tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC July 20, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
into it may indeed conclude the damaging single week of the presidency. it's because of what happened in helsinki, and tonight we hear the experts who have determined something once unthinkable. and it took going somewhere else to make the world seem a bit smaller. this evening we'll look at what happened on a night just like this one that changed the world forever, as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a friday night. >> well, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters in new york. day 547 of the trump administration, and a new bombshell report from "the new york times" reveals federal investigators are in possession of at least one audio recording between president trump and his long-time personal attorney and so-called fixer michael cohen. matt apuzzo, maggie haberman, michael schmidt reported today that michael cohen secretly
recorded a tape about payments to karen mcdougal who claimed she had an affair with trump in '06 for about a year. we should note president trump has denied the affair. according to "the times," the conversation was recorded two months before the 2016 election. and the fbi seized the recording this year during that raid on cohen's new york office. days before the election, the "wall street journal" first reported the company that owns the national enquirer, american media inc., agreed to pay $150,000 to mcdougal about the alleged affair, but didn't publish it. the journal recorded the ama was a backer of trump and quashing the story this way is known as catch and kill. quote, in the 90-second conversation, cohen can be heard urging trump to consider buying the right to mcdougal's claims to better control the story, according to people familiar with the exchange. "i think we need to bring this in-house," cohen tells trump,
according to one person with knowledge of the recording. meanwhile, president trump's current attorney, rudy giuliani confirmed to "the new york times" that president trump had discussed payments to mcdougal with cohen on the recording. and giuliani tells "the times" that trump did nothing wrong. quote, mr. giuliani initially indicated the men discussed a payment from mr. trump to ms. mcdougal separate from the enquirer's statement to buy the story. later he said that mr. trump and mr. cohen had actually discussed buying the rights to ms. mcdougal's story from the enquirer, a move that would have reimbursed the newspaper's payments to her. that payment was never made, mr. giuliani said, adding that mr. trump had told mr. cohen that if he were to make a payment related to ms. mcdougal, to write a check rather than send cash so it could be properly documented. earlier tonight, reporter emily jane fox of "vanity fair" reported those close to cohen are disputing some of these giuliani comments. >> some of the details about --
that were reported today by mr. giuliani or described by mr. giuliani are in direct contrast with what people around mr. cohen have said. in fact, the issue of who brought up paying for something in cash versus who brought up paying for something with a check is directly opposite in the two views. >> so giuliani is saying that part of this reason this is exculpatory that the president wanted to pay for check rather than cash. >> because it's transparent to do so. >> and from the other side people were saying, no it was me saying pay by check and the president wanted cash. >> he saw the transcript and the transcript which he said was created by three different lawyers clearly identified this as mr. trump having said that this was the check. >> well we will find out presumably. >> possibly. >> in her appearance tonight with rachel maddow, emily jane
fox is also reporting that by speaking about the recording, the president's legal team here has waived privilege. >> one person familiar with the situation told me this evening that this was deemed privileged by the special master, but that the president's attorneys waived the privilege. i just spoke with rudy giuliani who is the president's attorney who said he wasn't sure if the special master had deemed it privileged or not, but effectively they waived privilege today by speaking about what was on the tape. >> we're going to have more on all of this in a few minutes. but there is more before we move on. michael cohen's attorney lanny davis, the former clinton impeachment lawyer, wrote on twitter tonight, quote, obviously there is an ongoing investigation and we are sensitive to that. but suffice it to say that when the recording is heard, it will not hurt michael cohen. any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape. "the new york times" points out the recording, quote, highlights the potential legal and political danger that mr. cohen
represents to mr. trump. once the keeper of many of mr. trump's secrets, mr. cohen is now seen as increasingly willing to consider cooperating with prosecutors. you'll recall just last month, president trump was asked if cohen might flip. >> are you worried that michael cohen might flip? >> look, i did nothing wrong. you don't understand. i didn't nothing wrong. this stuff came out a long time. >> is he still your friend? >> i've always liked michael. i haven't spoken to michael in a long time. >> is he still your lawyer? >> no, he is not my lawyer, but i always liked michael, and he is a good person. and -- excuse me, do you mind if i talk? you're asking me a question, i'm trying to answer. >> i just want to know if you're worry head is going to cooperate with federal prosecutors. >> no, because i did nothing wrong. >> got it, nothing wrong. >> from there, let's also remember this moment. this was donald trump who knew something about what might be in his lawyer's office upon
