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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  September 17, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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edge as frustration grows following a nonguilty verdict in the shooting death of lack driver by a -- black driver by a white police officer. the city braces for a third night of protesters. president trump's long term lawyer michael cohen telling nbc news he'll testify before the senate intelligence committee on tuesday. let's bring in nbc nbc's monica alba with the very latest. what do we know about the scheduled testimony so far and what we can expect on tuesday? >> hi, ayman. well, the new development coming in of course as the president is now in new york city, trying to focus on the u.n. general assembly but the headlines about the russia probe will be a part of the conversation on tuesday when he is expected to make the big speech. but what we know about michael cohen is that he is telling nbc news he will be testifying before the senate intel committee.
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that's a closed session but it's significant for several reasons. first, you mentioned he's the president's personal lawyer. he's known him for years, they go back in terms of business dealings. this is a person who's been in a lot of private, personal and confidential conversations with the president so it will be very, very interesting to see what kind of information he's going to be able to reveal. and then of course it's a sign of a potential escalation or widening in the russia probe given there have been other significant interviews. of course, jared kushner met with the senate intel committee as well. but this will be a very interesting interview to watch and again as the headlines play out with that on the hill, on tuesday, while the president is in new york, trying to focus on things like the threat from north korea, the current iran nuclear deal and other pressing issues. he will be trying to make this a global debut on the world stage where others may be talking about some of the domestic problems that have to do with the russia probe here at home. >> see which one overshadows the other. thank you. let's bring in white house correspondent for nbc,
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ali vitali and washington bureau chief for mother jones, david corn. ali, great to have you in the studio. first, your reaction to the fact that michael cohen will now be testifying in front of the senate intel committee. the significance of that and what impact it may have on the other investigations, the other mueller investigation and the investigation on the house side. >> look, michael cohen was always around, he was always involved like monica mentioned. he's someone who has been a confidant for the president for a long time and he's deeply loyal to president trump. that's something that's interesting when you see what comes out of the testimony is whether or not there is some kind of new revelation that prompts some new page turned in the bob mueller investigation or what's ongoing on capitol hill. there's the second prong to this. while trump is here trying to make his america first pitch to the u.n. general assembly he's got a bunch of things what's trying to push through on capitol hill. you look at tax reform.
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infrastructure still and still trying to revive health care. he doesn't have a lot of clout because this investigation has really just been following him like a cloud from the time he's gotten into office. >> and if anyone was thinking it may slow down it's the opposite. we know that robert mueller added a 16th lawyer to the investigative team. the fact that you have cohen who straddles both the personal and business worlds of president trump is any of the testimony going to be protect by attorney/client privilege? are we expecting to get anything from it? >> i'm not sure but in addition to what ali mentioned about him being a close person to donald trump on the campaign and in his personal life what's interesting, remember that dossier that was released several months ago by the british spy official. cohen was named in that and he had pressed congress to investigate kind of the back story of that, kind of how that dossier came to be.
