tv MSNBC Live MSNBC August 19, 2016 7:00am-8:01am PDT
nbc's gabe gutierrez also at the baton rouge airport. gabe, first of all, what can you tell us about donald trump's visit today? >> reporter: hi there, craig, good morning. we're expecting donald trump to arrive at any time. he left charlotte this morning, and here on the ground, there is a heavy security presence, law enforcement officials from several surrounding agencies, including the ascension parish sheriff's department and livingston parish sheriff's department. donald trump started out his speech by mentioning louisiana and offering his condolences. let's take a listen. >> prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones and we send them our deepest condolences. though words cannot express the sadness, one feels at times like this i hope everyone in louisiana knows that our country is praying for them and standing with them to help them in these
difficult hours. >> reporter: now the exact details of his visit are still being kept under wraps. we know he will meet with lieutenant governor billy nungesser, and expected here at any moment, craig. >> gabe, there also have been calls for president obama to cut short his vacation to visit louisiana as well. what more can you tell us about those calls? >> reporter: certainly. that's been a very -- been an exploding controversy here locally. yesterday you'll recall that the local -- main baton rouge newspaper, "the advocate," published a blistering editorial, urging president obama to cut his vacation short and to visit louisiana. the governor here in louisiana has come out and said that while the president is welcome here at any time, he just as soon would have him wait 10 days, 14 days, to let this disaster play out and not take away law enforcement resources to offer security. and yesterday billy nungesser, expected to meet with donald trump today, said so far the
federal response to this disaster has been very positive. now, yesterday the homeland security secretary, jeh johnson, was here. he said in his words the president couldn't be everywhere, but he was closely monitoring the situation even on vacation. we spoke with several residents who do feel this disaster, despite displacing tens of thousands of people has not gotten attention other disasters have come. the red cross saying this is the worst flooding disaster in the u.s. since superstorm sandy. as we have been reporting, more than 30,000 people rescued, some 40,000 homes damaged. and yesterday the homeland security said so far more than 86,000 requests from federal assistance already. there is some anger here on the ground, however, they feel that the president hasn't paid enough attention to this crisis. he has been in martha's vineyard on vacation for almost two weeks. but again, the white house and homeland security secretary, jeh johnson, say he's monitoring the
situation very closely, craig. although the pictures of him playing golf yesterday didn't sit well with many people here in louisiana. >> i would imagine not. gabe gutierrez at the baton rouge airport there, where any moment now republican nominee, donald trump, expected to touch down. speaking of donald trump, let's talk about trump's regrets for what exactly -- we're not precisely sure. his new campaign, though, heads to michigan after his visit to louisiana today, trying to keep the message squarely on hillary clinton. telling a crowd last night that yes, he has a few, quote, regrets about things he said. but he explained he only said those things because he's an honest man. >> sometimes in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words. or you say the wrong thing. i have done that. and i do get it.
particularly where it may have caused personal pain. too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues. but one thing i can promise you this. i will always tell you the truth. while sometimes i can be too honest, hillary clinton is the exact opposite. she never tells the truth. >> trump's new campaign chairwoman, kelly ann conway, was asked this morning whom trump was talking about when he said he caused people pain. >> he was talking about anyone who feels offended by anything he said. and that's all him. >> will he reach out to the khan family personally? >> he may. but i certainly hope they heard him last night. >> nbc's jacob rascon tracking the trump campaign for us this morning. jacob, dare we use the "p" word
again, pivot. this time, though, they're saying it's different. what makes it different this time from all of the others? >> you know, we're about 80 days away now from the election. and a lot of voters will be tuning in for the first time in the coming weeks. you might call this trump 3.0, maybe 4.0. the campaign is counting on this new trump back to what they wanted to do, which was focus on hillary clinton, and not be sidetracked by things that trump says, that take over the new cycle that distract from that message they want to get out. that's what they're hoping. the question, of course, is will it last. this comes at a time when we're noticing a trump rally, something we have never noticed, which is the true believers of his, even say they wish that he would get back on message. i mean, they always say they'll support him, no matter what. of but in the last coming weeks at his rallies across the country, almost every true believer, hard-core supporter i asked about how trump is doing said he's got to do something
different. they're hoping this is it. >> you know more than most. you spend more time at trump rallies than just about any correspondent in this country. let's talk about these ad buys that start today. how far does $4 million in four big battle ground states, how far does that money go? >> reporter: it gets about ten days. four states, pennsylvania, florida, north carolina, ohio, about $4 million outspent during those ten days by hillary clinton by $1 million. but outspent in total by more than $60 million by the hillary clinton campaign. it's worth bringing up, of course, what trump has said previously about ads, which is that they're useless, that he doesn't need them, because he gets all this air time. so he's out with his first major ad buy. take a listen to some of that ad. >> in hillary clinton's america, the system stays rigged against
americans. syrian refugees flood in. illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay, collecting social security benefits, skipping the line.
