tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC March 12, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
the largest prison systems in the world. this report, if true, if the governor's about to personally take executive action to eliminate the death penalty there, that will change history. watch this space. that that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." michael cohen reportedly will get another 90 days before sentencing. >> maybe. the judge gets to decide if he gets another 90 days, and that judge has been a little fickle about sentencing. >> that would be the likelihood. it's fascinating that the special prosecutor in these filings says their work with him is otherwise complete. what do you make of that? >> well, we don't exactly know what flynn cooperated on. in the initial lead-up to his sentencing hearing that went so awry in december, we got a fairly detailed statement from
prosecutors about the way he had been helpful when those prosecutors were asking for the judge to go easy on him. but so much of it was redacted, so much of it was hard to piece together that we can't, i think, substantively in normal words describe what it is that he's done. he apparently hasn't done much more with prosecutors since then. it was the judge who said he wanted flynn try to do more. it will be interesting to see the way the judge reacts to this since the judge has been so independent and sort of -- i don't want to say contrary. he's at least been his own man on this very much so, but then it looks like if the judge goes along with it, we still won't know more about flynn's fate until mid-june. >> we have a couple guests who are studying these right now, so we won't know much until we get to that in our next segment. thank you, rachel. president trump took a hard turn today meaning no pardon and no one can defeat what happened in the investigation today because it happened in the state of new york where the new york
attorney general is now seeking the financial records of two banks that have done business with donald trump and his family. presidential pardons apply only in federal cases, not in state cases. we'll hear more about that later in this hour. and at the end of this hour tonight, we will consider the future of republican senate leader mitch mcconnell and why that future looks very bleak tonight. everyone knows that the presidential campaign is already underway, but so are senators' reelection campaigns. those senate re-election campaigns are operating on a much quieter track. so we don't know exactly what mitch mcconnell might be doing or planning for his re-election next year, but it is more likely than it has ever been in mitch mcconnell's career that he just might not run for re-election this time. his polling in kentucky could not be worse, and paul ryan's retirement must be looking pretty comfortable to mitch mcconnell right now.
we will show you all the reasons why mitch mcconnell might not run for re-election at the end of this hour and how he could actually be defeated in kentucky if he does run for re-election. one of the reasons mitch mcconnell might not run for re-election is what is happening in the house of representatives right now under democratic control. if the democrats took control two years from now, mitch mcconnell would be watching from the sidelines even if he did manage to run for re-election. and what happens in the house of representatives is that the freshman members on the democratic side of the house have changed everything. one of the new stars of the freshman class and the house of representatives will join us in a moment. she has already mastered the very difficult art of having a real impact in those five minutes of question time that she's allowed in house hearings.
better than democratic congresswoman katherine clark of massachusetts. as a member of nancy pelosi's leadership team, katherine clark is a member of the house chair of democratic congress, and this is what she says about her new freshman members. >> i do think the freshmen have changed everything. >> those freshmen got a chance to change everything because voters sent them to congress to change everything, and everything they have changed has been bad for donald trump and the trump administration. >> those freshmen have delivered us the majority. we are now able to have the investigations that republicans refuse to look at, refuse to take up, and to do our job as laid out in article i. so, yes, i think they have changed everything and have given us the tools we need to be
able to hold this administration accountable. >> we are seeing dramatic moments in hearings now routinely that we used to see once or twice in a decade in the past the way the congress worked. members of congress coming to the hearings now prepared and ready to hold witnesses accountable and to do it in as pointed and dramatic a way as you can and an otherwise confining setting of a hearing room. today the action was in the house financial committee. the one questioning was the ceo of wells fargo. wells fargo has paid $12 million in savings since they opened millions of accounts without customers' knowledge amid customer abuses. the youngest woman ever elected to congress came to all the hearings today, as she has so far, ready to challenge a witness in a way that republicans never would. she focused on wells fargo's
financing for the dakota access pipeline that the obama administration suspended construction of after the sioux tribe challenged that project in court. the trump administration, immediately after taking office, allowed the project to go forward with financing from wells fargo. >> hypothetically, if there was a leak from the dakota access pipeline, why shouldn't wells fargo pay for the cleanup of it since it paid for the construction of the pipeline itself? >> because we don't operate the pipeline. we provide financing to the company that's operating the pipeline. our responsibility is to ensure that at the time that we make that loan, that that customer -- and we have a group of people in wells fargo, including a viral, mental oversight group headed by one of my colleagues who used to be at dpda -- >> didn't wells fargo finance this pipeline when it was widely seen to be environmentally unstable?
