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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  August 31, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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today that memorial service today for the queen of soul was itself a cultural moment. following that incredible event today, tomorrow is going to be another incredible memorial of a very different kind. another incredible memorial of a very different kind. john mccain's national memorial service is tomorrow in washington. that's the service at which barack obama and george w. bush are both expected to deliver eulogies. coverage will start at 8:30 eastern tomorrow morning. looking ahead. as you know the confirmation hearings for brett kavanaugh will start on tuesday, day after labor day. we of course will be covering those wall to wall when those are underway. but i also want to let you know that monday night, even though it is labor day, we will be here with a special labor day show. a special report on brett kavanaugh on the eve of his confirmation hearings. there will be a rachel maddow show monday night, labor day. that does it for us tonight. see you soon.
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now it is time for the last word. good evening. >> the day that aretha franklin passed away was right before my 11:00 a.m. show started. we managed to get through the whole hour celebrating her life and getting through the day without talking about that other day we talk about it. possibly the best hour i have had in the last two ways is because she passed away and we got to talk about her for an hour. >> and the memorial service needs to be preserved for all time in terms of that cultural moment. it was an incredible thing. thanks my friend. >> all right. i'm in for lawrence o'donnell. the president of the united states loves to talk about breaking records. but he will not be bragging about the record that he broke today. president trump's disapproval is now the highest it has ever been in the washington post abc news poll.
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for the first time 60% of americans disapprove of the job that donald trump is doing as president and more than half of americans, 53%, strongly disapprove of the job donald trump is doing. meanwhile, less than a quarter strongly approve of the president. it was just yesterday that the president told bloomberg that democrats can't impeach him because he's doing a, quote, great job. the poll shows americans not only don't think donald trump is doing a great job. it shows that nearly half, 49%, want congress to begin impeachment proceedings against him. also while trump calls robert mueller's probe a witch hunt, americans apparently disagree. 63% support the mueller probe. just 29% oppose it. those numbers coming a day after the president threatened to get involved in the department of justice, which is overseaing robert mueller's probe. >> our justice department and
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our fbi have to start doing their job and doing it right and doing it now. what's happening is a disgrace. and at some point, i wanted to stay out, but at some point if it doesn't straighten out properly, i want them to do their job. i will get involved, and i will get in there if i have to. disgraceful. >> at some point -- listen to that. at some point if it doesn't straighten out possibly, if the probe into me doesn't straighten out in a way i want, i will have to get involved. number after number after number in the new washington post poll shows a warning to the president about his unpopularity. it comes on the same day that the president of the united states found himself excluded from the ceremonies to remember senator john mccain. the president is not invited, pointedly not invited to senator mccain's funeral on saturday.
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but even in his absence, there were reminders of donald trump's legal jeopardy as his chief of staff, john kelly, stood alongside rod rosenstein, the man overseeing the russia investigation and attorney general jeff sessions who has faced pressure to unrecuse himself in the mueller probe. they were all on hand to honor john mccain. the president spent the day dealing with new fallout in his trade war with canada after his disparaging remarks about the united states ally leaked out. the star's daniel dale reported in an off the record portion of the president's interview with bloomberg, donald trump said he's not making any compromises at all in the talks with canada. but he cannot say this publically because it is going to be so insulting that they are not going to be able to make a deal, end quote. canadian officials saw that as proof that the president is not negotiating in good faith as he threatens to exclude canada from a new trade deal.
