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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  February 25, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow and every day now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening, lawrence. >> now i'm ready. i'm wearing my glasses tonight, rachel. >> why? >> well, actually, now that you mention it, the president decided -- he decided to make fun of people who wear glasses today. and that made me go look up how many people wear glasses, say, in the united states, like how many voters. it's only 60%, rachel. it's only 60. and so i'm going to stand with the 60% who the president made fun of today, because we need a little help. >> you know the president always says, like, i'm your president or i'm our president or something.
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maybe he just means people who wear contact lenses. >> rachel, put on your glasses as soon as you get out of there. thank you, rachel. trump has a 54% disapproval rating in the latest nbc news poll. and at the end of the hour, we're going to show you the president's disapproval rating state-by-state which shows that at this point the president has virtually no path to coming close to winning the electoral college in his reelection campaign as of now. disapproval of the president comes in two forms, and sometimes at the same time. one is disapproval of the president's policies, the other is disapproval of the person. and disapproval of the person cannot be changed by changing policy. here is the person that a clear majority of american voters disapprove of. >> i don't know what i said, ah, i don't remember. >> that was about three years ago.
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here's that same person today. >> he called over his people. he's gotten people standing behind him, every one of them is central casting, glasses -- >> that's your president. that's the president of the united states, the guy who thinks wearing glasses is funny. this is the kind of trump news that is never emphasized enough. and in any other presidency it would be explosive news. it doesn't just demonstrate presidential stupidity, it demonstrates serious, neurological misfires for the president. the president has no functioning inhibitor in his brain that can control an impulse, that was supposed to be developed in elementary school. it shows the president's incapacity to express himself with words and sentences. listen to what the president said next. >> he reported within two minutes, explained basketball players, bom-bom.
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>> those two sounds the president made after basketball players has meaning only to the president. he was trying to communicate with all of us and with the world, and he just ran out of words. he substituted noises for words and thought that he completed the sentence, thought he completed the thought clearly for us with the noises boom-boom. whatever that means. we have never seen public displays of brain dysfunction in a president of the united states, and it is the one elected office in the country where you really have to worry about this kind of thing. it wouldn't be such a big deal in a governor or a mayor or even a senator, but the president of the united states has the nuclear codes, and this president of the united states is going to sit down with a north korean dictator who also has nuclear codes.
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and has probably just seen that the president of the united states makes fun of people like him who wear glasses. here's something donald trump doesn't know, as i just told rachel. 60% of us wear glasses or some kind of eye assist, contact lenses. 60% of americans, 60% of voters were made fun of today by the president of the united states. that's how donald trump began a week that could be one of the worst weeks of his presidency, making fun of 60% of american voters. maybe that can actually push up the number of voters who say they will never, under any circumstances, vote for donald trump's reelection. currently 57% of voters say they will never vote to reelect donald trump. only donald trump could find a way to push that number up. tonight president trump is flying across the pacific to another meeting with north korea's dictator, kim jong-un. the president is doing
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everything he can to make this week's headlines focus on his meeting with the north korean dictator, but washington will not allow that to happen. even the slightest development in robert mueller's investigation would be enough to make him turn away from his trip, and michael cohen saying the crimes he committed with donald trump in order to win the presidency will prove impossible to contain for president trump and his allies trying to keep that focus on north korea. and tomorrow the house of representatives will hold an historic vote, a vote of disapproval of the president of the united states and his declaration of national emergency to take money away from other government purposes to build a wall on the southern border that congress has decided not to build. the resolution already has enough in congress to pass. what we find out tomorrow is how many republicans vote for it.
