tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC October 18, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
available to answer your toughest questions. and i see it with zero commissions on online trades. i like what you're seeing. it's beautiful, isn't it? yeah. td ameritrade now offers zero commissions on online trades. ♪ . that's going to do it for us tonight. presumably i'll be up all night laotian at breaking news because it's a friday. i'll see you again on monday. now it's time for "the last word" with katy tur. >> now i don't feel so bad holding onto you for ten seconds to say a belated congratulations on the book. >> oh, thank you so much. that's so nice of you to say. it's been a really, really surprising thing this book. >> really? that surprising? everything you do you knock out of the park, rachel. >> that's very nice of you to say. i wrote a book about the oil and gas industry, totally cognizant of the fact that it was going to be completely off the news, a
nearby interest. i didn't expect it was going to be about the cast of characters that have led to the impeachment. >> people are hungry to learn something outside the regular news cycle. congratulations. >> thanks, katy. >> enjoy your weekend. i'm katy tur in for lawrence o'donnell. oscar-winning filmmaker michael moore, we'll talk about the path forward on impeachment and his big 2020 announcement. and any capacity trump had to think clearly ownership or calmly as evaporated. those are the words of tony schwartz, trump's art of the deal coauthor who will join us with his view of what he calls the president's inability to change. at the end of the hour, nicholas christophe on the sharp criticism for the president's syria policies. turkey gets everything it wants while the u.s. gets what is exactly? that's all ahead. but first tonight we begin with a possible crisis for trump and the gop. the growing divide between
president trump and republicans this week threatens their delicate alliance at a time when trump needs republican support more than ever. support for impeachment continues to tick upward. 52% of americans now support removing trump from office through impeachment according to a new gallup poll. that is highest level of support yet since the ukraine scandal broke. in fact, backing for trump's impeachment has far surpassed the public support for the impeachment of president bill clinton. now it's edging into territory not seen since the 1970s when president richard nixon stepped down after support for his impeachment spiked at 58%. so you would think that the at it would do everything in his power to keep republicans, arguably his last line of defense, in check. but time and again this week the trump administration has pushed the gop to the brink, and it's not clear how much more they can
take. mick mulvaney said trump chose his own florida golf resort to host next year's g-7 meeting. that decision is without precedent in modern american history. the president used his public office to direct a huge contract to himself, "the washington post" says. mulvaney also admitted the trump administration withheld foreign aid to ukraine because, among other things, it wanted the country to investigate the conspiracy theory that somehow russia was not involved in the hacking of the dnc server in 2016. then trump celebrated a cease-fire in northern syria between turkey and the kurds, which gave turkey everything it wanted. nbc news' political unit put the mess like this. trump replaces america first with me first, writing, quote, ask yourself who gains from the g-7 being held at trump's golf
resort. unless it agrees to an investigation into the 2016 election. who gains from the military incursion into northern syria. it's not america. seems some republicans are asking these same questions. >> you don't hold up foreign aid that we had previously appropriated for a political initiative. period. >> senator mccaskill admits it perfectly. we're not supposed to use government power and prestigious for political gain. >> massive, you could call it taxpayer-funded contract that the president is awarding to his own property. is that acceptable for a sitting president? >> i'm not happy with it. i don't know if it's a direct violation, but i don't understand why at this moment they had to do that. >> what we have done to the kurds will stand as a bloodstain in the annals of american history. >> when america leaves, we create a vacuum. when we create a vacuum, we create chaos. that's what we're seeing right
now. >> trump might have loyal republicans in congress, but every politician has a breaking point. this evening "the washington post" published a scathing op-ed from senate majority leader mitch mcconnell where he slammed the decision to withdraw from syria, calling it a strategic nightma nightmare. if there are cracks forming, can we ask how much longer the until the entire dam breaks? leading our discussion tonight are peter wenner, adviser to the past three republican presidents, and ruth marcus, deputy editorial page editor and columnist at "the washington post" and also an msnbc contributor. both of you, welcome. a little bit earlier, ruth, this week i asked if this was the perfect storm for donald trump, the syria debacle and what's happening on impeachment. that was before the g-7 came into play.
