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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  October 4, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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his campaign said he had two stents put in to open the clogged artery. he had been in the hospital since then. but today he emerged smiling and waving. the campaign says he was diagnosed with a myocardial smiling and waving. the campaign said he was diagnosed with a myocardial infarction more commonly known as a heart attack it is good to see him heading out today. the senator's campaign says he will be back out on the campaign trail soon. i will see you again on monday. i'll be live from los angeles. one of the stops on my book tour. i will tell you weirdly on sunday night, has the new tv show on the cw called bat woman and i have a voice role in the new bat woman tv show. is not that crazy? i know. anyway, it's very fun. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell.
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>> i read about your bat woman thing. >> what is your character's name? >> vesper fairchild. >> i'm using that from now. on that's my favorite name ever to appear in fiction. >> it is a classic comic book character. >> what are you doing tonight? >> i am not that busy. >> do you want to come over? because i've got some pages marked here. >> i'm still on crutches so it will take me a minute. i'll be there as soon as i can crutch over. >> if you can get here by the time we finish one of these commercial breaks, we'll just bring you right on to the tv show. >> okay. >> so rachel will be joining us later in the hour to help us assess where we are at the end of week two in the impeachment investigation of donald trump. we'll discuss her amazing book
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which i am just going to rave about. it is also very much related to this week's news. and later in the hour, we will look at the ray of hope sent by mitt romney today indicating that at least one republican senator is capable of speaking the truth about the president's conduct this week. and the last word tonight. the last word of this program this week will go to the woman who warned president trump not to do what he did on that phone call with the president of ukraine. and she warned him not to do what did he publicly this week when he requested help in his re-election campaign from china. he was warned. he got a legal warning. not to do that. that warning came from ellen wine traut. the president did it anyway. she will get tonight's last word. the breaking news of this hour is that there could be a second whistleblower ready to emerge to
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back up the whistleblower whose accusations about president trump's phone call with the president of ukraine now form the basis of the fourth impeachment investigation of a president in the history of the united states of america. the "new york times" headline tonight, second official is weighing whether to blow the whistle on trump's ukraine dealings. "the new york times" reports, a second intelligence official who was alarmed by president trump's dealings is weighing whether to file his own formal whistleblower complaint and testify to congress, according to two people briefed on the matter. the official has more direct information about the events than the first whistleblower. the second official is among those interviewed by the intelligence committee inspector general to corroborate the investigations of the original whistleblower. the inspector general, michael atkinson, briefed lawmakers privately on friday about how he substantiated the whistleblower's account. it was not clear whether he told
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lawmakers that the second official is considering filing a complain. because the second official has met with mr. atkinson's office, it was unclear where he needs to file a complain to gain the legal protections offered to intelligence community whistleblowers. witnesses who speak with inspectors general are protected by federal law. but outlaws reprisals against officials who cooperate with an inspector general. and joining us, one of the reporters who broke that story with "the new york times." michael schmidt. he covers national security and federal investigations. michael, thank you very much for joining us on your breaking news report. what more can you tell us about this possible second whistleblower? >> well, look. this is a person that has more intimate knowledge.
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is closer to the actual complaint, what the issue is at the center of the complaint. you have to remember the person who filed the initial complaint is someone that was at the cia. who was not at the white house. who is not intimately involved with this. look. the interesting thing that's going on here is that the president is having to deal with whistleblowers now. there could be a second whistleblower who would create another problem for him. it is different than the mueller investigation. in that case it was a contained federal investigation. a lot of things weren't supposed to come out. but whistleblowers have a different power. a different ability. they have the ability to go to congress. they don't necessarily have to go through justice department. and that has freed up information to move in ways that
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we haven't seen earlier in the trump administration. >> is it your sense that people involved in this story are now kind of actively thinking about their role and thinking about whether they need to take some kind of position in relation to this whistleblower report? because the whistleblower report refers to a fairly large number of people. you certainly get the sense that it is more than a dozen people referenced in one way, not necessarily by name. is it your sense that a lot of those people rthing about what their role is now? >> well, i think what has gone on is that the folks in washington who are concerned about president trump have seen a lot of failures. they saw the mueller report. they saw how it fell flat. they saw how it didn't catch on. they saw the struggles of the democrats to do anything with it and they're trying to think of other ways that information may be able to move. and i think that in some of that, that's what we see here. we see sort of, you know, folks trying to think outside the box about how they can get things
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out. look. we've seen it in the press. the press has report an enormous amount of things while donald trump has been president. that's because people in government have been concerned about what they saw. at least the original whistleblower campaign, this was someone outside the white house that was taking such a risk to file a complaint, to get this information to congress in the hopes that something would happen. and that's just a different thing. a different sort of aspect that we're dealing with. >> what do we know as of tonight about the committee's contact level with the first whistleblower? have they been able to come to an agreement about any testimony from that whistleblower? >> so we know that the committee wanted as early as last week to speaker view the whistleblower. and that still has not happened. and it is unclear why they've struggled to do that. they still have not interviewed the whistleblower. there are a lot of complications around. this it is someone whose who have is anonymous, whose identity needs to be protected according to the whistleblower statutes. and interviewing them is not as sim many as just the whistleblower driving up to congress and going in and sitting down.
