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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  March 1, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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bottles, camp shelf stoves and sun glasses because their parent company vista also makes the ar-15 rifle. that is tonight's last word. up next, the white house is gripped by tumult and turbulence and that's according to 16 white house officials, congressional aides and outside advisers who spoke to the associated press. 16. one of the report here's worked on that story will join brian williams on the 11th hour which starts now. new reporting tonight from nbc news. robert mueller a semibssembling charges for those who hacked e-mails in 2016. meanwhile, an elaborate show in moscow as they unveil new nuclear water temperatures and putin warns the world, you listen to us now. and another dave turbulence, confusion, and we have the very
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latest on the chaos i know what the rarely heard sound of robert mueller's voice. "the 11th hour" on a thursday night begins now. good evening once again from our msnbc headquarters. day 406 of the trump administration and special counsel robert mueller is apparently looking at a fresh round of criminal charges in the russia investigation. our own nbc news reporting says mueller is building a case against russians who carried out the hacking and leaking of private information meant to hurt democrats during the 2016 election. this according to government officials familiar with the matter. our colleagues kenainian and julian had say it will delve into the details of and the people behind the russian intelligence operation that used hackers to penetrate computer networks and steal e-mails of
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both the democratic national committee and clinton campaign chairman john podesta. you may recall the e-mails were constantly mentioned by then candidate donald trump. he repeatedly expressed his love have wikileaks from the podium. according to sources, mueller has long had evidence to make the case but strategic issues could dictate the timing here. possible charges could include violations of statutes on conspiracy, election law and the computer fraud and abuse act. while some officials said charges could come in weeks or months, it goes on to say, it is also popular muellerment son not to move forward because of concerns or that he files it under seal. much like the indictment mueller
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arrested two weeks ago. possibly new charges are expected to rely heavily on secret intelligence from the fbi, cia and homeland security. this comes just weeks after top u.s. intelligence officials warn senators that moscow would be back to meddle in this year's elections. and it comes only two days after mike rogers revealed president trump hasn't directly told him to combat russian hacking. >> have you been directed to do so, given the strategic threat that faces the united states and the significant consequences? >> no. >> you need direct authority of the press. >> there are some things i have the authority to do. >> and we should know, he is
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expected to be arraigned in federal court. he was arrested gist last week in virginia. pled guilty to charges including money laundering. robert mueller's team said if these judges follow sentencing guidelines, mueller could face eight to ten years in prison if convicted on all the charges in virginia and 15 to 20 if convicted on all the charges filed in washington. paul manafort is 68 years old. let's turn to our lead-off panel. carol lee is here with us. national political reporter, the co-author of our exclusive nbc news report from just last night on robert mueller asking witnesses if trump knew with these hacked democratic e-mails before they were released. also back with us, jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the cia and pentagon.
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and we welcome back to the program, a federal prosecutor and a justice department veteran. welcome to you all. carol, about tonight's story, what is its central impact the your view? >> well, as you mentioned, this hacking and leaking strategically is the worst part. so this is significant that we knew this was happening. if mueller decides to move forward with an indictment, to me the key question is whether or not there are any americans that are tied to this. it is one thing to indict lugss will probably never be extradited and stand trial in the united states. it is one thing if there are americans named or unnamed, should he decide to do an zpimt there could be strategic reasons why he wouldn't necessarily name an american who was part of hacking and leaking campaign.
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>> it could give away, he could want to hold back on that to try to pressure somebody, to try to cooperate with the investigation. there are a number of different reasons. that's what i think, that gets at the heart of the matter. not only an american but was there anyone in the trump campaign, any trump associate who's potentially corroborated with wikileaks. >> so cynthia, this guy mueller very rarely, that we can tell ever gets out over his skis. everything is planned and timed out. how will this be a part of the story? >> well, prosecutors and trial lawyers are basically story tellers. that's what he has to do. you know, his first indictment really tells the story of the bots and that role of spreading fake information and helping the trump campaign. this will be the second story. whether he does it through this indictment now or somewhere down line. he has to tell the story of how the russians stole this
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information and how it eventually got out. it makes sense to me that chapter one was the bots. chapter two is the whole story and the e-mails. that at some point down the line, he has to get to the important question about whether any americans were involved. in the meantime, he has all these little sub chamts in his story. different people pleading guilty and being forced to plead guilty. >> how will this ratchet up the seriousness? >> if you think about the propaganda, the subject of the indictment with weeks ago, and now the hacking and leaking was the potential future set of charges. in the propaganda, the trump team could say we were merely passive beneficiaries. with regard to the hacking and leaking, we know that papadopoulos had dirt on hillary clinton. we know that was the set-up in 2016 in june.
