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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  February 26, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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national sick-out for michael cohen day in america. >> well, we didn't rent the movie theater. got to do something. got to at least plan for some sort of accommodation. i'm not planning on coming to i'm not planning on coming to work. i'm planning on getting in my jammies, all pie snacks, calling the dog walker, and then we'll be here tomorrow night. >> but then at some point, rachel, you're going to have get here during the testimony maybe. >> i'm hoping there's a lunch break, dinner break. >> that's the thing. they've said that they're not really scheduling a lunch break as of now which sometimes happens in these hearings, and they will break only for votes. and so that can give us at least a 20 to 25 minute window to rush from the pajama place to here. >> well, the good thing about the way we do tv is that the pajama place can always exist from the waist down. who knows, i might be wearing my pjs right now. >> that is for your crew to know, rachel. >> see you tomorrow. >> thank you, rachel. well, there was a three-way
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tie tonight for our top story, so what we will present to you are series of top stories including an overwhelming vote in the house of representatives to rebuke the president of the united states. president trump was on the losing end of 245-182 on a resolution to terminate the president's declared emergency at the southern border to build his wall. the author of that resolution congressman wakeen castro will joins us and will also be one of the members of congress who will question michael cohen in a closed door hearing later this week. he has much to say to us tonight. tomorrow when michael cohen testifies publicly to the house oversight committee president trump will be watching his former lawyer's testimony in his presidential hotel room in vietnam where the president is meeting with the north korean dictator kim jong-un. we are lucky to be joined
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tonight in a rare television appearance by president obama's national security advisor who will tell us what to look for in the negotiations with north korea and what he thinks of president trump's hope that north korea's beaches will soon be the home of glamorous beach resorts attracting tourists from around the world. and in my last word tonight at the end of this hour we will show you the most important piece of video that you absolutely must see from the house of representatives today. a new star was born in the house of representatives today, and you will see her in action at the end of the hour. but first, we knew as i said on this program at the time, at the moment that it was announced that michael cohen would testify publicly in a congressional hearing, that that day was going to be the worst day of the year for the trump presidency.
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we now know that it will surely be that, although there might be many worse days coming for the trump presidency after this testimony. president trump and his most fervent allies are apparently living in such abject fear of michael cohen's time that it has driven one of them to the point of possibly committing a crime. florida republican matt gaetz tweeted this threat to michael cohen this afternoon. hey, michael cohen, do your wife and father-in-law know about your girlfriends? maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. i wonder if she'll remain faithful if you're in prison. she's about to learn a lot. it is a federal crime to threaten witnesses who are coming before a congressional committee. 18 u.s. code section 1505 says
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that specifically applies to congressional hearings. congressman gaetz surely didn't read that law before he wrote that tweet, and congressman gaetz is not a member of any of the committees that will be questioning michael cohen this week. so what does that threat mean? did congressman gaetz engage in a conspiracy with other members of congress who are on those committees to threaten michael cohen? is that tweeted threat coordinated in a conspiracy with other congressmen who are on those committees who will then ask michael cohen the questions that congressman gaetz is threatening in his tweet?
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are they also complicit in what could be a federal crime? here's what congressman gaetz told reporters about his threatening tweet. >> we already know that michael cohen lies to congress. we already know that michael cohen lies to law enforcement. now we're going to find out if michael cohen lies to his own family. >> because, i mean, if a guy lies to his own family that does it, right? in congressman gaetz's world, who's not currently married, is obviously going to make the case if michael cohen has ever lied to his family, anyone in his family he cannot be believed about anything. that same congressman gaetz worship at the alter of donald trump as if donald trump is a god and donald trump has lied to everyone he's ever been married to. donald trump has lied to his children. one of his sons depzed his father's lies so much that he stopped talking to his father for a year.
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so not only has matt gaetz risked indictment today in this crazed defense of donald trump, the man who lies to his family nonstop, congressman gaetz has announced a standard of credibility for michael cohen that donald trump could never pass, not for one day in donald trump's life. we already have leaks about what michael cohen will testify to tomorrow, and the leaks are block busters before we even hear the specifics of the testimony tomorrow. a knowledgeable source told nbc news today that michael cohen will detail his allegations of the president's lies, racism and cheating as a private businessman and that michael cohen will provide evidence of donald trump alleged criminal conduct since becoming president. from "the wall street journal" also reporting on that same score, michael cohen will provide documentation of his reimbursement for the $130,000 of the stormy daniels payment.