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and for whatever reason, that has still not happened yet. and i'm pretty sure the committee wants that to happen. and i've heard they want that to happen but it still has not gone forward. >> in your reporting, you mentioned the president and his comments about the whistleblower that that he sinned out the whistleblower's sources. and calling them close to a spy. is this any indication that what the president said about those sources has something to do with provoking this possible second whistleblower to come forward? >> i don't think so. the president is someone that has been obsessed with leaks, obsessed with loyalty since long before he came to office. and being president has just brought that more to the forefront for him. he wants loyalty from the people around him. and he wants them to keep things closely held.
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and that rarely happens and things often spill out. but it is a pre occupation that he has. he wanted jeff sessions, his first attorney general, to go after leakers. leakers were a problem. they needed to be investigated and gone after. and you know, it is a recurring issue that he has had throughout his entire presidency. >> please stay with us. we're joined now in the conversation by ned price, a former cia analyst and director and spokesperson for the national security council in the obama administration. an msnbc contributor. and hal rains is with us, the executive editor of the "new york times" and an msnbc contributor. and ned price, i wanted to get your reaction to the reporting that there could be a second whistleblower coming forward to back up the first whistleblower,
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and that this whistleblower would have more direct knowledge of what happened in the president's phone call with the president of ukraine. >> lawrence, out of all the twists and turns we've endured, to my mind at least, the least surprising. i say that in part remembering what the original whistleblower wrote in the first line of his complain. he said in the course of my official duties i've received information from multiple u.s. government officials suggesting as you were just alluding to that those, several of those with direct knowledge of what happened were so concerned that they passed on it to those around them and it eventually made its way to this whistleblower. so i do think there is something to this idea that trump in some way has brought this upon himself. this possibility of a second whistleblower. and i say that because trump ever since this person came forward, put his complaint forward, has tried to make this not about the issues of national security and betrayal in our democracy and oversight. but about a single person.
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he's tried to revisit the play book he used against bob mueller, against mueller's prosecutors, he used against christopher steel to attack the backgrounds, the connections, the relationships of a single person not recognizing that the issues are so much bigger than a single person. i think what we're seeing are those others who were as michael schmidt alluded to, much more directly involved in these matters. coming forward to say, this is not about a single person. we witnessed this, it sounds like in some cases, firsthand. and we will help dispel the notion that this can be personified. because frankly, it can't be personified. this is about in some cases, what we cherish most as a country that donald trump has decided to subordinate to his own personal and political prerogatives. >> hal rains, "new york times," more great reporting tonight. advancing the story. and then we see the congress
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then taking sometimes what we've discovered in newspaper reports, advancing that. have you seen this kind of rhythm before unfold in these kinds of stories? >> yes. they're echos of watergate and the clinton impeachment. and first, i want to say, lawrence, those of houston worked in washington in previous times know there are certain days when you can feel the grinding of the gears of history. and those gears have now caught the coat tail of donald trump. that doesn't mean he can't survive. he's an escape artist. but this is deadly serious. and michael with his great scoop about the second whistleblower put an exclamation mark on this day. let's go back to something earlier today. the third article of impeachment against richard nixon was ignoring subpoenas of the
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congress. so the subpoenas that were sent to the white house today over the signature of eric engle, adam smith and elijah cummings will come to be seen as an important historic document. and the reason i say that is trump has tended to treat democratic members of congress as some sort of wannabes. impotent people. he says, you know, you can do what you want to. i'm going to lie down in the tall grass because i can get away with it. this document dated october 4th from these, signed by these three congressmen, says this
