tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC March 16, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
distracting us from this ridiculous bragging about lying to the prime minister of carbon dioxide canada /* -- canada. the american people can hardly keep track of day-to-day of the reporting. just thank you on that price. harry litman. m marcus, david, thank you all for joining us. the 11th hour with pbrian williams starts now. the breaking news on this friday night, the attorney general has fired trump nemesis andrew mccabe, the former fbi director. also breaking, in a new court filing trump's lawyer is going after $20 million from the porn star stormy daniels. that news coming hours after her attorney dropped a bombshell on
t.v. "the 11th hour" on a business friday night gets underway. >> good evening once again. day four of 21 of the trump administration and we actually have two lead stories as we begin here on a friday night. the attorney general, jeff sessions has just fired the former deputy fbi director, andrew mccabe a little more than 24 hours before mckind was set to retire of. president trump was highly critical of mccabe, attacked him a number of times. as "the washington post" reports mccabe has become a lightning rod. his -- over miss leading investigators about conversations he had with the media about an investigation into the clinton foundation.
additionally tonight we have a major development on the stormy daniels front as the president's lawyers have come out with an all-out attack looking for $20 million from the porn star, a first for a sitting president. but first, the dismissal tonight of andrew mccabe. it is very clear tonight he is not taking this dismissal lightly, nor is he
going quietly. in a statement he says here in part, for the last year and a half my family and i have been the targets of a unrelenting assault on my reputation and my service to this country. articles too numerous to count have led of any false agriculturals against us. the president's tweets has afternoon tied it all. he called for my firing and striped of my pension after 25 years of service. and all along we said nothing,
never wanting to extract from the mission of the fbi. no more, here's the reality. i'm being singled out and treated this way because of the role
i played, the actions i took, and the events i witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of james comey. with that let's bring in jeff bennet, white house correspondent. danny sazavala a legal attorney general. former attorney general joyce vance. jeremy bass former counsel to house intel. and with us by phone, "new york times" reporter matt apew sew. he spoke to mccabe. matt it's your by line on the story breaking the news.
you have spoken to the acting director of the fbi. did we character rise it correctly that he does not plan to go quietly or softly? >> obviously he's -- you're seeing he's une kwif call and blunt. he's saying he's being fired as part of a career assassination in effort by the trump administration to undermined his credibility because -- and this is important -- because he is a potential witness in the special counsel's investigation into whether the president obstructed justice. that is a mold allegation. he's saying that this is part of the president's war on the fbi, war on the special counsel. and, you know, observes we haven't seen the inspector general's report that we are told accuses mccabe of showing a lack of candor and that is a kiss of death at the fbi. lack of candor and official
interview, there's really no coming back from this. this is all playing out under extremely political back drop. and andrew mccabe is upset obviously, and he is saying this is a political decision. >> matt, let's balance this out. what were the forces internal who had concurred with this firing? what are the mechanisms, career people, not trump appointees who looked at all the evidence and came to the conclusion that he should go prior to his retirement date? >> absolutely. there was an inspector general report which has not been made public that was done by a hold over from the obama era that faulted him for a lack of candor. and that was taken by career people in the fbi's office professional responsibility, that's the disciplinary office, those are career people.
the recommendation was termination. under the rules he can appeal that to the attorney general, which we did. this played out, i will say this played out unusually fast. the disciplinary process is not known for great speed at the justice department. one of the thing i'm quite interesting in is why did this happen so fast. and mccabe's lawyer says they were only given days to respond to this. the justice department wanted to get this done quickly and i'm not exactly sure why. so that -- while career people definitely were involved and they did the recommendation and that appears to have all been above board the speed of it is certainly interesting. >> matt, please remind us have he yet been called in to talk to robert mueller? of course their careers intersected at least once in life. >> we don't know if he's been in
to testify, but as someone involved before it was the mueller investigation, any notes that we had, anything that he wrote down, anything that would have corroborated comey's allegations that would have been longed to the fbi and mueller would have had access to that. whether he's interviewed yet, i don't know, we do know he has access to all of the work product. >> matt, without going near editorialization, which i know is not a danger for you, as we try to let you enjoy what's left of a friday night in your life after having written this piece for "the new york times." wales in your opinion should we know about andrew mccabe? >> i've known him for a long time, he was a rising star of the bureau. it was very clear that he was being groomed for big things.
