tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 24, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PDT
lie brennan. he is a low life. >> people with security clearances are making baseless charges. >> that's what he said. that's what i more tapes. >> lordy, i hope there are tapes. >> tonight the mounting legal problems for the president by way of cohen and manafort. plus -- >> carter page, ph.d. >> congressman adam schiff on the release of the carter page fisa application. rebecca tracer on the midterm messaging from democrats like elizabeth warren. and a message of apology from this american lawmaker. >> america! >> "all in" starts right now. >> you're going to drop the gun or i'll touch you! good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. today the former campaign chairman to the president of the united states showed up in a green jumpsuit to federal court, where he got a rare legal win to postpone his first of two trials for all of six days.
now, while the president's former lawyer and fixer we just learned had at least 12 audio recordings possibly with the president on them, which federal prosecutors now have in their possession. this as the president himself lashes out in all different directions and provokes new fears about his apparent leejs to vladimir putin. one week since he stood next to putin in helsinki and sided with the russian president against the u.s. intelligence community, the president has undone all attempts at cleanup by his white house, tweeting today about the "discredited mueller witch hunt" and how well he got along with putin. so well in fact the president is now hoping that putin will come visit him in washington this fall. meanwhile, paul manafort got a brief reprieve from jail today to attend a pretrial hearing in virginia where a federal judge agreed to push back at his trial for bank fraud by six whole days. that means it is now set to start on july 31st. that's paul manafort right
there. one week from tomorrow. the judge also crucially unsealed the names of five witnesses who've been granted immunity to testify, all of whom appear to have worked for financial institutions linked to manafort. one is an employee of the federal savings bank in chicago. and that's significant because it gave manafort a $60 million home loan. as nbc news reported back in february, those loans they gave manafort totaling $16 million may have been part of a quid pro quo deal with the bank president in exchange for a plum job at the white house. and that's important because that puts manafort's case on the doorstep of the trump administration. as the former campaign chairman goes on trial for his ukraine work, we still don't know the outcome of the probe into whether he conspired or colluded with russia to disrupt the election. after all, it was two years ago this week manafort famously and strenuously denied any ties to russian oligarchs. >> so to be clear, mr. trump has no financial relationships with any russian oligarchs? >> that's what he said.
that's what i -- that's obviously what the -- our position is. >> nailed it. remains to be seen whether he'll testify in his own defense as effectively as he did there in that interview. while manafort was in court today we got another update on the federal investigation of michael cohen. another person the in the president's inner circle. the president's one-time fixer who set up you'll recall a shell company to pay off an adult actress with whom the president allegedly had an affair. and crucially who later used the same shell company to take millions of dollars from corporations seeking white house access. payments that were not disclosed at the time and various officials at those companies have subsequently lost their jobs after they were revealed. so we learned last week that cohen secretly taped the president. remember that? before the election discussing payments to another woman. i know it gets confusing. with whom he had an alleged affair. and that it turns out was not cohen's only recording. according today to a new court filing by the special master assigned to review the materials seized in the fbi raids on cohen's properties, 12 audio tapes have now been turned over
to prosecutors. that's after lawyers for the president withdrew their claim of attorney-client privilege. cohen's new attorney, clinton ally lanny davis, tweeted earlier today, "latest news, michael cohen tapes of conversations are being released by donald trump and his legal team, who own and waive the privilege. will rudy giuliani call these tapes exculpatory again? az noted before, the tapes will speak for themselves. spin can't change facts." to help break down the latest on michael cohen and the manafort trial i'm joined by nbc news national security and justice reporter julia ainsley, who has been covering both. julia, let's start with manafort. the two big pieces of news today, the five witnesses being unveiled. my sense were those names were all new toefrn covering the trial. >> they were to me p. and they're definitely not household names. i thought what was significant, chris, is the name that wasn't on that list, and that's the lobbyist tony podesta who coincidentally he's the brother
of john podesta, whose e-mails were hacked and have been investigated through the mueller probe. but tony podesta is a lobbyist who ran the podesta group, now defunct, really as a result of this work he did with paul manafort when paul manafort was working for pro-russian interests in ukraine and those financial dealings are at the heart of this whole matter. we knew, tom winter and i reported last fall that tony podesta was under some scrutiny by bob mueller. sought fact he's not on this list could mean two things. it could mean that robert mueller simply isn't as interested anymore in what he has to say or it could mean that he's extremely interested in what he has to say and doesn't want to grant him immunity. all of the people on that list, whatever they give as a witness testimony against paul manafort, it will not be able to be used against them in prosecution. so it could be there may be more prosecutions surrounding this work that are still to come. >> i believe trump tv ran with a big exclusive that tony podesta was going to be on that list, which appears to not be true, you'll be shocked to learn. in the michael cohen case these 12 audio recordings turned over to the special master, what do we know about what those recordings are?
