Skip to main content

tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  November 28, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

10:00 pm
the senate part of the 2018 elections is now over. mike espy did not become the next u.s. senator for mississippi but the democrat did pretty well considering he was a no, democrats did not win that senate race last night, but they got to feel like they did all right with espy. that does it for us tonight. now -- now it's time for the "last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> i'm so glad you made that point about mississippi. i am sadly old enough to remember when mississippi had democratic centers and plenty of other states that now have republican senators have
10:01 pm
democratic senators. but the republicans slowly and patiently made their inroads over a number of decades in some cases before they finally started to lock down republican seats in states that democrats have since almost forgotten about until this time when democrats went back to georgia and texas and places like mississippi and alabama and said, we're going to fight here, we're going to compete. >> and what is interesting about this is some old school politics in terms of the racial divide, and it's about whether or not democrats can succeed in states when the path to succeeding is about ensuring that african-americans are not only motivated to vote but they're allowed to vote. in the deep south that's hugely an issue in terms of the partisan divide but also an issue whether they can persuade to show they've actually got a fighting chance.
10:02 pm
and every time a mike espy gets close or a doug jones wins or a beto o'rourke gets close, that makes that argument that much easier. >> and it's a very good thing for each party to have to look at resources and say how much do we have to spend and how much do we have to fight in various states? and for decades now the republicans have looked at the south and said we're not spending a penny, we do not have to lift a finger. we're going to go to these other swing states and compete there. democrats have states like that, say new york where they really do not compete in a state like new york. but you try to have as many of those states as you can so that you as a party can pump all your resources into the swing states. republicans have a lot more states they have to spend money on. >> yeah, if you can soften up the other side's safe seats that's half the battle. we have breaking news in the paul manafort case tonight including a new report with more detail about why paul manafort's
10:03 pm
cooperation deal with the special prosecutor has special prosecutor has completely colllapsed. that report comes after a day full and i mean full of developments in the mueller investigation. so full that it will occupy most of what we talk about in this next hour. and after a month of quiet in the mueller investigation leading up to the mid-term election washington now today is finally consumed by it including another failed effort in the united states senate today to pass legislation that would protect robert mueller from being improperly fired by president trump or his so-called acting attorney general matthew whitaker who was illegally installed in that post the day after the mid-term election when donald trump fired jeff sessions. that point about the illegality of matt whitaker's appointment is being raised by state attorneys general who are fighting that appointment in a lawsuit. one of those attorneys general will join us later in this hour.
10:04 pm
the most important development, though, the most important development of the day, the one that will vividly stand out in bold print in history above everything else that happened today was the president of the united states publicly discussing a pardon for paul manafort. in an interview with his favorite hometown newspaper, the new york post which was founded by alexander hamilton and now operated by a right wing extremist, rupert murdock, donald trump said this. it was never publicly discussed but i wouldn't take it off the table. why would i take it off the table? no such story exists in the historical record of any such president ever driven from office by a special prosecutor's office, no such public quote.
