tv MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts MSNBC January 27, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm PST
to affect your chances in iowa by not appearing -- >> no, i think i'll do great in iowa. i love iowa. i don't think iowa's going to care. when they sent out the wise guy press releases done by some pr person along with roger ailes, i said bye-bye. >> trump was there referring to a jab from fox news, which said in an earlier statement that russia's vladimir putin and iran's ayatollah would treat him unfairly if elected president. so, how much of this to believe? here's what trump campaign manager cory lewandowski hold the crowd on "morning joe" today. >> any chance that he will do this debate in any way, shape or form, any way to turn this around? >> i just don't think so. i mean, what you have with mr. trump is you have a clear leader, a person who he said best, is not going to be toyed with. >> for reports on the sudden upheaval in the republican race for president, we begin with nbc's peter alexander in des moines, iowa. our "first read" team putting it out there, calling this a big gamble on the part of donald trump.
we also know he can be seen as the strong and bold, also weak and fearful here. explain what's going on. >> reporter: well, i think donald trump's the only one that can tell us exactly what's going on here, but it's clear that this is a gamble in many ways. we're in a state that's known, you know, for farming, and this was, in effect, him playing a game of chicken with both fox news and ted cruz. donald trump, though, by making this statement, effectively freezes the race, if he doesn't show up for this debate, freezes the race where it is right now. we can put up new numbers that show exactly where it is, these numbers now from monmouth. a month ago, donald trump was trailing ted cruz in the state by roughly five points. now this latest poll from iowa shows that he is up by roughly seven points. no matter what, we know this is going to be a tight race, but clearly, the momentum has appeared to be on trump's side in recent days. it also sort of solidifies, cements the narrative that donald trump is the dominant figure in race and means more
likely than not that cruz will be the one cast as the front-runner, in effect, on the stage tomorrow night, the one who may take the most hits. but what's most compelling about this entire situation, frances, is the fact that donald trump's really the only person that could do this. he's been rewriting the rules of american politics for the course of the last six months while every other campaign is fighting to get a word in edgewise on these debate stages. donald trump is effectively saying you can have the debate for yourselves. >> considering it may be seen as some flexing of muscle there from donald trump. peter, you know, it's nothing new when donald trump gets into it when it comes to reporters. you found yourself in the middle of that in his press avail on tuesday. it's about what he calls evolution on the topic of abortion. let's show you that. i know you've seen it, but let's show our viewers. actually, we don't have that. i've got to tell you something -- oh, here we go. >> reporter: in 1999, you said you were pro-choice in all respects. >> and i said -- what did i say? you didn't read it. read the full statement of what i said. >> reporter: are you a
trustworthy -- >> excuse me, very trustworthy, more so than you, because you didn't read the question. >> i'll read it now. "i'm very pro-choice. i hate the concept of abortion." >> okay, you didn't read -- why didn't you say when you asked the question before that "i hate the concept of abortion"? do you apologize? >> reporter: i, i -- >> do you apologize? >> reporter: do i apologize for reading your words? >> for not reading my words. no, no, for not reading my words -- >> reporter: i am very pro-choice -- >> wow, testy, testy, peter. it's one thing to say why did you not read these words, but another thing to say, wait, did you apologize for it? >> reporter: well, of course we didn't apologize, but this is not about me, it's about the candidate for president. and i think what's important in this exchange is that this is a topic, especially in this state, that's filled with many evangelicals who often drive the conversation and drive the way the republican caucuses go at the end of the day here, that donald trump has been pushed by ted cruz and by increasingly, particularly yesterday, antiabortion groups, both nationally and locally, who have suggested that he is not trustworthy on the issue of
abortion because of those comments in 1999, where he said, in its entirety, he said, "i am very pro-choice -- i am pro-choice in every respect, but i hate the concept of abortion." he did say he is pro-choice. now he insists he is pro-life. so, the question i was trying to get answered from mr. trump is, in fact, if his position has evolved over time, can the people of iowa be comfortable and convinced that you will stick with this pro-life position at this snim obviously, he didn't want to answer that question more specifically, but it came on a day that he was announcing the endorsement of a popular evangelical. that, of course, is jerry falwell jr. but beyond that, what it demonstrates is what has really been a successful tactic for donald trump throughout the course of this campaign, which is not so much to be a bully or whatever else, but just to be tough and to dominate the conversation. and if he doesn't want to talk about something, he doesn't. frances? >> nbc's peter alexander. i appreciate it. want to bring in now msnbc political correspondent steve kornacki.
interesting, you talk about the history between donald trump and fox news, we know that. it goes back months. but now another factor into this is the statement that fox news came out -- >> yes. >> -- that kind of changes the dynamic. >> i think there's been some confusion about how this has sort of been interpreted by the media. the megyn kelly issue that's out there is a bit of a red herring, because donald trump was saying he wasn't happy with her as moderator, wouldn't have chosen her, didn't like her that much, but was still going to go to the debate. and the key is this statement that fox news put out when trump said that. we can put it up for you here. this is very sarcastic, very snarky. this is a news organization that purports to be, you know, the famous expression, fair and balanced. "we learned from a secret back channel that the ayatollah and putin both intend to treat donald trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president. trump has his own secret plan to replace the cabinet with his twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings." here's the thing, if donald trump was looking to get out of this debate before, he pretty much had no choice before this statement but to go anyway.
this statement gave him an opening that his campaign has now seized to say, look, i'm not going to set myself up for an ambush. if fox is going to put out this kind of statement, they can't say in the next breath they're going to be fair, they're going to treat me in an impartial way. it's interesting here, this is a very calculated thing on the trump campaign's part. they don't -- they may be wrong, they may be proven wrong by this. it's not only they believe this will not hurt donald trump, they believe this will help donald trump, this will be seen as a show of strength, a guy who's being bullied, being pushed around. i know, it's interesting, donald trump, people may call him a bully all the time, but they're saying, look, they want to see in this leadership, somebody who stands up to being pushed around and is ultimately willing to walk away. and that's something, we'll see what the voters say about that next monday. >> especially talking about donald trump right now and then ted cruz is saying bring it on, mano a mano, do it on our own. i wish we had more time to talk about that. we will later on. steve, thank you. now i want to talk about the
guidelines, the rules of the debates and bring in ari melber for that. when it comes to this, so close to iowa, and we have this last debate, and all of a sudden, he's saying i'm out. i'm not going. >> this is a big debate over rules. you and steve talking about the idea of, well, did this hurt donald trump's feelings? is this unfair? i don't know, maybe he wants fox news to be more pc and now can't handle it, but this is ultimately a fight about how the debate works. and is that up to the party? well, the party rules, to explain to folks, basically said the format and criteria for participation are up to the news organizations. in this case, this big, last debate before voting starts, fox news. format, criteria. so, that means that news organizations like fox will decide who will moderate and how it will work, and the candidates have to live with that. there's not going to be any appeal to the rnc. they've already struck that deal. who's in the debates? well, we know it's polling from iowa, new hampshire and national polls that create this. if donald trump actually steps out, and we're hearing he's going to be on fox news soon, anyway, so who knows with what he's trying to do here and get us talking about it, what will
happen. but in theory, he'd be leaving a vacancy there that you could fill with another candidate. finally, i want to show folks, as we think about the rules in this fight, what fox news is saying about this standoff, because they say the trump campaign manager this weekend told a fox executive, megyn kelly had a rough couple days after the last debate, and he would hate to have her go through that again. he was warned, fox says, not to level any more threats, but he continued to do so. we can't give in to terrorizations towards any of our employees. he was talking about whether fox is a little more aggressive in their rhetoric. i think that's a fair point, but i will say this, the fox news organization is saying they've got a major, powerful, billionaire candidate who's been relentlessly attacking their moderator and trying to bully them out of using her, and they're saying they're standing by their moderator. in that sense, it's a real show of their belief that they're not going to be bullied away by any candidate, he can skip if he wants. >> and trump saying i've got my own event, wounded warriors or whatever it is, and he says
we'll pull the ratings and compare it with that. ari melber, thank you for the perspective. michael steele is rnc former chairman and an msnbc analyst. talking about donald trump, do you think it will be worked out or he's not going to be at that podium at the debate, and how's he playing his cards here, especially when it comes to showing him as potentially weak and not wanting to face megyn kelly and, you know, walking away? >> well, i think on the first part, i don't think this hurts him the way a lot of folks are hoping it does. i think to your second point, donald trump is not afraid of megyn kelly. i think donald trump has demonstrated that he is not pretty much afraid of anybody at this point, and i don't think that's a factor here. i think a lot of this really kind of goes to what steve said at the beginning of your conversation, is that there is strategic calculations that are being tested here, one by fox to
sort of throw down, pick up where ari was, about protecting their moderator and the interests of megyn kelly as brand for the network, and donald trump in his campaign recognizing that the snarkiness and the fair but balanced may not apply to him when if comes to how fox will treat him on the stage. he's making the calculation that that is going to resonate with those very same conservative voters who went after fox after the first debate in their treatment of donald. so, instead of exposing himself, he's going to say i'm taking myself out of play here, and let's see who actually wins this in the long run. i think donald trump has the advantage here because it's going to give him the kind of focus and sort of the laserlike attention that he wants going into that vote on monday. >> well, talk being that, especially when it comes to that support among evangelicals, which are so needed here, bringing in this new poll from pew research that shows voters believe him to be one of the least religious candidates out there.
