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Transcripts: The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle, 9/30/22

Guests: Barbara McQuade, Charlie Savage, Jonathan Allen, Bryan Stern, Basil Smikle, Gillian Tett, Tim O`Brien, George Hahn

Summary

Ian strikes South Carolina as Florida faces challenging recovery. Jan. 6 Committee reveals new details about next hearing. New developments in battle over Mar-a-Lago. Project dynamo providing relief in Florida.

Transcript

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: I hope you`ll join us tomorrow starting at 8 a.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC. THE 11TH HOUR with my friend Stephanie Ruhle begins now.

STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, the cracks are starting to show, the former president`s legal team divided over how to handle the Mar-a-Lago investigation. Trump`s new attorney wants him to be less combative, something that`s never been in Trump`s playbook.

Plus, devastation across Florida as Hurricane Ian makes landfall in South Carolina, rescues still underway for those stranded while damage assessment begins.

Then after a week of some major news, we`ll recap the latest headlines with some new perspectives as THE 11TH HOUR gets underway on this Friday night.

Good evening, once again, I`m Stephanie Ruhle. We will have the very latest on the devastation and efforts to recover after Hurricane Ian but first this evening, we`re going to break into the new developments of the January 6 committee and the next impossible final hearing.

Today, the Committee chairman revealed it will happen before the midterms take place.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON, (D) MISSISSIPPI JAN.6 SELECT COMMITTEE CHAIR: Well, the hearing will -- the next hearing will be before the November election. It won`t be next week. But you can fall intensive purposes expect at least one more hearing. We`re not really looking at bringing witnesses before the committee in the next year. We still have significant information that we`ve not shown to the public.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RUHLE: I wonder what that information will be. Meanwhile, Donald Trump himself still battling the DOJ over those documents that were seized from his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. In the Washington Post reporting tonight, his lawyers are at odds with one another over their legal strategy. His newest lawyer Chris Kise, wants you to turn down the temperature with the Department of Justice for the rest of the team and Trump. They don`t agree.

This week, Trump did get a ruling in his favor from the judge in charge of the case, his 2020 appointee Judge Aileen Cannon overruled orders from the Special Master Raymond Dearie that would have forced Trump`s lawyers to back up some of the claims he`s been making in an actual court of law.

And just hours ago, the Department of Justice filed a new appeal, asking to speed up its request to shut down the special master process entirely. The DOJ is trying to get a hold of the non-classified records that were seized at Mar-a-Lago.

With that, let`s get this evening started with the help of our leadoff panel, Jon Allen, Senior National Politics Reporter for NBC News, Barbara McQuade, a Veteran Federal Prosecutor, and former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, and our dear friend, Charlie Savage, Washington Correspondent for The New York Times and author of Power Wars: The Relentless Rise of Presidential Authority and Secrecy.

Madam McQuade, I turn to you first, the DOJ already has the classified documents, why are these non-classified one so important?

BARBARA MCQUADE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, they filed this brief today, Stephanie, saying they want to expedite the appeal, I think we`d sort of lost track -- I sort of lost track of this appeal, because they had filed that motion for the stay on these classified documents, as you mentioned, and they`ve got those back. Those are the ones that are most sensitive, they had the most urgency in doing this intelligence risk assessment. But all these other documents, according to the government are also presidential records that belong to the government.

And so, all of this delay is causing harm to the investigation, the criminal investigation at the heart of this case. And so, what they want is to expedite the appeal, and they want to litigate the issue of number one, whether a special master is necessary at all. And if so whether they can`t simply narrow the issues, to attorney client privilege, and get a ruling on this idea that executive privilege exists as against the executive branch. It seems like a nonsensical assertion of executive privilege. And I think that let`s just get that decision decided by a court and then we can all move on and there`s no need to categorize all 11,000 documents. If there`s no executive privilege, we can just get them back and we can begin our investigation.

RUHLE: Charlie, in honor of things we`ve lost track of -- lost track of, how about the battle over the special master even existing? Where are we in this fight?

CHARLIE SAVAGE, THE NEW YORK TIMES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, that`s part of what this request for an expedited appeal at the 11th Circuit is about, when the appeals court panel last week, rolled back Judge Cannon`s order to allow the Justice Department to resume having access for their criminal investigators with declassified documents. They also said very clearly that they thought that she had aired this as a matter of legal reasoning in deciding that there was a basis to appoint a special master are here at all that the Justice Department at that matter had not asked them to turn off the special masters so they just kind of said it and moved on.

[23:05:10]

And so, part of what they`re trying to do here now is say, well wait, if you guys have already think that it may be a different lineup of judges this time around, but two Trump appointees on that makes it pretty clear that that`s likely where this is going to end up. Why don`t we just go ahead? Is their argument and litigate that matter? And we can just turn this whole thing off? This is going to be a gigantic waste of time. It`s going to consume a lot of resources. We`re going to have months of arguments over this. And then probably once it gets up to the 11th Circuit, if they rule the way they did, they mentioned in that ruling last week, they`re going to throw the whole thing out anyway, because they`re going to say Judge Cannon screwed up. And there was no jurisdiction here in the first place and just vacate the whole thing. And so, it`s going to be -- there`s no point to this, seems to be their argument, was just get it over with now.

