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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  November 23, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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the new congress will be sworn in on january 3rd. that's tonight's last word. if you missed the last word on tv, you can get the show any time as a podcast, listen for free on apple podcasts now or wherever you get your podcasts. "the 11th hour with brian williams" is up next. tonight, nearing 700 days of the trump presidency, shattering norms left and right, insulting revered patriots with impunity, unapologetic, and all the while living under the cloud of the mueller investigation. covering it all night after night, we strive to get it right. but we don't often know right then in the moment how big a story is going to be. tonight we look back and wonder if we only knew what was to come, as "the 11th hour" gets under way on this post-thanksgiving evening. and good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. we hope you had a happy
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thanksgiving and we thought we would take advantage of this post-thanksgiving period during this holiday weekend and take a bit of a holiday ourselves from the drumbeat, not the one in our theme song, more like the drubbing of news that we cover here each night. we are now midway through the president's term, and nearing what could be a critical point in the russia investigation, as this existential crisis in the trump administration now truly does threaten the existence of the trump presidency. robert mueller has spent the last 18 months trying to establish any links between the trump campaign and russia's interference in our presidential election. useful to remember and note, 32 people have been charged. four ex-trump aides have pleaded guilty. one has been convicted. and after this week, when his daughter's e-mails have been in the news, remember how candidate trump handled hillary clinton's
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e-mails. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. let's see if that happens. that will be next. >> at the time, that answer, which was, by the way, to a question from our own katy tur, seemed like one of those things he said. if only we had known then that over a year and a half later, mueller would indict 13 russians for election hacking with the purpose of aiding the trump campaign at the expense of the clinton campaign. that entitlement also revealed that on the day donald trump made that comment, russians were making their first known effort to break into the servers used by clinton's office. >> the defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the
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united states, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general. >> the special counsel followed that indictment with another in july, accusing 12 russian intelligence officers in the hacking of the democratic national committee and the clinton presidential campaign. three days after that entitlement, trump meets with president vladimir putin in helsinki. we have no idea yet that trump would emerge with putin at his side with the whole world watching and say he believed putin when the veteran spy forcefully denied the russians had anything to do with our election. his performance gave the phrase "benefit of the doubt" a whole new meaning. >> people came to me, dan coats came to me and others and said, we think it's russia. i have president putin, he just said it's not russia.
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>> is putin lying to you? >> i don't want to get into whether or not he's lying. >> except for the fact that putin was standing right there next to him. what trump said that day was pretty much in line with what he had said before about the russians mucking up our election. >> russia is fake news. this is fake news put out by the media. this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election. i believe that president putin really feels and he feels strongly that he did not meddle in our election. >> while the question of whether the trump campaign actually did coordinate with the russians has yet to be answered definitively, as you know the president has said once or twice there was no collusion. we do know that on june 9, 2016, donald trump jr. met with
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russians at the trump tower who he believed would have damaging information on hillary clinton. after reports of that meeting started surfacing, don junior issued an initial statement saying it was all about russian adop adoption, a statement his father reportedly signed off on. >> my son is a wonderful young man. he took a meeting with a russian lawyer, not a government lawyer, but a russian lawyer. it was a short meeting. it was a meeting that went very, very quickly, very fast. >> just days after that, we would learn the statement about adoption had actually been dictated by his father, the president. and it was a cover story. and this summer, a full year later, we learn from trump himself that the meeting was all about getting dirt on clinton. to quote the president, this was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics
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and it went nowhere. had we known that fact, it would have cast a whole new light on the russia matter. and evidence of donald trump's involvement in concealing his campaign's effort to work with russia may have presented itself. let's bring in our panel, phil rucker, white house bureau chief for "the washington post." tamara keith, white house correspondent for npr. michael steele, former chairman of the republican national committee. and eugene robinson, pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post." good evening, welcome to you all. phil rucker, we all witnessed then-candidate donald trump's closing argument in the campaign, that the election of hillary clinton would leave us as a country kind of enshrouded in investigations and scandal and controversy. how do we get from that, the campaign closing argument, to that scene with trump and putin in helsinki? >> well, we have exactly what trump predicted would happen to