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michael cohen will show a panel a signed check. "the wall street journal" is also reporting that, quote, donald trump signed some of the checks reimbursing mr. cohen, which mr. cohen began receiving after mr. trump took office, according to another person familiar with the payments. michael cohen began his week of congressional testimony today with nine hours of testimony today behind closed doors to the senate intelligence committee. afterward michael cohen made a rare, short public comment to reporters. >> first of all, i want to thank you all for sticking around and waiting for me. at this point in time i really appreciate the opportunity that was given to me to clear the record and to tell the truth. and i look forward to tomorrow to being able to give my voice to tell the american people my story, and i'm going to let the american people decide exactly who's telling the truth.
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so i want to thank you all again for sticking around. have a good night. >> senator mark warner, the top democrat on the committee told reporters this about michael cohen's testimony today. >> two years ago when this investigation started i said it may be the most important thing i'm involved in my public life in the senate and nothing that i've heard today dissuades me from that view. >> on the eve of such a hearing that could in effect be the beginning of impeachment hearings in the house of representatives, we need to hear from people with legal expertise and the vision and experience to place events like this in their historical and political context, and we are fortunate tonight to have all of that in our lead off panel tonight. we are joined now by joyce vance, the former u.s. attorney for the northern district of alabama. an msnbc legal contributor.
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also joined by jennifer ruben who's an aopinion writer at "the washington post," and eugene robinson. and joyce vance, i want to gen with you just on the legal matter, this breaking news, possible federal crime by a congressman today via tweet. in your reading of the statute controlling this and in your reading of that tweet, do you see the possibility of the crime of intimidation and interference in a congressional hearing by congressman gaetz? >> based on just the tweet itself it's something that prosecutors might take a look at. it doesn't look to me like something offhand i would charge unless there was much more significant evidence that gaetz actually intended to prevent cohen from testifying completely or was trying to get him to not testify about different subjects. i think it's when you pull the camera back further out and you think about the fact this is
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sitting congressman making this kind of comment to a witness who's coming out on a serious matter involving the president that you see that it's just so awful. it's so vulgar, it's such a schoolyard bully kind of taunt that even if it doesn't technically violate the law, that doesn't really give gaetz much to hang his hat on. >> and eugene robinson, of all the things for a republican congressman to turn to endefense of donald trump, he turns to the question of if someone ever lies to anyone in their family then you can't possibly be telling the truth. >> yeah, that would be like attacking cohen for having funny looking hair or small hands. it's almost tailor made for the, you know -- but, look, you're arguing in defense of a guy who literally lies all the time. i mean, the lies so far outweigh the truth. >> but the president has very specifically lied to all of the
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people he has made -- >> every single one all the time. and by the way, all the mistresses and casual lovers and whatever, i'm sure he's lied to them, too. >> jennifer ruben, the blockbuster leaking about the blockbuster testimony is really quite extraordinary, and we basically with "the wall street journal" reporting what we're getting is apparently that michael cohen is going to hold up in that hearing tomorrow that famous big donald trump signature on a check to him reimbursing him for his stormy daniel payments. and that check would have been written and signed during the trump presidency. that check in and of itself, that payment scheme has been called a federal crime by the prosecutors in manhattan in the southern district of new york. so we are going to see evidence
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of the president of the united states committing a federal crime in that hearing tomorrow. >> this is big news, folks. circle the data in your calendar. we are in essence getting the back story to those court filings that we have seen from the southern district of new york. the allegation by the prosecutors that he was directed to engage in illegal conduct. we're going to see and hear, i guess, from michael cohow much donald trump knew, what direction he gave him, how specific it was. it sounds like we're going to go into the belly of the beast. and you have to go back to the michael cohen raid on his office and the fear that that instilled in donald trump and those around him. they knew that this was the most dangerous source of nfrgsz because michael cohen has been there from the beginning. he knows just about everything having to do with donald trump. now, he's not going to testify
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about russia tomorrow. the committees have worked that out. but he's going to testify about a lot of other things. and it's those other things that, frankly, may be even more persuasive both for the public and for congress when they hear and see physical proof of that. >> the one thing we know he's going to be testifying about is the stormy daniels payment scheme. let's watch those 20 seconds on air force one that will surely be quoted in tomorrow's hearing in which president trump lied about those payments and his knowledge about those payments to stormy daniels. >> mr. president, did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. >> then why did michael cohen -- >> you'd have to ask michael cohen. michael's my attorney and you'll have to ask michael. >> do you know where he got the money to make that payment? >> no, i don't.