he's a lawyer, he's a duke undergrad graduate. very was well respected at the justice department and elsewhere in the intelligence agency. he had his -- he had his friend and he had his detractors among the line agents in particular because he did rise so quickly, and because he has that law degree. but he was also seen as a real -- maybe a new model for that number two position. not a sort of traditional line agent personality, somebody whose make a little bit more intellectual managerial than somebody whose lock them up, cops and robbers kind of guy. >> i heard him once described as a g-man but circuit 2018, a modernized version. do you concur with that? >> yes, this is not the pre-9 s
pre-9/11. this is a complicated agency that is a big part of the intelligence infrastructure of the united states. he was in the front and center of the heart of that. >> tonight is why we always tell folks to look for your by line. matt apew zoe who is at the crust of news. if not a friday night massacre, certainly a friday night take down in washington. matt thang for making times for us. >> thanks, brian. >> let's go to joyce vance. joyce, tell folks perhaps how they should feel about this news. >> i think matt makes a key assessment which is the speed of this process is very troubling. i've watched this process before wen people have been disciplined and it's never a process that
moves at lightning speed. you never have someone interviewed by the decision maker and then have a decision the next day. so, we know that we have a president whose called repeatedly on twitter for mccabe's firing. earlier in this week in the white house press briefing, sarah huckleby sanders was also character rising mccabe as a bad guy. on the other hand we have career people in the department, folks like michael horwitz, he's worked for both administrations, a straightforward kind of guy and the folks in the office of professional responsibility. people in the deputy attorney general's office who really look at these issues with the long view. consistency in the presidedepar across a long period of time. what we have is a conflict of that professional process with this very political context. there's no reason that the
attorney general had to fire andy mccabe tonight on a friday night at 10:00 at night. in fact, this whole idea that this firing was done this late on a friday night makes it look very rushed, very politicized. it might have been wiser for the attorney general simply to let the time clock run out to avoid making the justice department look like a place where the president can go to condemn his political opponents. it's a dooply troubling development. >> jeremy barber if you need more proof we're in differing time, the story after we conclude this is a sitting president woez lawyer is trying to get $20 million out of a porn star. we'll put that out as the background. before i show you this on the screen, think about the kpasz time that the mccabe family had around their tree and in their house, because on december 23rd,
the president of the united states took to twitter to say this about andrew mccake. how could mccabe in large of the leaky man or the fake hillary clinton investigation be given $700,000 for his wife's campaign by clinton puppets during the investigation. it was ater -- let's go to the next frame which says, fbi deputy director andrew mccabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go? three else cla mags points. jeremy bass out if america, if a defendant gets a bad dose of publicity a talented lawyer will try it in a nearby community. you can't go anywhere in this country with a president who has openly attacking a civil servant on twitter. >> that's right brian.