our border open, it's more of the same but worse. donald trump's america is secure, terrorist and dangerous criminals kept out. the border secure. our families safe. >> so this is trump doing what he said that he would not do for a while, doing the regular campaign, the traditional things like buying ads like reading off of teleprompters at rallies.
how long will it last? you tell us. >> jacob, we've been having this conversation. breaking news has come in regarding the trump campaign. paul manafort just two days after being demoted, word that manafort has resigned from the trump campaign. he is stepping down. he was the campaign chair. i want to bring in senior political editor, mark murder, now. mark, stunning to say the least? >> you know, craig, i'm actually not all that surprised, given the campaign shakeup in 48 hours, when there is a shakeup, you end up having new people. breitbart's steve bannan taking
over reins as the campaign ceo. you have a new campaign manager in kelly ann conway. and paul manafort, who had really been running things, particularly since former campaign manager corey lewandowski was fired back in june. that -- when these new hires are kind of put in place, he had effectively been layered over. so we do have a statement that the -- the donald trump campaign just recently ended up putting out to all reporters in press releases and it comes from donald trump, and he ends up saying that paul manafort said that he wanted to resign, and that donald trump accepted that. and so we now end up having the new leadership in charge of the donald trump campaign with this move. and paul manafort has resigned. >> is he leaving on good terms, mark? >> you know, craig, you know, these types of things, when you're layered over or you end up resigning, it's never good terms at all. i will say, there's one other component that's important here.
and that is over the last several weeks, there had been story after story about paul manafort's ties to pro russian ukraine officials, ukrainian elections in past years. and that had had been a very big problem for the trump campaign. particularly given the russian-backed apparent hacks of the democratic national committee and other democratic groups. and paul manafort, with these ties to pro-russian groups to pro -- to ukraine, that that was going to be a very big headache for the trump campaign. >> you mentioned the statement we're just getting here and i'm going to read it here off the old iphone. from donald trump. this morning paul manafort offered, and i accepted his resignation from the campaign. i am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today. and in particular, his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process. paul is a true professional, and i wish him the greatest success.
i think a lot of folks probably forget that initially when they brought manafort in, it was because a lot of folks were concerned there might be had fight for delegates, even on the floor. and manafort was going to be leading that effort by and large. does manafort, leaving the campaign, mark, also mean that donald trump is now officially back to being the donald trump that captivated so many millions all over this country at those rallies and in the primaries? >> yeah, craig. you know, given that -- given that we end up having donald trump's speech from last night which he expressed regret, really the first time that he has done so on offending people, there has been a lot of kmep tear, oh, my goodness, that donald trump is making a pivot, is there a new donald trump with this new campaign. structure in place. and my guidance would end up being that focus more on what we have seen over the last 14 months, since donald trump began his presidential campaign than one, two, or three speeches. and really remains to be seen
on, you know, whether this is a new donald trump or that we have still been seeing the same person. i would say the ad that you and jacob rascon were just discussing recently seems to be one of the more consistent efforts donald trump as made over his presidential campaign, going hard on issues like immigration and the syrian refugee crisis. and that where donald trump has been very consistent i really think is the real donald trump that we have been seeing over the past 14 months. >> mark, do stand by. i want to talk about manafort's effort to professionalize the campaign. i want to bring in our chief legal correspondent, ari melber, who has followed very closely a number of presidential campaigns. ari, what do you make of this? >> look, first of all, craig, this is the third effective campaign manager of the trump campaign. it is normal to see some changes, especially even among nominees, because there is the so-called pivot to the general election. john kerry, of course, moved on to mary beth cahill from jim jordan. many campaigns do this.
but to go the third ten weeks out, i do think it is fair to say is a sign of significant change or a need to move the direction of the campaign. and no one, i think, would really deny that when you look at the national polls and you look at the battleground polls. manafort had come under some fire recently in ukraine, not necessarily a distraction but certainly someone taking on a little bit of water. that's not why you make a big change, i think to echo what mark is reporting. you make a big change because either he is so unhappy with having people brought in above him that he lost the power struggle and doesn't want to stay. or the campaign effectively already had removed him to the point that what we're seeing in public with this morning's announcement reflects what had already been happening for some time, which is that donald trump wasn't lifbing to him. the third and final point, paul manafort beyond the convention stuff where he had this sort of delegate experience was seen as a peer to donald trump, an adult who could stand up to him. his predecessor, corey
lewandows lewandowski, a less experienced operative who said let trump be trump, a slogan or cliche we heard many times. ultimately, whatever happened over several months between lewandowski and today what we might call that manafort era, is a rejection by donald trump of the attempts to professionalize or normalize his campaign. he does knots want a normal campaign and those who defend trump, support trump, say everything about this election is running against normal, against politics as usual. so the notion of using a lot of teleprompterers, of unveiling policies, being a traditional nominee was dying. i can manafort leaving makes sure that is dead, having someone who ran a conservative website in breitbart opens up a period here, in the next ten weeks where trump can run a different style campaign. >> mark, 81, 82 days out from the general election, i forget which one it is. making a move like this, this late in the game. is it unprecedented?
