the Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 9/19/17 Jimmy Kimmel: Cassidy lied to my face
Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: September 19, 2017
Guest: Chris Van Hollen, Mieke Eoyang, Tim O`Brien, Rob Reiner, Bill
Karins, Jimmy Kimmel
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That it was expected to rise as of – reported
earlier that there were some four dozen buildings flattened in Mexico City.
The death toll from this major earthquake was 119 when we started the show.
We said it was expected to rise, as of now, that prediction is coming true.
The head of Mexico`s National Civil Defense Agency now says at least 139
people are known to have died.
But again, the rescue efforts continue as we speak in Mexico City in
Central Mexico. That does it for us tonight, we will see you again
tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Good evening, Rachel. So much
breaking news tonight –
MADDOW: Yes –
O`DONNELL: On the Russia investigation. We`re going to be joined later by
Rob Reiner who is part of a group that`s created this new website debuting
today that`s tracking the Russia investigation.
And I`ve been playing with it a bit today, it`s really useful, you just
click on the various players in it and the timelines of investigations, all
the different investigations.
And so there`s yet another website along with Bill Moyers where you can
kind of go and just stare at things.
When you`re wondering – especially I find this especially useful when
these new players emerge. And Michael Cohen for example today, we haven`t
heard from in a while.
A normal news consumer could kind of forget who that is.
MADDOW: Yes, and being a – having those resources online, especially the
interactive ones help you keep track of the interstitial news as it comes
out, even if you can`t keep the whole plot in your mind all at once.
It`s pretty dramatic stuff –
O`DONNELL: And that moment with the Senate Committee today saying to
Michael Cohen, you have violated our agreement about public comment about
We agreed to not make public comments, you agreed not to make public
comments. For them to kick him out of the meeting basically, had to be a
bipartisan agreement inside that room to kick him out.
MADDOW: Right, and there`s this intriguing other factor there, which it
had been reported a couple of weeks ago that Bob Mueller, special counsel,
was having trouble getting the transcripts out of the – out of the
congressional committees after they were interviewing people behind closed
It had been reported that once he started having those difficulties, he had
sent word to Capitol Hill that he would prefer that they do their witness
interviews in the open now, in open hearings.
And I don`t think the congressional committees would ever cop to being
influenced by a request like that, but it did strike me today when Michael
Cohen had his closed door hearing shut down and they invited him back in
open session that that`s very much more what Robert Mueller would prefer.
So I mean, it`s all reported stuff. The Mueller inquiry itself apparently
does not leak, but that`s what we`ve been hearing, is that preference.
O`DONNELL: And so we`re now on our way to our first televised hearing of
an actual Trump associate testifying in one of these investigative
We will be watching.
MADDOW: Yes, thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. Well, the Senate is making one more last-
minute attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Senator Chris Van Hollen will join us on the latest with that. But first,
the most uninformed, inexperienced president in history went to the United
Nations today and just about everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was the most atrocious speech I`ve ever heard an
American president give.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rocket man is on a suicide
mission for himself and for his regime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is in nobody`s interest to try to out Kim Jong un,
Kim Jong un.
TRUMP: The United States has great strength and patience. But if it is
forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to
totally destroy North Korea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That moment met with gasps inside the room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot imagine Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Dwight
D. Eisenhower or Ronald Reagan making the kind of statement so easily
talking about destruction and war.
TRUMP: Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some in fact are
going to hell.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Several countries are going to hell? How many
countries? Which countries?
TRUMP: I think it went very well. I said what I had to say.
STEVE SCHMIDT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: We`ve never had a president bluster
about the use of nuclear weapons.
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anyone who thinks, military or otherwise, that North
Korea won`t fight to the very death with every citizen`s blood is thinking
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Tonight, the United States is the closest it has been to
nuclear war since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.
But in 1962, no one was worried about the mental stability of the president
of the United States. No one was worried about the president`s reckless
No one was worried about the president`s childish need to prove himself.
No one was worried that the president might not realize the seriousness of
President John F. Kennedy defeated Adlai Stevenson in the run for the
Democratic nomination in 1960, and then he appointed Stevenson ambassador
to the United Nations.
Ambassador Stevenson was every bit as wise and steady as President Kennedy
during the Cuban missile crisis.
