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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  July 26, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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be sure to watch my show, "a.m. joy" weekend mornings starting at 10:00 a.m. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight, the "i" word pops up in court documents filed by the democrats. but with the mueller hearing end with a wimper and not a bang, with congress running out of town for their swooek summer break, if it's anything, it's kind of impeachment lite, and the president calls it a disgrace. what would congress do instead? we'll ask a democrat in a tough seat in a swing state who happened to promise mueller that congress wouldn't back down. the new poll that has the president annoyed with his favorite news network insisting he can't lose to his opponent on msnbc on a friday night. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. here we are, day 918 of the trump administration.
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there it was in court papers filed today. the "i" word, clear as day. even if the intention of congress and democrats if congress could not be less clear. to listen to the court filing, the house judiciary committee has already effectively begun an impeachment inquiry. they've petitioned a federal judge to unseal what are supposed to be secret grand jury materials related to the mueller investigation. in the document, the committee notes articles of impeachment are, quote, under consideration as part of the committee's investigation, although no final determination has been made because department of justice policies will not allow prosecution of a sitting president. the united states house of representatives is the only institution of the federal government that can hold president trump for these actions. to do so, you thought we were done, the house must have access to all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its
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full article one pours including constitutional power of the utmost importance of the articles of impeachment. this morning the chairman of the judiciary committee, jerry nadler, along with members of his committee behind him explained their latest legal move but with slightly differing perspectives. >> i think too much has been made of the phrase impeachment inquiry. we are doing what our court filing says we are doing, what i said we are doing, that is to say we are using our full article one pours to investigate the conduct of the president and consider what remedies there are, among other things we will consider are obviously -- whether to recommend articles of impeachment. >> i would say we are at an impeachment investigation. as to the results of the investigation, it could lead to articles of impeachment or it could lead to something else. >> we're now crossing a threshold with the filing of
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this -- with this filing, and we are now officially entering into an examination of whether or not to recommend the articles of impeachment. >> now, was that the same song or three separate pieces of sheet music? we will hear from another member of the judiciary committee, democratic congresswoman madeleine dean of pennsylvania in just a bit. speakers nancy pelosi has been working to keep her caucus in line while she resists calls to launch impeachment proceedings. according to "the new york times," quote, she signed off on using the impeachment investigation language in the house judiciary lawsuit, and it would appear to provide a middle course for democrats, allowing them to continue to build a case without forcing members from moderate districts to vote on whether to formally declare impeachment proceedings to be under way. now, a lot of things here. this was immediately branded impeachment lite today.
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it's also important to note congress has left town. they're off on a six-week summer break. today speaker pelosi was asked about concerns that she might be trying to run out the clock on impeachment. >> no, i'm not trying to run out the clock. let's get sophisticated about this, okay? >> how long will this fight be? >> we won't proceed when we have what we need to proceeded. not one day sooner. and everybody has the liberty and the luxury to espouse their own position and to criticize me for trying to go down the path in the most determined, positive way. again, they're advocacy for impeachment only gives me leverage. no, i have complaint with what they're doing. i'm willing to take whatever heat there is there to say the decision will be made in a timely fashion. this isn't endless.
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when we have the best, strongest possible case. >> right now at least 97 democrats are calling for an impeachment inquiry, seven them came out in support after the mueller testimony. as for the public, a new morning consult political poll conducted after the mueller hearing found 37% of voters say they support the idea of impeachment, 46% say they're against it. the democrats can read polls pretty well, so can the president. late today, trump lashed out at house democrats while getting in a swipe at his predecessor. >> i watched bob mueller and they have nothing. there's no collusion, there's no obstruction. they have nothing. it's a disgrace. we want to find out what happened with the last democrat president. let's look into obama, the way they looked at me. the republicans were gentlemen and women. when we had the majority in the house, they didn't do subpoenas all day long.
