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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  July 7, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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that's going to do it for this hour. steve kornacki picks up our coverage right now. all right. good afternoon. i'm steve kornacki here in new york. we begin this hour with breaking news out of minnesota. that's where we are standing by for the governor of that state to hold a press conference and take questions after a deadly police-involved shooting at a traffic stop in st. paul. this comes on the heels of a similar shooting in baton rouge, licens louisiana, a day earlier. this was caught on tape, posted on social media and has quickly become a national story. president obama weighing in on both incidents today saying he is deeply disturbed by the shootings. we're going to bring you the
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remarks from minnesota governor mark dayton as soon as he begins speaksi speaking. while we wait. let you know who other headlines are going on. right now the fbi director on the defensive. james comey facing a barrage of questions from republican lawmakers. they're incensed that hillary clinton will not be charged with a crime. >> did hillary clinton lie? >> to the fbi? we have no basis to conclude she lied to the fbi. >> did she lie to the public? >> that's a question i'm not qualified to answer. >> clinton now in the clear legally, but today's hearing is just the start of a republican effort to make the fbi's findings a major part of the fall campaign. run of the republicans questioning the fbi director today is going to join me here just moments from now. also on our agenda this hour, a heated exchange and a threat as donald trump comes face-to-face with one of his top
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republican critics, a behind-closed-doors meeting between trump and republican senators. it went off the rails. hallie jackson is standing by on capitol hill to take us through exactly what happened there today. and of course, all of this coming, this meeting between donald trump and senators, coming as the time ticks down on trump's hunt for a running mate. and as his list seems to narrow. >> i am not saying anything, and i'm not telling even newt anything, but i can tell you, in one form or another, newt gingrich is going to be involved with our government. that i can tell you. >> that was last night in cincinnati. was it a preview of this fall's republican ticket? gingrich and two other republicans emerging today on what is starting to look like trump's short list. we're going to break down who is up and who is down in the veep-stakes. a lot of developments there. that's ahead. first, we start with our top political story. republicans on the house
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oversight committee grilling the fbi director james comey today. now, the hearing wrapping up just a short while ago. but for nearly five hours today one incredulous republican after another demanded to know why no criminal charges will be brought against hillary clinton. >> it's the bedrock of our system of justice. we treat people fairly. we treat them the same based on their -- >> that person mishandling the most sensitive information that this government can collect is not fair -- it's not fair to punish someone who did that? >> a lot of americans are thinking what the chairman talked about in his opening statement. there are two standards. one for pea twe the people and for politically connected. >> people are irate that there was not a recommendation for secretary clinton to be prosecuted. >> in the hearing today comey revealing that three emails from clinton's server contained classified markings. this contrary to clinton's repeated assertions over the
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last year that nothing with those markings was ever sent. committee chair jason chaifetz of utah telling the committee at one point that the committee will follow up with a criminal referral to the fbi asking it to look into whether clinton lied under oath to congress about all of this. comey also at one point noted that, short of criminal prosecution, an fbi agent who mishandled classified information would at least be in jeopardy of losing his or her security clearance. that's a punishment that house speaker paul ryan is now suggesting clinton should essentially face. nbc's kelly o'donnell is live on capitol hill and joins us now with more. republicans called the hearings because they say they can't understand why james comey didn't recommend charges be brought against hillary clinton. are they any more satisfied after what they heard today? >> i think there is a lot of frustration for republicans. for democrats, they were able to try to express some of the respect and frustration on
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behalf of hillary clinton. so you had that definite political divide. part of what was making this confusing is there are really three different arenas. what hillary clinton said in public, be it interviews or news conferences or to voters in a more public context, what she said under oath before the benghazi committee. you remember the 11 hours of testimony. and then what she said in her three and a half hours with fbi investigators. and that was not under oath, but there is a specific statute that requires truthfulness, or you can be charged. so three different arenas. what's pretty clear from the way we saw the back and forth, there is a divide between some of the things secretary clinton said about her use of email about the private server, personal devices and so forth, that does not hold up. but, at the same time, the director was very clear that his understanding is that nothing said during the interview, three and a half hours, suggests that she was being evasive, that she was not being truthful. now, republicans got a little
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frustrated because they specifically asked him in those investigators reviewed any of the things that clinton said in interviews or under oath before congress, and he was not clear on that. he said he would need to go back and review what's known as an fbi 302, the sort of transcription they do. there is no video, no recording, of the interview. so politically, what this is about is in some ways saying, from the point of view of some of these republican lawmakers, a few of whom were prosecutors or judges, they just see it differently. and you heard director comey say that, in the history of this particular statute of gross negligence where you didn't have a willful intent to do something wrong but there is a presumption based on a series of actions like having a private server or emailing with a personal device or giving her lawyers access to the email content, that that should have shown a pattern. a lot of debate here. it was like being in a courtroom for five hours. i was inside the hearing room.
