tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC February 16, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
the beginning of a sustained attack. you can watch "headliners" this sunday 9:00 on msnbc. that is tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight, paul manafort now facing a quarter century in federal prison, and just one of the cases he's facing, while another federal judge slams manafort for lying about his repeated dealings with a prominent russian. also tonight, the roger stone case comes roaring back, as the feds say they have his communications with wikileaks, which is interesting, because he says he never communicated with wikileaks. the judge also lilts his comments on this case. we learned today another prominent memberle of trump world, sarah sanders, has been interviewed by the mueller team. and back at the white house, president trump in a rambling and disconnected event in the rose garden declares his national emergency, then goes on
to completely undercut his own case. all of it as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a friday night. good evening. day 757 of the trump administration, and just within these past few hours on a friday night, we have seen a number of major developments with regard to the mueller investigatiinves. tonight, the feds have submitted a sentencing document for trump's former campaign chair paul manafort, who will soon, we say this because it's germaine, turn 70 years of age. this would apply only to the case he's facing in virginia where he was found guilty of tax and bank fraud. this sentence would mean he would be in federal prison until the end of his productive life. the sentencing guideline here is a prison term from 19 to 24 years. manafort faces a restitution payment of over $24 million and they suggest manafort forfeit
more than $4 million. the sentencing document is 120 pages long and has copious amounts of information. if manafort receives a sentence in the recommended range, it would be the harshest handed down thus far in the russia investigation. then, there's his own case in federal court in d.c. and another prison sentence awaiting. the judge in that case ruled he lied to investigators. a violation of his cooperation deal with the feds. there's also news about paul manafort's one time business partner roger stone. today, mueller's team filed a document in stone's case, rejecting his request for a different judge, and there, in the document, the felts say for the first time, they have evidence of roger stone communicating with wikileaks, as well as guccifer 2.0. that was the alias used by
russian attackers to hack into the dnc computers, steal the e-mails and lack them. that's notable because stone has said repeatedly he never communicated with guccifer or wikileaks. the federal judge issued gag order. enough to get stone to stop talking about the case in ways that would prejudice future jurors. >> to stormy house with greater force than was used to take down bin laden or el chapo or pablo escobar. they sent fewer men to go after bin laden than after me. i saw a dozen other fbi agents in the background, all wearing night goggles, full s.w.a.t. gear. to make me look guilty in public. to poison the jury pool and make me look like el chapo or some kind of drug kingpin. >> so, it's those kind of interviews the judge is looking to gag. we also learned today, as we mentioned, white house press
secretary sara huh huckabee sans has been interviewed by the mueller team in the fall of last year. she said the president urged me like he has every one in the administration to full by cooperate with the special counsel. i was happy the sit down with them. reports say feds are likely interested in what sanders may have known about the trump tower meeting, the cover up story and meeting, the coverup story and whether she was involved in crafting any misleading statements about that meeting. >> the statement that don jr. issues is true. there's no inaccuracy in the statement. >> the outside counsel did weigh in, saying the president did dictate the statement. do you want to correct the record on your statement from august when you said he certainly didn't dictate? >> once again, i'm not going to go into detail. >> the new attorney general spent his first day on the job at the justice department. second time in his career he's occupied that office, william barr. he was present in the rose garden for the president's
announcement of his national emergency. >> i want to wish our new attorney general great luck and speed and enjoy your life. bill, good luck. a tremendous reputation. i know you'll do a great job. >> enjoy your life. meanwhile, there are reports that matt whitaker, who was the acting a.g., is still at the justice department, still on the federal payroll, serving as a senior counselor of some sort at doj. let's bring in our leadoff panel. frank figliuzzi. we want to welcome to the broadcast jessica roth, former federal prosecutor from the southern district of new york. these days, a professor at the cardozo cool school of law here new york. and with us tonight, eric tucker, justice reporter for the associated press. welcome to you all. frank, i'd like to begin with you. we'll go manafort first, and
then later in the discussion, we'll handle mr. stone. it's a lot, but we can get through it. what did you learn today in the documents you read, especially manafort and his buddy and business part, mr. kilimnik? >> the judge does not like mr. manafort's position on things. doesn't like the fact he's lied, slammed him for lying about very substantial issues at the core of the special counsel investigation. and we're all left to wonder why. why the lies continue. why he continued to lie to the special counsel and the court about what he knows and who he met with and it's looking more and more, brian, like manafort has such substantial information in his possession that if he let it out, it would not only bring him down, but bring down others.