RUHLE: There is a point .

SAVAGE: Well, what`s the point?

RUHLE: It delays, delays, delays. And if there`s one thing Donald Trump likes to do, it is slow play the game. So, it is a quasi-win --

SAVAGE: I agree with you. I`ve written out a lot, Stephanie, except once the 11th Circuit put declassified documents back in the hands of criminal investigators and let them move forward, it`s not delaying the criminal investigation that poses the greatest legal peril to Donald Trump anymore. It`s a sideshow at this point. It`s a huge volume of documents, but the ones that could result in charges, like unauthorized retention of national security information, like defying a subpoena for documents marked as classified, are no longer being delayed. And so, what is the point of this entire sideshow seems to be the Justice Department`s argument at this point. It`s not even helping Trump in his usual strategy of delay.

RUHLE: Jon, I feel like it`s deja vu all over again, the Washington Post reporting that Trump`s newest lawyers is trying to get him to turn down the temperature with the Department of Justice, something I feel like tons of White House advisors, tons of former lawyers have tried to do with Trump for years. Here`s what our friend Carol Leonnig of The Washington Post said about this earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAROL LEONNIG, THE WASHINGTON POST INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: He`s trying to sort of scare the former president straight. Look, there`s a way this can go bad. There`s a way this can go good. Listen to me, and I promise you we can avoid criminal jeopardy. But indictment is a word. Apparently, he has tossed around as a possibility. And I don`t think it`s a scare tactic, Nicolle, I think, you can`t keep pressing all these buttons with DOJ and not expect that they`re going to charge.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RUHLE: Do you there`s any chance Trump is taking this seriously?

JONATHAN ALLEN, NBC NEWS SENIOR NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: He`s taking the overall investigation seriously. But it`s not surprising that there is a divide, there`s always a divide among Trump`s legal team. There`s the people that are telling him that he can do these novel crazy things that support what his view is of what he should be able to get away with. And then there was always a lawyer or two who says, here`s the traditional path. Maybe you shouldn`t be poking the bear at the Justice Department or whichever bear he`s poking at any given moment. We know that the sycophants usually win. Not always, because this is so reminiscent of that crazy, crazy scene that was painted by the January 6 Committee of an Oval Office meeting, where he`s trying to get rid of the head guy at the Justice Department. And he literally had that guy, Jeff Rosen, and Jeffrey Clark, the one who would replace him battling it out in front of him like some sort of Roman emperor or with gladiators to make this argument about who should be running the Justice Department. None of this is new at all, and Trump`s legal strategy comes from Trump.

RUHLE: Let`s be clear, none of them are anything like gladiators.

Charlie, I know you`re out with a new piece tonight, talking about how Trump`s claims of executive privilege, how they`re at play in both the January 6 investigation and the Mar-a-Lago case, how can you explain?

SAVAGE: Sure, this is sort of an interesting convergence of these two otherwise unrelated investigations. Both of them right now seem to be hitting a chapter in which Trump is attempting to make the same somewhat novel, very novel claim of executive privilege as that as a former president, against the wishes of the current president, the incumbent officeholder, he retains secrecy power to keep information about his White House Communications secret, not from an outsider like Congress, but from the executive branch itself from Justice Department, criminal investigators.

In the January 6 case, there is a behind the scenes battle going on right now in the courthouse here in D.C., over subpoenas to witnesses who -- to conversations in the Oval Office, where Trump has told them, don`t answer questions because I have executive privilege here and the Justice Department we assume are saying no, you have to answer these questions. We don`t get to see that because it`s a grand jury proceeding that`s playing out before Judge Beryl Howell, the chief judge in D.C. who oversees that grand jury.

[23:10:06]

And then as we`ve been discussing in this special master matter in the Mar- a-Lago documents investigation, a big issue is that Judge Cannon, the Trump appointee said that a special master review could include whether documents were subject to executive privilege such that they should not ever be shown to the Justice Department`s investigators, or since they`ve already seen them, they have to remain off limits, they can`t show them to a grand jury. They can`t ask witnesses about them, et cetera, et cetera.

Justice Department has said all along, that`s crazy. That`s not how executive privilege works. There`s no precedent of an ex-President asserting the privilege against the Justice Department at part of the executive branch against the wishes of a current president successfully. And both because ex-presidents have less privileged power than the current one. And because executive privilege is not really about internal executive branch matters.

Nevertheless, Judge Cannon has entertained that and the Special Master has been trying to force the Trump team to confront that as they start racking and stacking these documents and saying what kind of privilege might attach to it. One of the things that happened this week is Judge Cannon in rescuing them from some of the what the Special Master wanted them to do, relieve them of the burden of saying, well, this document can`t even be shown to the Justice Department, and here`s why. As opposed to its generic executive privilege, that`s one of the things in both of these investigations is now coming to the fore and it`s going to play out in the month of October.

