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Republicans divided as some vote to continue shutdown, others to end it
The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell
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Aired 6 hrs ago 44:13
Giuliani reveals confusing new Trump Moscow timeline
Tonight on The Last Word: Giuliani contradicts Trump’s statement that he had no business with Russia during the 2016 campaign. Trump lashes out after Democrats reject his offer to fund the wall for temporary protections for some immigrants. Plus, Kamala Harris announces president run as fellow presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand barnstorms Iowa. John Heilemann, Glenn Kirschner, Francesca Chambers, Jerry Zremski, Jonathan Capehart and Kurt Andersen all join Lawrence O’Donnell.
The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell
Aired 5 d ago 44:02
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez searches for McConnell as shutdown continues
Now, it's time for the last word with Lawrence up, Donald Rachel, and I guess it's benefiting the fake newspaper for almost one hundred years or so the Harvard lampoon putting out additions of the Harvard crimson the campus newspaper filled with that kind of stuff and then it spread during the New York City newspaper strike on time. And actually was some lampoon graduates who are putting out I think it was the daily news one of the newspapers was down. And I think they put out fake copies along with people from the national, and so there's a rich comic history at work here. And you know, I remember at the very start of the right after the election at the start of the Trump administration, the Boston Globe, speaking of Massachusetts. The Boston Globe did its own not quite satirical. But another sort of thought experiment front page as to what might become of the United States, and what might become of the news under a Trump presidency. Trying to get people to imagine if the president kept to his word on some of his promise. So sometimes people do this to themselves. Sometimes people punk other papers in this case. It's an activist group pump pumping the post and the post is not happy about it. Yeah. For me. This isn't the time because because the real headlines are so strange. I just don't want to have to go through the process of trying to figure out is this the joke one or is this now this is not a time. When we need to shock ourselves out of the idea that these headlines are real feeling beg your Rachel. Thanks, my friend. We'll Donald Trump discovered today that his job does not come with the same privileges that come with Alexandria Cosio Cortez's job. Donald Trump doesn't have floor privileges. The president of the United States does not have the same floor privileges. That a member of congress has a member of the house of representatives can enter the house chamber at any time in a member of the house of representatives can also enter the Senate chamber at anytime. Donald Trump cannot the president. Of the United States needs an invitation and today house speaker Nancy Pelosi told the president because of the government shutdown that he created she cannot extend an invitation to him to deliver his state of the union address in the house of representatives to a joint session of congress and congresswoman Alexandria Okaz. Yo Cortez put the blame for the shutdown. Right. Where it belongs as of now. And that is in the United States Senate, and she did that by exercising her floor privileges and walking right into the United States Senate chamber to deliver a letter to Mitch McConnell telling him to bring the government funding bills that have already passed the house of representatives to vote in the United States Senate where those bills would pass if Mitch McConnell would simply allow vote now house members entering the Senate chamber is a rare occurrence most people working in the Senate. Never see it happen. Most staff. I never see that house members entering the Senate chamber in protest while that's even more rare and the way the country discovered that that was possible that house members have the Senate for the Senate floor privileges to do that was when the then very few women. Members of the house representatives marched across the capitol campus and invaded the floor of the United States Senate to demand that the Senate Judiciary committee reopened the confirmation hearing of supreme court nominee Clarence Thomas. So that they could hear testimony from Anita hill about what she said was the sexual harassment. She suffered from Clarence Thomas, and I was working in the Senate then at the time, and I can tell you that that hearing was not going to be reopened. That was not going to happen. If the women of the house didn't do what Alex Andrea Okaz yo Cortez decided to do today. Cars. One zero Cortez is the second most famous member of the house of representatives Nancy Pelosi being the most famous member. Now, we have not seen such a famous freshman member of the house since John Quincy Adams was elected the house representatives after serving as our six president of the United States, and in modern politics in social media politics with fame comes power the power to direct media attention where you want the power to push a policy position into the national political debate. And congressman Okaz you Cortez. Did that today more effectively than any other member of the house representatives could have done it because of that fame, and there is apparently no one in the house representatives who understands fame and knows how to use fame better than congresswoman ocasio Cortez who does not need a staff to explain Instagram to her or any other social media. Or mass communication tool including how she should handle herself on Stephen Colbert show. She went to the Senate chamber looking for Mitch McConnell after she checked the majority leader's office adjacent to the Senate floor. And she was told he wasn't there. But it's a large office suite with plenty of places to hide. But what are you going to do the staff says majority leader, isn't there? Every majority leader also has a separate Senate office that is granted to him as a regular member of the Senate, representing his state and so- cars Makasi. Oh Cortes took the Senate subway over to the Russell Senate office building where McConnell's Kentucky Senate offices a place where he rarely sets foot here. She is on the subway on the way to that office hashtag, where's Mitch. We went to Mitch McConnell's often where we went to the Senate cloakroom. Aware hashtag wears Mitch. Here is the congressman at the end of her search in the Russell Senate office building. He's not he's not in the capital. He's not in the Russell building. He's not in the floor of the Senate and eight hundred thousand people don't have their paychecks. So where's Mitch? Where's mitch? He wasn't on the Senate floor. He wasn't in the cloakroom. He wasn't in any of his offices. There's one more place that congresswoman Makasi oh Cortez could have gone, but it wouldn't be easy to find. There's no marking on the door. It is Mitch McConnell's hideaway that is literally what it's called a hideaway senior senators like McConnell, get an extra office some of them smaller than their official office. Some of them quite grand, and they are secret rooms in the capitol building near the Senate floor with no markings on the door. And it is the one place where a Senator can go and literally hideaway today. Mitch McConnell might have actually been using his hideaway as the place to literally hideaway from congresswoman Alexandria, Cossio Cortez. The place to hide away from the Innis. The fact that this shop now belongs to Mitch McConnell. Donald Trump started it and Mitch McConnell is doing everything he can to keep it going for Donald Trump. He is not using the powers of his office. The way Nancy Pelosi is to solve the problem that Donald Trump handed to them. He is using the powers of his office to block a solution to the shutdown and so the shutdown continues. And because a state of the union address takes enormous planning by the speaker of the house and buy the house sergeant at arms and by the capitol police and hundreds and hundreds of government workers who have to coordinate to provide security and logistics for twenty-first-century state of the union address. Many of whom are not currently being paid. Those workers Nancy Pelosi has decided she cannot demand that the federal workforce force necessary to support a televised state of the union address from the house of representatives be ordered to work without pay and so- speaker Pelosi sent the letter. President today saying quote, given the security concerns, and unless government reopens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has reopened for this. Dress for for you to consider delivering your state of the union address in writing to congress on January twenty ninth now, actually most state of the union addresses delivered by most presidents have been delivered in writing only, but that changed in the twentieth century when Woodrow Wilson delivered his state of the union addresses in person as a speech to a joint session of congress. And every president after him has done the same thing. Those speeches became ultimately delivered to national audiences on radio, and then on television, and then Donald Trump shut down the government, and may have pushed the presidential state of the union address back into the nineteenth century and comments to reports. They Nancy Pelosi suggested the president had another option if he doesn't want to just deliver his state of the. Union address in writing. You can make it from the Oval Office. And Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer supports speaker, Pelosi's decision. Well, what is the state of the union? The government is closed because of President Trump. If it continues to be closed on the twenty ninth. I think it's a good idea to delay until the government is open journey. Our discussion Ron Klein, a former senior adviser Joe Biden and President Obama in the former chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary committee and Claire mccaskill former democratic Senator from Missouri. Who is now an MSNBC political analyst. I won't ask you where you're right away was. The way all senators have a male once they open the conventional which used to be just the when they opened the convention center. The under the new facility offices out of the capital, which gave space for every Senator to have a high. Let's just for a moment. It's not as bad as it. Sounds a lot of productive work gets done by senators in the huddle as it's where you couldn't read it's where you can think and occasionally taking nap between those votes in the middle of the night. So it's not no. Yeah. No time. It's used win. We're voting Laden it's close to the floor, or if you need to do a quick meeting, and you can't get all the way back over to your office in heart, and you need to stay in the capital complex because there's things that are going on. So, you know, but the name is really tacky. I mean, we need the name, and it is weird. 