tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC March 6, 2019 1:00am-2:00am PST
>> that picture was in the west virginia capital put up by the republican party. thanks for joining us. that is "all in" for this evening. tonight the mounting pressure on donald trump from mueller, the justice department, from his home state of new york, from congress, and now we've learned adam schiff has made a critical hire, someone well known to viewers of this broadcast. plus, as new polling shows, americans trust michael cohen over donald trump despite cohen's own admissions. the president's former lawyer going back for another round. he is set to testify again tomorrow. and exclusive reporting tonight on the action that north korea took within hours of the failure of the summit with trump. all of it as "the 11th hour" gets underway on a tuesday night.
well, good evening once again from our msnbc headquarters in new york. day 775 of the trump administration, and just for good measure, here are some other numbers tonight. there are 686 days remaining in the president's four-year term. and for good measure, it's been 36 days since the last white house press briefing. the news tonight is not good for this white house. on top of all the other investigations they face, it's democrats in the house who are now applying the pressure, so far going after 81 separate people, agencies, entities who have had contact with the trump family, business, campaign and presidency. the president today went right after the pertinent committee chairman, quote, nadler, schiff and the dem heads of committees have gone stone cold crazy. a big fat fishing expedition desperately in search of a crime when in fact the real crime is what the dems have done. real presidential harassment. this afternoon he was asked
about the house investigations. >> the witch hunt continues. the fact is i guess we got 81 letters. there was no collusion. that was a hoax. there was no anything. and they want to do that instead of getting legislation passed. it's a disgrace to our country. i'm not surprised it's happening. basically they started a campaign, so the campaign begins. instead of doing infrastructure, instead of doing health care, instead of doing so many things that they should be doing, they want to play games. >> those 81 letters trump mentioned, a reference to the house judiciary committee's request to all those individuals and entities with the focus on investigating possible obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuses of power. the house services committee has also opened up its own committee.
they're in the game now. chairwoman maxine waters who the president, of course, has publicly targeted numerous times is looking into how trump secured loans from deutsche bank when other banks refused to loan him money. then there's the president's former friend and personal lawyer, michael cohen. he has another appearance at a hearing tomorrow behind closed doors under questioning by the house intelligence committee. they say they'll let us see a transcript of that before too long. a new quinnipiac poll gives us a new poll since michael cohen testified on wednesday. 14% more say they believe cohen rather than the president. the intel committee has a new hire to help with the investigation, and he's someone we know, former prosecutor daniel goldman who over his career had seen prosecutions of russian organized crime and other criminal networks. goldman has spent a lot of time in this studio and on this broadcast.
he was, until recently, a legal contributor to this network, and we now know this exchange between michael cohen and alexandria ocacio-cortez from last week's public hearing may have triggered yet another new inquiry. >> to your knowledge, did the president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company? >> yes. >> who else knows that the president did this? >> allen weisselberg, ron lieberman and allison calamari. >> do you think we need to review his financial statements and tax returns in order to compare them? >> yes, and you would find them at the trump org. >> today new york regulators started probing the trump organization's insurance practices in the trump business. that is an investigation, in addition to the ongoing investigation from the feds here in new york. the democrats requested documents about jared kushner and everyone else. the president overruled top
officials and ordered them to give jared kushner a top secret clearance. but the administration may not be able to resist for long. democrats now have subpoena power. the ap is reporting the white house has been preparing for this, quote, white house officials describe their plan for addressing the mounting requests as multi-layered. lawyers in the counsel's office plan to be cooperative but are unlikely to provide the democrats the vast amount of documents they're looking for. they intend to be protective executive power and privilege. we quote, indeed some people close to mr. trump have privately predicted that he will ultimately choose to seek a second term in part because of his legal exposure if he is not president. while there is no legal consensus on the matter, justice
the ap is reporting the white house has been preparing for this, quote, white house officials describe their plan for addressing the mounting requests as multi-layered. lawyers in the counsel's office plan to be cooperative but are unlikely to provide the democrats the vast amount of documents they're looking for. they intend to be protective executive power and privilege. we quote, indeed some people close to mr. trump have privately predicted that he will ultimately choose to seek a second term in part because of his legal exposure if he is not president. while there is no legal consensus on the matter, justice department policy says that a president cannot be indicted while there is no legal consensus on the matter, justice department policy says that a president cannot be indicted while in office. with that let's bring in our leadoff panel on a tuesday night. jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the cia and the pentagon, and importantly, former chief counsel to the house intelligence committee. shannon pettypiece back with us as well. and josh, concerning political affairs for politico. josh, considering your experience, what does it tell you that they have hired dan goldman on that committee? what is his job likely to be? >> they want someone with prosecutorial experience, someone who followed a trail of facts, someone who knows how to put witnesses under oath and question them, someone who knows