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i wouldn't be surprised if this is part of his way of trying to be forthcoming with that and also trying to continue to put pressure on congress to figure out some of this stuff. >> david, what -- what does this tell you about what part of the russia investigation they're really focused on? is it the business aspect? we use the word collusion sometimes, but where does this fit into the various layers of the investigation? >> i think michael cohen straddles many aspects of the scandal. my concern is that they're bringing him in too early. you need to get documents, you need to talk to other people first before you question what may be the principals in any possible scandal or controversy of this sort. remember, i think one of the key things here is that michael cohen is in the middle of the biggest, massive conflict of interest that donald trump has. this broke a couple of weeks ago. while donald trump was running for president, in late 2015 and
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early 2016 and we're saying all the positive things on this network and elsewhere about vladimir putin, he was trying to strike a deal to build a big tower project in moscow that could only go forward with the russian government's approval. and michael cohen was brokering a deal with a man who had a felonious past, but worked with trump in the past as well. this was his big con. trump said he was for america first, american interests. yet, he was negotiating with the russians and keeping that a secret. from the american public. and cohen was trying to get help from vladimir putin's office for this. that's a big thing to ask him about should he come before the committees. >> and to the point that david was talking about in terms of the business and personal worlds of president trump you covered the campaign trail. you know he's always put his family and personal -- i guess advisers and aides in some very important and critical roles. so does that kind of -- you
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know, create as david was saying this conflict of interest but does it also cloud the waters of the investigation in terms of where you delineate the lines between business and personal relationships? >> i think the entire story of this administration there's a convoluted line as to where that point is. where is the business and where is the personal, there's all these questions about whether trump's profiting off of his businesses and how deal with all the emoluments and things of that nature. what david cohen reported was whether or not there was an attempt to make a russian project and the person who can speak to them is someone like michael cohen because he was involved in the particular project and "b" because he's known trump for a long time. i think for someone who prides loyalty he keeps these same people around him. and that gives each of these people who are close to trump when they go in and testify it means they have a lot more to
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say and they have a way deeper breadth of knowledge to speak about. >> is there a potential for michael cohen to get a deal, immunity, protection from the other investigations if he cooperates with them? >> it remains to be seen what kind of deal is being thought about behind the scenes or talked about. but his willingness i guess to go forth or his appearance will certainly make a lot of news. and to ali's point earlier, the context of all of this and in terms of what the president is trying to do and what the legislative -- what he's trying to do on the foreign policy front. we know that the russia investigation is really bother some to this president. it's the source of a lot of his frustration not only with members of his own party but the political process in general. and so out of all the things this week, if there's more scrutiny placed on someone like cohen who is close to him i think you know we could be watching for the president's reactions on this sort of thing.
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>> yes. steve bannon referred to the entiring -- firing of james comey as one of the biggest blunders in history. i'm curious about your thoughts on this testimony and how it might compare to others including the president's son-in-law, jared kushner and don jr. in terms of the importance of where michael cohen sits with those other two testimonies? >> well, cohen has said he'd take a bullet for donald trump. if you're going to take a bullet for trump that may mean you may not testify fully about anything you know about donald trump either. we have seen with the statements put out by jared kushner and don trump jr. there are contradictions. they have each had to take a couple of bites at the apple to get their stories straight. so i would look at anything that michael cohen said with a tremendous degree of skepticism. and really care more about documents he might produce. if you're going to subpoena his phone records and travel records
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and bank records. you know, get the e-mails he had with felix sater and others and i put more credence on that. i believe he'll do whatever it takes to protect donald trump and we have talked before about the possibility of pardons coming into this. whether that's on his mind or not. i do believe he defines himself as donald trump's defender. >> i want to ask you, you know this administration probably better than anyone. is it too cynical to say why is this taking place on tuesday when the president will be on the world stage? certainly probably even by washington standards his speech in new york will be a big event. the testimony will be a big event but are we reading too much into the fact that this scheduling conflict has happened? >> i think the tire has been here -- the story has been here, you can't write it better than if you tried and this is another example of this. of course trump had to straddle this investigation and whatever
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else he's been trying to do in office for the entire time he's been there. so i think it's really no exception he has to do that on tuesday. >> all right, ali batali, thank you all so much. well, cohen's testimony will be on tuesday it comes on the same day that president trump speaks to the general assembly. he arrived a short time ago a week ahead of high level diplomacy on the world stage. and many will be paying close attention to the president's vision of his america first policy. there is a laundry list of urgent matters to address including the nuclear threat from north korea, the iran nuclear deal. we saw north korea launch another missile that flew over japan and today rex tillerson warned north korea about where this crisis is heading. take a listen. >> we do not seek regime change. we do not seek a regime chance. we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula. we do not seek a reason to send our forces north of the