When Ambassador Stevenson proved his case in the United Nations that the
Soviet Union had placed missiles in Cuba capable of launching a devastating
nuclear attack on the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADLAI STEVENSON, LATE FORMER DIPLOMAT: At the end of a new spur road,
there are seven 1,000-mile missile trailers.
There are four launcher erector mechanisms for placing these trailers in
erect-firing position. This missile is a mobile weapon which can be moved
rapidly from one place to another.
It is identical with the 1,000-mile missiles, which have been displayed in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Then Adlai Stevenson spoke directly to the Soviet Ambassador,
with the whole world watching, knowing that we were on the brink of nuclear
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVENSON: As to the authenticity of the photographs which Mr. Zoran(ph)
has spoken about with such scorn, I wonder if the Soviet Union would ask
its Cuban colleague to permit a United Nations team to go to these sites.
If so, I can assure you we can direct them to the proper places very
quickly. And now I hope that we can get down to business, that we can stop
We know the facts and so do you, sir, and we are ready to talk about them,
our job here isn`t to score debating points, our job, Mr. Zoran, is to save
the peace. And if you are ready to try, we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And so they saved the peace. Russia removed those missiles
from Cuba. Our job here is not to score debating points, said Adlai
Every serious ambassador to the United Nations has always known that. What
was Donald Trump trying to do today by calling the leader of North Korea
That is the Trump version of scoring a debating point. You saw it in the
Republican presidential debates when he called his opponents names.
That`s how some children think you win fights. “Lying Ted”, “little
Marco”, “crooked Hillary” and now “rocket man”.
Who is the North Korean expert in the Trump administration who advised the
president to say that? North Korea does not have a nuclear weapon that can
reach the United States.
When Adlai Stevenson was staring down the Soviet Union in the United
Nations, Russian nuclear weapons were 90 miles away in Cuba, enough to
destroy the United States.
And Adlai Stevenson did not call the Russian ambassador names. He called
him Mr. Zoran(ph), Mr. Zoran(ph), and Nikita Khrushchev`s government posed
a much deadlier threat to the United States on that day than North Korea
But that did not provoke the president of the United States or the United
Nations ambassador to call their adversaries names.
President Kennedy did not threaten to totally destroy Russia or Cuba.
North Korea is a country of 25 million people to as President Trump put it
today, totally destroy North Korea is to kill 25 million people, and that
is a war crime.
The president of the United States went to the United Nations today and
threatened to commit a war crime.
The objective of war is to defeat enemy forces. There are 1 million people
in the North Korean military. Donald Trump did not threaten to defeat the
North Korean military today.
He did not threaten to kill Kim Jong un today and the North Korean
leadership. He threatened to destroy North Korea.
And that is actually what we would have to do to be sure that we killed Kim
Jong un, because we don`t know where he is.
In the event of a nuclear war, we would not know where to target Kim Jong
un. And so if you really want to get him, if you really want to kill him,
you have to be willing to kill everyone, every man, woman, child, baby in
And in the process you have to be willing to watch tens of millions of
people, at least, men, women, children, babies, killed in South Korea as
innocent bystanders, as North Korea retaliates against the 50 million
people who live in South Korea.
And that is why nuclear war with North Korea has been unthinkable,
completely, absolutely forever unthinkable to every president except the
untrained, ignorant and frighteningly dangerous man who is now the
president of the United States.
North Korea is now led by its most inexperienced, most untrained and most
reckless leader that it`s ever had, and so is the United States.
Donald Trump does not have Adlai Stevenson at the United Nations. He does
not have a Secretary of State or anyone working near him with enough
influence over him to make him understand what a president of the United
States is supposed to sound like in a situation like this.
Never mind what the president of the United States is actually supposed to
think. We don`t have the slightest indication that Donald Trump actually
thinks about any of this, except the nicknames, except the nicknames.
That`s his specialty. Reports indicate that the “rocket man” bit was a
late insertion in Donald Trump`s teleprompter this morning.
And that means the speechwriters didn`t put it there. That means the
foreign policy advisors didn`t think that was the way for a president of
the United States to speak.
The president`s speech today was the worst ever delivered by the United
States at the United Nations. It ranged from the vulgar to a muddy puddle
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: As president of the United States, I will always put America first.