how to hone in on details for an investigation, ultimately someone who knows how to unpack subpoena documents and try to figure out if there was nefarious or illegal activity. that is really something that prosecutors do. congressional staff sometimes does it, but when you're in investigative mode and you're posturing your stance to go after potentially wrongdoing on the committee, it really helps to have a prosecutor like dan on your team. i think people who received these 81 letters from the judiciary committee and others have to worry, first and foremost, that they preserved all documents. you know an investigation is underway, and even deleting things like texts and e hife-mai can get you into hot water. >> shannon, we saw them take the fifth and so on. what level of cooperation do you think we can expect where the white house is concerned? >> they sent a pretty clear letter to the house oversight committee last night which is investigating these security clearance documents, essentially saying they're not going to hand over the documents the committee has requested, specifically
documents related to jared kushner and other senior aides' security clearances. one of the lines of argument they used in that, which i think we'll continue to hear, is questioning congress's authority over this issue. in the area of security clearances, for example, saying, what oversight rule does the house oversight committee have on this because security clearances lie in the executive branch and the executive branch has the authority to issue security clearances? so there will be this back and forth where the white house is not just going to hand over documents, and to be fair, no white house ever really just hands over documents to congressional investigations being led by the opposing party.
they're not going to hand over these documents, and there is going to be this back and forth of the white house challenging congress' authority, and then congress pushing back and saying, we are a co-equal branch of government and we do have oversight and the president is abusing his powers and that's why we have a right to this. basically there will be a back and forth that could go on for months until the democrats decide they're going fight this in court. they'll issue a subpoena, and then it could be years of litigation of that subpoena until we actually have any documents turned over if they do actually ever get turned over. just look at the fast and furious examples that went on for six years, i believe. >> well, that's exhausting. josh, back in social studies or civics days, i don't recall one of the reasons people run for president to be to avoid indictment. but it is part of the work of our friends baker and haberman tonight and it's something you hear more and more. it's one reason to look at running for a second term?
>> yeah, i suppose the president's legal situation is simpler if he remains in office, and he definitely now sees all these forces out there arrayed a against him very starkly with the letters coming in and the prosecutions, not just from mueller, who i do think is winding down his investigation, but as we've discussed many times, the southern district of new york, the other federal prosecutors and now the state prosecutors as well. keep in mind state prosecutors are not bound by that justice department policy that says the president cannot be indicted.
they can go ahead and take a shot. we've already seen those issues kind of previewed in some of the civil suits filed in state courts over the president and some of the sexual allegations. >> was it new york state that shut down the trump foundation already? >> there's a warning shot or maybe another warning shot against the trump family and it's clear the trump family is under rather intense scrutiny from a variety of state officials, both the attorney general's office and regulators looking into a number of these different issues raised by michael cohen and others. it seems to be a fair amount to dig through. >> jeremy bash, as we mentioned, mr. cohen goes back before your former committee tomorrow. closed door proceedings. i want to play for you what our friend, a veteran of the fbi, frank cogluzi, said to nicolle wallace about his first go-around. we'll talk about it on the other side. >> this was essentially a mob informant talking about it, and i would be surprised if some other arm is not approaching this as arico. >> so, jeremy, we're hearing this more and more as well. the rico charge. can you bring our viewers in on what rico stands for and what it's used for? >> it's a statute used to
prosecute criminal organizations under the racketeering theory that the political enterprise is culpable. one thing that's very important here is when the house intelligence committee is probing into a matter, it also wants to understand the way the russian federation is operating and how it has leverage over our president and over our foreign policy. i suspect that a major focus area for tomorrow is going to be the committee drilling into what michael cohen knows about trump tower moscow and other trump business ties, whether it involves felix sater, bay rock capital or other entities that could influence the trump organization or the president. >> shannon, in our time we ever heard the president talk a time or two about his polling numbers. not so much since reaching the presidency, but a lot during the i'm going to put two of them, most recent polling numbers on the screen, and ask you how this might be going over in the west wing. has trump committed crimes as president? yes, 45%, no 43. do you believe trump committed crimes before becoming president.
