tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC May 13, 2019 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
that that investigation was started in the first place so if we don't know what happened in the investigation itself but its existence is now being examined in at least three different ways. john durham charged with leading this investigation is also the man who happens to be investigating james baker who was our guest friday night here on the show for supposed unauthorized disclosures to the media. but this new development again reported tonight by "the new york times" is what the president's been asking for, the president increasingly republicans in congress have been calling for investigations into the people, the law enforcement officials and intelligence officials who started the investigations noose what russia did. and now we're seeing this bit by bit being parcelled out just like you wanted it. that does it for us tonight. let's time for the "last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> i was handed that story ber 35 minutes ago when it broke. i'm watching you on tv knowing you don't know the story has
broken way i read things be now, i'm thinking gee, rachel deserves another half hour. i should just let her take a half an hour of this real estate just to react to the story since you were leading -- they're basically referring to what james baker told you friday night in na "new york times" article. this is really moving now. >> and remember, we've got the judiciary committee in the senate led by lindsey graham who now says what he's going to investigate is the start of the russia investigation. and maybe hillary clinton's e-mails. we've got jeff sessions having already appointed a u.s. attorney named huber in utah to look at the origins of the russia investigation. we've got the inspector general at the justice department looking at the origins of that investigation. and now attorney general barr fresh off of pounding his chest in congress and saying we need to stop using oat justice department for political purposes. he too has appointed somebody
else yet another u.s. attorney to look into the origins of that investigation. meanwhile, we have no idea what the results were of that investigation. we have the no idea what the findings were of the counter intelligence investigation noose russia and its potential links with the trump campaign. none of that ended in the mueller report. this whole idea the president is going to demand investigations of the investigators, of his political enemies it's not the distaupic future anymore. we're living through it. >> we got lucky in our booking tonight because we have mimi rocah ready to start off our discussion anyway. she knows all the players. this newest investigator, this new u.s. attorney coming into the picture and his past records and how meticulous he is. he's not quick. that's one of the points mimi is going to make. he's one of the people who led the investigation of the fbi misbehavior and crimes in boston in the whitey butter case. he's been through this kind of
thing before. >> he was also the guy who looked whether or not trump -- george w. bush administration officials should potentially be prosecuted for the torture scandal of the bush administration. that was very controversial when it came out early in obama's tenure. he's been through the wars in terms of being right in the middle of provocative controversial stuff. his appointment itself to me is the huge news here regardless of what he eventually does. >> before you go, on memorial day when you're in the canoe, you know where i will be. >> not in the canoe? >> i won't be in the canoe on memorial day. i'm going to have to leave the canoe early on memorial day. >> why? >> to go to spartanburg, south carolina where the very next day, i will hoisting at 10:00 p.m. right here on msnbc a live town hall with presidential candidate kamala harris.
>> that's going to be amazing. > that's trump country. that is the trump section of south carolina. he's going to be really interesting world and environment in which to be doing that. and so that's my. >> that's the day after memorial day, tuesday of that week into it says here tuesday, may 28th. >> i might take my canoe down there. >> ticks will be available, we're going to tell people how to get tickets. i've got one for you, a handwritten ticket >> i will paddle my way there. >> thank you, rachel. one thing i won't be doing on memorial day weekend is playing golf because i don't like golf. i wouldn't go so far as to say i hate golf. it's more that i just don't care about golf and i don't understand why anyone else cares about golf. that's what i would have said to you last week before spending the weekend with rick riley's brilliant new book "commander in cheat," how golf explains trump.