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>> so joyce vance, that's the guy who congressman gaetz is trying to defend by calling michael cohen some who lies to his own family -- the trouble is his client there, in effect donald trump, is right there on video lying to everyone in america when he says, no, he didn't know about the payments to stormy daniels. and that's what we're going to be hearing about in the hearing tomorrow. >> donald trump has definitely flunked the matt gaetz test, right, for honesty and integrity. >> right there on air force one. >> the most interesting thing about this, and this happened so often for prosecutors in trials and it's true here, too, nothing that cohen is going to testify to tomorrow will come as a surprise to the president. the president lived through these experiences with cohen. none of this is new. and the danger to trump from
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cohen is cohen is really the first real witness who was with the president, who knows what the president said, who may know what the president thought. and the challenge for cohen, now a convicted felon for lying to congress, may be coming with cooberation, whether that's physical receipts that proves with any sort of a doubt whatsoever that what he's saying is true. and that's the real challenge, whether there's any incremental space between what cohen says and brings along with him and what one needs to accept as god emphasis truth to find this president is responsible for crimes. >> eugene robinson, the talk of impeachment turned a very serious corner when the evidence in the michael cohen case became pulk in court and michael cohen was pleading guilty, and what he was pleading guilty to was very specifically pleading guilty to committing crimes at the direction of the president. >> of the president. >> and so now we are taking
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those revelations to a new level, where michael cohen will be testifying about them for hours on end publicly. he'll be questioned in detail about them. and it reminds me of the stage of the watergate hearings before there were impeachment hearings. the congress went about investigating what happened here, and they weren't in an impeachment process. but those were the hearings that then laid the foundations. >> we have this nub of a fact. this puts substance and context around that fact and also makes clear, apparently, that the president committed crimes while in office. and that fact sits there and festers and something has to be done about it. now, if that something is ignoring it, that's a decision, an affirmative decision by congress that will have consequences and that will be
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debated and ultimately they'll be accountable for if they move toward impeachment, same thing. but something will have to be done. some decision will have to be made. you have a president committing a crime. that calls for some kind of accountability. and so where does that accountability come from? >> and jennifer, the republicans in congress when the michael cohen information first came out, they started to say things like, well, this was about a campaign finance violation, and campaign finance violations are common. they tried to pretend this one is like other campaign finance violations where you got the address wrong on a contributor form. and now they've got the problem they're going to have to live with apparently tomorrow is that the campaign violation, the campaign finance violation that michael cohen and the president engaged in paying off these women carried over into the
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presidency, long after the campaign was over with the president signing those checks. >> and that, i think, is a little tidbit that i'm not sure that we all realize. that he's sitting in the oval office or wherever he sits, maybe this is what we does in executive time, he pays off women. and he is signing this check. and it also makes clear this is not just an ordinary campaign violation. this was a campaign violation meant to disguise and defraud the american people to hide his relationship because he believed that had that relationship come out before the election, that it could have contributed to his loss. it's also significant enough that while in office he continued to cover-up, to lie about it. that's not what one does with a clerical campaign finance violation. they always point to obama did that, obama did that. well, many of these are in the
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variety of a campaign violation. and they're quickly cleared up and people pay fines and they go forward. they don't lie about them continuously. they don't begin harassing witnesses who are going to testify about them. this is a whole different kind of ball game that we're in here now. and i think it's going to be very hard for members of congress who seem to be continually moving the goal posts, well, it's nauticalution, well it's just a process crime, well it's just a little process crime to really escape the import of what he is saying. >> i don't normally -- i try to avoid coverage of what's going to happen tomorrow tonight. i usually have enough to handle with what's happening today, but this is one of those nights we really had to set the table for what's happening. and you have done that perfectly for us. i really appreciate it. and when we come back, the congressman who wrote the resolution that just passed the
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house of representatives rebuking president trump and terminating his emergency declaration at the southern border will join us and also questioning michael cohen in a closed hearing later this week. he has much to tell us tonight. and president trump is going to be paying more attention to michael cohen tomorrow than he is to the north korean dictator who he now calls his friend. president obama's national security advisor will join us in a rare television appearance to discuss what we can expect from the president's meetings with kim jong-un. and in my "last word" tonight at the end of the hour you will hear from one of the rising stars of the extraordinary freshman class in the house of representatives. katey porter is the first democrat in history to be elected in her congressional district. and today she turned into a performance at a congressional hearing that had me and everyone watching that hearing hanging on her every world.
