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tv   MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  October 25, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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barbara does with her work can bring people together to do good, we can still do that. i think we've forgotten that. >> thank you, guys. >> thank you for having us. >> great work. >> and we appreciate you all and the obamas, the clintons, the trumps, everybody that -- they don't realize what a sacrifice it is when somebody in the family decides to serve the country. thank you, guys. >> and what an amazing privilege it is. >> it is a remarkable privilege, but we thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and you are extraordinary. don't worry. your mom is right. >> thank you very much. >> the book is -- >> by the way, your grandparents, oh, my god. >> extraordinary people. >> the book is "sisters first, stories from a wild and wonderful life." jenna bush hager and barbara bush, thank you so much. i'm giving it to my daughters. >> thank you. >> oh, is the show over? that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks, mika. hi there, i'm city of nstephani.
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retiring senator jeff flake goes off on president trump. >> mr. president, i rise today to say enough. >> as ally turned critic bob corker trades barbs with the tweeter in chief. >> i think the basement of our nation will be what he'll be remembered most for, and that's regretful. >> bannon and the far right cheer the war on moderates hours after the president had tried to rally the party to pass tax reform. >> we can't continue to just remain silent. this is undignified. this is beneath the office of the president. >> and speaking of taxes, only 25 working days left on capitol hill to get a bill passed, but any democratic input is being shunned, as chuck schumer has some harsh words on steven mnuchin. >> his statements are outlandish and he seems just to want to suck up to trump. >> that's why they call it the full mnuchin. we begin today with jeff flake
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and baob corker, going public with their fears and frustrations about the way donald trump is treating the office of the president. people like steve bannon, well, they love it! they want these guys gone, but what does it mean for the party and for our country? i have an amazing panel here to break it all down starting with msnbc's garrett haake live on the hill. garrett, flake's announcement comes at a time when the president is trying to keep is party together. what's the impact? i mean when i watch the president say yesterday's meeting was a lovefest and go on and on about the double standing ovation, i'm laughing out the door. you and i both speak to people on the hill who might not be ready to go full jeff flake and say it publicly, but they're humiliated by the president and they're republicans. big deal if they clap for him in public. >> reporter: right. and a lot of those senators and other lawmakers who probably feel that way that we talked to, stephanie, sat on their hands yesterday or clapped along privately because they're not ready to challenge this
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president in the same outspoken way. the die many ynamic that's shap here, the president is going to have a harder time here in the senate, doing and especially saying some of the things that he has said over the course of his presidency unchallenged. you now have two republican senators in good standing with their party but not running for re-election free to say whatever they want and call the president out when they think he's lying or being outrageous, as jeff flake referred to it yesterday. but in the longer term you are seeing this president begin to reshape his party in his image. the president tweeted this morning and said, quote, the reason flake and corker dropped out of the senate race is very simple. they had zero chance of being elected. now act so hurt and wounded. now, i think corker and flake would both take issue with the second part of that, that they're somehow hurt and wounded. their argument is that the president is hurting america. but the first part of that tweet, at least in the case of flake, is not untrue.