10:05 pm
richard nixon thought about issuing pardons to obstruct the special prosecutor investigation of his administration. richard nixon discussed the possibility of pardoning his white house chief of staff bob alderman who ended up doing 18 months in federal prison, and carl bernstein's book on nixon's final days captured the whispered backstage drama about the possibility of pardons at the white house. a subject richard nixon would not dare discuss publicly. the president's senior advisers including his new chief of staff alexander hague and the lawyer with the best political sense in the nixon white house, were adamantly opposed to the president issuing pardons for anyone including his former chief of staff bob halderman. the president's criminal defense lawyer was a litigator who had no experience in politics and at one point according to woodward
10:06 pm
and bernstein he said at one point maybe a pardon should be considered. and that is when he erupted. saying if richard nixon pardoned any of the then accused criminals in his administration the president would be impeached. he said if the president grants this pardon, he will be insuring his own trial. he will be forcing it. the public has to have a head, and if the president takes the heads away the public will have his. and that will be the monkey trial of all-time. the president has to take his chances. meaning garment said the president has to take his chanlces he can survive this investigation without issuing pardons that would in effect block the investigation, obstruct justice. no one -- no one in the nixon white house had to say to anyone
10:07 pm
else in the nixon white house, don't let one word of this pardon discussion leak because they knew that the very fact that the president was even thinking about pardons would move the president even closer to impeachment. and today we see in the 21st century version of the nixon administration there is no leonard garment. there is no one aissing to donald trump you can't discuss pardons publicly and you can't do pardons. there's no one saying even to donald trump's utterly incompetent tv lawyer rudy giuliani we cannot discuss pardons. and so the president of the united states today publicly discussed pardoning paul manafort. quote, i wouldn't take it off the table. why would i take it off the table? that means there is a pardon table in the white house with a manafort pardon on it, possibly on the top of the stack of pardons ready to be issued by this president. and this president unlike
10:08 pm
richard nixon wants everyone, everyone to know that he is thinking about pardons, especially paul manafort. if you're paul manafort and the president tells you today that your pardon is sitting on his pardon table, you know that the only way you get that pardon is by not cooperating with robert mueller. that's the only way. and so there is the president of the united states. there he is. committing the crime of obstruction of justice in plain sight. he is willfully obstructing robert mueller's pursuit of justice in the manafort case and other cases by telling paul manafort that he, the president, is thinking about pardoning him. and when historians are staring at those sentences that the president spoke today, they will find no other publicly uttered lines like that by a president in history. and that comes in a news cycle in which rudy giuliani has now repeatedly revealed that paul
10:09 pm
manafort has been sharing information with donald trump. giuliani confirmed to the associates press that manafort's criminal defense lawyer was sharing everything he was discovering about the mueller investigation while paul manafort was in cooperative talks with mueller's investigators. giuliani said, they share with me the things that pertain to our part of the case. that is what lawyers refer to as a joint defense agreement. but as former federal prosecutor joyce vance pointed out on this program at this hour last night, there can be no joint defense agreement with someone who has no defense. someone who no longer is mounting a defense cannot have a defense agreement. paul manafort was found guilty by a federal jury in virginia, and then paul manafort pleaded guilty in a separate federal case in washington, d.c. and so paul manafort has no defense. paul manafort has no defense,
10:10 pm
when his lawyer claims to have been participating in a joint defense agreement with the president. that was not a legitimate joint defense agreement. paul manafort's lawyer, kevin downy, may in serious jeopardy for information obtained through his attorney-client privilege with a third party who there could be no joint defense agreement with. one of the president's lawyers, rudy giuliani, has confirmed as if perfectly normal, that the president of the united states has been obtaining information from a convicted felon who is also a self-admitted felon who has pleaded guilty. no president in history has ever publicly welcomed such an association. no president in history has ever publicly trafficked in such a relationship, in such an information gathering relationship with a convicted
10:11 pm
and admitted felon. and no president's lawyer has ever deemed it a survivable piece of public information, a piece of information that could just be casually made public. such is the sheer madness of the trump world and the legal world, according to rudy giuliani. and in a country and news media that has long passed the point of outrage exhaustion it is very difficult for america tonight to see how outrageous, how criminally minded and how fully impeachable the president's public comments today reveal him to be. "the wall street journal" is breaking the news tonight that some of what paul manafort lied to robert mueller about, quote, include comments about his personal business dealings and about his contacts with a former associate in ukraine. that former associate is contin
