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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  May 8, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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protests. she represents the second district in arizona. so far she has not agreed to a town hall during this congressional recess. but now democratic congressman from arizona's 7th district, ruben gallego is stepping up to her plate. he is going to answer her constituents' questions about her health care vote at a town hall tomorrow in her district, a town hall she won't go to. but that a neighboring democrat will. so there is a new congressional system at work when it comes to that vote to kill obamacare. i don't know who will get paired up next. watch this space. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." >> it sounds like fun you. should try it. you should pick a congressional district and have a town hall. >> thought you were going to say i should pick a fox news show. >> that too. there is some openings over there. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thanks, rachel. well, we have a panel of experts that will join us tonight to analyze what we heard in that senate hearing today,
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including intelligence experts mieke eoyang and ned price. it was a hearing unlike any we have seen before. it was the dramatic story of a woman in the first week of her new big job, biggest job of her life who gets some information that she knows her boss is going to hate. and so she brings that information immediately to her boss's lawyer, who is also in the first week of his new job. as her boss's lawyer. and her boss is in his first week of his new job. as president of the united states. and the only person in this story who does the right thing is that woman in the first week of her new job which would turn out to be the last week of her new job. >> to state the obvious, you don't want your national security adviser compromised with the russians. >> red flags and warnings sent
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to the trump administration about former national security adviser michael flynn. >> president obama warned president trump not to hire mike flynn. >> did you not vet him yourselves? >> that's where it appears that the trump transition dropphe ball. >> the underlying conduct that general flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself. >> we heard just how hard she tried to tell the white house. >> the national security adviser essentially could be blackmail by the russians. >> our legal counsel got a heads-up from sally yates. >> they wanted to give, quote, a heads up to us. >> three conversations between the acting attorney general and the white house counsel. it wasn't a mere heads-up. >> we were giving them this information so they could take action. >> general flynn continued to serve as the national security adviser for 18 days. >> and he lets him be in all these classified -- >> some urgency.
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>> general flynn is a wonderful man. >> think about it. you're in the first week of your new job, the biggest job of your life. and you get this information. and it is stunning information. and it is going to be very, very bad news for the boss. imagine yourself in that situation. she was actually in her seventh day as acting attorney general of the united states. that's when sally yates was told a story that no attorney general in history had ever heard. there was no playbook to consult. this had never happened before. she was told that the president's national security adviser had been lying about his contacts with the russian government and could be blackmailed by the russians. national security adviser michael flynn was in his seventh
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day on the job. the president of the united states was in his seventh day on the job. sally yates called the white house counsel, who was in his seventh day on the job. she requested a meeting with the white house connell, don mcgann, and later that same day, the meeting happened. >> the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the russians. finally, we told them that we were giving them all of this information so that they could take action. the action that they deemed appropriate. i remember that mr. mcgann asked me whether or not general flynn should be fired. and i told him that really wasn't our call that was up to them. but that we were giving them this information so they could take action. and that was the first meeting. >> and the only action that the white house took was that the next day don mcgann asked sally yates to come back to the white house to discuss the same subject again.
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>> the first topic in the second meeting was essentially why does it matter to doj if one white house official lies to another. the second topic related to the applicability of criminal statutes and the likelihood that the department of justice would pursue a criminal case. the third topic was his concern that their taking action might interfere with an investigation of mr. flynn. and the fourth topic was his request to see the underlying evidence. >> sally yates then recounted each one of those elements of the second meeting in detail. the one that stunned most of the senators was the white house counsel not understanding why it was a problem that the national security adviser was lying about his contacts with the russians. we'll show you some of what senators had to say about that in a moment. the next day, sally yates called the white house counsel, yes,
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she decided that the white house counsel could come to the justice department to see the underlying evidence in the flynn case. she doesn't know if the white house counsel ever did that, because that same night she was fired by the president for refusing to try to defend the president's unconstitutional travel ban in federal court. the president's executive order on banning entrance to the united states buzz blocked by federal judges from boston to seattle and was clearly so desperately unconstitutional that the president eventually completely with drew it. while the president was trying and failing to get his travel ban enforced, he took no action to ban michael flynn from access to highly classified material, even though the white house had been warned that michael flynn could, quote, be blackmailed by the russians.
