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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  November 28, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PST

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>> tonight the backlash takes a sour turn. >> and new developments on the russia front, including what mike flynn's team will and will not share with the white house. is cooperation the next step? and a closer look at robert mueller. what you may not know about the man running the investigation that looms over this presidency. "the 11th hour" on a back-to-work monday night begins now. >> good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 312 of the trump administration and the president back at the white house with a lot to get done before the year ends and for that matter before the end of the week. he hopes to sign a tax bill and avoid a government shutdown, but hanging over all of it is robert mueller's russia investigation and the latest pressure point mueller seems to be trying to exploit.
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nbc news confirmed over the holiday weekend former national security adviser mike flynn's legal team has cut ties with trumps, widely considered by experts as the first sign that flynn may be cooperating with mueller's prosecutors. now abc does not cite its sources and nbc news has not independent by verified the story. they report this, however, "the lawyer for president donald trump's former national security adviser michael t. flynn met monday morning with members of special counsel robert mueller's team. the laidest indication that both sides are discussing a possible deal." it also marked the deadline for his son-in-law to turn over documents requested by the senate judiciary committee. the committee said they did not expect to get them today. "the washington post" took an in-depth look at kushner's work
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in-depth look at kushner's work in the white house. the headline from our friend ashley parker reads "the shrinking profile of jared kushner." it says in the body of the piece, "his once-sprawling white house portfolio, which came with walk-in privileges to the oval office has been diminished to its original scopend chief of staff john f. kelly, and he has notably receded from public view." to start off our leadoff panel, robert costa, moderator of "washington week" on pbs; kimberly atkins, chief reporter for the "boston herald," an attorney by trade, and jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the cia and the pentagon, as well as former counsel to the house intelligence committee.
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welcome to you all. jeremy, what you have learned about mike flynn in all of the reporting over the weekend? remind everybody watching as we come off our post-thanksgiving get back to work kind of attitude why he is so potentially valuable to robert mueller. >> brian, mike flynn was the foreign policy adviser that no candidate would take during the presidential elections of 2016 until trump picked him up because, of course, trump was the candidate that no foreign policy expert would advise. so they were sort of two misfit toys that found each other and mike flynn also had had a long history of basically going to russia, he had that famous trip in 2015 in which he attended the russia today's ten-year
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anniversary gala, sat next to vladimir putin, was paid $40,000 for that appearance and that speech did not clear that with the appropriate executive branch officials. during the campaign, he had two jobs, he was a foreign policy adviser to trump and was at the center of al of the russia policy development for the campaign. he was also a lobbyist for the government of turkey and that is under federal scrutiny by bob mueller. he has a lot of information about the way the trump campaign developed its policies on russia, policies that nobody can explain but for potential leverage that russia appears to have over the current president of the united states. >> robert costa, the president sure threw off a number of timed distractions over the fast few days but what must be the mood inside the west wing? >> inside mar-a-lago, his winter retreat in florida where the president spent the weekend, i'm told by several sources close to him that he was fuming about media coverage, that he's not getting enough credit for the economic turn the country has taken in some respects. he's continuing to push senators on capitol hill here to vote for the tax plan that's going to likely come up to a vote in the
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senate in the next few days, but when it comes to russia, he's being advised by ty cobb and other attorneys that this is going to play out in his view. there's an optimistic view and that continues to be his view. let's remember, his patience is thin when it comes to this and some of his confidants wonder how long he'll share the confidence of his own lawyer. >> what a dicey period this must be to know that former associates are perhaps flip be on him, kim. the president needs distance from people like retired general flynn, but they were once very tight on the campaign trail. >> they were tight on the campaign trail, and michael flynn was a white house official. this is a white house physical now who is seemingly cooperating with the bob mueller investigation. that's a huge change.