howev however, you have a weekly nbc news survey that found his support among evangelicals is not only the strongest among all republicans, but is rising. what is it about donald trump and his message that is resonating with evangelicals? >> thank you for going there, because i think a lot of folks are losing sight of the fact that the religious aspects of donald trump are not a card-carrying feature for a lot of evangelicals. they are making another decision about him that goes to his ability to fight, his willingness to actually mix it up and change the dynamic. listen, you're talking about a group of folks, not just evangelicals, but conservatives who have been lied to on abortion, who have been lied to about the marriage issue, been lied to by the establishment in the party of what they were going to do to prevent these things from happening. here donald trump is basically exposed a lie and he's not wearing his religiousness or lack of it on his sleeve. he's saying i'm going to go in and fight for those things that
are important. so, they're making a different calculation, particularly when you have jerry falwell jr. coming out and endorsing him. that sends a very different signal and message relative to whether or not donald trump is a religious figure. people don't look at him that way. they're looking at other characteristics that they find more important. >> all right, michael steele. as always, good to have you with me. thank you. >> absolutely. >> we are asking this when it comes to the microsoft pulse question. it is on donald trump. will boycotting the gop debate help or hurt him? we want to hear from you, cast your vote, pulse @msnbc.com. we are less than eight hours away from the msnbc town hall in flint, michigan. the state's governor has a new plan to address the city's unprecedented water crisis, but is it too little, too late for residents at risk and his political future? and an fbi news conference out of burns, oregon. eight people arrested, one fatally shot following the weeks-long standoff at a
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developing news right now in michigan. governor rick snyder just announced that he is asking the federal government to provide a long-term health coverage for the children who have been exposed to flint's lead-tainted water, something flint's mayor first told msnbc's rachel maddow last night. >> we're making a request to the federal government to expand medicaid to children under 21, also look at how we can apply more lead abatement programs to help those children and also looked at more community-based programs, medical home miles and what we can do with children that may already have other forms of health care coverage. >> and just hours from now, machel maddow will host a town hall in flint to hear from residents devastated by this toxic water crisis. she sat down with msnbc's kate snow to talk about the need to
hear directly from those impacted. >> so, why the town hall now at the moment that we're in now? >> the interesting thing about the national coverage sort of surging into flint is that i still feel like there's a couple of things that are being missed. and one of them is the voices of the people of flint. the whole reason that we started covering this story is because people in flint were screaming bloody murder. they knew something was wrong. they were trying to get accountability for it. and they had no locally elected officials who they could appeal to with their problems. >> how did you hear about this story in the first place? >> well, we had been covering the emergency manager issue in michigan for years now. michigan has this totally unique, totally radical system of governance in which the governor can come in and say your local elections no longer matter, your local elected officials have no power, we're putting in an emergency manager, so -- >> if they're in fiscal difficulty, right? >> if the governor says they're in fiscal difficulty. so, it is a remarkable
democratic experiment they've been doing in michigan and i think it's really radical. so, we had covered other things that had been a consequence or happened around that form of governance, and this was kind of the next one. we had been monitoring basically michigan media coverage, and michigan activists to see what was going on. and when people started screaming bloody murder in flint, it took us a while to figure out exactly what was going on, but by the time we did, by the time we realized that it wasn't just bad water, it was lead in the water, it was clear to me it was a national story, not just a local one. >> msnbc's tony doe coup has been covering this. i understand they have laid out long-term goals in attacking this crisis. >> reporter: i'm at the location of the town hall that msnbc is holding tonight. the focus of that town hall will be how we got to this point and what we do to bring this crisis down to a safe resolution. the governor touched on the same points at the press conference
today. the two big takeaways were the creation of a team with independent experts to review the decision and make recommendations going forward. fierce critics of the administration, a professor from virginia tech university, mark edwards, and also mona hannah atisha, a pediatrician who first discovered elevated lead levels in the blood of the children in flint, are the leaders. mayor weaver says she agrees that the people of flint should not be paying for water they cannot drink. that is a very popular point here in town. but unfortunately, last week, the last we were able to check, the city is still issuing shutoff notices, so a bit of a discrepancy there. but the one thing not present in the press conference was a sense of the timetable here and the amount of money that will be allocated. and the reason we don't have those answers is because people just don't know the skoecht problem. i spent most of last evening at an extraordinary lead testing event at an elementary school. this is a very painful thing to be a part of because the children of flint are lining up by the dozens, more than 200 kids. they have to get their finger
pricked, six drops of blood per child to get tested for lead in their bodies. we talked to a grandparent and teacher at that school who had her family tested. here's what she said about the process. you're saying you've seen a change in the classroom from two years ago to today? >> oh, definitely. we don't know if it's lead, but there's something going on. i'm very concerned because we don't know the long-lasting effects. that's the problem. we don't know what's going to happen five or ten years down the road and it's really a travesty that could have been avoided. >> reporter: and frances, one of the things about that school in particular is that the risk of lead contamination in the bodies of the children, it's not theoretical. that's one of three schools in the area where lead levels were elevated within the school itself, within the water fountains inside the cafeteria. so, there's worries that the kids were not only exposed but affected. and the effects of lead can take three to five years before they show up, so it's a terrible waiting game for parents,
frances. >> that is certainly the toughest part, the unknown and uncertainty for families as they wait. tony dokoupil, thank you. rachel maddow has been on the leading edge in demanding answers from michigan's political leaders. >> the kids of flint, michigan, ended up drinking lead because their town was poisoned on governor snyder's watch, and this crisis in flint is a real one. it sounds like a horror movie, but it's real, and it is not over. so, how about it, governor snyder? are you ready to call this a manmade disaster when your people are the men who made it? >> again, rachel will host a town hall in flint tonight, so be sure to watch "american disaster: the crisis in flint." that's tonight at 9:00 eastern here on msnbc. and if you want to watch but can't be in front of a tv, watch online at msnbc.com. up next, more than 20,000 people show up for bernie sanders in minnesota. the question, will voters
