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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  August 8, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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then you just pulled it back a little bit. >> i want you to know that as a general matter, generally speaking, i missed everybody every day. but i want to be clear that i'll always be honest with you as well. >> so it was all there. >> one of those things that actually supports the integrity of the statement. >> i hope so. >> yeah. no, did it work? >> yeah. hardworking asterisk. >> perfect. rachel, so great to have you back. >> thank you, my dear. >> thank you. at a time that not could not be more serious for the united states white house, united states of america, and the world, a poll says that 24% think they can believe what they hear from a trump white house. a white house now in the nuclear standoff with north korea. today the president of the united states was filled with fire and fury. >> the crisis with north korea leaves an unsettling new level today. >> the president of the united states is on his phone tweeting
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about poll numbers, the "new york times," and amazon. >> kim jong-un now constructed a miniature nuclear warhead small enough to fit inside one of its long-range missiles. >> he is perfecting the ability to develop a nuclear device to the homeland. >> there is no doubt this is happening earlier than people had expected. >> they will be met with fire and fury. like the world has never seen. >> sounds more like a north korean leader, unfortunately, than an american leader. >> this is just impulsive. ill thought out. >> all it's good doing is bring us closer to some kind of serious confrontation. >> it used to be we looked at the north koreans and said, those are the nuts with nukes. and that's why it's troubling. now it looks a little bit like we have our own nut with nukes and that's much more disturbing for the rest of the world.
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well, he did it. he did what no other president of the united states before him has done and it could not be more serious. life and death serious. president of the united states today threatened nuclear war. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. he has been very threatening beyond a normal state. and as i said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly, power. the likes of which this world has never seen before. >> the president's comments came after "the washington post" reported this afternoon, north korea successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles. that was a technological development that analyst believe
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was years away. the news comes less than two weeks after north korea tested a ballistic missile believed to be capable of reaching the mainland of the united states. but for two hours after that disturbing and important news broke today, the president of the united states had absolutely nothing to say about it. instead, he was busy tweeting lies about "the washington post," the "new york times," and his administration's lack of of accomplishments. first he tweeted, e-mails show that amazon washington post and failing new york times were reluctant to cover the clinton lynch secret meeting in plane. that tweet was a complete lie from start to finish. washington post and new york times eagerly covered that story as we all recall during the president recall campaign after it was revealed by a local tv station in arizona. ten minutes after the first tweet the president then tweeted, after 200 days, rarely
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has any administration achieved what we have achieved. not even close. don't believe the fake news suppress polls. donald trump is of course the first president in memory to fail to pass the first major piece of legislation that he tried to pass in his case repeal of the affordable care act. none of the rest of the trump legislative agenda has even made it to a vote in a committee in either the house or the senate. and his response to that uniquely bad news for his uniquely incompetent and ineffective administration is to simply lie and say that his administration has achieved more than most. a north korean regime style lie. that's donald trump's choice. to in terms of describing accomplishments of his administration. so the trump administration enters its first deadly serious dangerous international crisis,
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this time with an unpredictable liar in north korea and for the first time in american history, the united states has an unpredictable liar who is in control of the nuclear codes that could instantly create fire and fury like the world has never seen. there is no indication that the white house or president had any intention at all of making any comment about north korea today. what the president did say was in response to a shouted question bay reporter and that's when the president of the united states decided to threaten fire and fury like the world has never seen. in north korea. north korea then responded as of course it would. responses by announcing on its state media that it is quote carefully examining a plan to strike the u.s. pacific territory of guam with missiles creating what north korea called quote an enveloping fire around guam.
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north korea was clearly trying to mirror the language of the president of the united states. in another statement, threatening, it will take charge mercifully. this is the first time that the dangerous apocalyptic statements of the regime has been met with dangerous apocalyptic statements by the president of the united states. john mccain had this response to president trump's comments. >> i take exception to the president's comments because you've got to be sure that you can do what you say you're going to do. all it's going to do is bring us closer to some kind of serious confrontation. >> just 35% of americans are confident in donald trump's ability to handle a nuclear program.
