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tv   First Look  MSNBC  March 31, 2017 2:00am-3:01am PDT

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standards slipped that badly. right where that happened. at some point we're going to have to get back to zero in terms of being able to be shocked by corruption, nepotism and crime in government. we're going have to get back to zero when it's all done. that does it for us tonight. seeking immunity, president trump's former national security adviser michael flynn has told the senate intel committee he's willing to be interviewed about the trump campaign's possible ties to russia in exchange for immunity from prosecution. a firestorm reignited. white house officials outed as possible source of devin nunes claims. now one of the busiest interstates in america suffers a partial bridge collapse after a massive fire. good morning, everyone. it's friday, march 31s. i'm alex witt alongside ayman
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mohyeldin and louis burgdorf. michael flynn wants to make a deal. "the wall street journal" reported he is requesting immunity in exchange for his testimony. this while federal probes into alleged lings between the president's soernlts and russian government plays out. in a letter posted to twitter, flynn's lawyer confirmed discussions between them and the congressional committees while citing unfounded allegations, outrageous claims of treason. he added, quote, no reasonable person would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized witch hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution. flynn frequently accused democratic nominee hillary clinton with corruption on the campaign trail, including a chant of, lock her up at the republican convention. when speaking last september about clinton aides who requested immunity for testifying in the clinton e-mail server investigation, flynn said this -- >> i mean, five people around
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her have been given immunity, to include her former chief of staff. when you're given immunity, that means you've probably committed a crime. >> this morning several new reports are adding to the controversy surrounding the republican house of intel committee investigating russia. questions about how devin nunes was able to access information that the president later said vindicated wiretapping claims, claims yet to be substantiated. nbc's peter alexander reports. >> reporter: "the new york times" report claims a pair of white house officials played a part. the republican chair of the house committee devin nunes saying incidental spies spied on president trump. >> the president-elect and his team were at lease monitored. >> reporter: now "the times" identifying those officials at 32-year-old michael ellis, a white house lawyer who formerly
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worked on white house intelligence staff and 30-year-old ezra cohen-watnick, senior director for intelligence at national security counsel. sources tell nbc news president trump tried to fire cohen-watnick, a. nunes says even though he reviewed the information on white house grounds, white house officials weren't involved. >> i'm quite sure people in the west wing had no idea i was there. >> reporter: if that source turns out to be a white house official it would be an explosive twist in a drama critics say started in a chance to back up president trump's claims he was wiretapped. the president said he felt vindicated. >> i somewhat do. >> reporter: then thursday spokesman sean spicer dismisses nunes got information from the white house.
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>> i don't know why he would brief the president on something we gave him. it doesn't pass the smell test. >> reporter: spicer deflecting questions about the report. >> i'm not going to get into further details. >> reporter: announcing this letter inviting bipartisan leaders of the intelligence committee to review new evidence that may show information collected about americans was mishandled and leaked. >> we have -- are willing to provide them with the information we have -- the materials we have come across. and i think that is important. >> reporter: the top democrat on the house committee accepting that offer but pouncing on the "times" report and questioning the white house's transparency. >> is this, instead, a case where they wish to effectively launder information through our committee to avoid the true source of the information? that question the white house really needs to answer. >> reporter: with the house committee paralyzed by politics, the senate panel hosting its first russia hearing and taking a shot at house colleagues. >> the vice chairman and i realize if we politicize this process our efforts will likely
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fail. >> reporter: this morning a former top white house official tells nbc news whoever originally accessed the intelligence reports shown to chairman nunes must have been an insider at national security counsel because no one else, they say, would have had access to those security computers. >> there's also more to this story. "the washington post" reports there were actually three white house officials involved in collecting and handling the information shared with nunes. adding national security counsel lawyer's name into the mix, nbc news has not confirmed "the new york times" or washington post reports. paul ryan said chairman nunes did not identify his source to him but did characterize them. >> he had told me that like a whistle-blower type person had given him some information that was new, that spoke to the last administration and part of this