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jeff flake has said that he didn't feel like he could win a republican primary running a race he was proud of. he admitted as much this morning on "morning joe." >> the bottom line is if i were to run a campaign that i could be proud of and where i didn't have to cozy up to the president and his positions or his behavior, i could not win in a republican primary. >> reporter: stephanie, this is something we've been talking about for a while. it's increasingly clear, especially when you go out into the country, this is no longer the republican party's base, it's donald trump's base and jeff flake saw the electoral writing on the wall here. now he becomes this outspoken challenger to the president. we'll see how outspoken. but you go back to that lunch, the president tweeting a couple of times this morning about the standing ovations that he got and the support that he got from the party in the room. he is setting a narrative here a little bit and i think perhaps challenging other senators
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beyond those who have been so outspoken to push back on that. will we see other senators come out today and take a flake or corker-like position on that? we'll find out. but right now i doubt it. >> a standing ovation. i want to bring my panel in. robert costa, national political reporter for "the washington post" and bret stephens, an op-ed columnist for "the new york times" and megan murphy, the editor of bloomberg business week. brett, i want to start with you. one trump critic said the ice is beginning to crack. what we're seeing with bob corker, with jeff flake, you're going to see more republicans follow suit. do you think that's the case? >> follow suit in denouncing the president? >> yes. >> or in renouncing their political ambitions. >> fair point. >> this is the key thing. there's a law in economics, gresham's law, bad money drives out good. in a sense what we have is bad republican politicians driving out good ones who are just removing themselves literally
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from circulation. there was this conceit among republicans last year if trump were elected, congressional republicans would control him. the opposite is happening. the president has the whip hand and is defining the party in his image. any republican with a conscience or who feels he's accountable also to his grandchildren wants no part of it. so you're going to end up more swiftly than people realize the bannonization of the republican party. >> and is that a good or a bad thing for steve bannon? bob, steve bannon loves this. this is his excuse to get more of his extreme guys in. but the more extreme candidates that steve bannon puts forward, the better chance democrats have of winning because people in the middle can simply say i can't vote for those loons. they are not what conservative principles represent. >> we'll have to see about that because in a state like alabama, where roy moore won the primary against senator luther strange, it looks like that race is
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tightening but it's by no means a guaranteed win for the democrats in spite of the candidate's hard-line views on the republican side. but in arizona with senator flake departing, representative sinema has a real shot at being competitive in an increasingly purple state. she has a lot of money in the bank and democrats hope to have what happened in arizona in a few other states. >> then maybe this is exactly what -- all president trump loves, he loves to win today. steve bannon's plan all along has been to blow up the system. that works for both of them. but long term for republicans, how is this a win? >> long term for the party it's potentially devastating and crippling for generations to come. i want to push back on the description of roy moore as a hard line. he is not a fire brand conservative. he holds views which are an
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enathma. it would be more understandable if the president had gotten further in his legislative agenda, if they had been successful dismantling obamacare, if the wall had been built, if some of these anti-immigration policies had come in. this is an incredibly unsuccessful administration so far in terms of key legislative priorities with a president whose approval ratings have dipped below 40%, down to the lower levels of what his perceived base is. this is the man that still given the type of statements that he makes, given what we've seen with charlottesville, with gold star families, that still so many republicans with a political -- who are contemplating their political future still resist standing up and speaking out. we still only of jeff flake, bob corker, people who have given up their political future so far. you know, bad money driving out good politicians. it will be much more interesting to see who is willing to come above who has an election at stake and future at stake and is
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willing to replicate some of these comments. it is potentially devastating to the future of the party. >> think about the people we know who are inside the white house. how much longer -- >> where are they, stephanie? >> think about what we're doing behind the scenes. i don't know, but out front you ain't doing much. i want to share more of what jeff flake said and think about how his words should impact others who are members of the republican party and the administration. let's take a listen. >> i am aware that there is a segment of my party that believes that anything short of complete and unquestioning loyalty to a president who belongs to my party is unacceptable and suspect. >> and right there, listen, you hear sarah huckabee sanders call bob corker's -- say bob corker and jeff flake, they're grandstanding. their tweets are reckless. when president trump is the reckless tweeter in chief. kellyanne conway has clearly said it's always the president first. as i said before, the full mnuchin.