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61% of americans are uneasy about his ability to handle the north korea crisis. north korea has been a tension point for decades. but the american public always knew that their president was wasn't going to be the one who did something stupid to make the situation much, much worse. 18 years ago, tim russert asked donald trump about exactly this situation after donald trump advocated a preemptive first strike against north korea. >> the former general in the air force, the former secretary of defense, said you could not launch a preemptive strike against north korea because the nuclear fall out could be devastating to the asian peninsula. but the military told you, mr. trump, you can't do this. >> you're give meg two names. you're give meg two names. i don't know. you want to do it every five years when they point new york city or washington?
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is what when you want to do it? you better do it now. if they think you are serious, i deal with lots of people. if they think you are serious, they will negotiate and it will never come to that. >> security studies at wilson center served on national security staff in clinton administration and expert on expert proliferation and author of the new book preventing north korea's break out. robert litwak, it seems when you look at donald trump 18 years ago and donald trump today, there has been no maturing at all. no increased sophistication apparently in his view of the situation with north korea. >> tuckman famously wrote "the guns of august" which talked about the depiction of war in 1814. the hyperbolic rhetoric today combined with the risk of
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miscalculation and inadvertent escalation are extremely worrisome. the president alluded to the military option. it is the worst of a bad set of options. south korean capital, seoul, as close to the demilitarized zone as korea is to washington and they have the equivalent of nuclear weapon in the form of forward-based artillery pointed at seoul. even a so-called limited strike on north korea's nuclear infrastructure would run the catastrophic risk of escalation. the figures that you cited as well as those that date from the period when i was in the clinton administration nsc that a war on the korean peninsula that could escalate from limited strikes would entail 1 million casualties and economic costs. can you use an inflator factor for two decades that passed since then. >> robert, people like donald trump, donald trump of 18 years
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ago clearly believe that we can just bomb the north korean nuclear capability out of existence without any real risk to the united states or possibly any anyone else. that's clearly the person tim russert was confronting 18 years ago. had no information technically how would he do this. for our audience out there, what are our capacities right now tonight to actually take out the north korean nuclear capacity? >> they are substantial but when you're working on the national security council staff and the pros and cons memo, if one of your cons is these limited strikes could escalate into a war on the korean peninsula, that's a nontrivial con. we basically have three options to deal with the north korean challenge. bomb, negotiate, or acquiesce. my concern is that in the
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absence of pivot to serious negotiations we have the option to acquiesce to this buildup that they are in the process of acquiring these new capabilities or undertaking a bad military option. i argued in my new pick to pivot serious diplomacy backed by the course of power of economic sanctions to bring about a freeze, to constrain north korea's nuclear capabilities. their current arsenal of 20 is bet are than one 20 years from now. >> you've been studying donald trump for years. wrote a book about him. two books at this point. translate for us what you think we heard today and how is it different if at all from what we heard from donald trump 18 years ago when tim russert asked him about it? >> it is not different from what he said 18 years ago and one of the things we know about donald
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is he doesn't learn. he doesn't study. during the campaign, trump said we will use nuclear weapons. of course we will use nuclear weapons. he also posed as a question, we have all these nuclear weapons, why don't you use them? which tells you he understands nothing about the doctrine of the nuclear weapons, that the whole point is to not use them. what he has done here today is reduced his options. he has painted himself closer into being in a corner and it fits perfectly with what we've seen him do. and keep in mind that white house staff has said, hey, why is the news media surprised by what we are doing? we are just fulfilling our promises and we will fulfill every single campaign promise. well, one of those promises repeatedly made was donald trump intends to use nuclear weapons. he is just looking for the opportunity. >> let's listen to what national security adviser general mcmaster said on msnbc on august 2nd about this.