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the meeting and i thought it was a very positive and constructive meeting. i think he and the vice president have tried to be fair and even-handed in the process, and i expect they will continue to be that way. >> senator bernie sanders and white house press secretary josh earnest moments ago after sanders wrapped up a meeting at white house with president obama, this coming just days after the president praised sanders' rival, hillary clinton, in an interview with "politico." today, sanders is riding high, four points ahead of hillary clinton in the latest poll in iowa. the new quinnipiac poll puts sander at 49% to clinton's 45%, with martin o'malley far behind at 4%. massive crowds and chants of "bernie" at a rally for senator sanders in minnesota, but while sanders is getting his own praise, some think democrats would be "insane" to nominate him. those words from political
columnist from the "washington post," dana vilbank, who joins me now. dana, fascinating read. first line in this article -- "i adore bernie sanders." you explain why. third line -- "i convince democrats why it would be insane to nominate him." what's your rationale behind that? >> first of all, i've enjoyed sanders' candidacy from the beginning and i'm pleasantly surprised to see how many people have rallied behind him, because it's -- you know, he's saying things that need to be said about the fairness and inequality. however, i think certainly the rise of trump as the likely republican nominee, as it seems increasingly clear every day, i think changes the stakes here, and i think democrats, if they want to keep the white house in november, need to take a look at this and say are we going to be able to elect a 75-year-old
self-identified socialist, or is that nearly going to give the country president trump, which i think democrats should probably loath more than they actually like the idea of bernie sanders. >> well, there are a lot of really fascinating, intriguing parts about this. i highlighted all my pages yellow from all those parts i liked. there's a part where you wrote about hillary clinton, saying this -- "hillary clinton by contrast is a dreary candidate." and you go on to say, "yet if democrats hope to hold the presidency in november, they'll need to hold their noses and nominate clinton." you mention trump. do you think this is all because of trump, not necessarily the weakness and fault of hillary clinton or even bernie sanders, for that matter, that he has pretty much, you know, steered the course of this race and why you're writing this? >> well, you know, he has dominated this to an extent nobody expected he could from the beginning. and i can understand why a lot
of sanders supporters feel that he is the guy who's capturing the energy the same way a trump could -- trump does. and if you look at sort of the hypothetical matchups, wh you look at the polls, bernie sanders does reasonably well. but i think what people are missing there is, you know, hillary's been beaten up in the public eye for a quarter century now. she is very well defined. people know who she is. bernie sanders is still relatively unknown, and i think democrats need to be aware that when the republicans start going after him as a socialist who wants to dramatically expand the size of government and dramatically increase taxes, all of these things, in fact, are true, they are going to make him really a pariah. and you can't necessarily see that now the way you would if a republican were going after him day after day. >> well, can you see this happening as you write, in watching the presidential forum, you imagined -- your words -- "i imagine how trump or another republican nominee would
disembowel the relatively unknown vermonter." would that be the case, really, if it becomes a trump or anybody else versus sanders? >> well, look, none of us knows. and indeed, sanders is capturing that populist anger in a similar way to a more benign way, but a similar way to how donald trump is doing it. none of us really knows how it would play out here, but what we do know is that sanders remains relatively undefined. there's a lot of room for republicans to knock him down. and the fact of the matter is, americans never have elected a socialist at the national level. i think there's a lot of doubt that even in this climate that people are going to think that that's what they want to do right now. so, they very well -- democrats, if they choose to go with sanders, which i don't expect, they very well may be guaranteeing themselves a president trump. >> dan milbank from the "washington post," thank you for the time and also the read. thanks. >> my pleasure. thanks.
still to come, the fbi warns media gathered at the wildlife refuge in burns, oregon to back up by ten miles. authorities expected to hold a news conference any minute following the arrest of eight militants last night. and how many more could still be inside? we'll bring you that update live moments from now here on msnbc. food is committed to truth on the label. when we say real meat is the first ingredient, it is always number one. we leave out poultry by-product meal, corn, wheat and soy. and, we own where our dry food is made - 100%. can other brands say all that? for grain-free nutrition you can trust, does your food go beyond? learn more at beyondpetfood.com
katie used her bankamericard cash rewards credit card to stay warm and toasty during the heat of competition. that's the comfort of rewarding connections. apply online or at a bank of america near you. we are following breaking news out of oregon, where at 2:00 p.m. eastern time we are expecting to hear from the fbi and other law enforcement agencies involved in that nearly month-long occupation at a federal refuge in oregon. it comes as authorities arrested eight people overnight, including the group's leader, amman bundy. the fbi and oregon state police had stopped the occupiers' vehicles along a rural highway to arrest members of the group. one person was shot and killed during that confrontation. he has been identified by family as lavoy finicum. he served as a spokesman for the group at news conferences, and msnbc's tony dokoupil spoke to him earlier this month. >> reporter: if they come here and try to arrest you, they
point a gun at you, try to put cuffs on you, how far are you willing to take this? >> well, don't point a gun at me. you don't point a gun at somebody unless you're going to shoot them. that's the first thing your thought is, don't point guns at people. so, i'm telling them right now, don't point guns at me. >> reporter: so, you're prepared to die? better dead than in a cell. >> absolutely. would you like to be in a cell? nobody wants to live their life in a cell. >> let's start with msnbc's morgan radford. she is in burns, oregon, and she joins me on the phone. morgan, talk about the situation right now. and i understand there are other activists still held up in the wildlife refuge? >> reporter: frances, that's right. and among those activists, you're hearing the same type of conviction that you just heard from finicum. in fact, we're waiting for the fbi press conference to begin, and people are filing in. there are sheriffs' cars parked outside, even a man holding a sign saying "free the brothers."
so, there is a lot of conviction and steadfastness after last night robert "lavoy" finicum was shot and killed yesterday. that's when the bundy brothers and five others were arrested at 4:25 p.m. they were headed to a 6:00 p.m. meeting, frances. and senior law enforcement officials tell nbc news that they chose this particular route on highway 395 because they knew that those protesters would be traveling along that road. that's when police say that one of the two cars carrying nine people sped off, hit a snow bank, and that's when finicum came out. and they say he was carrying a gun, but his daughter tells a completely different story. take a listen, frances, to what she had to say. >> i want to know why, because i know my dad. he would never put someone's life in jeopardy. he would only defend his life. >> reporter: frances, even finicum's death hasn't been enough to stop these protesters.
