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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  September 27, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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♪ you will always be able to say that you were alive and living here and you had your eyes open when they started the impeachment proceedings against the president of the united states for asking another foreign country to get involved with helping him get elected after that helped him get elected the first time. it's just been a remarkable week. i expect this weekend will be just as nuts as the last four days have been. but that will do it for us for now. we'll see you again on monday. time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> turns out the whistle-blower is right again. there's that passage in the whistle-blower report that people he spoke to said it's not the first time that a presidential transcript was placed into the codeword level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive rather than national security sensitive information.
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every day that goes by, now every hour almost, the whistle-blower report just bears more and more fruit. >> and, yes. and the fact that we're still getting new information about what happened between trump and lavrov and kislyak in the oval office the day after he fired james comey, i mean, after the special counsel's investigation there's apparently a memorandum of that conversation that exists somewhere that includes the president saying basically to russia it's okay that you interfered with the election. i mean, that is -- that's what the -- you would think that would have turned up in the mueller report, right? >> that's what the mueller report was looking for, but, of course, they didn't have access to any of this material. and it's fascinating to see that the whistle-blower has in effect created a momentum here because these people who are the sources for "the washington post," they've known this since the meeting, the way the article is presented.
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they've known it every day since then and they didn't say a word. they were never moved before to say a word to "the washington post" about it until now. >> yeah. well, you know, the impeachment. it obviously focuses things for the president. but for everybody else who was involved in either the scheme itself, who was a witness to the scheme and didn't say anything about it, or who was a witness to the scheme and helped cover it up, they all know they're liable now and they're in trouble. and those people are going to have to meet their maker one day. they're also going to have to look at themselves in the mirror and think about their own legal and career futures. all those people who are liable of having enabled or covered up this scheme now have their own skin in the game and their own reasons to think about telling the people of this country what they know. >> it looks like "the washington post" has written a rough draft of an article of impeachment tonight, another one. >> yeah. >> thank you, rachel. >> thanks.
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>> day three of the official expectation of president trump has ended with a bang from "the washington post." according to "the washington post" reporting tonight, as rachel and i were just discussing, about president trump's meeting with russians in the oval office in the fourth month of his presidency, what the president said in that meeting, forgiving the russian attack on our election will surely be the subject of an article of impeachment. the president is going to be impeached by the house of representatives. donald trump might never give another state of union address because in january, donald trump is now tonight more likely by that time to be in the middle of a trial in the united states senate. and the speaker of the house is not going to invite an impeached president to deliver a state of the union address in the house of representatives in the middle of his impeachment trial in the senate. donald trump is going to be impeached by the house of representatives on at least one
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article of impeachment because, as of tonight, everything in the whistle-blower's report has so far proved to be true and more is proving to be true each day, including the most damning aspects of that whistle-blower's report. but the smoking gun evidence that will force the impeachment of donald trump are the words that donald trump spoke in the white house record of his conversation with the president of ukraine and nothing is going to change those words, nothing is going to make those words any better. and so for the majority of the members of the house of representatives who have said those words are worthy of an impeachment investigation, nothing is going to happen to make those words sound any better to them. there will not come a moment when any of them say, oh, i thought those words looked suspicious when i first saw them, but now two months later, i get it. they were completely innocent. i'm going to vote not to impeach the president. i don't want to send him to
