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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  February 22, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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ballot fraud scheme to help the republican congressional candidate win. the state elections board has ruled that that election was so tainted they will have a do-over, but now, finally, we are hearing about potential criminal charges in that case as well. the district attorney in north carolina today said she is planning to bring the case to a grand jury. she says she is receiving information that was obtained over the course of the elections board investigation into this matter. she says that she expects to be convening a grand jury to bring potential charges on this matter within the next month. no rush. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again on monday. now it's time for "the last word" with joy reid filling in for lawrence tonight. good evening, joy. i can see you talking but i can't hear you.
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no crossover. well, looks like we're having some technical
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difficulties. joy reid there in for lawrence o'donnell there. i believe we're going to take a quick break to see if we can reestablish connection with joy. is that what we're going to do now? we'll continue with programming. hopefully we can reconnect with joy, again filling in for lawrence o'donnell. we'll continue and pick up from where she was just moments ago. it looks like the southern district of new york's investigation into donald trump may be a whole lot bigger than just hush money payments to a porn star. a new report in "the new york times" says the president's former attorney michael cohen has met with prosecutors in the southern district to offer them information about possible irregularities within the president's family business, including information about insurance claims the company had filed over the years. last week we learned that prosecutors in that office have already begun conducting interviews with members of the trump organization but this is the if first time we're learning about what "the times" is calling irregularities in any alleged issues involving insurance claims.
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"the times" also reports that cohen has offered prosecutors information about trump's inaugural committee, something we know prosecutors in that office have been looking into, specifically prosecutors questioned cohen about a donor to the committee, a venture capitalist from california who donated $900,000 to the committee and attempted to hire michael cohen as a political consultant. now, "the times" report does not say why cohen is giving this information to prosecutors or what it all means, but lucky for us, we might not have to wait very long to find out all about that. that's because michael cohen is set to testify publicly before the house oversight committee next wednesday, and we now have a list of the topics that cohen has agreed to talk about in that hearing. in that list, it includes the president's debts and payments relating to efforts to influence the 2016 election. things like hush money payments to stormy daniels, for example. and any potential violations of campaign finance law or financial disclosure law the
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president may have committed in making those payments. it also included a range of other topics from the president's compliance with tax laws, his conflicts of interest, his business practices, his d.c. hotel, the accuracy or inaccuracy of his statements to the public, potentially fraud and inappropriate practices by the trump foundation and public efforts by the president and his attorney to try to use intimidation to keep witnesses like michael cohen from testifying. now, those are the issues that house oversight committee chairman elijah cummings will be questioning michael cohen about, along with some of that committee's newest members like massachusetts congresswoman ayanna presley. michigan congresswoman rashida talib and a new york congresswoman you may have heard of by the name of alexandria ocasio-cortez. in other words, clear your dvr if you've got some space and get the popcorn ready. joining us now are three people who can help us what to make of
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this new reporting. ken dilanian, the intelligence and national security reporter for nbc news. he is closely following the mueller investigation. nelson cunningham is a former assistant u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york. he was also general counsel of the senate judiciary committee under then senator biden. david k. johnson is a veteran investigative journalist who has covered trump's businesses for decades. he also founded dcreport.org and is author of" it's even worse than you think: what the trump administration is doing to america." ken, kick it off for us. this new reporting coming in. just mentioning michael cohen and the information he may provide as we do hear some of his testimony in the upcoming days. let's start with "the times" report. >> well, i'm pleased to tell you, richard, that nbc news has confirmed some of this "new york times" reporting tonight, particularly we've confirmed the fact that michael cohen has met with and is providing information to southern district prosecutors, and some of that has to do with this donor.
