Former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating Jan. 6th. New reporting reveals the phones of top Trump Pentagon officials were also wiped of Jan. 6th text messages. A twist in the Alex Jones defamation trial after his lawyers accidentally shared his texts and emails with the lawyers of the Sandy Hook parents.
HEATHER MCGHEE, "THE SUM OF US" PODCAST HOST: And so it was through organizing that they were able to come together, become friends, and ultimately win a massive wage increase in their state as part of the fight for 15.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that`s the theme of the show tonight organizing. Heather McGhee, thank you so much for joining us tonight. That`s tonight`s "LAST WORD". THE 11TH HOUR with Stephanie Ruhle starts now.
STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight, the subpoenas just keep on coming in the investigations into the former guy`s election scheme, as even more text messages go missing. And as more big life consequences show up at the ballot box.
Plus, we may finally be learning what it might take to get that big climate health care and tax bill passed. And sure enough, the carried interest loophole could get in the way.
Then, the huge courtroom twist in the Alex Jones trial. Years of his own text messages and e-mails end up in the hands of the very people who want him to pay for his lies. That and more as THE 11TH HOUR gets underway on this Wednesday night.
Good evening. Once again, I`m Stephanie Ruhle. There`s even more evidence tonight that the Justice Department`s January 6 investigation is zeroing in on some very powerful officials in the Trump White House.
NBC News has confirmed the top lawyer in the Trump administration, former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has been subpoenaed by a federal jury. His closed door testimony as you recall was a significant part of the last two January 6 hearings.
Remember, Cipollone is the guy who witnessed that infamous Oval Office meeting about seizing voting machines, a meeting that took place just weeks before the Capitol riot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAT CIPOLLONE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I opened the door and I walked in. I saw General Flynn. I saw Sidney Powell sitting there. I was not happy to see the people in the Oval Office. I don`t think any of these people were providing the President with good advice, the idea that the federal government could come in and seize election machines. Now that that`s I don`t understand why we didn`t have to tell you why that`s a bad ideas. It`s a terrible idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: And there are new reports that Pat Philbin, Cipollone`s White House deputy has also been summoned to appear before a federal grand jury. January 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger says Cipollone his testimony could be key.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): If he goes in front of the grand jury, it shows that this is more than, you know, what did John Eastman do the attorney that basically came up with that crazy scheme to overturn the election, and it probably has a very deep interest in what the president did. I hope Pat Cipollone actually just tells the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: Speaking of John Eastman, The New York Times reporting just hours after Joe Biden`s inauguration, Eastman e-mailed Rudy Giuliani about challenging the outcome of runoff elections in Georgia for those two Senate seats that were won by Democrats.
Times also adds Eastman wanted Giuliani`s help in getting paid after he`d build the Trump campaign. 270,000 bucks. The Justice Department also now suing Trump`s former trade adviser Peter Navarro to force him to turn over e-mails from his time in the White House.
There`s also new reporting about the missing phone messages, more missing messages of Trump defense officials. The deleted messages related to the January -- to January 6 include those from former acting defense secretary Chris Miller.
Last week, house investigators released audio of Miller sworn testimony refuting Trump`s claims that he put the National Guard on standby prior to the insurrection.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be crystal clear, there was no direct from President Trump to put 10,000 troops to be on the ready for January 6, correct?
CHRIS MILLER, FMR. ACTING DEFENSE SECRETARY: Yes, that`s correct. There was no direct -- there was no order from the President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: Meanwhile, the former president today is taking credit for the primary defeat of another of the committee`s key witnesses. If you remember Rusty Bowers, the Republican Speaker of the Arizona House, who testified about efforts to get him to overturn the 2020 election results. Well, he lost his bid for a state Senate seat to a Trump backed opponent.
We have a lot to cover tonight. So let`s get smarter with the help of our leadoff panel. Jackie Alemany joins us, Congressional investigations reporter for The Washington Post and MSNBC contributor, 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. And Clint Watts is here West Point graduate Army veteran, former FBI special agent and a distinguished Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
Melissa, I`ve got to go to you first because this almost blows my mind, a former White House lawyer now testifying before a federal grand jury. What does that tell you about how serious this thing is?