'cause they won't even tell senators where another senators, no hideaway. That's right. I mean, the only way you find out where someone's highway is the Senator tells you invited right, right? It is it's it's a culture that probably needs a little more quite magnificent. We could go on the wrong time during the break after the next week. We're all gonna talk about what's the most. Impressive hideaway. We've seen. But so this too Nancy Pelosi when the president shuts down the government goes to work, and she says our job is legislating. Our job is funding the government that's the Congress's job to fund the government's goes to work, and she funds the government, she passes bills to fund the government. Right. Those bills get sent to the United States Senate. Correct. Nothing happens. That's where the shutdown is. Now, isn't it? It's Mitch McConnell. He's been looking at his shoes hiding under his desk from day one. Remember, he got one hundred votes for a Bill to get the funding through one hundred votes unanimous in the Senate Mitch McConnell did that he did that because he'd gotten an agreement from the phrase shuts down, right? You've got an agreement from the president that he was signing. Well, then a coup- Rush Limbaugh and an Coulter got on their shows and gave him what four and he then reverse course, he backed up the truck and said, no, I won't sign it. So Mitch knew from the beginning. This was going to have a bad ending. So mitch. Goal was very simple. I don't want to be anywhere near this. So if you remember he immediately started saying, this is about the Democrats and the president this is about the Democrats in the president. And you gotta give him this. The polling shows that only about five to six or seven percent or blaming the Republicans in congress. They're blaming trim. And what Mitch McConnell is doing is trying to protect his members those that are up for election, twenty twenty and tough states. He doesn't want them to have to take this vote because he knows they're going to have a tough road to run in terms of winning in twenty twenty if we don't put more pressure on him. And I applaud with the congresswoman did today we all need to be putting pressure because this if Mitch McConnell wanted to get this done he could get it done tomorrow, an run cleaned some of these individual senators are going to come under increasingly enormous pressure. Johnny Isakson Republican from Georgia said an extraordinary thing today. He said that the way to get this shutdown to end, and he represents the one of our most important airports of the Atlanta airport. Obviously. Major hub major factor in all of the economy of Georgia. He wants to see he's advocating a strike by TSA agents and pudding at his airport. So that that will force the president. Now, let's consider what this is. He's advocating an illegal strike federal workers because he is a frayed he is afraid of himself doing his own job that he's paid to do and cast a vote in the United States. Yeah. It's crazy Lawrence. I mean look to win approval for his fourteenth century wall. President Trump may backed himself into a nineteenth century state of the union address as you as you said at the outset of the program, but you look Trump is kind of in some ways delivering on what he promised us. He said he would run the government the way he ran the Trump organization. He's got one hundred thousands of workers who is not paying. He's got contractors. We stiffening he's got a giant disaster. The Trump shut down to these put his name on top of. I mean, this is what we would have expected from Donald Trump. He's the most. Incompetent president in history in his incompetence is kind of the driving force behind the shutdown of just been handed. The breaking news from the New York Times. Tonight, the latest inside the Trump White House report of what the president is thinking about this. And I think he might be able to help the president with this Senator mccaskill this mega Haberman and any Carney with their sources inside the White House reporting. What Donald Trump is saying? And he is he is saying we are getting crushed. Mr. Trump told his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, after watching some recent coverage of the shutdown. According to one person familiar with the conversation. Why can't we get a deal? You want to answer that for the president. Well, it's pretty simple. He should've taken. Yes. For an answer. His administration asked for one point six billion. We gave them one point six billion. That's all they ask for. And we say we this was done before the shutdown before Christmas way back when Claire mccaskill was still a set of exactly. And so this is what's nuts about this? And. Give me ANSI Pelosi. I mean, what a bad ass. I mean, her realizing that she could make remove the invitation for the state of the union. I think it was a brilliant political play it made sense. It was reasonable. I think most people think it's reasonable. And once again, she has outmaneuvered him in terms of leveraging the situation he is not going to get five million billion dollars for a seat sign shining sea wall, and the sooner he realizes that and figures another way out of this and Mitch McConnell's guy who can do it run. Another thing about withdrawing the invitation for the state of the union. We've all seen you worked in the Senate and send mccaskill knows this. We've all seen how many people go into overdrive and overtime to put together. What it takes to deliver a state of the union twenty-first-century with all the security that that takes most of those people aren't being paid Nancy Pelosi is saying this is not an emergency. Under a shutdown work rules. It's only supposed to be basically emergency critical personnel who are working. We can't say to them that this speech is the kind of emergency. That must bring them out back from home into work for this. I don't see how she could actually justified. If she was you wanted to make the case that it is an emergency which for us to hear from Donald Trump. Yeah. I mean, it's a stunning thing to think about the amount of security and logistics that go into the state of the union address you have sitting in one room. Obviously, the president all members of his cabinet except one who is often a secure location the entire supreme court, and obviously the entire house and Senate our entire government sits in one room for one night a year. It is obviously the highest risk security event we have every single year. And so the number of people it takes to secure that to deal with the transportation logistics of getting these people back and forth, and all these things it's just an enormous number to ask those. People to work for no pay which is the Trump proposition right now is ridiculous. I think the ANSI close he did something very smart as far as it went. She shouldn't on the rest of the way, she minds, we'll just have invited and culture and Rush Limbaugh to deliver the state of the union address because they appear to be running our country right now, whatever they say goes with Trump, and you know, they they appear to be the highest authority in the United States Claire mccaskill Miami great. I'm going back to before your Senate days when we first met when I use that up, but just to instant run clean is both a possibly has the most one of the thickest resumes of anyone who peers on this show having worked for president vice president Senate Judiciary committee a Justice department. But he is our resident stand up comedian and say he's the one who's going to do the Ann Coulter. Give the state of the union address joke. I just wanna make it clear because there's no laughing audience here. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Got Senator Claire mccaskill in here debut as. A former Senator on the last word. Thank you for starting us off tonight. Ron client. Thank you for joining us. And when we come back Senator, Ben Cardin, a member of the foreign relations committee will join us on the senate's important vote today on Russian sanctions of votes in which eleven Republicans voted against President Trump's position on sanctions. And Michael Cohen reportedly plans to testify that his former close friend Donald Trump is in Michael cones word, a madman. Now, imagine if you were a CIA director in you heard a former close friend of the president described him as a madman. How would you feel all ask former CIA director John Brennan next and Jason Johnson will join us to discuss how Republicans have turned on Steve king for his racist. Comments and try to answer the question. Why now? So how did you feel when we first reported last night? Maybe heard it today that President Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen in testimony that he's preparing for congress next month will call the president of the United States, quote, a madman. How do you think former CIA director John Brennan felt when he heard that? I'll ask him that in just a moment today. The Senate intelligence committee is considering issuing a subpoena to Michael com as part of the committee's ongoing Russia investigation. Senator Richard Burr. The chairman of the committee confirmed to ABC news that a subpoena is possible. Wall Street Journal is reporting that Michael cones public testimony next month before the house oversight committee, quote is expected to be highly restricted to avoid interfering with these special counsels. Rush investigation suggesting the hearing may be less revelatory on certain subjects than an -ticipant. According to a person close to Michael Cohen. He will not be able to talk about some of the topics that he has. Cust with special prosecutor, Robert Muller. But a source tells NBC news Mike Cohen is still expected to give an explosive recounting of his experience working for Donald Trump. This source who is familiar with Michael Collins prepared remarks says that Cohen plans to describe the president of the United States as a quote madman. The testimony will give you chills during our discussion. Now is John Brennan former CIA director, he is a national security and intelligence analyst for MSNBC and NBC news as a former director of the CIA knowing of so much more than we can ever know about the actual weight of the responsibility of all the national security apparatus that the president controls. What is it like to hear a comment like that from someone who knows Donald Trump better than anyone who's working for him now? Well, first of all, I think it's corroboration of what a lotta people have belief so long a belief that has been borne out by a lot of Mr. Trump's actions and policies and statements over the last two years. But I think more than that. It's very worrisome that this is the person who American citizens entrust with their national security with their future prosperity. And somebody who is just so self promoting self advancing and as an interested in self-preservation at the expense of this country. I think it really does