i think we have established that it's unusual. is it unprecedented? >> you know, ari was telling you about the john kerry comparison back in 2004. and it was about at this same juncture where there was the final leadership shuffling at the john kerry campaign. but what the kerry campaign and 2004 has in common with the donald trump campaign of 2016, they find themselves behind right now. you don't make these types of moves, you don't have these types of shakeups is everything is hunky dory, you're ahead in the polls. and by every metric out there, whether it's the national polls, the state polls, the battleground maps, donald trump finds himself trailing hillary clinton right now. and i think there is a question on with -- voting that's going to be starting well before 80 days from now. there is going to be some states, craig, that start voting back in september, late september, with early voting. whether there is a really enough time to be able to make a difference. and given that donald trump is so well-known, so is hillary clinton, whether you can end up having a shakeup, whether you
can end up having some new speech lines, can that really change voters' sentiments about an election where they might have made up their minds. >> we have been having this conversation on the air. i think our viewers and for our listeners, i'll loop you in here. but our viewers just saw that flying billboard touch down there? baton rouge, louisiana. donald trump on the ground, where, again, he is going to be touring some of the areas devastated, if not decimated in some cases by the historic flooding that has ravaged that part of the country over the past few days. the republican nominee on the ground. his number two, mike pence, touched down in the last hour. we saw him talking to some state and local officials there in baton rouge. we have been told by the trump campaign that this is going to be a private event. we don't exactly know precisely who trump is going to be spending time with on the ground there, other than the state and local officials. but again, we're being told that
it's a private event. i want to bring in robert costa now. of course, robert costa with "the washington post," has covered the -- first his -- covered the trump campaign almost from the very beginning, was the first to tweet out this information a few minutes ago. again, campaign chairman, paul manafort, out, robert. what does this mean for the campaign moving forward? >> manafort issued his resignation today to trump, and it's really about manafort recognizing that though he thought earlier in the week he would stay on as an outside -- an inside adviser on the campaign, and helping steve bannan and kelly ann conway, he feels it's best for him to leave to let them execute their own strategy. this was told to me by a close associate of manafort's who is familiar with his thinking. manafort is a veteran republican, he realizes he has done what he could for the trump campaign and now he thinks it's time to let others take the wheel. >> was he forced out?
>> based on my reporting at this moment, he was not forced out. but he saw the writing on the wall in a sense that he had been layered in a staff hierarchy. what makes the situation interesting is that manafort has never had a falling out with trump personally. his relationship with trump the candidate remains solid. and i've heard from my sources at trump tower, he's had a good rapport with kelly ann conway and steve bannan. this was becoming a crowded group in the trump campaign this week. and with the strong personalities of bannan and conway, having manafort there was -- seemed to have been working, but man afford was someone who had been chief strategist and chairman and moving into a different role wasn't something he was entirely comfortable with. >> you just said done what he could. that manafort had done what he could. we have been talking about why he was brought in, and according to your reporting and the reporting from oh a lot of other folks, it was primarily to help
professionalize the campaign. did he do that? >> in some ways, he has. he has -- the manafort legacy, as we look back, will be one of strengthening relationships with the republican establishment, with the republican national committee. he was someone who came in a couple months ago after corey lewandowski was fired. he had come on to the campaign as a convention analyst and manager earlier. but he was someone who tried to stabilize trump within the republican party. while that seems to have worked in some respects, trump in terms of his presentation and his style has always been inclined to be more ex temp rainous, more populist and in the chosing chapter of the general election campaign, has gone with two advisers who are encouraging him to be himself more and do less in terms of the party discipline and party pitch. >> so for all practical intents and purposes, it would sound like, based on the folks you're talking to, based on your sources, that with manafort out,