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they didn't do what these people have done. so destructive to our country, and i think that's why we're going to take back the house. that's why we're easily going to hold the presidency and we're going to continue to hold the senate. these people are clowns. the democrats are clowns. >> not long after that, news broke about trump's wall in a 5-4 decision, the supreme court said the president can proceed with plans to shift about $2.5 billion in unspent military funds to build 100 miles of wall along the southern border. that decision reverses a lower court ruling. trump, of course, quickly declared the decision, quote, a big victory and a big win for border security and the rule of law, all of which brings us to our lead-off discussion to end this week on a friday night. jonathan allen, melanie za, and
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with us here in new york, jessica roth, former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, now a professor in new york. welcome to you all. jonathan, your headline, what you wrote for us today reads, mueller left impeachment bread crumbs. if democrats choose to follow. tell our audience what you meant by that. >> look, the first thing about all this, brian, is whether or not the president committed high crimes and misdemeanors that are impeachable. the question remains as to whether the house has the votes to impeach him, and right now there's no evidence of that, even if there is evidence of those high crimes and misdemeanors, it's going to what you saw robert mueller do the other way in front of the house, and i think this is important even though there was a lot of attention to optics, what he did was he detailed that case. he detailed the case that he made in his report about the president soliciting, encouraging, and accepting help
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from a hostile foreign power. he made the case about the president lying to the american public about it, and he made the case about obstruction of justice instance after instance of obstruction of justice. it's up to the house of representatives to decide whether those actions rise to the level of impeachment, and the question will be answered will house members go back to their constricts for the next six weeks for this august recess. they're going to hear from constituents and donors. if they're fired up and angry and say they want to see president impeached, you'll see a house that's very motivated when they come back. if they don't hear this, you'll see it go slower. >> you are house counsel for the purposes of this discussion. >> this file was about getting the district of columbia to get
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information that was redacted that limits the circumstances in which a court can release grand jury material. this filing was about getting within one of the exceptions in that rule. the district of columbia, the court of appeals there recently issued an opinion that limited the circumstances in which a court can release grand jury material. and the court, the d.c. circuit said in that opinion that an impeachment inquiry would be a circumstances in which the district court could release the material. so this filing was about getting within that exception. this was the first time that the house went on the record in an official filing saying we are, in fact, engaged in an impeachment inquiry. >> any chance of federal judge comes back and says are you really? >> there is, of course, a chance that the court will, and we haven't yet seen the opposition if there will be.
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i assume that the department of justice is going to oppose that. so we'll need to see the response. but i think that if the house is representing to the court that under the rules governing the house, that the house decides upon, it is engaged in an impeachment inquiry, that's what they've said in the filing, tinker court would give considerable deference to the house's own interpretation of its rules. there are facts to back up the representation they're in an impeachment inquiry. there have been alter of impeachment introduced in the white house and they have been referred to the judiciary committee and the house passed a resolution giving considerable authority to the judiciary committee to enforce subpoenas without going to the full house. so there's a lot to back up the assertion that they're, in fact, engaged in an impeachment inquiry. >> this is why wave lawyer present. melanie, however giant a side show this is, does anything
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about this filing, anything you saw or heard today, put nadler and pelosi at odds? >> they're definitely trying to downflay idea there's a gulf between them or there's any tensions but my colleagues at politico reported that just this week after the mueller hearing they had a private closed-door meeting and nadler tried to press pelosi to open an impeachment inquiry. she rebuffed him once again. this is something he's done repeatedly. i think there could be room for tensions to grow between them, but right now they're trying to put on a united front heading into the august recess. it's very significant that pelosi signed off on the language in this court filing and said for the first time as jessica laid out that the house democrats are considering whether to launch an impeachment inquiry. that's a bigoted. it shows pelosi's trying to keep the base happy. but at the same time, she's not comfortable with formally
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opening an inquiry. she's trying to protect her moderate members who don't want to have to take that tough vote, especially heading into 2020. >> franco, the president obviously could not be more bellicose on this subject. how is the west wing feeling really about the prospect of impeachment these days? >> i mean, look, the west wing does not want impeachment hearings. they're pushing back. kellyanne conway today was pressing back, defending the white house, defending trump saying this is not something that is good for the country. president trump is saying the same thing, saying this is just a waste of time. you played the clip of trump saying that the democrats are just trying to go on a fishing exercise, they are just want to impede, but you also talked to many republicans that in the end they feel like they could actually win out on this. it wasn't that long ago, and i'm sure pelosi knows the history of newt gingrich when he brought --
