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Trump Lashes Out After G7 Controversy, Mulvaney’s Ukraine Confession: A Closer Look

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Oct 21, 2019

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Trump Lashes Out After G7 Controversy, Mulvaney’s Ukraine Confession: A Closer Look
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  • -Today the President melted down yet again
  • in a Q&A with reporters after his White House
  • basically confessed to multiple corrupt abuses of power.
  • For more on this, it's time for "A Closer Look."
  • [ Cheers and applause ]
  • ♪♪
  • We say this a lot, but it was true again today.
  • Donald Trump talked to reporters,
  • and once again, he lost his mind.
  • In fact, you should just assume that's always the case.
  • His mind has always been lost.
  • At this point, it would be more shocking
  • if CNN told us his mind had been found.
  • "Breaking news -- Trump was normal today."
  • [ Laughter ]
  • The President has always, always been unhinged,
  • and he's always hopped from scandal to scandal.
  • But now, with the impeachment inquiry intensifying,
  • it just feels like more is happening faster.
  • The Trump administration right now
  • feels like the "SportsCenter" of scandals.
  • Instead of having to keep track
  • of a bunch of different scandals,
  • like we did for the first three years,
  • now we're just getting all the highlights
  • crammed together at once.
  • "Trump just admitted to a quid pro quo in D.C.
  • And now we take you to New York, where Aaron Rodgers
  • just hit Rudy Giuliani with a 38-yard touchdown pass
  • right in the [Bleep]."
  • So, as a result, there are just more opportunities
  • for Trump to melt down in public,
  • and that's what happened again today.
  • For example, Trump said this insane thing
  • about his abrupt and widely criticized decision
  • to abandon our Kurdish allies in Syria
  • who have been fighting ISIS.
  • -ISIS was all over the place.
  • I'm the one -- meaning it was me, and this administration --
  • working with others, including the Kurds,
  • that captured all of these people
  • that you're talking about right now.
  • Most of the ISIS fighters that we captured --
  • we, we, not Obama, we -- We captured them, me.
  • So I'm the one that did the capturing.
  • -No. No, you're not.
  • You're not the one who did the capturing.
  • It makes it sound like he was parachuting into Syria
  • on weekends like Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible."
  • [ Laughter and applause ]
  • Trump also insisted once again
  • that his infamous phone call with the president of Ukraine,
  • in which he dangled hundreds of millions of dollars
  • in military aid as part of a quid pro quo
  • to get Ukraine to manufacture dirt on Joe Biden was perfect.
  • But today he seemed to forget that it was a phone call
  • and kept calling it a letter.
  • -This thing is all about a letter that was perfect.
  • You never hear the letter anymore.
  • The whistleblower's account was
  • totally different than the letter.
  • The whistleblower gave a false account.
  • -The whistleblower gave a false account?
  • You keep calling a phone call a letter.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • Trump probably just changed it in his mind
  • from a phone call to a letter
  • because he loves getting letters.
  • He's always carrying them around
  • and waving them in the air, showing them off to reporters.
  • I mean, look at him. He's like a high school senior
  • running into the house with his college-acceptance letter.
  • "Mom, look, Kim Jong-Un loved my essay!"
  • [ Laughter ]
  • Trump then had moved on...
  • [ Cheers and applause ]
  • Trump then moved on
  • to defending his temporary decision
  • to hold next year's G7 summit with world leaders
  • at his private golf course in Florida,
  • which he rescinded on Saturday
  • after two days of intense backlash.
  • Trump insisted his golf course was
  • the perfect site for an international summit.
  • -Everybody in the G7 would have had their own building.
  • It was so good. Florida loved it.
  • They love economic development.
  • It -- It's not because -- It's a beautiful place.
  • It's new. It's been totally rebuilt.
  • Everything's good. Got massive meeting rooms.
  • Unlimited security because it's on, you know, hundreds of acres.
  • Best location.
  • Right next to the airport -- Miami International --
  • one of the biggest airports in the world.
  • Some people say it's the biggest,
  • but one of the biggest airports in the world.
  • -What do you mean, "Some say it's the biggest"?
  • It either is or -- It's not a mystery.
  • [ Laughter ] We can measure it.
  • And as a reporter noted on Twitter,
  • it's not even in the top 20.
  • [ Laughter and applause ]
  • Trump... [ Applause continues ]
  • I mean, Trump talks about it
  • like scientists have been working for years
  • to discover which airport is the biggest airport,
  • like there are hieroglyphics written on a cave somewhere
  • and archaeologists have been trying to decipher them
  • in order to determine
  • whether Miami is one of the biggest airports.
  • "The symbols are a plane, a plus sign,
  • and a retiree who lives in Palm Beach.