Just like you as the leaders of your countries will always and should
always put your countries first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The whole point of the United Nations is there will come
moments where we will ask other countries to make accommodations to the
world and to other countries, and sometimes their neighbors.
In other words, moments where we will ask them not to put their countries
first above all else. Donald Trump spent most of the rest of his speech
talking about the countries who he firmly believes should never, ever put
their countries first.
Countries like North Korea and of course Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the
false guise of a democracy. The Iran deal was one of the worst and most
one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.
Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don`t
think you`ve heard the last of it, believe me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And so the lesson for North Korea at the United Nations today
was, there is no such thing as a nuclear deal with the United States.
Donald Trump is threatening to pull out of the deal that Iran made in which
Iran agrees not to develop nuclear weapons.
Exactly what the United States wanted Iran to agree to. Exactly what the
United States would like North Korea to agree to.
The alternative to war is diplomacy, negotiation. Why would anyone in the
North Korean regime believe today that it is possible to negotiate their
way out of this confrontation with the United States?
Iran tried to do that and look what`s happened to them. The president of
the United States continues to threaten Iran every day and threaten to
break its deal with Iran.
“Our job here is not to score debating points”, so said our United Nations
ambassador 55 years ago. And tonight, 55 years later, we have a president
of the United States who seems to think that his job, his only job in press
conferences or on Twitter or at the General Assembly of the United Nations
is nothing but to score debating points.
Joining us now, Ambassador Wendy Sherman; former Undersecretary of State
who worked on the Iran deal. She was also a special adviser to President
Clinton and policy coordinator on North Korea.
She`s now an Nbc News and Msnbc global affairs contributor. And Ambassador
Sherman, you are uniquely positioned with your experience working on the
Iran deal and also coming close to a deal with North Korea, trying to
approach that under the Clinton administration, which was the last time we
seemed to be moving in that direction.
And so I want to get your reactions to the speech tonight, and I just want
to give you the floor, there`s so much there for you to react to.
WENDY SHERMAN, FORMER UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Thank
you very much, Lawrence, that was a very moving opening.
And it`s very hard to know where to begin. You know, Lawrence, my dad was
an enlisted Marine in World War II.
He was wounded in Guadalcanal and found part of his recovery on the West
Coast with my mom. They were a young couple, and he so did not ever want
to see war again that he got very active and helped to found what became
the American Veterans Committee.
And he and my mom attended the founding of the United Nations because he
did not want to see war anymore.
And indeed, that`s what the United Nations is about. Yes, of course we all
have our sovereignty, of course we all have our borders.
But what we want to do is come together as nations in common cause for
peace and security of the war – the world.
And I certainly hope that President Trump does not choose to lose that
world. The world that really is about the United States of America.
I`m not sure who he was trying to talk to today, I think it was several
people. I think it was his base, saying that it was going to be America
first, that it was all about sovereignty and borders and culture.
Culture sometimes is a word for saying, you can do what you want and I can
do what I want, but you`re not going to be able to be an immigrant to my
country because you don`t represent my culture.
He talked about evil which I think is obviously something important for all
of us to get rid of, but it was really to that base that he was speaking.
He was trying to speak to North Korea and to Iran and to Venezuela, of
course, but I think he was trying to talk to the Europeans to say
renegotiate this Iran deal with me.
And they have already been quite clear that they will not do that because
they understand how hard it was to get to a deal to ensure that Iran would
not obtain a nuclear weapon.
And they do not want to see it undone. Similarly, where North Korea is
concerned, you`re quite right, using epithets and words and slang may be
provocative and entertaining, but the president is not an entertainer.
He is the president of the United States and he represents all of us, all
Americans, and what our country stands for.
He used radical Islamic terrorism again, which is something that even his
advisors don`t want him to do, and then finally, and then I`ll stop at
least for a moment, but I am as worked up as you are about where we are
headed because I think it is so dangerous for our security.
The president echoed in many ways the speech that President Bush 43 made in
the State of the Union where he termed the coin – coined the term “axis of
evil” and talked about Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
And we know how that all went. In fact, he was trying to rally the nation
against terrorism, and I`m not sure who Donald Trump is trying to rally
except his own sense of power and his own sense of manhood in some way.
This is not an axis of evil. These are countries that are serious concerns
to the United States of America, I breach no one for that cause.