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>> what you're asking is, are we preparing plans for a preventive war, right? a war that would prevent north korea from threatening the united states with a nuclear weapon. and the president's been very clear about it. he said he's not going to tolerate it. north korea threatening the united states. look at the regime, if they threaten the united states. it is intolerable from the president's perspective. so of course we have to provide all options to do that. that includes military option. >> robert litwak, your reaction to that? >> i think it calls for distinction between the preemptive use of force and preventive use of force. we saw in 2003 launching of preventive war against saddam hussein. north korea, like wise, would not be an imminent threat to the united states. the threat is linked to the character of the regime and rather than deter and contain it, advocates of preventive
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military action would argue that mere acquisition of these capabilities is unacceptable and these capabilities in the hands of the north koreans. my concern is by the end of the trump administration, the first trump administration, that the president has a choice. either taking preventive action or essentially acquiescing to their buildup and adapting a policy, adopting a policy, of containment and deterrence. >> donald trump said famously during the campaign that he thought he was smarter than the generals, certainly about military action in afghanistan and iraq. tonight we have to wonder what is his capacity to follow advice in a situation like this and is it possible that as we have seen in other situations this year, where he didn't like the advice, he just went public with the decision through twitter or some
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other way that defied the vice he was getting. what do you imagine the trump posture, president's posture in the white house, is tonight in terms of taking the advice that professionals around him have? >> well, professional military officer looks at options and their job is to give you more options. donald says the best advice comes from advisors inside his head. i would argue that is inherently delusional. but donald's need to feel he is powerful. his narcissism and bullying put him in a position where he wants to do something to really make him stand out. one of the things i think we should think about is how if we were to attack north korea, we could become the pariah state of the world. this could be an enormous boom to beijing and moscow and their influence in the world and threat us to. i hope our senior military officers are reading up carefully on refusal of a lawful
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order. something that the late senator from hawaii was a decorated world war ii veteran, lectured oliver north about, that you don't follow unlawful orders. and if donald trump decides he wants to use nuclear weapons in north korea one hopes that officers will refuse that order as unlawful. >> we're going to have to take a break here. robert litwak, david cay johnston. thank you. the president apparently sent messages, according to his own lawyer, the president sent indirect messages to special prosecutor robert mueller. and thousands of pages of documents now are being released to investigators from the trump campaign from donald trump jr. and from paul manafort. each year sarah climbs 58,007 steps.
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pages on august 4th. senate judiciary asked for any documents containing information involving hillary clinton from russian government or russian-affiliated sources including the june 2016 meeting between donald trump junior, paul manafort, jared kushner and visitors to trump tower. usa today is reporting tonight that president trump had indirect contact with special prosecutor robert mueller. the president's chief criminal defense lawyer. john dowd said today the president appreciates what bob mueller is doing. he asked me to share that with him and that's what i've done. john dowd said that teams with the prosecutors office have been proper. dowd said he passed along the president's expressions of appreciation and greetings. those were his words. appreciation and greetings.
