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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  August 19, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪ starting in middle school there is a thing can you do called model u.n. model united nations. it's an educational thing. they do it for college kids, for kids in high school. and for kids in middle school. it's a very cool idea. you get assigned to represent a country and then as the delegate for that country, you learn about diplomacy and international relations and the workings of international institutions by you acting out your assigned country's best interests along with all the other kids that are assigned to
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be all the other countries in this mock u.n. environment. it's cool. some schools do debate club. my club did mock trial. some schools do model u.n. it's a cool thing. last march when he was zipping his way through the republican primaries on his way to the nomination to be the republican party's candidate for president in 2016, last march, then candidate donald trump sat down with the editorial board of "the washington post" and in that meeting he finally answered a question that reporters had been bugging him about for weeks. he was becoming the frontrunner for the republican nomination for president. but despite having made it that far politically, nobody really knew where to place him on the number line of republican politics, particularly on issues like national security and foreign policy. people except asking him, mr. trump, mr. trump, who is your foreign policy team? people have been asking him that
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for weeks. they started to make fun of the fact that he didn't seem to have a foreign policy team. well on that day in march at the "washington post" with kind of a dramatic flourish, he produced a piece of paper that had a list of five names on it. he made a big show out of getting the paper from one of his aides. then he spread it out and he read off the paper to the "washington post" editorial board. and in so doing, he announced his list of five people who he said were his foreign policy advisors. and nobody had ever heard of any of them. and as a whole, they turned out to be very strange choices. for example, one of them turned out to be a guy named carter page. a small time business guy who had worked for merryll lynch in russia for a while. he had also turned up in an fbi investigation of a russian spy ring that was operating at a new york bank. he turned up in that investigation as somebody who had provided information to the
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russian agents. another person on the list was a guy who said on his resume he taught for years at the national defense university. when in fact he had not taught for years at the national defense university. another one of the five people on this list listed on his resume that among his awards and honors, not only had he participated in model u.n., in model u.n. he was the representative for the united states! now you know. if you advise an actual u.s. president some day, that's probably pretty good practice, right? and what luck presumably if that kid had been assigned to be the delegate for germany then he swront turn wouldn't have turned up as a foreign policy adviser a few years later down the road. so trump with this flourish pulls out his list of five names. he unveils his five person foreign policy team.
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and it was a weird thing. it continued to be a weird thing. carter page ended up under scrutiny for travels to russia. and his meetings in russia in the middle of the presidential campaign which is now under scrutiny for its contacts with russia during that time. the kid who listed model u.n. on his resume to be a trump foreign policy adviser, he made the news this week because among the 20,000 pages, the trump campaign assigned it over to congressional committees investigating the case, half dozen times the model u.n. kid wrote to other people on the trump campaign insisting that he was able to get them all meetings with high level russians including his efforts to set up a meeting with putin himself. where did these guys come from and how did they end up part of trump's campaign. trump doesn't seem to have known the model u.n. kid or carter
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page, the guy who was in with the russian spies. i mean he doesn't seem to have known the guys before he was running this campaign for president. how did they end up on the presidential campaign and what the candidate described as these senior very important roles as his foreign policy team? same question applies to the guy who ran his campaign for a while, paul manifort. it has been confirmed to us as late of january last year paul manifor tchl and donald trump had no relationship but by march of last year, paul manifort was running his convention operation and by may he was running the whole trump campaign. where did he come from? out of all the people in the country, out of all the republicans in the country, why did trump pick this guy? who he didn't know, who had been out of american politics for decades while instead he was doing business and political
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work for putin connected oligarchs and dictators? why pick him of all people? and then once trump won the election, why did he end up with this guy in charge of foreign policy, running the state department. rex tillerson had never met donald trump before the presidential election. rex tillerson's selection as secretary of state is explained now as having been a recommendation to trump from condoleeza rice and from obama's defense secretary bob gates. as if trump was taking tons of advice from people like that when he was setting up his cabinet. i mean remember, trump installed his bankruptcy lawyer as ambassador to israel. he put the top fundraiser in as treasury secretary. he put his son's wedding planner in charge of federal housing in new york and new jersey. he named his son-in-law and his daughter as senior presidential advisors. he made his bodyguard the director of oval office operations. he put newt gingrich's wife in rome as the ambassador to the