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trial in the united states senate because now i see those words are innocent. that's not going to happen. no one is going to make that speech. donald trump should be very worried tonight about what mitch mcconnell has said and has not said about holding an impeachment trial of donald trump in the united states senate. and mitch mcconnell should be even more worried about what other betrayals of national security and betrayals of his oath of office might be revealed about donald trump. like the revelations in the breaking news tonight, of trump telling russian officials he did not care about russia's attack on our election, comments that witnesses interpreted as encouraging, actually encouraging the russians to interfere in elections again. we will cover mitch mcconnell's role in the impeachment process, which should be very worrying to donald trump tonight later in this hour. and we will report the latest crack in the wall, the republican defense wall in the house of representatives, one republican member of the house intelligence committee said
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yesterday that he now supports an impeachment investigation of the president. and another republican said today that he supports an impeachment investigation of the president. and neither one of them have been attacked by donald trump. and that is a clear sign that donald trump is already drowning in an ocean of impeachment worries that have dulled his attack reflexes. we will report on those republican defections in the house later and what it will mean to a final vote of impeachment in the house. will that be a bipartisan vote? at the end of of the hour we'll be joined by one of the freshman democratic members of the house of representatives who co-wrote an op-ed piece this week about the danger of donald trump that he represents to national security, congressman jason crow, he knows more about national security than donald trump does. he will tell us what he will be looking for in the impeachment investigation of the president at the end of this hour. as the certainty of the trump
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impeachment sets in on washington and the trump white house, the pattern of the nixon impeachment process is re-emerging when damning information about the president is revealed, that only provokes the revelation of similarly damning information about the president. and so now two days after the whistle-blower's report revealed that the record of the trump conversation with the president of ukraine was moved into high-security storage so that it would not be accessible in the way that such conversations are normally accessible, we are now learning tonight that the very same thing happened to donald trump's conversation with russians in the oval office and other reports indicate the same thing happened to donald trump's conversations with vladimir putin and the murderous dictator of saudi arabia. tonight "the washington post" is reporting trump told two russian officials in a 2017 oval office meeting that he was unconcerned
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about moscow's interference in the u.s. election because the united states did the same in other countries, an assertion that alarmed white house officials to limit access to the remarks to an unusually small number of people, according to three former officials with knowledge of the matter. leading off our discussion tonight, evelyn vargas. she's an msnbc national security analyst. both evelyn and tess were part of a letter today signed by more than 300 former officials voicing national security concerns about president trump. also joining us, jonathan alter from "the daily beast" and an msnbc political analyst who will now be reporting on the third impeachment process he has witnessed. >> that's true. >> in his adulthood. tess, let me start with you. you are an expert on the internal white house process for these records and/or transcripts
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of these presidential conversations. let me get your reaction to what "the washington post" is reporting tonight. >> sure. it's obviously another instance of something that's highly unusual and deeply troubling. if these records are being restricted beyond even those with the need to know. so normally these would be handled in a classified manner, and even beyond that, only those that truly have a need to know the information would have access within the security white house system. but putting these records of phone calls that the president has with other foreign leaders into this stand-alone system for especially classified compartmented codeword information is troubling because it seems to indicate an apparent attempt to hide that information either because there is misconduct on the part of the president or even potential criminal wrongdoing. that's obviously deeply concerning from a national security perspective as well because it could indicate that there is even a
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counterintelligence concern at the highest level in the office of the president. >> i want to go to the role of the national security lawyers of the reporting from "the new york times" today. the trump administration acknowledged how this happened. the trump administration said on friday that national security council lawyers made the decision about how to handle the record of president trump's july 25th phone call with the president of ukraine which a whistle-blower says was placed into a highly classified computer system accessible to only a small number of officials. tess, what about the lawyers making that decision? >> sure, lawrence. from my perspective, this is very odd and deeply troubling. first, i would just say lawyers from the white house council's office are not usually who make the call about the level of classification of a document or what system that document needs to be stored in. so that's the first thing i would note is amiss here.