a much wider margin there, 64%, yes. i imagine those numbers won't go over well internally. >> i know one number he just tweeted out today was his approval among republicans. so he is able to find bright spots in all this. i mean, the fascinating thing, when you go back to that famous line he gave about being able to shoot someone on fifth avenue, i guess the question everyone will have to answer in 2020 for themselves is maybe two-thirds of people believe he has committed crimes. well, does that outweigh other issues that they might like about him, like how he's doing in the economy or foreign policy? would they be willing to elect someone who they believe has committed a crime for someone whose policies or politics they like, and i think it's going to have to do a lot with their opponents, who the democratic opponent is. we're still a little ways from
that to look at poll numbers. yeah, i think the president is still very confident in his messaging and his strategy and his political instinct. >> josh says the nypd assures us it's safe to walk on fifth avenue. i want to take you to your day job and your beat. the president nominated number three at the department of justice. tell us about this woman. >> jessie liu is currently the head of the district of columbia. she spent years in that role and then had department of justice roles. she was personally interviewed by trump in 2017 before he nominated her to that job, and we immediately heard from a lot of former justice department officials at that point who said, hey, that's not at all uncommon for a president to interview a candidate for a united states attorney position. that's normally done perhaps by the white house counsel's office and people at the justice department.
so that's an interesting resume or background experience now being tapped for this number 3 slot which the administration is under some pressure, i think, to fill at this point. it's been vacant for more than a year since rachel brand left, i think, in february of last year. >> for folks watching, does the number 3 job at justice require senate confirmation? >> yes, it does require senate confirmation, but it's also going to be interesting to see how they delegate the responsibilities for that. it's not typically a job that has oversight over a lot of criminal prosecutions. she has had that responsibility. remember, she's also vacating a job that will be taking over much of the remainder of the mueller investigation. a lot of those prosecuted matters, indicted matters that are going to continue on for months into the future, maybe even the case against roger stone, there are signs in the
teams of attorneys that have been brought together, the hybrid teams, if you will, from mueller's office and the u.s. attorney's office that they're going to hand those off. who will take the helm of those cases if jessie liu is elevated to this justice department position? >> so much to talk about on this tuesday night. thanks to our big three for starting our broadcast with us. jeremy bash, shannon pettypiece and josh bernstein, thank you for coming on. insight into the insight into the investigations from a former lawyer who knows how to deal with them. the president assures this country about north korea and their nuclear aspirations. new pictures, however, seem to tell another story. "the 11th hour" just getting started on this tuesday night. ♪
i got this mountain bike for only $11. dealdash.com, the fair and honest bidding site. an ipad worth $505, was sold for less than $24; a playstation 4 for less than $16; and a schultz 4k television for less than $2. i won these bluetooth headphones for $20. i got these three suitcases for less than $40. and washington, d.c. attorney ty cobb grew up in kansas, the son of a legendary kansas broadcaster named grover c. cobb. ty went on to harvard and georgetown law, and along the way became a mustache enthusiast. he is named for a distant relative, the baseball hall of famer with the same name. that ty cobb was known as a tough, if not thoroughly dirty, player who often slid into base with his cleats up high.
