tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC May 1, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
whew. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. >> i was actually watching the clock there. your whoo came exactly at 10:00. it was 10 zero zero zero on my clock here. that extraordinary explanation that secretary clinton just gave about okay, so according to william barr, perfectly okay for a democratic candidate to publicly ask china for help in this election and to try to hack e mails and so forth. >> hey, china, if you're listening could you please get donald trump's tax returns and then china responds by hacking the irs and getting material and distributing it and the candidate says thank you, i love china for doing that. it is -- it's a very disconcerting thing she's laying
out. >> it was the most perfect illustration of where we are and what william barr is willing to accept in the new standards. >> honestly, what the congress and particularly republicans in congress are willing to accept as behavior that wasn't charged for whatever reason and is therefore okay. i mean, if the result of the mueller report is that all of the criminal and wrong and distressing behavior described in it is all validated and in some cases celebrated because it wasn't criminally charged, then what secretary clinton just described in terms of that public overture to chooz hackers is absolutely what we should not only expect but people seeing candidates you know, contend with one another, compete with one another in order to get their first. that's a salient point. it's important both for barr and for mueller but also important in terms of congress deciding that described behavior is something they're totally cool
with. >> i think we all remember adam schiff's moment in the intelligence committee when he went through that, is it okay. the way he kept phrasing it, i don't think it's okay. and he just rattled off a series of things that the president and his associates did, knowingly did. that's the kind of question, if put in question form today, william barr would not take that question. is it okay, is it okay to do these things. he wouldn't even entertain any of that. i raise that not just because adam schiff is my first guest tonight but because we saw the way the attorney general will only, his rule is i'll only talk about things that are crimes and if it's not a crime, you are not allowed to ask me if i think it's okay for the president to lie to the american people. >> and at that point, the right thing to do is to say attorney general barr, thank you so much for your time. don't call us, we'll call you. i mean, at what point. >> that's kind of where we are
now. >> if that's the grounds on which he's saying to answer questions, he's there to denigrate robert mueller and to further misize what's in mueller's report we can read, he's there to say i'm not going to answer questions unless they're about things i decide to construe as crimes and by the way, i don't know when you'll hear from robert mueller himself. why continue with this operation today? i know there's a lot of drama whether or not the house judiciary is going to be able to compel him to appear now that he's turned down his committee date with them tomorrow. part of me is not excited about the prospect that he would ever succeed in getting him in there because at this point, i'd much rather hear from robert mueller at least on this point. when they later want to investigate barr's handling as a separate matter, sure, get hill back then. right now we need to know what mueller found because barr is still restricting access to that information. >> we're waiting for mueller.
thank you, rachel. >> thank you. we, at the end of this hour tonight, we're going to show you what went through my mind today when we heard lindsey graham complaining about fbi officials during the presidential campaign who said things about donald trump that were virtually identical to what lindsey graham was then saying about donald trump. so we have assembled a special video at the end of the hour of lindsey graham angrily disagreeing with lindsey graham and it's a neatly crafted 41 seconds of video you don't want to miss. a perfect bite-sized video for tweeting and social media. toward the end of the hour, want to get to something we promised last night, actual video of kellyanne conway breaking the law in the xwhous driveway. she did it again. we'll show you yesterday and today of kellyanne conway breaking the law. we begin with the new level of confrontation that congress reached today with the attorney general and the president of the united states. we will be joined by house
intelligence committee chairman adam schiff. senator richard bloominfall that you will who had some crucially important exchanges with the attorney general in today's hearing and neal katyal who co-wrote the rules for special counsels that william barr relied on today when he said that it's perfectly legitimate for president trump to have tried to fire robert mueller for conflicts of interest. and so the showdown has arrived. that's where we are now. the attorney general of the united states is refusing to testify to the house judiciary committee tomorrow and chairman jerry nadler said tonight that because the attorney general is refusing to comply with the judiciary committee's subpoena for the full unredacted mueller report and refusing to testify tomorrow, is he on verge of seeking a contempt citation against the attorney general. >> if good faith negotiations don't result in a pledge of compliance in the next day or two, the next step is seeking a contempt citation against the attorney general.