10:12 pm
teen culemnic who worked with manafort's lubying firm in ukraine. the journal reports mr. mueller has long been interested in the relationship between messrs, manafort and culimnic. witnesses believe investigators were seeking to determine whether mr. manafort ever met with mr. kilimnik on that trip. and if that's not enough, "the washington post" has a breaking news report later tonight that donald trump's company, the trump organization, quote, turned over to mueller's team phone and contacts logs that show multiple calls between the then candidate and stone in 2016, roger stone in 2016 according to people familiar with the material. "the washington post" reports
10:13 pm
that roger stone says he never discussed anything improper with donald trump and added, quote, unless mueller has tape recordings of the phone calls, what would that prove? joining us now the professor, harry litman, deputy assistant attorney general, and eugene robinson, and jennifer ruben, opinion writer for "the washington post" and msnbc contributor. and eugene, i want to start with you quickly since you remember every one of these beats that unfolded during the watergate investigation. the idea richard nixon would have ever allowed himself to be caught publicly discussing the pardons of bob halderman and others was just unthinkable to nixon who knew where the impeachment lines were drawn. >> because there were lines. there used to be lines, lawrence. and amid the evidence compiled by leon as evidence of richard
10:14 pm
nixon's obstruction of justice was allegations that he sort of dangled clemency and pardons in front of potential witnesses. and what is donald trump doing? the difference of course is donald trump is doing it in public, in front of us. we're seeing it before our very eyes. and they seem nonchalant, almost proud of the fact they are obstructing justice. that's what they're doing. it is clearly obstruction of justice. and the only question is whether, you know, it's legally provable. i'm not a lawyer, but that's what it is. >> harry litman, your reaction to this collection of developments that include the president saying outright to paul manafort directly today i'm thinking about pardoning you while paul manafort's plea agreement and cooperation deal
10:15 pm
collapses. >> yeah, so i think there's actually an interesting connection between those two events, lawrence, because manafort's treachery and all the time being a kind of double agent for trump is so improper and so funky that it actually makes the offer of a pardon seem more directly tied to trying to scuttle the investigation of trump himself. in other words, it suggests that manafort was going to great lengths, extra legal lengths, very improper lengths in order to have the possibility of a pardon from the president. and should that pardon eventually it will look more sinter than it looked a few months back. it will look as if it's exchange in some very suspect and criminal behavior even on
10:16 pm
manafort's part. >> can't think of a nonsinter version of the pardon? >> i can think of a faithless version of a pardon as well. one thing to keep in mind this raises the question of obstruction of justice. it also is a bribery problem. bribely is described legally as a quid pro quo for an official act. i think many lawyers look at this and see there's as ample evidence of obstruction in so many different ways over these two years. but once we get the dangling of a pardon, that is offering an official act in return of a thing of value. >> because the bribery is donald trump bribing paul manafort for his silence saying i will pay you a pardon if you give me your silence in exchange. >> silence or here lies. the coordination of our lies is a thing of great priceless value. so i'd say whether it's bribery
10:17 pm
claim or conspiracy, but here's the other thing i want to mention. the lawyers like downing, around donald trump, these lawyers are now facing serious criminal jeopardy. not necessarily for the communication, but criminal jeopardy for participating in the conspiracy to obstruct justice, witness tamper and conspiracy for a bribery in the communications between manafort and trump. >> jennifer ruben, we look back tonight at the honor of the nixon white house with people like leonard garment when would never, ever allow the kind of thing rudy giuliani is trafficking in with donald trump every day. >> that's right. i think it's a combination of hubris and ignorance which is powerful combination in the trump white house. i think the timing of this is also very interesting. remember donald trump just turned in his written answers to the special prosecutor just before this story broke. so what do we think that has to do with it? do we think trump's answers have now been synced up so to speak?
10:18 pm
that could well be and account for the timing of the revelation that manafort has been lying to the special prosecutors. so there's all kinds of ways in which donald trump is going to get caught up in this and which his lawyers are going to get caught up. they seem not to understand that the special prosecutor knows much more about what's going on than they do, that he has all kinds of ways of confirming the information, that he has documentary evidence and he has other witnesses. and what they think they're doing pulling a fast one on robert mueller is somewhat mind-boggling. aside from the illegality how can you be so stupid to think you're going to get away with this? >> we're going to squeeze in a break here and continue with more of our coverage of the developments of the mueller investigation. and when we come back, we know a lot more apparently now about president trump's written answers to the questions that special counsel robert mueller gave him. we'll be back with more. i can't believe it.