But this is not the way to solve these very serious problems. And the lack
of applause in that hall, though it`s always tough to talk to that crowd
because they`re listening to interpreters, was telling.
There was nervousness, and the only real applause he got was talking about
what we ought to do for women in the world, to ensure equity and
entrepreneurship for women.
And I found that ironic from Donald J. Trump, of all people.
O`DONNELL: We`re all trying to interpret what the president means when he
threatens to destroy North Korea.
And at what point he would consider that he had the grounds to do that. I
couldn`t figure out listening to him today when he would consider himself
authorized to do that.
I doubt that North Korea could figure out what would be the grounds for the
president justifying that.
Would North Korea have to launch a missile at Japan, at Guam, at South
Korea, at the United States? What would it have to do?
Do you think North Korea understands today where it stands in relation to
SHERMAN: Well, there`s a very interesting, as I think you know, “New
Yorker” cover story by Evan Osnos who actually traveled to North Korea and
had fascinating conversations with sort of the handler that he had, Mr.
Pok(ph), who said he was – his job was to figure out what Donald Trump was
saying – what President Trump was saying.
And he couldn`t quite figure it out now. The president might like the
madman theory, which is to sort of hold your opponent off base, not sure
what you`re going to do.
And that has its place in diplomacy, but not when it can lead to nuclear
war. It doesn`t have any place in that effort, whatsoever.
O`DONNELL: And ambassador, quickly, before we go, in your experience
dealing with North Korea, they always understood that the president of the
United States was never going to simply launch a nuclear attack against
Has that been something that the regime has always understood up until now?
SHERMAN: The fundamental reason why North Korea, from their perspective is
building nuclear weapons and a delivery system to deliver them through a
long range ballistic missile, is because they believe that the United
States is a hostile power and that we are going to destroy them.
That`s the whole point. And when Madeleine Albright was Secretary of
State, one of the things that we did, that President Clinton did, was to
sign a communiqu‚ with the North Koreans that we not neither country had
hostile intent against the other.
When President Bush came in, he decided to no longer honor that particular
document, and that is the nub of this problem.
O`DONNELL: Former Ambassador Wendy Sherman, thank you very much for
joining us tonight, really appreciate it.
SHERMAN: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, there`s a lot of breaking news to get to on the
Russia investigation. But first, Jimmy Kimmel has much more to say about
health care and what is now being called the Jimmy Kimmel test.
We will go to that, next.
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news tonight on the Senate Healthcare bill.
This is their latest attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare.
One of the most dramatic moments in the previous debate on this months ago
came from Jimmy Kimmel after he came on his show and told the story of his
infant baby son being born with a heart defect and desperately needing
Jimmy Kimmel spoke eloquently at that time about how he wants that to be
available to any child in America, and that everyone in America should have
this kind of healthcare that they need.
That became known as the Jimmy Kimmel test, and Senator Bill Cassidy, who
is one of the co-sponsors of the Graham-Cassidy bill now moving in the
Senate – actually went on Jimmy Kimmel`s show and talked about this and
promised to adhere to the Jimmy Kimmel test.
Here is what Jimmy Kimmel has said tonight in the taping of his show that
will air later tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: This is a bad bill, but don`t
take my word for it. Here are just some of the organizations that oppose
this Graham-Cassidy bill.
The American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, American
Heart Association, American Lung Association, the Arthritis Foundation,
Cystic Fibrosis, the ALS Association, the March of Dimes, Multiple
Sclerosis Society, Children`s Hospital of Valley(ph).
Easily any group you`ve ever given money to thinks this is a bad idea. Do
you trust them or do you trust him?
OK? So if this bill isn`t good enough for you, call your Congress person,
that`s the number, it will go to your Congress person, whoever he or she is
– 202-224-3121. You have to do this.
You can`t just click like on this video. Tell them this bill doesn`t pass
your test, and Senator Cassidy, you were on my show, you seemed like you
are a decent guy.
But here`s the thing. Nobody outside of your buddies in Congress wants
this bill, only 12 percent of Americans supported the last one and this one
Right now, there`s a bipartisan group of senators working to improve the
health care system we have, we want quality affordable health care.
Dozens of other countries figured it out.
So instead of jamming this horrible bill down our throats, go pitch in and
be a part of that. I`m sure they could use a guy with your medical
And if not – and if not, stop using my name, OK? Because I don`t want my
name on it. There`s a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you.