underscore what Michael Cohen has has witnessed over the course of many years. So I think many of us are going to be interested in hearing his first person representations of what it was like to see Donald Trump up close and personal. Again, it's very very worrisome because he is the in the Oval Office. He's the incumbent right now. And we all should be very worried about his lack of stability so much. Let's develop recently this week of the president. Information about Russia, including this new information that he basically restricts anyone in the administration from really knowing what he has said in his conversations with flat Putin. If you're sitting there as the director and these things occurred that were there. No one else was allowed in the room. Or the translators notes were not available the stories that we've been reading about how this has been handled. What would you do what you would have an interest still in knowing what was said in that room? But you can't find out from the president. What what would a CIA director? Will you need to know what transpired in that to our exchange because the Russians know? Yeah. And the Russians have internalized whatever message. It was and the exchanges that Mr. Trump had with Mr Putin. And so I would be very very interested in pursuing avenues to try to have a better understanding of first of all I would go to the White House. And you know, try to insist that we need to face to face with the president. I say I need to know after he got back from Helsinki. I've never encountered situation like this before. Because the previous presence that I've worked for both democrat Republican would both would want to make sure that they're senior staff and. Directors of the intelligence community. We'd understand because that gives us the sense of what it is that how the Russians might try to exploit whatever was discussed there. So it's still, you know, it's inexplicable why Mr. Trump did not allow his NASCAR divisor sectarian state in that meeting. It clearly he was trying to keep something from them. What was he concealing, and what did Mr Putin come away with from that conversation? So the intelligence agencies do not collect against the president of states or US officials, but we do have this need to understand how the Russians are going to take advantage of whatever Mr. Trump might have said, and so this is the strange presidency where he actually does these things on TV and during the campaign, he asked the Russians to steal Hillary Clinton's Email and provide them in effect to the Trump campaign or American public. And because he did it on TV. The Republicans defense is it was a joke. I want to look at another piece of video there's no sound to this. This is a Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump there. At the g twenty dinner in Germany and Trump is highlighted there. In one part of the screen Putin's down there, and there's this signal that he gives to Putin and that and we're going to rerun it because we look at that. And I'm wondering if you had picked this up as some kind of intelligence that that the American everyone picked up in a Russian restaurant of two people giving that kind of signal, and you know, that these people are in positions of trust by their governments to an essentially an adversarial position. What do you think you're looking at when you see that it really is quite curious? And I think it just reflects that there's a special relationship between those two individuals. And if any previous president had done that I wouldn't quite frankly think twice about it. Because I'm sure we would have gotten the full readout the fact that Mr. Trump with all the baggage. He has on his relationship with the Russians Mr Putin and Russian interference. And the way that he has had this morning attitude toward Mr Putin. And he has these very, you know, one on one conversations with him that he keeps them others. It really just continues to fuel the suspicions and the concerns about what is going on. And that's why I think the Intel's community agencies have a right to try to understand better. Again, how the Russians may be taking advantage of somebody like Mr. Trump who I don't believe is an asset of Russia by the formal term. But I do believe that he is being manipulated and exploited and that Putin who was a train KGB intelligence officer is a master puppeteer in many respects, and I just feel as though Mr. Trump is has fallen prey to what Mr Putin is trying to do undermining the national security of this country. And when I hear Mr. Trump say that he's thinking about getting out of NATO in. Alliance and organization was celebrate the seventieth anniversary of NATO this April fourth. It's the foundation stone of our national security and with our partners and allies in Europe. And to think that we were going to remove ourselves from that alliance that partnership that is so important as far as giving the United States access to lamb basis in Europe, giving us overflight rights in Europe, preventing the expansion I of the Soviet Union and Russia, these are inex-, I can't even begin to understand what is the basis of the logic behind it other than he believes that he is doing this. And he's going to gain some favor from Mr Putin and others. It is just totally head-scratching on NATO seems to be lost in it all seems to be the one lesson. You might be able to teach Donald Trump is remember World War One. Remember World War Two. They were twenty years apart twenty years later, those same countries those same European countries were all very strong ally. Is thanks to among other things and organization called NATO and American leadership, and we were not recoiling from our leadership responsibilities around the world. And Mr. Trump is doing it on every time whether it be on Syria, whether it be on issues like our NATO alliance. John Brennan, thank you very much. Really appreciate. And when we come back eleven Republicans broke with the president today on Russian sanctions, they voted against the president's position. We will be joined by a Senator who was there. A majority of the Senate voted today to block President Trump's removal of sanctions for companies associated with Russian oligarch Oleg therapa pasta. But the blocking maneuver required sixty votes in the Senate, which it did not get. And so the president is now free to remove those sanctions Fifty-seven senators voted to block the president, including all Democrats and eleven Republicans forty two Republicans voted to support the president's removal of sanctions today. Senator Lindsey Graham said the latest ISIS attack in Syria that killed nineteen people, including at least four Americans proves that President Trump was very wrong when he said that he had defeated ISIS in Syria. I says claimed responsibility true that shows that they're not defeated and there been emboldened during our discussion. Now, Senator Ben Cardin, democrat from Maryland who is on a member of the finance committee and the Senate Foreign Relations committees Senator carton that vote in the Senate today needed sixty got fifty seven but picked up eleven Republicans. What does that tell you about a report Republican willingness to go against President Trump at this stage? It tells me that the clear majority of the United States Senate disagrees with President Trump. This is not the time to ease sanctions on Russian entities. Russia has done and continues to do its business against the US. And it's important that we met Mr Putin know that we're not going to be easing on sanctions. We actually should be tightening sanctions. So I think it was a very healthy vote. It it was an uphill battle to try to get a pay and get over a president veto. But I think it's a clear message. We disagree with the president on how he's managing the relationship with Russia is that an indication of what would happen if Mitch McConnell were to allow a Senate vote on the government funding bills that Nancy Pelosi has moved through the house of representatives and sent to the Senate. There's no question in my mind that the majority of senators would vote to open government. This is clearly something that President Trump has done you. Remember, we did that once before didn't December by unanimous vote. We've Oded for continuing resolution, and the appropriation bills that have nothing to do with the border security issues have already been acted on by the the Senate. So clearly, if Mitch McConnell loud us vote on the bills to pay us the house. They would pay us the Senate, and we stand a good chance of opening government. And. The another Senate piece of business. I really want to get you on his confirmation hearing for William bar as the president's attorney general nominee. It looks like he has no resistance from Senate Republicans. And so that seems like he will definitely be moved out of the committee onto the Senate floor and after some debate if nothing changes in these dynamics it looks like he will be confirmed. Do you expect that to be a pretty much a party line vote? Well, I think we still want to get more information from this bar. I know there's still meetings taking place with senators we are concerned about whether he will make available the full report from the molar investigation. We also want to make sure that he will not impede the needs of the Muller investigation. So that's a major concern there other issues, including border security issues in which Mr. bars comments have raised several questions. So at this point, look, we're not naive. We know that there's seems to be a rally by the Republicans behind this nominee. But we do think that we really need to get better answers before we have a vote on the floor of the Senate, and the Alexandru Cossio Cortez did that very rare thing today of walking into the Senate chamber house members rarely do it to bring the message that the Senate the shut down. Now belongs to Mitch McConnell in. Checked in the Senate. If he would simply bring up these bills that would be the only way to test. What is now only a theoretical threat by the president that he would veto something and we've all seen president's threatened to veto things that when they finally passed depending on the vote count. They choose not to veto. But there's no way to know that unless you put a Bill in front of the president. You're exactly right. And we know that President Trump has caused this shutdown. He said he proud to have this shutdown, but now Mitch McConnell. The Republican leader is denying the Senate the the opportunity to act as a Coequal branch of government. We can clearly act and let the president do what he wants to do. We may override his veto. He may sign it. But it's our responsibility to open government. We had the votes do it and the legislation. We're talking about is bipartisan legislation a lot crafted under Republican leadership of committee. So this is not a partisan effort. This is for the congress to exercise its power as Coequal branch of government to do our work take up the bills to open government. And if the majority