tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC February 23, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
he said, quote, he would not be upset if the son-in-law and ivanka trump left their position as full-time employees. so what does that mean? what kind of job does jared kushner have as of tonight? the president in south korea. does she have a job when she comes back. it's going to be a fun weekend. no one has ever fired the son and daughter before without having a say in it. that does it for us. we'll see you on monday. now it's time for the last word with joy reed. >> that's right. >> here's a visual reminder if you kept the news on this weekend, joy reed. >> i might have a job for the kushners, right? if they need new digs. cpac communications director. the current one, not to say this person won't be in the job --
did you hear about it? >> no. >> at the reagan dinner, this person is sitting at a table with other republicans at the cpac dinner and says the following, we elected mike steele as chairman because he was a black guy. that was the wrong thing to do, unquote. apparently there were audible gasps at the table when he said this. so john lavene is tweeting it out. so you know what happened next, we tweeted michael steele and said, do you want to come on last word and respond? he's going to do that tonight. >> that's excellent. in a normal word we'd hear that and the guy is resigning and they're sorry. it's possible he said that because he's about to be the new number two person at the department of homeland security and this is his warmup act. in this era is that a firing offense anymore. >> he doesn't need a security clearance he can do the job.
>> that's true for all of us. >> who needs that. >> thank you. good luck. >> conspiracy against the united states. those are the magic words today in trump world. because today former trump aide, rick gates, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the united states after being indicted on that charge by robert mueller's grand jury. gates also pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the special counsel's office just three weeks ago while he was negotiating a plea deal. another trump official was charged with conspiracy against the united states today, paul manafort, he was hit with a super ceding indictment laying out new charges, including conspiracy against the united states, conspiracy to launder money, failing to register as a foreign agent, making false statements about being a foreign agent and making other false statements. it's been a busy day for mr. mueller. we'll get to paul manafort in a moment but let's first focus on
the top campaign official to plead guilty. the second highest to plead guilty since former national security advisor michael flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi back in december. and someone closer to the trump inner circle than george papadopoulos who pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi in october. here's rick gates today walking out of federal court. he's not some coffee boy, volunteer or unpaid intern. he was the deputy campaign manager at one point. unlike paul manafort who resigned after a few months, gates remained with the campaign until election day, he was on the transition team and inaugural committee. and once trump took office rick gates formed an allied group to help support the president's agenda and he was a regular at the white house. he could supply valuable information about the inner workings on the trump operation. according to a document, rick
gates conspired to lie to the united states regarding money he and paul manafort earned while working for a political party in ukraine. work they did without registering as foreign agents per the law. he also lied in an interview this month about a 2013 meeting between paul manafort, a congressman, dana rohrabacher. both men were hit with a 32-count indictment in virginia on thursday. the "new york times" notes the plea deal could be a significant development in the investigation. a sign that mr. gates plans to offer incriminating information against his long time associate and the former campaign chairman. he faces up to nearly 6 years in prison. in the plea agreement rick gates agrees to cooperate with the government, which includes providing documents and
testifying at further proceedings. and he has to publically admit to other overt acts, including critical conduct even though rick gates is not being charged for those acts. as ari melber notes it's important because it means rick gates could testify against paul manafort about critical acts they were both involved in. tonight ty cobb released this statement. the white house as it has said from the outset will not be commenting on matters involving mr. manafort and mr. gates as the matters are dated and have nothing to do with the campaign. joining us now is barbara mcquad, stephen harper, and tim o'brien, the author of "trump nation" now, barbara, i want to go to you first on what it means that rick gates was charged with paul manafort, and they were sort of aligning their defenses what does it mean for paul
manafort that rick gates has pleaded out? : i think it's a significant developlement to the detriment of paul manafort. it was such a document based case. documents don't lie, it's easy to prove them objectively. now that you have this very close associate, rick gates pleading guilty now you have someone who can connect the dots, provide a narrator to the trial, he likely knows things that happen between them, conversations that they had, and i think this news has to be devastating to paul manafort. >> rick gates wrote a letter to his family and friends, which was obtained by abc news earlier, he wrote despite my desire to defend myself, i had a on change of heart. he said the cost and the circus like atmosphere are too much. how hard do prosecutors like bob mueller press someone like gates and what will they give him if he cooperates and gives them something of value.