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second, obviously, if they were involved in directing that this be put into a different system for the purpose of hiding information that is politically damaging to the president, not because it's national security sensitive information, that represents an abuse of that system and potentially an attempt to actually cover up wrongdoing or criminality. so it's not at all unusual that the lawyers would be involved in providing advice to national security council staff, for example, or coordinating legal views among the inner agency. that's their job. but directing a level of classification or the storage of that information in this special system, particularly if the intent was to hide information that's damaging to the president, that's highly unusual and deeply concerning. >> evelyn, according to tonight's "washington post" reporting, what we're seeing in president trump is a flawless consistency here about these kinds of conversations. at the beginning of his presidency, he was treating
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these conversations the same way, he's treating them now with the president of ukraine. the conversation with the russians one day in the oval office and the conversation with the president of ukraine could have just been a day apart. >> yeah, unfortunately. there are a lot of conversations now where i would really like to see the transcript because three days after the president spoke with the ukrainian president in the latest call that is causing all this consternation and probably will get him impeached, he spoke with vladimir putin. and we still don't know what he talked about for about an hour or so, giving interpretation time there, subtracting it, in helsinki at the summit where it was just the two of them and the interpreter who i don't understand why no one has subpoenaed to my knowledge, no one has tried to get them to recollect if they don't have notes what donald trump and vladimir putin talked about. so yes, he says these things.
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he seems to have this dug-in idea that russia is not our adversary, but they are very much the united states' adversary. locking up these transcripts creates a counterintelligence weakness. so he can be blackmailed. and imagine all those diplomats that have no idea these conversations were going on. they are conducting diplomacy almost blindfolded. >> we're now deeply into the echo chamber with the nixon impeachment investigation. this pattern, on one day we learn from the whistle-blower about the treatment of this phone record, and then days later you discover these are other whistle-blowers, unofficial whistle-blowers to "the washington post," oh, that's exactly what they did with the transcript of the conversation with the russians. >> so there's a pattern here. but just to go back to something tess said. she said they might be covering up possible illegal activity. it's not possible.
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there's a lot that's out there now. we know this president was running an extortion racket, a shakedown operation. that's what we're learning. and so it's very important that when the shock of all of this wears off in a couple weeks that people not just say, oh, there was something kind of sketchy about that phone call or, you know, the democrats are saying the president might have done something wrong. they need to understand, the democratic messaging has to make them understand this was extortion. he was violating federal statutes that prohibit this behavior. not to mention it's clear abuse of power and a violation of his oath of office. so it's good that this is coming out now because it contributes to the obstruction of justice article of impeachment, which is an important one, one of the ones that nixon was impeached for, but it's not like the cover-up is worse than the crime in this case. there was a serious crime that took place. >> yeah.
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and, tess, what do we know about other conversations? the whistle-blower refers to possible other cases. this is obviously one, but it seems like the place to look, what we publicly know to be the most sensitive conversations, the vladimir putin conversations, conversations with the saudis, that seems to be the place where people should be going to look. >> right. there's obviously a lot more that we need to learn here and that's why it's important that congress keep doing its work diligently. the saudi conversations, the russian conversations come to mind, but it's not clear that this president doesn't treat his relationships with almost all foreign leaders as though there is something for sale. if you do me a favor, that will influence the foreign policy of the united states. i do want to go back to the previous point that was made because i think it is exactly right. that we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that we do already have a smoking gun right here in front of us, that the american
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people already know that the president of the united states used the power of his office to try to exert influence over a foreign leader to get him to intervene in our elections. and that's something that has implications in campaign finance law, perhaps on a services bribery. there's a lot we know that we need to keep the focus on while we continue to investigate where else this might be happening. >> another passage from "the washington post" tonight, white house officials were particularly distressed by trump's election remarks because it appeared he was forgiving russia for an attack that had been designed to help elect him. the three former officials said trump also seemed to invite russia to interfere in other countries' elections, they said. evelyn, it sure sounds like the president was inviting them to continue to interfere to help him get elected. >> right, to continue to interfere in u.s. elections. i mean, the president cannot understand what the national
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interest is, and he can't -- he doesn't even have enough imagination, it appears, to even consider that the russians might actually use the same tactics they used to get him elected to get him out of office. so it's a real lack of understanding of what it means to be an american president. >> go ahead, john. >> i was just going to say, we need to take a step back and think about this. we've we're so used to the russian interference. this was a cyber pearl harbor, a cyberattack at the heart of our democracy. so the equivalence of this would be if franklin roosevelt took emperor hirohito and tojo into the oval office and said, look, i know you attacked us, it's okay. if you want to attack us again, it might help me in the 1944 election. so yeah, come at us again, go ahead. this is selling out our country.