I'm sure there's a clear majority that that the the will of the body of go forward, and which McConnell is blocking that I think a lot of people make the mistake of thinking because you're in Maryland you represent a more federal workers than. Other senators, but senators in big states, like Texas, New York, California represent really big big big numbers of federal workers. This is this is all over the country and the president's council of economic advisors have come out today and said that this shutdown is actually affecting economic growth. It's affecting the health of the economy. We're not sure what it takes to get through to Donald Trump. But what we are. Sure of is he sure doesn't care about any of your constituents as government workers who aren't getting paychecks. Very proud of represents a really dedicated government workers who are been laid off furloughed without pay who are working without pay. There's also a lot of other people who have lost their jobs as a result of the federal agencies being closed. The impact on our economy is billions of dollars a week. Along with Senator van Holland, and my colleagues for Virginia, we've AS President Trump to meet with these people me with the federal workforce because they'll tell you they want to work, and they get want to get paid for what they're doing the missions critically important where it's airline safety or food safety or small business loans, the IRS and helping people with their with their tax refunds all that is critical missions that now are not being done as a result of President Trump closing partially closing government. We never should have had it this this the shutdown needs to end Senator Ben Cardin, Marilyn, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate thank you. And when we come back Jason Johnson, we'll be joining us along with Claire mccaskill to discuss why Republicans have turned on Steve king. And why Donald Trump has not turned on Steve king? Democratic congressman Bobby rush introduced a censure resolution against Iowa Republican congressman Steve king today, which was then read by the clerk on the house floor. Whereas on July thirteenth two thousand six on the floor of the house of representatives comparing immigrants to livestock Representative Steve king of Iowa stated. We could also electrify this wire with this kind of current that would not kill somebody. But it would simply be discouragement for them to be fooling around with it. We do that with livestock all the time. The censure resolution was then referred to the house ethics committee for review on Monday. House. Republicans stripped Steve king of his committee assignments local newspapers, Steve king's home state of Iowa are now calling for his resignation yesterday that the Moines Register editorial board wrote Steve king should resign. He has lost even the potential to affectively represent his Iowa constituents these Sioux City journal editorial board previously endorsed king wrote. It's time for Steve king to go. Here is what Steve king said in a radio interview yesterday when asked if he would resign. You have no committees left Lewinsky this question, are you going to resign? No, no chance at all. I'll go out of this place dead before that happened. Then the Lord will have to make that. Here's what Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said when asked about Steve king and President Trump. Condemn Representative king for his comments. And I'm wondering what also condemned. President for the mini insensitive. Comments racially can come into the. Look at my practice for the last couple of years, not to make sort of random observations about the president's tweeting and other things the one thing the hustle resentatives is now United on is condemning Steve king. Why now Republican minority leader of the house? Kevin McCarthy seemed to suggest that Republicans shoot have condemned. Steve king earlier under the leadership of Paul Ryan. When we come back former Senator Claire mccaskill and Jason Johnson will consider what has changed in the house of representatives that has turned Republicans against Steve king. Here's the Republican minority leader the house representatives Kevin McCarthy talking about Steve king on a radio program in Kevin McCarthy's district. And this wasn't the first time that he used his anguish. Absolutely. Would he use this? I came out directly in denounced it which frustrated, but I knew that I watch past leaders did not act, and I just felt I don't care if it hurts me or not I gotta just do the right thing. Absolutely. When I looked in the back of the things he had said, even recently and done that doesn't reflect us and it can't reflect us. During our discussion. Now, Jason Johnson politics, editor the root dot com and MSNBC contributor and former democratic Senator Claire mccaskill who is also now an MSNBC contributor is back with us. Jason johnson. A who could Kevin McCarthy be talking about? He's talking about past leaders apparently recent past leaders of the house representatives. I guess he couldn't he couldn't think Paul Ryan's name. Yeah. Couldn't remember Paul Ryan. He couldn't remember rights Ribas. He couldn't remember tons of other leaders of the Republican party. This is not new Steve king has been white nationalist for years. He has said white nationalist things. They have heard about them. They have dismissed these statements in the past this newfound religion of the Republican party, which is let's condemn white nationless talk. But let's not stop white nationalist policies. Does not impress me at all. So the idea that McCarthy can't really remember. It says this isn't us. This is you this is the Republican party. If you have someone like that who was in your party who has felt comfortable behaving in this way for ten years. And you have several other people that have the same belief system. They just know how to say it was sugar on top. That is a reflection of your party to you make those fundamental changes. And what you accept ideologically and policy-wise century him moving from committees. None of that really matters Senator mccaskill every elected Republican in the house representatives of voted against Steve king on that resolution of about his language the other day, including Steve king, he voted against himself saying you shouldn't have said it Donald Trump silent. Donald Trump the elected Republican in Washington who has nothing to say about Steve king, Donald Trump this week said he hadn't really followed it. Now, he was up to the minute on Jeff Bezos divorce. Yes. But he hadn't managed to follow a candidate for congress that he supported in. So many ways said that they were on the same page together. They saw things to get by the way, Kevin McCarthy talk about phoney baloney. He gave Steve king ten grand last year out of his. Pack. So if this is something that has troubled him for a long time, and he didn't understand why Paul Ryan hadn't acted. Why did he write a ten thousand dollar check to Steve king last year for his reelection? All of these guys were there for Steve king for his reelection last year. So it really is judge Joseph do think it's the election results in November. That is changed their attitude toward this part of it. Yeah. You know, the Republicans are shook right there like oh my gosh. We lost a bunch of seats, and and the new faces of the Democratic Party or Brown young millennial, and I guess we need to clean up our act, but the problem is, you know, cleaning up your act or healing or improving. You can't heal. If you can't agree on the diagnosis. And I've said this before most of the Republicans, and a lot of Democrats, they couldn't even tell you what a white nationalist is. So they're condemning something because they've heard it's a bad word. But they don't know what it is. They don't know what white nationalism is and they're not really trying to remove white nationalism is the wall white nationalism leads to. To what happened with police in Ferguson, white nationalisms of what you had that kill people in South Carolina. White nationalism is what kill people in Pittsburgh, white nationalism leads to violence, and until the Republican party, and the Democratic Party understands that white nationalism isn't just mean words, it makes people feel bad, but it results in domestic terrorism. All of this is a dog and pony show, sir mccaskill this kings of mid west member of the house, you remit west Senator is there something the political dynamics in that region that the Republicans were worried about because nine you have his local newspapers saying resign. You're useless to us. They've kicked you off the committee's you can't really represent us. Well, I just think what happened. There was obviously a cumulative effect. And I think as time went on and no one really rained in Steve king. He just went further and further and further and then finally he went so far everybody really couldn't look the other way anymore. It was compelling. Even to his local newspaper, but he's from very rural red area. I remember when Tom Ville sex wife ran against him for congress. She came. I think within ten which is amazing when you think about that that was a few cycles ago. I think the guy who ran against him or was a veteran or a former baseball player who came back and didn't have much of a shot, but he came closer than Christine Vilsek did. So I think the Republicans maybe cleanup on five let's get rid of this guy. So we can get another Republican in there. So we don't lose the seat because if Steve king is their nominee. They're probably gonna lose this seat Jerry Jones, and thank you for joining us tonight and Senator mccaskill I just want to say I have seen United States senators leave the Senate when they decided to retire, and I've seen them leave when they involuntarily were required. And what I've always noticed is about a month later, you can't tell the difference because they're just so happy to be out of that submarine, and you are. Looked like you're bearing it with both grace and dignity, which is just the way you enter the Senate, and I wanna thank you for your service there. Thank you for joining us. Really appreciate that tonight's last word is next. Time for tonight's last word. Pretty general nominee. William bar said today that it would be a crime for the president to offer. Someone a pardon in exchange for a promise not to incriminate him and then Rudy Giuliani went on CNN to say crime isn't even a legal. Seth Meyers impression of rooted Yuliana. Get tonight's last word. Hey, it's Chris Hayes from MSNBC every day. I come to the office, and we make television show every day. I think to myself there's so much more. I want to talk about and so this is our podcast. It's called why is this happening and the whole idea behind it is to get to the root of the things that we see out every day. They're driven by big ideas. Each week. I sit down with a person uniquely suited to explain why this is happening. New episodes of wise this happening every Tuesday. Listen for free wherever you get your podcasts.
