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