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New York AG Eric Schneiderman resigns. TRANSCRIPT: 05/07/2018. The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell

Guests: Jane Mayer, Kurt Andersen

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: May 7, 2018 Guest: Jane Mayer, Kurt Andersen


It`s been an extraordinary night watching this develop. Governor Cuomo who has not had a comfortable relationship with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, both Democrats, called for Schneiderman`s resignation within the last hour and a half or so, and that resignation was delivered right around an hour or so after the governor asked for it. And this was something no one could have possibly seen coming.

This is again extraordinary reporting by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow at "The New Yorker". Jane Mayer is going to join us in a bit to tell us how this came about. But this raises big political questions in New York state, as you said, you referred to the notoriously insane New York state legislature which many would call a charitable description, and as you pointed out, it falls to them now to choose the next attorney general.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: That`s right. And at a time when -- I mean, attorneys general are always powerful jobs, they`re always important jobs in New York state. The attorney general position has been a particularly high-profile job and has been a stepping stone to the governor, both for Eliot Spitzer and for the current governor, Andrew Cuomo.

It has an even higher profile than usual because of the -- what`s we`ve been reported as a cooperative relationship between Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the special counsel`s office, Robert Mueller, some of the charges that have been brought already or investigated by the special counsel`s office could conceivably also be pursued as state matters, and there`s been a question as to whether or not that might happen through Schneiderman`s office if the president is able to somehow dismantle the federal investigation or issue federal pardons.

This has implications in the personal lives of any women who may have been affected by these alleged activities it has serious implications in Schneiderman`s life it has big political consequences in New York, and it has national implications too.

O`DONNELL: And we`ve both had Eric Schneiderman on our shows since the Trump administration began. He was one of the first attorneys general to come out and start explaining the powers that that state attorneys general have to confront this presidency even before there was a special prosecutor on issues like the Muslim ban that the president tried to introduce and other policies. And Eric Schneiderman, even -- as I say -- even before we got to any issues of special prosecutors investigation and what Eric Schneiderman might be able to do that could be a state companion to that, Eric Schneiderman was one of the attorneys general leading the resistance to the Trump presidency.

MADDOW: Well, the -- I mean, even if you could wipe the slate clean and know nothing else about anything that had happened in the last year and a half to just know that right before he took office, the president agreed to pay $25 million to settle a civil fraud case brought in the Trump University matter. Those -- that fraud case was brought by Eric Schneiderman.

Other state`s attorney generals did end up getting involved in that, but Schneiderman was the one who led the way. The president settled that, had to pay $25 million. That settlement was just finalized within the last couple of weeks. The president responded in part by countersuing Eric Schneiderman in a personal capacity for having pursued that.

I mean, being a state attorney general is always a big deal. Being one in New York is an even bigger deal. Being Eric Schneiderman in this era, in the Trump era has been as high-profile as you can get with this kind of job, and to have this bolt from the blue in the New Yorker tonight and now he`s gone before dinner`s over, this is just a remarkable, remarkable turn of events.

O`DONNELL: It has been an extraordinary night.


O`DONNELL: Thank you very much, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Well, we are joined now by phone by Jane Mayer who broke this story today in "The New Yorker".

And, Jane, I was going to read a description for the audience of what it was that you discovered and that you reported about Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that forced this resignation tonight, but I`m going to now leave it to you to tell us what the key elements of your reporting are that forced the attorney general of New York state to resign tonight.

JANE MAYER, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER (via telephone): Well, there were four women who were romantically involved with him in the past who have described just repeated episodes of not consensual violence inflicted on them by him, but they -- these are episodes range from someone who was just plain, you know, a single situation where Attorney General Schneiderman made a sexual advance to her and she is a very well-known attorney in New York and very prominent person and just out of the blue he according to her hit her incredibly hard across the face twice and there were photographs of this that we were able to see they were taken the next day.

So, that`s just a one-time thing to then the descriptions of similar kinds of activity that got were prolonged over a year or even longer from relationships that these -- some of the other women had with him who were really girlfriends, and descriptions of being slapped repeatedly in the face, choked which was really particularly disturbing because he was the lead sponsor of the strangulation law in New York that made it a serious crime to try to choke someone, because it`s so often an indicator of some really serious violence in domestic violence cases.

So, it`s -- it was just -- it was just the most unexpected thing. He`s been such a star in the Democratic Party, and you know, I don`t think nobody`s taking any great pleasure, and this is or women man who supported him who -- I think, you know, we`re crazy about him at some point. But they were stuck in this situation that was really like being battered women, it was kind of amazing.