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we have to continue to maintain a sense of understanding about what has really gone on here and why it's about time that he's impeached. >> we have to squeeze in a break here. tess, thank you for starting us off with your expertise. really appreciate that. when we come back, we'll get to the other day three developments in the official impeachment investigation of president donald j. trump. that's next. nd y but - i need this out of my house. (vo) with fair, transparent value for every trade-in... enterprise makes it easy. did you know you can save money by using dish soap to clean grease on more than dishes? try dawn ultra. dawn is for more than just dishes. with 3x more grease cleaning power per drop, it tackles tough grease on a variety of surfaces. try dawn ultra.
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on day three and it is just day three of the official impeachment investigation of president trump, the house of representatives sent deposition notices to five state department officials and immediately one of those officials resigned from the state department, creating an even more dangerous situation for the trump administration because they can no longer attempt to control access to that witness. the state department's former special envoy for ukraine, kurt volker. and three house committees joined in sending a subpoena for state department records and documents to secretary of state mike pompeo. house intelligence committee, foreign affairs committee and house oversight committee are demanding records of all communications involving president trump's soliciting help from the president of ukraine in his re-election campaign, including all communications involving rudy giuliani's discussions with ukrainian officials. back with us, evelyn and jonathan. evelyn, what do you make of this round of investigative
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developments today in the impeachment investigation? >> lawrence, i'm cheering because they're taking quick action. they're trying to make sure they get as much information as possible from the relevant people before they somehow scurry away. in the case of kurt volker, he's a friend, a consummate professional. i truly believe he was trying to do the right thing, and i think it's good that he resigned. i understand from my sources that he realized he wasn't going to be able to be effective in that role anyway, so hopefully he'll be able to tell the congress everything that he knows. same goes for all those other individuals. certainly the former ambassador has a story to tell, as does her deputy, a man who hasn't been mentioned yet, another person i know and respect. all these people have longstanding allegiance to america, and have taken an oath to the constitution. so i fully expect they will be cooperative.
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and that congress will learn a lot. >> donald trump and mike pompeo just lost control of kurt volker, that resignation makes him a completely free agent in dealing with congress. >> so we're going to learn everything about what rudy giuliani did when he got on the ground and his contacts. i'm not sure volker was there for all those contacts so it might be a little underwhelming and we should understand these are all sideshows. trump has already confessed. he confessed last sunday. it's not like we have a lot of, you know, evidence gathering to be done in this case, and that's why democrats rightly think that this can be done this year. he can be impeached before the end of the year. and it's possible they could even have the trial as soon as december. so it's very important that they stay on this fast track. there's a lot of worry in washington because politicians like to grandstand. they're going to be -- they should be striking witnesses,
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actually, not adding witnesses, although it will be good to hear from volker. >> and evelyn, on volker and these other witnesses, it would be uncharacteristic for pompeo and the trump administration to not try to block their depositions, and so this will give us an early read on what the procedural resistance will be to this investigation. >> i think you're absolutely right, lawrence. this will be very interesting. but again, i think -- i worked for almost a decade in the legislative branch. this feels different. the resolve is there and the republicans are very quiet. so i think that you will get a lot more cooperation. we will see less stonewalling. they all know regardless what they say, they're going to be coming before the congress, many of them, and there will be a vote this year. >> jonathan, one of the issues for all these people in the
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trump white house is, how big of a legal bill do you want? how much do you want to owe lawyers? because the quicker you cooperate with these committees, the lower your legal bill is going to be. >> that's always a big issue in these cases. you do sometimes want to follow the money a little bit. rudy giuliani just cancelled his trip to russia. this tells you about how putin is behind a lot of these efforts. he has big alimony payments. he likes $12,000 fountain pens and he's losing a big payday because the optics are terrible. and i think some of these other possible witnesses are going to go, do i really want to stonewall? do i really want to appeal this case? keep it going? and also there's no love lost for donald trump either in the white house or in the administration or on the hill.
