tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC September 16, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
this weekend we got the news of a big reshuffle at the bernie sanders new hampshire campaign. he won new hampshire in 2016 and he's replacing his director in the state. john hickenlooper quit the 2020 race last month to run for senate and everyone was worried because it was such a crowded senate field he was getting into. well, since then the top three major democrats in the race other than hickenlooper have all dropped out to clear the field for him. we learned about the third one just this weekend. and as i mentioned to senator harris tonight, elizabeth warren's campaign is claiming the largest crowd yet for any event in the campaign for any candidate. campaign saying that over 20,000 people were in washington square park for elizabeth warren in
downtown new york city tonight. i should tell you that tomorrow night senator warren will be by exclusive guest right here on set in new york city. but that does it for us tonight. it's time for the last word with lawrence. >> we are starting with the authorize of the new book about the investigation of brett kavanaugh. >> very good. >> we heard what senator harris had to say about it in your hour and we're basically beginning where she left off. >> i'm glad you got him. thanks, my friend. >> thank you, rachel. "new york times" reporters will be our first guests tonight to discuss new reporting in their book "the education of brett kavanaugh and investigation" which will be published tomorrow. this is their fairest cable news interview about their investigations. they wrote an article in sunday's "new york times" about the book which became the issue of the day in the democratic presidential campaign with several candidates calling for supreme court justice brett kavanaugh to be impeached. we also have complete coverage tonight of the breaking news
regarding the trump administration's possible response to an attack on a major saudi arabia oil facility. former undersecretary of state wend sherman will join us with her analysis of the situation. there's a new suspebpoena f eight years of donald trump's tax returns. at the end of the hour, it's tonight's episode of meet the freshman. you will meet democratic congresswoman alicia slotkin from michigan who has two general motors plants in her district that are on strike. this is the perfect night for her to join us not just to get her reaction to the first day of the auto workers strike thalkd be devastating to her district and state and to the country eventually if it continues, but because the congresswoman is a former cia analyst and expert in iran-backed militias during three tours in iraq. she's been warning for months that the trump administration
has been building a case to pursue war with iran without the approval of congress as required by the constitution. we will see what she has to say about donald trump's locked and loaded response to the drone strike on the saudi oil facility. we begin with the new impeachment question that has entered the presidential campaign this weekend, should supreme court justice brett kavanaugh be impeached? at least six democratic presidential candidates say yes. joe biden says there should be an investigation, saying we must follow to evidence to wherever it leads. and presidential candidate amy klobuchar, who was one of the democrats who questioned brett kavanaugh in his senate confirmation hearing, is now demanding that the white house and attorney general william barr hand over materials from the fbi background investigation of brett kavanaugh in a letter to the white house and attorney general, senator klobuchar says recent reports have again cast doubts on the completeness of
the investigating process raising additional questions as to whether certain information was followed up on. the recent reports senator klobuchar refers to are the work of our first guests tonight, "new york times" reporters robin bob rubin and kate kelly who published an article in "the new york times" sunday edition posted online saturday night, which is an edited excerpt of their new book published tomorrow, "the education of brett kavanaugh and investigation." the article in "the new york times" was apparently enough for democratic candidates to call for impeachment. the investigation concentrates on what happened to deborah ramirez during college with brett kavanaugh and what happened when she told her story to the fbi during the brett kavanaugh background investigation. deborah ramirez' story first appeared in "the new yorker" during the kavanaugh confirmation process. here is her brett kavanaugh story as it appears in the new
book that will be published tomorrow. during the drinking game, ramirez said the guys kept picking her to drink more, and she became inebriated. at one point someone trapped on a fake penis and pointed it at her. then later ramirez said she had a penis thrust in her face. she remembered pushing it away and saying that's not a real penis, but this penis was real and she would recall she had accidentally touched one for the first time. it was something she hadn't planned to do until she was married. she remembered them laughing at her confusion that evening and kavanaugh pulling up his pants looking puffed up like he just did something really, really great and tilting his head back also laughing. she remembered hearing david white yell down the hall, brett kavanaugh just put his penis in debbie's face. after that story first became if you be in "the new yorker," the judiciary committee didn't ask deborah ramirez to testify. and then the chairman of the committee, kruck grassley said,