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i started following her on twitter after that. you will, too. wait until you hear what she did with a ceo from a big company whose lobbyists were paid big money to prepare him to testify today, but just couldn't prepare him for the new congresswoman in town, katey porter. it's absolute confidence in 30,000 precision parts. or it isn't. it's inspected by mercedes-benz factory-trained technicians. or it isn't. it's backed by an unlimited mileage warranty, or it isn't. for those who never settle, it's either mercedes-benz certified pre-owned, or it isn't. the mercedes-benz certified pre-owned sales event. now through february 28th. only at your authorized mercedes-benz dealer. that i never would have imagined. ancestrydna was able to tell me where my father's family came from in columbia. it's just been a reconnection to my roots. 20 million members have connected
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i found a companyeans to who believes in me.rt. they look out for me. and they help me grow my career. at comcast it's my job to constantly monitor our network, prevent problems, and to help provide the most reliable service possible. my name is tanya, i work at the network operations center for comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. the house voted in favor of a resolution blocking the
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president's national security emergency declaration at the southern border. 13 republicans joined 232 democrats voting to pass the resolution. it now heads to the senate where the democrats need four republican to vote for the resolution to pass it. they already have three. susan collins, lisa murkowski and tom tillis. said earlier this month he would likely vote for a resolution to block and said, quote he would be likely making a statement in a few days. as many as ten senate republicans could support a resolution of disapproval if a vote were held today according to four gop senators familiar with the discussions. republican leadership has done little to whip votes against it. today majority leader mitch mcconnell wouldn't make a prediction on whether or not the resolution would pass and refused to say whether or not he
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thinks the trump emergency declaration is even legal. >> do you personally believe that the president's emergency declaration is legal? >> well, that's part of what we were discussing today. >> what do you think? >> well, we're in the process of weighing that. the lawyer was there to make his arguments. there were some counter arguments. i haven't reached a total conclusion about, you know. >> and joining us now is a member of congress who wrote that resolution against president trump's national emergency in the house. he's also a member of the intelligence committee who will be questioning michael cohen later this week. thank you for joining us on this important night. >> thank you for having me. >> how did it fall to you to write this resolution? >> about six weeks ago or eight weeks ago when the rumor started the president might declare a national emergency to pay for
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his border wall, my staff and i reached out to the legislative counsel to try to figure out a way to have congress have the final say on this issue. and what we came up with was a privilege resolution which means the house votes and the senate has to vote on this resolution to terminate president trump's national emergency. and, lawrence, i believe you worked in the senate, so you know that this vote is extremely consequential in terms of the administration of powers and the balance of power between the president and the congress. and as i said today in my remarks if the congress allows this to stand, then i believe the president, president trump will come back for more perhaps on the border issue but possibly on other issues and future republicans republicans and democrats will circumvent congress in the same way. >> the reports are that they're not whipping the vote in the
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united states senate, but how could they when we just saw republican mitch mcconnell not able to say whether he thinks it's legal. >> that's amazing that the senate majority leader would stand behind an emergency declaration when he can't even look the american people in the eye and say that he believes this is a legal or a legal declaration. i just find that incredible. and as i said also, you know, how am i supposed to tell a future president that thousands of gun deaths and thousands of opioid deaths and the threat of climate change, that these aren't national emergencies in two years or four years or whenever you may have a president that wants to declare a national emergency for those things. >> you're the only member of congress we have in this hour, so i've got to ask you about this breaking news story about
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congressman gaetz tweeting what clearly appears to be a threat to michael cohen about his testimony tomorrow. one of your democratic colleagues, congressman bill pasperel of new jersey tweeted a response this appears to be grossly unethical and probably illegal. he says house ethics must investigate this disgrace and stain. do you believe at a minimum the house has to investigate this? >> i do think they have to take a look at it. i do think matt gaetz is immature, unfortunately. but yes they should take a look at it. and it's almost an attempt at witness tampering. >> what do you expect from tomorrow's hearing, the public hearing with michael cohen. and then the closed door hearing that you on the intelligence committee will have. >> well, you know, he was obviously with the senate for hours, where and i suspect the
