IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Transcript: The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle, 10/4/22

Guests: Melissa Murray, Zoe Tillman, Carol Leonnig, James Carville, Jason Beardsley


Trump`s team asked the high court to block part of a lower court ruling allowing the Justice Department to use classified documents taken from Mar-a-Lago in its criminal investigation. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas later Tuesday informed the DOJ he wants the department to reply to Trump`s request by Oct. 11. A second day of witness testimony is underway in the trial of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and four others tied to the far-right anti-government militia group. An Alabama redistricting dispute will likely provide a major test of how the high court will treat the Voting Rights Act.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: The sisterhood of Justice Katanji Brown Jackson get tonight`s "LAST WORD". THE 11TH HOUR with Stephanie Ruhle starts now.


AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight, Donald Trump wants the Supreme Court to help him delay the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation. He`ll find out if Trump appointees really are his judges, then anti-abortion except the one he allegedly paid for the bombshell that is blowing up the Senate race in Georgia. James Carville is here.

Plus, more signs that Putin`s war on Ukraine is not going well. Russia keeps retreating from regions it`s claimed while thousands of Russians flee their homeland to avoid the draft as THE 11TH HOUR gets underway on this Tuesday night.

Good evening, everyone. I`m Ayman Mohyeldin in for Stephanie Ruhle. Donald Trump has tried almost everything to slow down the government`s investigation into the classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. Now he is taking his case to the Supreme Court because today Trump made an emergency request asking the court to overturn a lower court ruling that prevented the special master from reviewing the roughly 100 classified documents taken during the search at his Florida club back on August 8.

Now last month, you may recall the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the Justice Department, which had argued there was no legal basis for the special master to conduct his own review of those records.

Trump`s appeal was directed to Justice Clarence Thomas, because he oversees the 11th Circuit Court and tonight, the Supreme Court asked the DOJ to file its response to Trump`s request by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 11. Just a short time ago, one legal expert reacted to Trump`s latest move.


ANDREW WEISSMANN, FORMER FBI GENERAL COUNSEL: But it`s a very narrow appeal and you could spin out a lot of things here that would go very badly for Donald Trump, such as the Special Master having a hearing on whether these were classified or declassified, that would be a nightmare for Donald Trump.


MOHYELDIN: The Supreme Court did hear arguments today in the latest battle over the Voting Rights Act. And the case involves a congressional map drawn by Alabama lawmakers. A lower court ruled the redistricting had weakened the power of black voters in that state and the courts newest Justice Katanji Brown Jackson took a lead role in questioning the Alabama Solicitor General.

This was also the second day of testimony in the trial of several Oath Keepers accused of seditious conspiracy related to the January 6 riot. Today in court, the government played a secret phone recording from November 2020, where members are heard discussing plans to bring weapons to Washington and being told to prepare to fight for former President Trump.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and the other indicted members are the first of the nearly 900 people arrested after the Capitol right to be tried for seditious conspiracy. It`s the most serious charge the government has brought so far against any of the defendants.

With that, let`s get smarter with the help of our leadoff panel this evening. Carol Leonnig, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter with The Washington Post. Zoe Tillman, she covers the intersection of law and politics for Bloomberg News, and Professor Melissa Murray of NYU Law School. She was a law clerk for Sonia Sotomayor on the federal bench before her nomination to the Supreme Court.

It`s great to have all three of you with us. Melissa, I`ll start with you. Trump`s attorneys filing with the Supreme Court argues and this is a quote, the 11th Circuit lacked jurisdiction to review this special master order. In your legal expertise, is that enough of an argument to try and slow down this process?

MELISSA MURRAY, NYU LAW PROFESSOR: Well, obviously, it`s enough of an argument to slow it down, because Clarence Thomas, who is the circuit justice for the 11th Circuit, has already given a week long deadline for the DOJ to respond to this. And, again, this is all in the context of Judge Dearie`s order, which said that the special master`s review would likely be concluded toward the end of this month or the beginning of November. So this adds another week to that. So it`s already been successful in delaying this and dragging this out a little bit.