MELISSA MURRAY, NYU LAW PROFESSOR: I think it`s pretty serious, Stephanie, and it suggests that the Department of Justice is honing in on the former president and those closest to him again, given all of the concerns around executive privilege and attorney client privilege, the fact that they`ve chosen to bring in Pat Cipollone, it`s clear that they`re moving this in a more aggressive direction toward the former president.
So, this is a really interesting development. I think none of this would have happened without the fact of the Bologna`s testimony before the January 6 committee and the special hearings that were conducted this summer. So this is all related, and I think incredibly important.
RUHLE: For months and months and months, we`ve said this is serious. This is bad for the former president. But with these advancements we`ve learned in the last day or so does it increase the legal Jeopardy you believe he`s in?
MURRAY: Let me, I think, it certainly makes clear that the Department of Justice is moving forward with him as a target of inquiry and who knows whether or not you will actually be indicted and charges brought against him. There are a lot of credential concerns that weigh in that process. But the fact that they`re subpoenaing the White House lawyer, I think is incredibly important suggests that this is moving closer to the former president.
RUHLE: Jackie, let`s talk about all of these missing or deleted text messages. First, it was Secret Service text messages from the sixth missing, then it was DHS officials. Now it is Trump Pentagon officials with messages that just don`t seem to be there. What on earth is going on? This cannot be normal course of business.
JACKIE ALEMANY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, Stephanie -- committee already received documents that were literally ripped up due to the lack of adherence to the Presidential Records Act and adherence to the proper archival process from the former President and the White House. So I think all of it indicates in its totality, a troubling pattern of a lack of preservation and archiving of records that are really part of the public record and due to the American people.
But there are some nuanced differences here between what has taken place at the Department of Defense and what may have taken place with the U.S. Secret Service. The Department of Defense has come out and said in light of these revelations that there are missing text messages, that this is standard operating procedure for the agency, it might not necessarily make that much sense and might need to be changed.
But in the case of the Secret Service, we know that there was some -- there have been allegations of malfeasance here, repeated preservation requests, congressional investigators, going to U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security asking them for these texts messages prior to them actually wiping them from these phones.
And -- But at the end of the day, both of these situations could reveal potentially important information to not just the January 6, select committee investigating the insurrection, but also the Department of Justice as well.
RUHLE: You know, who doesn`t think any of this is standard operating procedure, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. I want to share what he told our own Andrea Mitchell today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEON PANETTA, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Obviously, officials, out of the Trump administration were taking steps to make sure that potential evidence involved in January 6 would not be there. I really do think that the Justice Department has to investigate the loss of this kind of critical evidence.
ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC HOST: You`re saying this was a cover up?
PANETTA: I don`t think there`s any question that when you go from agency to agency and find out that key messages have been deleted, something`s going on here that resembles very clearly a conspiracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: A conspiracy plan. Clint, you think he`s right?
CLINT WATTS, MSNBC NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: On the DoD messages, I actually don`t. I don`t think all text messages are created equal. I have worked in the Pentagon a lot. I never saw any principals actually using their phone for text messaging very much beyond what time is the car picking me up? You know what location it is? Because you don`t take it in a room.
The other part is the DoD IG report at least the timeline that I reviewed is very detailed and seems to show most of those communications back and forth.
We`ve heard the calls and a lot of those cases. So I think it comes down to, are there specific individuals that the January 6 committee is worried about in terms of these communications, and I think it would have merit. I don`t think that text messages, at least in the DoD compared to my experience, breaking a law enforcement where text messaging is pretty essential. I think we`ve seen that with the Secret Service case that they`re around the principles.
And the reason everybody wants to know is because of the testimony, Cassie Hutchinson. I can also just say, there are many FBI investigations over the last few years where we talked a lot about text messages. And there was a strong reaction, particularly think in the Department of Defense after Secretary Clinton, if you went back six, eight years ago, that was a topic of deep concern, which was Howard text messages store, what servers who, who controls those servers.
