tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC November 1, 2016 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT
surprise release from the fbi, this time files about former president bill clinton raising new questions tonight about the timing of it all. here we are less than a week before election day. also breaking news out of florida tonight. a big headline about the early vote and the number of republicans crossing over to vote for clinton. good evening. a week from tonight from this very studio, we'll be covering election returns and we'll be selecting our president elect. it's a high anxiety time for voters and candidates, but it usually doesn't include concerns over what the fbi is going to do next that could affect the election. we say that because it has happened again. the fbi has once again done something that has raised concerns over what's supposed to
be an apolitical investigative wing of our government. today out of nowhere they used a long dormant twitter account to reveal documents from an old investigation of president bill clinton's last-minute pardon of a new york financier named mark rich. both the financier and the investigation are long dead. tonight the fbi put out a statement saying, in effect, this was all a coincidence and these documents were due to come out automatically. then even later tonight came a "new york times" story saying the fbi had chosen to remain quiet about two inquiries this summer, one into trump campaign chairman paul manaforte, one to the trump campaign. why? because they might influence the nomination. that's before they stepped right into the middle of this election with the letter to congress friday night. before we go out on the trail, let's begin right here, right now with our legal analyst ari melber.
ari, for those of us who were around, the mark rich pardon in the last minutes of the clinton presidency followed bill clinton to retirement, kind of overshadowing inauguration day, and it was a big story back then. what's the fbi's official explanation? how could this have happened today? >> as you mentioned, that pardon was controversial. you don't usually pardon fugitives because they haven't gone through the process. the fbi telling us today, essentially, that whatever this looks like, this was just a matter of course, that when they get freedom of information requests which, of course, is a legal process, if they get more than three, they then release on this archive. that happened automatically, they say. the twitter account, as you pointed out, dormant for over a year. prior to this burst of tweets it hadn't tweeted anything since october 15. they said that also, brian, was just an automatic thing that had to get cleared up digitally, and that's all it was, they say. >> you recognize that the fbi statement when it came out sounded like government speak for "i know the timing is crazy,
right?" and tonight david gergen, who has served four presidents and does not give in to hyperbole, said on another network, who is in charge in the department of justice? and he called it a circus. you of a legal mind can surely see why this impression is growing. >> it's an impression that's growing, brian. it is a problem for the election as people try to make up their minds, and it's certainly a problem for the fbi. i will say this. we are in a period with we've heard a lot about disclosure and director comey saying why he could personally override justice policy. that's his boss, the doj, as well as fbi long standing practice to due disclosure. on the points you raised, number one, if this material is a response to the freedom of information act request and they're putting it out, anyway, obviously the fbi could publicize those underlying requests. they haven't done that in this environment that invites skepticism.
number two, related. you talk about who is in charge. you have an open national security investigation about the e-mails. you have a separate sext crimes investigation. you don't need to be a lawyer to know those are both important cases, and you have a series of unauthorized leaks. i don't mean the letter from director comey. yes, the reporters tell us things, but you don't always know if they're true when they're anonymous, and they combine policy. you combine that with the separate release. maybe there is records that need to be released and we don't know the underlying material. there is no federal law that requires the fbi to go above and beyond and start using social media to tweet things out about presidential candidates, whether it's in the archives or not. that is just weird. that is not required. one thing the fbi could do sooner rather than later is try to rein in agents who are clearly leaking to reporters or using the internet and social media to put things out above any requirement to do so. >> 13,000 agents, $8 billion
budget. it's a big place and we're learning more about it every night for all the wrong reasons. ari melber. thank you, thank you, for talking about this tonight. let's widen the discussion. joining us here at the table, kristen welker is on the strip in las vegas. she is so tired. if you asked her where she was, 50-50 shot she could name it without looking back. we'll get to you in just a moment. msnbc political analyst former white house communications director for former george w. bush, and manager of bloomberg politics, co-host of "with all due respect," john heilman, also part of the broadcast this circus weekend on showtime. that's how you say it, i think. wow, no response. >> that was an incredible introduction. it took my breath away. >> let's go to the strip real fast. kristen welker, it's late for your east coast clock.
