tv MSNBC Live With Kate Snow MSNBC January 27, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm PST
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 you have with mr. trump
is you have a clear leader, the person he said is not going to be toyed with, the person who understands when a bad deal is in front of him and he's ready to walk away from a bad deal, something this country should be able to do. and i don't see any way fox will have a successful debate now when you have a clear frontrunner who has decided to walk away from this debate because they can't be treated fairly on the debate stage. >> let's start off with peter alexander. he's off in des moines, iowa. peter, what is the campaign saying 3:01 p.m. eastern time right now that trump won't show up at the debate? >> we have the fox news debate tomorrow night, then the other debate, 90 minutes that ted cruz has challenged trump to. donald trump finally responded to ted cruz's challenge. 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?
again, revisiting that line that has been so effective, sort of his way of trolling ted cruz, who, of course, was born in canada. yesterday and the other day saying he would probably best serve as canadian prime minister. this fox news debate going on without trump's participation, fox news telling nbc news that they will not, if trump does not show, put an emplty podium up o that debate stage tomorrow night like the same situation that existed before when rand paul said he would not participate in the lower, lesser debate when he didn't make the cut for the debate that evening. so everything moves forward as if donald trump will not be there and we wait to hear what trump himself will say about it. he is, ironically, scheduled to be on fox news tonight to discuss his feud with fox news. >> which they said was pre scheduled, right? >> correct. >> peter, i want to ask you
about a pretty heated exchange that you had last night, actually, with donald trump. let's play that, then i'll ask you about it. >> in 1999, you said you were pro choice in all respects. >> and what did i say? you didn't read it. read the full statement of what i said. >> are you a trutrustworthy? >> i'm very trustworthy, more so than you because you didn't read the whole thing. >> i'm very pro choice when it comes to abortion. >> why did you say before i hate the concept of abortion? do you apologize? >> do i apologize for reading your words? >> for not reading my words. no, no. do you apologize for not reading my words? >> it guest tesets testy. peter, explain what this was all about. what were you questioning about in the first place? >> i was following up with a series of attacks that had been leveled against donald trump particularly in the state of iowa whereie van je evangelicalt vote will be critical.
several abortion groups said trump cannot be trusted on the topic of abortion, saying voters should be urged to vote for anybody but trump. these were attacks echoed by ted cruz's campaign, playing a clip from a 1999 interview with ted russert on "meet the press." for clarity, here's what donald trump said then. >> would president trump ban abortion? >> i'm very pro choice. i hate the concept of abortion. i hate it. i hate everything i stand for. i cringe when i listen to people debate the subject. but still, i just believe in choice. >> reporter: so you heard him say he just believed in choice despite the fact that he abwhor the concept of abortion. we were asking him about this issue because it's an issue that evangelicals are talking about. i think what makes that a testy exchange between us is that donald trump for so long has
been able to filibuster the debate when it's a topic he doesn't want to focus on right now. it's not a topic he wants to focus on. later during the news conference yesterday he was asked if he believed that plan b, the plan b, the morning after pill, should be viewed as abortion effectively as well, if he supported that, and it was something that he said to the reporter, i will get back to you on that. all issues he doesn't want to focus on in these final 100-plus hours before the caucus. >> peter alexander out in des moines for us. peter, thanks so much. so how is the rest of the gop field reacting to this debate shake-up? for more i'm joined on the phone now by nbc's hallie jackson. she's also out in des moines, iowa. hallie, what has the reaction been about, donald trump challenged by ted cruz. donald trump put out a tweet
saying maybe they should have it in canada. >> we saw ted cruz tweet out that statement that donald trump has to make america great again, but theirs says making the debate great again. you're also seeing a strategy of trying to portray largely of donald trump appearing weak, donald trump appearing as though he is scared to take on meghan kelly, scared to take on the rest of the republican field. you're seeing rubio try to portray himself as a little above all this, calling what's happening between trump and cruz an entertaining side show, but rubio emphasizing he's going to focus on what matters, which to him is trying to nominate a party for a democratic nominee. this is a way for the campaign to flip this and look at how it's going to help their message and how it will help the other candidates push their message out, whatever that message is. whether it's attacking donald
trump, whether it's pushing their own narrative they would like to get out there. ted cruz has done that in this one-on-one debate challenge, as you're aware of, but clearly trying to show the two men at odds, but clearly it will be ted cruz in the front if donald trump does not show up. >> oouyou've been out talking t caucus goers, particularly evangelical caucus goers? >> right. we're actually at the evangelical church now. they're actually key what happens in iowa, about 60%, and the last cycles of electorates have been made up of catholic voters. i've been talking to them today, if they wanted donald trump to be there, and the answers seemed to be generally both way. people said yes, people said no. one young pastor who has never caucused before, he wasn't old
enough the last time around, he's planning to caucus monday and he says i would like to see donald trump on that debate stage because i haven't made up my mind. someone else said donald trump has a pretty big body of work that if we want to go back and look at what he has to say, we have ways to do that. we don't necessarily need to see him on the debate stage. what's interesting to me is one gentleman i spoke with did talk a little bit about something ted cruz has been pushing, which is, if donald trump doesn't appear on stage, is that disrespectful to the people of iowa? this particular person felt it was an iowa thing, it's an iowa debate. donald trump should be there because he's trying to get the iowa vote. so that's resonating with a small population of the people here in iowa. >> that's the question hallie just raised, will trump's gambit pay off? it's something he's taken a risk for and gotten a lot of attention for it.
steve kornake, will it pay off for him? >> donald trump is making a calculation here that there's more to be gained by not taking part in this debate than there is by boycotting it, by going into a battle with fox news. he thinks he will look tough in this process. this is a new poll in iowa. this came out about an hour ago. trump now in this poll has the lead by seven points over ted cruz. notably, the last time monmouth took a poll in iowa, ted cruz was ahead, so this shows clear momentum for donald trump. donald trump believes this gambit is what's going to push him over the top. what i can tell you also in the last two hours, one of the most influential voices on the right, somebody who everybody was looking to this morning. how will he come down on donald trump versus fox news? rush limbaugh. rush limbaugh, when he had a tv show, it was produced by roger ails. he's the fox news chief right now. where would rush limbaugh come down?