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the country, only with a different president, because his presidency has become basically covered in scandal. there is a new one at every turn. you now have the special counsel investigating the russia situation and it's not only investigating russia's ties with the trump campaign, with trump associates, any efforts at what the president says didn't happen, which is collusion. but you also have the investigation into the president's moves to obstruct justice. his dictating that statement aboard air force one that was a false statement, a lie, issued under the name of his son. and other efforts. we learned earlier this week about the president trying to get the justice department to prosecute hillary clinton and former fbi director jim comey, two political opponents, perceived enemies of president trump. >> tamara, phil raises a good point. the tumult has largely come from the inside, things like an
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effort heretofore unseen in the american presidency, to go after a hillary clinton and a comey after being elected president. how do they view, how do they wall off and how do they treat the subcategory of obstruction? >> well, the white house doesn't want to deal with obstruction. president trump has said that he was, as he responded to written questions from the mueller team, he didn't want to go into that. he only wanted to deal with questions about russia, not questions about obstruction. now, whether those things can actually be walled off, that's not up to the president to decide. >> michael steele, as a former party chairman, how do you deal with the knowledge that some republican names, manafort, gates, flynn, have flipped and are now working for the feds? >> well, it speaks to the
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broader problem that the president has. and the party label and all of that is not a protection. i mean, just because these guys are inside the tent, self-preservation kicks in after a while. and we see that. and so for the party now, you've got, you know, some leading figures, some past figures in the party who have gotten wrapped up in this world, which really speaks to, brian, the silence that you hear from the current republican leadership from the national party to the legislative leadership on the hill, the house and the senate, trying to stave off as much of the noise as possible, look past some things, ignore some other things. and as we see now with the latest revelations about e-mails, eerily quiet. not parroting back the "lock her up" mantra because it now applies to the first daughter as well. >> eugene, you're the second of our pulitzer prizewinners on
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this panel, and you're the columnist, the thinker of deep thoughts for a living. having established that, what is your view of what the mueller investigation et al. has done to washington, d.c.? >> look, we haven't had anything like the mueller investigation really since watergate. i think you have to go back that far to find an investigation so wide-rangi wide-ranging, with so much potential for destroying a presidency, for -- and so many revelations coming out of things that were kind of unimaginable. i mean, if we had known back then everything we know now, we would have been aware that as a nation, we're taking a leap into the unknown in ways that, even
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knowing that donald trump was, to say the least, an unconventional presidential candidate, that we hadn't seen anything quite like him before, i don't think anyone really imagined how far into the outer limits we would go. >> we remain in mid-leap into the unknown. our panel will stay with us. coming up as we fit in our first break, he was once quoted saying he would take a bullet for his boss, who is now the president. michael cohen's still evolving relationship with donald trump. and later, this president's response to disaster has been called a disaster in itself. how the man who once insisted anyone can act presidential is filling the role as consoler in chief. our special edition of "the 11th hour" just getting started on this post-thanksgiving night. not long ago, ronda started here.
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welcome back. back in early september 2017, president trump's long time personal lawyer, michael cohen, told "vanity fair" he would do just about anything for the president. cohen told the writer emily jane fox, quote, i'm the guy who stops the leaks. i'm the guy who protects the president and the family. i'm the guy who would take a bullet for the president. if we only knew then that less than a year later, cohen would flip on the president and implicate him in a crime. on august 21st, michael cohen
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pleaded guilty to a number of criminal charges including campaign finance violations. cohen admitted he arranged payments to two women, presumably stormy daniels and karen mcdougal, quote, at the direction of a candidate for federal office, meaning his client and friend donald trump. the next day, president trump was asked during an interview with fox news if he knew about the payments. >> did you know about the payments? >> later on i knew. later on. but you have to understand, ainsley, what he did, and they weren't taken out of campaign finance, that's a big thing, that's a much bigger thing. did they come out of the campaign. they didn't come out of the campaign. they came from me. >> cohen has been talking to robert mueller's team. back in april, "the new york times" reported, quote, trump's advisers have concluded that a wide-ranging corruption investigation into his personal lawyer poses a greater and more
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imminent threat to the president than even the special counsel's investigation, according to several people close to mr. trump. back with us tonight, phillip rucker, tamara keith, michael steele, and eugene robinson. tamara, what has it been like to observe this michael cohen go from the guy who would take a bullet for donald trump to the way he exists now, which is as an enormous threat on a daily basis to the trump presidency? >> well, if michael cohen had known what michael cohen was going to do all those many months later. i mean, it is a remarkable turnaround that cohen made. but, you know, from what he has said, he is looking out for himself, he's looking out for his family, and he's trying to repair reputational damage that maybe some day, after all of this is over, he might recover. but it is truly, truly remarkable to watch what has happened with cohen and the potential threat that he poses.
