tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC September 17, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT
alex? >> i'm loving this split screen, rev, it's an honor to split the screen with you so thank you very much. >> i thought there was a choir coming when i saw the white. >> i'm trying to fool everybody. thank you very much, rev. a good morning to all of you, i'm alex witt here in new york at msnbc world headquarters. it is 9 o'clock in the east, 6:00 a.m. out west and here's what's happening. rocket man. a new tweet from president trump within this last hour about the north korean leader with another unique twist. we've got those details ahead. mixed signals. a new report, a new denial from the white house about where the president stands on climate change. why this happens to be in flux two days ahead of his united nations address. facebook revolution. what lies ahead for the social media site after it said it sold political ads to fake russian groups during the election. and this breaking news in britain, a new arrest in the london subway attack. what police have learned about the two men now in custody.
but we begin with politics and this breaking news from the white house. welcome ba within just this last hour the president tweeting nearly a dozen times about this tweet about a phone call with south korea's president moon last night during which he says he asked how rocket man is doing. long gas lines forming in north korea, too bad. rocket man presumably referring to kim jong-un. this tweet coming just two days before president trump makes his united nations' debut. another big story coming out of the white house this morning, officials pushing back on a new "wall street journal" report that the trump administration is no longer seeking to withdraw from the paris climate accord. now, "the wall street journal" says a european official told reporters at a global warming summit in canada yesterday that trump officials appeared to signal the change. in a statement to nbc, a white house official says there has been no change in the united states' position on the paris
agreement. as the president has made abundantly clear, the united states is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms that are more favorable to our country. let's bring in kaitlin huey-burns and john nichols, author of "horsemen of the trumpocalyse." i want to get right to that tweet of the president referring to kim jong-un as raublocket ma. your reaction as to how south korea's president might react when he gets this tweet? >> the white house just put out a statement with a read-out of the call which was very different from this tweet. the white house says the president and the south korean president will be meeting on the sidelines of the u.n. general assembly, which is happening in new york this week. the president will be coming to new york for that big conference. and so they are saying that this
relationship is very important, particularly as north korea has launched more missiles, and that they will keep this alliance going. so while the president tweeted using a new nickname, unveiling a new nickname for the north korean leader, the read-out from the white house is a little bit more diplomatic, i should say. >> okay. hey, john, is this the preview we've all been waiting for on how the president is going to handle north korea this week while he's also meeting with some of the other allies in the region? >> well, i assume he's signaling he's going to bring sir elton john into the process to try to negotiate. >> that's one way to read it. >> that's one way to read it. i'm not. but look, this president, going back to when he was a candidate and even before he was a candidate in his entertainment career liked to use nicknames. i think that it's unsettling in this circumstance because things to me seem so delicate and there do seem to be possibilities for negotiated routes out.
but if we understand that donald trump is someone who always finds a little marco and a lying this person or whatever, rocket man isn't actually the worst nickname. and so where i think we really need to focus on is that read-out of the discussion from the white house and also the fact that the president is about to go into one of the great premiere events for a new president. that appearance at the u.n. is a very big deal. for president trump, no matter what he does around it, it will be that moment when he stands at the lectern, when he stands at that podium. so all of this is sort of build-up to it, but the real test will come this week. >> you mentioned the read-out and i'm just going to say the very last line is probably the most salient point. the two leaders noted they will continue their consultations next week when they meet at the margins of the united nations general assembly. caitlin, can you tell me what's
happening here? we've got nearly a dozen tweets, one of which is a retweet of a giff that's showing him golfing, the ball is hitting hillary clinton, causing her to trip up the stairs. i mean look at that. what is that about? >> unsettling, certainly, and really a contrast to what we've seen over the past couple of weeks when the focus was very much on the hurricanes, federal relief effort, trying to get congress to support relief efforts in terms of financial packages and that sort of thing. of course more news from north korea and others on the world stage and getting ahead of this meeting this week, which is critical for trump as he debuts on this stage. and so, you know, there are questions about this. i would note, though, that this week we also saw the president seemingly reconsidering his position on daca by working with democrats. this is something that has certainly divided the republican party, but also has raised