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investigation. >> did you encourage him to then go tell the president about it? >> no. i told him to add it to his investigation. >> joining us from washington, intelligence and national security reporter for nbc news and its investigative unit, ken delaney. let's talk about who these people are, in particular, what kind of jobs do they typically involve that would allow them having access to this information? >> good morning. paul ryan there just used key phrase, wishistle-blower, that s the story that devin nunes got this information from a whistle-blower. that story has been exploded. we haven'tdentified the particular identification but we identified them as white house officials and nunes confirmed that. they are young aides who have access to highly classified information. they can access it via computer inside a security computer inside the white house. nunes visited them there the
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other night, he has said. some real questions are being raised about why they were rooting around in classified information looking at fbi intercepts involving americans. the other issue is the idea that somehow nunes obtained this independent to vindicate donald trump has been -- is completely in question now because he got the stuff from the white house, who could have delivered it to donald trump themselves, ayman. >> let's look to the michael flynn situation. he's asking immunity for, what, he can reveal all without prosecution, so it's just a super hyperpartisan type right now and it would be the appropriate thing to do under these circumstances, this tender in washington? what do you think it is? >> as flynn said himself people don't generally ask for immunity unless they have some criminal exposure. his lawyer said in a statement he has a story to tell. we can speculate what kind of trouble flynn might be in. he filed as a foreign lobbyist for turkey recently, having not
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done so during the campaign in the transition where according to documents he was actually lobbying for turkey. the other issue is, he was fired for lying to the vice president about his conversations request russian ambassador to the united states. what we don't know is what did he tell the fbi about that? what did he say on his security clearance about those conversations with the russian ambassador? >> thank you for that. senate intelligence committee held its first hearing into the russian meddling with unknown testimony and new revelations about hacking attempts from senator marco rubio. >> through the end of 2015 and start of 016 the russian influence began pushing themes and messages seeking to influence the outcome of the u.s. presidential election. covert trolls sought to sidelines poepts with add ver saral views of the kremlin. they were in full swing of the
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republican and democratic primary season. long before the field narrow. senator rubio, in my opinion, you anecdotally suffered from these efforts. >> i would like to inform the committee within the last 24 hours, 10:45 a.m. a second attempt was made again against former members of my presidential campaign team who had access to our internal information again targeted from an ip address from an unknown location in russia and that effort was also unsuccessful. >> pretty extraordinary. clinton watts will join "morning joe" later this morning. president trump appears to be picking a fight with a faction of his own party. it began yesterday when he tweeted the freedom caucus will hurt the entire republican agenda if they don't get on the team and fast. we must fight them and dems in 2018. if mark med dose, jim jordan and raul labrador would get on board we would have a great health care and massive tax cuts and
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reform. "the washington post" sources a white house official who says they're sick and tired of seeing freedom caucus members on team and that, quote, this has been brewing for a while. adding, our view is, there's nothing as clarifying as smell of air force one jet fuel. so if he needs to bring in the plane and do a rally, he's going to think about doing that. "the new york times" reports the president wasn't act purely on impulse. they report stephen bannon has counselled a tough tone with rebels, instructing them to keep them in line. dan scavino recently moved into mr. bannon's west wing office where he closely monitors social activity by and about the president. >> tweeting, it didn't take long for the swamp to drain donald trump. no shame, mr. president. almost everyone succumbs to the d.c. establishment. here's what he and his
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colleagues said on camera yesterday. >> i don't work for the president. i don't work for the leadership. work for the people that sent me. >> the fact is you have to look at the legislation and it doesn't do what we told the voters we were going to do that and that's why only 17% of the population supports this legislation. >> i don't know who is giving him that counsel, but if it's the same counsel that said, let's put a bill polling at 17% on the house floor when the american people are 17% approval, that's not a winner. >> this place is a swamp, not a hot tub. just because it's hot doesn't mean it's a hot tub. people sent us here. conservatives that -- republicans that belief in what they campaigned on and donald trump. they sent us here to drain the swamp. >> is this an actual negotiating tactic by the president or is this a constructive way to do it? >> i mean, it's constructive in fifth grade, but it may allow a