he came down on the side of donald trump. listen to this. >> donald trump knows that by not showing uch, hep, he's owni entire event. some guy not even present will end up owning the entire event, and the proof of that is fox news last night. >> this is where this gets tough for me. i was stunned watching fox news last night. fox news was acting like they had been jilted at the altar. don't devote the rest of the night to how a candidate's not showing up because of you. >> it's really interesting to see how this is playing out. what it really looks like here is that donald trump came into this week probably looking for a way to get out of the fox debate, looking for a way to make a show of it. the problem was he didn't have a way to do it, short of making it look like a very petty, v vindictive thing against meghan
kelly. then fox came out with that statement, not a statement you would expect a news organization to put out. that gave donald trump a completely legitimate pretense to say, i'm skipping this debate, i'm not getting a fresh shake from these guys, and i'm looking tough doing it. he's got rush limbaugh on his side. we'll see how iowa plays out tomorrow. >> i'm going to swivel over here and talk about what's allowed, what's not allowed when it comes to these debates? the rnc and the networks spend a lot of time organizing. can he just not show up and that's okay? >> he can not show up, and he can complain all he wants about who is in the debate and who is doing the moderating. i think this is ultimately a fight about rules, right? what the rnc did was say the different news organizations are able to do this. they gave the criteria, meaning who is in the debate, and criteria participation and the format, which basically means, is it this reporter asking a question or not? is it three reporters? is it fact check? they said news organizations get to do that for good reason, that they wanted this to be factual
and clear and have credibility and have different news organizations doing that. donald trump, who has harsh words for everybody, who talks about how he shouldn't be too pc, has now decided that fox news, and specifically meghan kelly, who he has relentlessly attacked in sexist terms, we should note, is now not being pc enough in how she covers or questions him. that's what this is all about, obviously. he may ultimately find a way to get political benefit out of it in the same way he may get a lot of people talking. but the rules were set, and he agreed to certain rules including going along with the public nominee, going along with these debates where the rnc put it out. this isn't a surprise. ultimately he's trying to make a bet now and thread a needle and say it's tough to run away when you don't get your way. he would put it differently. he would say when you don't get the deal you want, sometimes you walk away and that's my leverage dai --
>> that's what the guys said this morning on "morning joe." >> this is in iowa, so he may ultimately do this debate and then say, ha, ha, i got everyone to jump and get excited about it, or he may skip the last debate in iowa and his closing argument will be, i can't handle it. i can't handle it and i have a lot of pyrotechnics about explaining it, but at the end of the day, i've been in the iowa caucus, politics aside, the voters in iowa will look very closely at these candidates. it's all up to the voters. it's interesting to see how this gambit will end up if he can't make it to iowa to the debate stage. coming up, president obama hopes bernie sanders in the oval office today will try to read the tea leaves on that. what that means for the democratic race just days before iowa. rrow starts today. all across the state the economy is growing, with creative new business incentives, and the lowest taxes in decades,
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the white house called it an informal meeting. bernie sanders called it just a discussion. the democratic president and the candidate one on one. bernie sanders spoke about the president and the 2016 presidential race. >> the president and i discussed this morning a number of issues, foreign policy issues, domestic issues, occasionally a little bit of politics. i think what the iowa campaign ends up being about is one word, and that is turnout. >> msnbc editor joins me now. five days until iowa. have we mentioned that? new polls out, and the numbers in iowa almost no change in two weeks. 49 to 45 with bernie sanders just ahead in the margin. but when you dig in, he just
mentioned turnout. that does seem to be important because clinton is doing better with people who turn out. >> that was the same with president obama in 2008. traditional caucus goers did turn out for hillary clinton, but he brought out so many non-traditional caucus goers, these first time voters, tons and tons of students, and that's what bernie sanders was trying to do this time. he was trying to replicate that coalition. if he does, he will probably be successful. >> he's doing a lot of rallies at university campuses this week. >> he is, but he can't just win those big population venues. because it's a caucus, just turning out zillions of people in those university towns won't get him the votes. he needs a strategy and we think clinton has a better one at this point. >> clinton came out to talk about this comment on monday. president obama was talking to
politico and talked to the press. i want to give the president's comment first and then bernie sanders' comment today. >> i think bernie came in with the luxury of being a complete long shot and just letting loose. i think hillary came in with the -- both privilege and burden of being perceived as frontrunner. >> and i know there was some discussion the other day about a politico sbrinterview where he tipping the scale toward hillary clinton. i don't believe that at all. i think he and the vice president have tried to be fair and even-handed in the process, and i suspect they will continue to do that. >> the white house said this meeting was long planned to have bernie sanders at the white house. do you buy his assessment that they're even kheeel, that they have no preference and the president is not taking sides? >> the president is probably smart to not officially take sides. that politico interview that we heard a snippet of, he was favorable toward hillary
clinton. he was talking about her being a true progressive that really was progressive, but placating those voters for bernie that just think she's too mainstream. even though bernie sanders is trying to be the heir apparent, he's a very different character and he's in many ways rejecting the obama legacy. he's talking about getting rid of the affordable care act and creating a medicare plan. he's a different kind of character and the president is making clear that, really, hillary is more in the mode of an obama democrat, which is very interesting given their huge aka acrimony in 2008. we're less than six hours away from tonight's town hall on the flint water crisis hosted by rachel maddow. coming up, rachel will tell us who will be on stage with her tonight and why she chose to
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rachel maddow will be hosting a town hall on the water crisis there. she brought attention to the national spotlight on the water crisis back in december. she's been reporting on it ever since. i had a chance to sit down with rachel before she left for flint and i asked her why she chose to do the town hall right now. >> the interesting thing about the national coverage sort of surging into flint is that i still feel like there is a couple 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. >> who are you going to be speaking with at the town hall? is it mostly an effort to try to get the voice of the people out there and a group of flint
residents, or are you also going to have local lawmakers, people that are actually -- >> yes, all of that. which will make for a packed hour. we're doing it in a school, we're doing it in one of the schools where their lead as tested over 15 parts per billion, in one case over 150 parts per billion. >> which is how much over normal? >> no level is safe. at 15 parts per billion, that's where the federal alarms start going on and needs to be fixed. this school has some read at 15 and some at 150. so we're going to have representative kids and their families and educators from a lot of different schools in flint because this is such a kid-focused problem. we're also going to have some heroes. we're going to have a local politician who started testing blood in flint kids. we're going to have the researcher who literally drove 15 hours from virginia tech when
he heard this was going on. we've got the mayor of flint who was brought in after this crisis with compromised local abilities, but she has done her best given the power she has. we'll have some other elected officials and experts. i'm going to spend a significant amount of time with some flint plumbers. >> plumbers talking about the state of the pipes there. catch rachel tonight on "an american disaster, the crisis in flint." it airs at 9:00 p.m. pacific. nbc.com will also have the event live streaming if you want to go that way, so don't miss out on that. straight away, we're on the ground in flint. we'll explain how this crisis developed and what it could mean for the city's legacy. ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪
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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. for making a request to the federal government to expand medicaid, to children under 21, now is the time to act to do things for the people of flint address the damage that's been
done, both in the short term, the intermediate term and the long term, and i'm committed to getting that done. >> that was michigan governor rick snyder this afternoon making his plea for the extent of medical coverage for children of flint, also his commitment to fixing the water there. a support of activism groups filed a federal lawsuit to gain access to safe, lead-free water. they said in an attempt to save a few bucks, the state appointed officials poisoned the drinking water of an important american city, causing permanent damage to an entire generation of its children. the people of flint cannot trust the state of michigan to fix this manmade disaster and this is what court oversight is critically needed. we heard the headline out of the governor's press conference earlier about extending medicaid to young people. what else did you learn today from him? >> good afternoon, kate.
i'm here outside the home stem academy where the maddow-led town hall is going to take place. it's going to be a deep dive into how flint came to find itself in this crisis and what can be done to get out of it. the governor touched on similar issues in the press conference. he mentioned the medicaid announcement but also the appointment of outside experts of a new committee to look at long-term solutions. so the pediatrician here really exposed the lead crisis in the children of flint, and mark edwards, a professor of virginia tech who exposed that there was lead in the water in the first place, they are now part of a government team looking at long-term solutions. but the press conference was unusual in that there wasn't a timetable when the people of flint may find themselves clear of this issue, and it wasn't also clear how much money needs to be spent. although very good news, and this is something we've talked about on this show for the people of flint, mayor weaver had a very good announcement. she pre viewed it. let's play that sound bite for people. take a listen to this. >> i have told the governor
snyder that flint residents should not have to pay for water they did not and are not using. therefore, he has set aside $3 million in his supplemental budget request to legislators to address the issue. >> reporter: so kate, right after that our very own joy reed was able to confirm that $3 million. that is a very big deal for the people of flint. literally everyone i talked to has a complaint about their water bill. they're paying above the national average for water they can't even drink. and the final bit of news today is the state is now saying it is okay for residents of flint to bathe their children in the water. it is now safe enough for bathtime. it's unclear whether anyone is going to take that word as gospel, however, after so much misinformation in this city. >> i'm not sure i would bathe my children after everything they've been through there. you can understand their skepticism. and did you say $3 million would
cover everyone's water bills for some time, or how does that work? >> it's not clear if the money is going to the future or if it's going to eradicate bills going to the past. the details have to work out, but $3 million for the city of flint is a lot of money. there is joy in the streets, i can tell you that. people are honking their horns. people are very thankful to the mayor for leading on this issue, and in particular, getting that financial relief for something they can't even use. >> tony out there in flint for us again. stephanie goss was also in that press conference. she pushed the governor on the condition of the pipes and major concerns of flint's residents. >> in essence, you're asking people to trust the lead pipes that made them sick, at least for a little while. is that realistic? and you talk about it being a long-term thing that you're considering. a lot of people consider that to be short-term. >> in terms of short term, it's a lot of work to take out pipes, redo all the infrastructure.