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vatican. you really think he held out on the job of secretary of state until he found someone konld li kon condoleeza rice approved of? it remains a strange thing that he picked rex tillerson to be secretary of state. but tillerson did have decades of experience with putin. he is thought to be closer to putin than almost any other american. putin pinned russia's highest honor on rex tillerson's lapel around the same time that tillerson's company completed the largest oil deal in the world, a half trillion dollar oil deal between russia and exxon that is off now but could be back on in an instant if own the u.s. sanctions on russia could be rolled back. so this is the ning that nags at me. and has been keeping me awake on and off for, like, more than a
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year now. where do these folks come from? how do these people find their way into that inner circle? i mean there have been a whole bunch of people necessity trump campaign who are, forgive me, weird choices, for the jobs that they have had and for the roles that they have played. in terms of my sleep schedule, it's almost comforting now. it's at least clarified now to look at all those weird choices an realize that some inexplicable connection to russia and russian interests appears to be the common denominator in the wierd choices. there as least a theme, right? with this one other guy though, he didn't fit the theme. he was an equally weird choice but doesn't fit that same theme. you can't explain him the same way. this is the trailer for the val kilmer movie he once produced about a mad scientists who locks nem a steam room and holds them hostage there while the girls
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hold each other and take off their bikini tops at random times. sounds kind of porny, sichlt the message is about the mod scientists's murderous crazy scheme to convince them there is such a thing as global warming. >> why are you here? >> hundreds of millions of people are going to die. that's a fact. >> hundreds of millions of people are going to die how? >> global warming. >> that's how you know he's crazy. this one guy who doesn't fit the sort of pattern of a weird choice for the trump campaign in the trump administration, he produced the mad scientists kills people because he believes in global warming sexy sauna scene horror movie. he also produced a movie that is supposed to be nonfiction, a documentary, that shows and proves that one of the guys from "duck dynasty" isn't just a guy with an amazing beard and sells duck calls, he's a living
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prophet here on earth. he is the torchbearer, sent here from heaven to show humanity the way. that one, that movie that, documentary of his actually has so much footage of people being actually killed and stabbed and run over by tanks and stuff that i can't show you the trailer for that film. i can only show you the stuff from the main part of the movie that does make a case that "duck dynasty" guy is the next jesus. the same guy from the administration and campaign is the one who worked for a time at b biosphere 2. that is a texas billionaire's experiment in the '90s to try to make humans live for years in giant green houses with no link to the outside world. steve bannon's time running biosphere two ended in a lawsuit where he was accused of screaming at her that he would take her safety concerns about
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biosphere and ram them down her f'ing throat! bannon actually admitted to saying exactly that in the court case. and that was just a couple years before police were called to his home and he ended up charged with domestic violence and battery as well as charges that he was trying to interfere with his wife's ability to testify against him in that domestic violence case. those charges were later dropped when in fact, his wife didn't turn up to court to testify about the charges. that was also before we learned about the reported meth house that he rented and where he received his mail in florida and now that you mention it that is before we learned about him being registered to vote in multiple states at the same time while leading a crew sat in the trump white house against supposed voter fraud. there are a lot of people that were weird choices in the trump campaign and the trump administration. people who just don't make sense in terms wrf thof where they cam and where they ended up. but at least with most of them
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there is this common thread that they all have unusual ties to rush yachlt we're work ong unraveling that one and explaining it all in the end. but steve bannon, he's the weird tie himself. one year ago yesterday steve bannon was brought onboard to replace paul manifort at the head of the trump campaign. they came on as a package deal. they were working for pro trump outlets of different kinds that were funded by the same reclusive right-wing billionaire robert mercer, the single largest donor overall to elect trump to president. even though bannon was taking over the campaign chairman role from paul manifort, he insisted on being called the campaign ceo. okay. once he was installed as senior white house strategist, steve bannon insisted it be made publicly known the chief strategist role sf equal rank to being white house chief of staff. he then named himself to the
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national security council before that national security adviser, first one got fired and the new one kicked him out of there. well now as to have day he is gone from the white house altogether. with a flourish of random contradictory information about how exactly he left, how much he jumped and how much he was pushed. the line they're trying to sell now from the bannon side is that it was an orderly good-bye. that it was on his terms. that he filed his notice, that he would leave two weeks ago or maybe it was ten days ago or maybe it was a week ago. he at least definitely had already decided to leave on his own terms a long time ago. and everybody knew he was leaving including him. and that's all fine. if you're going to try to sell that livenlt except for the fact that three nights ago he made an unsolicited call to the american prospect to brag about all the people in the administration who he's about to fire. who he, steve bannon, is going to be firing really soon.
