Skip to main content

tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  April 24, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PDT

12:00 am
good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. tonight on all in. michael cohen, the white house insists trump is not worried. >> the total witch-hunt. >> tonight congresswoman maxine waters joins me to discuss pardons, witness flipping, and the bipartisan push to protect mueller. then another day, another scott pruitt scandal. >> i think scott pruitt is doing a great job. >> new signs tonight that pruitt's job could actually be in jeopardy. and after year of president trump, guess what republican candidates are campaigning on? >> we don't need to investigate our president. we need to arrest hillary. >> when "all in" starts right now. >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. while the presidential families gathered over the weekend to mourn the death of former first lady barbara bush, the current occupant of the white house was golfing, rage tweeting, and attempting it appears to
12:01 am
influence the testimony of a potential witness against him. first lady melania trump attended the funeral on saturday, posing for a photo with the obamas, the clintons and two generations of bushes. but her husband stayed behind at his estate in florida where he had plenty of time to catch up on twitter and cable news, two of his favorites, and where he somehow seems to have come across this story published friday on his allegedly abusive treatment of longtime aide michael cohen. since cohen was raided by the fbi a couple of weeks ago, according to "the times," trump's lawyers and advisers now fear cohen could turn on the president. the president responded "the new york times" and a third rate reporter named maggie haberman known as a crooked h flunky who i don't speak to and have something o nothing to do with are going out of their way to destroy michael cohen and his relationship with me in the hopes that he will flip. they use nonexistent sources and a drunk drugged up loser who hates michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. most people will flip if the government lets them out of
12:02 am
trouble. sorry. i don't see them doing that despite the horrible witch-hunt and the dishonest media. a lot to start there. this would be the report her le is referring, to maggie haberman, a "new york times" reporter who the president claims he does not speak to and has nothing to do with. he talks to her all the time. also, her work just won a pulitzer prize. and the drugged up loser appears to be referring to sam nunberg, remember him? a former aide who fell out with the president and spent all day on cable television saying he was going to defy muellers a grand jury testimony and recently gave grand jury testimony in the probe. along with a handful of other on the record sources including trump confidante roger stone. we have come to expect this kind of outburst and vitriol from the president. but it is really stunning to watch in realtime as the president sends what appears to
12:03 am
be a signal to michael cohen calling him, quote, a fine person with a wonderful family, insisting he has always liked and respected cohen, and claiming cohen is not the type of guy to flip. it's a very clear message for the president of the united states to a potential witness against him right out in the open for all of us to see. now, the president's press secretary was asked about those comments not surprisingly this morning in a session with reporters. >> president trump tweeted over the weekend that he doesn't expect michael cohen to flip. has he been offered any assurances from mr. cohen? >> i'm not sure. >> have they spoken? >> i'm only aware of the conversation from a couple of friday ago. >> what is he worried michael cohen could flip over? >> i think he said even if that there isn't there isn't anything for that to happen? >> why not tweet that, then? why open the opportunity for to flip it? >> i don't think the president has anything to hide. he has been quite clear on. that is the president open to a pardon for michael cohen? >> i don't think we're going to talk about hypotheticals that
12:04 am
don't exist right now. >> the president does seem to have pardons on the brain. over the weekend he is considering a full pardon for boxer jack johnson thanks to a phone call from sylvester stallone, if you have that in your news bingo, you win. the president just pardoned scooter libby, the former bush administration official convicted of lying to investigators in the valerie plame affair. this afternoon the press secretary did not rule out a pardon for michael cohen. >> it was noticed by some that you didn't close the door one way or the other the president pardoning michael cohen. what is your -- what's your read on that right now? >> it's hard to close the door on something that hasn't taken place. i don't like to discuss or comment on hypothetical situations that may or may not ever happen. >> congresswoman maxine waters, a democrat of california joins me here tonight in new york city. it's nice to have you here in studio. >> good to be here. >> what is your read of the message the president is or is
12:05 am
not sending to michael cohen? >> well, it's quite obvious that he is sending a message that he will pardon him. i understand that he treated him very badly. he had no respect for him. and despite the fact that cohen has said he would take a bullet, i don't think so. i don't think he'll take prison. and so when people talk about him flipping, i think it just drives the president crazy. and he is sending him a message surely that don't worry, i'm going take care of you. and he has demonstrated that he will pardon. now what he has done? pardoned at least two people, arpaio and scooter libby. so yes, it's quite clear to me and i think to anybody watching that that's what he is trying the do. >> so you think is a part of what i think people like yourself and others argue. it was a sort of ongoing slow motion obstruction effort by the president? >> absolutely. he is obstructing justice right before our very eyes. and he does not stop. he continues to, you know, use the powers of the president to
12:06 am