this book does what great writing can do. it can change the way you think. change the way you see things. it had changed the way i see donald trump, but it has changed the way i see golf. and what is important about golf. prior to this book, i never would have put the word important in the same sentence as golf. on this program, we have tried several ways to explain donald trump including the psychiatric. it turns out golf explains as much about donald trump as any other frame you can use to study him. at the end of this hour, we'll do something we have never done before on this program. we're going to talk about golf. if you're among not more than 90% of americans who never play golf, you'll discover a valuable new way of understanding the president of the united states and you're going to laugh out loud when rick reilly joins us tonight. this book includes lines liking this guy cheats like a mafia accountant and many other very funny lines about the president
ho wants to be king of golf. rick reilly explains the importance of the president cheating at golf this way. he says, if you'll cheat to win at golf -- if you'll cheat to win at golf, is it that much further to cheat to win an election, to turn a congressional vote to, stop an investigation? we learned in the mueller report that the donald trump tried to stop robert mueller's investigation by firing him. white house counsel don mcgahn testified under oath that the president repeatedly ordered him to fire robert mueller. now president trump is trying to retroactively fire don mcgahn. on saturday he tweeted i was not going to fire bob mueller and did not fire bob mueller. actually lawyer don mcgahn had a much better chance of being fired than mueller. never a big fan! that tweet followed friday night reporting "the wall street journal" and "new york times"ing that don mcgahn refused a request from the trump white house to say that in his opinion
is the president did not obstruct justice when he ordered don mcgahn to fire robert mueller. the "new york times" reports that the white house asked don mcgahn to issue a public statement before the redacted mueller report was publicly released but after the white house had already obtained a copy of the redacted mueller report and knew exactly what the mueller report said about don mcgahn's testimony that the president ordered him to fire robert mueller. the white house asked don mcgahn to be issue a statement saying he didn't think that was obstruction of justice again right after the mueller report was made public. don mcgahn has been subpoenaed by the house judiciary complete to testify about all of this next week but the white house is trying to block that testimony on the grounds of executive privilege and it is unclear what don mcgahn who is now a private citizen will do next week in response to that subpoena. halle jackson asked account president about don mcgahn today. >> should don mcgahn be held in contempt of congresses? >> i don't know anything about
what's going on. >> yesterday trump attacked fbi direct ker christopher wray who the president appointed to the job after he fired comey. he tweeted the fbi has no leadership -- the director is protecting the same gang that tried to overthrow the president through an illegal coupe. that is not true, no one attempted to overthrow throw the president. that has never happened. american history. donald trump is one of the very few presidents who has been the subject of a criminal investigation by a special prosecutor work within the justice department. that is a legal and constitutional process. the reason for the president's sudden attack on his own appointed fbi director is that the fbi director disagreed with what has become the trump way of describing the fbi, a description echoed by the president's new attorney general william barr. here is fbi direct ker christopher wray refusing to say the trump magic word "spying." >> when fbi agents conduct
investigations against alleged mobsters, suspected terrorists, other criminals, do you believe that they're engaging in spying when they're following fbi investigative policies and procedures? >> well, that's not the term i would use. >> do you have any evidence that any illegal surveillance into the campaigns or individuals associated with the campaigns by the fbi occurred? >> i don't think i personally have any evidence of that sort. >> that was last week. and then this weekend, christopher wray becomes donald trump's newest attack target. donald trump may be on the verge of becoming only the fourth president in history to be the subject of impeachment proceedings according to house intelligence committee chairman adam schiff. he noted the trump administration is refusing to comply with pre single investigative inquiry that the house of representatives has made across multiple committees can of jurisdiction.