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and we've spoken to a spokesman for zuberi tonight who confirms that there was a $100,000 consulting arrangement between zubeir and cohen and 100,000s check was written to cohen which he never caught. that's when michael cohen was holding himself out as a consultant who could grant people access to the trump campaign. so there is a lot of mystery about why prosecutors are interested in this particular donor, zuberi, a venture capitalist from los angeles who gave $900,000 to the inaugural committee. michael cohen appears to know something about it and he's talking to prosecutors about it. as to the wednesday hearing, that promises to be an amazing hearing, richard. i think we're sort of not giving it the attention it deserves because michael cohen, my sources are telling me, is prepared to tell a series of lurid and sordid stories about how donald trump has behaved behind the scenes in his business practices. he's not allowed to talk about the russia investigation in
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public, but he will talk about those hush money payments to will. he'll talk about alleged corruption in the trump foundation. he'll talk about tax practices and business practices at the trump hotel. it's going to be something we're all going to be riveted to next week. >> nelson, dig into what ken was describing there. because come next wednesday we will learn items in terms of practices as far as the culture of the trump organization in itself. that will help us put "a" plus "b" plus "c" together in ways we haven't heard yet. that's what michael cohen could provide for us. >> that's absolutely right. don't forget, michael cohen is not the only person from within the trump organization who has provided information to the prosecutors. the trump organization's cfo has also agreed to cooperate. he was not given a sentence. he was not forced to plead guilty, but the cfo has been giving testimony to prosecutors behind the scenes and he will know every check, every dollar.
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he will know every tax filing that the trump organization has filed for years. if you're a prosecutor, this is a gold mine. you have the cfo of the organization and you have now the president's and one of the organization's lawyers who have agreed to provide evidence to you. it's a gold mine if you're a prosecutor. and don't forget this, mueller's jurisdiction is fairly narrow. the russian interference. obstruction of justice. other matters directly arising. the southern district of new york's jurisdiction is any federal crime that occurs in manhattan, the bronx and certain upstate counties. that's the seat of the trump organization. so they have a purview to be able to investigate anything that has happened within the trump organization going back to the statute of limitations and beyond. that's pretty broad. >> pretty broad. you know, david, when we look at what some of the irregularities
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that might be filled in a little bit when we hear from michael cohen on wednesday. one of which is the trump administration receiving hurricane damage payments. donald trump saying he received $17 million of insurance payments in 2005. this according to the associated press. for hurricane damage that was sustained by one of his resorts, mar-a-lago. his private club which he resides in many a weekend in palm beach. the associated press also was saying they found little evidence of such large-scale damage to coincide -- in other words, damage not necessarily commensurate with the payment itself. david, we're just getting a little bit of an idea of some of the details that could really blow this case open. >> yes. and donald, you know, claimed damages because of 9/11, even though his real estate was not at all affected by it. he has made claims in the past of tax deductions that two
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different judges threw out and found that he engaged in civil tax fraud. and he's filed many insurance claims over the year -- over the years. one of the most curious ones, although they may not go back this far to look at it, was the crash of a helicopter that killed three trump executives and the payout. that particular helicopter's never been involved in any other crash like the very unusual circumstances of that crash. >> what do you make here, david, of the amount zuberi, illegal lobbying, that whole point that ken was bringing up in terms of the details that might come out? >> well, the fact that they've acknowledged there was a check written now establishes without any question that cohen at least was trying to sell access to the president. whatever went wrong there. and that this is connected with the inauguration should draw a lot of attention. the minute we found out they raised $107 million, i started saying we need a thorough audit of where that money went because this was a spartan inauguration
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compared to say obama's in 2008. >> nelson, because we're watching this, it could happen at any moment. that certainly we might hear from the mueller team in terms of the details around manafort. what may come of that, do you think, in the next, well, we've got another two hours left in the day here? >> well, paul manafort's had a pretty bad month. he is -- he is about to find out what the real -- what the real penalty will be for the games that he has played with robert mueller over the past months. remember, he went to trial on a case that a former prosecutor friend of mine described the slowest guilty plea he'd ever seen. that long trial last summer. he was convicted on most of the counts. he then, right before his second trial in september, he pleaded guilty. and then according to the judge, finding just two weeks ago, he immediately began lying to the prosecutors while pretending to
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cooperate. he gave them misinformation. he failed to give them correct information and he broke his cooperation agreement. so he is now in the worst of all possible worlds for a defendant. he is convicted of serious crimes, of millions and millions and millions of dollars of tax fraud and tax evasion and other crimes and he's got a prosecutor who is mad as heck at him and a judge who agrees that he's already been lying. that is not where i'd want to be. if i were manafort, i would -- i would not be staying up late with eager anticipation to see what robert mueller will file tonight. >> well, a person who might be saying up, ken dilanian. you always have your ear to the ground. what are we hearing about the manafort documents that we expect to hear about before midnight? >> so, richard, it's actually not clear they will actually be filed tonight. there seems to be technical difficulties in terms of the court having to approve redactions that mueller's office is proposing that.