send a message to those who would flip on him or who would cooperate with the investigation that he'll take care of them. and he's done it consistently. >> you know, a lot of people have made the point recently that ultimately, the attorney general jeff sessions recused himself from the russia investigation and rod rosenstein's overseeing that, that he has to be praised for defending the independence of the department of justice and protecting that investigation. there is reporting saying that he told the white house last week that if rosenstein were fired, he may have to go as well. you're someone very critical of the attorney general. what do you think of that piece? >> as you know, he did recuse himself, as you just said. and the president has not been kind to him, despite the fact he was an early supporter of the president, endorsed him when nobody else would. the president said he wanted to fire him at one point. and so now that he's refused to leave and he is taking up for
12:07 am
rod rosenstein, i'm surprised. i'm surprised and i certainly didn't expect very much of him. and i don't know why he didn't leave after the president humiliated him so. and so i don't know what's going on. >> do you derive pleasure from his humiliation given how lou your opinion solve him? >> i'm always surprised when individuals take that kind of beating. i'm surprised that they don't stand up for themselves, that they don't feel as if they have been undermined and humiliated to the point where they don't want to serve. i don't know why he wanted to stay. >> you've also have very strong criticism of james comey. >> yes. >> the former fbi director. >> that's right. >> i want to play this clip. >> i know. >> it's a notorious clip. it made an impression. take a listen to thinking okay, all right. >> congresswoman, can you tell us anything about the discussion in the room? >> no, it's classified, and we can't tell you anything.
12:08 am
all i can tell you is the fbi director has no creditability. >> yes. >> that was during a transition. it was a briefing that director comey gave to members of congress which was classified which i guess you cannot speak about still. >> that's right. >> but you and donald trump do agree on that. that sentence you said, no credibility. and donald trump destroy. >> i tried to clarify that and to say yes, coming out of that classified briefing i said that, and i certainly meant it. however, i think it is quite different when you take a look at comey and his relationship to the president what he said, what he has done. i believe him. >> you believe him? >> i believe him, yes. so then was then. and now is now. >> the white house keeps saying now, and i want to -- they have a new talking point about the firing of rosenstein or mueller, which seemed very close and then seemed to diffuse a little bit recently. here is what they're saying. i'm going to play you a few
12:09 am
short clips of white house spoke people saying that don't have any intention to fire mueller. take a listen. >> yes, yes, yes. >> when is he going to fire rosenstein? when is he going to fire mueller? as far as i know the president has no intention of firing these individuals, as i said many times before, we have no intention of firing the special counsel. we've been beyond cooperative with them. >> the president has no intention of firing robert mueller. it's impossible to say what the future is going to hold because you never know how far off it's going to fear as far as investigation. but there are no plans to dismiss robert mueller. >> do you believe them? >> no, i don't believe them. and let me tell you, he would fire them in the hot second if he didn't think he would get the kind of pushback he has been warned about. you have senators on both sides of the aisle saying you better not. you better not do this. and i think that he is not prepared to cross them at this time because he does not know what will happen. perhaps they'll join me. >> are you of the belief that democrats should make impeachment a centerpiece of the midterm elections? >> well, they have indicate they'd do not want to do that. >> who is the they?
12:10 am
>> the leadership. you know, whether we're talking about the dnc or the dccc, they all believe that republicans will just use that and say they're mad because they lost the election, and they don't particularly think that that's good way to go with this. i don't agree with him. >> you don't agree. no. >> you don't agree both tactically and substantively. i guess my point is you substantively feel he has committed impeachable offenses. >> that's right. >> are you not persuaded that it would be a tactical mistake politically? >> no, i'm not persuaded by that idea. you know why? i tell you everywhere i go, people are talking about why can't you all get rid of him. >> right. >> why don't they impeach him. what is wrong with the other members of congress, why don't they stand up with you? this man is dishonorable. he lies all the time. he is a con man. they say all of these things. and i'm not just talking about my district, whether i'm on the airplane, i'm walking down the street in new york, wherever i
12:11 am
am, i'm hearing it. and i'm told that 70% of women who have been polled is a they want him up peached. >> all right, congresswoman maxine waters. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. for more on what comes next in the cohen investigation, i'm joined by jennifer rodgers of the united states attorneys office of the southern district of new york and matt miller. matt, starting with you, you just heard the congresswoman say she thought this was an effort at witness manipulation. what did you think? >> i think it's absolutely clear that's what the president is trying to do. he has been trying to tamper with witnesses in this case going back well into last year. he sometimes, kind of implicitly at one point in 2016 kind of threw an intermediary, sent a message to mike flynn that he should stay strong. when that wasn't enough, he had his attorney or at least john dowd reached out maybe on his own, but most likely at the president's direction and dangled a pardon in front of both mike flynn and paul manafort in the days before one of them was indicted and one of them plead guilty.