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steve mnuchin has put his entire success and reputation on the line when he gets on his knees and praises to the president in front of the whole entire world. >> yeah, he who tells the most outrageous lie wins i think is the operative political theory of the white house. and the truth is, it's not -- i'm not talking about the morality of it. it's not bad politics. what's happening here, i think what we're fail to appreciate is what's happening here isn't -- it's basically a culture war within the republican party. someone like judge moore stands on one side of that culture war. guys like jeff flake got into politics because they believe in lower taxes, small government, all of the kind of nice, neat, conservative ideas that attracted me to the republican party, you know, in the 1980s. but that's actually not what's happening here. and it's important to understand sort of steve bannon's ideological pedigree. this is a guy deeply steeped in marxist and fascist ideology and
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philosophy from the 1920s and 1930s. he's operating on a playbook which is, first of all, take over the institutions. >> how does that square off with good old family values? >> what are steve bannon's family values. >> ding ding ding ding ding. >> what are trump's family values? >> bob, you tweeted that many republicans no longer want to listen to them. is it that republicans don't want to listen to them or is it that republicans are frustrated that not much is getting done in washington? >> i think the frustrationins a the grievance within the republican base are more than just frustration about tax reform being stalled or the health care legislation being put on the shelf. it is about that culture war within the republican party. they see in the party's establishment a group of people who came out of the ronald reagan mold but did not perform, did not -- became part of the washington scene, and so since the tea party movement began
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almost a decade ago, there's been this unraveling on the american right that has exploded now into this trump moment, this bannon moment, and no one really knows how to control it, especially leader mcconnell. >> bob, it's not like president trump or steve bannon walked in and said i have the better repeal and replace plan. it's not like there are republicans simply being obstructionists. no one came up with a comprehensive plan that suited all the things that president trump agreed to on the campaign trail and at the same time were in line with the republican principles. >> that would be the normal way of competing for a party's power. >> i'm sorry, i asked for normalcy. >> stephanie, just think about this. support their whole aim isn't scoring a legislative win but just disruption. >> which is steve bannon's role. from the beginning he just said i want to blow the system up. jared kushner has told people i know, look, it's working, we're blowing it up, and leaving nothing on the other side. if they had legislative wins,
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much of trump's base would be hurt the most. >> a lot of people felt that way. health care experts thought the health care proposal was about cutting the medicaid expansion, so that's a valid point you've made. >> okay. before we go, bret, when steve bannon gets on the podium and goes after the globalists and the liberal elites, and again i remind you when he goes after those corporate globalists, steve bannon fully funded by the mercers, co-founded by the hedge funding, do we ever take a step back and say many of those who are saying these are bad ideas would benefit. you want this tax plan? great. lots of new yorkers will do really well, lots of people in california. but it's trump's base who actually get hurt. do they not realize if these things went forward, they would be the ones to suffer? >> look, i disagree with your premise. >> go for it. >> i think corporate tax reform and general tax reform, simplifying the brackets, lowering the rates, would be
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broadly speaking good for the economy. >> no, no, i agree with you. >> it would be good for the real economy. i'm not just talking about the stock market, speculation economy. >> then why not just be straightforward and honest about it from the get-go. why does the president and steve mnuchin early on say this isn't going to benefit the rich of the just say what it is. >> well, there should always be truth in advertising in terms of your politics. but again, they're not talking about really economic politics. they're talking about fueling a politics of anger and an anger directed, not so much at the wealthy so much as the cultural elites of the coasts, whom they feel benefit the most from this. so sort of seeing this in a policy perspective i think is the wrong lens. >> just in terms of what bob was saying, he's exactly right. if the goal is disruption, they are certainly achieving it. but at what cost? at what scorched earth? at what promises taken away from a generation?
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at such a landscape where there is no civility, no discourse, insults. we talked about this before, that is where they comfortable, really taking people down to a personal level. you will wake up at the ending and look at what you have created and you will have sewn the seeds of a new disruptiveness the likes we have never seen. that's what i'm concerned about. that's what i'm concerned about as a parent. this is not the politics of courage. >> and more conscious capitalism and acts of inclusion and extraordinary technology and we have this war raging inside this country. we've got to take a break. still ahead, we've got more on jeff flake's decision to not seek re-election when we talk with a fellow republican who made a similar announcement a month ago. congressman charlie dent of the state of pennsylvania. next, president trump tweeting that he's got great support from many sides. you remember what many sides is for the president. but as republicans try to come
