Skip to main content

tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 22, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

6:00 pm
fantastic piece of work. thank you very much. >> thank you, chris. >> thanks for having us. >> again, the documentary is called "hope and furry, mlk the movement and the media." i was fortunate enough to be in it with familiar faces like joy reid. the rach"the rachel maddow show now. >> thanks to you at home for joining us this hour, as well. how was your day? fine, fine, how was yours? >> nothing much. nothing in the news, a quiet night. the president fired his lead lawyer for the russia scandal. maybe for a very specific reason. he then unexpectedly threw $50 billion of trade war tariffs at china and the dow jones fell off a clip and the market jumped 742 points before closing. secretary of state said good-bye and left his job and the president hired yet another fox
6:01 pm
news personality to join the russia legal team and hired another fox news personality to become the new national secure today avisor, which means he's firing the existing national security advisor right now. just in the past three weeks, this president and this white house have chewed up and spat out the communications director who is reportedly the president's single most trusted aid hope hicks. also the president's personal assistant, also his staff secretary, also his chief economic advisor, also the deputy white house chief of staff, the deputy director of the fbi and the aformentisecret state replaced by the person serving as director of the cia which means there needs to be a new director of the cia tonight as well and the national security advisor is out, too. and so yeah, we're going to need another wall soon. we figured out a way to make
6:02 pm
this one slightly larger like just by kind of taking care of the margins. you know how to make your term papers look shorter? the churn at this white house is absolutely without historical president. no administration has ever run people through the meat grinder like this one has ever. we have never ever had this kind of turnover. but in addition just to the overall turnover, really feels like something accelerated in the last three weeks, something different is going on over the last through weeks. particularly on the national security stuff feels like the brake lines got cut and we're screaming down the road hoping to hit something soft and there is a lot to say about john bolten who will get h.r. mcmaster's job, he's going to get the job, not that he's nominated or designated for the job. he's going to get it because national security advisor is not a senate confirmed position. there is no process of becoming national security advisor.
6:03 pm
the president just picks you and gets to pick wohoever he wants. that's how we ended up with mike flynn even though the justice department was at the white house warning them about flynn as a serious national security risk within days of the inauguration. so he's picking bolton now. he'll get bolton. and there is a lot to say about john bolton. we'll get to that in a second and talk with people that know a little bit about what he's been like in government in the past, why his previous government appointments have been controversial and why this current appointment is freaking so many people out tonight but before we start talking about john bolton, consider how generalmcmaster is getting fired. i mentioned that rex tillerson, the fired secretary of state had his last day today. rex tillerson gave the farewell remarks today and walked off into the sunset. today was the last day. it was the day he carried stuff
6:04 pm
out of the state department but fired last week. he was fired last tuesday morning. it's a matter of record that this was the last thing rex tillerson did as secretary of state before the president fired him. as his last act before he was fired, rex tillerson put out this very strongly worded statement condemning the government of russia for that poisoning attack in the u.k. that statement said in part, quote, we have full confidence in the u.k.'s investigation and it's assessment that russia was likely responsible for the nerve agent that took place in england last week. there is never a justification for this attack. the attempted murder of a private citizen on the soil of a salve ve nation from ukraine to syria and the u.k., russia continues to be an irresponsible force of instability around the world acting with open disregard for the sovereignty of other states, we agree those responsible both those who committed this crime
6:05 pm
and those who ordered it must face appropriately serious consequences. that was the last statement put out by rex tillerson as secretary of state monday night last week. that same night he also spoke to reporters and made similarly strong remarks condemning russia. the most strongly anti russia comments he made in his time as secretary of state, and within hours of making those comments and releasing that statement, rex tillerson was fired. next morning rex tillerson was fired. that was last week. now the national security adv e advisory has been fired, and it is a matter of record that we've also got the last public remarks made by national security advisor h.r. mcmaster before the president fired him, too. >> russia is also assad's tragedies and providing
6:06 pm
political cover for assad's crimes, russia conducted 20 bombing missions every day in the eastern gouda and damascus area. they hold the assad regime accountable for using chemical weapons. this morning, the united states, france, germany and the united kingdom condemned the nerve agent attack on sergey and julia that took place in the united kingdom on march 4th. the statement made clear we believe russia was responsible for the attack. if iran and russia do not stop enabling anded ed adhere, all ns must respond more forcibly than simply issuing strong statements. it is time to impose serious