I don`t doubt that there`s some sort of problem across the government in storing this material. But I`m also a little bit skeptical that there`s any sort of juicy evidence in that text message chain on the DOD, because we`ve heard the calls and I`ve listened to it, at least from the DoD side during the last hearing that we just had with the January 6 committee.
RUHLE: Well, we know if there was juicy evidence, if we could actually see what was on those text messages. Melissa, there`s no report out tonight that says the Secret Service might temporarily disabled text messaging on employee cell phones. Senate Judiciary chair Dick Durbin is now calling for a federal investigation into the missing data. All this is important, but does any of it get us anywhere closer to knowing what was actually in those messages?
MURRAY: I mean, I don`t know that this gets us to the information that was in those text messages. But it does make clear that across a number of federal agencies, there were slippage is that resulted in the ability to wipe these messages from phones.
And so, again, much of this might have come out if there had been a commission to study and review what happened on January 6, and we might have gotten this kind of information much the same way we got this sort of failures of interagency communication in the 911 Commission, but we didn`t have that. So we`re all -- this is all sort of happening piecemeal as it trickles out from the special committees work.
And so yes, this may be an important development, but it`s not going to yield the answers that people want right now.
RUHLE: Jackie, in terms of public moves, the January 6 committee is pretty much laying low this month. What are they doing?
ALEMANY: They`re laying low, Steph, but they`re quite busy. The committee is sort of recalibrating back to their investigative posture and pursuing a number of not just loose threads if they didn`t have the time or resources to resolve during the first year of their investigation, but also new investigative leads that have come as a result of the hundreds and thousands of pieces of evidence that they`ve collected over the past year.
We know that the topic of the Secret Service, not just the missing text messages, but whether or not the Secret Service has been forthcoming with the committee so far is a topic of concern from them and a priority.
We also know that former cabinet secretaries to the former president are coming in for depositions as well. These are entirely new witnesses the committee has yet to hear from and they hope that these people, people like Mike Pompeo, Stephen Mnuchin, etc. might shed some light on conversations regarding the 25th amendment that occurred in the aftermath of January 6, as these cabinet secretaries were maybe questioning former President Trump`s fitness.
But at the end of the day, there is a clock ticking that lawmakers and our sources on the committee are well aware of, there`s concern that they simply don`t have enough time to finish up and wrap up and resolve all of these issues, especially as they need to get their final report drafted and also have promised to put on an additional set of public hearings for the American public post recess.
RUHLE: Melissa, the panel reportedly may want to subpoena the Alex Jones text messages and emails that were just uncovered during a completely separate defamation trial that he`s dealing with. This guy took the fifth about 100 times when he talked to the committee. Given that how bad could this news be for him?
MURRAY: Well, I think it`s could be pretty bad for him, given the fact that this is a digital copy of it cell phone that was erroneously disclosed by his lawyers to opposing counsel, also looks pretty bad for his counsel itself. And this is a pretty glaring mistake.
And as the opposing counsel noted at the trial today, or the hearing today that this is the sort of thing if an error was made that the council would have immediately contact opposing counsel to redact it or to withhold some of this information and that never happened.
So, I think it`s a bad day all round for Alex Jones or Holly a worst day for Alex Jones is lawyers.
RUHLE: It is but put Alex Jones aside, Clint, we`re now living in a time when conspiracy theorists are moving away from the fringe, and they`re moving up, we saw conspiracy theorists winning primary elections last night. How concerning is that to you?
WATTS: I think it`s my number one concern for 2022. If we`re looking at another insurrection in this country, it`s at a state local level. I think that`s where you`re seeing a lot of these candidates running under the complete auspices that the last election didn`t count or wasn`t conducted correctly. It`s also a little odd. Why would you run for election if you didn`t think it was a fair process, but they still do.
And just separately, I think Arizona is particularly troubling. You remember the very bogus audit that they have which also found nothing, no change in terms of the votes, those -- a lot of the same individuals now are running for office there.