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>> general flynn continued to hire key senior staff on the national security council, announce new sanctions on iran's ballistic missile program, met with japanese prime minister shinzo abe along with president trump at mar-a-lago and participated in discussions about a north korea missile launch and spoke repeatedly to the press about his discussions with russian ambassador sergey kislyak. >> here is michael flynn on the job six days after the white house council was told that he could be blackmailed by the russians. >> as of today, we are officially putting iran on notice. >> we don't know if the president was on notice that michael flynn could be blackmailed by the russians. we don't yet know who the white house councsel told about this. what we do know is that the white house took no action, no action at all, until "the washington post" ran a story based on a leak from an unknown source saying thatally yates had warned the white house about
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michael flynn. it took 18 days for michael flynn to be fired after the white house was warned that he could be blackmailed by the russians. there is no reason to believe that michael flynn was ever going to be fired. if "the washington post" had not exposed him. there were some republican senators at today's hearing who care more about the leak to "the washington post" than they appeared to care about michael flynn being compromised by the russians. >> next question. have either of you ever been an anonymous source in a news report about matters relating to mr. trump, his associates, or russia's attempt to meddle in the election? no. >> absolutely not. >> we now know according to an nbc news report today that president obama warned donald trump not to hire michael flynn when they had a 90-minute meeting in the oval office two davis election, and still with a presidential warning not to hire
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someone, given by the president who fired that person, donald trump hired michael flynn. and we have every reason to believe that michael flynn would still be the president's national security adviser if someone inside the government had not done the right thing and leaked the truth about michael flynn to "the washington post" this story follows the well-worn path of the previous most importt presidential scandal in history, the watergate scandal the nixon administration. the nixon admistration eventually collapsed. the president resigned on the verge of being impeached in part because someone inside the government kept leaking information to "the washington post," to bob woodward and carl bernstein. 48 members of the nixon administration were convicted of crimes. nixon's attorney general went to prison. his white house counsel went to prison. and leaks to "the washington post" are part of what kept the momentum going in the watergate investigation. and the leak to "the washington post" that was condemned by
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republican senators today is obviously what got michael flynn fired. sally yates testified under oath today that she was not the source of that leak. so the source of the leak to "the washington post" might on the one hand be guilty of a crime for leaking classified information. and on the other hand, is the anonymous hero who has taken a chance so that america can know the truth. >> without the free press telling us a lot of what went on, michael flynn might still be sitting in the white house as national security adviser. >> joining us now, tim mak, david corn, washington bureau chief for mother jones and an msnbc political analyst. tim and david were both at that hearing today. mieke eoyang, former house intelligence committee staffer and director of national security program at the third way. and ned price. ned is a former senior director and spokesperson for the
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national security council and a msnbc contributor. mieke, i know you have sat in hearing like this, but there has never been a hearing like this. you have certainly sat in hearings behind members urging them to ask certain questions, thinking of certain questions. and you must have had some of that experience today watching this hearing. was there a question that you wish were asked or if they were asked, what do you think was the most important question? >> so i think there were a number of really important questions today asked. and sally yates did a wonderful job of answering them. one of the questions that i would have liked to have seen asked is that we had heard from director clap they're the white house was trying to invoke executive privilege to not get him to testify about certain things. and we assume that they made similar requests to sally yates. so the question then that i would like to know is what is the white house not wanting them to talk about when they're testifying before congress. because there is a whole lot of information that they can't share with people. and the american people might want to know where the white
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house is interested in hiding things. >> ned price, what was the high point for you or the point you think people should focus on? and was there something unsaid that you would have liked to have explored at this hearing? >> yeah, absolutely, lawrence. for me there were three key takeaways. the second is that sally yates in very short order obliterated this notion, this fiction that all she offered to the white house was a mere heads up that there were some inconsistencies in public statements about general flynn's actions. the second was this point about underlying conduct. underlying conduct, she said, that was problematic in and of itself. now to me, that smelled like it could be a reference to the logan act, the 1799 statute that makes it a crime to attempt to subvert united states foreign policy by a private individual. but it could be something even more sinister. we just don't know. and when sally yates was pressed, she wouldn't go there. but perhaps most interesting, and third for me was the divergence of the answers that we saw between director clapper and sally yates when they were
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both asked if they had seen any indications of collusion between members of the trump team and the russians. director clapper was very succinct. he said no. sally yates, however, then said that in order to answer that, she would have to betray classified equities. and i found that to be a very interesting answer. because typically the lack of information in and of itself is not classified. to me that suggested that she is privy to something that director clapper was not that led her not to answer that single question. >> i want to listen to something that sean spicer said on february 14th. this is when he made that reference to that all sally yates did was give us a heads up. but he also said something about the underlying conduct. let's listen to this. >> the acting attorney general informed the white house counsel that they wanted to give, quote, a heads up to us on some comments that may have seemed in conflict with what he had sent the vice president out in
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particular. the white house counsel informed the president immediately. the president asked him to conduct a review of whether there was a legal situation there. that was immediately determined that there wasn't. that was what the president believed at the time from what he had been told. and he was proved to be correct. the issue pure and simple came down to a matter of trust. >> david corn, it's so striking. first of all, we know that it's completely false when sean spicer says it was a heads up that there may have -- that there may have seemed in conflict. statement might have seemed in conflict. that is not what sally yates said. she said lying. so we know that sean spicer is not telling the truth in the first part of that answer. but he gets into the particulars. he says that don mcgann, the president told don mcgann to find fought there was anything criminal or anything in the underlying conduct that was worthy of review. and sean spicer says that was immediately determined that there wasn't.