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child to get his way but thaents how our work. >> i don't know why he's threatening us. >> and trent frank said, quote, i think we're the best friends the president has in this situation. i think congress failed the president rather than the other way around and i can understand his frustration. still others were more frustrated with paul ryan and his top lieutenants and long been deep-seeded mistrust among the groups. here's how the speaker reacted to the president's comments. >> it's very understandable the president is frustrate we haven't gotten to where we wanted to go. he's expressing his frustration, in various forms, including twitter. i understand his frustration. >> lawmakers in north carolina have overturned the state's controversial bathroom bill less than 24 hours after republican lawmakers and democratic governor struck a deal to end
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the months long legislative standoff. governor roy cooper signed the bill into law yesterday afternoon hours after it cleared the state's house following a very contentious debate. while the governor said the measure is a step in the right direction, it's a limited fix. >> house bill 2 has been a dark cloud hanging over our great state. it has stained our reputation. it has discriminated against our people. and it has caused great economic harm in many of our communities. this is not a perfect deal and it is not my preferred solution. it stops short of many things we need to do as a state. >> now, lbgt and sifl rights advocates echoed their disapproval. those groups calling for a full repeal of the bill saying the new law will still allow for discrimination citing the
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three-year ban on ordinance. yesterday president took over congress after venezuela nullified the legislative branch late wednesday night. the president of the national assembly literally ripped up the ruling saying he has carried out a coup. the state department calling it, quote, a serious setback for democracy. venezuela has been in political turmoil for months and the country has been facing triple digit inflation. in the latest episode in her stunning downfall, former south korea president park geun-hye has been arrested and currently in jail awaiting trial. park was impeached earlier this month following massive corruption and influence peddling scandal which engulfed her presidency. she's the first leader in the country's democratic history to be sent to jail sxfs the first to be removed from office. park faces charges of bribery, extortion and abuse of powers, among others. she has apologized in the past
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for her judgment but denied any wrongdoing. still ahead, a pair of democrats signal support for supreme court nominee neil gorsuch despite the party planning a possible filibuster. take a look at these pictures of atlanta. rush hour getting under way but a massive delay as a major part of that bridge collapsed. it's still smoldering this morning.
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welcome back, everyone. as the senate prepares to begin proceedings on the confirmation of president trump's supreme court nominee next week, two democrats have now come out in support of neil gorsuch. senators joe manchin of west virginia and heidi heitkamp of
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south dakota. as of now, 32 democratic senators have said they are again gorsuch's nomination and support a filibuster while two more are undecided but support the filibuster. now, one of those democrats, claire mccaskill, offering a warning to her own party. mccaskill is up for re-election in a state trump won by double digits says, blocking gorsuch could have dire consequences for democrats, including someone worse being appointed to the high court in the future. coming up on "morning joe," we'll talk with senator jeff merkley of oregon who is one of the democrats who said he won't vote for neil gorsuch on the fight over the judge's confirmation. so, traffic is bad in atlanta on pretty much any day that ends in the letter "y," but now a massive fire has caused what the mayor is calling a transportation crisis. dramatic video showing flames engulfing the section here interstate 85. it's right in the city during
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rush hour. the fire started under the bridge creating huge clouds of black smoke that could be seen for miles. fire crews were unable to reach the scene for hours due to the extreme heat generated by the flames. authorities managed to reverse traffic on that jammed highway before the bridge collapsed and somehow kind of miraculously no injuries and no deaths have been reported. now, atlanta mayor calls it a long-term crisis with all lanes on interstate 85 blocked indefinitely. what a mess. >> that looks terrible. if you're waking up in the northeast this morning, you look out your window, you're probably not happy. if you're traveling somewhere, you're really not happy. let's bring in nbc meteorologist bill karins with a check on your weather. >> it's like the ugliest end of march you'll ever see. nor'easter heading into mid-atlantic, southeast dealing with thunderstorms headed to the florida coast. a messy morning. a lot of rain soaking from west