there is no corroboration of the allegations made by dr. ford or ms. ramirez. he was referring to, of course, dr. christine blasey ford, who did tell her story to the committee under oath on a nationally televised hearing. the reporters say ms. ramirez's legal team gave the fbi a list of at least 25 individuals who may have had corroborating evidence but the bureau in itself subpoena mental background investigation interviewed none of them, though we learned many of these potential witnesses tried in vain to reach the fbi on their own, two fbi agents interviewed ms. ramirez telling her they found her credible, but the republican-controlled senate had imposed strict limits on the investigation. we have to wait to get authorization to do anything else. one of ms. ramirez's lawyers recalled saying the call was apologetic. the book contained a new revelation about another story that came to the attention of
some of the members of the judiciary committee at the time, but it was never made public during the confirmation process. this story occupies less than one page of the book, and only one paragraph of this weekend's "new york times" article. here is that paragraph from the "times." we also uncovered a previously unreported story about mr. kavanaugh in his freshman year that echos ms. ramirez's allegation. a classmate, max steer, saw mr. kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. mr. steer, who runs a nonprofit organization in washington, notified senators and the fbi about this account, but the fbi did not investigate and mr. steer has declined to discuss it publicly. we have corroborated with two officials. nbc news has confirmed that members of the judiciary committee were aware of max steer's allegations at the time
of the confirmation process. the new book makes one more important point about that story. the book gives the name of the woman involved in that story and then specimenifies that she, quote, has also refused to discuss the incident though several of her friends said she does not recall it. the "times" later on sunday added that line to the end of the paragraph about max satire's accusation. that line reads, the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say she does not recall the end. leading off our discussion tonight, are robin poage bin and indicate kelly who where i see for "the new york times." the book will be out tomorrow. first of all, let's start with what happened at "the new york times." what happened with that omission that the "times" later felt belonged in the piece?
>> well, first of all, lawrence, there was zero intent to mislead anybody about the details of the incident. that excerpt we ran in the "times" was an adaptation of what's in our book that you just described so aptly. it really focuses on the experience of deborah ramirez as we understand it, after robin special interest time with her, why the incident hit so hard for her. she was feeling like a fish out of water that first year of veil to begin with for any number of reasons. socioeconomic, cultural and so on. and this incident was deeply traumatizing for her. that was the focus of the piece. we included the additional detail of this other unreported allegation because it seemed germane. >> in your draft, did it include those words that have since been added to the article? >> it did. >> it did. >> it did. so somewhere in the editing process, those wonders were there? >> we had her name and the
"times" doesn't usually include the name of the victim. and so i think in this case the editors felt like maybe it was probably better to remove it. in removing her name, they removed the other reference to the fact that she didn't remember it. >> in your draft for the "times," you used the exact words in the book, that i deliberately left off the name because that passage begins with the name. >> yes. >> and so in their removal of the name, they ended up removing the whole -- >> the whole sentence. it was an editing -- done in haste in the editing process as you know for closing the section. >> were you involved in the decision to amend this? >> we discussed it. there was so much heat, you know, everyone has been kind of seizing on various aspects that we didn't want this to be an issue anymore. and he we certainly never intended to mislead in any way. we wanted to give as full a story as possible. >> this was a piece of our book we were sharing through the "times." and the hope was that people will look at the book which has
a much fuller context, not only about this allegation, about, frankly, which not a lot is northern, we're sharing what we do know. but also about all the context around these allegations in general, the situation at yale when justice kavanaugh was a student and robin was a student there, all the corroboration around the ramirez account, it's all in those. we tried to look at things from a 360-degree protector. >> when they were working on what they were going to add to it and the editors note they put in, did anyone consider including that -- the fact that it was in your original draft of the article? that would have been clarifying for people who are wondering how this happened. did they at any point include what you just told us? >> i'm not sure, but i think the desire you see was to get the information to the readers because there had been an error
of judgment that was being addressed, just to move on to give people the information they needed, but also to remind people that this is an adaptation of a much longer work that's forthcoming. >> do you know why max steyer refused to do interviews with you? >> my sense is that he feels as if he did his duty. he brought the information he had to senators and to the fbi. he made them all very aware that he had this experience that he had witnessed firsthand in a dorm room during his freshman year at yale. what they did with the information was up to them. it never materialized and became part of the process. brett kavanaugh was confirmed and he was done. he had done his part. he had no interest in revisiting it. >> in the article you say brett kavanaugh didn't agree to an interview because you couldn't agree to terms to the interview. what terms did he want?