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>> while the fbi was investigating flynn at the time and might still well be. but the key thing here when he says that, he is not really taking into account not just that sally yates said that flynn had been lying, but that sally yates had said he was susceptible to russian blackmail. i mean, that may not be a crime, but nevertheless, it's a serious matter. and so this is not a heads-up if the acting attorney general comes to the white house and says your top national security adviser is vulnerable to russian blackmail. i think you ought to do something about it. so he, you know, spicer -- this is a cover-up. he was covering up the essential message that sally yates was bringing to the white house. and you still had, you know, even after "the washington post" story coming out, donald trump and others saying that he is a good man. there was this one issue of a small lie he told to mike pence. that wasn't the issue. so they been stonewalling, covering up. and i don't know what they're going to say tomorrow.
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but will they admit that they were told that flynn was susceptible to blackmail and tell us what they did about it? if this had been a democratic administration in a fix like this, there would be 27 congressional investigations b tonight with subpoenas flying in every which direction. >> i want to listen to something that senator blumenthal said identifying a possible crime that michael flynn committed in possibly lying to the fbi. let's listen to this. >> isn't it a fact that michael flynn lied to the fbi? >> and i can't reveal the internal fbi investigation. senator, even though that part would not technically be classified, it's an ongoing investigation, and i can't reveal that. >> did you tell donald mcgann that then national security adviser flynn told the truth to
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the fbi? >> no. he asked me how he had done in the interview, and i specifically declined to answer that. >> because it was part of an investigation? >> that's right. >> tim mak, i thought that was a particularly dramatic moment there is don mcgann trying to find out how did that fbi interview go. because he knows lying to the fbi is a crime. he says how did he do in the interview? sally yates very deliberately refusing to answer. >> right. and what does that mean? what could michael flynn have been talking about? a couple issues just off the top of your head. if you're thinking about what that could have been. could it have been whether he properly disclosed the nature of his contacts with the russian ambassador? could it have been whether he properly a truthfully answered questions about his contacts with the russian government prior to speaking to the ambassador. did he discuss sanctions issues? these are all sorts of questions that fbi directors would be asking. >> we're going to take a quick break here.
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everyone please stay with us. when we come back, president obama personally warned president-elect donald trump about hiring michael flynn. told him not to hire him. told him why president obama fired him. president trump still hired him. and in france yesterday, president obama turned up to finally have a winner in a presidential election where he endorsed someone, and a very big winner. it's coming up. (microphone feedback) listen up, heart disease. you too, unnecessary er visits. and hey, unmanaged depression, don't get too comfortable. we're talking to you, cost inefficiencies and data without insights. and fragmented care- stop getting in the way of patient recovery and pay attention. every single one of you is on our list. for those who won't rest until the world is healthier, neither will we. optum. how well gets done.