do you see this confluence of controversies as something that might break the president's dam, his wall in congress? >> i want to say yes, but i think for right now the answer is no. republican lawmakers are going to stick with trump. your crew had the me first approach to trump that trump has. republican senators and members of congress also have a me-first approach, and they worry about breaking with trump and what that is going to do for them with their base in a primary. until republican primary voters turn against trump, it is going to be very, very dangerous no matter what they privately think, no matter how much they might privately grouse about trump in syria or trump giving himself a big contract or trump in ukraine, no matter how much they complain about that in private, they're not going to
break with him in public until it becomes politically safe for them to do that. >> i wonder what sort of precedent they're sending, peter, about what they will accept going forward. mitch mcconnell in "the washington post" had a scathing op-ed against the president's decision to withdraw from syria. he called it a grave administration and will leave the people less safe, embolden our enemies and weaken important allies. i guess where do they go from here? >> well, i think they're going to stick with him on matters of impeachment. they have developed being willing to criticize trump on policies like in saefrmt there you've seen really republicans en masse criticizing him for the first time in his presidency. but that's still different than the issue of impeachment. >> what is the difference there between them being willing to criticize him on policy and unwilling to criticize him on
asking a foreign government to interfere in our elections? >> well, i think it's a good question and i don't think they should make that distinction. but i think in their mind, the syria issue just does not fall into the tribalistic identity we're in. so republicans like mcconnell and others feel like they have latitude to criticize trump now. that's still very different than when the issue of impeachment comes in. look, this is still donald trump's party. he has a remarkable hold on the base of the party. one of the truest things he said in the 2016 campaign is he could go down 5th avenue and shoot somebody and he wouldn't lose support. people thought that was high perbole at the time, but it's closer to the truth of the he's pushing and pushing and pushing, but the republicans made this unholy alliance at the
beginning, and they -- i think they just decided this was the horse they get to ride until the end. they will regret it. >> seems like what they're saying is a president can do anything he or she wants, no consequences, as long as you are in that party of the p. here's john kasich on cnn, obviously not a fan of the president, ran against him in 2016, still chatter about him potentially running. he now supports impeachment. let's listen. >> if you're asking me if i was sitting in the house of representatives today and you were to ask he how do i feel, do i think impeachment should move forward and should go for a full expectation and a trial in the united states senate, my vote would be yes. i don't see it lightly. this is extremely difficult for me, but it's what i feel i have to do. >> 52% of the american public, what sort of number needs to be seen for republicans to have cover to break from the president? >> that number has to be much
closer to that 52% among republican voters. he still has high support among republican voters. iept saying these republican members are profiles in courage. anything but, or their decision to stick with the president is right. but it's significant that governor kasich, who was a member of the house, says he would support impeachment if he were still a member of the house. but none of his former colleagues in that body have come out and said the same thing, not a single one of them. >> not a single one of them. but i guess i wonder if this goes to the public and there's this -- it is in the public. this steady drip of information, one by one administration officials defying administration orders and sitting in front of congress and telling congress what they know on the ukraine issue, it's moving fast. we're on day 25 on the impeachment inquiry and these numbers are going up. peter, i just wonder if we are
underestimating the ability of this impeachment inquiry to expose real issues? >> here's what i would say. the current situation you're not going to get two-thirds in the senate to impeach him. but politics isn't static, and i will tell you republicans are more rattled now than they ever have been during the trump presidency. it's not simply what is unfolding, it's not knowing what will unfold, which is going to be much worse. you have rudy giuliani basically giving free rein to do what he wanted to. we don't know how many hand grenades are yet to explode and that could change the dynamic. the other thing i would say, i like john kasich. i think the person to watch is mitt romney. mitt romney is a lawmaker. he's a senator, he's a former nominee in 2012. he's really becoming the moral conscience of the republican
party. he's spoken out several times now on several issues. i think he is an important figure to watch. he may give cover to other republican senators. last thing i'll say is, none of this is new. if you've been talking to republicans as i have throughout the trump presidency, they have known really from the start, almost from the start i would say, that this is a person who is really problematic and psychologically unwell. i think at the beginning it was wishful thinking, we can contain and control him, maybe he'll grow into office. maybe mcconnell and ryan will be able to do the job. that was, i think, such an obviously flawed judgment to make. what happened now is that trump's pa tholgs are getting worse and the guardrails are disappearing. we're seeing the worst of trump but it's going to get worse going forward. so this is an open question, what will happen. >> if you thought donald trump was going to pivot, you were not watching the 2016 election. >> that's right. >> peter wenner, thank you. ruth marcus, thank you so much.