we are going to see a return to the same donald trump that rose to the polls in the primaries when the field was 16 or 17. would that be an accurate assessment? >> i think that's an accurate assessment. i think you're watching the trump campaign in transition. we're watching it unfold before our eyes, a political outsider trying to figure out who he wants to have at his side as he nagivates the tumult of a general election campaign. part of this, as well, we have to acknowledge based on my reporting that many people are uncomfortable with trump's slide in the polls, including trump himself. he felt in spite of his good relationship with manafort, and the respect he's had for manafort, it was time for a change, because you look at some of these swing state polls, he was behind by an ever increasing margin. >> as we're having this conversation on the phone here, robert, just toup update our viewers and listeners, donald trump's plane has touched down in baton rouge, louisiana. as you can see, the stairs have
been positioned. oh, good. we're zooming in. that's not trump himself. we expect donald trump, the republican nominee, to emerge in just a few moments, and make that trip down the stairs on the tarmac, where he will likely be greeted by a number of state and local officials. again, this is going to be a private event. trump expected to tour a number of the areas there in baton rouge that have been devastated, completely devastated by the flooding there. we are talking, though, right now about trump's campaign chair, paul manafort, word coming down, just 10, 15 minutes ago that he is stepping down. he is resigning. robert costa is on the phone with us right now. robert costa with the "the washington post", has covered the campaign very closely from the beginning. what is next for paul manafort, robert. >> he's going to remain an outside adviser to the campaign, al aby. but one on the outside. and he's not going to be at
trump tower. one thought for manafort, he has been friendly with governor christie of new jersey, who is running the transition project. and manafort, in spite of him leaving the campaign formally, my sources tell me if should trump win the white house, he would play a role in a trump administration in some way, perhaps. that he is seen as someone not being kicked out of the campaign or fired in the same way that corey lewandowski was a couple weeks ago. resigning in good spirits. that's what's important to know about the candidate. because of the ride of kelly ann conway and steve bannan. this is about a transition of power in trump's inner circle more than anything else. >> is there no concern inside the campaign that a shakeup like this so close to the general election is a bad idea? >> trump himself has always been the conductor of his own campaign. and at this point, he reads the polls more than any other
candidate i've ever covered, follows the trend lines and cross tabs. and i think his frustration with his political standing has been growing. and it's not that unusual for campaigns to make changes in the closing months of a general election. especially if you're behind. and trump has a chemistry with bannan and conway. manafort came in as a pro are official, and now what you're seeing with bannan and conway are two close friends of trump being at his side to try to get his best instinks like we saw in north carolina last night. engaged with voters on a personal level so you can talk about the issues. >> that did surprise a lot of folks this morning when -- and last night. to hear him even use the word "regret." not sorry. but regret. we just saw some of donald trump's entourage make their way down the steps there.
we saw the security that has become ubiquitous. robert, if you could stand by, i would appreciate it. rick tyler, of course, who is with ted cruz's campaign and now an msnbc contributor, standing by for us in washington, d.c. rick, first of all, let me get your general reaction to this news of manafort stepping down. >> well, you know, you had -- people had to see this coming. you don't get replaced as a campaign manager, although manafort was the manager to be so publicly replaced, hey, we're going to -- as kelly ann described, we're going to expand the campaign. but everybody knew it was a demotion for manafort. and let's see if he resigns. and it took a few days, but he did resign. but that's just what happens at this level. you can't be at that level and then be demoted and expect to go
on. because the key thing is, you have to have the ear and the trust of the candidate. and if you don't, there is really no reason for you to be on the campaign. >> how did he lose the ear and the trust of donald trump? >> well, look, as you know, craig, i've been a critic of manafort, but i think manafort really was trying to keep donald trump disciplined, to the teleprompter, stop creating these side action, side circus shows that trump was prone to do and keep him disciplined. he has a lot of experience in that. he's worked with a lot of shall we say high-maintenance, high-profile candidates. mostly in other countries. and so in a sense, maybe he was trying to rein donald trump in. but he wants to do things in his own way. and it is true that donald trump knows steve bannan and kelly ann and he's comfortable with them and it's sort of like returning to lewandowski. we're going to let trump be trump. i don't know if that's going to serve trump well.