it's the middle of the evening for your west coast clock. two things we should point out. part of david gergen's point tonight was don't tell me this was an automatic document release. nothing can be automatic 60 days within the time of the envelope of an election. second, we've combed over what was released from mark rich at the end of bill clinton's presidency. it doesn't seem to be newsworthy, just to use the vernacular, it's out there. what has the campaign said about all of this, today's fbi story, if you will? >> reporter: brian, let me give you the official response and then i'll take you inside some of the conversations that i'm having. brian fallon, one of secretary clinton's top aides, tweeted this very strong reaction when it came out. absent a foia litigation deadline, this is odd. will fbi be posting docs on trump's housing discrimination
in the '70s? the fact that this twitter account has largely been dormant for quite some time, as you pointed out, the way they're going to use this is to weave it into their broader strategy, really hitting director comey for raising this issue, this new probe over these newly found e-mails. as they have been arguing, they say it's unprecedented and they say it's inappropriate. we heard secretary clinton taking that line of attack over the weekend. i can tell you, brian, that in the 72 hours since director comey raised that issue with the newly discovered e-mails, they raised $11.5 million on line. that's their largest haul in a 72-hour period on line. they are using this to try to energize their base. is it working? it is if you look at that figure in terms of on-line donations. secretary clinton, though,
taking a step back from hitting director comey on the trail today. she was in florida, and i know there are a lot of interesting numbers coming out of florida that you'll be discussing. she didn't mention comey today. that is significant. she is now leaving it to her surrogates to do that job. i think what you'll see this mark rich revelation, one more thing they're going to weave into this attack, but i think you'll see secretary clinton sort of stepping back and leaving the broader attack to her campaign. >> kristen welker who works 21 out of 24 hours a day, step back. here's the talk i heard on cable news tv tonight about james comey. this is important because it's in the bloodstream now. he is smart, vain and ambitious. he blew himself up over this and he has compromised his career. fair or unfair? >> it's tough. i think when you step into the middle of a presidential campaign like you described at the beginning of the show, that's to be expected.
i heard today from a comey admirer, a former bush administration official who saw him, had a front row seat to how he comported himself, he said he clearly lost control of the building, and i think that's an apt description. take a step back and think about the fbi. the fbi was blamed for failing to connect the dots. the fbi under the direction of bob miller has continued under the direction of director comey to really restore its luster. >> they have come all the way back. >> yeah. so to see them go through this is wrenching as an institution to watch them build themselves back up after 9/11. perplexing is the right word that kristen used. there is nothing i can fathom in the week before an election, the branch is so cautious. i remember before the 2004 election of george w. bush, they weren't allowed to touch it because they were so hyperaware
that we were in the heat of a campaign. so the fact they're either not aware or they're acting despite the fact we're days before an election is stunning. >> this plot line to niccolle's point. if you're the leader, you're trying to run it out. if you're the challe enger, you're trying to run it out every day. >> it's mind blowing. there have been mind blowing moments in this whole election process and this whole campaign. i bet in some respects the clinton campaign was happy to have this happen because it makes the fbi a riper, richer, easier target. comey is making it easy for them. they assembled, the clinton campaign did, over the weekend to trash comey, i think with some justification. hillary clinton has kind of stepped back from this and let a bunch of heavy hitters led by
eric holder and others lead the war on comey. this is so egregious and so wacky that it makes the business of trying to bring him down, at least in the 7-day span we have left, it makes it easy for them. that's like painting a giant bull's-eye on your chest and slowing down the rotating duck. shoot me, please. >> as promised, i have to go back to the strip in las vegas as a bank shot to talk about florida. kristen welker foreshadowed these interesting numbers out of washington tonight. the story is this. of the early vote in and recorded in the critical state of florida, 28% of republican -- key word here, republican early voters picked hillary clinton, crossed over.
it is a target smart william and mary survey. before we go to kristen welker in nevada, let's listen to hillary clinton tonight. >> we know that we've got to turn out the votes. and what that means is that every one of you can should vote early. how many of you have already voted? [ cheering ] >> that doesn't surprise me, because 4 million people in florida have already voted! >> there is a reason why we journalists call it early vote and many politicians call it banking the vote. and, kristen welker, i presume the campaign was privy to these numbers. i presume they're not disagreeing with these numbers. i'm also going to presume they're saying it's not predicted but it's good to know.