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passed those along to robert mueller. the quote he gave is the president has sent messages back and forth, dowd said, declining to elaborate fuller. it is not clear what back and forth means. the president can only send messages in one direction. so if there has been a back and forth, does that mean that special prosecutor robert mueller communicated with the president indirectly through attorney dowd? we don't know. john dowd told usa today quote we get along well with bob mueller. our communications have been constructive, the attorney says, but it is important that our communications remain confidential. it is important there not be any break down in that trust. two different bipartisan bills have been introduced in the united states senate to try to protect robert mueller from being fired. an op-ed piece by two university of chicago law professors says that neither one of the senate bills are strong enough to
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actually protect the special prosecutor. quote, if president trump wants to halt mr. mueller's inquiry he can order deputy attorney general rosenstein not to reauthorize the investigation this october or to starve the special counsel of funds. if mr. trump wants to stop mr. mueller even sooner, he can instruct mr. rosenstein to have veto power every step of the way. if mr. rosenstein rebuffs the president's commands, mr. trump could replace him with a loyalist who will follow his instructions. neither bill deals with these scenarios and yes, sir they are the likeliest avenues for mr. trump to interfere with mr. mueller's work. joining us now, coauthor of that op-ed in the new york times. also, eli, and msnbc political analyst. daniel, first of all, i want to
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go to this report of communication between the president and robert mueller indirectly through the president's lawyer and the president's lawyer used the phrase back and forth. in a way that is unclear. what do you make of that? what are the ethics of that? >> these are difficult words to parse. i think it would be entirely proper for the target of an investigation to have communications. with the prosecutor. and i'm glad that president trump expressed his appreciation for robert mueller. i should we should all appreciate the work robert mueller is doing. >> is it proper to have communication with the counsel, with the heard involved but to have the head of the government that prosecutor works for communicating with the prosecutor indirectly strikes me as something different. >> i think that we should be concerned about interactions
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between the trump administration and special counsel. trump administration has a lot of avenues which in pursuit to influence special counsel's investigation. but i don't think that president trump expressing his appreciation to robert mueller is really going to sway mueller in his investigation. >> eli, it also doesn't have much credibility if that's where he passed along to robert mueller. seems the first thing he communicated to robert mueller is clearly a lie. as he attacked the investigation has a witch hunt. >> he attacked it as a witch hunt. and attorney, especially jay sekulow, who has the attorney and mueller and a lot of attorneys who mueller hired for this investigation. so a different tone into those overtures that were reported about today. you can sort of view them -- i think is right they seem innocuous on the surface. you go back to what he was cultivating when comey was fbi director.
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he made a lot of overtures, overtures that even comey felt were appropriate and the went too far. inviting him to dinner. making phone calls to him. asking about the status of the investigation. i think most people who know robert mueller would be very surprised if mueller was sending any messages other than perhaps cursory very quick statements. yes, i got the message thanks. anything more than that i think would surprise folks if special counsel mueller is in an actual conversation and the president right now. >> i want to go to the senate bills introduced bipartisan bills both in an attempt to protect robert mueller to any possible firing directed by the white house. in the end your piece seems to advocate basically your return to the way the special prosecutors were handled during the clinton administration which
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is by a statute by law that the congress both democrats and republicans decided to simply let expire after democrats anyway found themselves politically exhausted by the special prosecutor investigating bill clinton. >> so the proposal on the op-ed doesn't necessarily go as far as the independent council statute that existed from 1978 to 1999. but the special counsel regulations under which robert mueller labors are designed to keep mueller on a very short leash. i think there is some middle ground between where we are now and where we were back in the ken starr era. >> and what would the middle ground be? >> for one, we could get rid of the secret veto. under existing regulations, robert mueller needs to inform the attorney general or now the attorney general recused deputy attorney general, three days in advance of any major investigative or prosecutorial step. the deputy general has the opportunity to veto mueller.
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he doesn't need to tell congress until the very end of mueller's investigation. which may not be until the end of 2020 or 2021 that he exercised his veto authority. at a minimum he should have to inform congress when he stops mueller in his tracks. moreover, we can give mueller a stable budget without recreating all of the problems of the ken starr investigation and allow him to proceed year to year without reauthorization from the attorney general. >> it may be that bills introduced in the senate have done their job in protecting mueller because it is such a clear expression of the senate's will at this point. the legislative pros expects for either one of those bills are not good to get a moving vehicle like that through the senate would take months. then there doesn't seem to be any real energy for it in the house of representatives, it has to go through the house of representative in identical form