6:07 pm
political and economic consequences on moscow. >> those were the last public comments of national security advisor h.r. mcmaster. the headline last thursday night, h.r. mcmaster gives the kremlin a double bird solute, strongest anti-russia comments he made. by the following day there was urgent reporting mcmaster would be fired and now he's out and it may be that it is a totally weird coincidence that tillerson's last public comments before he was fired were his strongest anti russia comments as secretary of state and then days later, mcmaster's last public comments were the strongest as national security advisor but both things happened in the span of less than a week and a half and in the context of the russia investigation around this president and in between these two firings, the president's mysterious lly
6:08 pm
differential and complementary call where he ignored advice not to congratulate putin and ignored advice he must condemn russia for the poisoning attack, it may just be that all these things happen to be happening at the same time. they may be unconnected but it's a very compressed timeline and there is a real similarity between what happened with tillerson's firing and what happened with mcmaster's firing and for whatever reason it just happened, we are about to have the third national security advisor in 14 months. it will be john bolton and john bolton for years has been known as another fox news personality, but if you've heard him describe today and tonight as foreign ambassador to the united nations, there is an asterisks. he served in the job but as a recess appointment. the george w. bush administration could never get him confirmed to that job.
6:09 pm
>> john bolton by senate democrats today as the worst possible choice to represent the united states before the united nations. >> there is no such thing as the united nations. >> to prove their point, democrats played portions of a 1994 speech showing what they call bolton's destain for the u.n. >> the secretary building in new york has 38 stories. if you lost ten stories today, it wouldn't make a bit a difference. >> it's hard for me to understand why you want to work at an institution that didn't exist. >> for the controversies of the george w. bush administration and there were many, the george w. bush administration trying to appoint john bolton to a senate confirmed position was a bridge too far even for that administration. >> the point that i want to leave with you in this very brief presentation is where i start, there is no united nations. there is an international
6:10 pm
community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world and that's the united states when it suits our interest and when we can get others to go along. secretary building in new york has 38 stories. if you lost ten stories today, it wouldn't make a bit a difference. this mindless creation of the united nations as something different than what is in the united states interests to do isn't going to sell here or anywhere else. the united states makes the u.n. work when it wants it to work and that is exactly the way it should be because the only question, the only question to the united states is what is in our national interest and if you don't like that, i'm sorry, but that is the facts. there is no such thing as the united nations. >> so appointing that guy to be the american representative to the united nations was a hard sell even for the george w. bush
6:11 pm
administration. he came under fire for those views. mr. bolton came under fire for his temperament and more specifically his temper. a woman who had worked with him years before told a public story of what happened when she outlined concerns that she had about a program she was working in overseas. quote, mr. bolton proceeded to chase me through the halls of the russian hotel throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and generally behaving like a madman. for nearly two weeks while i awaited fresh direction from my company, john bolton hounded me in such an appalling way i retreated to my hotel room and stayed there and mr. bolton visited me to pound on the door and shout threats. he made unconscionable comments about my weight, my wardrobe and with a couple of team leaders, my sexuality hinting that i was a lesbian. for the record, i'm not. as a whistle blower, i learned
6:12 pm
the lengths mr. bolton will go to to accomplish any goal he sets for himself. des decency out the window. john bolton put me three hell. he did everything to threaten not just me but anyone unwilling to go along with his version of events. his behavior in 1994 was not just unforgivable but pathological. so this is from john bolton's last effort to join national federal administration. there was so much talk at the time of bolton's nomination about his alleged bullying that when "the washington post" did a feature on the issue of bullying bosses, the lead of their future was about the famous behavior of john bolton. some of the objection to bolton had to do with temperament. some had to do with policies like saying it wouldn't hurt the
6:13 pm
u.n. to hat ten stories off the new york building it's headquarters but some of the objection was about temperament and policies together. >> in 2003 bolton gave a now infamous speech blasting north korea's leader as a dictator and life there as a hellish nightmare. bolton told the senate hubbard approved the controversial remarks. >> the day after the speech after it was given, the ambassador in south korea said thanks for that speech, john, it will help us a lot. >> bolton has a eloquent selecty it was said. >> in the end, john bolton was not able to get confirmed by the senate during the george w. bush administration. the president ended up getting into that am basketball tore ba recess appointment and he was perceived to be a disaster.