But again, it`s a very modest claim. The view here is that the 11th circuit lacked jurisdiction to review the special master`s order. It doesn`t deal with the second part of the special master`s order which allowed for the Department of Justice to continue using those classified documents in its investigation. So even if Donald Trump ultimately wins, it will be a quite narrow victory, which suggests that wasn`t really about the victory at all, but rather about running out the clock.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, to that point, Zoe, mean, this appears at least somewhat complicated is it really Trump was trying to gum up the works here and a way for his attorneys to get access to those classified documents?


ZOE TILLMAN, BLOOMBERG NEWS: You know, it`s the timeline that the Supreme Court set is a week. But it`s not a month, it`s not weeks, this could resolve fairly quickly. And in the meantime, the special master`s work is going to continue. And critically, the Justice Department continues to have access to those classified documents, which they have said form, the core of their investigation into whether sensitive materials and government records were mishandled. There is nothing stopping them from using them at the moment.

And, you know, President Trump`s legal team isn`t asking the Supreme Court to step in and stop that. You know, I think the worst case scenario for the Justice Department would be the special master resumes, his access to those classified documents, and at some later date, finds there was some privilege issue that could affect some future part of the investigation or some future part of the prosecution. But again, it is, as you know, it is quite narrow in what it`s seeking to do at the moment.

MOHYELDIN: So let me hone in on that for a moment, Carol, the point that Zoe and both Melissa brought up, you know, Trump and his lawyers, they`re trying to stall. But what is this actually mean for the government`s investigation and for our national security?

CAROL LEONNIG, THE WASHINGTON POST INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: The government`s investigation will proceed because they have the permission to go right ahead and continue looking at two key issues. One, you know, investigate all of the charges. They believe that probable cause find evidence of and they -- and that was the reason they were able to get another judge to issue a search warrant and approve their essential search of Mar-a-Lago unprecedented to search a former president`s residence, and something that Department of Justice didn`t do lightly.

So they continue with that probe. And they continue at the same time with the same team looking at what`s the danger to human sources to intelligence gathering methods, what`s the possible release, because all of these classified records, were basically in a beach club, storage closet or in former President Trump`s home and residents and office handled or mishandled or handled without any potential security, any shore security the way they would have been if they were stored by the government under lock and key. And both of those things are important. Both sides of that probe are important.

And I would emphasize something else that Zoe said, which is this issue of what`s the real risk here? I think there is one potential risk. And it`s unlikely. I`ve already spoken a little bit about this earlier today.

But if the Supreme Court were to rule in Donald Trump`s favor, that the court didn`t -- the appellate court didn`t have the jurisdiction to weigh in on this one tiny technical, relatively speaking issue. If that were concluded that they didn`t have the jurisdiction to do that, then you could raise questions about the 11th Circuit`s jurisdiction to make other decisions that might then reinstate our Judge Cannon no arguably very flawed decision.

I think there`s one thing that we all should keep in mind, which is, yes, there`s a stall. Yes, there`s a wish to run out the clock. But we all know where Judge Dearie, the Special Master comes down on this. He finds this material to be classified, end story, until he sees that Donald Trump legal team gives him some evidence for why this isn`t classified. So far they haven`t.

He`s already said, I know the law on this. I know we defer to the government in protecting our national secrets. So it`s hard to imagine his review, finding something different than what he`s already said.

MOHYELDIN: Melissa, can I ask you about the Supreme Court in all of this. A, are you surprised that the court has given the Department of Justice a week to respond? And two, given how politicized this court is and in specific Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, any chance we can see Clarence Thomas recuse himself from this case, given the fact that his wife is embroiled in a lot of questions and allegations for her support of Donald Trump and the fact that she still believes he won the 2020 election?

MURRAY: So Ayman, this is a petition on the courts emergency docket, also known as the shadow docket, which suggests that expedition is really necessary here. And so the fact that Justice Thomas has given the Department of Justice a week may seem to fly in the face of the need for alacrity in these circumstances.


So a week may seem like a lot, given what`s going on here and the fact that this has been framed as an emergency issue of great urgency. Do I think Justice Thomas will recuse himself from this matter? He has rarely recused himself in situations where there have been questions, or could be questions about his implications or the propriety of him being involved.