joining us is democratic senator gary peters of michigan. he is the ranking member on the homeland security committee and lead sponsor of the hotel act legislation which aims to prevent taxpayer money from going to trump properties. mr. peters, thank you very much for joining us. >> great to be with you. >> tell us a little bit about this legislation. it doesn't sound like it has any hope of passing in this current iteration. >> it's important for us to continue to push this forward. the conflict of interest you get when you have government money going to properties owned bay high government official are very clear. the legislation says that federal money cannot be spent at a property owned by high government official defined as president, vice president, or cabinet official. we have seen numerous occasions were serious questions have been raised. as you're well aware, we have a situation still unfolding with the air force sending crews to
trump properties in scotland. now you have incredibly outrageous situation where the president himself now directs money not only federal taxpayer money and taxpayers don't want to see their money lining the pockets of the president of. certainly folks in michigan don't want to see that happen. but also directing foreign governments to spend money on a property that ultimately mr. president trump will get the benefit of. that's zblouroutrageous. >> it helped him win the presidency in 2016. he won by a narrow margin. >> right. >> are you seeing people that voted for him, are you speaking to the people who voted for him in 2016 who have watched his presidency unfold who say there's no way in heck i'm going to vote for him again in 2020? >> i'm seeing more of that, especially the last couple weeks. you're definitely starting to see that change. i'll say the actions in northern syria were particularly profound with folks that i talked to. people said here we are, a friend of the united states,
people who shed blood in fighting isis to keep us safe, and then for us to turn our backs on them, that just doesn't fit with their american values that we are friends that you can trust. when they see the president act that way, people are having a harder time justifying that. >> what are they saying about this trump doral situation? the president lining his own pockets directly with foreign money that seems to be a violation of the emoluments clause. what's more, the president promised in a press conference when he was elected in 2017, his tax attorney came up and said the president's not going to benefit at all from any of his properties. there's going to be a wall between the two. as time has gone by, that wall has gotten smaller and smaller. seems not to exist at all. >> no. there is no wall there. it's in a trust, but he can pull income out of that trust anytime he likes. certainly the value of the property increases. he is someone who understand the public relations value.
he can promote his brand through this. he will profit from this, so there's no question about that. >> he is the one. >> that's why we're asking more questions in my role as ranking member of hopeless and government affairs. we're the top oversight committee. we want to find out what process it went through. sounds like the president just mentioned it to his staff and they ran with it. in order to spend taxpayer money, we want to make sure that there's a competitive process, that the property net security requirements necessary, that it truly was the best value for the taxpayers. none of that is apparent right now. it doesn't look as if that occurred at all. we need to get to the bottom of that as well. >> senator gary peters, thank you very much. we appreciate your time. >> thank you. coming up, tony schwartz who got to observe donald trump up close when he co-wrote "the art of the deal" has a new column out where he likens donald trump to a drowning man in what he sees in this wild once a week of
the presidency. also this photo, which remember, donald trump originally shared because he thought it made him look good. tony schwartz joins us next. nte. my doctor recommended eliquis. eliquis is proven to treat and help prevent another dvt or pe blood clot. almost 98% of patients on eliquis didn't experience another. and eliquis has significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. eliquis is fda-approved and has both. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away if you have tingling numbness or muscle weakness. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily. and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planed medical or dental procedures.