concerns among people in his core base of support, some lawmakers even weighing in, so i wonder if the president's strategy here is kind of returning to some of the things we've seen him do before in order to kind of keep that base on his side as he potentially makes decisions or considers decisions that would potentially turn them away. >> so, john, under that ideology, that description of why he's doing what he's doing, to your point, though, this is a big moment for the president. he is on the world stage this coming week. it's his first general assembly. isn't it a time to remove himself from any distractions and just focus on how he's going to handle pretty important issues out there? mind you i do want to say h.r. mcmaster and nikki haley are supposed to be on the morning talk shows in just a few minutes. so when they are questioned about the president's tweeting behavior, how do that respond to that? >> well, it's an embarrassment, there's simply no question. you've seen h.r. mcmaster especially, who's a very, very
serious man, struggle with it at times. nikki haley also, who's at the u.n. has tried to walk a lot of difficult lines. it's tough for them. and this president always makes it difficult for the people who work for him. it goes back long before he was president. but one of the things that i think is important to understand is that donald trump's personal obsession -- i understand what's being said about speaking to the base, but his personal obsession is about the fact that he lost the popular vote to hillary clinton by about 3 million. we hear even now people, you know, not that long ago going to the white house and having the president like pointing at maps and telling them, well, look how well i did in the electoral college and things like that. if you could do an intervention with donald trump that would be the most useful intervention for his own good, it would be to sit him down and explain to him that he's the president and he doesn't have to keep running a
campaign against hillary clinton. but that has not sunk into his head yet. >> yeah, ten plus months later. caitlin, let's turn to the paris accord reported in the "wall street journal." how do you think this european official might have misread signals from the trump administration on this agreement? >> it's interesting because the president and the white house made a really big deal about withdrawing from the accord. remember, that was a decision that he campaigned -- decision fulfilling a campaign promise, but one that also turned away many in the business community. but he said from the beginning that they would try to renegotiate if there was a deal more favorable to the u.s., but we had heard also of course from european leaders saying that, you know, this is it pretty much. and so it's unclear what to make of this, what the actual conversations were that made this point, but i think the statement from the white house saying that they are not withdrawing is important. and again, just taking that against the backdrop of the president rethinking, perhaps, decisions on immigration or
moving in a different direction on that, again, i think the white house is interested in keeping certain promises that they made, even though this is controversial. of course this will be an issue perhaps brought up on the sidelines or in another capacity when the president is on that big stage this week in new york. >> okay. i want to thank you both very much. caitlin huey-burns, thank you. john nichols, you're coming back later this hour. thanks, guys. breaking overnight, uk police arrested a second man in connection with london's subway bomb attack. investigators in the suburb of surrey are working to build a better picture of the 18-year-old man arrested in the departure port of a ferry terminal in dover, england. now there are two. what do you know about this latest arrest? >> good morning, alex. it looks like this investigation is moving rapidly now. just before midnight the police arrested a 21-year-old man in west london and he's now in police custody here in the city.
this follows yesterday's arrest of another 18-year-old man in the port of dover, as you mentioned, in the south of england. this suggests that this was not a lone wolf attack and more than one person may be behind it, even though we are waiting for an update from police that may come out later on in the day. the police did not say the manhunt is over yet, nor did they lower the terror threat level, which remains at its highest, meaning they may still be looking for other accomplices. more interesting news came out on the house search that was -- the house that was raided yesterday in a town in surrey about an hour's time from london. our british broadcast partner is reporting that the house belongs to a respectable elderly couple, known in the community there for fostering hundreds of children since the 1970s, including refugees. now, in 2010 the couple even received an mbe, an award given by the queen in person to individuals for their
outstanding service to their community. the police did not say, i want to specify that, that they are suspects and it is too early also to say if either of them or those two young men that were arrested were cared for by the couple. we also have a little update on that row that was caused by the president's tweet on friday in which he suggested that he thought that those behind the attack were known to british police. now, the interior minister this morning said that in an interview -- he said that the comment by the president was not based on any intelligence he may have received from britain and that that was pure speculation. alex. >> glad he cleared that one up. okay, thank you. let's go st. louis now, that's where saturday's peaceful marches to protest the aquilts of a white former cop in the killing of a black man turned violent overnight. blake mccoy is there for us on this sunday morning. blake, with a good day to you, so what happened that the tone