>> we had back and forth with the supreme court spokesperson about this. ultimately he wanted to be able to have a say that he declined to comment for the book and we weren't comfortable doing that if we were going to find a meeting with him. >> to deborah ramirez, this story is a cultural story. it's kids from different backgrounds who found themselves at yale. she felt disconnected from the start, and then this experience, as she tells it in the book, completely changes her sense of her position at yale with these people. >> and i think what's important is that, it was important for us to flesh out her story because, one, it was never fully explored. she never testified and we never had the chance to hear from people who were trying to reach the fbi who had corroborating evidence to the extent that they had heard about this event
contemporaneously. her mother thought she had been raped. she was so u.p.s. about the experience, although debbie didn't tell her the details at the time. i think it was also important to say that it's easy to minimize these allegations and also to look at them as piling on with kavanaugh when you had a lot of allegations coming fast and furious. and to really say that you have to con text lies this woman's experience in order to understand why this was formati formative. for some people it wouldn't have been a big deal. for her it was because it confirmed a sense of inadequacy she had. she was a person of color, she didn't necessarily -- it was not a seamless transition for her the way it was for others. frankly, it was easier for me coming from a private school in new york than it was for a lot of other kids coming to yale from different backgrounds. >> kate, having worked in the senate as i did and as the staff director of a committee. as soon as they announced they were going to reopen the fbi
investigation and that the fbi investigation was time limited to a very few number of days, that was a very clear expression to everyone in the senate, this is going to be an extremely limited investigation. there was not announcement they could have made, which is we're delaying the hearing until the fbi investigation is completed, which would be the normal process for a committee but once they time limited it, what i'm discovering in your book though shocking, is not really surprising to me. the fbi didn't investigate all sorts of obvious people and question people they should have questioned. >> right. part of the consensus that was -- the compromise that was struck between senator flake at the time, senator kunz, and also with the support of moderate republicans, was that it would be time limited, it would be focused. the four of them actually did the walk together about how many
witnesses and ideas of which witnesses perhaps ought to be talked to. one person we talked to for the book said that number might be as high as 50. another said double digits. in any case, it appeared the white house, which was essentially the client in this fbi investigation, had mandated just four interviews with key parties from the alleged ford incident. ultimately that list grew to ten, but we both spoke to numerous people from justice kavanaugh's high school as well as yale and other parts of his life as well who contacted the fbi. there was a school teacher who was in his class at georgetown prep in san francisco, took a day off, prepared a letter, went to the fbi and was turned away, was told to call the tip line, file an online form. there was no follow-up, he felt he wasn't heard. and he heard this story over and over again from people. this is also a version of what
happened to max steyer, but he had more direct contact with lawmakers. >> we have reports that he had direct contact with senator kunz and others. he knew them. they knew him. they had a sense of his credibility. i want to talk about one of the most surprising things that i read, which is literally the last line of "the new york times" article. this is deborah ramirez. after what you just talked about, this very frustrating experience with the fbi, you talked to a lot of people who are bitter and angry about the way this investigation went and didn't include them. and she says, you can't look at justice as just the confirmation vote. deborah ramirez said, there is so much good that came out of it. there is so much more good to come. what did she mean by the good? >> i think in the case of christine blasey ford, this experience is one she may have
regretted coming forward given what she's been through personally and continues to go through in terms of just her family and how this has upended her life. perhaps because deborah ramirez didn't effective testify and wasn't publicly vilified, she got same outpouring of support that christine blasey ford got but kind of without the downside quite as much. certainly there were threatening emails and texts, but generally she was very much buoyed by people coming out of wood work saying you made me feel validate. i went through what you went through, you're a hero nowhere coming forward, men who are talking to their sons in a different way. she made them newly sensitive to this experience. people have started to talk about these issues and started to be more sensitive in a way that hopefully will be lasting. >> kate, it reads as if she felt more connected to her yale
classmates than she did when she was there as a student. >> right. it's so interesting. this is part of the beauty of robin's reporting and writing because she dug down on the ramirez situation. i mean, she went from feeling rejected by one group of students at yale to feeling really supported by another even larger group beyond just the class of '87 and encompassing many more people. she does have this sense of optimism that's buoying for other people because this has been a sad chapter. >> thank you very much for joining us. that is very personal book. there's a lot of material that i didn't get to. the bookends with your own personal reactions to everything that you learned, and i hope people read it. it really is an impressive piece of work. >> thank you so much. >> really appreciate it. when we come back, we have to go to breaking news. the latest in the situation after a drone strike on major oil facilities in saudi arabia. donald trump claimed today that he doesn't want war with anyone,
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now you can know who's on your network and control who shouldn't be, only with xfinity xfi. simple. easy. awesome. now to the breaking news situation unfolding in the middle east. a key oil field in saudi arabia was bombed on saturday by unmanned drones affecting half of saudi arabia's oil capacity.