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people say horrible things about him privately on the republican side. i think you're going to see more people breaking free from his hold. >> that's what former senator jeff flake said today. evelyn and jonathan, thank you for joining us tonight. when we come back, why donald trump should be very worried about mitch mcconnell tonight because every minute that mitch mcconnell does not say anything about impeachment, mitch mcconnell is saying something. that's next. what's up with your... partner? not again. limu that's your reflection. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ (baby crying) ♪ (blender whirring) ♪
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"the new york times" is now reporting breaking news that the trump administration restricted
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access to records of trump phone calls with vladimir putin and members of the saudi royal family. and we know tonight that we're having trouble keeping up with the impeachment action, and president trump absolutely cannot keep up with the impeachment action that is overwhelming his presidency because the first republican member of the house of representatives to clearly come out in direct support of the impeachment inquiry today has not yet been attacked by donald trump. nevada republican congressman mark amodei told nevada reporters, let's put it through the process and see what happens. he then got very scared that some nevada republicans would interpret that as supporting the actual final impeachment of the president, not just supporting the inquiry. so the congressman put out a written statement saying in no way, shape, or form did i indicate support for impeachment, but that is true of most house democrats and senate democrats who at this point support an impeachment inquiry,
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but not the final impeachment vote, not yet. if, like me, you expected the first republican supporter of the impeachment inquiry to be bombarded with trump attack tweets, you were wrong, and that's because donald trump is being bombarded with breaking impeachment bad news that he just can't keep up with. that means donald trump probably hasn't noticed how unhelpful mitch mcconnell has been so far. mitch mcconnell hasn't defended donald trump's phone call to the president of ukraine. mitch mcconnell was willing to make history by not even allowing a confirmation hearing for president obama's last nominee to the united states supreme court, is not willing to make history by announcing that he will not allow an impeachment trial of donald trump in the united states senate. and so everything is now at risk for donald trump. and as more reports come out of more betrayals of his oath of office at the end of day three of the official impeachment investigation of donald trump,
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it is no longer an absolute certainty that the united states senate will not convict and remove donald trump from office. it remains unlikely, but it is not certain. after this break, we will discuss the rapidly changing political and evidentiary dynamics of the impeachment investigation and what that means for republicans in the house and senate and what it could mean at the end of this road for the fourth president in history to be the subject of an official impeachment investigation. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance,
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only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ we're back with the breaking news this minute from "the new york times." "the new york times" reporting the white house put some reconstructed transcripts of delicate calls between president trump and foreign officials, including president vladimir putin and the saudi royal family into a highly classified computer system after embarrassing leaks of his conversations according to current and former officials. jonathan alter is back with us. jonathan, here we go, the expanding of this story of the special treatment of trump phone calls. >> look, presidents deserve a certain amount of privacy on their calls. i think we can all agree on that. we don't want to handcuff them
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too much. but it's interesting that the only people, the only tyrants that he puts in these special systems are ones that he's up to no good with. why is it it's just the tyrants who get the high classification? in other words he's okay with a wider circulation of the summary of the calls when it's with allies or other countries that the u.s. does business with, but when it's with thugs and killers, he doesn't want anybody else in the government to know about it. raises a lot of suspicions. >> we are joined by phone by "new york times" reporter julian barnes, one of the co-authors of this breaking news report in "the new york times" tonight. julian, what else can you tell us about the way the white house has been treating these phone call reconstructed transcripts? >> well, this goes back to that famous meeting in the white house between trump and russian foreign minister lavrov where mr. trump said some explosive
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things that he may have leaked information about another country's intelligence, israeli intelligence. there are allegations in the press. after that white house officials start locking down these transcripts. they shoved it in this very classified system. and we know they did it for the leaders you were discussing, the saudi royal family, both for the conversations with the king, with the crown prince, mohammed bin salman, and the then-saudi ambassador to washington, another member of the royal family. so these calls, some of them may have been sensitive, but they weren't necessarily classified. they're not what you usually put in this classified system. now, the white house has defended it but it wasn't past practice.