>> the reason why we were one of the 17 or 19 banks that financed that, is because we concluded it was a risk we were willing to take. >> so the environmental impact team at wells fargo said, go ahead, take the risk. katie porter pursued another line of tough questioning in that hearing today. same kind of questioning you've seen repeatedly. we showed you difficult questioning, including the questioning of a trump official. katie porter is the first democrat in history to be elected to represent california's 45th congressional district in orange county, a county that normally votes republican. two of our presidential candidates have had a hand in the development of shorter shoerd.
>> she appointed katie porter to be the state's independent monitor in banks with a $25 million ledge to businessmen. senator elizabeth warren was a professor of katie porter's when katie was a student at porter law school and eventually became a country fso. it was from her position as a law school professor that she decided to run for office. >> if you were washing last night, you saw can you say tin por keke assessment bureau, bhod never had ld. a small little boy of fusion right in.
timothy sloane. >> in 2016, you said, quote, i'm fully committed to taking the necessary steps to restore our customers' requests. quote, we've already made progress in restoring the company's thrust, and we've remained being co mitted to aid nus quote, restoring the trust and the trust of all our stake keyholders are a priority. >> tho statements to me are pretty vague. they sound like they're afraid before the, mr. sloan? >> so it's safe that is that the statements you sdmad customers and invess dorz rely on seven
tech. then. >> mr. sloan, are your lawyers in federal court aurg ewing that the exact that's i leld. >> i don't know why our lawyers are arguing yet. you asked me a direct question and i'm saying it's absolutely correct. >> are you lying to a federal judge, or are you lying to me and this congress right now as to whether we can rely on those statements? >> neither. >> it's convenient for your lawyers to deflect blame in court and say that your rebrowneding campaign has been foored. one of these conspiracy.
i think that's the disconnect. it has trouble testing world fargo thauchlt congressman is juning in the same rain. i know when the most freshmen in the house are told, after waiting in a hearing room where some are being told what questions before you'll head off into the. they don't do much to make sure their constituents say something you want to hear, but they don't bother with it because they don't know that it happened within five minutes.
>> cull off trump administrations like that. >> i think i did. from being an ahn. are they prepared for class? have they mastered this concept. i think now they're asks these services. actually real estate good for frpgs fofr con zes sdplz i've ld. >> you're taking those serious. sometimes you will have two
clearing details fundraising and spending a tremendous amount of our days fundraising. it seems this clock may not be there are real concerns about what's happening in washington. how can we draud. so tools that we ever to. listening to witnesses. i feel fortunate that i come in with a big binder. i read two or three an particulars except happy. >> what not fomg ep, the sprik much much as a member of congress, and bn the staff world of clients, that's the taetly the. >> and in general snoot or how members.
he wants to give me the look of oug. >> the europe committee has marked that utes use sfmpls and on the examination of deutsch bank in relation to interesting and cleared that it transferable. i'm definitely going to come ready with questions when it happens. i think we'll see the dlaej to buy. then at the, a really important part of the sdernz we have from this disdrit from this disdrit
>> who is the most popular republican senator? the republican senator with the lowest approval rating in his state. pathetic, unelectable, 33% approval rating. will he be one of the republican senators who announces that he's had enough and is not running for re-election? guess who that senator is. you'll find out at the end of this hour if you haven't guessed already. and if you live in kentucky, you probably have guessed already because you know how unpopular he is there and why his life in the senate has been made impossible by donald trump. that rocking chair would look great in our new house. ahh, new house, eh? well, you should definitely see how geico could help you save on homeowners insurance. nice tip. i'll give you two bucks for the chair. two?! that's a victorian antique! all right, how much for the recliner, then?