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they reportedly confronted the u.s. delegation over that report today. here was the president's response at an event in charlotte. >> when you say off the record, that's a very -- it's not a legal term, but it is a term of honor. they said, president trump said off the record, and then they go on to this -- i said this is a first. these are very dishonorable people. but i said in the end, it's okay because at least canada knows how i feel. so it's fine. it's fine [ applause ] >> it's true. >> well, at least canada knows how he feels, and the president made this threat to canada. >> and if we don't make a deal with canada, that's just fine. but we'll see how it all works out. i say affectionally we'll just have to tariff those cars coming in. that's a lot of money coming into the coffers of the united states. >> tariff the cars made by
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american car companies with factories in canada. and a federal judge in texas dealt the president a blow today on immigration, declining to order an immediate halt for the daca program. texas and seven other states had sued to stop daca, which is the obama era initiative that allowed more than 700,000 young people known as dreamers to avoid deportation. joining us now is the columnist for the daily beast and a political analyst. also joining us is a special correspondent for the daily beast and president of the center of american progress. she was hillary clinton's policy director during the 2008 presidential campaign. welcome to all of you. thank you for being with us. not just on a friday night, but a holiday friday night. let's start with this. the daca decision, things are not going the president's way in terms of daca. this judge put out a long report
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in which he agreed that the obama administration may not have had the authority to implement daca, but he did not agree to suspend this, as was requested. >> absolutely. i think the news here really is that the white house has really tried to use immigration issues across the board as part of really a campaign strategy. i think they saw overturning daca at this point in time, a judge overturning daca as an opportunity to make this another issue in the campaign, just hike they tried to have their failed family separation policy as something that was helping them. and honestly, i think the federal judge has really taken that away from them. despite the fact that they're running -- the gop is running basically anti-immigrant ads everywhere, i think that is going to fail when a fuel like this is taken away from them.
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>> you and i are old enough to remember when nafta came to be and before that the free trade agreement with canada and the fact that came with the auto pact between canada and the united states which was an active decision to create assembly in canada for american company cars at the time. the president is treading on dangerous water here. he torpedos the talks with the canadians and says the answer will be to tax cars coming from canada. that shows a poor understanding of basic economics. >> it does. and canada is our basic trading partner. a big chunk of our economy depends on that relationship. he's playing with dynamite here. he's got jared kushner negotiating against freeland, who some viewers might remember when she appeared often on msnbc. >> correct. she's a colleague of ours. >> she's bright and talented, foreign minister of canada.
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and, you know, she got handed a real ativan tagous information today. one thing that nobody has even mentioned is that the deal requires canada's participation. the united states cannot make a separate deal with mexico and leave canada out, which has not been mentioned. >> michael, i think most surprising was what the president said where he said if this thing doesn't straightening itself out, referring to the russia probe, he will have to get involved with the justice department. that's more than he said. he's made that comment before. but that's more serious than this is a witch hunt. i don't like it. it's not fair. the i have to get involved -- the justice department is not the commerce department. it's not the department of labor. it's different from the executive branches. the president threatening to get
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involved is dangerous. >> well, it is very dangerous and it's not going to work very well with him. i have news for him. so for him to return the poll numbers that you started the segment with, this poll is, you know, perhaps -- perhaps it is an outlier because the numbers are much worse than other recent polls. on the other hand, perhaps it is the first poll to take in the full response to americans to everything that has happened in the last couple of weeks. the cohen plea, the manafort verdict and a subsequent development since then. americans don't pay attention to the specifics the way the four of us do, but they pay attention to big things that happen. the stunning number in that poll is that 53% strong disapproval. i don't think that i have ever seen in my adult lifetime and john and you can check me, i don't think i've ever seen a strong disapproval of the president above 50% in my adult lifetime. if he were to try something along the lines you are
