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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 20, 2019 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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crass roots organizing and why it's key to any 2020 democratic hopeful. >> tonight, details of mueller investigation into michael cohen and why the probe believes so many pages that were not allowed to see are still more to come. the president may have a lot to worry about from this case, one fbi says. why rod rosenstein decided to stay longer at the department of justice. is his departure being held up planning the release of a mueller report. could the effort doing away of the electoral college ever really succeed as "the 11th hour" gets underway on a tuesday night. good evening once again for our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 789 of the trump
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administration and against all we don't know about the mueller investigation and a subsequent mueller report. just today some newly released documents are revealing details of the earliest stages of michael cohen. it shows michael cohen's team started the investigation nearly two months. warrants to cohen's gmail account and stored e-mails of his icloud account. that first warrant specifically
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sought communication records and documents and other files involving essential consultant l.l.c. that's the name of a shell company that cohen set up weeks before the 2016 election for the purpose of funneling hush hundred for stormy daniels. cohen was never charged of violating the foreign agents act. it is still not clear if mueller is still pursing that angle. the special counsel referred to quote, "certain aspects of the cohen case to the fed, new york's office." that led to april 9th, 2018 search of cohen's home and office. that prompted this reaction from president trump. >> i just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys, good man, it is a disgraceful situation.
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it is a total witch hunt that i heard like you did. i said that's really now in a whole new level of unfairness. this is the most bias group of people. this people have the biggest conflicts of interests. they keep on looking at us and they find no collusion and they go from there and let's keep going. they raided an office of a personal attorney early in the morning. i think it is a disgrace to say an attack on our country. >> earlier on this network a former chief counsel for the senate judiciary committee was asked about trump's reaction to the cohen's search. >> he always known that he's incredibly vulnerable from the materials that cohen has. writing hush money checks as president of the united states to reimburse michael cohen. he was in the middle of a criminal conspiracy as president
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of the united states. he knew that. >> last year michael cohen pleaded guilty to tax violations and lying to a bank and lying to congress and to arranging hush money payments during the campaign to women who claimed they once had affairs with donald trump. much of today's filings, the deal with those payments or of the contribution scheme remains a mystery. 18 pages in all redacted as we await special counsel mueller's next move, nbc news has reported, rod rosenstein, who first appointed mueller, let's not forget, he has been on his way out and intends to stay on at the justice department a little longer. a period of time is undefined. the department refused to comment. mueller is not yet ready to deliver a report. mueller's team has asked an extension and respond from a request from the washington post from court documents related to
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the paul manafort's case. the mueller's team filing indicating they won't meet the deadline this week because of press of other work. we don't really know what it means for that. adam schiff has his own concerns of the scope of the mueller investigation. schiff told nbc news that, the president has tried to draw a red line around certain aspects of his finances. this scrutiny from congress as well as from federal and state agencies will make life increasingly challenging for donald trump. >> he should be worried right now. the worse decision he has ever made toys r' us accept the
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nomination of his party for presidency of the united states. he's looking at destruction of his organization and presidency and his legacy and possibly even criminal exposure for family members. he should be worried everyday. >> on that note, let's bring in our lead-off panel. jeremy bash and barbara mcquade and former u.s. attorney for the eastern democratic for the state of michigan and clint watts is here, the author of "messing with the enemy, surviving in a social media world," clint, i would like to begin with you. talk about the under-pending documents and what you read in here. what they are looking for and timing and what stands out to you here? >> the thing that stands out the most is how quickly this came after the special counsel have started. that's a book.