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it could not not until later in the week, monday, we're not entirely sure. we're hoping that we learn something from this document. each time one of these transcripts from a sealed hearing in the manafort case or redacted document has emerged we've learned a little bit more about what prosecutors are honing in on in terms of manafort. it's a great mystery, richard, because, you know, manafort's moving towards sentencing. he has not been charged with anything related to russia or collusion, but there are these tantalizing clues in this transcript and this hearing about what he lied about. in particular, he lied about his contacts and relationship with a guy who is connected to russian intelligence. and the mueller prosecutors said during the hearing that this is central to this case. now, they could have just been saying any meeting with a foreigner is central to our case because that's one of the things they were tasked with investigating, but it's always been a huge question, why did paul manafort lie and expose himself to a virtual life term in prison to cover up his relationship with this russian
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intelligence asset, richard? >> will there be a pardon? is that being discussed? is that thought of? that's a whole other segment which we will get to perhaps later tonight. ken dilanian. >> every presidential campaign was asked whether they would commit to not using hacked materials in the 2020 election. every campaign agreed except one. guess who refused there. and next, since the day trump declared a national emergency to extract the money from taxpayers for his border wall that he promised mexico would pay for, democrats have vowed to stop him. now they're making good on that's that promise. ise.
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the xfinity store is here. and it's simple, easy, awesome. . donald trump finally broke his silence on the coast guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist who was arrested for allegedly plotting the mass murder of democratic politicians and members of the media. >> on the coast guard member who was arrested for threatening democrats and other members of the media. >> i'm actually getting a very final briefing and a very complete briefing in about two hours. >> do you have any thoughts on this -- >> i think it's a shame. yeah, i think it's a very sad thing when a thing like that happens. i've expressed that. i'm actually getting a very complete briefing in about two hours. >> do you think you bear any responsibility for moderating your language when it comes to that? >> no, i don't. i think my language is very nice. >> those answers to nbc's hallie
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jackson and not a proactive presidential statement were trump's first comments on the plot by a domestic terrorist, which was revealed on wednesday. if donald trump had not been asked those questions, we don't know if he ever would have spoken publicly about the plot to kill some of the frequent targets of his public vitreal. trump's comments came after the white house press secretary was asked if the president has any plans to tone down his rhetoric. and she said this. >> i certainly don't think that the president at any point has done anything but condemn violence. against journalists or anyone else. >> of course that's not true. donald trump praised a republican congressman greg gianforte after he body slammed a reporter. >> speak with shane, please. >> i'm sick and tired of you guys. the last guy that came in here
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you did the same thing. get the hell out of here. get the hell out of here. are you with the guardian? >> yes. you just broke my glasses. >> the last guy did the same damn thing. >> you just body slammed me and broke my glasses. >> get the hell out of here. >> greg gianforte pleaded guilty to assault for his actions that were recorded on that tape. donald trump literally applauded gianforte for his assault. >> greg is smart. by the way, never wrestle him. you understand that? never. any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of -- he's my guy. >> meanwhile on capitol hill today, house democrats are moving forward with plans to block donald trump's last-ditch strategy to please the far-right and get money for a border wall, a resolution to terminate
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trump's emergency declaration at the southern border was introduced by congressman joaquin castro. with more than 220 co-sponsors, including one republican. the house will vote on the measure next week and republican leader mitch mcconnell, well, he cannot block the senate from voting on it soon after that. which is the scenario that mcconnell warned the president about earlier this month when he privately cautioned trump, according to "the washington post," that a vote on the national emergency could divide gop senators and force the president to contemplate issuing his first veto ever in the face of opposition from his own party. but donald trump is brushing off the coming vote on his unprecedented use of a national emergency declaration to solve a political standoff with congress. >> do you think that congressional republicans will stick with you on the -- on your emergency declaration and vote against -- >> i think they'll stick with it. everybody knows we need border security. we need a wall. i think it's a very bad subject
