tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC March 14, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
his imaginary flames. that's tonight's last word, the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. tonight, two of robert mueller's top staffers depart signaling the potential end phase of the russia investigation. across town, in a congress that can't agree on anything, unanimous support in the house, 420 to 0 to publicly release mueller's findings. a dozen republican senators break ranks and vote against trump's border wall national emergency. his response is to promise his first veto. and he ran and lost for senate now he's running for president. a glossy magazine rollout for a congressman that has the left ap and the right in attack mode starting today as the 11th hour gets underway on a thursday night.
day 784 of the trump administration, and there are brand new signs that we may indeed be witnessing the end stage of robert mueller's investigation. when covering an entity that does not leak, we are forced to look for other things. one of mueller's top prosecutors plans to leave the team. the news came from the special council's office itself. andrew wiseman will be concluding his detail to the special counsel's office in the near future. he was the architect of the case against trump campaign chairman paul manafort, who's been sentenced to prison for almost 7 1/2 years. last month, weissman said his lies about it go to the larger
view of what we think is going on. and what we think the motive here is, this goes to the heart of what the special counsel's office is investigating, that meeting and what happened to that meeting is of special significance to the special counsel. weissman has been involved in other high profile cases, including the prosecution of the gambino family and enron. he was the fbi general counsel when mueller led the bureau. in the book "fire and fury" michael wolff writes, that steve bannon describes weissman as the lebron james of money laundering investigations. mueller's attackers have trained their sites on wiseman. trump went after him on twitter, sighting andrew weissman's horrible and vicious prosecutorial past.
his larger role in the mueller inquiry. >> why would robert mueller hire a guy like andrew weissman with that atrocious track record. why was he appointed? it was a fishing expedition and it was an effort to get trump from the beginning. mueller's lead prosecutor in this case is working hard to make sure that happens. >> what the special counsel has done, he has chosen his jack the ripper like leader andrew wiseman to use the type of tactics that are properly reserved for mafia gangs for terrorists. >> i've called mr. weissman the posterboy for prosecutorial misconduct. you. >> get the drift. there's another telling personn personnel shift, mueller's top fbi investigator david archie
has also left to become the agent in charge of the richmond field office. a top counter intelligence official archie had been the senior fbi agent assigned to mueller's team. multiple law enforcement officials tell nbc news that mueller has farmed out cases not directly related to russia, to other justice department offices. today we learned that the case against roger stone will go to trial november five of this year, the judge declined to change stone's gag order wording for now. michael flynn's sentencing has been delayed until mid june. his lawyers say in the meantime, he plans to cooperate with prosecutors on a different case. ex-trump campaign official may well find out about his sentencing tomorrow. if he's not given a sentencing date, that will likely mean he is still worthwhile and cooperating with mueller.
amid the movement at the special counsel's office and the outstanding cases. congress is now suddenly taking an increased interest in the pending report on the investigation. today republicans joined democrats in the house to pass a nonbinding resolution to make mueller's full report public. this passed with a vote of 420-0. with that, let's bring in our leadoff panel on a thursday night. now a distinguished fellow and criminal justice at the pace university school of law. kimberly atkins, senior washington correspondent for wnbr. eric tucker, justice department reporter with the associated press. mimi, to start with you, you and i have alternately doubted some of the reporting that's come out and been rather dire. mueller's going to be done by tuesday. he's going to be done a week
from -- this, however in a case with no leaks, where we have boxes to watch coming out the front door. attorneys departing. does that suffice for you as good an indicator as any? >> i would call it strong circumstantial evidence. someone comes in, it's raining. you can tell it's raining because they're wet. the question still is, what is that something? i think the special counsel office as we know -- have known it for the past two years, it seems like that is going to dissolve. the personnel that has made up that office. those people are going to go on to other things, as well they should. i want to take a moment here to say they've been attacked ruthlessly by trump and his alis, many of them left their families for two years, have worked probably 80 to 100 hour