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looks presidential. >> that was donald trump three and a half years ago when he was elected. it's hard to make the case he's changed all that much. one of the men who knew him best, tony schwartz, has a new piece in "the washington post" arguing that trump cannot change no matter what the consequences are. impeachment might have made him worse. schwartz writes the negative qualities are often those we find most intolerable we see in ourselves. throughout his adult life, he viewed the world as a dark, dangerous place, teeming with enemies out to get him. this escalated exponential. the threat he imagines is not just to his fragile sense of self but realistically to his future as president. any capacity trump ever had to think clearly or calmly has evaporated. now like a drowning man, all that matters to him is survival no matter how much collateral
damage his behavior's caused. joining us now here on set is tony schwartz. tony, it's really good to see. >> you likewise. >> so donald trump, 2018, is it the same man you knew? >> in the fulgtndamental ways, . he actually has changed and he's gotten worse. i mean, considerably worse. he was a nonideological guy. he was purely out for himself and not thinking about the wider world that much. and he was riding high. in the '80s just before it all fell apart, so he wasn't under stress. and we are two different people. we're the person we are when we're being run by our prefrontal cortex and under stress we're run by a much more primitive part of our brain. >> back then you could say he had money to lose but there was
always money to fall back on. now he has the presidency, a place that maybe he thought deep down he would get to but nobody expected him to. how is that affecting the judgment you once knew so well? >> it's physiological first. when you are under stress, you move into this fight or flight state and your prefrontal cortex, your thinking mind shuts down and you become reactive and impulsive. you're about your survival. so you don't think well. trump starts off as you know, not thinking well, he's not reflective, not introspective. he doesn't read and doesn't think things through. now you have a situation in which this is vastly more intense for him, and i think he is in pure reactive mode. >> say impeachment passes and maybe he gets impeached and he doesn't get thrown out and the senate doesn't vote to remove him from office.
but he goes along in the last year of his presidency and the polls look terrible for him in the lead-up to 2020 much in the way they did in the lead-up to 2016. what sort of behavior should we expect then? >> i think this is a man who grew up in an incredibly wealthy family but felt put upon since he was a young kid. he never felt more put upon than he does right now. he genuinely feels he's a victim. whichever way this goes, even if he is ultimately not found, you know, not convicted, he will be one angry man all the way through to november. >> let me ask you about the letter he sent to president erdogan. he said history will look upon you favorably to get this done. it will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen. don't be a tough guy, don't be a
fool. i'll call you later. explain that to me. >> it's not very complex. those are very simple sentences. he's a binary thinker, he's a black and white guy. it's either think this or it's that, it's either good or it's evil. and he projects onto other people, as you read -- >> i'm rubber and you're glue president. >> he literally describes himself -- what is now already that famous quote about pelosi being the person who is melting down. that was an exact description of him. and that is so frequently the case. just follow his tweets and you know what's really going on inside him. >> or hillary clinton, you're a puppet and he says no puppet, no puppet during the debates in 2016. tony schwartz always good to see you. thanks for coming in. coming up, michael moore is here and he'll give us his assessment of the 1,001 days of the trump presidency and how he views donald trump's chances for
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after another week of witness testimony, the impeachment investigation is closing in on its central figure, donald trump. as "the washington post" notes a clear portray has emerged of a president personally orchestrating the effort to pressure a foreign government to dig up dirt on a potential 2020 political rival and marshaling the full resources to help in that endeavor.
not only longtime employees choosing to come forward with damaging evidence, the narrative they are laying out points to potential violations of law that bolster the case for impeachment. on wednesday house spears nancy pelosi said democrats left a meeting with donald trump after he had, quote, a meltdown. here's how lawrence described it. >> it tells the story of the trump presidency better than any other photograph. nancy pelosi immediately placed that photograph on her twitter page and she will never replace it with a better photograph. it is the perfect portrait of the child president, filled with confusion and fear of a 4-year-old boy being rebuked by an adult in the room full of adults who know he shouldn't be there. 50 years from now, school children studying american history will come upon this photograph and they will instantly know who was in charge in that room, the adult standing
and pointing at the pained face across the table. >> joining us now is someone else who likes to look at that photo, michael moore, academy award--winning documentary award winner: why do you like that photo so much? >> the last couple days i've been looking at it every hour or so just to feel better. >> why? >> first of all the last three years have been filled with, i think, a lot of despair that many of us feel. to look at that picture of nancy pelosi, i don't know if you have it up. >> we're going to put it back up. >> this is donald trump's worst nightmare. this woman standing there telling him what the truth is and not taking any of his bs is -- it's so powerful. i don't know if there are any other women in that room. i can't see. >> there's one in the back. >> there's one in the back, of course. well, there she is letting him