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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. we have a new sentencing memo right here in the michael flynn case, and we have the experts here to decode it for us. it was filed tonight. lawyers for president trump's first national security adviser michael flynn say that he wants to delay his sentencing for 90 days because, quote, there may be additional cooperation. that he can offer as he tries to reduce his potential punishment. the office says they have finished their work with michael flynn and view his cooperation as otherwise complete. but michael flynn has been cooperating with prosecutors in
a case with two other business associates who have been accused of illegally lobbying for turkey. that case is scheduled for trial in july. because of michael flynn's continued cooperation, his lawyers have asked for another 90 days to finish the assessment report for the judge to consider. to analyze this for us, ron clain, and kimberly atkinson is with us. she's an msnbc contributor. you both had time to study this. i want to go to this last line that i want to read out loud word for word. this is very short. it's a two-page thing. it says -- and this is the special prosecutor speaking here -- the government takes no position on the defendant's request for a continuance. however, while the defendant
remains in a position to cooperate with law enforcement authorities and could testify in the eastern district of virginia case should it proceed to trial, in the government's view, his cooperation is otherwise complete. i've read it three times now, ron clain. i have no idea what they're saying. >> so, look, it's a short filing but i think it has several flashing lights for president trump. it's just a reminder once again that notwithstanding the spin that mueller is almost finished, there is a lot of action left to go here in terms of trials for the president's henchmen and wherever that will lead. reminder, we're not at the end yet. but specifically that paragraph that you read, i think it's a turning point for mueller in this investigation. because he's been holding off sentencing people to kind of get their cooperation. i think what you're saying there is, look, they can be sentenced whenever i want, and if i need
something from them, i can come back and get it again. so if trump thinks he's heard everything the people have to say, he hasn't heard everything the people have to say and there is more from michael flynn when this is over. the most dominant reading for the president is that robert mueller has everything he needs to get from michael flynn, who is in so many ways the closest witness to the president of the united states in action, in the job while president. and that there could be things there that are devastating the president or everything he got out of michael flynn doesn't really help robert mueller in the investigation of the president. >> look, with the regular caveat that we don't know anywhere near as much as robert mueller and his investigators know -- >> and i know less than any of the people. >> yes, this is someone we have to remember. this is someone who was with donald trump throughout the campaign and into the white house.
this is a former white house official now -- >> transition. >> every bit of it. this is someone who now is looking to get sentenced. i think at the end of the day, the one thing michael's lawyers are trying to keep him from doing is fall prisoner to jail. the judge made it clear that he thought otherwise, that these were serious crimes that he was alleged to have committed, and that unless he could give some more which is strongly suggesting he try to cooperate even more with the mueller investigation and this other virginia investigation, efls on -- he was on his way to prison. at the very least, his attorneys tried to say until everything else is done, let us cooperate as much as we can. that was my reading from this, but yes, robert mueller probably does know, but it's essentially a shrug from his investigation.