they're still at the wildlife refuge center, and they've sent their women and children home because they say they're not sure how things are going to escalate. they've also chosen new leader jason patrick and even put a bulldozer in front of the refuge center to block or at least slow down police approach. they figure if they can slow the police down long enough to force them to have to remove that bulldozer, that will give enough time for them to recalibrate, decide their next action. so, tensions are definitely still high here in oregon. frances? >> something law enforcement are watching closely. thank you. morgan radford for the update. jim cavanaugh is a former hostage negotiator for the atf and one involved in the branch davidian compound in 1993 and also a law enforcement analyst. appreciate you being with us. as we look at this and know the circumstances leading up to this, authorities have criticisms for their hands-off approach with the protesters up until this point. we know their goal was to make this somewhat peaceful, or at least violence, the least amount
of violence as possible getting them off the property. what do you make of their response? >> well, i think it's excellent, really. it's a very deliberate attempt. the fbi, the s.w.a.t. team from the portland division, certainly their hostage rescue team, their negotiation unit from quantico and their critical incident response group all played a role here, as did the oregon state police and their s.w.a.t. team. and what the teams do is they plan carefully, try to mitigate any kind of death or injury. these militants could have surrendered. they clearly knew this was a police stop and road block. a couple of them, finicum, probably, and maybe even ryan bundy, decided they would try to shoot it out with the tactical officers and agents, and of course, that didn't work well for them. but it's pretty clear, frances, that finicum was going to resist. i mean, he told tony under the tarp the other night that he would rather die than be arrested. he's all ready to go, so he made his choice. it's sad to lose a life, but he
clearly resisted the agents and the troopers, you know, with a firearm. >> you look at the timeline here, jim, when this first started. it was the start of january. and then now, four weeks, almost a month long into it, we're seeing this arrest of the leadership. what do you make of the timeline? is that too long of a wait? >> no, it's never too long when lives are involved. i think the fbi and the state police have showed great restraint. they've done it properly. it is a logistical problem to try to bring the forces to bear to such a rural area where you have to effect arrests of a large group of armed people and who may be occupying the building. so, no, i think they did it exactly right. now they've blocked off the road so more people can't join this force of a half a dozen in there who are, you know, trying to figure out what to do. and the fbi will negotiate with them, they'll talk with them. they might cut off all their outside communications, via internet and web. they may decide to do that, and they may also decide to cut the
power, but those will be tactical and strategic decisions on the ground. >> we'll see what happens in that kind of development and also awaiting that press conference any moment now, actually at 2:00 p.m. eastern, as we take a live look inside there as the fbi will update us on the situation leading up to the arrest and also fatal shooting of one of those activists. jim cavanaugh, thank you. we'll check back with you when we hear from the fbi. up next, bernie sanders stops by the white house, hillary clinton hits the bowling alley in iowa, and what exactly is a caucus? all that ahead here on msnbc. is, with creative new business incentives, the lowest taxes in decades, and university partnerships, attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in utica, where a new kind of workforce is being trained. and in albany, the nanotechnology capital of the world. let us help grow your company's tomorrow, today at business.ny.gov
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i am, you know, anxious if we can get something set up, to be able to be there. and so, let's try to make it happen! >> would you like the chairman, the chair of the democratic national committee, debbie wasserman schultz, to approve the msnbc/nbc debate next week? >> i would like the chairman of the party and the campaigns to agree that we can debate in new hampshire next week. that is what i'm hoping will happen. >> okay. >> this as bernie sanders just wrapped up a meeting with president obama moments ago. sanders up four points in the latest iowa poll. our reporters have the democratic presidential field covered on all fronts in iowa. first we go to msnbc's kristen welker in iowa. interesting as we're seeing this tighten. how is secretary clinton using these last few days in iowa to her advantage? >> reporter: well, she's making a robust argument for why she thinks she's the most experienced candidate to be the next president. she spoke for more than 40 minutes here today, frances.
it was really remarkable. she ticked through a number of her top closing argument talking points, if you will, saying that she's going to be tough on wall street, that she will make progress on obamacare and on a number of president obama's different policies. and this is critical. you talk about the tightening polls here in iowa. what we're also seeing here in iowa is that younger voters, voters younger than 44 favor bernie sanders, 71%-21%, so that's a real concern if you're inside the clinton campaign. i tried to ask secretary clinton about those numbers when slae was leaving. she didn't want to talk about that, didn't answer reporters' questions, but clearly, that's a key focus. they're trying to get younger voters to turn out and caucus both by going out to college campuses and rallying them and also on social media. secretary clinton leaves for a fund-raising event for philadelphia later today, but she's back in iowa for the rest of the week, where she'll try to rally a number of caucusgoers, particularly those younger
caucusgoers. >> so crucial when it comes to turnout there. nbc's kristen welker there. thank you for the update. a reminder to watch chris matthews' hillary clinton interview tonight on "hardball" at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. kasie hunt is covering the sanders campaign in iowa. she joins me now on the phone. we just heard from him at the top of the hour. a big day for him after meeting with president obama. he said it was productive, it went well and he felt good about it. >> reporter: hi, frances, that's right. bernie sanders at the white house, on his way back to iowa for an event later tonight in mason city. but he talked a little bit about that interview that president gave to "politico" earlier this week, where it seemed as though he was putting his finger on the scales in favor of hillary clinton. sanders saying today he doesn't believe that that's what happened at all, and saying that the meeting was productive and constructive. so, the question for him, of course, is whether or not he's going to be able to get those first-time caucusgoers out to the polls, and that's what his series of events across the state over the next two days is
aimed at doing. this new poll out showing him leading hillary clinton 49%-45% in iowa, the race suddenly very, very close. and if you dig into those numbers a little bit, you see that he has an overwhelming advantage with first-time caucusgoers and young people by huge margin there, whereas those who caucused before say that they support hillary clinton. so, his challenge, of course, is to see whether or not he can replicate some of what the president was able to do here in 2008 and to get those young voters out to the polls, frances. >> and we'll see if that happens, especially with those ad buys there, you know, and if he continues to stay positive, as he's always vowed to in those ads. msnbc's kasie hunt, thank you very much. >> reporter: thanks, frances. breaking news now related to the hacking of information relating to military personnel. pete williams brings us up to date. >> well, the man accused of doing this was arrested in
october in malaysia and now is going to appear in a federal courtroom in just a few minutes. his name is ardif farizi, a kosovo citizen living in malaysia. they claim he hacked into a retail site in the u.s. last year in the southwest, took about 100,000 names and sorted out about 1,000 names, addresses and other personal information of 1,000 service members of the united states military. the government further alleges that he gave it to two people in isis, people he knew to be in isis, and that one of them actually posted it online, saying that these are the names of people -- the headline that was posted is "u.s. military and go government personnel" and that people should attack them. he will appear in federal court to face these charges. this is a process that's been going on for months. he was actually arrested in august, or rather in september in malaysia at the request of
the u.s. by malaysian authorities. and since then, the golf hvernm has sought his extradition to the united states. now that's been completed, he's been brought here and he's in the united states to face these charges, frances. >> all right. nbc's pete williams updating us on that hacking of military personnel info. thank you very much. >> you bet. when we return, what exactly is a caucus? ative colitis, the possibility of a flare was almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go... and how to deal with my uc. to me, that was normal. until i talked to my doctor. she told me that humira helps people like me get uc under control and keep it under control when certain medications haven't worked well enough. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure.
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state in little neighborhoods like this will show up at places like this, the family fun center where clinton just was to get out the caucus vote, because the process here is so different, not even iowans can understand how it works. a caucus is -- let's just say it -- a strange way to pick a president. 22 territories use some kind of caucus system. what is a caucus, exactly? >> it's when they try to get out there and get -- to figure out who is going to be the best candidate. >> it helps decide -- i don't really know, to be honest. >> reporter: on iowa committee cau -- iowa's caucus day, it's election day rather than just election hour. you have to show up in person at one of 6,081 precincts to participate. explain to me, how do you caucus? >> you go to the area in your precinct and from there you
decide which candidate you're going to caucus for. >> you kind of go and stand by who you want to support. >> the group. >> reporter: because preliminary primaries control the caucus, where you go depends on whether you're a republican or democrat. you walk in, write the name of your candidate on a piece of paper, hand it in, ballots are counted, winners are announced and delegates are awarded. if you're a democrat, caucusing is sort of a game of musical chairs. there is a pitch by a campaign representative for each candidate. then caucus goers literally break up in groups for their candidate or into an area for undecided voters. the percentage each candidate gets is calculated and it's deemed valuable in a vast majority of caucus locations to get 15% support or more. caucus goers who don't make the cut can try to make another campaign or go to the undecided category and be recruited from
there. the process repeats until all remaining candidates are viable, then delegates are rewarded. confused? you're not alone. it's why some turnouts are so low. are you in a caucus, pat? >> no. >> are you in a caucus? >> it's probably going to depend on the weather. >> how about you? are you in a caucus? >> absolutely not. >> reporter: frances, if it wasn't all about picking the leader of the free world here, this process may actually be relatively funny. but when you look at it and you hear people like the ones i talked to say things like the weather may prevent them from showing up at 7:00 p.m. on a monday night, you realize this is very, very serious. the all-time high for a caucus in iowa was 16%. that was when president obama won his first election. democrats are trying to make the process easier this year by allowing people to caucus remotely. still, there is a lot of criticism for caucus for people outside of iowa while people here still love it.