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>> what about the calls with vladimir putin? >> so this is very interesting. i mean, i think a lot of people want to know exactly what was said in there. now, you know, trump has been very sensitive about his conversations with putin, famously in his meeting in germany he seized the translator's notes afterwards to prevent information about that meeting leaking out. we know he's been very careful about this. so that's why they got put in the system. but i think as we're learning about what was in the ukraine call and what was discussed, there's going to be more and more pressure to learn more about those calls with vladimir putin and what was said. >> and the early reporting tonight about the president's conversations with lavrov in the oval office indicate that he was basically forgiving russia, saying, look, i understand why you attacked our election. we do the same thing.
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it was interpreted, according to earlier reports, to be basically okaying, saying in effect to russia, i understand this is just something you have to do and seemingly okaying attacking future elections. >> now, i personally have not been able to replicate "the washington post" reporting on that, but that is a very interesting report by some very talented journalists. and i think it will add to the questions. trump has come back to this theme about interference before and sometimes he believes it, sometimes he doesn't believe it. he says very divisive things about that. and so if the "post" report turns out to be true, i have no reason to doubt it, i think we're going to have more and
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more questions here about what he said to the russians. >> julian barnes, thank you very much for joining us with your important reporting for "the new york times" tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. and we're joined now by rick wilson, republican strategist, also is a senior adviser to president obama and hillary clinton. president and ceo for the center of american progress. and evelyn is back with us. i want to get your reaction to this round of reporting tonight of the special treatment of the presidential phone call records. >> yeah. i think we should be really clear about what's happening here, which is, just remember about this information about the russia call "the washington post" is now breaking, the russian meeting. remember, when you look at that photo that you showed on msnbc just a second ago, it says russian foreign ministry at the top of that. why? because because it was the russians that showed the picture. why is that important? because trump didn't want to tell us he even had the meeting.
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i think the time for giving the most charitable interpretation to trump's actions are over, particularly after the ukrainian call. the idea that he would say in the months after the 2016 election to the russians, it's basically okay what you did because we do things like that and other elections, he's going to be a candidate again. it's a green light to do the same thing again. we have now a pattern of practice of not just saying weird things to other countries. we have a pattern of the president, donald trump, asking other countries to intervene. we now know he basically tried to extort the ukrainians into digging up dirt on biden. in a few short months, he's telling the russians it's okay what you did in the past. and i'm also the best friend you could possibly have, wink, wink,
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nod, nod, maybe you could do it again. >> rick wilson, one of the missed points by a lot of people covering what happened in the intelligence committee hearing this week is one of the things that didn't happen is no republican on that committee defended what donald trump said on the telephone to the president of ukraine, which is what that hearing was about. now, those republicans did make familiar-sounding noises attacking democrats. they defended the witness. they sounded like republicans. they sounded different from the democratic side. but on the evidentiary elements of the hearing, they did not disagree about anything involving that phone call. so donald trump so far has no defenders in the congressional record on his phone call with the president of ukraine. anyone who's thinking about defending the president is now reading tonight in "the new york times," reading tonight in "the washington post," oh, they're
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hiding the conversations with putin, they're hiding the conversations with the saudi royal family, they are hiding the conversation that donald trump was never even going to tell us happened with the russians in the oval office in the fourth month of his presidency. as of tonight, if you were thinking about getting out there and defending donald trump, you're going to have to think again. >> in '73 republicans were screaming all day it's a conspiracy by the liberal news media. and in '74 they hit the brakes. >> rick, for the kids, he means 1973, the investigation of richard nixon. 1974, the impeachment investigation of richard nixon, which he eventually resigns. go ahead, sorry. >> correct. and the sense in circles right
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now, the deadly silence of mitch mcconnell is a very telling moment. and the fact that you don't have the usual conspiracy boobs out there running around, jim jordan and matt gates, and fredo nunez, all these kooks screaming with their hair on fire, they recognize this isn't echoes of a report of rumors from the steele dossier. this is the president admitting that he made this ask. giving the transcript out and it has opened up the gates of hell for this administration. because right now all these people from inside the white house are now leaking these things that he's been hiding these transcripts that are damning to him. this russian story that has broken tonight is utterly damning because he had representatives from the home office in moscow there and what he did he do? he acted like a whipped dog. it's fine, don't worry. we do the same thing. that's not how a president acts.
