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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  February 7, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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of national intelligence, dan coats, has no responded. cia director mike pompeo did with his trademark wit, we periodically meet with our russian intelligence counter parts to keep americans safe. mike pompeo will be there on tuesday. even if worldwide threat day is a bust, i have an idea it's going to be a good hearing. that does it for us tonight now it's time for the "last word with lawrence o'donnell." >> good evening. mike pompeo's wit is nothing compared to rachel maddow's whit. >> that's nice. >> rob porter being pushed out has been developing all night. that john kelly statement that came out at 9:30 tonight apparently was the end of a long day of him fighting to safe rob porter's job. reports indicate he was inside the white house saying you don't have to leave the white house
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because of one black eye photo of one of your former wives out there. >> it's the evidence from the former wives, the former wives talked to the fbi, the statement from one of his former wives i thought by talking to the fbi about this he would not get this post. it also the way it factors into the security clearance issue which is already a concern and anomaly because of jared kushner serving for a year without a security clearance because for some reason he can't get one. this brings a lot of things to the white house and i find it a dark and disturbing story. >> it is those things and the security clearance issue which is huge with this white house. it's also a deeply personal story. i just can't get my head out of the grim, really rough details of these stories. just really, really dark things to spend the day reading. >> and the personal cost and the personal bravery of these women
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deciding they're going to talk about it publically now given the high position he's in and we've seen the protection he's been afforded. this is a dark story. >> thanks a lot, rachel. >> thanks, lawrence. >> he only punched me once. how many women have said that? how many women have you heard say that? i've heard too many. how many wives have said that? he only punched me once. the question in the trump white house tonight is, how many punches is too many? because tomorrow morning, a man who has been accused over the last two days of punching his first wife and being physically abusive to his second wife, who got a restraining order against him will report to work in the trump white house and spend the entire day at john kelly's side, as he does every day, and possibly some of that time will be at the president's side, because he is in control of every piece of paper that goes
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to president trump. and so, he might spend some of tomorrow at president trump's side. might do that also. at least, that was the plan. that was the plan. that the white house announced today when they announced that rob porter was resigning his position at the white house, but would not actually leave his job until some unknown date in the unknown future. but the breaking news tonight from the "new york times" is the white house saying tomorrow will be rob porter's last day. it took this long for the pressure to build so that tomorrow would be his last day. instead of, who knows when. and all of this is happening because rob porter's two former wives have decided to tell their stories. stories that they told to the fbi about their former husband, stories that have prevented him from being cleared by the fbi for the security clearance that ever person who ever held that job before him needed in order
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to hold that job. to hear john kelly tell it, the man accused of domestic abuse by both of his wives is the best man working in that white house. rob porter is a man of true integrity and honor and i can't say enough good things about him. he is a friend, a confidant, a trusted professional. i am proud to serve alongside him. john kelly has never said something so positive about the president of the united states. john kelly can't say enough good things about him. john kelly issued that statement yesterday, after the daily mail published its first report of one of rob porter's wives accusing him of physical abuse. jennifer willowby described what happened with one of her arguments with her then husband, rob porter, it was js after their first anniversary. she said she walked away from an argument saying i'm not going to
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fight you anymore, and she went to take a shower. she was not done fightsing with me. it was a glass shower door he grabbed me and dragged me out of the shower to yell. he apologized but it doesn't take away he was angry enough and that happened. jennifer willowby went public about her abusive marriage on april 24th last year, 2017, in which she did not mention her husband's name. she wrote, the first time he called me a fing pitch was on our honey moon. less than two months after that i filed a protective order with the police because he punched in the glass on our front door while i was locked inside. we bought a house to make up for it. just after our one year anniversary, he pulled me, naked and dripping from the shower to
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yell at me. when i tried to get help, i was counselled to consider carefully how what i said might affect his career. and so i kept my mouth shut and stayed. if he was a monster all the time perhaps it would have been easier to leave. but he could be kind and sensitive and so i stayed. he cried and apologized and so i stayed. he offered to get help and even went to a few counseling sessions and therapy groups and so i stayed. he belittled my intelligence and destroyed my confidence. and so i stayed. friends and clergy didn't believe me. and so i stayed. i was pregnant and so i stayed. i lost the pregnancy and became dre depressed and so i stayed. john kelly new all of that, every word of that yesterday when he said, rob porter is a man of true integrity and honor and i can't say enough good things about him.