>> an overwhelming amount of those often don't show up. they can't use the excuse they don't know what it is. thank you, jacob. appreciate it. sticking with the political theme, the party's frontrunner will not be there, so we're asking you today's poll question. will boycotting the gop debate help or hurt donald trump? let's take a look at how your voting so far, top of the hour. close to split. 49% of you saying that will help donald trump, 51% of you will hurt. keep the debate going on. pulse msnbc.com. we're waiting for a news conference out of western oregon. we are expecting an update after last night's shooting. plus, donald trump dropping a big bomb by pulling out of tomorrow night's republican debate. will it pay off? on the other side, presidential candidate bernie sanders meeting with president
obama. we'll tell you what we know about what they talked about, coming up. you laugh. you worry. you do whatever it takes to take care of your family. and when it's time to plan for your family's future, we're here for you. we're legalzoom, and for over 10 years we've helped families just like yours with wills and living trusts. so when you're ready, start with us. doing the right thing has never been easier. legalzoom. legal help is here.
good to be with you for msnbc live. i'm frances rivera in for thomas roberts and we start with breaking news out of oregon. you're looking at live pictures from burns where any moment the fbi will hold a news conference on the occupation of a federal wildlife refuge that has last the for more than a month. it comes just hours after authorities arrested eight people overnight including the group's leader, alan bundy. one person was shot and killed. family members have identified that man as lavoy lavinica. he pulled out a weapon. morgan joins me from this side of the news conference, and what exactly are authorities expected to tell us? >> reporter: frances, it is standing room only inside, completely packed. we're waiting for the fbi, the u.s. attorney's office and the sheriff, dave ward, to speak to everyone inside.
again, this is after 56-year-old lavoy levinica was killed last night. law enforcement officials tell us they chose this particular route for a traffic stop knowing that they were headed on this street. they said there were two vehicles with nine people inside, that everything was peaceful at first, but then the first ones sped off, hit a snowbank, and that's when police say finicum got outside and he was carrying a weapon. his daughter said that was not the case. we may find out details from this fbi press conference to see what exactly happened last night. frances? >> keep us up to date and fill us in on the situation as we're seeing them come out to the podium right now. we understand that there are still some people held up in the wildlife refuge. hopefully these law enforcement officials will fill us in on that and also their efforts how
to go about that with them setting up checkpoints around the area, calling it a containment. again, this arrest and also shooting of one of the activists killed last night. let's listen as they begin this briefing. >> i'm the special agent in charge of the fbi here in oregon. for the past month -- >> louder! >> for the past month, the fbi, along with our partners, with the hardin county sheriff's office, the oregon state police and the many other state, federal and local agencies that we have been working with have had a very deliberate and measured response. we have worked diligently to bring the situation at the malier national wildlife refuge to a peaceful end. but because this is an ongoing investigation, there are many specifics we cannot talk about at this time. there are still people illegally
occupying malier refuge at this point. i will say that the armed occupiers have been given ample opportunity to leave the refuge peacefully. they have been given opportunities to negotiate as outsiders to oregon, they have been given the opportunity to return to their families and to work through the normal legal process to air their grievances. instead, these individuals have chosen to threaten and intimidate the america they profess to love and through criminal actions bring these consequences upon themselves. yesterday the fbi, with our partners, took the first steps to bring this occupation to a
conclusion. we worked to ensure that we could do so peacefully and safely out of harm's way of the citizens here in the county. removing the threat of danger from anybody who might be present. we continue to work to empty the refuge of those who continue to illegally occupy the refuge and remove them in the safest way possible. eight people were arrested and one man died yesterday as we attempted to take him into custody. because there is an ongoing investigation by the county crimes team, i'm part of the oregon state police involving this process, i cannot comment on the details or on the specifics. i would, however, ask for your patience as this shooting investigation goes through this
normal outside process. at the appropriate time, the medical examiner's office will release the identity of the decedent, and the oregon state police will then be able to address the details of the event. let me be clear. it is the actions and choices of the armed occupiers of the refuge that has led us to where we are today. they had ample opportunity to leave the refuge peacefully, and as the fbi and our partners have clearly demonstrated, actions are not without consequences. containment road blocks are now in place around the refuge. the destruction to the good people of hardin county that they have had to endure for the last several months will continue for a while longer. if the people on the refuge want
to leave, they're free to do so through the checkpoints where they will be identified. if they have questions or concerns, they can contact the negotiators on the telephone number that has been provided to them. as i conclude, i want to share my promise to the citizens of this county, to the people who live here, who work here, who are raising their families here that we will continue to look for safe, peaceful procedures on how to bring this to a peaceful conclusion. we recognize that the sooner we do so, the sooner this community can begin to heal. thank you. >> good morning. my name is bill williams and i'm the u.s. attorney for the district of oregon. i've been coming to this county for the last 15 years on behalf of the u.s. attorney's office
for various work-related responsibilities. and through that time, i'm keenly aware of the concerns that are important to this community. i have seen firsthand the passion in this community that it has for its way of life. clearly this has been disrupted by the armed occupation. the fbi, harney county sheriff's office, the oregon police, the association and numerous people around the state have been working very hard to stop this situation in a peaceful manner, to stop the threats to public safety and to end the significant disruption this has caused to the people of harney county. we continue working towards resolution and will do so with the primary goal of restoring normalcy to this community and highlighting the already existing cooperative efforts of local and federal partners in
this county to address their own issues, both locally, federally and state. there are currently eight people in custody, seven in oregon, one in arizona. they will have their initial appearance here in oregon for the seven in oregon at 1:30 p.m. before a federal magistrate. at some time in the future, the defendant in arizona will come to oregon for future court proceedings. as mr. betzing announced last night on behalf of the fbi, these eight people were arrested for the federal felony offense of conspiracy to impede officers of the united states from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats. this is an ongoing investigation, and we will not be commenting on the case. instead we will let the publicly filed documents in the case speak for themselves. in closing, i want to thank the federal, state, local and travel
law enforcement officers and agents who are working very well together to support this community and this effort. i want to thank the people of harney county and the burns paoiu tribe for their patience in returning this to normalcy. we will continue to work hard until this is resolved. thank you. >> good morning, i'm sheriff dave ward. i've been working on peaceful resolution of this problem since november 5th when several of the individuals arrested yesterday came into my office.
they had ultimatums that i couldn't meet. i'm here to uphold the law. i'm disappointed that a traffic stop yesterday that was supposed to bring peaceful resolution to this ended badly. multiple agencies, law enforcement agencies, put a lot of work into doing -- putting together the best tactical plan they could to take these guys down peacefully and find some resolution to these issues that we're going through in our community. it didn't have to happen. we all make choices in life. sometimes our choices go bad.
