tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC October 7, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
will show up for that deposition tomorrow but he is scheduled. also tomorrow the president's ambassador to the e.u. is state department official that appears to have been directly involved in the scheme to pressure the ukrainian government into helping the government with date of birth for the democrats for 2020. in advance of that they are reporting that a dozen house democrats are calling for the resignation for the state department. he is due tomorrow for a deposition. we'll see. we'll see you again tomorrow, now it is time for the last world with lawrence o'donnell. >> it will be the "call me" deposition. all about the when do you decide in a texting flow to say "call me." that is what the sondland contribution to the texting flow is. >> i will say if you are having a conversation with somebody by
e-mail, or by text, and it occurs to you this is something we should not put in writing, the thing you don't do at that moment is say "hey, let's stop putting this in writing." you just stop writing and you call the person. you don't say let's talk about this on the phone and stop texting about it. you think that, you don't actually type it out. and i just, i don't know -- >> good, that is helpful, i will stop texting call me to you when we hit that spot in the conversation. we should stop tacking about this right now lawrence. >> all right, thank you. >> the trump administration spent the weekend reeling. it already has the president on the road. and then a second whistle-blower was confirmed.
for the "new york times" and tonight, the breaking mitt romney news of the night is from vanity fair where gabe sherman is reporting from a romney advisor. a romney advisor believes that romney has more potential power as a senator that will decide trump's fate in the impeachment trial. he could have tremendous influence in the impeachment process as the loan voice of conscious. the advisor said that romney has been reaching out privately in key players in the republican resistance according to a person briefed on the conversations. romney is the one guy that can bring along susan collins. romney is the pressure point in the impeachment process. that's why the things he is saying are a freaking republican's out and freaking out trump who called for the impeachment of the united states senator mitt romney which is of course impossible. there is no such thing as impeachment for a senator.
the trump administration was speechless yesterday on sunday morning political television because no one from the trump administration appeared on any of the sunday shows to definite the trump phone call to the president of ukraine, soliciting the president of ukraine's help in the reelection campaign by investigating joe biden. but republican senator ron johnson of wisconsin took a kellyanne conway pill, went on meet the press and this happened. >> i have my third letter into the inspector general of the intelligence committee asking to confirm, just to confirm are you investigating those leaks? that peter strock strzok talked about --? >> senator i have no idea why -- why, why a fox news conspiracy propaganda stuff is popping up on here. i have no idea why we're going here. senator, i'm asking about -- i'm
asking about -- >> president trump is upset and his supporters are upset with the news media. this is not about the media. senator johnson, senator johnson, please. >> no one can explain what happened on "meet the press" yesterday better than james b. stewart who explains it all in his new book "deep state." he will join us later in this hour. ly show him more of what ron johnson said on "meet the press" yesterday and he will translate it all for you. it is the trump deep state conspiracy theory. he is currently flying around the world to investigate. he already has the answers. and they will bring us an expert legal analysis to have a crushing legal blow. a federal judge in new york
ruled on the president's attempts to block a subpoena for his tax returns from the manhattan district attorney. he found the trump legal argument to be repugnant to the nation's governmental structure and constitutional values. i have never read a judge's opinion more contemptuous of a league argument presented to the court. we'll see if he has ever read the argument as crushing as this one is. we begin tonight with the second whistle-blower who is represented by the same team of lawyers representing the second whistle-blower. the other has what one of those lawyers describes as firsthand knowledge that supported the first whistle-blower. they suggest firsthand knowledge that might bolster the impeachment case that the accusations are based on
second-hand information. the house of the intelligence committee adam schiff thanks him for his patriotism. we hope others will follow their courageous example. today the house foreign affairs committee, the house oversight committee subpoenaed the department of defense and the white house office of management and budget related to the suspension of aid for the ukraine. while the president pushed ukraine to investigate joe biden. the subpoena orders the documents to be handed over a week from now. tomorrow gordon sondland will be questioned under oath about his "call me" texts. he texted "call me" to bill taylor when he was texted things
like this, are we now saying that security assistance and white house meeting are conditioned on investigations? and gordon sondland will be asked under oath what he said on the phone that made ambassador taylor text him this. as i said on the phone, i think it is crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. he will also be asked under oat, why did he have anything to do with ukraine. leading off our page is ruth marcus at the "washington post." she covered the clinton impeachment for the post, this is her second impeachment to cover as a journalist. she's an msnbc contributor.