RUHLE: Barb, just thinking about the words Charlie, just used, Judge Cannon stepped in and rescue them, rescued Trump`s team, given all of her rulings thus far, is it is it safe to say that she`s basically backing Trump?

MCQUADE: It seems that way from her opinions, it`s hard to know exactly what her motive is. But one thing that`s really odd here is, she appoints a special master. And she`s essentially delegated to him some of this work, he has fashioned and order. He has asked the parties to do certain things. He`s essentially doing his job what she asked him to do. And then she second guesses it, and she changes some of his directives, and all of them favor Donald Trump. One is, you know, to not have to say backup this claim that he`s been making publicly that the FBI planted evidence is at Mar-a- Lago.

Judge Dearie had said, by today he wanted them to specify which if any documents you say, were not at Mar-a-Lago when the FBI came. Judge Cannon says, now forget about it. You don`t have to do that. Judge Dearie also set a fairly aggressive timeline to say let`s get through this quickly. Here`s the schedule. She extended that by almost a month. And so, it does seem that most of these things are favorable to Donald Trump. I don`t know what her motives are, but that`s certainly the effect.

RUHLE: We also got a timeline update on when we`re getting the next January 6 hearing. Chairman Bennie Thompson said we will get it before the midterms. Jon, do you think this delay helps or hurts the committee?

ALLEN: I think it hurts the Committee and that the closer they get to January 3rd of next year, the more likely it is that they will no longer exist. Meaning, if Republicans take control of the House in the midterm elections, they`re going to shut down this Committee or reverse it and start investigating the other side with it. So, they have a pretty tight time period here to finish their hearings and to put out a report and perhaps make some sort of referrals to the Justice Department which of course, justice part of the main net need all those referrals because they`re watching these hearings live and as we know, they are pursuing criminal charges.

RUHLE: A really important reminder, the clock may be ticking. The midterms are coming. But the DOJ and their investigations, they`re still going on. Jon Allen, Barbara McQuade, Charlie Savage, I thank you all for starting us off on this Friday night.

When we come back, Hurricane Ian makes landfall in South Carolina, as the Florida Governor asks the federal government to help his state, help his state with the same kind of aid he himself refused to support for other states when they were in need.

And later, our Friday night panel here to talk about the congressional stock trading bill and Vladimir Putin speech that many say was unhinged and dangerous. THE 11TH HOUR just getting underway on a Friday night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:18:35]

RUHLE: Hurricane Ian made landfall for a second time in the United States this afternoon as a category one storm. It is now a post tropical cyclone and heading inland after slamming into the coast of South Carolina. Our dear friend and reporter Shaquille Brewster is standing by in Charleston. First, Shaq, I want to apologize for months and months, I said we constantly have you standing outside in the freezing cold and the snow. You moved to warm weather and you`re in the middle of a hurricane. You are in Florida, you`re in South Carolina. I don`t know when the last time you were even in your own bed was, what of the last 24 hours been like?

SHAQUILLE BREWSTER, NBC NEWS POLITICAL REPORTER: So, you`re the person I have to blame. We`ll talk about that a little bit later, Steph. But you know, this -- the threat still remains for the Carolinas even as hurricane Ian is well on shore. There`s threats of tornadoes threats of those thunderstorms as the system continues to move. But when you look at the Charleston area, you have the mayor of Charleston telling us that they dodged a bullet. They did not get the effects that they feared just about a day or so go.

Now, that`s not to say that Charleston was not impacted by this. They received the most rain over the past day than they have on any day since 1938. They had wind gusts of up to about 70 miles an hour in this area, tonight about 40,000 people in this area are without power. But, you know, the mayor and other local officials, they look at the devastation other parts of this country, we`re talking about Florida and they know that they were spared the worst effects of it.

[23:20:04]

You also look along the South Carolina coast, it`s not just called Charleston but in Myrtle Beach. There were rescues that were needed to take place. If you look at Pawleys Island, the entire pier was knocked off in that the flooding in that area local officials called catastrophic. So, although, folks and officials in this area do acknowledge that the impact of Hurricane Ian was much different than what they saw on in Florida, there was definitely a significant and historic impact for the Carolinas, Stephanie.

RUHLE: Shaq, thank you. Please go home, please get some rest. You had been out there for days and I`m grateful.

We are still following the aftermath of Hurricane Ian down in Florida with a storm washed and destroyed parts of the only bridge to Sanibel Island. Joining me now to discuss from the nearby Fort Myers is Bryan Stern. He`s the co-founder of Project Dynamo, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people get out of hostile places. The last time we spoke with Bryan he was in Ukraine helping people there.