It`s called the lie detector test.
You`re welcome to stop by the studio and take it any time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: We`re joined now by Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen of
Maryland, he`s a member of the Senate Budget Committee.
And Senator Van Hollen, the picture that Jimmy Kimmel was showing there was
a picture of Senator Bill Cassidy who actually appeared on his program.
SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: And in another part of what Jimmy
Kimmel says tonight, he said that Senator Cassidy, quote, “lied to his
He said he lied to my face about Cassidy only supporting a bill that passes
the Jimmy Kimmel test. This bill clearly, as Jimmy Kimmel himself has just
told us, does not pass the Jimmy Kimmel test.
VAN HOLLEN: Well, Lawrence, it was really important that Jimmy Kimmel made
this statement today, because it exposes the farce of those who claim that
this latest version of Trumpcare put forward by Bill Cassidy and Lindsey
Graham somehow met the Jimmy Kimmel test.
Then they were sort of parading this bill around as something that was good
and that Jimmy Kimmel could embrace and endorse.
So this was a very important and powerful statement that he`s making. And
he read off a litany of groups that are not Republican groups, they`re not
The American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, all these
groups, all they care about is protecting patients.
And you would hope that Republican and Democratic senators would care about
those same patients, after all, they`re our constituents.
O`DONNELL: And the Republicans got a letter today from Republican
governors and Democratic governors saying they are absolutely opposed to
this bill, including the governor of Ohio, governor of Alaska, governors of
And so, senator, the governors who are – who Lindsey Graham is saying, oh,
we`re going to give it all to the governors, they`re going to love getting
this, the governors are saying no, we don`t want this.
VAN HOLLEN: Well, that`s right, because they know at the end of the day,
all of their states are going to get totally shafted by this bill.
Because as time goes on, they cut off the Medicaid funding more and more
until at the end of the day it`s about a third less than it is now.
Jimmy Kimmel mentioned his child. There was a very powerful statement from
the Children`s Hospital Association that pointed out that this latest
version of Trumpcare would hurt coverage for over 30 million American
On top of that, you`ve got the AARP talking about the damage it will do to
seniors, it does grave damage to our entire health care system.
Which is why all of those groups that were strongly opposed before are
coming out even more strongly now.
But it is a race against time because Republicans are trying to jam this
through in the next 11 days. And you raise the issue of bipartisanship.
Senator McCain gave that very powerful speech back in early August about
bipartisanship. Today, the Trump administration and Paul Ryan, the House
Speaker and Mitch McConnell, pulled the plug on that bipartisan effort.
O`DONNELL: Yes, Lindsey Graham says that Paul Ryan says that he will pass
this bill in the House if it passes the Senate.
And let`s listen to what Lindsey Graham said about working with you, about
working with Democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The Democratic Party is never
going to give us anything that fundamentally changes Obamacare.
We`ve had weeks of talking, and the only time they`ve gotten serious is
when they`re afraid that my bill may pass.
And now they`re coming to me, what about this and what about that? Here`s
what the speaker of the House told me. I will not bring up a bill for a
vote in the house that props up Obamacare because that is not why I came
here and that is not what our majority wants to do. And the president of
the United States is committed to repealing and replacing this bill, not
propping it up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL: Senator, Lindsey Graham seems outraged that the
democrats are never going to vote for what he calls anything that
fundamentally changes Obamacare.
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Well, it`s obviously no surprise to Lindsey Graham that
we`re not going to blow up and destroy the affordable care act, Obamacare.
After all, the nonpartisan congressional budget office has pointed out that
if you do that, 32 million Americans would lose access to affordable
And millions more will lose the patient protections that Jimmy Kimmel has
been talking about. So we`re not going to blow it up. But we did answer
Senator McCain`s call to work in a bipartisan manner to try to improve and
strengthen the affordable care act exchanges, because they`re not perfect.
They need work.
And Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Patty Murray had been in very good
faith discussions and negotiations to do just that. And as they got closer,
what happened is republicans got nervous that they were actually going to
do something to improve the affordable care act, and they went into a full
alert and decided to pull the plug on it.
That`s when Paul Ryan said no, house republicans will never pass that
compromise. The reality is that while Senator Lamar Alexander had good
intentions and Senator McCain had good intentions, it seems like Mitch
McConnell and the others were always conspiring against that bipartisan
effort and always pushing to blow up the affordable care act completely.