>> he may suggest i felt like i had no choice, when someone pleads guilty they have to say in their own words what they did to make them believe they're guilty of the crime charged. so i think he put it on the record today and explained in his heart why he believes he's guilty. we did see instead of the charges he was indicted on, he's now charged with two counts with a statutory maximum of 10 years but a calculated guidelines rang of 4 1/2 to 6 years. in addition to that, if he cooperates and testifies, the judge could give him a sentence less than that, so he helped himself a lot. his prior exposure was 8 to 12 years it's now probably something like 4 1/2 years. so in exchange he has valuable information that he has sat down and discussed with robert mueller and his team before they made that calculation. >> you know, tim, let's talk about the relationships here. the white house i'm sure would love to write rick gates off as another coffee boy. but first of all he was a partner of paul manafort, who wrote, notwithstanding the rick gates plea today, i continue to maintain my innocence. this does not alter my commitment to defend myself. >> come up, rick.
we have a great group of people and a group of people that wants to win and i think knows how to win. we also have been winning all our lives. this group of people in front of me, i know so many of you, we've been winning all our lives. >> rick gates is sort of the senior part to the campaign. if he can give up something on manafort, why would donald trump be concerned about that? he could supply valuable information about the inner workings on the trump operation. according to a document, rick gates conspired to lie to the united states regarding money he and paul manafort earned while working for a political party in ukraine. work they did without registering as foreign agents per the law. he also lied in an interview this month about a 2013 meeting between paul manafort, a congressman, dana rohrabacher. both men were hit with a 32-count indictment in virginia on thursday. the "new york times" notes the plea deal could be a significant development in the investigation. >> come on up, rick. we have a group of people that really wants to win and i think
knows how to win. >> the fact is just over there in trump tower today, the core four, trump, gates, myself and manafort, we have met and they have done a phenomenal job building up this campaign over the last five or six months. so i look forward to continue to work with both of them. >> we'll bring in the first panel on another busy friday night. ken delanian and national security reporter, jennifer but the most perilous thing in this is quid pro quos with russia or representatives of the russian government who are looking for policy changes like lifting economic sanctions in return for financial favors to trump or to members of his family, like jared kushner. to the extent manafort has
knowledge of that stuff or has transactions that are parallel or touch on some of those things, that's dangerous to the president. a lot of this falls on manafort himself. this constellation of two-bit advisers around the president is perhaps the most felonious group of characters you've seen in an administration, certainly since the nixon administration. >> one of the ways manafort got himself in trouble is he didn't know how to convert word files to pdf. >> it looks like he was a money launderer, he was a tax evader, he lied to the feds. he's a pile of problems. >> stephen, you did this time line that is really great and i was wading through today trying to draw a chart of all the trump questions. i think to tim's point, the way that rick gates feels like he fits in here is he and manafort had lots of clients, the
ukrainian election was one of the things that was important to them. you had the incident during the summer, during the rnc convention where the trump campaign pressed for one change in the platform and that was to change the ukraine to make it more russia friendly. is that the nexus that mueller might be lacking at is what relationships were gates and manafort bringing to the table that might be russia friendly offerings the trump campaign could make? >> i like to put these -- they become friday night episodes for us i guess in terms of indictments in context of the larger picture. i agree with tim, the thing to remember here, the first counts and the indictments, which is conspiracy against the united states. let's remember what that conspiracy is, although it varies in terms of the factual allegations in each of the indictments but the underlying problem here, the underlying crime is interfering with the democratic process of electing a
united states president. and we now know, from last week's indictments and other indictments, that what was happening was that russia was proceeding along a multi-pronged, multi-front battle looking for vulnerabilities in the trump campaign, looking for points of penetration, points of connection, and was wildly successful, frankly, and why. they wanted trump to win. why? and we're back to tim's point, although i would add for conviction under the election laws you don't even need a quo in terms of the quid pro quo you need unlawful interference. gates for manafort is problems for indictment facing manafort. but gates is a guy, as you opened the segment with, transports himself through a very clear continuity of events. when manafort came on in april,
gates went with him. when the nra, you were talking about the nra earlier in the broadcast with chris matthews, and when the nra -- when the deputy governor of the russia central bank was looking for an entrance at the nra convention to have dinner with donald trump in may, he settled for second place but rick gates was on the e-mails. at the same time that's happening, george papadopoulos is also sending messages to manafort, who's passing them onto gates about russians want to meet with trump. and papadopoulos at that point knows they have dirt on trump. so there are a series of dots that are going to connect, and barbara can speak to this at length i'm sure, but if it works out, gates can provide you the continuity that takes you through a lot of events. >> let's go through what of these are crimes. it appears in the indictment that the motivation is money. manafort and gaits want to have lots of money.