The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell
Aired 3 d ago 44:04
Buzzfeed stands by Cohen article after Special Counsel disputes parts of report
Now, it is time for the last word with Lawrence, Donald good evening, Rachel and thanks for returning that blue blazer in my closet from last night. So the makeup on the callers if we ever if we ever get to infrastructure week. It's going to be really interesting because it isn't about infrastructure. It's all about the Trump version of this. Of course is all about really big tax breaks to pavement companies to companies that are in the road building business, and it's not really about any government spending or anything that will actually produce any infrastructure at all. And so I'm kind of eager to get to infrastructure week. I have a funny feeling we never will. I have a funny feeling the rhythm of this isn't going to allow us to Ann's in for this idea that the Trump administration is eager to work on policy issues, particularly those on which there might be areas of agreement with Democrats like it's a it's a little avatar that means that and they don't mean any of that. And so they just pop the avatar up there whenever they want you to. Talking about whatever else is actually going on at the administration. But it's like this little kind of puppet that they take whatever they want to seem like there's somebody who they're not as far as I can tell so far there's not one sentence of agreement on what infrastructure legislation would be between Democrats and Donald Trump. Absolutely. Thank you very much, Richard. Thanks have a good weekend ago. If true, those are the important words the night if true that's the phrase that we always use when discussing stories that aren't yet proven to be true. And that's the language that I used here repeatedly last night at this hour when BuzzFeed reported that Michael Cohen has told special prosecutor, Robert Muller. The President Trump ordered him to lie under oath to congress. Is Michael Cohen. If this is proven true, guilty of lying to congress as a crime is he guilty of perjury is a crime as the president of the United States, guilty of suborning perjury. If this report is true. Yes. Yes. And yes, and now twenty four hours later, the breaking news of the night is that these special prosecutor's office is disputing buzzfeed's reporting. But we don't know exactly what the special prosecutor's office is disputing within that reporting Mahler's spokesperson issued a written statement saying buzzfeed's description of specific statements to the special counsel's office and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office regarding Michael cones. Congressional testimony are not accurate BuzzFeed issued a statement standing by its reporting, and then issued a second statement asking the special prosecutor to specify what is not accurate in their reporting buzzfeed's report last night was attributed to two unnamed. Quote, federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of this matter, and quote now that certainly sounds like a description of two people working on Robert Muller's team that would be one way to describe people working on Robert Barbers team to federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of this matter identifying the sources that way might have been part of why the special counsel's office took the rare step of commenting on reporting like this. Normally the special counsel's office doesn't say a word about investigative reporting. Like this tonight statement by the special counsel's office might be Robert Muller's way of saying those two federal law enforcement officials don't work for me. They're not on my Muller team, the special counsels statement disputes, the quote, characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office regarding Michael Cohen's congressional testimony and quote. Now that seems to take direct issue with this paragraph of last night's BuzzFeed report, a special counsel's office learned about Trump's directive. Four Cohen to lie to congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump organization and internal company. Emails text messages and a cache of other documents Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office, the timing and content of the BuzzFeed story last night. Put more pressure on the special counsel's office than possibly any other news report that has come before it Senator Chris Murphy said listen, if Muller does have multiple sources confirming Trump directed Cohen to lie to congress than we need to know this ASAP Muller shouldn't end his inquiry, but it's above time for him to show Congress's cards before it's too late for us to act now Senator. This Murphy is a patient person. But even his patients with Robert Muller's investigation was tested by last night's BuzzFeed report that if true would have meant the president of the United States was clearly guilty of impeachable offenses, and it could be that one of the reasons Robert Mueller decided to respond to this story is because impeachment is now a real possibility for the president, and it wasn't last year because last year the evidence like this could come forward and because Paul Ryan and the Republicans control the house of representatives impeachment wasn't possible. And Robert Mueller could be certain last year that House Republicans were not going to get out ahead of his investigation and start impeachment proceedings. Now speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Democrats control the house of representatives and now impeachment in the house is a real possibility. And that might be why all our decided to pump. The brakes on this story after watching twenty four full hours of momentum's for peach mint, building, specifically because of this story leading off our discussion now and this Friday night, joy Reid MSNBC, national correspondent and the host of am joy weekends on MSNBC, Ken, the Laney in intelligence and national security reporter for NBC news and Mimi Roca, former federal prosecutor and an MS NBC legal contributor and Ken Delaney. And I know you've been doing some of your own original reporting on this story on on what might or might not be being disputed by Robert Muller's office. What can we make of that at this stage? Well, Lawrence it's more of an analysis. My take on the statement, which is very specific is that they are disputing the part of the story that asserts that the special counsel gathered texts emails and interviews with members of the Trump organization that corroborated. Michael Cohen statement that Trump told him to lie. In fact, the sequence was a Muller got that first. And then went to Cohen and Cohen acknowledged that. Yes. Trump told him the lie that appears to be what Muller is specifically disputing. He is not commenting and certainly not disputing the notion. That Michael Cohen story is that Trump told him the lie. And in fact, there's a paragraph buried in a sentencing memorandum that was fired by filed by Cohen's lawyers in November that specifically says he lied to congress at the direction of client one, which is Donald Trump. Now, there are other parts of what Michael Cohen said in court that day where he discussed why he lied to congress where he doesn't say it was at the direction of Donald Trump. But it's possible that you know, he was under instructions not say that at that time. We just don't know. But what we do know is that Robert Muller's not disputing the entirety of the BuzzFeed story. He is however disputing this notion that his office has reams of cropping information. And in fairness that is one of the things that got everybody's attention about this story because the house of representatives. Going to impeach Donald Trump on the word of Michael Cohen admitted liar. But if there's other corroboration from members of the Trump organization, that's a different matter. And it appears that there isn't at least the way BuzzFeed described wanna read a tweet tonight from investigative reporter, Ronan Farrow who has been apparently working in this same territory, he said, I can't speak to buzzfeed's sourcing. But for what it's worth, I declined to run with parts of the narrative, they conveyed based on a source central to the story repeatedly, disputing the idea that Trump directly issued orders of that kind note that the general thrust of Cohen lying to congress in accordance with or to support an advance Trump's agenda, her Cohen's legal memo is not in dispute the source disputed, the further more specific idea that Trump issued and memorialized repeated direct instructions and joy Reed that part about memorialize would be. I think a reference in the BuzzFeed article too. There is supporting documentation either from texts or emails to what was was reporting that the president basically ordered Michael Cohen to commit perjury as well as one line in the BuzzFeed story, where they characterize something that Cohen allegedly said to the Muller Tina, the Muller team is very tight lipped they do not leak, and you know, one could assume that maybe what they're also trying to project and telegraph is do not write a story in which you're projecting that we have now that members of the Muller team have leaked information. Buzzfeed, right. I mean when when Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in the southern district of New York, he said it himself as he stood up and spoke to the judge that he lied specifically about this Moscow Trump Tower project, this is something that is already on the record. It's something. He's already admitted to in the southern district of New York. So I think I with Ken, and that, you know, I think everyone is now kind of hair on fire about the. The denial by these special counsel's office, but I kind of try to reading it narrowly until we know more. So we know that there are a bunch of federal officials in Michael Collins life. There is the special counsel's office, Robert Muller. And then there is separately year-old office the US attorney's office in the southern of New York where he has already pleaded guilty. He has already been sentenced there, Donald Trump has been identified. They're in effect as a as an unindicted co conspirator referred to in the documents as individual one one of the of blooming theories of the hour. This evening is that these federal officials federal officials quoted in this are from the southern district of New York as opposed to mothers team does that. When you read the BuzzFeed article does that read as possible to now first of all let me be clear about something people are using this term, the southern district of New York that to me and to. Almost any prosecutor defense. Lawyer anyone