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his cooperation, his willingness to go in that courtroom in new york and say more than was in the charging papers and really implicate his former boss, president trump, in these campaign finance violations. >> michael steele, you're the lawyer around here. this is all about if only we had known. when you heard what cohen agreed to in federal court, what was in there that got your attention? >> the fact that he was willing to talk. >> okay. >> no, i mean, that's a pretty big deal, because the keeper of the secrets, the man who is consigliere and enforcer, the guy who is going to deliver the deal from the donald, that person in the person of michael cohen is an important player, because he knows all, he sees all, and he's heard all. and now that he's willing to talk and to share with the special prosecutor or the
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special counsel what he knows in the context not just of, you know, what cohen himself was engaged in, but even more broadly, how it relates back to what donald trump knew and did, is profoundly important. and those headlines from "the new york times" and "the washington post" were very correct. he is the biggest threat. he's a greater threat than what mueller is doing in and of himself with respect to the russia investigation, because cohen offers a link not just to russia financing and arrangements and relationships, but to other financing and relationships and information that could also be problematic. >> phil rucker, i think two things we forget all the time, and it's useful to remember they're out there. the long-time bookkeeper is a federal asset. and you reported on these recordings that cohen had that came with the deal, 100 hours of
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recordings. >> yeah, and they're not only recordings of cohen's conversations with the president but also apparently with reporters and others. but it could detail a lot of funny business. the thing that really stuck out in cohen's plea agreement with prosecutors was his admission that the president was involved in directing the hush money payments to these women. but we don't know a lot of details about that. we don't know what those conversations were like between the president and michael cohen. one of those recordings came out, you'll remember, a few months back, and it was somewhat vague and not conclusive about what exactly the president was saying and communicating to coh cohen. presumably the prosecutors know more than what we know. >> eugene, there is a reality show backdrop to all of this, really. when you think about the characters we have come to know and you think about the drama that's going on here, it takes a little bit of a suspension of
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disbelief, meaning forget for a moment the american presidency may hang on this. just the characters alone are a column every day. >> uh, yeah. it's an embarrassment of riches, to tell you the truth, brian. every day it's like, which of these ten outrageous things do you write about. you know, we knew all along that donald trump had a kind of checkered business past. and we know superficially at least that his empire consisted of these hundreds of shell companies through which money passed back and forth in a sort of whirl. and we didn't know how much money would be actually there if everything stopped and the dust settled. maybe we'll find that out at some point. and maybe we'll find out a whole lot more about how the trump
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organization ran, about its international investments and potential entanglements. we'll be able to correlate that with foreign policy moves. you know, michael cohen really is, as others have said, i think potentially the most dangerous witness against donald trump. >> our panel is going to stick with us. coming up after our next break, a history-making encounter after that threat of fire and fury. we'll talk about these two men when we come back. with the chase ink business unlimited card, i get unlimited 1.5% cash back. it's so simple, i don't even have to think about it. so i think about mouthfeel. i don't think about the ink card. i think about nitrogen ice cream in supermarkets all over the world. i think about the details. fine, i obsess over the details. think about every part of your business except the one part that works without a thought. your ink card. chase ink business unlimited. chase ink business unlimited,
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♪ ♪ connecting people... ...uniting the world. ♪♪
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welcome back best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. the united states has great strength and patience. but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy north korea. rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. >> diminishing nicknames were kind of a new genre for members of the u.n. but a little more than a year ago it seemed like president trump was on this collision course with north korea.