the problem has not really been his staff. it's really been a leadership problem. and there's been such a turmoil inside the campaign ongoing, even though it's denied. but, you know, there is a lot -- when campaigns start to leak information all of the time, it's because staffers are trying to protect themselves and protect their own reputations and credibility. so you know the campaign is falling apart. but that's a leadership problem. and that comes from the candidate himself. ultimately, you have to blame the candidate when campaigns have such turmoil. >> with manafort out, rick, what does that mean now going forward again? here we are some 81, 82 days out. what does this mean going forward for the campaign? >> well, i mean, if the campaign can settle out and get on a real track, this may be their last chance. but look, this is -- as i said this morning, this is sort of like ground hog day over and over again. and you had donald trump sort of apologize yesterday. you know, look. i don't think his poll gee was very sincere, he read it off a
teleprompter, he qualified it, meaning you know in the heat of the debate, you know, craig, when you sit down to do twitter, you have all of the time in the world to think about what you're going to say. and he either didn't think about what he was going to say or was very deliberate and i think it's the latter. that's what got him in trouble. it seems very calculated to me. >> as we're talking here, again, waiting on donald trump to make his way down the stairs at the baton rouge airport there in louisiana, he is going to be taking a look at some of the areas that have been hit extremely hard. by the flooding. tens of thousands of people, we're told, affected. a number of folks have been displaced. federal aid on the way. jeh johnson yesterday, and president obama under fire for not cutting his vacation short to head down to louisiana. there was that scathing editorial in the newspaper of
record there in baton rouge, encouraging the president to get down there and talk to folks and see the devastation firsthand, as well. rick tyler still in d.c. for us. msnbc news analyst, of course. spent a fair amount of time working with texas senator ted cruz's presidential campaign. kendellanian is with us, nbc news investigative unit. ken, i know you reasonable wrote about manafort's business ties to russia. how do you think that factored into this campaign shakeup, and ultimately his resignation? >> that's right, craig. well, we don't know for sure whether it factored in. he's been under a dream drumbeat of pressure. there has been a series of stories examining his connections to ukrainian politicians, to russian and ukrainian oil garks. our story examined his ties to oligarchs who have ties to organized crime. and it comes in the context of
the trump campaign being very pro russia. both republican and democratic analysts have been disturbed by some of the positions that trump has taken. >> ken, just -- again, for viewers and listeners, donald trump as you can see here, making his way down the stairs. baton rouge, louisiana. his number two, mike pence, touched down last hour. you see governor pence there joining him as trump greets a number of the folks there on the tarmac, presumably these are state and local officials who have spent the better part of the last week or so trying to help people recover there, rebuild their lives in an area that has been decimated by the flooding, the aftermath of the flooding. you can see clear skies in baton rouge today for the most part. but the better part, again, of the last five or six days has just been relentless rainfall. trump deciding to make his way down there to tour the devastation. we're told that this is going to be a private event.
right now you are getting a bumpy look at the caravan of vehicles that typically accompanies a presidential nominee. we just lost that feed there. we'll go back in just a moment. i want to bring in michael steele now. michael steele, of course, analyst here, also former head of the republican national committee. mike, let's just start with your general reaction to this news that paul manafort is out. >> not surprising. should have been anticipated in light of the recent events within the campaign with bannon and ank and kelly ann coming aboard. that's step one. number two, it takes the russia story off the campaign's back, as that was beginning to build and gather steam around the campaign. one more distraction for a campaign that is diminishing and moving away from distractions. i think that it makes perfect sense at this stage.
and particularly given that in the battle over the direction, the heart of the campaign, meaning donald trump, paul manafort clearly lost that battle when kelly ann and bannon were brought on. >> mike, had it not been -- had it not been for the news over the past few days of manafort having these ties to multimillion dollar business propositions with russian and ukrainian oligarchs, had it not been for that news, would he still be campaign chair or was he on his way out anyway? >> you know, i think it's more the latter. i think in the events of this campaign, the movement of this campaign, really pointed towards that direction. not a real slap at paul manafort. he did -- at least tried to do the best he could for the campaign. but the dynamics internally were very, very different. they were still very unsettled. he couldn't get them settled in a direction towards, you know,
creating a more traditional style campaign with an asymmetrical candidate. and so now i think with this new focus and certainly we've already seen the impact that kelly ann is having on the campaign. witnessed the speech last night, the words of regret for past behavior and words by donald trump. all of that is a very different space that they have been trying to get to that manafort just couldn't get them to. for whatever reason. so i think the writing was somewhat on the wall, and has been for several months now. it was just a matter of how it would resolve itself. and clearly, these new are the way to do that. >> the caravan of suvs winding their way through the streets of baton rouge airport again. the republican nominee set to tour some of the areas affected by the floods. also expected to talk to state and local officials, as well.