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document. this does not happen over night. i would imagine they already looked into cohen some where in the fbi and investigated apparatus. what you learn in that within 60 days they have gone up on multiple e-mail accounts and looking for specific things. they had fraud down there and foreign influences. when you look at that stack and how quickly that occurred, when you rewhine to the summer before, they were talking about russian influence and there were four people essentially named and being the target of the visor. now, you are looking at a hard search warrant within two months of the counsel starting. the first two weeks is where are the offices at and how do we get everybody in the room. the other thing that we need to remember, there are two people in the investigation that are the choke point in the investigation. lawyer and accountants. that's where the finance floats through. here you see the president's
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lawyer being looked at in a detailed way and at specific months. you see where the in coming and out going phone calls from those communications. >> let me stop you right there. this term pen registered sounds from the old day of law enforcement. >> yes. >> if you cross the threshold with the judge and the judge is saying i am going to allow you to listen into phone calls. why would you opt for a pen register and pleased to find that verses a straight up wiretap. >> a pen register allows you to see in coming and out going. >> so you log numbers. >> so you can see who's calling in and calling out. that's a less intrusive warrant. >> easier to get from a judge? >> yes, and going in and doing what's a title three or wired. what they are doing is trying to build a case and going into intrusive method. whatever they decided to do is interesting.
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we don't see a title three application. when they did the raid, they got everything that they needed so there is no indication that anyone in the white house's ort orbit that's being attacked. you have to say there is no other way i can find for this evidence unless i go for the method. >> jeremy bash, let's take a second and remind people choice of words here. the president calls this a break-in of cohen's office, rudy giuliani former u.s. attorney referred to the fbi as storm troopers. with that in mind, what stands out to you in these hundreds of pages? >> well, these tactics brian, conducted under the purview of the court and the purview of the article three judge in which
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warrants were obtained. things to be seized and searched and places in manner that the search is conducted. this is no violation of the law. in fact, this is upholding the law in the way we want our federal government to do so. to clint's point, there are maybe things we do not know about. there could be a national warrant up on potentially michael cohen if the feds suspected that he was working in conjunction with the russian federation in the after math of moscow/trump tower deal. >> clint, what would that mean? >> that would mean it is a duo case in the sense that what you saw with the pen register, the warrants that were found were criminal codes. if it goes to a national security and it goes to the foreign surveillance intelligence act. it could be something done in parallel when ever ties to a
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formal power. >> now to barbara and we hate the black pages of redaction around here. the judge explained the pages that were blank today. they had to do with campaign finance hush money. quote, "this is federal judge william, at this stage, the whole sail disclosure of materials would reveal the scope and direction of the ongoing investigation. it would also unveil subjects of the investigation." barb, what does it tell you? >> i thought the redact pages spoke loudly. 18 pages, what it says is they're still investigating additional crimes or additional defendants. what they are looking for is other defendants.
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under that category illegal campaign contribution scheme. what we know about that scheme so far is michael cohen admitted being involved in paying hush money and a.m.i. and president trump and david pecker and donald trump jr. we know a.m.i. and david pecker entered into immunity agreement. that leaves president trump and donald trump jr. as potential targets of the investigation. the fact that the judge continues to keep that part redacted which requires a showing suggests to me there are individuals urn investigation that could include those two are yet to be charged. >> barb, we tend to forget not repeat often enough, southern district of new york during cohen's plea in court did they say he admitted to crimes that
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were done at the direction of individual one later identified as our president? >> yes, even in the document itself, it was a direction of and in coordination with individual one. people have said it is a kin to saying he's a coconspirator there then we run up to the whole idea if a sitting president could be charged. it could relate to president trump himself and other people who's involved in the scheme. robert mueller continues to look at that piece of the investigation. >> clint, i am with barbara. when you hear the judge talk about additional subjects of the investigation -- i don't mean to be smart, it does not sound like a witch hunt, does it? >> we already know this. what we learn from each piece of this case before we reveal itself, it is splender in many different directions. you learn the southern district
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of new york appears most likely like this and already looking into the campaign violations in new york separate from the special counsel's office. when you look at how this branches out and this book, essential search warrants is expansive and deep. i would like to add one thing of the pen register and how they play together for the audience. it allows you to see phone numbers going in and out. that involves who is communicating in and out with cohen. that can give you the probable cause to look into or use title three wire if it is a criminal case. that's how this is sort of plays out. >> jeremy bash, it took ron klain to remind everybody in the studio and early today, oh yeah,
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it is allege that the president was making these payments while president during this period. >> yes, that's right, his presidential conduct of acute interest to mueller and to congressional investors. in the initial month of the trump presidency and 2017, we knew about michael cohen's role facilitating the real estate deal in moscow. we knew of the role that michael cohen is playing as a conduit between the trump organization. we know the fbi and special counsel is looking into michael cohen in early 2017, that tells me they were intensively looking at the trump organization and donald trump himself as well. >> barb, you get the last word. what does it tell you that rosenstein is saying even if it is for a day? >> the mueller investigation may be extending a little bit longer than we thought.