12:12 am
so we know he had flirted with pardoning people involved in this case already. and i think if you look at all the evidence over the last two weeks, the scooter libby patterned, the strange out of nowhere jack johnson pardon float, and these kind of stay strong words again to michael cohen, i think it's absolutely clear that's what the president is trying to do. >> is that your interpretation? >> i think that's right. i think he is saying that. the problem is of course with the president, you never know. i don't think if i were michael cohen, i would be taking a lot of comfort from these overture. >> oh, no. i would not take the tweet to the bank to make my decision about whether i was going to cooperate north. >> but he is definitely sending that message. the scooter libby thing the same day. this was four days after the search. even though they're now in the mid of this investigation. it's a mess. >> as a lawyer, as a former prosecutor, what would be going through your head if you were watching this happening in a case you were prosecuting? if someone as bound up as the president is was reaching out to witnesses that you were -- that you just served warrants on. >> well, in some ways you're
12:13 am
kind of salivating. if i ever do get michael cohen in the chair opposite me, one of the first questions is hey, remember that day when the president give you a call? let's hear it. they're creating problems for themselves. >> interesting. >> and as a prosecutor, you've always got an eye out for those. >> let me ask you another question about another figure which is keith davids. keith davids is a lawyer who has been on the other side of michael cohen on a bunch of these settlements. he represented the accuser or the woman who was impregnated by elliott broidy, the rnc chair who had quit his job after a $1.6 million payment was unearthed. karen mcdougal and stormy daniels originally as well. he is now cooperating with federal law enforcement. what do you make of that? >> well, you know, when you say "cooperating," it's not at all clear to me there is any criminal liability here for him. i think he is being cooperative. i think he is talking to them. i just don't see any legal trouble for him. i think there is ethics trouble
12:14 am
for him as far as the bar, because it looks like he may have actually conspired with cohen. >> it really does look like that. >> shrink in trouble in that sense, or civil trouble. they certainly could sue him if they got a better deal with the lawyer who was really representing their interests. but i don't think he is a cooperating witness in the criminal sense of the word. >> matt, what does it mean to have cohen just hanging out there? i have the sense just watching the news play out, everything that is happening right now is with this other shoe. and there is a lot of shoes that haven't dropped. they raided the guy's office. they've been reading his e-mail for months. and just got to be strange to just go to work every day at the white house, knowing that that's out there. >> yeah, well, one of the weird things about looking at this from the outside, we don't know that the raid on cohen's office or even cohen's potential testimony actually means any real criminal liability for the president. but if you watch all the president's aides and all the people close to the president, if you watch the president's meltdowns on twitter, they all
12:15 am
seem to think that this investigation. >> yes. >> poses real criminal liability for the president. so if you're a staffer, and you look at the way the staffers -- take the firing mueller example, take the firing mueller answers, for example. they don't know how to answer these questions from reporters because they have no idea what the president is going to do on any given day, and they can in no way have any idea what kind of criminal liability has related to michael cohen. a lot of them worked on the campaign. they may not have the full picture of what happened with russia, but they might have some picture from being on the campaign. same with being in the obstruction of justice side of it. they've at least been around the white house so they might have some idea what the president has done. they have no idea what he did in his private business dealings with michael cohen and what michael cohen could say about the president. >> right. >> and that has to be awfully, awfully terrifying to anyone that works in the white house that. >> is a great point. jennifer rodgers and matt miller, thanks for making time. next, amidst the mounting scandals coming out about scott pruitt, almost too many to keep track of, new reporting there is new behind the scenes action to
12:16 am
push him out. could scott pruitt's scandals catch up to him? in two minutes.