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in fact, don jr. said, if it is what i think it is, what papadopoulos said, i love it. and then presidential candidate himself, donald trump talked about wleek, the leaking, talked about it incest tanltly in the campaign. >> you're so right to differentiate, if we get an indictment with hard to pronounce russian names that even a lay person can guess will never come before the bar of justice. but american names, real u.s. individuals that we can get pictures of, that is different. >> extremely different. and that's the heart of this investigation. was there anyone specifically on the trump campaign who colluded with russia in part of its efforts to meddle in the election. and any american, it would be extremely significant. much more so.
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they wouldn't actually pay any penalty. you know, in our reporting yesterday, we know that mueller's team is asking. about these e-mails in advance. he talked about assange and wikileaks and there's a lot of questions about his knowledge of this. he was still in close contact with the president and there's that. that relationship with trump and the papadopoulos piece. and i think that those pieces to play out are going to be the most significant in terms of of this. >> i keep picturing the mother of all white boards.
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in mueller's offices in d.c. and all the tent cals as closely secured as a battle plan in warfare. and they have to know what would reveal too much about sources and methods. what would tip their hand to any other lawyers about where this is headed? where this is ultimately headed? >> that's probably roo it. they probably want to reveal just enough to make the case. and even to make charges that they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. so a very high ethical bar. they don't want to reveal too much. it happened in the clear. it was an open source activity. and therefore can be discussed. this was the work of russian intelligence agencies. it is a lot more sensitive, a lot more dicey.
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>> cynthia, how does knowing robert mueller as you do change the lens through which you view this? i guess it is another way of saying, how does he look at all this from his world view? >> he's fundamentally a marine. and i think he looked at it through a patriotic lens. that the president is not doing anything about the russian intervention in our election and he is going to tell the american people story. he's going to find out what happened. and pretty much everyone involved will be sorry. if anybody is involved, they ought to tell bob mueller and they ought to move to russia. >> that says a lot. we keep talking about the bots, the hack go, the false information. in real-time, a lot of us, most of us, all of us didn't know what we were seeing online on the web. we knew a nakedly false story.
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this was an interesting intervention. >> and there's a lot of political noise. you can say it was drop in the ocean. this hacking piece, that was discuss in the an october 2016 statement by the direct or of national intelligence that this was tunneled authorship of the russian federation. and unlike propaganda which happens, legal and illegal, hacking, only illegal. hacking only done by someone trying to do something improper during an election season. i think we are left with the quote, fundamentally a marine. >> appreciate all three of you being with us. and coming up as we continue, continued chaos, continued leaks. work of more impend go
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departures. as they call it, thursday. and later, what vladimir putin told megyn kelley about his nuclear weapons capability, conveniently unveiled 17 days before his election which is not expected to be a squeaker, by the way. the 11th hour just getting underway on a thursday night. earned you miles to get to the places you really want to go. with the united mileageplus explorer card, you'll get a free checked bag. two united club passes. priority boarding. and earn fifty thousand bonus miles after you spend three thousand dollars on purchases in the first three months from account opening plus, zero-dollar intro annual fee for the first year, then ninety-five dollars. learn more at that goes beyond assuming beingredients are safe...ood to knowing they are. going beyond expectations... because our pets deserve it.