changed so drastically? >> reporter: well, alex, at about 9:00 the protest organizers told people, all right, we're done, go home, good job on staying peaceful. but a few people hung around, a fewa agitators and police had t move in after they started bashing in windows. there's about a dozen businesses with boarded-up windows this morning. this is about 20 minutes outside of downtown st. louis. protesters never announced that they were going to be coming this way, instead keeping their movements unpredictable and leaving business owners unprepared. a second night of protests turned violent, leading to smashed windows and damaged store fronts. >> it's heart breaking. my wife runs the cafe, she works hard and works hard to make this place so it feels like a part of the community and so it hurts. pe people obviously should be able to protest but this is not the productive side of that. >> reporter: protesters filled
the streets of university city, a suburb of st. louis, popular for its restaurants, shops and bars. what started as a peaceful demonstration earlier in the day turned ugly as night fell with a handful of protesters clashing with police. nine of them left in handcuffs. protesters still angry over the decision to acquit white police officer jason stockley in the 2011 shooting death of anthony lamar smith after a high-speed chase. stockley defended his actions after the verdict. >> i did not murder anthony lamar smith. >> u2 and ed sheeran have both cancelled concerts in st. louis this weekend amid security concerns, while missouri's governor worried about a repeat of riots that happened in nearby ferguson in 2014 isn't taking any chances. >> we have those national guard teams on standby, geared up ready to role. >> do you foresee them taking a more active role? >> if they are needed, they will step in. >> reporter: despite the damage
you see here, the group of agitators was much smaller than the night before when they surrounded the mayor's house and were throwing rocks and paint at the mayor's house. last night we had only nine arrests, compared to 33 that first night. alex. >> blake mccoy, thank you so much. trump supporters burning mad mad. coming up next i'll ask a republican congressman if this is just the beginning of their buyer's remorse. managing blood sugar is a series of smart choices. and when you replace one meal... ...or snack a day with glucerna...
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a series of new tweets from the president this morning making headlines, including this. i spoke with president moon of south korea last night. asked him how rocket man is doing. long gas lines forming in north korea. too bad! so rocket man presumably referring to kim jong-un. joining me now, congressman scott taylor, virginia republican and member of house subcommittees on military
construction, veterans affairs and homeland security. representative taylor, thank you for being here, appreciate that. >> good morning, thanks for having me. >> thank you. i just wanted to tell you i had planned on asking you first about daca but then the president's tweets, they do demand some kind of a response. what's your reaction to this rocket man tweet? can you figure out why the president might do that and whether it's constructive in any way? >> well, the president -- that's how he communicates. it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. that's what he's been doing for a couple of years or more than a couple of years. look, i think we shouldn't focus just on his tweet, we should be focusing on what the plans are, what the administration -- how his performance is at the u.n. coming up and what we actually do. this is how he communicates. if we were focusing on that, i'd be on here a lot. >> look, i have you on here to ask -- to answer a question about one more because this other tweet, it's kind of unusual, this golf swing one he retweets. these types of tweets, are they a source of fatigue for
republicans? i mean look, here you are getting asked about it. >> no. i mean, listen, you guys -- the media, they obsess quite frankly, not you personally, of course, but you obsess about these tweets. there will be shows talking about these tweets all day long. it takes three seconds for him to do that. you guys do that, he says this is fake news and people say yeah, it's fake news because it's not the news. i don't think you should focus on the tweets, i think we should focus on real issues. >> i completely agree with the real issues, but he's the president of the united states. i mean how is he expected to be taken seriously by the people whom he's representing and others around the world when he puts out this kind of just nonsense? >> i understand what you're saying, but i'll just go back to, like i said, this is how the president has been communicating for a while. it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. >> it's not a surprise. >> but i'm more interested in policies and getting things done. >> all right. >> and what the actions actually are and i think you should report that too. >> here we go, then. to your point, sir, let's get to the president's deal with
democrats. i'm curious what side you are on. are you in favor with mr. trump siding with senator schumer and representative pelosi or are you with the hard liners who see it as a betrayal of who put him in office. >> what i am in favor of is getting things done. the president talked about people put him into office to get things done and move things forward for the american people and i think both sides, i think doing deals like that marginalizes absolutists if you will who don't play well with others both on the left who are saying resist, resist, resist, and on the right who don't play well with others. so i think it's important for the congress, for the administration to get things done for the american people, and people should have a seat at the table. so i don't see it as a bad thing for trying to get things done. obviously democrats have to understand americans put republicans in office, so we will be leading on policies. but they should also have a seat at the table and their people should demand, the folks that elected them, that they have a seat at the table. i don't necessarily see this as a bad thing to be able to work