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for the democrats. >> will you definitively veto that resolution introduced today that would block your national emergency if it passes. >> on the wall? will i veto it? 100%. 100%. i don't think it survives a veto. we have too many smart people that want border security. so i can't imagine it could survive a veto, but i will veto it, yes. >> all right. we're joined now by two conservative critics of the president, jennifer rubin is an opinion writer at "the washington post" and an meeks contributor. and charlie sykes, msnbc political analyst. thank you both for being here. charlie, i'm going to starting with you. i'm going to play nancy pelosi responding to what you just heard a minute ago, and that's donald trump's threat to veto any bill that comes to his desk overturning his emergency declaration. >> the president's attitude is not going to color whether i honor my oath of office to uphold the constitution of the united states. i wish he would have the same dedication to that oath of office himself, but we will be
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fighting him on this usurping of power, of violating the constitutions of the united states in the congress, in the courts and with the american people. so this is a path i would not recommend he go down. >> you know, charlie, i think there has to be some irony for you as somebody who was in conservative talk radio. you know a thing conservatives have long done is talk about the constitution, adherence to it, the perception that a president -- you know, president obama or president clinton is violating the constitution. doesn't understand it. doesn't understand originalism. how odd is it to hear nancy pelosi now be the person who is literally championing and explaining to the president of the united states what these powers are? >> well, it's extremely odd and it's something we've gotten used to in the trump era, but, look, you know, every republican that's going to vote over the next couple of weeks in this, you know, was outraged at the use of executive power by barack
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obama. you know, and his campaign on, you know, smaller government, on constitutionalism. look, this is really not a republican versus democratic issue. this is not a vote whether you're for or against donald trump or even donald trump's policies. this really is a matter of upholding your oath of office. this is about protecting the article i powers, the concept of checks and balances. the constitution's explicit granting of the power of the purse to the house of representatives, which is fundamental to congressional power. so i'm hoping that there is more than a handful of republicans who are going to stand up and say, look, this is about the constitution. this is about the prerogatives of this institution, the people's house, now just simply blue and red. so i do think this is going to be a define vote, maybe one of the defining votes of this congress for republicans, and this is a red line and we're going to see whether or not, you know, they're willing to stand up for their oath of office and against donald trump.
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>> you know, jennifer rubin, i saw you smiling. i'm not going to interpret your smile for you, but, you know, there's a lot of doubt out there that republicans are going to do that. adam schiff wrote a letter sort of pleading with his republican colleagues. today in "the washington post." to our republican colleagues, when the president attacked the independence of the justice department by intervening in a case in which he's implicated, you did not speak pout. when he attack the press as an enemy of the people, you again were silent. when he targeted the judiciary labelling judges and decisions he didn't like as illegitimate, we heard not a word. now he comes for congress, the first branch of government, seeking to strip it of its greatest power, that of the purse. the time for silent disagreement is over. you must speak out. if we cannot rise to the defense of our democracy now in the face of a plainly unconstitutional aggrandizement of presidential power, what hope can we have that we will do so with the far greater decisions that could be yet to come? now i want to play you a little
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bit of lindsey graham. lindsey graham used to sound like charlie sykes when he would talk about the constitution and the powers of the various branches of government and here is lindsey graham today. >> border security, democrats are pushing this resolution. will you vote with them? >> absolutely not. i'm 100% with the president. >> how many republicans do you believe will vote with them? >> a handful, but here's the point. i think he's got all the authority he needs. there will be enough to sustain a veto. >> okay. he said a handful, jennifer, not enough to -- >> right. >> give us a guess. how many? how many will vote with the democrats? >> oh, i think the over-under in the senate is probably about five. this is the same lindsey graham a week or so ago was saying to the president, don't do it. then changed and said go ahead and do it. the reason i was smiling earlier on is that in the earlier press conference that nancy pelosi gave on friday morning with joaquin castro, who is shepherding this thing through, she sounded almost exactly like
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charlie sykes or charlie sounded exactly like her. it was almost word for word. she took us through the constitution. right after that wonderful preamble she told us is article i with enumerated powers, she used that phrase. this, of course, is why people like charlie and i are so disgusted with the current republican party because they've become damn hypocrites and they really have completely set aside their oaths of office. any sense of principle. and when lindsey graham says he has all the power he needs, he can beat a veto, that's not a statement of constitutional authority, that's a statement of sheer power. that's what conservatives were supposed to be against. >> right. >> against an executive who operates by power of his whim. so we're in a sorry state in this country i think right now. >> yeah. i follow both of you on twitter, of course. charlie sykes, i've been following you.