weeks around the clock in something that they felt was a service to their country like bob mueller, the people who are under him doing the work, i think won't get any of the credit and are getting a lot of the attack. in a lot of ways they should be thanked for what they've done, not attacked. i don't think this means the end of the investigations, though. or the prosecutions, certainly. we know now that roger stone is going to trial in november. it's going to continue. prosecutors are going to do that. there's a saying in the department of justice basically, prosecutors are fungible. while andrew w weissman is a wonderful prosecutor, there are many wonderful prosecutors throughout the department of justice and fbi agents who will
take up whatever bob mueller is handing off to them this is not the end of the story as to the investigations. but it may be the end of this unit investigating. >> the right way to put it, that the home office may be shutting down, but this work has been sent out to regional district offices? >> i think that's a great analogy. and that's a good thing. we have a strong department of justice that has handled complex important cases for decades. in all different offices, i think seeing it sort of go out that way and state prosecutors stepping in as well. that's not a bad thing. and i understand why mueller, who is a creature of that department of justice would want it to go to the regular channels at some point. and it seems like we're nearing that point. >> that's the view from a former fed. and i want to you see another former fed who is of counsel to us. this is frank figluzzi earlier
on this network, remember, he was running counter intelligence for a time for the bureau. >> i'm more intrigued by david archie. he's the counter intelligence lead here. that's the seminole russia question mueller was snowsed to answer. we should expect to report, it isn't so dramatic, but one that rolls out and spins cases everywhere. it diffuses targets for trump to aim at. >> do you concur based on your reporting, when are we going to find all of them? >> i think what is clear at this point is that much of the investigative work, including the collusion question probably is complete. i think the question becomes, what bob mueller does with that information, how long it takes to produce some sort of report about that. >> today's house vote you
normally can't get a vote 420-0 to agree that today is thursday. what does this vote say about republicans and democrats about a feeling of urgency, and perhaps about robert mueller himself? >> yeah, it's really extraordinary, for democrats this is a statement that they want to make, they want to send a very strong message to the department of justice and attorney general barr that this report needs to be made public. and the american people ought to see it. the republicans may have a different motivation, they want to get it out and make it be public so they can discredit it. especially those that are close allies with the president. it was an extraordinary moment of unanimity heading into the final stages, what we think based on the tea leaves are the final stages of this investigation, knowing it will end up in a report, there will
probably be a push by the white house not to let it see the light of day. >> eric, give us a preview tomorrow with rick gates. what could happen here. >> like you mentioned earlier, the central question is going to be whether he's ready for sentencing. we saw earlier this week michael flynn does not want to be sentenced. he says i still have additional corporation i want to offer. rick gates has been cooperating for a really long time. the central question really is, has he completed his cooperation to his own satisfaction and to the government's satisfaction? >> this goes back to your point. let's say this time tomorrow night, we're reporting that gates has been continued, because his work continues. what you're saying is, you don't need the core office for that you need individual prosecutors to pursue that, correct? >> right, you need an office to pursue it, so gates could conceivably be turned over as a
cooperator to another u.s. attorneys office who is making use of his information. if he's useful in the inauguration investigation. the southern district might take over his cooperation. once you're within the department of justice, those things happen quite frequently. where different offices work together and share information, and even hand over cooperators. i think, though, that it doesn't mean that we're not going to hear more from mueller, i think there are probably one more round of indictments to go, i do not believe that jerome koerscy would have been given a plea agreement and information, and left to walk the streets free forever. i don't think that mueller buffs. if he did that, he was able to charge him. could he hand that off to someone else to charge him? yes. it could be that he's waiting to
charge koerscy. he's not important in the grand scheme of things, it's an example of something that's hanging out there unfinished, i think will be finished in indictments and i think we haven't seen all the fruits of all the cooperators, including gates, including flynn. we know flynn met for a number of hours -- a very large number of hours with them. we may have to wait longer and see some of it through other prosecutions, through other offices. >> and you're not getting out of here this easy. do you think this last round could include some big names? >> i do. i have always thought there seemed even in public reporting almost enough to charge don jr. in some kind of conspiracy. that's a big one to hand off to someone. if he is going to be charged, if there is more evidence than what we know. what we know is right on the cusp.