learning that his lawyer's office had been raided by the fbi. >> so i just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys, good man, and it's a disgraceful situation. it's a total witch-hunt. it's a disgrace. it's frankly a real disgrace. it's an attack on our country in a true sense. it's an attack on what we all stand for. >> and there is more tonight, and this one is different. nbc news is reporting this evening that the special counsel plans to subpoena a new york woman named kristen davis to talk to investigators. she was dubbed the manhattan madam by the new york tabloids back when she was connected to the eliot spitzer prostitution scandal. she said today she will cooperate, that she has no information on russian collusion, but she added she has worked for former trump campaign adviser roger stone for many years. earlier tonight, roger stone
told cnn that ms. davis has done nothing wrong. >> she has no knowledge whatsoever of any russian collusion, collaboration with wikileaks, or anything else improper having to do with the 2016 election. >> i know it's a lot. we're going to get to all of it as promised. let's bring in our lead-off panel to do just that on a friday night. matt apuzzo, prize winning reporter for new york time. barbara mcquade, former u.s. attorney for the eastern district of michigan. and eli stokols, white house reporter for "the l.a. times." good evening to you all. thank you for your patience. matt, even though this is your story, so i don't have to bring you into an area of sourcing where you won't answer my question anyway, i'm going to start with the lawyer for president, which i think is best for all involved. barbara, you can't be on cable news these days without using the word "narrative." so here is the narrative that is emerging tonight. the special master senior federal judge goes through the pile of stuff they found in cohen's office in new york. comes across this audio
recording and says this is attorney-client, even though the client would eventually become the president. this is privileged. puts it in the privileged bucket. so rudolph giuliani or someone on behalf of the president waives privilege, saying it's okay that the contents of this conversation is out there. the narrative goes that this was leaked by forces unfriendly to mr. cohen to diminish mr. cohen's value to the home team as a potential flip to the u.s. attorney. your reaction to that narrative, barbara mcquade? >> yeah, i don't know that it diminishes his value in any way, brian. it sounds like from what's been reported, he is engaging in this transaction with president trump to serve as his lawyer. it may be that this is also not part of the attorney-client privilege because they're committing some sort of crime together. but i don't know that it in any
way diminishes michael cohen. i think one big mystery here is who is the person who has released this. the only people who knew about this are the judge, the fbi, the trump team and the cohen team. so one of them is the one who released this. i suppose matt knows the answer to this. but was it the cohen team or was it the trump team? and was it to get us to be talking about it instead of what was happening in helsinki? i'm not sure that it does in any way diminish what cohen has said, but i think it does perhaps distract from a more damaging narrative to president trump. >> okay, matt. to you, i happen to know that the heart of the matter as a story was the full denial from the trump campaign of this story back in 2016. >> that's right. "the wall street journal" first broke this story, the fact that ms. mcdougal had claimed this affair and was paid by the
national enquirer, and that effectively silenced the story before the election. and hen "the wall street journal" went to the trump campaign, they got a very firm denial. they said we know nothing about any of this, and the president or the candidate at the time denies the affair. and now we're talking about a tape in which the president of the united states is saying that thing i didn't know anything about, i'm actually caught on tape secretly talking about, and we can't square that. and the stories change a little bit during the day, but when you get right down to it, this really does seem to undercut the denials that the trump campaign gave when this first -- this story first surfaced in 2016. >> eli stokols, rick wilson, the veteran gop politico started the dion twitter, telling all of us beware of all objects shiny. this is the time to keep eyes on the ball and look out for
distractions. part of the narrative that emily jane fox and others are talking about and reporting tonight is that on the whole, team trump would rather the weekend conversation be about an affair and ms. mcdougal than what the conversation was monday through friday morning. >> that's certainly plausible. i mean, it's obvious that the president's tweet tonight, as he headed to new jersey talking about the nfl protest was clearly an attempt to change the subject. and i can just tell you from our reporting this afternoon, trying to confirm and trying to report out what matt and his colleagues first reported this afternoon about the cohen tapes, the trump legal team was pretty forthcoming in talking about this and talking to people close to the white house and the president, have said that when it first realized that michael cohen got a different attorney, got lanny davis signed up, and
started acting like somebody who might be willing to cooperate, that was something that unnerved the president. he has been wary about this, about michael cohen, who has been so loyal to him for so many years. he didn't really contemplate that he would actually maybe flip on him. and now the fact that he appears willing to do that i think is something that has rattled the president a little bit. it does come at the end of a really difficult week. and clearly, people close to michael cohen say they gave no indication that he was the one who put this tape out there today, but they did say that he is indeed pretty fed up with being treated the way trump has treated him over the years, and that he does likely plan to cooperate and do what he has to do. >> matt apuzzo, you were trying to get in there. >> yeah, i guess i would just say that my colleagues and i, this is not something that -- look, i'm on vacation. this is not something -- >> i was going to keep that secret for you. >> -- that we came up here this morning. this is something we've been working on for some time.