O`DONNELL: Before the attorney general announced his resignation tonight, he did give a comment to the -- to you at "The New Yorker" saying, in the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity, I have not assaulted anyone, I have never engaged in non-consensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.

Is there -- in your reporting, did you find any possibility for confusion here about his view of something else, role play?

MAYER: No. I mean -- you know, and it was something we were very sensitive to, not wanting to invade one`s privacy or, you know, that was just -- you know, some kind of issue you know idiosyncratic sex life for something like that. But what the two -- there are two women in the story who are on the record and they are speaking out because they really felt it was so important at this point, and they wanted to make sure that other women didn`t fall into the same situation with him.

But both of those women on the record used the word assault, and they say that this was non-consensual and that they were subjected to it over and over, and that it included also a lot of very demeaning psychological -- what they described as abuse and the pattern just having done a lot of reporting here, it just repeated itself with each person that we interviewed and it became familiar. It was -- it was really kind of horrendous.

O`DONNELL: Did the victims complained to him and did he say anything to them by way of apology in any kind of verbal explanation about this?

Well, we`re talking about something that would that went on -- we`re talking about over, you know, a decade here. So, a lot of different things happened, but, yes, there were there were -- these women say that they told him to stop and he didn`t. Sometimes, they would think maybe he`d get better, maybe they could get therapy, maybe they could -- maybe it was their fault.

They went through a lot of different things, but basically, they did not consent to this activity that`s violence and they were incredibly upset and eventually broke up with him.

So, he made them feel that it was their fault and they weren`t liberated enough for putting up with. It is one of the things that that I came across in a number of occasions.

O`DONNELL: Jane, as you were preparing this story for publication just hours ago, did it feel before publication that it could lead to the resignation of the attorney general within hours?

MAYER: I thought it might. I didn`t know how fast it would happen, but I think given how important women`s rights are to the Democratic Party and, you know, the Me Too movement has been for Democratic leaders, it didn`t seem possible that he could behave in one way, that one of the women on the record describes I served you know it`s a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to be so different in public and private.

I see -- I thought that he might say just a complete firestorm.

O`DONNELL: Jane Mayer, thank you very much for joining us tonight on this extraordinary set, a night of developments as a result of your reporting in "The New Yorker" -- really appreciate your giving us the time.

And we`re joined now by John Heilemann, national affairs analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. He`s the co-host and executive producer of Showtime`s "The Circus". Joyce Vance, former federal prosecutor and professor at the University of Alabama School of Law. She`s an MSNBC contributor. And Jennifer Rubin, conservative opinion writer at "The Washington Post", and an MSNBC contributor.

And, Joyce Vance, I want to go straight to you, a former U.S. attorney, here is an attorney general of New York state who is engaging in behavior that he has to know, according to Jane Mayer`s reporting, is going to get him in trouble, especially in the position he`s in, it would get any man in trouble in any position.

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: It`s so hard to contemplate why we hear these stories over and over again. Perhaps there`s a sense that he`s powerful enough that he can outrun the story, he can outrun any sort of allegations that come up. But in the end, this caught up with him fairly quickly, and at a very unfortunate juncture in our country`s history where he was in charge of several very weighty investigation.

O`DONNELL: The -- his -- Eric Schneiderman is not married and was not married during any of this conduct that`s been reported here, and his wife has actually -- his ex-wife and mother and mother of his children has actually issued a very supportive statement about Eric Schneiderman tonight.

Jennifer Rubin, I wanted to get your reaction to these developments.

JENNIFER RUBIN, CONSERVATIVE OPINION WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think it`s twofold. One is, there is now a level of credibility that these women have because of the Harvey Weinstein episode, because of so many other episodes that at least we have reached the point in time when this does surface that there is an immediate reaction.

Governor Cuomo immediately came out and said he didn`t think how Schneiderman could survive. As Joyce said, the Democratic Party is not going to put up with this. So, if we want to look for some positive element in this, it is that these men can no longer get away with it once the story is out.

The second thing I would say is that those concerned about how this might affect various Trumpian investigations or Trump elated problems who was also, of course, investigating a charity that Eric Trump was involved in, I think we should remember if we`ve learned anything so far in the Trump episode, the wheels of justice do continue and there will be another attorney general. He may be more or less competent but those cases will go on, and there will be attorneys who work for the attorney general, who continue to do their work day in and day out.