>> so we know that trump's voice is on at least one of those recordings. and last night we were discussing why in the world trump's legal team would have allowed that one tape where they discussed karen mcdougal to be released we thought, well, maybe there are other tapes that they are going to try to bring back. again, their legal team had the right to decide whether or not they could use this. it's attorney-client privilege, and it really falls on the client, not the attorney, to decide whether or not they can be released. so it could be that they decide that the karen mcdougal tape where they were discussing her was more exculpatory than the other ones. and that they may be able to be a bit more worried about the other tapes and that was one they were okay with releasing. >> so this is a key point. they have control over waiving privilege. we don't know, i just want to be clear here, we don't know the total universe of tapes that may exist, right? we just know that 12 are in fbi possession, in investigators' hands. we don't know if there's others
they've essentially blocked because of privilege assertions. >> that's right. we know they have a vast amount of information. they raided cohen's apartment and they raided a hotel where he was staying and his offices in may. and it's really taken them a long time. that's why they had to call on this special master to go through everything to see what could be used. so the universe is vast. another thing this does tell us, though, chris, is if we look at the timing of this, michael cohen was recording the conversations he was having with donald trump two months before the election. you record if you think someone may flip on you. if you think that your client could somehow end up being a liability for you, that would be michael cohen's reason for recording this. so it seems that he already knew he was dealing with someone who may turn out not to be on his side in the end. >> well, we should say michael cohen worked with donald trump for a long time-h a fairly good sense of the man's character, and i think after all that time working with him we should say that giuliani says that they
include a recording of a conversation between cohen and trump two months before the election, that's what you're referring, to whose existence was made public last week. the other recordings, again, this is according to giuliani, which who knows, right? the other recordings are conversations in which cohen mentions the president to smenls. those are being turned over. we should also note the president tweeted about cohen over the weekend, "inconceivable the government would break into a lawyer's office early in the morning." they didn't. they had a warrant. part of the constitution. "almost unheard of. even more inconceivable a lawyer would tape a client. totally unheard of and perhaps illegal." also not true. good news is that your favorite president did nothing wrong. good news indeed for the president and his allies if in fact that's true. i feel like we'll find out soon enough. nbc's julie ainsley, great to have you. >> thanks, chris. >> for more on the legal battles encircling the white house i'm joined by former federal prosecutor paul butler and former watergate prosecutor nick akerman, both nbc analysts. let's start on the manafort part of this. every lawyer i talk to is like why is this guy going to trial? he's totally dead to rights.
is that your assessment? >> sew got a six-day extension, which means he has about a week to decide if he's more afraid of the russians or if he's more afraid of robert mueller. if he's more afraftd russians, he's going to go to trial and probably lose. he's charged with paper crimes, failing to register, tax evasion, bank crimes, really not difficult for a prosecutor to prove. he's a 69-year-old man looking at at least 15 years in jail just for this one case, and then he's got another trial coming up in d.c. so he's got mad exposure. again, 95% of people who are prosecuted plead guilty. why isn't this guy? >> we should also say federal prosecutors the cases they do bring to trial they have tend to have a good record on those. the whole system is set up to get convictions and that tends to be the case. >> that's@prosecutor puts all the evidence together in the first place. they actually are able to put together an indictment that is as foolproof as you can possibly make it and this one is for thely foolproof.