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h.r. mcmaster may be the next departure. preparing for an exit as the end of this month. he was brought in to replace michael flynn who was brought in after less than a month on the job after contact with the russians. in a statement, they said we frequently face rumor and inwend over about senior administration officials. there are no personnel announcements at this time. news of mcmaflters's apparent coming departure comes day after communications director and importantly close trump aide and confidante hope hicks tendered her resignation. all of this comes amidst questions of the president's son-in-law and security clearance. speculation that john kelly may be on thin ice somehow and a very public feud between trump and his own attorney general. the associated press in their wisdom is reporting it this way. rarely has a modern president
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confront so many crises and can controversies across so many fronts at the same time. after 13 months in office, there's little expectation among many white house aides and allies that trump can quickly find his footing or attract new top flight talent to the west wing. all right, as of tonight, you cite 16 sources. so the leaking business is robust these days in washington. is there any more stability tonight than say, let's pick a long time ago. a lot of night. >> no. >> continue, please. >> the people we talked to, white house officials, outside adviseors, all page the same picture. morale in the west wing is as
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low as it's been in months. the recent tough stretch, they all point to one thing, the departure of rob port he, a chain react which has had a significant effect. when porter left after accusations of domestic abuse by both of his ex-wives, a spotlight was shown on john kelly, the chief of staff, who came under extreme fire for letting porter be in the building and defending him immediately after these allegations came to light. our reporting suggests that you may recall, it was ash wednesday about, a week after the porter scandal broke. john kelly with the mark of the cross on his forehead was set to talk to the press in the white house briefing room and finally give forth, supposedly, what would be the differeefinitive narrative. it was the day of the florida
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shooting. the focus shifted to security clearances which then became about jared kushner and he has been in the spotlight in recent days. the president is frustrated at times with both camps and certainly with the attorney general who is frequently the whipping boy. and now there are people very close to the white house who are concerned, what impact hope hicks' departure will have on the president. we know she is one of his closest confidantes. rarely more than shouting distance away. and this leaves the president without a lot of his sounding boards. the friendly faces that he likes to see. he misses the the camaraderie.
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>> as i don't need to tell you, most of what you need to know in life is available in godfather one and two. having said that, not even family is sacred. i want to read this to you. privately, some aides have expressed frustration that mr. kushner and his wife, the president's daughter, ivanka trump, have remain at the white house despite mr. trump at times saying they never should have come to the white house and should leave. yet aides also noted that mr. trump has told the couple that they should keep serving in their roles even as he has privately asked mr. kelly for his help in moving them out. it's like hunger games. >> it's like hunger games. i don't even know what the right analogy is. the hunger games cannibalism
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involved in it. i was thinking more reptiles. it's like scorpions in a really wet sock. you know, you've covered elections for a long time and that you know person sell policy. to some extent there's a feedback loop. this presidency, the person and he will the policy have always been kind of messed up. so most of these, of the existing white house staff, the senior ones who are still there, there have been simmering grievances against them since the beginning and none more than jared kushner and ivanka trump. now you have those not in the building. they know how to use a telephone and they leak to the press. so you alluded to it in the first round here, that's coming from inside the building. you have people, and i'll not
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alleging particular people, reince priebus, people like that, they saw a lot of stuff and didn't necessarily like the people still in the white house and are taking this opportunity to, i said on a show today, strike at the head of the prince. particularly in kushner's case. he is so vulnerable now. the security council story opened the door and weakened him and made him vulnerable. now you have mueller, eric schneiderman, the attorney general in new york, bank regulators here, all circling around kushner. those who as wanted him out or thought he shouldn't have been there in the first place, are trying to kill him. >> say what you like about goldman sachs, is upset that the president adlibbed today on tariffs and throws up his hands and says i'm done. going back to new york. you point this out in your work, hiring. how do you go out and recruit
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for these top positions? john alluded to this, too. >> this white house, even before this latest round of chaos, has had a hard time bringing in talented experienced wash hands to come into the building. some of the never trumpers, they said they should consider it. they were perceived as disloyal and therefore they won't even get a shot. there are people throughout washington who are throwing up their hands in a normal administration who would be thrilled to work in the white house but don't want to walk in because of how chaotic it is. the russia probe that shatters all of this. and to further the point, jared, ivanka, kelly, the people in the last week or two are saying what do ivanka trump and jared kushner do all day? not being sure why they have the authority they do.