And I think we don`t have to fear that this will somehow impaired or imperil whatever is going on in New York state. People do have a sense of obligation to the law these state attorneys general have huge offices. They`re in essence law firms with very skilled prosecutors, very skilled investigators and I would hope that the state legislature chooses wisely.

If you recall, they now have a one-seat advantage in the Senate for Democrats, how important does that turn out to be, as well as a very large majority in the state assembly. So, we`ll have to wait and see who that individual is that it is appointed. But I think better they get Schneiderman out of there, they get someone else in that has credibility, that has the confidence of the people of New York and of the officials who in the state legislature and the governor, the better off we`ll all be.

O`DONNELL: John Heilemann, the parallels in New York state to Eliot Spitzer tonight are really striking. Eliot Spitzer, a former attorney general of New York state, who then became governor, and then was -- whose career was destroyed in a scandal involving prostitutes, a story that began while he was New York state attorney general and involved in the prosecution of prostitution cases, it is just mind-boggling how the New York state attorney general first, Spitzer then Schneiderman could possibly find themselves in these situations.

JOHN HEILEMANN, NBC NEWS AND MSNBC NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, certainly mind-boggling, I would want to -- not to defend Eliot Spitzer, but I would want to draw a distinction between the two cases in the sense that as far as my memory serves, and as far as I know, Eliot Spitzer was never accused of committing a kind of violent acts against the women that he was involved in, involved with, and that although people have different views about prostitution and certainly was a huge political scandal, these are I think a different category of case because of the fact, because of the nature of the allegations here that go to acts of violence in some cases.

It is certainly staggering though that two cases that are even kind of in the same zip code could fell to New York attorney general in such close proximity to each other. I think that Jennifer Rubin, not to shift away from though the magnitude of this, the swiftness of it -- I`m not surprised at all. The moment I read this story, I thought he will not last the night. There was just -- it seemed to me in this era, under these circumstances, he would not last.

I have a more -- I have not I`m not a sanguine as Jennifer is about the implications of this for various Trump related investigations. Joyce and I were talking about it before. It maybe -- yes, justice -- the wheels of justice continue to turn. They can turn faster or slower and the things I asked Joyce, I said, you know, did is it like if you decapitate an investigation, does it immediately just pick up where I left off or can it be hobbled crippled, slowed considerably.

And her answer, knowing more much more about this than me was could it be hobbled, crippled and slowed. I also think it`s the case that what we know about the Mueller and Schneiderman partnership, and it was a partnership, was that there was a lot of cooperation going on between -- behind the scenes between the special prosecutor and the state attorney general here, and that kind of disruption, however long it takes to get a new person in that job, that kind of disruption again in a moment where some of these things are happening and very, very rapidly and happening in require a certain amount of timeliness, I don`t know what the impact of this will be.

But it may not be -- it may be less it may the wheels of justice made to have a big hit pause for a little while they may be a stuck in the ditch a little bit when it comes to continuing on some of the past that Schneiderman was on related to Trump related matters.

O`DONNELL: And the current Governor Andrew Cuomo who demanded Schneiderman`s resignation tonight is himself a former New York state attorney general. He was the last Democratic attorney general in New York state to emerge from the job without having drowned in scandal. Eliot Spitzer, now Eric Schneiderman.

And, Joyce, there`s something so weird about the Eliot Spitzer history and what we know his conduct was secretly when he was New York state attorney general, and Eric Schneiderman and what we`re learning about him tonight to make me wonder, is there something about prosecutors reaching this seemingly all-powerful level of something like New York state attorney general, that tips them over a an edge where they cannot evaluate what their risk factor is, what kind of craziness is involved in their behavior.

VANCE: I really don`t think that that`s the case and I think that New York has produced some extraordinarily fine chief prosecutors particularly on the federal side of the House. Schneiderman`s office did some phenomenally positive things during his tenure that doesn`t in any way apologize for his conduct. But he was a leader in civil rights work, recently filing one of the nationwide lawsuits, challenging the inclusion of an immigration status question on the census.

So, I would say that perhaps this personal idiosyncrasy, this personal criminality really is balanced out by people who are high achievers. These two folks I think are idiosyncratic. New York hopefully will the assembly will replace him with a strong replacement and we won`t have problems moving forward.

O`DONNELL: All right. We`re going to squeeze in a break in our breaking news coverage here.