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together behind a reform bill, minority leader chuck schumer says the only way democrats will get a voice is if the bill fails. i think many is trump's favorite word. he loves that word, many. i write them a poem instead. and one for each of you too. thats actually yours. that one. yeah. regardless, we're stuck with the bill. to many, words are the most valuable currency. last i checked, stores don't take "words." some do. not everyone can be that poetic voice of a generation. i know right? such a burden. the bank of america mobile banking app. the fast, secure and simple way to send money. (avo) but you also have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. non-insulin victoza® lowers a1c, and now reduces cardiovascular risk. victoza® lowers my a1c and blood sugar better than the leading branded pill. (avo) and for people with type 2 diabetes treating cardiovascular disease, victoza® is now approved
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we are convinced and the models are really clear, people will change their behavior, businesses will change their behavior is taxes change. that 1.5 number is sort of in the midrange of the growth we
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expect. we believe that we will get faster economic growth that will exceed this 1.5. so we don't anticipate a big deficit effect from this tax reform. >> models with very aggressive assumptions. that of course was speaker paul ryan telling us what to expect from republicans' upcoming tax bill. in today's money, power, politics, nbc news has learned house republicans aim to unveil their plan as soon as november 1st. ben white spoke with senate majority leader chuck schumer for his latest episode of his podcast, politico money. trump tweeted this this morning, working hard on the biggest tax cut in u.s. history. great support from many sides. big winners will be the middle class, business and jobs. but here's what chuck schumer told you on democrats and the path forward. take a listen. >> there is a path forward, but only after this tax bill fails. the hard right, which cares so much about just reducing taxes, it's becoming clearer and clearer they don't care about the deficit, they don't care
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even about middle class people, they care about tax breaks for the wealthy and the powerful, has a stranglehold on the republican party right now. and i don't think they'll give it up unless this bill fails. >> is that really the only path, if the bill fails? people want bipartisanship. >> they do, but i don't think democrats have any illusions that they're going to take part on a tax reform bill if the house reduces a bill which is get rid of the amt, lower the tax rate, there's a lot of stuff that accrues to wealthy people. they'll wait and see if trump can slam that through with all republican votes. they assume corker or flake or any of these other people at war with trump could torpedo it like they did with health care and then they could be having a seat at the table to fundamentally change this tax reform bill. >> you and i both know there are parts of this country that are
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suffering. they have jobs but not high-paying jobs and haven't seen their wages go up. while corporate taxes are high, the statutory rate is high, corporate america is kicking it. the stock market is enfuego. what about the argument, corporates, they're doing pretty damn well, they don't need a tax cut. >> corporate profits are high, the stock market is high, but you can make the argument and schumer was open to this that the statutory corporate rate is too high. it distorts the way companies do business. they go overseas and do a bunch of weird things that they wouldn't do if you got it down to 25%, got rid of loopholes, then i think you could be talking about perhaps higher paying jobs, more jobs without increasing deficit and the debt. democrats are saying give us a revenue neutral tax reform not tilted to the top and we'll deal on lowering the corporate rate because that would be a good idea to do. >> what's to say that couldn't happen before this bill goes through. the bill isn't written in blood. can't they sit down and say what
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are we going to bring to the table? when you looked at the 401(k) offering over the weekend, it doesn't have to be, well, right now you can contribute $18,000 and now it's going to go to $2,400. maybe it's somewhere in the middle. >> let's just say i don't know what a great idea it is to be targeting people's 401(k) contributions. >> yes. but i'm just saying a middle ground. >> maybe they should come to the table sooner and this is a dicey area for them. the same thing in the house where you've seen publicly they say bring us to the table, we want to deal, but they don't want to be seen as collaborating with trump, dealing with trump, because the democratic base despises trump and they don't want to see democrats help him get an achievement. >> but ideology doesn't put food on your table or get you a job. do people care about ideology or do they care about thriving. >> there are two separate threads. the political thread democrats are dealing with in terms of working with trump and the reality of getting something good done for the middle class and the economy. i think they think they can do the second one and the first
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one. get the politics right, don't deal with trump on his tax cuts for the rich. let him fail and then go to the table and say we agree. we need tax relief for the middle class and to fix the corporate tax system, and here's how we do it. that's their strategy going forward and we'll see if it works out for them. >> i think everybody needs to get off their high horse and learn to play ball. >> i agree but that's not necessarily the politics that we have. i know it's frustrating. big, deep breaths for all of us. >> ben white, listen to this guy's podcast, it's so good. next, we're going to turn back to our top story. republicans turning on trump. jeff flake part of a growing list of republicans not seeking re-election. another name on that list, charlie dent of pennsylvania joins me next as more of his colleagues follow suit.