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congress is asserting itself. this house is asserting itself as co-equal branch of government and don't trifle with us. that to me is one of the water shed developments in the series of events that you mentioned. >> and we have reporting from nbc news. they're reporting that the cia's top lawyer made a criminal referral about the whistleblower's allegations to the justice department and ned price, that story came earlier today from nbc news that shows you that a trump appointee, saw something in that report that, she thought was worthy of a criminal referral. >> i think there are three important points about this story. first, and this is the most interesting to my mind. everyone who heard rumors, even before the whistleblower's report was drafted, everyone who heard about it ultimately filed a criminal referral to the justice department. we previously knew about the acting dni. we but the inspector general of the intelligence community. we knew today in calling the
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department of justice, the krafl's general counsel intended to do the same thing. i think that shows just the seriousness and the concern that these complaints raise, even among trump appointees. but i was struck by the fact that when the cia general counsel made what she intended to be a criminal referral to the justice department, this was another individual on the line. this individual was from the white house. and this was the same individual actually a white house lawyer, who was that it in charge in some ways, affecting the cover-up of the transcript of the july 25th phone call. this was the individual this white house lawyer who assured that the transcript was on this top secret compartmented national security council computer system. so my question there is, what part of the cover-up was affected before these complaints came forward? and before they were widely
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known? i think that's something congressional investigators will have to look to. and then finally, i think we have to grapple with the fact that this criminal referral was communicated over the phone. not in writing. and that's certainly atypical. it suggests that perhaps the inspector general counsel didn't want to attach her name to something in writing and it could suggest to me at least that trump has so perverted these institutions, that people are afraid to follow standard operating procedure. i think that's something congress will have to look into. >> any indication in your reporting that ambassador volker's testimony yesterday and the release of those text messages has in any way provoked this possible second whistleblower? i'm trying to see if there's anything in your reporting -- the way these people are moving and deciding to come forward. >> i don't think they're connected at all. i think there are a lot of different things out there. and one of trump's issues is that there's a lot of different bets that could go against him. we saw one of them come to fruition yesterday the text messages that came out. now there is the potential for
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another whistleblower. there's just a lot of different, you know, issues that he's dealing with and trying to sort of navigate and they're popping up. and that are very unusual for a president to see. and he's confronting them or maybe not confronting them for whatever they're worth. but it's just an unusual set of circumstances. and there seems to be a drum beat here. there seems to be a momentum. the question will be whether the democrats can keep that up. they really struggled to do that in the aftermath of the mueller report. they struggled to keep up sort of a steady beat of new things coming out. but maybe in this case, on this different issue off to the side, they could do that. >> and this is one of those strange investigations in which the person being investigated in his own way is trying to be uncooperative but couldn't be more cooperative. he walks up to microphones and asks china to help him in his re-election.
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>> yeah. well, this is the latest example that we've seen where we're into totally new historical and political territory here. this is very odd behavior. and i think the crazy like a fox is this. trump knows the 40% are with him when he says, yes, i did it, so what. as legal strategy that could be disastrous. the other loose cannon on his deck is of course, rudolph giuliani who earlier this week said, i've got all of my documents from all of these interchanges. no prosecutor or no impeachment counsel is going to forget remark. okay, since you've got them. let's see them.
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so it's not within the normal rules of political combat, congressional procedure, certainly jurisprudence to see the targets confessing in plain sight. >> yeah. we haven't seen that before. thank you for joining us with your breaking news report. we really appreciate it. ned price, thank you for joining us. hal rains will stay with us. we'll hear from him later. and as we've been talking, rachel maddow has been making her way to this studio. she will join us next. new pasta and grill combos starting at $9.99. only at applebee's. pain happens. saturdays happen. aleve it. aleve is proven better on pain than tylenol. when pain happens, aleve it. all day strong.