working in the system means the US attorney's office. Okay. I can sit here right now. And tell you that there is less than zero chance that someone in the US attorney's office looking for FBI officials at the same build it. Well, they're not in the same building the FBI is in a separate building. And look, I'm not as integrated in that culture. I can't give that same statement as I would about the southern district of New York. There have been leaks from the FBI in the past. But this did not read to me like statements coming from someone who has been sitting in the room. Groom with Cohen and other words, it sounds to me. And I think we're all saying is there is truth in this story. Right. It's not as clear cut is. It was a few hours ago. If you hours ago, we had a clear crime of Trump directing him to lie and supposed- mountains of evidence external Toco in. Now, we have something more vague. We're back to the gray area, which is criminal law, frankly, which is Cohen lied. He they're he has made statements Muller has made two statements in his sentencing memorandum that in supportive Cohen that there were discussions between Cohen and the White House that he circulated testimony. It's not as clear what those discussions were who they were with. But it doesn't exhaust rate. Trump doesn't mean something didn't happen. It's just not as clear what it was. And I think when Moeller is saying is, whoa. You know, let's not rush to impeachment. He's putting the brakes on as you say. And let's see let the facts come out the way, I Muller's and going to describe them. So back to your original question. I it seems to me that something got lost in translation here. A don't necessarily think this is someone who made up facts meeting, whoever the sources are or that. Buzzfeed got it wrong. But things are very nuanced. When you're describing things in. Proffer sessions in sessions with cooperators when you're looking at three oh to their terms of art. And it seems to me that somebody who has some familiarity got something lost in translation. And I don't think that would be the New York. FBI KENDALL alien a buzzfeed's is asking for clarification on the special prosecutor's statement tonight any chance of that happening. No. I don't think. So. And look I feel for BuzzFeed, I think Robert Muller's strategy of saying nothing about anything ever even off the record is very frustrating. I mean, even the Central Intelligence Agency will give reporters steer at times if they think they're about to get something horribly wrong. And and if Muller had done that in this case, perhaps BuzzFeed would have been more cautious and could've could've avoided this whole matter which is not good for journalism. It's it's really frustrating. It feels like the rubber Muller at this point in. The investigation owes the public a little bit more information than we're getting about something. So important. Lawrence. That's my feeling about it. So a democratic house member Ted lieu last night tweeting when this story broke this is how hot it felt at this hour last night, a based on the BuzzFeed report and numerous other articles showing Donald Trump committed obstruction of Justice and other possible felonies in his time for the House Judiciary committee to start holding hearings to establish a record of whether hold us committed high crimes and joy Reed. That's a reality now, and that tweet would have gone to know where a year ago or anytime last year because Republican control of the House Judiciary committee would have meant that treat that tweet wasn't worth wallpaper. But now that kind of momentum is what Robert Muller was watching today, and eventually deciding he had to say something. Well, I think that in a sense rarely saying anything and then coming out and disputing part of the story, but not definitively knocking the story down. I think the most difficult line to maintain in Washington right now is the law. Line we need to wait and see what Robert Muller does before we exercise our own independent oversight authority, the house of representatives has every right? And in a sense of duty to allow the public to understand what's happening here. They have to respect what's going on in Robert Muller's investigation. Of course, they don't want to ruin or harm the investigation. But there is no. There's no logical reason. Why hearings couldn't be held and under the constitution? That is what impeachment isn't throwing Donald Trump out of office. It's allowing hearings where the public can start to understand the narrative of what was done potentially to our election to elect Donald Trump and what he did while off as we're going to discuss later in the show. That's the way it worked in the Nixon situation. Congress was moving at the same speed, basically as the special prosecutor Mimi some fascinating elapsed times here in this case yesterday BuzzFeed reports, the five hours went by five. Five hours of silence from the White House after they've disclosed their reporting to the White House, and they're asking for comment from the White House and the White House does not say a word Donald Trump had knew what BuzzFeed was going to write for five hours. He didn't issue or offer one word of denial. And then we have the twenty four hours the twenty four hours that Robert Mueller watched this story now given the size of his team. Does that elapsed time make sense to you? Because one of the first things he's gonna wanna do is make sure this league did not come from my shop that presumably would take some portion of the day to to be sure that absolutely. I mean, look, I think you hit the nail on the head. He could have been doing sort of their own check to make sure before they said things. And I think the fact it is frustrating. I understand what kind of saying and to joys point of this selective. Putting out of a statement. It's frustrating. Right. And but on the other hand, I think the fact that he put this out tonight should reaffirm to the American public that Robert Mueller is trying to find the truth. Right. And I think what caused him to do something different this time after hopefully checking and doing their own internal investigation is the political impetus as you were saying, and he wants what he's doing to be about fact-finding in a certain setting not in the political setting that I think actually may weigh in favor of parallel impeachment hearings beginning because Muller's job is not to inform us. He does. And he does it really. Well. And when you look at his documents, you know, those are things he can prove it. I think what made him nervous was exactly what was in that tweet read from Senator Murphy, which is. That that Buller sitting on this mountain of evidence that he's not giving us, and I think what Muller saying, no if I had a mountain of evidence, I would be doing something about it. I might have charged someone, but he's also not saying that the allegations aren't true. And so if if what the people need now, and we've gotten to that point is we need more information than just what Muller's job is to give us then that's a different body. That is what we're going to turn to his program goes on a later tonight. We Rocca KENDALL alien joy jewelry. Thank you for starting off tonight. Really appreciate it. And when we come back, the lessons of Woodward, do Bernstein's Pulitzer prize winning reporting on the Watergate scandal, and how their biggest mistake only made them work harder on their pursuit of the truth about president, Richard Nixon the truth that eventually forced Richard Nixon to resign the presidency and the president announced this evening that he is going to make an announcement tomorrow afternoon at three pm. About the shutdown. It will be televised at three PM joy Reid. We'll be covering it live here at MSNBC. I just discovered I have a theory about what the president is up to and supporters of the wall are not going to like my theory. Anyway, that's coming up. Tonight is the right time to look back at a key piece of reporting by the Washington Post during their investigation of the Watergate scandal that brought down president Nixon, and this piece of reporting was disputed by the Nixon White House and used by the Nixon White House to try to discredit all reporting on the Nixon scandals because this reporting was proved to be wrong, at least in part, bub. Woodward and Carl Bernstein became two of the most respected journalists in history because of their reporting on Watergate, but they once got a key fact wrong in one story, and it led to an attack from the Nixon White House in October nineteen seventy two they published a piece reporting that Richard Nixon's White House chief of staff HR Haldeman, quote was one of five high ranking presidential associates authorized to approve payments from a secret Nixon campaign cash fund, according to the report the fund had been used for payments to the men who burglary. Is the Democratic National Committee headquarters the report attributed its information to quote, federal investigators and accounts of sworn testimony before the water, great Watergate grand jury and the sourcing was incorrect as Carl Bernstein later explained on NPR. We had the story. Right. The substance of it. We had wrong with the attribution. It never come before the grand jury, and it was a substance that was really important in same time. We had not been diligent in nail this down this one aspect of it. And Bob Woodward will never forget what that felt like. This was one of the real dreary days of our reporting life. In fact, I don't think I've had one that bad because it was just flat wrong, but the rest of Bernstein's reporting was right. And in the end, Richard Nixon chose to resign the presidency rather than face certain removal from office in an impeachment trial in the United States Senate joining us now David corn, Washington bureau chief for mother Jones, an MSNBC political analyst also joining us, Elizabeth drew political journalist, and the author whose book about Watergate is entitled Washington journal the events of nineteen seventy three seventy four Elizabeth you were there. A you read every one of these accounts as they were emerging in the Washington Post and and other reporters coverage at the time. Did we have other than this Woodward and Bernstein episode that we now all look back on where there other such bumps in the journalistic road in? Covering Nixon in those days and that the unfolding of that scandal nothing that order Lawrence. I think a little perspective is in order here. Yes. It was. It was a mistake. It was a subject of headlines and head-scratching and nothing White House being investigated. They just love when some mistake is made because then