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virginia through ohio. when you get into areas of new england, it's cold. the blue is snow. upstate new york through massachusetts. now the snow is moving in southern portions of vermont. rain around new york city even though there was sleet mixed in last night. we have winter storm warnings from portland to north of boston, mass pike northward. winter advisory in white and typical nor'easter. here's the snow forecast. . it. points the adirondacks, berkshires and areas around boston northward to concord. concord could end up with 6 to 12 inches of snow. the southern end could see strong thunderstorms this afternoon into this evening. slight risk of severe storms from d.c. down to the north carolina coastal areas. rest of the country isn't too bad. just the travel delays, you name it, an ugly friday. still ahead, roger federer will battle his way into the miami semifinals and a baseball
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r-o-l-a-i-d-s spells relief. welcome back. time for some sports and tennis in action in south beach at miami open. after ousting ang lean kerber, vee nis williams' bid came to an abrupt bid as she fell to number ten in straight sets there,
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moving on to face caroline wozniacki saturday. nick defended number 16 after taking the first set 6-4, he was narrowly ousted but came back strong to take the third, 6-3. faceding roger federer who advanced to semis yesterday afternoon by fighting off two match points in a third set tiebreaker to tweet tomas berdych. the ncaa tournament. the gamecocks' best player has fallen in, thornwell missing the team's workout after arriving in phoenix yesterday because what head coach called a little body bug. the senior guard is southeastern conference player of the year and leading scorer at this year's ncaa tournament.
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the gamecocks and number one gonzaga will be the first of the final four teams to tip off tomorrow. we'll see if he's feeling better by then. now to a little buzz at mlb spring training to pe arizona. where bees decided to attach to a microphone during a game between rockies and padres. things get worse in the ninth as they take to the field, forcing players to stop, drop and roll, taking to the ground for a little cover from the bees. the rockies win it 10-5. never new bees could do that. >> it's impressive they knew what to do that. >> i hate to be the audio guy who has to take that microphone. as pressure builds, there are reports of a third white house official linked to devin nunes' surveillance claims. paul ryan gets criticized for saying he doesn't want to work with the democrats. we'll be right back. hey, ready for the big meeting?
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welcome back, everyone. i'm alex witt alongside ayman mohyeldin and louis burgdorf. we're starting you off with the headlines. four shot in chicago, 130 homicides in the city so far. that number is down 10% but still on track to be one of the deadliest years. mike pence rushed to capitol
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hill yesterday to save a measure aimed at blocking federal grants to family planning centers like planned parenthood. pence also cast the tiebreaking vote to confirm betsy devos. republican senator marco rubio claims his presidential campaign was the target of a russian cyber attack. it came during senate intel hearing on moscow's meddling in the election. they claim staffers who worked on his campaign were also targeted as recently as wednesday. the first hacking attempt he says came after he dropped his presidential bid and announced plans to seek re-election. the senator says none of the attacks were successful. a new report names a third trump administration official in the story of how white house staffers may have fed self-serving intelligence reports to a congressional a ally who presented it as validation of an explosive claim by president trump. it began the day after the directors of the fbi and nsa said they had no information to
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back up president trump's tweets about being wiretapped by the obama administration. devin nunes made an abrupt trip to the white house grounds to view material in a secured facility and then returned to the white house the following morning to brief the president and tell the press what he found. now "the new york times" cites several current american officials who say nunes received the information from two white house officials. michael ellis, a lawyer who works on national security issues at the white house counsel's office and was previously counsel to new nedz at the house intelligence committee and ezra cohen-watnick, senior director of intelligence at national security council. cohen-watnick came on board under general flynn. when mcmaster came on board he tried to oust cohen-watnick, but president trump and jared kushner got involved.
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"the washington post" says a third official took information or suggested they were monitored inadvertently to top lawyer for national security, john eisenberg. nbc news has not independently confirmed any of that. a lerl to congressional intelligence committee members yesterday inviting them to view documents about whether intelligence was mishandled. after "new york times" report about the obama administration leaving a trail of evidence about purported ties between trump soeshlgts and the russian government and comments made by former obama official who later said she did not have any inside information. at his briefing, press secretary sean spicer addressed "the new york times" story about chairman nunes, alleged administration sources and who let the congressman onto the white house grounds.