12:17 am
12:18 am
tonight a brand-new batch of scandalous scott pruitt headlines draw bloomberg reports, the white house is deterring republicans from defending pruitt in public in a sign the administration support for the embattled epa chief may be waning. among the latest damaging headlines, a group of democratic lawmakers say they have new developments they have obtained that raise serious questions about the epa's security expenditures. this as scott pruitt is now the target of at least -- i think we've counted this correctly -- ten federal investigations focused on his spending habits and possible ethics violations. eric lipton, someone over the last month who has reported exclusively on pruitt scandals and chris liu worked with interfaced members of the cabinet. eric, let me start with you. there is so much that i begin to
12:19 am
lose track. so let's start a little bit on a story you broke this weekend about the person, the couple from whom he rented that infamous condo. i want to play you sound of what he said about whether they had any business before the epa whatsoever to ed henry. take a listen. >> why does it matter when the ethics officials look at the lease and the terms lease. >> why does it matter? you're renting it from the wife of a lobbyist. >> who has no business before this agency. >> hold on a second. so is that williams & jensen? major lobbying firm. exxonmobil is a client. >> mr. hart has no -- >> does exxonmobil have business -- >> mr. hart has no business or clients before this agency. >> is that true, eric? >> it's not. and his own lobbying firm filed a disclosure report on friday that said that he in fact did have a client that he was representing before the epa, and not only that, that he met with pruitt in july of 2017 with that client. and even though both steve hart
12:20 am
and pruitt there said that they did not have any such interactions, pruitt was a tenant in his wife's condo for $50 a night at the same time as steve hart the lobbyist was meeting with pruitt on behalf of his friend of his who wanted to push for more funding for chesapeake bay and improving the environment in the chesapeake bay. >> just to be clear here, i just want to be clear, he said there is no business. >> right. >> so steve hart meets with scott pruitt. scott pruitt is the head of the epa. steve hart is the husband of the woman renting his condo for $50 on a night for a third party to lobby before an issue at the epa? >> that's right. started in may of 2017 to a meeting in july of 2017. the argument that steve hart makes is that this meeting which was set up via e-mails from his own lobbying firm to pruitt's office and chief of staff, he said he did it on behalf of a friend and was not paid for this work. but his own lobbying work filed
12:21 am
papers saying he was lobbying on behalf of smithfield foods which is a major client of the lucky firm's. >> chris, what do you any of that? >> this is just the latest issue. it is hard to keep track of all the ethical improprieties. it is everything from the travel spending, the furniture, the security details, the kickback from the lobbyists, the hiring practices, the pay raises. frankly, if there is an ethics impropriety, scott pruitt has probably already committed it. when i was working for president obama, and i worked for him for 11 years, if i had done even one of these things, i would have been out on the streets. so it's remarkable that pruitt still is hanging on at this point. >> eric, the reporting suggesting this is kind of how he rolls and has for a while. walter shaub summarizes some of your reporting. the lobbyists sold him a home
12:22 am
for $100,000 less than she had paid for. he then voted to let the importer raise his rates. at the epa he hired her and the banker that lent him money. than accurate? >> most of my colleagues that wrote a story about the days of pruitt when he was attorney general. and he bought a house from a essentially at&t lobbyist. and he got it for $100,000 less than she had paid for it. and then he took actions while he was a state legislature, a state legislature that benefitted at&t. so it certainly looks like, again, a relationship that with a lobbyist that benefitted the lobbyist client and is sort of an echo of something that would come much later now that he serves as head of the epa. >> "the washington post" just tweeted this which i thought was interesting, chris. lots and i mean lots of folks in the white house want epa head scott pruitt gone. the one who makes the ultimate decision doesn't seem to agree so pruitt hangs on.
12:23 am
what do you think? >> a couple of weeks ago the reporting was john kelly called pruitt and said look, it's got to stop. no more of these disclosures. and seemingly every single day there is another one of these things. what's important to recognize is until last week, there wasn't a number two at epa. that person andrew wheeler has now been confirmed. look, his policies aren't great either in terms of the environment. but he will probably destroy the environment, but he'll do it in an ethical marine. so there is now certainly somebody in charge who can take over if pruitt is moved out. >> eric, are you confident we have learned all there is to learn or are there more threads? >> there is still more to report. well still have various avenues that we're pursuing. i think the most troubling thing right now for pruitt is that trey gowdy, the head of the oversight committee in the house has asked some of his top aides to come and in give what he calls transcribed interviews. that's a formal investigation. here you have the first formal investigation by house republicans of a trump cabinet member. and so that's got to be
12:24 am
troubling. >> eric lipton and chris liu, thank you both. >> thank you. coming up, guess which republican just backed off his very deeply principled opposition to trump nominee for secretary of state. the dramatic finish to committee vote for mike pompeo next. at the marine mammal center, the environment is everything.