6:14 pm
he blew off the u.n. security counsel mission to sudan. he said that china should get a permanent seat on the human rights counsel that sent the u.s. state department scrambling to over rule him because that was his idea. the economist magazine quoted an unnamed diplomat saying quote if bolton left tomorrow, progress would be possible on almost every front where it's stalled. he succeeded in putting everyone's backs up including some of america's closest allies. john bolton managed to catch out a particular place in american politics. i hesitate to say anyone is truly unique under the sun but john bolton is almost a uniquely divisive figure everyone inside republican politics. during the trump transition, bolton's name like everyone else at fox news, it was floated as a possible deputy secretary of state. as a possibility for sending to the senate for confirmation to the job, the response from republicans in the senate was basically ah, are you sure about
6:15 pm
that? that john bolton? john bolton did not get picked by trump for that deputy job that would require senate confirmation on and didn't get sent for confirmation. since then he's offered advice on points of foreign policy like iran and like north korea at the end of february, john bolton published this opinion piece quote, the legal case for striking north korea first. first, his conclusion reads in 1837 britain unleashed fire and furry against a wooden steamboat. it's legitimate for the united states to respond to the nuclear weapons by striking first. so as a public figure, he's been advocating we should just go start a nuclear war with north korea now. just go get him now. if you're wondering tonight why your twitter feed is filled with
6:16 pm
people scared to death by this appointment of john bolton to be national security advisory, it has to do with john bolton saying things like that and the reputation john bolton earned himself over the last couple decades in washington. joining us is a white house correspondent for "the new york times." you and your colleagues broke this story about mcmaster and bolton tonight. i know it's been a busy day for you. thanks for being here with us. >> great to be with you, rachel. >> what can you tell us about the surprise factor here? obviously mr. bolton had been seen in and around the white house. there were reports about difficulties and differences of opinion and style about the president and the current national security advisor. did all parties involved know this would happen now? >> well, you know, like with many things involving president trump, the way it unfolded was kind of shocking and the underlying reality, h.r. ma
6:17 pm
mcmaster has been on thin ice and television channels forecasted his departure regularly, so the fact he was leaving was not a surprise. the fact this happened as sudden as it did caught certainly john bolton off guard. he acknowledged when he went on fox tv which was barely an hour after president trump tweeted that the reality of this hadn't really sunk in. so, you know, this is a guy circling around the white house. there was a lot of talk of him being on various short lists but i don't think anyone expected it to unfold the way it did. that's just in keeping with president trump's style of always keeping people off guard and always acting in this fairly impulsive way. >> in your reporting tonight at "the times" one of the reasons the white house is suggesting this happened now is the president is eager to fill out his national security team before his meeting with kim
6:18 pm
jong-un. it's baz ecause of bolton's positions onn the record saying diplomacy is a bad idea. we should strike first and go bomb them. how does he change the equation for that meeting, for north korea in general? >> well, you know, there is an obvious contradiction in what's president is doing here. he's agreed to this highly risky encounter and to get ready he's put in place not one but two people who have expressed hawkish views on north korea. as you say, john bolton has talked about a preemptive military strike but mike pompeo was probably the most openly vocal about the need for regime change in north korea. so you have the two principle foreign policy advisors of the
6:19 pm
president are people who are on the record talking against engagement and for military action. so it's going to be very interesting to watch how these two men advised the president and helped him get ready for the meeting. >> tillerson is out. mcmaster is out very shortly thereafter. john kelly is one of the people who the president has sort of enjoyed publicly toying with as to whether or not he's going to get rid of him. in terms of the influences on the president, the people who have his year with him when it comes to national security matters, the odd figure in the midst of those departures is his son-in-law jared kushner and there is a lot of intrigue reporting how he fits in, national security counsel and the secretary of state's responsibilities. he obviously is still standing without a full security clearance and a lot of publicly reported controversy about his
6:20 pm