And so when it comes to 2024, where we`re looking at an election where we really need to restore the integrity, that`s a big problem. I think the other part of it is these are people that are, as we`ve seen, they showed up in the insurrection, why would they mobilize our protest or even commit violence at a state or local capital election facility? I think this could lead intimidation, and really just, you know, outright violence at polling places. And it suppresses the ability of elections to be conducted, because who wants to be a poll worker, when you`re risking your life for what is either volunteer work or very low paid work.
So this is my big concern for 2022 as we head in. I think it`ll be localized. I think it`ll be just a few locations around the country. But either on that day or afterwards, we`re looking at a real undermining of democracy, I think in this country.
RUHLE: Melissa, before we go, I want to touch on one more investigation. Ivanka Trump reportedly has talked to the New York Attorney General investigating the Trump family business. Yesterday, we heard Don Jr. has already testified. Any guess on what she`s asking them before she gets to question Trump himself.
MURRAY: I imagine she`s trying to get at the whole question of how they valued their various properties and how they reported those valuations for purposes of New York`s taxes. Again, that`s a civil investigation. So the standard of proof is considerably lower than what you would have in a criminal prosecution. It`s preponderance of the evidence standard as opposed to beyond a reasonable doubt so much easier for the government to establish guilt in those circumstances. So this looks like it is moving closer and perhaps is a more promising avenue for accountability.
RUHLE: Well, we will be watching Jackie Alemany, Melissa Murray, Clint Watts, thank you all so much. You definitely had to go to work with us tonight.
Before we go to break, flags in Washington are flying at half-staff tonight in honor of the late Republican House member Jackie Walorski. The Indiana Congresswoman was killed in a car accident earlier today that also claimed the lives of two young staffers on her team.
Walorski was in line to become chairman of the House Ethics Committee if Republicans win the majority in November. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called her loss absolutely devastating.
Congresswoman Jackie Walorski was just 58 years old.
After the break, we have been talking a lot about the billions of dollars at stake with a carried interest loophole. And today new reporting on what Kyrsten Sinema wants. We`ll ask Congresswoman Katie Porter about the future of the big inflation fighting bill.
And later, one of our upcoming guests says he has seen a lot of law and order, but never a twist as good as what happened today in the trial of Alex Jones. THE 11TH HOUR just getting underway on a Wednesday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: You need one more democratic vote, Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Well, we did have a nice conversation and we`re changing papers back and forth to make sure we understand everything she understands where we`re coming from.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: Well, one day later, there is revealing new reporting on what Senator Kyrsten Sinema may ask for before signing on to the Democrats big climate healthcare and tax bill. According to POLITICO, she wants to nix language narrowing the so called carried interest loophole that cutting that provision would ask $14 billion of the bill`s 739 billion in projected revenue. It would also hook up the private equity industry. And she is -- she would like roughly $5 billion in drought resiliency funding added to the legislation.
Back with us to talk about that and much more California Congresswoman Katie Porter. Congresswoman, this bill is getting a lot of support. Just today, five former Treasury Secretaries including Hank Paulson, who served in the Bush administration, they support it, do you?
REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): Well, yes, absolutely. It`s a rather cool day in hell, when I`m here talking about how much I agree with Hank Paulson, somebody who I had a lot of disagreements with when he was treasury secretary. But this bill really does put the pieces together both on the revenue side and on the spending side in a way that is very thoughtful and very balanced.
It`s going to make investments in climate change and energy security and in healthcare, it`s going to raise revenue by creating a more fair tax code and it`s going to bring down the deficit. So it is a much safer more streamline bill than what we`ve been talking about in the past but it`s no less important in its scope for our economic future.
RUHLE: Which is why Democrats and Republicans could get behind it. But of course, no Republicans are. So all of this is sitting on Kyrsten Sinema, she is in a hugely powerful position. Yet the one thing she`s asking for while she is in the catbird seat, is to leave the carried interest loophole alone.
Can you help us understand how that would serve anyone in the state of Arizona a complete hookup for private equity titans? Who in Arizona would care about that?
PORTER: Well, I can`t speak to how many private equity titans and hedge fund managers they aren`t Arizona. But the larger --
RUHLE: Not many.