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that's very different than anything we've seen so far with campaign officials likes paul manafort. so this has got to be very uncomfortable for a president who really detests anything having to do with russia or this russian investigation. so to know that somebody who has that insight in the white house that jeremy was talking about it now talking and who faces his own legal peril, just a lot of things that he could be up for potential indictments for if he is willing to offer up information in exchange for cutting some sort of deal, that's got to make people in the white house very uncomfortable. >> and in one of the many aspects of the story that reminds people of a mob movie, part of his motivation may be to save his own son from peril. jeremy, this is james comey testifying been the senate intelligence committee in june after he was fired. he submitted a statement saying in part, "trump then said i hope
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can you see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go." jeremy, boy, that quote appears in a whole new light, doesn't it? >> it really does. let's remember what happened here. in december of 2016, mike flynn, who was advising the trump team talked to the russians saying doesn't worry about the sanctions imposed on you by the outgoing obama administration because we're coming into office in a couple of days and we'll take care of you and everybody waited for putin to respond to the sanctions and he didn't. that was an indication he did get that secret signal from flynn. when flynn was caught on a wire tap undercutting american security, they interviewed flynn, he lied about it. they told the acting attorney
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general. she warned the national white house council and said your national security adviser could be black mailed. the president then turned on the fbi director and said i hope can you see your way clear to dropping this thing on mike flynn and when comey didn't comply, the president fired him. >> robert costa, in the military flying business, they have what are called countermeasures, when they think they're going to get hit by an incoming missile, they release what they call chaff, often pieces of heated, shiny metal and designed to drive an incoming missile crazy and confuse it. there are obvious parallels to twitter and the communications strategy, which is part of my questions of this president. he was shot a lot of target chaff over the last few days. down over the numbers of targets, it was somehow strategic?
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>> i can't be inside of the president's head but i think the eruptions on twitter are revealing about the president's isolation when it comes to this issue. he has a small legal team who, as i say, i trying to get him in a confident state of mind, though many around trump are skittish. republicans on capitol hill maintain that the congressional committees looking into russian interference should continue. they're not clamoring for this investigation to discontinue. it's president trump alone on twitter frustrated about how this is playing out, trying to be his own defenseman. this comes months after there was talk of a more aggressive white house strategy but that never panned out. >> late today in the oval office the president was honoring
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decorated veterans of world war ii, more than that the venerated code talkers of the navajo nation and then this happened. >> you're very, very special people. you were here long before any of us were here, although we have a representative in congress who they say was here a long time ago, they call her pocahontas. but you know what? i like you. because you are special. >> kimberly, what did you make of that moment? >> you know president trump jabbing at elizabeth warren and her jabbing back is as normal as it can be and uttering a racial slur at an event meant to honor war heroes of world wars i and ii, especially with the back drop of andrew jackson, whose legacy includes one of the most brutal crusades of native
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americans in this country, if the president doesn't understand how offensive that is, then he should. there are very few things that -- i'm pretty unflappable, there are very few things i take personally in covering washington as a reporter, but today it really stung. i mean, as a person of color who has been on the receiving end of racial slurs, to see the president go to that length and to not draw a line between using that in a partisan attack really was bad, not just optically, it was bad for america. it's a sad day today. >> robert, i heard people talking about this president's inability to simply preside over, take part in an elegant event and leave it at that. this president who has to have enemies and more than that has to have nicknames for those enemies, a kind of a special subset in his mind. >> it was a moving event to watch.
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and you look at those gentlemens' caps, survivor of iwo jima, men who joined the marines as teen-agers, trying to help their country serve not just in world war ii but also some who served in the korean mind. what was on the president's mind? a possible 2012 contender, a foe, a foil in senator elizabeth warren. regardless of your politics, this was a moment the president seemed to miss the moment. it was about those heroes. >> robert costa, kimberly atkins, jeremy bash, our thanks for starting us off on a monday night. coming up, the one man who gets to determine how much longer the russia cloud hangs over the trump white house. a revealing new look at special counsel robert mueller. the author of it will be here with us. >> and next, alabama voters pick their next senators two weeks from tomorrow. can we expect any high watt and surrogates on the trail in alabama?
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that and so much more as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a monday night.