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the resolution was introduced in the house of representatives on friday. every member has had the entire weekend to read it and study it. every member of the house will have had the resolution for five days when they finally vote on it tomorrow. but republican congressman tom cole got the orders today to say that that's not enough time. >> we're on short notice reviewing a bill to disapprove the president's emergency declaration for the southern border. i do not understand the haste with which the majority is pushing this disapproval resolution through. we've had no time to review the bill and no committee has held a hearing or marked it up. >> we've had no time to review the bill. okay. here it is. let's review it. resolved by the senate and house of representatives of the united states of america and congress assemble that pursuant to section 202 of the national
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emergencies act, the national emergency declared by the finding of the president on february 15, 2019, in proclamation 9844, 84 federal reg 4949, is hereby terminated. how long did that take? control room says 22 seconds. that took 22 seconds. now, some of those words might have sounded unfamiliar to your ear, but certainly not to a member of congress, and the only legally relevant words in the resolution are "the national emergency declared by the finding of the president on february 15, 2019 is hereby terminated." if there is a member of congress who needs more than one minute to read and reread and reread this resolution and understand exactly what this resolution does, then that person is unfit to serve in the house of representatives. and congressman tom cole knows
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that. he was just the poor member of the leadership today who was forced to make the public statement today that republicans don't have enough time to read this. after the resolution of disapproval passes the house of representatives, which it will, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell will be required to bring it to a vote in the senate within 18 days. senate democrats will need at least four republicans to vote with them to pass the resolution. so far there are three republicans who say they will vote with the democrats. senator tom tillis whose op-ed in the "washington post" says, i support trump's vision on border service but i vote against the emergency. senator susan collins said, if it's a clean disapproval resolution, i will support it. and republican senator lisa murkowski said this. >> i think it's so important that there be clear lines when it comes to the separation of powers, the institution of the congress as that appropriating
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branch. i want to make sure that what, in fact, we are voting on when it comes to the senate is what i believe it is. if it's what i have seen right now, i will support the resolution to disapprove. >> 58 former senior government officials have signed onto a joint bipartisan statement saying, quote, in our professional opinion, there is no factual basis for the declaration of a national emergency for the purpose of circumventing the appropriations process and reprogramming billions of dollars in funding to construct a wall at the southern border. the co-signers of that statement include former secretaries of state john kerry and madeleine albright, john brennan, former defense secretary and former director of the cia, leon panetta, samantha power, undersecretary of state, wendy sherman. 26 former republican members of congress signed a letter calling on the current republican members of congress to, quote,
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honor your oath and protect the constitution. the letter says, it has always been a republican fundamental principle that no matter how strong our policy preferences, no matter how deep our loyalties to presidents or party leaders in order to remain a constitutional republic, we must act within the borders of the constitution. the republican co-signers of this letter include former republican senators john danforth, gordon humphrey and olympia snow. leading off our discussion now, former democratic senator heidi heitkamp who is a fellow now at the institute of politics at harvard, and she was the first woman elected to the united states senate from north dakota. also joining us, adam gentleson, the former deputy chief of staff. to harry reid. and the professor of political science at morgan state university. he's also an msnbc political analyst. senator heitkamp, i don't know how long it takes you to study
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resolutions that i can read in 22 seconds, but poor tom cole in the house of representatives being handed the job today of saying the republicans do not have enough time, do not have enough time to read this resolution that takes me 22 seconds to read. >> well, i think you said it right. tom knows better, and he's really just a great guy, and i worked with him on a lot of native american issues. but you know what i was thinking about as you were reading it was all the handwritten notes that were on that tax bill at 2:30 in the morning when we were handed it and told we're going to vote in the next half an hour. so if you want an example of where you don't have enough time, that tax bill, which is now proving to be a disaster, i think, for the president, that's a great example of where it didn't work so well. but that resolution, there is no reason not to take the vote. what's really interesting to me is the level of hypocrisy that we're going to say from people
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like mike lee or from tom cruz -- or from ted cruz who stood up many times and accused obama of usurping legislative authority. where are they going to land on this when they know clearly that this is in excess of executive power. >> adam gentleson, where are they going to land? >> that's a really great question. you'll be looking for two things when the senate eventually votes. first, does it have enough votes to pass the senate, which is a majority vote? the rules attached to the special resolution allow it to bypass the senate 60-vote threshold. does it pass to 51 votes? i think the answer is probably yes. it is sent to the president's desk. if he vetoes it, it goes to the senate and the house, and then the question is does it get the two-thirds vote. i think it will be interesting