PORTER: -- point is that Kyrsten Sinema should be putting the needs of the American people first, and that the American people benefit from a fair tax code. And that`s really what closing the carried interest loophole is there`s a reason we call it a loophole, because it allows certain kinds of income to pay a tax rate that is, you know, Stephanie, about half what similar (ph) income people have to pay. So it`s a capital gains rate instead of an ordinary income rate.
And so this is about raising revenue. It`s about creating a more fair tax code. And I`m hopeful that Sinema is making some noises here, but that she has not dug in on this because this is absolutely a wrongheaded position and I -- if I had the bill for the last two congresses, to close the carried interest loophole in the House. And it is a tremendously important thing to deliver tax fairness for the American people.
RUHLE: Do you have any reason to believe that it`s just noises on her part, and she will actually get behind it? Or it`s just --
PORTER: What we`ve seen so far is reporting we haven`t actually seen to the best of my knowledge, a statement from Senator Sinema. So I`m hopeful that these conversations are occurring that she`s going to come around. And, look, she`s asked for more funding for droughts, 5 billion, as you mentioned, and we`re going to have to pay for that somewhere.
Joe Manchin has made clear that we`re going to pay for things in this bill. This bill is going to reduce the deficit. It is going to be a balanced approach. So if she wants to do that drought funding, which as a Californian, I definitely support addressing that, then she can`t at the same time that she wants more spending on her priorities, be asking us to lose on the revenue side. That`s the wrong direction to be heading in.
RUHLE: Let`s talk primaries. Last night, voters in Kansas overwhelmingly showed up and voted to protect abortion access in their state. What message are voters sending? And how are Democrats going to use that message as we go into November?
PORTER: I think what voters want is to have respect for their freedoms from their elected officials. People want to make their own private decisions about whether to give birth, but whether to have an abortion, about whether to marry the person they love be they have an opposite sex or same sex regardless of their sex.
And so I think what we`re seeing here is voters turning out basically to say to politicians, this isn`t the change that we need. We`re concerned about a lot of other things. We`re concerned about climate change, we`re concerned about inflation. We don`t want you creating and dividing our communities by wading into issues that are that are settled law and are frankly disrespecting people`s individual freedom. They want to see politicians who are protecting individual freedom.
RUHLE: You know what else voters don`t like and it certainly doesn`t help Congress`s reputation with voters? They don`t like Congress --
PORTER: Wait, wait, let me guess. Congressional stock trading.
RHULE: You knew we talked about it here. And I know you`ve said before, this is simply bad policy, we need to change it. Congress shouldn`t be trading given all the information you have. Given that, do you believe we are any closer to banning stop trading in Congress? Because I`m hearing noise about it.
PORTER: I do believe -- I do believe we`re closer. And here`s why. We have seen in the Senate, there is bipartisan bill. Elizabeth Warren, Senator Danes from Montana. There`s growing bipartisan support for that. In the House, we have started to see efforts to create a kind of consolidation of all of the different bills to help eliminate congressional stock trading. I have a bill called the Stock Act 2.0. But I have colleagues who have also worked on this issue.
So we`re starting to see kind of, I think, coalescence around what the core provisions of any stock trading ban have to have. And for me, I`m looking for a minimum of these three things. It has to apply to both members their spouses and their dependent children. If not, we`re just creating a loophole.
The second thing we have to make sure if there`s any qualified -- if there`s any qualified blind trusts, that they are truly blind, and there`s no BS around that.
And then the third thing is we have to have a real penalty here, a penalty that will be punitive for people who break the law and divide. And so those are the three things I think we`ve seen and we`ve seen both House and Senate proposals. Again with both Republicans and Democrats on board. I think what`s missing here? Is leadership deciding to put this on the floor for a vote.
RUHLE: Yes, that was my question leadership, Republicans, Democrats on board is Nancy Pelosi, she`s kind of the one that matters here.
PORTER: She has been moving in this direction. And I think she`s hearing from her caucus about how important of a priority this is. In the next couple of weeks, we`re going to figure out what are we going to bring to the floor in our September period. We`ll probably be back in August. Hopefully to move this reconciliation bill through to deliver on climate change and lowering health care costs, and then in September, bearing congressional stock training needs to be right at the very top.