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>> there were a fair number of spirited individuals who knew the trump white house would be day on the hike decided to go in despite that at the beginning. now they've seen not the theory, not the hypothesis. they know exactly how chaotic it is. they've seen how the white house has chewed people up and spit them out. with the mueller probe starting to get guilty can verdicts. it seems to widen and tighten simultaneously. if you're new a smart public spirited republican who wants to save the country from chaos, you look and say i'm going in there? they went in there. i saw what happened to them. it is not going to work. you have this horrible situation where the president doesn't want people had a might want to serve him. and the much larger group who are again past theory into practice. they know what will happen to them if they go in the chblg
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leaves new terrible position if you're trying to run the country. >> and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we have these gentlemen on. coming up, vladimir putin pouts a thoroughly entertaining show. is this what an arms race looks like if 2018? say carl, we have a question about your brokerage fees. fees? what did you have in mind? i don't know. $4.95 per trade? uhhh and i was wondering if your brokerage offers some sort of guarantee? guarantee? where we can get our fees and commissions back if we're not happy. so can you offer me what schwab is offering? what's with all the questions? ask your broker if they're offering $4.95 online equity trades and a satisfaction guarantee. if you don't like their answer, ask again at schwab.
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today vladimir putin announce ad new class of nuclear weapons that he says renders defense systems useless. his demonstration was accompanied by animation that's appeared to show warheads targeting the united states, the state of florida, to be exact. the entire event harkened back to the brezhnev soviet era. before we talk about it, we want to get a report on it so you see what we mean from our chief foreign affairs correspondent richard engel. >> reporter: in his last major speech before presidential elections, he is almost guaranteed to win again. he sounded lying his cold war predecessors, warning of a nuclear war. showing elaborate animations of what he called invincible
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nuclear weapons. like this cruise missile having a limitless range and unpredictable flight path and shown targeting the united states. and a long range underwater drone tipped with a nuclear warhead. >> i think we ought to take this very seriously. vladimir putin is a very serious leader. he has powerful scientific establishment behind him. and several of these weapons will be game changers. >> president trump seldom christian of russia, didn't respond. the white house did. >> u.s. defense capabilities are and will remain second to none. now because of the new defense budget of $seven hundred million, our military will be far stronger than ever. >> to some it all hargens back to the duck and cover days. >> the little threat about nuclear weapons was interesting. if ever there were an empty
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threat, that was it. putin saying today, nobody listened to us. it's time to listen to us now. >> so richard engel starting us off from moscow. now to vladimir putin. after his press conference today, our own megyn kelly who was on assignment in moscow sat one to the president. >> several an lists in the west said this is definition of a new cold war. are we in a new arms race right now? >> translator: my point of view is that those who say a new cold war has started, they are not analysts. they do propaganda. if you were to speak of an arms race, it began when the u.s. opted out of the u.s. anti-ballistic missile treat yifltsome are saying you tested it and i will failed and that's why you only showed animations today and have not produced any
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actual videos. >> translator: are you talking about icbms. >>? yes. the ones that you claimed makes defense systems useless. >> translator: as a matter of fact every single weapons system easily avoids an anti-missile defense system. >> you've tested it? >> translator: the test was excellent. some of them have to be fine tuned and worked on some of the are available to the troops and ready. >> do you have a rourkable icbm weapon that's tested successfully? >> translator: all of those were successful. it is just that each is at a different stage of ready know. one is in combat duty. it is with the troops. >> so megyn russia will have more reporting in the coming days. with us, author of the
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appropriately titled, nuclear nightmares. could we have a more appropriate author on our broadcast is in the and 56 back with us, former managing editor of "time" magazine, who notably interviewed putin when he was named person of the year in 2006. such an innocent anaheim 2006. your latest headline, putin just gave trump the arms race he sought. >> the old nuclear arms race, same as the old nuclear arms race. this is what was said in 2016. we'll beat them at every turn. we'll outlast them. he keeps harping back to this. a nuclear build-up. putin just answered him.