and so, i'm left to conclude, through observation and what we've learned so far, that he has the goods regarding russian cooperation with the trump campaign and likely knows the degree to which, if any, this president was aware of russian quid pro quo deals involving aiding the campaign. that's what this is looking like after today's revelations. >> frank, i even came across a quote, page 27 of the judge's document here, that says, she mentions something that says, gives rise to legitimate questions about where his loyalties lie. in other words, this question we have been dealing with on our broadcast, is manafort playing for the home team or the opposition? >> she wasn't even buying all his medical condition. she noted that, you know, you're trying to claim you have gout, but i note that we're not hearing any evidence that you had it at the time you claimed
you were confused and under stress and couldn't remember things. she distinctly said, i'm not buying the "i can't recall, i was stressed" argument and i find it interesting that you stood here at a podium and -- earlier in the proceedings and now you're in a wheelchair and claiming that you're under stress. she wasn't buying any of it, brian. >> counselor, first of all, welcome. >> thank you. >> we note that there's the usual collection of redactions. this goes on for pages and pages. but in the words we're allowed to see, what stood out to you? >> so, a couple things stood out to me. one was how carefully the judge documented her findings, that manafort had lied in a material way to the special counsel. and she was clear that she wasn't relying, for example, only on representations by gates, but also corroborating documentary evidence, which was very careful to document it and also to make clear that he wasn't just perhaps misremembering at times, as had been suggested by his counsel,
but he was promoting false narratives that were quite detailed, but just inconsistent with the notion that he just was caught unaware and was confused at the time he was interviewed. but the redactions stood out to me the most. >> i'd love to hear why. >> so, you get, when we get close to kilimnik, we see more redactions, we see redactions about this payment that was made, but it's really when we get to kilimnik that we sue meet redactions. we have reference to another djo investigation that's not described, and then pages and pages of redactions. what that suggests to me is that there is more to come from mueller on matters that he has characterized as core to his investigation, namely collusion or coordination between the trump campaign and russian officials. the only justification for continuing to redact this transcript and to close these hearings is that there is an ongoing investigation to protect, and so, strikes me that predictions that mueller is nearly done and wrapping up are premature. >> that's one of the things i
wanted to ask you, because you are new to us and this broadcast. kind of a pressure opinion, when you read the articles and there's one a week that they're wrapping up, this is almost the end, this is direct evidence, to you, not to believe that. >> it's what we might call circumstantial evidence that they are not done. there's been references there's ongoing investigations that must be protected. michael cohen's testimony was postponed in light of ongoing investigations. to me, these are signals that there's more to come. we also have if the roger stone case, we know that his associate, mr. miller, had been subpoenaed before the grand jury and was told he still needed to come, even after the initial indictment against roger stone. a grand jury subpoena can only be used to gather evidence of additional charges. that suggests to me there's more to come with respect to roger stone. >> wow. >> all right, eric, so, you covered the manafort matter in virginia.
when we talk about this potential 24-year prison sentence for a 70-year-old man, this is just the case in virginia. we haven't gotten to the federal court in d.c. yet. what should we know about that case, about what went on there? >> so, it is entirely a financial fraud case involving work that paul ma that fort was doing. his international and political consulting and lobbying work. it had nothing to do with the trump campaign. that's something he was continuing to pursue in 2015 and then 2016, he winds up taking a job with the trump campaign, and he had been under investigation before the special counsel. the one thing i thought was really notable about the government sentencing memo was just how unsparing it was in its assessment of paul manafort's conduct. ordinarily, you see an attempt to acknowledge a potential mitigating factor in the defendant's behalf, and say,
this indeed might be a reason to give some leniency -- >> none of that here. >> none of that here. mueller said, it is all stacked in the ledger of aggravating factor. there's not a single -- there are zero mitigating factors in his favor, which was really startling. >> indeed. our two former feds are nodding back with you. hey, frank, on the matter of roger stone, i thought he said numerous times he hadn't been in contact with guccifer or wikileaks. >> brian, this may be the closest we've come thus far to actual criminal collusion. evidence of colluding with a foreign power. wlet's go over this, because this is -- this is big. and it's buried in a transcript where mueller is saying, wait a minute, roger stone is arguing that he doesn't like this judge. shouldn't be lumped in with these russian intelligence officers in the same breath, in the same case similarities and wants out of this.