12:25 am
12:26 am
we want to do our very best for each and every animal, and we want to operate a sustainable facility. and pg&e has been a partner helping us to achieve that. we've helped the marine mammal center go solar,
12:27 am
install electric vehicle charging stations, and become more energy efficient. pg&e has allowed us to be the most sustainable organization we can be. any time you help a customer, it's a really good feeling. it's especially so when it's a customer that's doing such good and important work for the environment. together, we're building a better california. play [music plays]his". when everything's connected, it's simple. easy. awesome. i have changed my mind. i've decided to go ahead and vote for director pompeo because he's assured me that he has learned the lesson, that he does and has incorporated the idea that the iraq war was a mistake. >> just hours ago with republican senator rand paul dropping his objections after
12:28 am
heavy lobbying for the president, mike pompeo's nomination to be the next secretary of state received a positive recommendation from senate foreign relations committee on a party line vote. pompeo is expected to be confirmed by the full senate later this week with at least three democrats already saying they will vote in favor. now pompeo was the one who met secretly with the president of north korea a few weeks ago to lay the groundwork for a summit with president trump this spring. and the secretary of state if indeed confirmed will have his work cut out for him. mieke eoyang, jeffrey lewis, director of east asian nonproliferation for international studies, and msnbc national security analyst ned price is a former special assistant to president obama. this is kind of a crazy time mieke right now. you have an acting secretary of state, no ambassador to korea, and the president halfway down the road for the first ever state-to-state summit with the head of north korea. where are we right now? >> i'm not sure that anyone could tell you. and i'm pretty sure the trump
12:29 am
administration doesn't have a map to this either. you know, we're missing a lot of the people that you would need to work out the details of a summit like this. this is really high stakes diplomacy. we are talking about a high-wire trapeze act here with no net underneath them. and the risk of this president slipping is really quite high. >> jeffrey, you follow this issue closely for a while. i want to ask you about the veracity of one of the president's tweets. north korea announced they're suspending tests of their weapons the last week. the president tweeting we haven't given up anything they have agreed to denuclearization. so great for world. site closure, no more testing. that true? >> i mean, it's true-ish. the north koreans are willing to say that they are going to talk about denuclearization. but i think the place where that gets a little bit messed up is du nuclearization for north korea does not mean north korea giving up its nuclear weapons. so yes, they're going to take a pause in testing long-range missiles, and they're going to
12:30 am
take a pause in testing nuclear weapons. but at the end of the day, north korea is not going to give up the nuclear weapons that it has now. and so that's where i think it's not true. >> well, so what is this all about? if that's -- that seems like you're saying the conclusion is already fixed here, that they're not going to give up their weapons. so what's going on? >> i have no idea what the president thinks he is doing. i mean, that's what is so bizarre about this. the north koreans have made it clear, and they just release another statement the other day that the reason they're stopping testing is the arsenal is finished. they call it their powerful treasured sword, and that they don't have any intention of giving it up. i think the president i think has the idea that he'll go and that there will be a summit, and that magically north korea will give those nuclear weapons up. but really, what the north koreans just want is the summit. they want to reduce pressure. they want to be seen as a legitimate power. and ultimately, they want the u.s. to accept that they have
12:31 am
nuclear weapons. and the president is just sort of bumbling into that. >> is that your read on what the north koreans are after, ned? >> well, it certainly is, chris. i think they're after that, and at the same time, if they can divide our alliance. if they can divide our relationship with the japanese and the south koreans, that's an added bonus for them. you will note in the north korean statement over the weekend late last week there was no mention made of shorter range missiles. and those are some of the programs that are of most concern to south korea and to japan. that is what the north koreans have been trying to do for much of this time is to take washington and to move them squarely away from seoul and tokyo. and unfortunately, president trump has actually given them an opening by first being more confrontational and bellicose than probably either the japanese and certainly the south koreans would want. and now seeming to rush almost willing to rush to pyongyang on the first air force one flight over there. that does the north koreans'
12:32 am
work for them in some ways. >> but wait a second. it is the government of south korea that has sort of put if first foot forward on this. they did the initiatives, the rigmarole for the olympics and the joint hockey team. moon jae-in ran on this, the administration ran on sort of a conciliatory line towards north korea, towards a possibility of peace. they're the ones that announced the diplomatic break from the white house. what's so bad about giving this a shot i guess is a question? >> absolutely we have to give it a should. look, rushing towards peace is so much better than rushing towards war. >> exactly. >> but we can't do this -- we can't do this in a haphazard way, chris. look, i think jeffrey is right. and president trump sees himself as a deal maker. and president trump wants nothing more than to get to the table and to face kim jong-un mano to mano and say look, i solved what my predecessors could not. but there is a real threat here, there is a real potential that what he waves around is not a negotiated commitment with
12:33 am
verifiable permanent and irreversible steps, but really just an empty road map. really just something that will kick the can down the road even further. >> or, mieke, this to me, again, i'm not a nuclear expert or a north korea expert, but it does look like what they're after is essentially to be recognized as a nuclear power. >> that's right. and they want people to stop treating them like a pariah state. they want this face-to-face meeting with the president for their stature. the concept of face is very important in asia. but what we're seeing here, and i think there is a real risk of this, the united states and united states and trump could be played by north korea and china. one of the things they want is to reduce the u.s. military presence in the region. the u.s. is the dominant military power. the chinese don't like it. the north koreans don't like. it's not just about the conventional missiles. it's about the true presence that we have here. and trump is a guy who will give away too much without getting anything for it. and we see this over and over again. his deal making is more like concessions and giveaways.
