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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  April 16, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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about cohen all the time without disclosing he's also his lawyer. it's also remarkable because in the room at the same time as michael cohen was stormy daniels and her lawyer, all together at michael avenatti will be joining "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." which starts right now. good evening, lawrence. >> good evening. i want to stipulate off the bat because i think we have to do this now. i have two lawyers who are going to join me in the show. neither one of them have ever respected me in any legal matter at any time, i have never called either one of them to talk about any legal matter or nonlegal matter or anything like that. >> i -- yeah. >> just want you to know that, rachel. >> the idea that it would be -- like you would -- like so many of the people you would have on tv would be people who you have
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a legal relationship with, the idea that it might slip your mind is the idea that's hard to get your head around. at least for me in this case. i will say, mr. hannity has frequently disclosed that he is friends with michael cohen. so he's taking time to disclose he had a friendly relationship with him. why you couldn't disclose he was your lawyer, why that would be any harder is weird. it's been such a weird day. >> rachel, one of my favorite things about the 9:00 p.m. hour on msnbc, this happens every once in a while. is when the host of our 9:00 p.m. hour becomes speechless and keeps talking. which i saw you do. i saw you do it at the beginning of the show when you came to this point about sean hannity's name being revealed in court today and how speechless it made you, yet you are the most articulate speechless person i ever heard. >> let the record show when we get to that transcript from my
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broadcast, the word gaw will appear. that's how i verbalized it. >> you do create spelling challenges for those transcripts. thank you, rachel. >> thanks, lawrence. >> the president of the united states suffered a big defeat, i mean a big defeat, at the gavel of a federal judge in new york city still. she issued the most historical ruling of her career today because she denied a request by the president of the united states to prevent federal prosecutors in new york and fbi agents from reviewing the evidence seized in the fbi raids last week in new york city, raids on the home of michael cohen, the office of michael cohen, and the hotel room occupied by michael cohen. and since the evidence at issue in today's court proceeding overlaps with evidence sought by stormy daniels' lawsuit, the
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judge invited stormy daniels' lawyer, michael avenatti to be present in court today. and he is present here at the last word tonight. this time, when michael avenatti went to court, he brought stormy daniels with him. >> for years mr. cohen has contacted like he is above the law, he has considered himself -- referred to himself as mr. trump's fixer. he's played by a different set of rules or should we say no rules at all. he has never thought that the little man, or especially women, even more women like me, matter. that ends now. my attorney and i are committed to making sure that everyone finds out the truth and the facts of what happened, and i give my word that we will not rest until that happens. >> leading off our discussion now, michael avenatti, the attorney for stormy daniels, and jill wine-banks former assistant
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watergate special prosecutor and msnbc contributor. michael you were in the courtroom today for what is this year's most stunning series of moments in this courtroom in terms of the clarity with which the judge ruled, but then that stunning revelation that occurred during these proceedings, one of the issues being, as was raised last week by the prosecutors, the investigators, they said michael cohen is really not that much of a lawyer. he has very few clients, mainly only donald trump, which made the judge say tell me who the clients are, tell me whose attorney/client privilege we need to protect examining these documents. they came into court saying three clients, donald trump, he handled something for a republican donor who paid $1.5 million to cover up the fact he had an affair with a woman he
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got pregnant and got an abortion for, and who's a the third client, who's the third client, the judge eventually got the name of the third client in the courtroom today. tell us how that unfolded. >> before i get to that, lawrence, let me say this. it is such an honor to represent stormy daniels. i mean, you just saw the statement that she gave. i mean, this woman is truly incredible. she's brave. i was so proud to be her lawyer today standing outside that federal courthouse with her fighting against people who are so much more powerful. we're talking about people that are the most powerful individuals on the face of the planet. for her to attend today and make that statement, i've never been more proud to be an attorney for a client in my entire life, quite honestly. it was a moving moment for me. >> i asked you this before, and i want to get what you experienced in the courtroom today, but would we be at this