they're doing this with associated entities, raking in money and hiding it from the government. but they're also looking for ways to bring the trump campaign closer to russia. you have gates on the nra memos. and then the george papadopoulos memos, who also pled guilty, who said he could arrange a meeting between the russian president and donald trump. and then in july 2016 you have the possible role in switching the platform. then august, gates moves to the rnc. what would be the crimes if, in fact, gates and/or manafort were trying to bring the campaign closer to the elections. >> i think it's conspiracy to defraud the united states by obstructing the administration of an agency of the united states.
this is the crime the 13 russians were charged with last friday. it was the function of the election process. so if they were slitting things from a foreign government, receiving things of value from a foreign national. that would disrupt the fair administrations of our elections and could be conspiracy to defraud the united states. another count. i think the indictment that was handed down last week, naming the 13 russians, provides that foundation on which robert mueller can build if he finds the evidence linking americans to be co-conspirators with the russians. >> you can say with gates and manafort, the motivation is money. papadopoulos said he was from the u.n.
could they all be trying to build a relationship with russia without telling donald trump. >> i think a lot of people who worked for him never thought he was going to be president and they never thought some of the things they were doing to line their pockets were going to see the light of day. lo and behold he gets elected and a special prosecutor lands, who is an epic special prosecutor and they're looking back over their shoulders at all these various things they did that they thought no one would ever take a look at. especially for people like george papadopoulos, carter page, some of these people who floated around trump who are not sophisticated people, who are not a tate team players, don't have deep experience, now they're getting called out. >> thank you guys very much for joining us.
coming up, new report tonight that the person in charge of overseeing the mueller probe, rod rosenstein called the white house about jared kushner's security clearance problem. later, a cpac official said the only reason michael steele was elected to be the head of the rnc was because he was a black guy and that was the wrong move. who's getting the last word tonight? michael steele. ♪ no, please, please, oh! ♪ (shrieks in terror) (heavy breathing and snorting) no, no. the running of the bulldogs? surprising. what's not surprising? how much money aleia saved by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.
with today's guilty plea by former trump campaign adviser rick gates, the pressure is now building on paul manafort. so far the mueller team has indicted 19 people. of the six mon russians all have pleaded guilty except one, manafort. today the team hit mueller with a super ceded indictment. charging him with five counts including conspiracy against the united states. they say he retained a group of politicians to take positions favorable to the ukraine, including by lobbying in the united states. he used four offshore accounts to pay the former politicians. and while the white house distances its from any of the charges against paul manafort or rick gates, saying they have nothing to do with the campaign.