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public hearing tomorrow and our hearing on the intel committee will go the same way. what i want to know most of all is whether president trump directly asked him to lie to congress regarding the stormy daniels payments or any other issues. and also michael cohen was not just the president's lawyer. remember this was basically one of his buddies. this was a confidant for him. so i think he's got something to tell us on each of these lines of inquiry. obviously on the payments but also on perhaps obstruction of justice issues, on money laundering issues. so we're going to have a lot to talk about. my first interview i coled that for democrats with adam schiff who's now our chairman. so there's gaps of information we're going to try to figure out in our interview on thursday. >> congressman joaquin castro, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. and when we come back president trump is once again praising the murderous dictator
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he now calls his friend, kim jong-un. he has served three previous presidents who would never do anything like that including president obama for whom he served as his national security advisor. tom donaldman will join ush next. if your moderate to severe ulcerative colitis or crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough it may be time for a change.
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time zone he will be in vietnam when michael cohen begins testifying tomorrow morning in washington, d.c. and so the president will be available to watch every word of michael cohen's testimony on tv like the rest of us. about an hour ago president trump once again tweeted his
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very firm belief in the economic vitality of totalitarian communism in north korea. the president said vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. north korea would be the same and very quickly if it would denuclearize. the potential is awesome, a great opportunity like almost none other in history. for my friend kim jong-un. so there's the president of the united states declaring a murderous dictator who starves his people to be his friend while at the same time the president of the united states is saying that north korea's economy would instantly become great just by getting rid of nuclear weapons. when economic history shows that the only way dictatorial communist economies have ever improved is pie liberalizing the economy in very significant ways that north korea has never
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considered doing. joining our discussion now about what the president can and cannot accomplish with the person he now calls his friend, kim jong-un, is someone who worked with president obama on all of these issues, president obama's former national security advisor tom donilon. he does not often join us in television discussions, and so we feel very fortunate to have him here tonight. tom, this tweet that the president just issued, it's something that i've noticed he's been doing a lot. he doesn't seem to realize that nuclear weapons are not the reason that north korea is a backward country. there's plenty of very modern forward countries without nuclear weapons. it's totalitarian communism and a murderous dictator, that's the reason it's economically bad country. >> in north korea it's a combination of kind of a cult
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and mob apeeration. there really is a question whether or not north korea's leader would ever want to go to the type of openness you would need to go. we always wish our president well and success abroad but we also wish he would level with us, and i think that's an important point to make tonight as he goes into these discussions. he came out of the last discussion in singapore eight months ago and said that the nuclear threat from north korea is over. we no longer have a new york threat from north korea. that of course is obviously demonstrably not true. and if you look at the facts they didn't come out with what denuclearization means. there wasn't strategic evidence by kim jong-un to denuclearize. the program has not frozen. because they're not testing, and by the way these tests stopped before the singapore summit. does not mean they stopped. they're proceeding on missile
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developments. and the formulation the president has i'm not in a hurry is really an analytic mistake for this reason. as the program continues they continue to at least put themselves in a position to make more and more nuclear weapons, that's a difficult problem for the united states, and in terms of missile defense. so we should wish our president success, but he needs to level with the american people about what's really going on here. and that's not been the case to date. >> when you see the president tonight -- he's done this before, but tonight he puts it right there in writing, kim jong-un is my friend, what would you tell this president that he apparently does not know about the man he calls his friend? >> well, it's as you said earlier it's a murderous dictatorship with large gulogs, history of incredible human rights oppression.