they even anticipated the defenses. the old i got it from the lawyer trick. well, he lied to the lawyers. and oh, i got it from the accountsants. but he lied to the accountants according to the indictment. so every potential defense he has is blocked out by this indictment. >> it's remarkable when you consider the fact this guy was the campaign manager of the sitting president of the united states. he's in court today in a prison issued jumpsuit-s going to be standing on trial for bank fraud and lord knows what else might be coming down the pike in just a week. >> lord knows what else because one of the issues that the judge decided today was how much about the russian investigation can be mentioned. and the judge said don't say anything except with one exception, so what you mentioned in the lead to this. so apparently, paul manafort agreed to hook up somebody at a bank, as bank ceo for him to get a $16 million loan and the ceo would get some kind of plum position with the trump administration. >> but don't forget, all the
details about what paul manafort did in the ukraine and what he did for the russians are relevant to showing that he earned income. don't forget, this is a tax evasion case. >> right, right. >> so what the government zblsh so that activity's going to be in the trial. >> you can't have paul manafort claiming at the end oh, i inherited all this money from a rich russian uncle who happened to die just when i got over to the ukraine. >> right. and we should note that on this quid pro quo -- because this is very interesting to me. one of the questions always is when we found out that essential consulting with michael cohen we'll turn to in a second. he's getting these payments. what are they getting in return for those payments? is anyone promising the president access -- is anyone promising access to trump in exchange for favorable treatment or payments? one of the allegations at the court here,'s one you're talking about the judge is going to let through, is basically manafort getting $16 million worth of loans by promising something official, which is the president is going to give you a job. right? that's a big deal in terms of
the official capacity of the president of the united states. >> and that's why he's getting immunity. that's why that witness is being given immunity. he'd be crazy to testify without it. >> in the michael cohen case, what do you make of this wave of privilege by the president's own lawyers on these 12 recordings? >> so we know that rudy giuliani is claiming a privilege. that doesn't mean that a judge who's overseeing these documents is actually finding a privilege. so there are exceptions to the attorney-client privilege. one is if you're acting as a fix-it and not a lawyer where there's no fix-it privilege, so anything that he was doing to help trump that didn't involve -- and then there's the famous crime fraud exception. if you're talking to your lawyer about committing a crime, how to cover up a crime, that's not privileged. >> and that would be something he doesn't -- that's not his say-so, right? that's a key point. if there's a tape of the president doing something that could colorably be called crime or fraud engaging in that he doesn't have the right to waive that --
>> it would be up to the judge to determine if it's in furtherance of a crime. but the privilege belongs to the president. he's the client. and he can assert the privilege but it doesn't mean that the judge is going to uphold it. >> you're sitting there as president, you're in the white house, you've got michael cohen who's getting real mouthy with you through his people. he's hired lanny davis who all of a sudden's got a twitter account. he's jaw's are rudy giuliani. got paul manafort in his prison jumpsuit. you've got five cooperating witnesses. i mean, like if you were not a presidential person, if you were just a dude out there and this was the legal landscape you were looking at, you were -- >> you'd be hiding under your desk. >> you'd be shook, right? >> and the scariest words are lanny davis for the president because he's a lawyer but he's also a big fat democrat. i mean, he thinks that trump stole the election from hillary clinton, who he supports. so why is he representing michael cohen? he's only doing that if he
thinks that -- >> another symbol i think that is. zblvg. >> where are we in the michael cohen case? it's so strange to me this timeline. they raid michael cohen you think to yourself dude, you just got raided by the fbi and you're a lawyer, that's a big deal. they raided the president's lawyer, right? then you go through the special master process, this is privileged, this is not, now it's all turned over stroergz. michael cohen's chilling at the regenusy. he's got lanny davis. where do you think the case is at? >> that's a good question. i think he's got lawyers talking to the prosecutors. he's in a very enviable position to this extent. he probably is involved in a lot of criminal activity. but the fact of the matter is -- >> he probably denies that i should say. >> i'm sure he does deny it. but he may not when he's talking to the prosecutors because he wants to get a deal. and what's nice about his position is that because there are so many documents that were seized and they were all seized at a time he wasn't expecting them to be seized, there's lots of corroboration.