Bryan, I thank you for joining us. Thank you for the work that you`re doing. I know you started this probably about 24 hours ago. Today, you are -- you`re on the water all day doing boat rescues, you stopped a couple of hours ago. Do you think there`s a lot more people out there when you went in tonight, did you feel like we`ve done a day`s work and we`re safe?

BRYAN STERN, PROJECT DYNAMO CO-FOUNDER: No, I mean the devastation is catastrophic. There`s tons of work to be done. There`s people that need help. There`s a lot of people that need to go but are frankly afraid to go or don`t want to go or aren`t prepared to go, but there`s a lot of people everywhere. We`ve been doing rescues all day today. We did rescues all day yesterday. We`ve pulled handicapped people, people in wheelchairs and amputee, a dog, a cat all kinds of people. Sanibel is really bad. Captiva is really bad. And it`s -- it truly is catastrophic on the level that most people don`t understand until you see it.

RUHLE: So, so many of these people that you`re talking about disabled people, could they have evacuated if they wanted to? Or was this bound to happen to them they were basically trapped?

STERN: A lot of these islands the only way to come on and off is by boat. Sanibel, the causeway, the bridge to go to Sanibel, as you know, has been taken out on the -- on both banks. So, you know, in the rescue business, we don`t judge. People stay for the reasons, people leave for their reasons. But bottom line is now they`re in a very, very, very bad, bad position. We`ve seen houses made out of cinderblock that don`t exist anymore. So, the power of this thing was truly unprecedented, I think.

RUHLE: When you see all these people, it is a reminder though, Brian, that evacuating is very, very hard for some. From the many rescued and you met, what are they telling you?

STERN: I mean, they described the hurricane in great detail. It`s been described as hell. It`s been described as I can`t believe them alive. You know, just a lot of shock that we`ve seen this in Afghanistan and in a lot in Ukraine. Beyond the physical piece of the of the situations, the mental health piece of these things are really can`t be understated. We`ve seen -- we`ve evacuated refugees out in Ukraine, and now we`re evacuating refugees literally out of Florida, where people`s entire livelihoods don`t exist anymore, where all their possessions are whittled down to a small bag. And that small bag is usually filled with wet clothes. So, it`s really, it`s really heartbreaking, gut wrenching.

My team and I were working really, really, really hard. The conditions are really difficult, very hard, lot of mud, lot of water. My team is just absolutely awesome. We`ve been working hard all day yesterday, all day today. We continued operations tomorrow.

RUHLE: I know we have to go, but your group is also a nonprofit. For those who want to support you, how do they do it?

STERN: Please go to Project Dynamo.org, that`s where you can donate. There`s a big red button that says donate. We are entirely donor funded. That`s also where you can register for evacuation. I`d ask please know that if you`re going to register, please make sure that they want to go and that they need to go because our resources are very, very, very limited. And in our time is limited. We walked probably 20 miles today doing some rescue. So, we were here to help. We want to help. We are helping if you need to get out, please go to the website, register. And we`ll do the best that we possibly can. But we are financially strapped gas, is really hard to come by down here. I feel like I`m back in Ukraine again. I leave -- I`m on vacation, oddly enough, here in Hurricane Ian.

[23:25:02]

RUHLE: Bryan Stern is in Florida and he said he feels like he`s in Ukraine. The next time you hear somebody calling themselves a patriot, waving a flag outside of rally, remember what Bryan Stern looks like right there, that is a great American patriot. Bryan, thank you so much for all they`re doing. Please get some rest tonight.

STERN: Thanks so much. Thanks for having us.

RUHLE: Before we had to commercial, across the country, families are facing unprecedented economic challenges, inflation stubbornly high, and there is still this looming threat of recession. For a lot of people, it means tightening their already limited budgets, and stretching every dollar.

I recently met with two families to learn about their financial and personal struggles, and give them some help to navigate their families during these uncertain times. Check out my new episode of "Bouncing Back" online at NBC News.com/business or scan the QR code on your screen right now, we`re in this together. We got to get better.

Coming up, the wife of a Supreme Court Justice roped into the January 6 into investigation, how believable is Ginni Thomas, not very if she walks in and pushes the big lie which is what she did today. That and more from our very exciting Friday night panel next, when THE 11TH HOUR continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:30:54]

RUHLE: We had a lot of big news this week, from the hurricane hitting Florida to politics and the war in Ukraine. And much like last Friday night, we brought together a really interesting group of people to break it down all of what it means, let`s welcome humorist, George Hahn, Tim O`Brien, Senior Columnist for Bloomberg opinion, Gillian Tett, she`s the Chair of the Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large for the Financial Times, and my old friend, Basil Smikle, Democratic Strategist and Former Executive Director of the New York state Democratic Party.

Guys, we have a lot to cover. And I`m going to start with January 6 committee, they finally bring in Justice Clarence Thomas` wife, Ginni, and what did she do? She doubles down and tells the Committee she believes that the election was stolen, that Joe Biden won. She also says she didn`t discuss any of her post-election activities, contacting all sorts of people in Trump world. She never told her husband, Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas.