that's a whole planning process. in terms of near term, in terms of coating the pipes, this isn't my opinion. this is an opinion we're getting from experts in this field. >> but they can't trust it. >> there absolutely is a trust issue. >> if you don't replace those pipes, a lot of people tell us they're simply not going to drink the water no matter how many assurances they're getting. how do you address that right now? >> again, as we go through this process, that's the process we need to be talking about. that's the point of having third party expertise, have them be part of the solution. that's why i really admire mark edwards, the professor, for his work. >> but right now it doesn't include taking pipes out. >> right now the quicker thing is how do you actually get the pipes so they can be safe to drink based on experts, not political people. >> stephanie goss joins me on the phone now from flint. stephanie, it strikes me that the governor is talking about relying on the experts there in that conversation with you, and just recently he blamed experts
for the problem in the first place. he said it was experts on his staff who didn't raise alarm. >> yeah, and you know what, there is also a real difference of opinion here between experts. we all know that there are lead pipes being used in cities around the country, and it was something that the governor talked about today, but not every city using lead pipes is a city like flint. and what has happened here is not just the infrastructure problem but an emotional problem. people here that feel they have been betrayed. quite simply, they don't want the lead pipes in anymore, and even the mayor herself has said that the first step needs to be these lead pipes, these service lines that we've been talking about that could number 15,000 at least, and maybe as high as 20,000, that they need to start coming out. the governor has said they don't exactly know where they are and they're looking at them, et cetera, et cetera, but it's been four months since the lead in the water was acknowledged by the state, and there haven't
been any lead pipes removed. essentially what they were saying today was they don't have any short-term plan to remove them. and that will mean that there could be a declaration that the water is safe and people will have to take it on faith from these third party experts that are being brought in that the same lead pipes that made them sick are now safe enough to be used. and i got to tell you, i have not spoken to a lot of people who believe and have faith that that would be the case. >> stephanie goss on the phone with us from flint, and stephanie will be part of that town hall meeting with rachel maddow in just a few hours from now. to remember how we got here in flint, i want to turn now to msnbc senior editor video and editor contact cal perry and look at the timeline of how this all happened. cal? >> there is a reason the public is not trusting officials, there is a reason this is so emotional. it's been going on for two years. it started on april 25, 2014. that's when the water source was
switched to the flint river. six months later, october 1st, 2014, this is crazy. the gm plant refuses to use the water because it's corroding engine parts. january 13, 2015, we have a switch in the management structure. the one who was managing flint moves to the flint public schools. three months after that, you have the vice council putting up a facebook quote calling it obvious genocide against the residents of flint. just five months after that, governor rick snyder holds a press conference. he said this is, quote, a serious issue. at that point he pledges serious action. he says, soon, this poster put out by michigan's department of environmental quality, hey, flint, the water is safe to wash. so there is a timeline issue there. that brings us to january 16 of this year. president barack obama issues a state of emergency to the city of flint.
it was at that point that he directed $5 million be used for the city. that's when this really started getting national attention. that was the boom that we saw then in the attention, kate. >> cal perry, thanks so much. a lot of us know flint. we remember flint for its history, a place that was a boom at one time and then a bust. olivia sterns, msnbc economic expert. i remember flint as the car place. >> exactly. >> and then the hard times. >> the birth place of general motors and then very much the hard times. let's pick up from cal's timeline. he started in 2014. go back to 2011. that's when this emergency manager first came in because the city was facing a budget deficit of just $15 million. it was that $15 million shortfall that kicked off this entire terrible chain of events. a little bit about how we got there. yes, flint was booming in the '50s and '60s in the auto
industry. 2,000 people lived in flint in 1960, today it's 100,000. as the jobs left, the poverty rate spiked. so the poverty rate is now 41%. remember, the poverty level is $24,000 for a family of four. the loss of jobs meant loss of tax revenue. >> and that's where we get to where we are now financially. >> yes. straight ahead, emotional response to the death of an anti-government protester as the federal land standoff enters day 25. ow i try to live... how i stay active. so i need nutrition... that won't weigh me down. for the nutrition you want without the calories you don't... try boost® 100 calories. each delicious snack size drink gives you... 25 vitamins and minerals and 10 grams of protein. so it's big in nutrition and small in calories.
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can a a subconscious. mind? a knack for predicting the future. reflexes faster than the speed of thought. can a business have a spirit? can a business have a soul? can a business be...alive? we're following developing news out of oregon on that 25-day-old occupation of a federal wildlife refuge by armed protesters. five protestors were arrested after they left the refuge for a meeting, and they were pulled over by police including the
group's leader amen bundy. one protester was shot and killed after the traffic stop after police say he brandished a weapon. his family has identified him as lavoy finica. they had this exchange with him. >> if they come and arrest you, they try to put cuffs on you, how far are you willing to take this? >> don't point a gun at me. you don't point a gun at me unless you're going to shoot me. i'm telling them right now, don't point guns at me. >> so you're prepared to die. better dead than in a cell. >> absolutely. dude, would you like to be in a cell? nobody wants to live their life in a cell. >> again, lavoy finicum's family
says he was shot and killed. pete williams is following this story today. pete, what do we know about what went down when they pulled those cars over? >> in a news conference earlier today, authorities declined to give any details about what happened, but some of the people who are there are talking and we're talking to law enforcement officials as well, and what we understand is this. the government basically decided that the time to act was when the leaders of this occupation were no longer on the compound or at the wildlife refuge. they were all headed yesterday to a meeting about 100 miles away north of where they had been in the town of john day, oregon. and on their way there, the oregon police set up a roadblock, and when two cars carrying these individuals came up, they both stopped. but the fbi and law enforcement say one of the cars, the car in front, then took off. it was a pickup truck. it hit a snowbank, and according to law enforcement, finicum, the man who was shot and killed, jumped out of the truck with the
wheels still spinning, holding a firearm, brandishing a firearm, one official says, and that's when he was shot. now, that is the main account that we've had. interestingly, there is a video posted on line of a man who says he was driving the other car who says he had been with the protestors, and his account basically conforms to what the law enforcement officials have told us. >> and pete, this has been a difficult situation, obviously, for law enforcement. we just had a press conference this afternoon. i want to play a sound bite from the sheriff out there talking about what happened and his feelings about it. >> i'm disappointed that a traffic stop yesterday that was supposed to bring peaceful resolution to this ended badly. 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. >> pete, police have that perimeter around the wildlife refuge, right? >> that's right, they've stepped up security there and their message from that brief news conference is largely aimed to the people at the wildlife refuge, saying, you need to leave now, let's end this peacefully. what they're saying is if you're there and you leave, we'll just take your name and you can go. they didn't say they would move in to try to arrest them. the people that were arrested, seven people that were arrested in oregon, another person who turned himself in to arizona, the oregon people will appear in federal court in about 45 minutes in portland to face the charges, and eventually authorities say the man in
arizona will be sent there to face the charges as well. they're all accused of using force or intimidation to try to interfere with federal officials carrying out their duties. >> charges that carry jail time, potentially? >> they do carry a maximum of six years in prison. now, we don't know whether other charges will be added to that, and of course that's the maximum sentence. what they would actually be sentenced to, who knows. >> all right, pete williams, thanks for following up on that for us. up next, countdown to the iowa caucuses. we'll explain the time-consuming and sometimes confusing caucus process. i am totally blind.