and really pieced together. and we went to and were finally able to get comment from rudy giuliani this morning, which is what i think said okay, it's time to publish. we have the president's lawyer on the record talking about this. i would just say there's so much news there are so many shiny objects in covering this administration, brian, you know, i would just sort of be a little hesitant to kind of take every shiny object as a distraction, even though many of the shiny objects are distracting. >> all right. well, let's look in a different facet of this object, and let me ask you what your knowledge is of the current trump/cohen relationship, a relationship, if indeed it can be called that these days, and how much should we make of this recording apparently cutting snauf i'm asking mostly for those of us old enough to remember the name "rosemary woods." >> right. that's a great question about why is this such a short
recording. i don't know the answer to that, and the status of the trump/cohen relationship is obviously a strained one at this point. you know, my colleague maggie haberman reported that when trump was told by the way, mr. president, this tape exists, his response was why would michael do that to me? so i mean, he feels betrayed by the existence of the tape. i think you heard from lanny davis' comments here that they feel as if they are being betrayed by the mischaracterization of the conversation, at least in their view. this isn't the relationship it once was. obviously michael cohen at one point said he would take a bullet for the president. we've heard plenty of indications that michael cohen feels that he -- if push comes to shove, he is not going take that bullet for the president. >> barbara mcquade, a neck-snapping change of subject to the manhattan madam.
good folks like you who we've relied on to be of counsel to us on this broadcast have reminded us the folks who need to be nervous are the big names who have yet to be interviewed by team mueller. the name roger stone does come to mind here. we mentioned it earlier. is roger stone the one who needs to be worried? >> yeah, i think so. based on the reporting about the manhattan madam, the reason it appears that robert mueller's interested in her is she has a close relationship with roger stone. she has worked with him as a web designer. and i think that might be a very important fact. i think it's a fair assessment that the person identified in the indictment that robert mueller returned last week, charging the russian intelligence officers with hacking into the dnc and other entities, that person and contact with an organization that sounds a lot like wikileaks is roger stone, and roger stone himself said he thinks he's that
person. so it seems that robert mueller wants to talk to the manhattan madam, the so-called manhattan madam, karen davis i think is her name -- kristin davis, because of her role as the web designer. she is involved in understanding what is involved with roger stone's internet persona and his work in the web domain. and i think that it's not likely to be a fishing expedition. you're not likely to say who are all the people roger stone nose? it seems likely that they would be following up on some other factual nugget. her name has come in some document or mentioned in some meeting, through other testimony of other witnesses. it seems likely that that's why they're pursuing her knowledge. >> eli stokols, people have been referring to this week as perhaps the most momentous of this still early administration. where do you rank it? >> i think it's certainly up there, brian. i was there monday for the press conference in helsinki and have
been trying to catch up with the president's repeated walkbacks over the last few days of his positions on russia, and the week is bookended here with the russia news, a remainder of all the things that are still out there hanging over the administration in the legal realm. so it's just been a stressful week for this president. i go back about a month. being around the president as he was traveling, interacting with him a bit, you could see he was really ebullient. he thought that the mueller probe was fading, the public didn't care about it. he felt great going into and certainly coming out of the singapore summit, was excited about meeting with putin. and this week has really been a difficult reminder to him that sometimes his instincts are wrong and also that there may be a limit to what republicans here in washington will put up with given the rebuke, the broad rebuke that he got from his own party this week for his comments related to putin. >> to matt apuzzo, unconditional permission to resume your
vacation in an undisclosed location and congratulations on being out front on a big story all day long. and to matt, to barbara m eli stoeblgs, thanks for starting us off. the it might be the most consequential week of his presidency, as eli was saying, starting in finland. well, tonight, the ways in which he is already trying to change the subject including but not limited to the nfl. and later, after a week of warnings from people who should know just what are we witnessing here. "the 11th hour," last work day of the week, just getting started. this isn't just any moving day.