have it. and the look on his face, he's not used to women talking to him this way. and the men to his right all hanging their heads in shame, knowing she's right, knowing he's wrong. it's such a, you know, if you're the parent of daughters, show them this photo, because this is the future, katy. this is the way it's going to have to be when those men on the other side of the table who've been running the world, let's just say my gender has been in charge for the last 10,000 years. that's now coming to a close. and it can't happen really soon enough. >> she said to his face all roads with you lead to putin. >> yes. you know, men -- some men would call that emasculating. if i had been in that room, i would have stood and cheered because this is what we need
right now. we need this. let me just say on the broader scale, we win when women run for office, especially local office. we saw this last november. it will happen again next year. women who are watching this right now who are thinking maybe i should be running for office, meaning the women watching this tonight, maybe you should be running. maybe you should be running for office because the old way hasn't worked. >> we're going to talk to you about 2020 in a moment. but i want to play this sound bite from mulvaney unlv frick m yesterday as he dwoesz a quid pro quo. >> did he also mention to me that the corruption that related to the dnc server? absolutely, no question about that. but that's it. that's why he held up the money. the look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing he was worried about in corruption with that nation. that is absolutely appropriate. >> what you just kriebd is a quid pro quo. >> that we do all the time with
foreign policy. i have news for everybody. get over it. there's going to be political influence in foreign policy. >> i'm just confused because the white house walked that back later and now the campaign is selling t-shirts with get over it as a slogan. so what's happening? >> well, of course they are the best at orwellian trickery in terms of -- >> we were never at war with eur asia. the beauty of what moouchulvane yesterday, you called it an act of confession. i don't know what got into him. i suggested that maybe there was a truth serum given to him before the press conference. maybe it's just sometimes you have to release, you have to let it go. and he just had to tell the truth. there's something -- there's something redemtive about
confession. he is the guy trump yelled at for coughing when george stephanopoulos was interviewing him in the oval office, is that correct. >> yes. >> i don't know. maybe he was forced by trump to go out there. >> maybe they decided to say it out in the open, it's not that big of a deal. michael, i want to get back to you in 2020 in just a moment. can you stay? stay with us. michael moore and his thoughts on donald trump and the 2020. also, an announcement from him. stay with us. that is amazing. you wanna see something amazing? go to hilton instead of a travel site and you'll experience a whole new range of emotions like...
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. michael moore made big news in the 2020 democratic presidential race when he announced he's endorsing bernie sanders. michael moore is back with us. why did you decide to endorse bernie sanders but a moment you said women should win. we win with women. why not endorse one of the women in this race. we wou >> we would win with elizabeth warren or kamala harris. yes, i think that -- teen polls show, they've been showing that the top five beat trump in a head-to-head race. there was an emerson poll yesterday just for iowa where it showed bernie as within the beating trump head to head, but the others were right behind him, elizabeth, biden, mayor pete. any of a number of people can beat him. i endorsed bernie 30 years ago when he ran for congress. >> what do you think is so ripe for this moment about him? >> the reason i think this is
his moment, and i think there's a lot of people watching this who would very much like to see both of them running together. democrats have got to quit being so afraid. oh, we can't get put two progressives on the same ticket. what about to women on the same ticket? we have to stop being afraid. what bernie is really saying greed runs the country. that has to stop. all the problems that we talk about, all the problems that make movies about, health care, structural america, whatever, they all stem from one problem, the haves call the shots and the have-notes scramble for the columns. >> you know the former blue wall better than anybody. who do you think is going to resonate in michigan, wisconsin -- >> bernie. >> and ohio? >> bernie won michigan and wisconsin and minnesota. bernie won all those primaries.
>> is that who democrats should be focusing on, voters who maybe were obama voters and then were trump voters? >> no. >> can you peel them away or should they focus on new voters? >> yes. i think what we need to do is figure out who didn't come out in '16. hillary lost by two votes for precinct, that's it. what happened in flint and detroit, large numbers of young people and african-americans just didn't bother to vote. or there was 89,000 people that voted in michigan, voted for everybody down ballot, mostly democrats, and left the top box blank. that's how much they didn't want to vote for hillary clinton. we can't let this happen this time. we have to have people on the ballot, men and women, who are going to bring out that vote. 70% of the electorate next year is either 18 to 35, people of color, or women. and that is the base of the democratic party. let me also add this.