and for you to believe that andy mccabe's firing is on the level, you have to believe it was entirely coincidental that he was fired by jeff sessions 20 days before he was able to retire after a career of distinction with honor and it is entirely coincidental that the two thing are happening at the time. nobody in america believes that. it is clear as day that the president of the united states directed the attorney general to fire andy mccabe to undermined him as a witness in any upcoming proceeding in which mccabe can corroborate the testimony that the president obstructs justice. kansas it's mccabe and not trump who knows and has worked with comey and muler and also knows
the quality of his work product. if you're mueller and the 16 or so cocounsels on muller's team, how are you looking at this tonight? >> in every situation like this you have to think about obstruction of justice, just off the bat. to what degree could you make a case that the president by firing people or removing anybody as he perceives as add verily. >> how about trolling them publicly on twitter? >> patrolling them publicly, which also could i sanfringe on their free speech. anything. if nothing else, exceedingly quickly end a situation like this because we foe that these investigations move slowly. there may have been a good cause to terminate mccabe but the speed at which it's done alone
raises the doubt. ultimately obstruction, even if it's not a criminal action is always an impeachable offense. you do not need an impeachable offense to be a crime at all. these are thing that special counsel is going to look at, especially with the shadow of obstruction hanging over this. >> jeff ben it in let's show our home work since you and i work for the same news organization. we have a broadcast, don and dustin it was in and written in our lead story was after this legal case pending the president's lawyer against the porn star to the tune of $20 million. i had written something to say at the top of the evening like, we have made it through a friday night with no further personnel changes and jeff, here we are, sir. >> and here we are. i'll tell you based on our conversations in the white house booth with white house officials they couldn't tell us for sure if anyone would be fired by the end of the day or who that
person might be. i was particularly struck by something in andy mccabe's statement where he mentioned the unrelenting assault he was subjected to at the hand of the president. you mentioned the tweet the president sent back in december where he said time's running out for mccabe to leave with full benefits. and as we reported earlier, the president directly and private asked mccabe woman he voted for in the 2016 election. in a separate instance, the day after the president fired koemy, le could and asked why koemy was allowed to fly back to los angeles on a d.c. plane. when the president wasn't satisfied with mccabe he said ask your wife what it feels like to be a loser.
she was running as a democrat. the president often points to that as a fact suggesting that the fbi or mccabe is somehow biased in his role. although, the facts don't support the president's theory in that mccabe has already described to friend as a life long republican. >> joyce, same questions i asked danny. you know something about the dynamic in a building coko man deered by mueller his team and how everyone sign out. they have been free of any leaks, watching this unfold on a friday night, reading this statement from a proper mccabe, what are you thinking if you're the special counsel? >> to go about it in a deliberate way. they'll look at the attorney
general's report. we haven't seen that yet so we don't know what's in it. and then they'll look again at what andy mccabe says, his justification for his conduct and i suspect that they'll make a sort of baseline decision as to whether they think the firing was warranted. it's important to so many people to not have photoed that even if the firing was justified, its this political context that was force the special counsel to contemplate whether this is more evidence of obstruction. mccabe was the person that jim comb my came back to and shared his impression and initial meetings with the president, with mccabe. mccabe will be a key witness of koemy if the investigation moves co forward. the president with this consistent twitter against
mccabe is seen by special counsel as an effort at the white house to marchalize a witnesses, to describe a witness's credibility this again will be another act of this obstruction that we watched play out over the past few months. >> jeremy, the last thing i knew the tornado warning has recuse -- attorney general had recused himself to the president driven by draks for all thing leading to russia. this dpeagainst mccabe not only bumps up the assumption, is there anything big enough to super seed a recusalin' if you're the boss? >> this is entirely a question by the attorney general, i don't think there is. i think the career was recounted
open with the fact that he began his career russian organized crime. so, almost dangled a hit if this was connected to the russian matter, the tornado warniattorn should not have ruled on this mart and on the fashion that he ruled tonight. you have to believe in coincidences. brian, there used to be a show on t.v. that you and i watched called "that's i want credible" you have to believe that's in credible as this has nothing to do with the events of the russian investigation. >> you were nodding your head as jeremy spoke. >> absolutely. i have a teary that statement was drafted weeks ago because it was very well written to begin with. second the direct references to russia and other things that are relevant today, even though they are how mccabe started out his career, those were no accident
listing as his accomplishments and career, russia and other thing that we're talking about now. >> everything that we cover on this broadcast night in and out has to be considered against a back drop of politics and against a back drop of the contemporary history we are making and witnessing. there is one guy we wanted to talk to tonight sin this word broke and that's bill crystal, a veteran of the ray ban and bush administrations. bill, how do you feel about your country and this administration about this news tonight? say nothing of the story we have yet to get to. >> hi, brian not great. this has been a very good discussion i think. let's assume sessions hasn't gone ahead and fired mccabe, despite a report -- that he be fired which is pretty weighty.