>> the prosecutors were ready to sentence him months ago. it was just at the last minute that the judge kind of helped him out of whatever was going to happen to him that day. it really isn't news, i guess, when robert mueller says here his cooperation is otherwise complete. it seems like they felt that way months ago. >> that's right, lawrence, but i also think what mueller is signalling is that he is prepared to use whatever he needs to use, whether mike flynn is out or in jail, wherever he is. and as kimberly alluded to, michael flynn is staying out of jail. he says maybe we should see what that trial has for me before you try to get me out of jail. we haven't seen what cards bob mueller has to play about what mike flynn has. >> did we just discover that there's a 90-day delay in the mueller report. can the mueller report come out
while we're awaiting sentencing of michael flynn, which means we're awaiting just how much more does michael flynn have to say? >> i keep saying that answer over and over again, but we don't know. i was never of the mind that all of this was done. there are just too many moving pieces, there are still too many unanswered questions, particularly around roger stone. i don't think we could be expecting a report before all that wraps up. i don't think this report is as imminent as most people do. i think we have to wait to see it all play out, but the fact that he's saying we've gotten everything that we need, essentially, from michael flynn signals that it's, at the very least, in its final stages. >> do you feel free to take a vacation in the next 90 days. >> i will definitely take a vacation in the next 90 days, but i will definitely be back to talk about this. >> thank you both very much for dealing with this breaking news for us tonight. when we come back, michael cohen's testimony to congress has now apparently led to the
new york state attorney general beginning an investigation of trump financial dealings in new york state where a presidential pardon won't do you any good in a state investigation. that's next. i have a vision correction number, but i'm more than a number. when i'm not sharing ideas with my colleagues i'm defending my kingdom. my essilor lenses offer more than vision correction with three innovative technologies for my ultimate in vision clarity
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buffalo bills in 2015. presidential pardons apply only to federal cases, not to state cases. the "new york times" is reporting the request to deutsch bank sought loan applications, mortgages, lines of credit and other financing transactions in connection with the trump international hotel in washington, the trump national dorel outside miami, and the trump international hotel and tower in chicago, according to a person briefed on the subpoenas. investigators also requested records connected to an unsuccessful effort to buy the buffalo bills. investors bank was subpoenaed for records relating to trump park avenue, according to the "new york times." nbc news has since confirmed this reporting. the subpoena follows congressional testimony by the president's former personal lawyer michael cohen that donald
trump inflated his net worth in documents sent to deutsch bank in seeking loans. >> to your knowledge, was president trump ever seeking revenues? >> yes. >> was that done with mr. trump's knowledge? >> everything was done with the knowledge and permission of mr. trump. >> to your knowledge, did mr. trump have to have a bank in order to obtain a loan? >> these documents and others were provided to deutsch bank in one occasion where i was attempting to obtain money where we can put a bid on the buffalo bills. >> tonight the president tweeted an attack on the state of new york and on the governor of new york, andrew cuomo, who has
absolutely nothing to do with the newly elected attorney general whose authority is completely independent of the governor. the governor has nothing to do with this investigation. the investigation will bring further scrutiny to deutsch bank and its lending practices. maritime notes that the bank, quote, was one of the few lenders willing to do business with donald j. trump in recent years. the bank is already the subject of two congressional investigations as we just heard from katie porter, the financial services committee is looking at deutsch bank and the house intelligence committee is investigating deutsch bank. after this break, we will be joined by experts on this story. david k. johnston, he is a pulitzer prize winning tax attorney of the "new york times," and he's written articles for the trump businesses. david heimrich is the reporter of the "new york times."
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the president's finances. david k. johnson is the founder and the editor who has been working on the coverage of the new york state attorney general's office into the financial dealings of donald trump and the trump businesses. david enrich, tell us what we know at this stage of what the new york state attorney general is pursuing. >> they're basically looking for evidence of bank fraud committed by the president and his company. they heard, as everyone else did, michael cohen testifying in congress saying that trump overstated his assets and his net worth in applying for loans from deutsch bank, and they are looking to see what evidence exists of that inside deutsch bank, which is the only lender that has consistently been willing to give money to donald trump over the past 20 years. >> and david enrich, do we know that this follows michael cohen's testimony, or could these subpoenas have been