Coming up, there`s a new report tonight that President Trump is growing frustrated with Rudy Giuliani for failing to shut down the Stormy Daniels hush money story. Inevitable, Donald Trump frustrated with Rudy Giuliani.


O`DONNELL: Yes, that was the what was the one word that Rudy Giuliani could not say, must not say. The defense of Donald Trump is and always has been a just say no defense, say no to anything anyone has accused him of or might ever accuse him of.

And so, when Rudy Giuliani was asked yesterday on television if Donald Trump`s hush-money handler Michael Cohen has made hush money payments to women other than Stormy Daniels, Rudy Giuliani was supposed to give a Trump-like answer filled with mumbo-jumbo and misdirection, and maybe even a legal term or two, but under no circumstances was the word "yes" supposed to be anywhere in or near that answer.

Avoiding yes or no answers is a lawyerly skill. So, of course, lawyer Rudy Giuliani would have no problem handling a question like that for his new client, the president of the United States.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Did Michael Cohen make payments to other women for the president?

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP`S ATTORNEY: I acknowledge of that, but I would think, if it was necessary, yes.


O`DONNELL: Yes, it would be hard to find a lawyer anywhere in America who would allow the word yes into the answer to that question but Donald Trump has found one. Rudy Giuliani shares Donald Trump`s problem of always saying too much. If Giuliani`s answer was going to begin with, I have no knowledge of that, it should have ended right there. But when you watch his interviews, you will see that he literally does not know how to stop talking.

On Friday, the president had this explanation for what a terrible job Rudy Giuliani has been doing for him on TV last week.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He started yesterday. He`ll get his facts straight. He`s a great guy.


O`DONNELL: That was, of course, a stunning lie.

Rudy Giuliani`s very public first day on the job as Trump defense lawyer was two weeks, not yesterday. Even if the president wasn`t lying in Rudy Giuliani really did start yesterday, that is no excuse for a lawyer giving reckless answers on TV to get the client in even more trouble. And for Rudy Giuliani to say yes to the question of did Michael Cohen make payments to other women, Rudy Giuliani would have had to been born yesterday.

Here is the best Rudy Giuliani could do when George Stephanopoulos asked him if the president does acknowledge meeting Stormy Daniels.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, it depends on returns watching me by matter.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, yes, there`s the picture right there. I just want to get that that fact on the table.


O`DONNELL: Is Giuliani the only person in America who doesn`t know that there is a famous photograph of Donald Trump with Stormy Daniels, meeting Stormy Daniels, so it`s impossible not to acknowledge that they met? Even if Giuliani started on the case yesterday, isn`t he supposed to know at least that?

Reports indicate that Giuliani has been speaking to the president every day of the last couple of weeks, but you`d never know that on Sunday if you`d listened to Rudy Giuliani explaining how and when the president reimbursed Michael Cohen for the $130,000 paid to Stormy Daniels.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The other day, you also told "BuzzFeed" though that at some point after the 2016 election, Michael Cohen had complained to some people that he hadn`t been paid by Donald Trump and that so, then you said, Cohen met with Trump and told him, and Giuliani said that we`ll cover your expenses, they worked out this $35,000 a month retainer after that. So, the president did know about this after the campaign.

GIULIANI: I can`t say. I mean, at some point, yes, but it could have been recently, it could have been a while back. Those are the facts that we`re still weren`t working on and that, you know, maybe in a little bit of dispute. This is more rumor than it is anything else.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That`s what you said. You said that to "BuzzFeed".

GIULIANI: But here`s -- well, yes, I mean, that`s one of the possibilities and one of the rumors. The reality is --

STEPHANOPOULOS: You stated it as fact.

GIULIANI: Well, maybe I did, but I was -- right now, I`m at the point where I`m learning and I can only -- I can`t prove that. I can just say it`s rumor. I can prove it`s rumor, but I can`t prove its fact. Maybe we will.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you`ve said as a matter of fact, on "Hannity" and "BuzzFeed", you talked to "The Washington Post" of that.

GIULIANI: I don`t know, how do you separate fact and opinion.


O`DONNELL: I don`t know how do you do that. So, Rudy Giuliani suddenly starts labeling things that he has declared to be facts as rumors, he`s calling his own answers on Fox News rumors and having that, he says he does not know how to separate facts from rumors.

And so, right on schedule, tonight, "Politico" is reporting a Giuliani headline that reads: Trump grows frustrated with Giuliani as Stormy drama rages on. "Politico" reports the president has been griping to associates that Rudy Giuliani, his new personal attorney, has failed to shut down the Stormy Daniels hush money saga and he has expressed frustration that Giuliani`s media appearances are raising more questions than they are answering, turning the story into a day`s long drama capped by the admission Sunday that the president may have made similar payments to other women.