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suggesting, ally, especially with those numbers in the poll that show the 63% support for the mueller investigation. there is another number that you didn't cite, 53% believe that trump probably obstructed justice. >> let's put that up because i think this is important. that's another 53 there. the question was do you think trump is trying to interfere with the mueller probe in a way that constitutes obstructing justice. it is a very specific question, michael. it is not a random, do you think he meddled in it. 35% said no. that 35% continues to be a base that the president enjoys. until he said he could shoot somebody on fifth avenue, he's probably got that 35%. >> but the 53% stuck out to me. that was higher than i would have expected it to be. that shows that if he were to try something like you suggested, that would have been trouble for him. >> go ahead. >> yeah. i think what's really interesting about this poll is, you know, basically donald trump has been attacking the mueller
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probe and undermining the probe and attacking the honesty and veracity of both mueller himself as well as the whole process. he's obviously trying to make the american people think there is something wrong here. what's really happened, this poll demonstrates, and i think michael is right, this may just really be the beginning of a hardening of public opinion postman fort and post cohen. >> that's right. >> but what i think is happening here is this strategy of donald trump's has backfired. you could look at a person, a common criminal who attacks the prosecutor all the time, who tries to undermine and say that person looks guilty. and if you see this 53% number, it's basically the american people saying, you know, his behavior is confirming in front of our eyes that he's guilty. a lot of pundits have said this
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is a smart strategy to undermine the investigation because his base is hard. that's true. but with independents it has truly backfired. i have news for the republican party. it is not just republicans who are going to be voting this november. but a lot of independents as well. and they are turning against the party. >> this starts to reflect -- in fact, when you look back at 1973, this starts to reflect something. >> absolutely. >> that people are really turning. and republicans back then only decided that they were turning on richard nixon when they realized the public was turning on them. let's look at another piece of this roll. this is after the manafort verdict, the question of whether trump should pardon manafort. 66% oppose. and 18% support. 18%. that's almost half as much as he typically gets. even people in his base. even people who turn away from donald trump for nothing that he does are saying, come on. this is actually a bridge too
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far. it is hard to know, jonathan, what the bridge too far is for donald trump. but for some people this is it. >> 18% believe the world is flat. you know? you can get 18% for anything. so that is a really, really low number. and i think there are a number of other things that have happened in the last few weeks. we happened to mention john mccain. he just beat donald trump in a landslide, even though he was -- you know, he had died. and the contrast there i think was very, very powerful in the last ten days when they were in the field with that -- with that poll. and so you had a lot of republicans and independents who outnumbered democrats and republicans in this poll. they are now the number one political force in this country by about seven or eight points where people identify themselves as independents. then democrats. then republicans bringing up the rear.
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and the various things that they're trying to do on the republican side to rally their base are not working. for instance, they thought that they were going to turn a young woman who was tragically killed in iowa, molly tibbits. they thought they were going to turn her into a household word. and before, you know, she had even been buried, newt gingrich was politicizing this. when her father comes out at the funeral and says we don't blame the latinos in iowa. they're part of our family and part of our community and it completely took that issue away from them, what they were expecting to run on this fall. >> michael, watching the services for john mccain, now, this is a guy -- let's not kid ourselves, he's a man who has had his failings. by the way, he was a conservative. he absolutely was. and yet it showed us in this last few days what an independent spirit brings to whatever your political
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persuasion is and what this country can be if we are prepared to listen to each other or prepared to make compromises. it has been sort of a celebration of the fact that maybe that is not dead in our political spirit. >> that's right. and it doesn't have that much to do with politics or it transcends politics. he lived an honorable life. whether you agree with his politics or not, he lived an honorable life. and then there are those that didn't live, haven't lived suchh i bet you they are hiding donald trump's smartphone tonight. he is going to be wanting to be tweeting and they will keep him well away from his phone of his. >> i think that would be an interesting thing if that were to happen. thank you for joining me. coming up, in a meeting more than two years ago, the author of the trump-russia dossier told a russian lawyer that the russians had trump, quote, over
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a barrel. and another associate of paul manafort has pleaded guilty to a federal crime. he has agreed to cooperate with robert mueller's team. that's up next. ♪these days, my waves get lost in the ocean♪ ♪seven billion swimmers man ♪i'm going through the motions ♪sent up a flare need love and devotion♪ ♪trade it for some faces that i'll never know notion♪ ♪can i get a connection? ♪can i get can i get a connection?♪ ♪can i get a connection? ♪can i get can i get a connection?♪
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another guilty plea threatens to bring robert mueller's probe closer to donald trump. sam patton, an associate of paul manafort pleaded guilty today for failing to register as a foreign agent while lobbying on