It is simply wrong to ask people to send you back to Washington if they don`t have trust in you. And we have to earn that trust by putting policies in place that address the perceptions and the potential realities of corruption.
And so I do think Speaker Pelosi is a very effective leader at listening to what her caucus wants. And I think that she is getting a very strong message across the caucus, that this needs to move forward.
RUHLE: Well, you are a very effective communicator. So I need to ask you this, because you hear it all the time. Congress is broken, Congress is broken. But if you actually look at all the things that have gotten done in the last year on a bipartisan basis, just think about it. The infrastructure law, gun safety measure, the PACT Act, what was just on the CHIPS Act? That`s a lot done in the last year. Do you think voters are paying attention to that?
PORTER: I think voters are paying attention to some of that we`re seeing people who are like, wow, they`re widening that road. They`re building that bridge. But I think one of the problems Congress has is a -- it`s a problem a lot of a share is a procrastination problem. So we`ve all of the things that you`ve mentioned have really been moved in the last -- most of them have been moved in the last few months, infrastructure a little bit before that.
So I think this reconciliation package is going to really help kind of put -- kind of underline for voters that we have addressed not just a couple issues really well like infrastructure and gun violence. But we`ve addressed all of the core issues, including our environment, and climate policy, tax policy deficit. So I think this reconciliation bill, its size, and its scope, is really going to help us highlight all of those other accomplishments.
RUHLE: Most people don`t care about politics or government, but they want the government to work for them and they like their lives to be better, smarter and safer. Katie Porter, always good to see you, Congressman from the great state of California. Thanks for joining me.
PORTER: Thank you.
RUHLE: Coming up, the absolutely stunning revelations from the phone of Alex Jones. That has one lawyer asking if he knows what perjury is when THE 11TH HOUR continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK BANKSTON, ATTORNEY FOR SANDY HOOK VICTIMES FAMILIES: Your attorneys messed up and sit in an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone with every text message you`ve sent for the past two years. And as of two days ago, it felt free and clear into my possession. And that is how I know you lie to me.
Mr. Jones, in discovery, you were asked do you have Sandy Hook text messages on your phone? And you said no. Correct? You said that under oath.
ALEX JONES, CONSPIRACY THEORIST: I was mistaken. I was mistaken. But you`ve got the messages right there.
BANKSTON: You know what perjury is, right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: You know what perjury is, right? That`s the lawyer said. We are following major, major developments in the Alex Jones defamation trial. Today we found out every single text message on his phone was sent to the lawyers of the Sandy Hook parents by none other than Jones` own lawyers. He also admitted today that the Sandy Hook massacre was 100 percent real after years and years of spreading the awful lie that it was a hoax.
Let`s discussed with NBC News Senior Reporter Ben Collins. He covers disinformation and extremism on the internet, and Charlie Sykes, editor-at- large of The Bulwark and an MSNBC political analyst.
Ben, you cover crazy outrageous stuff all day every day. But this trial today, it took your doors off what do we need to know?
BEN COLLINS: Yes, very rarely do you get some shot from any of this stuff, but today it was the day it happened. Alex Jones`s lawyer accidentally sent every text and e-mail over the last couple of years everything on the contents of Alex Jones`s phone to the Sandy Hook parents lawyer. Seven, 12 days ago that means two days ago by Texas law, he can start using it in this trial as long as it was, in some way identified to Alex Jones`s lawyers which it was so that`s another weird mystery here but how that even happened.
And it`s completely changed the whole context of this trial. Alex Jones says obviously lied under oath several times now and it is with these very text messages. He was sitting on the stand extremely flustered, as he was asked to read one of these text messages that he sent to a colleague, after saying he hadn`t -- had anything to do with Sandy Hook coverage for years and years. There was a text there from just a couple years ago.
Saying that yes, this headline is fine for this Sandy Hook story, which was about false flags by the way. It was a truly shocking develop.
I actually, Stephanie, I had a hard time believing what I saw. I had to go back and watch if you this. Is this actually happening? And yes, it actually happened today.