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pushed the house republicans to impeach bill clinton. it was he who left newt gingrich and clinton was able to stay. >> john allen, let's be real here. pelosi, it is said, is most worried about around 30 seats. chris matthews had a conservative democrat from southern jersey on tonight who said in effect, i don't see no high crimes or misdemeanors in this. she is worried about her majority. she's worried about all the seats they flipped to get where they are that made her the speaker. she doesn't want to force all of them into really rough elections back home because they took a shot on this moment at us decision. >> the worst would be to put a vote on the floor that an impeachment inquiry or actually impeachment and have it lose. and so there's a lot of -- she's the one who counts the votes, right? she's the speaker of the house,
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of course, there are whips in the white house and the majority leader and they count the votes together. but nancy pelosi knows where the votes are. again, there's no evidence that they have those votes there. i put together a very sophisticated graphic here. right now we have about 100 democrats who have said they're for an impeachment inquiry. about 135 who either said they're against it or have not said they're for an impeachment inquiry. there's a long way to go to get there for her. as melanie was talking about, there is that set of democrats for whom it is a bad vote just to take the vote. they will alienate either the base voters they need to show up to win, or the swing voters they need who were republicans in the past or who might split their ticket and vote trump and democrat otherwise. this is problematic for a significant part of her caucus and sermon for a lot of those who made the democratic majority. >> melanie, if you'll help us get away as fast as we can from john slightly obscene graphic,
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impeachment is maybe the easiest thing in the world to say from the cheap seats. we do it all the time. all the guests on this broadcast talk about it like it's liquid. it's much tougher to do as john indicated in real practice. question to you is, as congress left for six weeks, did the prospect, the real prospect of impeachment it have walked out the door with them. >> it's too early to tell. as john was saying earlier, a lot of it will depend on what the constituents are saying back home. but that being said, the pro-impeachment wing of the democratic caucus was hoping to have reached a critical threshold heading into this long break. they wanted to get the majority of the caucus and they didn't. i mean, yes, seven democrats have jumped on the bandwagon, including a chairman a member of democratic leadership, and a centrist democrat.
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but the window is closing quickly. democrats are not going to be interested in launching a tricky, difficult, ugly, bruising impeachment battle in an election year. they don't want to overplay their hands, especially if it looks like they can just beat the president at the ballot box. so the sense on capitol hill right now is if they don't get it done by this fall, it's not going to get done at all. >> underscoring the fact that the president is about the supreme court, tell our viewers what they need to know about the court decision today before people turn in for the night. >> it was a really big decision, a big win for president trump. supreme court basically said that trump can start to begin spending some of that $2.5 billion in defense funding on the wall. opposition tried to stop him from doing it, saying he didn't have the authority. now very -- more conservative supreme court said he can start the process. they haven't ruled officially, but considering they had made
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this initial ruling, it does bode well for president trump that he'll be able to continue to keep that luck. that's definitely a kick start for his re-election campaign. the base will be happy. >> jessica, i wanted to end here and with you on the subject of what we witnessed this week. as a former fed, i know something about your reverence for robert mueller. how do you process what we saw and how do you think he did? >> i thought we saw a person of incredible dignity and professionalism and principle. that he comported himself, holding himself to a high internal standard of conduct that is so unusual in public life, that it was almost jarring. and i thought that he gave the members of congress and anyone who was watching a real lesson about what it means to be a prosecutor and the difference between prosecution and politics. and when he told the members of congress that he had never asked anyone about their political
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affiliation, whether it was in hiring for the special counsel's office or in all his decades in law enforcement, i thought that first striking. he said that's just now how it's done, and i hope people heard that. >> that's exactly why i saved the the question for last. thank you for that. for all our guests for ending the week in style, to franco, melanie, jessica roth, and before he starts nighttime art classes, to john allen, thank you all very much for coming with us. coming up for us, the first-term member of congress who promises that congress will not shrink for its duties here. the house judiciary committee member who will join us live after this. later, the president again attacks the one democratic opponent who apparently worries him the most after hearing bad polling numbers from his noli supportive source. "the 11th hour" is just getting started as this week comes to an end. here you go little guy.