so he could be an extremely valuable witness against trump and others. >> key question i have, and it actually relates back to the exception you were talking about. manafort is alleged to have sort of offered this quid pro quo, right? i'm close to the president, lu give me a loan, you can get a job, right? my question has always been what is michael cohen promising to get those payments from all of those corporations that were paying him $500,000, $1 million, right? korean aerospace company. pharma. right? there's a real question about what was going on in that exchange. and if we know paul manafort was around to peddle on that influence to get some loans one wonders what promises michael cohen may have been making. >> we know from the documents paul manafort was spending a million dollars on sxrugz another million dollars on suits. michael cohen on the other hand, he was acting broke. he didn't have a whole lot of money but he had a lot of money coming in. millions of dollars. people who -- he was making money off president trump. sought question is would president trump allow someone to
make millions and millions of dollars and not want a cut? >> getting his beak wet. paul butler and nickachorman. thanks for joining me. other another blow to the allegation the rupp world conspiracy that the russia investigation is a sham. today the unprecedented release of the fbi's surveillance request for carter page. congressman adam schiff joins me to talk about what we learned in just two minutes. are you ready to take your wifi to the next level?
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the weekend, never happened before, the fbi released a redacted version of the warrant application it used to get a warrant from the secret fisa court, which was required to conduct surveillance on one carter page, who is an american citizen. trump and devin nunes, chair of the house intelligence community, have tried to claim the fbi misled the court in order to get that warrant. a claim that was at the heart of that infamous nunes memo which claimed the fbi had political motivations in going after carter page. democrats on the same committee protested. they released a rebuttal memo you might remember based on the underlying evidence they had themselves also seen but which they were not authorized to share. everyone was arguing about this document we hadn't seen. now we've seen it. now we know the truth. as charlie savage wrote in the "new york times," "in respect after respect, the newly disclosed documents corroborated rebuttals by democrats on the panel who had seen the top secret materials and accused republicans of mischaracterizing them to protect the president." national security experts say the document showed the fbi had probable cause to believe that page had been targeted by the russian government for
recruitment and that he established relationships with russian government officials, including russian intelligence officers, and had been collaborating and conspiring with the russian government. that's in the warrant application. now, let's be clear. carter page has not been charged with a crime. yesterday he denied ever having been an agent of a foreign power. >> this is so ridiculous. it's just beyond words. you know, it's -- you're talking about misleading the courts. it's just so misleading, going through those 400-plus-page documents. where do you even begin? it's literally a complete joke. >> joining me now, the top democrat on the house intelligence committee, representative adam schiff of california. i'm not sure where to start. maybe we start with this, that the chair of your committee, devin nunes, despite the fact that i think independent folks who have read through this, who have followed this story, say this sort of knocks down a lot of his theories, he released this statement. "the newly released documents confirm the intelligence community's long-standing
argument that unverified information from the steele dossier formed an essential part of all the fisa applications on carter page. it proves the fbi used outright political propaganda to spy on an american citizen during the election." what do you say to that? >> well there, were certain fundamental claims nunes made in the now discredited memo which we can see in the fisa application were certainly not true. they claimed first of all that the investigation began with this fisa warrant, it all goes back to the taint of this fisa, when of course the investigation began with papadopoulos, began with the fbi learning that the russians had approached one of the campaign foreign policy advisers and told them that they had the stolen e-mails, that they were prepared to release them anonymously, as they would later do. but they also went on to challenge whether the fbi revealed to the court that christopher steele, this respected british intelligence officer, former officer, whether his bias had been disclosed to the court, that he had been doing this work on behalf of a law firm retained by the dnc. they claimed that there was no disclosure to the court when in
fact now you can read the application and you can see they did disclose this bias. so in point after point basically the nunes memo has been discredited. but that doesn't stop either nunes or the president from saying otherwise. and i want to just hammer home that point because it's been such a key part of this counternarrative, the idea that this sort of deep state conspiracy gets the dossier, goes to the court and doesn't it will them the origin at all, it's a hustle, it's a con, they have this political oppo document and they go to the judge and say we just found this, you should really surveil this guy. here is what fisa shows. from chashlie savage's "new york times" piece. the application contains a page-length explanation that does alert the court that the person who commissioned mr. steele's research was, and i quote here, likely looking for information to discredit mr. trump's campaign. that was like the whole thing. that was hours of television programming. >> well, you're absolutely right. and of course they embellish it by saying there's no mention of