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to see where are you between 51 and 67? do you start to approach the 67-vote threshold, because that could be really interesting territory. >> jason johnson, this is also being challenged in court, so there could conceiably be an injunction against it somewhere in one of the district courts it's being challenged in even before you get to the 18 days in the senate whenever mitch mcconnell brings this up. >> lawrence, legally this is going to be really complicated. remember, president trump himself has somehow strangely predicted that this is going to end up in the supreme court and that the supreme court will give him this authority. i think we're not even in the first quarter. like, we literally just came out of the locker room right now as to how this process with this sort of emergency call is going to go. i do think it's going to make it through the house. i do think it's going to make it through the senate. i do think the president of the united states will veto it. i don't think congress is going to have enough votes to overturn
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that veto, and then we're going to be in a long and complicated process. i hope everybody recognizes that calling your senators, calling your house of representative members, that's important right now. but also this is why voting matters. all these lower level courts and all the appointments made by this administration is one of the reasons he could potentially get away with this kind of policy down the road. >> let's listen to what republican senator roy blunt said about this yesterday. >> i think we're going to have to evaluate whether this is really the intention of an emergency. is it really an emergency if, again, the president asked the congress to do it and they failed to? that's different than the way this law has been used in the past. >> so you could vote to try to block the president from moving forward with this emergency, you just haven't decided yet? is that fair? >> i think that's fair. >> so, senator heitkamp, my guess is that a senator like roy blunt represents probably a dozen republican senators who are sitting exactly where he is
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right now, looking at it exactly the same way he is, which means on the fence could go either way on this. >> i think there is a tremendous number of these folks who are going to have to do some soul-searching on the statements that they made when the president -- when president obama declared daca, and they screamed bloody murder on the floor of the senate about how inappropriate it was for a president to do that. i think that there is a whole lot of soul searching that's going on right now, and i think it's deeper than what you think. i think it goes to really the core of who they are as united states senators. it may not be enough to overturn a veto, but i think there is great discomfort, and this is the bargain that mitch made with the president to open up government. and i don't even think mitch mcconnell on a good day wants to see this emergency power
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exercise the way the president exercised it. >> the president seems nervous about republican senators on this. he tweeted, i hope our great republican senators don't get led down the path of weak and ineffective border security. without strong borders, we don't have a country and the voters are on board with us. be strong and smart. don't fall into the democrats' trap of open borders and crime. and adam, that's the best he can do in trying to hold republican senators for his emergency declaration. >> yeah, and i think he should be worried. right now the senators who said they're going to vote to support it are folks like collins, tillis and murkowski, folks who are facing tough elections in 2020. but when you have someone like senator blunt possibly voting for it, then it raises the possibility of what we used to call a jailbreak, when you completely lose control of the caucus and that's when you start talking about 67 votes actually being a possibility.
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i think there is a possibility of that happening here. i think the president is right to be nervous. >> that's exactly why i was focusing on senator blunt, because, jason, as adam says, you look at key senators on each side sometimes as a small group, two or three, that are possible to go across the aisle, but then there are the situations where if this one goes, a dozen goes or more. and that's -- we could see that here. >> right. we saw that with sort of reopening the government. we learned not to trust susan collins, and brett kavanaugh will say one thing and vote the other way. but the reality is no one wants to be the 51st vote, but many people are perfectly happy to be 56 and 57. you can get a whole slew of people, then you've got cover. nobody has to worry about it. that is a possibility. the truth of the matter is, if i'm a republican right now and i have a concern about this president being able to declare
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emergency, i don't want this to get to a second vote. i want to have such a large number of voters come out. so many republicans vote in this first round that the president won't think about vetoing it, then we can negotiate it another way. i don't think anyone wants to have to go through this process in another 18 to 20 days and then have to corral five or six more people. just get it done now and then they can cover themselves. >> if mitch mcconnell stretches this out the 18 days as we would expect him to, would he be hoping during that time, secretly hoping, that there is a court injunction against the emergency declaration somewhere so that then he might be able to just let senators go on this and vote any way they want? >> i think the clear answer to that is yep. i also don't think this is just a political calculation on republican senators. i think this is a clear vote about what does it mean to be a legislator, what does it mean to protect the institution of the united states senate?