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there was certainly tension. director comey was calm, was patient. even acknowledged that he would have liked a break at one point or another. but hung in there. and i think the only time he really got impassioned was trying to defend his own integrity and that of those who pursued this case. about 15 or 20 agents, for a year, saying that they believed that it would be a celebrity-hunting exercise to prosecute her under these set of facts. steve. >> and kelly, just to be clear here, then, it sounds like there is a possibility or at least comey is leaving open the possibility that what hillary clinton said to the fbi, said to his investigators, he is saying she did not say anything untruthful to them, but that what she said to them might be different in some ways than what she said in public or maybe even what she said under oath. is that an accurate reading? >> that's one of the big questions we don't have. if we presume she was completely
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truthful in the fbi interview as the director suggests and he says she did have more than one device, that she did in fact transmit and receive classified material, there is some gap there between that and her public statements. members of congress on the republican side who have control of this committee say they'll give a referral asking the fbi to look at a potential perjury charge with respect to clinton's sworn testimony before congress. something that i -- and i am not a lawyer. so forgive me if my use of terms is not absolutely accurate. they're saying director comey didn't look at that issue and they're now asking him to do so. he also said, in terms of being very clear that he did not believe this was a prosecutable case, he also said, if it were an employee with these same facts they could face reprimand or termination as possible sort of workplace sanctions. not criminal but workplace
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sanctions with respect to this. someone pointed out there isn't really anything that applies to the president in that case, if she were to become president, elected. and they're talking about the whole issue of security clearance. would there need to be a change in any security clearance for those close to her. those are some of the questions that remain unanswered. comey was firm. republicans were frustrated. and democrats tried to defend him as much as possible. steve. >> all right, kelly o'donnell, on capitol hill. very busy day there. kelly, thank you for that. again, you can see in the lower right-hand corner of your see screen, any minute through the door will talk the governor of minnesota, mark dayton. he'll address the police-involved shooting overnight that's now getting national attention. the press conference was initially scheduled to be under way ten minutes ago. we're waiting for that any minute. we'll continue to keep an eye on it. as soon as he walks through the door and as soon as he begins speaking we'll take you live to st. paul, minnesota.
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we'll continue to talk about the fbi director james comey and his testimony on capitol hill. lots of questions from republicans about the decision not to go after hillary clinton in a criminal prosecution. congressman mark meadows, republican of north carolina, asked comey about discrepancies between clinton's previous public statements and the fbi's findings about whether she sent or received classified information. >> it's not accurate to say that she did not send or receive -- >> so she did not tell the truth during the presidential debate that she never sent or received classified information and that it was retroactively classified? >> in st. paul. family and friends of philando castile, and i express an behalf of all decent minded people of the state. our shock and horror at what
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transpired last night. all the facts are not known. from the evidence that's been presented, the video that was taken, nobody should be shot and killed in minnesota for a traffic taillight being out of function. nobody should be shot and killed while they're seated still in their car without a very, very different kind of response. so i am -- i'm heart broken for minnesota because, you know, i have heard in the last few hours from very distinguished african-american men and women who recounted to me how they've been pulled over, singled out, and treated very differently because of their race, from how white minnesotans except would be treated. would those have happened if the drivers or passengers were white? i don't think it would have. i am forced to confront and i
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think all of us in minnesota are forced to confront this kind of racism exists. and that it's incumbent upon all of us to vow that we're going to do whatever we can to see that it doesn't happen and doesn't continue to happen. i met with the -- i talked with the white house chief of staff. just finished talking about special assistant valerie jarrett who called to express the president's personal concern and see what they could do to help. i talked with the assistant u.s. -- assistant attorney general, u.s. attorney general, anita gupta, on three occasions, talked about their involvement. their role is not to be the primary conductor of the investigation. that will be residing with the bca. they will be closely monitoring and providing whatever assistance is desired and
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necessary. the bca, under commissioner dolman, is following through with the greatest sense of time urgency to pursue this and conduct a complete and thorough investigation, turn that investigation over to the ramsey county attorney, who will make his decisions accordingly. i talked with senate franken, senator klobuchar, six of us who had a conference call a short while ago. we're drafting a letter that we'll sign jointly that will go to the u.s. attorney general asking for this investigation, or participation on behalf of the department of justice and the federal government in this matter. i can't say how seriously i take this. i can't say how shocked i am and how deeply, deeply offended that