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none of those people are fired but bannon is. declaring victory all the way. so obviously this is another landmark moment in the disillusion of the trump administration. but we'll be talking about that over the course of the next hour. and i just want to focus on a few things that we're chewing on right now and trying to answer. stuff that hasn't been answered yet that i'm hoping we might get answered over the course of this evening. number one, when do we get normal sleepy fridays back? when can we have a slow "newsday"? particularly on a friday? ever? never? okay. that's one. two, carl icahn just left the administration tonight as well. he left the administration, quit his job literally moments before "the new yorker" magazine published this piece about billionaire carl icahn using his position in the trump
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administration to make potentially hundreds of millions of dollars for his own companies. moments before that was published tonight at the new yorker's website, carl icahn resigned s that resignation by carl icahn a stand alone carl icahn potential corruption story or is his resignation tonight tied in any way to the steve bannon departure earlier today? also, who else is leaving the administration right away? either just to take advantage of the smoke screen create bid steve bannon's departure or because they were tied to bannon and now that bannon is gone, they don't have any political means of staying. number three, eric prince, the billionaire brother of education secretary betsy devas and founderst military contractor black water. they report tonight that that big meeting on afghanistan today which was the supposed reason mike pence had to fly home early from overseas trip, they report
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now that eric prince, the black water guy, was due to be at that afghanistan meeting in foern peo pitch his idea that the trump administration should pay him $10 billion a year to run the afghanistan war from here on out as eric prince's own four private enterprise instead of something being run by the u.s. military. according to the new reporting to nishgts steve bannon is the one that was eric prince's chief ally in favor of this idea once steve bannon got fired today, eric presence was blocked from attending that afghanistan meeting at camp david that he was otherwise going to be at. the person who blocked him reportedly was national security adviser h.r. mcmaster. is that true? are interest other cockamamy schemes the administration was wrong along with under bannon's leadership that will change course or stop because he's gone? sort of chewing on all that
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tonight. but here's the big question tonight. which i think we actually might be able to figure out with the right reporting in just a moment. why was steve bannon there in the first place? what was he there to do? and at whom's behest was they? and whatever he was sent to do, did he leave now because he accomplished it? there were a lot of other inexplicable people in the trump campaign and now in the trump administration and they fit another pattern entirely. russia, russia, russia. that's to how they got their place and why they're there. but bannon really is different. bannon came on a year ago out of the blue to run the trump campaign despite the fact that with his personal background he probably couldn't get a commercial driver's license let alone control of a major presidential campaign. he got that gig specifically because the people who funded bannon at breitbart and who funded all his other ventures
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including his insane movies by that point those same people had become the single large environment funneleders of the trump campaign. and those are the people who installed him on top of the campaign a year ago. and who ultimately got him into the white house into the oval office in this senior role that ended today. why did they want him there? did he accomplish what he was supposed to do? and what do they want to do next with him out of the white house and now working on the outside? we've actually got expert reporting on that next from the reporter who has done more than anybody else in the country to explain the single funder who made this all happen in the first place. stay with us. when you have allergies,
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when it was announced one year ago yesterday that steve bannon was taking over the trump campaign, the announcement was weird for a few reasons. first, new campaign chief at a weird late time in the campaign. the third person running that campaign in a very small number of months. that was weird. second, he was announced as part of a package deal with he and kellyanne conway. they got installed at the same time amid the strange and still unexplained departure of paul
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manifort as the previous campaign trail. kellyanne conway was campaign manager, steve bannon was campaign ceo which is weird in itself. campaigns don't have ceos. they seem like this odd couple politically speaking. kel qui an conway is this very personalable, polished, based on the rest of her career you could say sort of a normal republican who went on tv and talked about donald trump as though he were a normal republican. steve bannon, on the other hand, was not that. at any level. really not. but despite their vedistinct differences, they made a very good living off one reclusive conservative hedge funneled bfud billionaire. she ran a super pac that supported ted cruz in the republican presidential prime airy. that pac was almost entirely