across the aisle. i personally do it with my own legislation as well. >> okay. congressman, you've probably seen this video of trump supporters burning the make america great hats following word of this potential immigration deal. so if you have one, is your hat still intact? do you think a lot of his supporters, maybe even broader republicans have some buyer's remorse at least to some degree? >> probably the absolutists, of course. but the president was very clear when he was running that he was a deal maker and wanted to get things done. i don't think this is a majority of his supporters by any means whatsoever. but he has to govern. we have to govern. so again, all your viewers out there, i'm sure they don't have anybody in their lives that they agree with 100% of the time. so we have to come together as americans and you're seeing him do that. i'm not concerned about folks burning his hat. i don't think that's even clotoy big number of his majority. >> what about the white house denying the report that the
president may no longer be seeking to get out of the paris climate accord. do you think trump voters will or should see this as another slap in the face? >> to be fair, one of your last guests was saying that the president was also saying before that, hey listen, i want to renegotiate for better terms for america, which i agree with. i agree with that. so i don't know exactly what the european official who was commented, they didn't say who he was, i don't know what he was hearing or anything like that, but i think it is important that we get better terms for america for the paris climate deal. it's obvious that this president, if he does get a better deal, he's willing to deal, if you will. so i don't oppose that. i think that we should get better terms for america for that deal. >> so i want to talk about north korea and do this beyond the rocket man tweet because you are a former navy s.e.a.l. you have done tours in iraq. what comes to mind when the administration officials raise the possibility of military options in pyongyang. is that something that should be
thrown around lightly? >> well, of course not, it shouldn't be thrown around lightly. you have to understand that we've been dealing with north korea for the past 25, 30 years as they steadily marched toward having icbms, miniaturizing nuclear technology. it would be unacceptable for any president, democrat or republican, if he was shooting missiles off of the coast of california or off of our airspace. we can't allow that to happen. under this administration they have introduced a couple different -- like, for example, force, the element of force which has brought china to the table. they publicly denounced them, stopped some shipments of importing coal, come with us to the u.n. resolutions which is unlike anything before. it is tense, there's no question about that. but we have to do something. this president has the ability -- any american president quite frankly -- to forge consensus around the world to be able to do something with this. i think the president when he's in asia in november should go to china and talk to china. that would make a huge
diplomatic symbol and i think we should in conjunction with our partners in south korea and japan talk about potentially shooting down a missile. i think we should do that. i know that raises the tensions, but we have to do something. obviously the past 25, 30 years of appeasement has not worked. >> all right. virginia republican congressman scott taylor, thanks for coming on the show. appreciate that. >> thank you. going home, but what's left? evacuees from the florida keys will be allowed to return to see what remains. we have a live report from the devastated region, next.
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jong-un rocket man. here's h.r. mcmaster. >> have you heard that from the president before or is that a new one? >> well, that's a new one i think maybe for the president but it reminds me of a cover of the economist a few years ago portraying him as rocket man. but of course that's where the rockets are coming from. rockets, though, that we ought to probably not laugh too much about because they do represent a grave threat to all -- to everyone. >> meanwhile u.n. ambassador nikki haley says president trump's previous fire and fury comment was the first step in dealing with north korea. >> i think that the fire and fury, while he said this is what we can do to north korea, we wanted to be responsible and go through all diplomatic means to get their attention first. if that doesn't work, general mattis will take care of it. >> let's head now to somerset, new jersey, not too far from the president's bedminster estate. kelly o'donnell standing by for us there. with a good sunday morning to you, my friend, let's get to
some news about north korea that you have this morning. what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, the big news is that the president has had another conversation with the leader of south korea, president moon, and they have talked about the fact that despite the sanctions initiated by the united nations, which are now in the billions of dollars of trying to block economic activity in north korea, that the missiles kept being launched by kim jong-un. so that inspired the tweet that the sound bites you just played were referencing. so he talks about the fact that in this tweet that he spoke with president moon and asked him how rocket man is doing. long gas lines forming in north korea. too bad! so the long gas lines, of course, is one of the references to the economic sanctions. rocket man, of course the president who played tiny dancer at all of his campaign rallies for more than a year, clearly has an affinity for elton john, who had the song "rocket man" and this as general mcmaster