10:19 pm
that grandpa's nose is performing "flight of the bumblebee?" ♪ no, you goof. i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on my car insurance with geico. nice. i know, right? ♪ [nose plays a jazzy saxophone tune] believe it. geico could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
10:20 pm
10:21 pm
unstopand it's strengthenedting place, the by xfi pods,gateway. which plug in to extend the wifi even farther, past anything that stands in its way. ...well almost anything. leave no room behind with xfi pods. simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. tonight we're learning more details about how donald trump answered some of special prosecutor robert mueller's written questions. two sources familiar with the matter tell nbc news donald trump denied knowing about the matter of the 2016 trump tower meeting between his son-in-law, jared kushner, his then campaign chairman paul manafort and the russians who were there promising dirt on hillary clinton.
10:22 pm
donald trump also denied talking to roger stone about wikileaks and its dump of e-mails stolen by russian agents from the democratic national committee and clinton's campaign chair john podesta. the source tells nbc news that donald trump indicated he answered the questions, this is the key phrase, to the best of his recollection. back with us. what does that mean legally when someone says this answer is to the best of my recollection? >> they're trying to plug in some words with lawyers that think they've outsmarted this process by using written statements. when trump is answering questions live you can always price in a certain kind of vagueness or dancing around in live responses that you're going to get. but when you have lawyers drafting statements, you have much more credibility on the line because you've written them down with lawyers.
10:23 pm
that can backfire if they've lied about anything. you can't just say i've misstated because it was assumed to have been done with writing. >> your reaction to what we know so far about the president's written answers? >> well, first i was surprised they were concrete and actually spoke directly to the trump tower meeting and to the stone involvement. second, they do seem to dove tail with what manafort said he was being badgered, in his words, about by mueller. although, they are two fairly obvious topics so really no great revelation there. to jed's point i agree, except i think what's going on here is trump is envisioning a sort of political process where this plays out in the senate or in a report or in the public eye rather than in a court of law. and at that point his sort of bobbing and weaving, saying best of my recollection, et cetera
10:24 pm
could fly in a way it wouldn't be for a jury if it gives senate republicans enough cover to say, well, we're not going to convict him based on that. so i think that's part of the calculation that the written answers envision. >> this is another one of those days when we realize how much has changed for donald trump since the mid-term elections. let's listen to what adam schiff said today about what the democrats will be looking for in this arena. >> one of the key documents, for example, we are going to pursue are the phone records that would show who was on that phone call that don june, had sandwiched in between his calls to setup the meeting at trump tower. so there are steps we're taking to the facts. >> you will be pursuing those records? >> we will be pursuing them and as is our practice we'll seek any records we can get voluntarily, but there may be
10:25 pm
requirements of the telecommunications company among others subpoena them. >> it's not just the special prosecutor that the trump world has to deal with now. >> no, it's not. i mean, they're going to have to deal with the democratic congress with subpoena power, able subpoena documents, to call people up to testify. that's a whole new ball game. and, you know, about that trump tower meeting since -- you know, let's go wheels within wheels within wheels. the president submits these answers saying oh, i knew nothing about this meeting, he presumably before that he perhaps heard from the manafort team what kinds of questions were being asked about that meeting. well, suppose robert mueller was not entirely convinced that paul
10:26 pm
manafort was pulling strings. suppose mueller was very careful in what he said to manafort in the way he posed questions to manafort, not to give away any sort of concrete documentary evidence or any other evidence he might have of trump's foreknowledge of that meeting. so manafort could tell trump essentially they've got nothing on you, you can deny, you could say you didn't know anything about it and they've got nothing. in fact, they might have something. so i don't discount robert mueller's savvy regarding manafort and his true allegiances. >> jerome corsi is the other character from trump world who is pulling away with what was to be an agreement with the special prosecutor to plead guilty to a single perjury count. ari melber interviewed jerome corsi today. and the audience should know at the outset he's a pathological
10:27 pm
liar. he was the originator of john carry's attacks on service in vietnam where he was served honorably and was decorated in combat. jerome corsi, part of it was the originator of the accusations against him. the originators of the lie that barack obama was not born in the united states. so with that let's listen to pathological liar jerome corsi being interviewed by ari melber. >> you have a joint agreement with president trump. >> yes, it was not formally written. we acted that way and we represented them in the special counsel. >> you do or do not have a joint defense agreement? >> there's nothing in writing. >> you have a verbal understanding of an agreement? >> yes, and that exists. >> the president and his
10:28 pm
attorneys are communicating with every pathological liar and criminal out there that they possibly can. >> it's remarkable, actually. and because there is no defense for someone who has already pled guilty, what they have said, everything they have said is discoverable. so those lawyers are now themselves potential criminal defendants in a scheme to obstruct justice or to execute a bribery. they will have to be called in. they must testify. they must give the prosecutor everything he wants to know. and if you want to put another layer on top of this, "the washington post" is reporting tonight that those evening calls from roger stone to donald trump during the campaign were ongoing. that donald trump would call from get this, a blocked number, call roger stone on a regular basis and they would talk. the report does not indicate if we know the content of that conversation.