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undergoing massive transformation, opportunities are only opportunities if you can find an answer that separates fact from near fact. thomson reuters provides you the intelligence, technology, and human expertise you need to find those trusted answers. the answer company. thomson reuters. welcome back. time now for your morning primer, everything you need to know to get your day started. we begin with president trump's trip to the lone star state. the president will fly to texas this afternoon for a briefing on hurricane harvey recovery efforts followed pby a fund-raising effort. five teenagers have been charged with murder after
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allegedly throwing a rock from a michigan overpass. i hate this story. killing a man. the teens, ages 15 to 17 have pled not guilty. he was a father of four. and a former production assistant has come forward with another accusation against movie mogul harvey weinstein. she says weinstein forced himself over her over a decade ago. this brings the number of accusations to more, ready for this, than 60. weinstein's spokesperson says any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied. i'm going to say it again, 60. president george h.w. bush apologizing after an actress alleges on a now deleted social media post that he sexually assaulted her. heather lynn said bush told a dirty joke and grabbed her four years ago. bush's spokesperson says bush would never under any circumstance intentionally cause anyone distress and most sincerely if his attempt to humor offended her.
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emmy award-winning actor and sitcom star robert guillaume has died. his widow says he had been fighting prostate cancer. the jeffersons star was 89 years old. and with jeff flake announcing his retirement from the senate, more than a dozen republican lawmakers have now said they will not seek re-election, but whether or not that is a good thing for the party depends on who you ask. our open chris jansing sat down with a group of republican voters to see what they think. >> conservative values include a free market of ideas and competition, and we believe that that's good. >> some of those challenges are valuable and all of your elected officials should have to answer for those kind of things if we're going to wage war within the party and have this exercise within the party. it should be an effort to move closer to our values. >> i want to bring in outgoing pennsylvania republican congressman charlie dent. congressman, what was your reaction to jeff flake's announcement yesterday? >> well, i wasn't surprised by
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his announcement. jeff is one of my best friends in congress. he is my tennis partner, paddle ball partner. because of that speech i'm going to have to let him win a few games now. seriously, he's a dear friend. by the way, he is very philosophically and ideologically conservative. he is very thoughtful, careful, measured in tone. he is a very good natured person. he is a happy warrior. for those of us who have been around more than five minutes here, he was always a thorn in the side of leadership in the house as well as to the appropriations committee on which i served, so jeff, you know, is a guy who would stand up on the floor on principle and he would challenge every earmark in a bill and he would get beaten like a rented mule. but he was happy. people respected him. i have a lot of admiration for jeff flake. i thought he -- i thought he acquitted himself well yesterday. >> he's a true conservative, as are you. just a moment ago, we shared some thoughts from republicans who talked about what they think the republican party represents. it's the same republican party
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my mom and dad have voted with for the last 50 years. that is not the party of roy moore or steve bannon, who do not represent conservative principles. given that that is the case, why do so many republicans remain silent in criticizing the president or the way things are moving? >> i can't understand it, stephanie. we've had too many of these emperor has no clothes moments. i've said to my colleagues, it's important to state when you agree with the president, say publicly when you support him but you shouldn't be afraid to check him if he moves in a bad direction or call him out if he does something inappropriate or offensive. i think people are afraid of their bases in too many cases. as an example, we all have constituents and i have some, it's a small minority but some will say i'm not sufficiently pure or sufficiently committed to the cause. i often respond to those folks and say, you know, if i set myself on fire for you, you would complain about the temperature of the flame. i mean that's what we're dealing
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with. i think people want us to be honest, they want us to call these things as we see them, and again i think that's a shortcoming of many. so i'm glad that jeff flake and bob corker and others are giving voice to some of these concerns that so many of us talk about privately. >> while there's some republicans that do want that purity that you speak about, others want pragmatism and we know there haven't been legislative wins. is that why so many republicans are backed into a corner here? because while they want to speak out against what's happening to the fracturing in the party, they feel like they don't have a leg to stand on because the president turns and says, well, i'd love to sign some bills but you can't get anything done. >> i will never criticize the president of the united states for being pragmatic, he is that. he's very pragmatic and i'm glad that he is. but at the same time we have a lot of members in congress, frankly on both sides of the aisle, who are very good at telling you what they can never do. they're locked into a no position. they simply can't get to yes. that has been a frustration for me for over a long period of
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time. we see it all the time on appropriations bills or on budget agreements. we know we have to enter into a bipartisan agreement, we need 60 votes in the senate, and some people just can't accept that kind of accommodation or compromise. they consider this a dirty word. but our system was designed for people to work together and ultimately find consensus and compromise. if people can't accept that, why would you be in congress. >> compromise is not a dirty word, it's progress. thank you for joining us this morning. i appreciate it. if you let jeff flake win a few games of tennis, no big deal. >> yeah, it is. thanks, stephanie. up next, we'll stay focused on upcoming elections. what twitter is doing to help you figure out who paid for the political ads that showed up in your feed. i want to know why they continue to protect those hateful trolls. i don't want to sound paranoid, but d'ya think our recent online sales success seems a little... strange? na. ever since we switched to fedex ground
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business has been great. they're affordable and fast... maybe "too affordable and fast." what if... "people" aren't buying these books online, but "they" are buying them to protect their secrets?!?! hi bill. if that is your real name. it's william actually. hmph! affordable, fast fedex ground.