said is a serious issue. so when the president uses a term like that, that's the branding we have seen him do to adversaries, this isn't just politics now, this of course is something far more grave and an international threat. and so labeling him rocket man is something that the president may do to chip away at the ego of kim jong-un. that has been part of the psychology of the north korean leader where the cia has done an analysis of what they believe his sort of mental state and personality is in the way that the u.s. interacts with him. so there are serious roots to this despite the flippant tone of the president's tweet. coming up this week, there will be a lot of discussion about north korea. although at the u.n. general assembly and the gathering of more than 100 countries' leaders in new york, there are not specific events that are labeled as how to deal with north korea. they don't want to elevate it and give him more attention, but it will be a running theme we're told through a lot of the conversations between the
president, world leaders, other partners around the globe. of course japan and south korea face a particular threat because of their proximity in the region. china, their leader will not be at the u.n. general assembly. of course they've a big stake in what happens with north korea, as just about their only partner in the economic and regional politics. so that is one of the challenges that will come this week. without the chinese president there, what the other countries discuss, how much effect it will have, but expect that to be a big topic. alex. >> all right, kelly o'donnell, thank you so much from somerset with that preview of what's coming this week at well. joining me now, adam mounting, senior fellow at the center for american progress, a progressive think tank. adam, with a welcome to you, what do you make of the president's rocket man tweet? >> you know, i don't think that's particularly helpful. there are very serious problems here with respect to u.s./south korea alliance cohesion, with respect to deterring north
korea, with respect to getting in the business of containing this regime over the long run to prevent north korea's nuclear weapons from being used. i don't think calling him names or applying these kinds of labels really makes any sort of difference at all. >> and i know that you tweeted on thursday afternoon, to be clear, i'd estimate that the likelihood of an unprovoked u.s. attack, all options, to be just under 1 to 10. interpret that. >> that's just sort of a personal intuition. the trump administration has tried to keep this military option on the table. h.r. mcmaster said this week that there is a military option. it's important to recognize that the option is there. the united states could do various things. but each one of these options would be devastating. it would cause hundreds of thousands of lost lives in south korea, in japan. also to american citizens. there is no guarantee that a war that starts in a limited way, that's intended to be a limited
strike, stays limited. any military action by the united states stands a very real chance of causing north korea to use its nuclear weapons, which they plan to do early in a conflict. so while the option is there, it's so bad that it's absolutely not worth pursuing. >> now, in a tweet that you sent that the united states should not materially respond to the last japan overflight, north korea has no reason not to do it again and again. you're backing up what you just told me. but republican congressman scott taylor agrees and just a few minutes ago here's what he told me. take a listen to this. >> and i also do think that we should, in conjunction with our partners in south korea and japan, talk about potentially shooting down a missile. i think we should do that. and i know that raises the tensions, but we have to do something. obviously the past 25, 30 years of appeasement has not worked. >> is kim jong-un forcing the u.s. hand and forcing a military response? >> well, all throughout the
spring, kim jong-un has crossed line after line. they have tested a thermonuclear web, an icbm weapon, they have threatened guam. they have signalled that they want to start to overfly japan regularly. they keep crossing these lines and the united states has not had a serious response. u.s. leadership has been lacking. we have not coordinated this kind of response with american allies. we didn't respond to the guam threat. we didn't respond to the icbm. and now there's very little we're doing to dissuade north korea from overflying japan. i think there should be tailored deterrent threats to say if you test in these ways, these very specific ways, you'll face these kinds of specific responses. that's how you do coercive diplomacy. >> adam, walk me through this. how does this work? we go and try to shoot down a missile. okay, then what happens? and also what happens if our prospects of doing that fail?
>> well, failure is a likelihood. it's a serious possibility here. u.s. ships and ballistic missile defense batteries are not positioned in a way that they can intercept most north korean missiles. the trajectory and the geometry in many cases just is not there. so if there's a missile that could threaten japan, allied territory or u.s. territory in guam, then we should absolutely make an intercept chance if that exists. but just shooting down a random missile test could seriously escalate the situation. i think it would do very little good to hold back north korea's missile program, which is advancing rapidly. >> so bottom line, diplomacy, how far is that going to get us? >> well, the diplomatic option is worth trying in depth. we can't count on it to eliminate nourth korea's nuclea program in the future, but there's a great deal that we should hope to accomplish in the near term.