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a revealing new look at special 11th hour" gets under way on a a revealing new look at special 11th hour" gets under way on a we've seen false and negative attacks both by the republicans and now the democrat establishment. these allegations are completely false. they're malicious. specifically i do not know any of these women nor have i ever engaged in sexual misconduct with any woman. >> there was a of course
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republican alabama senate candidate roy moore appearing on the campaign tonight for the first time in over a week. he's been keeping a low profile since nine women accused him of sexual misconduct. most in congress have disavowed moore because of the allegations but president trump has not. now it does not look like he'll make a trip to alabama to offer a formal endorsement saying he doesn't have time in his schedule. "the washington post" offered this explanation "while trump has certainly bet something on moore, visiting the state would be going all in and at this juncture, that would be a very risky bet." a sitting senator facing sexual harassment allegations returned to work today. minnesota democrat al franken had this to say to his colleagues and constituents this afternoon. >> this has been a shock and has been extremely humbling. i am embarrassed.
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i feel ashamed. what i'm going to do is i'm going to start my job, i'm going to go back to work, i'm going to work as hard as i can for the people of minnesota and i'm going to start that right now. thank you all. thank you. >> and on the house side of the capitol, michigan democratic john conyers, the senior most member of the house, has stepped down from his leadership position on the judiciary committee. he has acknowledged he settled a sexual harassment complaint from a former staff member, but he denies that he did anything wrong. meanwhile, the house democratic leader nancy pelosi is taking a lot of heat for the way she defended conyers yesterday on "meet the press." >> so define zero tolerance. up said there's no a zero tolerance. john conyers, in or out?
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>> let's say we are strengthened by due process. just because someone is accused and was it one accusation or two -- john conyers is an icon in our country. >> tonight we welcome to the broadcast, jeanne cummings, from the wall street journal and white house reporter for the associated press. jonathan, let's try to stay in order if we can. roy moore. it sounded to a lot of people as an endorsement. he went to campaign for big luther and loaded his remarks with caveats in case there was a loss. sounds like he does not want to go all in in alabama.
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>> the white house came to the conclusion that there's more risk than reward for the president. these accusations against moore evoke those against president trump. he, like moore, denies anything has happened, denied the claims of these women who have come forward and said he sexually assaulted or even harassed them. moore still has a chance to win this. public polling we've seen so far perhaps not super reliable
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suggests it is a close race. this is still a toss-up race. this is a risky position to take to go all in for moore. so the president you might recall right before thanksgiving didn't rule out the idea that he might go down to alabama to actually campaign for moore. the white house now says he won't. what we probably will see going forward, which trump started over the weekend, is not a pro roy moore case, not saying this is my guy, but rather just to say we can't have a democrat in that seat. it's more of an anti-doug jones case. you need to vote for moore, even if he doesn't use his name because my agenda is at risk. doesn't vote for the other guy. >> need all the votes they can get in the senate. >> do you believe any of the numbers coming out?
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do you think this race is evolving still, on the move? >> i do think it's on the move. we should recognize that this is a very tough race for a democrat to try to win. trump won alabama by like 37 points. it's a red state and a deeply red state. so it is a very tough race. there may not be enough democratic votes for them to win the seat. now, that said, this is -- roy moore didn't change the topic today when he finally came out. he tried to reframe it as me against them, the establishment
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is attacking me. that's been a card he has played for years. but in his last statewide race, he only won by 52% to 48%. so the democrat was very competitive with him in his last statewide race and none of these allegations had been raised and the stakes weren't nearly quite so high. and the democrats could not have nominated a more perfect candidate, especially since we're talking about alabama than doug jones, who has a good law and order background and his ads have been exceptionally good, where he has alabamans unique to his race, he has republicans endorsing his adds and talks about honor and bringing it back to washington. he's a very formidable candidate in a very tough state. >> let's jump ahead to moore and nancy pelosi. i notice on fox a tough piece went up about pelosi saying "nancy pelosi is that woman." they're talking about what she said to chuck todd. were you surprised she didn't have a better answer standing by in the chamber when she knew
