President Trump, Donald Trump, Senate discussed on The 11th Hour with Brian Williams

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Assumes that the president is going to one sort of as many people as possible not just defending him but people like Alan Dershowitz who have done so publicly who've done so on television who have done so on Fox News and has made a forceful case not just on the legal merits but in the court of public opinion. which in some ways is where the president and his team believes? This is being fought. That's where they thought. The Muller fight was being fought they were correct in that. And they want someone who who is fiery and I. I think that's why you're hearing Mr Dershowitz. His name floated right now. Meco Yang among the defenses mounted tonight that you heard from the Republicans is. Do you hear anything. That is convertible to their argument that they're going to have to post in the Senate and Coralie anything if if you assigned yourself the floor manager for defending trump. How would you go? Well we didn't hear any any substantive defenses of the president and what the Republicans were arguing this evening. What they were basically Arguing was that the process has been unfair now. The whole point of a fair process is to to allow both sides to present their case but we have not heard substantive defense of what the president has done other than he did it. Get over it So they really have very little that they can argue here. I actually think that defending the president in this process is going to be a very difficult task and what it comes down two was just straight partisan loyalty for these Republican Senators Phil Rucker. There's no Jan toll or dignified way to ask this to the White House feel that they have have Republicans in the Senate willing to be as nakedly aggressive and sometimes fact neutral as some of the Republicans is on the House have proven to be the answer. Brian is a little bit complicated The vote in the Senate seems pretty much preordained at this point. It appears appear that all the Republican senators are likely to vote to acquit President trump his removal from office does not appear to be in the offing and the White House is very confident about that assessment. But what you're hearing from. President trump is that he wants there to be a big trial a big show of force in defending him. He's He's thinking much more about the public relations aspect of this. How will it frame the reelection campaign ahead through November and he wants to take advantage of the Senate trial L. on home turf so to speak because it's controlled by Republicans to put up a show to drag hunter Biden in as a witness to drag Adam Schiff in as a witness witness to have fiery defenses of the president's conduct and what you're hearing from Senate leaders you heard it there from Senator Graham Senator Thune the number two Republican told our colleagues in the post today There's much less of an appetite for that among the senators. They WANNA get this. Vote taken care of quickly Turn the page and move on and so that's where the tension relies or resides right now within the Republican coalition. Ashley Parker. You were in Hershey. PA last night Just as a television viewer. There was anger in that arena at the trump rallies. Talk about how and how often the President Inc operated impeachment into his remarks. Impeachment was the through line of his remarks last night. You could sense that anger on television. You said and you could really feel that. They're being there in the arena. In Hershey Pennsylvania in the president would move on to sort of touting positive aspects of his presidency of the the economy but he would always return to impeachment. And you could just tell this was something is sort of the emotional. Dichotomy of the president on this issue is on display there because it was something that infuriates him. It angers him. It's something he can't help but talk about. He views it as undermining the legitimacy of his presidency so part of his impeachment. riff was trying undermine impeachment. Saying it's impeachment light and they're trying to impeach him for doing nothing wrong but at the same time you also saw him trying to make it into a political issue acknowledging gene that he believes the silver lining of impeachment was forced Democrats to strike a deal with him on the US trade issue and saying to his voters using it to rally them. And saying this is the Democrats trying to subvert. Your will trying to undo twenty sixteen and foil you again in twenty twenty and so it's both it's a rallying cry cry and it's something that is so deeply upsetting to him. He can't help but talk about it. In a moat became if the White House had a change of heart and delivered averred to the hill. Reams of paper tomorrow and said you've got us. Here's all the documents we could find. This should respond to everything. You've subpoenaed. Would they get out from under an obstruction of Congress article and are they willing to take that article as opposed to doing in just that. I think that they would rather take the article that actually produce. The documents is not just the documents there are also ten. Witnesses who have refused is to appear in defiance of a subpoena which no other president has done before we all remember in the Clinton administration even the presence personal assistant. Betty Currie came to testify survive. The people really close with intimate knowledge of the President and past impeachments have come to testify about what has been happening there. Trump hasn't allowed any of that and I think he's concerned about the story that they would tell otherwise. This whole argument the Republicans are making about. How Democrats should sue to enforce subpoenas? They never once asked ask the president. Just let them come forward and talk. It's very simple to solve and they're unwilling to do it. They'd rather have the article of obstruction. Fill you and your colleague. Dan unbolt at the Post. Did a kind of canvassing of elected officials Talking about the kind of era of disinformation. We find ourselves in. What were your findings? Brian a couple of things the the last couple of days and especially earlier this week in a single single day It really spotlighted. The extent to which distance formation and distrust is defining our political system and and really halting the levers of government. Here here we saw that with the way the president and his allies have responded to the Inspector General's report Out of the Justice Department and among those allies by the way is the the attorney. General himself Bill Bar using that report Spreading some false information and attacking the FBI but we saw more broadly that this impeachment proceeding has served to even further divide and inflame the tensions in the country. There's a lot of concern among the former governors from in both parties that we spoke to who are in their outposts their states all across the country that this is a real inflection point in our country's history that we're not gonNA find any any resolution until November of twenty twenty and the election when voters have essay and that the divide could continue well beyond that depending on the outcome and depending First first and foremost on. How president trump handles Ashley you get the last word? I need you to talk about a story you covered and wrote about tonight the executive order order from the president that defines Jewishness ask an ethnic group not only a religion. It was instantly instantly controversial. Why is that well? It's complicated because the president his allies say and Jared Kushner has an op. Ed about about this that it is basically making it easier to prevent antisemitic behavior because there are protections given to a nationality that religious groups oops. Don't get it is just simply problematic to to classify Jews that way for starters and then there was also some controversy Over that it was squashing. Free speech and that this will be used to limit free speech on college. Campuses which is where a lot of this activism is taking place. Ace never an easy or uncomplicated story at the White House. Thank you very much to all three of you Phil Rucker to Ashley Parker to Meco Jianghua greatly appreciated and coming up for US tonight.

Coming up next