also ezra cline, and rick wilson, a republican strategist. author of everything trump touches dies. i want to start with you on a point in the middle of what i just said, a subpoena to the office of management and budget about holding back the military aid to ukraine, while the president was trying to put this pressure on. that is where the real facts of this story might be. >> the thing that frustrates me about the story is really pretending -- >> really, is it frustrating. we now have a firsthand whistle-blower. is he now the firsthand of the call record in which he did everything that the whistle-blower said that he did. it is all in such plain black
and white. it isn't that i'm not excited to see everything they keep on doing, but there is also a danger of it being over complicated to the extent that we're not waiting to learn if donald trump did it. he tried to do it on national television, and the question is what will senate republicans do about it. >> it seemsing that the only thing, the fruits of these subpoenas could add is that somewhere in the defense department there is an e-mail that actually says we're doing this because the president is holding it up and he wants joe biden investigated. that is the most you could possibly hope for.
we know that this was withheld that the world went to omd and the department. so one of the strange things about this investigation that we're covering, is that it began with the smoking gun. >> it did, it did start with the smoking gun, and the reality is that there is still smoke to be -- to be coming out from the gun, so that the taylor testimony, the sondland testimony, the returns on the systems, because ezra may be convinced that we're already there. i may be convinced we're there, but people like senator portman are not convinced we're already there. so we need to figure out, we need to get the information that will help break that very thin ice. >> and you know senate
republicans better than most of us. the president sent the weekend enraged and attacking mitt romney. it is not trying to scare romney, but to scare the republicans. >> i think that's exactly right. he's doing his best to intimidate the weak sisters in the field. the folks that have a filing deadline in their campaigns coming up in the next six months or so. he can send the message that mitt romney doesn't care. they are saying we have to endorse clown shoe whatever, and ended up with lindsey graham or
whoever else losing their seat. that's why he's hitting on romney trying to intimidate them. but what i'm hearing from staff and from members, there is a great degree of nervousness that he is scaling too close to the edge for too long. the kurdistan issue seems like we at a what we can get. >> ezra, about that, and this is not the time for donald trump to be shaking up his relationship. >> there is a deal that has been made with two prongs, right? one is that he doesn't turn on them directly. the other is that he gets to be donald trump over here doing his crazy things, being protected by senate republicans. he cuts taxes on rich people, he follows a foreign policy, they find largely if not entirely
defensible. he has become, effectively, a sycophant to work with the president on things he cares about like kurdistan, so when he betrays him it makes an upheaval. i think what rick was talking about, the ultimate question is are people like rob portman convincable. have they decided to ride this out. there is a great line in a washington post story, they're trying to not make any sudden moves, that has been their approach for the entire trump presidency. i think the only way is if donald trump is betraying them much more often. >> mitch mcconnell is out there advertising about impeachment
saying he is the one that will be able to stop it the way you stop mcconnell. but the problem for trump tonight is that most republicans in the senate have said nothing about this. they have said nothing about his asking china to investigate the bidens. they have said nothing about his asking ukraine to investigate the bidens, what he wants to hear is 30 people who sound like lindsey gram right now. but that's not what you have. >> saying "witch hunt, witch hunt." >> there is the kind of rubio caucus in the senate that says it was just a joke. and then there is portman caucus of one right now, but they're saying this is serious, but it doesn't rise to the level of impeachable offense, and then there is senator romney on his own. i would say keep an eye on people like lamar alexander who is retiring, but is very, very well respected by his colleagues.