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>> i've read the report and, respectfully, your question assumes the reporting is correct. so, i would just suggest to you that the letter that was submitted earlier to the ranking -- the chairman and ranking members of the two intelligence committees on the hill, the reason that the white house has asked them to come up is to view that information. again, i don't want to get in front of that, as i've said before. i -- we are not as obsessed with the process as much as the substance. >> probably -- >> you told us you're willing to look into and ask questions about the process and provide us answers. >> no, i -- please don't put words in my mouth. i said we would looknto it. the responsible thing for us to do is provide the individuals and comtts doi the review the materials they're looking for. >> are you disputing the reports in "the new york times"? >> i'm not commenting on the reports. >> if it were wrong, would you tell us? >> i'm not going to get into it. >> no longer in president
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trump's orbit, michael flynn says he wants a deal to talk. "the wall street journal" was first to report flynn is requesting immunity in exchange for testimony about federal probes into alleged links. in a letter posted to twitter flynn's lawyer confirmed they were in discussion with the committee, saying unfounded allegations, outrageous claims of treason and innuendo directed to him. he said no reasonable person would submit questioning in such a highly politicized witch hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution. joining us, nick, good to have you with us one more time. we're less than three months into the trump administration and it's pretty remarkable his former national security adviser michael flynn is telling us he's looking for immunity. what does that say about all
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these allegations? >> mike flynn famously said to our colleague chuck todd that if someone is granted immunity, that probably means they committed a crime. if someone is seeking immunity, it means they could have some possible criminal exposure. who is he seeking immunity from? one could be the congressional committees. he's saying if i'm going to testify before congress i need immunity. that's not going to happen. there's no way congress would risk interfering with the fbi investigation by granting a key witness immunity. so, then the next question becomes, well, the fbi grant mike flynn -- or the justice department? that would only happen if mike flynn had information about people above him on the food chain, because that's generally what -- how these things work. >> i want to get your reaction to what jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the cia and pentagon, had to say about flynn last night.
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>> for the congressional committees to grant him immunity, they would have to coordinate closely with the justice department because, after all, it would be immunity from criminal prosecution. and for the justice department to agree to give somebody like him immunity, it means they want him to turn and testify against someone higher up in the food chain. who is higher up in the food chain, higher than national security adviser? there's really only one person. and so this shows that the jeopardy of criminal liability actually extends all the way to the top. that's how serious this development is tonight. >> so, ken, jeremy bash totally backing up what you were saying to ayman. so one more person, that's the only person higher up in the food chain. >> that's right. we don't know whether flynn has anything to say about donald trump or anyone close to donald trump, but let's talk about why flynn might have some jeopardy. there are two issues.
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one is earlier this month his lawyers filed paperwork saying he was paid more than half a million dollars to lobby for the turkish government. he hadn't -- over the summer and he hadn't filed that paperwork as required, intentionally failing to file as foreign lobbyist is punishable by up to five years in prison. the other is lying to the vice president about the russian ambassador to the united states. what we don't know is what he told the fbi about those conversations. it's also a felony to lie to the fbi. >> thanks again. meantime, president trump appears to be picking a fight with a faction of his own party. it began yesterday when he tweeted, the freedom caucus will hurt the entire republican agenda if they don't get on the team and fast. we must fight them and dems in 2018. if mark meadows, jordan and raul labrador would get on board, we would have massive tax cuts and great reform. "the new york times" reports
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stephen bannon, has counselled a tough tone with rebels instructing his staff to use twitter as a rhetorical prod to keep the party in line. conservative house republicans didn't take those comments lying down. thomas massey rye replying to the president's tweet, it's a swamp not a hot tub. we boat came here to drain it. swamp care polls 17%. sad. while others laid out what was at stake. >> i totally understand the president's frustration. he was told that the republican bill would basically repeal obamacare. i stand with the president through whatever hardship to repeal obamacare. i've heard people already referring to the republican people as swampcare, but it appears to analysts that i trust that premiums will go up. that this bill is not going to
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really bring down health insurance costs and that they may go up for the next two years, but hopefully in 2019, after republicans have lost the majority, because we didn't keep our promise, they're projecting that in 2019 that prices will go down maybe 10% if everything works out well. that would be good for the new democratic majority. >> house speaker paul ryan is voicing concern over the president's willingness to work with democrats, as we showed you yesterday. he warned president trump may turn to law make aerz cross the aisle if house republicans can't come together to pass a health care bill. >> what i worry about, nora, is that if we don't do this, then he'll just work with democrats to try and change obamacare. that's hardly a conservative thing. if this republican congress allows the perfect to be the enemy of the good, i worry we'll push the president into working