>> it's certainly true these additional acts of obstruction, the president having obstructed the justice department investigation now obstructing congress does add weight to impeachment. >> leading off our discussion tonight, mimi rowka, former federal prosecutor and jennifer rueben at "the washington post." both are contributors. and mimi, let me go back toing what rachel and i were discussing, and that is the report tonight that attorney general brarl has an pointed thetom u.s. attorney in connecticut john durham to do what is yet another investigation of the beginnings of the investigation of russian interference in the election. >> an investigation that we still don't know the full results of. we're going back and investigating the investigators of an investigation that we will still don't know the full results of. that's one of the main problems here i see. let's wait till we see the results that have investigation before we open yet another one. but also, as rachel said, i
mean, we can't trust it. this isn't about durham. this isn't about what kind of prosecutor he is or isn't. by all accounts, he's investigated both republican administrations, democrat. he seems to be a cereal kerr prosecutor. but we can't trust it because of who is ordering the investigation. and it is an order. this came from trump. we have no way to separate trump's calls over the past two years for investigating the investigators and what has now happened. and the fact that bill barr has come across in these past few months shown himself to be such a partisan tool really for trump again, there's no faithing that this has been independently vetted by the department of justice and there's some real basis for it, that it's something other than now a political investigation with the department of justice being
used. >> knowing john durham's work as you do, is it possible that this is william barr's way of satisfying the boss of saying to the president okay, i've got someone doing exactly what you want and now he has this careful prosecutor who might end up taking a very long time who has no independent status. this is just something that's happening along with the job that he has -- has day job of being the u.s. attorney? connecticut. >> that is possible. his investigations in the past, i don't think he's ever worked quickly in these big investigations he's done before. so this is unlikely to be over before the next election. that could be a good thing but it also is going to allow trump to be out there saying you know, there's this cloud over the investigation still. but yes, at the end of the day, the same with the inspector general. we're still waiting on that report. and it is likely to be something that will have a little bit,
that will satisfy everybody but will not be sort of the big about bombshell that trump has been waiting for. abso you know, we need this had to play out. but i think this is just another layer to too much. too much. >> ability which william barr sacrificed awhile ago. >> >> that's right. and i think for reasons that aren't entirely clear to me, he's decided to go down in history as mimi has said as a toadie. he is front and center, of course. he was found in contempt of congress by with the judiciary committee. he is refusing to appear before the judiciary committee because he doesn't wantent to be questioned by an actual lawyer. he has now taken up the president's investigation. the mere fact of it takes us one step away from our rule of law and democratic principles. it was very interesting that the
president today was meeting with victor orbahn, the leader of hungary. he must have been asking him for tips or maybe offering tips because this is out of the strong man's playbook that you disable the press, you dispute and ruin their credibility. you use powers that are supposed to be used under strict guidance, strict conditions for your own personal purposes. you use the investigative tools to turn them on your enemies. this is textbook kind of autocracy. i am very much warming to my old idea of a number of weeks ago that if they're not ready to impeach mr. trump, maybe they should start with mr. barr. he is behaving in ways that are completely inappropriate for an attorney general and it will be very interesting to see what happens if in fact the entire house votes him as a someone who is in contempt of congress and
then what happens beyond there. but he's babing in ways that i think are really unprecedented in doj history and i feel for the people who work there. there is a cloud hanging over them. and they are led by someone who does not have the credibility, who seems too willing and anxious to do the president's bidding. for all those professionals at the justice department, i'm sure they're keeping their nose to the grindstone and trying to be professional. they must be aware there's something rotten in the justice department. >> mimi rocah, you have this question of what is don mcgahn going to do. subpoena to the testify to the judiciary committee. the white house is saying no, that's all executive privilege which is a difficult argument for them to make since he's already talked about it. but then the president comes out and publicly attacks don mcgahn. i mean, that in effect is pushing don mcgahn toward the judiciary committee. >> well, maybe. you know, i think that's in part what happened with for example, michael cohen. i think trump alienated him in