I`m going to turn to you first, Basil, should the January 6 committee just shut it down, and bring her in, with question to ask. And she rolls up with a big fat smirk on her face, saying Trump won. Why even getting out one more ounce in tension? She`s clearly not an honest broker?

BASIL SMIKLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: But we wanted it actually. There is a lot of Democrats that wanted to see her be brought in front of the committee? The reality is, we all knew what she was going to say, anyway but she needed to be held accountable to the extent that that she was.

But the truth is that even given that the fact that so many polls show that threats to democracy are top of mind for so many voters even over the economy shows that that Committee actually did its job. It brought this to the attention of the voter. I have no illusions that Ginni Thomas is going to shed any light on what she and Donald Trump are up to. I`m sure, and there were reports that she`s talked to his law clerks that -- her husband`s law clerks, about a lot of her dealings. And I imagine that that has influenced the Justice`s decision. So having said that, you know, let`s not -- we should not kid ourselves about the role that she`s played really.

RUHLE: And do you think she has not mentioned any of this to her husband?

GILLIAN TETT, FINANCIAL TIMES EDITOR-AT-LARGE: I think it`s a bad thing. Listen, I totally hear what Basil (ph) says it basically everyone knew what she was going to say. But the fatty came out with such clarity is still pretty shocking, not just for the American people, but frankly, for the world stage. Because trying to imagine a situation where someone`s coming and saying, I do not believe the election was actually valid. That`s what I really believe. It`s breathtaking, however many times you hear it.

RUHLE: Breathtaking and dangerous.

TIM O`BRIEN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: And dangerous because her husband is conflicted and her husband, a Supreme Court justice, who to remove himself from anything going through the court that deals with Donald Trump. Judge Thomas was the only justice who actively dissented when a federal district court said Congress could get Trump`s tax returns. He is actively trying to intrude on a legal scrutiny of the President`s activities.

The Thomas are fanatics, they`re not just regular actors in Washington, Ginni Thomas is a fanatic. And this is cultist behavior, and she`s doubling down in front of the January 6 committee. And I think that we have to really recognize that as such not just treat this as someone with another point of view, and someone who`s rolling in whose relationship with her husband can be a wink, wink and a nod, nod. I find it very hard to believe that when they`re lying-in bed at night or having coffee in the morning, they are talking about all of this stuff.

GEORGE HAHN, HUMORIST: You know they`re talking.

RUHLE: -- lying in bed a lot and --

(CROSSTALK)

HAHN: Just, we`re on Christmas, thank you.

RUHLE: Thank you.

HAHN: They just -- like they didn`t talk about it over there. Cornflakes, no way they didn`t not talk about it, number one. Number two, does this shock us? Obviously, it`s you know, it doesn`t shock us but not shock us. And does it embolden election deniers? Well, this woman of this position on this profile, says no, this this election is not legitimate. Does it embolden this? This is going to get worse. It`s just going to be problem.

TETT: Can I just say something. It doesn`t just embolden what`s happening inside America, it also matters on the world stage. I mean, I .

[23:35:04]

RUHLE: She`s bringing her English accent.

TETT: Exactly. OK, I live in America. I do lingo accent.

(CROSSTALK)

TETT: Exactly, we can come to U.K. in a minute. But I`d like to talk about Russia because I spent years in the former Soviet Union myself, and I`ve been watching a lot of Russian state TV in the last few days. And you`ll be amazed how often Tucker Carlson, how often the right-wing media is actually literally broadcast on Russian state TV right now. And for Russians, the idea that at the very heart of Washington, you have someone like Ginni Thomas, essentially denying the logistic of election that is ricocheting around the world right now. It is not just inside America.

SMIKLE: That`s why I`ve always said, this is not a big conspiracy. The amount of resources that it takes, the amount of people that are involved to get everyone on the same page at the same time about looking at this in the same way, especially someone as high up as Ginni Thomas with that statue. That`s not accidental.

RUHLE: Certainly isn`t. All right. You talked about the world stage, the one person who goes inside Donald Trump`s head, is you, you`re the only person at this table who has actually seen Donald Trump`s houses. And so, I want to know what`s going on in his head and in Trump world this week, right? We are watching this special master, Judge Dearie, who Donald Trump asked for basically say, shut up or move on. He is pushing back on all the big lies that Trump is pushing around the Mar-a-Lago investigation. While Aileen Cannon, the judge down there saying, I`m going to give him more time, tell me how Donald Trump is responding to all of these?

O`BRIEN: I think Donald Trump`s cornered. I think it`s not just this case.

RUHLE: I always said that before.

(CROSSTALK)

O`BRIEN: I know, I know but there`s this myth that he is -- he has nine lives, there`s this myth that he has always escaped the long arm of the law. The reality is he has never had this array of investigations coming at him with a sense of purpose that these do. And so many of the just basic day to day court motions in most of these actions have gone against him.