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what is pat roberts doing? he's going to retire. i mean, this is going to be a very, very difficult vote for the president if this vote is taken. >> i want senator heitkamp with me whenever we're counting votes in the senate from now on. thank you, senator, for your invaluable perspective on this. jason, thank you for starting us off tonight. the house judiciary committee believing it has evidence that matthew whitaker did indeed talk to president trump about the investigation of president trump and michael cohen. and the president is headed to vietnam to meet the north korean dictator again, and his administration is reportedly taking advice on this meeting from russia. and in tonight's "last word," donald trump is donald trump's worst enemy for reelection. it's absolute confidence
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and asked him to put geoffrey berman in control of the investigation of michael cohen and donald trump in the manhattan u.s. attorney's office. but tonight's news is that the house judiciary committee believes that it has evidence that president trump made that request. the "wall street journal" notes in its reporting tonight, the house judiciary committee is investigating whether mr. whitaker may have perjured himself in his appearance before the panel earlier this month, according to one of the people familiar with the matter. mr. whitaker told the panel at no time has the white house asked for, nor have i provided, any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel's investigation or any other investigation. any evidence that mr. trump sought to intervene in the federal prosecutor's probe could propel further lines of inquiry by lawmakers into whether he has tried to obstruct the investigation into his business dealings. donald trump's business, which calls itself the trump organization, is objecting to a
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possible house of representatives investigation of that business. the "washington post" reports today that the trump organization has sent a letter to the house judiciary committee demanding that the committee cease any and all investigations into the organization. the "washington post" reports that the trump organization objected to the committee's hiring of barry berke on the grounds that his law firm, cramer levin, has represented trump on a number of issues, and they called the letter baseless and said his work with the judiciary committee follows all the applicable ethical rules, does not pose any conflicts of interest and poses any answers the firm may have. we were waiting for a sentencing memo in the paul manafort case that was due midnight on friday. that document became public over
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the weekend, and it reveals that paul manafort told the sentencing judge this his behavior reflects a hardened adherence to lack of remorse and committing crimes. paul manafort's lawyers submitted a report saying paul manafort deserves a light sentence because he didn't commit murder. they actually entered this note of celebration on filing of which paul manafort is not accused of. they said, this case is not about murder, drug cartels, organized crime, the madoff ponzi scheme or the collapse of enron. so according to paul manafort's lawyers, anyone who didn't commit one of those crimes doesn't deserve a heavy sentence which will come as a big surprise to the millions of prisoners with heavy sentences for not committing those crimes.
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joining our discussion now, jill banks, and harry litman, a former u.s. attorney and attorney general. we had it told us by the "new york times" that president trump spoke to matthew whitaker about can you get him to recuse himself so i can see this, and what do you make of this development that the house judiciary committee has this evidence?
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>> it's very interesting they may have it. it also means there is a possible perjury by mr. whitaker who has denied that he had any conversations like this. it's completely consistent with how all of the people surrounding donald trump behave. they deny, they deny, they deny. donald trump has trained them if you don't admit it, you're not guilty. that's something that should cause concern to all citizens in america. >> harry litman, does it look to you that matthew whitaker threaded the needle careful enough in his testimony to avoid a perjure charge. he was never specifically asked the question, did the president try to control something about that prosecution in new york? the questions he was asked, he seemed to have stepped through the answers very, very carefully. >> yeah, i think the short answer is yes.