12:34 am
>> but i guess my question, jeffrey, there anything gettable? if you reason back from the standpoint which they're not going to give up their nuclear arsenal, they're not going to agree to any actual inspection regime that would hamstring them, if that's your starting place which is what you seem to think and north korea experts i read seem to think, then what is there? >> well, look, this is why this is such a difficult thing coming on and be a pundit about. the fundamental issue here is you've got two problems, right. you've got north korea which is a nasty unpleasant neighbor for south korea and does all kinds of bad things. and then you have north korea's nuclear weapons. and traditionally what we've said is north korea is this terrible, horrible country. but the first thing we have to solve is the nuclear weapons problem, and then we can talk about making the relationship better. >> right. >> what the south koreans have done is flipped that. what they have said a is hey, let's forget the nuclear stuff. let's just say we're for denuclearization and push that
12:35 am
off into the distance and try to improve relations. i'm not against that per se, but it's not clear to me that the president understands that's what he is doing. and when he figures it out, what's he going to do? is he going to sign the peace treaty or freak out and turn the keys over to bolton? >> ned, do you have confidence, trust in mike pompeo to navigate this? >> well, look, mike pompeo has been at the tip of the spear with this. but in many ways he has been there because it's been the process of elimination. we have had no secretary of state over that time period. over the easter weekend we had no national security adviser because h.r. mcmaster was on the way out. john bolton was not yet there. we have no ambassador to seoul and we have no envoy for the north korean issue. so mike pompeo, yes, he has the trust of the president. but he was really the only person standing when it came to deal with. but look, mike pompeo has taken on a diplomatic role which is not a role he has taken on in the past with north korea.
12:36 am
in the past he has spoken of separating kim jong-un from his nuclear weapons arsenal, including potentially with the use of force. he has joked about potentially assassinating kim jong-un. so he is not someone who really plays the part of a diplomat all that well. the question will become whether he can make that transition. i have profound doubts and profound concerns about him at foggy bottom. but it sounds like we're all going to get a chance to see it for ourselves. >> all right, mieke eoyang, jeffrey lewis, ned price, great conversation. thank you. still ahead, as republicans struggle to find a voice in the elections, reverting to an old favorite about how putting hillary clinton on the ballot. and a bad alibi in tonight's thing 1, thing 2, next.
12:37 am
12:38 am
12:39 am
12:40 am
thing 1 tonight. one of the most striking revelations from the comey memos is president trump's apparent fixation on the most salacious part of this steele dossier, you know what i'm talking about, explaining why what he called the golden showers thing could not have happened. couldn't have happened. comey writes in his january 2017 memo trump said he had spoken to people who had been on the miss universe trip with him, and they had reminded him that he didn't stay overnight in russia for that. he said he arrived in the morning, did events, then showered and dressed for pageant at the hotel. he didn't say the hotel name, and left for the pageant. afterwards, he returned only to get his things because he
12:41 am
departed for new york by plane that same night. now trump apparently brought it up for the second time just a month later, according to comey, explain as he did at our dinner, he hadn't stayed overnight during the russian trip. so the, quote, golden showers thing couldn't possibly be true. he didn't even stay overnight in moscow. except that's not what the flight records say. and that's thing 2 in 60 seconds. but i'm not standing still... and with godaddy, i've made my ideas real. ♪ i made my own way, now it's time to make yours. ♪ everything is working, just like it should ♪
12:42 am
the president allegedly told james comey multiple times that the, quote, golden showers thing could not possibly be true, saying the proof was that he didn't even stay overnight in moscow. according to, however, flight records obtained by bloomberg, trump departed from asheville, north carolina, arriving in moscow early friday morning and trump stayed in russia until sunday, november 10th for nearly 46 hours, flying out of moscow in the wee hours to the new york city area. we know trump spent friday night in moscow and also know most of his schedule.