>> and so it is now the house of representatives versus the attorney general of the united states. legally and procedurally, the attorney general seems to be saying to the democratic house of representative fuzz want to seriously investigate the president of the united states, you have to go through me first. and william barr is putting every obstacle he can in front of the house of representatives and creating every delay he can in the house of representatives. demands for the attorney general's resignation are coming from many of the democratic senators who questioned the attorney general today. several of the democratic presidential candidates and from our first guest tonight, chairman adam schiff of the house intelligence committee who said this. after watching attorney general barr's torturous plainses for a long lifts of misrepresentations it's clear barr views himself as trump's lawyer, not america's lawyer. he was hired with an agenda to be protect trump and barr like his boss is grossly unfit for the office. william barr has a tell. he has a tell when he's cornered. he has a give away, a signal when he is in trouble.
it's not in his manner which is always very steady and seemingly calm. as the in the way he perrys the question that is loadeding with danger for him. the very first thing he always does, you can watch this, the very first thing he does when he's in trouble is he asks for the question to be reapeted. he does that every time. he needs that time to think about what to say and then after the question is repeated, he always latches on to one word in the question. and then plays with that word to run away from answering the question. it happened a few times today. let's watch william barr's tell in action when he is asked a very important question that he obviously does not want to answer by senator kamala harris. >> attorney general barr, has the president or anyone at the white house ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? >> um, i wouldn't -- i wouldn't -- >> yes or no.
>> could you -- could you repeat that question. >> i will repeat it. has the president or anyone at the white house ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone, yes or no, please, sir. >> um, the president or anybody else. >> seems you would remember something like that and be able to tell us. >> yeah, but i'm trying to grapple with the word suggest. i mean, there have been discussions of matters it out there that they have not asked me to open an investigation. but -- >> perhaps they've suggested? >> i don't know. i wouldn't say suggest. >> hinned? >> i don't know. >> i don't know. that's the best he could do. william barr knows how to give a yes or no answer. >> is the white house exerting any influence on your decision whether to allow special counsel mueller to testify in congress and when? >> no. >> the time to watch william barr is when he's given a yes or no question and he does not
answer yes or no. senator richard blumenthal was the attorney general of the state of connecticut and he's a former federal prosecutor. let's watch what happens when is senator blumenthal asks the attorney general fell know flz any other instance where a federal prosecutor sent a letter to his boss, the attorney general, rebuking the attorney general. he's referring of course, to robert mueller's letter to barr and in his question, senator blumenthal refers to robert mueller as a career prosecutor because he's held several prosecutorial jobs in the justice department from assistant units attorney as well as fbi director. >> a career prosecutor rebuking the attorney general of the united states memorializing it in writing. right? i know of no other instance of that happening. do you? >> i don't consider bob at this stage a career prosecutor. he's had a career as a prosecutor.
>> well, he's a very eminent prosecutor. >> he was the head of the fbi for 12 years. >> he's a career -- law enforcement professional. >> right. >> repeatedly today, william barr made the mistake of saying he didn't know the answer to certain questions that only robert mueller would know the answer to which will significantly the house judiciary's committee argument in court they need to hear robert mueller's testimony if it comes to a court battle. senator harris trapped the attorney general into making the strongest statement made by anyone at the hearing today about how important it is for congress to hear the testimony of special counsel robert mueller. first senator harris established that william barr did not examine any of the evidence referred to in the mueller report and then said this. >> as the attorney general confident united states, you run the united states department of justice. if in any u.s. attorney's office around the country the head of
that office when being asked to make a critical decision about in this case the person who holds the highest office in the land and whether or not that person committed a crime, would you accept them recommending a charging decision to you if they had not reviewed the evidence? >> that's a question for bob mueller. he's the u.s. attorney. he's the one who presents the report. >> leading off our discussion tonight, democratic congressman adam schiff of california, the chairman of the house intelligence committee and a former federal prosecutor. congressman schiff, i want to use all of your skill sets including former prosecutor to go to senator blumenthal's question. have you ever heard of a u.s. attorney or federal prosecutor of any rank writing a letter of rebuke as it was characterized to the attorney general to his boss, the attorney general? >> no, i think it would be unthinkable except in the most extreme circumstances which i've never seen before.
and here you had the spectacle of barr saying basically mull mueller is nothing more than a garden variety u.s. attorney. he works for me. when he gave me the report, he was done. well, clearly he wasn't done when he provided that report. he was still working with bra, he was still working with barr purportedly on the redactions. and more than that, he felt it necessary to weigh in with his boss and say, you're misrepresenting my work. you're misrepresenting two years of work. you have provided out of context and basically i think what mueller was reacting to was barr was feeding this false narrative being pushed out by the white house. and i can only imagine how mueller and his team must have felt seeing it happen in realtime. and now that we have seen the letter, we see just how serious the flaws were in what barr had been representing to the country. >> what aspects of the attorney general's testimony today did you have your strongest personal reaction to?