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point in this proceeding today, in this courtroom, if stormy daniels had not gone public earlier this year? >> no way. not even close. no question about it. it's not close. anyone that claims otherwise is full of it, for lack of a better term. there's no way we get to this place without the bravery and courage and efforts of my client and what's transpired over the last six months. >> judge wood invited you to be in the courtroom today because of the evidentiary base of this discussion today overlaps with your case. >> absolutely. >> you weren't there as a tourist, you were invited there by the judge. so you were sitting there and the judge is pressing michael cohen's lawyers on something you have been publically questioning him on, and that is he's not a practicing lawyer with clients, and he says he has three legal clients and he's eventually pressed to name the third one. >> it's a packed courtroom, to
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set the stage, michael cohen is there, fortunately he's not smoking a cigar like he was on friday, and he's not there with any individuals from russia, so i thought it was an upgrade for him. but you could cut the tension with a knife. there's about 20 minutes of foreplay, lawrence on this issue. 20 minutes of we disclosed two clients, the third is a high profile individual, the assistant u.s. attorney did a remarkable job, got up and spoke, and there's a lot of back and forth and build up. and finally judge wood, an exceptional judge one of the finest in the country, told michael cohen's attorney i'm going to order you to disclose who the client is. and his attorney asked the judge, do you want me to do it on a piece of paper or do you want me to orally state it? she said it's up to you, whatever you feel more comfortable with.
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i'm there, i'm thinking this is a no-brainer. he's going to put it on a piece of paper because it's a hail mary, lawrence, what you do is you write it on a piece of paper, hand it up to the judge because you hope, like a hail mary that the judge opens the piece of paper and reads the name and says i want to think about this a little more or we're not going to disclose it right now. so i think he's going to pick putting it on a piece of paper but lo and behold he doesn't pick that, because everything falls into place for us in this case. it's been a remarkable run. he said, i'll just state it orally. the client's name is sean hannity. and all the air was sucked out of the courtroom. you could not breathe, lawrence. there was gasps in the courtroom. everybody is looking around at one another to say, did he just say sean hannity?
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did he really just say sean hannity? and within 30 seconds, ten people stand up, ten members of the press, they scurry out of the courtroom, because there's no cell phones allowed. you can't send a text message alerting your superiors to what happened, alerting the world, you can't send a tweet, so everyone has to rush down stairs to get their phones, get out of the courthouse and announce the third client is sean hannity. at that point, all i could think about as i sat there, i wonder where sean hannity is right now? because his world just exploded wherever he is at this particular moment. and earlier in the debate, the 20 minutes of foreplay, at about minute 3 or 4, michael cohen's lawyer told judge wood that hi had been instructed by this client that if they lost this issue, they were to take an immediate appeal.
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so they were basically firing a shot across the bow, right, to judge wood, basically sent a message to her. i chuckled when that happen because she's been on the bench 30 years, that's not the first time anyone has done something across the bow like that. and lo and behold they didn't take an appeal, they announced the name in open court. it was a remarkable moment in my legal career. >> sean hannity was doing his radio show when this happened. he started tweeting his responses to it and then eventually spoke clearly about it. let's listen to what sean hannity said about it. >> michael never represented me in any matter. i never retained him in the traditional sense as retaining a lawyer. i never received an invoice from michael. i never paid legal fees to michael. but i have occasionally had brief discussions with him about
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legal questions about which i wanted his input and perspective. >> jill wine-banks if what sean hannity just said was true, was he a client of michael cohen's? >> it's really a side show to debate whether he was or wasn't a client, because the only relevance is if there is a document that has some legal advice that he gave -- that michael cohen gave to sean hannity whether that would be attorney/client privilege. otherwise it doesn't matter. normally you wouldn't even reveal the name of your client, the fact that you represent someone is part of attorney/client privilege. so the fact it's public is already a violation of attorney-client privilege although under these circumstances it was inevitable. he was probably a client in the sense he might have given him $10 to get advice under attorney/client. that would create it, it's an
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unusual circumstance but that would make him enough of a client for attorney/client privilege. unless he was engaged in some criminal activity with michael cohen, i don't think anybody cares about that. it doesn't matter. going to your point that you were talking to rachel about, it's true i don't represent you and as far as i know michael avenatti doesn't. but i would say i would be proud to represent you, and there are many people in this case that i wouldn't be. so stormy would be fine as a client, and you would be terrific as a client. >> michael, what about this, sean hannity, it sounds to me like he came out and basically called michael cohen a liar about this. >> lawrence, i don't know this for a fact but i'm going to take a pretty good guess at something, there is no question in my mind that there is one or more documents with sean hannity's name on it that michael cohen does not want disclosed. there's no question.