folks like that and that is why new facts are really important as i was saying even if they ratify what some of us already believe. if they start to crack, others will quickly follow. i think that all -- there is a number of republican senators up for reelection this year. who are already in very marginal states and know this is just trouble for them. >> tomorrow we have sondland testifying, here is the presidency tomorrow, depending on the testimony of a rich guy who very literally bought his ambassadorship. he was going to try to buy one through the bush for president campaign. when that didn't work out, he switched over to trump, a million dollars to the inauguration committee, and there you go. this guy has never been in a
situation like he is going to face tomorrow, there is a lot that trump has riding on it. >> can you imagine buying an ambassadorship to the eu and what you ended up buys was an opportunity to ring lead people to dig up dirt on joe biden? everybody who touches trump ends up so infected by the contact, no one comes there it unscathed. you give this kind of responsibility to people who don't know what they're doing and this is what you get. >> rick, ezra just rewrote the title of your book there. but i have -- at a certain point in the middle of the weekend, i spent a moment thinking what if donald trump actually did hire the best people. where would they be if he
appointed them, for all of the forecast officers. this will be a very different place. he went as far as you could go in the opposite direction of the best people and those people have delivered him to this place. it is the old business cliche. donald trump hires people from the bus station after an all-night bender. these are not quality guys doing this. they can stroke a check but they can barely walk around and speak the king's english. these are not bright people these are not bright guys that got out of control they're not bright guys that got out of control, there is just not -- there is not a devious set of master minds behind all of this. thorough indication ly like steven miller, this guy will probably spend more having to lawyer up on all of this than he did to buy the ambassadorship in the first place.
it's kind of glorious. >> and that proves the title of your book once again. when we come back, democrats on the house intelligence committee are considering extreme measures to protect the identity of the whistleblower who will meet with his republican friends in congress that want to reveal the whistle-blower's identity which is against the law. that is next. alf the fun of a new house. seeing what people left behind in the attic. well, saving on homeowners insurance with geico's help was pretty fun too. ahhhh, it's a tiny dancer. they left a ton of stuff up here. welp, enjoy your house. nope. no thank you. geico could help you save on homeowners and renters insurance.
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house democrats are considering extreme measures to protect the identity of the first whistle-blower when that whistle-blower testifies to committees, to the negligence committee that has not yet been scheduled. they report that house democrats are weighing extraordinary steps that are masking his identity to prevent allies from exposing the individual. according to three officials familiar with the deliberations the steps under consideration include having the whistle-blower testify from a remote location obscures the individual's appearance and voice. yesterday nike, four national security officials, signed an open letter to the american people stressing the importance of it. the matters discussed all americans have a right to
protect this whistle-blower and his or her identity. simply put he or she deserve their protection. that letter was signed by frequent guests on this program. he was also signed by former republican senator. and a former counsellor to the undersecretary of defense and a former senior advisor at the state department. and ezra cline is back with us. i want to get your reaction to these steps now being considered to protect the identity of the whistle-blower and the idea that the identity has to be protected from elected republican members of the house intelligence
committee. >> i don't think the fear is that one of the members of the republican house intelligence committee will try to throttle them personally, but i think we have seen a pattern in this administration from threats of donald trump that turn into actual physical threats to people's safety. we have seen it over and over. i don't like to invoke a different network but daibs a story where the perpetrator of threats or acts of violence invoked donald trump as their inspiration. and they found about 40 different cases where trump's words were used by people saying that is why i committed this act of violence, right? when the president of the united states says this guy is like a spy, remember what we used to do to spies, essentially saying we used to execute them, to kill
them. if i were that whistle-blower, i would want whistle-blower's. i would want the sharks who might leak my identity. >> let's listen to what lindsey graham said. if they are turned into an impeachment article, it is important they be interviewed in public and cross examined. nobody in america goes to jail or has anything done to them without confronting their accuser. >> that is reasonable if they are turned into an impeachment article, but they won't be because they have the transcript of the phone call. it's not the whistle-blower any more. >> i just want to say that it is disgusting.
whatever he thinks the four dimensional chess he's playing is is a real shame. it has been treated in the media, on twitter, by me at times when trump says, yeah, of course they should investigate the bidens. when he does it publicly it is treat like, is not that strange how he is confessing to crimes in public. in populist countries, that's what you do. you go in front of the public and you say that my enemies, the enemies of the people are so corrupt and dangerous that we need to stop the normal rules of law to investigate them, so there are ways he escalated stakes. he's also talked about this being not peemt but a coup. and people take that seriously. we believe in our system so much and sometimes it is scary how
dangerous it really is. >> the way that donald trump says these things. >> does it feel deliberate to you? >> sure, trump is not a constitutional scholar. he thinks that mitt romney should be impeached, you can't impeach a senator, and he thinks the impeachment process is like a coup. the impeachment process is what our constitution creates as a mechanism for removing a president and it is the constitution that gives that. so we know he is not a stable genius. i also think he is crazy like a fox and he knows exactly what he's saying. he's saying, won't somebody get rid of these guys for me? do what you have to do. i don't care how you do it.