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that's how a traitor acts. >> evelyn, it seems like this week of coverage feels like that first week of covering the collapse of the berlin wall. the berlin wall coming down, it was that moment that we all saw, we were startled by, wait a minute, there were be people actually climbing up on the berlin wall for which you used to get shot. and they're climbing up and then suddenly they're dancing on the berlin wall. and then suddenly they're pulling it apart brick by brick, stone by stone, and eventually taking it all the way down to nothing. this seems like the beginning of that week where every day and now today, every hour of today there is a new crack in this wall. >> i agree. and i love your analogy, your example as the child of the hungarian revolution, my parents both left after the hungarian revolution failed.
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that was a fight for democracy. when the wall fell, they were essentially saying we want democracy. inside the u.s. government right now you have one by one patriotic government officials saying we want to defend our democracy, and they're finding strength in numbers. and yes, it's snowballing, as you said. >> let me extend this berlin wall comparison a bit. a year earlier, those people who were dancing on the berlin wall for terrified of going near the berlin wall. a year ago the people who were leaking to "the new york times," leaking to "the washington post" tonight about the president's conversations were terrified of doing that or certainly were extremely reluctant to do it. it took until now, it took the cracks in the wall. >> yeah, i mean, i think the death throes are going to go on for a while. i'm not sure that the whole thing is going to collapse on trump right now because he does still have an entire cable
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network, although there's dissension at fox, but he still has a lot of people willing to carry water for him. so it's going to get very ugly this fall, but the order of battle is changing. and also the ukraine story and the russia story are kind of converging, they're coming together. one of the things that didn't ment get very much attention this week is when trump said to zelensky at the u.n., i want you to make a deal with vladimir putin. >> with russia. >> this was a truly nutty thing. this would be like, you know, fdr saying to belgium after the blitzkrieg, like, i want you to make a deal with hitler after he just overran. so what was their endgame? i think for trump it's to lift sanctions, which is what the russians want. so he and the russians are on the same page. why does he want to lift sanctions and do that favor? to pay them back for winning the
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2016 election. that was the original quid pro quo in trump tower in 2016. he still owes putin on that, right? because putin did him a favor and he hasn't repaid the favor yet. so that's also going on here. >> good point. neera, on the all one story piece here, it has always been about donald trump and vladimir putin, and the phone call with zelensky, with the president of ukraine is also about donald trump and vladimir putin. >> i mean, the first, second, and third order of business is to do what we should have done a long time ago, which is to get the putin call, to get the transcript of the call, his public behavior was basically insane. he's basically kowtowing to putin in front of the cameras. i can only imagine what he did behind the cameras. the one thing i would say just
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about republicans very briefly, they don't know where the bottom is. that is the problem for donald trump. because when they don't know where the floor is, where the ground is, it will freeze them into continuing the investigation. the longer they allow the investigation to continue, stay silent, the longer, the greater his opposition will grow in the party. republican senators still telling reporters they have not read the whistleblower's report and they have not read the phone call transcript. thank you all for joining us tonight. when we come back, a freshman house democrat with far more national security experience than donald trump will join us on tonight's breaking news. i wish i could shake your hand. granted. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, hmm. exactly. so you only pay for what you need. nice. but, uh... what's up with your... partner? not again. limu that's your reflection. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ we have had breaking news for most of this hour. we started with the breaking news from "the washington post." the news that president trump told two senior russian officials in that meeting in 2017 that he didn't care about moscow's attack on the u.s. election, the election in which the russians helped donald trump win the presidency. white house officials were worried about the president's message to the russians according to "the washington post." the last few minutes, we have been discussing "the new york times" breaking news story.