And as you know, Supreme Court justices aren`t bound by the same ethics rules as other judicial officers. They are a complement of nine, to recuse yourself obviously has real implications for the decision making authority of the body. And so they don`t often recuse themselves unless there is a clear conflict of interest here, whether Justice Thomas determines that he has a conflict of interest is really up to him. And that perhaps is a problem in and of itself, as you say, because of the optics of this particular decision and the implications for justice Thomas`s wife, Virginia.

MOHYELDIN: Carol, this afternoon Trump posted on social media, what I could only imagine would be in a childlike voice, I want my documents back. And your colleagues also reported that Trump`s former aide say classified materials were routinely mishandled in his White House during his administration.

Doesn`t this just confirm what we`ve all suspected about Trump`s attitudes towards sensitive government materials that he views these documents as his and his alone?

LEONNIG: That`s right. And we`ve previously reported at the Washington Post that he literally said the phrase, when asked why aren`t you willing? Mr. Trump, Mr. President, which is how he`s referred to by his aides, why aren`t you willing to send some of these records back to the National Archives, they say they want these presidential records. That was before we found out that that tens of boxes of material was classified. He said they`re mine. That his private position. And now he`s shared publicly. I want my document back.

Judge Dearie said that, forgive me, the appellate for the panel that overturned essentially and rejected Judge Cannon`s view of things that they could find no grounds, no justification, no framework under which any of these documents belong in any way to a former president. And actually, you know, you don`t have to just look at what the 11th Circuit that you can look at what the former deputy White House Counsel and White House Counsel cautioned Donald Trump themselves.

They were emphatic that these records needed to be returned. They were designated as the liaison with the National Archives and the former president is administration. And they felt strongly these records needed to be returned stuff. And it isn`t in doubt that these are not possessed by Donald Trump.

Now, the way in which he stored record, as my colleagues reported tonight, was often in a mishmash, taking home sort of a box or of a lease of things back to the residents from the Oval Office that might include notes, scribbles, last minute schedules that he stuffed in with other documents he was interested in.

The problem was classified truly, truly highly sensitive, classified material is stuff that Donald Trump shouldn`t be taking back to the Oval Office. It`s stuff that a military aide or a national security officer should be returning to a locked cabinet. It shouldn`t be going back to the Oval Office. And unfortunately, Donald Trump`s presidency, a lot of documents that should have been secured work.

MOHYELDIN: Zoe, let me get your thoughts on the Oath Keepers trial here. It is the second day of this federal trial against the Oath Keepers. It revealed more of the government`s evidence about this group`s alleged January 6 plan in which we are learning day by day was more sophisticated than what we initially knew. Could what we are learning there start adding to the legal problems for Donald Trump.

TILLMAN: You know, it`s not clear yet if any evidence that connects the Oath Keepers to the former president or even his inner circle is going to become part of this trial. Judges have been very mindful of keeping the political, the looming political element of all of this out of these cases as much as possible and keeping it focused on what did these individuals do. Of course, when you`re dealing with the charge of seditious conspiracy, it is an inherently political charge.


But you know, so far the evidence that has come out in trial has and the government`s opening case was really focused on, you know, what these individuals, what Stewart Rhodes, what they were doing, what they were talking about, not so much. You know, were they in touch with the White House or what was the President doing at the time it`s been? Did they talk about weapons? Did they talk about planning to amass guns outside of Washington?

Were they using rhetoric suggesting that they were quite serious about taking violent action if President Trump was unable to secure a second term through other means, you know, terms like civil war, talking about this legal argument, this defense that it was all about Trump invoking the Insurrection Act, evidence that that was a pretext to just wanting to be there to violently stop Congress from certifying the election on January 6.

So far, that seems to be the focus of prosecutors in these first few days of trial.

MOHYELDIN: And Melissa, as I mentioned, today, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Alabama voting rights case, one of the most significant cases in this term, Justice Katanji Brown Jackson, making her voice heard early, making the point that issues of race do actually matter. She cited the 14th Amendment guaranteeing equal justice under the law, take a listen to this.