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as of this evening, president trump has officially completed 18 months in office. white has a lot of competition, this week has been nominated as the most remarkable. since that meeting with russian president putin on monday, we have seen the president walk back comments he made on russian election interference and then walk back those walk-backs. here a friendly reminder of what has transpire over the course of just three days. >> my people came to me, dan coats came to me and some others. they said they think it's russia. i have president putin. he just said it's not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it would be. >> the sentence should have been i don't see any reason why it wouldn't be russia. sort of a double negative. i accept our intelligence
community's conclusion that russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. it could be other people also. circumstances russia still targeting the u.s., mr. president? >> press, let's go. make your way out. >> then just yesterday, we learned putin has been invited to washington in the fall. the white house also had to back off the president's suggestion he would be willing to let russia interrogatory americans, including former american ambassador michael mcfaul. and today politico is reporting it this way, quote, trump's disastrous performance since his news conference alongside russian counterpart vladimir putin has sent west wing morale to its lowest level since the charlottesville fiasco almost a year ago. staffers are considering accelerating their departures in the wake of the president's equivocations on russian meddling in the 2016 election. here with us to talk about it jill colvin, white house reporter for the associated press, and brian bennett, senior
white house correspondent for "time" magazine. brian, by the way, is the author of this week's cover story that included the troubling cover imagery which to the president may count as an official "time" magazine cover since such things we know are important to him. jill, welcome back. i note you started nato, went to the uk, all the way to helsinki. you lived to tell the tale. i know that some events don't always occur to you in the moment. you're doing your job. a comment that other people can judge as weighty later doesn't land the right way. i imagine all of this did, and what was -- you don't do opinion, but you do give take away. what was your takeaway from this week? >> i mean, this trip was something that was just whiplash the entire way at every stop. >> precedents everywhere. >> exactly. >> insulting your host. >> from the very first moment he sat down at that breakfast before the nato festivities
officially got underway, coming at angela merkel like that, claiming germany were the ones in cahoots with russia to all of the drama at nato, the threats that he didn't want to participate anymore. then the interview he gave to the sun. >> right. >> in which he lambasted theresa may right before he arrived that story published just as the president was -- had landed. i mean then you go into the protests all across london. and then you go into helsinki, which we all thought would be the main event. really, i've covered this president now for almost three years. and there are times where as a reporter you're surprised. there are times when we've all seen the backlash from congress. we've seen aides, you know, really kind of burrowing into their holes and not wanting to comment. you feel the morale. and at this point, so many people in the west wing, it feels like there is a sense of numbness of all the things they've gone through again and again. >> i was told today was the last day were to two important aides,
mark short and joe hagan. >> i was under the impression that joe hagan had already departed, but you might be right. >> that's lemire i'm quoting. >> these are people who also are widely respected not only within the white house, but this the white house who the president trusted but also were trusted outside of the building. hagan was something who came into the white house with years of past experience in past administration. mark short was the person who really helped shepherd the president's legislative agenda, played a big role in the supreme court nominations. and those are people who are really going to be missed, especially at a time right now when it is not easy to find people to fill any of those positions. you walk into the press office now, and there are a lot of empty desks. so the question now is who are they going to find to fill those positions, and what's their competence level going to be? >> it's true. it's not like working for other administrations. brian, i'm going to quote your favorite writer, brian bennett of "time" magazine, and we'll
talk about your writing as soon as i'm done with this quote. this from your cover story this week, and it's on the overarching topic of russia. trump is bruised by the idea that russian election meddling taints his victory, those close to him say, and can't concede the fact that russia did try to interfere in the election regardless of whether it impacted the outcome. it's a notable quote, brian, because here we are in the position of kind of hoping we find out from the russians some of what was discussed in a two-hour-plus closed door session between two super power leaders. >> well, it's so extraordinary that in this presidency we always have are to rely on the other country the find out what was discussed in a lot of these meetings, and that we're finding out more from the russians than from the white house about what president trump and president putin talked about. and, i mean, one of the most extraordinary moments this week was of course when the president
decided he wanted to say that he had mixed up the word would and wouldn't in his remarks. it was extraordinary because this president is so reluctant to correct the record on so many other occasions, and it reflected such sincere and troublesome concern among his staff that they came to him and said look, mr. president, you need to read something that walks this back. of course, it didn't address the central problem of his helsinki performance, which was that he stood next to president putin, was asked about by a reporter who he believed, u.s. intelligence or president putin about the russian interference, and he couldn't definitively say that he believed u.s. intelligence, and he couldn't confront president putin. i mean, that was the moment for the president to stand up to president putin in front of the rest of the world and tell him to -- that he shouldn't have meddled before and he shouldn't