ty cobb the lawyer is a seasoned washington veteran who took on as a client one donald trump who went on to trash the mueller investigation as a witch hunt, and the investigators as a bunch of, quote, angry democrats. but ty cobb, the now former trump lawyer, doesn't seem to agree with that assessment. in a new abc news podcast, cobb now says he never had a bad interaction with robert mueller or his staff and went on to offer his praise of the special counsel. >> what do you think of bob mueller? >> i think bob mueller is an american hero. i think bob mueller is a guy, even though he came from an arguably privileged background, has a backbone of steel, he walked into a fire fight in vietnam to pull out one of his injured colleagues and was appropriately honored for that. i've known him for 30 years as a prosecutor and a friend, and i think the world of bob mueller. he is a very deliberate guy, but
he's also a class act. and a very justice-oriented person. >> ty cobb also spoke about current trump lawyer, rudy giuliani, and his efforts to discredit this russia investigation. >> i was there for the white house. rudy is there to represent the individual. but keep in mind that you can criticize the strategy, it wouldn't have been my strategy. i don't feel the same way about mueller. i don't feel the investigation is a witch hunt. rudy and the president have been effective in a way that, you know, would not have been preferable for me, but they have ratcheted up the public's concerns about the investigation and its legitimacy. i object to that approach, but it's his choice. he's the president. and it's what clinton did to ken starr. >> with us to talk about all of this, chuck rosenberg, a former u.s. attorney, former senior fbi
official as well, and matthew miller, former chief spokesman for the u.s. department of justice. matt, i understand you knew ty cobb in a previous life. anything there surprise you? >> not really. i did work with ty in the private sector. we shared a client a few years ago. i think if you look at what ty said about bob mueller, it's what you would expect anyone in his position in washington to say. bob mueller has been respected for a long time -- >> an american hero. >> -- american hero. it only sounds so unusual because it's not in keeping with who ty cobb worked with in the white house, from the president on down. it's not what you hear from the president's new counsel, rudy giuliani, it's not what you hear from his spokesperson. so it's an odd thing of remarks that you would expect from any seasoned member of the bar. it's just not what you hear from this president.
>> this is what you would hear from an established washington lawyer about mueller and the investigation. is it possible that counsel to this president often make their public utterances about their client? >> 100%. besides being part of the legal establishment in washington, ty cobb grew up in the u.s. department of justice. he was an assistant in baltimore. we know a couple of things, that bob mueller is an icon in our department of justice. as ty said, and i know him as well, and i think he's a decent fellow, bob mueller is also a class act. and so ty is probably a little bit more free now to speak honestly than he was when he was employed by mr. trump.
>> chuck, i also want to play this for you. this is separate from the same interview. this is ty cobb on his former client, the president, donald trump. >> he is a very direct, forceful presence. he wants to get stuff done. he hates obstacles and he reacts strongly in the face of obstacles to try to move them out of the way or find somebody who will move them out of the way for him so he can do things. it's a challenging environment and it's not for everybody. but it was a fascinating task. >> chuck, do you think the president's current legal team hears that and they are nodding yes? >> i'm sure it was a fascinating task. it seems to be damning with faint praise, brian. you know, what ty is saying about the president's dislike of obstacles has to be read in context. those obstacles are legitimate inquiry, a legitimate investigation by federal prosecutors and federal agents looking at whether or not
russians interfered with our election. i hate to think of that as an obstacle. i think of that as something that must be investigated, must be examined, something that -- it would be an absolute abdication of responsibility for the department of justice and the fbi not to look at that. and the president considers that an obstacle. that's deeply unfortunate. >> matt, i've got about 30 seconds. i've got to catch a break. do you think the use of the word obstacle was kind of a euphimism? >> yeah, an understatement, maybe. every president doesn't like obstacles, every ceo doesn't like obstacles. i think what ty was probably alluding to was the fact that this president handles him, in a lot of ways, in the most inappropriate fashion possible. i think especially what he's referring to are the attacks on the special counsel, the attacks on the investigation that he's talked about earlier in that interview.