some of his statements so much it pushed him more and more to the government that the didn't totally work out for michael the way he expected it to or hoped that it would. yes, i think that is a possibility. but i also think, i mean, i think and that i think people could disagree with this only prosecutors would disagree but i think that what trump is doing publicly with mcgahn in my mind istainments at witness intimidation. he is trying to show him i can hurt your reputation. he's already pulled his business from his law firm. he's starting now with the oh, you know, he wasn't such a great white house counsel and know, there's criminal statute that deals with that, whether it's criminal or not, we can be looking at this two years from now and saying did he intimidate or try too tamper with don mcgahn. it's certainly not something the president should be doing. it's certainly would qualify as impeachable conduct. he's not executing the laws
fairly as president should because he is clearly speaking out and trying to i think signal to mcgahn if you go there and you say what it says in that report, you know, there is going to be trouble for you. >> and jennifer rueben, the fbi director christopher wray is now on the president's attack list. >> correct. he made the unpardonable sin of telling truth and contradicting the president i guess in that regard. he's with a whole bunch of other aides by refusing to use the "s" word, the spying rule, he has made it a little bit more difficult for president trump to lie. but going back toing what we were talking about mcgahn, this has gotten very meta as they say. we are talking about intimidating a witness who is himself a witness to obstruction of justice by the same person who is now trying to intimidate him. so you can't get more trump than this. and my sources tell me that don
mcgahn very much wants to do this. at the realizes that there are legal concerns that he has a firm whose reputation is at issue but my understanding is that he very much wants to be, if you will, the john dean and come and tell his story honestly. that's exactly why trump is having a meltdown trying to prevent that. in the end, i think don mcgahn will be testify. >> mimi rocah, jennifer rueben, thank you very much for starting us off tonight. when we come back it, turns out don mcgahn testifying to congress isn't the only thing that donald trump doesn't know anything about. robert reisch will join us on the trump trade war which is getting worse and had a very, very bad day today for american consumers. you are paying the trump tariffs. not china. e paying the trump tariffs. not china. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even rooftop parking.
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in the first half of the 20th century, the word began too figure out that trade wars have no winners, only losers. the basic principles of this were well-known by the time donald trump was supposed to be studying things like this in college but apparently he wasn't paying attention when the subject of tariffs came up. trump tariffs are now getting credit for today's very bad day for the stock market after china announced it will retaliate against the trump tariffs and the president responded to that by of course, threatening even more destructive tariffs. today's very bad day in the trump trade war came the day after the president's top economic adviser publicly admitted that china does not pay one penny of the trump tariffs. countries do not pay tariffs. consumers who buy imported products may pair riffs. only americans pay the trump tariffs. and donald trump's top economic adviser lawrence kudlow who has been as opposed to tariffs his
entire professional life finally had to admit yesterday what the trump tariffs are doing. >> it's a tariff on goods coming into the country, the chinese aren't paying. > no, but the chinese will suffer gdp losses and so forth with respect to the a diminishing export market and goods they may need. >> they may suffer consequences but it's u.s. businesses and u.s. consumers who pay, correct? >> yes, to some extint. i don't disagree with that. >> every time the president opens his mouth about tariffs he adds to economic illiteracies in america. we prefer to avoid showing him talking about tariffs. we're going to show you two pieces of video to tem nonstraight how the president's talking points about tariffs have been somewhat tempered by the reality that china does not pay one penny of the tariffs. the trump tariffs. first we'll listen to the way the president said it on
thursday. >>. >> so our country can take in $120 billion a year in tariffs paid for mostly by china by the way, not by us. a lot of people try and steer it in a different direction. ultimately it's paid for largely by china. >> paid for mostly by china. that's thursday where the president is for the first time admitting that the tariffs are not paid entirely by china. he's saying they're paid mostly by klein which means someone else is paying those tariffs. so that's a baby step. that was a baby step toward the truth and then today the president very carefully avoided saying that china pays the tariffs. now, listen carefully to the way the president said it today. >> we're taking in right now hundreds of billions of dollars. billions of dollars of tariffs and those tariffs are going to be tremendously, if you look at what we've done thus far with china, we've never taken in ten