regional arms control agreements, preventing these overflights from japan, dialing back tensions, these are crucial priorities. the single-minded obsessive focus of the trump administration on this unrealistic dream of denuclearization should stop and they should try to get into the business of talking to north korea to tone down tensions in the near term and really defend american allies. >> all right. pretty serious times. adam, thank you so much for weighing in. appreciate that. >> thank you. happening now in the florida keys, residents are returning home to the lower keys for the very first time since the hurricane swept through and caused widespread damage. that is where lucy is for us. with a good sunday morning to you, i know you've been down in the keys the past few days. what's it been like? >> reporter: alex, good morning. as you can imagine, one week after hurricane irma battered the keys, a lot of anxiety by residents about what's left of their homes. finally this morning at 7:00 a.m. the checkpoints have been
reopening to the residents. folks have not been able to access these areas up until now. we saw this morning long lines of cars full of people trying to get in, trying to figure out what's left of their homes. now, where i'm standing right now is the key west area. if we can pan a little bit, you can see there's some folks slowly starting to get back to try to clear the debris, trees overturned. this area not as hard hit as some of the other places where we've been spending time. the middle keys, for example, saw nearly complete devastation and destruction. a lot of folks who have been working in the service industry, living in mobile homes. those are not hurricane proof. a lot of those homes completely flattened and destroyed. we met several people who lost loved ones in this hurricane. a lot of folks as they're getting back in are trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces of their life. just because the checkpoints have reopened does not mean things are back to normal. authorities are warning anybody that comes back has to be self sufficient. power is still out across large
parts of the keys. water is not running, they have to boil the water and there are very limited medical services. so folks can come back, check the status of their property, but they have to be self reliant in order to survive. >> thank you so much, lucy, from key west. and still reeling from irma, another threat is looming in the atlantic. tropical storm maria is expected to intensify into a hurricane soon and that could pose a major threat to the virgin islands and puerto rico, same areas hit by irma. maria is currently in open waters, about 400 miles or so from that area. of course we'll keep a very close eye on that for you. next, the russia probe and facebook. a new development that could allegedly change the entire nature of the investigation. and coming up on "a.m. joy" a globally acclaimed "game of thrones" actor will talk about the hit show and his work as a united nations good will ambassador. ♪
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was just the tip of the iceberg. seeing more evidence of additional ads and how they are used to manipulate individuals. i think this opens a whole new arena, not just looking back in terms of what happened in 2016, but looking forward. >> senator mark warner there, the ranking chair of the intelligence committee on tuesday, speaking about russia's influence campaign on facebook. new questions are being raised about how facebook's evidence could alter the trajectories of the investigations into russian meddling. joining me now, natasha bertran. a headline from one of your new articles reads, quote, facebook doesn't know the full extent of russia's ad purchases during the 2016 election. so what did facebook tell you about what they do know and do you get any sense that there's more to come? >> so all facebook knows so far, or at least all they're telling
us, is that they found approximately 470 inauthentic facebook accounts they believed were being operated outside of russia -- from russia. they shut down those accounts because they concluded that they had spent roughly $100,000 in targeted ad spending during the 2016 election, which is very, very concerning, because they don't know what these accounts were doing, why, who they were targeting and who they were helping. so this is very concerning. it really is the tip of the iceberg because facebook still doesn't know how many more ads were purchased by these inauthentic accounts during the election because a lot of facebook's ad -- the way that they sell ads is self service. it's automated. so these accounts did not have to go through humans at facebook in order to purchase them. >> so the senator is calling for a public hearing on this issue, and there is a major report from "the wall street journal" that revealed that facebook provided special counsel bob mueller's team with detailed records for his probe. what more do you know about facebook and its increasing
significance with regard to the investigations? >> so this is a huge deal. the fact that mueller was able to obtain a search warrant to get facebook to hand over these, you know, more details about these accounts and what the ads were, et cetera, means that his investigation is now shifting in terms of russia's election interference, it's shifting from a counterintelligence investigation more towards a criminal investigation. that could have very big implications for the trump team, because if he has evidence that a foreign entity committed a crime essentially by making these contributions to the election and someone from the trump team, you know, perhaps someone that ran the trump team's digital operations, like jared kushner, knew that that was happening, that means they could be implicated in the crime in terms of aiding and abetting. >> inspe terms of the criminal investigation as well, this new report from politico on mueller's investigation saying that an attorney working on the justice department's highest profile money laundering case recently transferred off that assignment in order to join the