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rachel maddow is here and every second that i spend on a flowery introduction is time that could be better spent. host of the rachel maddow show and the author of the wicked great book that we're going to discuss after we start catching up with rachel maddow's look at the week. where are we? let me give you the latest breaking. two congressional sources tell nbc news, the u.s. ambassador to the european und, gordon will appear tuesday for a joint deposition before the foreign affairs committee, the intelligence committee, the oversight committee. they reported earlier that they expect it to be friday. if there's that will be a could
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conspiracy about the president's policy, gordon sondland will be there. >> in addition to the inspector general who was there for the beginning of the impeachment inquiry, isn't this the first? >> they said no. you can't have any of them. so they're working on some kind of negotiation. would you say tuesday? so sondland is tuesday and then the official who is no longer ambassador to the ukraine. so this means you're zooming in on the importance here. they are not blocking all current officials from testifying the way they have the other inquiries that the house has mounted against the administration. >> gordon sondland has some texts. >> well, i don't know anything about him other than what i read in the press.
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but he is a hotel magnate. he is somebody who donate a bunch of money. he held a trump fundraiser and then around the rnc with the treatment of the family, he and his business partner stepped away and that, okay, we've been supporting trump and now we no longer are. he got back in the game and provided something like $1 million to the inaugural. that's how he ended up becoming ambassador to the e.u. he is an absolute novice in a very high fluting job with people who were not novices. volker is not a novice and certainly not bill taylor who was the one sending him on fire text messages about the ill propriety of what they were doing with ukraine.
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so he is a guy who may be slightly over his head in terms of diplomatic matters. he has come in as a trump loyalist. for him to be conceding, agreeing to go in and talk to these committees. it is a very interesting decision. i don't know what kind of testimony he'll give. he has to worry about his own neck to the extent he knowingly participated in an impeachable scheme. >> and "the new york times" reporting the possible, i guess we would call at this time back-up whistleblower to the original whistleblower. >> yeah. >> the second whistleblower. this one saying, according to them, more direct information. now, more direct would probably be, i heard the call. >> probably i heard the call or i was involved in some of the other machinations here. we now know over the past couple of days that this was not something the president cooked up alone. or that the president cooked up
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with rudolph giuliani and two have the two of them tried to put it into effect. this is something they involved a lot of people in government doing. they certainly involved upper echelons of government. this could be a very senior person. someone in the intelligence community or in the state department side of things or they could be somebody in the military side of it. the only thing we know is it is something from the ig has spoken to to verify what the whistleblower that. so clearly it will be corroborating information. whether this is someone with a conscience or someone willing to be a constructive part of this process, with whistleblower protections built in. i mean, that is, i'm sure this is freaking the white house out. >> it is also someone who by
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inference, the president called a spy. the president said that the people who they said whistleblower or talked to the whistleblower. that was the behavior of spies. this indicates that this whistleblower was someone who was involved in the original whistleblower's report. that's why the inspector general spoke to this possible whistleblower. so the president himself might be out there now currently inspiring more whistleblowers by the way he's talking about this. >> yes. every threat that he issues, especially when he issues threats that don't even seem like, there isn't any veil on them. it just seemed like a threat of violence if not direct retaliation. every time he does that, he is inviting people who may see themselves and his comments, who may think that he's targeting them, to. they avail themselves of
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whistleblower protections under federal law. to themselves see what they can do to protect themselves against a president who says, i'm coming for you. >> we're going on squeeze in a break. when we come back, we'll talk about your book. i do have the audio book. have you listened to the audio book? >> no. >> i have a feeling you do not listen to your own audio books. >> i have that feeling. >> let me tell you. when you get audio book -- that's you as you are the brilliant director, recorded it. however, some people are in a hurry. they can speed you up. we can take you from the exact speed that you spoke, right? up to, let's say, 1.25. that's you a little faster. if i want to get through this book faster. if i can listen really fast, i can double, could you want to double your speed? >> yeah. >> let's double it. [ laughter ] >> yeah. that's hard to listen to. >> it's me and the chip monks. >> it's fantastic. we're back with rachel maddow and her book "blowout." aleve is proven better on pain than tylenol. when pain happens, aleve it.
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i don't know how to talk about this book.