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we have all manner of reports about brutal killings and purges there. so this is a combination as i said earlier of a mob operation and a cult and a brutal dictatorship. and it makes a big difference to the united states in terms of the leverage that we have around the world to give up our values, to give up our moisture as the country in the world that stands for something in terms of values and democracy and human rights. so we give up something in the course of this. and the last thing i'll say in response to your question, lawrence, is the president seems to believe vladimir putin and kim jong-un are somehow susceptible to charm incentives. that's not the way this works. these guys will pursue their interests. kim jong-un has been the leader since 2011. vladimir putin has been the leader of russia since the turn of the 1999 to 2000 period. >> did president obama ever come
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out of a meeting with a foreign leader where he felt like he had somehow charmed his way towards some progress, and you kind of had to debrief him and say it doesn't work that way? >> well, you can build relationships and you should do that. but i don't think president obama was ever under any illusion somehow he could go into a meeting with vladimir putin and come out because he think he had charmed him, that vladimir putin wasn't going to pursue the interest that he thought was best for the russian federation. >> we have to squeeze in a quick break. i would love you to say because there's something i want to ask you about the president said something extraordinary in his "state of the union" address about how we would now be at war in north korea if we had a democratic president. i want to get your reaction to that if you can stay after the break. we'll be right back with tom donilon after this break. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything,
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>> what an irresponsible statement with no basis of fact obviously. president obama as his predecessors understood very directly and with experience the issues of war and peace, the issues about sending men and women into combat and putting them at risk, the costs of war. president obama when he came into office had overseen three wars in afghanistan and iraq and a global war against terrorisming in a very aggressive way. so it's an irresponsible statement. >> yeah, the president doesn't seem to realize we have very successfully stayed out of war in north korea. with every president prior to him since the korean war. the president just tweeted tonight the democrats should stop talking about what i should do with north korea and ask themselves instead why they didn't do it during eight years of the obama administration. that is question for you, tom donilon president obama's national security advisor. >> the issue right now is what we're going to do going forward.
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president obama's reports are indicated to president-elect trump he would be facing a crisis in north korea that would be a very serious national security challenge to the united states and he should bring to the top of the list. and i think if president obama if he had been allowed a third term under the constitution or another president-elected would have had the same crisis or challenge facing them and would have dealt with it appropriately. in my judgment this administration took its foot off the pedal on prematurity. >> to president trump's question on what was going on during the eight years during the obama administration. >> it was building opcampaign that was run at the beginning of the trump administration, that was an extension i think and intensification of the program the united states was on the path to run against north korea. >> tom donilon thank you very much for coming in tonight. appreciate your voice on this. and when we come back alder cortez is clearly the most
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famous freshman member in congress in history, the most freshman member of the house in history that is. she is not the only star, though, among the freshman democrats in the house. we will shoal you the new star who dazzled us in a congressional hearing today. feel the clarity of non-drowsy claritin and relief from symptoms caused by over 200 indoor and outdoor allergens. like those from buddy. because stuffed animals are clearly no substitute for real ones.
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i found a companyeans to who believes in me.rt. they look out for me. and they help me grow my career. at comcast it's my job to constantly monitor our network, prevent problems, and to help provide the most reliable service possible. my name is tanya, i work at the network operations center for comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. >>by far the biggest star we have ever seen in the history of
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freshman members of the house of representative, and she is using her celebrity super powers for good. she brought us standard house oversight committee hearing to life in a five minute questioning session that has gone viral in which she used a panel of experts to show just how corrupt a member of congress can be without getting into any legal trouble at all. >> if i want to run a campaign that is entirely funded by corporate political action committees is that -- is there anything that legally prevents me from doing that? >> no. >> congresswoman ocasio-cortez then showed how muddy the ethical waters of congress are including ways that she could use her position to make herself rich, which are perfectly legal. and having made that point of just how dirty the dealings of a member of congress can be and still be legal, she ended her five minutes with this. >> so i'm being held and every person in this body is being
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held to a higher ethical standard than the president of the united states? >> that's right because there are some ethics committee rules that apply to you. >> and it's already super legal as we've seen for me to be a pretty bad guy. so it's even easier for the president of the united states to be one, i would assume. >> that's right. >> thank you very much. >> if you haven't seen the full five minutes, you must. and so we're going to post the full five minutes of congresswoman ocasio-cortez's questioning on the last word twitter page. i said at the time it was the most brilliant use of five minutes in a congressional hearing that i have ever seen, and then came katie porter, who is another freshman member of congress in what is already the brightest group of freshman house members that i've seen. after a break we're going to show you what congresswoman katie porter did in a hearing today that made me start following her on twitter as you
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katie porter is the first democrat in history to be elected to rep california's 45th congressional district in orange county. she's about 25 years younger than elizabeth warren and watching katie porter at work in congress now has the feel of what we might have seen if elizabeth warren had become a member of the house of representatives 25 years ago. like elizabeth warren katie porter was a tenured law school professor when she decided to run for office. katie porter is a graduate of harvard law school where one of her professors was the now senator elizabeth warren. senator kamala harris had a hand in katie porter's career when kamala harris was attorney general she appointed katie porter to be the state's independent monitor of banks in a $25 billion mortgage settlement that brought reforms to the mortgage business in california.