role. do you have any sense about mr. kushner's role at this point in the administration going forward and whether he had anything to do with this firing? >> well, you know, jared kushner having lost his security clearance doesn't have access to some of the most sensitive intelligence that would allow him to take part in the national security dell remember ratil de. the white house intends to table that proposal at some point despite very, very bad conditions in the middle east. he's involved in dealing with mexico. he went down to mexico recently and trying to work to smooth out a relationship that has of usually been extremely contentions and so i think it's going to be interesting to watch whether he can korveg out a place with very powerful new personalities in the mix. mike pompeo is the president's ear and gets along well with the
6:21 pm
president and john bolton is outspoken and advocate for his views. his arguably has strong voices than jared kushner was before. i would only mention one more figure. the defense secretary jim mattias, along with h.r. mcmaster, mattias was seen as a potential moderating force with trump. now you have too much more hawkish figures in what had been so it will be interesting to find out if john mattias finds himself isolated or the role in this new landscape. >> yeah, jim mattias seems particularly close to rex tillerson. was sort of pointed logistic matter mattias was on his way to
6:22 pm
afghanistan last week. white house correspondent at the "new york times", congr congratulations on this scoop today. >> thanks, rachel. >> all right. much more to come tonight. we'll talk actually with a veteran of the national security advisor who knows bolton and can give us more insight why people are so wigged out about this appointment of bolton tonight, also, it is -- should not be -- we should not allow this news to under cut the other big shakeup today in the president's legal team which is one i think is very, very, very significant. that's ahead tonight. stay with us. whoooo.
6:23 pm
looking for a hotel that fits... ...your budget? tripadvisor now searches over... ...200 sites to find you the... ...hotel you want at the lowest price. grazi, gino! find a price that fits. tripadvisor. if yor crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough, it may be time for a change. ask your doctor about entyvio, the only biologic developed and approved just for uc and crohn's. entyvio works at the site of inflammation in the gi tract
6:24 pm
and is clinically proven to help many patients achieve both symptom relief and remission. infusion and serious allergic reactions can happen during or after treatment. entyvio may increase risk of infection, which can be serious. pml, a rare, serious, potentially fatal brain infection caused by a virus may be possible. this condition has not been reported with entyvio. tell your doctor if you have an infection, experience frequent infections or have flu-like symptoms or sores. liver problems can occur with entyvio. if your uc or crohn's treatment isn't working for you, ask your gastroenterologist about entyvio. entyvio. relief and remission within reach. a shift without a disaster. to get through my bargain detergent couldn't keep up. it was mostly water. so, i switched to tide pods. they're super concentrated, so i get a better clean. i mean, i give away water for free. i'm not about to pay for it in my detergent.
6:25 pm
#1 trusted. #1 awarded it's got to be tide. and for a plant-based clean, try tide purclean
6:26 pm
. fred caplin, if you were looking for a representative sample of the response in the national security whiorld to th breaking news h.r. mcmaster was fired to be replaced by former u.n. ambassador john bolton, fred caplin's take at serves pretty well, i think. caplin's reaction to the news tonight is this, quote, it's
6:27 pm
time to panic now. john bolton's rise to power puts us on a path to war and since trump appointed him while knowing bolton's views, it means trump wants to be on that path. i saw that actually and wondered if mr. kaplan might be taking this worse than your average bear but i saw the take was retweeted by former u.s. eer u ambassador to russia. that got me thinking, ambassador mcfaul joins us live. thank you for being here. nice to see you. >> glad we're reading the same twitter feed, rachel. >> i have to ask you if a retweet is an endorsement or not. are you in panic mode about this announcement for security advisor? >> i'm definitely concerned whether we need to panic is another matter and i want to under score i'm one of the people that supported some of
6:28 pm
trump's other administration official appointments on the national sex cucurity team in a i was criticized for supporting secretary mattias and a big fan of mcmaster. this is a different appointment and fred makes an important point. first, he has extreme views when it comes to iran and torte korea in that he advocates both for disarmament and regime change but the second point fred makes, which i totally agree with is unlike other appointments, these views are known, they are known by the president so he is choosing this national securi securitiedsecurity advisor knowing what he believes in and what we believes in is very scary.