donald trump, mike pence, both of them in one of those more than a dozen suvs and other vehicles making their way through the streets of baton rouge. manafort, michael steele, as you know, was brought in to professionalize the campaign. was he successful in any way, shape or form? >> yeah. i mean, to a real degree, he was. i mean, you know, he was able to begin to put in place some of the infrastructure. certainly the early days of his year leading up to the convention to get in place a strategy to deal with what was brewing at that time as a potential, you know, devastating backlash at the convention towards the campaign. so, yeah, he came -- made the kinds of steps that he needs to make in order to move the campaign forward beyond where it was, where it was stuck. so, yeah. i think you can't take away from the effort -- it was tough. and he knew it was tough coming
in. donald trump is -- as he has shown, was not a candidate that could be corralled in any real sense. so trying to find that sweet spot where donald could be donald, but you can also put together the formal structures and the professional aspects of the campaign was a lot tougher for one person to do. at least the way the model was set up. i think this new model will have a greater impact, and i think we have already begun to see that. you know, let's talk in a week and see where we are. but the early signs are that, you know, donald trump 3.0 is going to work a lot better than it has in the past. >> we're roughly 80 takes out from the general election, a number of states start their early voting two, three weeks from now. how great of an impact can a move like this really have? it would seem to a lot of folks from the outside that this is too little, too late. >> well, it may or may not be. you know, oh -- again, i think folks need to stop applying
strictly convention approaches to campaigning to this campaign and to this presidential race at large. and even including the hillary clinton campaign. i think that yes, there is truth to the fact you've got to do, you know, some of the traditional stuff, boots on the ground. manafort was working towards getting a lot of those things in place, and in a large measure, has. but i think from here on out, this really is going to turn and the campaign is always going to rely on the national party and the state parties across the country to help turn out that vote. right now, their focus is to get the numbers turned back in their favor in the polls. to get a solid message on the ground. that will aid those efforts to turn out that vote. you can have all the infrastructure in the world, but if your message isn't tight and if your candidate is loose all over the place, you're not going to be successful. >> michael steele, former rnc chair and msnbc contributor,
always appreciate your time. enjoy the weekend. >> all right, my friend. take care now. >> let me bring in nbc news donald trump campaign political in beds, ali vitale. you just got off the phone with an ally of paul manafort and he said what this could mean for the campaign moving forward. what did he tell you? >> yeah, that's right. i did just get off the phone with a manafort ally who was pretty bullish in telling me the bottom is going to fall out now in light of paul manafort's departure from the campaign. you have to consider the bias of where that is coming from, someone who has consistently throughout paul manafort's time in the campaign been very bullish on the fact that paul can right this ship, that he brings the organization and traditional know-how and structure to this campaign, something many people in the campaign have told me over the course of this -- as many weeks. especially as we have been
digging into the latest campaign shakeup, what's so interesting to me is people bringing up the parallels between this round of shakeups and the one we saw in june of corey lewandowski being filed. what we saw after that, paul sent out an e-mail saying i'm still involved, but here is new leadership, on to victory. and now we're seeing he is no longer with the campaign. this is coming down to messaging, trump on the stump, trying to right the ship in terms of saying that he regrets some of his past missteps, even though he didn't necessarily go into what he was talking about when he said that. so i think that what you're seeing right now in the campaign is really this effort to refocus, zero in on the strong message and that's what i think they're doing with kelly ann conway as campaign manager right now. that's what a lot of people in the campaign are telling me, the effort and eventually goal is. she is the one who can come in and bring this to a head and hopefully bring it home. >> ali vitale, our donald trump
campaign in bed, providing that perspective. just getting off the phone with an ally of paul manafort's. thank you and to other folks able to provide some perspective for us. again, word coming down roughly 30 minutes ago that paul manafort, trump campaign chair, at least that was the case until about 20 or 30 minutes ago, until he announced his resignation. manafort out. what that means for the campaign, we'll continue to look at that. also, the other big news that we continue to follow here at msnbc. the robbery in rio that was not. ryan lochte, apologizing for his behavior in that country. that happened just a few moments ago. we'll get to that, right after this. ♪ mapping the oceans. where we explore. protecting biodiversity. everywhere we work. defeating malaria. improving energy efficiency. developing more clean burning natural gas. my job? my job at exxonmobil? turning algae into biofuels.
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instagram about the robbery in rio that was not. he says in part, quote, i want to apologize for my behavior last week for not being more careful and candid in how he described the events. it's traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country, with a language barrier and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money. i should have been much more responsible in how i handled myself, and for that i am sorry. to my teammates, i am grateful to usa swimming, the usoc and the people of brazil who welcomed us to rio. again, that ryan lochte apology just posted to instagram a short time ago. here's a look at jack conger's and gunnar bentz arriving back in miami. this was the scene outside the police station in rio a few hours before that. >> gold medal winners booed and
is shamed there in rio. a third swimmer, jimmy feigen, agreeing to donate roughly $11,000 to charity to get his passport back and leave brazil. he is expected to come home later today. again, ryan lochte's america's second most decorated swimmer, issuing an apology a few moments ago. their madup story about being robbed in rio didn't just embarrass usa, who has absolutely dominated these games, the larger storyline, their tale angered and upset brazilians, taking great pride in defying skeptics who insisted they could not host an olympics. nbc's ron mott at the gas station in rio where it all went down. ron, let's start with the apology. we're told, by the way, that we do not expect to hear from ryan lochte. this should serve as the official statement. how is this going over on the ground there?