these charges may make manafort more willing to cooperate with the mueller team, in exchange for less jail time. what could he offer? information on the june 2016 meeting he attended at trump tower. the meeting that russia offered dirt on hillary clinton. information that don junior said if it's what you say i love it. joining me now is harry litman and david frum. harry, i'll start with you on this. paul manafort is 68 years old. he seems to have nothing to gain by going to prison for donald trump. and there isn't much that he can offer that would be higher than himself. he was the chairman of the campaign. i'll ask you the same question i
asked in our previous block. what's the biggest thing that donald trump would have to fear? would it be that manafort is willing to give up jared or don junior? >> we don't know. we do know that trump himself, the president, has said privately, at least it's been reported, that he thinks manafort could, in fact, incriminate him. how could that happen? one of two ways it seems to me, something that really puts the finger on trump, as you mentioned joy, say it's true as steve bannon has said that trump knew about the meeting in june and knew about the the whole effort with russia, that immediately changes the dynamic. second, you know, he's been neck deep in financial malfeasance for many year in some of the same part of the world where the trump operation was doing its own dirty work. so is there some possibility that he knows about the
precampaign financial transactions. that, i think, would be the second. but we have it on pretty good hearsay authority that trump fears him. >> and you know, david, it's either coincidental that a lot of the business that manafort and gates were doing just happened to be in the putin-sphere of ukraine and they seemed to be trying to make money and make this connection. maybe it's a total coincidence. but tom nickels was tweeting today, this is key for people trying to figure out why manafort's work is a big deal as it relates to trump, remember this, when you read a story about this stuff, just replace yanukovych with putin. manafort knew who he was working for. your thoughts. >> it's a good point. everyone stop saying lobbying for ukraine. they were lobbying against ukraine. i think at this point to understand where it goes, there's one overwhelming
question which is how did manafort get this supreme job in the trump campaign? there are two basic theories of the case, i'm not sure which is true. in one case there's no one to give up because manafort is the super villain and the petty grifters of the trump family are his victims. they got in the hands of a much bigger and systematic person than they were and he imposed himself on them. in which case he's the top banana in this critical conspiracy. but the other idea is trump had a good idea who he was. he was a good friend of trump's ally roger stone. and according to the reporter that took place, it was jared and don junior that usher manafort back into the presence.
so theory one, manafort imposed himself trump family victims of a more sophisticated person. theory two, everybody knew exactly what was going on, be in which case there is a lot of legal jeopardy for every player. >> roger stone, who happened to be bragging he knew who was next in the barrel when it came to wikileaks. like he had a back channel. let's talk about the infamous trump tower meeting. the three principals from the campaign are kushner, don junior and manafort. so manafort could talk about that in ways to implicate kushner. but kushner's actions have been talked about in the george papadopoulos -- guilty plea of michael flynn. he said kushner was acting in consultation with a senior trump transition official, whom people
familiar with the matter have identified as kushner. he seems to be in the center of everything, the firing of comey, the contacts with kislyak, his own contacts with a bank that was sanctioned, his contact asking for a back channel to talk to russia. so kushner feels like the person most in jeopardy after manafort. is that the way you read it? >> completely. it's been interesting to me over the last few months what a silent figure kushner has remained. i think under the very strict whip of his very sophisticated washington counsel. but as you say he is everywhere. one other place i would add, he's the last figure to leave the oval office before trump buttonholes comey and says can you maybe drop these charges. and you would have expected him to be an essential figure in the building of an obstruction case, which you figure is complete save for trump's interview because they're negotiating
trump's interview. what i surmise but it's just tea leaf reading is that kushner's lawyer has advised mueller that he's going to take the 5th amendment and there's no sense calling him in. the reason he's been silent and in the background specifically on the russia stuff is that he's going to refuse to testify. there's also, as you say, a whole welter of suspicious transactions that he has been involved in for his own financial empire. >> that put him in greater jeopardy. that point is so key. what was jared kushner waking up every morning thinking about all through campaign 2016. it wasn't the presidency. it was his desperate debt on that white office building on fifth avenue. he had a certain amount of time to find extra financing. the interest clock reset during the presidential transition. so from the day donald trump is
elected in november he has six to eight weeks before his interest rates go up, his penalties kick and at that point he's talking to the chinese and the russians about finding some way to get this desperate load of debt off his shoulders and get this building out of his family's portfolio. >> and one wonders why he can't get security clearance. thank you both very much. appreciate you guys joining us. coming up, donald trump rambled for more than three minutes today when asked about his son-in-law's security clearance problem. but his message to the people handling the security clearance is clear. tonight the cpac election chairman said, quote, we elected michael steele as director because he was a black guy. that was the wrong thing to do. michael steele will join us coming up.