>> lawyers and the words they use. chuck and matt have agreed to stay with us. we'll fit in a break here. coming up, tough words today from a federal judge, and again, they are directed at this one man, mr. stone, who has for now avoided jail time. we'll talk about it when we come back. federal judge amy berman
these folks, they don't have time to go to the post office they have businesses to grow customers to care for lives to get home to they use stamps.com print discounted postage for any letter any package any time right from your computer all the amazing services of the post office only cheaper get our special tv offer a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again!
of a book he wrote that features a new introduction about robert mueller's russia investigation. the title of this book may explain why stone is in hot water, all of it. it's called "the myth of russian collusion." the judge ordered stone to explain by the 11th of march why he believes the book doesn't violate her partial gag order from february 21st. just yesterday stone's lawyers argued he should be allowed to publish the book in large part because it was written pre-gag order. to that judge jackson wrote today, quote, it does not matter when the defendant may have first formulated the opinions expressed or when he first put them into words, he may no longer share his views on these particular subjects with the world. she goes on to say, roger stone deliberately waited until public sales were not only imminent but apparently ongoing to inform the court of the publication effort that had been underway for weeks. our own justice correspondent, pete williams, wrote today,
quote, if jackson concludes that stone violated her partial gag order, she could extend the order, barring him from making any public statements at all on any subject, or she could go even further and revoke his bail which would require him to be held in jail awaiting trial. chuck rosenberg, matt miller remain with us. chuck, i've also heard a theory, and there is one more piece of evidence we'll put on the screen. roger stone posted and then took down on social media this weekend this graphic cute enough under theguiguise of roger rabbi in some way, she tosses him behind bars. he can then argue that he should have another judge at trial. do you buy into any of that? >> if that's his theory, that's a complete and abjekt failure,
brian. this judge has shown remarkable patience. remember, in the indictment there is a threat by roger stone that he threatened to kill another person. he said, be prepared to die, expletive. any judge i worked with would be putting him in jail, would revoke his bond. this judge is playing a long game. roger is playing a short game. you're not going to get a judge recused if she makes a decision well within her discretion for failure to make bond by her orders. she issues orders, she does not issue suggestions, and it does not seem to me that mr. stone gets that just yet. >> and chuck, you believe the graphic, who framed roger stone, even that message, however cartoonish in the way it looks, that is a message that a lot of people believe was prohibited in the gag order.
>> look, the gag order didn't make any exceptions as far as i know. it said, stop talking about this subject, this case right now. it's a simple thing to follow, and he didn't. and i think she's showing remarkable patience. one day, brian, roger stone will be a convicted felon, and this judge will be the one who decides how long he goes to jail. he's playing a short game, she's playing a long game. she's been remarkably patient, but one day he's going face her at his own sentencing, and i think he'll be sorry for all his nonsense. >> matthew, as happy as we are every day, we never face judge jackson in federal court. adults in every other way with names like manafort and stone, oh, by the way, happen to be long-time friends. >> both of them can't just shut up before trial and do what they're supposed to do. manafort also messed with his judge and tampered with a
witness. i don't know if stone will be jailed over this violation, but i do suspect that by the time he eventually makes it to trial, it won't be as a free man. he'll have the same problems manafort had. he just can't seem to kind of keep his nose clean. i think one of the reasons it happens is these two people have been actingmpuity for decades. now we have to act with rules, rules they don't like. they just can't make themselves do it. >> chuck, take 30 seconds and
answer the latest iteration of this question. when this is all said and done, what is your hope that people watching this broadcast, watching this story closely take away about the power of a federal judge who is appointed for life by the president of the united states? >> the judges in front of whom i practice don't mess around. they're serious people, whether they're appointed by democrat presidents or republican presidents. they believe deeply in the rule of law. their courtrooms are places where the rule of law flourishes. they're careful, they're precise, they're exact and they're serious people. as matt miller just pointed out, roger stone is none of those things. i would love for people to be able to go into judge jackson's courtroom and watch how dignified and how staid those processes are. they would be proud of the american citizens inside that courtroom, brian. >> we're fortunate to have both of these gentlemen part of our conversation tonight. thank you both very much. coming up, nbc news exclusive reporting. we'll show you what north korea is working on right now despite a refrain that our president likes to repeat now and again. we'll have that story when we come back. we come back.
we mentioned this before the break and we have exclusive reporting from nbc news tonight including satellite photos that show that less than 48 hours after those nuclear talks between the u.s. and north korea fell apart, kim jong-un was already rebuilding one of his missile sites. experts say the satellite images show work being done on a launchpad for long-range missiles, among other things that are capable of hitting the united states. this is a site that's been dormant largely since last august. according to analysts, quote, this renewed activity, taken just two days after the inconclusive hanoi summit may indicate north korean plans to demonstrate resolve in the face of u.s. rejection at north korea's demands at the summit to lift five u.s. security sanctions and enacted in 2017. this is what president trump had to say about his conversations with the north korean leader.