>> well, look, i think he testified very plainly will falsely previously to congress. first he misled the country with his false summaries. and then he came into congress and he was asked, are you aware of reservations i by the mueller team and his answer was again as you say and you quib cal no. that was flat out false. and you knew it. one thing you have to recognize in barr, he's not a stupid man. he's a very smart lawyer. he understood exactly what was being asked of him, and he deliberately misled the congress. this is the highest law enforcement officer in the country and when he was asked about that today to try to suggest that well, i was talking about mueller's team when i answered that question, not mueller. that's absurd. and i'll tell you, if he was overseeing a prosecution for perjury, he would never accept that kind of a bogus explanation. but i think on a far more
significant level what i found troubling about the attorney general today is he seemed to be saying that if bob mueller wasn't going to either say he was guilty or say he was innocent, then he should have never done the investigation. now, what does that mean? well it means that lease no way to hold a president accountable. maybe that's what is barr is really after because if you accept the olc opinion and barr hasn't said that he doesn't, then it does follow from that as mueller suggested that if i can't indict a sitting president because they can't clear their name, then i shouldn't say i would indict them but for this policy because then you're placing the same stigma over the office. i don't agree with mueller. i think you can indict a sitting president. but if you're bound by the olc opinion and bar would be the first one to say to follow, barr
is being completely disingenuous i had to make the decision myself to clear the president. that's baloney. to arrogate that decision to himself to use the president's language false language, no collusion, no obstruction, spying all those kind of buzz words, he has made himself essentially the hand maiden of the president, not the attorney general of the united states. why someone at this point in their career would be willing to so sacrifice his integrity, his reputation, everything in the service of this is unethical president will forever be a mystery to me. but he's not alone. obviously there are many others around trump who are doing the same thing. >> he repeatedly said under oath today that he didn't understand why the special counsel did not reach a charging decision when the special counsel explains it very clearly that any nonlawyer could understand. let me go to the question rachel had actually at the beginning of this hour which is okay, is
there any point to continuing with attorney general barr? should the house of representatives simply move on to robert mueller to don mcgahn,ing to much more important witnesses really than the attorney general? >> well, i think rachel is exactly right that at this point, there's one witness that is matters more than any another. that's bob mueller. we can't rely on anything bill barr has to say. barr is characterizing his verbal discussions with mueller. who can rely on that after this guy's record? so we need to hear from bob mueller. we need to hear why he made the decisions he made, why he didn't reach certain decisions. we need to hear his thoughts on the significance of the evidence, what he intended for congress to do in terms of its role. i don't have any confidence we can rely on barr for that whatsoever. but there may come a time to have barr when we're asking barr's own conduct and it also may be inspector general investigation of barr's conduct may be warranted here.
but i think mueller's very important. we have demanded he come before the intelligence committee, as well. we still don't have anything about the counter intelligence investigation which is where this all began. and mueller makes reference to it in his report and says we had embedded counter intelligence agents who september their own findings back to headquarters. we still don't have that. we're going to bring mule near our committee, as well. that's i think going to be the most important testimony. >> would some of that have to be closed door testimony? >> some of it will. you know, our inis to do as much as we can in open session and then go to closed session where you know, we may have foreign intelligence on issues of compromise involving the president or those around him. you know, if the moscow trump tower wasn't disclosed, for example, in the in report itself, that's the kind of thing that might be disclosed in a counter intelligence investigation. hey this guy has got a potential business deal. the russians are dangling lots of money.