>> reporter: well, i think a lot of brazilians have not heard this information, craig. it will probably be something that makes them feel better. they want an apology. culturally, that is something important to them. they feel deeply offended that this story was concocted, that in effect cast them in a bad light. now, they do obviously have street crime here in brazil, especially here in rio. that they are working to try to improve. but have this story on the international stage like this was deeply offensive to brazilians. i'm at the gas station at the heart of this entire controversy. you'll see in some of the surveillance video the taxi that the four swimmers took, came here to gas station. they were taking a bathroom break. on the way back to the olympic village to, where they were staying. there is a bathroom on the other side of this convenience store that officials here at the gas station, security guard in particular, said these four swimmers damaged some property here. and that they tried to then get in the taxi and leave. and so that's where the controversy and the confrontation started.
eventually, the security guard pulled his gun out and told the swimmers that they were not going to leave, that they wanted the cops to come here first. so over here, craig, is -- there's a car wash over here. you can see in the surveillance video the four swimmers get out, a couple sat on the curb while they negotiated a deal. a third party came to act as a translator between the portuguese-speaking security guard and the four english-speaking swimmers. and eventually, they settled on a payment of about $50. so they paid the $50, got back into the taxi, and left. now we can take a look at the time line, because this was also interesting, because ryan lochte, in his initial account to billy bush in the interview on the beach said they left the club about 4:00 in the morning. it was closer to 6:00 a.m. 5:47. you see them heading back to olympic village, leaving club france. at 6:07, stopped at the gas station. one minute later, you see one emerging from the restroom area. and then at 6:09, a security guard approaches the swimmers as
they enter the cab, concerned the swimmers vandalized the restroom. and we see the swimmers exiting at 6:12. 6:14 up here behind me with their hands up, some of them. and then we had that exchange of money. now, as you mentioned, one of the swimmers, jimmy feigen, has apparently reached an agreement with officials here. $35,000 brazilian rials, between 10 and 11,000 u.s. dollars. that money is going to go to a local judo program, brazil won in judo at these games, very proud of it. and there is a sudden spark of interest in the sport. and so that money given over to that program will help to get that program off the ground, craig. >> new information there at the ends. we did not know where that money was going. ron mott, thank you for walking us through all of that. again, ryan lochte apologizing on instagram, specifically apologizing for not being more careful and candid in describing the events there. ron, thank you, sir. let's get back to the other big story we follow here right now. paul manafort, trump campaign
chair, out. resigning at the top of the hour here. i want to bring in conservative talk show host, hugh hewitt. also a contributor here at msnbc. hugh, what do you make of the news here? were you at all surprised? >> no, craig. in fact, i spent my morning show talking with a number of political journalists and observers about how the new trump campaign structure would work. donald trump went down to north carolina, gave an unusual speech for him, one in which he expressed regret for some of the overstatements he's made in the past, a turning towards the african-american community in particular. and represented to a lot of us the change, the long-awaited pivot, to use the cliche of the summer. and then it just became a matter of time. because he would like to train his fire on the clinton foundation, on the gilbert she guerriery, mark rich, unfolding connection to bill and hillary clinton. hard to do with paul manafort. harder to do especially when you've got kelly ann conway as
campaign manager. david axelrod now kelly ann conway. so i think they left on good terms, it's a handshake, a fair well, be well and go with grace. and for anyone who wants to get back on message of making the clintons the centerpiece of the campaign. >> so hugh, had it not been for this news over the past few days, past few weeks and to a certain extent of manafort's connection to these russian and ukrainian oligarchs, some of these questionable business dealings, had it not been for reports of that, would manafort still be the campaign chair? >> i don't know, craig. it's -- imponderable. i just know as a supporter of a republican wind, i know it's hard to talk -- in fact, came up today. i was talking with one of my guests about gilbert she guerriery, billionaire -- secretary clinton state
department. it's hard to talk about that without soming back to you and say manafort and ukraine is pretty stinky too. and that made it a very difficult line of attack for trump to develop. i think it was inevitable. at the same time, falling poll numbers is never trump's favorite thing and he does not like to see he's behind in florida. that he's behind in north carolina. that virginia is probably out of reach. that's not what you expect coming out of cleveland and philadelphia. you expect a tightening race, not one that is separating. so the pivot was made to a new staff, the pivot to new rhetoric. and now the break is clean with the second regime. so now we have the third trump regime. and kelly ann conway, as i said earlier, well-known to almost every conservative activist in america. respected. i think across the partisan divide as a very disciplined messenger. i think she is the axel rod to trump and i think it's going to work very well for him moving forward. >> hugh hewitt, conservative
radio talk show host, one of the most prominent in this country. also a contributor here at msnbc. hugh, thank you. have a good weekend, sir. robert costa is still with us, the "washington post" live with some new information. robert, what do you have? >> well, what we have seen is an acknowledgment from manafort that it was time for a new direction. and there were a lot of factors that led to him issuing his resignation today. one was that corey lewandowski, former campaign manager, has remained in trump's ear as a confidante, and he was not always positive about manafort in his strategy. and those private conversations with trump, according to people close to trump i've spoken with. what we have also seen is though kelly ann conway, new campaign manager, has welcomed manafort to be part of the team, going so far as to yesterday calling her team the core four of manafort. manafort realizes with the pressure he's under from some of these news stories with scrutiny
of his dealings with pro russian forces in the ukraine, with the new team coming in, even though he was willing to be an unpaid adviser in and confidante, it was best for him to leave and be an ally on the outside. >> so it sounds like what you're saying, robert, and you correct me if i am wrong, i know you will. he wasn't forced out? this was paul manafort seeing the writing on the wall, realizing that this probably was not going to go well for him moving forward? in terms of this new dynamic? >> that's right. manafort, according to his friends who i've been making the rounds with, he came in as the convention manager back in the spring. he was going to run and execute the convention. his ambition was never to be the campaign chief strategist and guru. but with lewandowski struggling in manafort's view about two or three months ago, manafort decided it was time to have a veteran presence atop the
campaign. so we urged trump to make a change, become more disciplined and to build a bridge with the party and to be less unscripted in his public presentation. trump has followed that advice through the convention. manafort has been at his side throughout the entire period. but as the poll numbers have slipped, manafort's advice has had less and less capital with trump. trump has told people based on my reporting that he likes manafort, but he just wants to be more of himself, a populist, nationalist in the coming months. and so that's where we are right now with kelly ann conway, a pollster who has good chemistry with him, giving him advice about what to say. and then we have steve bannon, who ran breitbart news, urging him to be a fire brand in his rhetoric and manafort really didn't know where to fit in that orbit. that led to the resignation. >> robert costa, doing what he does so frequently, breaking news, shedding new information on a breaking news story, "washington post," robert cast at that. thanks as always, sir.