JUSTICE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: The legislator who introduced that amendment, said that quote, unless the constitution should restrain them, those states will all I fear, keep up this discrimination and crushed to death, the hated freedmen. That`s not a race neutral or race blind idea in terms of the remedy.


MOHYELDIN: So Melissa just how crucial is this specific case when it comes to the Voting Rights Act?

MURRAY: This is a really big case, Ayman. If you recall back in 2013, the court decided Shelby County versus Holder, which invalidated the preclearance formula. Preclearance was a regime that required states that had a history of suppressive voter laws to first pre clear of any changes in their electoral processes with the Department of Justice.

When the court invalidated the preclearance regime in Shelby County, it assured us that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act still remained as a vehicle for challenging discriminatory voter laws. And here we are today, seeing whether or not the court agrees that Section 2 will continue to be a viable remedy for these kind of discriminatory voter claims.

And the issue here in Alabama is that Alabama drew a series of legislative districting maps that basically packed black voters into a single minority -- majority-minority district, and based on the population and the racially polarized voting patterns in Alabama, a federal district court determined that it was likely that there could have been two majority-minority districts and in fact, this was a vote dilution issue and the state was ordered to redraw its legislative maps. Instead, it filed an emergency petition at the Supreme Court, which stayed the lower court`s ruling.

So this map is now in force for this election cycle. But this larger case and whether or not Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act will continue to be a viable remedy for voter discrimination claims and vote dilution claims is really the issue and Judge Jackson was exactly right.

The question of the 14th amendment and whether or not race can be considered and trying to invalidate racially discriminatory voting laws. That`s the central question here, and it`s where these two sides of the court disagree.

MOHYELDIN: All right. Melissa Murray, Zoe Tillman, Carol Leonnig, thanks to the three of you for starting us off this hour.

And coming up. The Herschel Walker abortion controversy, the very latest political storm surrounding a Trump endorsed politician. We`re going to ask James Carville about the critical issue of candidate quality and whether it even matters anymore to the Republican Party.

And later, Russia tries to illegally annex territory but the Ukrainians keep pushing back where the 220 day -- 222 day long war stands today. THE 11TH HOUR just getting underway on this Tuesday night.




PATRICIA MURPHY, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION POLITICAL COLUMNIST: I would say it`s two different buckets. There`s the Daily Beast story which I think some of his supporters are going to be able to dismiss pretty easily without a named source. But then the revelations and the religious this outpouring of emotion from his son Christian Walker has really been like a bomb going off in this race. I`ve talked to Republicans who said that they are angry they`re frustrated they didn`t want to be in this position with Herschel Walker.


MOHYELDIN: Now one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country has been shaken up tonight by a report that a fiercely anti-abortion candidate in Georgia actually once paid for a former girlfriends abortion.

Herschel Walker is denying the allegations in The Daily Beast calling it a flat out lie. But Walker`s adult`s son, a TikTok influencer, who took part in at least one campaign event for his dad wrote a series of tweets and then posted a lengthy video accusing his father of lying hypocrisy and violence.


CHRISTIAN WALKER, HERSCHEL WALKER SON: I stayed silent as the atrocities committed against my mom were downplayed. I stayed silent when it came out that my father Herschel Walker and all these random kids across the country, none of whom he raised. And you know, my favorite issue to talk about is father absence. Surprise because it affected me, that`s why I talked about it all the time. Because it affected me.


Family values people. He has four kids, four different women wasn`t in the house raising one of them. I was telling a lie after lie after lie. The abortion car dropped yesterday. It`s literally his handwriting in the car. They say they have receipts, whatever he gets on Twitter, he lies about it.


MOHYELDIN: Perhaps no surprise, the national Republicans so far at least appear to be standing by Walker. But he is the latest in a long list of Trump back candidates who have some in the GOP holding their noses.

We`re happy to welcome to the program, Democratic strategist James Carville, who helped elect former President Bill Clinton in the early 90s. He knows a thing or two about candidate quality. James, it`s good to see you again. So we mentioned national Republicans, and Trump may still have Walker`s back. But Georgia Republicans are said to be distancing themselves from Walker at this moment. How do you see this critical Senate race playing out?