i believe trump would have fired session and said look at this, the career people of the fbi and doj says mccabe should be fired i was right all along. i'm going to make prosecuuitt o something like that the tornado warning atoerng dsh attorney general and that he would have gone ahead and fired mueller. it is at least possible to me that session ls felt he was doing what he had to do to prevent himself from being fired and mueller from being fired that he felt with the career officials recommending the firing. it may be unfair and unjust to mccabe, this will be litigated and argued out in the next couple of weeks. i don't think it's impossible sessions thought she was protecting not just himself but mueller at this point. in the reporting, it was
yesterday -- time flies in the trump administration, kelly's off the record session or someone reported about it, it was apparently came out kelly that has called pruitt, the epa had to tell him to stop examining for session's job. hard to believe sessions did this without talking to kelly. i wonder if kelly and session, and again i'm not defending any of them, are trying to work together to prevent trump from firing mueller. unless sessions really felt this was a moment of crises, and even if he felt it,-on what he felt about mccabe, that he had to do this to protect hispanic and mueller. i'm being generous here, i'm worried in a sense that makes it clear, if i'm wrong trump is politicizes justice and sessions is carrying out trump's orders.
if i'm right, sessions and kelly are worried that trump does want to fire mueller and doing their best to prevent that and slow that down. >> jeremy bass and joyce, in that order. your thoughts on -- knowing my friend bill he's not a paid spokesman of sessions, lord knows, but that cooler heads might have thought this was a reverse bank shots of taking a bullet for better thing to happen in the country? >> no, that's totally unethical, that's unauthentic call for an attorney general to fire someone over a term of their career because they wanted to protect themselves. that's improper. >> all right, joyce? >> you know i agree here with jeremy very strongly. the attorney general is not
supposed to decide tat situation here is so unusual, so out of bound, that he has to break the recalls somehow to head off danger. that's really a perilous road to go down. i think bill's comments is interesting one and may be something sessions is engaged in, if he did i think it was the wrong one. you follow the rules, support the institution. you fire someone if it's aprobation department, you don't fire someone if it's not appropriate. and here -- the institution would have been let the clock run out and let mccabe retire on sunday afternoon. >> fascinating. jeff bent net, we note the president's public schedule is out for the weekend. he is in washington, he's not in florida. there's nothing on his publicly posted schedule. you've been at this a long time in your life of course,
reporting for mpr before nbc news, what does it mean to you? >> what it means is we can expect the president to be up early tomorrow morning on twitter, giving us realtime peak to what's on his mind, probably a reflection of what he's seeing on cable news tomorrow morning. that's what happeneds when the president spend time over the weekend held up at the white house. i will tell you based on my conversations with diehard trump supporters that the developments tonight will only embolden them as they take aim at their next target who happens to be the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein who was overseeing the entire counsel russia investigation. remember that gop memo that was released by republicans on the house intelligence committee detailed the purport tans of uses which could give the president a pretext if he so
choses to fire rosenstein. >> and bill crystal back to you for a moment. if talent's story was reporting say the dismissal of rosenstein, the dismissal of mueller, question we all get asked a lot that you may have some wisdom on. do you rust that there is a common core in both houses of congress of common sense republicans and democrats who would do something, switch mueller the next day to a special prosecutor statute, continue to work without dropping a stitch? would they save the day in terms of i want investigation that a lot of people have said will speak to the future of our democracy? >> i hope so but i can't be confident. i agree with jeremy and joyce that sessions may have been wrong if he calculated as i think he might have, i'm not saying he did. but i'm just saying that that might actually have been what he
was thinking. but that's what i -- my star owe is not a happy one, that means sessions and kelly is sitting there thinking that trump is looking for an excuse to fire rosenstein, presumely sessions, rosenstein and mueller. i think this is a moment for republicans on the hill to say, if they want to say, seeps like -- the justice department deliberations, but this will be a very good time to say, okay whatever attorney general sessions did with mccabe we need to let this i want investigation go forward. what mccabe has been fired apparently is about a lack of candor unrelated to this investigation. so, i think this is a moment for republicans on the hill and for others to press republicans on the hill to say the mueller investigation needs to be allowed to go forward. what just happened happened, it was an internet justice