clinton, there's no mention of the dnc. well, that's because in fisa applications you minimize the names of u.s. persons and organizations so as it appears in the fisa application it's candidate 1 and candidate 2 but there's no disguising the fact the court was informed of the political bias and, you know, judge after judge, four judges appointed by three republican presidents, all found probable cause for the original warrant and the extensions. and that speaks to the support, the evidence supporting those applications. >> there's this weird through the looking glass arguments about disclosure through all this in which you have house intelligence committee members from the republican side kind of collaborating with the white house to push for certain kinds of disclosure, they want access to certain documents, they want to see stuff at the doj, there's a concern from doj and i think from house democrats that will compromise the investigation. in this case my understanding is you were opposed to the release of this document, but i have to say as a reporter, as someone who's followed fisa for a long time, it seems to be a good thing americans have access to this document and sunshine is a good disinfectant. >> well, look, at this point after you had the nunes memo
essentially cherry-pick information, mislead the public, and we had to issue our corrective memo, then there's little additional damage that's done in issuing a redacted version of the fisa. but we should have never gone down this road to begin with. it was all a bogus trumped-up effort to validate something donald trump said in a tweet, and that is "i was illegally surveilled by the obama administration at trump tower." now, that is nonsense and has been declared to be nonsense by both the former director of the cia as well as the director of national intelligence, the director of nsa, but nonetheless this effort by nunes and gowdy and others has been an attempt to try to somehow justify that blatantly false statement by the president. >> your colleague jerry nadler was straightforward today. he said devin nunes lied. is jerry nadler right? did devin nunes lie? >> well, yes. this is a false, patently false, provably false statement. but not just by nunes. others signed off on it too like
trey gowdy and indeed the entire majority signed off on that nunes memoranda. now, nunes hadn't read the fisa. sew signed off on it blindly. but trey gowdy had read it. trey gowdy knew it was false, these arguments they were making, but nonetheless pushed forward. now, he sounds a bit different now that he wants to be a judge. but that's no forgiving those misrepresentations and the denigration of the justice department, of the intelligence community, all in this misguided effort to defend the president whatever the cost may be. >> representative adam schiff, thanks for being with me tonight. >> thank you. ahead, the white house today announced the president is thinking of revoking the security clearances from former intelligence officials that have been critical of his administration. that story is next. i'm alex trebek here to tell you
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we're bearing witness to a remarkable moment in trump's presidency right now. he's coming off a catastrophic summit with vladimir putin, a dozen audio tapes seized from his former lawyer michael cohen are in the hands of federal prosecutors. he's getting ready to watch his former campaign manager go to trial in special counsel robert mueller's investigation. and last night seemingly all of a sudden he fired off a late-night all caps tweet threatening war with iran. then earlier today we learned that trump might revoke the security clearances of a handful of his critics who just happen to be former intelligence officials. >> not only is the president looking to take away brennan's security clearance, he's also looking into the clearances of comey, clapper, hayden, rice, and mccabe. >> former cia director john
brennan now an msnbc and nbc news analyst. former analyst michael hayden former national security adviser uns susan rice who by the way has not said much publicly about the president. former fbi director james comey and former deputy director andrew mccabe. the last two for the record no longer have security clearances. which gives you a sense of how much thought the white house put into this stunt. for more on what's behind the president's lashing out i'm joined by jake sullivan former national security adviser to vice president joe biden. and mieke eoyang. jake, let me start with you. is there precedent for a president essentially revoking security clearance as a punishment for public criticism of the president? >> unsurprisingly, chris, there's not precedent for that. a president doesn't get to pick and choose whose security clearances he revokes because he doesn't like what they say about him. and in fact, if you take a step back and think about this, this is the white house basically
saying that security clearances will be granted and revoked based on whether or not people criticize the president. that is deeply un-american. but we should also remember that i think this is all part of an effort by the white house basically to distract from all of the other news that's swirling out there, from manafort to michael cohen to vladimir putin. and so we have to keep our eye on the ball. we should criticize this but we shouldn't dwell on it too long because i think it's mostly a stunt. >> i think the tipoff that it's a stunt was they said names, mieke, of people who don't have security clearance. sow you can't revoke a thing that james comey and andrew mccabe don't have. and that clearance was terminated at their departure. >> that's right. and it's fairly common for government officials. jake and i have both been through this. when you leave government service, you no longer have security clearance. but that's because you don't have a need for access to classified information. so this is a purely symbolic