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, first of all, I want to congratulate that young man, thank God he got his mother`s brain. he would have been terrible if he would inherited his dad`s brain.

But I think just exposes the massive, staggering humanity of conservative evangelicals. I`m not going to call these people Christians, because I don`t think they embrace very much of Christianity. OK, so he paid for his girlfriend to have an abortion. But of course he did. They got the canceled check. They got the hand written note. They got the evidence, right. He`s got four different children, by four different women that he beats. He has never seen his four kids. His child speaks out against him.

And yet, because he doesn`t want to expand health care to middle class people, a lower middle class people, they`re all going to be forehand. And it just, you know, and I hear this people said young people don`t go to church anymore. Why would they see that kind of hypocrisy? Why would young people want to be part of something like that? When they see a brave young man, like just pointing out that these Republicans and these evangelicals, you know, so everybody can make a mistake. He was caught a murderer, according to them. That`s their view of it. But you can forgive people for murder, can you? Maybe you can have one kid. I bet. Maybe you can ignore one for? I don`t think so.

And there`s just got to be a point. But somebody says this is enough. This -- we can`t -- we just can`t go do it. And that`s just a fact. And the good thing about this, you`re just exposing hypocrisy everywhere.

MOHYELDIN: Yes. And speaking of candidate -- speaking of candidate quality, James, you`ve got, you know, Mehmet Oz, you`ve got Mastriano, you`ve got Herschel Walker, you got Blake Masters --

CARVILLE: Blake Masters.

MOHYELDIN: The question of candidate. Yes, no, of course. So I mean, how big of a problem is it for the GOP that this is the field of candidates that are running in this cycle?

CARVILLE: You know, I`ve said it before they have a lot of stupid people that voted their primaries. I really -- they really do. I mean, I`m not going to supposed to say that. But it`s obvious that. And you know, when stupid people vote, you know who to nominate, other stupid people.

And they have -- the Republicans have a problem. They got very low quality people that vote in their primaries, and producing predictably very low quality candidates. It`s evident right in front of you.

MOHYELDIN: So you got Republicans on one hand, James, that are talking about crime, the economy and immigration Democrats are campaigning on saving our country, preserving our democracy, literally, the life and death of our country. Here`s what Matthew Dowd said about that on this show last night, watch.


MATTHEW DOWD, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: The people that want something to accomplish, whether it`s social security, Medicare, choice, guns, you will not be able to accomplish it when you`re not in a democracy.

So the only way you can receive the will of the voters in this country or in any country is through a democracy. So if Democrats run on the campaign, that they`re strongest on and emphasize those issues, as we see in Michigan and other states, they can win.


MOHYELDIN: Can a message about democracy beat out a right wing fear mongering message over borders and crime?

CARVILLE: Well, first of all, the states of eight of -- the 10 states with the highest crime rate eight are run by Republicans, Republican city, but controlled place have actually have higher crime rate. When Bill Clinton passed a crime bill in 1993, we had the largest drop in violent crime we`ve had in modern American history. It did not come back until the last year of Donald Trump`s administration. I had no idea of why the Democrats would run away from the crime issue. All right.

And by the way, this country needs immigrants. I like immigrants. I`m thought immigrants. We should take that right to ask these farmers if they need immigrants. We`ll talk about it when talk about Florida, let me tell you where they need immigrants and need them bad and meet him now, Southwest Florida.


So, I don`t think we need to pivot. I don`t think -- Costa markets is essential to what we are as a country. I mean, it`s what we`re all told that people fought God for it. And they don`t just turn a complete backs on it, but you don`t -- you can run on democracy, you can run on crime, you can run on immigration, there`s no reason that you have to back off from any of these issues.

And you`re right, democracy is, Matthew is right. That`s the most important issue today. Yes, but other issues are important to people and don`t act like we can`t run around because we can.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, so let me throw inflation into that mix as well. Are people going to vote for the future of democracy or their pocketbooks? I mean, you coined the term, it`s the economy stupid.