>> reporter: i think you hit the nail on the head, brian. look, i had a conversation with a top clinton official just before i came on your air who said they feel good about it. that's the bottom line. having said that, are they taking it for granted? no. this is a state they expect to be very close. they think it's going to come down to the wire. these early numbers undoubtedly are encouraging if you are within the clinton campaign, but there is also a reason why, brian, she had three events there today, and she's going to have a number of more events between now and election day. to put this into a broader context, secretary clinton can win the white house without florida, but donald trump cannot. so if they can cut him off in florida, they think that guarantees the white house, and that's why you're going to see so much activity there between now and election day, brian. >> kristen welker, thank you. you guys are allowed 30 second each because i have to get to a commercial. your reaction to 28% of voters. >> the ground game, the trump campaign also feels good about
florida, and the clinton campaign is quick to point out that they can easily win without florida. >> are you impressed with this number? >> i'm impressed but not totally surprised. it's a structured thing we really should be mindful of over the course of this week. all the word about how the race is tightening, how trump is on the offense. all of that could be true, but since there is so much early vote in some states, dating back now weeks in some places, that we could get to election day and the race is really tightening in the last week, but it really doesn't matter, because the clinton campaign got so much early vote that the tightening wasn't enough to offset what is already in that bank. >> this wisdom is available every night at 6:00 eastern time. you don't have to break a sweat. he's right here. coming up after the break, what we can learn from the last stretch of these candidates.
remember this guy? he's the drug company big shot who raised the price of a lifesaving pill by five thousand percent. said he wished he'd raised it more. prop sixty-one targets drug company price-gouging to save lives. the drug price relief act will save californians nearly a billion dollars a year. join the california nurses association and aarp and vote yes on sixty-one. the drug giants won't like it. and he'll hate it. want a great way to help our children thrive? then be sure to vote yes on proposition 55. prop 55 doesn't raise taxes on anyone. instead, it simply maintains the current tax rate on the wealthiest californians to prevent education cuts that would hurt our kids. no wonder prop 55 is endorsed by the california pta, teachers and educators. because all of us want to help our children thrive.
it's time to vote yes on proposition 55. we are back and in a business heavy with adages already. here's two more adagae, and that is, if you want to know what campaigns worry about, look at their tv suspending and look at their travel schedule, ergo steven kornacki working a late shift with us tonight at the big board. it's a privilege to have you. tell us what the itineraries
show that these campaigns can pick up, maybe. >> hillary clinton on friday is going to be going to, of all places, michigan. she's going to be in detroit on saturday. she hasn't spent much time there. also the clinton campaign today saying they're going to be launching ads in michigan, virginia, colorado, new mexico. what do those states have in common? we haven't been talking about them, so why are we suddenly talking about them? basically the clinton campaign is fast-forwarding to a nightmare scenario. that fbi story broke last friday. it's dominated the news since then. we're not quite seeing it in the polls yet, but fast-forward a few days. let's see if we start seeing some of these states, the gray states on the map. let's say we start to see more of trump. it wouldn't take much movement to bounce them into trump's category. if donald trump were to win, this is a big if, but if he were
to win all the toss-up states on the map right now, see what that would do to the map. he starts to draw pretty close to 270. there is a district in nebraska, a district in maine. give them to trump. here it is. at this point donald trump would be one state away from being president of the united states, and that state would have to be one of the blue states. so the clinton campaign is fast-forwarding to this scenario. what if donald trump gets the toss-up states and he's one blue state away? they're putting ads up in new mexico, in colorado, in virginia. look at this as sort of a firewall here. this is from a week ago. this is from before the fbi had donald trump seven points down in the state. this is a lead for hillary clinton here, but they are a little worried about this state, i think, because again, donald trump has done so well with those blue collar voters. michigan certainly has a large
blue collar voting population there. it's a state, too, that you go back to 2004, george w. bush did come close there. didn't get it, but did come close. >> before you say anymore, donald trump tonight on the campaign trail, what he said about people who have already voted, listen to this. we don't have it. it was a great buildup. he's telling people you have buyer's remorse. you can vote again. he listed the states where if you want to, you can vote again. county commissioners are going to be going crazy. it's true in some states. it's very rare, however. what does this tell you? isn't this part of a head game? do you think somebody has polling in new mexico you haven't heard of? >> exactly. i talked to some trump campaign officials who are already having the conversation. imagine if that access hollywood tape hadn't come out. they have to really thread a needle to turn -- you just tapped it with your finger. it's a whole lot of work to win all those states.