He`s got an espionage case, essentially against him at Mar-a-Lago. He`s got an election fraud case, in Georgia. He has a civil financial fraud case in the state of New York. He has a criminal financial fraud state case against him in New York City. And January 6 has teed up if Merrick Garland has the steel to do it, a federal prosecution. And now on top of all of this, the judges that he appointed, are trying to protect him. But other members of the judiciary aren`t playing ball.

Dearie said if you`re going to sit outside the courtroom and say executive privilege, then come into a courtroom and say it under oath. If you`re going to make claims that the FBI planted evidence on you at Mar-a-Lago can come into the courtroom and testify under oath. She`s blocked that yet again. She`s running interference. Yet again, it is a reminder that Donald Trump has not only polluted the Supreme Court, he`s polluted the federal district court as well. And the real-world impact of that is people are willing to pervert the law in his favor. But I do think that there is a reckoning coming for Trump. I don`t know what shape it`ll take. It may not happen in a full-blown way. But he is not -- he is not in a position right now to just walk away from it.

TETT: But here`s the most interesting thing that happened this week apart from that, which is that you had a YouTube Gallup Poll come out, which shows that 51% of Americans do not think that he should run for office, and only 35% actually do think so. And that is arguably the first time you`ve actually had a majority, a very slight majority, actually saying this guy is not fit for office. So, I`d be really curious to see whether there`s --

(CROSSTALK)

SMIKLE: -- electorally, because if he`s going around the country, and folks are -- and he`s attaching himself to folks running for office, maybe so -- maybe less so at the house level, but certainly at the statewide level, and those folks start losing, and you have people like Mitch McConnell say, you know what, we`ve got to start distancing ourselves from this guy. You had state party leaders saying, we have to start keeping our distance. That`s when it really comes in. He`ll be more isolated.

RUHLE: All right.

HAHN: Is it statistically kind of happening? I mean, the rally in Ohio was like, the broad the large shot of that --

RUHLE: No live shot on that one.

HAHN: Right. It was not even -- it was a third full maybe. Number one, are people kind of getting sick of this. The act is getting old. I love Don Rickles. But the act was the same for the last couple of years. Trump hasn`t changed the line. It is so tired. And then these other sorts of like, kings that he`s, you know, anointed, they`re really --

O`BRIEN: J.D. Vance.

HAHN: He`s the only -- Trump is the only star, these people are not stars, are dull, they`re boring. They`re carrying the company line, whatever. And when he`s out of the picture, and I`ll get excited when he`s actually out of the picture, because we`ve been teed up so many times on social media.

O`BRIEN: But it`s not dependent just on him anymore.

HAHN: Right.

O`BRIEN: You know, Trump ism is embedded now in the Republican Party, and Ron DeSantis is Donald Trump with a less ill-fitting suit.

[23:40:03]

RUHLE: All right, let`s stay on Ron DeSantis. And Trump`s adopted home state, Florida. Here we are now just two days out from the hurricane and we`re starting to get our head background. How do people go back? How do they rebuild? Can they rebuild Florida even before the hurricane, we were looking at insurance companies going belly up, can the state get rebuilt, who`s going to do it?

TETT: Well, they`ve been living in cloud cuckoo land in Florida for a long time. And it`s not just about DeSantis, it`s the fact that you`ve got a lot of people living in places that are going to become increasingly vulnerable. And you can sit there and say, well, do we believe in climate change or we don`t believe in climate change? The reality is that we`ve had six of them that was damaging hurricanes happen the last six years, it`s getting worse. And unfortunately, there is a real problem just in the world of finance, in terms of mortgages and insurance. You know, these houses have been built there, partly because there`s been FEMA for years and years and years, providing a sort of magical safety net that everyone`s taken for granted. Who thought it was a good idea.

(CROSSTALK)

O`BRIEN: Because big insurance left.

TETT: Yeah.

O`BRIEN: So, you know, Ron DeSantis, who has railed against the federal government during COVID --

RUHLE: The federal government that has to come in and --

(CROSSTALK)

RUHLE: -- and as a state government.

HAHN: It`s like, you know, the scariest sentence anybody ever said, thanks to Ronald Reagan was, I`m from the federal government, and I`m here to help. How do you like me now? I`m here to help.

RUHLE: OK. You live in New York City.

HAHN: Yes, ma`am.

RUHLE: You pay very high taxes there.

HAHN: I do.

RUHLE: And a whole lot of people move to Florida with very low taxes. And they`re going to turn around and say, we need the federal government to help us do you want them to?

HAHN: Of course, they should? Of course, they should.

(CROSSTALK)

O`BRIEN: But this is the trap Democrats always fall into, which is, is we`re nice. And during this crisis --

RUHLE: Yes, you are.

O`BRIEN: People struggling, we should give them a helping hand. And I honor that, in the same situation Republicans take out a stiletto and got the opposition. Ron DeSantis has spent years railing against the federal government as not -- it`s not a force for good. It`s a smother, it plays a smothering role in American life. And when his state is hit by an epic crisis, the first thing he does is some of the first press conferences he runs is, we need help from the federal government --

(CROSSTALK)

SMIKLE: Welfare funds to go volleyball courts. Yes.