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now katie porter is a member of the most impressive freshman class of members of the house of representatives that i for one have ever seen. and she used her five minutes today in a house financial services committee hearing in a way that the witnesses did not anticipate. the ceo of equifax was testifying to the committee today, and ceos have very expensive lobbyists who prepare them for congressional testimony like this. very expensive lobbyists who are supposed to anticipate every possible question, but equifax's very expensive lobbyists did not anticipate katie porter. >> my question for you is whether you would be willing to share today your social security, your birth date and your address at this public hearing. >> i would be a bit uncomfortable doing that
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congresswoman, if you'd so oblige me i would prefer not to. >> can i ask you why you're unwill something. >> well, it's sensitive information. i think it's sensitive information i'd like to protect and i think consumers should protect theirs. >> if we gave that sensitive -- if that sensitive information were provided at this public hearing, what are you concerned about could happen? >> i think like every american, congressman -- congresswoman, my apologies -- i'd be concerned about identity theft. i'm actually a victim of identity theft. it happened three times, twice with my tax returns and once with consumer opening up fraudulent accounts in my name. so i think like all americans we're concerned about that. >> so my question then is if you agree that exposing this kind of information, information like that that you have in your
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credit reports creates harm, therefore you're unwilling to share it, why are your lawyers arguing in federal court that there was no injury and no harm created by your data breach? >> congresswoman, it's really hard for me to comment on what our lawyers are doing. >> you do employ those lawyers, and they do uperate at your direction and your counsel. and they are making these arguments in court, arguing on the record -- i have pleadings here from the court case. they're arguing on the record that there was no -- that this case should be dismissed because there is no injury and no harm created by the disclosure of people's personal credit information. yet i understand you as i would to believe that the exposure of that information -- i asked if you would give to the committee and understandably said no, would in fact create harm. so i would ask you to look
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carefully at what your lawyers are doing and thaarguments they're making because i feel they're inconsistent with some of had helpful testimony you've provided today. >> the honorable katie porter gets tonight's "last word" and takes her place among the rising stars of the freshman class of the house of representatives. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight michael cohen opens three days of testimony with an apology for lying the last time around, while today took place behind this door tomorrow unfolds on live television. and tonight we have a preview of what the president's former lawyer and keeper of the secrets is prepared to say. let today a threat to cohen arrived via twitter. it read like the mob but it was said by a sitting member of congress, a trump allie from florida. tonight what we know about possible consequences. all of this while our president and north korea's dictator are in hanoi where their second
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summit gets under way in a matter of hours, as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a tuesday night. and good evening, we come to you tonight from our nbc news washington bureau. this was day 768 of the trump administration. 7 the president for his part is in vietnam, a country where as it's been pointed out many times na these recent days he tried mightily to avoid visiting as a young man. it's just after 11:00 a.m. there, and the visiting american president is beginning a series of meetings with the president and prime minister of vietnam. tomorrow from hanoi to washington it's going to be something of a split screen between donald trump and a man he fears could do him great damage. not his summit partner kim hi jong-un of north korea, rather i his former personal lawyer michael cohen whose testimony

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