cents till i got elected. now we're taking in billions and billions. >> he didn't say who he was taking those billions from. joining us now is robert reisch, former secretary of laborner the clinton administration and professor at the university of california at berkeley. his latest booksome the common good" was released in paperback. it is finally getting through to the news media certainly and maybe even to the white house who pays the trump tariffs. >> well, this is a trade war and in any trade war, the casualties, lawrence are, consumers. and in this particular trade war between the largest and second largest economies in the world, american consumers are already paying dearly. it's a hidden tax but a tariff is a tax. and the tax is a tariff. and you just can't avoid it. and donald trump can't avoid it. >> and the, it's basically a sales tax in the actual forms of it, it's paid at the port in the
united states by the company nas importing those goods, the company then raises the price of that goods, those goods when sold to us to basically pay for the tariffs. >> exactly. and this is not something new. i mean, we have known how tariffs worked for approximately 130 years economists, not only economists but politicians. in 1930, congressman smooth and holly tried a very, very big experiment in international trade and that was a tariff that plunged us into a deeper depression than we were already in. >> and the history of this was been known for white awhile. larry kudlow himself opposed the tariffs of all kinds every day of his professional life. till he had to go to work for donald trump. >> did. and larry you know, i've debated larry on television for years. he is a friend, despite the fact we don't see eye to eye. wu we do on tariffs. i have talked to him over the
last you're in fact as recently as three months ago, he was very worried about this. i don't think i'm giving away anything by saying this. he was worried trump would do what donald trump has done. i have worked for or advised a lot of presidents and in fact, there are republicans, as well democrat, presidents who don't understand economics generally get a lesson from their economic advisers. presidents who don't understand economics don't spout off and repeatedly say economic lies. i mean, this is basically -- this is the dangerous and we're in a very, very dangerous territory right now. >> very slow learner in the white house. professor robert reisch, thank you very much for joining us tonight 37 really appreciate it. >> thanks, lawrence. >> when we come back, democratic presidential candidate seth moulton in tonight's contenders interview. bls contenders interview. bl
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. here's a thought experiment. what the could get donald trump to trop mike pence has his running mate for re-election at the republican convention? what if the democratic nominee for president has no military experience which is true of almost all of the democratic candidates. but that democratic nominee chooses a running mate with military experience. woman donald trump want to have military experience on the ticket with him? would he push out mike pence and replace him with mike pompeo who is a west point graduate? that's why you have to look at the field of 21 democratic candidates for president and pick two, pick two, pick your favorite for president and pick one for vice president. pick one who you think adds something to the ticket. that's why you have to give all of the candidates a good look no matter where they are in the polls. congressman seth moulton is say graduate of harvard college and harvard business school and he is a decorated combat veteran, a
mr. who served you four tours of duty in iraq. congressman seth moulton is now a candidate for president. if he ends up on the democratic contingent, might he actually knock mike pence off the republican ticket? that is not a question for seth moulton. that is a question for you voters to consider as you strategically evaluate everyone in the democratic field of candidates. joining us now is congressman seth moulton, democratic member of the house of representatives from massachusetts and a candidate for president. you are running for president. you are not running for vice president. and so i want to ask you as i've been asking all the candidates what they would actually do sitting in the white house in that job and i want to begin tonight by showing you something that the current occupant of the job said today about iran. let's listen to what the president said about that. >> reporter: are you seeking regime change. >> we'll see what happens with iran. if they will do anything, it would be a very bad miss trach.
i'm hearing little stories about iran. if they do anything, they will suffer greatly. we'll see what happens with iran. >> if you were asked the question are we going to war with iran, sitting in the oval office, what would you say? >> first of all, i fought iranians before on the ground in iraq. 2004. it was bloody. we won. and i'd fight iran again if necessary but this is not necessary. sending 120,000 troops into the middle east because of provocations from iran, i mean we had provocations back in september. they attacked the baghdad embassy. secretary mat diswho has fought iranians said no. we're not going to get into a war. this is -- this is chicken hawks in the administration. i mean, if you still had definition of chicken hawks in the dictionary, it would be john bolton and donald trump. and by the way, i think we all know who is the hawk and who is the chicken.