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funded by new york city hedge funnel fund billionaire robert mercer. then that billionaire robert mercer and kellyanne conway they decide they had would switch horses. conway stayed in charge of mercer's hedge fund and instead of running anti-trump ads to help ted cruz. robert mercer put many millions of dollars into that effort. he became the largest known single donor to the effort to elect donald trump president. at the same time robert mercer was also reportedly the single largest funder of which steve bannon ran before he signed on with the trump campaign and where he has apparently returned tonight already. after his seven months in the white house. steve bannon was a strange pick, right, as we have been talking about. a strange pick to run a campaign. a strange pick for a very high profile political job given his
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past, a strange pick to run the campaign of the republican presidential nominee given that in his previous job he had done everything humanly possible to unseat the republican majority leader eric kanltor who was primaried out of his job. he did everything humanly possible to kick the republican house speaker john boehner out of his job and john boehner did leave his job as house speaker. and at the time steve bannon got picked to run the trump campaign, he was doing everything possible to unseat next republican house speaker paul ryan. the one who is still there despite steve bannon's best efforts. that's what the mercer family had bannon using breitbart to do. before they took them away from breitbart and sent him over to the trump campaign and trump administration. now that he's done with the administration and back at breitbart as to have night, is he going back to that war he was waging on the republican party?
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or is there some new idea? what happens with the secretive billionaire mercer family as a factor now, now that they're back to paying steve bannon's salary instead of us taxpayers? joining us is jane mayor, staff writer for the new yorker. "the reclusive hedge-funneled tycoon behind the trump presidency" was an incredible piece of reporting that i'm sure put you on the mercer family christmas list forever. jane, thank you very much for being with us tonight. i really appreciate your time. >> glad to be with you. >> from what you understand about the mercer family and their intentions, why they funded trump to the degree that they did, why they facilitated the movement of steve bannon and kellyanne conway over to the campaign, why they supported breitbart all these years, given all -- your understanding of all those things, do you have a sense of what their role will be now that bannon is out?
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>> well, first of all, what their intentions were in the campaign was bob merser is a kind of, as you say, very reclusive cookie political conspiracy theorist who was driven by hay dread of hatred. he really believed that clintons murdered people and susceptible to right-wing cookie theories. and so when he, you know, at this particular point, he is now playing both an inside game and an outside game. he met with bannon on wednesday for several hours at his estate in long island. and they are planning life after the white house for bannon where bannon will welcome captain of this movement that is to push the republican party in a more sort of nationalist populous direction. the next night bannon -- excuse me, mercer had dinner with
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trump. and sort of pledged support so he's both an inside supporter but also going to be funding this hugely powerful outside movement to pressure trump to go in the direction that he and bannon want him to go into. it's a very strange role. i mean incredibly wealthy man with an unusual amount of power over this white house. >> and is the goal to try to continue to shape the white house in bannon's image, sort of nationalist image, despite the fact that bannon is not in it anymore? is that idea to try to get the other people who are opposed to bannon's vision out of there and to get more people like bannon close to trum now that bannon is out? you see why it seems backwards? >> well, one way to look at this is bannon did all he could as he sees it inside the white house. he didn't get his way on an awful lot of things particularly having to do with economic nationalism, you know, all kinds of things having to do with
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trade policy and they didn't build the wall. and he is hell fwoent try to be get his way by pushing on the out side of the white house. the mercer fortune will be behind him pushing this movement. one of the first showdowns we're going to see in the fall is over funding that wall. i think you're going to see breitbart which is largely owned by the mercers and bannon which who is incredible propagandist pushing to get funding for building that wall and if they don't get it, i think they'll probably see if they can shut down the government or do, you know, play hard ball the way they did with bannon before and eric cantor. >> jane, i'm thinking about the role of breitbart and the decision by the mercers not just to fund that but then to take bannon out of there and move him over to the trump campaign when they felt like the time was