10:29 pm
but that's another area that the special prosecutor is surely going to explore. and there may be other evidence pointing to what was said if people talk to others about what the conversation was, if roger stone sends an e-mail to someone else referencing those calls. so this is a whole another just one of holes and tunnels for the special prosecutor to explore. and i think as far as those lawyers go, the lawyers are going to need lawyers. >> yeah, and roger stone's comment to "the washington post" about it was of course the classically criminal framing of if the prosecutor doesn't have tape recordings of those conversations what difference does it make? just another extraordinary piece of recording by "the washington post." jennifer ruben, eugene robinson, harry litman, jed thank you all for starting us off. when we come back
10:30 pm
in the united states where 14 -- 14 republican senators turned against the president on an important vote today in the senate. democratic senator jeff murkily will join us on that next.
10:31 pm
10:32 pm
guess who is bulking up your morning with some meaty breakfast burritos? this guy. get my meat lovers with bacon, sausage, and ham. or grande sausage with creamy sriracha. because at jack in the box, whoops, we're all about bulking up breakfast. meaty, baby! try my meaty breakfast burritos. ♪ ♪ connecting people... ...uniting the world. ♪♪
10:33 pm
with ham, grilled sausage,th my and hickory-smoked bacon.rrito or my grande sausage breakfast burrito with creamy sriracha and crispy hash browns. i'm all about bulking up breakfast! [grunt] try my meaty breakfast burritos. part of the breakfast burrito family. the republican controlled senate turned against donald trump today in a way that it never did prior to the republicans losing the house of representatives. senate republicans can now see that staying in lock step with donald trump for the next two years would mean marching to a wipeout for senate republicans two years from now, similar to what the house republicans suffered this year.
10:34 pm
and so today 14 republicans in the senate including hard-core trump supporters like lindsey graham turned against the president on a vote that would block u.s. support for saudi arabia's war in yemen. those 14 republicans joined all of the democrats in voting against the administration policy in yemen. in the end the vote was 63-37 with the president on the losing side of that vote. some of the republican senators changed their minds on this issue claiming that it was the saudi murder of journalist jamal khashoggi that changed their minds about how to vote today. >> i changed my mind because i'm pissed, the way the administration's handled the saudi arabia event is just not acceptable. i mean institutionally we have a right to be briefed by the cia. how can i make an informed decision as a united states senator about whether or not the crown prince is complicit in a murder if i don't have access to
10:35 pm
the intelligence that i read about in the paper? that's unacceptable for me. >> everything donald trump did was fully acceptable to lindsey graham before the mid-term election. today the full senate was given a closed door briefing on the situation in saudi arabia including the war in yemen and the murder of jamal khashoggi. and many senators, democrats and republicans, were disturbed that the director of the cia who knows more about khashoggi case than anyone else in the administration was prevented from participating in the briefing, prevented by the president. >> the most persuasive presence in this briefing was an empty chair, a chair that should have been operated by gena hasical. we were told in this briefing it was at the direction of the white house she not intend. >> were you explicitly told the white house blocked her? >> we asked why she wasn't there, and the two who were there said it was a decision by
10:36 pm
the white house. >> after the briefing concluded the cia press secretary released this written statement. while director haspel did not attend today's yemen policy briefing the agency has already briefed the senate select committee on intelligence and congressional leadership on the totality of the compartmented classified intelligence, and will continue to provide updates on this important matter to policy makers in congress. the notion anyone told director haspel not to attend today's briefing is false. joining us now is democratic senator jeff merckly of oregon. what's your reaction to the statement saying no one told senator haspel not to attend this briefing? >> well, it's a deflection. she didn't appear.