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this would occur in minnesota to somebody who got pulled over for a taillight being out of order. and how totally unacceptable it is, by all the standards and values that i hold dear and that i treasure about this state, that such a terrible incident could occur and did occur. and this life is irrevokably taken away. i met with people outside the governor's residence today who said they wanted justice. i will vow that they will receive justice, and i don't know what course that takes. that will depend upon all the facts and circumstances. but that justice will be served. justice must be served in this instance if we're going to have a chance to repair the terrible damage that's been done to the
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relationships we all have with men and women of other races and creeds. and i will do everything i can to see that come about. you want to add anything? on to questions. >> reporter: your statement today seems much stronger. can you outline what you see, kind of the framework of what we see in the video. what is so outraged today. today you are saying you believe there is a racial component to this. i did not hear you say that before. what makes this case different? is it just the video? >> i'm not going to go back into that. but i will say what i saw in video. the video was -- you know, i told the woman, diamond, how extraordinary i thought her poise and presence was, to make that recording, the way she responded to police in that
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situation. and i mean, that presented a very -- it didn't show obviously the incident itself occurring, the shooting of the weapon, but it showed immediate aftermath of that. and then she recounted the press that we had this morning in front of the residence, you know, that philando was not given first aid. nobody attended to his condition as they were attending to the condition of the police officer who did the shooting. she and her -- she was handcuffed and taken to the station, police station, with her 4-year-old daughter. it just -- the stark treatment just -- i find absolutely appalling. at all levels. >> reporter: governor president obama issued a statement today saying this is not an isolated
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act but part of a systemic problem dealing with law enforcement. you seemed to suggest you somewhat agree with him. can you tell us what your thoughts are on that statement. >> i think we've had these incidents now that proved that these problems do exist in minnesota. the vast majority of our law enforcement officers, of all colors, races, creeds, religions, are dedicated and they confront difficult situations every day and every night, and they conduct themselves lawfully and honorably and, you know, one terrible misjudgment or failure of proper action, whatever it turned out to be, could not be allowed to cast aspersions on every other law enforcement officer in minnesota. but in this instance, again, i am just -- i don't have all the facts and evidence. i am not passing a final judgment.
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but there is every indication in this case that the police response was way in excess of what the situation called for. certainly being pulled over with a traffic light defect. and not having even -- to be exited the vehicle much less taken any action that can be visually seen or be construed as an act by the victim of aggression against the police officer, then to be shot in the car with four or five bullets is just -- it's beyond the pale. so far beyond the pale. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> it's more than an isolated incidents. there are others who have shared with me, even today. so one of the ways in which we can try to -- we can't ever remedy the situation, but try to move forward with it would be to look at the training, the community policing, that
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president obama in the task force he established on community policing a couple of years ago, and their recommendations. i asked for a copy to review those recommendations. i will look similarly at convening a similar task force to look at those issues on behalf of minnesota. but that's -- that's premature. that's not why i am here today. we don't have solutions today. we have a recognition of a serious, serious problem and a terrible, terrible tragedy. and a resolve that i want everyone to know that we are going to pursue this matter all the way to conclusion. >> reporter: governor, can you elaborate on the process, what has been done so far and what else needs to be done. >> i'll let commissioner dolman who is in charge of bca. >> i'm mona dolman, commissioner of public safety, i oversee the bureau of criminal apprehension. last night the st. anthony interim police chief contacted the bca and requested that the bca conduct the independent
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investigation of this officer-involved shooting. agents were sent out to the scene to begin the investigation, and they have been working through the night and through the day to collect all of the evidence, to do a thorough and expedited investigation. i have talked with the superintendent several times today, and we have had discussions with the lieutenant governor and with the governor regarding the need for expediency but thoroughness in collecting all of the evidence, putting that evidence together and then presenting that to the county attorney for review. >> reporter: can you elaborate on that. does that include any sort of camera footage? interviews? can you elaborate. >> because it's on ongoing and active investigation, that is not public information, and i can't disclose that at this time. and i don't have all the facts. i have not been to the scene. i have not reviewed any of the evidence. >> reporter: can you confirm whether he did in fact have a permit. mr. castile.