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and the punitive perjury here was actually a statement that was written and crafted and wordsmithed in advance. he said, and this had been written for him, that he was not asked to make any promises or commitments. i think that's going to hold up even as against evidence that trump went to him and said, can we reinstall this u.s. attorney. on its own it just reinforces trump's complete ignorance of ethics rules and what recusal even means. i think the one statement in question by whitaker probably doesn't rise to the level of perjury. >> what this does mean is the possibility of another hearing in which the judiciary committee presents that evidence that's being referred to tonight in the "wall street journal's" reporting and would also bring matthew whitaker back in to face that evidence about what happened in the trump phone call.
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>> it certainly could. there are so many open issues that the house and many of the committees can be looking at as we await the final conclusion of all the evidence that surrounds the issues concerning the russia investigation and the southern district's investigations of the trump organization as well as the inaugural committee, as well as the things his children may have done in the trump foundation. there are things that may not rise to the level of crimes but are witness to any oversight by the congress in terms of whether they are appropriate behaviors. so they may not be criminal acts, but they can be acts the president should be held accountable for. >> harry, give us guidance on how to read this situation where
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the trump business lawyers are saying the judiciary cannot hire anyone that ever worked for a law firm that in any way represented any of donald trump's business. apparently this lawyer himself had nothing to do with it. >> you know, it's a hail mary and probably done more for pr than any other reason. barry berke, the lawyer in question, would have very carefully crossed his t's and dotted his i's before even coming there in the first place. it's just well known to anyone in a big firm, it may well be that he is working for a big client, not anything potentially adverse. i think it's more to rattle sabres rather than any kind of ernest effort to try and fact-disqualify berke.
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>> that's all we have for our legal session tonight. jill wine-banks and harry litmusr, thank you both tonight. really appreciate it. when we come back, president trump seems to think that communism is a great economic system. he attacks socialism all the time, but he seems to think that communism is just great, especially if that communist dictatorship is in a country that has beaches like the great beaches of north korea. that there's a lobster i in our hot tub?t. lobster: oh, you guys. there's a jet! oh...i needed this. no, i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on our car insurance with geico. we could have been doing this a long time ago. so, you guys staying at the hotel? yeah, we just got married. oh ho-ho! congratulations! thank you. yeah, i'm afraid of commitment... and being boiled alive. oh, shoot. believe it. geico could save you 15% or more on car insurance. that guy's the worst.
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it sounds like president trump is going to make his negotiations with north korea all about the beaches.
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>> they have great beaches. you see that whenever they're exploding their cannons into the ocean, right? i said, boy, look at that beach. wouldn't that make a great condo? and i said, you know, instead of doing that, you could have the best hotels in the world right there. thing of it from a real estate perspective. you have south korea, you have china and they own the land in the middle. how bad is that, right? it's great. >> and with that statement, donald trump became the biggest public believer in totalitarian communism as an economic system of anyone who has ever lived outside of north korea. north korea has the worst economic system in the world. and so it doesn't matter how nice the beaches are. north korea is not going to suddenly turn into florida if it gets rid of nuclear weapons because it would still have a murderos dictatorial regime and
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the economic growth that the economically literate donald trump dreams of for north korea and its beaches. on the campaign trail, donald trump attention socialism any chance he gets, and the socialism he's attacking is medicare for all. the socialism that donald trump hates is the socialism that he personally enjoys, government-provided health care. at the very same time that donald trump attacks the kind of american socialism that he enjoys and that america enjoys, donald trump praises the economic potential of the cruellest, most destructive economic system on the face of the planet, north korea's dictatorial communism. but like every head of state that donald trump meets, kim jong-un is smarter than donald
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trump. and he knows that trading his nuclear weapons for beach resorts is not the way for him to stay in power. after a break, foreign policy expert david ruffcoff will join us with his view of what to expect this week in north korea and what to expect this week at the north korean beaches. let's be honest: dealing with your insurance shouldn't be more frustrating than the accident itself. that's why esurance makes it simple.