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dr. mueller, again, i thank you for being here. i agree with your march 27th letter. there was public confusion, and the president took full advantage of that confusion by falsely claiming your report found no obstruction. let us be clear, your report did not exonerate the president. instead, it provided substantial evidence of the obstruction of justice leaving congress to do its duty. we shall not shrink from that duty. i yield back. >> congresswoman madeleine dean, nearly one of 100 democrats in favor of moving forward. that leaves 60% either opposed
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or weary of voicing their support. the duly appearances by nadler and pelosi on friday, which caused some confusion on capitol hill, underscored the challenge for the democratic caucus about how, and whether to move ahead with high-stakes legal proceedings that could be seen as a backdoor to the start of the impeachment process. but when asked at the end of a press conference today what is going on, here's how the chairman of the judiciary committee responded. >> do you believe president trump will ultimately leave office being impeached by this house regardless of time line? >> i don't know. >> a little bit of a shrug and then he was gone. joining us now, the aaforementioned congresswoman dean, democrat of pennsylvania who represents the montgomery county area. congresswoman, what is it and what is it not? is it as we termed it, however inexact kind of an impeachment
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lite? >> i don't think it's an impeachment lite. i think it was a very important day and an extremely important week. i was proud to be a part of the judiciary committee's presentation with robert mueller who came before us with such credibility and such dignity as your previous guests poke so, a man with a biography matched by none, a man of extraordinary integrity who helped lay out the wrongdoing he found as a result of his investigation, extraordinary wrongdoing by russia, massive interference with our elections and it continues to this day and will continue into the next election cycle. a trump campaign that enjoyed it, welcomed it, wallowed in it, more than 100 contacts and never board to call law enforcement. and then, of course, a president who once he realized he was under investigation did everything in his power to try
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to thwart that investigation, including lying. so what today, i think, was a pivotal point, i think mueller was the end of chapter one off our oversight, and today we say with clarity the judiciary is using its full constitutional power under article one, and thus begins an impeachment investigation. >> respectfully, i would push back by saying perhaps this is a bad look if this is indeed impeachment because the world learned about it in a document that seeks to unmask some grand jury information. you and and your colleagues are gone, left town for six weeks. >> well, i think what you might know about us on the judiciary committee that i and everybody else around the table raised their hands and said we're not gone for six weeks. we're willing to be in during the district work period. so don't believe that we won't be doing our work. the other thing that happened as a result of the court filing
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today and the very language that jerry nadler read in public, which was coordinated with in a great legal strategy and otherwise with the speaker's office, was to give an extra sense of urgency to the courts so that with the grand jury material filing today, next week, if we have to, and we're prepared to do that, enforce the subpoenas by way of lawsuit in court against mr. mcgahn. it gives that extra sense of urgency so the courts can deliberately much more quickly, and so i don't see this as a six-week break, and i don't see this as a slowdown. this is an important inflection point where we're trying to say to the american people robert mueller's report has spoken, in between we have an attorney general that did everything in his power to obstruct the information in it to cause public confusion, which robert mueller told him and warned him that he was creating. and so i don't take the argument
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that this is either impeachment lite or unimportant. >> on the other hand, you have colleagues like congressman van drew on the conservative side of the democratic ledger from south jersey, the old seat saying on this network tonight he just doesn't see it, he's not there. there are a ton of vulnerable democrats and the speaker after all is figuring on your behalf that it's better to be in the majority than not. >> well, i have such respect for nancy pelosi, for the speaker of the house. it's my job to make sure we push our oversight as well as our substantive legislation. you've seen us pass a tremendous number of substantive bills. but we have our job to do. i've actually had people come up to me on the floor of the house, members who are not on this committee, to say where are you and why did you push for an impeachment inquiry, and that helped them decide.
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nancy pelosi has a much bigger burden, and she wisely wants to protect this majority so that we continue to pass the substantive bills that we're passing, whether it's on immigration reform or background checks for gun violence. as the senate sits on their hands or protection of our election system as the senate sits on their hands. i so admire what she is doing and how she's actually obviously wanting to protect this majority because it's a very powerful majority. some people have districts that would be very difficult. so she's shepherd ago whole impress. what she has said is we have to put facts before the american people with public sentiment, almost anything as possible. it's our job to get the facts before the american people. >> thanks for coming on on this friday night.
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coming up. >> thanks for having me. coming up, why president trump slammed his favorite news source today. that story when we come back.
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we mentioned this before the break. fox news released a new poll showing the former vice president with a ten-point lead over donald trump. it also reveals tight race between the president and a bunch of challengers, including bernie sanders, elizabeth warren, kamala harris.