that message comes through loud and clear. and i do also think that going back to a point that ezra made a year earlier, it is fortunate for us to not use these smoke screens because all of the talk about the whistle-blower, we have the report of that phone call that the white house itself released. and we're talking about whether or not the whistle-blower will tell us anything new as if the foundation of the complaint has unless to do with the whistle-blower. >> rosa brooks, ezra klein, thank you both for joining us. when we come back, william barr has been flying around the world to investigate a deep state conspiracy theory. that's what the attorney general is doing right now. we're going to save him a lot of
time because james b. stewart has already investigated that and he has put it in the book that comes out tomorrow. deep state. he will join us next. or child. or other child. or their new friend. or your giant nephews and their giant dad. or a horse. or a horse's brother, for that matter. the room for eight, 9,000 lb towing ford expedition. pain happens. saturdays happen. aleve it. aleve is proven better on pain than tylenol. when pain happens, aleve it. all day strong. (burke) at fso we know how to we'vcover almost anything.ng, (bert) even an accident brought to you by the number one! (count) i know i left it in here somewhere...ah ha!
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when chuck todd asked senator ron johnson yesterday if he trusts the cia and the fbi now, he threw out a bunch of names of people who no longer work at the fbi. >> do you trust the cia and the fbi now? none of them have come to any other conclusions you're trying to come to. do you trust them now? >> who are you talking about?
>> the cia and the fbi. >> i don't just james comey or -- >> that is the essence of the trump deep state conspiracy theory that insists they were deeply prejudice against trump while he was running for president. attorney general barr is now flying around the world investigating that himself, something we have never seen an attorney general do. william barr could save a lot of time. the deep state when it goes on sale tomorrow, of how the intelligence of russian influence began inside the fbi. he is on his way to impeachment tonight because of his obsession with that very question which was included in what he was
pushing ukraine to investigate. it is his 10th book who has worked for wall street journal. he delivers kind of a bountiful harvest of important scoops that we have come to expect including the names of the two members of the trump cabinet who are believed to be in favor of invoking the 25th amendment to remove donald trump from the presidency. for that and more we turn to james b. stewart who joins us for his first cable news interview about deep state. it is very hard for a book that you have spent a couple weeks with to land dead center in today's news with yesterday's news. what was senator johnson trying to do, explain it on from "meet the press."
>> he has done what i explored in deep state. it was so terribly destructive. the department of justice, the fbi, the traditionally independent and judicial branchs of government and accuse them of being filled with traitors and spies and being part of a deep state trying to protect their own powers and eject a democratically elected president to preserve those powers. there is in a sense a deep state in this country. there is a very large bureaucracy. it is sworn to uphold the constitution and the people of the united states. they do not work for the white house. when the white house violates the constitution or does not act in the constitution it is their obligation. it is their obligation to come forward.
as we've seen with the whistleblower, it is the obligation of a whistleblower to come forward with information that needs to be investigated. >> so attorney general william barr is flying around the world trying to do what your book does. he is trying to figure out how did the investigation of russian interference start. how did what became the investigation of donald trump by robert mueller, how did that all start. it's all right here. he could save a lot of time in the sky. >> and taxpayer money. god only knows how much this cost him. >> was it started by fbi officials prejudiced against trump. >> absolutely not. the last thing they want was another investigation. they were already investigating hillary clinton and that put them in an extremely awkward and uncomfortable position.
they were forced to investigate the other candidate as well. both at the same time. by the way, they didn't begin an investigation of donald trump himself. this is very important point that i don't think many people don't realize. he was not the subject of the investigation until he recklessly and impulsively fired james comby and lied about the reasons for it. that is what caused trump himself to become the subject of an obstruction investigation. and by the way, it did not begin with the salacious steel dossier either. the fbi people, they did not put much store in it. and i've read it as well. it has no actionable intelligence. it didn't say they be meeting next month to have further discussions of this or they're plotting another release of faked tapes. they could insinuate that, it is all stuff that happened in the
past. it is odd, but some of it rings true. that wasn't the basis for it. they are trying to say what really was going on there, i think the australians are one of the closest allies of the united states and the intelligence community. australia has the information that the russians had hacked e-mails from hillary clinton. they didn't do anything about it until it became demonstrably true and that yes, these things did exist. only then did they bring this to the attention of u.s. intelligence agents. >> this group is filled with movie drama, including after you mentioned james comey was fired, rod rosenstein was in tears.