i don't think that trump even has control over his national security adviser right now. he's trying to drag us into a war with iran just like he did 15 years ago in iraq. >> talk about what it was like to serve in a war that you opposed and what did that teach you that you would bring to the oval office? >> that you shouldn't go into car until unless it's absolutely necessary. i've seen marines hurt and killed. iraqis by iranians, you don't fight unless you absolutely have to. i just don't think people in this administration understand that, and donald trump you know got out of fighting in his war. think about the contrast between donald trump and john f. kennedy. john kennedy used his father's connections to get medically cleared to go to war. donald trump used his father's connections to lie about bone spurs so he wouldn't have to serve. and there's not -- it wasn't like there's an empty seat in
the vietnam because trump didn't go. someone went in his place. i'd like to meet that american patriot who took donald trump's place in vietnam. >> someone who was processed through the draft board in queens where donald trump's draft was deferred through that. >> and that's the point. that's why i kept going back to iraq. i didn't agree with the war. in fact, i was an outspoken critic of it, but i didn't want anyone to go in my place. i knew that every single day in iraq being there on the ground on the frontlines i was able to effect how that war was fauths much more so than being back home and you know, that's what's veterans are all about. they don't go to war because marines are soldiers. we don't go to war because we think it's perfect. this is a perfect war. we go because we don't want people to go in our place and want to make it better. that's service. that's true patriotism. not war mongering, not fear mongering like this commander in chief is doing. >> donald trump has another war
going that's going badly. the trump trade war with the trump tariffs. as president, would you repeal the trump tariffs? >> yes, but we do have to confront china and this is something that's important. china is a national security threat. it's an economic threat to the united states. china is literally stealing our business ideas, our military secrets every day through the internet. that is really costing american jobs. the irony of this administration is that he's allocated more money to build a southern border wall, a fifth century b.c. technology than cyber security for the entire security. we needed to turn that around. when you think about china, they debated building a wall 3,000 years ago. they're past that and now saying they're going to lead the world in artificial intelligence. what's our response? nothing from there administration. they're attacking us through the internet, stealing american jobs. what's our response? nothing from thisization. so we need to be smart and tough on china. but starting a trade war that just hurts american farmers?
hurts american consumers? puts a tax on all the goods? if you shop at walmart, you're going to be paying more in the next few weeks because of trump's tariffs. that's hurting american families. that's not helping us with china, that's hurting us. >> would you join as president obama wanted to do join the trans-pacific partnership as a way of isolating china in the pacific trade region. >> i was skeptical of the tpp because i didn't think it went far enough for labor and environmental protections. trump has pulled out. you've got to have a seat at the table and in the negotiation because otherwise china sets the rules for the pacific 37 trump is very good at tearing things down. he's disparaged nato trying to tear that apart he's pulled us out of paris. think about all the countries that followed president obama into the paris accords. do you know how many have followed trump out of them? none. president obama got russia and china even to agree to come
together to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. trump just pulls out would the a plan. no one follows but now iran is threatening to become a nuclear power. which we cannot let happen. so trump is great at tearing things down but he has no idea how to build things. the same thing here at home. he's tried for years, to take health care away from millions of americans to repeal obamacare without any plan to replace it. what's your plan, mr. president? we need to show america how we're going to fix these things and both at home with health care and i have a plan to bring health care to americans without forcing them on toy an government plan but also allowed, how we strengthen alliances and build a pacific version of natoing to contain china and north korea, how we strengthen alliances like nato and modernize them when russian is not attacking us with tanks but through the internet. how we bring a new generation of
leaders into american national security to make america safe and strong inning this new world of threats. i think it's time for those of us who fought in iraq and afghanistan to step in for those who sent us there. >> what is your health care plan. >> so i'm the only candidate in this race who is actually gets single payer health care. i made a commitment to continue going to the va when i was laektsed to congress. we know it's a broken system. and i'll tell you, i've seen the good, bad and the ugly. there are some things the va does well. they negotiate prescription drug care prices. >> medicare is prevented by law from doing that. would you change that law? >> absolutely. i would also not force americans on to a government plan designed in 1963 if they don't want to give up their private health care plan. why? because i think competition is good. >> so you'd open medicare to people who want to the. >> exactly. this is exactly what president obama called for in a public