doesn't know these guys. and he says in response, i actually have communications that i got in a search warrant where i seized -- searched an seized evidence of communications involving the hack by russian intelligence on the democrats and communications with wikileaks about releasing that hacked material, and guess what, roger stone? you're communicating with both parties about that topic. this is collusion. for roger stone to sit there and have the hubris to say i'm above this, right, you guys don't have anything on me, i'm going to lie to the court, i'm going to lie to the special counsel -- it's backfired horribly and it's a huge hint that mueller knows far more than roger stone understands. >> jessica, to frank's point, that's so right. this was not a document designed today to tell the public, here's what we've got on this guy. this was an ancillary mention of what they've got on this guy.
he's in on seven counts. do you expect him to have more counts piled on now that he's in the system? >> i do. and i agree that it's fascinating that we get these really important details, in what you characterized as an ancillary finding. i find it fascinating that mueller didn't include these details in the indictment against roger stone -- >> why do you think that? >> he was holding back. he had these materials. so, it must have been a strategic calculation that they wanted to have a surprise element, if they sat down with roger stone. maybe to protect on ongoing investigations to other people involved including whoever was in the trump campaign that was in contact with stone and whoever was directing that person to be in touch with roger stone. so, i think it is really, really interesting. this is the first explicit statement from mueller about direct communications between stone and wikileaks on the one hand and stone and guccifer 2.0, who were the russians, as we know.
>> so, frank, i know you're nodding along as jessica speaks. do we think this is the kind of reason, point of order, bin laden was shot and killed on his raid, the kind of thing that they swept up when they went into his house? >> don't know if they have those results yet back. >> okay. >> i'm thinking this is far more sensitive in terms of search warrant material. if you're talking about seizing communications from guccifer, an intelligence operation, russians, wikileaks, it could be from his house, but it could also be, redundantly, captured in intercepts of those two parties, as well. stone and manafort both have exhibited and not only a huge hubris, ego, large egos, but a naivety to what mueller actually has access to in terms of signal intelligence and the
entire spectrum of u.s. intelligence agency collection. and allied intelligence collection. when you lie to people who have that kind of information, you're making a huge mistake and stone and manafort have both screwed up in that regard. >> yeah, i'd broadly paraphrase the judge, who, in the portion of this document that has words on it, says, in effect, to manafort, you were asked a question by the mueller team, did you not think they already knew the answer? hey, eric, i wanted to get you on the new era that started today at the department of justice, or did it? what questions are you expecting to see or not see as the bill barr era as an actual attorney general begins? >> there's no question that the biggest issue facing bill barr and the entire justice department is, what do you do with the end of the mueller investigation, whenever that happens? and when we talk about this question, the crux is, what do you do about information you gather about people that is
derogatory, negative information, but the person is not charged? this is a familiar issue for people who followed the hillary clinton investigation, where information about her was released into the public sphere, even though, of course, she was not indicted. and so, bill barr and the justice department is going to be left with the question of, okay, we've investigated all of these people, we have indictments against so far, you know, indictments or guilty pleas against 34 people. here are all these other people, can the public learn their names? can they learn what we found about them? that's the issue that bill barr is confronting now. >> this is the kind of starting panel we could so easily fill the hour without even thinking about it. but they have lives and families and we have other topics, so, for now, they'll have to accept our thanks. fran, jessica, eric, for being apart of our broadcast tonight. and coming up, president trump's rambling rose garden address to declare an emergency that he went onto admit as
emergencies go, isn't really all that urgent or necessary. and later, we'll ask a retired four-star general, barry mccaffrey, what he thinks of trump's plan to take from the military and give to the wall. "the 11th hour" is just getting started on what is yet another busy friday night. day night. ♪ ♪ ♪ and everywhere i go ♪ there's always something to remind me ♪ ♪ of another place and time ♪ ♪ ♪ of another place and time ♪ i was thinking...d clot could there be another around the corner? or could it turn out differently? i wanted to help protect myself. my doctor recommended eliquis.