this is influencing his policy, his views, et cetera. that's the kind of thing you would see in a counter intelligence report. but it came in the context of contacts between the trump campaign and russia and the context of lying to the committee and obstruction, but what is in the counter intelligence report we still don't know. >> as you sit here tonight, are you worried about the timetable? do you have any idea when you you would actually hear from robert mueller? >> i don't think they they can put mueller off much longer. >> why not? why can't they? >> because i think they realize the public pressure is going to be took great. and that's why i think barr has conceded i'm not going to pose mueller testifying before congress. what he has wanted to do is part of the same pattern which is even though mueller had a summary of his own, even though mueller wan meed to release his own super, i released my summary to set the false narrative. that wasn't enough though. when the mueller report was going to come out and i knew it
was going to come out and it was bad for the president, i decided i was going to give my own be preview that morning. of course, that was completely unnecessary except in the service of the president. so he gives his false summary again. and then he gives false testimony, all of this is buying time for the narrative to settle in. his testimony before congress, his insistence and in our discussions they're like -- their position at justice is first barr and they be we can talk about other things. it's all part of the same. we'll have barr testify. we will run the clock longer so that the barr version of events which is essentially the trump version of events will have longer to take hold before the country actually gets to hear from the man himself bob mueller. so it's all part of the same tactic. >> well, we don't know how it's going to be cracked. chairman schiff, thank you very much for joining us tonight. prosecutor appreciate it. >> when we come back, senator richard blumenthal cornered william barr repeatedly today. we'll show you william barr
trying to run away to answering blumenthal's questions about his communication with the white house. and neal katyal will join us with his analysis of the attorney general's testimony today. spoiler alert, he didn't love it. i switched to miralax for my constipation. stimulant laxatives forcefully stimulate the nerves in your colon. miralax works with the water in your body to unblock your system naturally. and it doesn't cause bloating, cramping, gas, or sudden urgency.
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with robert mueller? >> yes. >> who did that? >> there were notes taken of the call. >> may we have those notes. >> no. >> why not? >> why should you have them? >> oh, i don't know. because they're federal records according to federal records act? just like hillary clinton's state department e mails which william barr, the republicans on the senate judiciary committee still want to investigation and read? and they have every legal right to read hillary clinton's state department e mails for exactly the same reason that senator blumenthal has a right to obtain the notes that were taken during a crucial phone call that an partial had many witnesses, the attorney general testified his phone call with robert mueller was on speakerphone and several of the attorney general's staff were listening along with deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. >> who said what to whom? >> i said bob, what's with the letter?
you know, why didn't you just pick up the phone and call me if there's an issue. and he said that they were concerned about the way the media was playing this. and felt that it was important to get out the summaries which they felt would put their work in proper context. >> obviously, to anyone who works in government, robert mueller wrote a letter of complaint to the attorney general instead of a phone call because he wanted it in the record. he wanted the attorney general questioned about that letter and the kind of hearing that we saw today. and attorney general general barr certainly knew that as soon as he saw the letter. that's why he picked up the phone and called robert mueller because he was worried about that letter. today, the attorney general gave away just how enraged he must have been and still is by that letter. >> you know, the let ser a bit snitty and i think it was probably written by one of his staff people.
>> let's get there straight. all of william barr's letters about the mueller report were written by staff people. that's true of most attorneys general before william barr. in washington, complaining about a letter being written by staff people is the ultimate reveal about how much of a problem that letter has become for the person ho is complaining about it. join willing us now a member of the house senate judiciary committee democratic senator richard blumenthal of connecticut. thank you very much for joining us tonight. what for you were the most important moments in that hearing? >> that moment was a profoundly important one, lawrence, because not only was the attorney general deeply dismissive and demeaning about one of the great prosecutors and law enforcement officials in the country but he was deliberately obfuscating and deceiving about that letter. there's no mention in that
letter of the press misinterpreting the barr four-page summary. the letter says that william barr was misleading and deceptive about the nature, context, and be conclusions of the mueller report. and it is doing damage to public confidence in the credibility of that investigation. regardless of who wrote the letter, it has bob mueller written all the way around it, and that's why enraged and i think also scared william barr. >> i want to take a look at an exchange that's going to take us a minute, like a full minute to run it where i believe what i was watching was you discovering something in your cross-examination to the attorney general and then following it, something you didn't know was necessarily there. let's just watch this. >> i want to ask you whether on those remaining investigations,
the 12 to 14 investigations, whether you have had any communication with anyone in the white house. >> no. >> and will you give us an ironclad commitment that you will in no way. >> by the way, i'm not sure, you know, the laundry list of investigations. but i certainly haven't talked the substance or been directed to do anything on any of the cases. >> well, let me give au opportunity to clarify. >> yeah. >> have you had any conversations with anyone in the white house about those ongoing investigations that were spawned or spun off by -- >> i don't recall having any substantive on the investigation. >> have you had any nonsubstantive discussion? >> it's possible that a name of a case was mentioned. >> and have you provided information about any of those ongoing investigations? any information whatsoever.