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>> thank you for reading it. you don't have to. >> you know what this brought me back to? it brought me back to a moment when i was a freshman in college, toward the end of freshman year. in sophomore year we had to choose our majors. the areas we would concentrate our studies in. and my freshman adviser said to us, a group of about six of us. you don't realize this. but the choice you make in your concentration of studies is the choice about how you're going to look at the world. you will look at the world through literature for the rest of your life if that's what you do. you'll look at it through
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history, chemistry, through biology. and i thought biology? and then i heard nobel prize winning biologist george wald. and then i said oh, yes. and i ended up through a process of elimination that was a stumble of a few months, choosing economics. and so i've had that window. blowout by rachel maddow is a way of looking at the world. this has the weight of really a college major. of years of study. it has range. it has authority. it is, the sub title could be how the world got this way. it really could be, how we got to this and i mean, all of this that we're living with today. >> that is very kind of you to say. you have, i mean, you reading the book is humbling to me and i am thankful for that. i am also very humbled by those words. i did not intend to write a book about oil and gas and i started out knowing nothing about oil and gas. i was trying to answer other questions about how we got to the world that we are in right now. and the big questions about why
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we're in this fight between authoritarianism and democracy. and why russia took that wild swing auts. and why they're such a strange malignant actor internationally given that within our lifetime they've been a world straddling super power with communist satellite states all over the world and they were our equal in terms of world influence. trying to get answers to those questions, i ended up in an economics framework. i ended up looking at what's wrong with their economy and how weak that made them. when you combine their weakness and their ambition, you realize the ways they've tried on compete are desperate and pretty narrowly defined. and therefore, i had to learn a lot about oil and gas. and you know me. as soon as i learn about a thing currently involving subject x, i have to go back to the original history of subject x and tell you the story from the big bang.
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so it does have a lot of history of the oil industry but only because i had to learn to it figure out the answers to these contemporaneous questions. >> will you take us from the time when new bedford was the richest city in america. the whale oil industry, into john d. rockefeller, what he meant to the oil industry here. what vladimir putin means to the oil market now. how oil has defined russian behavior in so many ways as a government and so forth. there are so many different stories in this book. but it's all one piece. do you think there's a hero in this book? because i do. i have a hero. >> okay, go. >> of course, hero is austin. what a character, to trace him from the beginning. this seismologist in oklahoma. in fact, oklahoma's
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seismologist. the guy who was the very first person to deal with the question of, why is there a sudden rash of earthquakes in oklahoma? >> this incredibly stable land locked part of the united states that is not known for earthquakes, suddenly starts having a few little shakers and then dozens and then hundreds and then this seemingly unstoppable rash. and austin holland is just a scientist. he is a sort of humble directed scientist who is there to do interesting work as oklahoma state seismologist. and he ends up being the target of the oil and gas industry that does not want to hear what he is concluding about what is happening in that state. >> he was very slow to conclude. this was a very -- >> slow and deliberate and follow data kind of guy. >> he is not like an environmental activist crusading. he is just trying to do good seismology. and he was so positively disposed toward the industry.
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he didn't look at these oil figures in the state who were starting to pressure his office and say those are the bad guys. they're coming for me. he did everything he could to try to accommodate them until it me to the breaking point where it was them or the science. and he chose the to do such good work and he was so unassailable in his equanimity. that ultimately, what he did made oklahoma face it finally. and they had to take on the oil industry. and they had to tell them to stuff with it some other scientific theories to try to make it go away and they had to could not strain them and regulate them and rein them in to stop the ground from shaking in part because the the science could not be denied. >> there's a passage in here. normally i would read. this it doesn't make any sense for me to read your book of would you read it for people to get them to where i want them to be, thinking about this right now? >> i will.