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he was just as aggressive on social media. we always wondered how this would translate when he wrote, quote, military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should north korea act unwisely. a few months later he wrote, why would kim jong-un insult me by calling me old when i would never call him short and fat? oh, well, i try so hard to be his friend and maybe some day that will happen. then a surprising shift. in a bizarre late night scene, south korean officials announced from the white house lawn that our president would meet kim jong-un of north korea. as the court shship evolved, a senior north korean official delivered a message to trump in a novelty-size envelope. the two leaders met in singapore, a choreographed affair where the u.s. president
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described a very special bond with the north korean dictator. trump returned claiming there is no longer a nuclear threat from north korea. then at a campaign rally in west virginia came this. >> and you know, the interesting -- when i did it, and i was really being tough and so was he, we would go back and forth. and then we fell in love. okay? no, really. he wrote me beautiful letters. and they're great letters. we fell in love. >> our guests, phil, tamara, michael, and gene, remain with us. phil, you were in singapore. you witnessed that event. exactly what happened there, do you think? >> well, the two leaders met. >> i'll say. >> and i think they were both charming to one another. i'm not sure that trump was as touch as he claims he was. what north korea got out of it was a face-to-face meeting with an american president which kim jong-un and his father had sought for many, many years and did not get. trump went there, he's already
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talking about trying to do a second summit with kim jong-un somewhere else. he sees that as historic progress towards peace. the problem is north korea has not abandoned its nuclear arsenal, not anywhere close. his tweet that they are no longer a nuclear threat is simply not true. they are very much a nuclear threat to japan, to south korea, and also to the united states. >> eugene, since the last shot was fired before the cease-fire, the leaders of north korea have craved relevance. and now, the leader of north korea gets to deal one on one with our guy, the president of the united states. that is a sea change. >> right. and that's something the north koreans have wanted for a long time, and they got it. one could argue that they got it free. they didn't have to give up anything. but i take a slightly different view on the north korea deal.
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before president trump took office, the problem was nobody knew, nobody knew how to coerce a hostile nation into giving up the nuclear weapons it already has and stopping its nuclear program. nobody knew how to do that. nobody still knows how to do that. and it's probably not going to happen. so, you know, i don't think this summit is going to bear the fruit that the president hopes it's going to bear. but i do think that the lessening of the extremely rhetoric on both sides is probably, on balance, a good thing. it probably provides a kind of cooling down period and who knows, maybe a dialogue that, you know, can start even if they're telling lies to each other, dialogue can start that at least forestalls conflict,
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and maybe down the road, 20 years from now, something bears fruit. >> michael steele, net, are we in a better place? is it better that they met than not meeting and is the world any safer because of it? >> i think to gene's last point, yeah, we're better that the rhetoric, the hot rhetoric has calmed down, we've gone from fire and fury to love letters, to lollipops and lilies. but it's interesting, the dynamic being played out for the north koreans. they don't know what 2020 and beyond will hold for them. so their effort right now is to get as much in place, stroke donald trump's head with the one hand and continue to build their nuclear arsenal on the other in anticipation that donald trump's time behind that desk in the oval office may not be that long and they will have locked in
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place, you know, what they will need to have going forward, which will then make, back to gene's point, it much more difficult for a future president to negotiate and to deal with them. so donald trump may have inadvertently made it harder for future administrations to deal with an emboldened and now stronger north korea, given the love letters that he seems to be more inf fafatuated with than enforcing a nuclear deal. >> tamara, phil said this, it does not seem the president wants to believe the intel, that production goes on inside hollowed-out mountains in north korea. do you think that that's because believing the intel would mean that at some level he got played? >> president trump is all about branding, right? so he took nafta, said it was torn up, renegotiated something that looks incredibly like
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nafta, and gave it a new name. usnca. he went to singapore, had a meeting with kim jong-un, and declared the threat is over. president trump, this is a pattern for him. he likes to stand there, have the images, have the branding, and then move on. we're going to take our next break. all our guests are staying with us. when we come back, it's been a critical issue going back long before donald trump became president. gender politics. the impact of women from the supreme court to the midterm elections we just witnessed, when "the 11th hour" continues.