meddle going into the next round of elections. >> jill, let me ask this question a bit backwards. it's your reporting that he started out buoyant on the flight home from helsinki. that because he didn't come up in the game and is not aware of global norms or the u.s. president's duty to stress american exceptionalism, especially in that forum? >> i think that the president in some cases we just need to take him at his word and listen to the way that he is framing this. the president left nato saying that he had achieved this grand victory. everyone had snapped into gear because he had made these threats against magically they're now paying money and nato is stronger he proclaims as he goes to the next stop. the president has said again and again he believes better, stronger ties with russia are important, that together they'll create a safer world. this is the way he talks about it, and the way he has described it and the way people around him say is that he really felt like things had gone well, that he
had accomplished some kind of interpersonal getting closer with putin. he felt like he sort of understood the man as the two of them sat together for more than two hours and felt like the press conference had actually gone okay until he started hearing from allies, until he started hearing all the criticism from members of congress, the staff saying you need to walk this back. he is blaming the media. he is furious about the questions he was asked. he is angry at members of congress for not standing up to him. he is angry at everyone else, not himself. >> and don't forget the nfl. brian we won't even show it because it's not germane, but tweeting tonight about the national anthem controversy, mocking the salary of the nfl commissioner. so let's tie that in. what they see their boss doing to end the vacancies to the remaining employee morale. >> well, it's incredibly
difficult for people who are working in the white house coming out of the helsinki debacle. they're having a hard time figuring out, okay, how do we -- how do we capture the conversation again? of course, the president has his own ideas on how to do that. he wants to go back to talking about cultural issues like the nfl kneeling. he also wants to talk about federal interest rates. it's really extraordinary that this week also the president went out and discouraged the fed from raising interest rates. in a normal presidency, that would be a massive story of interference by the president in what is supposed to be a wald off decision by the fed. and those are things he wants to be talking about and he wants to get back to talking about those things. and it puts people who work for him that are institutionalists and believe that there is a certain way the country should be run, it puts them in an incredibly awkward position. >> brian bennett of "time" magazine, jill colvin of the
associated press, so great to have you here. thank you so very much. coming up, what they saw and heard in helsinki that led some of our guests and analysts to say things about an american president that they never dreamed they would say. we'll have that when we come back. if yor crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough, it may be time for a change.
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referred to president putt tibb of russia. just before that the two were alone together with just interpreters present. and this week comes to an end with president putin invited to washington this fall. helsinki hammered home a point some have been advocating, others have been denying or trying to suppress or ignore, that for the first time an american president is at least suspected of having a loyalty of a foreign leader of a foreign power. here now is how our guests and experts reacted on just this broadcast this week to what they saw from helsinki. >> i don't think even in their wildest dreams vladimir putin and his entourage thought could go this well. >> this is why vladimir putin, as he told us today, wanted donald trump to win. >> the more conspiratorial theories look more plausible, not less plausible after a day like today. >> ronald reagan won the cold war. today donald trump lost the post-cold war for the united states of america. >> he has made the decision to
side with the other team, and he has done so only because he believes it's in his personal interests. >> whether the russians have something on this president or not, no one really knows. but the way he behaves, there is a clear signal that the russians have something on him. >> to state it baldly, the united states was attack and the president sided with the enemy. >> there is some candle power there. and let's bring in another expert in these matter, ned price, former senior director to the national security council and former senior analyst at cia. ned, thank you very much for coming on. you could probably discern all those voices that precede you. i want to read a quote from one of the people we just saw, julia iof ioffe, a russian born american journalist. this is what she wrote in gq. after trump and putin met in helsinki, many pundits and politicians struggled to
understand what it is they saw, to rationalize it, to explain it away, to speculate on what kinds of kompromat the russians could have on trump. when the answer, like infidelity or death was staring them, us, in the face, yes, putin has something on trump. he helped him win. that's the kompromat. ned, do you agree? do you concur? do you say at least it's possible? >> well, brian, i think that's an element of the kompromat. in fact, it has to be because as we have heard from jim clapper to other experts out there, it is in some ways unlikely that donald trump would be our commander in chief today were it not for russia's multipronged assault on our election. after all, this election was decide by some 70,000 votes in three swing states that were particular targets for the russians. so i think that's a part of it. but i also think that may not be
it, and i think we have to account for the fact that there are other additive elements on top of this. on one extreme, you have the theory, which i think is still a bit outlandish that he is a manchurian candidate, that he has for years been a recruited asset of the russians and now this is all coming to the fore. but on the other extreme, something i think is much more likely if not probable is the fact that donald trump wants to leave office, wants to leave the presidency in good graces with vladimir putin because he and his family have used the russian market, have in fact relied upon the russian market for years. so whether it's manchurian candidate or this financial conflict of interest, the end result is the same. vladimir putin has leverage over donald trump. and as we saw this week, he is going to exact that in any way he can. >> i want to know one thing. you're in touch on a daily basis with your former colleague. you're out there at this conference in aspen with the entire national intelligence community, some of them in