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right. you know, there are a lot of ideological news outlets out there in the world that are funded and supported by rich people who want to use them for crusading and stuff. breitbart's been pretty effective but i wouldn't describe them as a juggernaut in terms of being able to dominate the media landscape. they're one factor among a fractured media landscape that is changing all the time. do you expect that sort of outside game, even if it does involve breitbart will also involve new efforts, new types of media, new types of influence operations besides that one complication? >> i think i have heard that there's some interest by bannon in seeing if they can kind of launch breitbart tv of some sort. i mean they're certainly not going to be, you know, alone in this field. as you say, you can take a look at rupert murdoch's media empire and he has a tremendous amount of -- quite bate more power
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probably and he was in there lobbying to get trump to get rid of bannon. so they certainly won't abalone in this. i think the thing that is interesting about bannon is he is a political pugilist. he is a very powerful propagandist when he gets going. i think he added a lot of anger and edge to trump. and gave him kind of, you know, sort of cast him as a coherent political figure that really i'm not sure that trump is at all. so i think he's good at propaganda and it will be interrogatory see what he can do. but what they're going to try to do is whip up anger from outside and get the base really angry and pushing hard against what bannon sees as sort of the globalists and the empire builders. >> which will now be his targets will be inside the
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administration that he just left. >> absolutely. of course, he may, you know, he made a big mistake. if he thought that he could cross the children -- the family, the trump family, i mean he was at war with jared kushner and ivanka trump and that wasn't going to be waning game. in fact, bannon is telling people for almost a year that he would be out in august. so i -- you know, whatever the final game plan was in the end and who said get out or whether he said you can't fire me i quit, either way, i think he knew he wasn't going to be lasting as an insider for the long term. >> and actually good stylistic to all of us. whenever you leave anything under any circumstances, always declare victory as you are walking out doort even if somebody's pushing you while you're going. jane mayor, staff writer for the new yorker, thank you for being with us tonight. i really appreciate your time. >> glad to be with you. >> i will just note when it comes to time to it, in weeks head, when i hear again on a
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friday night when i'm expecting it to be sleepy and stuff is as crazy as it has been, you'll be able to look back at this night and say, you know what? jane mayor said the night they fired steve bannon that things were going to get less coherent from here on out. let's just stick a pin in that. we'll need to come back to that in the future. less coherent. stay with us. ♪ when heartburn hits fight back fast with new tums chewy bites. fast relief in every bite.
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in addition to steve bannon lef leaving today, one of his
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breitbart hires, a special assistant to the president julia hahn, she also hit the exit and left the white house. also out today, the white house's director of public liaison which is a tight that will sounds like it means nothing but for reference in the obama white house, that was the position held by valerie jarrett. that guy tloest dleft today too. and carl icahn left as well. billionaire investor will no longer serve as a special adviser to the president on regulatory reform. though this blistering long piece in the new yorker to night suggests that carl icahn may have some criminal legal concerns that follow him home from that job that he quit tonight. okay. so that's this evening. who is left the trump administration? anybody else? where's my phone? before tonight in addition to losing his national security adviser and his chief of staff and his press secretary and his chief strategist, the president also saw the departure of not
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one but two the president also replaced the top lawyer on the legal defense team. he has seen the spokesman for that legal team resign. had is in addition to all of the staffers and cabinet nominee who's withdrew in the face of varies controversies. what started as a shoestring campaign seems to be reverting back to just that now. there is another piece of
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staffing news that is a story that is actually not from inside the administration, technically. o was the first investigator to be removed from the robert mueller investigation but he was busted down the ranks of the fbi. he had been the fbi's lead supervisor on the investigation into the russia attack. that investigation was rolled up into the robert mueller's special counsel inquiry and so he moved over to the special counsel's office to be part of that investigation. but strzok is not only out of the mueller investigation, in addition to that, he's no longer running the counter espionage section of the fbi. he's working in the fbi's human resources department, which is really different. that very provocative news was on wednesday.