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otherwise, you don't even go down this road. there's no reason to even mention sean hannity's name. you don't go down this road. there is one or more documents in what has been collected. this is just what i know as an 18-year trial lawyer who's dealt with a lot of big cases. there is a reason why they want sean hannity's name as a client, and it has everything to do -- not with what happened today but with the next shoe to drop, which involves a document, an e-mail, a text message, there is something -- >> or a tape, because we know michael cohen has taped phone calls with people. he could have taped a phone call with sean hannity. >> there is something there. michael cohen doesn't just volunteer the name sean hannity as a client unless there is a document that they want to deep six or keep confidential. it doesn't happen. it just doesn't happen. >> jill, we're going to have to
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squeeze in a quick break and we're going to continue the discussion. your overall reaction to what happened in court today, president of the united states actually enters the court with a filing late last night basically trying to control the evidence in the case, trying to keep the evidence away from the prosecutors, the president is completely crushed in today's proceedings by judge wood. >> it's pretty incredible that the president of the united states appears to oppose the representatives of the united states, it happened, of course, in u.s. v nixon, but it doesn't happen often. i would like to agree with one thing michael said, there has to be a reason he said it, he's trying to keep something quiet. but i'll add i bet it's not legal advice he's trying to keep quiet. it has something to do with a conversation about protecting donald trump or having sean
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hannity say something on air to protect him. that it has nothing to do with any legal advice that michael cohen gave to sean hannity. >> stay with us, when we come back we'll have more about michael cohen's relationship to donald trump. we'll have a reporter who's dealt with michael cohen and donald trump. later, ambassador wendy sherman joins us on the trump flip flop on sanctions against russia. we've been preparing for this day. over the years, paul and i have met regularly with our ameriprise advisor. we plan for everything from retirement to college savings. giving us the ability to add on for an important member of our family. welcome home mom. with the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant.
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special prosecutor robert mueller has reportedly uncovered evidence that supports one of the trump dossier's most explosive claims against michael cohen. mcclatchy has evidence that, quote, michael cohen secretly made a late summer trip to prague during the the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter. investigators have traced evidence that cohen entered the czech republic through germy apparently during august or early september of 2016. and because of the open border agreement he wouldn't have needed a passport for such a trip. the mcclatchy report has not been verified by any other news organization. this weekend michael cohen tweeted bad reporting, bad information, and bad story by same reporter peterstone.
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no matter how many times they report it i have never been to prague. i was in la with my son. proven. joining us now tim o'brien, michael avenatti and jill wine-banks back with us. there's no other confirmation to this story, usually when someone breaks a story, within six hours or a day everyone else has the story. so i'm wondering about your assessment of this story, where it stands tonight, and michael cohen's general state of jeopardy as of tonight after his first day in court. >> i think mcclatchy is a responsible, hard minded news organization and you saw earlier stone, the reporter who interviewed with rachel, said i think they spent over six months on it and they have at least two sources.