10:37 pm
her attendance was requested. why didn't she appear? would she have done that on her own or consulted with the president's team? certainly always seems that's a choice of the president and his team. and so we feel trump does not want her to share the details about why the cia strongly believes that the crown prince was very involved in this plot to murder an american resident. >> let's listen to what former cia director mike pompeo, now secretary of state pompeo said about gena haspel not attending the meeting. >> why wasn't the current cia director here briefing centers senators as well? >> i was asked to be here, and here i am. >> you were briefing senators on on issue that's sensitive.
10:38 pm
>> i was asked to be here and i don't care. >> senator merkley, he can offer no legitimate answer why she wasn't there. >> and essentially what pompeo was conveying today was that because saudi arabia was a player in the region that supports some of our u.s. objectives that we're not going to hold them accountable for this murder. it's -- it's basically unbelievable to me that we're saying that you can murder an american resident with impunity if you buy our arms or help us with some other policy. >> senator, how is it that this administration has come to see the saudi-u.s. relationship as one in which the saudis have all the power and the united states
10:39 pm
has none? the saudis have all the power over the united states to determine what the united states' posture must be to saudi arabia. >> well, this is a bit of a mystery because it very much is the tail wagging the dog. is it because they supply oil to us? is it because they buy our arms? that's what the president has said. is it because they helped us against isis, and i must say that help wasn't massive. let's remember that it was the saudis, mostly saudis that attacked us on 9/11. and remember that the saudis funded a lot of the extremists that trained terrorists, that were very much a part of the challenge in the world. and let's remember it's the saudis that the three-year bombing campaign in yemen has produced the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world and the worst epidemic of cholera ever experienced in human history with something of
10:40 pm
over 100 children a day dying of disease or starvation. we have an unbalanced relationship with saudi arabia. it's hard to explain, and we'd like to understand all the president's conflicts of interests in his own transactions, his own business transactions. but even the republicans are gate very frustrated with essentially making america a tool of saudi policy. >> and senator, what was the reaction that you experienced in the room to this briefing? >> well, it was a -- person after person stood up on both sides of the aisle and expressed extreme frustration, extreme frustration we weren't getting the briefing. extreme frustration that secretary pompeo was dancing around the core issue. he was conveying that because there wasn't a smoking gun, that, well, we don't really know what happened. of course in criminal court there's tremendous amounts of circumstantial evidence that's
10:41 pm
relevant, and all that information was not brought forward. and the woman who would have brought it forward was the director of the cia who was not there. and when we come back, one of the ways to protect the mueller investigation is to prevent donald trump's new so-called acting attorney general from interfering with that investigation. that is what some state attorneys general are trying to do. one of those attorneys general will join us next.
10:42 pm
♪ let's do the thing that you do. let's clear a path. let's put down roots. let's build something. let's do the thing that you do. let's do the thing that changes the shape of everything... that pushes us forward and keeps us going. let's do the work.
10:43 pm
my mom washes the dishes... ...before she puts them in the dishwasher. so what does the dishwasher do? cascade platinum does the work for you, prewashing and removing stuck-on foods, the first time. wow, that's clean! cascade platinum.
10:44 pm
whoa! the mercedes-benz winter event is back, and you won't want to stop for anything else. lease the gla 250 for $359 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. coaching means making tough choices. jim! you're in! but when you have high blood pressure and need cold medicine that works fast, the choice is simple. coricidin hbp is the #1 brand that gives powerful cold symptom relief without raising your blood pressure. coricidin hbp.