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i'm automatically attracted to the beautiful. i just start kissing them, it's a magnet. and when you're a star, they'll let you do it. they'll let you do anything. grab them by the [ bleep ]. >> when that "access hollywood" tape became public in 2016, what we did not know then is it would not end or limit donald trump's run for the white house. fast forward two years, now it's widely believed this president paid hush money to at least one porn star, one playboy playmate,
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to cover up alleged affairs. he also defended roy moore in alabama, let's not forget, the senate candidate accused of sexual abuse and misconduct by nine women, some of whom were underage at the time. and now in one of his most impactful decisions to date as president, in terms of its lasting effect on our history and jurisprudence, the president chose not to question the story of his nominee for the supreme court. after now justice kavanaugh was accused of sexually assaulting a woman back in the early 1980s. here is a reminder of that hearing, likely to go down as one of the most remarkable in our history. >> i am here today not because i want to be. i am terrified. i am here because i believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while brett kavanaugh and i were in high school. >> what is the strongest memory you have, the strongest memory of the incident, something that
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you cannot forget? take whatever time you need. >> indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. the uproarious law enforcemeugh the two, and their having fun at my expense. >> this whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about president trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left wing opposition groups. this is a circus. as no doubt was expected, if not planned, came a long series of
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false, last-minute smears designed to scare me and drive me out of the process before any hearing occurred. >> what an incredible chapter in our history. and here as a reminder, how the president later defended kavanaugh and mocked his accuser. >> i had one beer. well, do you think it was -- no, it was one beer. oh, good. how did you get home? i don't remember. how did you get there? i don't remember. where was the place? i don't remember. it was false accusations. it was a scam. it was fake. it was all fake. >> reporter: are you 100% certain that ford had the wrong person? >> i'm 100%, i have no doubt. >> what they did to judge kavanaugh was terrible. nobody has ever been treated more unfairly than brett kavanaugh. they've been trying to destroy judge kavanaugh since the very
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first second he was announced. never has a man been treated so badly. on behalf of our nation, i want to apologize to brett and the entire kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure. >> we are back to talk about all of it with our panel. tamara, how do you think the justice kavanaugh chapter has affected the voting habits of american women so far? >> well, american women were pretty pivotal in these midterms just now. you know, democrats dominated in areas that previously had been controlled by republicans. in particular, in suburbs, among affluent -- people in suburbs, affluent white women, married women, highly educated women,
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republicans lost a lot of them where they had previously voted republican before. those suburbs -- those suburbs fell. was that because of brett kavanaugh? was that because of the "access hollywood" tape? was that because of the 15 other things that happened in the intervening time? maybe a little bit of all of it. i think another question is what effect does kavanaugh coming out swinging, bringing up the 2016 election, talking about hillary clinton, what effect does that have on the judiciary and whether the highest court in the land becomes politicized in some way? i mean, we haven't seen decisions from kavanaugh yet, we haven't seen much of kavanaugh yet. i think there remains a question of whether there will be a lingering effect from that hearing on the institution of the supreme court. >> chairman steele, those suburban women that the gop has lost, is that a loss for the foreseeable future in your view?
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>> it's -- yeah, potentially, i think that's right. what was significant about this past election, and the folks i want to talk about, is that the number of republican women who voted democratic, who went to the democratic party. now, is that long term? probably not. but it does send an important message to the party that we have a problem with the ladies. we are not -- we are not in the space where they support or adhere to a lot of what we have to say or the candidates that we are putting out there. so there's a lot of work ahead for the republican party. and when you layer into that, brian, the problem we have in the hispanic and african-american community, particularly with african-american women whose numbers at the polls in the past year, not just in this election itself but in the past year, special elections and other elections, does not portend well
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for a party that argued back in 2012 and '14 that it wanted to reach into these communities and draw these voters into the party. that's going to be a hard sell going forward. >> hey, gene, if you're a company or a politician and you have a deficit with a demographic group, traditionally you do outreach. traditionally you hone your message, perhaps. is that possible in this case, or is this done and dusted? >> well, you know, i mean, it's not clear. look, the day after donald trump was inaugurated, there was a massive women's march here in washington, much bigger than the inaugural crowd. so he was kind of starting in a hole in terms of his connection with the women in the electorate. it's fair to say that he's made
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everything much, much worse. the kavanaugh saga will definitely have an impact. and i think that the lingering question will be how much rubs off of donald trump, onto the republican party on a more or less permanent basis, and does this gender gap become a canyon that severely handicaps the republican party going forward. and i think that that is a possibility. >> on that, a big thank you to the members of our panel tonight. another break for us. coming up, it's a role no president enjoys. some presidents are better at it than others. a look at trump's response when tragedy strikes, when we continue. with my hepatitis c, i felt i couldn't be at my best for my family. in only 8 weeks with mavyret, i was cured and left those doubts behind. i faced reminders of my hep c every day. but in only 8 weeks with mavyret,
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we condemn in the strongest
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possible terms this egregious display of hate rred, bigotry, violence, on many sides, on many sides. >> for a leader who seems for the most part to be able to maneuver through controversy, his remarks there after the deadly crash in charlottesville shook even the president's closest allies by saying there were good people on both sides, knowing that one of those sides were nazis and white supremacists. president trump faced and failed his first test as a uniting voice. now after nearly 700 days as president and many tragedies later, donald trump has continued to miss the mark as consoler in chief. >> now, i hate to tell you, puerto rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack because we've spent a lot of money on puerto rico, and that's fine.