12:43 am
trump went to eat friday night with russian tycoons at nobu. and then attended a birthday party for the developer's host, agalarov. what happened after the birthday party is a mystery. the only thing we know about the night trump slept in moscow came from his bodyguard keith schiller when he turned down an offer from a russian to send women to trump's room. schiller testify head stood outside trump's hotel room future a time and then went to bed. the next time trump is seen publicly is next day before the miss universe pageant on saturday, trump sat down for an msnbc interview looking a little bleary-eyed. >> do you have a relationship with putin, or anything you feel you have sway or influence over his government? >> i do have a relationship. and i can tell you that he is very interested in what we're doing here today.
12:44 am
12:45 am
12:46 am
12:47 am
there is yet another special congressional election tomorrow, this one in arizona to fill the seat formally occupied by staunch social conservative trent franks who once learned the secular left would bring the downfall of america and who resigned in november after accusations he had offered $5 million to a female employee to be a surrogate mother to his children, and that she and another female employee worried the lawmaker wanted to have sex as a means of impregnating them.
12:48 am
it's not the kind of thing you should really ask your employees. arizona's eighth district should be safe for republicans. the gop has a 17.8 registration advantage in the district. it includes a solidly republican golf oriented sun city retirement community, home of many of the staunchest supporters of joe arpaio, the anti-immigrant maricopa county sheriff who trump infamously pardoned last summer. in light of all, this it would be a genuine shock if the race were won by the democrat, doctor and indian immigrant hiral tipirneni. republicans are spooked. outside groups have spent more money to boost debbie lesko. even if lesko wins, as is likely at this point, keep an eye on the margin. if the democrats keep close in a district trump took by 21 points, it will be yet another sign of what even some republicans admit may well be coming in november. >> certainly the energy, the enthusiasm, and the anger is on
12:49 am
the democratic side in this election. there is no sugarcoating that. so there is a big wave coming. and some members are going to have to get off the beach. >> when we come back, "new york times" reporter who took the lead in covering hillary clinton's 2016 presidential campaign will be here to discuss her new book on the behind-the-scenes drama and why republicans are still targeting clinton in 2018. that's next. migraine with botox®.
12:50 am
12:51 am
what if you had fewer headaches and... migraines a month? botox® prevents headaches and migraines before they even star. botox® is for adults with chronic migraine, 15 or more headache days a month,... each lasting 4 hours or more. botox® injections take about 15 minutes in your doctor's office and are covered by most insurance. effects of botox® may spread... hours to weeks after injection... causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away, as difficulty swallowing, speaking, breathing,... eye problems, or muscle weakness... can be signs of a life-threatening condition. side effects may include allergic reactions,
12:52 am
neck and injection site pain, fatigue, and headache. don't receive botox® if there's a skin infection. tell your doctor your medical history, muscle or nerve conditions,... and medications, including botulinum toxins, as, these may increase the risk of serious side effects. with the botox® savings program, most people with commercial insurance pay nothing out of pocket. talk to your doctor and visit to enroll. the media also ignores hillary's uranium one deal. we need to arrest hilly. don blankenship stands with president trump. that was a campaign ad in the year of our lord 2018 for a convicted felon don blankenship who spent a year in jail for his role in a --. the a.p. reports that republicans are making clinton the start of their midterm election strategy despite the fact that she currently holds no
12:53 am
position of power, isn't running for anything, but republicans are betting big the ghost will serve them well in to 1. amy chozick is joining me. you spent a lot of time with hillary clinton. >> a lot. >> what is your reaction to seeing that story in the a.p. about how -- she's not in public life anymore and they're going to try to run against her in the 2018 miss terms. >> it's unbelievable. they're betting on a pavlovian response of even seeing her face. i write when i first met her when i was 16 growing up in texas, everyone i knew hated her. there's been a large psych of the hillary hating. i thought one she stepped back we wouldn't see it, but clearly we still are. >> the book is a really interesting book, very well written. you write about some conclusions you come to about the campaign
12:54 am