>> i don't recall, no. >> you don't recall? >> i don't rule providing any. >> is there anything that would refresh your recollection? >> if i -- probably looked over a list of cases. >> and we can't look over a list of cases because those cases are secret. he knows what those cases are. we don't. so we don't know if a relative of his isn't involved in one of those cases. i was struck by i saw the attorney general give a solid no. you asked him about any commmunication with the white house about those cases. you move on. that's the answer you're expecting. then i watched the attorney general start to crawl back and change the no like he realized i'd better change that into an i'm not sure, i don't recall because there are a bunch of people in the white house who might some day be saying yes, they discussed those cases. >> and he could see almost in his mind's eye six months from now the rerun of that answer and his being held responsible for lying to the congress.
but here's the important point. >> you just, you knew what you had, right? as an experienced prosecutor when someone wants to go back and change a no, you knew what you were chasing? >> i knew that he had had conversations with people in the white house and the reason that i was so struck by it was that reading the mueller report, one of the signs of obstruction of justice is the fact that in fact, there was an ongoing pattern of white house officials talking to sessions and trying to shut down the investigation. so we're seeing the same playbook here with a new attorney general, different investigations, william barr knows exactly what they are. when he said to me, do you know what they are? can you tell me what they are? i thought that was almost a humorous moment except it was so deadly serious. and the other point here is that the rebuke from robert mueller
is really unprecedented. it's stunning. it's memorialized. it's on paper. and it is for the ages. it's for history. and so i think the american people have a right to know more about what robert mueller will say. we need robert mueller and his team, not just him, but his team, to testify before the united states congress along with don mcgahn and others. >> senator blumenthal, thank very much for joining us tonight. i have to say it was really a pleasure watching you work and i say that as a kind of neutral obber of professional legal skills. thank you very much. >> that's high praise, thank you. >> when we come back, former solicitor general neal katyal will join us with his analysis of the attorney general's testimony today. and later we will show you one of the president's staffers braving the law in the white house driveway. second day in a row.
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saying have him remove based on conflict. >> and what would. >> this have different results. >> what would that conflict be? >> well, the difference between them is if you remove someone for a conflict of interest, then there would be presumably another person appointed. >> william barr says he relied on the evidence in the mueller report but the mueller report evidence says that conflicts of interest were not the reason why donald trump wanted robert mueller fired. the report says "the evidence indicates that news that an obstruction investigation had been opened is what led the president to call mcgahnton have the special counsel terminated ." it also says "don mcgahn and other advisers believed the asserted conflicts were silly and not real and they had previously communicated that view to the president." former acting solicitor general neal katyal who crow wrote the rules force special counsels when he worked in the justice department has just published an
op-ed in the "new york times" called "why barr can't lightweight wash the mueller report." he says mr. barr's deeply evasive testimony on wednesday necessitates and tees up a full investigation in congress." neal katyal will join us after this break. congress. neal katyal will join us after this break many who watched attorney general william barr's when you rent from national... it's kind of like playing your own version of best ball. because here, you can choose any car in the aisle,
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followed the revelation that the special counsel robert mueller had expressed miss givings about mr. barr's characterization of his report are despairing about the rule of law. i'm not among them. i think the system is working and inching however slowly toward justice. those are not my words. they are far too elegant obviously. everything i just said appears in neal katyal's piece tonight in the "new york times" entitled "why barr can't whitewash account mueller report." joining us now is neal katyal, former acting attorney general and msnbc contributor. i want to focus your response to certain things. i have al idea what you've been saying about there. i want to show you something william barr said today about the president's ability to fire the special counsel not just for conflict of interest. this is now the false accusations theory. i want to get your response to all of these theories of legitimate firing that were offered today.