if mueller has more evidence than that that can put it over the edge, i think he would charge it and then hand it off to someone not let someone else charge it. >> the democrats in the house have become all about investigations, as you cover the place, and as you learn what you learn. is there anything, any committee perhaps that we are not focusing on, that we should be focused on as this week gives way to next? >> i think we should be focused on all of them. i think one thing i'm looking at certainly is ways and means. the decision that the chairman there richard neil will make about whether and when he will pursue president trump's tax returns, that will probably lead to a protracted legal fight. it certainly will cause this white house to push back. i think the investigations, the committees we've already been watching the oversite committee and the appearance of michael
cohen, that led to a flood of action out of new york state investigating donald trump and his interests. i think this will continue to spin off in that way as house investigators continue to look really closely at every aspect of donald trump's white house and his businesses. >> terrific conversation tonight. thank you all of you for joining our broadcast this evening. a big defeat for the president today. delivered by senators from his own party. and then later, after much speculation, a young man from texas is officially doing what he says he was born to do. we have another story to tell you about, breaking news coming in from new zealand. news of a mass shooting there. as we nail that story down, we'll bring it to you, all of it as the 11th hour gets underway on a thursday night. biopharmaceutical researchers.
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as we mentioned before the break, let's records keep on some breaking news tonight that's coming in to us from the other side of the world. police in new zealand are responding to two different shooting locations, both believed to be at mosques in central christchurch new zealand. reports of fatalities, reports of one individual down and in custody. multiple fatalities in fact, again. two mosques are being listed as the locations by the commissioner of police in new zeala zealand. for us, our long time nbc news
correspondent sarah james is on the phone for us from melbourne, australia. what can you add to this report something. >> what we understand is that the police are still investigating the situation, it's still very much an active situation, brian. we also know that there are reports of potentially multiple casualties, the hospital which is not very far from the site of one of these mosques is in lockdown, that is where some of those who were injured are being treated as we speak now. probably one of the most disturbing features of these attacks, it seems that some of them have been posted to social media. that's a particularly disturbing aspect to these crimes. the police as i said are investigating at this moment, and trying to find out exactly who is responsible and if there was more than one person or if
there is one person who's involved. the reports from the witnesses and those who were in the mosque at the time are quite shocking. descriptions of a quiet service and just a peaceful setting, suddenly disrupted with the sound of gunfire. police and emergency services responded very quickly. this is in the center of a very beautiful town as you know. and it's just a situation that is ongoing now. >> sara james, our thanks, thanks for getting in touch with us, and adding what we already know about this. to your reporting. again, a massive shooting is in the news from the other side of the world. mass casualty event perhaps. one suspect down and in custody. there's a lot we don't know. two mosques targeted.