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after seeing the poll, the president laced into his favorite news north carolina. fox news is at it again, so different from what they used to be during the 2016 primaries and before. proud warriors. now new fox polls, which have always been terrible to me, had me down to sleepy joe. no way with the greatest economy in u.s. history i can be losing to that sleepy one. with us tonight to talk about all things politics, our gnarling political correspondent steve kornacki. what's happening here? >> the fox news poll is a good poll. we always say the nbc "wall street journal" poll is the best in the business. fox is tied with a bunch for number two. and what they're finding in that poll is no different than what we're zpiengd what a lot of other folks are finding, and that is donald trump's approval rating is in about the mid-40% range right now, not surprisingly. that puts him in trouble against a democratic opponent. we saw in ours as well, biden
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continues to perform better than the other democrats in the head-to-head with trump. and that's the message biden is trying to send to democrats. >> these are national polls and people like us always tell the folks watching at home we don't have a national election. we have 50 state elections. while a lot of polls had hillary the only guy popular vote, she did, that wasn't the one that counted. >> right. so that's another -- i think part of the argument that biden is trying to make in the biden campaign is trying to make is if he's up high-single-digits, if he's up double digits in these polls like you're seeing in this fox news one, the biden campaign wants people thinking let's not take any chances. we don't just need to win the popular vote, we need to win the popular vote by a large margin to avoid the kind of situation that came up. i think these polls -- it's questionable how much they actually serve in terms of predictive purposes, but in terms of showing democrats right now the argument that biden wants to be showing them, they're valuable to them that way. >> folks are allowed to breathe
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over the weekend, but this is a political week coming up because we have the next debate, a preview, if you would. >> we saw joe biden's numbers fall off among democrats after the first debate. he was down from a month ago. kamala harris went up a few points because of the performance she had. also in between you've seen elizabeth warren steadily rise. a few more points, but it's been a months' long trajectory for her. all eyes will be on biden. was the performance we saw in the first debate a one off? was it a rusty politician who had not been in a national debate in seven years, or is it the new normal for joe biden. if it's the new normal for joe biden and you get a repeat of miami, the fallout could be more significant than that and it could really open up the democratic race. conversely, if it turns off it was a one off in miami, it can stabilize for him, the lead he has. >> the elephant in the room, a guy in his mid-70s had a rough outing in front of the congress. he's a guy who a lot of
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democrats put their hopes in. and that may just play itself out in weird ways that that don't always reflect themselves in the hard numbers we get. >> the thing that every democratic voter i think is looking at with all these candidates is that mental picture of what would this candidate look like and sound like on stage with donald trump in a debate in 2020. these are auditions. these democratic debates in a way are auditions, and i think biden causes concern among democratic voters with that first performance. he can put it to ease with a strong performance here, but if it looks like what democrats maybe saw at the hearing on wednesday, that's not a good comparison. >> something tells me you and i will be back thursday night. steve kornacki with us. coming up, the moment from this week that may influence how democrats perceive. we'll talk about when we come back. these folks don't have time to go to the post office
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they use stamps.com all the services of the post office only cheaper get a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again. about the colonial penn program. here to tell you get a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale if you're age 50 to 85 and looking to buy life insurance on a fixed budget, remember the three p's. what are the three p's? the three p's of life insurance on a fixed budget are price, price, and price. a price you can afford, a price that can't increase, and a price that fits your budget. i'm 65 and take medications. what's my price? you can get coverage for $9.95 a month. i just turned 80. what's my price? $9.95 a month for you, too. if you're age 50 to 85,
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call now about the number one most popular whole life insurance plan available through the colonial penn program. it has an affordable rate starting at $9.95 a month. no medical exam, no health questions. your acceptance is guaranteed, and this plan has a guaranteed lifetime rate lock, so your rate can never go up for any reason. and with this plan, you can pick your payment date, so you can time your premium due date to work with your budget. so call now for free information. and you'll also get this free beneficiary planner, and it's yours just for calling. so call now. director mueller, isn't it fair to say the president's answers were not only inadequate
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and incomplete because he didn't answer many of your questions, but where he did, he showed he wasn't always truthful? >> i wouldn't say generally. >> charlie savage of "the new york times" pointed out how that moment from robert mueller's testimony might impact the impeachment discussions among democrats. quote, looming over their debate has been a recognition of a political reality, while they could impeach mr. trump, leaving a historical black mark on his record, it's unlikely a republican-controlled senate would remove him. mr. mueller answered a rare moment in which he went beyond his report, has added to other potential episodes. democracies are weighing as potential issues to focus on in such an inquiry. we are joined tonight by two of our nation's finest historians. author michael beschloss, his latest work is called "presidents of war."