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i've seen you've been trying to name check individual republicans like mitt romney. is there somebody who can emerge as the new john mccain, exert some leadership in that body to get at least, you know, to get a veto-proof majority for this resolution? >> look, i would like a unicorn for my birthday. i'm hopeful, but i'm not that naive. look, but interesting you put it that way. who wants to be the next john mccain? i remember during the funeral, wondering whether or not senators sitting there thinking, how do i want to be remembered? do i want to be a rubber stamp, a potted plant in the senate or do i want to stand for something bigger, for principle? again, this is a moment. i'm not that naive to think that mitt romney is going to turn the tide on this. you know what? he's got to move past writing op-eds. this is your moment and i'm hoping somebody will stand up and seize this historic moment. >> yeah. jennifer rubin and charlie sykes saying sad tweets are not enough. you need to stand up for your
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own branch of government. we'll see who does. thank you both very much. and ahead, new questions about the role that one of donald trump's cabinet secretaries played in securing a lenient plea deal for a convicted sex offender who targeted children. and up next, every major campaign has pledged not to use tax materials in the 2020 election except one. let's see if you can guess which campaign is refusing and why. the answer after the break. thek
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donald trump's campaign refused to answer a question or to pledge to avoid using stolen data during the 2020 presidential campaign. that's according to a new exclusive report in the daily beast, which asked each presidential campaign whether they would commit to not knowingly using or referencing hacked material that appears online on grounds that it may have been obtained illegally. all of the democratic candidates agreed. every single one. only donald trump's campaign refused. trump's campaign's national secretary kaley mcenany sent the following note to the daily beast. we are not in the business of taking pledges invented by the liberal online media. the pledge reflects real concerns about weaponizing stolen data after russians stole thousands of e-mails from the democratic national committee and hillary clinton's campaign chair during the 2016 election. this week we learned that a sustained and ongoing
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disinformation campaign on social media targeting democratic 2020 presidential candidates, some of it driven by foreign state actors, is already under way. politico reports there are clear signs of a coordinated effort of undetermined size that share similar characteristics with the computational propaganda attacks launched by online trolls at russia's internet research agency in the 2016 presidential campaign. which special counsel robert mueller accused of aiming to undermine the political process and elevate donald trump. the analysis by politico found that the same suspicious accounts engaged in this attack on 2020 democratic hopefuls were also linked to the wide scale influence campaign during the 2018 midterm elections. and after a break we'll discuss what all of this means for the 2020 presidential election with neera tanden, who had some of
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her correspondence revealed in the 2016 hacking of the dnc and malcolm nance, who literally wrote the book on attacks on our election. our election ♪ ♪ ♪ and everywhere i go ♪ there's always something to remind me ♪
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feeling unsure? what if you had some help? introducing the new 2019 ford edge with the confidence of ford co-pilot360™ technology. the most available driver assist techonology in its class. the new 2019 ford edge we assess that foreign actors will view the 2020 u.s. elections as an opportunity to advance their interests. we expect them to refine their capabilities and add new tactics as they learn from each other's experiences and efforts in previous elections.
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we expect russia will continue to wage its information war against democracies and to use social media to attempt to divide our societies. >> that was director of national intelligence dan coats at a congressional hearing last month warning about the dangers the united states faces from foreign meddling in the upcoming presidential election. joining us now is neera tanden, president of the center for american progress, who had some of her e-mails exposed during the 2016 hacking of the dnc. we're also joined by malcolm nance, who is an mean counterterrorism analyst and author of "how to destroy democracy." thank you both for being here with us. neera, i'm going to start by reading some of this daily beast article. this is the talks between the parties of not using the kind of data that was used against the clinton campaign in 2016. it says efforts were made between the two political parties to strike a pact that would effectively bind them from
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weaponizing stolen or hacked content, again, but those conversations never culminated in an actual agreement. the democratic congressional campaign committee and the republican national committee came close in the 2016, but the nrcc balk at the idea they or their candidates could highlight or reference press reports based on materials that had been hacked. it would be simply impossible not to already acknowledge information already in the public domain. that was part of the justification for people using the information that was stolen from people like you, was this is now news. it's now fodder. we're allowed to use it. what do you make of the fact that that is the nrcc's argument for why they should not pledge to avoid using the same kind of material again? >> i mean, the reality is that what republicans did in 2016 and were willing to do in 2018 was to use the, you know, basically winnings or spoilage of a -- of a foreign adversary.