i am going to vote for whoever the democrat is. >> who's your second choice? >> my second choice would be elizabeth warren. i had her in two of my movies. i've known for for a long time. she's a wonderful person. >> is that the magic power she has right now? she's leading a lot of polling but when you look at the second choice, she's everybody's second choice, not everybody, but a lot of people's second choice if she's not their first choice? >> bernie is number one with adults and latinos and black women between 18 and 35. there's many where he's number one. look, i have nothing critical to say about elizabeth warren other than i think that bernie is going to get the job done. bernie is going to fight. everybody knows this about bernie sanders. even if you don't vote for him, you know he's going to fight for us, for the working people of this country, for the people who are not part of the 1%. >> why do you think there's this conventional wisdom out there that only a moderate can win? only a moderate like joe biden,
maybe pete buttigieg, only that person can capture the entirety of the democratic party enough to beat donald trump? >> a moderate, if we go for the moderate, to the center, we're going to lose. the way to inspire our base -- nobody on the -- this is what you have to admire about republicans and conservatives. they don't sit around going, now, we better have somebody closer to the middle and somebody moderate who doesn't upset the democrats so much. they don't talk like that. they say let's get out there. we believe in this. we're not going to pull back. we're always trying to find a way because we're so frightened and dwlovg to be frightened because the majority of the country is with us. the majority believe there's climate change. they want gun control, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they believe in choice. go down all the list of all the issues, the majority agree with the democrats. >> let me ask you about health care. you know unions really well. unions have great health care. >> that's true. >> last thing they have, great
health care. private health care. are they going to be willing to vote for someone who's going to say i want to take your great health care. >> absolutely. >> and put government health care in place. >> absolutely. i was just in flint. i'll tell you, because of this gm, uaw strike, the ceo of gm, what did he do? cut their health care. it reminded them this private health care we have, this great health care, this isn't some permanent thing, your boss can take your health care you from at the snap of a finger. that's what they did to the striking workers. that's what they could do at any time. it is part of our law that says that great health care is yours, simply because you live here. you're a citizen of this country. you are covered. as opposed to general motors or walmart or whatever could just wake up tomorrow and say you know what, you don't have it. just like these camera people and the people here i was just talking to. this used to be union here, union workers at this network.
now they're not union. they don't have a choice. they have no security. when it's private profit-making health care. we need health care that is not set up so that a few companies can make billions of dollars in profits. it has to be -- why can't we do this? every other country does this. what is wrong? the other countries pull it off. we should have the same thing. bernie sanders will make sure that this happens. everybody will be covered. >> can big business and bernie sanders or elizabeth warren -- can those two entities, those candidates and big business, can they get along. >> big business is run by human beings who have a conscience deep, deep down. so yes. >> ceos that it two of them, her more than him. >> i know that. they are so afraid of bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. good. good sign. but you know what? they also know that they have to
will you identify in the same society that we're all living in. if there is not a safety net, if these cracks exist where people fall between them and can never recover, we have a society that's worse off. we have a society that's less safe. we have citizens who giving me on their democracy and don't vote. people run these companies better understand that they should start acting like americans with a conscience and do what's right for the people. you know what? you don't need nine vacation homes. you can get by on three. i mean, nobody wants all your vacation homes, rich people. just hang on to the three, give away the six. >> michael moore. >> and everybody have health care. >> wonderful to meet. >> you so great to meet you zblaitd thank you for being a fan of "american swamp." >> who do we talk to about bringing it back? >> he's going to fight my bosses. michael moore. >> never let me in this building. >> thank you for promoting my show. he will also be on msnbc
tomorrow night for a special airing of his oscar-winning 2002 documentary bowling for columbine tomorrow night here on msnbc. coming up, donald trump's cease-fire deal with turkish is neither with experts and our european allies. i've been plotting to destroy you. sizing you up... calculating your every move. you think this is love? this is a billion years of tiger dna just ready to pounce. and if you have the wrong home insurance coverage, you could be coughing up the cash for this. so get allstate and be better protected from mayhem, like me-ow.