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i would trust the credibility of mcclatchy over almost anybody who works in the trump organization, given the fact pattern, michael cohen and trump himself have had years of sort of flagrant lying on this one. but this may come down to who you believe, mcclatchy versus cohen. >> and the hannity show is one of the places that michael cohen flashed around his passport saying i've never been there. talk about the trouble that michael cohen is in now in judge woods' courtroom and why what's going on in that courtroom, it seems to me the most important case in america right now since the president cannot fire judge wood and cannot fire any of these prosecutors in new york who have closed in on this. >> and we have a pending motion to take his deposition, if we're successful, i'm going to be taking michael cohen's
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deposition within the next 45 days. there's no question in my mind he's going to plead the fifth and message the fireworks from that. i'm going to make a prediction, i said it over the weekend, i stand behind it, i think michael cohen is going to be indicted in the next 90 days. i think those charges are going to be serious, carry decades in a federal pen ten chair. i also predict within six months thereafter, maybe sooner, he's going to flip on the president. he's going to have to flip. he's going to look at his family. he's not going to want to go away and do time. this is not a guy who's going to want to take a bullet for the president. when push came to shove after he was elected, did he bring michael cohen to washington? no. did he take care of michael cohen? no. he left him back in new york. and the reports are that michael cohen isn't exactly happy about that. why would he take care of him in this instance? he's going to be looking in the mirror, asking himself those
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questions, listening to his wife telling him, what are you doing taking care of this guy because this guy has never taken care of you, michael. you need to take care of me and your family. the reason i know it's going to happen, because it happens in white collar cases day in and day out. if the presidential candidate, donald trump, sent this guy to prague, i mean, this is the guy? this is like sending the pink panther. >> he sent carter page, also, to russia. let's not forget that. >> if this is the envoy that you sent to prague to meet with the secret russians about meddling in the election, the lack of judgment never ceases to amaze me. >> tim, you know donald trump and michael cohen. to michael's assessment how he would react --
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>> i think he would flip in a minute. >> one full minute. >> maybe not that long. after trump came out saying he can't believe his lawyer's office got raided they went in and kicked the door down, they were abusive, and michael cohen said no they were polite. in that moment i thought his story is already diverging from the president. you're going to see it from all over the administration when push comes to shove i don't think there's going to be much loyalty. >> that may be the only smart thing he's done in six months is compliment the fbi and then meeting with his russian associate smoking cigars on friday while we were in court, it was staggering. >> rod rosenstein sends this up to the southern district of new york it's controlled by the attorney here in new york city,
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judge wood now controlling the proceedings. your assessment of what that means for this particular case in new york city. i don't see any way that donald trump can interfere with that one. >> donald trump does control the u.s. attorney and can have some impact on it. but i think that this really spreads the risk around. it was a very smart move for it to go to another district. it probably relates to crimes that michael cohen himself committed in the jurisdiction of the southern district of new york. and by having this happen, it's not involved in blaming mueller. you can't blame mueller for this. this was something that was handled and determined solely by people in the southern district of new york who are not related to the mueller investigation. so it gives it even more credibility. although, i think, of course, that mueller has handled everything in a way that gives his entire investigation credibility.
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but if something happened to mueller, you still have this case in new york. so it can't go away that easily. even if he fires -- he the president -- fires rosenstein or heaven forbid, mueller. >> jill wine banks, michael avenatti, tim o'brien, thank you all for joining us. you can tell from the tweets that james comey and his new book are driving the president crazier than usual. as a control enthusiast, i'm all-business when i travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges. what can i say? control suits me.
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morally up fit to be president. i say that because someone who is able to see moral equivalence in charlottesville or speak and treat women like they're pieces of meat and to lie constantly and who appears to lack an external moral framework, that collection of attributes make someone unfit to be a leader, no less the president of the united states. >> that's james comey's interview with "usa today." here's some of what he said to abc about the comments that the fbi was investigating hillary clinton's e-mails. >> if you knew that letter would elect donald trump you would send it? >> i would. down that path lies the end of the fbi as an independent force in american life. if i consider who's fortunes will be affected by a decision, we're done. be're another player in the tribal battle.
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>> joining us now matt miller and david lionheart. matt we have a short amount of time to discuss this massive comey media wave we are in here. your reaction generally to what is now the body of interviews, "usa today," and abc last night. >> i think we see the full james comey in these interviews, the same we've seen throughout his career. he is always at his best when he's coloring inside the lines, following the rules as a prosecutor is supposed to do. and he's at his worse when he goes outside those lines as he did in the clinton investigation. when you see his explanations of the clinton investigation in particular, i think a lot of them just don't really add up. they're not compelling. he still doesn't have a good reason to explain why he did what he did.