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before leaving for florida for the weekend, trump explained his decision in a morning rose garden event that went off the rails rather quickly. >> we will have a national emergency and we will then be sued and they will sue us in the 9th circuit, even though it shouldn't be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling and then we'll get another bad ruling and then we'll end up in the supreme court and hopefully we'll get a fair shake and we'll win in the supreme court just like the band they sued us in the 9th circuit and we lost in the appellate division and then we went to the supreme court and we won. >> moments later, in his answer to a question from our own peter alexander, he directly undercut his own argument and the urgency for a national emergency. >> i could do the wall over a longer period of time. i didn't need to do this, but i'd rather do this much faster. and i don't have to do it for
the election. i've already done a lot of wall for the election. 2020. the only reason we're up here talking about this is because of the election. >> that prompted former acting u.s. solicitor general neil katyal to post this, and we quote, "trump just said, i didn't need to do this but i'd rather do it much faster. whatever a national emergency may be, that's not it. that quote is going right in the lawsuit." earlier today, former u.s. attorney joyce vance agreed, the president's own words just right there in an instant will likely mean big trouble for the president. >> here we have the president himself saying it's not a national emergency. every lawyer will pick up on that and trump may think they will go to the 9th circuit, the most liberal circuit in the country, there will undoubtedly be cases there, but there's one case in progress on the texas border, this's in the fifth
circuit, one of the very conservative circuits that exists in the deep south. i expect they will succeed there as well, and the president will only have himself to thank for their victory. >> the aclu, for its part, says it will be filing a lawsuit next week challenging the president's emergency declare ration. and texas democratic congressman joaquin castro promises to introduce a resolution to block the declaration. for more here tonight, we're joined by jonathan allen, the veteran political journalist who is our nbc news political recorder. we welcome emily cochran, who covers capitol hill for "the new york times" and back with us, franco ordonez, covering immigration and foreign affairs. in his spare time, among other topics. welcome. jon, i want to read you something from "the washington post" tonight, here it is. white house lawyers including
white house counsel repeatedly warned trump of the legal risks of proceeding. on friday, some white house lawyers were frustrated and still skeptical of the commander in chief's rationale. two points here, jon, this leaked from the office of white house counsel, what does that tell you? and number two, it happened, because the president made it happen. what's the after-action damage assessment tonight? >> i think there's serious damage to the president's case from his words. i think there this a serious separation of powers issue here. we're going to watch congress vote on this likely. joaquin castro will bring up this resolution to terminate the emergency. the senate will have 18 days if the house passes. the senate will have 18 days to vote on it or vote to not have a vote on it. votes put up in congress likely in the next three weeks. but in addition to that, brian,
i would just note, the president has been making the case that there's a national emergency for the past several weeks during the shutdown, and congress then acted. congress appropriated money and said, here, you have $1.375 billion to build 55 miles of fence. no more, no less. and so, when you look at the national emergencies act, the reason that exists is the idea that there might be an attack on the country or a natural disaster and that the congress would not have time to react to that, the president ought to be able to spend money to react to things like that, between appropriations seasons. in this case he made that case for an emergency. congress denied him the funds he sought, that $5.7 billion, so, he's going to take existing appropriations to try to get done what he wants to do. i think you're going to see, i know you're going to see, an aggressive effort to fight him in the courts. there's going to be a fight in congress. and we'll have to see where the legal lines are here, but obviously, the president and the congress agree that this isn't
an emergency. that there wasn't an emergency, as he said here in the rose garden today. >> jon talks about a fight in congress, emily, but it's fair to ask, because we've become a little frosty and cynical on this topic over the past two years. what are they really likely to do? >> i think it's fair to say that there will be some republicans who join democrats in voting for this resolution. there is some concern about the breach of executive power. that they're overstepping what congress was meant to do. that being said, the president would be likely to veto such a resolution, and i think it would be a lot harder to get a two-thirds majority to overturn that. >> hey, franco, did trump misplay the timing here among other things, say nothing of the fact that had he gone for a deal, what is it, a year ago, it would have been perhaps, 25 billion, thereabouts? >> absolutely, i mean, democrats were all for that.