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no other news organization has matched that reporting over the course of this week until today when we managed to confirm that, in fact, peter strzok is now working in human resources at the fbi now. don't ask me how we confirmed it. i will tell you over a beer sometime. but we did confirm it. he's out and he's in human resources now. the question remains why. natasha from "business insider" raises two possible sees. the first is the ongoing investigation by the inspector general looking into how the fbi handled hillary clinton's e-mails and that investigation during the election. there's an inspector general investigation of how that was handled. peter strzok was the fbi official who oversaw the fbi investigation into clinton's e-mails. so is it possible that peter strzok got caught up in the clinton e-mail stuff? we don't know. second possibility is that his
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departure may have had something to do with the lightning, "washington post" report recently that the fbi for campaign paul manafort and whether robert mueller's team may have leaked the details of that search to reporters and, if so, did somebody get a really big demotion because they got caught doing that like? those are -- it's honestly -- who knows? all we have is speculation at this point because nobody will tell us. but this seems like an important piece of news, right? this is the first sign of the ship rocking over at the mueller inquiry. a lot of people in this country think about the bob mueller inquiry every day and think a lot of the future of our country depends on the quality of that inquiry. is something wrong at the bob mueller inquiry?
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this is the first sign of anything seeming hinky. we want to know how serious it is and we want to know to the broader question whether the mueller investigation is having any serious problems. we don't know. we only have this provocative piece of staffing information. if you are out there and you know and you want to communicate with us anonymously, please do so. just saying.
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to find out why we're booking.yeah! you know what you want to talk to tonight, i want to talk to nbc presidential historian michael beschloss. he's here in person. michael, thank you for being here. >> delighted. great to see you. >> this is disorienting news today. i think steve bannon has been a disorienting figure in terms of things that have happened before in presidential politics. >> right. >> he seems like an ahistorical figure already. his departure now seems like both a shock and something that is hard to contexualize. can i just ask you, historically speaking, has it ever been a landmark moment, a key turning point when a white house staffer left? >> almost never.
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and that's why i think this is a really big deal tonight. and the one moment i think what qualify would be in 1985 when jim baker left as reagan's chief of staff and knew washington in a way that reagan had not and screwed up that and to some extent reagan's changes led to the iran-contra scandal which almost led to reagan's impeachment. if you look at other white house stats, in washington you always hear it's so important, this guy is leaving, this person is coming. they usually don't amount to very much. i think the departure of bannon is going to be a very big deal. >> why do you think it's potentially a standout moment like that, that change for reagan? what is it about bannon that tells you that his departure is going to be a big deal? >> because this is a guy who had his own constituency and public profile. you almost never see that in a top place in a white house staff. we never saw a president choose a chief strategist. you don't see that job title in any of the other administration. but most of all, donald trump
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was able to sort of bridge this gap between, you know, the globalists and the nationalists if, you want to call them that, economic nationalists, and perhaps white nationalists represented by bannon as long as he was inside the white house, he could bridge those two because he didn't have to worry about bannon denouncing him to the public. it's sort of what lbj has said about j. edgar hoover, better to have him inside the tent than outside the tent. tomorrow for the first time, donald trump has to deal with the very real possibility that steve bannon will go out and use breitbart and his other -- the other institutions that he helps to command to put real pressure on the trump presidency and perhaps try to break off certain
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parts of the people who support donald trump. >> it's such an interesting idea about him having his own constituency and sort of a unique power but a unique form of leverage on the president, something that made it difficult for him to be in that sort of a senior role. i guess that leads to the question of whether he'll be replaced. it also, for me, seems important to note that nobody knew who he was a year ago. >> that's exactly right. >> yeah. >> and donald trump sort of made him. >> yeah. >> and he is now a huge figure, especially in that movement and in a position if he's angry at donald trump, you know, either because trump fired him or because he's angry that trump seems to have sided with new york globalists, so-called, he's in a position to do trump real
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damage, just like out of a novel. >> fascinating. this is what sarah palin i think that could have been a breaking pountd where republicans really would have stood up to the president and said we are not going to stake this and create their own agenda. >> we have had some false alarms, too. >> with bannon leaving, it gives a lot of excuses to a lot of republicans to say, look, we are going to give him a reset. i actually think that's so unfortunate because the people in the party, the leadership was starting to -- >> i have to say, the first thing i thought of mitt romney, old news. he came out with his statement and said the same thing in his campaign. quick break here. the round table is staying with ♪ when heartburn hits fight back fast with new tums chewy bites. fast relief in every bite. crunchy outside.