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and, you know, i'm not surprised that donald trump will not make a commitment to do this, to not use this information in the future because i think in part he was, you know, his election was deeply helped by this before. you know, he's an unpopular president. he might have to count on it again. i think republicans -- i really think the public has to discipline both republicans and democrats around these issues and really demand that when you use this information you are basically achieving the political ends of russia, of a foreign adversary, in their efforts to disrupt our democracy. it is the base of really, you know, a lack of patriotism. >> and, you know, malcolm, you know, you wrote extensively obviously about what happened in 2016, but i think this was the moment for a lot of people that indicated that donald trump was willing and in fact perhaps even eager to benefit from what these foreign intelligence services
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had done to the dnc. here he is saying, russia, if you're listening. take a listen. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> is there -- is there any reason to believe that the trump campaign wouldn't simply want to just benefit a second time? >> no. they absolutely want to benefit a second time because the system is rigged in their favor. it's rigged in their favor because they have a state intelligence agencies of the russian federation who have still been working in -- to their benefit over the last two years. the russian hacking and the russian disinformation campaign and spreading information has not abated. it has not stopped at all. we saw that in the run-up to the 2018 election. now we're seeing the bots and trolls come out and start attacking the democratic candidates of the 2020 election. i think donald trump and his campaign, his social media team,
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they are looking forward to this information because they still believe that it's a catnip to the u.s. news media is that russia will be greatly rewarded and donald trump will be greatly rewarded if in fact they get this information and can spread it to hurt their enemies. theory are win at all cost players. they don't care. >> and malcolm, to stay with you for just a moment. the candidates we've seen in the political article, kamala harris, elizabeth warren, bernie sanders, beto o'rourke, who is not even running yet. the daily beast said it was described as the intelligence community sees 2020 as potentially the perfect storm according to a dhs familiar official with the teams. we know that russia is going to be engaged. other state actors have seen the success of russia and realize the value of disinformation operations. it's very curious why the task forces were demoted and the bureaucracy and the leadership has not committed resources to prepare for the 2020 election. these budgets are being cut. the staffs are being cut rather
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than being increased in size by the trump administration. what does that say to you? >> well, it tells me that the trump administration laying the groundwork for this to happen again. they see -- they see benefit to dividing the democratic party and dicing it up into little groups. and if you have these subgroups who are each going and supporting one candidate and are willing to do the attacks on the other candidates that you will not see the candidate themselves -- their candidate do, then what you have is the perfect sort of, you know, dicing machine for the democratic party opinion. if you amplify that and crowbar that and wedge it open, using disinformation, using social media as the, you know, the weapons platform of choice, then what you're going to see is if we have ten candidates, you're going to see ten massive pushes to make sure that the democrats tear each other apart. we saw it with bernie sanders and hillary clinton on the first day of the democratic national
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committee convention in philadelphia and now it's going to happen on a macro scale. >> neera tanden and malcolm nance, thank you guys very much. wish we had more time. thank you all. and up next, a clear abuse of power. that's how democrats are describing labor secretary alex acosta's role in securing a lenient plea deal for jeffrey epstein when he was a federal prosecutor. now they're calling on acosta to resign. more on that next. more on that next. so, we re-imagined the razor with the new gillette skinguard. it has a unique guard between the blades. that's designed to reduce irritation during the shave. because we believe all men deserve a razor just for them. the best a man can get. gillette. coaching means making tough choices. jim! you're in!
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tonight we are following three major stories involving allegations of sex crimes against celebs and billionaires. two of them have ties to donald trump. first, embattled r & b superstar r. kelly has surrounded to police tonight after being charged with ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. chicago prosecutors allege the abuse involved four victims. r. kelly will appear in court saturday afternoon. also happening today, a close billionaire friend of donald trump's, the owner of the new england patriots robert kraft was charged with soliciting prostitution. police said kraft was caught on video paying for and engaging in sex acts at a massage parlor in florida. not just once but twice. this is all part of a six-month-long investigation into a human trafficking ring in palm beach county, florida.