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"the washington post" is reporting that in a phone call two weeks ago, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein warned white house counsel don mcgahn that significant information requiring additional investigation would further delay the security clearance process of senior adviser jared kushner. the story continues to say two people said the deputy attorney general told don mcgahn the justice department had obtained important new information suggesting it could be an obstacle to his clearance process. raising the question as to whether information being raised by the robert mueller investigation is the source. today was john kelly's cut off to deny top secret information to those without security clearance.
that includes don mcgahn, sarah sanders, ivanka trump and jared kushner. who are to be cut off from information, or not. donald trump said he -- donald trump when asked if he would have a waiver for jared kushner, he rambled on, here are the highlights. >> he's a high quality person, he doesn't get a person. nor does ivanka, who's now in south korea, long trip, representing her country. and we cannot get a better representative. in fact, the first lady, milania was telling me what a great impression she made this morning when she landed in south korea. jared is truly outstanding. he's -- he was very successful when he was in the private sector. so general kelly, ho's doing a terrific job by the way, is right in the middle of that. we inherited a system that's
broken. but jared is doing some important things from our country. he gets paid zero. ivanka gets paid zero. i will let general kelly make that decision. he's going to do what's right for the country and i have no doubt he'll make the right decision. >> now for starters that made no sense. secondly, the system is not broken. the system kept serial wife beater rob porter from getting security clearance. and it's keeping the president's son-in-law with his questionable financial ties overseas from getting clearance as well. which means that the system is
working. and since it's the president of the united states not the fbi who grant it is clearances after receiving a mere recommendation from the fbi, donald trump could fix the system if he dislikes it by granting his son-in-law top security clearance any time he wants. joining us now is jeremy bash, a former chief of staff at the cia and defense department. and david frum is back with us. if he thinks the system is broken he could give jared kushner clearance, why isn't he doing that. >> we have a classic double standard. if any of my former colleagues were in a job that required them to have top secret sensitive information access and they could not get a permanent security clearance they had to get an interim can clearance, they would be fired. they would be out of the job. probably placed on administrative leave and
ultimately let go. however in the white house, for people close to the president, especially the family the requirements are lower, the standards are lower and people like jared kushner continue to receive the pdb or some people in the intelligence community are calling it the jdb because it's for jared. >> here's sarah sanders. >> i can't answer whether someone has security clearance or not, as i addressed many times before. i can tell you nothing that has taken place will affect the valuable work that jared is doing. he continues and will continue to be a valued member of the team and continue to do the important work he's focussed on. >> david frum she can't know that she has an interim clearance. don mcgahn when he's addressed by rod rosenstein can't get a full briefing because he doesn't have security clearance. so this is a white house operating out of bounds of the system. the system isn't broken. so why donald trump, if he has this many people without clearances, why doesn't he give it to them? >> he prefers to operate outside legality than inside it. let's ask this question, because this goes to a fundamental part of why we have the question at all, who is susceptible to blackmail? before the pictures were printed of his beaten ex-wives, rob
porter would be blackmailed. after porter, who was the next most blackmailable person in the white house, it has to be jared kushner. he has had this trail of international financial attempts to rescue himself from bankruptcy. a lot of people must know a lot more about that than do the people of the united states. he is susceptible to all kinds of pressure and other people in the white house are probably susceptible to pressure too. that's why we have the process for getting their hands on classified material. meanwhile the most vulnerable person is the person who's reading that daily intelligence brief. which would normally not be
available to anybody except the president, national security advisor, chief of staff, one or two other high aides not a person with no particular experience. >> and some people have suggested that jared kushner's job duties, including being in charge of israeli palestinian peace don't require security clearance. he could do his job even if john kelly doesn't allow his security clearance. i'm not sure that's correct. one of the most important things you do when you are running a peace process, if you ask people, is you read daily reports about what the israelis and palestinians are doing and there are a lot of sensitive activities that you do to undertake to secure security, taking on terrorist organizations.