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for her compassion and care. he spent decades fighting to give families a second chance. but to help others, they first had to protect themselves.
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that's a great term. it's like facebook using the word "community." how legit is this? >> you know, whatever. they can say whatever they want. it's like the decency pledge not to sexually harass in silicon -- it's fine, they can say a lot of words and talk loudly. i think the issue is they have got to have tools in place where people can use these systems a lot better and see what's going on on them. they're headed for regulation, all of them. i think that's the fear and so they want to make these announcements that they're very -- they very much want to show things, they very much want to be transparent, they're there for the user. so you're going to see a million of these -- i think they're public relations announcements. >> here's an example twitter says a flagged political ad will look like and what responsibility they have. but at the end of the day, is any of this going to make a difference? this is an unregulated industry. the government didn't move quickly enough. >> right. >> it's due time they get regulated. >> not in every area, but in these areas. everyone else is regulated for
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political ads and therefore why is this medium separate. it's a communications medium, it's a broadcast medium, it's a news distribution medium. and i think nobody likes being regulated, i think, in that regard but in this case political ads can be very damaging and very -- they can make -- they're confusing to people who are looking at them and they don't know what they are. and so twitter is confusing enough. not giving enough signals that you're looking at an ad versus content, what content is, who's giving the content is really important. >> will twitter ever get off protecting anonymity? if you think about the trolls that go after you every day. >> every day. >> or go after me every day, they never show their name. they never show their face. what argument remains on twitter's behalf why these people's identities should be protected? >> if we don't grow, we die. that's their argument. it's a business argument. they don't make it explicitly but everything around twitter and facebook is growth, growth,
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growth. >> that's every public company. >> but growth is critically important, especially to twitter which has been struggling. they have shown negative growth but if they don't show this is a growing concern, they're already in a lot of trouble in other ways. so i think anything that cuts into growth is something that they think about a lot. >> but that's an argument to be made to their shareholders. >> right. >> when they sit down on the hill and a senator says to them why is it that you need to protect the identity of those who are spewing hate, what could their defense possibly be? >> free speech. they love to do that. again as i said a million times, they consider themselves a benign platform when they become something else and all of these companies pretend they're not media companies. they're not media companies in the sense of an nbc or news corp or something else but they're the new media companies. i think they want all the benefits of being a media company and none of the responsibilities. so responsibility is what i always use, which they don't like that word. >> then you know these companies better than everyone.