they were for that deal. but trump backed away and said no. i mean, and just a few weeks ago, again, before the shutdown, they had more money on the table for the border wall. and again, trump said no at the last minute, among criticism from his -- the right wing. so, he's had several chances to do it. it's funny, because we're hearing reports now that he's trying to talk to some in the conservative media, trying to get them to kind of change the narrative. that this is a better off deal than he would have had, but that's certainly not the case. >> we have seen sporadic cases of people falling in line. that's actually what we want to talk about after we sneak in a break. our guests will stay with us. coming up, the president had lots of praise for members of conservative media today. we'll count up how many of them, perhaps, have returned the favor, when we come back. r, whek
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welcome back. we have been talking about this. let's show you. the president's event in the rose garden today. as we said, it quickly went off the rails. it was designed to announce his national emergency, which he then undercut. he hit a lot of different subjects, from north korea to conservative media. so now, just a brief sampling from today's verbal slalom and
the array of topics. >> i never did politics. now i do politics. i want to wish our new attorney general great luck and speed and enjoy your life. my button is bigger than yours and my button works, remember that? you don't remember that. people said, trump is crazy. and, you know what it ended up being? a very good relationship. i like him a lot, and he likes me a lot. rush limbaugh, i think he's a great guy. he can speak for three hours without a phone call. try doing that. taking calls is easy. okay, i'll answer this one, i'll answer that one. he goes for three hours and he's got an audience that's fantastic. ann coulter, i don't know her. i hardly know her. i haven't spoken to her in way over a year. i like her. she's off the reservation but anybody that knows her understands that. but i haven't spoken to her. i don't follow her. i don't talk to her. the press loves to bring up the name ann coulter. and, you know what, i think she's fun.
i think she's good, but i just don't speak to her. >> he was just getting started. and to keep things interesting, ann colter, whose name was invoked, who has been hounding and trolling this president on the subject of the wall, responded today, during a video interview. >> so, forget the fact that he's digging his own grave. this is just -- look, the only national emergency is that our president is an idiot. >> so, there's that to talk about with our guests. franco, do you believe the president when he says he doesn't follow ann coulter? >> it's really difficult to believe that the president is not listening to ann coulter. let's just remember, a few weeks ago, when president trump was very much ready, according to sarah sanders and white house staff, to sign a spending bill with -- that the democrats and republicans had agreed to, that didn't have any funding to the wall, it was ann coulter who
spoke out and others, talking about that the president is being scammed if he agrees to that. within 24 hours, president trump had changed his mind, said no, i'm not going to sign this. and then we got a record-breaking shutdown. so, for him to say that he's not listening is very hard to believe. >> emily, let's talk about your line of work and covering congress and we've watched them all eventually come around, and people who have some age on them remember when bob bird controlled the snap and when tip o'neill controlled the house, we watched democrat with just breathtaking discipline, come around. here is mark meadows, the head of the freedom caucus in the house, republican, north carolina, now declaring that the potus declaration is legal and well-founded of the national emergency. to my democratic colleagues complaining about executive authority, welcome aboard. good to have you. if you're ready to permanently
rein in executive branch power and give it back to congress once and for all, i'll work with you today. emily, what do you make of it? >> i think it speaks to the challenging position that some republicans are in. there is a lot of concern about the president. thom tillis, a republican from north carolina put out a statement today, where he said he didn't support the declaration, and outlined a number of scenarios where a democratic president would take advantage of the use of executive power like that. but at the same time, the president's base does make up part of their own, so, they have to weigh how they're going to vote on this. they will have to make a decision. >> jonathan allen, the signage we saw at the president's event in el paso. finish the wall. build the wall became finish the wall. the minute the lights came up in that arena, we noticed it. do you see we'll see more of
that signage, or is that going to get put in the scenery warehouse for awhile? >> i think it's going to be all over trump rallies for the next two years, brian. the president has told people not only that he was going to build the wall, he's told people that he has already built new sections of wall, which isn't true. he's told folks they should start talking about continuing to build the wall and now finish building the wall. all of which is sort of a fiction. we're not even talking about wall anymore. the word wall refers to something that's solid. congress is approving something that is see-through, that is fence. the language has been distorted. but regardless of what the barrier is, we're looking at something much smaller. and to emily's point, and to yours, brian, earlier, just, i wanted to get to this, this spending and the conservatives being upset about executive power here, they're looking at a president of the united states that is taking money appropriated for the defense department and deciding to build
something else with it. they're looking at that and saying, when a democrat does that, whether it's for environmental things or infrastructure, this is out of control for what they would like to see government doing. they look at donald trump right now and what they see is a big spending republican and they do not like that at all. >> i'm glad you made that point. because that is the topic for our next segment, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. our thanks on a friday night to our friends jonathan, emily, great to have you on the broadcast, as well as franco. really appreciate it, gang, thanks. and coming up, the quote from the president today was this. if we had a wall, we don't need the military, because we'd have a wall. he insisted some germs told him, sure, take millions from the military funding, a wall is more important. well, we're going to run that by a retired four-star general when we come back. ur-star general whn we come back live from the starlite lounge.