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and all that could take six, nine months or more. but the message is clearly delivered to the white house. >> yeah, it has. the president has a relationship increasingly strained with the republicans on capitol hill and they made it very clear that if he goes after mueller that is a bridge too far for a majority of republicans on capitol hill. but go back to what attorney dowd said about importance of trust. mutual trust back and forth. what i think they are trying to say is this better stay between us. this white house and this legal team have been frustrated bay lot of leaks. i think one thing that you have to take note of it the news about this investigation that mueller is leading. a lost these things about which way it is going have come out through the media. it seemed like the president's legal team may have been sort of setting a marker saying that if we see more leaks that may be cause to get rid of you. on the flip side, you know, with the special counsel, a lot of
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reason that have you these leaks and people are going to the media is because of that short leash just described that mueller is on. a lot of things in terms of publish pressure in keeping this investigation going, that comes from the public knowing about what it is and a lot of people because they are worried about what the administration and the president might do feel compelled in many cases to make things public that other wise they would keep not public. >> we have to take a breath here. professor daniel hammel, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> coming up, the white house staff prepares what it calls propaganda. that's their term for it. propaganda for the president to read about himself everyday, twice a day. that might not exactly the same routine that they go through every day in north korea. olay eyes
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he may not negotiate now. >> the president who rhetorically took us to the brink of nuclear war is reportedly much more interested in positive coverage of himself in the media than an intelligence briefing about north korea or anything else. vice news reports that president receives a folder full of positive news about himself twice a day. the 20 to 25-page folder is a joint production from the office and war room and contains quote screen shots of positive cable
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news, admiring tweets. transcripts of fawning tv interviews, praise-filled news stories, and mums just pictures of trump on tv looking powerful. one shot which prepares the folder has ever gotten in you'll of these months is it needs to be more f'ing positive. that's why some in the white house refer to it as the propaganda document. the propaganda document was the brilliant idea of reince priebus and sean spicer who used to compete to deliver the fold er to the president so they could be the bearer of good news. priebus and spicer weren't in a good position and they wanted to show they could provide positive coverage. it was self preservation. well, so much for self preservation in the trump white house. when contacted by vice news, sean spicer said, while i won't comment on materials we share with the president, this is not accurate on several levels.
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that is the same sean spicer who lied for donald trump repeatedly during the campaign and disgraced the white house press briefing room by lying the very first time he publicly spoke in that room when he tried to convince the world that president trump's inauguration crowd was way bigger than it so obviously was. the only defense of the propaganda document in the vice report came from one former republican national committee official who said maybe it's good for the country that president is in a good mood in the morning. president obama's press secretary josh earnest will join us with his reaction next.
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on behalf of the entire senior staff, mr. president, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you've given us to serve your agenda and the american people. and we are continuing to work very hard everyday to accomplish those goals. >> well, that opportunity and blessing is all over for reince priebus. turns out flattering the president is necessary, absolutely necessary, to work in the trump white house but obviously not enough to keep your job in the trump white house. joining us now, josh earnest, former press secretary for president obama. he is now an msnbc analyst. josh, you take over the white house press secretary job and someone says to you look you have to devote four of your
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staff to twice a day working with the democratic national committee to come up with 25 pages of flattering complimentary stuff about the president and in response to that, you would have said, what? >> well, i think the thing i would have said is that it is my job as the white house press secretary to help the president under what is happening in the world. i can't tell you how many time president obama called me to his office and said, josh, what's going on out there? and he wasn't just making small talk. he was interested in my view about what kinds of policies were making news and trying to understand how they are being covered. because he knew that would have an impact on his ability to lead the country. he wanted to put forward the most effective argument he could. he was someone prolific in consuming news on his ipad and sometimes television. he wanted to understand how the information was being consumed and how the country was interpreting it.