something that the new york state attorney general was working on even before michael cohen testified? >> we know that the new york attorney general, like other state and federal regulators, had their eye on them for a long time. this is the only bank that was willing to loan him money and the bank played a very central role in donald trump's rise to power. over the past several years, they have finances one project after another. so regulators and financiers all over the country look at this as something all over the country. it certainly tracks with something cohen said on capitol hill. >> and david k. justin, one of the questions you would have looking at this relationship is, when no other bank will lend to donald trump, why deutsch bank? why are they lending to donald trump? >> one theory, and we may find
out through this investigation, was that deutsch bank wasn't really the lender. they laid this off to dtb. that's the russian spy bank or one of the other state banks. it's not uncommon for banks to simulate big loans and spread the risk among several banks. but it's long been subpoenaed that deutsch bank made these loans because it was really the russians who were at risk. is that something, david enrich, you think the attorney general would be able to penetrate? >> i think they're certainly interested in trying. i have to say, though, i spent more than a year now digging into the relationship between deutsch bank and donald trump for a book that i'm writing on the subject that comes out early next year. and i have not seen any evidence -- i've talked to basically every person at deutsch bank, past and present, who was involved in any way with the trump relationship over the past two decades, and every single one of them has told me basically the same thing when it comes down to russia, which is they have not seen any evidence
of trump being in hoc to russia by way of deutsch bank. >> so if deutsch bank finds that donald trump deliberately misstated the value of an asset, inflated the value of an asset so he would look better in a loan application, what would that mean for donald trump? >> if he signed the loan application, and those are done under penalty of perjury, potentially he faces criminal charges, but the loan would probably have to have made to make a case stick. i think we're certainly going to find out more about how he presented himself, whether this leads to a criminal charge. a lot of other facts have to develop before we know. >> david j. johnson, david enrich, thank you both for joining us on that important story. you're constantly humiliated by donald trump. your poll numbers in your home state could not be worse. do you run for re-election next
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any time from tomorrow to about a year from now, you will be hearing announcements like this. >> today i am announcing that this year will be my last one as a member of the house. >> that was house speaker paul ryan last year announcing that he would not run for reelection to congress. he made that announcement on april 11, 2018. most members of congress who announce that they are not going to run again announced much sooner than that in the election year, and many of them announced in the year before the election year so that their party in their state can have time to find and support the right candidate to succeed them in office. for example, senator lamar alexander announced last year that he will not run for re-election next year, thereby giving tennessee republicans plenty of time to try to find the strongest candidate to replace him. here are all of the republican senators who are up for re-election next year who have not yet announced that they will
run for re-election. they will look at their polling in their states and they will look at what their next six years of life in the united states senate would be if they win re-election, and they will see that they will either be re-elected into another four years of humiliation in service to the madness of the trump presidency, or they will be re-elected into the first four years of a democratic president where their only function will be trying to block presidential appointees to federal judgeships. both of those are dreary scenarios for republican senators. there will be more republican senators announcing that they will not run for re-election, and the republican senator with the strongest incentive to not run for re-election is the one with the very worst polling numbers back home in his state. a 33% approval rating. at the end of next year, he will have served 36 years in the
united states senate, and the voters in his state do not appreciate the 35 years of service that he's already given them. the vast majority of those voters say it's time for someone new. happens to have the most difficulty job of any republican senator in the united states senate. at 78 years old, will he really be looking forward to another four years of humiliation by donald trump or four years of nothing but trying to block the democrats' judicial nominations? after this break, we'll take a look at all of the reasons mitch mcconnell might not run for reelection to the senate, including how jealous he must be of paul ryan right now. re psori, little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently.