they're talking about the possibility of flipping -- new hampshire is the one i hear them talking about the most. i know they went to michigan, new mexico and another blue state this week, and it's crazy. i said this week that there is not a chance in hell they win all of those or any of those. they acknowledge that it is a hail mary but they're already speaking with wikileaks if that hack hadn't come up. >> when you talk about hillary clinton's blue wall, this is, to use the old word, a bullwarks for her. >> the clinton superpac is now on the air in wisconsin. this is a state in 2000 and 2004, the republicans came within a fraction of carrying it. they have been close. the gold standard poll in wisconsin, we haven't had one before the drama of last week, is going to be released at 1:00 tomorrow.
that will tell us if there is a blue state target out there. a hail mary in a blue state. we're going to get a good stint tomorrow of fbi news in a blue state, did it move the needle at all? that's the question we'll see tomorrow. >> the gop early vote, 28% switching over to hillary, is that plausible? >> not from the polling we've been seeing. the polling we've been seeing says it should be lower than that, so we'll see. >> this is a crazy map and that's why americans aren't getting a lick of sleep. thank you for joining us on the night shift tonight. attention, men and women, for that matter, everywhere. you'll want to hear what the president had to say tonight about men and women. this is "the 11th hour." when coughing keeps your family awake.
regardless of your feelings for our president, this is a moment to pay attention to. this took place in ohio tonight. president obama got personal. he took on the topic of gender and how it relates to this election and who we've always elected to the white house. >> i just want to say to the guys out there. i want to be honest. you know, there is a reason why
we haven't had a woman president before, and i think that sometimes, you know, we're kind of trying to get over the hump. and we have to ask ourselves as men, because my daughters are going to be able to achieve anything they want to achieve. and i know that my wife is not just my equal, but my superior. i want every man out there to ask yourself if you're having problems with this stuff, how much of it is that we're just not used to it? when a guy is ambitious and in the public arena and working hard, that's okay. but when a woman suddenly does it, men are like, why is she doing that?
i'm just being honest. i want you to think about it, because she is so much better qualified than the other guy. she has conducted herself so much better in public life than the other guy that somehow, oh, this is hard to choose, it shouldn't be. >> the president in ohio. that does it for this edition of "the 11th hour." we hope to see you tomorrow evening. "hardball with chris matthews" is next. mutual destruction? let's play hardball.
good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. good morning, america. a week to go and national polls tightening, hillary clinton and donald trump are unloading on each other. the latest "washington post" abc news poll released today shows trump at 46%, hillary clinton at 45%. trump has gained two points since last week in this poll while clinton has lost three points. several other recent polls show clinton ahead. both candidates have problems with enthusiasm right now. 53% of trump voters are very enthusiastic about voting for him. just 43% of clinton voters say the same about her. four years ago, president obama and mitt romney were both at 60% in voter enthusiasm. in the final stretch of the campaign, both clinton and trump are trying to drive up each other's negatives. in other words, this is what scorched earth looks like. today trump tweeted, look at the way crooked hillary is handling the e-mail case and the total mess she's in.