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in the neighborhood. we had certain funds that are being used at the discretion of generals, at the discretion of the military. some of them haven't been allocated yet. and some of the generals think that this is more important. i was speaking to a couple of them, they think this is far more important than what they were going to use it for. i said, what were you going to use it for, but i want go into details. it didn't sound too important to me. >> let's go into detail. president trump making money that's meant for military construction to construct his wall. the defense has to decide what programs to delay or cancel in order to transfer these funds. among the potential options on the table, this is according to "the military times," quote, a new vehicle maintenance shop at
camp arifjan in kuwait, dry dock repairs in hawaii. f-35 hangar improvements at luke air force base in arizona, ongoing hospital construction at landstuhl regional medical center in germany. with us tonight, retired four army general, ground commander in the white house and former white house drug czar. i want you to get started on these two topics. the idea of robbing the military to build the wall, and secondly, what you've been talking about on social media all week, article one. where's new revenue supposed to come from? >> well, you know, brian, i've done a lot of testifying to congress, house and senate appropriations committees over budgets. and the implication that you go to a committee and get a slush
fund that you can then repurpose for whatever you want to do is just hard to imagine that that's where we're going with this government. there is discretion, obviously, in execution of the president's budget, but not seizing $8 billion, much of which, as you point out, will come from military construction money, or, for that matter, the pentagon's department of defense drug interdiction support of law enforcement. this isn't going to happen. at the end of the day, the actual construction, the -- of the wall will take years, so, i don't think it's really going to play out. but i think the constitutional implications of the whole mess are really surprising. one other comment, brian, you know, the dignity and gravitas the president of the united states is an important aspect to national security. and the president's performance today was really unsettling.
it's almost like sitting listening to a guy on a bar stool next to you with incoherence and rudeness and change of policy from what's happened in the past. so, i -- i think we're in a very dangerous period right now. dealing with this issue. >> yeah, i recommend people watch it. it was hard for us to synopsize down how many changes of topic and mood there were. i want to play a subject near and dear to your heart. this is north korea and what the president believes he learned from barack obama. we'll talk about it on the other side. >> they said, what's the biggest problem? he said, by far, north korea. and i don't want to speak for him, but i believe he would have gone to war with north korea. i think he was ready to go to war. in fact, he told me was so close to starting a big war with north
korea. where are we now? no missiles. no rockets. no nuclear testing. >> general, was barack obama close to starting quote, a big war with north korea? >> sheer nonsense. you know, i -- i would have been critical of some aspects of foreign and defense policy under obama, but certainly strategic patience dealing with north korea wasn't one of them. he was in no way about to take unilateral military action. he was trying to hold together the japanese, south koreans, australians, u.s. in common policy and then deal through the u.n. to try to get the russians and the chinese and others to rein kim jong-un back in. this is a nonsensical statement. to go on, president trump's performance in front of the united nations, threatening rocket man and nuclear war, nothing like that has almost ever occurred since world war ii. possibly khrushchev during the
cuban missile crisis. so, i think, you know, the whole story has turned on its head. a bigger problem right now is the north koreans are a declared nuclear power. they may have 60 weapons. they certainly have intermediate range missiles, that can strike u.s. military forces in okinawa japan, south korea, guam, haw i hawaii. what are we going to do about it? engagement with the north koreans is smart, but the kind of photo op, optics negotiations that occurred at singapore are rolling into the current topic schedule, i don't think the administration has a strategy. i don't think they know what they're doing. they'll put us at risk. >> now i want to play you something else. i mentioned you were the former drug czar. this is the president on the fight against drugs and how china handles it.