department matter. it may be unfair, unseemly or wrong. this is the moment people need to step up and say mueller has to be protected. >> for folks who have not gone near their devices for the last 40 minutes it may be hot to the touch when you get to it because as you can imagine social media may also will blown up. i'm going to ask all my guests to stay in police and bring if another member katherine lucy. one of the things i wrote to say on this broadcast tonight, earlier tonight in a far simpler time, was that the we've wing has escaped a friday evening perhaps escaped the weak out another departure. there have been several and shaken up for a lot of what passes for the veterans that have been there since day one. what can you say about the
stress, chaos, lack of cohesion and the staff, kind of this goolish game going on wondering who's going to be next. >> the staff is anxious. the white house tried to push back on stories today that more departures were coming. there was a lot of speculation that there was be firings or exits in some fashions today. we didn't see that in the west wing during the day. but, what i hear from people inside is that you know, people are looking over their shoulders. people wonder who's going to be out of there next. i know the junger staffers, the junior staffers were rattled this work by the president's personal assistant being removed from his job. so people at different levels seem to be joking instead of a way about whose going next. >> identify had the good fortune
to know two people who have had that aid to the president. all have been made. loosely referred to as the body man, they get to know everyone on the staff. few people get to know the president better or spend more intimate time. it's been gender specific because put it in plain english, they sometime have to follow the pass into the bathroom or on an area on the road to keep talking or hand them a phone or get documents sign. to see that person, who is the day-to-day go between the members and the staff, that must shake a lot of people to the core. >> people are rattled, and you're absolutely right. that's a person who is with the president a lot, can read the president's mood. offer access to a conduit. can let people foe if this is a
good or bad time to come in. to see that person let go have let a lot of people feeling shaky. >> katherine thanks for making time to join the conversation. it's 31 minutes after the hour. we're going to fit in our fist break of this broadcast. when we come back we've been calling it our other lead story as the lawyers for the president of the united states try to get $20 million out of a porn star. we'll continue right after this. we at the coca-cola company believe the health of our water sources is essential to the health of our communities. which is why we're helping to replenish the mighty rio grande as well as over 30 watersheds across the country. we're also leading water projects in more than 100 communities. and for every drop we use... we're working to give one back. because our products rely on the same thing as we all do...
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we are back. let's reset our conversation and on to what is our second lead story this evening. also a legal matter, also surrounding this president and the people around him, members of president trump's legal team have now publicly engaged in a big way in what is at heart. they have chosen to fight hard to keep the porn star, stormy daniels silent over the intimate relationship she has alleged to have had with donald trump before he was president. the white house has denied that. trump's lawyer michael cohen has
accused daniels of violating a agreement 27 times. he's seeking $20 million in damages from stormy daniels as a result. tonight stormy danielsee attorney michael avenatti wrote on twitter quote, the fact that a sitting attorney is pursuing $20 million in a bogus damages against a private citizen who is trying to tell everyone what happened is remarkable. we are not going away and will not be intimidated. how can president trump seek $20 million in damages tennes d client based on an agreement that he and his attorney claim he was never a party to. daniels contend that that relationship, that settlement is valid because donald trump never
signed the agreement. the white house -- she's claimed its invalid, because donald trump's signature never appeared on it. the white house has repeatedly denied that trump has a relationship with stormy daniels. among other thing, this week we learned that her "60 minutes" interview is now slated to air on sunday, march 25th. just this morning, her attorney made some explosive new charges that she was threatened with physical harm to keep silent about her alleged relationship with donald trump. >> was she threatened in any way? >> yes. >> was she threatened physical harm? >> yes. >> was he life threatened? >> i'm not going to answer that.