CARVILLE: Well, first of all, just purchased cost of living. So what is the difference between Herschel Walker`s position on cost of living, and Reverend Warnock? Zero. What`s that difference on abortion? All the difference in the world. What`s that difference on health care? All the difference in the world. What`s their position on carbon (ph) prescription drug costs? All the difference in the world?

I have no idea -- you`re right. People have to deal with the President`s putting stuff out. They`re trying to help people deal with drug prices, health care costs, energy costs. They fighting hard to try to help consumers during this worldwide phenomenon. But that`s not a choice that a voter has, but has a real distinction, a different they vote a different way. And the Democrats are just much better on this.

We got too many of these consultants telling these people to pivot and, you know, just go to democracy and forget about that. They got a terrible record if you got to run against them and you got to hold them accountable.

MOHYELDIN: James Carville, stay with us. We got a lot more to discuss. Coming up, President Biden moving to Florida, but will he be received by a serious Ron DeSantis? Or will DeSantis try another political stunt that is next when THE 11TH HOUR continues.




KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): FEMA has been on the ground for miles from the coast and predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods some say help me has not arrived. You feel ignored here?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No Red Cross, no FEMA, no nothing.

SANDERS: Though the damage here is not as dramatically visible. Ruby Williams says her community was also hit hard.

WILLIAMS: We wave water up to here.


MOHYELDIN: Our thanks to Kerry Sanders for that reporting and as Florida continues its recovery efforts after Hurricane Ian, Governor Ron DeSantis is scheduled to meet with Joe Biden tomorrow as part of the President`s visit to the hardest hit areas. James Carville is still with us, James, what do you think of Governor Ron DeSantis`s handling of hurricane Ian so far?

CARVILLE: Well, listen to me. Ron did Katrina pushed a fried chicken in the mashed potatoes in the gravy back. The first thing is, you can suspend your toilet patrols who`s using this bathroom because none of the toilets are working in southwest Florida. They all backed up.

The second thing you need to do is forget about Martha`s Vineyard, hire a bunch of busses go to El Paso, to Mattimore (ph), Sorreto (oh) (INAUDIBLE) to Mexicali and put a sign up and says we need workers. No questions asked high wages, right? Stop all the stuffs you`re doing. You`re going to need immigrants and a lot of them. You can make drywall people, you`re going to need bricklayers. You`re going to need carpenters, you`re going to need every -- roofers and they`re not enough roofers in Florida to deal with this.

And the third thing you need to do is change the curriculum in a textbook and tells young people what the effect of 87 degree water in the western Gulf of Mexico has on the state of Florida. I can tell you what it is. It`s profound. This guy has no idea of what he`s doing. Forget the toilets. Forget the immigration stunts and forget not teaching math to kids tell them what the hell is going on in their lives. And that`s what he needs to do. He don`t know whether one watches scratches and scratches watch a wind is real. I`ll be honest with you.

MOHYELDIN: We always appreciate the honesty James. Listen, you live in New Orleans so you know about recovering after hurricanes. How should Florida approach rebuilding?

CARVILLE: And I know you need emigrants and a lot of them to rebuild and I know the effect of hot water on hurricanes. I promise you.

MOHYELDIN: No, we believe you but tell me what do you think Georgia needs to be, sorry, Florida needs to be doing at this moment in its recovery efforts.

CARVILLE: Well first of all, they got to get it -- they need stop doing photo ops. DeSantis goes now gets in an air boat and interferes with rescue operation. So the first thing you got to do is on down to public safety fine, you know, they probably still have people if they`re still looking for, you got to find these people.

The second thing they need to do is bring a lot of construction workers and most of them are going to be immigrants. I`m sorry. That`s just a fact. The third thing you need to do is change that building codes. I`ll look at deeds.

I`m here in the Bay St. Louis, Mississippi right now. I`ve got 64 pilings I`m sitting on. I`m 26 feet above sea level. If I took a Lynn -- it takes a pretty good lick to knock me down.


Look at these houses. They`re all on the on the ground level. And it just developed these barrier islands with non-sustainable housing. And the result is predictable. And you deny climate. You look at how hot the water was. You look at how powerful these storms are. And they got outstanding universities in Florida. They got atmospheric scientists that couldn`t believe. You got to call them and pay attention to them.

