring republican senators and what that might mean to trump control of the united states senate. i'm ray and i quit smoking with chantix. smoking. it dictates your day.
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♪ there's no place likargh!e ♪ i'm trying... ♪ yippiekiyay. ♪ mom. ♪ people who know better including republican members of this body have to have the courage to stand up and speak the truth. not be cowed by mean tweets or fear of their base. it there is a truth and they're not telling it. their silence is shameful.
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>> back with us, jennifer rubin and jason johnson and, jennifer, i am fascinated by the first announced republican retirement. there's 22 republican seats up, so many more than democrats. so we're going to have more republicans announcing that they're not going to run for re-election. each one of those republicans is a potential danger to donald trump if they are no longer worried about appealing to trump voters, themselves. >> although the republicans didn't make progress in the senate, in some ways, i think the, rather, the democrats didn't make progress, in some ways i think the democrats are much better positioned this time. >> oh, yeah. >> to push back. for one thing, one of those republicans is mitt romney. >> uh-huh. >> we don't know how he's going to behave. we've been disappointed many times before, but he could decide, hey, what do i got to lose? i'm here. this is the capstone of my career, i can be independent, i can stand up to this guy. i see him playing that role. you have people like lamar alexander who was always a moderate, always a dealmaker.
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he got a renewal of no child left behind through the senate, for example. he's also been someone who democrats liked and kind of a gentleman in the same way bob corker was so you could see him then you have a handful of republicans who are in purple or blue states, a corey gardner from colorado who's going to be in a lot of trouble. you have a nucleus of five or six on the republican side who donald trump isn't necessarily going to be able to count on apply a huge role in confirmation of appointees as these people go out the door, have to resign in disgrace. it's going to mean legislation,s it's going to mean in some instances republicans cooperating with investigations, whereas they did not do so in the past. so i think as we watch donald trump's bubble burst, and as he careens out of control, becomes more and more hysterical, his poll numbers go down, the
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country is drifting, they're not getting their agenda through, i think you could see a mini revolt. i don't suppose that they're going to do anything extraordinary, but little steps lead to bigger steps and bigger steps lead to who knows what. >> that is true. and jason johnson, i think people often forget that the senate intelligence committee is functioning as a bipartisan committee. >> right. >> and with republican support on that committee, they released these two very important reports today about russian interference in the vote and how they targeted various voters in trying to discourage those voters and so you have a nucleus there on the senate intelligence committee that could spread as the evidence against the trump administration mounts through democratic-run congressional hearings in the house. >> right. lawrence, the senate has always been a very interesting role when it comes to the 2016 election.
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on the one hand, they won't protect robert mueller, right? they could pass a bill and make sure trump can't get rid of him, but on the other hand they've been slowly but surely continuing the investigation into election interference in a way that the house has not and i think as that evidence becomes more apparent and also as people begin to realize, trump can't save you, trump won't save you. >> right. >> right? and every man and woman is going to have to be for themselves. not just corey gardner in colorado but susan collins is going to be in trouble. these senators are looking at what happened in 2018, they're looking at having had to defend kavanaugh, looking at what could be a cratering economy, looking at scandal after scandal and realizing support for this president is not going to be beneficial. i agree with comey. i wish more of these senators would stay and stand up for democracy instead of taking their ball and going home. as they leave, it makes it harder for existing republicans to pretend washington, d.c., isn't burning around this incompetent president. >> let's not overlook this rebuke joined by democrats of the trump policy of basically
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cover-up on saudi arabia and the killing of khashoggi. >> absolutely. there were two steps, one was to directly blame mohammed bin salman in contradiction of the president, after these embarrassing noncredible briefings they received from mike pompeo and jim mattis and the other was to actually take back power from the white house, to actually act within the context of the war powers and say we will not consent to the use of our forces in yemen where a genocidal situation is building. it was extraordinary. that was a real rebuke. maybe the first actual legislative rebuke this president has received from republicans. >> yeah, and so jason, the question is just how good did that feel? to those republican senators. hey, did that feel good? because there's more if you want to. >> i mean, i hope they recognize, like, wait, we have a job here. like, you know, you can go back
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and actually rebuke this president. but i think the other thing is this, lawrence, you know, for so long, you had all these battles between obama and the senate, and who's got more power and control. the senate recognizes that they are an actual equal branch of our government. and they have an opportunity to set precedent and set policy and they don't have to go down the drain with the president of the united states. i think increasingly, people are also recognizing that, look, with 17 investigations as you mentioned, these investigations are eventually going to land in their laps and the american people are going to demand accountability from the senate in an oversight perspective. so i expect to see more of this going forward. i -- i am not sure if i think that the president is going to get primaried yet, but i do believe this. if his numbers, by the fall of 2019, are hovering regularly below 40%, i think a bob corker, i think a lamar alexander, i think not necessarily a mitt romney, but he will encourage people behind the scenes, we may see this president get primaried and the most likely location for the person who's going to do that is going to be from the
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u.s. senate. >> jennifer, bob corker said today, i'm quoting him, he said "i think it's important to remind people that we're going through an anomaly right now as it relates to much of the standard republican focus." he's saying he's hoping there will be a republican primary against donald trump. >> in our own weak little way, susan collins also said she wouldn't be opposed to primary -- >> here we are. >> -- candidates. here we are, that's as bold as you're going to get from susan collins. >> there's the crack in the wall. the primary is developing. jennifer rubin, jason johnson, thank you both for joining us. we'll be right back with tonight's "last word." that's why this is the view for every other full-size pickup. and this year, it's déjà vu all over again. 'cuz only the ford f-150 gives you best-in-class torque, best-in-class payload . . . and you got it, baby . . . best-in-class towing. this is the big dog! this is the ford f-150. it doesn't just raise the bar, pal. it is the bar. and now, you can get a ford f-150 with zero percent financing for 72 months.
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we have one second left on the clock, so that's tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right not. le the clock so that's tonight's last word. the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. the breaking news we're covering tonight. if you've ever wondered what it's like to be interviewed by the fbi, you can read what it's like as the feds release the notes that sunk mike flynn at the white house. all of it on the eve of his sentencing tomorrow. plus, with 17 investigations and circling the president and his aids, is it possible that he made it worse for the president. more exposure for team trump. the alarming news out for team trump about what the russians tried to do to robert mueller. and

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