option. a public option that competes against private options. if it competes them out of business, so be it. the point is competition brings down prices for everybody. think about the u.s. postal service. does anyone -- if the next president went to congress and said we are going to put ups and fedex out of business so they no longer compete with the u.s. postal system, is there any american who thinks that would improve efficiently or lower prices? no. in the same way that competition is good gore delivering packages, it's good for delivering health care. i say that knowing what it's like to get single payer par health care to sit in waiting rooms where people very literally died waiting to get care. the first time i got surgery at the va, they sent me home with the wrong medications. so we have to do better than that. i think that's what the american people want. >> let me ask you about impeachment. if you were serving in the white house and there was a report showing that you had asked the
white house counsel to fire it the prosecutor who was investigating you, would you expect to be impeached? >> yes. >> do you think this president should be impeached? >> i think we absolutely need to have that debate in congress. and the right thing to do. >> when we have that debate in the congress, are you going to say yes or no? >> you can tell where i'm leaning here, but the right thing to do, the right constitution is duty for us in congress is to have that debate beforing on gres, before the american people. get all the facts including the full mueller report. we don't even have that yet. then you have a vote. i think our party made a mistake by not starting that debate. i voted for this debate last year because we should be having this discussion. and there are a lot of people who argue oh, it's political. it's bad. it's not the right time politically it's bad for the 2020 election. how about butting the constitution and the country first. how about doing what's right regardless of what the politics are? that's what we do. i swore an oathing to protect
and defend the constitution of the united states. not my political party, you know, not my political future. it's the same oath i swore as a united states marine officer. we've got uphold that oath and holding the administration accountable is in the constitution. that's our constitution is duty. >> congressman seth moulton, presidential candidate. thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> when we come back, a book about golf that i love and i have never liked golf until i read this book because it explains donald trump. t explains donald trump. everyone's got to listen to mom.
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donald trump has said that he thinks golf should be a pastime for the rich. and that are one of the reasons you should want to become rich is so you can afford an expensive membership at a country club and then go out there and play golf with rich people. or as donald trump prefers, cheat at golf. but as rick reilly's best selling new book "commander in cheat," how golf explains trump taught me this weekend, golf was a game invented in scotland by shepherds not by rich people and that 90% of golfers in america play mostly at private golf courses and that most of them do not cheat because as the great golfer ben crenshaw said, golf is a game with a conscience.
pg wood house once wrote to find a man's true character, play golf with him. rick riley has played golf with donald trump and he has spoken to many other people who have played goofl with donald trump and none of them liked the true character of the man when they played golf with him. adam levine, a 15-year-old boil who beat donald trump at golf 12 years ago remembers he didn't even say congratulations or good match. he's a total a-hole with no character. that was one time when donald trump could not clete his way to a win. rick riley says that donald trump lies so much about golf, that "trump's nose has grown so long, he could putt with it." there are many ways to be offended by donald trump, rick riley says he's offended as a golfer. rick rile little learned the game from his father. everyone in the quilly clan goflz including his 91-year-old aunt. "we have a giant nine-hole
family tournament every year. the riley roundup. everyone wears a yellow shirt just like the one we buried my dad in." for the rileys, golf is a test of skill and a test of character rick rilery quotes a psychiatrist in his explaining why donald trump has to cheat at golf. why it is part of his narcissistic personality disorder. we will read you that statement by harvard medical school psychiatry professor when rick reilly joins us after this final commercial break and rick reilly will explain to you how golf became such a popular recreation for presidents even presidents who didn't play much golf before moving into the white house and he'll explain why president woodrow wilson painted his golf balls black. while he's at it rick reilly will tell you how golf explains donald trump. (music throughout)
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professor of psychiatry is one of the coauthors of the best seller "the dangerous case of donald trump." he has appeared on this program discussing this book and the president's personality disorder and in rick reilly's best selling new book "commander in cheat, how golf explains trump" the professor explains why donald trump cheats at golf. because he has to. he needs to be the best at everything. he can't stand not winning, not being the best. it had to have started very early in his development. to him, not being the best is like fingernails on the blackboard to you. he can't live with it. he exaggerates his golf scores and handicap for the same reason he exaggerates everything. he has to. he exhibits all the traits of a narcissistic personality disorder. people with this disorder have no conscience about it. he has no sense of morality about things. he lacks empathy toward others. he is a very ill man. he doesn't get that other people have rights and feelings.