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two other clues we got in recent days in this finding by the judge, he permitted robert mueller in additional 60 days before he has to come back whether those redactions will continued. 60 days was the amount of time robert mueller asked for to extend the sentencing date for richard gates. >> and rosenstein is staying a little longer, maybe all those things are coinciding with the end of the mueller investigation. >> that's very crafty of you. that's why we invited the best guests of television. jeremy bash and barbara mcquade and clint watts. thank you. >> one of the biggest names of the president's circle, the third wheel, a squirmish between her boss and spouse. tonight why democrats are talking about it in a different way. "the 11th hour" just getting started on a tuesday night. (client's voice) remember that degree you got in taxation?
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a business owner always goes beyond what people expect. that's why we built the nation's largest gig-speed network along with complete reliability. then went beyond. beyond clumsy dials-in's and pins. to one-touch conference calls. beyond traditional tv. to tv on any device. beyond low-res surveillance video. to crystal clear hd video monitoring from anywhere. gig-fueled apps that exceed expectations. comcast business. beyond fast. president trump is going after the husband of kellyanne conway.
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he called the prominent d.c. lawyer, george conway, quote, "a total loser." we all know that donald trump turned down mr. kellyanne conway for a job he desperately want it. now, he heard of his whief and he's jealous of his success. potus does not even know him. he posted the personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder after trump's weekend tweet storm. today the washington post published the new interview of george conway.
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of course the president knows him. he pointed to a number of notable reaction with trump. conway says he was the one that turned down the job at doj. post also reports, "conway suggested his own tweet, it is maddening to watch says conway, the incompetence, it is maddening to watch, the tweeting is just a way of getting it out the way so i can move on with my life, that's basically it. frankly so i don't end up screaming at her about >> if this were somebody else, what i would think about is the pathway to violence. there is a flash point that has warning signs of indicators before it occurs. it involves obsessive behavior and the in ability to step back and see reality, where is this going? i am concerned of where it is
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going. on a workplace violence level, it is headed towards violence. if you are president of the united states, that flesh point can look like something that's completely unexpected on the national scene. that's what you are in trouble of what conway is warning to us about. >> with us tonight, ashley parker, our white house reporter for "the washington post." robert acosta, also with "the washington post," he's also moderator of washington week on pbs. he does not sleep much either. >> ashley, welcome back, it is great to see you. i will start by saying if this is couples performance art, it is the hyper uncomfortable look away variety. what do you think is at work here and i know you have a very,
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very memorable vignettes from election night regarding this couple. >> yes, i was in the ballroom for president trump's party and i was standing there and george conway, once it became clear that trump was going to win, he came and tears were streaming down his face. he was standing next to a group of people next to me, he's weeping with joy and pride, she did it, she did it. she managed this campaign and she got him elected. he was truly happy for her in that moment. it is striking to see how from a public point of view descended in just those two years. is this performance arc for the trump's era.
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people i have talked to, no, if you are not in a marriage, you don't know what's going on. they sense this is real and these are actually tension points and it is not just something to you know give them a book deal or tv deal after they leave the white house or after she leaves the white house rather. >> robert, here is how your colleague reported. >> in a conversation with trump and with mnuchin, trump approached him and complimented him for not taking a job under attorney sessions. he said to me, i remember clearly you were smart to not work for that guy. he's so weak. trump complained few a few minutes that sessions should not recuse himself from the mueller investigation. i told him, i heard the recusal was very clear. i took great affront at that. what do you think is going on
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here? >> those scenes are common when you talk to top republicans. with this situation of mr. conway is reviewing of the republican civil war. so many republicans recanted these scenes and how they see the president operated and when the doors are closed. they choose to continue to support him publicly because they made a political bargain and in some way a personal bargain despite his behavior and conduct. they feel he's responsible for bringing along conservatives on the supreme court. he provided a tax cuts and over hall law that republicans are pleased with. mr. conway and bill crystal, they do not accept it. those are the fault lines. both sides say it happens with frequency.