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you know, one of the things that is so interesting about working with the white house and one of the things that i miss about working at the white house, it is a hub of information. it is a place where the president and his senior staff can collect information from around the world almost instantaneously. because you've got staffers in "the situation room" who are monitoring global events ready to update the president and his staff at a moment's notice. the fact you would have to set up a team at the rnc to provide information to the president of the united states just to feel good about himself twice a day no less, is, i think, fair to say unprecedented. >> and eli, based on what we know about the president's habits and inclinations, he spends more time on this and it gets more of his attention twice a day than intelligence briefings do. >> that's what i understand through the reporting that i've done is that this is something that the intelligence briefings come in and they, you know, he spends time, gets briefing everyday. but a pretty short briefing. a lot of pictures that obviously
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that's been reported that there are pictures in the briefings. there's a way and an understanding among staff about how to get through to this president. he is not a traditional president but he is an avid consumer of media. always has been. his really career is a sort of media triumph more than anything else. and this is all about marketing. and so yes, a lot of this is about the president's ego and how he feels and the feedback hoop he creates from his own staffers and in the media sending stuff out waiting to see how it comes back wanting to see positive coverage. but also a lot of this is aimed at marketing. not just propaganda to influence the president. it is propaganda aimed at influencing the country and spinning stuff out there whether it is based on fact or not for this president was successful enough to allow him to win the election last year and is something his advisors and he himself continued to do pretty seriously. >> josh, one phenomenon i might expect to see in a white house that says, or a president that says, only bring me the good
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news, in effect. don't bring me anything that isn't good news. i would expect to see over time a collapse in the polls. because it's the bad news that is going to -- that is going to bring you down in the polls, and if you are incapable of responding to the bad news or dealing with what is considered the bad news in your white house, that's only going to make you sink more in the polls and this is where we find the current president. >> yeah. lawrence, that's exactly right. president obama talked about this as living in the fish bowl. and that everybody could see you, everybody sees what is happening in the white house, pretty clearly. but being able to get feedback about how what's happening in the white house is being received across the country, requires the president of the united states to go to great lengths to go to a lot of effort. that's why president obama talked a lot about his desire to travel across the country and when he traveled across the country he wanted to find opportunities to interact with people in normal settings, whether meeting people for lunch.
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or greeting workers on the assembly line or somewhere else. it was his mechanism for getting feedback. and if that feedback loop is severed, you are at grave risk of having president of the united states that is totally out of touch. and lawrence, this is also why it is important. and you touched on one of the more troubling elements of this report. you had members of the senior staff competing to deliver this good news to the president, trying to ingratiate themselves to the president by delivering good news. the reason you are paid money to work in the white house is to tell the president bad news. to tell the president of the united states, you know that answer that you give the news conference, it isn't received in the way you intend it or mr. president, something terrible happened in the world and we have to figure out what to do about it. those are the people serving the president and country well. those are the true professionals, not the ones competing to try to improve the president's mood. >> josh earnest gets the last word on the propaganda document in the white house.
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josh earnest, thank you, we appreciate it. coming up, president trump's approval rating, as i said, is sinking and continuing to sink on a daily basis. he is headed towards the nixon level and we know how that ended. ♪ ♪ i'm... i'm so in love with you. ♪ ♪ whatever you want to do... ♪ alright with me. ♪ ooo baby let's... ♪ ...let's stay together... atmore than one flavor, oruch texture, or a good clean salad is so much more than green.
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p.m., the president broke into the regular scheduled network's programming to say this -- >> continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication, would almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the president and the congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home. therefore, i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. >> the watergate special prosecutor had closed in on president nixon to the point where the president saw no option but to resign to avoid impeachment by the house of representatives and removal by the united states senate. he resigned with a 24% approval rating in the polls. less than two years after he won in a landslide by winning 49
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states. on this anniversary of president nixon's resignation, president trump's approval rating is now at 38% in the latest polling. the president has made no gains in polling with democrats or independents and is now losing ground with republicans. the intensity of support for the president has dropped significantly among republicans. strong approval of the president among republicans was at 73%. it is now at 59%, and among trump voters who donald trump called the ones who called donald trump called the poorly educated, the people without college degrees, only 35% of them now approve of the president. that is down 12 points since february. only 24% of americans say they trust all of or most of what they hear in official communications from the white house. a president facing a nuclear standoff with another country
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needs credibility with the public and president trump clearly does not have that as he confronts north korea. joining us now nbc political analyst, charlie sykes. this is one of those moments we have been talking about since the presidential campaign. what about when the president of the united states needs credibility with the world, with the country in an international crisis? here we are at that moment, at that brink with north korea and we have a president who this country does not believe and the world does not believe. >> well, we always knew this moment would come. that's run of the reasons you don't nominate and elect someone like donald trump. if you are going to rattle the saber like he is doing today, you would hope the people would take your word seriously, and we're at the point now where it's hard to know, you know, it's hard the know what exactly he means and whether or not he is credible. you know, these poll numbers are remarkable in a number of ways.