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demilitarized zone. in our diplomatic efforts fail though our military option will be the only one left. >> all right. joining me now, former u.n. ambassador to the united nations, john negroponte. i'm curious to get your thoughts about what you're hoping to hear from president trump on tuesday. what do you expect he says, what do you want him to avoid? >> right. well, first of all, i think it's important to stress that this general assembly sessions are not decision making decisions for the president. they're an opportunity for him to conduct a lot of diplomacy. he'll have meetings with the latin american countries, the africa groups. people and countries he has not necessarily had an opportunity to visit during the initial months of his presidency. so i think that diplomacy is going to be important. i think people are going to be very much attuned to what he
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says about the united nations himself. since he spoke against the u.n., he criticized it during his presidential campaign, i think they're going to look -- be looking for some reassurance that he doesn't want to assault the organization, undermine it, withdrawal significant support. he may want to tweak it. he'll talk about reform and put an emphasis on reform in his speech i'm sure. i think they want some reassurance that the united states still sees the united nations as a viable and valid institution in which to conduct multilateral diplomacy. >> we have seen previous presidents including george w. bush to use the general assembly as a platform to articulate their vision, in particular with the iraq war calling them the axis of evil. do you think he has to articulate a clear vision for this administration when its comes to world issues, whether it be north korea, whether its be the iran nuclear deal?
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>> i do think he's going to touch on those issues. i'm sure north korea will be highest on the list of priorities. i think the situation in syria, international terrorism. definitely iran. while it may be technically compliant with the joint agreement, it has not been behaving according to the spirit of that agreement because it continues its disruptive activities in the middle east region. i think he'll talk about reform. so yes, i think he'll go over the kind of u.n. agenda that people are interested in hearing about there. >> do you believe when he uses words like rocket man to describe the north korean leader he did today in a tweet, does this kind of language worry you that it could escalate tensions? >> well, i have always been in the school that feels that we shouldn't be too self-critical about provoking the north
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koreans. they invaded south korea in 1950 with backing by the way from china and russia. i mean, let's not stand truth on its head here. they have been the aggressive party, the provocative party. we in self-defense along with our allies are trying to deal with that situation. importantly the president's going to be with the prime minister -- going to meet with the prime minister of japan and that will be an important meeting. >> let me ask you about diplomatic personnel, what's your assessment of nikki haley as u.n. ambassador so far? you have occupied that seat. how is she doing so far and some are saying that she's eclipsed rex tillerson as our top diplomat. >> yeah, well, i don't know about the latter part. i was -- colin powell was secretary of state when i was at the u.n. and we worked very closely together. he's one of my best friends. but i do think she's -- she's
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carried out her responsibilities very well. she's proactive. she's visible. she's obviously delved deeply into the many different issues that are on the united nations agenda and what i'm particularly grateful to ambassador haley for is that through her discourse with the public she's been able to reveal how many important -- different, important issues the united nations deals with that are of concern to the american people. >> mr. ambassador, very quickly, should the u.s. embassy in cuba, should that be closed given some of the reports that have come out with the sonic attack that happened on u.s. diplomatic personnel? you know, what is your advice to this administration on cuba? >> right, well, i know this is a matter under investigation and there are these reports. they're deeply concerning. 21 people seem to have been affected by the so-called acoustic attacks so obviously
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our first priority is always to protect our people. on the other hand, if we were to close the embassy in cuba that would disrupt the long tradition. because before we had an embassy of course we had the u.s. intrasection for 25 or 30 years. if at all possible to keep it open i think we should. but if the attacks persist i think maybe our presence would have to be suspended there until we get to the bottom of this. >> i'm going to actually ask you one more question, this is about the iran nuclear deal. the administration has been somewhat divided about it, the iran nuclear deal is not working despite the fact that it's been certified repeatedly for the first couple of months of the investigation. your take on whether it should stand as it is or should be scrapped. >> well, i'd be very reluctant to scrap it. i think they're technically cop pliant as -- compliant as i said
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earlier, but they continue to conduct disruptive activities whether it's support for hezbollah or for the forces in iraq that are causing trouble and in the gaza strip and in if arab/israeli conflict as well. iran is not behaving in a constructive way towards the rest of the middle east region. and i think that's what the president and the secretary are driving at when they express concern about iran's behavior. >> former ambassador to the united nations, ambassador negropon negroponte, thank you for joining us. a vicious attack in france. what we're learning about the victims and the attacker and back here at home, a city on edge. more protests right now under way in st. louis as anger grows after a white police officer was found not guilty in the shooting death of an african-american man. all that next. stay with us.