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before everything went sideways during the election, two years ago would these nonmedia companies have decided to become content creators? >> well, yes, they are content creators. they distribute content. facebook, 70% of news, some enormous number of people get their news through facebook. they have a responsibility to understand and anticipate. one of the parts is anticipating. facebook has a history of doing things and then pulling them back. there was beacon, facebook live with the bullying. why didn't they think of that? why didn't they have tools in place? why didn't they react sooner? they're always sort of -- not facebook, i don't want to necessarily pick on them, but they have enormous platforms. they're like cities and are responsible for what happens in these cities. if there's a crime, they need to have police in place. if there's -- you know, if there's a bunch of trash, they need to clean it up. and i think that's the issue. i think it goes to their businesses. if they create these -- and i call twitter this and i love twitter. but it's become a cesspool in a
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lot of ways. we did an interview with samantha bee about a live podcast and she can't take mentions anymore because she said they have gotten so vial. she enjoyed mentions and liked using the product. so if you just want to make a business argument, why do you want a product where the city is a disaster zone. like why is it unpleasant to get around it. so for the vast majority of users, they behave well, you know, they want to have a communication system, whatever one they want, but they have to also have to contend with all this crap. >> but cities only thrive if there's law and order. >> yes. >> so twitter and facebook can't possibly make an argument that we can exist in pure anarchy because they can. >> their argument is we are platforms, we're just serving things and it's just not -- doesn't hold water anymore. it just doesn't. >> they can use the word community all they want, that just ain't true. all right, kara swisher, thank you so, so much.
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>> kara swisher, the absolute best. next, new details about the infamous trump dossier. new revelations this morning that it was at least partially funded by hillary clinton's campaign and the dnc. what does that mean for democrats? it certainly means donald trump jr. has something to tweet about. does it complicate special counsel robert mueller's investigation? i'm open to that. lower premiums? extra benefits? it's open enrollment. time to open the laptop... ...and compare medicare health plans. why? because plans change, so can your health needs. so, be open-minded. look at everything-like prescription drug plans... and medicare advantage plans from private insurers. use the tools at or call 1-800-medicare. open to something better? start today. ♪ so we sent that sample i doff to ancestry. i was from ethnically. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. i am sorry, but i need to make a correction involving the death of entertainment superstar robert guillaume. he was in shows such as "the jeffersons" and in the sitcom "soap" before getting his own spin-off "benson" where he was a well-known star across america. he was also a broadway actor and appeared in several movies. he had been fighting prostate cancer and he was 89 years old. moving forward, remember that notorious dossier that contained some salacious accusations against president trump? well, it turns out that dossier was funded in part by the clinton campaign and the dnc. a source confirms to nbc news that a law firm representing both retained fusion gps to conduct the research which began in april of 2016 and ended just
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before the election. "the washington post" the first to cover the story reports that before that research was retained by clinton's campaign, it was being funded by an unknown republican client during the republican primary. clinton has not responded to the story, but trump himself responded quoting fox news writing, quote, clinton campaign and dnc paid for research that led to the anti-trump fake news dossier. the victim here is the president. i need to bring back my panel. bret stephens and megan murphy. what's your reaction? megan, you first. >> this is not a surprise that the clinton campaign or the dnc funded this research after, we should point out, it was being funded during the primary by a republican challenger. we don't know who that was. this is how opposition research works. the thing that is more troubling is that the campaign and the lawyer involved in this was -- lied about this to several reporters who asked about this. now, that is problematic. it is -- it is a little bit
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baffling was to why you would not disclose this. as i said, this is how opposition research works. it wouldn't be a surprise to anyone that the dnc and the clinton campaign were funding this. it contained allegations about their opponent in this. so it is just -- it's kind of am talking point now, frankly, that has been made worse by sort of the mystery and the secrecy around that. i don't think anyone close to the clinton campaign is that surprised about creating this problem out of something that didn't have to be a problem. but it doesn't change the fact of the matter that what is important here and what we should be focusing on is, not even the particular dossier, but what were the campaign's connections to russia? we don't have disclosure and it seems to be tight-lipped around paul manaforte and the rest of the campaign. the journalists are interested in how far the connections go between the russians and the president's campaign. >> we have known for 25 years since bill clinton told us he didn't inhale that every