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president obama had told the incoming president-elect that two days 56 t s after the elect don't hire this guy. the former president said don't hire this guy. he is clearly compromised. he has lied to the vice president. and he keeps him on. and he lets him be in all these classified -- he lets him talk
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with putin. president of the united states and the national security adviser sit in the oval office and discuss this with putin. are allergies holding you back? break through your allergies. try new flonase sensimist instead of allergy pills. it's more complete allergy relief in a gentle mist you may not even notice. using unique mistpro technology, new flonase sensimist delivers a gentle mist to help block six key inflammatory substances that cause your symptoms. most allergy pills only block one. and six is greater than one. break through your allergies. new flonase sensimist
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this scarf all that's my left to rememb...ayonara. what. she washed this like a month ago! the long lasting scent of gain. now available in matching scents across your entire laundry routine. my number one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful. >> we now know that in that meeting president obama warned president-elect trump not to hire general michael flynn. seven days later, michael flynn became the very first cabinet
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level choice that donald trump made. today the white house of course tried to blame president obama. for president trump's mistake of hiring michael flynn. >> president obama was truly concerned about general flynn, why didn't he suspend general flynn's security clearance which they just approved a few months earlier? why did they let general flynn go to russia for a speaking engagement and receive a fee? >> of course general flynn did not get permission to go to russia and receive a fee. and that's just sean spicer lying his way through that moment. and of course michael flynn needed to submit a new background check for a new security clearance for his new job, but sean spires didn't tell the truth about that today. >> did mike flynn not need upgraded security clearance in order to serve as the national security adviser? >> he had been head of the defense intelligence agency. that's the same. >> you vetted him as well, correct? >> that's the same clearance --
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the security clearance -- we went over this a while ago. it's the same security at any level. once you get it, you get it. everyone in the government goes through the same process. the answer is that those same -- that same process worked for general flynn as it did for me or anyone else who works here. >> completely false. >> nbc news reported today that it has learned that when he became national security adviser, flynn was required to obtain a new white house security clearance under the auspices of the cia, which vets national security council appointees. that clearance was never granted before he was pushed out of the job. one official with knowledge of matter said. we're back with our panel,. of course he would have had to go through the process again at a much stricter level from the
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clearance that he had at that point in time. >> yes. and it's amazing that he never finished his security clearance forms and trump let him have access to all this classified anyway, which makes the warning by president obama and sally yates all the more stark. we have to understand who the national security adviser is. they have access to all the intelligence streams coming into the president. they're approving covert actions that the white house might be interested in. this is someone who has access to the most sensitive information for our country. and he was in contact with the russians. and the trump administration did not seem to care. >> the president has been tweeting a lot today. before the hearing, he tweeted ask sally yates under oath if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it white house council. she was asked that she doesn't know. that didn't getny tweet response from the president than one. and then he went on to issue several tweets after the hearing, saying sally yates made the make media extremely unhappy
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today. she said nothing but old news. he said director clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows there is no evidence of collusion with russia and trump. and ned price, agreed see anything in the president's tweets today that made any sense about what was happening in that hearing? >> i would have to answer that with a simple no. i think what we saw today was an attempt by the president once again to obfuscate and distract from the key issues. he actually started the day with a series of tweets that either misunderstood or willfully misrepresented the security clearance process, asking the question how it was that the quote/unquote obama administration granted mike flynn a security clearance. and we heard the same from sean spicer again today. what neither mr. spicer nor president trump seem to understand or seem to wish to
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relate to the american people is that policymaker, administrations are not the ones that grant security clearances. these are career professionals within the intelligence community, within the department of defense. for general flynn, who take a look at all of the facts and then adjudicate this. that's why i think it's so important to once again note that this administration time and again has had profound difficulties securing clearances for even people in very high positions. a deputy assistant to the president, sebastian gorkha reportedly does not have a clearance. people have had to kiev the security council because they were not granted clearances. this is a systematic problem within the administration that deserves some scrutiny. >> david corn, one of the really striking things in the hearing today is two days in a row, two days in a row, don mcgann, the white house counsel was asking why does it matter to the justice department if a white house official is lying to another white house official even if one of those white house
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officials is the vice president of t united states and it's on national security matters. >> yeah, and sally yates, everyone focused on that. and she said well, to cut him a little slack, he was kind of asking what is the legal issue here. is there a crime for the chief of staff to lie to the national security adviser, to lie to the head of the trade-off. maybe not. although maybe there is. on a point that you just raised with ned, it's really important here. donald trump tonight is out saying that clapper said that the hearing today that there was no evidence of collusion. in fact trump is making that the banner on his twitter account. that clapper said there is no collusion. that's not what clapper said. he said that he didn't know. but he also said he didn't know about the fbi investigation. into interactions between trump associates and suspected russian agents or other russians. so he is saying i'm not the best
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guy to make this proclamation. i essentially don't know. so there you have the president of the united states misquoting the former head of the u.s. intelligence community and making it the number one item on his twitter account. i don't have the adjective for this. >> and tim, as you're in the hearing room when this happened, but the director specifically went out of his way to clarify that point. >> yeah, absolutely. i mean now, this has been something that a lot of trump supporters have been touting since very early this year when clapper said on television, hey, i haven't seen any evidence. but now we understand why he might not have seen evidence. he points out that the fbi director only made public this counterintelligence investigation months after he made those statements. so he may not have seen the evidence of any collusion. but that's not the say that he is vouching that no evidence exist. >> and mieke, just to clarify it for the audience, the fbi can be
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conducting domestic investigations about these kinds of matters that the director of national intelligence by rights should not know about. >> absolutely. a counterintelligence investigation like this is so sensitive, you hold to it a very small number of people, only people who need to know. it's a law enforcement issue. it's not an intelligence policy issue. so there is no reason for director clapper need to know. trump saying that he is exonerating him somehow doesn't even pass the laugh test. >> tim mak, david corn, mieke eoyang, ned price, thank you all for joining us tonight on this important night. really appreciate i. >> sure thing. >> thank you. republican lawmakers who voted for house bill to repeal and replace obamacare are facing their constituents. well, some of them are. most of them are hiding from their constituents. we will show you the video and there just might be some booing. termites, feasting on homes 24/7.