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i think, you know, they -- i find those somewhat lacking. >> david, your reaction to what we've been listening to? >> i agree with that. james comey comes across as very honest in these interviews. he admits his wife and daughters attended the women's march. if you were just trying to cultivate your image you wouldn't say these things. on the other hand he's not persuasive on hillary clinton. department policy is you don't talk about active investigations that could disrupt campaigns the way he did it. so the way he set up speak or conceal doesn't make any sense. justice department policy is you don't go out and talk about people you're not going to charge. i understand he believes he did the right thing but i don't think the rest of us should believe he did the right thing in 2016.
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>> with the book now and the interviews, basically the "new york times" did an inside the comey decision, an in depth report on it last year about why he announced the -- why he handled the clinton investigation the way he did. and all that inside information turns out to be true and he did see it as a matter of if he wasn't public about it, he would be accused of having concealed it. but it seems to be this constant struggle to try to find, for him, what he believes is the most -- what he considers is the approach with the most integrity. >> i think he does believe that, he is a man of integrity. but if you look at the term he uses, conceal, that's a loaded term, that basically in the way he uses it to follow the department of justice rules to do what the department always does. if you go back and look at the times piece, the explanations he
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offers, one of the chief ones he makes is this piece about classified information related to loretta lynch, it's one of the most unfortunate things from this book, i didn't serve under loretta lynch, and i don't think she handled her piece of the investigation very well. but what jim comey has done is unfair to her. there's this piece of classified information, we've seen it, reported it, a report that turns out to be a russian hoax claiming that she told the clinton campaign she would protect them and he didn't take it to her at the time gives her a chance to defend herself. and he throws it out in the book without any explanation because it's unclassified. i think it's an unfair thing he did to her, a career prosecutor, who has shown as much integrity in her career as he has.
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>> david, you have former fbi director saying that the president of the united states is morally unfit to be president, to which the president replies, you're a slime ball. >> yeah. i actually really liked the distinction that comey made in the interview. i don't buy that he's medical cli unfit. i think he's morally unfit. to all of us that love this country, whatever your party, is that president trump shows us every day how unfit he is. it's the schoolyard insults. the way he talks casually about using military force. it's the lies. it's the business corruption. it's the attempts to destroy democratic norms. so sometimes you have to laugh about it because it's hard to believe we're living through it. but the best evidence that the president is morally unfit to serve is his own behavior every single day.
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>> david and matt, thank you both for joining us tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thank you. coming up, the russians argued about sanctions, so the president has flip-flopped on that. also, the judge versus the president. the woman who crushed the president in court today. ♪ ♪
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sanctions will be coming down. secretary mnuchin will be announcing those monday if he hasn't already. and they will go to any companies dealing with equipment with saud -- >> that was yesterday. and today "the washington post" reports president trump puts the brakes on new russian sanctions. joining us now wendy sherman, an msnbc global affairs contributor. ambassador sherman, the administration could not have been more clear yesterday, more sanctions are coming. they had a plan to basically match the european union and the uk's sanctions and today the president says, no more. we're not doing that. >> it's quite extraordinary, lawrence. this is really diplomacy 101, and it doesn't say a lot about john bolton getting a handle on a process inside the white house
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to make sure there's a consistent message. the reporting today is concerning for a number of reasons. one, we're sending out a multiple of signals, so no one knows what the foreign policy is of the united states. we're saying to russia you don't have to believe anything you heard from anybody, unless you hear it from the president of the united states. and then one week we're leaving syria and the next we're bombing syria. so it leaves us in a terrible position to make sure our interests are met. the other thing i saw in the report that was fascinating is the white house threw nikki haley under the bus. she is right now the senior diplomat. there is no secretary of state and john sullivan is doing his best but he doesn't have the power or authority, the cabinet rank she does, except in an acting capacity. here they're saying she not only got it wrong but she got it wrong because she talks to the president, ignores the process, she's too tough on russia.