just five days away from the iowa caucuses, and residents have been listening to the candidates campaign, why they should choose that person for president, for months, they've been hearing that. and monday night, they're going to head to their precincts and make their decision. but how many people really know and understand exactly what a
caucus is? nbc's jacob soberoff has a look at iowa's very interesting way of choosing a president. jacob? >> it is rather interesting, and spoiler alert, not that many people know exactly what it is. as if the caucus process alone wasn't confusing enough, this is a super caucus location. this is the valley community center. this is the gym right here and where republicans will be caucusing. and a super caucus actually has republicans and democrats. if you check out this area where everybody's sort of hanging out, this is where you'll be seeing democrats caucusing on monday night. but despite all of this, despite the importance of the caucus process, if you ask iowans what is a caucus, not even they know. take a look at this. a caucus is -- let's just say it, kind of a strange way to pick a president. in 13 states and two u.s. territories use some form of the caucus system. what is a caucus, exactly? >> what is a caucus? >> well, it's when they try to get out there and get -- get all of the -- you know, to figure out who's going to be the best
candidate. >> it helps decide -- i don't really know, to be honest. >> reporter: on iowa's caucus day, election day is more like election hour. at 7:00 p.m., whether it's at a school, legion hall, church, government building, or another location, you have to show up in person at one of 1,681 precincts to participate. >> explain to me, how do you caucus? >> you go to the area in your precinct, and then from there, you decide which candidate you're going to caucus for. >> you kind of go and stand by who you want to support. >> you kind of go and stand by who you want to support? >> the group. >> reporter: because political parties control the primary process, once you do whether you're inside the caucus depends on whether you're a republican or democrat. the republican caucus process is pretty straightforward. walk in, write the name of your candidate on a piece of paper, hand it in, ballots are candidated, a winner is announced, and numbers are awarded. if you're a democrat, it's kind of like a game of musical
chairs. caucusgoers break into groups for their candidate or to an area for undecided voters. the percentage each candidate gets is calculated and a candidate's support is deemed viable if in the vast majority of caucus location, they get 15% support or more. caucusgoers whose candidate doesn't make the cut can realign to another campaign, try to reach viability by recruiting dish supporters, or go to another area. the process repeats until all remaining candidates are viable. then delegates are awarded. confused, you're not alone? and that's why some say the turnout for the iowa caucus has historically been so low. are you going to caucus? >> no. >> are you going to caucus? >> probably depend on the weather. >> how about you, are you going to caucus? >> absolutely not. >> kate, i want to reiterate, the all-time high for the iowa caucus turnout is 16%. 16, not 60, and that was when president obama ran in 2008. very, very low turnout. everybody hopes that this room
and other caucus locations across iowa are going to be packed because of the enthusiasm we're seeing of candidates, including bernie sanders and donald trump, but we'll have to wait until monday night to find out. >> as a fan of democracy, all politics aside, it would be nice if lots and lots of people showed up, right? that's our democracy at work. >> you know, it sure would, kate, was that's why this caucus process is criticized by a lot of people outside of the state of iowa. everybody here takes great pride in the first in the nation status. the fact they can help launch a presidential candidate, all the way to 1,600 pennsylvania avenue. but outsibservers say, maybe it little bit unfair so few people are picking the leader of the free world. >> jacob soberoff, thank you so much. our countdown to iowa continues at the top of the hour with the impact of trump's no-show decision, or so he says, for the upcoming gop debate. and hillary clinton is looking to add to the democrats' debate schedule. plus, doors open soon for tonight's town hall on the flint water crisis.
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better taste. better nutrition. better eggs. hi, everyone. i'm kate snow. and we are just five days away from the first in the nation primary contest. the iowa caucuses. nearly every gop candidate is in iowa today, crisscrossing their way across the hawkeye state. for now, all eyes are on the candidate who is not in iowa. donald trump, not backing down from his announced boycott of tomorrow night's republican debate on fox news. trump initially backed out over an ongoing feud with debate host, megyn kelly. and here's what he had to say at a news conference. >> 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. >> let's go out to nbc news's peter alexander. he's in iowa, in des moines. peter, he's not backing off, as far as we can tell, right? in other words, he's not coming to the debate tomorrow night. >> yeah, well, we haven't heard anything different than that. the best information we have to this point is that that plan still holds. so much so that fox news has now confirmed to nbc news that it will not put out an empty podium for donald trump, if, in fact, he doesn't show. so in a way, both sides are moving forward as if donald trump will not be here. this is obviously a calculated strategy. trump making the gamble that he has more to gain by not showing up than he does by showing up for this debate. but already, a lot of questions has been raised about what he will do and what the potential strategy behind that would be. he has said that he wants to hold a separate event, simultaneous to tomorrow night's fox news debate, that would
raise money for veterans and for wounded warriors. if he's able to cobble together some big event with a big crowd that sort of out-duels fox, it could really sort of calcify this idea that he's bigger than the rnc, bigger than the party itself, but he's already been facing a little bit of pushback. even within the last several hours, we heard from the founder and cia of the ieva. peter rykoff saying they haven't heard anything from donald trump, but they would not accept donations from any trump event, that they're less concerned -- they don't want to be used for political stunts. they care more about seeing strong presidential policies that would help veterans in this country, kate. >> peter alexander watching all of it from des moines. and let's turn to where trump is right now, and nbc's kerry sanders, who's in gilbert, south carolina. that's where donald trump is. that's where he's holding a big rally tonight. kerry, you haven't seen him in hours, i don't think, right? >> no, i have not seen him. this is an area where people in
this area, tiny little gilbert, south carolina, all know so well, because this is harmond's tree farm, where so many people have come to cut their christmas trees. there's a line forming behind me now. it's going to be an old-fashioned political rally here. they have a barbecue, they have hot dogs, and they have a tent. it's kind of cold here, but they expect, they believe according to the police, that they can hold up to 5,000 people out here. the cars have been rolling in nonstop. people are getting ready to hear what donald trump is going to have to say. and, of course, we do expect to hear him talk a little bit about his decision to not participate in the fox news debate. i've spoken to some of the voters here about that decision, it's sort of interesting, and it's only a few voters, but these are trump supporters who are sort of suggesting to me something i have not heard before, kate. and that is, as you know, donald trump has taken on the media before, calling all of us in the
moi media as sort of dishonest and untrustworthy. but all along, fox news has sort of been out there on the edge in its own little category, one that most republicans say they prefer to watch on television, to get their news, to get their opinions. well, now i'm hearing, here people are telling me, no, it's fine that fox is also being lumped in the rest of the media. and so, effectively, some analysts have suggested to me that donald trump has been able to pull fox from its little perch off to the side, lump it in with the rest of the media, because what you constantly hear from trump supporters is, they don't rust the media, any media, and that sort of fits this whole narrative of what's taking place now, with donald trump pulling out of this debate, kate. >> all right, kerry sanders down in south carolina. i just have to note, kerry, it can't be that cold. you don't even have an overcoat on. >> reporter: you know what, i just left it in the car because i rushed over here.