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statement out of the mouth of the clintons is a calculation and truth is always optional. that's the way the clintons have operated for a long time. >> which is also the defense when we call president trump a liar or say that to trump's base, he says, hillary clinton has been lying for decades. >> they are right. by the same token, donald trump lies about everything that comes out of his mouth. but again, megan puts her finger on it, the issue isn't who paid for opposition research. the question is, is it true? and simply the fact that you lied about paying for it doesn't describe it, the potential validity of documents that are unsubstantiated. >> okay, to megan's point where you said, this is a trump talking point, is it? could trump have already put his foot in his mouth calling this the fake dossier? when we don't know that it is fake, it is just unconfirmed. >> he definitely has vested interest in saying the dossier is fake knowing what we know about the allegations in it. russia as we all know, anyone
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who has covered this for a long time, know there is nothing that makes him angrier and pushes his button to 140 characters quicker than allegations about russia surrounding his campaign. that's the thing that frustrates him and potentially as we discuss on the show many times, people talk about this and i offer refer to it with watergate with no break-in. it is the anger and attitude to this so unfair and unjust that they are accused about this. as we see, the probe bob mueller is leading is very serious and continues to get people to talk to them. and we do not know exactly where it is going nest, but don't underestimate the firepower of the prosecution staff. >> i should say, the head of fusion gps is glenn simpson, former wall street journal reporter with an excellent reputation. i myself have seen fusion gps documents in unrelated reporting. it's a serious organization. and people aught to -- i think the reason that the trumps go to
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140 degrees or decibals or characters is because they fear that at least parts of this dossier con train truth. christopher steel was a well-regarded british spy, the idea that it is all fake is classic trump dissembling. >> then the dnc revelation, does it do anything to represent bob mueller's case? >> look, who paid for this is ultimately irrelevance. what it tells us is something we have known about the clintons for a long time, which given the truth to tell you whether this is milk or water, they will say milk. it is water. >> are they never going to learn their lesson? at the end of the day, things are over, they have had months to say, yep, i paid for it, why continue to not do so? >> i don't know the answer to that question. we should be clear when the existence of the dossier was first publicly reported, it was reported at that time that it was sources said it was funded by the clinton campaign. so it is definitely muzzling to me that they have not just come out at a time that it was more
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neutral, less heated, than it is now to say, yes, we paid for this opposition research. i don't think we as journalists are doing a very good job of explaining to the american public how opposition research is used. how it's paid for. it is constantly traded on any campaign from multiple sources. >> nasty. >> and let's also point out that this was reported by the fake news "washington post." right? and the very media they claim is a conspiracy against them has just handed them a gift in the coin of this revelation about the clintons. >> well, president trump, i don't need to see the dossier, it is fake news. i would love to see your taxes. those aren't fake. let's see them. ahead in the next hour, the new investigation, former trump campaign chairman paul manafort is facing. and the arizona republican kelli ward running for flake's senate seat. democrats are stoked about that. it's time for the "your business" of the week. danny cohn of seattle,
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before we go, turn up the volume on this one. some federal investigators are asking for a federal probe into how a tiny montana company was awarded the largest government contract to rebuild puerto rico's power grid. white fish energy, that's the name of the company, confirms it has signed a $300 million contract to repair and reconstruct much of the island's electrical infrastructure. white fish energy is based out of white fish, montana.
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coincidentally, the hometown of interior secretary ryan zinke. the "washington post" reports the company's chief executive and zinke acknowledged knowing one another, but only according to zinke's office because white fish is a small town where, quote, everybody knows everybody. and just two years old, the company only had two full-time employees when hurricane maria made landfall. it now has almost 300 contract utility workers down in puerto r rico. white fish says they have experience in mountainous regions and is willing to do business with a financially-strapped island. a spokesman for whitefish tells nbc news, most companies didn't want to do work for a utility that was in bankruptcy. i'm going to point out, that's what the spokesperson said. we'll continue to follow this story. so whitefish, if you think you're switching away, i was on the swim team. i have spoken to investors who are some of the largest
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investors facing off against puerto rico who say baloney. real estate developers on the island say this doesn't make sense. whitefish, montana, two employees, a company just a couple years old, gets a contract that big? maybe it's okay. but guess what? we're going to focus on it. that wraps us up this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. see you at 11:00 a.m. and all day on twitter. coming up, hallie jackson. steph ruhle, thank you very much. we have a lot of questions this morning, like what is happening with the republican resistance? where does it go? is it just jeff flake and bob corker fighting donald trump? or is the a lovefest in the gop? and will more republicans answer this call? >> i hope that we're reaching a tipping point where my colleagues and every elected official will say, we can't go on this way. >> so we have questions coming up, talking with not just the repu


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