if we learn substantially more, we'll update you in this hour, and obviously as night gives way to day in this country. come tomorrow morning, we will probably learn many more details about this. our thanks to sara james. back to our domestic politics, today, senators from his own party as we mentioned. voted to defeat the president's signature campaign issue as the president was handed a major political blow with the u.s. senate voighting to block his self-declared national emergency to fund the border wall. a dozen republican senators defected, they crossed over and voted in favor of the resolution. in this case, a yes vote meant no many those 12 included both republican senators from utah. it's the first time congress has ever voted to block a presidential emergency declaration. and it likely means another
first for president trump. earlier today he said, i look forward to vetoing the just passed democrat inspired resolution which would open borders while increasing crime, drugs and trafficking in our country. minutes before trump had said veto in all capital letters. he's never issued a veto before in his presidency. he had been lobbying hard for his gop support. in a volley of phone calls with senate republicans over the past few weeks, the president warned of the electoral consequences of defying him, and dismissed concerns of the constitutional appreciation dent of his order. during a meeting on trade wednesday afternoon, mr. trump tried to cajole a handful of members to vote his way
emphasizing that a vote against border security would be noticed by his party's base. >> tal kopan returns to our broadcast. we welcome to our broadcast, melanie zanona, congressional reporter for politico. what does this vote say about the president, about the republicans in that body, and potentially about future votes. >> there's no way to spin that it's a stunning rebuke of the president. to issue a veto during a presidency is relatively normal. presidents do it from time to time. it comes as the president's own party controls one of the chambers of congress. to have 12 republicans, this is not a veto proof majority, the president still can sustain a skreet toe over it, to have that many republicans signal this, it
definitely shows that the president may not be able to exert his will over the direction of the votes in the senate every time he wants to. and it's a pretty resounding message from congress that they do not like the way the president is trying to divert funds using this national emergency power. >> by way of welcoming you to the broadcast. please tell us about thom tillis. he's up next time around. he comes out and says publicly that he's going to break ranks, that he has to vote against the national emergency, fast forward to today, not so much he voted the president's way, what's his underpinning, what's his reasoning. >> he caved to the pressure, he had come out in an op ed and said i'm going to vote with the resolution and vote against the president, and he got a lot of conservative backlash. he's up for re-election in 2020, this is going to be a difficult vote for him either way.
if he voted against the president, he was going to be vulnerable to primary challenges. now that he flip-flopped his position and voted against the resolution and voted in favor of the president, he's going to be facing challenges in the general election. from democrats who are going to say he's unprincipled. he doesn't stand up for what he believes in he's hypocritical. i think he was going to be facing a tough vote either way here. he made it worse for himself by reversing his position. >> denver post publicly regretting their support for cory gardner who went with the president after all. these votes are remembered in very up and down, black and white terms. were you with trump or did you go against him? and i guess the denver post wants to call this to viewers, to readers attention. >> melanie was talking about thom tillis. if you're talking about primary voters, breaking from the
president can be a really difficult thing to sell. in the general, however, spinning this is going to be more difficult if you stuck with the president. it's a rock and a hard place. if you look at cory gardner from colorado, he may be at the top of democrat's target list in 2020. that's a state that's been trending democratic. there was a congressman who in many ways broke with the president over and over, and was a moderate on many issues in the house, who lost a seat in the midterms in 2018. that's a terrible sign for cory gardner already coming into this cycle. to now have the paper rescind an endorsement in such stark terms, it's not great wins to go into this race. >> the other way of looking at this, the republicans who did jump, who stood up and went against the president it does give air cover sometimes to those who are something short of a profile in courage and may need it for next time.
>> that's exactly right. when you look at these defections too, it's interesting, you see someone like susan collins of maine, who has carved out an independent lane for herself, she's stood up to the president on issues before. you see someone like lamar alexander, but what's interesting is that these votes, these defections came from all corners of the caucus. you saw the conservatives, the institutionalists, the murkowski and collins. the opposition was wide spread here, and it was interesting to see a dozen defections especially after the white house campaigned so hard to keep those defections down. >> to melanie and tal. we appreciate it. the newest democrat to make it official.
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allowed to continue another four years in office. >> today he made it official, beto o'rourke the democrat from texas who nearly upset ted cruise is running for president. while his announcement had been expected, it's also true, he told us not too long ago, there was no way he was going to run. >> what are your thoughts on running for president? >> i don't want to do it, i will not do it p. >> amy and i are raising an 11-year-old a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old. >> that was november, now it's march, he's the 13th democrat in this race being called a glossy rollout. there was the cover of vanity fair's april issue, with the accompanying caption i'm just born to be in it. o'rourke hit the trail hard today in iowa. kicking off his three-day tour in the state. his team has raised money from
all 50 states, but no details on how much yet with us tonight to talk about it, national political reporter for the washington post. and we welcome to the broadcast, political writer for the dallas morning news. gromer, you get to go first and explain to viewers who may not have been following this guy, what's the deal with this guy, and what's the appeal of this guy. >> well, and brian, you pointed it out beautifully, five months ago, i remember being with him as he was coaxing last minute voters to the polls, now he's running for president. had a little depression in between, maybe listened to some b.b. king and got over it. he has starpower, and his appeal is his positive inspirational message. he has a way of 345making voter feel good. it's sort of what you saw in
2008 with barack obama. they show up at his rallies, they love him, they cheer him. and he has these great speeches, he's a great speaker. and he makes them feel good with a message of everybody coming together to solve the problems facing four or five months ago, it was texas and the nation. now it's the nation. >> i'm going to come back to gromer's point, there's a ton of evidence to bear that out. i want to play for you. a sample of the fox news coverage tonight, we'll discuss it on the other side. >> he's not like everyone else, he doesn't do stuffy speeches or policy programs, he's not going to bore you with entitlement projections or some scary stuff about the korean peninsula. beto's got a skateboard and wears nirvana t-shirts.