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well, president obama is now 1 for 2 in endorsements in presidential campaigns. the candidate president obama supported for france, emmanuel macron won a landslide victory in sunday's election, taking 66% of the vote against 33% from marine le pen, who donald trump never formally endorsed, but certainly seemed to be rooting for. we don't know if president obama called emmanuel macron today, but president trump did.
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he congratulated the french president-elect on his win and planned to meet with him at a nato meeting in brussels later this month. joining us now is david rothkopf, the author of the new book "the great questions of tomorrow." and returning to raszewski laz, laura haynes, she is spokesperson for emmanuel macron, the president-elect of france. laura, thank you very much for joining us tonight. you went from being a reporter covering our presidential election here in the united states to now working on one in france. and just quickly, did you tell us, did president obama call mr. macron today? did they make contact today? >> yes, absolutely they made contact today. and you know maybe that the -- was in washington and had a meeting with president obama. and when he was in office
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decided to call president-elect emmanuel macron. >> and laura, how would you compare, since you covered the trump presidential campaign? you covered our last presidential campaign here. how would you compare these two campaigns, needless to say, many people here thinking that the way donald trump has performed as president was part of what scared france about possibly voting for le pen. >> you know, we believe at emmanuel macron's party that there is an anxiety of the middle class. the middle class all over the world doesn't know how to think anymore. they're tempted by populism, which we saw in the united states, was quite similar to what happened in france. again, this anxiety of the middle class. so emmanuel macron's thought that it was really good to rise ideas, to rise substance, and to make sure people understand that
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he has the perfect plan for to improve the middle class life. he believed in the power of people. he believes in the power of democracy. and he believes in a positive way of what people can do together. that was part of his program. that was part of his message. it was a message based on hope of change and of trust in people. and the other thing that emmanuel macron did in his campaign was ideas about the renewal of political life. he said all over france that people are tired by the same faces, that they need new faces, that they need to be more involved at each level of the political process. that was quite popular in france, and that's explaining probably his success. >> david rothkopf, what do you see as the trump effect in this election? >> well, clearly, since both
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steve bannon and trump said nice words about le pen and french people voted overwhelmingly for macron, it doesn't reflect well on their view of trump. since the trump election, we have seen elections in europe go against the nationalists and more towards people who are in support of the eu, as macron is, who are supporting the atlantic alliance, as macron is. and i think you can't look at this election in any other way but to see it as a repudiation of trump, as a repudiation of ethnonationalism, as a repudiation of putin, who went after macron, hacked the election at the 11th hour. and ended up having the effect of bumping macron's results to about 33% above what they were hours before the hack attack was. so this was a victory for macron, for europe, for the atlantic alliance. but not good news for putin, trump,nd a lot of their
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supporters. >> david, is there a lesson for putin in this election? >> well, there may be. the high watermark of putin's efforts to meddle in democracies in the west may have been electing trump. the problem is he picked the wrong guy to back. and it may be that the backlash against the possibility of trump-like leaders across europe has actually brought europe closer together. putin wanted to undermine that. what you've got now is absolutely no chance that europe is going to come apart in the near term. and in fact you've got the fact of a more united europe as a counterbalance to both putin and to trump, who has been pretty lukewarm on the relationship with europe. >> laura, what was it like inside the campaign when you discovered you were being hacked? >> it was absolutely terrible, because by the french law, all campaigns have to stop working friday at midnight until the