let's watch there. >> if the president is being falsely accused, which the evidence now suggests that the accusations against him were false, if he -- and he knew they were false, and he felt that this investigation was unfair propelled by his political opponents and was hampering his ability to govern, that is not a corrupt motive for replacing an independent counsel. >> okay, i guess i will frame this as, which one of these answers bothers you the most, the one where the president can fire the international counsel because he thinks he's falsely accused or the idea that donald trump hts an absolutely legitimate reason for firing robert mueller based on robert mueller's conflicts of interest? >> it's all of the above and maybe to back up. the reason i wrote "the new york times" piece is because i know people all across the country are watching this and disspir and they're scared and you know,
i'm watching my beloved justice department have the go through this with this leader at the helm which is just a horrible thing for the department to go through. but i do think in the end, america's a lot stronger than trump. it's a lot stronger than barr. these are people who are determined to destroy parts of the rule of law. and i think the system is going to hold. and that brings me to your question. the very fact that we're watching barr testify and say such pro prosperous things is actually the system working in a way. it's him having to articulate his reasons and his reasons like what we heard in that equip make no sense. the mueller report did not say this was all false all the accusations of collusion and stuff. it said applying that beyond a reasonable doubt a very high standard, they wouldn't make out a criminal case.
the whole reason you have an investigation if you had a standard that said you have to problem everything up before you actually investigate, then we wouldn't ever have any investigations and then the idea barr's legal theory, well, the president can just fire someone and end an investigation if he thinks it's bogus. that's generally true but it depends on your motivation. so if i have the right to you know, to have laptop with all my evidence on it and all my writings, but if i know the cops are coming for it, i can't throw it away. that's called obstruction of justice. similarly here trump fired the guy investigating him. and mueller's report lays out in devastating detail example after example of where this looks like a corrupt motive. >> and the attorney general was trying to use the rules you wrote today that include conflict of interest as a potential reason for firing special counsel. what was your reaction to that? >> that was just so deeply misleading. it made no sense whatsoever. first of all barr said, well if sessions will a conflict of interest, that's somehow
different from firing him for some other reason. but and that you could kind of unrecuse people and the like. none of this makes any sense. the special counsel regulations are really simple. they simple political say look, if the public doesn't have confidence in the person doing the investigation because for example, they happen to be appointed by the president, you can go outside the department. and that's why they did. that pointedly is what we learned mueller's complaint about barr was yesterday because that letter says and it quotes actually part of the special counsel regulations and it says the whole point of this is public confidence an independent investigation. here you are eliminating all of that putting your own spin on the report and trying to exonerate a president. you know, ahead of time. that is not the way the system is supposed to work. >> in the big picture focus, you take in your op-ed piece, you say we are in the fifth inning, inning five. what's next in the other innings. >> all the ball game's largely congress as the this point. there's other stuff going on,
state investigations and also the possibility that trump could be prosecuted after he leaves office. all that is on the table. i think for the next immediate future we're going to see pressure for mueller to testify. he essentially has to. and the special counsel regulations were written in a way that will permit him to do so even if barr wants to try and stop him, he can't stop him. mueller will testify. the truth is going to come out. and then the question is what's congress going to do about it. are they going to exercise oversight responsibilities or are they going to brick impeachment? and who will they bring impeachment proceedings against sentence anyone watching barr's testimony today realized impeachment isn't just an "i" word against the president. it might be against his chief law enforcement officer. >> on the mueller testimony, as long as he's an employee of the justice department, does william barr control whether or not mueller can testify? >> yes. >> do we wait for mueller to leave the justice department and
he becomes a complete free agent? >> he largely becomes a free agent. when we wrote the regulations we saw the a special counsel outside the justice dentsance of sufficient stature. they can leave and not have to worry they wouldn't get a job. they will be free to testify. with this white house, which blocks the truth at every turn, no doubt they'll assert attorney/client privilege and try all those things. in the end, the truth is going to come out. congress has robust powers in this area. even like barr today refusing to testify, scared to go before the house and be questioned by somebody for more than five minutes at a time, nadler will subpoena and issue a contempt citation. if that goes to court, barr is going to lose these positions. they are taking preposterous positions. >> neal katyal, appreciate you being here. when we come back, lindsey graham got angry today about noib agents for saying things
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were some people working in the fbi during the presidential campaign of 2016 who, like a majority of americans then and now, disapproved of donald trump. >> this is what struk said on february 12th 2016. now, he's in charge of the clinton email investigation. oh, he's, trump's, abysmal. i keep hoping the charade will end and people will just dump him." >> that sounds so familiar. who else was saying things like that in february of 2016? >> he's an opportunist. he's not fit to be president of the united states. >> oh, yeah. that was lindsey graham in february of 2016 at exactly the same time that some people working in the fbi completely agreed with lindsey graham about donald trump. and so that's what i kept hearing today when lindsey graham was complaining about fbi officials who completely agreed with him in 2016. >> god, trump is a lotham human
being. strzok, oh my god, trump's an idiot. page, he's awful. he's a race baiting xenophobic religious bigot. he doesn't represent my party. he doesn't represent the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for. "i cannot believe trump is likely to be an actual serious candidate for trump." i don't think has the temperament or judgment to be commander in chief. "trump is a disaster. have no idea how destabiliing his presidency would be." i think he's a kook. i think he's crazy. i think he's unfit for office. "trump is a [ bleep ] idiot." >> whoa. he really seemed to enjoy saying that last line today. after this final commercial break, we'll show you kellyanne conway breaking the law in the white house driveway two days in a row. we caught her on video both times. that's next. robably gonna be dinner and drinks. discover. hi, what's this social security alert?