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>> this public airing of diagnosing and it was michael moore, bill mar and that corner of the public realm using diagnoses like narcissist. he just posted diagnoses and this is all in the public realm now. >> that's right, that's what is so striking. if you look at george conway's criticisms of the president, they started out in his area of expertise, legal criticisms. criticisms from a point of view of a constitution conservative. you saw him going into mental health diagnoses. that seems to be one of the things that possibly got under the president's skin. the president has been
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frustrated with george conway's tweets and his public announcement and his willingness to take on his wife's boss. you still had aides urging the president not to attack back. it seems this level of attack is what prompted the president to ultimately responding. >> robert, we'll come to you on the other side of the break. when we come back, we'll talk about that. trump lashing out of the memory of the late senator john mccain. this time from the oval office in response to a direct question. more on that with our guests when we come back. funny thing about health insurance,
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president trump attacking the late senator john mccain nearly seven months after his death. it was earlier today, our own kristen welker asked trump why he attacked mccain over the weekend. >> i am very unhappy that he did not repeal and replace obamacare as you know, he campaigned on repealing and replacing of obamacare for years and he got to a vote and he said thumbs down. our country would have saved a trillion dollars that we would have had great healthcare. he campaigned and he told us hours that he was going to repeal and replace and then for
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some reason, i think i understand the reason he ended up going thumbs up. frankly, had we even known that, we would have gotten the book because we could have gotten somebody else. it is disgraceful and other things. i was never a fan of john mccain and i will never will be. >> senator romney who liked mccain and trump held the title of republican party presidential nominee weighed in on this. >> i can't understand why the president would disparage a man as my friend, john mccain, heroic and empathetic and driven by duty to family and country and god. still with us, robert costa. john mccain was tortured six years in hanoi. at the risk of going into
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psychiatric diagnoses, where does it go to and how far back? >> it goes back decades. at least to 1999 when businessman donald trump was flirting with the white house bid. senator mccain was running for the white house. in an interview at the time, mr. trump said he could not believe how mccain could be a hero because he was captured. the same language he used in 2015 when he was sitting with the republican pollster in an iowa event. many republicans establishment some people forget thought would end mr. trump's campaign. he continued to grow popular in the republican party. this is a president of a politician that's unapologetic.
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people inside the white house says they can't control his rhetoric on senator mccain. there is no real answer or solution from those close to him. >> ashley parker, how do you military vets who make up a large portion of the president's base react? how do fellow republicans react and how do republicans working in the west wing for this guy react to this, all of this episode? >> well, what's interesting here is the president does a number of things and says a number of things that are scandalous and controversial. when it comes to senator mccain, even people inside of the white house find this deeply uncomfortable. a lot of the people in his orbit sort of share the same sentiment of what senator romney expressed
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publicly. when he goes out after mccain which he did and especially now the senator has passed, there is just a level of unease and discomfort and people in the white house and people in the republican accomplishment, even if they agreed on mccain on some issues, they respected his service of the country and the military and running for president and just not how they want to see the president act. >> is there any provable upside if you are donald trump, ashley, let's assume that people may have approached him and say, boss, you may want to lay off this line of reasoning? >> is there any upside to donald trump? >> it is hard to see the upside right now especially after mccain is dead. he's you know -- and healthcare is a dead issue as well. the president is relitigating things with a man who can no longer fight back.