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whether he did in fact have a permit to carry as the family has said. and if you can confirm that. can you explain. a lot of that information is not public. for various reasons. but would the officers on their mobile display terminal have known whether the driver of the vehicle, whether he did have a permit to carry? >> what i can say is that the information that the sheriff's offices hold across the state of minnesota, because they are the ones that issue the permits to carry, and then we have that information at the bca -- that information is not public information under the data privacy laws. and it is part of the investigation. i do not know what the officers knew when they -- when he stopped the vehicle. i don't know what he knew at that time. it would also depend who the vehicle registered to and who the driver was. >> reporter: have the officers on the scene been preliminarily
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interviewed? >> it's my understanding the agents were working on that, to do that this afternoon. i don't know if that interview or those interviews have been conducted at this point in time. >> reporter: what's been done since the car shooting to prevent situations like this, and do you already have plans in place to put together more education or whatever you might do. >> i can say that, from speaking to police chiefs and sheriffs across the state of minnesota they take these things seriously and training is important to them. i can't speak to what each individual agency has done or not. but there probably isn't a chief law enforcement officer in the state that is not paying attention and considering policy or writing policy, drafting policy, to make sure that their officers are properly trained and properly responding and properly building relationships and solidifying relationships in the communities that they serve. >> reporter: can you speak to
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where the gun was recovered from the scene. where the gun was found. >> that is all part of the active investigation. i cannot. >> reporter: can you talk about how this being broadcast live, how that affects your investigation and your reaction to that. >> well, i think public opinion is different because the public has seen that video. and i would say that it is part of the investigation and part of the evidence that will be collected by the bureau. and the agents will review all of the information that they have, document it all, and then will be presented to the county attorney, john choy's office, for review without recommendation from the bca. so our job is to collect the evidence and present it for review by the prosecuting attorney. >> reporter: can you confirm what the original purpose of the traffic stop was. the girlfriend said in the video
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it was for a busted taillight. is that the case? >> i cannot confirm. >> reporter: governor, this video obviously does not show the moment that mr. castile is reaching for his wallet or anything that happens before the shooting. we obviously don't know that. i can hear the police -- you have said there was no known act of aggression by mr. castile. that was your comment a few minutes ago. i could hear the police union in the back of my head saying, well, how do we know that. i ask you, are you prejudging this based on the aftermath that you have seen in the video, and do you believe that unfairly is establishing the framework from which we go forward in the public discussion of this? >> i said at the outset, i don't know if there is any footage. i have not seen anything that relates to the incident before the -- that video began. i'm talking to you based on the information i have at this point. as mrs. dohman said, a complete and thorough investigation is
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under way and it needs to be completed and all the facts need to be brought to light. i am responding to just what -- 16, 18 hours after this terrible tragedy occurred. but it is a terrible tragedy, and my feelings about it and my sense of outrage for what occurred is very real, and if that needs to be modified based on further information, i'll modify it. but that's according to -- this is how i assess it and this is what i believe. >> reporter: it's been said words are hollow. people want to know what action do you intend to take. what actions are you prepared to take to reduce the number of traffic stops when it comes to people of color? >> well, in this instance, again, in a very short period of time we've contacted the white house chief of staff, special assistant at the white house, the assistant u.s. attorney general, spoke with her three times, spoke with senator
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franken, senator klobuchar, representative alison, will being representative mccollum. we've drafted a letter and we're sending it to the u.s. attorney general asking for their full involvement, and we'll continue to pursue that which i think is the most immediate and first step that can and must be taken to ensure that this gets the maximum scrutiny possible from -- and i know it will occur from the bca because the commissioner has given me that assurance but also the federal government and that all -- the federal and state investigative capabilities are brought to bear on this situation. i don't have an answer for you beyond that. i think, as we said, the training -- i don't know what training occurs or not. but that is certainly part of it because it's still going to be a face -- a human face-to-face interaction that's going to occur out there on the street or in a car or whatever. and so the better training and better understanding of those dynamics is something i intend
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it pursue. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> i'll have more information. i mean i -- you know, i mean, it's -- i have more --ad more information. i can't -- you asked me to compare what i said before. you have to play it back for me. >> reporter: do you have information that we don't have? >> no. just the chance i had to hear what's been said and to process the information and have a chance to think about it, have a chance to piece it together. >> reporter: how is it the d.o.j. has taken a secondary role? they seem to be taking a step back on this one. do you think this officer should be in jail today? >> i am not going to comment on the second -- i think that's -- what's important is that justice be served, and it's going to take a little time to do that.