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trump today once again praising the dictatorship in north korea. >> i think we'll have a very terrific summit. we want denuclearization and i think we'll have a country that will set a lot of records for speed in terms of the economy. >> joining our discussion today, foreign expert david ruffcoff. dave, every time he talks about this speedy economic development of north korea, he is making the mistake of praising dictatorial communism which has repeatedly proven itself to be the worst economic system in the world and has been abandoned, really, by every place except north korea. >> that's not the only mistake he's making. he's also making the mistake of thinking there's somebody in north korea that knows how to run an economy, that there's infrastructure in north korea, that you can instantaneously create north korea to south korea that is still at war with
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china, and the vision you paint of the north korean riviera has a few drawbacks as well, not the least of which it's going to be really hard to get there, nobody is going to want to go, and it's pretty cold right now. >> what would you imagine the north korean regime makes of talk like that? >> i'm sure they're smacking their lips. they hear a guy who wants a deal, who has convinced himself that a deal is going to work. they want sanctions relief. they want cash. they want money coming in, and i think they think that if they show just a little bit of ankle, they give the president a little bit of what they want, they'll get all those things liaison offices. president kim is going to look legitimized around the world, something that was literally inconceivable two years ago.
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>> the president just wants no more testing that could be called testing for a nuclear program. >> i think the president's negotiating posture is on his back asking kim jong-un to scratch him on the belly. he just wants to get something that looks like a deal. and so if there is no new testing, maybe they promise in a few years to get rid of a testing site, something that looks like progress, he'll get the deal, he'll get the credit, he'll go call prime minister abe in japan and say, resubmit my nobel prize letter, and all the hard work will be done ten years out, 20 years out as the north koreans do or do not adhere to the spirit of the letter in the agreement. >> and the ap is reporting that russian foreign minister sergei lavrov has asked moscow's advice in dealing with north korea before this summit.
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what could that possibly mean? >> trump asking for moscow's advice seems to be a theme that runs through almost everything in this administration. obviously moscow has got some relationship with the north koreans. i'm sure trump sees this as a way of legitimizing the relationship he's got with putin because he can say, see, i couldn't have done this without the relationship that i have with moscow, and maybe, just maybe, he'll feel that will get him a little bit off the hook and distract from things like the michael cohen hearings this week, the impending mueller report and the 16 other investigations into his wrongdoing of different sorts. >> and, of course, according to andrew mccabe's account that he had an fbi official hear donald trump say that he believes vladimir putin when vladimir putin told him that north korea does not have the missile capacity that his own
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intelligence agencies told him north korea does have. >> yeah, that really is going to win a prize for gullibility if it's only gullibility. that's a polite interpretation. here you have the president of the united states disregarding yet again all the collective intelligence and experience of his intelligence agencies to say, yeah, vlad wouldn't lie to me. i'll take it at face value. what could he possibly want? he wouldn't want the united states to possibly be weakened or buy into a bad deal, would he? >> david rockhuff, thank you very much for joining us tonight. when we come back, disapproval of donald trump and why that has become a majority opinion in the united states of america. that is what donald trump will be running against in the presidential campaign, and that's what donald trump cannot beat, according to the polls that show the disapproval of donald trump.
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donald trump is president thanks to the anti-democratic institution that we call the electoral college. he got 3 million fewer votes than hillary clinton and 77 more electoral college votes than hillary clinton. that's american democracy at work. and that is why the electoral college why the electoral college is one feature of democracy that has not been
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copied by other countries around the world when they have established their versions of democracy. with 57% of voters saying they definitely will not vote for donald trump, the electoral college once again remains donald trump's only hope of holding on to the presidency, but as of tonight, according to glap polling information, donald trump is 99 electoral college votes behind whoever the democrats nominate for president. after the break, we'll show you big surprises galileo gallop is finding including the possibility that donald trump could lose texas. we'll show you why in his re-election campaign, donald trump's worst enemy is going to be donald trump. was ahead of its time. still, we never stopped making it stronger.