>> another democrat has jumped into the race. robert francis bozo o'rourke. that's what i call him. if bozo is elected, he plans to flush the constitution down the toilet. >> michael, i'm guessing he can't count on that fox news endorsement? >> no, he won't be able to get them. >> i think there is significant concern in the republican party if beto begins to catch fire. they've laid out a political strategy as casting the democratic party as socialists, people on the far left. beto has a lot of ways of defending himself on that score. he is relatively moderate when it comes to many economic policies. he has a long history in el paso as a congressman. working closely with republicans there, he's boasted on the campaign trail about his desire to work with republicans much and i think even in the democratic party there are a lot of more moderate policy types
who are excited about him getting into the race after a couple months now in which the far left is really dominated the discussion. of course, that's not his biggest appeal at this point. it is that charisma, the sort of punk rock authenticity that he brings to the campaign trail. we'll have to see if he can scale up for what he needs to do to run a presidential campaign. >> republicans go back to that and let our viewers who haven't seen it yet know about your story tomorrow morning and what it's going to say about him. >> i did a story in the washington post tomorrow is online right now, about his long history with very wealthy republicans in el paso. for many years, his biggest donors, republican donors, these are people who give a million dollars a year to other republican candidates, and that's because he was working with them in el paso until recently was really the project of his career of rebuilding and remaking his hometown into a
more affluent middle class, well educated community that could attract college educated people like himself. and so there is a story in his own biography that is very different from a lot of the democrats running for congress, who really come from blue bubbles in various parts of the country and have worked all their careers with democrats, o'rourke is not one of those people. he's a progressive, he's liberal, but he has a long history of working with republicans. >> to the point you made, i'm going to play something, this is a woman who showed up at a man i'm told, who showed up at one of the events today, we'll play that, talk about it on the other side. >> i have been coming to these since 1984, and i have never seen a more dynamic speaker than he was. i've never seen this many people
gather. >> what have we learned. definite nonwoman. that's what you were talking about. we'll see if the texan politics travel north to iowa, further east to new hampshire, then you have south carolina to think about. >> you have south carolina, nevada, and then you have texas and california, massachusetts, and several other states in march on super tuesday. and so that's why he's spending a lot of time in iowa, he hopes to get off to a good start, do well there, and he's looking at texas and some other big state where is he can make a splash there. he has a -- if you notice today at his first stop. he talked about, i don't care if you're a democrat or a republican or what you are, he is -- he's used to running in a sort of arena where he can be nonpartisan sort of this is a
primary, so it will be interesting to see how he rolls up his sleeves and gets in there and fights for votes. where there are voters who -- when he was running for senate, he had a united front against ted cruise. now that vote is split up and you have 13 candidates. all trying to divide the same pie up. it will be interesting to see how he maneuvers especially since he doesn't really like to get that partisan. >> thank you for that reporting. valuable to hear, as was michael scheerer. thank you both gentlemen for coming on tonight. as we look at the brand new candidacy of beto o'rourke. president trump issued something of a threat to his detractors this week. this was contained in an interview with breitbart, in it he said this, you know, the left plays a tougher game, it's very funny, i think that the people on the right are tougher. but they don't play it tougher. i can tell you i have the support of the police, the
support of the military, the support of the bikers for trump, i have the tough people. but they don't play it tough until they go to a certain point. and then it would be very bad. very bad. this is not the first time donald trump has issued a not so veiled warning where his supporters of all stripes are concerned. we all better hope they aren't pushed to violence. >> they're tough guys, right? where are the bikers for trump? where are they? police? [ cheers and applause ] >> where are the military? [ cheers and applause ] >> where are the ice. >> don't forget, we've got the police. law enforcement loves us. but they wear -- they wear the tough black outfits. i would never suggest this, but i will tell you, oy, they're so lucky, that we're peaceful. bikers for trump. how about bikers for trump. these are tough people, they're