And by the way, don`t try to evacuate 24 hours before in a place with limited egress. If you look at a map of Southwest Florida, you got Highway 75 that goes up, which is and you got the highway across to go to the East Coast. That thing is jam. You can`t evacuate millions of people in 21 hours.

It was just being asleep on switch. It was gross negligence. It was worrying about who`s using what bathroom, or are some very unfortunate and sympathetic Venezuelan asylum speakers that you`re trying to use as a pawn. He needs to get bright and do his job. That`s what you got.

MOHYELDIN: James, you got about a minute left. But President Biden is heading down there tomorrow to meet with DeSantis, governor who is obviously expressed no love or admiration or respect for Joe Biden. What is the President do tomorrow when he comes face to face with DeSantis?

CARVILLE: Well, I`ll tell you, he`ll be nice to him. He will not do anything that will interfere with rescue operations at all. He will show great empathy and sympathy for people who are victims of this and he`s going to be to give them some aid.

Unlike DeSantis and Rubio, who didn`t win -- when Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey, they wouldn`t vote for it. They would not for it. And you know these people in Florida our brothers and sisters, our countrymen, our countrywomen or country whatever, we have to help them and help them a lot.


CARVILLE: And he needs to quit posture and plan politics. And, you know, act like he doesn`t care about the people in New Jersey. We should care about everybody in the United States. And everybody has something unfortunate happened to him. And I think President Biden is going to do a really good job. And DeSantis says any set to keep his mouth shut.

MOHYELDIN: James Carville, it is always a pleasure, sir. Thank you so much for your time and speaking with you.

CARVILLE: Thank you, sir. You bet.

MOHYELDIN: Thanks. Before we go, this. Coming up, Ukraine is gaining ground against Russia as hundreds of thousands of Russians flee their own country. We`re going to talk to a former Green Beret Master Sergeant about Vladimir Putin`s tough situation when THE 11TH HOUR continues.



MOHYELDIN: Overseas, Ukraine says it is making important gains against Russia as the war enters its seventh month. Ukrainian forces have retaken territory in the South and in the East, including the strategic city of Lyman, which was part of the area of Vladimir Putin illegally annexed just last week.

And it comes as the United States has pledged another $625 million to help the Ukrainian military keep pushing forward.

With us tonight, Jason Beardsley, former Green Beret Master Sergeant and national security expert. It`s great to have you with us, Jason. Just how important are these gains for Ukraine, both psychologically and militarily?

JASON BEARDSLEY, NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERT: Yes, Ayman, great to be with you. I think you frame it well, because it is part psychological. Obviously, Ukraine has done a great job from the outset of this and holding terrain. But now gaining some back at a critical stage is important. We`re about to go into the winter months.

I think the Ukrainian forces know that the winter months really advantage the mechanized infantry that Russia is more used to. And Russia has got some hardened soldiers, so they can probably outlast a little bit on the ground here.

So, getting everything back before we get into that hard winter really smart for the for the ground forces. It`s also a little humiliating for Putin to constantly have to be coming up with excuses as to why they`re losing terrain, losing generals, or in general losing the people on the homefront.

MOHYELDIN: What do we know about the condition of Russian forces fighting in Ukraine? Why is this happening to their forces at what at least appears to me as an outside observer and accelerated rate than what we saw in the first couple of months of this battle?

BEARDSLEY: Well, time has its toll in warfare, especially mentally, but the logistics required to sufficiently supply these extended lines of Russian troops. Remember, they`re on enemy terrain. So they`ve got to move equipment, gear, fuel, food, everything to the frontlines constantly. And that allows for harassment, interdiction, insurgency, guerrilla attacks, it`s a lot harder for them to sustain on the enemy`s battlefield than it is for the enemy to kind of scoot around and move around them.

So, that`s one factor. They haven`t done this well from the beginning. Russian forces have been logistically underperformers, their leadership on the general`s front that`s been underperforming. So this has been a long term disaster for them, but they`re -- they`ve got staying power. So that doesn`t mean it`s going anywhere. It just means that what Ukraine has to do and what you`ve seen this last few weeks is they`ve got to take advantage every time. They`ve got a tactical pause or the ability to press the front, so good on them for that.