it is cold. it's 40 degrees and it's dropping, and it's humid, so it's that cold humidity. >> i thought maybe you were talking as a florida boy. kerry, thank you. nbc's hallie jackson is in des moines, where i know it is significantly colder. >> i'm infuriated with kerry for complaining about how cold it is. >> she's in a parka -- >> reporter: and an igloo just behind me. >> hallie's covering the rest of the gop field ahead of the caucuses and ahead of this debate tomorrow night. and is that the talk among the rest of them? or are they trying to switch subjects and get us back on topic here? >> you know, i haven't gotten the sense, kate, in conversations with the campaign, that it has changed much of debate prep for any of the candidates, except, potentially, ted cruz's campaign, although i know that they're preparing as though donald trump could or could not be on the stage tomorrow night. you've got to kind of get ready either way, in their view. ted cruz is likely to be the target tomorrow night if donald trump does not, in fact, show up. and i'll tell you, in a recent
conversation i had with a party insider, the plan is to prepare as though he's not coming. there's no sign, i'm told, that he is, in fact, going to change his mind. i asked if someone could put a percentage on it, and i was told if it was any other candidate, it would be 99% certainty they were not going to show up, but because it's trump and he can be unpredictable, the number was more like 85 or 90%. people are moving on as though the debate will go off, whether trump is obviously there or not, the debate's going to happen. but they're planning as though trump won't be there. and i think what you're seeing today, kate, is the campaign's sort of going at it a little bit, especially online, right? you saw donald trump just recently today, tweet @tedcruz after ted cruz challenged him to this one-on-one debate duel. he said, i've beaten ted cruz in the last few debates, so can we go debate in canada? raising questions again about cruz's canadian birthplace. cruz is tweeting out hats for sale from the cruz swag shop.
you've seen the donald trump make america great again hats. the cruz version, make trump debate again. so it's one of these days in the political trail where you've got this sort of back and forth between the candidates, as everybody has hunkered down for debate prep. we've got a couple of debates here in des moines tonight. marco rubio is out, ted cruz is out holding some pre-debate rallies. and the big show tomorrow, the last one before the caucuses. >> and hallie, when we checked in by phone with you last hour, you were in a church talking to voters. what did they tell you? >> reporter: we spoke with a group of pastors the at a local church here in iowa. and we talked a lot about faith and the faith in the christian conservative community and what it means to them, and you'll see some of this in our programming over the next few days, specifically on this debate question, i said, do you want to see donald trump on that debate stage tomorrow night? should donald trump be there? we got a variety of answers. one pastor, a younger guy said, i'm still doing my research, so it would be nice to see donald trump on stage so i can contrast the candidates' positions. that's the point of a debate,
after all. another pastor said, it doesn't matter to him, because there's plenty that donald trump has said, and it's all very accessible publicly, so for him, it's less of a concern. but he did bring up the concern that in iowa, where the debate was happening, donald trump was skipping out and he was concerned how that would look and play to iowans? these are the story lines we're kind of watching as we head into tomorrow night. >> hallie jackson in iowa. hallie, thanks so much. >> thanks. let's go next to msnbc political correspondent, steve kornacki, who's tracking how this is playing in the conservative media universe. steve? >> that's right, kate. well, so a lot of people were looking this morning to see how this would be interpreted, for instance, by talk radio. conservative talk radio, a lot of conservative talk radio likes donald trump, likes ted cruz, for that matter. also likes fox news. so they're sort of going to be torn between loyalties here. well, one major voice who came in on this earlier this afternoon was rush limbaugh. now, rush limbaugh, of course, he had a tv show a number of years ago, the producer for that tv show was roger ailes. roger ailes now runs fox news.
there was a lot of suspense, in particular, about limbaugh. limbaugh sided with trump on this. let's listen to it. >> donald trump knows that by not showing up, he's owning the entire event. some guy not even present will end up owning the entire event. and the proof o that is fox news last night. this is where this gets tough for me. i was stunned watching fox news last night. fox news was acting like they had been jilted at the altar. don't devote the rest of the night to how a candidate's not showing up because of you. >> and it's really interesting to hear that, kate, because obviously, a big risk being taken here by trump. and it is a great unknown, how this will be interpreted. it could be seen as, hey, he's scared of fox, he's scareded of questions from someone, he doesn't like whatever it is. but the play from the trump campaign, the play is basically they think this will be a show of strength. remember, fox news, this wasn't
just about megyn kelly or the rules or anything like that, this was about fox news coming out with a statement, a major news organization that purports to be fair and balanced, coming out with a statement that outright ridiculed donald trump. this is about donald trump seeing that as an opportunity to say, you know what, can i walk away. i can tell the world i don't need this and i can actually get stronger because of it. it's a show of strength on that front, and also, this is a guy who's trying to look bigger than fox. bigger than the debate, bigger than anything we've seen in this process before. and to hear rush limbaugh sort of saying, that's what he looks like right now. that could be a telling sign, kate. >> all right. thanks so much, steve kornacki. joining me now for more analysis from iowa, mark halperin, john heilemann, hosts, of course, of bloomberg politics, "with all due respect," which airs right here on msnbc at 6:00 p.m. eastern. nice to see you, guys. >> hey, kate. >> let me start with what we've been talking about for the last ten minutes. is it a good move, mark, by donald trump to not show up tomorrow night? and by the way, if you were
playing bets, do you really think he doesn't show? >> i would give it an 18.769% chance, kate, that he shows up at the last minute. i think if he showed up at the last minute and performed well, it would be another master stroke. maybe showing is up and finishing the debate and going over to the fund-raiser for wounded warriors. there is a history in this state, including ronald reagan in 1980, of candidates skipping debates and paying some price with the voters. i don't think trump will pay a price here. i think a lot of people understand why he's so upset at fox newt. not because of megyn kelly, but that statement they put out, that steve characterized as extraordinary. and trump is standing up to somebody who's crossed him. and when trump has had moments of strength in this campaign, they have not just been good for him, but the heart and soul of why voters like him.
>> joel, what is the rest of the field talking about? what about the cruz campaign? how do they deal with? >> i think it's a huge question for all of them. but most pointedly, it has, as you suggest, kate, a big question for ted cruz. last time, after coming back from a trump event, we ran into a lot of the cruz high command. ted cruz is staying at the marriott, as we are here. they were clearly, i would say, discombobulated by what trump had announced. it changes their whole strategy for the debate. instead of trump and cruz both getting attacked by folks on the stage, they know now that ted cruz is going to be the main target. there was talk about having to totally revamp his debate prep, on the basis of this decision. they're trying to figure out various creative responses, but the main thing they have to deal with is what the new dynamic will be on that stage. they know it's new and not favorable to ted cruz. >> he's kind of frozen the field here. all of these candidates now have to do two debate preps. one with trump in, one without trump. >> kind of a conditional debate prep. >> we're just getting some comments in from capitol hill. we got something from senator
john mccain, saying i think it's a testimony to the power he has, trump has, over the media. the media has allowed him to call in to a sunday show. they allow him to do things that no other candidate would be allowed to do. the media has allowed him to operate in an environment that no other candidate i've ever seen in history operated in, says senator john mccain. does he have a point? does some of the blame lie with us? >> he does have a point. we have not covered donald trump perfectly, but i will say, i am hearing more and more from republicans, including people supporting for or working for the other candidates in the last week about how this is all our fault. that the reason trump is doing well because the press has not covered him tough. front-runners almost never get covered in a tough enough way. we're guilty of that. but i would submit that the fact that these other candidates have not found a way to match donald trump, to best donald trump, is the story of why trump's done so well. and trump's appeal, rather than the fact that our coverage has not been perfect. >> john, you're in iowa right now. he's up 11 points since december
in a new poll in iowa. but donald trump is not there. he's in south carolina. we just checked in with our reporter down in south carolina. is that a sign of confidence? >> there are many signs of confidence in trump world, and i have to say, that's one of them for sure, kate. they understand, this is really important, winning iowa here. and they do want to win. there's no doubt about that. but, he's clearly in this for the long game. he wants to continue to build his strength in states other than iowa. but the fact that he feels so confident, that he could leave the state at this point, when almost everybody else is here full-time at this moment, it just dilike the debate move, another sign of extraordinary competence. you would have to be a hyper competent candidate to do this unprecedented to a large extent thing that he's done. they are very -- they feel very strongly about his ability to win here, and then win in new hampshire, and win in south carolina, and put this entire thing away. >> wednesday, 4/12 eastern time
right now, gentleman. i'm going to ask. if you had to predict right now, monday's outcome, is it trump, cruz, rubio? >> kate, predictions are for suckers. >> yeah. >> you won't even do it? >> i will say -- i will -- what i will say is that the trump operation here is underrated. it's not overrated. and that there's no doubt that ted cruz, a week ago, was not in a position to win the caucuses. we're in a phase now where trump seems to be holding his own, and not losing ground. but there's time here, and the debate and whether trump appears or not, i think is going to tell the tale. it is clear, no prediction, but i think this is useful to say, trump could win, cruz could win, sanders could win, clinton could win. those four will be one and two, either side. and if you ask the campaigns, it's distinctive. normally you see campaigns at this stage telling us privately, we're going to win, we're confident. not one of those four campaigns
is trying to convince us today, we know we're going to win. they hope they're going to win, they know it's important, but all of them know it could lose and that is an unusual situation this close to voting. >> the other thing i would say, kate, just real quick is the fact that i think we hear from republicans on the ground here all week long, across the board, republicans think the turnout is going to be very high. they may be wrong, but there's a consensus right now that turnout will be on the high end, if not record-setingly high. if that's true, there's almost doubt that will benefit donald trump given the focus his operation has had on bringing new caucusgoers into the process. if there's a big number on monday night, it appreciably increases the odds that trump will be the winner. >> and potentially helps bernie sanders as well. >> thanks so much for being us. you can catch more of mark and jon at 6:00 eastern when their show "with all due respect" airs right here on msnbc. what gop debate rules say when a top-tier candidate vows
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we're back discussing donald trump's gop debate bombshell, saying he will not be there tomorrow night. and i want to bring in msnbc chief legal correspondent, ari melber for a little more on what the rules are behind these debates. is it okay for a front-runner to just say, i'm not coming? >> it's okay with the rules. we've been looking at this and there's basic criteria, which the news organizations set. the rnc decided not to keep control of this.