gesture. but what it's demonstrating is this president really wants to punish people who disagree with him. this has profound implications for people still in government and have access to classified information who may want to say to the president hey, mr. president, your policy isn't going so well, this isn't really working out for you and this is what we're seeing in the intelligence. those people may be afraid now to speak truth to the president about what's actually going on because they're afraid their clearances will get revoked. >> that's a great point. a sort of loyalty test as jake was saying. jake, the threat, the all-caps threat to iran which came after a fairly banal statement by rouhani, if the u.s. wants peace we'll give them the mother of all peace, if they want war we'll give them the mother of all war. if t. was in the context of a broader question about security. do you see that as saber rattling too or should that be taken seriously as an escalation? >> well, i think two things are happening here. first, i do think it's partly trump trying to distract attention from everything else going on. but second, i think trump
basically believes that his strategy with north korea worked, which is to say by saying fire and fury and by saber rattling he got the north koreans to come to the table. and now he's trying to run the same playbook with iran. the problem with this is that there are two fundamental errors in that analysis. the first is all of trump's tweets about north korea weren't why they came to the table. they came to the table because kim jong un thought he could take advantage of donald trump, which he did. and then second, they're not going to bring iran to the table, nor are they going to make iran decide that they're going to surrender everything as the president and mike pompeo have insisted they do. so he's essentially betting on a strategy that is destined for failure in addition to trying to just whip up the press to focus on things other than vladimir putin. >> also, iran was at the table. you were at that table. you helped put people in the seats at that table. you sat in the room. in a deal that was subsequently ripped up by this white house. in terms of what is being distracted from, mieke, it strikes me as remarkable.
i was on vacation last week and kind of had to watch that press conference a week ago and i got down off a mountain to see it for myself. is that we -- my understanding is that the united states government as a whole does not know what the president promised vladimir putin in helsinki. that is secret knowledge that is not being shared with our own government as far as i can tell. >> that's correct. and our government is trying to go back and find out what the president actually told putin. it's a very ineffective strategy from the president's point of view because if he made any promises to putin no one knows what they are, so they can't possibly begin to act on them. this is why people coordinate these things in advance. you have other u.s. government officials in the room. because the president can't execute all these things by himself. and now we have real questions about what the russians' expectations are out of the summit. and not only that the president's going to do it again. he's invited vladimir putin here to have the same kind of embarrassing press conference that shows that he doesn't
understand what america's national security priorities are. >> what do you make of that, jake, this fact that we don't know what was said in that room, what was promised, and no one else seems to know either. >> well, first of all, we're getting hints of what was promised in that room because the russians are positively gloating. the russian foreign minister sergy lavrov said that this summit went beyond their wildest expectations. the russian defense ministry is saying that trump made a series of commitments on security. so i think we can pretty well bet that putin took trump for a ride in that room and the fact is that it's up to republicans now in congress to actually extract from the administration what actually happened there and they're not doing their job on that front. if they don't do that, we are stuck in a situation where the russians are taking certain assurances from trump to the bank and the american people are in the dark on it. and that is a striking thing. >> i will say on the other side of that is like don't take donald trump's assurances to the bank. i mean, i'm not sure how -- i wouldn't bet on those either. whatever he said in the room,
like everyone has learned the people he owed money to, other people in the republican race, that you can't really take him at his word. so who knows where that ends up in the end. >> right. it's a if a tree falls in the forest problem. if we didn't hear, it did it actually happen? >> he's going to have a very hard time delivering on whatever it is. but there's an important point in this. if the american president shows up somewhere and basically validates the perspective or the policy of an adversary, whether or not he can actually deliver on american promises he is emboldening them and empowering them p and that itself i think comes at a detriment to america's national security. >> jake sullivan, mieke eoyang, thanks for joining us. coming up, new revelations about trump's supreme court pick that could set up a battle just in time for the mid-terms. rebecca tracer, jason johnson join me to preview the coming fight. just 106 days away. and one of the people on your screen is an elected official. can you guess which one? we'll get to the bottom of it in tonight's triumphant return of thing 1 thing 2 next.