>> can you tell whether it came from the president? >> i will not answer that. >> will you defy that the threats came from the president? >>ly not confirm or deny. >> the brief came from the white house meeting as you might imagine with phil ruker leading things off with this question. >> attorney for the porn star stormy daniels said this morning on a television interview that she was physically threatened to stay silent about that. i'm wondering if you talked with the president about that. if he knows who might have threatened her and more generally is he concerned about women being threatened in that way. >> obviously we take the safety and security over any person seriously. certainly would condemn anyone threatening any individual but i have no knowledge of that situation and would refer you to the president's outside personal attorneys. >> all right. so our panelist remain with us. jeff bennet. jeff zavala, joyce vance, and
jeremy bass. my belated thanks to bill crystal for joining us and having an opinion there. dan, i'm going to begin with you here in new york. i've used the expression change of venue in a different context at the top of the broadcast. in a way this is a form of that i guess. what just happened today, why are they trying to move the court jurisdiction where this is going to be heard? >> this is a classic defense maneuver. i've removed cases, any attorney who has had court on the defense side have likely to move cases. it allows defenses from different state and have enough -- if you have enough money involved and the people are from different states, a defendant can drag a case union laterally out of state court and
up to federal court. it's automatic. this is not a motion, this is not a request. once a defendant files this notice of removal the case is now in federal court and its incumbent upon the plaintiff to get it back down to state court, which is not an easy thing to do. why do defendants do this? strategy, home field advantage, take the plaintiff out of their choice of courthouse and bring them up to federal court. or, there may be some chief advantage to federal procedure that makes the case better for the defendants in federal court. but sometimes, brian, it's as simple as the defendant sticking it to the plaintiff's attorney and throwing them off their game. >> joyce vance we were led to believe that michael hoe wen from his -- cohen from hi home loan line of credit paid stormy daniels that money. there is a fictional name that is said to represent the
president in court documents. does this now out donald trump as being a participant in this case, there's no coming back from this? >> there are now court papers where donald trump has entered the fray here and has also been identified by the alias name that's used in the nondisclosure agreement for him. so, it seems that for better or worse he's bought this litigation and bought the storm daniel nondisclosure agreement. >> joyce i heard some legal experts tonight saying this is probably a crafty move on the part of my cohen at all, because this may force this into arbitration and coop it from ever coming out into open court. >> that's their real strategy here. the way miss daniels' lawyer filed this case in state court was claiming that the nondisclosure agreement wasn't valid. he's asking the state court in
essence to declare it's invalid and they're not bond by hi arbitration proceedings. the president on the other side and of course his lawyer like for this to occur outside of the public eye. the way that they get there is by successfully proving that the nondisclosure agreement is valid. its mandatory arbitration is valid. so, to the extent that miss daniels want to oppose the agreement, her only form would be this arbitration that occurs, not like at the court's view in the public, but so that people won't know what's going on in the arbitration proceeding. >> jeremy bass, what do you make of this tonight? >> i think we're seeing the negative inducement, the threat of the negative lawsuit against the adult star actress.