>> as you know, we got our hostages back. there's no more testing. and one of the things importantly that chairman kim promised me last night is, regardless, he's not going to do testing of rockets and nuclear. not going to do testing. so, you know, i trust him and i take him at his word. >> so can you just give us a little more detail. did you get into the question of actually dismantling the young gun complex? >> yes. >> does he seem willing to take all of that out. >> totally. >> let's talk about that tonight with general barry mccaffery, heavily decorated general and drug czar. so, general, this president who was alone in his affection for this dictator, alone in his level of trust of this dictator, was he also alone in not being able to see this coming? have they ever not been working on their nuclear program? >> it's a remarkable situation.
by the way, up front, brian, obviously we ought to applaud the administration's willingness to engage, to negotiate, to talk to the north koreans. no question. but when you sort of back off, i followed the north korean issue for 25 years now. it's a remarkable history. they have never lived up to what they said they would do. it's always a provocation followed by a dialogue followed by another provocation. so as you look at what actually is going on on the ground, it's amazing what's available through unclassified commercial satellite photography. they never stop making fizol material. they were able to do six more nuclear devices during 2018. they never stopped manufacturing intermediate range ballistic
missiles. we now think they have a prototype for an icbm. and there is no reason to believe that the research and development didn't continue at a pace also. i think they walked to the launch site at the edge to see what they can get for it. again, we're being played by the north koreans and president trump is negotiating with himself. giving up the military exercises in south korea, calling our presence there provocative, it's just an astonishing failure of diplomacy. >> let's back up one second and talk about those exercises. the president now openly referring to them as war games.
it is possible he did not know that that phrase existed till now. you know them as exercises. you know them well as a veteran of the u.s. military. he sprung that on his commanders that he wanted to stop our participation in them. what is lost when we don't do them? >> well, look, at the end of the day, south korea, this incredibly rich, vibrant, democratic, economically successful nation can defend itself on the ground pretty ably. i have no doubt about that. the u.s. military present, there's 25,000 troops on the ground, naval and air power, the forces in okinawa, guam and hawaii are there for deterrence. they are there to ensure that there isn't a war on the korean peninsula. so the whole notion of giving that away up front is just hard to understand what he's thinking. why would he use the language of the chinese and north koreans? >> talk about how much hard work has gone into deterrence. the president talks about his predecessors as failures on this front. and it ignores the work during
the cold war and later to keep the peace. >> well, i think so. look, it's been remarkable over the course of action. my dad fought in korea from 1951 to '53. it's astonishing we managed to go lo these many decades with the incredible commitment and sacrifice and dedication of the armed forces and the political leadership of the region and the united states without there being another conflict. of course, legally that conflict remains in place. so i think that the notion that the others were failures overlooks what has been one of the most successful deterrent operations imaginable. we haven't had a war with the north koreans and we don't want that. that's what we're up to. the notion is deterrence.
now, we have to face this nuclear issue. if they get icbms deployed in numbers that can threaten the united states, i would view that as an unacceptable condition. >> on those words, we've asked general mccaffery to stay with us. there's something else the president has apparently done an about face on. we'll talk about that after this.
we've been fighting for a long time in syria. i've been president for almost two years and we've really stepped it up, and we have won against isis. we've beaten them and we've beaten them badly. we've taken back the land. and now it's time for our troops to come back >> that was under three months ago when the president shocked everybody, including his own pentagon commanders and members of congress, by announcing the u.s. was coming home, pulling out of
syria. it now appears the president has had something of a dramatic change of heart. here's how we know this, because he wrote it in sharpy across a letter from congress, a bipartisan group of lawmakers had written in support of leaving the troops there in place. trump wrote back right on that same letter, quote, agree 100%. all is being done. general barry mccaffrey remains with us. general, i also have to share with our audience this headline no "the washington post." "trump vowed to leave syria in a tweet. now he agreed to stay with a sharpy." what do you think is going on? >> well, you know, i think there's an awful lot of impulsive unilateral decisions coming out of the white house. there is no connection with the national security process, deliberative, listening to the intelligence, coming up with a strategy on what we're trying to do. you know, i got to add mitt, brian, there's no question that syria is an irredeemable mess.