we're back, baby. thing 1 tonight, the republican speaker of the georgia house of representatives is calling for a member of his own party, sitting state rep jason spencer, to resign today, saying in part, "representative spencer has disgraced himself and should resign immediately. georgia is better than this." the republican governor of the state also expressing outrage
tweeting about spencer, "there is no excuse for this type of behavior, ever. and i am saddened and disgusted by it." strong words. what could this guy have possibly done to deserve that kind of reaction from his own party? well, it wasn't the burqa ban he wanted to pass in 2016 that would have beened muslim women from covering their faces in public. and it wasn't his comments to an african-american attorney that she might "go missing" if she tried to get rid of georgia's confederate monuments. not a great look. none of that apparently was enough for the republican speaker or governor to call for him to resign. but last night spencer went too far. >> ah! ah! go, go, go, go. >> ah! ah! >> go. >> usa! usa, mother [ bleep ]. >> that is a real thing that happened. and that's thing 2 in 60 seconds.
has a new show. you may have heard a little bit about called "who is america." and in just two episodes he's managed to embarrass a lot of republicans. last week he got a bunch of them to endorse on camera a fictional program to arm toddlers with handguns. this week was at forementioned jason spencer, a republican state representative from georgia. the comedian once again posing at israeli anti-terror expert, and in the segment spencer inexplicably screamed the n word, took upskirt photos of a woman in a burqa while doing a very offensive impersonation of a chinese tourist, and literally pulled down his own pants and ran around the room. >> isis are scared of being seen as homo. you know homo? >> yeah. >> if your buttock touch them, it mean they have become a -- >> homosexual. >> we say in the mossad -- i mean not in the mossad. if you want to win you show some skin.
>> okay. >> okay, show it to me. now, try to touch me. >> i'll touch you. i'll touch you with my buttocks. i'll touch you! you will drop the gun or i'll touch you! usa! >> i literally feel like i'm going to have a heart attack when i watch this clip. that was certainly the weirdest but not the most offensive part of spencer's appearance which he tried to explain away today in a rambling statement about his, quote, paralyzing fear. so far spencer's resisting calls to resign but it doesn't really matter because he already lost his primary. he'll be out the door in a few months. i'm alex trebek here to tell you
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in the two weeks since president trump nominated judge kavanaugh he has met with 23 senators. unfortunately, all of them are republicans. that's because senator schumer is encouraging his members to not even meet with the judge. for members of the opposing party to demand answers to questions and yet refuse to even meet with a qualifies supreme court nominee is unprecedented. >> oh, my goodness. can you imagine that? unprecedented. it's a pretty audacious word for republicans to use about supreme court nominees considering what they did to obama nominee merrick garland, a man who was literally stood up at republican office after office. but precedent. precedent will indeed play a major role in kavanaugh's confirmation process, whether it would be, say, roe versus wade or united states versus nixon. the case that compelled richard nixon to turn over the watergate tapes. the a.p. dug through thousands of pages of documents released as part of kavanaugh's confirmation process and found a
1999 article in which kavanaugh questioned whether the unanimous supreme court decision was in fact correct. quoting him here. "but maybe nixon was wrongly decided. heresy though it is to say so." well, yes, it is, brad. "maybe the tension of the time led to an erroneous decision." now, that opinion, that it was wrongly decided, is far outside the legal mainstream. it is also of screaming significance as we head towards an almost certain legal showdown between the white house and the mueller team over a possible presidential interview, one whose fate will almost certainly be decided by the supreme court interpreting and applying the nixon precedent. kavanaugh allies say he has other writings on the case including some that sound more favorable. but how much more of his work will we get to see? kavanaugh's a former bush administration member. his documents from that timememb his records are public record. they belong to us the people. majority leader mitch mcconnell is already maneuvering to curtail those records, setting up a showdown before the mid terms.