great people. but they're peaceful people. and antifa and all, they better hope they stay that way. >> to talk about it, we're joined by jeremy peters. why is this man smiling. take it on. what's going on here? >> i'm just glad to be here with you, brian. back at you. >> no, this is how trump looks at the world. he's a very binary thinker. people are either beautiful or ugly. they're smart or they're stupid. they're winners or they're losers. and one of the most important assessments he makes when he's sizing people up, are you weak or are you strong? and he sees the people around him -- or the people at least, he -- in his mind associates himself with, as strong people. as tough people. when he says this, he truly
believes that he is -- what he has on his side is strength and toughness. and it's really kind of -- part of his whole macho ethos of looking at the world. when you're looking at it from a political perspective, it's very convenient for republicans and conservatives to demonize the left this way, right? they are the ones who are the violent ones, the thuggish ones. it's a lot easier to demonize your opponents and explain why they are scoring points against you, and in some cases beating you as the democrats did in the midterm elections this past november. when you claim that they are not playing by the rules. when they're being violent and ruthless and it becomes a lot easier than to excuse away your own failures. but to justify the more extreme actions that you want to take yourself. >> i want to submit two pieces of evidence to the court, one
from a former trump lawyer, the other from a former four star u.s. army general. here is the first bit of evidence, this is mr. cohen before the house committee. >> given my experience working for mr. trump. i fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power. >> so that's number one. and that makes your ears perk up. we saw this from retired general barry mccaffrey today. this trump language is incredibly provocative and dangerous, this is an incitement to violence. they are nonpolitical and law based institutions. swear to support the constitution. not a person. and you see there jeremy, a lot of people on the other side politically did hear shades of maduro in those words today. >> this is fitting with a pattern of trump's although it's
not quite as bad as some of the other things he said. although it certainly is in line with that, he has said in the past, remember when he was running against hillary clinton. if she was elected that maybe the second amendment people could do something about it. he has offered to pay the legal bills for people at his rallies who roughed up anti-trump demonstrators. so he has a -- this certain kind of macho lusting for seeing violence perpetrated against his enemies. and it's really. at this point i don't think we should be surprised to hear him say anything. but sadly, it fits with his political persona. >> and sadly, that's why, because you cover both sides of this. that's why your name occurred to us today to come on tonight and talk about this dynamic that we witnessed today. jeremy peters, good to see you. thank you for coming on, as
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beto o'rourke conducts an orchestra with his hands while he speaks. he has a specific speaking style. he's highly caffeinated and energetic i suppose the o'rourke people would be perfectly happy with that, if that's the worst that donald trump can bring against him on day one, they would be pretty happy with him too. beto o'rourke, in the news today, not just because he declared for president, but because of how he declares just
about anything. more to the point, his endless and to be fair overroute hand gestures. a new rev lagsz to those who are just now dialing in, and because of events like this one in iowa this morning where he and his hands spoke to a crowd of the faithful. >> i'm running to serve you as president of the united states of america. thank you. >> so here's what garrett haake was referencing earlier. trump was asked today what he made of beto o'rourke's entry into this race. >> what is your reaction to beto o'rourke's announcement today, mr. president? >> well, i think he's got a lot of hand movement. i've never seen so much hand movement. i said, is he crazy or is that just the way he acts? i've never seen hand movement. doing i assume some kind of a news conference, and i've actually never seen anything quite like it. study it. i'm sure you'll agree.