they denounce all of journalism. Well, look at the end of the story in the end, it didn't matter all that much in a perfect world. No journal story would ever be wrong at all. But it's going to happen. The question is do the clean up their act afterwards. I can't tell you how palled the people at the post were and people in the democratic committee. They were very upset about it. But in the scheme of things, it didn't matter all that much. David corn, your reaction to a both buzz the BuzzFeed story tonight and its parallels to that Woodward and Bernstein mix up mistake back in their big days of covering Richard Nixon. Well, now, we know what they reported Carl and Bob, you know, ended up being true, though, as they note, they got the attribution wrong, and it gave the Nixon White House than their detractors ammunition to go after them what we don't know yet is where the BuzzFeed got it. Right. But somehow screwed it screwed up the attribution or there was some miscommunication here. But what we do know to get to Liz with point that the big picture remains that Donald Trump himself. Lied to the American public. He said he had nothing to do with Russia while he was campaigning yet there you was pursuing a deal that would have enriched him to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. And that's what Michael Kohn was trying to cover up. He says, you know, you said publicly. It is it is sentencing in sort of synchronization with what Trump wanted whether he was directed to do this specifically or not. So the big line is out there. That's the big story here, and it's a pity that now we are being distracted by what might have been a mistake by BuzzFeed or might be an unclear statement by Muller by think at the end of the day. Whether we have House Democrats investigating this a motor giving us. Some more information. We will get the truth of what really happened, and that will be the issue not how it was covered. And Elizabeth drew it might be Ben bradlee who has the very best line about how people out there and editors in these situations should regard developments like this after reviewing how the mistake was made by Woodward and Bernstein, he had a few words with them about you know, how they needed to clean up their processes make sure this would never happen again. And it did never happen again. But he finished at the Scott Shen by saying to them. What have you got for? Tomorrow. And that's what really matters, isn't it? That's right. Tomorrow's another day and another story and other stories, and I agree with the who was just talking to it. These things happen. They don't have the mazing thing is they don't have very often. I wanna point something else out in Watergate. We had no cable we had no internet. We had. None of the things that go on now. So you have that many more people reporting in Watergate, there weren't that many on the story. So I think exponentially the odds on somebody getting something wrong at some point are all the greater but keep in mind. The the big picture David was right. It's the big picture is something happened here. We'll find out what it was. But a lot of other things happen too. Even if the story didn't exist, there's still a very very big story, and we all need patience, and we all need to remember the phrase if true Elizabeth drew David corn. Thank you for joining us in that part of our discussion. And when we come back. Tomorrow's breaking news. Tomorrow's breaking news. We're going to cover it tonight. President Trump has announced that he is going to make an important announcement about the shutdown tomorrow. So from the White House at three pm, joy Reid. We'll be covering that announcement live four MSNBC right here. And she will join us to discuss the big news of tomorrow. I'll offer my wild guess about what Donald Trump just might announce tomorrow. Just before six PM tonight. President Trump announced on Twitter that he will make an announcement tomorrow afternoon at three pm about the longest government shutdown in history, the shutdown that he promised to start and take full blame for he made good on half of that promise. He did start the shutdown. But then he blamed the people he promised not to blame congressional Democrats. But a senior administration seared ministration official told CBS news that quote, Trump will present what the White House believes could be a deal to end the shutdown. The deal was largely influenced by talks between vice President Mike Pence. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is not the speaker of the house, joy Reid and David corn are back with us. Enjoy this is the most mysterious deal I've ever heard of three Republicans get together in a room. What's the deal of its whatever it is? It's not a deal. Because if you go to Capitol Hill to make a deal, you gotta have Nancy Pelosi in the room. You have Schumer you have to Mitch McConnell. That's who you need for a deal my own theory. I'm just going to get my theory out of the only thing that he's empowered to announce tomorrow is some form of surrender is to say because of this that and the other thing we're going to we're going to reopen the government and Mitch McConnell has promised that will be a vote in the United States Senate on the wall of the day after we reopen the government, you know, next, Tuesday and Mitch McConnell will bring that up for vote, and it won't get the sixty votes. And that's the end of that because and I think what makes your theory sound, and what you're saying essentially, this will end the exact same way when the Democrats attempted to do a shutdown that lasted a couple of days over Dhaka. They ended up very quickly. They didn't like the public relations look, and they ended it for a promise from each McConnell said he would bring up a document that he'd never do. So the only thing Mitch McConnell is empowered to deliver at this point without Nancy. Pelosi. The speaker of the house is to put the what nine bills that this that the house has passed that ready had unanimous consent from the Senate back on the Senate floor and pass the that's all Mitch McConnell can do by himself. I'm not sure what Jared is doing there. But I guess it does everything, but Mitch McConnell can do that. And probably yes. To your point. We'll promise Donald Trump that the next thing he'll do after those nine votes and after the government is reopened. 'cause I'm sure he's members are screaming they're having to fly home going through TSA. They're going home to states that Colorado and Oregon and all over this country where they're being screamed at they want the government back open. That's all Mitch can do is give in David corn of big announcement live three PM tomorrow. That's the women's March will still be going on at that time. But we think we think it'd be the end of just starting. So he didn't time as a direct conflict with the women's March. He's staying out of the way that for the most part what kind of possibly go wrong or go. Your theory may come to. Pass. I think we can come up with alternative reality theories. Yup. Wins who remembers that big immigration speech that that Trump gave a week ago. I mean, it seems like seven months ago, and you remember the single thing he said, it's quite possible. He may forget about this announcement by three pm tomorrow, or it's quite possible that he may just want to say something nasty about Nancy Pelosi. He cares more about revenge. Inspite I think than making a deal. So I think anything is game here and the real question is for your for your theory to come true Lawrence. It means that Trump is willing to stand up to and Coulter and Rush Limbaugh because they will crucify him for anything like that. And he caved in wants to them is he ready now to not cave into them Ohno's joy, do you think there's any chance that in? Tomorrow's announcement of by the president from the White House. He will find time to explain why. Why he would not authorize a government aircraft to carry the speaker of the house to a war zone to visit American troops and commanders, but he would authorize a government aircraft to fly his wife. Jeff Florida for a long weekend vacation. Yeah. I mean, probably not he probably won't get to that. Maybe that'll be Jared's portion of the afternoon because he does need to have something to do because he is getting to go the end not only that but Donald Trump and his administration outed, not one but two. Visits to Afghantistan both the commercial and the military flights which actually is a threat to the security of those involved in those delegations. So he doesn't really have any respect to regard for the security of the speaker of the house or those who are involved in it the other thing he could do is deliver a state of the union address because all sleep the speaker of the house that he ain't doing it now statement so you can take advantage of the hour. And do that joy would also make one prediction go he will claim that he won. And this was the best shutdown. Exactly. A joy I'd love to be with you tomorrow for the live coverage. But I'm actually going to be in a met nee over there. Okay on Broadway. Two pm Carrie Washington, play American son, which you're going to see before Clinton before. Yes. Rid David corn. Thank you both for joining us. And when we come back the question of impeachments the question of impeachment was already looming large in Washington this week before last night's buzz feed story came out and raised it. Even more loudly. We're going to consider where the question of impeachment stands tonight should the house of representatives. Wait until Robert Mueller has finished his investigation, or should they do it the way they did it during the Nixon presidency and have the house impeachment investigation. Take place at the same time as the special prosecutor's investigation. Impeach that is the Atlantic's next cover story which won't be on the newsstands until February twelfth, but was rushed into publication online earlier this week by the Atlantic's editor Jeffrey Goldberg because quote, the Trump caused government shutdown unmatched in length and consequence and the debate over whether the forty fifth president of the United States is secretly operating on behalf of Russia in the peace. You only Obam makes the case that impeachment proceedings should begin now in the House Judiciary committee and not wait for the conclusion of Robert Muller's investigation. The article points out that's exactly how it worked in the case of president Richard Nixon who was being investigated by a special prosecutor at the same time that the House Judiciary committee was conducting its own impeachment investigation, which eventually led to the committee passing