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john kelly knew all of that yesterday when he said, i'm proud to serve alongside him. that's the same john kelly who said this. >> when i was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country, women were sacred and looked upon with great honor. >> in the boston neighborhood where john kelly grew up and where i grew up around the same time, the wives who said he only punched me once were the lucky ones. most wives in our neighborhoods in those days were treated lovingly and respectfully by their husbands and their entire families, but the ones who got beaten and abused were lucky if they only got punched once. if they only got one black eye, like rob porter's first wife who publically released a photograph of her black eye today. when john kelly and i were kids in boston, the catholic church
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told the beaten wives they couldn't get divorced no matter how many times they got punched, no matter how many black eyes because divorce was a mortal sin. the priests told their wives to hang in there, be patient and surely their husbands would get better. that's what happened to rob porter's wives, in this case it was the mormon church. >> for years i would go to mormon bishops and try to find the words to explain what was going on but i was at a loss beyond the explanation he got physical with me. >> here's what one former mormon bishop said yesterday after the first report of rob porter abusing one of his wives. senator orrin hatch said it's incredibly discouraging to see such a vile attack on such a decent man.
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shame on any publication that would print this. i know rob, i've known him for years both as a close friend and a personal adviser. he is kind and considerate toward all. today rob porter's first wife said when she finally stopped talking to mormon bishops about abuse her attitude changed. >> it wasn't until i went to a counselor at my work place one summer and told him what was going on that he was the first person, and not a male religious leader, who told me what was happening was not okay. in telling her story to the daily male today she released a photograph that she took and e-mailed to herself so that she would have a record of the black eye she says her husband, rob porter, gave her when he hit her with that first punch. this is a very, very difficult photograph to look at. here is what she told the intercept today about how it
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happened. he only punch med once in the eye. he threw me down in the bed and punched me in the face. i think he was shocked that he had lost control to that extent. after that news story appeared today, with that photograph, senator orrin hatch, the former mormon bishop released a new statement about rob porter, who was senator hatch's chief of staff before we went to the work in the white house. i am heart broken by today's allegations. in every interaction i've had with rob, he was professional and respectful. my staff loved him and he was a trusted adviser. domestic violence is unacceptable. i am praying for rob and those involved. yesterday orrin hatch says it's a vile attack on such a decent man, shame on any publication that would print this.
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today orrin hatch says i do not know the details of rob's personal life. as outrageous as senator hatch's statement was of yesterday's very convincing abuse that rob porter was accused of, senator hatch at least had the decency to change his staff written statement today to something neutral. something that doesn't call rob porter's former wives liars. and then, finally, finally tonight, at 9:30 p.m., after a full day of this, full day of the black eye picture being out there, that's how long it took, 9:30 p.m., john kelly finally got around to issuing a new statement. but he tried to have it both ways, by saying he stands by his previous statement. john kelly's new statement says, i was shocked by the new allegations released today against rob porter, there is no place for domestic violence in
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our associate. i stand by my previous comments of the rob porter that i have come to know since becoming chief of staff and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation. i accepted his resignation earlier today and will ensure a swift and orderly transition. john kelly is reported to have spent the entire day inside the white house arguing against the possibility of rob porter losing his white house job over this. that's after, after the black eye photograph was all over this white house today. john kelly fought for rob porter's job. reports indicate that john kelly was actively fighting to save rob porter's job after all of these accusations became public, including the one punch black eye. because for john kelly, apparently, one punch isn't enough. one black eye photograph of one
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former wife of a white house official, was not enough for john kelly. that's why he fought today to save rob porter's job. wasn't enough. yesterday rob porter said -- he said this in response to the daily mail's first story, i will not comment about these matters beyond stating that many of these allegations are sand rous and simply false. that was yesterday. today, in announcing that he will give up that job and as the "new york times" is reporting, give up that job tomorrow, at the white house, after maybe a full day at the white house. rob porter issued this new statement saying this, these outrageous allegations are simply false. i took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago, and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described. i have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but i will not further
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engage publically with a coordinated smear campaign. and there you see rob porter, the man john kelly still admires so much, lying in his written statement today. he has not been transparent about anything involving these stories of domestic abuse. he has not answered one question about them. he has not offered any alternative stories. he simply says that the allegations are false and that is not being transparent. so rob porter will go to work tomorrow in the white house and we will pack his boxes. but he will take his place in that white house tomorrow beside john kelly, working for a president whose first wife once accused him of rape, working for a president who is a self-confessed sexual assault erwho was caught on video bragging about his preferred methods of sexual assault. in other words he will go to a white house where he fits in.