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behalf of a ukrainian political party launched by manafort. patton is cooperating as part of his plea deal. he also admits to helping two foreign nationals make an illegal $50,000 donation to president trump's inauguration. as the washington post reports, mueller has been probing whether foreign money flowed into the coffers of trump's inaugural committee that raised more than $100 million. the first evidence that it occurred. this revelation comes on the last business day before labor day as many in washington braced for the possibility of more indictments stemming from the russia probe. this is the deadline that donald trump's lawyer rudy giuliani set for mueller to be finished with his investigation or wait until the midterm elections. >> i think if it isn't over by september, then we have a very,
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very serious violation of the justice department rules that you shouldn't be conducting one of these investigations in the 60-day period. >> with the midterms only 67 days away, it is possible we may not hear from mueller until november. but giuliani says the trump legal team is working on a report to refute mueller's conclusions. i may have them, by the way. a new report breaks down the list of possible evidence that mueller may have on trump that has not yet been made public, including -- get a pen for this -- trump's tax returns, trump's bank records, more recordings from michael cohen, cell phone records related to the trump tower meeting, white house and campaign e-mails and text messages. contemporaneous notes from staffers, a full reconstruction by michael flynn of his conversations about russia and subsequent lies, hours of testimony from trump insiders about his private dealings and
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decades of salacious files that the "national enquirer" collected on trump. >> joining now is harry lipman and david corn. he's an msnbc political analyst, and that's a book you need to read. i'm glad i have you here to close out this week before labor day. so much has happened. let's tell people who weren't sure why that rudy giuliani said that september 1st, why these are deadlines. they are two months away, depending on how you look at it from the election. september 1st is -- september 7th is 60 days exactly. >> yeah. well, giuliani was asserting that there is a doj policy that, as he put it, you don't conduct investigations of this sort near an election. he was, if not 100% wrong, 99%
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wrong. the policy, which is more of a guideline is that you don't take overt acts that would influence a particular campaign. nothing about an investigation. you would expect mueller to completely continue with his work. and indeed donald trump isn't on the ticket, so really it is not even clear if any of it would apply. but that's what he was saying. and of course it may have backfired because now by his own terms it may give rise to an expectation that mueller won't do anything for these 60 days. 60 days from now, the landscape looks very different. we know whether or not the democrats have taken over the house, and that would be potential seat change. >> and legally, as we have discussed this week, that would be a seat change for the white house. let's talk about this guy sam patton. on the surface, why do we care,
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some guy made a statement to the inauguration committee. dig a little bit deeper and you find out this guy, sam patton, was a contractor for cambridge analitica. this is a russian backed political party in ukraine. tell me how you think this fits into the bigger picture. >> if we had carrie on, she'd have a tremendous chart on this guy alone. best of all, also a partner of paul manafort. this guy is connected to all these folks. they are all mentioned in some way or another in this agreement. and, you know, it is a discreet case. he didn't register as a lobbyist for ukraine, but i think the two
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key things here are the donations that he admitted to making through, you know, straw men sort of phony donors from ukrainian sources. we know that federal prosecutors have been looking at the trump inauguration committee for perhaps taking in foreign money, which is not supposed to. it is illegal to do that. and here is the first evidence that it happened. mother jones reported a long time ago that the cousin, an american cousin, but a cousin of russian oligarch was -- gave $100,000 to the inauguration, too. so there is a lot of things to examine. the other key thing is, and it hasn't gotten a lot of attention, sam patton admitted to lying when he testified privately to the senate intelligence committee. why is that a big deal? for one, it is against the law to lie to congress. >> right. >> but if we're now going to
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start investigating witnesses who lie to congress, there have been questions raised about the testimony of donald trump jr. >> right. that list could be long. >> that could be a whole new horizon for mueller. >> so, harry, as expected, rudy giuliani was asked to comment on this. let's listen to that exchange. >> it's nothing to do with the president. nothing to do with collusion. everything to do with a lobbyist who acted improperly who the president doesn't know. i mean, so far every indictment is unrelated to the president. he went through an entire manafort trial. not to the president. millions of people donated to the president, the inauguration. if they get caught violating something, that's connected to the president? >> harry, it is an interesting pr strategy. it's the same one that giuliani employs every day. it is not actually a legal strategy. it is not legally sound what he's talking about. >> no, it really isn't. it's all the president's men.