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and pulitzer writer jon meacham. he newest work. songs of america. lucky for us, he leaves the singing to a professional. welcome to you both. it appears democrats attached all of their hopes and dreams to robert mueller like something of a christmas tree. democrats were hoping for the movie companion to the book, and it certainly wasn't a marvel movie. i fear it was closer to "golden pond." and the question to you is, how has his legacy been affected? how will we look back on him and how might it have changed if he had simply not appeared? >> i think his legacy aside from the great service he's performed for his country during his entire life depends most recently on the report he wrote. i don't think it's going to depend on that performance and
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that hearing. but he was never going to be someone who had the performance skills to go into that room and deliver perry mason moments and convert american opinion from being at least on the fence about impeachment to being strongly for it. you know, compare it, brian, to let's say with richard nixon in the wake of the saturday night massacre, october of 1973, there was just a thunderous move among americans toward feeling that richard nixon should be impeached. same thing in this country after the starr report with bill clinton. we haven't seen something like that. so if there's going to be a movement toward impeachment, it's going to something that's different from what we had seen. it's going to be dependent on democrats making the case, and that's going to be hard to do the next few weeks when they're not there. >> jon meacham, what did we witness this week?
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>> i think we saw yet another important chapter in the reflexive tribalism of the age. it is different even from, as michael was saying with nixon where it took a tape, it took the supreme court saying that the smoking gun tape ah had to come out to finally force the last act of the nixon presidency. even there, you know, you had into the summer of '74 you had a lot of partisan support for nixon, at least among republicans. we're now living in an era where that seems quaint, and there is an extraordinary number of folks who are simply impervious to contrary data. they don't care what director mueller has to say or what he and his team have written. therefore, you end up back in
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this place where it's the political nature of impeachment becomes the determinative narrative. one of the big things to me at this point, it's also yet another example of politicians are far more often mirrors of who we are rather than molders. that's a pretty tough thing to think about, because if you are unhappy with the way things are going in the country, you really have to look at the public itself. you have to look at ourselves and we can't simply blame congress. if there was a ground swell for impeachment, i promise you there would be a lot more action on it. but for some reason we have a higher tolerance for things that in the past we have not wanted at the highest levels of government. >> michael beschloss, what should people in our roles do? no more than an hour or two after mueller was done, the
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president was proclaiming no obstruction, no collusion, total vindication. he did it again today. and that message is out there. should it be out there unfettered. >> no. and that's what the job of brian williams and other people who are supreme journalists trying to fact check what a president and other leaders say. that's always been the role, but it's more important than ever before. >> both history boys have agreed to stay with us through at least one break. when we come back, more on what the congress could do next and the echos of prior presidents we have known and loved when we continue.