10:45 pm
today president trump continued his twitter attacks against special prosecutor robert mueller which gave even more ammunition to the majority of the united states senate that is trying to protect robert mueller with legislation that would make it more difficult for the president to have him fired. this legislation is considered even more urgent by republican senator jeff flake and others who supported now that the president has installed matthew whitaker as the so-called acting attorney general who's now in a position to supervise and impede the investigation. here's jeff flake on the senate floor today. >> with the president tweeting on a regular basis, on a daily basis that the special counsel is conflicted, that he is leading so-called 12 angry democrats and demeaning and ridiculing him in every way to be so sanguine about the chances of him being fired is folly for
10:46 pm
us, i believe. >> senator flake was once again blocked by senate republicans in his attempt to get a vote on his bill today, which is co-sponsored by democrat chris tunes and other democrats and supported by enough republicans to easily pass the senate. state attorneys general have joined a lawsuit that would protect robert mueller because it challenges the legitimacy and legal tale of matthew whitaker as acting attorney general. this week 14 states attorneys general joined a lawsuit brought by the state of maryland challenging the illegal and unconstitutional appointment of matthew whitaker. one of the officials who joined that lawsuit, massachusetts attorney general will join us next. this is not a bed.
10:47 pm
it's proven quality sleep. the new sleep number 360 smart bed, from $999, intelligently senses your movement and automatically adjusts...
10:48 pm
so you can get a running start on the holidays. and now, save up to $500 on select sleep number 360 smart beds. limited time only. do i use a toothpaste that whitens my teeth, or one that's good for my teeth? now i don't have to choose. from crest 3d white, the whitening therapy collection with new spearmint and peppermint oil. it gently whitens, plus it has a fortifying formula to protect your enamel. crest. healthy, beautiful smiles for life. omar, check this out. uh, yeah, i was calling to see if you do laser hair removal. for men. notice that my hips are off the ground. [ engine revving ] and then, i'm gonna pike my hips back into downward dog. [ rhythmic tapping ] hey, the rain stopped. -a bad day on the road still beats a good one off it.
10:49 pm
-tell me about that dental procedure again! -i can still taste it in my mouth! -progressive helps keep you out there. -i can still taste it in my mouth! this is moving day with the best in-home wifi experience and millions of wifi hotspots to help you stay connected. and this is moving day with reliable service appointments in a two-hour window so you're up and running in no time. show me decorating shows. this is staying connected with xfinity to make moving... simple. easy. awesome.
10:50 pm
stay connected while you move with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. joining our discussion now is massachusetts attorney general maura healey. and i want to ask you about this lawsuit that you and the other attorneys general have joined against matthew whitaker. it in effect is asking the court to -- let's see if i get this right. order the president to install a legitimate acting attorney general. is that essentially what you're asking for? >> that's right. we're asking for a court order for the president to follow federal law and the constitution. and here's why this is so important, lawrence.
10:51 pm
we need an attorney general who's there to protect the public and not the president. and as we've seen and as we've heard we know what this is about and we know what the president is trying to do with the whitaker appointment. and as state attorneys general what we are making clear through this karat filing is that it violates federal law because there's a clear law that says who the attorney general actually is supposed to be when there is a vacancy and that is not someone like matt whitaker. it's in fact the deputy attorney general. it violates the constitution because anybody who serves as acting attorney general is in fact supposed to have been senate confirmed. and really importantly, lawrence, it also as we go forward undermines the legitimacy of every single action taken by the department of justice. and you know there are thousands of lawsuits right now all across this country in which the department of justice is taking a position. all of its actions are now called into question legally as a result of this.
10:52 pm
so we need order restored immediately, and that's why we're in court. >> on november 8th you wrote a letter that was co-signed by many of the attorneys generals directly to matthew whitaker saying because a reasonable person could question your impartiality in the matter your recusal is necessary to maintain public trust in the integrity of the investigation and to protect the essential and long-standing independence of the department you have been chosen to lead on an acting basis." have you gotten an answer to your letter from matthew whitaker? >> no. not at all. and that raises a whole other issue, lawrence. i'm talking about the legal arguments that we've made in a court filing. but you're right. a few weeks ago when matthew whitaker was appointed we sent a letter demanding that he recuse himself. let's just remember the context of this. jeff sessions did the right thing and had the common sense to fulfill his ethical obligation and recuse himself when there was the appearance of conflict.