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with democrats. i don't want that to happen. i want a patient-centered system. i don't want government running health care. >> i don't think it's a stretch of the mind to suggest the democrats disagree with us on repealing obamacare. they're not going to help us repeal obamacare. that's my point. so, if we're going to do what whoa said we would do, which is repeal and replace obamacare and save the american health care system, something tells me democrats aren't going to help us repeal obamacare. they created it in the first place. >> one fellow republican is criticizing paul ryan, bob cork wrote, we have come a long way in our country when the speaker of one party urges the president not to work with the party to sofl a problem. corker explained that tweet saying, i'm not really trying in any way to pick on speaker ryan, he's a friend of mine. but sending the signal that you're not going to work with people on the other side of the aisle is not a place to be.
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president trump has often called nafta the worst trade deal signed by the united states. "the new york times" says he may be softening his stance when it comes to attempts to renegotiate it. fill us in on some main points of this renegotiation. >> it seems that way. it seems that he is taking a softer stance on nafta, as it were. he's backing off the threat of completely abandoning the deal as he promised to do in the past in the run-up to the election and looking to keep some main pillars of nafta in place. again, he starts renegotiating later this year. later on today could be important because he's set to sign two executive orders to lay out the ground blocks for new policies and stricter enforcement of some trade laws as well. could be interesting to see what happens later in today's session. the uber exec is now exercising the right to fifth amendment because there's a potential for criminal action in the case. you have him in the middle of
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this fight between uber and the google spin-off where he is accusing him of stealing information from google colluding with google to put driverless cars on the road. in 2016 streaming services generating the majority of music sales for the first time ever. they generated more than 50% of all music in the industry -- all revenue in the industry, 51%, to be exact. the segment bringing in about $4 billion, 51% n comparison in 2015 it was only 34% of the music industry. i was thinking back to the last thing i downloaded. rick james. good old rick james. my producer was saying heavy metal. >> rap, heavy metal, led zeppelin is my jam. thanks so much. >> she's very cool. >> this time in the morning rick james gets you going. >> for sure. louis, you're cool, too. heavy rain is expected to cause major travel delays from washington, d.c. to boston.
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i mean, really? come on, bill karins will talk all about this messy morning. plus -- >> read my lips. no more taxes. >> you might remember that. it's one of the most memorable presidential lines ever, but don't tell that to russian president vladimir putin. we'll tell you why next. kevin, meet your father. kevin kevin
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five, four, three, two, one. >> spacex making history yesterday by successfully launching a commercial satellite into space with the boost of a partly used rocket. the boost of the rocket had already flown once before. after landing on a platform in the atlantic, could conceivably launch again. it's the first of six planned launches this year involving recycled falcon 9s. spacex officials say reusing rockets will cut cost and allow
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for more aggressive launch schedule. >> that's cool. >> did you hear what they want to do next? they want to do the same rocket within 4 hours. think about that. that would just be incredible feat. >> think about saving so much money. anyway, let's get to weather. what have you got? >> obviously, the nor'easter on the east coast, heavy rain, severe weather threat, snow threat. just everything in between. the snow has broken out and now coming down pretty good from albany, new york, up to saratoga. roads should stay warm enough to stay just wet. the yellow is steady rain. d.c., philly, new york, baltimore, rain event for you during the day today. the blue is showing you where the snow is. that's going to be as we go throughout the day today. it continues into tonight. this is a slow-moving storm. it stays all blue here. right through much of even saturday. this is like a 24-hour, 36-hour event for some areas in new england. boston won't clear out until after the dinner hour tomorrow. other areas will be better. as far as snowfall goes, it
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looks like areas from boston north wards, we have you in 6 to 9 inches of snow, especially up to a foot of snow. higher elevations and other areas in new england will get that snow, too. the other thing we need to let people know, down in the carolinas, you could see a strong thunderstorm. >> hopefully it's the last snow of the season. >> we keep kicking the ball down the field. very important beyonce news to report. according to "variety," she's is to be the voice of nala in the reboot of "lion king," but donald glover has been cast as symba as james earl jones will reprise his role of mufasa. still ahead, questions of whether the white house will condemn israel's approval of the first west bank settlement in decades. vladimir putin name-drops the wrong u.s. president while denying claims of interference
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in the u.s. elections.