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our guest michael beschloss reminded us of this important anniversary on tuesday. supreme court 8-0 with william rehnquist recusing himself, ordering nixon to surrender
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watergate tapes 40 years ago tomorrow. "new york times" headline from july 25th of 1974 read "nixon must surrender tapes, supreme court rules 8-0. he pledges full compliance." back again for our double jeopardy round, michael beschloss and jon meacham. remind us nixon's reaction to that. >> well, nixon had been swimming off san clemente. he got out of the water, he was wearing a ban-lon shirt, later he said, windbreaker with the presidential seal. he was barefoot and he took a call. we got the news from the supreme court, he was told by one of his aides. and nixon said, what is it? and they said it's 8-0, unanimous. william rehnquist who worked on the nixon justice department recused himself, and nixon's apply was really interesting. before he was told it was 8-0, he said is there any error? and what he meant by that, it was said by some of his aides
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later on was, if it was let's say 5-4 or something like that, maybe he might think of challenging it. and the other thing is he was astounded to have this unanimous verdict against him because he had appointed four of those justices. in his idea of repaying political favors. thought that at least a few might have voted with the person who put them on the court. >> john meacham i am not having known you for sometime i'm not hearing urgency in your voice. is it fatigue? do you -- do you see the remedy for what you've been discussing what we've been discussing, defeat at the ballot box in 2020? >> i think it's not lack of urgency. it's an acceptance, i think of a basic political reality right now. which i think is where speaker
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pelosi is and others. i think that historically in is -- i believe that historically speaking impeachment should move forward. because i think if you raise the bar on impeachment you lower the bar on presidential behavior that's going to be acceptable in the future. but that's eds for me to say. i don't have to face voters. but -- and i totally understand about the senate. but my own view is that just what's in the mueller report itself constitutes i think what the founders would have easily acceded to be high crimes and misdemeanors. i think it's obstruction of justice. it's there. but we have a system where the removal of a president is attached to the public will. and that the public will is not there. my hope going forward is that if we can find a way to understand
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that contrary data -- an opinion with which you disagree which might have a bit of a point -- you know, a fact that you find inconvenient but which happens to be factual, if that can't begin once again to move us in our political deliberations as opposed to in reflexesive tribalism, i've put on my red hat and the president can do no wrong or i'm going to set my hair on fire three times today because he is going to do something that makes me want to set my hair on fire three times today. if we don't find some way to actually move forward in the way that popular government mab able to at its best, then -- then we're in even more of a genuine crisis. but right now i think that the idea that director mueller was going to come down like
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fortenbras in act 5 of hamlet and put the country in order was unreasonable. and holds him to a standard he is not going to meet. it's not one person saving us. it's all of us deciding this is not the behavior we want at the highest levels of government. >> another break for us, an important question for these guys when we come back.
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i watched bob mueller. and they have nothing. there is no collusion, no obstruction. they have nothing. it's a disgrace. we want to find out what happened with the last democrat president, let's look into obama the way they looked at me from day one. from day one they looked into everything that we have done. they could look into the book deal that president obama made. let's subpoena all of his records. >> so the president calls for the investigation of his predecessor in office as we call it friday still with us michael beschloss and john meacham. michael, closing question. we love to label our eras from the industrial revolution, the roaring 20s, the gilded age. why would we be wrong in calling this the regression, nazis are back. measles are back. back to telling people to go back where they came from. >> pretty good.
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i think you might also add it might be the era of bad feeling. and you know compare what the president said to a scene like 1961 when eisenhower gave way to kennedy at kennedy's inauguration. both men did not respect one another. kennedy thought eisenhower mismanaged the country. eisenhower was smocked that kennedy could become present. little legislative experience and a lot of money. but if you looked at the scene you would never know that. you would never know from what they said about one another during the next three years of the kennedy presidency. that's a time i wouldn't mind getth back to. >> john meacham, same question, 60 seconds of brilliance required. >> it's an age of anxiety and fear. an age -- information age, skill is more important than manufacturing age brawn. it's people are worried about
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broadening conceptions of identity. worried about changing demography. and the story we have to tell is not partisan but historically based one. we have always grown stronger the more generously we applied what thomas jefferson wrote in the declaration of independence we are all created equal. that doesn't mean we end up in the same place but it means the eras to which we build monuments, we want to commemorate, the eras -- the stories we tell are stoers in which people opened doors and not closed them. and people looked ahead and not picked fights reflexesively in the churlish way at the highest levels. >> well done, gentleman. this is why if you want good conversation invite really smart people over on friday night. michael, besh lols, john meacham we thank you both. that is the broadcast for friday night and for this week.
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thank you so much for being here with us. have a good weekend. and good night from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. it was a whirlwind romance. >> he professed his love in a poem. >> the wonderful life, the mansion in chicago, the yacht in the mediterranean and vacations anywhere they wanted to go. >> you look beautiful, michelle. really, really beautiful. >> a successful surgeon. his practice pulled in a staggering $1 million a month. >> he would go on spending sprees. he had three drivers on call. >> but then on one of those exotic trips together, the doctor disappeared. >> was there a note of any kind? >> nothing. >> leaving behind his wife, his yacht, and some very angry people. >> he is a very evil person. >> what had he done? >> that was the worst night of my life. >> and what could his wife do now?

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