For now, White House aides said Giuliani still has a direct line into Trump. The two speak almost daily, but some aides said they expect the president to fire Giuliani if his behavior doesn`t change. Instead of deflecting a question about the possibility of the president taking the Fifth Amendment yesterday, something any real lawyer could do with these, here`s how Rudy Giuliani handled it.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you confident the president will not take the Fifth in this case?

GIULIANI: Oh, how could I ever be confident of that?


O`DONNELL: Giuliani then rambled on for several more sentences, but actually added nothing to the answer which amounts to, maybe the president will take the Fifth Amendment, how would I know?

And then came the all-important legal question that we`ve been asking on this program for many months now.


STEPHANOPOULOS: What happens if Robert Mueller subpoenas the president? Will you comply?

GIULIANI: Well, we don`t have to. He`s the president United States. We can assert the same privilege as other presidents have. President Clinton negotiated a deal in which he didn`t admit the effectiveness of the subpoena. They would throw it --

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, but he did testify before the grand jury. Is the president willing to do that?

GIULIANI: But only for two and a half hours, only with an arranged format, would we be willing to do that. I`d rather have the Hillary Clinton treatment.


O`DONNELL: And once again, Rudy Giuliani rambled on without adding anything substantive to his answer and so, his answer is, the president does not have to comply with a subpoena from the special prosecutor.

As to Giuliani`s wise guy non-legal comment about wanting the Hillary Clinton treatment, as first lady, Hillary Clinton was subpoenaed to testify to the special prosecutors grand jury which she did for more than four hours. And as a former secretary of state, she testified under oath to the Benghazi committee for 11 hours.

Back with us in our discussion, John Heilemann, Joyce Vance and Jennifer Rubin, and joining us, Kurt Andersen, the author of the book "Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire".

And, Kurt, as a New York journalist, you have been following both Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump for decades now and four people have been doing that, there`s something very surprising about the Giuliani performance here.

KURT ANDERSEN, AUTHOR, "FANTASYLAND: HOW AMERICA WENT HAYWIRE": Well, there is an and back in the 1980s when he was us attorney and already clearly politically ambitious when run for the Senate, what he had run for whatever he could, he was an absolute publicity hound, and you didn`t want to get in between Rudy Giuliani and the press.

He was -- and he as then as mayor, after he had been accused of leaking grand jury testimony while he was he was U.S. attorney again and again, because he was trying to play the press, he was absolutely -- he had his own little war with the media, not unlike the one Trump has now, because like Trump then too he had gotten nothing but fawning coverage as the new Elliott-ness.

I remember when I was editor of "New York" magazine and we were preparing to run a cover story about his then communications director, a woman to whom he was very close, rumored to be having one of his affairs, and he was just (INAUDIBLE) about that, had his thuggish chief of staff call and threaten me. And that was -- I`m not sure if that was before or after he wouldn`t pose for a picture we wanted to do of him and William Bratton, his police commissioner saying look at this amazing job they are doing bringing down crime. He didn`t want Bratton to be in the picture.

So he is this media obsessed guy as much as he is a prosecutor, mobster and corrupt --. But it`s been interesting to me that this prosecutor, the guy who made his bones of his fame by prosecuting corrupt mayor politicians -- mafia, is now nothing but the order for that -- appears to be a criminal organization around Donald Trump.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Jennifer Rubin, Rudy Giuliani has not been on his feet in a courtroom as a lawyer in over 30 years and when he was U.S. attorney like most U.S. attorneys, he delegated virtually all of the trial work to assistant U.S. attorneys. And right on schedule tonight, after "Politico" comes out with the story saying the President is frustrated with Giuliani and might be firing him soon, Rudy Giuliani has told NBC that is not true.

Rudy Giuliani is firing back at reports the President is growing frustrated by his recent media grabbing interviews, according to NBC News, he is not frustrated at all Giuliani tells NBC News. He said the President is actually concentrating on North Korea and we are concentrating on the case and we have a good division of responsibility.

So Jennifer Ruin, the good news is Rudy Giuliani is not working on North Korea.

JENNIFER RUBIN, OPINION WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes. Although he did make statements and the state department had to disown him and say he doesn`t speak on North Korea for us. So even that he screwed up.