i think what we're not seeing is possibly an attempt to pay her off and settle the case. to try to give her millions of dollars and hope that she actually ask "60 minutes" to take down this interview and draw these allegations against the president. no one would be surprised if we wake up tomorrow morning and she's gone away and paid off and told to keep her mouth shut. >> danny, i have heard that this could mean tat trump teem was aware that she brought some things with her to the "60 minutes" interview. already wrapping and editing the tape to see what they have -- >> they have implied that there's some concrete evidence. just reading the tenure of daniels's attorney on air on t.v., he seems confident that he
has the facts on his side and pounding the facts. the problem is for them is that the law may be on the trump side. there's pretty substantial law favoring in both federal and state court, arbitration. federal and state courses will send those cases right back down to arbitration. but in a case like this, trump's loss may not be in court it may be when the information reaches the light of day. you cannot unring that bell. >> jeff, we were saying a few months ago when the white house was talking about arbitration that bring it is story into the white house. well, nothing brings the story into the white house quite like this story tonight. are they just going to have to continue to try to deflect on this? >> it appears that will be the case, brian but here's the thing. throughout his scandal the president has used the media
naturally. he's use it to beat his opponents into silence. but, here you have stormy daniels, who dare i say as a consequence of her profession, cannot be shamed into silence, and instead of shaying away it's clear she and her attorney are relishing it. as the white house continues to say over overagain, that harass no relationship between stephany clifford, that's her real name, and president trump and that trump wasn't aware of this payment, they're deal being a story that's salacious and there could be campaign finance at play here if this payment is deemed to be from the trump campaign. federal law allows a person to directly contribute $20,000 to a examine and this was never
reported to the federal election commission. brian. >> jeremy that kinds of duck tails of what i want to know from you. what is mueller east interest between the president and the porn star? >> i don't think there's a direct connection. i think mueller's going to stay focused on the russian election in the campaign. it's possible that this could come up in his investigation into michael cohen, the trump organization's counsel, someone who has kind of been the back man for donald trump. someone whose paid funds and moved negotiations around for the president. and generally knows more about -- than anybody else about trump's financial and person issues. >> our great thanks to the panel for helping us navigate through both of topics that have served as our lead story tonight.
another break for us. when we come back we are going to look at the explosive comments today by a plan who at the time of his retirement was the youngest and most heavily decorated 4-star general in the history of the u.s. army. it's what he has said about this particular president and what makes him that way that has him in the news tonight. oh, not so fast, carl. ♪ oh no. schwab, again? index investing for that low? that's three times less than fidelity... ...and four times less than vanguard. what's next, no minimums? ...no minimums. schwab has lowered the cost of investing again. introducing the lowest cost index funds in the industry with no minimums. i bet they're calling about the schwab news. schwab. a modern approach to wealth management. the roasted core wrap.belly fat. 3, 2, 1... not cool. freezing away fat cells with coolsculpting?
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tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. be there for you, and them. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, control is possible. next, part is important as well. a wild week of russia headlines is prompting an uncharacteristic response from someone you will no doubt recognize from our on-air family of contributors. today retired four star u.s. army general barry mccaffrey, a deck ratt decorated combat veteran in vietnam wrote this in twitter, quote, reluctantly i have concluded that president trump is a serious threat to u.s.