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result. and it was 11:45 last friday. we discovered before basically to go to sleep for 24 hours to sleep and to recover from a very tiring campaign that we have been hacked. it was quite sophisticated. so there is an official now investigation. we want to go to the bottom of that. we had staffers that e-mails were hacked and also there were fake news about president-elect macron disseminated all over the internet. it was absolutely terrible. and we thought and we're still thinking it was not even that bad an attack on the candidate, but it was an attack on france. the people who did that knew that the election campaign, the campaign was over at midnight. they did that at 11:45, 15 minutes before the end of the official campaign that was
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definitely for us an attack on france, an attack on democracy, and people who did that knew perfectly what they were doing. they wanted to disturb the gym of democracy, and they wanted to disturb again not only the game of democracy, they wanted to disturb the power of democracy. and we extremely careful about now of course our system and we're extrely cautious about what could happen when people want to disturb the power of democracy. >> david, is putin just going to keep doing this as we approach every election night in the western democracy? are we going get these big hack stories of russian hackers? >> well, there is no sign he is letting up. but the results haven't been so good recently. i think his next big focus is going to be germany. over the weekend there was a state election in germany in which chancellor merkel's party did quite well. if chancellor merkel continues, and ultimately ends up being
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victorious, there really aren't going to be that many big openings for putin. but having said that, putin is not a strategist. he is a tactician. he is somebody who goes one move at a time and doesn't really think of the long-term consequences. and in this particular case, i think he has undermined himself, has undermined russia's influen influence, and is actually strengthening europe through his actions. >> laura haim, thank you very much very joining us on this important night for france. and david rothkopf, thank you for joining us. really appreciate you both being here. thank you. coming up, some republicans who voted for the health care bill are already saying they want the senate to change it. they just don't know how to change it. look closely.
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tand, our adulte children are here. so, we save by using tide. which means we use less. three generations of clothes cleaned in one wash. those are moms. anybody seen my pants? nothing cleans better. put those on dad! it's got to be tide. befi was active.gia, i was energetic. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. he also prescribed lyrica.
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fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions... or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. with less pain, i can be more active. ask your doctor about lyrica. >> here is president obama last night receiving the profile in courage award at the john f.
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kennedy museum in dorchester. >> i hope that members of congress recall that it actually doesn't take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful. already comfortable, already influential, but it does require some courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm. i hope they understand that courage means not simply doing what is politically expedient, but doing what they believe deep in their hearts is right. >> just 14 of the 217 house members who voted for the republican health care bill will hold town halls during the current house recess this week, according to a list from town hall republicans who have held town halls so far have faced angry
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constituents. here is iowa congressman rod blum tonight. >> if you're getting your health insurance through medicaid, nothing is going to change. [ booing ] >> and here is idaho republican raul labrador defending the republican health care bill at a town hall on friday. >> you're mandating people on mediterranean medicaid accept dying. >> no, no one wants anybody to die. that line is so indefensible. nobody dies because they don't have access to health care. [ booing ] >> and after the angry backlash over that comment, congressman labrador said his statement, quote, wasn't very elegant. tonight in new york, democratic congressman sean patrick maloney held a town hall in a dtrict represented by republican john
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faso. and accused the republican congressman of refusing to face his constituents. >> if in every district in this country where a member of congress voted for this terrible health care bill, they won't hold a town hall meeting, what if somebody else adopted that district? it might be a democrat. and went in and did what we're doing tonight? what do you think? we can adopt a district everywhere, from california to maine to florida to washington state. adopt a district, right? i think it makes sense. >> up next, what president obama said about the republican health care bill. ♪ (woman) one year ago today mom started searching for her words.