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no majority leader of the united states senate has ever had it worse than mitch mcconnell. even the majority leaders of the senate who had presidents of the opposing party, they were all treated with more dignity and respect and professionalism by the president of the opposing party than mitch mcconnell gets from donald trump. normally, the working relationship between a majority leader and the president of the leader's own party is a highly cooperative partnership in which the majority leader has most of the power when it comes to legislation. majority leaders have told presidents of their own party
what is possible and what is not possible in the senate, and those presidents did not try to defy them. mitch mcconnell has the distinction in history of being the first senate majority leader attacked by a president of the united states on twitter. six months into the trump presidency, the president tweeted, "can you believe that mitch mcconnell, who has screamed repeal and replace for seven years couldn't get it done. >> two weeks later the only problem i have with mitch mcconnell after repeal and replace for seven years, he failed. that should never have happened. of course, that tweet was not true because that was not the only problem that donald trump had with mitch mcconnell. to be clear, no president has ever dared to publicly attack the majority leader of the senate of his own party. mitch mcconnell has repeatedly thought that he has made a deal with president trump only to
discover that the president's word meant nothing, that he changed his mind buzz of something he just saw on tv. that has never happened to any other majority leader, even with presidents of the opposite party. mitch mcconnell told president trump not to shut down the government. mitch mcconnell then went public, saying there would not be a government shutdown. >> i think a government shutdown is not a good option. that's my view. the american people don't like it. we've been down this path before, and i don't believe we'll go down this path again. >> are you convinced that we will not shut down? >> yeah, i am. >> normally, when a senate majority leader says that, you can take to it the bank. that's it. there won't be a shutdown. the majority leader says there won't be a shutdown. but mitch mcconnell's words mean nothing because donald trump humiliates him. donald trump humiliated mitch mcconnell and became the first president in history to shut down the government when both
houses of congress were controlled by his own party. mitch mcconnell knew that was going to end very badly for the republicans and donald trump, and there was nothing that mitch mcconnell could do about it. there has never been a more powerless majority leader of the senate than mitch mcconnell in his relationship with the president. any republican majority leader could have rammed through the judicial confirmations that mitch mcconnell has rammed through the senate. that's the easy part of the job. every other part of mitch mcconnell's job is made impossibly difficult or just plain impossible by the worst and most erratic president in history. why, why would mitch mcconnell want more of this, especially when kentucky has no gratitude for the job that he's been doing in the senate. polling shows that mitch mcconnell has a 33% approval
rating in kentucky. that is a deadly approval rating for an incumbent senator. 61% of kentucky voters say that mitch mcconnell has been there too long, and it's time for someone new. mitch mcconnell is already the longest serving senator in kentucky history. kentucky is done with mitch mcconnell if democrats can find the right candidate to run against him, like possibly amy mcgrath, who lost a close election for a kentucky house seat last year. >> in a fighter jet, it was never just about me. for every one of my 89 combat missions, there were hundreds of marines who were part of a team. i'm amy mcgrath, and congress doesn't think that way. too many there refuse to work with the other side. they would rather block any good idea than let the other side get credit for anything.
i'll will work with anyone if it means we can get something done. >> does mitch mcconnell want that fight? does mitch mcconnell really want to spend the next year and a half fighting off a strong democratic candidate in his own reelection campaign while at the same time trying to get enough republican senators re-elected to the senate to hold on to the majority? and then the best reward he can get, if he makes all of that happen, is another four years of utter humiliation from donald trump, if the republicans hold on to the presidency. paul ryan knew early in the trump presidency that donald trump was going to drive the republicans out of power in the house of representatives. paul ryan knew long before he announced publicly that he was not going to run for reelection in his district.
paul ryan did not take one step to run for reelection in his district, and by the time he announced he wasn't going to run, there was no surprise among any of the professionals in washington. because paul ryan hadn't done a single thing to run for reelection. donald trump drove paul ryan out of office and lost the house of representatives for the republicans while he was at it. will donald trump drive mitch mcconnell out of office and possibly lose the senate for republicans while he is at it? or will kentucky voters drive mitch mcconnell out of office if he decides to run again? next year could be the last year of the humiliation of mitch mcconnell. that is tonight's "last word". we have a quick programing note. senator elizabeth warren, presidential candidate elizabeth warren will be a guest on "morning joe" tomorrow morning right here on msnbc.
and thenally be a guest on "morning joe" tomorrow morning where we will no doubt discuss what elizabeth warren said on "morning joe." "the 11th hour" with brian williams is next. "the 11th hour" with brian williams is next. tonight, hours away from paul manafort's second sentencing, widely expected to be more harsh than his last sentencing, and all the while lingering in the air in federal court tomorrow will be the question of a pardon. plus, it's been days since he raised his right hand and unloaded on his former friend and boss, but michael cohen's testimony continues to cause a heap of trouble for the president, and it may not be over. and we've got a former russian ambassador with us tonight to share what he knows about putin, what he fears about our relationship with russia, and what diplomacy looks like when practiced correctly, as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a tuesday night. and good evening once again from