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you know, this is -- we're not vigilantes in this day and age. we just don't corral people and deny them due process and put them in prison or worse. you know. this is a lawful society. and even in instances like this it's incumbent upon all of us, especially those of us in positions of public responsibility, to conduct ourselves in accordance with the law. as commissioner said, respecting rights to privacy and the like. so i am not in a position to say regarding that. what was the first part? >> reporter: just about the d.o.j. >> yeah. this i'm told is -- and the assistant u.s. attorney general emphasized this, that this is their -- their usual role. i am not going to get into louisiana because i am not familiar enough. but there are circumstances there that caused them, i'm told or read, additional --
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[ lost audio ] >> you've been listening there to the governor of minnesota, mark dayton, responding to that police-involved shooting overnight. that's a press conference, still continuing in st. paul, the capital of minnesota. we've lost the audio. the headlines. there are strong statements from the governor. the governor saying that he was offended that this happened in minnesota. he said at one point that he looked at this and concluded that, if the driver -- the driver who was shot had been white, he said would this have happened, he said he concluded it wouldn't have happened if the driver were white. and he promised -- he said that he vows that justice -- that they will receive justice, looking for that in this case. that the people will receive justice. the governor of minnesota. the press conference is continuing as we speak. while we work on the audio
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situation, let's go to nbc's joe fryer in st. paul. str strong comments from the governor. maybe people were not expecting him to say exactly what he did. >> reporter: very strong comments. be clear right now that this is the governor's mansion. the comments he gave are actually just down the road at the state capitol. ever since the shooting became well known, ever since the video was broadcast live on facebook, crowds have been gathering here outside the governor's mansion, a rotating group. hundreds and hundreds of people have been coming through here, many of them taking turns speaking, sharing what's on their mind. we have heard people singing. we have even seen some of the relatives of philando castile and his fiancée, who was the person who shot the live video in the aftermath of what happened. the governor's comments very strong. he came out here earlier to talk with the crowd. during that time he said he has
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asked the department of justice to be involved in this, as you just heard from the governor. he says the d.o.j. will have a role on keeping tabs on what's happening but the bureau investigating this is minnesota's bureau of criminal apprehension. we're hearing reaction also from around the country including president obama who posted a long message on facebook reacting to not just this shooting but also the one in baton rouge this week. in part here is what president obama said. it's clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents they're symptomatic of the broader challenge within our criminal justice system and the disparities and the resulting lack of trust existing between law enforcement and too many of the communities they served. president says, to admit we have a serious problem in no way contradicts our respect and proe, for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every day. it is to say that as a nation we can and must do better to
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institute the best practices that reduce the appearance or reality of racial bias in law enforcement. now, a lot of people are also taking time, of course, to remember the man who was shot and killed, philando castile. he actually worked as a supervisor in a cafeteria for an elementary school here in st. paul. he has worked for the st. paul school district for 14 years. before that he was a student in the st. paul school district and graduated from high school here. the shooting actually happened about seven miles from here in falcon heights, which is a suburb. falcon heights so small it does not have its own police department so neighboring st. anthony provides services for falcon heights. that also a small police department. only a couple dozen officers there. the state bureau of criminal apprehension will be looking into what happened here. you just heard the public safety commissioner saying they want to make this as expeditious as possible to try and get results of this investigation passed
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along to the county attorney who will ultimately make decisions on whether any charges will be filed in this case. steve. >> nbc's joe fryer live in st. paul. thank you for that. breaking news out of baton rouge, louisiana. more than 600 pages of disciplinary records obtained by nbc news. the officers involved in the shooting death of a black man in baton rouge. the officers have been investigated several times in the past by internal affairs. nbc's tammy leitner is live in baton rouge. she is at the store where the shooting happened. tammy, we've been following the story in minnesota. but new developments in a very similar story in louisiana. what can you tell us? >> reporter: that's right, steve. it just happened that nbc news obtained these disciplinary records. 600 pages, as you mentioned, for these two officers. we've been going through these. now, they were investigated five times for use of force. in 2014 one of the officers was
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exonerated. in 2015 they found that the allegations were not sustained. we'll continue going through those documents, but i want to show you right now how things went down. we're in the store where the shooting actually happened. now, the owner of the store, who was here at the time, he was working behind the counter over here. he was monitoring his surveillance cameras. he has eight surveillance cameras. five of them inside the store, three of them outside the store. the video monitor was on at the time and showing him what was going on. he saw police officers pull up. and that was when he walked outside of the store. he came right outside here. alton sterling was right over there, three feet away. and that was when two police officers were on top of alteon. he says they were on top of him and then six shots were fired. the owner was three feet away recording this on his cellphone. to give you background here. alton sterling had been selling music outside the store for about six years.