>> and since those comments, it's been more than noted today that this president has his own vast collection of hand gestures. >> look at those hands. are they small hands? and he referred to my hands, if they're small, something else must be small. i guarantee you there's no problem. i guarantee it. all right. >> oh, he has small hands. i do? i looked, i said i do? >> this is fake news put out by the media. i don't mind bad stories when it's true. can you imagine, seriously. >> where do these people come from? where do they come from? >> i love to negotiate things. i do it really well and all that stuff. >> we're going to build a big beautiful wall. a big beautiful wall. [ chanting "build the wall" ]
>> i will do this and i will do that. >> now somebody from the conservative movement. >> he is like a little baby. >> and he's soaking wet. >> you know, he holds up his bible and then he lies. let me tell you, that guy lies. he is a liar. >> oh, i wish. >> i honestly think it's a good idea both ways. >> i would have, boom. >> any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of -- >> do that, do that and then gives grades of "f," fail, "f," "f," "f." >> i don't know if you saw the other day, we have little boats going out. >> bing, bing, bing. >> bing, bing. >> bing, bong. >> huh. >> bing, bing, bong, bong, bing. you know what that is, right? >> they're going to say, oh, man, this guy's frickin crazy.
we give up. we give up. >> the verbal and manual stylings of our president say nothing of his newest challenger on the democratic side. another break for us. and coming up, how is it that a bright red state produced a man of deep blue politics who left a big imprint on the last half century of american life? ♪ when irish eyes are smiling
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last thing before we go tonight is the death of a legislative giant of the last century. birch bayh was a liberal democrat from the conservative state of louisiana. he rose through a farming family. u.s. army and then eventually law school. years later after three terms in the u.s. senate, he was taken down by the conservative reagan wave of 1980. beaten by a young upstart named dan quayle. but while birch bayh was in the senate, starting with his arrival in 1963, he left a mark. he was the author of title ix, the land mark federal legislation that outlawed gender discrimination in schools receiving federal funds. it changed the face of women's athletics by forcing schools to provide equal resources. he was the only person since our founding fathers to author two
amendments to our constitution. starting with the 25th amendment, which has been back in the news of late. it deals with presidential fitness, disability and succession. and the 26th amendment, which enshrined our voting age of 18. he also fought a herculean but ultimately losing battle for the equal rights amendment. birch bayh is less well known for what happened on the night of june 19th, 1964. he and his fellow senator ted kennedy had just voted for the civil rights act. they were late for an appearance in massachusetts where the pilot of their small plane tried for an instrument landing in heavy fog. the plane crash killed the pilot and an aide to ted kennedy. bayh and his wife were banged up but thrown clear. then birch bayh heard a noise. ted kennedy was in the wreckage and still alive. he had broken his back and could not move. fearing an explosion from leaking aviation fuel, birch
bayh went back into the wreckage. he told ted kennedy to put his arms around his neck and then he dragged him to safety through a hole in the fuselage. the bayh name has remained formidable back home in indiana. his son evan bayh, of course has served as both governor and senator. he died at his home on the eastern shore of maryland. he was 91 years old. that is our broadcast on this thursday evening. thank you so very much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
we start tonight, actually, with some breaking news out of a federal court case in florida. you will remember that between the 2016 presidential election and the subsequent inauguration of donald trump, in january of 2017, the news organization buzzfeed published this document which soon came to be known as the steele dossier, the christopher steele dossier. this is a document that at the time some reporters had seen or at least they'd seen parts of it. parts of this document or perhaps all of it had been handed over to the fbi and over to the state department. this document had also been briefed, at least in part, to the incoming president. remember that dramatic scene in james comey's book where he talks about going in one-on-one and briefing president-elect donald trump on the content and the nature and most importantly the existence of this dossier, which was starting to circulate. so it was a round in various circumstances but buzzfeed was the first