we'll talk about it on the other side. >> when i asked president xi, i said, do you have a drug problem? no, no, no. i said, you have 1.4 billion people, what do you mean you have no drug problem? no, we don't have a drug problem. i said, why? death penalty. we give death penalty to people that sell drugs. end of problem. what do we do? we set up a blue ribbon committees. >> general, your assessment of that. >> well, first of all, the death penalty in china is a state secret. we don't know how many people are executed. probably a couple of thousand last year, down considerably in the early 2000s. they were executing maybe 12,000 a year. they do have a drug problem. you know, they've got drug labs, me methamphetamines manufacturing going on. it's very significant social challenge. hardly imaginable you can solve
what is actually, at the end of the day, a public health problem, drug education and prevention through threatening execution. so, again, this is a nonsensical viewpoint and factually dubious. >> general, thank you very much for coming on this broadcast on a regular basis and taking our questions and reacting to the news we're covering here tonight. we appreciate it. general barry mccaffrey with us once again this evening. and coming up, you know how we keep saying it would be easier to list the democrats who are not running for president? in a moment, we'll show you what we mean, and fair warning to those living in iowa, new hampshire and south carolina, you just might run into a senator this weekend. when we come back with the lights on. hey, who are you? oh, hey jeff, i'm a car thief... what?! i'm here to steal your car because, well, that's my job. what? what?? what?!
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you know, i was raised by a mother. my sister maya's here. we were raised by a mother. we'd come home with a problem and my mother, the first thing she would do is look at us and say, what are you going to do about fixing it? so i'm going to say, i decided to run for president. >> california senator and presidential hopeful kamala harris kicking off a jam-packed campaign weekend. she is among nine democrats hitting the road tomorrow from new hampshire to georgia to south carolina to iowa. the schedule for the democrats starts early in the morning. there will be house parties and listening tours and walking tours, plus all sorts of meet and greets. even cable news staple and california congressman eric swalwell is getting in on the action. he hasn't even declared he's running yet. the action starts back up on sunday. candidates will hit the pivotal states of iowa and new hampshire.
senator elizabeth warren is making her way all the way out west to nevada. we're still four months away from the first debate in june. we're still a year and eight months away from election day, but with nine people already declared as running and seemingly half the democratic party considering a run for president, it's going to be a busy time in politics and air travel. and while things are revving up on the democratic side, this headline today must have gotten somebody's attention in the west wing. "former massachusetts governor bill weld announces plan to challenge president trump for republican nomination." note that last bit about the republican nomination. weld is most recently remembered for his role in the ill-fated libertarian ticket in 2016 with gary johnson. bill weld hasn't won an election since 1994, but as you can guess, any primary challenge will be an unwelcome primary challenge by this white house. coming up, america's former first couple making a surprise appearance when "the 11th hour" continues. it's absolute confidence
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[brakes squealing] accidents can happen anytime that's why geico is here 24 hours a day everyday. geico, fifteen minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. last thing before we go tonight. it's the roving eye at sports events and you never know when kiss cam is going to find you and your significant other or as has also happened, two complete strangers forced into awkwardly gesticulating that this is not happening. so imagine what it was like on valentine's night. you're watching the visiting new york knicks play your atlanta hawks when this happens. >> hey, the first presidential kiss cam.
president carter and rosalyn. can we get a kiss cam? no wave, a kiss. yeah. oh, yeah. we're going viral. we're going viral with that one. >> and so it did. and here's a note for all the believers in marriage out there. jimmy and rosalyn carter have been married for 72 years and 7 months. let's say that again, only putting it a different way. in five months they will celebrate their 73rd wedding anniversary. and if these two kids can manage to stay married and in good health for another nine months, they will break george and barbara bush's record of 73 years and 4 months of matrimony. that's the longest first marriage in our history. jimmy carter holds an important record already. he has lived to see the longest post-presidency in american history.
he's now been a former president for a record 38 years. so that is our broadcast for a friday night and for this week. thank you so very much for being here with us. have a good weekend. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. another mueller friday. as mueller's prosecutors win a new ruling to gag roger stone. that just happened. and it's big. mueller also dropping the hammer on paul manafort. he's making a new push asking the federal judge to sentence manafort to prison immediately. those developments obviously ominous for several trump figures in the russia probe and they come as president trump used this ramabling and bizarre press conference, and i say that even by 2019 standards, to claim a, quote, national emergency at the border while also undermining himself. that's a story i mentioned with chuck and we'll cover it later on tonight. we begin with today's ruler against trump's longtime adviser roger stone.