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every day he would sell it on top of this table. he would show up in the afternoon. at night he would pack it up. and he would bring the table inside, and the store owner let him keep it here. they had that type of relationship. so this lives you a little insight as to how this actually went down and that there were at least four eyewitnesses who watched the shooting happen. steve. >> thanks for that. tammy leitner in baton rouge. new developments there. a busy hour. watching the press conference in minnesota the governor there, mark dayton, addressing the police-involved shooting in minnesota as well. also, some other news to tell you about. bill cosby has just left a pennsylvania courtroom minutes after a judge there ruled that he will stand trial on sexual assault charges. the judge ruling against the comedian in his bid to get the case against him thrown out. now, we still don't have a date for when the trial will actually take place, but this ruling today means there will indeed be a trial. going to take a quick break here.
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coming up, are two formal rivals bridging their own divide. ted cruz and donald trump face-to-face today. they sit down and talk to each other. what they said. we'll tell you when we come back. [ guitar playing ]
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fast heartbeat, extreme drowsiness, swelling of your face, tongue, or throat, dizziness, or confusion. ask your doctor if you're tresiba® ready. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ turning now to the race for president. donald trump on capitol hill today. he had a closed-door meeting with republican lawmakers. trump tweeting he had great meetings today, saying, these are people who love our country. but was not all happiness behind closed doors. nbc has learned that the presumptive nominee's meeting with republican senators turned contentious at times. arizona senator jeff flake, who has not yet endorsed donald trump, called trump out in this meeting for those comments trump made about john mccain last year being a captured prisoner of war. trump reportedly fired back, threatening flake's bid for re-election. flake, however, not up for
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re-election this year. not until 2018. hallie jackson spoke with flake after the meeting. >> i want to support the nominee. i am a republican. and i -- i don't plan on voting for hillary clinton. i want to support our nominee, but i am not there yet. >> reporter: one more time, senator, on the remark you made. it's getting a lot of attention. you said, i'm the other senator who hasn't been captured from arizona. it was startling for people to hear. >> i mean, when he attacks the other senator from arizona, john mccain, and attacks his war record, saying that, you know -- being captured, whatten a awful, awful thing to say about a true war hero. i don't think that we can be dismissive of that kind of statement. >> arizona senator jeff flake. after the meeting today. we'll turn to our panel abbey phillip. national political reporter for
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the "washington post." eliana johnson. it's been more than a month since he became the presumptive republican nominee. still more than a month later having meetings with influential members of the party that turn contentious like this, not where he wanted to be right now, is it? >> it's hard to figure out what exactly trump wants. i think it's fair to say this is not where the republican party wanted to be, not where conservatives wanted to be. the meetings today with both the house republican caucus and with republican senators were intended to unite the party in advance of the republican convention in cleveland which slev 11 days out right now. it's fair to say that did not happen. what happened was a face-to-face meeting between donald trump and his arch rival. texas senator ted cruz. ted cruz agreed to speak at the convention, though no endorsement happened. one step forward. baby steps. >> abby, something else we're
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learning. ben sass, the meeting with republican senators, i should say. ben sass, nebraska senator from nebraska is also refusing to endorse donald trump. he has been very critical of him publicly. he came to the meeting. trump during the meeting singling him out, trying to be warm and friendly. saying ben sass, he doesn't like me but he also doesn't want to see hillary clinton as president. if there is some attempt trump is making here to unify all the factions within the republican party it's that. hey, you may not like me, but i'm better than hillary clinton. >> yeah, but it doesn't seem like it really worked on ben sass. i mean, his office released a statement basically calling the presidential campaign a dumpster fire. that was after he met with donald trump. so there's still quite a bit of work to do. this meeting on the hill with republicans really exemplified the problem that trump will have going forward. not only is he a divisive figure because of the things -- the way
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he's carrying on his campaign, but all of these past statements that he's made, some republicans are very much not over it, and they want him to know that. and i think that's going to continue to haunt him going forward. >> meanwhile, donald trump now has less than two weeks to figure out who his running mate will be. who is going to run with him on the republican ticket. he had newt gingrich out with him last night at this rally in cincinnati. really did look like an addition on gingrich's part. hard to tell exactly who would be. chris christie, mike pence, governor the indiana, newt gingrich. they have all submitted to the vetting process. eliana, when you looked at gingrich with trump last night, do you think you saw the republican ticket there? and do you think newt gingrich would help trump with the problems that he has with his own party? >> two very different questions, steve. people are very focused on who does trump want. i think, as important a question as that is who wants trump, who would say yes to him.