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sam patton, you're right, is a new name. but you dig a half inch and you all of a sudden get a second mention of names we have heard before. >> right. >> some of them david just mentioned. but it begins to tie together very closely. let's just talk about the inaugural committee. that's what trump put together with his biggest money men. names we have heard before like elliot and sam. rick gates runs the operation and they take in record amounts of money and don't seem to have spent it on very much at all. that's a whole problem. but in general, we are now zeroing in on the money people who are closest to trump. so that's big. >> guys, thanks very much for your company tonight. david, stick around because i have another comment to talk to get your analysis on after this break. trade negotiations between
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the united states and canada have broken off after remarks by president trump emerged in a canadian newspaper. a new documentary out today lays out all of the connections between team trump and oligarchs, mobsters and putin allies going back decades. the director joins us. but first here is a preview of "active measures". president trump, just now president putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. every u.s. intelligence agency concluded that russia did. my first question for you,sy, is who do you believe? >> putin has worked to undermine democracies across the globe. >> he made his way up through the kgb. >> he learned how to maneuver politically. >> the russian mafia is an adjunct of the russian government. >> to the point where putin may
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well be the wealthiest man on the face of the planet. >> how does russia launder money into america? >> everything i know that's interesting i can't tell you. >> the russians have a particular type of mark. they go after somebody who has business resources, shady morals and political connections or aspirations. i have just described donald trump. >> putin realizes that if we are dividing as a station, we cannot protect ourselves from threats within and without. >> and what you have is probably the biggest intelligence breach in the history of the world. >> the crown jewel for any intelligence agency is to recruit an asset inside. >> they seem to have premonitions of things that were going to happen that in fact did happen. >> who helped guide the decision it is russians were making?
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>> trump tower was a money laundering paradise. >> anybody who was anybody bought a condo unit at trump tower. >> we have a serious investigation into the home of the man that becomes president of the united states. i think this is the tip of the iceberg. >> what's at stake is truth and the cause of liberty at the most profound level possible. introducing the 2018 c-class sedan, coupe and cabriolet. the thrills keep getting better. lease the c300 sedan for $399 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing.
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i gave an interview yesterday to bloomberg business, and i said off the record and i made a statement about canada, which is fine because i love
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canada, but they have taken advantage of our country for years. i love canada. i even love their national anthem. it's called, very appropriately, oh, canada. >> that was president donald trump this afternoon complaining that disparaging off the record comments he made about the nation of canada were reported this morning. contrary to what was said, they say they did not violate the record about those statements. the toronto star obtained the president's comments independently and were not bound by the same off the record agreement. the result of all of this is those comments are now part of the public record. because of that we know that despite the president's claim that he loves canada and its national anthem, trump was prepared to concede absolutely nothing to canada during the ongoing nafta negotiations. the president told bloomberg if canada knew what his position was, it would be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal. those comments appeared to have
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sullied the president's efforts to renegotiate nafta. canadian officials confronted trump's negotiators with those comments at a meeting today and then talks broke down. canada and the u.s. have officially missed the president's self-imposed deadline to strike a deal to bring canada into an agreement. negotiations between the two countries will continue into next week. for more on what this means for both the united states and canada, i turn to the reporter who broke this story of fellow toronto, the washington burrow chief at the toronto star. this was a remarkable story. it's a real turn from the relationship that canada and the united states have had over the long term and what it looked like between donald trump and justin trudeau at the beginning of his administration. >> they started off on warms
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terms for whatever reason. the president liked the inclusive prime minister very different from him. but things soured. and they seem to sour in the wake of trump's decision to impose steel tariffs. and has seemed to go out of his way at every available opportunity, whether at a rally or other event and taking pot shots at canada's dairy policy, which is very criticizable. you know, there are issues there. but trump has made this a personal hobby horse seemingly out of the blue. >> daniel, i want you to put this into context for us. i want you to put up a poll. it was taken in late july once we were well into this trade war with the world. the question was is nafta good or bad for the economy. overall 63% say good. 32% say bad. republicans, a smaller percentage say bad.