national security. he is refusing to protect vital u.s. interests from active russian attacks. it is apparent for some unknown reason he is under the way of mr. putin. four combat tours, a bronze star, three purple hearts, multiple combat wounds, two silver stars, two distinguished service crosses, graduates of phillips academy and west point. he's the former command are in chief of southern command. he's the former u.s. drug czar. just this week great britain expelled 23 russian diplomats over that nerve agent attack on british soil prompting the u.k.'s closest allies to formally condemn the kremlin. the white house announced it would finally impose sanctions
on russian and admitted that russian cyber attacked threatened u.s. nuclear power plants. the president has said little about any of these developments as he head noose the weekend, as we mentioned, with no public events scheduled. with us our white house correspondent from bloomberg, jeremy bash has agreed to stick and and presidential historian and author john meacham. it was said on this broadcast and elsewhere the u.s. was nudged in kind of appropriate behavior, behaving as we used to long ago, two years ago where it concerned russia. >> if you look at all of the various things that both president putin and the government of russia have done, attacking the u.s., meddling in
our elections and in our infrastructure and our power grid and attacking one of our closest allies allegedly with the nerve agent attack in britain and we have not heard very much from the president in terms of a response. we finally did see some sanctions this week but even those were seen as a sort of very minor response given all of the various things that russia has done and both sides of the aisle, both republicans and democrats, are calling for the president and for the administration to do more to really step up to russia. this is a president who is willing to talk tough against our enemies and talk tough against some of our allies, but when it comes to putin, there seems to be this blind spot where he does not want to say anything negative about the president of russia or about the government of russia saying he wants to get along with them, saying that he thinks he can make deals with russia. it's clear whatever tack titicss using to get russia to act in
the best interests of the united states have not worked so far and it's starting to wear patience then of both republicans and democrats on capitol hill. >> thank you, toluse. jeremy, given your time in the structure, if you evdon't know barry mccaffrey personally, talk about what would have led a man with as many decorations on his chest, as many administrations he's worked for, what would have led him to say what he did. >> one has to admire his dedication to country, his patriotism and his spot-on analysis of what's threatening american national security and his deep concern the russian federation has unexplained leverage off the president of the united states and that is compromising the president's ability to defend our country
against russian attacks and to stand side by side with a critical ally when russia attacks that ally. we have to heed his warning tonight. >> we'll have to put our thoughtful conversation off until 2019 but for now what have we just witnessed today in this administration and how it differs from any known norms? >> well, it does differ from any known norm. on general mccakacaffreccaffrey jim baker said if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck and swims like it duck, it just might be a duck. at some point, common sense kicks in with the president and his relationship with putin. the one thing that i think links the stories, russia, director
mccabe, the stormy daniels business is what the greeks taught as you long time ago. character is destiny. and as michelle obama said really brilliantly in 2016, the presidency doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are. and the one thing that links all of these stories is that we have a president who is entirely running things on what is best for him and what he thinks will get him through a particular moment. he has raised brazenness to a governing philosophy. and that's the world we're living in. >> am i right to say that if not a friday night massacre, what we've seen with mr. mccabe is most certainly at minimum a friday night takedown? >> absolutely. it will raise huge concerns about rule of law. that's why presidents doesn't get into these things, they're not supposed to get into these things. the justice department is like
all institutions, it's a human institution, it's got its failings, but it really began its modern life as an arm of the federal government to fight the ku klux klan during reconstruction. it was created to enforce law and stay as removed from politics as possible. what the president's done, again because to him this is all paint ball, it's all media paint ball, hoose just deci he's just decided this is a useful target for him today. i must say it will stun me an p this point, we have to remember donald trump is president and what the hell do we know, but it wouldn't surprised me that some evening we see some strike against robert mueller. >> steve schmidt's favorite word is rigor. he keep saying that the lack of
rigor in public life right now from this administration right now in appalling to him. >> well, it's mad max. it's not real, except it is. another way of putting it is washington seemed to be acting like a reality show, it didn't seem to be taking the concerns of the people as seriously as it should and so the right number of voters in the right number of states and electoral college system sent a reality tv star there. but be careful what you wish for. anyone who was paying attention during 2016 should not be surprised about what's happening right now. that doesn't mean it's acceptable. it means we have to stay as united as possible and try to insist on those norms against all odds. >> we're in your debt, my panel. gentlemen, thank you so much. this was an on-the-fly hour of television as we're reacting to these dual breaking news stories and then some. and that is our broadcast on a friday night. and to conclude this week, as
always, thank you so very much for being here with us. have a good weekend and good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. good evening, i'm brian williams. weep just ne we just need a few seconds of your time before we get you to the rachel maddow program. breaking news tonight. attorney general jeff sessions has fired former fbi director andrew mccabe just hours before mccabe was set to retire and begin collecting a federal employee's pension. mccabe served 21 years at the fbi, spending more than a decade investigating russian organized crime of all things. tonight he was dismissed for, quote, unauthorized disclosure to the news media and for a lack