rebels in neighboring yemen took credit for the attack. saudi arabia is claiming that the weapons used in the attack are iranian weapons. nbc news is reporting that u.s. intelligence indicates that the attack originated from iran. donald trump's reaction couldn't have been more unpresidential. he seems to be surrendering u.s. sovereignty on how the united states would react, tweeting saudi arabia oil supply was attacked. there is reason to believe that we know the culprit. our locked and loaded depending on verification but are waiting to hear from the kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack and under what terms we would proceed. exclamation point. president trump has gone from willing to meet with iran with no preconditions to locked and loaded. he is now saying that he was never willing to meet with iran. he says the fake news is saying
that i am willing to meet with iran, no conditions. that is an incorrect statement, as usual, exclamation point. and of course there's video. >> i would certainly meet with iran if they wanted to meet. >> do you have preconditions for that meeting? >> no preconditions, no. they want to meet, i'll meet. >> is it one-and-one talks with the ayatollah? >> not as far as i'm concerned, no preconditions. >> joining us now is ambassador wendy sherman, undersecretary of state state in the obama administration. and tom malinowski, freshman democratic congressman from new jersey, member of the foreign affairs committee. congressman, let me start with you. first of all, your reaction to the president's reaction so far. >> it's bad enough that he would think that we should wait to hear from saudi arabia before
deciding what to do in our own interest. but that he would announce this to the world not understanding just how submissive this makes him look to the saudis. you notice he didn't even say saudi arabia, he said the kingdom, as if that's something that impresses him. just extraordinary. obviously we do what is in our own national interest. we don't wait for saudi arabia to tell us what happened here, to tell us what to do. if they're allies we should be consulting with, it should be our nato allies, allies in europe and the security council. >> ambassador sherman, if you were advising a president on this situation tonight, what would you be telling the president to focus on? >> i'd tell him to focus on really making sure that he has a case, that we have tintelligenc.
we are consult winning allies. as the pentagon has reportedly said in a just-posted "washington post" report, we have 70,000 troops between egypt and pakistan under central command. so any action that anyone's going to take is putting all those personnel at risk when none of our personnel, none of our facilities were hit. and it's quite serious if the saudi oil facilities were hit, no doubt, for the entire world, but this is an issue for the entire world, not just for the united states of america. so we should be consulting, taking our time, not making big announcements. if action is going to be taken, sometimes it's better if it's taken quietly. >> when the president was asked later today do you want war with iran, he said, do i want war, i don't want war with anybody. i am somebody who would like not to have war. let's watch senator kamala harris' reaction to this with rachel in the last hour. >> apparently he's tweeting out
this bravado about lock and loaded. what the -- what does that mean? okay? and also -- >> it's an implicit military threat. >> yes, it is, yes, it is. listen, as far as i'm concerned, this president is motivated by his personal insecurities more than he is our national security. >> congressman, what authority does the president need in order to launch any kind of military response to this? >> well, there's a long history of ignoring the congress and frankly if congress -- we have stated clearly in the house of representatives, we voted on a resolution that says the president does not have the authority to start a war with iran under the aumf that has been used to conduct the fight against terrorism. so we've made that very, very
clear. look, i agree with wendy. that is serious matter. it's certainly a product of a very failed policy by this administration. if they attacked oil fields, we may need to respond, but we need to respond, i think, on the quiet side of the dark side. i think i would also be very, very clear with the saudis, do nothing. do nothing. we do not want a shooting war, above all, don't hit poor, innocent people in yemen in order to show your toughness against iran under these circumstances if you're afraid to hit iran, which they probably are directly. >> ambassador sherman, what do you expect next from saudi arabia? >> it's interesting. saudi arabia has asked the united nations and saudi arabia is no fan of the united nations to come in and do an investigation about who is culpable here. that actually slows down the process. it may be a moment of wisdom from the saudis, but i quite
agree with tom that there should be no rush here. we should be thoughtful about this. there are many tools that can be used and military force should be the last one, not the first resort. even in this instance where there's a lot at stake here because if saudi arabia's oil capacity was taken out altogether, it would affect the entire world, including the world's economy. so this is in everybody's interest, but not just ours, not just saudi arabia's, and we ought to be working on a united response to this. i think the other thing that tom points out is we all have to remember that saudi arabia has been persecuting a horrific war in yemen where many have died. the united arab emirates has effectively pulled out because they understand this is not an effective way forward. there's a lot going on in the middle east, including an election in israel tomorrow,
which is very squconsequential. finally, we did not have to be here. many of us said that if trump pulled out iran deal, which he was committed to doing, rather than build on it or find ways to address the concerns that he and others had, we would not be here if he had not pulled out of the iran deal. we certainly wouldn't be here now. >> amino acid wendy sherman, congressman tom malinowski, thank you for your expertise on this subject today. thank you for squloings thank you. when we come back, two words might turn out to be the worst thing that happened to donald trump today, and those words are "no comment." it's all about who said them. that's next. 's get going! (girl) and you want to make sure to aim it. (dad) i'm aiming it. (everyone) awww. (girl) i ordered it for everyone.