staff of the special prosecutor. so what does that signal to you about mueller's investigation? >> it's a signal that he's just continuing his trend of following the money. so this attorney was actually spotted at the testimony of paul manafort, who's the former campaign chairman, his spok spokesman, jason maloney. the fact that this attorney was taken off of the justice department's highest profile money laundering case and has been transferred to mueller's investigation means that, you know, mueller is really homing in on the allegations that paul manafort may have engaged in money laundering in order to hide the source of the funds that he received from his work overseas over the course of the last decade or so. so this is just an indication that mueller is further following the money in this investigation and we have yet to see where that goes. >> kyle freeney being the specific lawyer that we're talking about here. i also know that you had interaction with white house special council ty cobb earlier this month and i haven't had the chance to get your take on this yet. in this e-mail exchange you
reported that he asked you "are you on drugs" in response to a question that you were asking. what happened there, and how did you make sense of that? >> so i had written an article, you know, basically analyzing the reports that don mcgahn, the white house special counsel, had blocked a letter that trump had written in may outlining his reasons for firing james comey. he had actually blocked it from being sent to james comey because he thought that it would be legally problematic. so the article that i wrote was kind of explaining that if don mcgahn was ever called to testify before a federal grand jury, then his testimony would be very instrumental in the obstruction of justice case that mueller is currently building, reportedly building against the president. ty cobb did not like this article and he wrote in a very lengthy statement, which was unusual for him, he usually gives very clipped statements to the media. he wrote a very lengthy statement about how this letter was wholly exonerating, how there was very little, if any, pushback in the white house when
the president wrote it. so i simply asked him, well, if that is the case, if it was exonerating and if no one in the white house saw any problems with it, then why was it ultimately not sent to james comey? why was it sent instead to the doj? his response to me was, are you on drugs? doj, and his response to me was "are you on drugs?" . >> we'll leave it there. coming up next, what to make of the president's tweets this morning. that might help. show me the carfax? now the car you want and the history you need are easy to find. show me used minivans with no reported accidents. boom. love it. [struggles] show me the carfax. start your used car search and get free carfax reports at the all-new carfax.com.
just two days before his first speech on the world stage from the united nations. the president with a new tweet calling north korea's kim jong-un rocket man. john nichols, correspondent, and a field guide to the most dangerous people in america. gentlemen, robert, beginning with you, let's look at the president's first u.n. speech.
what must the president do, robert, in that speech and what are your expectations? >> two things. i think he needs to appear presidential on the world stage. a lot of his peers will be looking at him. and secondly, what is he going to be saying about north korea? hopefully he will not use that rocketman jargon. >> john, your sense of how the white house is setting up expectations for this speech? does the white house have a goal to wrangle countries or soothe relations or both or none? >> the white house will put a lot of effort into getting donald trump to deliver a speech from the teleprompter, and do it in a way that people give him relatively high marks, and then a couple hours later donald trump will pass by reporters and say something that deconstructs
something and get them back into the mess they are in. it's a struggle the white house has. he will probably deliver a solid speech at the u.n., but the problem is what comes before and after. >> i will tell you, that's a scenario we have seen over and over again. i am betting you are right. robert, this is a tweet storm like we have not seen in a while. does this reflect poorly on john coll call -- >> no. he has professionalized the organization based on what i read. you can't control a person that goes up to the front couquarterf the white house or air force one and gets on his phone and tweets. and i am sure kelly says, mr. president, please don't do that.
you can only blame the president and not john kelly. >> when you have written about john kelly, and -- >> i am sure kelly is embarrassed by it. he's into having a proper order of things. the bottom line is this, general kelly was a facilitator of donald trump when he was at the department of homeland security. he may try to make it more efficient. what people need to understand is, this general is not somebody who has shown a pattern of saying no to donald trump, and says if you continue to do this, i'm leaving. >> thank you very much. follow the money. why it could lead to jared kushner, and that's on "a.m. kwroeu." what do you have there?
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and one of today's standouts, "game of thrones" actor, and without further ado, "am joy" starts right now. good morning. welcome to "am joy." well, trump is up early this morning retweeting what could be described as odd. and also this clip. yeah. he tweeted that out. retweeted it this morning. we are going to so get to that during the show, believe me. but first this is 666 fifth avenue, just blocks away from msnbc's headquarters in new york. an aging 41-floor skyscraper that trump's son-in-law and top adviser bought for $1.8 billion. experts say he overpaid. that was bef