  • What could it mean?" [ Laughter ]
  • Trump then defended himself against accusations
  • that he was using the presidency to rich himself
  • by lying about the fact
  • that he has no relationship with his businesses,
  • and weirdly complaining about a deal
  • President Obama made with Netflix after he left office.
  • -I don't run my business.
  • I actually put all the stuff in trusts.
  • They run -- And I didn't have to do that.
  • But under no obligation to do it.
  • I don't know if you know it, George Washington,
  • he ran his business simultaneously
  • while he was President. Many other Presidents --
  • there weren't too many really rich Presidents,
  • but there were a few -- they ran their business.
  • Hey, Obama made a deal for a book.
  • Is that running a business? I'm sure
  • he didn't even discuss it while he was President, yeah.
  • He has a deal with Netflix.
  • When did they start talking about that?
  • -You think Obama was cutting secret deals with Netflix
  • during his presidency,
  • and we just never heard about it?
  • You're the one who's constantly talking about your golf courses.
  • I never once heard Obama end a press conference
  • by saying, [As Obama] "And, uh, by the way,
  • if you, uh, like what you heard today,
  • uh, check out my new stand-up special
  • on Netflix. It's called 'Barack Out.'"
  • [ Laughter ]
  • [ Cheers and applause ]
  • [ Normal voice ] Then... [ Applause continues ]
  • Then, Trump tried a different argument.
  • He defended himself by claiming previous Presidents
  • also ran their businesses while they were in office.
  • -Other Presidents, if you look, other Presidents were wealthy.
  • Not huge wealth. George Washington was actually
  • considered a very, very rich man at the time.
  • But they ran their businesses.
  • George Washington, they say, had two desks.
  • He had a presidential desk and a business desk.
  • -Oh, is that what they say?
  • Are these also the same people
  • who say Miami is the biggest airport?
  • [ Laughter ] What business
  • was Washington supposedly running on the side anyway?
  • [ As Trump ] Many people don't know this,
  • but George Washington had a business
  • where he gave private boat tours of the Delaware River.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • And on one phone, he'd be like, "Uh, the British are coming."
  • And then he'd be like, "We'd love to have your party
  • on our boat. [ Laughter ]
  • Yeah, bring chips and stuff.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • [ Normal voice ] And you might remember,
  • that this all started on Thursday,
  • when Trump's acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney
  • announced, out of nowhere,
  • that Trump had awarded no big contract
  • to host a major international summit to himself.
  • -We're going to announce today that we're going to do
  • the 46th G7 summit, on June 10th through June 12th,
  • at the Trump National Doral facility in Miami, Florida.
  • There's a long list of the accommodations on site --
  • the ballrooms, bilateral rooms,
  • the number of rooms, the photo ops,
  • the support hotels that are there,
  • the proximity to cities and airports,
  • helicopter landing zones, medical facilities, et cetera.
  • -Not only did he just brazenly announce
  • that the President would enrich himself
  • by hosting an official event at his own golf course
  • but then he did an infomercial for it.
  • "There are ballrooms, medical facilities,
  • helicopter landings.
  • And if you book for Halloween weekend,
  • you'll even meet our creepy siblings."
  • [ Laughter ]
  • Now Mulvaney... [ Cheers and applause ]
  • Mulvaney and Trump also insisted
  • the event wouldn't actually benefit Trump,
  • because they would do it at cost, or even for free.
  • But this claim that Trump would do it at cost
  • was obviously a sham, because as we know,
  • from previous events at Trump resorts,
  • that's not how it works.
  • For example, at previous events at Trump properties,
  • taxpayers have paid $546 a night for hotel rooms at Mar-a-Lago
  • and $1,000 for liquor
  • that White House staffers drank in one sitting.
  • The only way spending $1,000 for liquor in one sitting
  • makes sense is if you are a White House staffer.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • "The other day he called the FBI
  • because he couldn't find his remote control."
  • [ Laughter ]
  • We're all gonna die in jail."
  • [ Laughter ]
  • I'm sorry, but if taxpayers
  • are gonna spend 1,000 bucks on booze,
  • then they should get to drink the booze themselves,
  • especially if we have to deal with this President.
  • In fact, every Trump tweet should come with an option
  • to retweet, like, or, "Send me a bottle of whiskey."
  • [ Laughter and applause ]
  • So, after the outcry,
  • Trump rescinded the decision on Twitter,
  • and then Mulvaney had to go on the Sunday shows
  • to explain why Trump was so wounded by all the backlash.
  • -He was honestly surprised at the level of pushback.
  • At the end of the day, you know, he still considers himself
  • to be in the hospitality business.
  • -Okay, first of all, he's not in the hospitality business.
  • He's the President.
  • Second, Trump was never in the hospitality business.
  • Hospitality is when you show warmth
  • and compassion to guests and strangers.