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the last word is live tonight after we wrap up here
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this hour and then at 11:00 p.m. eastern time, brian williams is here live on the 11th hour tonight. this is obviously a huge day in american politics. is there anyone not a member of the trump family. we'll know that by the end of brian show, maybe. so there is plenty of tron stick with us here at msnbc tonight. we have one more story before we go tonight and it's the best new thing in the world. and that's next. stay with us.
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all the way on the left in the glasses. he went up to the circulation desk. he asked to check out a philosophy book that he needed for class at college. and joseph jackson jr. was told no. he was told he could not check out that book. the woman working at the library told him to use the city's other library down the street because the jackson municipal library was the white library for white people only. and if joseph jackson and his friends wanted to check out a book, they should check out the librarian for colored people. joseph jackson jr. and those other eight students from the college, they did not leave. they stayed in that whites only library. they held a read-in. they sat silently reading, refusing to go anywhere unless joseph jackson was allowed to check out that philosophy book he had come for. eventually the staff, the all-white staff of that all-white library called the police. the police came into the library. they walked the students out the front door. they put them into squad cars, and they drove them to jail for
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reading in the library. those nine kids from the college were arrested and charged with breach of the peace. they were jailed for two days. this was 1961, a time when challenging racial law meant risking your life. joseph jackson, the one who asked to check out the library book, says he remembers being scared those two nights in jail. he and the rest of those students were worried that somebody, the klan or somebody would come after them once they got out. that was 56 years ago in jackson, mississippi. at the time it was a catalyzing event for other students to join the civil rights movement. but the read-in itself, that event, has been almost forgotten. but as of now, if you visit the old jackson municipal library, you will see this. it's a new marker funded by the jackson library board in honor of the tougaloo nine.
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at the bottom, it says the -- this has been a tough last few days in terms of our national conscience and dignity on very difficult issues related to race. but this new marker in mississippi, which the library raised the money to put up, and this new recognition of what those nine kids did that day in that library for themselves, come on. best new thing in the world today. and you know you needed it. it's true that what happens in national politics affects the whole country. that's why it's national. but it's not just the stuff that happens in the white house that happens everywhere. sometimes what happens in little corners of the country affects all of us too. best new thing in the world tonight. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again monday. now it's time for "the last word." ali velshi is here. >> thanks a lot. i learned a lot in the last hour. have a great weekend. it's over. steve bannon is out of the white house, back at breitbart, and
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apparently ready for war. >> steve bannon is officially out at the white house. >> take him back to hell. >> steve bannon was the heart of darkness of the white house. >> controversial from the very beginning. >> you know, i can run a little hot on occasions. >> the entire senior staff had basically turned against him. and frankly the president had turned against him. >> we'll see what happens with mr. bannon. >> tonight he is already back in charge of breitbart news. >> he says, quote, the trump presidency that we fought for and won is over. >> it's almost laboratory test designed to enrage donald trump. >> every day it is going to be a fight, and that is what i'm proudest about donald trump. >> the problem here isn't bannon. the problem is trump. >> this man does not seem to me to have what we would normally think of as a soul. he has an open sore. >> i think he's in a position right now where he is much more isolated than he realizes.