The difference between Rudy Giuliani now and Rudy Giuliani back then, and it is interesting, when he was running for president, I went back and talked to a whole slew of the assistant U.S. attorneys who worked with him at the time and some defense attorneys as well. And although he did delegate some cases he actually tried some of the most high profile ones, probably because he wanted the attention, but he was very, very good in the courtroom. That was a long time ago. And since then he has become a dead fly, an attention hound, he ran for President unsuccessfully, he hasn`t kept up with the law for I would imagine a very, very long time. And so when he says things as he did today like who else would they get? I know the justice department better than anyone else, you have to laugh because that`s obviously not the case.

Now Rudy Giuliani has made a lot of mistakes. But perhaps the biggest is that he violated the cardinal rule of lawyering, and that is when you don`t know what you are talking about, shut up.

He recently said today that it was going to take him about three weeks to get caught up on the facts and then he could have a conversation about whether the President could testify. What is he doing on television if he doesn`t understand the facts? But, of course, that`s not what Rudy is really there for. Rudy is there to have Rudy on television. And Trump to have Rudy on television for him.

So the whole thing is devolved once again, into a mess. And he may beat the mooch record, which was what, about two weeks. So I think maybe Rudy just passed that, but not by much.

O`DONNELL: Yes. I think he has already beaten the Scaramucci record. But we will see how far he goes.

Maggie Haberman, "New York Times" reporter with strong sources inside the White House is tweeting tonight one person close to White House sums up Trump legal strategy right now as two teams, there`s the Trump-Rudy team and then there`s the lawyers.

Joyce Vance, that might not be a successful combination.

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: None of the White House lawyers, none of the lawyers on Trump`s team can be happy with what they have seen from Rudy Giuliani. Midway through this media barrage you had to start wondering whether Rudy was the President`s lawyer or was he a plant from the opposition. It really was a misstep at every step along the way. So I would imagine that Emmett Flood, he is only been on the President`s team since last Wednesday. Can`t be happy about what he`s seeing and there will have to be some sort of meeting of the minds before they can move forward.

O`DONNELL: John Heilemann, you had a close look at candidate Trump and Trump campaign supporter Rudy Giuliani during the campaign. You have watched them up-close during the presidency. What about these two -- how do they work together? The President did not bring Giuliani into the cabinet. Giuliani openly craved for secretary of state, didn`t get it. Is the relationship one of trust? Is it one of convenience? What`s going on here?

JOHN HEILEMANN, MSNBC NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: No, certainly not trust. Yes, more desperation than convenience. In Donald Trump`s world, there is the most critical weekend in history is the weekend of the "Access Hollywood" tape, October 7th, 8th, 9th of 2016, what they call -- what Bannon used to called Billy Bush weekend, pre-Billy Bush, post-bully Bush. And you know, almost everybody involved Trump`s views of them were formed that weekend. If you were someone who said he should fight, he still loves you to this day. If you were someone who said he should apologize he thought you were terrible.

O`DONNELL: Which is what most people said?

HEILEMANN: Including Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, famously. However, when no one in Trump`s orbit would defend him on television on that Sunday, the Sunday of the second presidential debate, Rudy said I`ll do it, and he went on five shows that day. Did all of them before Ginsburg on that day. And you would have thought that would endear Rudy Giuliani to Donald Trump and yet Trump mocked mostly behind his back. He regarded Giuliani --.

O`DONNELL: At that time?

HEILEMANN: At the time.

O`DONNELL: Mocked his performance --

HEILEMANN: Mocked his performance on the Sunday shows, even though he should have been grateful. Was brutal to him for not having done a good job, even though he stood up there and did all five of them. Mocked his behavior in debate prep. Giuliani would fall asleep at debate prep tables with some frequency. Trump thought he was a clown. He thought he was unhinged.

And told people, when Rudy was lobbying to become attorney general or secretary of state (INAUDIBLE) he wanted. Trump said I can`t have this guy in the administration. He is out of his mind. He has lost it. He is, you know, he is way past it. And you will notice that for a year and a half we saw no Rudy even though he was one of the most high profile, Donald Trump surrogate. Even though he served him with great loyalty in the "Access Hollywood" moment in that (INAUDIBLE), he did not end up in the administration.

And now Donald Trump who wanted Joe diGenova to do this job, who wanted a TV lawyer, the real lawyers and the TV lawyers. He wanted somebody to just get on television and punch anyone indiscriminate failing, hit everyone in the face, that`s what he wanted to see. He couldn`t hire Joe diGenova and so he turned to a less coherent version of Joe diGenova, and took Rudy Giuliani, and this is what he is getting. He will not have this job by June 1st.