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it seems to me that undermines the effective job she has been doing at the u.n. to get other sanctions through that are difficult to do in that multi-lateral setting. >> we saw nikki haley on television early sunday morning. she clearly believed that secretary mnuchin was going to have the sanctions ready to go on sunday. she said it's going to happen basically any minute now. >> indeed, and we didn't hear that there weren't going to be sanctions until today. there was no correction last night. there was no walking it back. and the white house said that she did a misstatement, and i don't think that's what happened at all. i think that there was a -- probably vigorous discussion, there was a list of sanctions, people thought they were heading towards imposing those sanctions today, the treasury secretary teed them up and the president of the united states said not so much.
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i want to leave an open door for vladimir putin. president trump doesn't understand yet that vladimir putin only responds to power and strength. and when the russians thought we were going to impose new sanctions, they sent out my former counterpart to say, let's take our time, see what the sanctions are, how they're going to be implemented, trying to take the temperature down because the russians thought we were serious. so we have undermined our strength, our leadership, we've undermined our national security in the way that ham handedly the white house hasn't put forward a consistent foreign policy. >> and the president does this right in the middle of james comey's massive wave of interviews in which he is repeatedly saying it is very, very strange that the president is so particularly deferential to vladimir putin. >> it is completely not understandable. and it does lead all of us to wonder whether putin does hold
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something over him, because it really fluxoxes just common sense that russia would do things again and again to undermine our elections, our system, our democracy, the administration -- the u.s., along with great britain put out a warning today that russia was trying to hack into firewalls and routers and get hold of systems and businesses all over our countries. so every day russia is doing things to try to destab lose the united states of america and the president is trying to give putin a hand up and i can't understand for the life of me why. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, the judge who said no to the president today.
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you know what's not awesome? gig-speed internet. when only certain people can get it. let's fix that. let's give this guy gig- really?
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and these kids, and these guys, him, ah. oh hello. that lady, these houses! yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. you know he wants to attack her. you know donald trump wants to attack the federal judge who ruled against him today. you know he has that twitter machine in his hands right now just dieing to take a swing at her. you remember the way he attacked the federal judge who was handling the trump university fraud case during the presidential campaign. donald trump said that judge could not be fair because he is, quote, of mexican heritage. president trump was attacking
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max cans so he thought the judge could not be fair. that's the way donald trump understands the world. and so you know that donald trump wants to attack the federal judge who ruled against him today in new york. and you know he wants to say that she can't be fair because she's a woman. and we all know how donald trump feels about women. >> you can do anything. >> whatever you want. >> grab them by the [bleep]. you can do anything. >> and so today, in the daniel patrick monahan federal courthouse in lower manhattan with stormy daniels looking on, president trump suffered a big legal defeat at the gavel of a federal judge who happens to be a woman. kimba wood, the judge who ruled against the president of the united states today wasn't supposed to be in that courtroom. she was supposed to have left her judgeship in 1993 to join the president's cabinet as bill clinton's attorney general. but she ran into controversy in
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the confirmation process when she revealed she had briefly employed a baby sitter who was an undocumented immigrant before that became illegal in 1986. the judge did pay social security tack taxes for that baby sitter. even though she did not break a law, she with drew her name. why am i bringing that up? because she's now handling the most important case in america right now. she's providing over a case which the president of the united states entered today in a evidence. the president of the united states, through a private lawyer hired specifically for this case, asked a federal judge today to refuse to allow the fbi and federal prosecutors in new york to examine the evidence
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that they seized in those raids on michael cohen's home and his office and his hotel room last week. and judge kimba wood said no. she said no to the president of the united states. she said no to the president's friend, michael cohen. this is the first judge to rule against donald trump personally while he is president of the united states. and so you will be hearing a lot about judge kimba wood, who might now hold the future of the trump presidency in her hands. there are reports that the president and the trump white house are more afraid of what's happening in kimba wood's courtroom in manhattan than anything that the special prosecutor robert mueller is doing in washington. and so you know what's going to happen. she is going to be attacked, attacked viciously. if president trump manages to resist the urge to attack judge wood, his friends in the media will surely do it for him.