O`DONNELL: Senator, I think we both know that there is no member of the
senate whose microphone reaches as many people as Jimmy Kimmel`s does. What
do you make of his entry into this last-minute debate in the senate
VAN HOLLEN: I think it`s a very important moment. And it`s an important
moment because people like Senator Cassidy and others had been selling
their bill as a bill that met this Jimmy Kimmel test. And now Jimmy Kimmel
goes on the air and tells millions of Americans in a nonpartisan way, it
just isn`t the case, stop using my name to peddle something that`s going to
hurt tens of millions of Americans.
O`DONNELL: Senator Chris Van Hollen, thank you very much for joining us on
this breaking news story. We really appreciate it.
VAN HOLLEN: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, more breaking news tonight. President Trump`s long
time personal lawyer Michael Cohen will be the first Trump associate to
testify publicly in a congressional investigating committee hearing.
O`DONNELL: We`re going to have more of what Jimmy Kimmel had to say
tonight, including the part where he says that Senator Cassidy lied to his
face. We`re going to have that later in the program. But first we have
breaking news tonight from “The Wall Street Journal,” reporting that Deputy
Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has been interviewed by Special Prosecutor
The Journal reports, in the interview with the special counsel`s office.
Mr. Rosenstein said that in the May eighth meeting with Mr. Trump, the
president said that he knew that firing Mr. Comey wouldn`t end the Russia
investigation and that it could create additional problems for him.
According to a person familiar with the interview, Mr. Rosenstein told
investigators the president shrugged off any potential consequences for
firing Mr. Comey telling Mr. Rosenstein that he didn`t like the FBI
Director and wanted him out of government, the person said.
Also tonight Donald Trump`s long time attorney Michael Cohen will be the
first Trump associate questioned in a public televised senate hearing
investigating the Trump campaign`s Russia connections. Michael Cohen was
scheduled to testify privately to the senate intelligence committee today,
but after Michael Cohen violated on agreement with the committee about
making public statements about his private testimony. The committee
canceled today`s meeting.
Joining us now Mieke Eoyang, former house intelligence committee staff
member and vice president for the national security program at the third
way. And Tim O`Brien, executive editor of Bloomberg View, he`s the author
of Trump Nation, the art of being the Donald and he`s an MSNBC Contributor.
And Mieke I want to go to that moment today where they decide to end this
meeting with Michael Cohen.
That`s happening behind closed doors so we don`t know exactly what was
said. But it seems to me it would have to be a bipartisan agreement, the
republican chairman would have to agree to end this meeting with Michael
MIEKE EOYANG, VICE PRESIDENT FOR THE NATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAM AT THE THIRD
WAY: That`s right. What you see here is on a bipartisan basis, the
committee being very angry at Cohen for releasing a statement, something
that he had agreed that he wouldn`t do. And they took a very strong stance
in dismissing him and saying they`re going to call him back in open session
They`re sending a strong message to any future witnesses, don`t mess with
O`DONNELL: And the messing, Mieke, is when we make an agreement with you
about testifying privately, everything about it has to be private. Michael
Cohen violates that. So they want to deliver the message to anyone else, if
we make one of these agreements with you, you better abide by it.
O`DONNELL: And Tim, Michael Cohen, you know him, you`ve covered the Trump
world for a long time, “Trump Nation” as your book calls it. And he`s the
kind of guy who has been - who himself behaves exactly like Donald Trump.
TIM O`BRIEN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF BLOOMBERG VIEW: Donald Trump loves thugs.
He loved Roy Cohn, he loves Steve Bannon, he likes Michael Cohen. And I
think - I think the reason behind that is he like - Trump likes bravado and
he likes people who take it to the street. Cohen has always rolled that
I think one of the interesting things in his statement that he provided to
the intelligence committee is what he didn`t say. He said I wasn`t involved
with targeting ads to destabilize the Clinton campaign and I wasn`t
involved with Russian hackers during the campaign. But no one ever
specifically said that`s what investigators were interested in him about.
I think what they`re interested in are financial quid pro quos and deals
that he may have tried to engineer as a tradeoffs for policy benefits for
the Russians. And he addressed none of that in the statement he made today.