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number one, i don't think we have ever seen people so upbeat about the economy, but not giving the president credit for it. imagine if the economy was not as strong, and people did not think the country was on the right track. i will tell you the one number he will be looking at -- we'll blow off the numbers about credibility and he'll focus in on the fact that this poll indicates that his base is crumbling. this is a base presidency, and you can tell he is not going to be focused on, how do we get democrats and unite the country? how do we reach tout to independents? he'll react by throwing more red meat to his base, which means he is probably going to double down on a lot of the things that got him to this position in the polls in the first place. >> the latest cnn poll talks about this success and failure number. 36% think that the first six months of the trump administration have been a success. 59% think it has been a failure. 59% saying, donald trump, you are a failure. >> yes. so much winning.
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that was the whole thing, right? i'm a winner. you're a loser. this really is where it gets to, you know, i think you begin to see this kind of erosion, and i think a lot of people, even people who pull the lever and look at the world is realize this is getting real. >> coincidentally, we happen to have a poll of new hampshire, john kasich versus donald trump one-on-one. this is interesting because we had a report yesterday about john kasich thinking seriously about challenging this mt. in a primary. john kasich, 52% in new hampshire. donald trump, 40% in new hampshire, and donald trump won new hampshire -- the new hampshire primary about 35% of the vote, and that means if he was going on one-on-one, john kasich might have won new hampshire, but he would win today. >> well, just it is early and a lot of things can change, and we have spent a lot of time underestimating donald trump in the last year and a half. unlike richard nixon, donald trump has that echo chamber and
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he has the alternative reality media that will support him and go to the wall. richard nixon only resigned because of two things. number one, there was the smoking gun, and number two, you had principled republicans who were willing to stand up against him. i don't think you're going to see republicans stand up against president trump until that base begins to crack. if the base begins to crack, that changes, but again, richard nixon never enjoyed kind of -- the sycophants, the supporters, the air cover, the fluffers and media that donald trump can call upon in a pinch. >> we're seeing jeff flake find his voice against donald trump, increasingly so, and with eloquence. thank you very much. tonight's special last word is next. shawn evans: it's 6 am.
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it is intern night here on "the last word," and the last word will go to shea smith from the university of oklahoma. you are our first intern of the summer who is leaving. >> this is my final week. >> in that final week -- >> i'm sad. >> interns always get the last word. >> i have noticed. >> you are here on a fellowship, and it's part of the native-american journalism fellow program.
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you are part of the cherokee nation in oklahoma. >> yes. >> you are one of ten of these fellows in the united states. >> yes, so i'm one of ten chosen as a fellow. we are going to be going to california for a week. we'll be going to native media conference, and then the excellence and journals of conference and then apart from that fellowship, i applied for this internship through native-american journalist association. >> we were lucky enough to get you. this is your last year of college. graduation after that, and what's the plan or hope or both? >> i'm moving back to oklahoma on saturday. and then i am going to graduate in december and hopefully, i will see you back in new york. >> we're going to try to find a spot for you. shea smith gets tonight's last word. thank you for everything you have done all summer. it's been great to have you. >> thank you. >> "the 11th hour with brian williams" is next.
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donald trump tells north korea to stop their threats or face fire and fury. now they can outfit a missile with nukes and the president seems to use the same overheated language as the north as he a nukes, the president seems to use the same overheated language as the north as he now deals with a genuine overseas is threat. >> plus, a new report that's right trump has communicated with robert mueller. why have there been messages between the president and the man running the russia investigation. and 200-days into this administration, jeb bush is speaking out on the man who beat him. the 11th hour begins now. we have made it to tuesday. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 201 of the trump administration, and it started out normally enough. the president tweeted out criticism of "the new york times," "the washington post," amazon, fake polls, fake news