he says some extraordinary thing. i want to squeeze in a commercial break here. when we come back you can tell us who the two trump cabinet members were. who they believed were ready to join him. in an attempt to remove the president with the 25th amendment. we'll be back with james stewart after this. fact is, every insurance company hopes you drive safely. but allstate actually helps you drive safely... with drivewise. it lets you know when you go too fast... ...and brake too hard.
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that comes out tomorrow. i want to go to one of the major scoops in this book and you have more than we can cover. james comey is fired, rod rosenstein is thrown into an emotional tizzy, and in those moments that rod rosenstein says maybe i should wear a wire, and he said it twice. and in one of those meetings someone was taking notes, so his public claim was, well, that was a joke, or his friend says it was a joke, and your witnesses say there was no in evidence that was a joke. that was serious. no one thought it was a joke. and as you said there was notes of the conversation, there was more than one set of notes,
there is nothing in those notes. he also was denied saying he wanted to invoke the 25th amendment. but there are also witnesses to that conversation. he even named two cabinet level people who would support that, namely john kelly, the chief of staff, and sessions the attorney general. >> the 25th amendment requires a majority of the cabinet and the cabinet, so they would get the cabinet to vote -- they sounded like they already discussed it with them, that was an extreme step. i think the people that heard it did not take it all that seriously. they took it more as how unnerved rod rosenstein was by trump was trying to set him up about firing jim comey. and he wanted rosenstein to come out and say i'm the one that
told you to fire comby which is so untrue. so it is the combination that he was lying about it and then admitted that it was really russia which raises the whole obstruction issue. >> there are two scenes in this book that are not together but in our minds they come together. one is rod rosenstein goes into the white house after it is revealed that he wanted to wear a wire, and everyone thinks donald trump will fire him, and you remind us there was split screen coverage of the kavanaugh confirmation and roebs going into the white house. we expect him to be fired and he's not fired. so the question in your book is what did rod rosenstein say. in the oval office to keep his job and then the other scene is rod roebs is standing right there when the report comes out
in effect demolishing the mueller report as much as they can. >> there you see the transformation in front of our very eyes. many people came into contact with trump. and the price he paid for surviving was essentially to become the foot soldier for trump and stand there mutely while he heard barr make untrue characterizations of the mueller report. those meetings with trump are critical. the justice department was drafting the press release that he was fired when he went over there. he was being taken to the wood shed. everybody knew, "the new york times" reported that he was going to wear a wire trump was prepared to fire him. what did he do to keep his job and reassure trump? and in turn what did he do to keep mueller in the job. he was mueller's boss. what did he have to do or not do to keep from being fired by
rosenstein. rosenstein's colleagues said to me in his defense, his sole mission was to protect mueller. they did what they had to do to get him over the finish line. if the price of getting over the finish line was to clip his wings, to not let mueller get testimony from the president, as every prosecutor i know says he should have. and then to ignore the report, i report in my book but he didn't put it in the report. and i know he knew it, rosenstein is one of the first people he interviewed. why that wasn't in there is very baffling. and it leads to suspicion that mueller was influenced to pull some punch there is. >> james b. stewart, thank you very much. a real honor to have you here. thank you very, very much. deep state is the name of the book. trump, the fbi, and the rule of the law. this is must read material if
you want to understand what the trump administration is still up to right now. when we come back, a crushing and humiliating blow to donald trump delivered in court today using language that i, for one, have never seen a judge use about a legal position taken by anyone, certainly not the president of the united states. we will translate it all next coming up.