6:29 pm
>> that decision result in mr. bolton getting the appointment as a recess appointment. he couldn't get through the senate. there were concerns about hawkishness and views. there are also concerns about his temperament and temper and behavior toward his co-workers. one of the reasons i wanted to talk to you about that tonight is you served at the national security counsel. national security advisor heads that body and advices the president in an intimate way. do you have concerns about that, as well, for mr. bolton? >> i do. because on the one, there is one set of concerns which are about his views but then second, the job of the national securitied a v -- secretary advisor is to moderate the policy debate, to sit down there in the white house situation room and have the secretary of defense on one side, secretary of state on the other side, the vice president there and have a free and fair dell lib
6:30 pm
process about policy. there is nothing in his background that suggestiignifi the temperament he had. he had reputation among very senior people within the bush administration themselves, right? those are some of his biggest critics. i don't think he'll be good at running that process and he's not supposed to have his own views as a national security advisor. he's supposed to be the mediator of the views. you need to start reading a few op eds and appearances over on fox to know that he has very strong views and so i don't think he's a good fit for that particular job. >> one last question for you on the russia factor here, it may absolutely be a coincidence or all these things are happening in the world or the white house at the same time, the last statement put out by rex tillerson as secretary of state before he was fired was a strong
6:31 pm
statement about russia and the poisoning in the u.k. with mr. mcmaster, his last public comments were strong criticism of russia with regard to that incident. in the "new york times" reporting on mcmaster's firing tonight, they say that the first public view of the tensions between president trump and mr. mcmaster were after general mcmaster said at a security conference that the evidence of russian interference in the presidential election was beyond dispute. that was the first time we saw the president take a shot at h.r. mcmaster on twitter and then ultimately fired him after these last remarks. do you -- i wanted to know what you make of that, whether you think those things might be k s coincident in timing? >> i did note the pattern. the question i have in my mind is why is president trump firing
6:32 pm
h.r. mcmaster at this time? did he do something with respect to policy such as russia that they disagree with or just about body language and chemistry that the president talks about so much? he didn't like the guy. he feels more comfortable with john bolton. we don't know that but we should know that because it is extraordinary that he is replacing somebody that i have a lot of respect for, h.r. mcmaster after a few months on the job. why is he doing that now? is it related to policy or personality? does it mean for the future he's chosen bolton now? we'll have to wait and see. i'm nervous about it. it's a bad choice i think. >> michael mcfaul, former u.s. am bbassador to russia. thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. still more to come on this crazy news night. the other, other story with a claim to headline of the day. that's next. stay with us.
6:33 pm
your snapping pics all day, all night thing. your getting the low-light, just right thing. ♪ introducing the samsung galaxy s9 with low light camera. now 50% off. more for your thing. that's our thing. ai'm begging you... take gas-x. beneath the duvet, your tossing and turning isn't restlessness , it's gas. gas-x relieves pressure,bloating and discomfort in minutes !! so we can all sleep easier tonight.
6:34 pm
doespeninsula trail?he you won't find that on a map.
6:35 pm
i'll take you there. take this left. if you listen real hard you can hear the whales. oop. you hear that? (vo) our subaru outback lets us see the world. sometimes in ways we never imagined. (avo) get 0% apr financing on all-new 2018 subaru outback models. now through april 2nd. we need to be ready for my name's scott strenfel and r i'm a meteorologist at pg&e.