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it turns out putin made mistakes over the past 15 years. big fundamental hard to reverse mistakes. that can happen when you try to build your country's future on the oil and gas industry. putin's decisions stripped his country of its ability to compete fairly in the global economy or global politics. and limited its strategic options to the unsavory list he they're ticking down. today his effort to restore russia as a world stage super power no longer depend on capacity and know-how. they depend on cheating. putin and his minions cheat. they treat at the olympics and their open fake democracy. they cheat other people out of their democracies. >> and here we are. >> yeah. cheating. >> yeah. when i realized the scale of the oil deal that putin did with rex tillerson, during the obama administration, this half trillion dollar oil deal that would make the difference for enough oil to burn the planet up twice over in terms of what they
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were going to try to get out of the russian arctic sea. when i realized the scale of that and then it was blocked by sanctions. to then see rex tillerson, the guy who the dethe deal with putin, under the next administration that russia helped install. this is something we have to face. like they really, really need to get rid of those sanctions in order to keep their one life blood economic thing going. and we underestimate their need for that to our peril. we have a diversified economy. they really don't. they really have only oil and gas and they suck at drilling their own oil and gas. and they need other western majors to help them. we blocked when we sanctioned them. the whole thing has been about
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dropping the sanctions and they're getting closer every day. >> the last line in this book is in the acknowledgements after you thanked the staff of the rachel maddow show for helping you, enabling you to do this. you said i swear i will not do this again. please do this again. please. this book is beautifully written. it is so brilliant. it is your voice, your wisdom, your insights. i've learned so much. please do this again. >> i won't. thank you for saying those very nice things. thanks a lot. >> we'll be right back. today mitt romney actually didn't quite cross the aisle. he has one foot right in the middle of the aisle now on the matter of donald trump's conduct this week. saturdays happen. pain happens. aleve it. aleve is proven better on pain than tylenol. when pain happens, aleve it. all day strong.
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aleve it. aleve is proven better on pain than tylenol. when pain happens, aleve it. all day strong. the united states senate was a tale of two republican senators. one who took a step toward the democrats who support an impeachment investigation by saying that the president's conduct is wrong and appalling and another republican senator who took yet another step deeper into the dark know. today, utah's republican junior senator mitt romney who was just elected in 2018 and will not be up for re-election in well the 24 tweeted, when the only american season president trump singles out is the political opponent in the midst of the nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest it is anything other than politically motivated.
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by other all appearances, the president's brazen appeal to china and to ukraine to investigate joe biden is wrong and appalling. then came marco rubio. before we show what you marco rubio said today about president trump asking china to investigate joe biden, let's take a look at who marco rubio once was before donald trump took total control of him. >> donald trump is a conartist. >> what we are dealing with here is a con artist. as he con artist. you all have friends. you all have friends thinking of voting for donald trump. friends do not let friends vote for con artists. >> and here is senator marco rubio today. >> do you think it's okay for president trump to ask china to launch an investigation of joe biden and hunter biden? >> i don't know if that's a real
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request or him just needling the press knowing that you would get outraged by it. >> is it okay for him to ask to say that? >> i don't think it is a real request. i think he did it to get you guys. i think he did it to provoke you, to ask me and get outraged by it. >> joining me now, a former cia operative and a former independent candidate. he is the co-founder of stand-up republic. evan, your reaction to marco rubio. he thinks it was funny. >> well, first of all, just say it was highly disappointing to see senator rubio answer that question in that way. senator rubio is someone who
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from his role in the senate, from his position there, has led or in many ways our pro democracy efforts around the world. he's been a vocal advocate for freedom globally. and then to see freedom under threat here domestically, to have a question like that posed to him, it should be a softball. and to have him blow it off just really sort of describes how far he's fallen in just the last couple years. he seems defeated to me emotionally. the game he's playing here is that he is saying, look. you the media are overreacting by responding to trump's urging china to interfere in our electoral processes. like russia did in 2016 or similarly. he wants to say that the media is overreacting so that he doesn't look like he's underre. and it is important for him to maintain this posture that he's decided to take which is to not react to obviously dangerous abuses of the president. because as soon as he acknowledges them, like the media does and like others do, then he has to do something about it. he is a u.s. senator. so he goes on pretending like nothing is a big deal and nothing matters.