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the white house used a highly classified system to hold the phone records of donald trump's calls with vladimir putin and the saudi royal family. on monday seven freshman house democrats co-wrote an op-ed piece in the "washington post." the piece was entitled "these allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect." joining us is one of the co-authors of that, jason crowe. congressman crowe. he was one of those seven democrats who published that piece in "the washington post." i want to get your reaction to the breaking news which is a confirmation of the whistle-blower's report about the treatment of presidential phone call records. it indicates that the records of
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the president's conversation with high-ranking russian officials in the first few months of presidency were treated the same way as that with the president of ukraine. it turns out now the phone call with vladimir putin was treated that way. that is a break with the way previous presidents have treated these phone records. >> yeah, that's right. so much of this is troubling on so many levels. i spent the last couple of days wrapping my brain around all these allegations as more and more comes to light. there is a couple of common themes to all of this. number one, it all seems to be related to helping donald trump win re-election. everything he does seems to be geared towards how can he help his election, better his prospects in 2020. and i think it is important that number two, you think of the national security aspect of this. complete disregard for our
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national security professionals and troops for people who have taken the oath and put their lives on the line. when president trump was talking about missile systems with president zelensky, these are weapons needed russian tanks from moving forward and evading ukraine. we have tens of thousands of u.s. troops in europe that are in harm's way, i take it personal. >> you go to the transcript of the phone call, president zelensky brings up the javelin missiles, that's the last sentence he speaks before donald trump says, but we want a favor. i want a favor. donald trump stays on the favor for the rest of the phone call and never, ever returns to the defense of ukraine. >> right. that's right. that tells me it is not what he's concerned about. somebody who has taken oaths all
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of my adult life to defend the constitution or this country, i've dedicated a lot of my life to the security of this country in iraq and afghanistan as an army ranger, everything that i do i am always thinking about those soldiers who are in afghanistan and iraq and around the world carrying weapons to defend us and how can we keep faith with them and make sure we are protecting them and their families. for these allegations to go to the core of that, it is shocking to me. >> i want to get your reaction to something the president said when he was visiting with the diplomatic corps of the united nation mission and a lot of those people brought their kids in for the day to see the president and he said that whistle-blowers should be treated the way we used to treat people convicted of treason, which means execution. what was your reaction when you heard the president saying that? >> i was really mad. this is something that again goes to the core of my oath. these are men and women who have
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taken the same oath that i have taken many times over in my adult life, who have given up their lives in some cases and put their lives on the line everyday, you are diplomatic core and our officers and military professionals. they are dedicated to this country. for a president to say something like that and threaten those folks explicitly or tacitly, it can't stand. my message to them is simple. this congress will do everything in its power to make sure we are keeping faith with that sacrifice. >> congressman jason crowe, thank you very much for joining us and appreciate your perspective. >> thank you for having me. >> jason crow gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. ten days in september. we wrap up a blockbuster week in american politics. the news keeps coming.
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a bombshell in the wake of the whistle-blower complaint. the white house reportedly buried the record of an explosive conversation where president trump badmouthed the united states to the russians inside the oval office. president pressure on ukraine to officials and back channels, the speaker says impeachment is on a time frame of weeks, not months. this as we go out to the state department while a diplomat in the middle o f the scandal resigns. "the 11th hour" on a friday night begins now. >> good evening once again, i am ali velshi and in for brian williams. all the action is in the nation's capitol. there is yet another bomb shell report from "the washington post." it is about what trump told two russian officials, foreign