exile, admittedly. what is morale like in the trade of intelligence? >> well, it's a good question, brian, because i think we focus far too much on the standing of senior intelligence officials. will director coats go or won't he after this week? what to make of chris wray, the fbi director. look, have i been in touch with my former colleagues in the intelligence community, and there is a profound sense of demoralization. just as i was trying to make sense of monday's press conference and proceedings, i got an e-mail from a former colleague of mine. the first line of which was what in the hell are we doing? and it wasn't a question about policy. it wasn't a question of what are the state of relations between washington and moscow, brian, it was an existential question that he as a member of the intelligence community posed. why are we in these positions, in some cases risking life and limb when we have a president who is quite ready to side with
vladimir putin consistently over the work of the intelligence community. these men and women are in these positions with little pay and even less recognition, brian. and to see the president do this to them, it really pushes them to the exit. and unfortunately, the implications of that over the long-term could be profound if there is this brain drain going forward. >> ned price, a veteran of the trade throughout at this gathering of practitioners in aspen the latter half of this week. thank you so very much for joining us on the air tonight. coming up, the president calls critics of this summit in helsinki hypocrites, insisting his meeting with putin was a great success. steve kornacki is with us tonight at the big board. a special friday night appearance with new numbers showing who might agree with the president.
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with the free audible app, your stories go wherever you do. and for just $14.95 a month you get a credit, good for any audiobook. if you don't like it exchange it any time. no questions asked. you can also roll your credits to the next month if you don't use them. so take audible with you this summer... on the road... on the trail... or to the beach. start a 30-day trial and your first audiobook is free. cancel anytime, and your books are yours to keep forever. no matter where you go this summer make it better with audible. text summer17 to 500500 to start listening today. we showed you some numbers last night, showing the president's base appearing to
stick with him following this summit in helsinki. and according to last night's round of polls, the meeting wasn't enough to shake their confidence, but here's the question. what if there is more to the numbers than meets the eye presently? with us at the big board is the only man who can answer that question, steve kornacki, our national political correspondent. stay hay, steve. >> hey, brian. how are you? well, it's interesting, because as you said, the numbers we've seen on the republican base tell a story we've kind of become familiar with. but remember, he's been getting criticism this week from quarters, unanswered questions about how this all shakes out. sort of the instant readout. two polls that are throughout so far this week. and these are conducted basically the day after, two days after that summit, that press conference. why disapproval? and this one is from axios, 40 to 58. again, if you look at the next one we have, this is from cbs news. same story, 55% disapprove, 32% approve. and then when you look at that question we're just talking of the party breakdown, it is that
wide gap among democrats. look at overwhelming 91%, 83% disapproving of the president's conduct. republicans the flip side. 79. 60, and a little lower when you get down to 68. you usually see the president's number with his own party closer to 79 even higher. so a little bit of dissent there. but, again, what really was hurting trump here in these numbers we've seen this week, independents, 2-1 disapprove there when you get the wide gaps overall, that's what's driving it. the question here, you look at media coverage, how is that going to shake out. the other question is how deep? how deeply held are these views, how deep are these reactions. is this the kind of event given the media coverage we've seen, given that's it a foreign country, given that it's russia, it's putin, is this the kind of event that's going ling were people? one of the things we want to know. another poll, new one here, "the huffington post," they gave authorities a third option. do you approve or disapprove or
are you not sure? is your view somewhere in the middle on this. when they ask that question, look at what came up. very interesting here. approve of trump's performance, that actually gets plurality support, 41%. that not sure option, nearly a quarter shows choez that coming from one very specific place on the political spruchlt it's those independents. this is the interesting thing. a third of them choose the not sure option. look at that disapprove option among independents. we saw it 60%. it comes way down. so what is that telling us? it's telling us among independents, when you push them on this issue, when you approve or disapprove, they move to the disapprove side. when you ask them, a third option, not sure. how confident are you in that view? you start to get a little waffling there. so it does raise the question among the independent voters how deeply held, how much will this linger? and that gets to my tease for sunday, because we got a brand-new nbc news/wall street
journal poll, going to come out sunday. maybe a more comprehensive look at this question about the views on the summit and how they're affecting the overall assessment as trump as president. that's the question. approval rating, does it go down, does it go up? does it stay the same sning we're going to get a look at that on sunday. >> thank you so much for that. that really does change how the story is reported. a huge chunk of the population. steve kornacki at the big board force. another break. we're back with another one of the poorly covered stories of this past week.