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that question was coming up? >> if she did have a better answer, she certainly didn't deliver it. she certainly botched this. this is the democrats seemingly seemingly cede some ground here. the democrats have been publicly at least sort of championing this movement, the me-too movement, come forward, come forward. but when it's a member of their own party, a member of their own team, it felt like a nod to tribalism, well, this is really bad but he's one of us so we don't want to say too quickly. certainly i think the answer bothered some other democrats. and then combine that with al franken and it does seem like this is a party that's not quite sure how it wants to handle the issues in its own home even as it still wants to point to republicans who have been accused of the same things, including of course the president. >> jeanne, finally, "the new york times" said tonight that now three people have said the president has decided somehow his remarks on the bus, the "access hollywood" clip were not authentic. "access hollywood" issued a statement tonight saying, no, it's real. we remind everybody the president apologized for it. is this the president deciding
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on an alternate reality as his truth? >> well, i suppose that's what he's attempting to do based on what he has told some of his allies and the reporting in "the new york times." it seems so impossibleable given that he admitted that he said those things when that tape first came out and as you all have shown, the footage of him apologizing for having said those. the one thing that struck me is that he somehow has taken this moment and elevated his own problems on this topic. and why the white house and why the president would do that makes no sense to me at all. i felt like the republicans were starting to drive the
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conversation towards president clinton and that was a way to try to distance themselves or at least give them some kind of shield and for this now to come back to president trump is not a good turn, i don't think, for the president's party. >> not the first puzzling of this party nor will it be the lost. coming up with a clock ticking down fast consideration the gop get a legislative win on tax reform or, for that matter, any major policy proposal? more when "the 11th hour" continues. dental tool with a round brush head. go pro with oral-b. oral-b's rounded brush head surrounds each tooth to gently remove more plaque. and unlike sonicare, oral-b is the only electric toothbrush brand accepted by the american dental association for its effectiveness and safety. my mouth feels so clean. i'll only use an oral-b. oral-b. brush like a pro.
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i think the tax bill is going very well. if we win, i think we'll probably have a bipartisan bill meaning a number of people are going to come over, but i'm not so interested in that. we're really interested just in getting it passed. >> a bipartisan bill. mark that down. the president and this white house are confronting the stark realities of governing right about now. this is a critical week as they try to turn the piece of legislation into an achievement by this president before the end of the year. so far no clear indication of what will be the president's top priorities for next year.
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we'll get to that in a moment. let's start with the tax bill. key senate republicans met with the president at the white house today to talk about it. they hope to bring it up for a vote later this week. republicans who, reminder, control the senate 52-48, can afford to lose only two members if they hope to pass the bill along party lines. here is what one of the two senators who plan to vote against the current bill said about a vote later this week. >> is the timeline of getting a vote on that this week still realistic? >> that is pretty optimistic. there's a lot of detail to work out on this. but this is the process. you're watching the sausage being made. >> the president will go to the capitol for some arm twisting tomorrow. there's another issue confronting the trump white house, a battle over who is running the consumer financial protection bureau tasked with watching over banks and wall streets. leeandra english was named acting director by the former director who stepped down that
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week. but then trump appointed office of budget manager, mick mulvaney, who once called it a joke, showed up for work today. >> he wants me to fix it, he wants me to get it back to the point where it can protect people without trampling on capitalism. >> ms. english is suing president trump over the mulvaney appointment. a judge will decide who gets the job ultimately. and with all of this going on, there's the possibility of a government shut down next month because funding will run out on december 8th, and we're always so good about this. house and senate leaders will head to the white house tomorrow, likely to try to
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strike a deal. here to talk about all of it, some of it or part of it, a veteran of the reagan and bush administrations, editor at large of "the weekly stand a," bill carol is here. gentlemen, welcome to you both. bill, i want a straight-up prediction. taxes, by the end of week or at all by the end of 2017? >> i think not by the end of the week. the consensus is yes but i'm more doubtful.