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night was john bolton's departure that day from the trump administration with john bolton saying he quit and donald trump saying he was fired. just how much damage john bolton's next book could do to donald trump and the trump re-election campaign if it were to come out, oh, say, about a year from now in the thick of the presidential campaign? and then today comes the first headline about the bolton book in the daily beast. john bolton already talking with book agents. he has a lot to dish. there's the subheadline of he end penned one after leaving the bush administration. now the top national security aide is exploring another book. not just another book, a book that could be the best-selling political book of all time, a book that could make so many millions of dollars for john bolton that he doesn't have to go back to being a fox news
commentator where he presumably wouldn't be welcome anyway if he tells the whole truth about donald trump in a book. one of the daily beast's you been named sources seemed to be promising exactly that when he said he has a lot to dish. when he was reached for comment by "the daily beast" today, john bolton said the most threatening thing a political professional could say under these circumstances, no comment. he did not say your source was wrong, i do not have a lot to dish. he did not say i am not writing a book. last week john bolton promised, i will have my say in due course. those were his exact words. and at that time i said the book publishers will want john bolton to remain absolutely silent until his book comes out to build suspense and sales. it might be the worst thing that happened to donald trump today.
when we come back after this break, donald trump is facing a new subpoena tonight for his tax returns. this one is from a local grand jury in manhattan where donald trump's companies are already complying with subpoenas and where donald trump's attorney william barr cannot help him escape the reach of these subpoenas. gwilliam barr cannot escape the reach of these subpoenas. ewilliam barr cannot escape the reach of these subpoenas. nwilliam barr cannot escape the reach of these subpoenas. ewilliam barr cannot m escape the reach of these subpoenas. rawilliam barr cannot him escape the reach of these subpoenas. lwilliam barr cannot him escape the reach of these subpoenas. william barr cannot p him escape the reach of these subpoenas. reach of these subpoenas. hmm. exactly. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. nice. but, uh... what's up with your... partner?
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the manhattan corner's office issued a subpoena to donald trump's accounting firm demanding tax returns of the trump organization. it stems from the hush money payments made to two women alleging affairs with donald trump before the 2016 election. "the wall street journal" reports that, quote, the probe is examining whether a payment to former adult film star stormy daniels and the way the trump organization recorded the rekbursment of that payment violated a law that bars falsifying business records. joining us is msnbc legal analyst joyce vance. i'm eager to talk to you about this. what do you make of these new subpoenas being reported today? >> it's an interesting development, especially because we know that the manhattan d.a.
apparently opened his investigation shortly after the southern district of new york federal prosecutors closed their investigation in the campaign finance violations and irregularities with the trump administration -- organization. the subpoena, lawrence, it's interesting to see it happening. >> "the new york times" reports filing false business records in new york, it says filing false business record can be a crime, but it becomes a felony only if prosecutors can prove that the false filing was made to commit or conceal another crime such as tax violations or bank fraud. so the other crime here could, for example, be a tax evasion crime if they deducted the trump business deducted the so-called michael cohen legal fees as a business deduction because they,
in fact, as michael cohen says it, were not legal fees. >> i think that that's right. i think that, you know, if you're prosecuting this case, you're not going into it with a conclusion about what you'll be charging. but i don't think the manhattan d.a. is looking here to get a misdemeanor. certainly they're looking for a felony, which means proving false business records were filed and that filing was made in order to conceal another crime. tax fraud looks very likely here, and with this news of the subpoenas, i think we have to at least for the moment assume that that's one of the theories that they're pursuing. >> now, in a -- this is new york state tax law. there are new york city taxes that also could have been underpaid because of this. so in federal tax evasion cases, they tend to be guided by the same principles. who's liable?