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today a federal judge did not just rule against donald trump, the judge stomped on donald trump's legal arguments. judge victor marrero blocked a subpoena for eight years of his taxes mazars arguing he cannot be subject to conduct but the judge said that would constitute an overreach of executive power. noting that the president's claim of immunity would also extend to his family, his businesses and associates implicated in any misconduct. quote, potentially enabling both the president and any accomplices to escape being
brought to justice. the judge said he found the trump legal argument, quote, repugnant to the nation's governmental structures and constitutional values. within minutes of the judge's ruling, donald trump's lawyers appealed the decision. neal katyal will explain to us all what happens next in this legal battle over the trump tax returns. neal katyal joins us after this final break. performance comes in lots of flavors. there's the amped-up, over-tuned, feeding-frenzy-of sheet-metal-kind. and then there's performance that just leaves you feeling better as a result. that's the kind lincoln's about. ♪ aleve it. with aleve pm. pain happens. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid. and the 12-hour pain relieving strength of aleve. so...magic mornings happen. there's a better choice. aleve pm.
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by neal katyal, former acting solicitor general who has argued dozens of cases before the united states supreme court. he is also an msnbc legal contributor. neal, i want to get your reaction to this judicial opinion today. i've never read language like this in condemning the argument presented by one side of a case. >> yeah, so on one side, lawrence, it's an obvious ruling, and it's obvious because president trump has made really silly and preposterous legal arguments that he can't be investigated at all, and indeed no one around him can be investigated. really, there is no responsible legal scholar who believes anything that he's been putting forward. so it's not surprising that he lost, but it is surprising the way in which he lost and the language that you were pointing out, lawrence, before the break about the judge calling these theories repugnant. i think there is two really bad things that have happened here, one for this case because this subpoena is about michael cohen and trump paying him, using business deductions and other
things and the new york prosecutors are looking into whether or not that was some sort of fraud, tax fraud, something else. but i think there is a much deeper significance to the ruling today. this is one of the very first rulings about all of these trump immunity claims. and he has been peddling this in court after court that you can't touch him, you can't subpoena him, you can't subpoena the agencies and the like. and what this judge today was really put a knife in that stuff and say look, you guys are making really preposterous, repugnant arguments, and that's bad news for him, not just for this case, but for all the suite of immunity cases that he's been advancing in the courts. >> so the president's lawyers obviously immediately appealed the case. so it goes to the federal appeals court in manhattan. they are going to handle it they said in an expedited way. what do you think the timetable is for the appeals court?
>> it's super fast. i think the court of appeals for the second circuit, and that's a place i worked a while ago, they've already said that they're going try and hear argument in about three weeks, which is a very fast timetable. now the president's lawyers have gone out on the cameras and said oh, well, the second circuit has already tipped their hand in our favor because what they did was stay, which means stop the district court decision from taking legal effect. and so right now the tax returns can't be turned over to the prosecutors, but that is a standard routine thing in a case like this. it doesn't at all mean that the court of appeals thought that the district court's decision was wrong. three judges are going to hear this, lawrence, in about three week, and they'll be free to decide what they want. but i think it's going to be incredibly hard for the trump administration to win, given the preposterous arguments that they've been advancing. >> and then it goes from there to the supreme court?
>> then the loser can ask the supreme court to hear it. it's by no means a forgone conclusion that the supreme court would hear it, and, you know, i suspect that if the second circuit says that the court decision today is right, i think that's going to be the end of the matter. i mean, i do think that the supreme court does want to hear cases involving presidential privileges and powers when they're really important, but actually, this case isn't that important because the theories are just so ridiculous. and so i'd be surprised if the court took this one. >> yeah, the judge points out that the nixon case already established that the president was subject to a subpoena within a criminal investigation. >> exactly. i mean, when you read the president's legal brief, you just have to wonder like is this just creative writing or something? are they in english class? because they're not citing precedents. they're not citing legal arguments. what they're doing is -- i mean,
i guess the one precedent they cite is like king georgi iii. and if you want to go back to that, fine, but we had a revolution about this. and the idea that we can have an american president who according to them can't be indicted, can't be investigated, and indeed ev because that would be a coup, well, that is effectively what a king is. and that's exactly what our american system rebels against. >> neal katyal gets tonight's last word. thanks very much for joining us again tonight, neal. really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> and that is "the last word." "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right now. torngts the president remains the nation of his great and unmatched wisdom, and that's a quote. the problem for him is his words and actions continue to draw sharp scrutiny, and tonight that includes global criticism. all the while the democrats hare critical ukraine testimony tomorrow, and they're working on privately hearing from whistle-blower number one and whistle-blower number two.