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welcome back. some breaking weather news we're following this hour. tropical storm maria is now hurricane maria, it is moving to the caribbeans islands already devastated by hurricane irma. it has maximum sustained winds of 75 miles an hour. meanwhile, hurricane jose is not expected to make landfall. heavy rain and winds are expected this week though. all right, overseas in france, an acid attack, two of the students from boston college now in serious condition. the other two are reportedly in shock. it happened in the southern city of marseille. the victims were part of boston college's paris program. they were sprayed by a woman known to have psychiatric problems.
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we have more on the details. >> reporter: at about 11:00 this morning the four boston college students were all in their 20s and were standing in a square outside the train station in marseille when a woman sprayed them with hydrochloric liquid. now the girls were take on the hospital where they received treatment for burns. boston college says they have been released since. the woman who sprayed the acid is 41 years old and is in police custody. it's a horrific attack that left four american girls with injuries and in a state of shock. >> all right, claudio luongo there. in st. louis they're bracing for a third night of protests. anger boiled over, when 11
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officers were injured and 0 people were arrested. city police say the ten people were arrested and 23 businesses and five police cars damaged. the unrest stems from the friday acquittal of a former police officer who shot and killed a black suspect. joining us now is nbc's scott cohen. on the campus of st. louis university. scott, what are they expecting there tonight and what is the condition of the situation behind you? >> reporter: well, let me set you -- set the scene for you, ayman. this is a protest and really a totally peaceful protest that's been going on for 2 1/2 hours now and we just marched with the protesters about a mile and a half from st. louis police headquarters here to the campus of st. louis university. about four miles from the gateway arch if you can get a sense. and they're making their way now across the campus here. again, this has been going on now and of course going on now into the evening and this is where things get a little bit dicey and it really is a pattern that we have looked at and
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hopefully won't repeat for a third straight night. peaceful protests all day long, and then the peaceful protests breaks up and late at night some of the stragglers or a core group of violent people do their thing. and last night ten people arrested. of course the night before that two dozen people or so arrested. some police officers injured. some businesses damaged. some property damaged. so the hope is that the peaceful protest is the end of it, but of course police are bracing for any eventuality. the governor of missouri spoke a short time ago about their plans as the night goes on. this third night after the acquittal. >> we have no patience for violence. we have no patience for vandalism. and that's why you saw the minute that people engaged in vandalism our law enforcement
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officers were on them. they caught them, they cuffed them and they took them to jail. we have no patience for this. >> reporter: again, that's regarding the protests at night that have gone on for the last couple of nights. this protest in the day has been peaceful. they were chanting in front of the police headquarters and staged what they called a die-in. everybody laying in the street. basically telling police we'll save you the trouble of coming to our neighborhoods. that was the message they were trying to give and the police have been completely restrained throughout all of this. actually kind of giving them a path through the streets. even when the crowd at one point tried to fake them out and go down another street. the police were there at the next intersection to head them off and try to keep other motorists that happened to be in the neighborhood safe. as you see now they have made their way across this campus of st. louis university to points unknown. we'll continue to follow them and follow them into the night.
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and see if they can keep things peaceful on this night. >> yeah. certainly going to be something we're following throughout the course of the evening as sun sets there. thank you. well, coming up, more on the big development in the russia investigation. president trump's long time associate michael cohen is set to testify before the senate intelligence committee. and checking in and out. i.c.e. raids, motel 6 in arizona after employees hand over guest information. up next, i'm joined by the reporter who broke that story. hey grandpa. hey, kid. really good to see you. you too. you tell grandma you were going fishing again? maybe. (vo) the best things in life keep going. that's why i got a subaru, too. introducing the all-new crosstrek. love is out there.
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welcome back, everyone. i'm ayman mohyeldin at nbc world headquarters. here's what we're monitoring for you. donald trump's personal lawyer michael cohen will testify this tuesday. he pab an integral part of trump's business for years. we'll follow this closely. senator dianne feinstein said in an interview this morning that it is her intent to have donald trump jr. testify before the senate judiciary committee in the open and under
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oath. in regards to his 2016 meeting in trump tower with a russian lawyer. and president trump arrived at trump tower. over the course of the week he plans to meet with foreign leaders to discuss the escalating threat in north korea and the united states' participation in the climate accords. rex tillerson said that the united states is considering closing the havana, cuba, embassy this after many had to leave after getting diagnosed with hearing problems. some undocumented immigrants checking into motel 6 got checked out by i.c.e. the employees regularly handed over guest information to the custom enforcement officers. on friday, a pair of house democrats wrote a letter to the
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acting i.c.e. director and requested a full accounting from i.c.e. about the practice. joining me now is one of the reporters who bloke this story for the phoenix new times, great to have you with us. let's start with the very beginning of this. how did you get tipped off on this story? >> so we heard that this was going on, started calling immigration lawyers in the area and asking them have you ever heard of this. and what we found was out that there was a trend just about everyone had had a client picked up at the motel 6 but couldn't figure out what was leading to this. there was a lot of rumors circulating when being that individual front desk clerks were getting paid $200 a pop to turn people over to i.c.e. so we found out that actually the hotel was turning over their entire guest list to i.c.e. every night. >> was this a single hotel or a single motel i should say, a single facility, area, are we
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talking about a pattern that spanned the entire state? what more can you tell us about it? >> we know of two motels where this happened. they're both corporate owned locations not franchises which is important to note because it suggests it wasn't an individual franchise owner who came up with this. so we have not heard of it so far happening elsewhere in arizona. we did hear reports it's happening in washington state and we're just looking now to try and find more examples and see if this was more widespread than just in phoenix. >> we know that obviously the corporate offices of motel 6 have characterized this but as an isolated incident. what are you hearing about this from i.c.e.? what is i.c.e. saying about your story? >> they really haven't said very much. they don't disclose their investigative techniques so we were unable to get them to confirm how they were using this information and precisely what they were doing with the guest lists that they were supposedly receiving. presumably they were double-checking them against the department of homeland security
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databases to try and figure out, you know, has this person been deported before, have they overstayed their visa. but we haven't gotten a clear answer from them in terms of what's going on. >> what's the legal implications from your reporting, have you learned about what motel 6 may be on the hook for here if there is any violation that they did hand this information over? have you heard from the attorney general? has he chimed in on it? >> no. it doesn't seem like they broke the law although it brings up ethical questions. there's a 2015 supreme court decision that says that hotels and motels don't -- you can't -- if you're police you can't show up and require them to turn over their guest list without a warrant. but if the hotel or the motel decides that they're voluntarily going to be sharing their guest information with law enforcement that's up to them. and if you dig around in motel 6's website, their privacy
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policy does include information that suggests that this could potentially happen. now, obviously people who are checking in are not being informed of this and the average consumer has no idea it's a possibility. so it definitely brings up questions from a privacy rights standpoint but it doesn't appear to be breaking the law. >> that's an interesting point. ethics versus the legality of this. let me ask you about i.c.e. raids in general. have you gotten a sense from lawyers you have spoken to, that this there is an uptick in i.c.e. raids in the area that you report on that you cover? >> you know, we have and phoenix so long has been a hot spot for that kind of activity especially under former sheriff arpaio. it's business as normal as we can tell. >> it seems to be on the front center of the whole immigration debate taking place in this country right now. thank you very much for that great reporting. >> thank you.
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can celebrate a life like no other. find out how at as president trump prepares to address the united nations, north korea remaining defiant, powering ahead with the nuclear weapons arsenal despite efforts to rein in kim jong un. now, as the standoff escalates, nbc's ron allen travelled to the u.s. air base in south korea where american troops are on a war footing. >> reporter: north korea threatening to test two more weapons of mass destruction after a beaming kim jong un watched the latest missile lawn. he is vowing to create a military equilibrium with the u.s. the air base is home to 28,000 of the military personnel remains on a constant state of alert. that bright light piercing the clouds a top secret u2 spy plane
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returning to base. we're in the chase vehicle. the driver on the radio guiding the pilot down. nicknamed the dragon lady, able to soar at 70,000 feet and sending realtime pictures and sound back to the base. now taking on one of the toughest challenges here, trying to gather intelligence about what kim jong un will do next. how is it different now than under the normal circumstances? >> we are busier now than ever been. >> do you get calls from family and friends? >> yeah, we do. especially family back home in the states. they call concerned but for us, our daily job is to be just ready. >> reporter: captain drew taylor who flies this supersonic f-16 fighter jet would be among the first to respond to an attack. he says he can get from his bunk into the skies in less than five minutes. >> we are constantly training every single sortie could be our
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last training sortie and we may be going to war after that. >> you feel that? >> we do. >> reporter: occasionally, a break from the intensity. every returning u2 pilot gets a hero welcome after the standard grueling ten hour solo missions. how was it? >> great. >> reporter: our conversation interrupted. the pilot off to a confidential debriefing. while across the sprawling base, practically entering enemy territory, constant readiness for whatever they're called on to do. all right. great reporting there by ron allen. for more on the north korea threat i'm joined by a daily beast columnist and author. so obviously north korea is going to be high on the agenda this week here as the back drop for the u.n. general assembly. but i want to start off by asking about the why president trump has been handling some of the comments coming out of north
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korea. he sent out a tweet today referring to the leader of north korea as rocket man. he seems to undermine his own policy of economic sanctions. calling them not a big deal. suggesting they're not going to change course. is that helping de-escalate the situation or driving us more to confrontation? >> it's sending mixed messages. rocket man was sort of funny, but this has gotten to be less than the laughing matter recently. even though kim jong un does sort of strike us as being weird and odd. the problem right now is that you have sanctions sort of, you know, we have seen nine set of sanctions. each one is progressively stronger than the next. and at least the last one. but nonetheless, none of them are able to do what we need to do which is to prevent the kim regime from getting the resources to build missiles and nukes and now you hear nikki haley our u.n. ambassador, h.r. mcmaster saying that diplomacy has run out of time and that's war talk. >> so give us a time line for
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me. what do you see playing out over this week, over the next several months. are we going to war. >> i'm not worried about what happen in the the next several weeks. there's a lot of noise between now and lets say nine months from now. but when jkim jong un is going o get our 28,000 service personnel off the peninsula, so that he can then intimidate south korea into submission. the core goal is to take over south korea. and indeed a lot of people think that the regime is not sustainable unless he makes progress in that regard. >> but you say that the regime is about trying to take over south korea. but certainly they would see that also as the demise and the end of the kim jong un dynasty if you will, the rule of north korea if they were to try to do something like that. the administration has been clear about that. we don't want to destroy north korea is what nikki haley said.
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>> the kim regime may think they can get us to break the treaty and leave south korea. donald trump as candidate in march of 2016 said that the united states should get out and let the south koreans and the japanese build their own nuclear arsenals. i'm sure the kim regime said look, maybe the americans are going to go. but also he knows that he can't fight a war with south korea. but he doesn't think he has to. he thinks he has enough support in south korea to be able to intimidate seoul into surrendering. that may sound crazy but nonetheless that's the way he thinks. >> when i look at this issue, i see gridlock. when the americans want to work with the russias and chinese they find gridlock. the president not keen on having the kind of rhetoric out of washington. how -- is there a way that this situation gets resolved diplomatically without any of
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the gridlocks that i have been talking about? >> yes. but only if the united states for instance starts to impose real costs on the chinese so they have no choice but to help us to disarm north korea. >> economic trade conflict as one of our guests said earlier. >> yeah. so many things we can do. for instance, impose costs on chinese banks who have been money laundering for the north koreans. we have the trade investigation for chinese intellectual property abuses. that could lead to the across the board tariffs that would injure the chinese economy. all sorts of things that the trump administration wants to do if he wants to. now, the chinese have the leverage over north korea because in addition to the trade they do with the north and all of the diplomatic support they provide, chinese leaders provide confidence to kim regime elements they're safe from the international community. if beijing were to signal it no longer supported kim, you would see many head for the exits in one way or the other. there would be an end to kim
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jong un's rule if beijing wanted it. now they don't want it, but also got to remember we do not give china the costs to make the incentives to get them to do this. >> certainly, we haven't talked about russia and what role the u.s. can play to incentivize them to cooperate. unfortunately we have run out of time. great to see you. thank you. well, coming up more on the breaking news we're following in the russia investigation. we told you about michael cohen he's set to testify before the senate intelligence committee on tuesday. boost. it's about moving forward, not back.
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show me the carfax. start your used car search at the all-new welcome back. our breaking news, president
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trump's personal attorney michael cohen confirms to nbc news he'll appear before the senate intelligence committee on tuesday. the russia investigations in both the senate and house have been intensifying this month. let's bring in jess mcintosh an adviser on hillary clinton's 2016 campaign. she's now the executive director of share blue. and nbc political analyst rick tyler. great to have you both with us. rick, let me begin with you if i may. days ago there was a profile of cohen in "vanity fair," i'm the guy who protects the president and the family i'm the guy who would take a bullet for the president. that was in response to cohen's claim that steve bannon accused him of leaking during the campaign. but i'm curious to get your thoughts. does that mindset affect how candid he will be with congress? can his testimony be trusted on tuesday? >> well, look, he knows that it's illegal to lie to congress so i expect him to tell the
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truth to congress but it will be interesting to see how michael cohen reacts. often lawyers don't make good witnesses and donald trump had trouble throughout his career and recently getting top him be seems to want to -- them to do things that they don't feel ethically comfortable with. it's also interesting to me that michael cohen, when asked, didn't know if this senate intelligence hearing was public or private but it would seem a competent lawyer would want to know that going in. >> do you expect him to cooperate fully on tuesday or do you think he is going to potentially try to strike a deal to wave off some of the other investigations, the house side investigation? >> i think that's entirely possible. his number one goal seems to be protecting donald trump. that seems to be -- he's positioned himself as his pit bull. his first line of defense. i want to remind people that sometimes he's not very good at
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defending president trump. the first time he burst onto the national scene, it was because reports had surfaced of an old rape allegation by ivana trump to donald trump and he defended the president not by saying that never happened but one can't rape one's wife which is a lousy, awful, horrible defense that had donald trump been in his place would not have made. he's going to try to do his best, but his best is very often not very good. >> and rick, michael cohen is one of these individuals, a top tier individual in the world, a person who straddles both his personal and business relationships. it was in august that they reported that cohen e-mailed vladimir putin's personal spokesman about advancing a stalled trump tower project in moscow and that was, by some accounts, the most direct outreach known to have happened by a senior trump aides during the campaign with someone high up in the kremlin.
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the white house special counsel says the fact there was no apparent response shows that there was no sign of collusion. you think that's going to be enough for the senate? >> i don't think so. it would appear by e-mailing essentially the spokespr person for president putin, he didn't have a real connection. todd hammer of "the washington post" reported the e-mail was tantamount to info @kremlin.spy if you will. and it was boneheaded and tells me that donald trump really wanted to get this deal going on a trump tower in moscow and it sent michael cohen to make it happen. it doesn't seem michael cohen was freelansing here. he was acting on behalf of then candidate trump. >> but i get a sense he may not be the most efficient at what he was trying to do since he was e-mailing this alias. >> it's something somebody would do when you don't have a connection and you have to try anything to get it done.
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he did succeed at it but they clearly didn't have the connections in moscow whereas all their competitors, hilton, the ritz-carlton, on and on, they've all had multiple hotels in russia and trump still doesn't. >> do you expect there are multiple investigations? the robert mueller. we'll have some impact on the mueller investigation or on the house side? >> i would imagine that -- i mean, michael cohen is -- more so than anybody with the possible exception of kushner. he's at the center of every new russia allegation. n when you point to the most blatant, obvious evidence of collusion, the e-mail saying, would you like some help from the russians? yes, we would. it's either donald trump jr. or michael cohen sending and receiving those e-mails. i wouldn't imagine there's an investigation into russia collusion out there that doesn't have michael cohen in its
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sights. >> let me ask you about the timing of the testimony. the same day the president will be on the world stage. what is going to overshadow the other? which one is anything to play out more significantly if you will, the testimony in d.c. or the president on the world stage? >> ultimately it could be the testimony in d.c. i think that day we'll be rightfully focused on the president's, you know, first u.n. general assembly. this is a body he's been incredibly insulting to. and now has to go in the middle of many very serious foreign policy and diplomatic flare ups that he seems to have very little understanding of. on tuesday, that's probably where people's minds will be. however, as the testimony starts to leak, this could be really critical down the road. >> rick, let me ask you about the president on the world stage. he got some mixed reviews about his performance at the g20 earlier in the year. the former treasury secretary lawrence summers called it erratic. do you expect anything to change at the u.n. this week? do you think he's going to be very on point, on prompter with
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his messaging or can we see donald trump tweeting out throughout the course of the week? >> i know some of the people involved in speech writing, and i expect him to be very on point and not drift off and certainly not leave the script. he knows it's an important speech which makes the michael cohen testimony all the more curious. it's amazing that he would have allowed this to step on or even interfere with, and it will. it's going to impact the coverage of donald trump. he would have had the whole day to himself. now he has to share it with his lawyer. >> this is going to be a test for h.r. mcmaster in the new role of national security adviser as well. what do you want to see president trump say on the world stage this tuesday? >> i just want him to stop embarrassing himself and the country on the world stage. when he tweets things like rocket man today in the middle of a very serious foreign and diplomatic problems, it just shows that we're being led by somebody who doesn't get it and
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has no interest in grasping it. i'm hopeful he gets there and tries to buckle it in. we've never seen that donald trump so i'm not expecting it. >> rick, i'll see if your bar is any higher. hers is that he doesn't embarrass himself. what is your bar for what you'd like to see from trump this tuesday or this week? >> he's said for over a year the expectations for donald trump are very low. i think he'll exceed them. i think he'll deliver a pretty good speech. >> jess mcintosh and rick tyler. coming up on tuesday, join joe, mika and willie as they celebrate ten years of "morning joe." don't miss "morning joe's" special anniversary show at 6:00 a.m. eastern here on msnbc. discover card.
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all right. that wraps it up this hour on msnbc. thanks for joining in. stay with us for updates and
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breaking news as it happens. "meet the press" is next. have a great night, everyone. this sunday, whose party is it anyway? first, the republicans. president trump's reversal on immigration has conservatives furious. >> imagine if he called out to the crowd, we're going to build samples of the wall! >> is he this tone deaf? is he this ignorant? does he not know what got him elected? >> on immigration. on working with democrats. on taxes. are we looking at a fundamental change or at a president who just wants to put points on the board? i'll ask republican senator tom cotton. next, the democrats. bernie sanders' proposal for single payer health care.


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