  • Trump was in the "ruthless real-estate ass[Bleep]
  • who stands like a baboon on his hind legs" business.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • But this is such... [ Applause ]
  • This is such a key confession from Mulvaney
  • because it explains so much. Trump still sees himself
  • as the corrupt real estate mogul and reality star
  • who always got away with whatever he wanted,
  • rather than a government official
  • who's bound to the rule of law.
  • That's the Trump we saw in that infamous phone call
  • with the president of Ukraine.
  • And during his press conference on Thursday,
  • Mulvaney literally admitted
  • that they held up the aid to Ukraine
  • as part of a quid pro quo to investigate the Democrats.
  • -Did he also mention to me, in past,
  • the corruption related to the DNC server?
  • Absolutely, no question about that.
  • But that's it, and that's why we held up the money.
  • Now, there was a report -- - -So, the demand
  • for an investigation into the Democrats
  • was part of the reason that he --
  • in order to withhold funding to Ukraine?
  • -The look back to what happened in 2016
  • certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about
  • and corruption with that nation,
  • and that is absolutely appropriate.
  • -Withholding the funding? -Yeah.
  • -But, to be clear, what you described is a quid pro quo.
  • It is, "Funding will not flow unless the investigation
  • into the Democratic server happened, as well."
  • -We do -- We do that all the time
  • with foreign policy. -You do?!
  • [ Laughter ] So, not only did he admit it,
  • he said this isn't even the only time they've done it.
  • In fact, many people don't know this,
  • but, uh, Washington had two desks --
  • one for business and one for crime.
  • Mulvaney got even more brazen,
  • openly bragging about the scheme and saying this.
  • -I have news for everybody. Get over it.
  • There's going to be political influence in foreign policy.
  • -"Get over it?" I'm sorry,
  • but you don't get to talk about an illegal quid pro quo
  • that's at the center of an impeachment inquiry
  • like you're a cartoon mom on a funny T-shirt.
  • "5:00 is wine o'clock, and if you don't like it,
  • you can build a bridge and get over it."
  • [ Laughter ]
  • Mulvaney continued to argue that the President was allowed
  • to do whatever he wants in foreign policy
  • and allowed to use whoever he wants to do it,
  • like his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani,
  • who is reportedly under criminal investigation.
  • -Do you believe that Rudy Giuliani's role
  • as an outside adviser to the President
  • is problematic? -That's the President's call.
  • The President gets to set foreign policy,
  • and he gets to choose who to do so,
  • as long as it doesn't violate any law.
  • -Okay, but it probably did.
  • I mean, two of Rudy's associates who helped him
  • dig up dirt in Ukraine have already been arrested.
  • Remember these two Halloween decorations?
  • [ Laughter ]
  • Lev and Igor, their real names?
  • I mean, the guys who look like they just got arrested
  • for huffing bowling-alley shoe spray?
  • The mobster versions of Bill and Ted.
  • They've been in multiple photos
  • with Rudy, Trump, and Mike Pence.
  • And you can't forget them because they look like
  • they should be hanging out with rocky and Mugsy.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • So, now Mulvaney's confession,
  • which comes after Trump's own confession,
  • let's remember, has left the rest of the administration
  • struggling with how to respond.
  • Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,
  • who's also implicated in this whole scheme,
  • was asked about Mulvaney's comments on ABC.
  • And you can see his brain short-circuit in real time.
  • -What I'm asking is, would it be appropriate
  • to condition that aid? -George, I'm not going to
  • get into hypotheticals and secondary things
  • based on what someone else has said.
  • George, you would have never done it
  • when you were the spokesman. I'm not going to do it here.
  • -Well, it's not a hypothetical. We saw the chief of staff.
  • -It is, George. You just said "if."
  • George, you just said "if this happened."
  • That is, by definition, a hypothetical.
  • -The chief of staff said it did.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • -George, you asked me "if this happened."
  • It's a hypothetical. -Wow.
  • Normally, when someone takes that long
  • to answer a question on TV, a red "X" pops up on-screen.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • Top five answers on the board.
  • Name a country the President has colluded with.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • [ Buzzer ]
  • Sorry. [ Applause ]
  • The answer we were looking for was Ukraine.
  • [ Applause ] Ukraine.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • Things are moving very fast for Trump and his henchmen,
  • and that's because the impeachment inquiry
  • has finally provided a political process
  • to hold them accountable.
  • I don't know if any of these guys will ever be arrested,
  • but if they are, I hope the cops who do it say...
  • -I'm the one that did the capturing.
  • -This has been "A Closer Look."
  • [ Cheers and applause ]

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Seth takes a closer look at President Trump’s meltdown after his White House basically confessed to multiple corrupt abuses of power.
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Trump Lashes Out After G7 Controversy, Mulvaney’s Ukraine Confession: A Closer Look- Late Night with Seth Meyers
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