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and he will see his new girlfriend when he goes tomorrow, because news organizations are reporting that rob porter is dating white house communications director hope hicks. that's relevant because one of hope hicks' duties was cowriting john kelly's statement about rob porter, with that in mind, co-written by the girlfriend, is worth reading once again. this is the statement of the white house chief of staff, defending a white house staff member against the charge of domestic abuse and it is a statement tonight that john kelly says he still stands by and it was co-written by the accused man's current girlfriend. rob porter is a man of true integrity and honor and i can't say enough good things about him. he is a friend, a confidant and a trusted professional. i am proud to serve alongside him.
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joining the discussion now, micao lang, john highland and jill wine-banks, former
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prosecutor is will us. jill, i want to start with you because this subject is a long one. it is an old subject that we've all lived with for a long time. and it feels to me that john kelly might be lives in yester-year where one punch and one photograph of one punch is not enough for him to instantly push someone out of the white house. >> i want to say first how moved i was by your beginning and listening to the story of rob porter's ex-wives and hoping hope hicks will learn something and walk away from this. after the tears that came to my eyes at the beginning i came to outrage. i am outraged. it's not just rob porter, it is the president, steve bannon, what is going on in this white house and how are they making choices?
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they knew about porter because his ex-wives told the fbi. his security clearance was held up. this is outrageous that he got a security clearance and it's outrageous that he should return to the white house tomorrow. he must be not allowed back in and everybody has to take this much more seriously. this is really outrageous. >> dala, what do you have to do in this white house to be kicked out on the spot and we'll worry about sending this stuff home to you later? >> there has to be a picture. i think josh martin quit, all those statements, orrin hatch's statement, the statement that john kelly gave, i think they assumed there wasn't a photograph. and as soon as there was a photograph, you have to start back peddling but it's extraordinary that's what it takes, a photograph of a woman with a black eye. >> and there were reports that
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john kelly was fighting to keep this guy after the picture. >> if you deconstruct it and say why didn't they tell? they told their church leaders, one told her brother, they told friends. one of them posted on a blog. and then we hear the white house saying, i didn't see it happen in front of me. that's not the guy i know. this is why women don't tell. >> mika, please feel free to comment about any aspect but i was going to ask about the security clearance about this, what happens when the fbi discoveries information like that. >> it's a red flag that you would have a concern like this. it's something you're trying to conceal so there's potential for blackmail. but if he lied to the fbi, like he did to john kelly and the president that this didn't
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happen. it also makes you wonder how the white house is going through its security clearance process that someone like this, who is known to have not been truthful about what happened, who's trying to conceal something that's a security violation and a vul any vulnerability stays inside this job. beside the horribleness of what happened to these two women, maybe a third woman, presents a face in the office different than what they played at home. >> the "breitbart" headline refers to this as kushner ally rob porter resigns. they did go to college together, went to harvard. let me add this, this is a kid whose father is a harvard professor. who is the resident dean of one of the dormitoriries there.