RUHLE: Then given how outrageous it is, Ben, is there any chance this mistake on the part of Jones`s lawyers can be used by Jones to say, I mean, this is a mistrial, we need to do over.
COLLINS: I mean, right now they`re deliberating what this should be the punishment. What should the punishment should be. And, you know, they`re asking for $150 million. So I don`t know. It`s unclear exactly what goes on from here. The lawyer seemed incredibly flustered in the hot mic that happened afterwards.
The Alex Jones`s lawyer was like he was asking the other lawyer, exactly how much do you have? What do you have on Alex Jones, on my client here? And it`s still kind of unclear what that is. And by the way, the lawyer for the Sandy Hook parents says he is going to look through this for law enforcement for any relevant stuff in the future. Justice (ph) Committee, according to Rolling Stone has subpoenaed this stuff. And it seems like he`s going to comply with this.
This is a incredible tranche of documents, Owen Shroyer who works for Infowars has complied with a subpoena from the Justice (ph) Committee, but pretty narrow. This is very wide ranging. And, you know, I`m sure there`s some stuff in there that is kind of interesting, in part because the lawyer himself said, I can`t wait to see what happens when this gets into the hands of law enforcement.
RUHLE: Charlie, Alex Jones, Infowars, hugely influential in the alt-right universe, how is conservative media absorbing and reacting to this trial?
CHARLIE SYKES, EDITOR-AT-LARGE THE BULWARK: Well, so many conservative media have been in bed with Alex Jones. And when while we`re experiencing the shot in Florida, it is worth mentioning, you know, what a profoundly dishonest and evil player he has been, and the pain that he`s caused for those families that lost their children. I mean, let`s not lose sight of exactly why he is sitting in that courtroom right now.
But as you point out, Alex Jones is not just a fringe figure. It was Roger Stone, I think who was, you know, Donald Trump`s buddy, who shortly after the 2016 election said that he thought that, that Alex Jones was the most important voice in the alternative conservative media and Donald Trump himself. The Monday after he was elected president back in 2016 called up Alex Jones to thank him for his support. And this was years after Alex Jones had weaponized and monetized this paranoia, the lies, the hatred, that is on trial right now.
And unfortunately, what`s hap -- what happened was, and Ben has written about this very, very extensively, you know, Alex Jones mainstreamed much of this paranoid conspiracy theory garbage out there, it became part of right wing media, it became very much part of Trump`s mental world.
And the reality is right now that a lot of conservative media are looking at Alex Jones, and then thinking, you know, look, we promoted him, we praised him, we circulated his material. And he has he`s created unfortunately, even if he goes down here, he`s created dozens, if not hundreds of fellow bottom feeders, imitators and followers, who engage in the same kind of sick, paranoid falsehoods.
I mean, this is in many ways we are now living in the world that Alex Jones created. So he is not just a fringe footnote figure in what`s happened to American politics, particularly right wing politics.
RUHLE: On that negative note, we are going to leave it there. Alex Jones, who was once a huge supporter of WikiLeaks, Podesta leak, Hunter Biden leak. How`s it going to feel about his own messages being leaked?
Ben Collins, Charlie Sykes, thank you both for joining us tonight. For you at home, stick around. Coming up what both parties can learn from voters had to say yesterday when THE 11TH HOUR continues.
RUHLE: The biggest takeaway from last night`s five state primary may have been what some call a political earthquake in the state of Kansas. As the New York Times puts it tonight, the abortion rights victory there, quote, relied on a broad coalition of voters who turned out in huge numbers and crashed through party and geographic lines to maintain abortion access in the state.
So with us Charlie Sykes, editor-at-large of The Bulwark. When you hear the words of broad coalition of voters that is never ever good for Republicans, voter turnout in Kansas was massive. And we`ve seen numbers today that 70 percent of all newly registered voters in that state were women.
At this point, is there anything Republicans can do to see that and change their play or reverse course or have they chosen a lane and they`ve just got to double down?
SYKES: Well, they`ve chosen a lane it`s going to be very difficult for them to what change the lane. In fact, there is this race to take to take the position of who`s going to have the most extreme abortion restrictions but I don`t think it`s understating it to say that this is a, you know, political earthquake.