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there is just no one in his orbit thinks it is effective politically or in any other way. the personal upside for president trump is he likes to vent and getting stuff off of his chest. there is no one who's telling him yes, this is a good strategy. this is the question you should be responding to while sitting next to the president of brazil. >> robert, the question i try to ask at least once a week. how did the trump's agenda advance today in washington? >> the most interesting event today was the meeting with the brazilian leader. you have a far right populist connecting with a conservative republican populist. we talk about the rise of nationalism and agenda going on with xi jinping and china. pay attention to the south, our
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southern border and beyond, there is nationalism rising there and to have that kind of amiable relationship between the head of brazil and the head of the united states, that tells you a lot about where global politics are going. there is a force far beyond this country that are growing in strength and have real consequences for the global economy and global discourse. >> two of the best informed and hardest working reporters in this story. robert costa and ashley parker. our thanks to you both. an interesting incident in federal court today. a case against donald trump, something you don't see everyday. josh gurstein takes us inside that courtroom when we come back.
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president trump has been accused of profiting off of his presidency and today a lawsuit to determine if he violated the constitution reached its highest level thus far.
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at issue is the rarely use emullument clause. it is filed by d.c. and maryland points to the profits brought in from the trump's hotel. the post office building steps from the mall, a popular spot for visiting foreign government. the future of this case seems uncertain right now. our political who was in the courtroom wrote. "a federal appeals court panel was in disputably hostile on tuesday." back with us tonight, josh gurstein, senior for "politico," take us in the courtroom starting with the entrance of
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these three jurors and why was that a surprise to counsel? >> what kind of a battle just minutes the judge enters the courtroom on some boards outside the courtroom, they post the names of the judges and a lot of courts those names are available for a week or more. arguments for circuit to happen to do it this way - it became clear that we are going to have three gop judges and george w. bush appointee and george h.w. bush and a trump appointee which was an unusual draw on the circuit. but, the four circuit is a court
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that's conservative. the folks from d.c. and maryland were challenging trump on these issues, they knew they're in a rough ride and that's what they got. >> you realize what they teach you in civic of justice being blind is not quite the case. looks like you saw the display and the illustration of that today that there are consequences following our elections, tell folks what happens to this case now is whatever the fourth circuit determination going to be the end of the line for this. >> i think effectively it could be the end of the line,
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obviously these three judges of whatever resolutions they come to would be a significant hurdle in front of these case and discoveries and depositions and subpoenas in this case are already on hold. it could be taken to the broader bench of the fourth circuit, that all takes time. there are other cases that are moving in a glacial pace and i have to say after listening to the arguments and seeing some of the lawyers involved here that the attorney general of maryland came into the courtroom and when he saw that panel, he literally slapped his hand against his forehead in disbelief and his colleague from d.c. said to him, you know keep your head up, keep your head up. >> it was clear that they're facing a tough road to hone here. i wonder the action on this issue may move to the house of representatives. they do have subpoena power and even if the white house may be obstructing those businesses and even the trump organization while have a harder time, i think fighting congressional
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action like that. >> that's an interesting point. >> back to the story that normally has you on this broadcast. what stood out for you today. this book lengths release of documents regarding the michael cohen's case? >> i was rial interested in this murky question of what investigations are still going on here. did the redacted portions of those documents referred to president trump, do they refer to other individuals particularly, are there other folks in the trump organization who may have equities in those documents? and also the way we saw that there is some sort of continued role for robert mueller here. we thought that a lot of the investigation had been handed off to the prosecutors's in manhattan but sort of reading between the black out lines, there are still things there that do relate to ongoing mueller issues and perhaps as we have seen in some court filings that'll come to ahead in the
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next few weeks and there will be more to be said on these subjects. >> josh, always a pleasure having you. coming up, the efforts among democrats to abolish the vehicle that delivered donald trump the u.s. presidency. back to that story after this. i got this mountain bike for
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well, my view is every vote matters. we have been having national voting and that means get rid ge electoral college -- [ cheers and applause ] >> if we really want every person to vote and give them every reason to vote, we got to make sure their votes count and go to the candidate of their choosing. so i think there is a lot of wisdom in that. >> so this is becoming something of a thing on the campaign trail, this list of litmus test questions that the democrats are all being asked. do you support the green new deal? do you support reparations? do you support adding more justices to the supreme court? and another one is, do you support doing away with the
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electoral college? it's not hard to figure out why it might be popular among democrats. their candidates, after all, won the popular vote in 2000 and again in 2016, as you might have heard, but lost the electoral college vote and thus the election. and you'll recall our current president has mentioned his deep affection for the electoral college. >> it started on november 8th. remember that beautiful, beautiful day? >> we had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the electoral college. >> huge disadvantage, the electoral college, very, very tough. they say almost impossible for a republican to win. >> they say there is no route to 270 and we ended up with 306. >> we were not supposed to crack 220. you know that, right? >> there is no path. there is no path to 270, right? how many times have you heard that? thousands. >> that was going to be 269 to 270. the one vote was going to be important so i went to maine like four times. >> i ran the clock out. the whole thing, ran up the east coast from north carolina to pennsylvania, then we'd go up to wisconsin and michigan, states that hadn't been won for many, many years. we won those states. >> i also got michigan and wisconsin and pennsylvania.