as of tonight there are just 106 days to the mid-term elections. democrats find. they on the ballot against the republican party completely united behind donald trump. while just 45% of registered voters say they approved of the president, 88% of republicans do. the highest number of his entire presidency. while republicans have become a party dedicated at every level to defending the president and trump i, democrats have been working on making a platform other than we are not for trump. it is meant to focus on fighting corruption, lowering prescription drug costs to name a few of the items. a big question is, does the message even matter? will the race be fought entirely on the margins of enthusiasm? and how do democrats stoke and maintain that? joining me now, jason john, msnbc political contributor and
politics editor at the root.com. here's what i thought was interesting. you followed, warner is running for her first re-election in her state of massachusetts where she is not expected to have too hard a time. she is traveling around the country and engaging in day to day, this is what our message is, and what is that? >> it is about a fight. it is trying to pull in the masses who are trying to see her. whether she is going to fundraising events, to conventions, whether she is giving her own town halls in massachusetts or at protests which is an important thing she's been doing. she's been cheering on, for example, female immigration protesters who okay identified hart senate office building. she went the first night trump announced cavanagh. she was on the supreme court steps saying we're having the fight of our lives. her approach is to engage the people out there angry and involved in fighting trump.
and she keeps telling them, this is you, this is you, you're in this fight. >> what i thought is that enthusiasm piece is clear. she sees it clearly. what matters is enthusiasm. people want to fight and you're stoking them to do that. and one of the things you get from the concern, they don't have a message. and a, that's not true. there's been a lot of messaging. also, it is not quite clear that that is what matters here. the activation seems the me the most important part of this particular political battle. >> i completely agree. this is my political science professor hat now. the message doesn't matter in a mid-term. we don't have a parliament. if the public is unhappy with the sit go party they'll vote for the other option and that generally means democrats. there is no democrat that could get into a scandal could destroy things across the country. the most important thing democrats need worry about, this is not a message issue per se, it is just structural. they look to look at places like georgia where you literally have someone who might be the republican nominee for governor who will say i'll make sure no
one can get the vote. that's where democrats need to put up the money. they'll have the these. i can't. if people show up to sxroet if there are long lines, that could destroy what has been wave during in the last 18 months. >> i want to say this question of which tack they should take, is it message? enthusiasm? it is like all of the above. we're in a national emergency. the number of pundits are saying, are you supposed the attack trump or talk about health care? you can do both. that's what many, many candidates are doing. warren is an example, she goes after trump tweet to tweet. she haze out a left gentle. she speaks to the women led resistance. all of this. and there are a lot of
candidates who are doing that and in part it is to counter exactly the fear that, the reality that there will be voter suppression, the approach the right is taking is not through bringing out voters but keeping them away. >> that point that you can do both. what i've seen in local races, bits what is happening in those places. people aren't dumb. >> no, they're not. and they're more engaged than they've been in our adult life times. they're playing attention to local policy torsion left policy, to local races, they know how the system is working. >> i think this is true. there's a james comey tweet that got a lot of attention. democrats, please don't lose your minds and rush to the socialist left. this president and his republican party is counting out to do exactly that. there is no point of middle but also, the democratic party has moved to the left on some issues but it is not clear that that is
anything but a winner, particularly in many of the districts that they struggled to lose last time around. >> first of all, james comey has no credibility. he knee capped hillary clinton so nothing that he says, so all the concern from joe lean, oh, no, she beat a 14-year incumbent. whatever the democrats have to be, this is what is interesting. the democrats figured this out. whatever we have to do to win is a who we'll be. if you're center left, far left, i'll say this. this is the most serious issue and the biggest indicator that enthusiasm access matters. you look at all the special elections. voter suppression doesn't screw up a county commissioner race. you've seen state senate and state house. those are getting flipped.
>> the one big thing was that her message was don't lean into the enthusiasm any anger. like don't be scared of that. so there is a thing you see among professional class, don't, no, no, that's good. >> that's something i've heard from her and from others. >> thanks for joining me. i have made an out last week. we still have a podcast going up. plus a new episode coming tomorrow i'll excited tomorrow with georgio angelinei. it bridges the gap and the discriminatory housing policies. that's all in this evening.
>> donald trump returns to the hoax theory dropping security clearance for six former national security official who is have all publicly criticized him. new audio tapes in the michael cohen case leaving everyone to wonder if trump's voice is on them and developments in the manafort case as the first trial in the mueller effort preparing to get under way. and why was he shouting late on a sunday night? all caps threat of potential war can iran as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a monday night. good evening once again in our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 550 of the trump administration. for perspective, helsinki was a week ago today. for the past three days, the president embarked on fresh new attacks on the mueller investigation, a warning to iran, and new threats to the intelligence community.