kevin sir i willy, political reporter from bloomberg, joins me on the phone. i understand you've got some exclusive information on more resignations coming down the pipe? y >> yes, i just spoke with a campaign source, who told me that rick gates that, is paul manafort's deputy, his go-to number two is also leaving the campaign. they are in many ways a team. manafort and rick gates. so rick gates is now also leaving the campaign. >> gates is out. what was gates doing with the campaign, kevin? >> rick was largely responsible for, again, assisting manafort in getting those delegates to the 1237 threshold. we all remember when that was a key point in the race. there were questions about whether or not trump would be able to reach the delegate threshold. he was instrumental in talking with many trump surrogates, in setting up events and planning
messaging strategies. he was in many ways the right arm to paul manafort. so both of them leaving. i talked to one senior, senior campaign -- trump campaign official, who told me there was no bad blood, that this was a clean split. that paul manafort was concerned that the stories regarding his previous political consulting work with russia and the ukraine would become too much of a distraction. clearly, we have seen from the trump campaign they're trying to get back on message, to make this election a referendum on hillary clinton. and he was concerned that these stories, according to the senior campaign official, would become too much of a distraction moving forward. >> paul manafort out. campaign chair. kevin sir i willy, bloomberg political reporter telling us on the phone that rick gates, manafort's number two also
leaving the campaign this morning. kevin, thank you so much for coming on to break that news. as we get this new information about the trump campaign and a shakeup -- another shakeup, so to speak. we are also learning that one of mitt romney's top fund-raisers, say he is breaking with the party this election. he will not be voting for donald trump in november. one of romney's original national finance chairs when he ran for president, he has voted republican for president since 1980, not this time. we should also note that david nearim berg raised a boatload of money for romney, as well. he joins me. david, thank you for being with me. let's start here. for whom will you be voting in november if not donald trump? >> i will be voting for hillary clinton. >> that would surprise a lot of folks, i would imagine. what's chief among your concerns with the republican nominee? >> for me, it's all about character, temperament and
fitness to be president. it is the most powerful person in the free world. i'm a father of three adult children. i want to be thoughtful about the world in which they're going to grow up. they're probably going to live until the end of this century. got willing, they'll have children of their own. i want to have a president who is centered, stable, civil, decent, compassionate, inclusive, not divisive, not name-calling. not scapegoating. not verbally abusive. and from having worked with mitt for 39 years, because he was my first boss, and then worked with him as a volunteer for six years in his campaign, i have a sense of what a presidential temperament is like. people may disagree with mitt's positions on some issues, they may regret some individual things he said. but i don't think there's anybody who would say that that isn't a decent, compassionate,
competent, capable man who was ready to be president. and i simply do not think from everything i've been seeing and reading the crises of the day, including the things you have been talking about in it the last several minutes, i don't think donald trump will ever be fit to be president of the united states. you know, it reminds me of the wonderful advertising slow began right now, what's in your wallet. that wonderful commercial with samuel l. jackson and jennifer garner. if you think about what's in your wallet and you look at the bills and you look at the coins and you see the heads of the presidents, washington, lincoln, fdr, jefferson, and you think about also -- mt. rushmore, with teddy roosevelt, as well. i don't see donald trump on coins. >> david -- >> i don't see him on bills. >> i don't see him on mt. rushmore. he's not presidential. >> david nearly berg, i wish we had more time, sir. we've got to get back to the olympics. thank you so much for your time. i do hope you'll come back with us. of that's going to wrap-up this
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