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i think the -- there aren't that many answers. the three you mentioned, i think, are the three who would say yes. indiana governor mike pence, former house speaker newt gingrich and new jersey governor chris christie. newt gingrich, i think he is somebody trump respects because he -- trump respects strength. he stood up to trump. they get along. they have similar backgrounds and appeal to the white working class. trump -- i don't think he is someone who puts things through a traditional political lens, calculating which state the potential vice presidential nominee will help him pick up. i don't think he is sitting around strategizing like hillary clinton. newt, while he's angered some republicans like trump is a plausible vice presidential nominee. >> thanks to both of you for joining us. ahead a preview of the republican convention coming up in cleveland less than two weeks away. and now a renewed effort from
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some republicans to stop trump at the last minute in cleveland. what are they trying to do? what their chances of pulling it off? we're going to break it down straight ahead. thank you is what we say. but we mean so much more. we mean how can we help? we mean what can we do? we mean it's our turn. to do our part. to serve you, for all you've done to serve us. ♪ like you need air.wi-fi that's why we offer free wi-fi at breakfast, by the pool, even while you're sleeping. you can exhale now. enjoy free wi-fi and free hot breakfast. get up to 20 percent off as a hilton hhonors member at jen stops working, but her aleve doesn't. hey mom!
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it has been more than a month now since nbc and every other media organization declared that donald trump had enough delegates to become the presumptive republican nominee. you remember how this all worked from the primary season.
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the magic number 1,237 delegates. trump cleared that number in late may. and it's way in the rearview mirror now. trump commanding over 1,500 delegates, well past the magic number. so case closed, right? well, not necessarily. there is one group of republicans out there that is now aiming for a last-ditch, long shot effort to knock trump off in cleveland at the convention. they're calling themselves the "free the delegates" campaign. they face a critical test coming up one week from today on july 14th. that is when the rnc rules committee is going to meet. now, the idea here from this "free the delegates" campaign is to change the rules at the republican convention so that all those delegates now pledged to trump can instead vote for whomever they want. that would clear the path for a new candidate to emerge at the convention. now, there are two steps involved here. the first step, if you want to stop trump, if you're part of this campaign, is that rules committee in a week.