MOHYELDIN: And if it wasn`t demoralizing what is happening in Ukraine to Russians, you have now hundreds of thousands inside of Russia fleeing the country to avoid the draft. And being pushed to the front lines. Is Vladimir Putin backed into a corner here? At what point do we start worrying that he is running out of options, and we and we know what that may entail?

BEARDSLEY: Yes, he`s been in a corner really since he decided to launch this. Remember, he`s an old KGB guy. So he`s not a military strategist. There`s no proof that he`s actually got leadership in place to do this.

Shoigu, defense minister, he`s a patsy and just corrupt as can be. So their military has some fundamental problems. Launching this invasion was the mistake. The fact that he`s lashing and power that just goes to the point that he`s had a tyrannical grip on the Duma and the Kremlin, so good on him for killing his enemies and setting himself up with some successes there.

But he`s been in this corner, as to, you know, the employment of sort of tactical nukes it`s been talked about, he`s going to to use that to posture. Remember, they`ve got other tools on the ground, thermobaric munitions, and things like that.

Russia is probably not close to employing those, but he`s going to use every rhetorical device he can to keep the west on our heels.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, so to that point, how concerned should we be about this vague, vague threat about nuclear weapons?

BEARDSLEY: I mean, you always have to be concerned. But again, this does not necessarily support the interest of Vladimir Putin. Remember, we`ve got now 20,000 Russians stuck on the wrong side of the river cut off from their retreat, it`s going to look ugly for them. If something were to occur in that vein, he can`t afford to lose that much face on the homefront.

So again, he`s got other options before he would ever have to trigger that. That`s a really nice leverage device for him. And again, I would suggest it`s a lot of rhetoric. But we do have to watch, Putin has been very good about talking about exactly what he wanted to do. And the West is sometimes not taking them as seriously, I think as he is, but the tactical nuke employment, I think were further way off than that, then he`d like to suggest.

MOHYELDIN: All right, former Green Beret Master Sergeant Jason Beardsley, thank you so much for joining us. I greatly appreciate your time.

BEARDSLEY: Thanks, Ayman.

MOHYELDIN: Coming up, remembering country music icon Loretta Lynn when THE 11TH HOUR continues.



MOHYELDIN: One last thing before we go tonight, remembering the Coal Miner`s Daughter, country music star Loretta Lynn died today at the age of 90 at her home in Tennessee. The New York Times writes her powerful voice, playful lyrics and topical songs were a model for generations of country singers and songwriters.

So it was her life story. Born in 1932, Loretta Webb was one of eight children and never planned to leave this small town of Butcher Holler, Kentucky. When she was just 15 years old, she married her husband, Oliver Lynn, and they had six children. And after moving from Kentucky to Washington, it was her husband who encouraged her to pursue a singing career.

Audiences were immediately drawn to her heartfelt songs about her life and her marriage. She would end up releasing more than 60 albums over a career that spanned nearly five decades. Her rags to riches story even inspired a 1980 Academy Award winning movie, starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones.

Over the course of her career, Loretta Lynn received a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Our colleague, Jenna Bush Hager sat down with Lynn a few years ago for the Today Show.


LORETTA LYNN, COUNTRY MUSIC SINGER: It was a coal miner and he worked hard.

JENNA BUSH HAGER, TODAY CO-HOST: And what do you think he would think of you of your life? This extraordinary life?

LYNN: I`d give anything in the world if he would have been here we`re not recorded Coal Miner`s Daughter. And, but I think he hears me. And one day, I was saying it time.

Where I was born the Coal Miner`s Daughter in a cabin on a healing Butcher Hallow. We were poor, but we had love, that`s the one thing that daddy makes sure. He shovel coal to make a poor man`s daughter.


MOHYELDIN: Loretta Lynn, the coal miner`s daughter who became the queen of country music gone at the age of 90.

And on that note, I wish you a good night. From all of our colleagues across the networks of NBC News, thank you for staying up late.