TETT: Exactly. It`s not just about what happens straight off this. It`s also about going forward. I mean, there needs to be changes, that happen. Firstly, people have to stop building houses with government subsidies in crazy places, it is nuts to building houses on the coastline in this degree weather that is in Florida, where that`s --

HAHN: New Jersey, South Carolina.

TETT: New Jersey, yes.

(CROSSTALK)

SMIKLE: -- really wake up when it changes migration patterns where folks want to live, they`re not going to want to live in places where their governments are not focused on sustainability.

HAHN: You`re going to make a second point. I`m sorry.

TETT: No, I was just going to say the second point is that people need to start talking seriously about mitigation of climate change. It`s both adaptation and mitigation. And that has not been viewed properly because being taken as a political football.

O`BRIEN: It has been in denial.

RUHLE: We have to take a commercial break. The answer is potentially everyone should move to the Finger Lakes. And George, you are nice. You`re a bit nasty, but you`re a good person. George, stay with us. When we come back, 70% of Americans, they want Congress to ban stock trading, for who? For lawmakers. My question, how can those boys and girls can get it done? When THE 11TH HOUR continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:48:19]

RUHLE: I want to need to start with segment with a deep breath because you know, I have been talking about this, not for weeks, but for months and months. House leadership, finally this week unveiled the text of a congressional stock trading ban on Tuesday. But guess what? Congress is leaving for recess today. And there has been no vote.

Still with us to discuss George Hahn, Tim O`Brien, Gillian Tett and Basil Smikle. Basil, what gives 70% of Americans want Congress to have some sort of stock trading limitation after they made 10s of millions of dollars just off of stocks connected to COVID alone, but alas, they finally come out with a bill, mind you the bill has more holes in it than Swiss cheese, and it can`t even seem to vote on it.

SMIKLE: It`s the millionaire`s club, no question about it and it is a rare moment of bipartisanship actually.

RUHLE: Which we should normally celebrate.

SMIKLE: Which we should celebrate. What was the last time we did this Daylight Savings Time I think, a rare moment of bipartisanship I have no idea why this doesn`t get done.

RUHLE: Yes, you do. No, no, no, no, you have no idea? That`s a lie.

SMIKLE: Look, I do. But here`s my thought --

RUHLE: And you do and so it`s what?

SMIKLE: It is protecting, it is protection, that`s all to do.

TETT: Simple turkeys don`t vote for Christmas.

SMIKLE: True, it`s protection. It really is. You know, they`re concerned about these loopholes and I get that but the reality is they`re going to find a way around it, anyway to make the money they want to me.

RUHLE: George, what do you think?

HAHN: They shouldn`t get -- no, they shouldn`t get to do this. No.

RUHLE: All right. He`s just a no. But Tim for real, is this Congress just waiting --

[23:50:00]

O`BRIEN: The entire federal government should have very clear and discernible financial conflicts of interest. The Supreme Court doesn`t have it, the executive office doesn`t have it and Congress doesn`t have enough of it.

RUHLE: So, what`s their game plan here? Slow play this and hope it gets out of a new cycle, Donald Trump style.

(CROSSTALK)

SMIKLE: There`s no real reason that they should have thrown into judiciary. And there`s no real reason they should have done that in the bill. This is, as you say, slow walking this sabotage it from day one. That`s the reality.

RUHLE: But isn`t this a bad move for Democrats who like to say, we`re not the one to do this, the Republicans are. Guess what, Democrats control this.

O`BRIEN: Especially for the speaker of house, you know, Nancy Pelosi`s husband, Paul has been called up on various options he bought on Google and other tech stocks before federal --

RUHLE: Chips companies.

O`BRIEN: -- legislation was introduced affecting their businesses. On the other side of the aisle, Rand Paul and his wife were called up on investing in Regeneron, shortly before the COVID lockdown began.

RUHLE: So, one thing Congress has a common with each other.

O`BRIEN: That`s right. They all like the insider trades, so to speak.

SMIKLE: The concern I have, however, in addition to what we`re talking about, is that the progressives would really, really want this bill will start making some noise and sort of exhibit some disunity at a point where we`re starting to get some unity going into the midterms and being able to collectively talk about all the great things that Joe Biden has done. I don`t want us to lose that momentum. And I hope this doesn`t cause that rift. But my fear is that that`s what we do to each other.

TETT: If it`s going to be slow walks and basically put off for a long time that it won`t even be on the table.

RUHLE: Well, we`ll just keep bringing it up here.

HAHN: It just feels dirty, why would anybody like appeal to people`s better angels, why would you want to engage in something that feels so dirty?

O`BRIEN: If you need the money. They need the money, apparently.

HAHN: Don`t we all get in line.

SMIKLE: Chris Collins from Upstate New York, if you remember from both (inaudible) got time for insider trading from just whispering a tip to his son on the White House law.