so fox, like other stations, has used, basically, new hampshire, iowa, and national polls to set that criteria. and they control the format. according to fox news, you know, a lot of attention on trump and all of his noise here, but what's striking to me, kate, according to fox news, they say, he was basically trying to bully their chosen moderator, megyn kelly, out of the debate. in fact, his campaign manager all but threatened that she would get another round of public scorn that he would whip up after the debate and that they won't, basically, give into that. obviously, we know he's going to be on with bill o'reilly tonight, so there's some people he's fine with at fox news. again, about the rules, it's just a matter of whether or not you can live with what you agreed to. donald trump originally said he would support the republican nominee, attend these debates and live with it. now he's striking a different note and we'll see whether or not he actually shows up. >> ari melber in the newsroom. let's flip to the democrats' side now. the democrats locked in a tight one. hillary clinton has a laser focus on the state of iowa, with
a get-out-the-caucus event wrapping up a short time ago, obviously, at a bowling alley. and clinton might be trying to make up some lost ground. brand-new poll numbers out of iowa show almost no change in the past two weeks. she's still down four points, barely inside the margin of error. and when you break it down by age, a clear divide shows is up. young iowans gravitating towards bernie sanders, while clinton takes those in the 65 plus age bracket. nbc's kristen welker is covering the clinton campaign for us in adel adel, iowa. kristen? >> reporter: secretary clinton tried the fire up the crowds at this bowling alley earlier today. she got about 300 people who turned out. she implored them to caucus next monday and particularly implored the young people to turn out and caucus. senator sanders does have a significant lead over secretary clinton when it comes to those young voters, voters under the age of 44. but there's a real question mark
as to whether or not they're going to show up. historically, they don't have a great record when it comes to this. however, in 2008 they did show up in big numbers. that helped to propel then-senator barack obama to a big win here in iowa. senator sanders hoping to repeat that. both he and secretary clinton have a robust efforts, reaching out to these young voters on college campuses and through social media. secretary clinton also trying to make a strong last argument to voters here, drawing sharp distinctions between her and senator sanders. take a listen. >> we both want universal coverage. he has a different idea and i fear it would lead to gridlock, not action. it would throw us into a contentious national debate, that would not move us forward. and i don't think the people i've met in iowa can wait. so we have a contrast. we have repeal from the republicans, we have start all over again with a whole new
system, and the kind of gridlock i think that would pose. and what i want to do is let's build on what has worked. >> now, kate, i spoke to some young caucusgoers here, and i asked them if they're actually planning to show up. they say, they absolutely are. they're going to support secretary clinton, but they acknowledged that some of their friends weren't as certain that they were actually going to show up. i asked them why. they said, well, the caucuses are more complicated. so really interesting there. secretary clinton now on her way to philadelphia. she's going to have a fund-raiser there. she'll be back here in iowa for the rest of the week. and she's going to get some help from her family, former president bill clinton and daughter chelsea will be campaigning with her over the weekend. and of course, chelsea really helps to reach out to some of those young voters as well. kate? >> kristen welker out in iowa at a bowling alley, thanks so much. and i want to bring in christina shokey, deputy communications director for the hillary clinton campaign, here with me in new york. nice to see you. >> nice to see you. >> i want to play a little clip of hillary clinton, the candidate, talking to chris matthews earlier today, the full
thing will be on chris matthews' show tonight. but this is her talking about the potential for another debat debate. >> well, chris, what i've said through my campaign is that 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. 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. >> and so, christina, when you hear her say that, she's talking about potentially another debate, we had debbie wasserman schultz with us two days ago, saying, well, we think there have been plenty of debates on the schedule already for the democrats. what's the perspective? >> well, you just heard hillary
clinton say she's very enthusiastic to do another debate. this really came from new hampshire. people there were asking for another one to happen. there wasn't one planned between iowa and new hampshire. they really wanted one. and hillary clinton loves to debate. she's happy to do it. and she said today that she will be there. >> clearly, that's what you think is your strength. clearly, she wouldn't want to do more debates if she didn't think she could win voters that way. >> when hillary clinton's strength is to get out there and talk to voters about her plans to make a difference in people's lives, and she likes to do that, it gives her a chance to lay out her plans, what she would do as president, what she would accomplish for american families and what she would fight to protect. >> she has said today she's happy to do it. we hope in order to have a meaningful debate, we need all three candidates today, so we hope senator sanders will agree to do and we hope the dnc sanctions it. we've made it clear, we're very happy to do it. >> and we should be clear that this is a debate that would potentially be here on nbc and msnbc. again, details haven't been
worked out. but i did want to ask, there have been reports that in the beginning, when these were all being planned, long ago, that the clinton campaign didn't want so many debates. >> that actually just wasn't true. we've seen this over and over again that she's a great debater. and she actually really appreciates the debate format. she likes the chance to get out there and tell voters what she would actually do as president. hillary has believed that from the beginning, when you're running as president of the united states, you owe it to voters to tell them what you'll actually do to make a real difference in their lives. she likes the debate format, she's great at it and would like to do more. >> bernie sanders was at the white house this afternoon, came out and talked to the cameras. i want to play a clip of what he said about voter turnout in iowa. >> i think what the iowa campaign ends up being about is one word, and that is turnout. we're feeling really good about where we are. and if there is a large voter turnout, i'm not saying we could do what barack obama did in
2008, i wish we could, but i don't think we can. but if there is a large turnout, i think we win. if not w, i think we're going t be struggling. >> there is a new quinnipiac poll, it shows that 72% of first-time iowa caucusgoers support sanders. of first-time caucusgoers. if the gets his wish and gets a huge turnout on monday, then you're in trouble. >> you know what? this is going to be close. we always knew this was going to be close. we said this from the beginning. and you know what? we think it's great there's so much interest and enthusiasm in this race. there's a lot at stake in this election. voters have a real choice here. and so we think it's great there's so much enthusiasm and she's really happy with the organization that she's built in iowa. she's so grateful for the volunteers and supporters she has there. and when she's there, as she was today, shelves a lot of energy and enthusiasm. so she's really grateful and she's going to be spending every day in iowa, up until monday, just working her heart out, talking to people about what she'd do as president to make a
real difference. >> i'm not -- i feel like i should bicker with a little bit -- i'm not that you from the beginning privately thought this was going to be so close. >> i have to say, this is -- the thing is, hillary clinton has been through this before. >> she's definitely been through it before. >> -- for every candidate. so a lot of reporters didn't believe us when we said that, but she knew from the beginning, democratic primaries are always, always close. and so we knew that going in, we built the organization to deal with that, and she's really feeling good about what we -- the energy and enthusiasm we have in iowa. >> let me ask you about what she's doing tonight. she's in philadelphia, at an event hosted by franklin square capital partners. that's a hedge fund. they're worth a self-proclaimed $17 billion. they say that's what they're worth. optically, is that the best place for her to be right now, five days to the caucus? >> you know, she's going to be in iowa every day. she was there this morning, she'll be right back there tomorrow. and there are a lot of parts of the job of running for president. this is one of them. but we built her schedule so she's in iowa every day and
she's going to work her heart out. hillary clinton, this is what she loves to do. she loves to get out there to listen to voters and talk to them about what she would do as president to make a real difference. to make college more affordable, to lower prescription drug costs, to protect planned parenthood. she's out there talking to voters, doing what she does best, and we feel really good going into monday. it's going to be close, so we need all our supporters to get out there. >> christkristina, thank you so. ♪ but i can't come home right now... ♪ ♪ me and the boys are playing.♪. ♪ ... all nig♪t text beth, what can i do... [siri:] message. pick up milk. oh, right. milk. introducing the newly redesigned passat.