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come close, come close. fun in art class. i like that. [ music stops suddenly ] ah. when your pain reliever stops working, your whole day stops. awww. try this. for minor arthritis pain, only aleve can stop pain for up to 12 straight hours with just one pill. thank you. ♪ come on everybody. you can't quit, neither should your pain reliever. stay all day strong with 12 hour aleve. here's president obama again last night at the kennedy library. >> by the time the vote came up to pass the affordable care act, these freshmen congressmen and women knew that they had to make
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a choice, that they had a chance to insure millions but that this same vote would likely to cost them their new seats and most of them did lose their seats. but they were true to what president keptdy defined in his book as a congressional profile in courage, the desire to mainin a reputation for integrity that is stronger than a desire to maintain office. >> joining us now, andy slafity, the former acting administrator for the services for medicaid and medicare under the obama administration. i want to ask you about what congressman blum said. if you are on medicaid, nothing worry about, nothing is changing in medicaid. can you explain to me how you do massive billions of dollars of cuts in medicaid and nothing changes in medicaid? >> yeah, i think that's probably going to go down as one of the toughest stretches for them to cover, $880 billion is being cut
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are the medicaid program. that's 25%. et cetera a hard to imagine how a program that takes care of half the births in this country and half the long term care in this country can survive that let alone to congressman blunt's point not have any changes. >> under the republican plal plan, if it becomes law, it will be up to the states, the individual states to decide what those changes are. that may be defunding medicaid in terms of long term care in nursing homes for the elderly or who knows what? >> yeah, i think some of the republican talking points talk about this in terms of innovation. it's sort of like innovation in food by taking all the food out of your refrigerator. this is essentially a starvation diet for a program that's very lean, but a program that takes care of low income people, people with disabilities, kids, and seniors. when you cut 25% of that program i don't know a lot of governor that have a lot of tricks up
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their sleeves. >> as you know, the recess time for members of congress is very valuable. that's when they talk to their constituents. we see republicans now basically hiding from that. you are doing a version this adopt a district that we've heard about in the last segment. tell us about that. >> yeah, we are going to do something we are talking about as the health care town hall project. and we are -- essentially -- there is probably in the an hour gone by where on twitter or some other way i haven't had parents, moms, people with kids with disabilities or chronic illnesses reach out to me and say theare scared and further to that, their congress person won't explain to them what's going on or why they voted. so we just did a -- we just launched this today. we are going to be seeing three districts this week. we are going to be visiting districts where people refuse to hold town halls and where we haven't had enough kind of input from constituents to their districts. >> andy slafity, thank you
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joinsing us tonight appreciate it. >> thank you, lawrence. >> coming up, a special last word. ♪ ♪ i'm dr. kelsey mcneely and some day you might be calling me an energy farmer. ♪ energy lives here. apparently, i kept her up all night. she said the future freaks her out. how come no one likes me, jim? intel does! just think of everything intel's doing right now with artificial intelligence. and pretty soon ai is going to help executives like her see trends to stay ahead of her competition. no more sleepless nights. - we're going to be friends! - i'm sorry about this. don't be embarrassed of me, jim. i'm getting excited about this! we know the future. we're going to be friends!
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because we're building it.
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[burke] and we covered it, november sixth, two-thousand-nine. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ ykeep you that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you. trust #1 doctor recommended dulcolax. use dulcolax tablets for gentle dependable relief. suppositories for relief in minutes. and dulcoease for comfortable relief of hard stools. dulcolax. designed for dependable relief. it is intern night on the last word. carissa is a journalism student at nyu.
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carissa, you are graduating next week? >> yes. >> andhis we is your last week here? >> yes. >> a you've done a couple of tours of duty with us. i don't know how we are supposed to do this without you. you went to valencia high school in valencia, california. >> yeah. >> north of l.a. >> by magic mountain. >> by magic machine. just to set it. and you did a semester abroad in berlin? >> yes. >> and got to know some syrian refugees when you were there? >> yes. >> tell bus that. >> i was in berlin for a semester, for a spring semester a couple of years ago and then i got the chance to go back last summer for a summer fellowship. while i was there i was volunteering for this non-profit, and i met a syrian refugee there. this past winter n january, i had the chance to go back to do a video project. and so i got to interview him about his past and what his journey was like going to europe and what it was like live in
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berlin. >> and you volunteered at ps 15? >> i did. >> as a what, kindergarten assistant? >> that was part of america reads. i did that my freshman year. >> down on the lower west side of manhattan. carissa, we are going to miss you. thank you very much for everything you have done for all of us here and all your tours of duty. carissa gets tonight's last word. thank you, carissa. "the 11th hour" with brian williams, starts right now. tonight, the dramatic testimony from sally yates who reveals what it was like letting the white house know their national security adviser was vulnerible to blackmail by the russians. while the former head of intelligence says russia is a threat to the foundation of our democracy. plus the news today that barack obama warned donald trump not to hire michael flynn