if donald trump signs -- when he signs his personal tax returns, he takes on the legal liability for whatever is in it. but what about the preparers of the tax returns or other peoe involved who might know that the so-called legal fees to michael cohen were not legal fees? is just knowledge of it being a false tax return, does that create a looiblt for someone? >> the answer is it depends. in a typical situation, if your tax preparer makes a mistake based on accurate information that you provided to him or her, then you're probably not going to be on the hook for that professional's error. but in a situation where someone involved in the trump organization provided allegedly, we don't know that this is true, but for the sake of argument, provided also information to a tax preparer, then the criminal liability, i think, would be attributable, if that whole
chain could be proven, to the person who provided the bad information, but particularly here the government has to be able to prove that the intent is to conceal another crime, another felony. >> what can president trump do to fight this subpoena? >> you know, this is a much more difficult fight than having the attorney willing to quash or having witnesses, like witnesses who are supposed to testify tomorrow in congress who are already in the president's camp. here we've got a local d.a. in manhattan using his own grand jury, not using federal grand jury. and so the best that the president can do here is that his attorneys could file a motion to quash these subpoenas. that would be litigated, but typically we worry about litigation taking a long time. when it's litigation involving a witness appearing in front of the grand jury or documents being turned over to a grand jury, those sorts of questions
tend to be resolved relatively quickly by judges that are supervising grand juries so that work can move forward. we'll get a kick turnaround and the president is missing some of the special benefits he's had in the federal system. >> joyce vance, thank you very much for your expertise on this one tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. and when we come back, tonight's episode of "meet the freshman." you will meet freshman democratic congressman who is a former cia officer who now says that the trump administration has been building a case to go to war with iran without the approval of congress.
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today nearly 50,000 members of the united auto workers union went on strike at general motors factories across the country. the union and general motors failed to reach an agreement on key issues like wages, health care, job security, and profit sharing. on sunday gm made public what it had last offered at the bargaining table, including $7 billion in new u.s. factory investments and a proposal for idled plants in skmimichigan an ohio. the vice president of the union wrote we are disappointed that the company waited until two hours before the contract expired to make what we regard
as its first serious object to the form had we received this proposal earlier in the process, it may have been possible to reach a attentive agreement and avoid a strike. the last general motors in 2007. the strike lasted three days and cost general motors $600 million. today a spoke western fs million. today a spoke western fpokesper united autoworkers only 2% of the contract terms have actually been agreed upon. "when you have 98% of the agreement to go, it's going to take a while." today the president refused to say whether he supports the autoworkers. >> do you stand with the autoworkers on the strike against gm? >> well, i have great relationship with the autoworkers. i got tremendous numbers of votes from the autoworkers. i don't want general motors to be building plants outside of this country, as you know, they built many plants in china and mexico and i don't like that at all. my relationship has been very
powerful with the autoworkers. not necessarily the top person or two but the people that work doing automobiles. >> "doing automobiles." in tonight's episode of "meet the fresh panman" you'll meet alyssa slotkin who has two general motors auto plants in her congressional district in michigan. she is also a member of the homeland security committee and a former cia analyst. we'll get her take on the drone strike on saudi oil facilities and find out if she supports the autoworkers who are now on strike in her congressional district. that will all happen next after this final commercial break. this final commercial break. managing type 2 diabetes? dimitri's on it. eating right and getting those steps in? on it! dimitri thinks he's doing all he can to manage his type 2 diabetes and heart disease,
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that stuff back, like cost of living and things of that nature and a company doesn't want to do that. you know, fair day's pay goes with a fair day's work and we just want to recoup some of the stuff that we lost. >> joining us now is freshman democratic congressman elissa slotkin from michigan. she is a member of the armed services committee and the homeland security committee. she was the acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs under president obama and is a former cia middle east analyst. perfect night to have you here. let's start with the autoworkers. >> sure. >> do you support the autoworkers? >> i mean, of course. i mean, i'm from michigan so -- >> whoa, whoa, wait, didn't you see what president trump said about -- he said a lot of words, but he never said yes, of course. >> well, i mean, i think it -- >> don't you want to be more careful in your answer? >> no, it just -- it's not a hard one for me. i have two plants, gm plants, in my district. we have a huge number of autoworkers in my district. and, you know, the uaw built