O`DONNELL: Mieke, one of the interesting points about the – the breaking
news tonight about Rod Rosenstein`s being interviewed by the special
prosecutor`s office is that it happened months ago. This thing that
happened months ago has just leaked now. And so when we get leaked
information about what`s going on in the special prosecutor`s
investigation, it`s frequently that way. It`s frequently something that
happened months ago. And so we have – that doesn`t tell us anything about
where they actually are tonight.
EOYANG: That`s right. It`s sort of like driving by looking in the rearview
mirror. We don`t know where they are right now, but we may have some sense
of where they`ve been. But what`s interesting about the Rosenstein
investigation, as the article notes, is that he`s still in place and he
still has a role at the Department of Justice, overseeing this
investigation, which if the Mueller team were really concerned about his
involvement, they might be seeking the department of justice to have him
recuse himself from this investigation if they thought he was a significant
O`DONNELL: And Tim, I always look to you to go inside the mind of Donald
Trump, and because you`ve studied him for so long. But the line where Rod
Rosenstein says, oh, Trump knew that this wouldn`t change the
investigation, he just doesn`t like him. That to me is the inside the mind
moment. He`s just firing because he just doesn`t like him. And look what
he`s brought on himself.
O`BRIEN: But we`ve talked about this before. I - I think Mueller`s in the
same danger. I think if push comes to shove in this investigation, Donald
Trump will not hesitate to shove Robert Mueller out the door.
O`DONNELL: Because he just doesn`t like him and that`s the way he does
O`BRIEN: That`s right.
O`DONNELL: Mieke Eoyang and Tim O`Brien thank you both for joining us
tonight, I really appreciate it.
EOYANG: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the newest indispensable tool to track all
developments in the Trump/Russia investigation. Rob Reiner is backing this
new tool. He`ll tell us about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN FREEMAN, ACTOR: We have been attacked. We are at war. Imagine this
movie script. a former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland,
plots a course for revenge taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way
up through the ranks of a post-Soviet Russia and becomes President.
He establishes an authoritarian regime. Then he sets his sights on his
sworn enemy, the United States. Vladimir Putin is that spy. And this is no
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That video with Morgan Freeman is on a new website dedicated to
tracking the most complex investigation of our time. The website, called
the Committee to Investigate Russia, was launched today at
investigaterussia.org. The website was created by a committee of people
who are worried that the President of the United States is not worried
about Russia`s interference in our election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FREEMAN: My fellow Americans, during this past election, we came under
attack by the Russian government. I`ve called on Congress and our
Intelligence Community to use every resource available to conduct a
thorough investigation to determine exactly how this happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, one of the founders of the committee to
investigate Russia, Rob Reiner, director, Emmy Award Winning actor and
activist. Rob, what we just saw Morgan Freeman saying at the end is what
you would have hoped the President of the United States would have said.
ROB REINER, ACTOR: Yes. I mean, when you think about it, Lawrence,
historically, whenever this country has been attacked, whether it`s Pearl
Harbor, 9/11, we as a country have always come together. Republicans,
Democrats, have always unified in a patriotic way to protect our country.
This is the first time we have been invaded by a foreign power where we
have remained divided.
The big reason we have remained divided is because our President has not
accepted the severity of what has happened. That`s why we started this
effort. I`ve reached across the aisle to Republican friends who I`m very,
you know, proud to be associated with. James Clapper, who is the former
Director of National Intelligence. Max Boot, Charles Sykes. These people
who are concerned, who are patriots, and like I said, the politics, the
clich‚, it stops at the water`s edge. this is the first time that we have
been attacked and those politics do not stop at the water`s edge. We have
to understand the severity and how critical this attack has been.
O`DONNELL: I was studying the website today. You have the day`s breaking
news is the first thing you see. Then there`s a bunch of little keys you
can hit on there, key players, which I was looking at, which I have to say,
when you click on the Russians, it`s really useful because it`s hard to
keep track of all of them. Not to mention that, you know, an anchorman has
to study and kind of memorize some of those names. But I think it`s a
tremendous tool. People should have this open while Rachel is talking about
it, while I`m talking about it because some of these spots that we gloss
over you might want to press a button and expand which you can do on this
REINER: Absolutely. We get a tutorial every night from Rachel and from
you, and those of us who are interested. But I think the general public, it
is very confusing. There are so many moving parts.