10:53 pm
here with matt whitaker we have clear conflict. look at all he has said and done about his efforts to shut down an ongoing criminal investigation. in the face of an existing conflict we have an acting attorney general who's refused to step aside, refused to recuse himself. that's what we demanded. but right now we've moved beyond that and we're in court. >> now, you as an attorney general and other attorneys general around the country have lawsuits that you filed. federal lawsuits in which the attorney general is a named party. and therefore it is of crucial legal importance to you who the attorney general actually really is. isn't that also a factor in criminal cases, that there could be criminal defendants on the road to conviction or at some point in the process who in an appeal of a conviction could raise the issue of this case was brought illegally under an illegitimate attorney general. >> absolutely. and that's why this is so
10:54 pm
critical, that the court act now and restore order, make sure that whitaker is removed and that the deputy attorney general assume the role as is required under federal law of acting attorney general until an attorney general is appointed. think about all these cases right now. we have criminal defendants. we have plaintiffs. we have civil defendants. all of whom had their cases compromised and the legitimacy of actions undermined by the existence of matthew whitaker as acting attorney general. there will be litigation for years to come as a result of this appointment unless and until order is restored, whitaker is out, and the deputy a.g. assume properly under law the role of acting attorney general. so this raises huge issues for the rule of law and for order in our courts all across this country. it's illegal. it's unethical. it's wrong. and that's why we're in court asking the court to act for the
10:55 pm
sake of the american people. >> massachusetts attorney general maura healey, thank you very much for joining us again tonight. really appreciate it. >> great to be with you, lawrence. >> thank you. tonight's last word is next. ♪ ♪ the greatest wish of all... is one that brings us together. the lincoln wish list event is here. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with $0 down, $0 due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment. only at your lincoln dealer.
10:56 pm
and a complimentary first month's payment. i was thinking...d clot could there be another around the corner? or could it turn out differently? i wanted to help protect myself. my doctor recommended eliquis. eliquis is proven to treat and help prevent another dvt or pe blood clot... almost 98 percent of patients on eliquis didn't experience another. ...and eliquis has significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. eliquis is fda approved and has both. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away if you have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily... and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk
10:57 pm
if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. what's around the corner could be surprising. ask your doctor about eliquis.
10:58 pm
and tonight's last word, an update on giving tuesday. last night after the show i tried to keep up with all of your comments on twitter about your giving tuesday contributions to the kind fund, kids in need of desks, the partnership i created with msnbc and unicef to provide desks to schools in africa and to provide
10:59 pm
scholarships for girls to attend high school in malawi, where like many african countries public high school is not free. but i could not come close to keeping up with the flow of your tweets last night. i liked as many of them as i could. i replied to as many of them as i could. i retweeted some. it really was an overwhelming flow. helped enormously by brian williams' very generously adding his voice at the end of his program last night to supporting the k.i.n.d. fund. and so i was not completely surprised today after all of that tweet activity last night that we had a very good fund-raising yield from giving tuesday. but i was stunned to discover that it was more than double what you contributed last year on giving tuesday. since monday night at 11:00 p.m., when we first mentioned our giving tuesday drive, you have contributed $438,750 to the k.i.n.d. fund.
11:00 pm
and we still have a very long way to go to provide desks for every school in malawi that needs december desks and scholarships for every kid there but for tonight we owe you a very big thank you for your record-breaking giving tuesday. ♪ tonight, the president tells "the new york post" he won't take a pardon off the table for his convicted campaign chair paul manafort. trump also says rod rosenstein should have never picked a special counsel. that's after he posted this on twitter showing his deputy a.g., mueller, comey, and others including two presidents behind bars.