I mean, you know, several things out of Kansas, number one, big question was, would abortion be enough to motivate Democrats to come out in big numbers and vote? Yes. Would it divide Republicans? The answer is yes.
But I think the most extraordinary thing about Kansas and I`m hoping that, that folks around the country will look at the effective way they did reach across these lines, that they found a way to appeal to rural conservative, blue collar voters, even pro-life voters with a message that emphasized, you know, conservative values, you know, talking about, you know, the government mandates and taking away their rights. They didn`t engage in hyperbolic rhetoric, but their message was very, very focused. They were respectful. And they went right at a sort of libertarian approach to the issue.
And so I would strongly urge people to look at the various ads that the abortion rights supporters used, because this was one of the first times that I`ve seen how effective it can really be in a in a, you know, let`s face it, a ruby red state like Kansas.
RUHLE: Let me ask you about something else, a strategy that was employed last night that hurt one of the more normal Republicans. Peter Meijer, a Republican congressman in Michigan, who voted to impeach Donald Trump, Democrats got involved in his election, they tried to help his far right opponent, and it worked. That guy won. What is your take on that strategy? Democrats were thinking, let`s get far right candidates in the general and we can get them.
SYKES: Yes, it`s cynical. And also be careful what you wish for. Look, it`s very hypocritical on the one hand to say that election denialism poses an existential threat to democracy and then wink, wink, wink. Let`s spend $450,000 boosting this Trump`s nut wall because we think he`ll be easier to beat. Well, not necessarily. It`s going to be a toss-up race.
And I guess the cynicism here is that the Democratic Congressional Committee spent more money boosting John Gibbs who defeated Peter Meijer than then Gibbs, his whole campaign, the Democrats spent about 100 --
RUHLE: I`m afraid we lost Charlie. I`m going to take a guess maybe he was ending that sentence with maybe we need a little campaign finance reform. Just to guess. Charlie Sykes, thank you so much. I am sorry, we lost his signal. When we come back, he gave voice to baseball`s most iconic moments for over 60 years. Remember legendary sports broadcaster Vin Scully when THE 11TH HOUR continues.
RUHLE: The last thing before we go tonight, remembering a broadcast legend Vin Scully, the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers passed away yesterday at the extraordinary age of 94. The LA Times writes the way Vin Scully called a baseball game it felt like bumping into an old friend. There were stories to tell and memories to share his soothing banter as familiar as green grass and warm breezes on a Sunday afternoon. NBC`s Miguel Almaguer takes a look back on his life and legacy.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
VIN SCULLY, LOS ANGELES DODGERS BROADCASTER: It`s time for Dodger baseball.
MIGUEL ALMAGUER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With those easy words in his unmistakable voice. Vin Scully cemented a legacy as legendary as those of the players he called.
SCULLY: Hello curveball. See you later.
ALMAGUER: Armed with a mastery of the game and the grace of a folksy friend, Scully brought the field to life during his 67-year career.
SCULLY: As a 29,000 people in the ballpark and a million butterflies.
ALMAGUER: As the Dodgers play by play man, he marked American history when Hank Aaron smash Babe Ruth`s homerun record.
SCULLY: A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South.
ALMAGUER: More than a decade later, when an injured Kirk Gibson gave the underdog Dodgers a walk off World Series game win, Scully perfectly captured what only he could coin.
SCULLY: In a year that has been so improbable the impossible has happened.
ALMAGUER: Born in the Bronx in 1927, the slender redhead first began calling games for the Brooklyn Dodgers at 22. When he retired in 2016, he was awarded the Medal of Freedom.
SCULLY: I`ve needed you far more than you needed me.
ALMAGUER: Though Vin Scully never played for the Dodgers. He was the face of a franchise who left the field with the grace of a legend. Miguel Almaguer, NBC News, Los Angeles.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
RUHLE: An impressive life and career that will not be forgotten. And on that note, I wish you all a very good night. From all of our colleagues across the networks of NBC News, thanks for staying up late with us. I will see you at the end of tomorrow.