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the gallup poll finds donald trump has a job approval rating of 50% or higher in 17 states. that's polling information donald trump himself would tweet triumphantly because math is not his strong suit. it wouldn't occur to donald trump that 17 states is only about a third of the states. and he wouldn't notice that texas is not one of the states in which he has an approval rating of 50% or higher. in fact, donald trump's approval rating in texas is 41%, with 52%
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of texas voters disproving of donald trump. if that's his approval and disapproval rating in texas on election day, donald trump is going to lose texas' 38 electoral votes. the simple rule for incumbents running for re-election is they are likely to lose when their approval rating is below 50%. so that means that as of now donald trump is likely to lose texas, but there's plenty of time for president trump to pump up his approval rating in texas, but how would he do that? donald trump has run out of moves. there won't be another trump tax cut. there won't be a trump wall. and texas voters know that better than most trump voters in most republican states. that's why donald trump is trying to pull something that looks like a rabbit out of something that looks like a north korean hat, but for voters to believe that donald trump has achieved important progress toward denuclearization in north
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korea, they will have to believe one or both of these people. so it's really hard to see how donald trump can improve his position in job approval polls. and this is the only president in the history of polling who has never achieved a 50% or higher job approval rating nationally. pushed up donald trump's job approval rating is something that president trump has proved himself incapable of doing. in 16 states donald trump has an approval rating below 40%. it is very hard for a politician to push an approval rating below 40%, but donald trump has done it in 16 states. that is less than a third of the states. so what does donald trump have to worry about if he's at 50% higher in 17 states but below 40% in 16 states? the problem is those 16 states where donald trump is below 40%
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have 201 electoral votes, that's 201 electoral votes that donald trump can't possibly win. there is nothing he will be able to do to turn around those states that include huge electoral prizes like california, new york, new jersey, and the states where donald trump has continue approval rating of 50% or higher have only 102 electoral votes because they include tiny population states like wyoming, idaho, montana, and the dakotas. if we give the democrats where his approval rating is below 40%, then we giving donald trump an approval rate of 50% or higher, the democrat needs to win only 69 more local votes, and donald trump needs to win 168 more electoral votes. it's easy to see how the democrat would pick up another 69 electoral votes, and at this
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point it's very difficult to see how donald trump could change enough minds about donald trump to pick up the 168 electoral votes that he would need to win re-election. to do that, donald trump would have to win almost all of the states where his approval rating is between 41% and 49%. now, president trump is probably going to win a few of those states like louisiana where he has a 49% approval rating and a 54% disapproval rating, in nebraska where he's at 47% disapproval. but the president has a 42% approval rating in the key states of pennsylvania, michigan, and wisconsin, which gave him the presidency last time. as of now, they look out of reach for president trump. and that's because voting for an incumbent is different than voting for someone who has not yet held the office. the voters of pennsylvania, michigan, and wisconsin, who voted for donald trump now know who they voted for, much more
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clearly than they did on election night. they have now lived through the trump presidency, and many of those trump voters are now part of the 54% disapproval rating that donald trump has in pennsylvania and michigan and the 53% disapproval rating he has in wisconsin. here's gallup's trump job approval rating map of the united states. only the dark green states does donald trump have a job approval rating of 50% or higher. and that is the fabled trump base, those 17 dark green states. and so as you follow the trump presidency and the presidential campaign, ask yourselves what has donald trump said or done today that can change people's minds about his presidency from unfavorable to favorable? and almost every day the answer to that question is going to be nothing. and that's because no matter what they put in the trump telepromter, he's always going to be this guy. >> he called over his people. he's got ten people standing
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behind him, everyone is central casting, central casting. [ laughter ] glasses. >> donald trump gets tonight's latest word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. >> donald trump gets tonight's latest word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. on our broadcast tonight, what rod rosenstein said today that has democrats asking what he meant by that exactly, what he might know about the mueller investigation that he's not saying, and there's already talk of subpoenas. also, the new response tonight from paul manafort's lawyers hitting back at the feds while arguing for less time in jail. plus, the michael cohen traveling road show arrives for a three-day tour in washington. speculation well under way as to how far he might go. all of it a giant distraction for a president on the other side of the planet going into a nuclear summit with the dictator from north korea. "the 11th hour" on a monday night begins now.