6:36 pm
we make sure that our crews as well as our customers are prepared to how weather may impact their energy. so every single day we're monitoring the weather, and when storm events arise our forecast get crews out ahead of the storm to minimize any outages. during storm season we want our customers to be ready and stay safe. learn how you can be prepared at together, we're building a better california. on july 24th, 1987 a young woman filed a complaint on brock adams. this young woman told police in her complaint that while she had been staying at the senator's home he drugged her and attacked her. she said he gave her a glass of wine, which she believes had a
6:37 pm
drug in it and she woke up with her clothes off with the senator quote fondling her. the police officer that investigated the claims requested warrant for the senator's arrest. the u.s. attorney overseeing this case, local prosecutor said no, decided not to file charges. by the time the public learned about this, that prosecutor left office but took time to publicly defend his decision to drop the case. he said publicly quote, there was a unanimous decision this matter had no merit, had absolutely no merit whatsoever. an interesting decision, not just that the u.s. attorney declined to file charges or allow for an arrest warrant, even though the officer investigating asked for the warrant. it was an interesting decision that the prosecutor went so far as to publicly under cut the
6:38 pm
accuser to go public with these assertions that she had no credibility and neither did this accusation she filed with the police but that's what the prosecutor decided to do and so, the accused senator, brock adams, democrat of washington state, he got to stay in office. but the case kind of lingered in the back of everybody's mind and for whatever reason, that former u.s. attorney, that prosecutor who decided not to go forward with the case, he decided he wouldn't let go of the matter. years later in 1991, that same u.s. attorney was still speaking out about the case. still coming out to say that these accusations had no merit, still depending the senator's reputation. the prosecutor went to a fundraiser for that senator and spoke on his behalf. he brought up that 1987 case yet again and told the crowd at the senator's fundraiser, quote, there was absolutely no merit whatsoever, none to that case. the prosecutor at that fundraiser said quote, this matter makes it clear it is more
6:39 pm
unfair what is happening to the senat senator. even though that prosecutor refused to believe it, the senator's hometown newspaper decided they would investigate the matter and three years later as that senator was running for reelection and another term in the senate in 1992, the seattle tiles went public with the findings of their investigation and this was the headline. eight more women accuse senator adams, allegations of two decades of sexual harassment, abuse and a rape. among the eight women, the seattle times interviewed an activist who said she suspected the senator drugged her, too. quote as she objected, he forced her to the couch and raped her and left immediately but not before throwing $200 on a table to pay her way to a democratic function. the times interviewed an accuser who said she was given a drink by senator adams that appeared
6:40 pm
to be champagne and a red liquid was added. she blacked out and regained consciousness to find senator adams removing her clothes. that report in the seattle times is how brock adams became a one-term senator in the state of washington. he dropped out of the race the day after that report was published.y murray ran for and e seat and still has the seat. the prosecutor who a few years earlier decided to prosecute and look into that initial case from that initial police report in 1987 going so far to publicly denounce the accuser and bolster the fundraiser on the basis of the bad accusation made against them by the woman with no credibility, that prosecutor had the next chapter in his life, too. he went on to become a tv personality on the fox news channel where his specialty had been applying a legal sounding seriousness to his claims. his real hay day was the bill
6:41 pm
clint clinton, monica lewinsky scandal. he and his wife, who is also his law partner were quoted on or appeared on television over 300 times in the span of one month. and his claims about the lewinsky scandal, vaguely legal sounding but also a little nutty. he claimed but never provided evidence he and his wife and members of congress had private detectives sicked on them by the president and his family. he leaked to a newspaper word that a secret service agent had caught the president and monica lewinsky in a compromising position, walked in on them. there is no evidence that that ever happened. despite having said a lot of stuff that was not true, he definitely proved his tv worth in that lewinsky scandal and that earned him basically a permanent place on fox and he pops up when there is another scandal as it relates to a
6:42 pm
clinton. after the attack in benghazi, he said he had access to secret evidence that showed that the benghazi attack was a giant coverup and would soon be revealed. during the trump clinton presidential election, he provided great comfort to trump supporters by insisting once again he had secret information they didn't need to worry there was any chance hillary clinton would win the election because he knew for a fact she would be arrested any day now in the middle of the campaign. by the time the election happened, he knew she would be in jail, he knew and said it in a way that sounded very legal even though it didn't turn out to be true. his name is joe and the president asked him to join the legal defense team because he likes what he's been seeing of him on tv lately. >> what you have now unfolding inside the fbi and department of justice under obama is a brazen plot to do two things, to
6:43 pm