the occupation at the refuge and the actions of some of the folks down there have created a lot of stress in our community. it hasn't just been isolated to the refuge. i think that's the point that gets missed quite a bit. some of these folks have spent a lot of time in town trying to stir some issues within the community. if it was as simple as just waiting out some folks down there to get out of some buildings, we could have waited a lot longer. but this has been tearing our community apart. it's time for everybody in this illegal occupation to move on. there doesn't have to be bloodshed in our community. if we have issues with the way things are going in our
government, we have a responsibility as citizens to act on those in an appropriate manner. we don't arm up. we don't arm up and rebel. we work through the appropriate channels. this can't happen anymore. this can't happen in america and it can't happen in harney county. thank you. [ applause ] >> certainly some heartfelt comments there coming from the local sheriff in oregon along with members of the fbi and u.s. attorneys as they're speaking about their involvement in this nearly month-long occupation of a federal wildlife reserve in oregon leading up to the arrest of eight people in a confrontation last night that ended up with one man being shot and killed. i want to bring in jim cavanaugh, msnbc law enforcement analyst, also one of the
negotiators with the branch da individual ya vadian compound in waco, texas. i appreciate you being here with me. what struck me in the words of sheriff there was the words he chose, jim, and saying this is tearing our community apart and this bloodshed has got to stop. not really something you would normally see when it comes to these press briefings when they don't really have too much information they can share because of the investigation. >> well, sheriff ward has conducted himself very professionally throughout this, frances, and of course, he's saying what the 320 million americans believe. when you have a few hundred thousand of these false patriots, militia members, sovereign citizens or people who believe they can, through force of arms, fight the federal government, there is many believers of this doctorate out there and they're not swayed by these arguments. in fact, they're already on the web calling finica a martyr.
the sheriff is right but these people aren't going away that easy. the children have left the refuge. the two little girls, eight and nine, are gone, so there's only six armed militants in there. the fbi can deal with that a little differently. in the additional appearances today, the charges are read against you, you're given your rights, you're appointed an attorney, but also motions for bond, because everybody has a right for bond. one of the big issues is going to be the u.s. attorneys arguing for no bail, because the two things for no bail are risk of flight and danger to the community. and they have a very strong argument for danger to the community. and there will be a hearing probably next week and the prosecutors will argue for no bail. so they have some in custody and they have to get the rest soon. >> the fbi, members of the fbi made it very clear in speaking that they were pretty much left with no choice, saying over and over again that these activists
were given every opportunity to negotiate, every opportunity to leave peacefully. and in their words that they are threatening and intimidating the america they profess to love and saying they brought these consequences on their own, that the actions and choices of the occupiers led us to the effort we saw last night. and is again, it didn't have to be bloody, it didn't have to end with a life lost, but that's the case. is that your sentiment, that they really didn't have a choice to go about it? i know they wanted to target the leaders. they did so away from the property of the wildlife refuge, and in doing so, that was their tactic last night? >> right, it was an excellent tactic. they took the leadership of the militants in a safe area away from town. they didn't have a big shootout at the scene. no, that was a very good tactic that's used a lot in law enforcement. we try to isolate the armed, violent people who want to shoot it out. so that was a good tactic.
tactical teams are smart about that. but the fbi used an unprecedented restraint here. they're saying to the people in there, the half dozen militants in there, you're free to leave and we're just going to identify you at the checkpoint. in the history of american law enforcement, this is an unprecedented deal they're being given, that they can go home. i'm not saying they couldn't be arrested later, but they're letting them leave. so there is tremendous restraint by the fbi. i think they're doing an excellent job. >> jim cavanaugh, thanks for the perspective. i want to turn now to pete williams, msnbc chief news. the fbi said there are people just illegally occupying this area. when you look at that and you look at the history of what these occupiers are demanding, that two of these ranchers who are in custody, in prison be freed, and that federal land be turned back locally, and this is the outcome that we saw last night. >> the fbi did not want to give any details publicly, but what we're told is that they made
this decision when they knew that eight of these -- or eight or nine of these people would be leaving the compound going about 100 miles away tie community meeti meeting, so they set up a roadblock on a highway along the way, stopped them, and according to law enforcement officials, there were two cars. both stopped. the first car, after the stop was already made, took off, ran into a snowbank, and they say the finica who was shot jumped out and came at them brandishing a weapon. that was the account. some of the militants disagreed with that, saying he was unarmed. interestingly, there is a video posted on facebook by a man saying he was one of the drivers of those two cars, the second one, and his account more or less tallies with what the fbi says. so this will be something we'll have to go through in the days to come as to how exactly this all happened last night. but the charges will be filed. we'll see probably not a lot of detail about what happened last
night. the charges were previously filed that will be unsealed in court this afternoon. >> pete, i want to ask you about the timeline of this. i can't imagine this was the only community meeting that the leaders left the wildlife refuge property to attend. would there have been other opportunities, and why the timing? why now? >> i think you're right. there were other meetings they had attended, but i think the focus here was there was so many of the leaders. basically all of the main leaders, the spoex men, finicum, the two bundys, all the people in the core leadership there at the wildlife refuge were all together leaving the compound and they felt that was the best opportunity they had. >> pete williams, thank you for that. as we turn now legally and with the charges of these activists and these occupiers may be facing, i want to turn to ari melbour melbourne. we understand that of those arrested, most of them are in
oregon, one in arizona, and already mentioning court appearances as far as those suspects today. >> yeah, you see some of them up on the screen there. seven of these eight in oregon, and they will be at court for federal arraignment there at 4:30 eastern time, 1:30 local. they're all facing the same charge, which is basically a law against impeding law enforcement. it carries up to six years in prison, so it's a serious felony. and it relates to a conspiracy charge, which is more serious than an altercation. so in thinking about what these people are actually going to be potentially held accountable for, at least what the federal government in concert with the oregon sheriff we just heard from is accusing them of, is not just having interaction with an officer but having a conspiracy under federal law to try to impede or injure law enforcement. impeding or injuring law enforcement, conspiracy of two
or more people and carries six years in prison. 29 days and moving deliberately and slowly, i would say, as jim cavanaugh was saying earlier, that shows a lot of restraint. now that we are in the prosecution side, i would say this is a serious charge for what the federal government alleges is very serious misconduct. >> right, and certainly there will be another stage depending on how it ends with the last remaining occupants still there. ari melber, thank you very much. i also want to check in with lori, the sheriff saying there doesn't have to be bloodshed, this is tearing the community apart. how is the community reacting with eight arrested and one killed? >> speci >> reporter: especially those who are protesting, frances, are still standing strong in their conviction. they're still at that wildlife
refuge center and they're standing firm because, frankly, they're not sure how things are going to end. many have professed their willingness to die over this. they very strongly hold claim over this federal land that they say is their constitutional right. you heard from the u.s. attorney, you heard from the fbi, you heard from the sheriff. the sheriff was the most passionate speaker. he said basically they came into my office yesterday and issued an ultimatum that i couldn't meet. he said he tried to take them peacefully, that's why they chose a particular route on highway 395, but he said we all make choices in life and sometimes our choices go bad. he talked really about the pain that's spread throughout the community. when he said that, people in the back of the room were kind of nodding in agreement saying, yeah, they were. they came to a community and tried to stir issues. so i think on one hand, people are happy to see some sense of a resolution to this, even though, of course, there are still people, as i just mentioned at