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we started off in iowa, later than secretary clinton did. she had a ground organization in place before we did. she has more money in the bank than we do. but in the last number of months, we have put together an incredible volunteer effort. we have some 15,000 volunteers. and let me be very clear about this, lester. on caucus night in iowa, you will be able to tell very early, i think, who wins and who loses. if there is a large voter turnout, we're going to win. >> and you can watch that full interview tonight on "nbc nightly news" on your local nbc station. check your local listings. the city of flint, michigan, hires a scientist to overview -- to review, rather, the city's water testing. coming up, the final preps ahead of tonight's town hall meeting hosted by msnbc's rachel maddow.
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the michigan department of health and human services is reminding flint residents today that it is okay to bathe in the tap water. emphasizing that there is no known connection between rashes people are reporting and the city's water. for more, let's head out to msnbc's national reporter, tony due copel, who's in flint. >> reporter: for flint residents, the rashes and the other skin problems they think is related to the water, it goes back for quite a long ways. the department of health and hum human services is saying right now they don't see a connection, but that does mean there was not a connection going back almost two years ago, at this point, there was a carcinogenic that was being used to treat the water. that was causing some sensitive skin to break out, parents are saying. there are other rashes related to other problems with bacteria. so the lead is what we're talking about now. but for residents, this goes
back quite a ways. and this is not really open season for bathtime. bathtime is not necessarily back in flint. there's a passage i would like to highlight in the press release from the department of health and human services here, where they say, they're recommending that bath time be used for bathing only, after which children should be taken out of the bath and should be watched the entire time to ensure they don't drink the water. it's really not open season, once again. got to be quite efficient in the bath. not really playtime either, kate. >> and tony, you're in front of that school where the town hall will be tonight with rachel maddow. what are we expecting there? how many people are you expecting? >> reporter: it's going to be hundreds. it's a high school or -- sorry, a middle school gym. they've got three rows of seating. a basketball arena background and people are extremely excited. they've already begun to come by. people are already lining up. and it's at capacity. we had to turn people away, because we simply couldn't pack enough seats into the gym.
a very popular event. rachel maddow is reaching celebrity status here, above and beyond what she already was, because of her laser focus on this story, and really take whag the community sees as an overlooked national story and rising it to the level of really presidential attention. >> thank you, tony due copel out in flint. and she had a chance to show us around a bit, inside of that school that's behind tony. she sent this in to give us a behind-the-scenes look at what to expect tonight. >> this is homestead academy. this is, obviously, the gymnasium. looks just like my elementary school gymnasium. and this is where we'll be hosting the flint water crisis town hall tonight. as you can tell, it's kind of a hive of activity right now. basically, the way it's going to work is that we're going to be shooting mostly from here. we've got local leaders, experts, and people who can sort of answer some of the questions, the most important questions for the residents of flint on this
subject who are going to be here with me, at different times of the town hall. this is all going to be filled with people who live in flint. all the bleachers back here and all the chairs in front, we are going to be taking questions from -- the questions and discussion points from people who are here, hopefully things that the experts can answer, but also people just getting their voice heard. i'm really, incredibly nervous about it, because i want to really, really get this right. but, you know, part of the reason that we are here is to put the focus back on the people of flint, because i think now that this story finally is getting a lot of national attention, people think, just because there's a lot of national attention, that means the problem is being addressed or at least the problem's over, like the emergency has been handled. and it really hasn't. trucking bottled water in for people to use that as a band-aid on this problem does not mean this problem is over. and i want people to be able to look into the faces of the people, the moms and dads and
kids of flint and realize that living off bottled water for everything you do is not a sustainable way of handling the problem that was visited on this city through no fault of their own. they need to be able to get safe, potable drinking water out of their taps again. and the process of making that happen has basically not even started. and it is going to be a really big endeavor. and i'm trying to hopefully build a little national consciousness around that fact. that there needs to be a national catastrophe, national disaster level response to flint. because what needs to be done to make the drinking water safe here is going to be a big, big, big project. so hopefully we can make that manifest, make that understandable tonight and answer some people's questions. >> and we will all be watching tonight, rachel. so just how did flint get to this point? for that, i want to bring in msnbc's senior editor of digital and video content, cal perry is with us. cal, walk us back through the timeline of how we got here. >> a lot of distrust. we'll see that tonight in the
town hall, rachel talking about it. it started in april of 2014. almost two years ago. that was when the city of flint changed its water source. this has been something that these people have been dealing with for two years. this is not a new story. six months later, october 1st of 2014, the gm plant in flint decides they're not going to use the water because it's corroding engine parts. three months after that, we're talking january of 2015, this is the change now in the emergency management structure, darnell earley moves from flint now to the detroit city public schools. that is a story in and of itself. three months after that, in april, you have a councilman take to facebook, and he calls it a quote, genocide against the residents of flint, michigan. so you see there, a division in the government. then, january -- let's skip ahead, september 29th, that's when we had government rick snyder says it was a serious issue. he did a presser. he pledged public action steps, quote, soon. three months after that, december 2015, the now-famous
poster. we heard tony talking about it. hey, flint, it's safe to wash your kids in the bath well. not so safe, as it turns out. january 16th of this year, president barack obama declares a state of emergency. it was at that moment that he declared $5 million free funds to the city of flint, which really brought this to the national level. >> all right. cal perry bringing us up to speed on how we got here. but for the folks in flint, they've been living it. let's go back out there to msnbc national correspondent, joy reid. she's standing by. in that same school we just saw rachel in, but you're in the cafeter cafeteria. and you had a chance to speak with the mayor of flint a little while ago. what'd she have to say? >> we spoke with karen weaver earlier today, before the preference, that she held with governor rick schneider. a press conference that almost didn't happen. because the mayor wanted some concrete promises made from the governor. she wanted the state to provide some real deliverables. let's take a listen to what she said. >> we know we need to at least get started with those service
lines. that's what people are waiting to see. because that's where we're having that issue. now, i understand that it's wintertime. i understand that some things can't be done, but that's the first thing that we need to get started on. >> and of course, kate, the issue of those varied lead pipes was the number one question that was being asked of the governor when that preference actually did take place. no real answers. the governor not making it clear when they would begin that kind of a process, which would be clearly very expensive. you're talking about more than 15,000 homes in flint. so that is going to be a question, i think, that we're going to hear asked a lot tonight. the first section of the town hall will be specifically on the pips. there has been no work today, as nbc news has reported, to change those pipes themselves. the mayor did get one concession from the governor, a $3 million promise that the state will help to abate the cost of people's water bills. one of the things we've heard from more people almost more than anything else is the fact they're still getting a water bill every month for water they
can't use and can't drink. so now, apparently, there will be some help from the state. that is the promise the mayor was able the to extract. tonight, we'll find out more. as of right now, people are gathering, as you see, in the cafeteria. they're going to be served a lunch, get a boxed lunch and head into the gymnasium, to hear that town hall and ask some questions of officials, including mayor weaver. kate? >> joy reid there at the school, and don't miss tonight's town hall. "an american disaster: the crisis flint" is what's it's called. only here on msnbc. why a national medical panel now wants all patients screened for depression. and why new york city's first lady has long been pushing for better mental health care for all, but especially for new moms, when we come back. the microsoft cloud allows us to access information from anywhere. the microsoft cloud allows us to scale up. microsoft cloud changes our world dramatically. it wasn't too long ago it would take two weeks to sequence and analyze a genome. now, we can do a hundred per day.