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>> we won south carolina, we won north carolina. >> with the electoral college, it totally changes the map. >> the electoral college is genius. >> you know why i won? because the electoral college is a very special thing. >> so let's agree it matters to him. his affection continued late tonight, writing in part, "with the popular vote, you could -- you go to just the large states. the cities would end up running the country. smaller states and the entire midwest would end up losing all power and we can't let that happen. i used to like the idea of the popular vote, but now realize the electoral college is far better for the usa." just days ago colorado joined a list of 11 states plus d.c. that plan to give their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, but this is tricky, it's unlikely the bill will pass by 2020. in order to get enacted, it needs to be signed by states
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representing at least 270 electoral college votes. with the addition of colorado, that number now stands at 181, speaking of numbers. another break for us. and then coming up, a guest in your home is celebrating a major anniversary. we'll unlock the puzzle when we come back.
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last thing before we go tonight. back in the days before every american had the ability to
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broadcast their own personal television network, before individuals had viewers or followers of their own, it was a downright novelty to be able to watch our congress at work. on this day, 1979, c-span went live. first speech they aired was by a young congressman from tennessee named al gore. and on c-span's 40th anniversary, tonight we thought an expression of appreciation was in order. starting with what we'll call the big three. brian lam, steve scully and co-chief executive susan swain. just one of the three faces we've come to know as our on-air friends and interlocutors over the four decades. c-span is unique. they don't get a dollar from the government. they're funded by the cable and satellite industry and the idea of private industry funding a public service was brand-new. c-span helped launch a lot of political careers back before it was apparent that some of those overwrought speeches were being delivered to an empty chamber. it started with cameras in the house of representatives, and
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because everything takes longer in the senate, it took the senate seven years to allow c-span cameras to come in. and also there is this. it's safe to say that whatever time you watch, whichever c-span network you watch, you'll come away smarter for it. a commercial network would probably market it as the c-span guarantee, you will learn something, sometimes many things just for watching. and shows like "booknotes" let us get to know the people who's books we've come to live. not every c-span moment has been great, but they've been member memorable. >> i do not like green eggs and ham. >> meet the mets. meet the mets. >> are you stupid? >> i like green eggs and ham. >> 13. >> you should be fired. >> mike lee, i am your father.
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>> everybody's coming down to meet the m-e-t-s, mets. >> what kind of work do you do? >> i'm an entertainer. >> oh, what kind of entertaining, are you uso? >> no, i actually was called by the uso, but i'm -- i'm just -- i'm an entertainer, i don't want to go much past that, but -- >> is this cher? >> yeah. >> okay. >> news reports say after a game-winning goal at a soccer match in spain a player celebrated by biting his teammate who scored on the genitals. beam me up. now, i've heard of high-fives, back slaps, butt slaps, but, ladies and gentlemen, this takes the family jewels. >> it all actually happened. happy 40th to the cable satellite public affairs network, a staple in 90 million american homes.
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that's our broadcast for this tuesday night. thank you very much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. . president trump explains his recent attacks on the late senator john mccain and why he won't let go of local grievances months after the local war hero's death. the part that legal experts say should concern the president. new reporting on how the president may be preparing to the response of the mueller report when and if it is made public. ♪ good morning, everyone, it is wednesday, march 20th. we begin with the president and john mccain once again duringn


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