RUHLE: Do I need to remind you of Martha Stewart?

All right, let`s talk about Vladimir Putin because the war in Ukraine is obviously still in focus. And today, what did he do? He legally stole territory in Ukraine. I want to share a headline we have from The Guardian. Where are they write, Putin`s annexation speech was more angry taxi driver than head of state. You know Russia best, what`s your take?

TETT: I would say it wasn`t just angry taxi driver, it was downright fascist about the most fascist thing you can see, you know, on the world stage today. He has declared that he`s taken control of these four provinces of last in Ukraine. The Ukrainians in response have applied for membership of NATO. One of the better ironies about what Putin has done today is that he`s actually managed to come out and say this at the very moment when the Ukrainians are about to seize a town called Limon in Donetsk, which is incredibly important. So, he doesn`t even control the land that he`s claiming.

O`BRIEN: A week after saying he`d be comfortable using.

TETT: The other thing is, the other thing to really importantly, watch is there has been this mystery sabotage on this gas pipeline, it`s cause probably the biggest leak of methane that we`ve ever seen really bad for climate change. And it`s really --

O`BRIEN: -- sabotage.

TETT: Act of sabotage.

RUHLE: Why not he faces no consequences?

O`BRIEN: Who could have sabotage that pipeline and why? You know, the leverage that Putin has is jacking up energy prices for people in Western Europe, who are going to have a hard winter coming in meanwhile, the Russian government has enormous excess foreign reserves because all the money they`re hauling in on natural gas and oil.

TETT: Yeah, it`s actually showing down a bit. But yeah --

HAHN: Not that it`s a TV show, but one of my favorite lines in House of Cards I`ll never forget was Kevin Spacey character. And he said to -- I forget who he said, if you say it, it will be so. And that seems to be -- it was a great piece of dialogue. And so, Putin says it, and we`re supposed to just sort of the world is supposed to believe that this is so just because he said, this is mine.

RUHLE: He does ride horses bareback and wrestle tiger so.

SMIKLE: I will tell you, for the first time in a long time.

HAHN: Lately?

RUHLE: No.

SMIKLE: I was born in the 70s, raised in the 80s at a time when, you know, you went under your desk to practice, you know, getting, you know, for nuclear war.

O`BRIEN: Right.

SMIKLE: All those movies, Red Dawn, and you know, the day after all that, right? I thought we left that and I have more and more people every single day coming to me and saying they`re really concerned because they have a madman on one side of the world. And they don`t know what Trump`s doing on our side, and are really concerned about what`s happening in the world.

RUHLE: Here`s what Trump is doing on our side, nothing. He`s an unemployed senior citizen.

TETT: You`ve got Tucker Carlson being broadcast directly on Russian state TV, to the Russian people right now, in attempt to show that America`s divided is not a beacon of democracy, et cetera, et cetera. I mean, that is really concerning. And insight, as far as I can tell, by looking at these signals from the Kremlin, there is a realization that they`re losing. And as you say, that makes things --

O`BRIEN: You know on Russian TV there started to be some criticism of Putin, which is amazing.

[23:55:02]

TETT: There has.

RUHLE: Yeah, that`s amazing.

O`BRIEN: It is amazing.

TETT: But anyway, watch what happens in the next few days in this place called Limon in the east of Ukraine, because it really matters. And if it looks like Ukrainians are going to have another massive military breakthrough, the question then will be, will America and the rest of the world keep giving them the supplies they need to be on a roll and keep pushing for it?

RUHLE: All right, but when you say watch what happens in three days, how concerning is it that people aren`t watching what`s happening? They`re not focused on Ukraine like they were. And remember, it was Zelenskyy months ago who said, I need the world to stand with me and pay attention. And we`re not, not like we were months ago, and this was going on into this cold.

HAHN: Look at the attention to the attention span of the American audience. People are like, it`s not as interesting to them anymore. They`re bored.

RUHLE: How dangerous is that?

HAHN: Very dangerous. I`m not excusing, they`re bored with it.

O`BRIEN: Americans lost track of Afghanistan after it went on year after year after year. I think it`s the media and political leadership to keep people`s minds focused on this at moments like this. Otherwise, people are only going to pay attention once the stuff lands on their door.

RUHLE: Well, Tim, when you insult the media, I end. George Hahn, Tim O`Brien, Gillian Tett, Basil Smikle, thank you all so much.

And before we go, as busy as this week was, as crazy as it was, as devastating as it was in Florida, it is really important to remember and thank the 1000s of people who have come together and started this cleanup process from Hurricane Ian. I want especially spotlight the 44,000 utility workers from Florida and 32 other states that are working around the clock, just to get the lights back on. In dark times, you must look for the helpers and there are bright lights all over this country and we want to honor them every night.

And on that note, I wish you all a very good night, you all at home. A great night and from all of our colleagues across the networks in NBC News, thanks for staying up late with us. I will see you Monday night.