O`DONNELL: June 1st is the official prediction.

Joyce Vance, I want to get your --.

HEILEMANN: It could be way sooner than this, OK.

O`DONNELL: So that includes the possibility of tomorrow.

HEILEMANN: Tomorrow, absolutely.

O`DONNELL: Joyce Vance, I want to get your legal opinion about what Rudy Giuliani said about, of course, the President doesn`t have to comply with the subpoena.

VANCE: So it`s an interesting legal question because it hasn`t been answered. But the answer is almost certainty that the President will have to respond to a subpoena. There`s precedence from the Nixon situation and the Clinton situation. In both of those cases, in Nixon was forced to turn over tapes and Clinton just short of having that final question decided -- Clinton decided it was in his best interest to voluntarily interview.

If Trump forces this into the Supreme Court, it seems very likely he will suffer an adverse ruling. And this is all about a PR situation for him. He wants to make the case to the American people that Mueller is being unfair, that he is corrupt, that he has conflict of interest. And so it`s much less a legal strategy at this point more one of throwing down red meat to his base.

O`DONNELL: And Kurt, I always thought it was laughable, the idea of bringing Giuliani into the cabinet. Because I did not see how he could possibly survive a confirmation hearing, a confirmation hearing that examined his businesses to discover how he got a net worth over $50 million after coming out of city hall and living on the mayor`s, which means he made a lot of deals fast in deals that would be really fascinating to study in a confirmation hearing.

But even just his series of marriages and affairs during the marriage leading to the next marriage, a mayor who gets kicked out of city out of grace mansion, the mayor`s residence by his wife, who objects to the affair that he is having with his press secretary --

ANDERSEN: And this would because Donald Trump is such an exemplar of marital fidelity.

O`DONNELL: Donald Trump didn`t have to have a confirmation hearing.

ANDERSEN: As I was reading of this story we published 30 years ago about Rudy Giuliani today for the first time in 30 years, I came across a great statement that shows that he is in concert with the President. He said 30 years ago as U.S. attorney, the only people who don`t answer questions are criminals and accused criminals. This is a man who suggests the President may well take the Fifth Amendment when questioned by Robert Mueller.

O`DONNELL: And refers to the FBI agents working in the southern district of New York as storm troopers the other days. And then in his most recent interviews says, of course, we are not criticizing the FBI. These people used to work --.

ANDERSEN: No. And it is extraordinary. I mean, again, if you were going to write a novel with Rudy Giuliani as a character, the guy who was this true, there is right, there is wrong, sell lot, to come to this end is just grotesque.

O`DONNELL: Well, the end is sometime between now and June 1st. We are not sure. That`s the official prediction.

John Heilemann, Kurt Andersen, Jennifer Rubin and Joyce Vance, thank you all for joining us.

Coming up, what happens if the President cannot be trusted to know what is real and what is not? Especially when it comes to the Iran deal or negotiations with North Korea. Former director of the CIA Michael Hayden is asking questions just like that and he joins us next.



JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Were you lying to us at the time or were you in the dark? .

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why the President was not truthful with the American people and with the people (INAUDIBLE)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the President and the White House show what appear to be a blatant disregard for the truth, how are the American people to trust or believe what is said here or what is said by the President?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We give the very best information that we have at the time.


O`DONNELL: An age of lies, that is how our next guest describes what can now be called the Trump era. Former NSA and CIA director general Michael Hayden`s new book is entitled "the Assault on Intelligence, American national security in an age of lies."

Reports this weekend and today indicate aides to President Trump hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to orchestrate a dirty opts campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal. People in the Trump camp contacted private investigators in May last year to get dirt on Ben Rhodes who had been one of Barack Obama`s top national security advisers and Collin Kahl, deputy assistant to Obama as part of an elaborate attempt to discredit the deal.

The White House press secretary did not deny the story today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s been reporting that an Israeli intelligence firm was hired to kind of dig up dirt on former Obama administration official regarding the Iran nuclear deal. Does the White House had any knowledge of that or the idea that any Trump aides were involved in hiring those on terms of Trump?

SANDERS: I`m not aware of anything on that front. If something comes up we`ll let you guys know.


O`DONNELL: Ben Rhodes tweeted this is not behavior that should be acceptable in a democracy. It is thuggish, mean-spirited and casts a chilling and threatening cloud over public service that risks extending far beyond me and Collin Kahl.