What we try to do is not just focus on the current investigation, the
current events that are breaking every day. But we try to look at the
history of how Russia and former Soviet Union has tried to disrupt our
democracy. We look at as you say key players.
We look at the effects of cyber warfare. This is something that we don`t
quite understand the impact of this. You`re a little younger than me I
don`t know maybe. But I remember when we had to jump under desks during
the Cold War because we are worried about nuclear holocaust. And now we
have cyber warfare that you can`t feel.
We can see a nuclear bomb coming. And if something had happened like that
we`d all be unified. But make no mistake something as dangerous if not more
dangerous has happened. And they are starting to sow dissension amongst all
of us Americans and dividing us even more than we are already.
O`DONNELL: That`s why Morgan Freeman says we are at war. Rob Reiner, thank
you very much for coming in the studio.
REINER: Thanks for having me.
O`DONNELL: Thanks for watching us. it is a helpful tool to all of us,
really appreciate it. Coming up, were going to have more of what Jimmy
Kimmel had to say tonight about the Republicans Healthcare Repeal plan
including the part where he says that Senator Cassidy lied to his face.
O`DONNELL: Another deadly hurricane, a category five this time. Hurricane
Maria is approaching Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and is
threatening Puerto Rico after that. The national hurricane service is about
to release its 11:00 P.M. update. MSNBC meteorologist Bill Karins Joins us
now. And, Bill, Saint Croix was largely spared by Hurricane Irma. But here
BILL KARINS, MSNBC METEOROLOGIST: 30 miles away, Lawrence. That`s it.
They`re all in their safe rooms. The winds are gusting up to 70 to 80 miles
per hour as we speak.
They are getting to the peak of Hurricane Maria. Let me give you the new
update. Just got it in from the Hurricane Center, still 175 miles per hour
winds, incredibly strong. As we mentioned it was 10th strongest ever
measured in the Atlantic basin and it`s heading for 3.5 million people.
That just doesn`t happen. That`s the level of concern that we have in this
storm. Here`s the five-day forecast. We have a lot of interest in the Turks
and Caicos and the Bahamas and also the East Coast of the United States.
Once it gets past Puerto Rico and it brushes along the Dominican Republic
then it should not be hitting any land areas for at least the next four to
five days. Here it is, the center of the eye with the 175 miles per hour
winds. You do not want to be in this circle.
We`re actually developing two eye walls we call the concentric eye walls.
You have the smaller inner one and then have this larger outer one that`s
now over the top of Saint Croix. So that`s why they should all be in their
safe rooms. And as far as landfall goes, in Puerto Rico we`re still looking
at a landfall time of about 8:00 A.M. tomorrow morning, Lawrence.
That`s when we should be watching a category five hurricane making landfall
somewhere on the southeast coastline. This will be a devastating storm.
They will need a lot of help, probably military help in the recovery in the
O`DONNELL: Bill Karins thanks for that update, appreciate it. Jimmy
Kimmel is next with tonight`s last word.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY KIMMEL, ABC TELEVISION HOST: And this guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied
right to my face. Did you believe that every American regardless of income
should be able to get regular checkups and maternity care, et cetera, all
of those things that people who have healthcare get and need?
BILL CASSIDY, UNITED STATES SENATOR: Yep.
KIMMEL: So yep is Washington for nope, I guess. And I never imagine I
would get involved many something like this, this is not my area of
expertise. My area of expertise is eating pizza and that`s really about it.
But we can`t let them do this to our children and our senior citizens and
veterans or to any of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That`s Jimmy Kimmel tonight talking about Senator Cassidy`s
Healthcare Bill that Republicans are now trying to push through the Senate.
Senator Cassidy promised Jimmy Kimmel That he would not try to pass a bill
that takes healthcare away from millions of people. But that`s exactly
what he`s doing now.
KIMMEL: So not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel Test. He
failed the Bill Cassidy test. He failed his own test.
And you don`t see that happen very much. This bill he came up with is
actually worse than the one that, thank god Republicans like Susan Collins
and Lisa Murkowski and John McCain torpedoed over the summer and I hope
they have the courage and good sense to do that again with this one.
O`DONNELL: Jimmy Kimmel gets tonight`s Last Word. The 11th Hour with Brian
Williams starts now.
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