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you put it in dirty water. would you drink it? >> sure. >> really? >> if there was an armed guard inside the temple they would have been able to stop him. maybe there would have been nobody killed except for him. >> interesting to go back through and remember and when california was facing what would become the most deadly wildfire in u.s. history, trump's first instinct was to blame california. he then went to visit the state just days later and this happened. >> as big as they look on the tube, you don't see what's going on until you come here and what we saw at pleasure, what a name right now, but what we just saw, we just left pleasure. >> paradise. >> or what we just saw at
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paradise is just not acceptable. >> phil rutger remains with us here in the studio for just a bit more of our conversation. when we see his black crisis raincoat we have come to expect a mall -- malaprop. he doesn't seem to have sympathy but there is a way to give a president talking point, famously we remember after the parkland shooting hope hicks had written on a card, i hear you for him to say to them. but this must be a tough one for the white house staff to witness. >> yeah, and his staff will acknowledge he struggles to convey any empathy. he always has been that way. he's not an empathetic figure and at his president he is most uncomfortable in these moments that call for humanity or a human touch or emotion and
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struggles to convey that and see a lot of his prejudices come through as well. the contrast between how he handled those hurricanes in 2017 that hit texas, a red state, a lot of trump supporters compared to the hurricane that hit puerto rico, hurricane maria, a very different kind of response, a very different, you know, energy from the commander in chief in directing the federal recovery efforts. >> some of it almost perversely comical. handing out water purification kits and say, you wouldn't really drink this stuff. >> they have to drink this because they did not have clean water at the time. it's a year and a half after that hurricane in puerto rico and they're still struggling to get back on its feet. their economy was battered and destroyed. they're still trying to rebuild. that is a long process and it's far from the president's memory. >> no one runs for that part of the presidency.
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no one says i want to do the consoling part of the job. it does come with the job and we've seen a whole slew of different so far all men have the job and they've all taken to it differently. >> but they've all taken to it pretty well. barack obama had that string of shootings year after year after year. he was having to eulogize victims and communities that were shaken by mass shootings that the kids in newtown, connecticut, charleston, south carolina, as well. >> phil, thank you for your terrific contribution to tonight's broadcast and every time we call and need you. we appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up for us a campaign pledge broken over and over again when we continue.
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last thing before we go, like many americans the president took some time away from the office over the thanksgiving holiday. we americans have never begrudged our presidents for time off with family over the holidays but this president likes his time off and he seems to like it all year long. he hadn't been on the job seven months when in august of last year he took a 17-day vacation, a vacation that aides were quick to note was a working vacation. during the obama years trump was a constant critic of the president's time off and once he was officially a presidential candidate himself, he really
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turned on the criticism pointing out he would be a way different kind of president. >> if you're in the white house who wants to take a vacation? you're in the white house you're going to be there for four year, eight years, maybe eight, let's do it for eight. you're in the white house, what's bet ever than the white house? there's so much work to be done. >> if i were a president i would be in the white house a lot. i wouldn't be taking trips all over the place to, you know, for whatever reason. why would you leave the white house? you know what's interesting. you're there for a limited period of time, okay. you're not going to be there forever. why would you ever -- i would be there so much but i'd be working. i'm a worker. >> i love working. i'm not a vacation guy. >> i don't take vacations like obama. his whole life, the guy takes a six-month vacation twice a year. it's terrible. >> like obama, he plays golf in hawaii, flies to on a 747. >> he flies that big 747 to --
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wants a play a round of golf and flies to hawaii and back and says the carbon footprint is being destroyed. >> spewing, spewing. flies, then has a news conference on the carbon footprint. give me a break. >> what we could not have known back then is the type of president donald trump would be especially where time off is concerned. just before the start of this thanksgiving holiday, he had already spent 212 days at trump owned properties. president trump has so far been at a golf property at least 161 days since taking office. that is over 23% of his presidency so far. in eight years as president, barack obama by our best available count went golfing a total of 333 times, just over 11% of his eight years in office. that is our broadcast for this evening.
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we hope you enjoyed your thanksgiving holiday. thank you so very much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. this is a jagged little puzzle of a story. here's some of the pieces. a bitter race for the white house. a candidate who would do anything to win. maybe even conspire with a foreign government. a secret campaign meeting and an iconic tower on new york's fifth avenue. and in this case, a woman, a mysterious woman who may have tipped the scales at a time when america neemed to be coming apart at the seams. i'm not talking abo

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