you need top secret information to be in charge of the israel palestinian peace process. he can't obtain that means he can't be an effective diplomat. >> this is someone who would have never gotten it any way because he requested a back channel with russia. so in that instance, if he can never get the fbi's okay, what do you think john kelly will do? >> that's a great question. i don't know. i sort of suspect that john will stick by the book and he will basically say, i'm sorry but jared you're not able to access top secret information and ultimately jared will have to move on. >> or john kelly will have to. coming up next, after 48 hours after he sat in a room with those grieving from gun violence, donald trump was at cpac cracking jokes about armed teachers confronting mass shooters. needles.
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if you only had a choice of one, what would you rather have, the second amendment or the tax cuts? go ahead, second amendment, tax cuts? second amendment. i'm going to leave it at the second amendment i don't want to get into that battle. >> that was donald trump today, two days after hosting a listening session with survivors and family members of victims of school shootings, including school students and parents from marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida. how quickly he's moved on. today a man who received five draft deferments during the vietnam war, continues to attack the school resource officer at
stoneman douglas who resigned yesterday amid an investigation of failing to act during last week's shooting. >> what he did, he's trained his whole life. there's an example. but when it came time to get in there and do something, he didn't have the courage or something happened but he certainly did a poor job. there's no question about that. you had one guard he didn't turn out to be too good. i will tell you that. he turned out to be not good. he was not a credit to law enforcement. that i can tell you. >> donald trump also isn't letting up on his push to arm teachers in schools. >> i don't want to have 100 guards standing with rifles all over the school. you do a concealed carry permit. the teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened. >> so even florida's republican
governor, rick scott, a man with an a plus rating from the nra doesn't support that proposal. here's what he announced today. >> today i'm calling for a mandatory law enforcement officer in every public school. i'm proposing at least one law enforcement officer for every 1,000 students. this must be implemented by the start of the 2018 school year. we'll provide sheriff's departments authority to train personnel to protect students if requested by the local school board. up next governor rick scott's announcement that the nra certainly will not agree with.
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you had a gun, and he was outside as a guard and he decided not to go in. that was not his finest moment. that i can tell you. he waited and he didn't want to go into the school. a security guard doesn't know the children, doesn't love the children. this man standing outside of the school the other day doesn't love the children. probably doesn't know the children. >> joining us now is jim cavanaugh, a law enforcement analyst and atf retired special agent in charge. first of all, donald trump doesn't know anything about public schools. i lived in broward county we had sros, they do know the children. he doesn't have an exemplary of
service. your thoughts. >> you're exactly right. the school resource officers know the children intimately. this officer was long-time serving in the schools for many years. he knew the children and he even knew the shooter and had contact with him. no, i don't know what the president is asserting here, that he would have ran in if he was there and had the courage to confront the ar-15. i was struck, joy, when i heard about this just historically, has a president ever done this, called people cowards? servicemen, police officers, i think it is wrong for him to do that by harkening back to patton striking a soldier for battle fatigue. nevertheless, the deputy was wrong, the sheriff was right to suspend him. he was there when the shots were ringing out and should have gone inside. >> what would you recommend? you have handguns, you hear
automatic weapons or semiautomatic weapons fired. what should he have done? >> he should have entered, if he had another deputy close, i'm talking about within 30 seconds, he could have waited to join the deputy and both go in. it's no good to just be on a complete suicide mission when running in and the shooter is going to kill you. you are not doing the students any good. but there's not another deputy right close across the parking lot where you can join up, you need to go in engage the gunman. once you fire a shot at him, you're taking cover, you're trained and he starts unloading at you. he's not killing the children and they can escape. you may not be able to take him down. you're already losing, joy, you have a handgun, he's got an ar-15. you're going in losing. but you have training and experience. so i think he should have went in, but we need to hear the side