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according to police, nearly 200 people have been charged. only a fraction have been arrested so far. to be clear, robert kraft is not charged with human trafficking but he is facing misdemeanor charges on two counts of solicitation. a spokesman for robert kraft issued a statement saying, we categorically deny that mr. kraft engaged in any illegal activity. because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further. here's how robert kraft's friend donald trump responded to the charges. >> what about the charges against bob kraft? he's a friend of yours. >> well, it's very sad. i was very surprised to see it. he's proclaimed his innocence totally, and -- but i'm very surprised to see it. >> and our third sex crime story of just this single 12-hour news cycle. today house democrats called on the president of the united states to demand the resignation of his labor secretary alexander acosta. the push comes after a federal judge ruled at acosta when he
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was the u.s. attorney in miami broke the law in cutting a deal for jeffrey epstein, an accused child sex abuser and billionaire friend of donald trump's. abuser. the letter from trump to house democrats stated despite abundant evidence and witnesses waiting to come forward, they failed to charge him under federal trafficking laws that could have put epstein away for life, we believe acosta was acting inappropriately. here is how president trump answered questioned about the handling of jeffrey epstein's case. >> do you have any concerns about the epstein case. >> i don't know too much about it, it seems like a long time
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ago, but i know he has been a fantastic labor secretary, that's all i really know about it. >> when we come back, what is next for druonald trump's labor secretary and jeffrey epstein. r secretary and jeffrey epstein. because with expedia, i saved when i added a hotel to our flight. ♪ so even when she outgrows her costume, we'll never outgrow the memory of our adventure together. unlock savings when you add select hotels to your existing trip. only when you book with expedia.
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alex acosta for his handling in a case for alleged sexual
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crimes against then young girls what is the white house's response? why should he be trusted to have a job at this level. >> my understanding is that it is a verically cased case. something that we're certain ri looking into, but they made the best decision and deal they could at that time. >> and it doesn't seem all th thatically cased. just from the court sopinion, i addition to his own sexual ause cases, he used paid employees to find and bring minor girls to him. epstein works in concert with others. it is repugnant but not complicated.
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what does it mean that donald trump was so eager to force out his own justice department officials, but those guys are still there? >> yeah, it is not like he is loyal to people. the fact that the labor secretary is still in his job 24 hours after this judge's opinion is outrageous. and i know we're sort of immune to is, but he was lenient on a man who is accused of abusing 30 underage minors. they should not be working in government or enforcing our labor laws. i know the president is basically like we're just immune to the masogny.
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but this is what republicans are up holding when they port donald trump. >> not only did the court opinion point out that the deal was concealed from the victims, but i think a lot of people had a sense there is just rich man's justice in this country. he had both ken star and allen dursheritz represent him. it is pretty shocking for most people to get a look at that part of our legal system. >> yeah, and there is really two offenses here, cutting a deal of this minor magnitude, these girls lives were gofer ruined and changed, and the second was
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literally breaking the law. they were only cased, they gave a piece of paper to these girls saying you will be exacted in the case it is resolved. he lied to them, and why? there would be a public outrage over it. so he conspired with a child sex molester to deep bottled up, they were victimized two times, he is irresponsible and unprincipaled. they should take away his license and he should be out of government for good. >> and why did he do it. there is several questions still like why did he decide to do this plea deal with such a rich powerful person in florida who obviously is really well connected with the republican
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establishment and the p.o.w. wro brokers of florida. he should have to answer but he should answer it after he is out, you know after he is out of government. >> by the way -- >> he should not be in government any longer. >> someone should ask donald trump about his relationship with jeffrey epstein. he was around him, he was his buddy, did he never see the under age girls? what is his association. any other president would be in a fire stastorm over an associa with someone who is a friend of his for being a child sex offender. no someone asking what did you know about epstein. he just waltzes through life. >> now a second friend, robert
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kraft, that is pretty remarkable, two of the three stories today friends of donald trump. that is tonight's "last word." you can check me out on "a.m. joy." i will have a one on one interview with kamala harris then. on this friday evening, wait for the mueller report continues and paul manafort has some new legal worries and michael cohen's new revelations. what we learned about his testimony next week. what he might be prepared to say, what he was asked about what he knows about the trump family business, tax laws, or the president's credibility. and the relationship that our president will not stop talking about as he alone views it warmly. a preview of the next

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