we're doingle very, very well with turkey. there's a cease-fire or a pause or whatever you want to call it. there was some sniper fire this morning. there was mortar fire this morning that was eliminated quickly. and, uh, they're back to the full pause. a lot of pain for a couple of days. sometimes you have to go through pain before you get a good solution. >> that was president trump today defending his administration's temporary deal to pause hostilities in northern syria. kurdish forces in syria are accusing turkey of not holding up their end of the deal. reporters with afp reported that turkey was continuing air strikes in the region today. at a meeting of the european council today, america's allies strongly condemned trump's actions. french president emmanuel macron called the u.s. decision in syria a serious mistake. donald tusk, the president of the european council, said of the deal between u.s. and
turkey, the so-called cease-fire is not what we expected. in fact it's not a cease-fire, it's a demand of capitulation of the kurds. nicholas kristof from "the new york times" has written extensively about the middle east. he'll join us next to help us understand what the president's actions mean for our kurdish allies and the future of foreign policy. policy eico'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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for many, many yeeshs, turkey, in all fairness, had a legitimate problem with. they had terrorists. they suffered a loss of lives also. and they had to have it cleaned out. >> they had to have it cleaned how fast that is how donald trump describes turkey's actions in northern syria which many believe to be an attempt at ethnically cleansing the region. nicholas kristof is a pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the new york times." this terminology, "cleaned out," is that something he potentially heard from president erdogan and repeated it? >> he's repeating a turkish talking point. i find it infuriating to hear that clip, that we not only betrayed the kurds but then badmouthed them in the process. the kurds in 2014, when the yazidis were facing a genocide,
it was the kurds who helped save their lives and avert that genocide. now they're being betrayed into something like that ethnic cleansing, that the kurds were championing women's empowerment, and then one woman politician, aged 34, gets pulled out of her car and beaten and shot to death by these invaders that we helped unleash on them. >> could you say the kurds were the most western ally in that region for us, the ally that lived up to the more secular ideal of democracy, more so than anybody else, at least? it's all relative, obviously. >> look, this was imperfect, but they genuinely tried to create an entity that was democratic, that protected minority rights like those of the yazidi, like those of the minority christian community, that empowered women.
and they trusted -- then they saved american lives when they worked with us. they trusted us. we told them that they could take out their defenses to the north because we had their backs. and then we walked out and left them to be attacked. >> it's not just abandoning our ally or betraying our ally. we're leaving a vacuum there. and who's going to fill that vacuum? who wins? >> so, you know, often in foreign policy there's a tension between our values and our interests. in this case not only have we betrayed our values but we've damaged our own interests. the beneficiaries here are -- well, the syrian government, iran, russia. with trump, so many roads lead to russia, of course. but we have empowered all the people who we should be attempting to limit in that region.
and we've done it not -- you know, we've done it in the course of damaging our own credibility, the trust that people have for us, from russia to hezbollah to syria, people are cackling about, this teaches anybody not to trust americans anymore. >> how much stock do you put in the cease-fire? >> well, i mean, look, turkey, if they can get what they want without fighting, then of course it's great for them. so they've called on -- the u.s. is incredibly committed to help remove the kurds from this safety zone. european a former u.n. diplomat told me that this is a little like the 1938 munich agreement, except that even neville chamberlain didn't agree to move out the czechs from the
sudetenland. >> when it comes to polling on the president's strategy in northern syria, the majority of people in the poll don't support it. 48% don't support, 31% do. does that matter? >> no. look, at the end of the day -- >> to trump, i should say. >> it may matter to trump. but i just find this so deeply offensive, that we've people who trusted us, and then we betrayed them so publicly. and people who were trying to do some of the things we say we care about, and the example this sets to the world. we have this grand rhetoric. everybody knows we don't fully live up to it, we fall short. but we always thought there was at least something to these american ideals that we talked about. now we're shown to be so morally bankrupt before the world, in
the course of betraying our friends and empowering our rivals and enemies. this is just an enclos colossal at every possible minute. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right now. the chaos is reigning down. on top of insiders telling congress what they saw on the inside, the president's own guy has now confirmed the ukraine story. we know that because he said it in front of cameras. turkey is ready to start the pounding again and they will soon resume attacks on the kurds. the president says the kurds will be happy. a retired four-star general says that makes the president sound stupid. one of our journalists will join us tonight to answer the question, are these the worst