itself up in my state. we were the most unionized state in the country for a long time, so we're used to standing with labor and we stand with them now and i just -- i urgently hope all sides are going to get back to the table tomorrow morning and work this out. >> i mean, these things can be solved quickly, but -- >> of course. >> -- in a business as giant as gm, there are massive losses for basically every hour of a strike like this. >> for everybody. i mean, the workers are losing money, too, right? they're living on $250 a week now as they strike. so everyone suffers. no one wants this to go on, but there is a point where, you know, folks have to push for what they believe in and that's what they're doing right now, so -- >> what would you say to general motors, if you got a chance -- if you could tell them what they -- what they should be considering when they think about the unions' position. >> i just think it's important we all remember the arc of the story. when gm was really suffering, the workers took it and absorbed some of the pain in order to
keep gm's doors open, in order to keep that company solvent. now that they're doing better and we're thrilled that they're doing better, we want them to do better, you know, it's time that they give their workers what they deserve. i think it's just putting it into context, i think that's important. >> and the company was a big beneficiary of the obama administration's intervention which they paid back. it's not -- nit's not like they took something from the government. >> right. >> they did have a support system from the government when they needed it. let's turn to what's going on, the drone sflik satrike in saud arabia. expert in the region. former cia analyst. what do you see there, what do you see in the administration's reaction to it? >> well, i think you had guests on who talked about it in similar ways, but i just think it's a strong step by the iranians and, you know, they're going to deny it but, you know, we need to do a full analysis of what actually happened. but more than just the tactical moment, i think we have to realize that this is kind of how warfare is going to be fought in the future. this is not i think a one-off
incident. what folks have been able to do with drones, obviously, has been really significant over the past couple years, so more than just this one strike, i think we're looking at something that's going to be part of our future. the iranians, listen, they've taken an aggressive step. obviously, an attack on saudi arabia oilfields, it's going to be prompt a lot of questions about a response. i just think we need to be levelheaded, take breath, make sure we understand where these drones came from, who operated them and why. and then take the next move without kind of just, you know, yosemite sam shooting off -- >> how long do you think it will take to get a real assessment of what has happened? >> well, i can just go from my prior life as a cia officer, if we had what we thought would be an iranian rocket or iranian mortar, we would have a proper weapons team come in, take a look at it, do the forensics, understand where it was manufactured, compare it to other examples we have and we do an analysis. we'd do it thoroughly and bring in the right expertise.
that's what i want the saudis to be doing. i think they've invited the u.n. in to do that. i think that that's a good positive step. there's no way an hour or two after an incident like this we should be claiming we know exactly what happened. >> the president tweeted, he was locked and loaded. >> yeah. >> just instantaneously. >> yeah, it's just not language that's helpful and, you know, the president goes back and forth -- >> how does the region see that language from the president? how do they react? >> i think the problem is if we don't know here in the united states kind of where the president is in any given moment, what does the region think is going on? and i don't think this president wants war with iran. i think he and bolton came to blows, not blows, came to argue about this, but you can get in an inadvertent war without meaning to and when you use language like that and you escalate and you risk kind of knee-jerk reactions, you can find yourself in a conflict that you maybe didn't want to be in but you're in it because everyone gets their backs up and they don't back down. >> elissa slotkin, thank you
very much for joining us. >> appreciate it. >> tonight's episode of "meet the freshman." great to have you here. please come back. that is tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour with brian williams starts now." tonight, brinksmanship from the white house as president trump once again says america is locked and loaded and looking at iran after an attack on a huge saudi oil facility. plus, the president takes aim at "the new york times" over its new reporting. an explosive story about now-justice brett kavanaugh a year after the republican senate voted to put him on the court. also tonight, five years after first meeting edward snowden in moscow, our conversation with him today. we'll hear him talk about life, our politics, our data, who's looking at it, how vulnerable we are, and along the way, he talks about donald trump. >> donald trump strikes me like nothing so much as a man who has never really known a love that he hasn't had to pay