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to trump's three nuclear weapon that's he introduced last month, lamb month ago today, putin introduced five new nuclear weapons. he is saying, bring it on. you think you can beat me? i'll your equal. and this plays into putin's hands. this is one area where they do match us weapon for weapon. >> so after that, isn't the rest gravy? and number two, how do you conduct diplomacy? given the current relationship between our two presidents. >> it is bizarre. because of course people are wondering about colluding with russia and vladimir putin and yet they're at logger heads over this nuclear issue. this isn't very diplomatic but both trump and putin are like the kids in the play ground. you just dare them to do something stoop and i had you
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know they'll do it. both respond to dares like. that that is a dangerous situation when countries are armed to the teeth with these nuclear weapons. what putin did today, whether it is new or not, and i'm more sympathetic to what condoleezza rice said. it could be a mirage. but the stone an arms race. bring it on. that's not good for humanity. >> what about the point i just made mutually assured destruction? what if all they have is peace the computer graphics. what if our guys know exactly what 37 or don't have? >> there's an underlying insanity about this. we both have about 4,500 nuclear weapons. northern enough to destroy each and more than enough to destroy human life this planet and yet we each keep having arguments.
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you heard putin. he is withdrawing from our withdrawal from the treaty in 2002. you heard president trump thinking he's responding to the introduction of new nuclear weapons by putin. in washington, nuclear lauks already using this speech as a justification for a massive build up of our missile defense system. so yes. you remember, we have enough weapons to just bounce the rubble and we keep building them. >> and this is what we mean, living in the time of the only president he directly at war with the intelligence establishment. americans have to hope someone in the art department putting together graphics is on the home team and someone who is one of their defense contractors is on the home team. that's what we're left to. >> yes. i would hope and believe the intelligence community, the u.s. has an understanding of whether
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some of these things have been tesd. whether they're able to measure that. the one possible silver lining, the treaty. if this is a cry for let's get back to the negotiations table. he brought it up and trump rebuffed him. i would say guys, get down to the table and start talking about. this as joe said, we have way too many of these and we need divest ourselves. >> there you go. thinking like a normal person again. >> two of our favorites. we'll have you on again. coming up, from guns to tariffs, aides and fellow republicans scramble to say what this president meant to say for the second straight day. we're back with that after this.
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it doesn't make sense that i have to be 21 to get a handgun but i can be 18 to get an ar 15. >> we didn't address it. >> you're afraid of the nra, right? take the firearms first and then to go court. that's another system. a lot of times, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court torsion get the due process procedures. i like taking guns early. >> those comments from president trump stunled republicans in congress as he steamed take a position on gun control to the left of any liberal. and today another shock where trump announced the united states would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. it surprised the republicans in congress, his chief xhekt adviser, even his own chief of staff, most of whom had strongly discouraging.
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trump often likes to sow misdirection. even by his standards, the day long period that ended thursday left senior aides and republican lawmakers wondering whether the white house had finally come unmoored. with us, long time republican strategist mike murphy. currently living in the witness protection program. so mike, the nra for years has. some version of, they're coming to get your guns. they've put out ads like this one. it was especially prevalent during the obama presidency. then the president tweeted out tonight about a good if not great meeting in the oval office. did they go straighten out the
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president? >> i'm not sure what happened in that meeting. the nra has become a business. a lot of people in america other vote strong second amendment rights. where are we now? maybe the country's consciousness are moving a little bit. there are some conservative republicans who are very concerned about it. i think the president really did throw a curveball when he was vamping in that meeting all over the place. i'm sure they're scrambling to figure out what to do about it. i was talking to people today, trump critics like me from my fellow republicans is, quit the
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pearl clutching. ignore the tweets and the boarish behavior. look at the output of the administration. tax cuts, good judges, victories against isis, regulatory relief we never dreamed of. the machine is doing fine. they've got him under control. ignore the optics. now we see the machine falling apart. the white house has turned into the thunder dome. they go to rikers for peace and quiet by comparison and we start seeing policy, erratic behavior from the republican orthodoxy point of view. this stupid tariff tax on steel which is not in the republican play book. we're free traders. now he's done tweets that scare republicans actually being done for the first time on economic policy. that has created fear. layer that on top of the fact, it is an election year. the polling numbers are bad and
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getting worse. so republican fear maybe the machine argument they've all been using, it would fall apart, has a lot of people very spooked. >> you touched on this. this may be part of your job in the coming months. how do you cheer up the home team for the mid-term elections in '18? >> well, the good thing about being in an undisclosed location, they don't often bring me in the room because i'm not sure i would get out alive. behind the scenes, more agree with me than not in the professional ranks. i think they'll be trapped into doing, there it is a hard strategy torsion try to change the subject to localize things and to go on the attack against democratic points. some may be of the busy ilg. it is tough. if he keeps making policy moves,
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not just rhetoric like, this crazy steel tariff, he will split the party and that will only weaken our position which is in peril. and we haven't even talked about robert mueller for four and a half minutes. you're always so good to come with us. we'll have you back. >> thank you. >> coming up, short of the president, he's the man we talk about the most on this broadcast. night in and night out. and yet could you identify the voice of robert mueller? tonight we hear from the man at the center of. so these days. ♪ no, please, please, oh! ♪ (shrieks in terror) (heavy breathing and snorting) no, no.