other people just don't matter to him. joining us now is rick reilly "new york times" best selling author of "commander in cheat, how golf explains trump." rick, thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate you being here. i just wanted to give the audience a quick taste of the kind of cheating donald trump engages in when he's out there on the golf course. >> okay. it's incredible. he kicks the ball so much the caddies call him pele. he'll kick your ball in the bunker. he's been known to fake a bunker shot as though he was actually hitting the ball but the ball was in his right hand. then he reaches in the hole and pretends he holed it. if he's been on your team he'll kick your ball into better position and a lot of guys are like what are you doing? and they put it back. some guys when they're on his team and he cheats the whole way around win and they go out to
the parking lot and give the money back. i mean, lawrence, i can't tell you how strange this is in the world of golf. it would be like if you walked into the sistine chapel, sat your lazy boy down, and did your laundry. we don't do this in golf. there is no reason for him to be such a cheater in golf. he's over 70 years old, about a 10 handicap. that's pretty good. there is no reason he's got to lie and say he's a 3. there is no reason he's got to say i've won 20 club championships when i can't prove he's won any. he won club championships he didn't even play in. sometimes he wasn't even in the same state. sometimes he walks into a club house, sees the other guy's name on the wall, and goes, ah, i beat that guy all the time. make me the club champion for that year. they're like, what? they got to pull this guy's name down and put his name up. i mean, i don't know about
politics. i'm just a sportswriter but i've been covering golf for 40 years and you don't do this. you don't drive your cart on greens. you don't cheat your friends. it's a game, the easiest game to cheat at because you're 200 yards over there, lawrence, and i'm 200 yards over here and i trust you're not going to throw it out of the woods and you trust me that i'm not going to pick it out of the water. and yet there is a whole group of guys who play with him, one time he hits it in the water. he sees the splash but trump is always 200 yards ahead in his super go cart. by the time they get to the fairway it's back on the fairway. it's not in the pond anymore. they said, donald, we're playing a money game. he goes it must have been the tide. >> rick, you've done a brilliant job in this book in explaining this to people like me who know nothing about golf and have never cared about golf. you also did a great job conveying the culture of golf and the honor of golf and the
way it's supposed to be. you did that through your father who i feel like i know now. it is kind of a beautiful book. it's also very, very funny when it comes to the details of what donald trump does. talk for a minute about the golf and the presidency and why it has become something presidents are drawn to, even some who didn't play much golf before they became president. >> yeah. i think of our last, i don't know, only three haven't played golf since golf became a thing in america. it's because all those problems, they just wait right beneath where you're sleeping. you kind of get out. and the secret service kind of likes golf because they can control the territory. and so almost everybody but carter didn't play it. truman didn't play it. woodrow wilson entered the white house not having played it and his doctor said if you don't start playing golf you'll have a heart attack. so wilson started playing it every day.
he would play nine holes, rain or shine, snow or sun, and be back at his desk by 9:30. in fact, he did play in the snow and that's why he painted his golf balls black. eisenhower used to walk the halls of congress and the white house with a 6 iron so he could practice the swing. he's the guy that built a putting green outside the oval office because it relaxed him so much. sometimes he'd forget to take off his golf spikes and it used to be you could lean down and feel the golf holes. >> rick reilly, this is the great father's day book. father's day is coming up. it's great if your father plays golf, great if your father does not play golf. this is really an amazing, really a beautiful book, rick. you made me a convert at least to the understanding of golf. i'm still not going to go out on the golf course. rick reilly, thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> okay. >> "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. tonight the jarring chaos currently under way. financial markets royaling amid