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it's not a very compelling bill. they cobbled together thing. there are a lot of pressure points people going after. the strongest case they have for the bill is you have to pass something, you cannot go home after this whole year and say to the voters the republican congress and the republican president produced nothing. it's not a very good substantive argument for a public policy to say you have to do something, but it has political force. the counterargument is beware what you wish for. this could be a victory and three months from now, you could look up, the economy may not have much of a boost, people
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discover taxes are higher, they discover various inequities on them. i think they're putting too much weight on the argument they is to do something but they are putting weight on it now and if it passes, that would be why. >> jeremy, same question, if you can. >> i just don't think this gets done in any way in any fashion. today the senator from oklahoma said he has reservations about the bill.
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on the other hand, i think they're obsessed with doing something very big. you and i can sit here and there are five things that could be done. whether it's the opioid crisis -- >> infrastructure. >> yeah. it could be done in a piecemeal way. they'd be better off, not that they asked my advice, going for bite-sized pieces. the country is in good shape. it's not obvious that we need a huge macro economic package. there are problems that could be done on a one-by-one basis. some of them could be bipartisan. back to the opioid crisis, more than in vietnam will die in one year because of this. more needs to be done in terms of treatment and law enforcement and going after the gangs. it would not be hard to get a bipartisan bill on this and it's not happening because they're paralyzed because they've got to do something huge. >> jeremy, is there a sense of
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urgency on the hill? and what are republicans going to get from this president to run on? how is he going to help them? >> they need something that -- what republicans need is for voters to feel as if their economic plight has improved, that the trump campaign promises of higher wages, better jobs and a more security america that's looking out for its own interests has come to fruition. and so far president trump has
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not delivered on any of those. he's also failed to deliver on a major expectation of the grass roots conservative voters, which is to repeal obamacare and i don't see any way that happens. it's certainly not going to happen in this tax bill despite the senate republicans have slipped it in, doesn't expect that to go anywhere in the house. i think what you're looking at at the end of the year is kind of a worst case scenario
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possibility from the perspective of a lot of conservatives, a lot of pro-trump republicans, oh, although they might object to my calling this many conservatives, a lot of republicans who identify with trump who are looking at congress passing a major spending bill without real entitlement reforms, a fix to daca, which would be a major sin in the eyes of a lot of pro-trump republicans, no repeal of blake and a tax cut that doesn't deliver on all of the promises that trump has made. so, yes, there's a real possibility that when congress adjourns at the end of the year there's very little to show for it. >> we can't always being responsible for content or outlook, but we thank both of these gentlemen for stopping by. my, what a dire time by one way of looking at it. bill kristol, jeremy peters, we'll of course invite you again and keep at it. coming up, why the president chose to stand where he did and say what he did while honoring navajo code talkers from the second world war.
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we have a representative in congress who they say was here a long time ago. they call her pocahontas. >> that was the president today in the oval office. and with us tonight to talk about what happened, steve schmidt, political veteran of the bush white house and mccain presidential campaign, well
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known to our viewers as an msnbc political analyst. steve, at events like this the president is our surrogate. he has our proxy. guys like brian and steve may never get the chance to thank those gentlemen for what they did. so we rely on our president in public at an event like that to do so. that's why i think it got to so many people, what he said, the nature of his remarks. if you don't mind, remind people that it was important visually while andy jackson looked on, given all the paintings in that building and, second, the role of the navajo code talkers among their fellow veterans in the second world war. >> of course andrew jackson, the president who was the architect of the trail of tears virulently
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cruel to the native american population in the united states at that time. and who these men are behind the president of the united states today, they're united states marines. they are part of the approximately 450 and a half -- navajo code talks are who served in the marine corps, including the marine parachute and raider regimens, they were present for some of the toughest fighting in combat in the pacific theater. their heroism, their skill,
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saved countless lives. these men are american heros. when you see world war ii veterans, united states marines wearing that many combat ribbons, it's a rare sight, and it's testament to all of those mens' great duration under enemy fire. you saw the president fail in some of the most basic duties of the office of the president of united states, a moment of personal degradation and another moment of him failing as the most minimal duties of president of the united states. >> what's your view as we saw the president this weekend declaring a network, in this case cnn international to be fake and telling a global audience the same thing? and perhaps deciding to give a trophy to the network of his choosing that's been reporting, giving out the most fake news? >> well, he all about declared fox news to be american state tv. extraordinary. secondly, with regard to cnn
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international, with people who live in autocratic countries, cnn international, they thirst to that knowledge because the mag nam imity, the home that comes from free people. he endangered all journalists operating in autocratic areas. an assault on the first amendment. it bears repeating how far out of the norm that we are. these are the behavior of an autocrat, not the president of
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the united states. >> steve schmidt, that's why we asked to speak to you tonight and we'll speak to you again in the future. coming up, you heard a lot about robert mueller. when we move along, we'll talk to the author who says there are a few things you should all know about the veteran prosecutor. back with that right after this. jimmy's gotten used to his whole room smelling like sweaty odors.