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normally any time we mention the name robert mueller around here it's a triggering event. it triggers this, a string of
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video images that you're looking at right now. we air some form of this same thing every night, based only upon our own video loop, you'd be forgiven for thinking that all robert mueller does is wake up in the morning and find a hallway to walk down purposefully and with a serious looking massive briefcase before turning in for the night. we know he's so much more than that. he played three sports in prep school, soccer, lacrosse and hockey and was captain of all three teams. he's a decorated, wounded marine corps veteran who left with a bronze star and purple heart, when to princeton, only j. edgar hoover -- we mention his name
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multiple times every night on this broadcast and yet would you know his voice if you've ever heard it? you have ever heard him speak? so we looked through his public remarks and we put together something for you. and as you listen, as you hear him speak, listen to the principles of this man who occupies an enormous role right now in our democracy. >> i care deeply about the rule of law. in a free society, a central rule of government, i believe, is to protect its citizens from criminal harm within the framework of the constitution. i have been fortunate indeed to spend much of my career in pursuit of that goal. what has never changed and will never change are our values. we have pledged to serve and to protect our nation and to do so while upholding the rights and the liberties guaranteed to every citizens under the
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constitution. >> i've always been proud to say that i work for the department of justice because of that for which it stands, which is an unyielding commitment to the rule of law and to the safety and security of the citizens we serve. >> in the end it is not only what we do but how we do it. whenever we do we must act with honesty and with integrity and regardless of your chosen career, you are only as good as your word. you can be smart, aggressive, articulate, indeed persuasive, but if you are not honest, your reputation will suffer and once lost, a good reputation can never, ever be regained. as the saying goes, if you have integrity nothing else matters and if you do not have integrity, nothing else matters. >> robert swann mueller in his own words tonight. when we come back after a break,
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and the last thing before we go here tonight, general kelly made a funny today, notable probably because it hasn't looked like his job has been a whole lot of fun of late. kelly appeared at an event
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marking the 15th anniversary of the department of homeland security. in fact, remember this, the homeland term was never used to describe our country until after 9/11? kelly talked about leaving the job of secretary and going to work for this president. >> i would just open by saying i have almost no right to be up here on this stage. >> you have every right to be here. >> i missed every one of you every day. [ applause ] >> truly, six months, the last thing i wanted to do was walk away from one of the great honors of my life being the secretary of homeland security, but i did something wrong and god punished me i guess. >> in airing those remarks from kelly earlier today, we've been airing only the briefest snippet of the event itself. just that much on television to
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show the stage, but there on the stage with kelly is someone we should note and that's tom ridge, the very first secretary of homeland security, former congressman, former pennsylvania governor. like robert mueller, a bronze star recipient from the vietnam war. tom ridge had the kind of heart attack you don't want to have. it happened in an austin hotel room back in november and he woke up six days later having flatlined three times. medics had pounded his chest so hard trying to restart his heart, he awoke with broken bones. tom ridge feels very lucky to be alive and the employees at dhs current and former felt very lucky to have him there today. and that is our broadcast on a thursday night. thank you so very much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york.
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a bunch of new stories have broken late today and into this evening. nicolle wallace was first to report today based on five sources that national security adviser h.r. mcmaster is on his way out of the white house. we will have more on that in a moment. nbc news also first to report today on the next round of criminal charges that are expected from the robert mueller special counsel investigation. we will have more on that in a moment as well. we've got some exclusive reporting tonight on this show about a trump administration official who we have got on tape. this is a story we'll be breaking here tonight. you've not heard it anywhere else. it will give us a new development in what one of the more radical trump administration scandals. one they have consistently been losing court battles over for


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