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>> my opponent won't rule out raising taxes, but i will and the congress will push me to raise taxes, and i'll say no, and they'll push and i'll say no. they'll push again and i'll say to them read my lips, no new taxes. >> in its entirety, former
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george h.w. bush with the famous line from the 1988 national convention. here is vladimir putin's response when asked if russia tried to influence the u.s. elections. >> translator: said, watch my lips, he said no, watch my lips, no. >> not only was it wrong with the president, but also the wrong quote. putin also said he respects the u.s. and would be, quote, glad to meet president trump at the arctic council in finland in may. >> to the middle east now and the first time in two decades the israeli government approved the construction of new jewish settlements in the west bank. the move needs approval from the entire cabinet. it comes after president trump asked prime minister benjamin netanyahu to hold off any new settleme settlements. joining us, nbc correspondent
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matt bradley. this des taned to cause more conflict and setting back any chance of a peace deal any time soon. >> good morning, ayman. it's unclear whether this will it 1e68 immediately lead to conflict. it will add tension between benjamin netanyahu and the newly mipted trump administration as it gets started. it included tenders for some 2,000 residences to be constructed. it's meant to replace the settlement of amono which was demolished last month on orders of the supreme court. the final decision on the settlements rests with netanyahu's broader cabinet. if you remember, trump and netanyahu seemed to be close and many in israel publicly celebrated trump's election, they thought he would move the american embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem.
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the trump administration has climbed down on some of these issues and we get do see how much further he's going fall out with benjamin netanyahu. >> alex, this has been one of the sticking issues over the last several decades. palestinians are saying if they want a two-state solution they need a contiguous piece of territory. with the expansion of settlements, the building of new settleme settlements, it becomes a challenge. building the resource, rose, confiscates water and makes it difficult for them to have a chance of building the viable state. >> netanyahu had the relationship with obama and with the relationship with trum he thought it might change. >> coming up next on "morning joe," senator jeff merckley joins the conversation with more on his fight on the fight of supreme court nominee neal gore juch. >> talk about reviving the
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republican health care bill. "morning joe" moments away. ♪ ♪ everyone deserves attention, whether you've saved a lot or just a little. at pnc investments, we believe you're more than just a number. so we provide personal financial advice for every retirement investor.
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>> a check on the stories for the day ahead. >> what's on tap for president trump, nbc's kelly o'donnell has more on that. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, louis. in the week ahead the president has a big agenda item on tap. the senate is set to confirm neil gorsuch to the supreme court. that is not an easy thing in and of itself with threats of a filibuster and only a couple democrats saying they are on board to support judge neil gorsuch to go to the high court. it will be a big week for the bhous in trying to see this one thing achieveed, the president choosing a new member for the supreme court and potentially in the week ahead getting that done. >> kelly o'donnell, thanks for that report. >> hillary clinton set to speak at georgetown university where she'll present four awards at the annual hillary rodham clinton awards. this year's ceremony honors the
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colombian peace agreement. >> that's it for us. "morning joe" starts right now. we do not need a reckless president who believes she is above the law. lock her up. that's right. that's right, lock her up. i'm going to tell you, it's unbelievable. >> five people around her have been given immunity to include her former chief of staff. when you are given immunity, that means you've probably committed a crime. >> well then michael flynn is effectively admitted he committed a crime. >> wait, wait, wait. let's be

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