the federal judge who set the dead lane of next week to reunite over 2500 children was given an update today, which we can pass along to you tonight. of the 2,551 children between the ages of 5 and 17 who are still in detention, only 450 have been reunited with their parents. that's a little less than 18%.
the government says 908 parents are not expected to be eligible for a reunification. it's not clear how many children that involves. of those parents, 679 cases technically are still pending. all of this a result of the trump administration's so-called zero tolerance policy, the one that required border patrol agents to immediately prosecute people who crossed the border illegally. that meant separating families. the president was pressured to end that policy back on june 20th. some children have been kept away from their parents at migrant shelters for months on end now. many are only allowed to make one ten-minute phone call per week. the families that come here escaping violence in their home countries come to america seeking asylum, which is legal. this latest update from the feds says that 863 migrant parents have now been given final orders of removal. that means they are being
deported just as soon as they are reunited with their children. we'll get another status report on monday and pass that along to you. coming up, where were you 49 years ago tonight? for that matter, was there a you 49 years ago tonight? well, it turns out the russians were in the news back then too. we'll have the story when we come back. ahh... summer is coming.
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last thing before we go here tonight is what happened 49 years ago tonight. and the simplest way to put this is this. if you were alive and old enough to be aware of your surroundings, you remember where you were when neil armstrong and buzz aldrin landed on the moon. and when neil armstrong and buzz aldrin then walked on the moon. long before anybody thought of hdtv, we marvelled at how sharp the pictures were. imagine half a billion people down here on earth able to watch live television from the surface of the moon in the summer of '69. we marvelled at what our nation had accomplished and at the bravery of that crew. remember, no one had ever landed on the moon or anywhere that wasn't named earth, and they landed with no guarantee that the rockets would fire and get them back up to the third man, michael collins, patiently
orbiting the moon inside their ride home. we went to the moon because we could, because jfk said we should. but people forget we went to the moon because of the russians. it was the soviet union that launched the first satellite into space. it was the soviets who launched the first astronaut, and the u.s. was sent into a frantic scramble. it was called the space race for a reason, and the mission was to beat the russians to the moon. in fact, it still galls a whole lot of space folk and nasa retirees that the russians are these days our only ride into space. we don't have a vehicle to get our own astronauts up to the international space station, where three americans happen to be living right now. we landed on the moon five more times. one mission failed en route. i'm pretty sure tom hanks was the commander. and think of this as we leave you. all of our stuff is still up there, untouched, undisturbed, a couple of lunar rovers, some
tripods, some tools and the base portion of six lunar landers. we left six american flags up there, made to look like they're waving, even though there no air or wind because we thought of that too, and nasa sewed a wire frame into each flag. each piece we left up there and each footprint in that dust, starting with the first footprint 49 years ago tonight is a monument to an era when it seemed like there was nothing we couldn't do. that is our broadcast for a friday night and for this week. thank you so very much for being here with us. have a good weekend and good night for all of us here at nbc news headquarters in new york. good evening, and coming to you tonight from asheville, north carolina, i'm ali velshi
in for chris hayes. the big news tonight we now know federal investigators are in possession of secret recordings of donald trump with potentially very serious legal implications. the recordings were seized during the fbi raid on the shortly after trump's son baron was born. this is not about stormy daniels. it is a different alleged affair with a different adult performer involving a different hush money payment. in august 2016, shortly before election day. the parent company of "national enquirer," ami, paid mcdougal $150,000. and had her sign a disclosure agreements. the deal appears to be a so-called catch and kill.