exonerate hillary clinton because of an annodonald trump frame the incoming president for a criminal act of impeachment. comey sold his soul to the devil. they conspired to exonerate improperly and politically hillary clinton and also if she lost to frame the incoming president of the united states with a false crime. >> make no mistake about it, a group of fbi and doj people were trying to frame donald trump of a falsely created crime. >> it wasn't the russians who corrupted the dpreshlspresident election. >> that is his wife and law partner. we learned tonight just as the mcmaster and john bolton news broke, the president is not just bringing on joe to the legal
6:44 pm
team but hired victoria. husband and wife to work for the president on his russia legal defense. this does not appear to be the president's decision alone. he appears to be supported by jay s jay. he comes from the wing of conservative activism and he's well paid and well groomed but not a subject matter expert on defending the president or on the russia scandal. remember around the trump tower meeting controversy? a lot of discussion about russian sanctions and the about? this is a central idea to the whole scandal surrounding the president sanctions on russia because of the act. magnitsky act, you know, it's right? >> the discussions involved the
6:45 pm
maginsky arkct. the same lawyer was pushing the maginsky act. >> again, the conversation was on the maginsky act. >> there is no maginsky about. >> that lawyer is leading the president's legal defense running operations out of the offices of his conservative activist group. he's now been joined on the president's legal russia team by his friends, the husband and wife team. just in case what the president needs for his defense and biggest national security scandal to loom is the brock adams benghazi deep state lock her up uranium one specialist or two of them or three of them. as this shift came into focus today, the president's not made for tv lawyer john dowd quit today. if you want to know how not made
6:46 pm
for tv john dowd is, the most famous piece of videotape is him flipping off and swearing at a tv camera after a case he lost for a wall street guy. hello. the departure of john dowd today is the second time the president fired his top personal lawyer on the russia scandal, the first lead lawyer was mark kasowitz. there is word he might be coming back, which would be amazing. when kasowitz was appointed to leave, the first statement he put out described himself in the first line of that statement as the personal lawyer. the first line of the first statement on the first day he was the president's lawyer misspelled the word president. statement also contained this line, which i have memorized, it's established that there the president was not beg investigated for colluding with
6:47 pm
the or attempting to obstruct. [ laughter ] >> what? that there -- huh? if you don't believe me, you should. he's the president's lawyer. that incoherent start was followed by the news for some reason mr. koswitz was not going to obtain a security clearance himself. huh? this led to questions why mark kasowitz may not be able to get a security clearance and led to an incident where the lead lawyer on the scandal started threatening and swearing at random strangers that e-mailed him about his new job. seemed like the stress was getting to him. it created stress even in the news media. how do you report the president's lawyer is e-mailing strangers in the middle of the night saying watch your back,
6:48 pm
rim rhymes with ditch. a week later he was gone. john dowd is gone, too and maybe kasowitz will keep representing the president for those women accusing him of defamation matters, maybe marx kasowitz will come back to the team where that security clearance question will be relevant all over again but worth remembering part of the reason the president has not been able to put together an a list or b list or c list on the russia matter is reportedly because no top drawer a-list republican lawyer in washington d.c. wants to work on even a presidential defense team if he or she has to do so alongside these hairdo mcswera lawyers, the these guys with the pinky rings and big hair.
6:49 pm
that's not the stale of most good lawyers that put on an excellent defense for a president with a national security related crime. so john dowd, president's lead russia lawyer out as of today. two more conspiracy theory tv lawyers are in instead. and mr. watch your back f-bomb guy may be back in the mix, as well. four sources tonight say what set off this big shakeup in the president's legal defense is the president going through the roof about robert mueller's latest actions. robert mueller and prosecutors in the special counsel's office subpoenaing records set the president off in this new ti zrks zrz of changes. maybe he thinks this is the team he needs to fight the fight with mueller's prosecutors but if we're being honest here, let's get real. what he's putting together is not the team you put together to mount a legal defense for a
6:50 pm
president. in fact, to do any serious legal work at all. it appears that that part is over. what the president is putting together is the kind of team, a guy like him might put together to run a p.r. a p.r. operation explaining the president's actions. as hilarious as the president's d list lineup of lawyers is starting to look, i'm pretty sure they're not there to actually do legal work. him putting these people in place makes it seem like he's going to try to end this by some other means and they are the team that explains it on fox news.
6:51 pm
a car you can command when you're nowhere near it... does that require mind-control? no. just some mind-blowing engineers from the ford motor company and pivotal who developed fordpass, allowing you to reach out to your car from wherever you are to check your fuel level, unlock your doors and start your engine... so when you're ready to go, your car is, too. magic can't make digital transformation happen... but we can. that's the power of pivotal, part of dell technologies. fthere's flonase sensimist.tchy and watery near pollen. it relieves all your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. and all from a gentle mist you can barely feel. flonase sensimist. i try to take care of my teeth, but there's acid hiding in what i eat and drink everyday. i can't imagine how much damage that's doing over a lifetime. so my dentist told me to go-pro with crest pro-health. go pro with crest pro-health.