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with independents it breaks two-thirds in favor of nafta. even in canada not everybody likes canada. not everybody thought it was a great deal. but it is imperative for these two countries who have the second largest trade relationship after china and america. it is imperative for these two countries to figure something out. is it going to happen? >> i can't say. we don't know for sure. i think, you know, canada's ideal outcome might be dragging this on as long as possible and having trump not terminate the existing nafta. but the risk there in not making a deal is the longer you don't make a deal, the longer you risk this president who we know is impulsive or erratic, terminating it. following through on his threats, which is deliberate since 2015 and saying, you know, to heck with all this. we're not doing a free trade agreement at all. that i think would be a very damaging outoutcome. >> the president has just said
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we'll slap tariffs on cars made in canada. there is a lot of context there because canada and the united states have been exchanging cars and car parts for 70 years now or 60 years, something like that, starting with the auto packet and into the free trade agreement. it is a serious threat. >> it's a very serious threat. you know, we had this big up roar over the steel and aluminum anymore tariffs. it may not cripple the canadian economy, but it is many times the size and it would damage states and provinces on many sides of the order and trump seems to be inclined to impose tariffs. he enjoys imposing tariffs at his will and he's not letting up on this threat. so canada really, really wants to avoid automotive tariffs. >> thank you. >> this just in, president trump
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still has a smartphone. he tweeted that rasmussen has his approval. quote, i call it a suppression poll. thanks. coming up next, if you want to understand the allegations of collusion between trump and russia, do not focus on the 2016 election. at least that's the message from a new documentary claiming that collusion goes back decades. know what?
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the fbi and the justice department are looking into connections between president trump, the trump campaign and russia. bruce orr revealed new information about the trump-russia relationship in a closed door interview with the house judiciary and oversight committees this week. christopher steele the author of the infamous trump dossier said a former russian official believed russian intelligence, quote, had trump over a barrel. had trump over a barrel. this meeting between bruce orr and christopher steele took place on july 30th, 2016, just one week after the first batch of hacked dnc e-mails released by wikileaks and exactly three days after then candidate trump asked russia for some help. >> russia, if you are listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.
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i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. >> okay. there is no disputing the fact that russians were caught working to hurt hillary clinton's campaign and help donald trump's campaign in the 2016 presidential election. that's not really up for dispute. and donald trump still never criticizes vladimir putin, which leaves robert mueller wondering whether vladimir putin has something on donald trump. it is a question the entire world has been wondering about, especially after helsinki. everything that came before it, years before it, decades before it, is explored in jack brian's new documentary called "active measures" which takes viewers through a multidecade plot to get donald trump under the kremlin's control at the highest
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levels of american authority. it outlines russian evidences to manipulate american events. here is a clip from "active measures" how about russians interfered in the election that put donald trump inside the white house. people were seeing this dangerous, troubling activity coming from the russians that was actually in our electoral system. >> government officials learn that they're actually going into state voter databases. >> there may have been 26 different states where there are efforts made to penetrate. that's disturbing. the key to flipping the election without a trace is the voter rolls. >> it would only take a small digital switch to make that happen. this really spooked officials in the white house, and that's the
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moment, i think, that the enormity of the russian influence campaign really started to hit home. >> the fact that there was that attack on the fundamental, the absolute fundamental of free and fair election should alarm all of us. >> the russians didn't care if we found out. this is pretty new. >> they stole the data. let's be clear about it. i don't like this word hacking. this is theft. if the russians walked into my house and took something out, this is exactly the same thing. and i think the problem that a lot of americans have with it is that they don't see it. they don't think of it that way. >> it opens today in theaters and on digital platforms. the director of the film joins me next. there are roadside attractions.
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sir, do you -- does the russian government have any compromising material on president trump or his family? >> translator: yeah, i did hear these rumors that we allegedly collected compromising material on mr. trump when he visited moscow. distinguished colleague, let me tell you this. when president trump visited moscow back then, i didn't even know he was in moscow. please just disregard these issues and don't think about this any more again. >> and let me say, if they had had it, it would have been out long ago. >> jack brian is the producer and director of the new documentary "active measures." dave corn is back with us as well.