the wildlife refuge center. but seeing there was some teeth to the sheriff's statement about being thorough about anything directly in the community. >> certainly from the applause he got after speaking there, people listening to that briefing. thanks for the update. still to come in the race of 2016. donald trump to skip tomorrow's gop debate. we'll have the latest review with fox. that's next. or across the globe in under an hour. whole communities are living on mars and solar satellites provide earth with unlimited clean power. in less than a century, boeing took the world from seaplanes to space planes, across the universe and beyond. and if you thought that was amazing, you just wait. ♪
to folks out there whose diabetic nerve pain... shoots and burns its way into your day, i hear you. to everyone with this pain that makes ordinary tasks extraordinarily painful, i hear you. make sure your doctor hears you too! i hear you because i was there when my dad suffered with diabetic nerve pain. if you have diabetes and burning, shooting pain in your feet or hands, don't suffer in silence! step on up and ask your doctor about diabetic nerve pain. tell 'em cedric sent you. turning now to the donald trump standoff with fox news. trump is turning down tomorrow night's debate in iowa, the last before the caucus on monday. here's how trump framed it last night. >> when they sent out the wise guy press releases a little while ago done by some pr person along with roger ells, i said
bye bye. >> are you worried that will affect your chances in iowa -- >> no, i think i'll do great in iowa. i love iowa. i don't think iowa is going to care. >> fox released a statement which read in part, capitulating to positively digss' ult mate umz about a debate moderator violates all journalistic orders. we can't give in to terrorizations. bring us up to date on how we got here, and even though trump has been adamant that he's not going to be participating in the debate if there's even the slightest chance that he's standing center stage there tomorrow. >> there's always a chance. you can't rule out anything with donald trump. he's going to be here in gilbert, south carolina later this evening, and perhaps he'll tell us a little bit more. but right now his campaign and donald trump are steadfast that
they're not going to participate. how did we get here is a very good question. first of all, it begins with an earlier debate where host meghan kelly, one of the moderators from fox news, asked a question about donald trump's treatment of women. he was offended by that statement and later said in an interview that she had blood coming out from somewhere, i don't know where, suggesting that that was again an affront to women. so that battle began back and forth. then, as we move forward here, fox released a statement when donald trump dropped out, and it appeared initially that donald trump was dropping out of this debate because meghan kelly was again going to be one of those moderato moderators. fox news issued what he called that wise guy statement. we learned from a back channel that the ayatollah intend to treat donald trump unfairly when they meet him if he becomes president. that was put out by fox. donald trump then responded on
twitter, and really, he called it, as you heard, a wiseguy statement, and he has since said in his twitter statements that he would not call meghan kelly a bimbo, but he did say that he does not think that she should be part of this debate. but then he and his campaign have said they are not devoid of this or stepping out of this debate because of meghan kelly, they're stepping out because of that statement. all told, when you put it back and forth together here, donald trump and fox news kind of apart on where their relationship has been, and of course many people have said over the years that fox news has had a conservative bent, one that appeals more to republican viewers. well, donald trump, the outsider here, may have taken on another outsider role even within the fox news family, and of course this is all immediate landscape that donald trump somehow seems to be holding onto as he keeps
his name front and center heading into the iowa caucuses, and then not too much later right here in south carolina. it looks like he's going to be meeting with some farmers later this evening. >> whether we see him on that debate stage tomorrow, or as his campaign has said, possibly another event with another network stealing away fox's ratings there with veterans. we will all see it. thank you very much. donald trump is the focus of today's poll question. will boycotting the gop debate help or hurt donald trump? 39% voted it would help trump while 51% voted it would hurt him. how does this change this hour while the votes keep coming in? staying the same. 49% helping, and 51% of you saying that will hurt donald trump. if you want to change those numbers go to pulsemsnbc.com. i want to turn to steve kornake. a lot of it hinging on iowa, but if we can look past it here and
see how the rest of the field is reacting to donald trump, especially with his withdrawal. i know marco rubio earlier saying -- calling it theatrics, entertaining slide show and all of that. >> no surprise the republican candidates are going to come down hard on him for this. eyes chief competitor in iowa right now, the guy in second place, pretty much everywhere right now, and that is ted cruz. ted cruz doing two things, saying this debate like the fox news one, is like a job interview. he says if you don't show up at that job interview, he takes on the donald trump phrase, you should be told you're fired. he also challenged trump to a one-on-one debate, 60 minutes sometime between now and iowa. that is sort of a theatrical challenge, no actual discussions between the campaigns on making that happen. maybe one more thing more important than all this reaction is how the conservative world is reacting. you mentioned donald trump
versus fox news. how will big name conservatives come down? rush limbaugh, the radio talk show host with a huge conservative audience, he was on his show earlier today and he sided with donald trump on this. he said fox news was behaving as if they had been jilted at the alter. what's particularly interesting about rush limbaugh saying that is rush limbaugh had a television show back in the early 1990s. his producer was roger ails and roger ails now runs fox news, and there was rush limbaugh siding with donald trump on this. >> bernie sanders is in the white house. his sit-down with president obama. that's next. ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪
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>> white house press secretary josh earnest on bernie sanders' meeting with president obama today. bernie sanders at 49% over hillary clinton at 45% today. the two are neck and neck. here's what hillary clinton told chris matthews earlier today. >> chris, what i said through my campaign is i would look forward to another debate. i am, you know, anxious if we can get something set up to be able to be there, so let's try to make it happen. >> would you like the chair of the democratic national committee, debbie wasserman schultz, to approve the msnbc debate next week? >> i would like the chairman of the party and the campaigns to agree that we can debate in new hampshire next week. that is what i'm hoping will happen.
>> msnbc's ron allen is in the white house when bernie sanders spoke last hour. this is the second meeting of its kind between the two of them and it's been planned for a while. what more did we learn about this visit, ron? >> reporter: here at the white house, the president's position is that he's being neutral about this whole race. he has to do that for a number of reasons, obviously because the race is still very tight between sanders and hillary clinton, even though, of course, hillary clinton was secretary of state here for four years and worked very closely with the president. obviously she has a much closer relationship with the president than bernie sanders does. the snar cenario for the presid would be if he were to come out and endorse hillary clinton and then she not win. we're going to iowa and new hampshire whereby some polls secretary clinton is down. after the meeting, bernie sanders came out and said a number of things, including that he thought that the president was, in fact, being even-handed
and not favoring clinton as some have said. here's some more of what senator sanders had to say after the meeting. >> i discussed this morning a number of issues, foreign policy issues, domestic issues, occasionally a little bit of politics. but i enjoyed the meeting and i thought it was a very positive and constructive meeting. i think he and the vice president have tried to be fair and even-handed in the process, and i expect they will continue that way. >> reporter: and he also took a slight jab at clinton, pointing out that he voted against the iraq war as president obama did as a senator then while hillary clinton voted for it. so politics playing into it even here at the white house. a brief meeting, about 45 minutes, only the second time they've met in the oval office in the past couple of years or so, and again, the president saying he's going to be neutral and he's going to vote in the
primary by absentee ballot and maybe he'll endorse before then, maybe not. >> remaining neutral especially after that political article. a lot of praise for hillary clinton and not so much for bernie sanders. ron allen at the white house. thank you. hillary clinton will join chris matthews tonight on "hardball." that is at 7:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. msnbc's rachel maddow prepares to hold a town hall tonight. i'll get reaction from michigan senator gary peters. that's happening next. enses hav.