6:52 pm
the only toothpaste with the ada seal of acceptance for protection against acid erosion. i like knowing that my teeth are protected. crest pro-health protects against acids in everyday food and drinks better than regular toothpaste. go pro with crest pro-health. that's how you nail a checkup. crest. healthy, beautiful smiles for life. [thud] [screaming & crying] ♪ [screaming & crying] [phone ping] with esurance photo claims, you could have money for repairs within a day... wow! that was really fast. that's insurance for the modern world.
6:53 pm
esurance. click or call. on the same day that the president fired yet another national security advisor and the lead lawyer on his russia defense team and the dow dropped over 700 points on fears of a trade war with china. nbc is reporting that the president is not just thinking of firing his chief of staff john kelly but he's thinking of firing him and then not
6:54 pm
replacing him. the president has, quote, mused running the west wing as he did his business empire essentially serving as his own chief of staff. sounds like a great idea. why did any other president need a chief of staff anyway. they could have been like trump. tonight the top democratic on the intelligence committee had this reaction, it's hard to escape the dice quieting conclusion that the mass exodus of the adults from this administration is putting our nation's security at risk. joining us now is that top democrat on the house intelligence committee, adam schiff. congressman, thanks for being here on a busy evening. >> good to be with you. >> let me get your reaction to the latest round of churn at the top level of the administration. >> i think john bolton is a bad choi choice. this is someone likely to exaggerate the dangerous
6:55 pm
impulses of the president towards belligerence, his proclivity to act without thinking and his love of conspiracy theories. i'll just add one data point to what you were talking about earlier, john bolton once suggested on fox news, that the russia hack of the dnc was a false flag operation that had been conducted by the obama administration. so you add that kind of thinking to joseph digenova, and you have another big dose of unreality in the white house. so the bolton appointment scares me on iran, north korea, on this conspiracy theory thinking about the president. but the john dowd should alarm all of us because it's another signal that he intends to have a more aggressive approach toward bob mueller and i think we're a step closer to a potential firing of bob mueller. >> i mentioned a moment ago i look at the way the president
6:56 pm
has changed his legal team with the addition of joseph digenova and his wife, with the removal of john dowd today, and the president's statements, and i feel to me the president no longer seems to be working on a legal strategy. seems to be looking at a pr strategy, and therefore it seems to me he thinks he may be able to end this in the court of politics rather than by going through legal proses. it sounds to me from what you said that you share that worry. >> i do share that worry. i also share the concern that the president's world is confined to watching fox news, to believing what he sees on fox news but also believing that it's the only repository of talent to fill his administration and apart from his insular existence in the oval office, fox is his world. but these folks i think are
6:57 pm
going to add a dangerous element. and they may persuade him the best approach to bob mueller is to shut it down, to have a political strategy to communicating to congress and the country why he's justified in shutting it down and that will bring on a crisis in this country that i think will bring us to a grinding halt. so it's a dangerous turn. thank you for being with us, appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. stay with us. because each day she chooses to take the stairs. at work, at home... even on the escalator. that can be hard on her lower body, so now she does it with dr. scholl's orthotics. clinically proven to relieve and prevent foot, knee or lower back pain, by reducing the shock and stress that travel up her body with every step she takes. so keep on climbing, sarah. you're killing it. dr. scholl's. born to move. looking for a hotel that fits... whoooo.
6:58 pm
...your budget? tripadvisor now searches over... ...200 sites to find you the... ...hotel you want at the lowest price. grazi, gino! find a price that fits. tripadvisor. the lsave up to 50 percent onon hundreds of your favorite items. all at the lowest prices of the season. train well... be well... live well... only at gnc. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. the name to remember.
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
so we have one national security advisor out, we have new national security advisor in, who seems to be scaring people a little bit if tonight's reactions that we've seen here are anything to go by. we have the lead trump lawyer in the russia probe handing in his notice. we have a new trump lawyer from fox tv appointed to the president's russia legal team. somebody pulling my leg? is this friday? this kind of feels like a friday. i wonder what's going to be-to-happbe-to -- to happen tomorrow. now it's now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." >> thank you, rachel stormy daniels is on sunday night so something will have to be done to cloud that. there will have to be some news out