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kellyanne conway is going to need a lawyer. i hope she knows a good one because kellyanne conway broke the law again today. >> and by the way, while i'm on the subject of biden -- >> it's against the law for her to be on the subject of biden. she said that yesterday in the white house driveway to a group of reporters as she was illegally campaigning against joe biden for donald trump while holding her position on the federal payroll. and i was going to show you that last night at this hour, but we ran out of time because of the breaking news last night so kellyanne conway did the same thing again today in the white house driveway. she violated the hatch act. the hatch act says that a federal government employee, including the white house staff, "may not use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or
affecting the result of an election." in other words, they cannot participate in campaigning. another provision of the hatch act prohibits campaigning at federal buildings, which the white house most certainly is. so kellyanne conway violated two sections of the hatch act two days in a row standing in the white house driveway campaigning against joe biden. the only people working in the government who are allowed to make campaign statements are elected officials. the trump campaign manager and anyone on the trump campaign staff can be on the subject of biden any time they want. here is kellyanne conway breaking the law again today. >> oh, we must be worried about biden, look what kekellyanne sai about him today. thanks for the free commercial about all the things joe biden didn't get done for the eight years he was vice president. >> she's right. it is a free commercial and an illegal free commercial.
>> i do find it fascinating that the former vice president joe biden said that he asked president obama not to endorse him. do not endorse me. but we know he's open to endorsements because he got it from the management of the firefighters. it will be fascinating to watch the other candidates who are tied with the margin of error in most polls in the democratic -- i can talk about them, too, if you like, no problem. >> yes, problem. very serious problem. it's the problem of breaking the law. she could have stood in the white house driveway today, for example, and criticized the questions that kamala harris, cory booker, and amy klobuchar asked in the senate judiciary committee hearing. they're all presidential candidates, so kellyanne conway cannot legally attack them for their campaign positions on things like medicare for all, but she can legally attack them for what they do in their jobs as senators. but she's breaking the law when she talks about candidate joe biden. >> i think responsible reporter
would ask vice president biden, this all sounds great, you want to rebuild the economy and the middle class, but somebody beat you to the punch, his name is donald trump. >> i think a responsible reporter would ask kellyanne conway why she's violating the hatch act. kellyanne conway was found guilty of violating the hatch act twice already, but penalties for violating the hatch act are administered by the federal employee's boss. pealies like being fired or suspended. and kellyanne conway's boss, donald trump, has not penalized her in any way. and so kellyanne conway will continue to campaign against joe biden illegally and most of the news media will present her violations of the hatch act to you as part of their normal campaign coverage without realizing that they're really showing you kellyanne conway breaking the law. >> let's have at it. i don't think we're worried about joe biden. i don't think we're worried about different union endorsements.
>> i don't think the trump team is now or ever has been or ever will be worried about breaking the law. that's tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. tonight in a stunner of a day-long hearing, attorney general bill bar presents an unabashed defense of the president while seemingly trying to diminish the importance of his friend of 30 years, robert mueller. and now barr is refusing to show up tomorrow before house judiciary because the democrats in charge there want lawyers to question him and now that means it's possible the nation's top law enforcement officer could find himself in contempt. tonight, the calls for bill barr to resign are growing, and all eyes, again, turn to one robert mueller whose testimony becomes more critical by the hour as "the 11th hour" gets under way on this wednesday night.