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>> we'll establish a separate group of independent experts to work with us on the question of how do we get the water turned back on at the tap so it can be safe and clear, and what testing should be involved in that process? >> we're just hours away from a town hall with flint residents hosted by msnbc's rachel maddow. in the meantime, though, i want to turn to joy reed. she joins me live from flint, and, joy, i know you were in the room in that press conference, and they asked for help from the federal government. there is also a different tone from the mayor when she said basically, that's great, appreciate the help from the federal government, but it doesn't replace the state doing their part. >> reporter: yeah, definitely different types of tones between those two elected officials, frances, and i'll just let the viewers know i am here at the location of the msnbc town hall that rachel maddow will be holding later on this evening. i actually asked the governor if he might want to show up at that town hall tonight and if he
talked to the residents directly and tell them about his short and long-term plans. here's what he said. >> i'm absolutely focused on solving the problem. that's where i'm spending my time and attention meeting with the interagency council, doing other events. >> reporter: so, frances, no commitment to come to the town hall tonight and talk to the residents of flint directly. no real specifics from the governor other than talking about having experts come in to test the water, introducing these phosphates into the water supply to try to build what he called a biofilm around the pipes. when i interviewed the mayor before the press conference took place, which by the way almost didn't take place because she wasn't sure if she was going to show up unless she got some really specific deliverables. here's what mayor weaver said before that press conference. >> we know we need to get that under way. we need at least get started with that list of service lines.
that's what people are waiting to see because that's where we're having that issue. i understand that it's wintertime. i understand that some things can't be done, but that's the first thing we need to get started on. >> reporter: and, frances, mayor weaver did not get a commitment to begin fixing those lead pipes or replacing them in the older homes here in flint, but she did get a commitment which she announced during the press conference for a $3 million allocation from the governor's office which will help residents of flint defray the cost of their water bills. it's been one of the biggest complaints we've heard from residents, that they're still getting water bills for water they cannot use. there's help coming for the residents of flint for that, and we should hear about that from the mayor. frances? >> their number one concern being the health of their families. joy reed in flint, thank you very much.
i want to bring in gary peters. i understand they're introducing a bill today that would clarify the epa's authority to notify the public when it comes to a danger from the water system. with that in place in the future, if that was in place then, 2014, 2013, would that have helped flint in this situation? >> i think there is no question it would have. and i think i want to just pick up mayor weaver's comments. it's very clear this is something the state did. it was an error made by the state that has caused, really, just catastrophic results in the city of flint. they knew from some of their tests that there was a problem. they slow-walked that. they didn't inform the public. the epa kept stressing to the state that you need to put in controls to prevent corrosion in these pipes. they saw some of the test data, but unfortunately the epa thought the rules were actually not very clear as to whether or not they could go public.
they had to keep, really, relying on the state to make that public which took way too long. the legislation i introduced with senator stabenau makes it very clear if the epa finds there is unacceptable levels of lead in water, they need to require the state or local governments to make that public, and if they do not, there will be an additional level of accountability, which means the epa will go public and make sure the people of flint or any other city that may be experiencing this problem understand that there is a problem with the drinking water that needs to be addressed. >> i know you stated before that this may take years, even decades, to fix. and we're also considering this new lawsuit here where we're asking the federal judge to enforce the city to replace the lead pipes to ensure the water is safe. i'm sure that's also one of the efforts you see taking decades. when you think about what's happening now, bottled water brought in by the private sector, walmart, coke, pepsi, also celebrities donating water as well, and then you have the temporary filters, that's the
fix for now. what more needs to be done as far as seeing this and reassuring these families who were, again, so afraid and so uncertain as to their health, especially for the young children? >> there's no question. those are the folks, as you mentioned, the children, that are impacted the most. lead is a horrible thing for anybody to drink, but it is particularly problematic for young children, especially those that are very young, they're brains are just forming. if you've been exposed to lead. even if you're exposed to it later, you tend to have lifetime problems. we've proposed a future fund needs to be established that provides for health care for these children, make sure they're getting proper nutrition as they're growing up, and also a wraparound education services that are absolutely essential. that's why we've asked fossil to extend head start, for example, a critical program for very young children. we should have every child in flint having access to head
start. and while all of that is happening, we also need to look at infrastructure and fixing the infrastructure in the city of flint. we're working on a proposal now, working with my colleagues, and we'll be announcing that very shortly. >> when you do, we look forward to hearing from you then. gary peters, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. a reminder tonight at 9:00 p.m. here on msnbc, rachel maddow will host a special town hall meeting in flint on the water crisis there. donlald trump's debate gamble. we'll talk about how this could impact his strategy or his place in the polls. first, changing gears. what to do about those unruly passengers in an uber car. here is nealy patelle with 30 seconds. >> uber cars in charlotte, north carolina are being stocked with bop-it toys -- yes, that's
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back now with more on donald trump's decision not to join the fox news debate tomorrow night. fox news said, capitulat iing t politicians' ultimatums about a debate moderator violates all journalistic standards. >> i don't think iowa is going to care. i love iowa. >> donald trump tweeted out, even though i beat him in the first six debates, especially
the last one, ted cruz wants to debate me again. can we do it in canada? jay gray, always great to have you with me, especially last night when you're watching this. donald trump versus fox news pre last night and post last night, especially with their statement. who is in the right? >> who is in the right? i think donald trump in this case, frances, is in the right. now, has he attacked fox news for six months straight? yes, he has. has he attacked meghan kelly and were those attacks justified? i don't think so. i think she's been a straight shooter. her question in that debate in august were justified. she was reading trump's words back to him, and ever since she's been attacking and he's stayed above the fray. he taunted a presidential candidate saying if you're freeing meghan kelly then you're
being treated unfairly. if he says they're being untreated fairly, that gives him all the ammunition he needs to say, you're treating me unfairly. plus he sees ted cruz going in the opposite direction, so he probably says, i don't have to do this, because quite frankly, i'm not getting a fair shake. he's being a rogue and that's what his supporters like. >> not only is he saying, see you, i'm not joining you, but he's telling his spokespeople that he may be at another event, another forum where people may be, whether it's veterans or wounded warriors. we haven't gotten a confirmation. they're saying they don't know, they haven't heard about it yet. but he's saying do it, the ratings will follow me. >> i got a call from "entertainment tonight" yesterday. they said, do you want to come in and talk about meghan kelly and donald trump and the gop debate? i'm thinking "entertainment
tonig tonight"? >> well, he has a reality show. >> it is a reality show and "entertainment tonight" would be interested. they wanted the reality show "scrum." that's why viewers who would have watched donald trump tomorrow night, they won't be there. he could be 48% compared to what he could have, frances. >> people say he's out of it, he won't show up. will he be on that debate stage? >> he won't be on that debate stage, because boy, wouldn't that look bad if he ak wcquiesc saying he wouldn't do it. that would make him look weak. >> the final results have been split for the past two hours. now a little bit more points when it comes to people who believe he can help.
46%. that was 49 for the past hour. 54% of you say it won't hurt him. that does it for today's show. we'll be back here tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. eastern time. frances rivera in for thomas roberts. kate snow picks up next here on msnbc. our cosmetics line was a hit. the orders were rushing in. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us. we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding fast. building 18 homes in 4 ½ months? that was a leap. but i knew i could rely on american express
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if you're dora the explorer, you explore. it's what you do. >>what took you so long? if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. >>you did it, yay! with me they're dealing with somebody that's a little bit different. they can't toy with me like they toy with everybody else. so let them have their debate and let's see how they do with
the ratings, and i told them, i said, give money to the wounded warriors, give money to the veterans. they're going to make a fortune with the debate. now let's see how many people watch. >> afternoon, everyone. i'm kate snow and we have a lot to digest today. we are five days away to the official kickoff to the presidential primary season, the iowa caucuses. as we all know, whoever wins iowa could go on to win the nomination. it is a full-on fight to the finish and the candidates are taking no chances. seven gop contenders, seven on the ground in the hawkeye state today all holding events, but all eyes really are on donald trump. the gop frontrunner, as you just heard, said he's skipping thursday's fox news debate, the last one before the iowa caucuses because he's at odds with moderator meghan kelly. today trump's coordinator told "morning joe" that trump is not going to be toyed with. >> what