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as president trump looks to congress to pass the first significant legislation of his presidency before the end of this year, robert mueller's investigation continues to loom over all of it and may have an inordinate say in the white house agenda for next year. "the los angeles times" writes that while mueller has been praised by both democrats and republicans, quote, at 73 mueller has a record that shows a man of fallible judgment who can be slow to alter his chosen course. with us for more is the author of that piece, won the pulitzer for investigating reporting for
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his work on the pharmaceutical industry. he wrote the book about the anthrax attacks on this building, we might add, and elsewhere in the post-9/11 era. it is called "the mirage man." thank you very much for being with us and especially for the democrats who now view bob
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mueller as the most important man inito this democracy because as they see it, he's the man that could save this democracy. what in your view do they need to know about bob mueller? >> i would suggest they might want to pay attention to the man's record. it's a very long and distinguished public record. bob mueller has chosen public
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service really throughout the arc of his career over profiteering in the private sector. no one could ever take that away from bob mueller. there's never been an allegations that goes against his integrity. what we tried to do in the in depth profile that we published in "the los angeles times" was to focus on special counsel mueller's experience, his judgment and his tendencies, aspects of his career, specific cases that shed light on what he may do with the enormous discretion that he now holds over really the trump presidency. >> you write about his linear methods. i guess the nonpejorative is to say he is methodical?
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>> he i the -- i guess the case in point referencing his linear approach was evidenced in his management of the anthrax case, that is, the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks. the director personally managed that case from headquarters and drove it as long and as hard as he could toward the near indictment of stephen hatfill, a man who was ultimately exonerated, had no involvement with the crimes. that process really misdirected
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the investigation for nearly five years. >> i would urge people to seek and read the piece. i especially urge them to make it to the last two paragraphs because they are critical to the understanding of all that goes before. this may call for a judgment on your rchsp)t, but for people who are right now counting on robert mueller, could anyone better have been chosen that you know of in the private sector or in public life? ♪
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does your bed do that? it's the final days of ultimate sleep number week. save 50% on the ultimate limited edition bed with adjustable comfort on both sides. ends monday. visit for a store near you. we're back with more right after this. last thing before we go tonight is this. we're hoping you'll give us a brief from the mueller investigation and the presidency for the following story from the uk where prince harry, fifth in line to the british throne, is engaged to meghan markle of los angeles, california. we call this a modern love story because this couple are a stark
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reminder of how times have changed just in our lifetime. perhaps you can imagine not all that long ago the idea of the prince of wales marrying a biracial divorced american woman might have been scandalous. but here we are in 2017. the world seemed to react today with simple and genuine happiness at two young people beaming at each other, the handsome young military and the beautiful actress from california. meghan markle grew up in hollywood and graduated from northwestern. she's an actress with both a web business and a design business. they met last summer on a blind date.
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she admitss2# she didn't know al that much about him. he admits he'd never seen "suits," the tv show she stars in. one thing led to another. now she's about to be named the duchess of sussex. this morning president trump facing criticism for renewed attack on elizabeth warren. made a pocahontas remark at a ceremony to honor navajo. new plan when it comes to tax plan. middle income americans could end up paying more in the lock run. first public appearance in two weeks. alabama senate candidate roy moore vows to keep fighting despite the sexual misconduct allegation made against him. good mornin


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