nobody's putting it back together. not assad. not the kurds. not the iranians. but it could get worse. and it's amazing to me what centcom, general joe votel and largely special operations and lots of u.s. air power has been able to accomplish, but announcing publicly we're leaving, throwing our allies under the bus, ceding the terrain to erdogan struck me as a foolhardy decision. now announcing publicly 200 to 400 troops will stay in isolated patches in syria strikes me as totally irresponsible. i don't like to see symbolic use of u.s. military power. we had to fight and kill a couple hundred russian mercenaries in syria a year ago. this is a very dangerous ground. the president should not be determining head count. he's supposed to do strategy. >> and can't we assume, general,
that if the head count is 400 and if it's general votel who has decided who stays and who goes, those are essential personnel. we're conducting air strikes. we were overnight with american aircraft. that needs forward air controllers. that needs air crews on the ground somewhere. >> well, exactly. thank god for the u.s. navy and air force strike options. that's been a huge part of the hammer we've been using. we actually had u.s. army and marine artillery units in country also operating very small elements. but, look, we don't want the white house determining the optics of military operations. we want the white house to sort out what the political strategy is and approve military objectives. and, again, i think announcing that there'll be small bands of
u.s. military personnel deep in the heart of syria is a gross misjudgment. >> general barry mccaffrey, it's always a pleasure to have you on the broadcast. thank you so much for joining us again tonight from seattle, washington. >> good to be with you. and coming up for us, it's fast becoming a best-seller and that's exactly what has people concerned about what's going on on the website of shall we say a major seattle-based employer. termites, feasting on homes 24/7.
last thing before we go tonight could be called the cost of good intentions if we believe amazon's intention was simply to be the planet's largest book seller. maybe not including the book that is inching up its rankings. amazon can't seem to stay out of the news these days, and tonight's story is about a book of conspiracy theories that is taking its place alongside the actual work of experienced authors on the amazon best-seller list. did you know, for example, that some democrats eat children? that's in this book, and you may be seeing the problem here. nbc news correspondent gadi
schwartz filed this story on it just tonight. >> reporter: from signs at political rallies to online forums filled with talk of mind control and lizard people, the dark web movement called q anononce only found in the fringe parts of the internet now on amazon's best selling book list. outranking authors like f. scott fitzgerald and dr. seuss. unproven radical conspiracy theories suggesting high-ranking democrats are part of a cult that eats children, claiming the government created aids and also behind the movie "monsters inc.." >> anyone can publish anything. on the one hand, that creates some amazing opportunities but it also means some really toxic stuff can get out there. >> reporter: the book is getting five-star reviews, including several from people who admit they haven't even read it. amazon's algorithm seems to untin tensionally reward that. pushing it up the best-seller list and in effect pushing
baseless conspiracy theories. youtube restricting recommendations for some anti-vaccination videos, facebook exploring ways to handle conspiracy content. >> this kind of really powerful conspiracy theory emotiony-laden stuff, you know, it's pretty immigrant zbiftable to a huge swath of people. that's how a lot of these companies make money. >> reporter: amazon hasn't responded to nbc news's request for comment and wouldn't give specifics on how the algorithm works or how much it could get from sales. for now the unfounded conspiracy theories lifted from the dark web one of amazon's best-selling books. >> our thanks to los angeles-based gadi schwartz for
that story. that's going to wrap up our broadcast on this tuesday evening. thank you so much for being with us. good night from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. ws headquarters here in new york. this morning, new worries and signs coming from north korea days after president trump and president kim jong-un's summit. plus the investigations into president trump and his inner circle wrap up. investigators are looking into the trump organization insurance policy while house democrats want to see tax returns. and new reporting that the president pressured aidi ivanka security clearance. they refuse to turn over documentations of the security clearance