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but he's clearly wrong on that. and i think he knows it himself. >> so by marco rubio's logic, mitt romney is overreacting to it. >> that was a heart rending clip that you just showed, lawrence. as dr. king said of rosa parks when she refused to give up her seat, she had been hunted down by the guys. i think the spirit of this age may be hunting down mitt romney and offering him a chance to save his party and return it to the spirit of abraham lincoln. and i say that in all seriousness. and one of the things that we tend to forget about trump is that the conservative intellectuals who are so important in the reagan years, and on into the bush years, have totally disowned this man. and "the new york times" read a
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piece by bill kristol last week that i think was an important signal for people who want to keep their eyes on mitt romney. he didn't mention mitt romney. if you read between the lines and you know bill kristol a little bit as i do, that was a letter saying, mitt romney, if you will offer yourself as the savior of the party, i and my friends will rally the conservative intellectuals in our party to your flag. >> well, we'll see what happens next. thank you both for joining us tonight. and when we come back, we'll be joined by the woman who warned donald trump not to do it. and he did it anyway. and now he is being impeached for it. impering] ♪ the all-new 2020 ford explorer limited hybrid. can tow up to 5000 lbs
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your business can do a lot in 10 minutes. like make a big sale. surprise and delight a customer. or come up with the winning idea. and 10 minutes is all you need to finally give your business the internet technology it really needs. we'll prove it. give us 10 minutes. if we can't offer you faster speed or better savings than your current internet service, we'll give you 300 dollars for your time. call now to get your comcast business 10 minute advantage and take your business beyond. comcast business. beyond fast. let me make something 100% clear. it is illegal for any person to solicit, accept or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a u.s. election. anyone who solicits or accepts
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risks being on the wrong end of a federal election. those are not my words. those are words of ellen weintraub tweet that when trump indicated he would accept help from offensive coordinator election in his re-election campaign and now donald trump is the subject of an impeachment investigation for doing exactly what ellen weintraub told him not to do. after the second week of consistent repetition of the latin words quid pro quo in news coverage, it's time for a reminder of what words are actually in the law that the president appears to have violated. and there is no one better to guide us through that law than our next guest, ellen weintraub, the chair of the federal election commission. thank you for joining us
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tonight. we really appreciate it. have the words quid pro quo been driving you crazy since they're not actually relevant? >> i don't think about that. i want to be clear that i am not opining on anyone's conduct. i am only here to explain the law. that is my job. i was not to explain the law so everyone understands it and hopefully every one will come comply with it. >> well, go to it. just clarify what quid pro quo might or might not have to do with the law. >> well, quid pro quo is a bribery material. that's in the criminal law. i have civil enforcement authority over the campaign finance laws. so quid pro quo really doesn't enter into it from the standpoint of the fec. when we talk about the foreign national ban, it is as i tweeted and as you just read, pretty simple. it is a illegal for anyone to solicit, accept or receive
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anything of value from any foreign national in connection with a u.s. election. period. >> and i want to go over one other concept. that's the notion of pressure. when the president of ukraine was at the u.n. and speaking with president trump publicly, the president said he didn't use the word push. he did not feel pushed. the word in the law is solicit. and so solicit, a solicitation could be done very politely without any air of pressure around it. >> again, not talking of any individual. but as a matter of law, it doesn't require a great deal of pressure. >> and when you saw it, you came out with your tweet about this after we saw what the president said to george stephanopoulos which was at the time, stunning. that after the mueller investigation, the mueller
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report, he would actually say to george stephanopoulos that he would be willing to accept help from offensive coordinator , from a foreign government. you laid the law out there. how surprised are you that we are where we are tonight? >> these are surprising times, lawrence. i just keep trying to instruct people on the law. i think it is really important. an important issue. an important principle in our law. it is enshrined in law but it is also a principle discussed by the founding fathers and a principle that we all should be able to agree on on a nonpartisan basis that we want elections to be run and administered and funded by american citizens, and we want american citizens to be the ones making choices in our elections and we don't want interference. >> ellen weintraub's gets tonight's last word and nothing
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could be more appropriate. thank you for joining us tonight. we really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> "the 11th hour" starts now. >> breaking news tonight. may b whistle-blower about to emerge from inside the intelligence community with potentially more evidence of trump's use of foreign policy toward his own political gain. the democrats made it rain over parts of washington late today, dropping subpoenas on white house chief of staff mulvaney, vice president pence, secretary of state pompeo. in political news, mitt romney being hailed as a profile in courage because he dared speak out against the president. and it turns out bernie sanders suffered a heart attack, emerging today having kept the press in the dark, saying he can't wait to get back out there on the trail. all of it as another week comes to a close and "the 11th hour" gets under way on this friday night.


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