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"active measures" refers to -- i think our friend clint watt used the term in his testimony before congress, the idea that russian influence campaigns were becoming very active in getting an outcome in politics and business in the united states. >> yes, active measures is an old soviet term that refers to political warfare by usually intelligence operations. they've been doing this since the 1930s to america. social media and having access to people in america made it much easier to do. >> your thesis here, and you don't narrate this, your voice is heard once in the entire film, you've used evidence and numbers and interviews to say that this effort, these active measures that the russians took were in some cases very specific to donald trump and go back
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decades. >> indeed. and in fact they didn't start as presidential aspirations. initially it just started off as money laundering in a kind of casual way. trump tower was only the second building in new york that allowed shell corporations to purchase units, so it was a perfect way to launder money. starting in the early '90s and up to 2004, trump starts having a series of bankruptcies and he finds it incredibly difficult to get money for seed capital for projects. that's where the russian mafia sees an opportunity and they enter the trump organization, start leasing space in trump tower and actually working directly for trump. >> so it's opportunistic. david corn, you've written a book about the circumstances surrendering this. there's a review by noah millman in which he writes, russia has a will to not only promote its
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view directly but to fracture countries' societies and weakening political systems, spreading animosity between social groups and political actions keeps those nations from posing a coherent challenge to russia and its oligarchic elite. that's an interesting thesis, that this is work to break up others, weaken others so that by reference, russia remains strong. >> and jack's right, there are decades of soviet and then russian active measures. when the kgb was doing this, a lot of times they really took aim at divisions in american society, how to make america seem more racist during the civil rights struggle when southern whites were beating up blacks. they would look for these points of wedge issues and try to figure out how to get in there to embarrass america across the world.
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we saw with the social media campaign, facebook ads, groups, phony tweets and russian bots, a lot of what they did was not directly aimed at the election. some of it was, but a lot of the was simply fueling divisions that already exist in our society. it's part of their asymmetrical warfare strategy against us. >> jack, in the movie you show election machines and things like that. but people come on our air and say, prove to me that one vote was changed. your argument is bigger than that, it's not the ballot box, it's the minds that were changed because of influence by russians. >> it's a multifaceted attack, that's the most important thing to remember. it wasn't just one intelligence operation that was let loose in america. it was several. and some of them have been going on for over a decade beforehand and then turned towards this. so a lot of it was absolutely just trolling. but they did hack the state voter databases.
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there were definitely different legs, there was the hacking, there was the disinformation, there were the agents of influence. certainly i would say the trolling, that aspect of it was a massive, massive part of the operation. >> in july, quinnipiac university took a poll, it asked people does the russian government have compromising information on trump, 51% said yes, 35% said no. again, that 35% represents a base that won't be shattered even if, as donald trump says, he shoots someone on fifth avenue. jack, you've come to the same conclusion, when someone told an vert that they've got donald trump over a barrel, you seemed to agree with that. >> yeah, and i think that everybody focuses on the sex tapes, which i think to an extent is appropriate. i think there is a lot of smoke there. but i think that we can be simpler than that. what they know he has done, they know he was committed financial impropriety. because he lives in a rule of law country and they don't, they have him over a barrel.
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>> jack ryan, thank you for making the film. david corn, thank you as well. tonight's last word is next. cause let's be honest, nobody likes dealing with insurance, right? which is why esurance hired me, dennis quaid, as their spokesperson because apparently, i'm highly likable. i like dennis quaid. awww. and they want me to let you know that, cue overdramatic music, they're on a mission to make insurance painless. excuse me, you dropped this. they know it's confusing. i literally have no idea what i'm getting, dennis quaid. that's why they're making it simple, man in cafe. and they know it's expensive. yeah. so they're making it affordable. thank you. you're welcome. that's a prop apple. now, you might not believe any of this since this is a television commercial, but that's why they're being so transparent. anyways. this is the end of the commercial where i walk off into a very dramatic sunset to reveal the new esurance tagline so that you'll remember it.
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e*trade. the original place to invest online. time for tonight's last word, which is fit for a queen. >> she lived with courage. not without fear, but overcoming her fears. [ applause ]
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she lived with faith. not without failure, but overcoming her failures. she lived with power. not without weakness, but overcoming her weaknesses. i just loved her. >> bill clinton gets tonight's last word. tomorrow morning we'll say a final goodbye to john mccain. barack obama and george w. bush will be giving eulogies at mccain's funeral in washington, d.c. special coverage starts tomorrow morning on msnbc at 8:30 a.m. eastern. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right now. tonight, the end of yet another challenging week for the 45th president, from uproar over flying the flag to another insider on his way out. one major poll puts the president's disapproval rating at an all-time high. and the first legal link in the russ