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a national medical panel is calling for doctors to screen all adults for depression. the u.s. preventative services task force made the recommendation based on the fact that mental health services are more widely available than ever before. and for the first time, the task force said screening benefits, specific -- it benefits, rather, specific groups, including older adults, pregnant women, and new moms, in particular. last november, new york city's first lady, herlane mccrae announced a similar goal of having every pregnant woman and new mother screened for depression within the two years.
joining me now is the first lady of new york city. so nice to have you here. >> wonderful to be here. >> thanks for being here. yesterday, when this panel comes out and says these are the new guidelines, we really think that every adult should be screened for depression, that's something you've been at the forefront of, and already done here in new york city. why is it so important? >> oh, it's so important. it really, this announcement just reinforces what we've been saying all along, is that pregnant women, women who are new mothers, really need this attention, because maternal depression is so common, and women are not getting the treatment that is so readily available and so easy to deliver. >> and if you make it a guideline or a requirement, does that make it easier in some sense, for women to feel okay with asking for help, maybe they won't feel as ashamed of, you know, feeling depressed? >> i think so. i think so. knowing -- i mean, it's being acknowledged. it's now part of the public conversation, and, you know, stigma is a huge part of this. no one wants to be a bad mom.
it's supposed to be a happy moment. a joyous moment. and if you're not feeling well, as a new mother, or a pregnant woman, it's like something wrong. and not something that people tend to want to share. so, this is helping us get it out into the public conversation, and help women seek the care that they can get. >> i know you've talked about it, being a public conversation, as something that we talk about, rather than hiding behind closed doors. what is the screening process. how do you better catch women who are new moms, who might have postpartum depression? >> well, the screening is really just a simple conversation that a woman can have with her pediatrician, her primary care provider, her ob/gyn and other health professionals. it's something that we want women -- this conversation, we want women to have, when they're getting their routine care, because it can be detected at any time during the course of those visits. it's not complicated, but it is
just so necessary, because all the attention, you know, goes to the new baby, the new child. and -- but, mothers matter. they matter greatly. and if they're not well, that can affect the life of the child and the life of that family. >> and these guidelines affect to the just new moms and pregnant moms, but they recommend all adults get screened for depression at some point. this is personal for you. you've spoken, people outside new york may not realize, but you've spoken quite a bit about your own family's struggles with -- >> yes, i have. i've spoken about my parents, who suffered from depression, although they were not diagnosed with that but now i know that knowing the symptoms and the signs, as i do, that that was what they struggled with. our daughter struggled with depression and anxiety and i think that this is something that most people don't -- they don't really know, they don't understand it very well. and thrive nyc, which is our plan to change the way people change about mental health and
the way we deliver services, i think, will go a long way to helping people identify these challenges, so that people can get the help they need. we want people to understand, it's all treatable. and it's not necessarily complicated. >> and if people are watching right now, and maybe they've just had a baby or they know someone who has, what should they look for? what are the signs and how do you tell someone, oh, it's okay to go talk to your doctor. >> there are so many signs. i can tell you, if you feel like you're not able to function properly, if you're not able to care for yourself or care for your child, the way you feel you ought to, you should seek help, make that phone call, talk to somebody you trust. because, there really are a range of symptoms, like not sleeping properly, not being able to eat well, there are many, many different symptoms, and it really comes down to the individual and what is -- would be called something that you can't function, you know.
so i think that you feel like something's wrong, call someone, talk to someone, reach out for help. >> chirlane mccray, first lady of new york city, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you, thank you. and here's susan lee with the cnbc market wrap. susan? >> hi, kate. the federal reserve was the game changer today in the markets, because before the announcement, we were up 68 points. at the end, we were down 223. boeing and apple being the biggest dliecliners. the federal reserve might city raise interest rates in march this year. that's a look at the markets, cnbc, first in business worldwide. text mom. boys have been really good today. send. let's get mark his own cell phone. nice. send. brad could use a new bike. send. [siri:] message. you decide. they're your kids. why are you guys texting grandma? it was him. it was him. keep your family connected.
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we're following developing news out of oregon on that 25-day-old occupation of a federal wildlife refuge by armed protesters. five protesters were arrested after they left the refuge for a meeting and were pulled over by police, including the group's leader, ammon bundy. three others were arrested. one protester was shot and killed during the traffic stop after police say he brandished a weapon. his family has identified him as lavoy finicum. let me bring in nbc's morgan radford, out in burns, oregon. what else do we know about how many people are still at that complex, morgan? >> reporter: well, this hasn't stopped, even finicum being shot and killed last night, that really hasn't stopped the protesters, kate. there's upwards of six people who are still there, with arms. and they're at that wildlife refuge center. but i want to take you back to this fbi preference that happened earlier today.
we heard the sheriff speak very passionately, saying, look, this is not the way we do things in eastern oregon, and it's not the way we do things in america. if you have grievances, you're not supposed to just take up arms, but instead go through the proper channels. here's what he said in his own words. >> 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 a appropriate manner. >> reporter: and kate, again, this is after 56-year-old lavoy finicum was shot and killed last night. that's when the bundy brothers along with five other people were arrested. and senior law enforcement officials tell nbc news that they chose this particular route to have a traffic stop, because
they knew that those protesters would be traveling to a 6:00 p.m. meeting. now, according to them, they say there were two cars with nine people in them, and the first car, which had finicum, sped off and it crashed into a snowbank and that's when he got out, and they said he was carrying arms, but his daughter said, that is not the case, that that is not what her father would have done. people are still holed up at that wildlife refuge center and they aren't backing down. >> back to you. is there a perimeter around the place now? i think i heard that earlier, that police had it pretty much surrounded. and obviously, the sheriff is asking them to come out and they won't get arrested. >> reporter: not only is there a police perimeter, kate, but the protesters themselves have placed a big bulldozer out in front of the road, because they're trying to stall the police. the way they figure it, it's going to take the place a long time to remove that bulldozer, which will at least buy them some time, the protesters to recalibrate and figure out what they want to do next. i spoke to another man outside
protesting at that fbi conference, and he said, this is the way they need to do things, in order to get people to understand, it's time that the protesters come out and continue to ask that their grievances be met. kate? >> morgan radford reporting from oregon, thank you. that's going to do it for this hour. i'm kate snow. "mtp daily" starts right now. if it's wednesday, we now have a countdown clock. 120 hours to the iowa caucuses. and it looks as though every poll there might actually be right on the mark. if turnout is high, the outsiders have the inside track. i'll explain. this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now. good evening and welcome to "mtp daily." so much to get to in the show tonight. i have former defense secrery