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whose mother lives in that dormitory with his father, the kid went to harvard. his first wife went to wellsly college. this is happening all over the country in all kinds of families, but let's make no mistake about what kind of family this was. this was the kind of family that likes to think of itself as above suspicion in these things. i wanted to get that element in there. we'll come back to some of the personal elements. but john kelly who comes from a dirch different world from rob porter in so many ways, is the guy in there defending, and we're getting reports this has shaken people in the white house about john kelly. >> his father was a harvard
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professor of mine, he was head of directive policy and a public servant who has served at the highest levels of white house just as his son is still serving, so there's a long tradition here and traditionally republican politics. it's clear that no one is above reproach, especially when allegations like this are born out. john kelly has had a bad 24 to 36 hours if you start with the comments that he made about the dreamers yesterday suggesting that they were too lazy, some of them, hundreds of thousands of them were too lazy to sign up for the program, do what they needed to do, i thought exposing not for the first time, something you talked about a lot on this program, exposing a cultural and racial sim pat koe
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with donald trump. now we find at least in his moral obtuseness with this situation he shares another thing with donald trump that he is apparently someone who does not take seriously the most obvious, glaring, blatant signs of spousal abuse and behavior to the point of violence. the chief of staff knows everything about everybody in the white house. he has access to all of the information. so this is something that's not like paul on the road to demas cuss and something came down, this turns out maybe to be a bad guy. everything is accessible to john kelly. he made these defenses, the defense became untenable because a picture came out. he knew the facts of the case when he made the statement yet yesterday and he knew it the moment he came in the white
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house and talked about organizing it and looked at all the documentation on everybody in the white house. >> the fact his statement comes out at 9:30 p.m. tonight tells you he was fighting -- if he was on top of it and wanted the guy out, his statement would have been out sooner than that. >> i want to checking something on procedure. the fbi finds this out in a background check. so rob porter does not get a security clearance. does the white house chief of staff then get told? can he ask the fbi what's the problem with my guy's security clearance, is and do they tell him, we've got this, this and this? >> they probably should. and given how long he's been without a regular clearance. it's the kind of thing that the white house chief of staff should say what's going on here? is this something we can clear up? is this something that's a real problem? as the employer he should want to know if he has a security l vulnerability.
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the thing about john kelly, i've known him my entire career, i thought he was someone that would not tolerate this violence. we had a number of conversations about violence in the military and he's been firm about that and stood up for discipline. watching him do this, i'm not sure he who he's become. >> john kelly grew up in the 1950s in boston, boston catholic. we know what the world was like then. and this was not the kind of story that would have stopped any man's career in any occupation in those days. >> well, if it wouldn't have back then, it should have. and it certainly would now in the days of the me too movement and the time's up movement, how can this be permitted? it's also just bad management. for someone who sold himself to the public, that is donald trump, as a great businessman, he's a lousy businessman. no ceo would ever have the
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mistakes that he has had in hiring staff. and as you've said, he knew about this and kelly knew about this. the fbi surely made them aware of it. and if they didn't, they should have asked why he wasn't getting his security clearance. so this is an outrage that this would happen. and even back in those days, i don't think people tolerated physical abuse of a spouse. and somebody said today that you can never rape your wife. that is such untrue. you absolutely can. people are charged with and convicted of that as a crime. so certainly physical violence cannot be tolerated and this has to stop. when will enough be sufficient to have people say this is bad behavior, and the tone is being set by trump at the top. and people are following his guidance. >> it was donald trump's lawyer who said, during the
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presidential campaign, it's legally impossible to rape your wife after it was revealed that donald trump's first wife actually had accused him of that. >> this is a kind of aspirational legal team where they po sit things they hope to be true and keep saying it over and over again until maybe it becomes true in their minds. but i do think it's so important -- i'm so grateful lawrence that you said the names of these two women because we've been hearing them all day of the accusers. i think it's important because listen to john kelly's final statement. the one that's the good one where he says, you know who deserves a presumption of innocence and deserves to be heard and defend his reputation? not them. the ones that orrin hatch came after today and said unspeakable things impugning them and their truthfulness they don't get the presumption that we're going to
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believe them. so it's an amazing pivot to say you should have a process but only if i know you. >> as you read the details of these women's stories you can see the struggle they're in. it's a tragically familiar struggle to anyone who has listened to women in these kinds of predicaments especially with their church telling them to hang in there. we also see the more than one face that rob porter has. he can be the really nice guy, and that is one of the most common things that happens in these kinds of relationships. that really nice guy breaks down and cries. especially when they see those pictures. when you show them those pictures i've seen it be very powerful with them, when they're forced to look at the picture of what they've done. so he is constantly trying to repair his behavior but falling back into it and as one of them put it, and so i stayed.
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>> what you see there is a cycle of anger, repenitence, forgiveness that repeats itself over. >> over again and doesn't seem to be getting better. it and seems in relationship after relationship he's repeating the cycle. women are meant to believe it's their fault and if they loved harder or tried harder the situation would be fixed. as opposed to recognizing this is an untenable situation. it's unacceptable to be treated that way, belittled like that and they deserve to walk away. >> here's a detail from the daily mail editor who worked on the story tonight. he says one unreported detail tuesday night as i went to sarah sanders's office to review the white house's response to our story about rob porter, porter himself appeared down the hall.
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he audibly growled at me, i sta stared him down. he exhaled loudly and walked into sara's office. only in the trump white house could you have the girlfriend of the accused sitting down to write a statement about the accused. >> the whole thing is mind boggling on so many levels. i think jill said she hopes that hope hicks gets the message from this and sees what's happening here and extra indicatkates her from a situation that is problematic. this is a tragedy in the making and we have to think of it on some level like that. i think if we want to switch from the human to the political. if your problem as a white house and as a party right now across this country is with women, this just makes it all the worse. this is going to be the thing
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like roy moore and so many things played out inside the white house, outside the white house, connected to the trump administration, that's going to be devastating to overcome in terms of activism with women and when we head into the midterms. they've had 50 strikes, and this is a big knock and hard to overcome, i would imagine. >> remember when john kelly was coming into this white house to bring order and calm everything down and make it all work, and it turns out as out of touch that donald trump might be about the way we live today, john kelly might be more out of touch about the way we live today outside of the united states marines. >> first of all i suspect if a marine under his command had a restaining order, i don't think john kelly would be staying he's a good guy, i kind of like him. i think he would have taken it seriously. but more, lawrence, i keep
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thinking that the tragedy here is that john kelly is, quote, the grown up in the room. the grown up in the room just fought almost to his last gasp on this issue to protect somebody who has this history, this unbelievably well chronicled history of abuse, and that was our grown up. >> what should have happened here? you have experience in government, the fbi finds this out in the background check, what should have happened. >> what happens when one and has a security issue often is there is a suspension from information, in this case he was operating on a temporary clearance. you move the person out of the job until you're able to get to the bottom of the allegations. but at this point if the fbi is taking it seriously, you have to ask yourself does this person deserve to be in this position of trust and confidence, especially in this environment
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where tengs are going to get worse, the people might not react well to it and could you trust this person if you're lying to the fbi? i don't think that you want them being in a position where they might lie to you. >> thank you for joining us in this difficult discussion about this difficult story. i wish we didn't have to comb through the details of these two marriages but this is what we have come through in the trump white house. coming up, the new headlines on the trump russia investigation and an extraordinary move by some of the lawyers in the case. this is an almost inexplicable situation. don't we need that cable box to watch tv? nope. don't we need to run?
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there was an extraordinary hearing today in the special prosecutor's investigation. and some day we'll find out what it was about. the judge assigned to the criminal case against former trump campaign chairman paul manafort and his former deputy rick gates held a closed door hearing today on a request by three of rick gates' attorneys to leave the case. you heard before that these lawyers want to leave the case. and in a court filing that was unsealed today the defense lawyers leaving the case said they had a problem with their client, rick gaits. the undersigned counsel wish to inform the court that irreconcilable differences have developed which make our effective representation of the client impossible. last month rick gates' attorneys
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made their first request to withdraw from the case and they asked that an exhibit outlining the circumstances of their withdrawal be sealed because, quote, this exhibit involves highly sensitive matters concerning the defendant and public disclosure of the information would potentially be prejudicial to the defendant, as well as mba rasing. today eric holder made news when he told politico that he believes the special prosecutor could prosecute president on charges. here's what he said tonight on that to rachel maddow. >> i think you technically have a case of obstruction of justice. i'm not saying this is a case that you would necessarily bring at this point and i don't know what other evidence the special counsel has. but i think on the basis of what's been reported in the media and assuming those reports
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are accurate, i think you have a technical case of obstruction of justice. >> jill, i have to go to the secret session today. what i find extraordinary in the filing we're able to read, it's one thing to say any disclosure about the reasons the lawyers want to leave the case could be prejudicial to the defendant, that's enough. why would they add "and embarrassing" to the defendant? that's not legal language. what's this about? >> it is so strange. normally when you go to withdraw from a case you simply are vague. you don't specify anything. the most common reason is your client hasn't paid you. that certainly isn't an irreconcilable difference that would mba ras the client.
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it says to me they suspect the client is going to perjure himself. he has taken a step towards that and they don't want to be part of. sometimes if you can't withdraw you might say to a witness you tell your story, you don't ask any questions because that would make you complicit in their falsehoods. but this is one of those times where i'm almost speechless. i've never heard of anything like this. i've checked with a few lawyers today to say have you ever had a case like this? and i've -- i had one situation where i had to call the ethics council to the chicago bar association because i had a client who i thought was going to commit a crime -- actually, i didn't think that the client would commit the crime but the client was threatening it. that's one of those times when a lawyer has to breach attorney-client privilege and some a potential crime.
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that's not what this is, because if it was, they would be free to say it. i'm not sure what's motivating them. >> let's try one more thing. there's been speculation that the client wants to plead guilty and the lawyers want to go to trial, which is unlikely z since most lawyers plead lt most clients guilty. the other being the client wants to go to trial and the lawyers want him to plead guilty. that's conceivable to me. the lawyers are saying, look, at trial we don't see any way of presenting a credible or successful defense. that's i suppose conceivable. but i don't understand what all the words are in the filing and why they have to talk about this. >> i agree with you. that wouldn't be the kind of situation and conflict between a client and lawyer that would justify words of irreconcilable differences and would membarass
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the client. they would say we recommend you negotiate and go for some plea agreement. >> they're get ago divorce. when the books are written we'll find out. john hileman, the former attorney general says the obstruction of justice case is there against the president. >> obviously important eric holder thinks that. many people on the right will dismiss it because it's ash. >> it eric holder. >> yes. . people must sai stop saying that robert mueller cannot indict the president. >> i've never said it. >> we have in the watergate era and the clinton era. we have hypotheses about whether
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or not the sitting president can be indicted or prosecuted. they're all theories, you can make credible arguments on both sides. none of them have been tested in the modern era or any era. robert mueller if he wants to indict and prosecute donald trump he can do that. he can try to do that. if he does it, it will end up in the supreme court. and we'll find out what this supreme court, in 2018 or maybe 2019 thinks on that question. then there will be a ruling and we'll know in this history what the court says. but until then the notion he can't is false. so you look at the court right now and ask the question is there a 5-4 majority in that court for allowing the principle to go forward that no president is above the law. the kennedy ready to vote in a 5-4 majority. doesn't seem implausible to me that you can end up with a 5-4 to that. >> jill, are your reactions to
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the comments today. >> during the watergate my trial team believed we could and should indict the president. that justice demanded that the president suffer the same consequences as the people who was supervising. we wanted to. leon was adamant we not do that. he felt that impeachment was the proper process. it wasn't he said it was illegal to indict the president. he just felt there was a better way to do it. we found a little used rule to give a report to congress to say here are the crimes committed and the president's roles in that. it did result in articles of impeachment and would have resulted in a conviction if he hadn't resigned. i think the president can be indicted and i was asked a long time ago, last may when this
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first broke, i was asked whether i could make an obstruction case and i thought i could. every day more and more evidence comes out so i know i can. there is an obstruction case. and there is probably a lot more than that we don't know that only mueller knows, not just obstruction but collusion. >> and i'll say, lawrence, this is not a liberal, conservative issue. there was a lawyer who worked for ken starr back in 1998 who drafted one of these many opinions that i'm talking about which said on the principle, no one is above the law, that conservative republican ken starr affiliated lawyer said yes, the president can be indicted. >> thank you both for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thanks, lawrence. >> coming up, seems like a long time ago, but last night was an election night in america, and this morning confirmed stunning turnout numbers on the democratic side and a big win on
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last night, democrats flipped the 35th seat from red to blue in state legislatures since donald trump took office. last night democrat mike revis won a special election for missouri statehouse district 97. revis carried the election by 3 points in a district that donald trump won by 28 points. democrats picked up a state senate seat in wisconsin last
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month, a seat that had been held by republicans for 17 years. when governor scott walker, wisconsin, saw the republicans lose that seat, he issued this statement saying, senate district 10 special olympic win by a democrat is a wakeup call for republicans in wisconsin. seems like it's a wakeup call for more than that. charlie cook, "the cook political report" columnist for "the national journal" and nbc political analyst. when i said the 35 seats includes all of the alabama senate seat, every seat that has flipped national -- >> the 35 is just state legislative. 35 have gone from republican to democrat. only four have gone from democrat to republican. but that's just state legislature. in statewides, basically it was 0 for 5. the virginia governor, lieutenant governor, attorney
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general, alabama senate, and new jersey governor. >> how do you read it? what does it mean? >> well, you know, we're just looking at all kinds of signs that right -- there's a wave. now ten months to go before the election. 272 days. obviously things can change. but when you look at the national polling, even acknowledging that president trump's job approval rating has pi -- has ticked up to 40 in the last month or two and the congressional ballot test has narrowed a bit, president trump is still at historically bad numbers for a president one year in. republicans are still looking at some pretty formidable numbers on the generic. we're looking at 13 months' worth of election results that are very, very only annuals for republicans. and we're seeing privately numbers from both parties, private numbers in individual
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states and congressional districts, that are really pretty grisly for republicans. so the signs are all there. and, you know, short of a seismic event going on, you know, black swan kind of event, to me the only realistic hope that republicans have is the economy continues to grow, and president trump starts getting more credit for it and his numbers come up a good bit more than they have so far. >> and charlie, we've also seen in the past some waves hilt that didn't have these kind of predictors attached to them. we've had some waves hit by surprise. i mean, this is a wave that you can see coming from a pretty long distance away. >> yeah. or they start developing over the summer or something like that. i mean, but this is -- when you look -- president trump's numbers have been very, very stable. and he kind of hit a really low spot over the summer and kind of picked up a little bit, dropped back down, picked up a little
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bit. they really are remarkably stable. but there's just such a great intensity. most of the polling we're seeing, for every one person that strongly approves, two strongly disapprove. so that, yeah, things could change. but i think it would require a fundamental change in the dynamics. these are -- when i talk privately to republican strategists, they acknowledge, if the election were held today, the house would turn. and so things for republicans to say the majority of the house, things would have to change. >> charlie cook, thank you very much for joining us. tonight's "last word" is next.
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time for tonight's "last word." here is louisiana republican senator john kennedy with his reaction to president trump's idea for a military parade in washington. >> what do you think about the prospects of having a military parade? do you think that's a good idea? >> no. >> why not? >> i think confidence is silent. and insecurity is loud. america is the most powerful country in all of human history. everybody knows it.
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and we don't need to show it off. we're not north korea. we're not russia. we're not china. and i don't want to be. >> republican senator john kennedy gets tonight's "last word." next hour with brian williams, the latest from the white house tonight on the resignation of rob porter after being accused of spousal abuse by two former wives. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. tonight, the very real threat posed to the u.s. election system. new details now on how russia penetrated voter roles in this country in the last reaction. rex tillerson warns we're no better prepared in 2018. president trump touts bombshell next messages from the fbi. at the white house, a decision looming over that democratic memo. and another close aide to trump resigns, this time after allegations by his two ex-wives of