of that deputy and any other deputies that were there. but it sounds like the ball was dropped here. if i was one of the parents down there, i would be extremely mad here. everybody failed. everybody failed these students. >> in a lot of ways, doesn't this underscore the point that if he couldn't bring himself to do it, that a teacher who was just teaching math or chemistry isn't going to suddenly be able to go unlock a gun safe and engage in a gun battle with someone with an ar-15? >> yeah, joy, look, the president is acting like a cartoon puppet for the gun lobby. he's just spouting out the same things they always spell out after newtown. if everybody just had a gun, everything would be just hunky-dory. everybody would be polite and great. nobody would be in danger. we could all just draw out the guns and shoot the bad guys. it's a fantasy dream. teachers aren't going to all want to do that. in selective places, there may be some teachers who have experience and may want to do it
in those school boards and they may want to let them. i think it will be ice it lad. the real answer is police officers trained. i read their protocol in the media. and it was the deputy could go in on his own, he could go in with another officer and he didn't need a superior's approval. so they have a good policy. he didn't act on it. but the fbi failed him, the calls to the sheriff's department to his house, there are gun laws that could have stopped this guy once he said he was wanting to be a professional school shooter. there is a firearms law that would stop that if he was interviewed, it would have been uncovered. if he was receiving guns. so really, what is going to change, joy, is this, this is the bottom line. when america decides that the lives of their children, grandchildren are more important than the fevered fantasies of the gun lobby. and when they pulled the lever
sometimes you need an expert. i got it. and sometimes those experts need experts. on it. [ crash ] and sometimes the expert the expert needed needs insurance expertise. it's all good. steve, you're covered for general liability. and, paul, we got your back with workers' comp. wow, it's like a party in here.
he was a good candidate for immune therapy, which is allowing his immune system to attack the tumor. learn more at cancercenter.com tonight just before the show i saw a tweet from reporter john levine who was at cpac and wrote about a comment about former republican national committee chairman and msnbc contributor michael steele. john levine reported, cpac communications director ian walters at reagan dinner. quote, we elected michael steele as chairman because he was a black guy. that was the wrong thing to do. he followed up, comment was met with gas at my table. and joining me from cpac is michael steele. thank you for calling in on short notice. how did you hear about this comment? and what was your reaction? >> i was finishing up my radio program on sirius xm. and it came across my phone. someone came running up to the
table and said, have you seen this, right in the middle of the conversation i was having with one of our guests. and i looked down at my phone, of course i had one of those moments where you just go, what the -- so yeah, a little shocked, a little disappointed. surprised that people still in the party feel this way and look at the contributions that anyone would make to the party through the principle of race. it's unfortunate, it's stupid, it's immature. and i'm waiting to speak to matt schlap about it. i have participated in cpac for many years. i have spoken at cpac. and i think also, joy, to make up of what is going on in this country as well. and how quickly people revert to race as a weapon. and it is ignorant. >> that's the question i was going to ask you. you have been a republican a long time, do you sense that the
party has changed and shifted toward more openness with these kind of views in your view? >> clearly. clearly. and i think that is something that will be concerning going forward. it will play itself out during the campaign. and we did see that. so it is sad, but look, we're going to do as much as we can. and education starts from within. >> have you spoken to mr. walters? >> he did call and tried to explain himself. he relaid it back to the barack obama election. and he said at one point, i apologize. and i said, that's not acceptable, that's not enough. >> i'm not sure the obama excuse is helpful. >> well, the obama excuse is not helpful. and i will talk about it tomorrow on my sirius program. so folks can tune in to listen to that tomorrow. >> and got the plug-in. thank you, michael steele, for the last word.
see you tomorrow on "a.m. joy." "the 11th hour" starts now. breaking tonight, former trump campaign aide rick gates pleads guilty and flips as a new indictment comes down for paul indictment comes down for paul manafort. we've got the latest reporting on the mueller front. plus, breaking from the "washington post." rod rosenstein's call to the white house two weeks ago about issues with jared kushner's security clearance. the report coming just hours after the president says he'll let john kelly decide whether kushner gets final approval. all that plus highlights from a classic trump performance today before conservatives. "the 11th hour" begins right now. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. i'm kasie hunt in for brian