and the campaign coverage that maybe you didn't see at the time, particularly around the e-mail coverage and the podesta and hacked e-mails. in retrospect, what do you they about the hacked e-mails were covered? >> right. i was on my way to the newsroom. it was december, i was still in the post-election haze, and my colleagues wrote a story how the russians had pulled off the perfect hack. they said part of that was turning the times and every media organization into a de facto instrument of russian intelligence. and it's not that i think we handled it wrongly at the time or shouldn't have covered it, but i think we need more introspecs about what we do with these hacked documents going forward. there's clear signs the russians are going to try it again in the future. how does the media not become that instrument of russian intelligence while still disseminating what's newsworthy? >> what's the answer? >> i think that's above my pay grade, but i'm happy that people
12:55 am
are debating it. do you think there's a -- i feel like sometimes that the people in the press and the campaign press of 2016 have a rae defensiveness when they get criticized for their coverage of 2016. >> completely. yeah. >> what is that about? >> i think -- >> it's really intense -- i have a television show. of course there are things that we screwed up. we made wrong judgment calls. i'm proud of our coverage generally, but yeah, you screw stuff up. >> i get the instinct to focus looking forward. there's a lot of investigative reporting, but for an industry that thriving on investigation, we're not very good at self-reflection at all, and i think we do knee some of that most mortem, especially with they post-election factors. >> this comes through the book well, in a campaign setting,
12:56 am
everything is zero sum. if something is hurting one candidati helps the other necessarily. when someone puts a thumb on the scale, like the russians did, it's hard to say we're making this independent news judgment. >> one of my colleagues wrote about a column about the french elections and macron's e-mails were hacked. the french media said they would not cover it that until after the election. they didn't want to put their hand on the scale. so whether that's the answer -- it's not a zeroo-sum game. there's somewhere in the middle we need to figure out. >> what in the decade you spend covering hillary clinton. i agree, the hatred for her is -- will blow -- will singe your eyebrows. >> it's visceral. >> in my personal opinion, completely detached from who he is as a human being, totally out
12:57 am
of proportion to her as a person, and also driven by sexism. >> this is what's fascinating about hillary hate. her politics are pretty centrist. they shouldn't be that offensive. >> i think we can all agree, the way people feel about hillary clinton and the hatred is not about the substance. >> it's not like an elizabeth warren, again, another woman, but not her stances being so offensive or extreme she was the first working lady, and how women saw her as an affront to who they were, and she's always been incredibly divisive. >> is it sexism? a lot of it, i think. a lot of it, i think.
12:58 am
i would talk to voters all the time, even voters who didn't -- hated trump, but they would say, i would vote for a woman, just not that woman. i always heard it again and again. when you dig into that, why is she that woman, it was like 30 years of sexist attacks have made her that woman. does every woman become that woman when they reach a certain height? i got that again and again, oh, i don't have a problem with a woman present, but that woman. >> that always seem like -- when people are explicitly saying -- >> i think history will sexism was so central, even more i think -- at some people were willing to admit at the time. >> even though we didn't see -- we thought hillary clinton was going to win. the polls showed her ahead. i covered obama in 2008.
12:59 am
i remember whether all the conventional signs said we were going to win, and it was like there was that hint of is the country really ready to elect a black man. but with hillary, everyone just assumed she would win and maybe we should have more hesitation, is the country really ready to vote a woman? >> and the broad-based assumption she would win is what happened donald trump the most. >> she complains about the media coverage and the "new york times," but i think her biggest complaint should be the widely held assumption that she was going to win. people didn't vote, they said she's going to win anyway and i don't want to vote for her. >> and that's trump's complaint as well. >> but you didn't think you could win also. >> amy's new book is out tomorrow. thanks for being with us. thanks for having me. it's that time of night when i remind you of the gift that's our podcast. the "all in" podcast. you can listen to this show,
1:00 am
these words in your ears as a podcast wherever you are. don't forget to hit subscribe while ire good, good evening, rachel. >> in your ear is. >> my voice in your ears. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight a trump white house on edge but claiming the president has no intention of firing robert mueller as the russia investigation plows forward along with the investigation into his attorney, michael cohen. plus high stakes for trump's meeting with the leader of france as trump welcomes emmanuel macron to washington. these two already have history, and more of it was made today. and the troubling word late today that former president george h.w. bush 41 is seriously ill and hospitalized tonight in houston as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a monday night. well, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. a quick update here at the top