three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon the evidence to impeach Richard Nixon was developed as a result. Of the committee's investigation the judiciary committee and the special prosecutor investigating president Nixon. Both subpoenaed the White House tapes that ultimately led to president Nixon's resignation. When the supreme court ordered the president to turn over to the committee, and the special prosecutor the tapes that turned up to include these so-called smoking gun of Richard Nixon's own voice participating in the Watergate conspiracy in the Oval Office. The article in the Atlantic makes the argument congress can't outsource its responsibilities to federal prosecutors the process of impeachment itself is likely to shift public opinion, if Trump's support among Republican voters erodes his support in the Senate may do the same the only way for the house to find out what Trump has actually done and whether his conduct warrants removal is to start asking this is the essay on impeachment. That is going to be read by most Democrats. Senators and certainly by all democratic members of the House Judiciary committee and many Republicans, and it will be read by the staff of every Senator and every member of congress democrat and Republican this is the important impeachment article of the year, so far the president of the United States is an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal federal case where his former personal attorney Michael Cohen confessed his guilt and claimed under oath that he committed those crimes at the direction of Donald Trump since that conspiracy was exposed in federal court in Manhattan and since the election of a democratic house of representatives. The question seems to have shifted from will there be an impeachment investigation in the house too? When will there be an impeachment investigation in the house to consider these questions from the important historical perspective of the Nixon impeachment proceedings? We will be joined by. Two people who were there during the Nixon investigation. Former congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman who was one of the members of the House Judiciary committee during the Watergate investigation. One of the members who recommended impeaching the president analyst with withdrew who was covering it all for the New Yorker at that time, and then wrote the authoritative book on what drove Richard Nixon out of office. They will both join us after this break. To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication. Would almost totally absorbed the time and attention of both the president and the congress and a period when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home. Therefore. I shot resign the presidency effective that noon tomorrow. President Richard Nixon quit the fight because he was told by Republicans in congress that the articles of impeachment against him that passed the House Judiciary committee would definitely pass the house representatives, and he would then be convicted in an impeachment trial in the United States Senate and removed from office. Joining us now to people who were there, Elizabeth Holtzman, former US congresswoman, and a member of that House Judiciary committee that voted to impeach president Nixon. She is the author of the case for impeaching Trump. Also with us author Elizabeth true. She's back with us. She covered Watergate for the New Yorker at that time and cars woman wholesome. You're just reminding me of the sequence of things and how it's different today from what we saw there that that your impeachment hearings were able to use what came out of Senate general investigative hearings. Just the Senate ran a hearings about the. Watergate scandal that did not have a particular mission in mind, other than fact finding they found those facts you use them. That's correct. And not only did they find the facts. But the educated the public which was vital because what we have now is the only basic hearings that have been held have been behind closed doors as Senate intelligence committee has intelligence committee. A lot of other witnesses have been in secret public hasn't really seen their demeanor. You have Muller's hearings lawler's proceedings all you do is see someone standing up in court pleading guilty, but that's not the same as public testimony. Which is what the Senate Watergate committee did. And then that educated the public the Saturday night massacre. The American people said no the president can't pick his prosecutor. And at that point, the House Judiciary committee came into into focus on impeachment and till then you also just told me during the break that you members of the House Judiciary committee, many of you. We're. Agitating to get started on impeachment proceedings, and the democratic leadership of the house was doing what saying no no just like today just like today because in a way, you can understand it for us the only impeachment that we knew of was Andrew Johnson that a failure. And they were very worried that the same thing was going to happen again today. Most people remember the Clinton impeachment. That was a failure American people didn't support that that was a partisan effort. So the leadership says that didn't work for the Republicans. Why should we do it now? But the point that that I want to make is that when we started the impeachment hearings, the American people forced the congress to act they said enough, president Nixon can't fire the special prosecutor, this is a country where the rule of law you've got to do something. And then we didn't they were no polls. We didn't take a nose cannon the House Judiciary committee. We didn't have any idea what the house with do. We certainly didn't know what the Senate was going to do. And we didn't even know an impeachment was. We had to start from scratch, but we did it the right way, we had the facts solid evidence. And the American people support it was withdrew you covering all of this from the special prosecutor's investigation, which was also going on a while the Senate of public hearings. That's where we discovered that. There was a tape system in the White House. We discovered all of the great drama really publicly in those Senate hearings. And then you also covered the impeachment hearings that Elizabeth drew Holzmann was part of and that she voted on. Was there any big was there any sense in Washington at the time that this should be slowed down? Everyone should wait for the special prosecutor to finish doing the special prosecutor's work now, but I think you had an entirely different special prosecutors mission at that point right now what you have is a set of very serious important questions that only the special prosecutor can get the answer to and that is. Did the did the Russians try to affect our election? I think the verdict is in on that ES. The other one is did the president cooperate with conspire with collude with whatever he and his campaign with it. You can't get that any place else. And so I do think that these special prosecutors role this time is much larger than it was then Lawrence because it's sort out. Just one thing before we all get dug in on. This fact, the as you mentioned, the House Judiciary committee voted three articles of impeachment. It was understood before that piece of tape was found it was well understood that these were going to be carried by the house and that the president's of support in the Senate had collapsed. The only saying that that piece of tape did was speeded up, but he was going to get impeached and convicted anyway, and whose wholesome and talk about how the Senator night massacre changed everything in Washington when president Nixon fired the special prosecutor, and it looked like everything had been derailed. Well, the thing that was really important was because they were public hearings the Senate had public hearings and John dean had testified at those hearings and said I told the president that was a cancer on the presidency. I told the president that hush money was being paid to the burglars. I told president that pardons were being offered to the burglars. And the president said, basically, I know where the money can be gotten and he didn't have any Jackson to the pardons. And then. In the presence of. Well. No, I never said that when the special prosecutor so you had the president on one hand dean on the other hand. And so when the special prosecutor was trying to get the tapes everybody in the country. Understood what the significance of the tapes was they were gonna prove where the dean was telling the truth. Well, the president was telling the truth here. We don't have that kind of educational background. And that's what's vital. And I do think the special prosecutor while he has plays a very important role doesn't preclude congress and acting now we don't have to wait for the special prosecutor congress needs to start looking immediately into. Whether the president has engaged in various kinds of misdeeds including with Michael Kohn lose with Holtzman and Elizabeth drew. Thank you both for joining us very much. Really? Appreciate tonight's less. Word is next. Time for tonight's and this week's last word. Yes. You did say there was no collusion. And you didn't say at once or twice you said it a bunch of times Russian collusion. Here's what they found zero NADA, nothing if anything it's proof. There was no collusion. Nobody talked about Russians. Nobody knew about Russians. There was no collusion with the Russians. No collusion with the Russians. There was no collusion. There was no Russian collusion. No Russian collusion case over was collusion. Come on. Nobody believes anymore. There was collusion. Think about how much their argument is changed. It went from there were no contacts with Russians to there was no collusion with Russians to we tried to collude, but nothing came of it to collusion is not a crime to there was collusion. But it didn't fall Trump. If this keeps going Rudy is going to be telling Trump, it's not jail. It's a gated community. South buyers gets tonight's last word. Hey, it's Christie's from MSNBC every day. I come to the office, and we make television show in every day. I think to myself there's so much more. I want to talk about. So this is our podcast. It's called why is this happening and the whole idea behind it is to get to the root of the things that we see Lee out every day. They're driven by big ideas. Each week. I sit down with a person uniquely suited to explain why this is happening. New episodes of why is this happening every Tuesday? Listen for free wherever you get your podcasts.
The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell