tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC October 14, 2017 9:00am-9:30am PDT
because she's listening this to audible.ughing and this woman is pretending her boss's terrible story is funny. experience the comedy, not your commute. dial star-star-audible on your smartphone to start listening today. good day, everyone. i'm alex witt here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. it is high noon here in the east and 9:00 a.m. out west. here's what's happening. two developments in the russia probe this hour. a new connection for one-time trump campaign manager paul manafort, and reince priebus faces questioning by special counsel robert mueller's team. so what does it all mean? separating fact from fiction on the president's decision not to recertify the iran deal. new reaction from around the world. unraveling and dismantling. president trump signing an executive order on obamacare and it could be a critical stroke of the pen for millions of
americans. on the west coast, new and dramatic video. fires forcing hundreds from their homes. for some couples, into their pools. how they saved themselves, ahead. >> but first, nbc news has new and exclusive revelations into the russia hack investigation. this one concerning paul manafort, former campaign manager for then candidate trump. kelly o'donnell is at the white house for us with more on this saturday. kelly, what can you tell us? >> reporter: good to be with you, alex. of course the russia-related investigations are ongoing and special counsel bob mueller and his team have been interviewing a variety of figures in this, including some of those who have worked in the white house, like chief of staff formerly reince priebus, who was here until july, from january until july. now, our colleague, richard engle, and his investigative unit, did extensive work to trace some of the business relationships of paul manafort. he has been a big figure in this
investigation. formerly he served as the campaign chairman for president trump's 2016 campaign for about five months around the convention time. and he has long been a consultant and businessman around the world. what richard engle's team has been able to find is that there are loans associated with manafort and a russian oligarch with ties to vladimir putin that had until this time not been known or reported. there have been other instances of business relationships that have been reported about, but through their investigative work, they have been able to identify roughly $27 million in what is described as loans that have come from this russian oligarch to companies affiliated with paul manafort. and the word "loan" according to the experts involved, is sometimes used in a broader sense, meaning we don't know if money was repaid, we don't know if it was a payment, but that term may not be descriptive of
what went on. why does that matter? this specific oligarch involved in this had been offered during e-mails, asking about the trump campaign and it was manafort who said perhaps there could be a specific briefing on matters related to the campaign. now, paul manafort through a spokesman says he at no time colluded with russians, but did not address the specifics raised in this investigative work by our colleagues about the loans, the dollar amounts or the business arrangements. but robert mueller, the special counsel, has brought on a number of prosecutors who have extensive background in financial crimes who would be able to understand these sort of interconnectedness between banks and corporations in places around the globe, including some tied to paul manafort, in cypress, for example. they would have that kind of fact knowledge to be able to evaluate is there anything in these business relationships
that might suggest improper conduct or some sort of influence in the election. so it can be dense, complicated material, but it's exactly the kind of thing that prosecutors would want to look at to better understand, to see if there is something there. but these are new ties, additional money connected to paul manafort. alex. >> a lot more to discuss then. thank you so much, kelly o'donnell from the white house. let's go to health care now. some members of the president's own party are coming out against his latest executive order tarktingtark targeting a critical piece of obamacare. this stops subsidies to insurers. it could impact up to 6 million people and increase premiums. >> it is true that it would also have a destabilizing effect on our insurance markets and i think that's the last thing that we should want, and may force some insurers out altogether. but my number one concern is the impact on
individuals. >> well, the president this morning touting the move on twitter saying very proud of my executive order which will allow greatly expanded access
and far lower costs for health care. millions of people benefit. joining me now, politico's josh meyer and cnbc's editor at large john harwood. gentlemen, with a good day to you, john, i want to get your reaction to what we were hearing there with kelly o'donnell, the nbc exclusive report on manafort. what's your takeaway on that? >> well, i think the more that we learn with the help of richard engle and others, numerous publications about the depth of the connections, financially and otherwise, between not only paul manafort but others in the circle of donald trump, the more reason people have to expect that bob mueller is going to have something significant to say when he finishes his investigation. but stop and think, you've got the campaign -- the chief executive of the campaign of the
republican nominee for president who apparently owed a lot of money to this russian oligarch who's very close to vladimir putin. and the e-mail exchanges talk about his concern about being made whole. he's trying to repay this oligarch close to putin. remember all of the things that happened during 2016. donald trump, the republican candidate, did not criticize vladimir putin. in fact he went to great lengths not to do that. they changed the platform, the republican platform to make it more russia friendly with respect to provisions on ukraine. so all of this underscores the idea that there was something involved between russia and the trump campaign that was obvious in a superficial way because of the use of the e-mails and the timing of the release and that sort of thing, but this clearly runs deeper than that. >> and your reaction, josh? >> well, i do think it's a
significant report, alex, for a number of reasons. one, it does show more ties with this person. and one thing that you have to keep in mind, when you talk about oligarchs at this level in russia, they are essentially members of putin's cabinet. they are very close. policies are aligned with each other in terms of them being instruments of national power. so when you talk about him, you can't sort of dismiss him as somebody who's a private individual. he essentially is part of the russian government, certainly for the mueller, you know, task force that's investigating this. but yeah, i think it raises a lot of questions. i think it's certainly very suspicious that manafort is seeking to sort of downplay his e-mails, saying that we can give him a briefing. the chairman of the campaign should not be giving private briefings to somebody, especially if there's a fiduciary relationship like this, no matter what he says. one of the things that mueller i think is going to need to look
at and i'm sure is looking at is whether this is manafort acting in an individual capacity, trying to like get out from under some debt and so forth by doing something that's very sneaky, but if so, did anybody else on the campaign know about it. did he do anything that might have been collusion with russians. and if so, was it individually or with others. and again, i mean you've seen so many different connections with mike flynn and with others in the campaign that there is a lot of smoke there. but, you know, i think we'll have to see what's going on. what i'm very interested in seeing is what the congressional committees are looking at too, because keep in mind that mueller is looking mostly for criminal violations, which would be the americans involved in this. but the other part of the equation is what were the russians doing and how are we going to find out what they were doing and hold them accountable for it. >> it's a good point that you make, personal gain versus overall gain in all of this. there was a report published
yesterday saying special counsel mueller interviewed reince priebus. is there any sense that the president needs to worry about priebus talking? >> boy, i couldn't say whether he has concern for that. you don't know whether any of the people who have been questioned who had been in the white house and no longer are, whether any of those people, a, have information that would be incriminating or condemnatory of donald trump and if so whether they're going flip. obviously reince priebus was around when they fired james comey. the crucial interactions that we've been focusing on for some time between the president, jeff sessions, james comey, the fbi director, all of that has inflamed the concerns that we were talking about a moment ago. why did he fire james comey? what was his motivation? what was he trying to stop? reince priebus may have some insight in that. >> right. and the fact that he certainly
argued against firing james comey, and he was the subject of a lot of attacks from donald trump in the press. you have to wonder that whole flip concept you're talking about. that's being reported in politico, as you know, josh. i also want to talk about what you say, twitter, under scrutiny for deleting data that could help investigators in the russia probe. what's that all about? >> yeah, what i was saying before, we've focused so much on what the trump people did, what manafort did what, mike flynn did, but i think that the investigation really needs to look at what the russians did. even if there were collusion by the trump campaign helping target social media ad buys and things like that, you know, that would still be a relatively small percentage of this. it could be instrumental, of course. looking at what russia did, i think the investigators are really starting to realize that this is a tremendous amount of activity. somebody described it as a
blitzkrieg and they meant it was an air campaign, ground campaign and they were coordinating across all of these social media platforms. so if twitter just deleted their database of tweets that the individual creators of the tweets deleted, in thiscati cas the russians, it could be a blow to the investigation because the russians are known for covering their tracks in these kind of operations. so if they deleted all of their information, especially the sort of key information about who is driving these efforts to sort of use twitter and facebook to create memes and pro-trump narratives, that could be a significant blow to the investigation. we just don't know yet. >> okay, gentlemen, thank you so much. happening right now in washington, steve bannon just wrapping his speech addressing the value voters summit one day after the president took the stage. and right off the bat, declaring
war on the establishment. >> now, the a.p. story today that kicked off my speech before y'all talks about, you know, bannon enlists the value voters in his war against the republican establishment. this is not my war. this is our war. and y'all didn't start it. the establishment started it. but i will tell you one thing, you all are going to finish it. >> nbc's garrett haake is at the summit with more for us. so, garrett, steve bannon just finishing speaking there to the crowd. what else did he have to say? >> reporter: well, that war against the establishment was really the overriding theme here, alex. he went back to it again and again and again. the speech was a mix of praise for president trump, praise for the movement, the sort of populist, nationalist movement which the two of them
essentially started, which he said all the people in this room today are heirs to. and that war against the republican establishment. probably his biggest target was mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader. he said that mitch mcconnell is essentially julius caesar right now and he's looking for people to be brutus, the people to turn on him and force him out of that leadership position. take a listen to a little of what he had to say about mitch. >> yeah, mitch, the donors are not happy. they have all left you. we've cut your oxygen off, mitch. okay? money is not courageous, but money is smart, okay? right now money is sitting there saying, hey, i see these folks. they're worked up. they're mad and they're mad for a reason. >> reporter: alex, it doesn't get much more direct than that, becoming republican civil war here in the primary season with bannon on one side and mitch mcconnell on the other laid bare here today at this convention. >> yep, i will say steve bannon
has made it clear if he's going to support you in the next midterm, you have to support the idea of removing mitch mcconnell from leadership. still ahead, the warning from one man on why ditching the iran nuclear deal is a serious mistake. managing blood sugar is a series of smart choices. and when you replace one meal... ...or snack a day with glucerna... ...made with carbsteady... ...to help minimize blood sugar spikes... ...you can really feel it. now with 30% less carbs and sugars. glucerna.
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witness katy perry swish. witness katy perry... aaaaaaw look at that dog! katy perry: with music videos and behind the scenes footage, xfinity lets you witness all things me. see what happens. we're going to see what they come back with. they may come back with something that's very satisfactory to me. if they don't within a very short period of time, i'll terminate the deal. >> that was the president yesterday saying he'd terminate the iran nuclear deal if a better agreement can't be reached. joining me now, james ach ten. with a welcome to you, i want to separate fact from fiction. can he unilaterally terminate this deal?
>> well, good afternoon, alex. yes, he can announce that the united states is no longer bound by the deal. if he were to make that announcement, i think that would be a very significant mistake. he made various accusations yesterday that iran is not implying with the deal. i don't believe those accusations stack up. i think right now iran is in compliance with the deal. i think that if the president has put us on a course of action that leads to him scrapping the deal, he will ultimately have advanced iran's option to develop a nuclear weapon, which is the exact opposite of what he says he wants to achieve. >> so then how significant is it to you, big picture, that he says he's not going to recertify the deal? and to my last question, would that leave then china, russia, the uk, germany, france, all sticking with the deal and further isolating the u.s.? >> right. so this certification process is
a requirement of u.s. domestic law. the president's decision not to certify has no immediate impact on the deal. what it does do is it would allow congress to pass sanctions much more easily than it could otherwise do for the next 60 days. if congress does that, then that would lead the u.s. to be in noncompliance with the deal. and the other parties to the deal, including very, very close u.s. allies in the feorm of the uk, france and germany have made it very, very clear as far as they are concerned they are bound by this deal and will continue working with iran to implement this deal. ultimately if the president scraps this deal, the u.s. will be left entirely isolated. >> james, the president made a list of claims in yesterday's speech. one was that iran had committed multiple violations of the agreement. is that fact or fiction? >> well, there's -- iran did briefly on two occasions
slightly exceed the amount of heavy water it's permitted under the deal. those two violations, and they were violations, were corrected very quickly and those were a number of months ago. >> can i ask quickly, can that happen unintentionally? intentionally, sure, but unintentionally can that happen relatively easy or not? >> no. i mean if iran is producing heavy water, it could have stopped slightly earlier, it didn't. now, listen, i think one has to put these violations in context. iran exceeded the limit by less than 1% and that excess stockpile was held for no more than a few days. but i don't want to play it down, those were two violations. they were a number of months ago and iran hasn't repeated those actions. the president also mentioned a very, very vague allegation with centrifuges. i've been trying to find out for a few weeks now what this is. it appears that in a document that iran gave to the iaea it
committed to operate roughly ten of a particular type of advanced centrifuges. it operated 13. the other cigsignatories had a discussion about whether 10 was roughly the same as 13. iran is sticking with 11 of these. if that's the allegation, i think that stretches incredulity. >> the president says it puts them on a rapid plan. >> the first thing to say is the deal as such never expires. iran's commitment never to build a nuclear weapon is indefinite. enhanced safeguards are indefinite. limits on technology that could be used for building and designing a nuclear weapon are indefinite. over the course of 10 to 25
years, there are a number of provisions that are gradually eased off over time. the rest of the world thought those provisions were entirely reasonable. of course in an ideal world, iran would be limited indefinitely. in the real world i think the deal president obama got was a very good deal, and i think ultimately if this deal falls apart, iran's option to develop a nuclear weapon, we will be faced with that much, much more quickly than if the deal is left in place. >> james acton, very good speaking with you. >> my pleasure. again, pictures as a deputy tries to save victims of california's wildfires. an update on the situation, next.
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sar sarah dallof is joining us. >> reporter: it is just deja vu for residents here, scrambling to get to safety. this is the video our crew captured. firefighters working in the dark to protect homes. in other evacuations, residents haven't even had the time to evacuate. one couple jumped inside their neighbors' pool to survive. they were in there about six hours and say the flames were upon them within minutes. >> our daughter called from san francisco and she said you've got to evacuate. and we didn't evacuate right away. she said in 20 minutes she called us back and said you've got to get out of that house. and i looked out my window and there was a wall of flame out my window. so that's how fast it happened for us. we had no warning, zero warning. nothing. i have alerts on my phone. nothing. >> reporter: and winds are one of the biggest challenges right
now. those combined with high temperatures and low humidities. al alex, that's just a recipe for danger and disaster. >> it sure is, thank you for that. coming up at 1:00 p.m. i'll speak with one of the women who has accused harvey weinstein of sexual harassment. first, "velshi & ruhle" coming up next. and the wolf huffed and puffed... like you do sometimes, grandpa? well, when you have copd, it can be hard to breathe. it can be hard to get air out, which can make it hard to get air in. so i talked to my doctor. she said...
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what has come over our businessman president? donald trump is taking credit for a soaring stock market and then he's crediting it for a falling u.s. debt. the first point is just naive. the second one is pure fantasy. meanwhile, it is a trump twitter war on america's favorite sports league. he says the nfl is suffering because of players who take a knee during the national anthem. is he right? hey, folks, i'm ali velshi. >> and i'm stephanie ruhle. it has been another frenetic week in washi