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112 people on the committee. what you need here is just 28 members of that committee to agree that the whole convention would get to vote on the idea of making the delegates free agents. now, the organizers are saying they've already got 30. the news organizations that are looking into this, the "wall street journal" looked into it today. they could only count 20. that's the first step. can you get 28 members next week. pull that off. then you get to step two. this is probably even tougher but step two is the actual convention floor. so the question would be put to the convention floor. all those delegate commitments that are out there, do you want to do away with them and make this thing a free-for-all? if you want to do that you need half the total number of delegates, you need a majority on the floor. so the number we've talked about all year, 1,237. if you can get 1,237 to vote to change the rules, the rules are ing chaenged and a new candidat, no idea who, but a new candidate
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would theoretically emerge. it's a hail mary pass. no question. do they have any chance of completing the pass, though? no one better to ask than ben ginsberg. attorney and nbc political analyst. this is like doug flutie in the famous football game with the 50-yard pass. any chance of putting this in the end zone and getting a touchdown? >> there is a chance, though a remote one. look, getting the 28 delegates to sign a petition at the end of the rules committee meeting not on friday but on monday and getting it to up to the podium within an hour of that vote is a physically trying task, even if you can get the 28 votes. it's actually, i think, easier to get a majority up to 1,237 on the floor than it is to get the 28 in the committee. remember that the rules committee is a more tightly-screened process by the
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trump operation and the republican national committee. the delegates on the floor because of the way the republican delegate selection process works, are picked more that i state officials than by the trump campaign. >> how deep is the movement? when you talk to republicans and have these conversations, it's not been a good few weeks for him politically. how deep is the movement right now to actually try to pull this off? >> i don't think anyone actually knows. as much as i respect people who try and do whip counts of the delegates on the committee or, even more challenging, on the floor, i am not sure you get honest answers. i am not sure the delegates have made up their minds. the way this rules committee in the convention will work is that there will be a spirit that moves it. at the last minute, at the floor. that's what the people who are trying to stop trump are banking on. it's whathe trump operation
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knows they need to stop. >> if they do have success, if they can throw this convention wide open, give somebody else a chance to get the nomination, what we do is we fall back to the same question we were asking all spring. if not donald trump, then who? >> so the answer to that question, i think, is going to be up to the 2,472 delegates. i think nobody knows the answer to that. i think ted cruz is better positioned than anybody else. you just saw the delegate numbers. but republicans are -- do not have it in the playbook to do multi-ballot campaigns. and so, again, that spirit that moves a convention or a rules committee really takes unpredictable turns. if donald trump can't win on the which ar first ballot. >> what combined of convention are you expecting? in the old days democrats famous for crazy conventions. 1972. is this a throw-back convention
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we're looking at maybe? >> at this point, 11 days out, to not have complete unity between elected officials and the nominee is unprecedented. in the modern era for republicans. so we're already exhibiting behavioral patterns that are so far unknown to modern society. that is likely to continue. what's true is that there will be the element of not knowing until there are actually votes at the rules committee. >> all right. ben ginsburg, behavioral patterns unprecedented in modern society. a good way of putting it. thanks for your time. we appreciate it. >> thanks, dave. next, to our most important number of the day, not going to give it away just yet, but it does involve trump and the campaign's confidence in beating the odds come november. this company's servers. accessible by thousands of suppliers and employees globally. but with cyber threats on the rise, mary's data could be under attack.
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well, we know donald trump is now the underdog against hillary clinton in the general election, but where does his campaign think this race is going to be won and lost? if they see a comeback opportunity, where is it? there is new reporting in the "wall street journal" today that trump's campaign has come up with a list of targeted states for the fall. that brings us to our most important number of the day, which today is 17. because according to the "wall street journal" story there are 17 states on this list. these are the trump targets. let's show them to you now. it's very interesting if you look at the list. obviously it's a big list. there are three different kinds of states here when you look closely at it. first thing of a state like arizona, georgia, state like north carolina, indiana, missouri. what do these have in common? they're all red states. all states that mitt romney won
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in 2012, even though he lost obviously to barack obama. so in these five states, you're looking at states where he is playing defense. he is in danger, his campaign things he is in danger of losing ret states. other states here like florida, virginia, pennsylvania, ohio, the traditional battle ground swing states. no surprise there. how about maine, michigan, minnesota? these are the states, if you believe the list, the states where trump believes he can expand the map. these are blue states. states that are not traditionally battle ground states. add this all together. what does it mean? this is what the electoral map looked like in 2012. this is the threat that donald trump faces. the red states, say he were to lose georgia and north carolina, look at the hole he starts out in. then -- even if he lost the red states, give him florida, virginia, ohio. give him pennsylvania. still wouldn't be enough. you see how important it is at a
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very basic level if you're donald trump, the red states he has up there on the target list, he has to defend them all. that's his first task. defend all of them and start making inroads. you can see why he is the underdog in a general election. it's our most important number of the day. 17 target states for the trump campaign. that does it for us at this hour. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts right now. it's thursday. it's a five-hour grilling for the fbi director. did republicans make a mistake by even holding this hearing? did they inadvertently help hillary clinton? this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now. ♪ good evening from new york. i'm chuck todd. welcome to minute daily. another busy day on the


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