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kimba wood is going to be savagely attacked by newt gingrich, who has compared robert mueller to the gestapo and by all of the trump supporters on fox news. fox news will no doubt soon be lying about kimba wood's history and claiming she broke the law when she employed that babysitter in the 1980s. they might try and reach back to 1966 to portray kimba wood as a lightweight because of the time, the very brief time she spent working at the playboy club in london. it was actually a total of only five days when she was training to be a part-time playboy bunny at that club while she was a graduate student at the london school of economics. five days was all she could take. the president's tv supporters will all soon be attacking her and claiming she is biased. they will attack her the way they attacked special prosecutor robert mueller, and they will all be wrong. judge wood's distinguished judicial career speaks for
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itself. defenders of judge wood might also get something slightly wrong about her. defenders of judge wood will be trying to prove her objectivity by saying she was appointed to the bench by republican president ronald reagan, which is technically true, but only technically true. she was actually chosen for the federal judgeship by the late democratic senator daniel patrick moynihan, whose name is now on the building she works in. presidents usually learn the selection of federal judges to the senators from the state where the judge will be working. republican presidents rely on the republican senator or senators in that state to tell them who to appoint. when moynihan was elected in 1976, he was serving under a democratic president, jimmy carter, so normally senator moynihan would choose all of the federal judges in the four federal districts in new york state. that is a lot of judges.
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but senator moynihan made a unique bargain with new york's republican senator. he gave senator javits 25% of the federal judgeships as long as senator moynihan could have 25% of the federal judgeships when there was a republican president. that deal was honored by senator javits' republican successor al da mat oh, and it worked out very well for senator moynihan, because for the 12 years of the consecutive reagan/bush presidencies, daniel patrick moynihan was the only democrat in the senate who was choosing federal judges. and so, yes, technically judge kimba wood, who was appointed to the federal bench in the last year of the reagan presidency, is a reagan judge. but really kimba wood is a moynihan judge, as was the now
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supreme court justice sonia sotomayor and countless other distinguished members of the federal judiciary in new york state. donald trump cannot fire kimba wood. if he manages to fire the special prosecutor, judge kimba wood will still go to work every day in the moynihan courthouse, presiding over what is tonight the most important case in america. and in her first ruling in that case today, when she denied motions by the president of the united states and his friend, michael cohen, to prevent the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york from fairly examining the evidence seized in the michael cohen raids, she said words that you know infuriated the president of the united states. i have faith in the southern
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time for tonight's last word. >> in an interview with george stephanopoulos, comey compared trump to a mob boss. well, that's not fair. mob bosses know how to run a casino. allegedly. >> stephen colbert gets tonight's last word. today, former republican congressman david jolly highlighted a passage that we've all missed in the 2016 republican platform. it says, the next president must restore the public's trust in law enforcement and civil order by first adhering to the rule of law himself. they actually had that in the donald trump republican platform. david jolly will talk about that with brian williams on "the 11th hour," which starts now. tonight, a wild day in court and a tangled web for donald trump's fixer, michael cohen, as the two men fight to keep their files private, cohen's mystery
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client is revealed to be sean hannity. and for good measure, stormy daniels showed up at federal court. plus jim comey's book doesn't even go on sale till tomorrow, yet it's already ugly and getting worse as the president unleashes a personal and biting counterattack. and our u.n. ambassador says new sanctions are coming. then the president says not so fast. and of course the subject is russia as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a monday night. and as we start off a new week, good evening once again from our msnbc news headquarters here in new york. day 452 of the trump administration, and we learned today beyond a doubt that the case involving his personal lawyer, michael cohen, is indeed shaping up to be a big problem for this president. lawyers for trump and cohen have been trying to protect records that were swept up and seized in that fbi raid exactly one week ago. today a federal judge rejected that request but ruled