Former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden joins us next with his reaction and what his discretion of what the President will do with the Iran deal tomorrow.



COLLIN KAHL, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Those reporters from "the Observers" and "Guardian" reached out to me. My understanding is they also reached out to Ben Rhodes separately. And they essentially said, look, in the process of us doing an investigation on Cambridge Analytica, we came across references that Trump aides had hired a foreign intel ops firm from Israel to dig up dirt on you and Ben to try to discredit the Iran deal. Have you heard about this? To which I responded, no. Actually, I have never heard about this.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA. He is the author of the new book "the Assault on Intelligence, American National Security in an age of lies."

And General Hayden, I want to get your reaction first of all to this story about the Trump administration hiring private Israeli contractors of sorts to do this kind of intelligence work, it seems. And is this something that the White House would by now -- should by now have a better answer to than "I`m not aware of anything on that front," which is what the press secretary said?

MICHAEL HAYDEN, AUTHOR, THE ASSAULT N INTELLIGENCE: Well, Lawrence, I would hope. And first of all, thank you for having me on this evening.

That charge is so outrageous. I have to admit, my personal evidentiary bar would be pretty high because if that were true, that would just be a remarkable event. Now, put that aside and come back over here to the broad pattern of the Trump administration.

And frankly, a lot of American society, which is what I try to point out in the book -- when President Trump tries to prove a point or support a policy, Lawrence, you don`t see him arguing the facts or the data or logical sequence of arguments.

What you see is an attempt to discredit those who would oppose him. He makes an appeal not to data, not to facts, but an appeal to emotion, to preference, to fear, to tribe, to loyalty. The perfect pattern for that is what he is now trying to do with the FBI and the department of justice with regard to the special counsel.

O`DONNELL: So far, his appeal in those kinds of approaches appeals to a minority. It does not appeal to a majority of voters or a majority of the American people. What is it that you have studied about this kind of communication that works with the people that it works with?

HAYDEN: So what I try to describe in the book is a kind of a three-layer cake, Lawrence. And the basic layer is not the President, not the administration. It`s us. It`s our political culture, which is in kind of a post-truth world. I described earlier, not data but appeal to tribe and loyalty.

The President recognized that as a candidate. He exploited it. And frankly I think he makes it worse as President by what he does and especially what he says. And then I will throw in the third complicator, the third layer, the Russians coming in over the top, making all of that more complicated.

So what we have got here, Lawrence, is the President exploiting a development within the larger society for his own advantage. And what I greatly fear, as he pushes back against these institutions -- FBI, the department of justice, the intelligence community and others -- he weakens the institutions over the long term, institutions on which we have relied and will rely in the future.

O`DONNELL: The President is going to make an announcement tomorrow afternoon about what he is going to do with the Iran deal. And this is a President, as you have pointed out, who does not adhere to facts in most of the things he talks about. And tomorrow what he is going to be talking about is pretty important.

HAYDEN: Yes. So I suspect he is going to walk away from the deal. And back to the fact-based or non-fact-based, Lawrence, his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, has made it quite public that Iran is further away from a weapon with this deal than we would be without it. We know more about the Iranian program with this deal than we would without it. But the President is going on other instincts. Again, to my mind, not fact-based. Perhaps campaign rhetoric. Perhaps instinct. I don`t know. But there are a lot of folks in the national security community who are quite concerned.

O`DONNELL: The book is "the Assault on Intelligence, American national security in an age of lies."

General Hayden, I started reading it on the plane yesterday. I`m going to keep going. I`m learning on every page. Thank you very much.

HAYDEN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Really appreciate it.

Tonight`s LAST WORD is next.


O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s LAST WORD.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, Stormy. Stop making such a big deal about this. Everyone knows it`s just an act.

DANIELS: I work in adult films. We are not really known for our acting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just tell me what do you need for this to all go away?

DANIELS: A resignation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, right. Being President is like doing porn. Once you do it, it`s hard to do anything else.


O`DONNELL: Stormy Daniels gets tonight`s LAST WORD, and that word is "resignation."

And all of that was just a tease, a tease for the fact that Stormy Daniels` lawyer, Michael Avenatti, will be joining us once again at this hour tomorrow night.

The Associated Press is reporting now that some of President Trump`s allies think Rudy Giuliani is causing more legal and political trouble for the President. The associated press reporter who broke that story joins Brian on "THE 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS which starts now.


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