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that she's still living and to be happy and live on for mollie because mollie didn't get that chance. that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. and good morning, everyone. i'm dara brown at msnbc world headquarters in new york. it's 7:00 a.m. in the east, 4:00 out west. here's what's happening. russian overture. new information about the president's son-in-law and an invitation that wasn't disclosed to investigators. the fallout from the sexual assault allegations facing senator al franken. if he doesn't step down, will it help republicans and get roy moore elected? answers ahead. aboutface. the president delays a controversial new policy affecting african elephants. new this morning on the
russia investigation, sources telling nbc news during the campaign a banker with ties to vladimir putin reached out to jared kushner about setting up a meeting with president trump as well as high-level campaign officials on the sidelines of the nra convention last may. the overture was part of an e-mail chain kushner failed to disclose to congressional investigators. they're also trying to figure out how that banker ended up seated next to donald trump jr. during a private dinner at the nra convention. kushner's lawyer pushing back on the accusation by senate judiciary chairs that his client hasn't been forthcoming, sending them a letter last night about that e-mail exchange. his lawyer points out that kushner responded to a campaign official at the time saying, pass on this. a lot of people come claiming to carry messages. very few, we are able to verify. now i think we decline such meetings. nbc has more. >> reporter: the significance of this is really twofold. one, it's another example of jared kushner being accused of
failing to disclose, of failing to be forthright about his russian contacts. bottom line, it's another high-level russian with ties to vladimir putin, who is circling around this campaign, seeking a high-level meeting, proposing a meeting between trump and putin. another thing that's causing congressional investigators and presumably robert mueller to take a hard look. >> federal prosecutor and expert on white-collar criminal law, john, great to have you here this morning. >> good morning. >> kushner's lawyer says the e-mail chain was not disclosed because it wasn't an actual russian contact, adding that the russian overture meeting never happened. so who gets to decide what should be disclosed here? >> well, these kinds of disagreements happen all the time when either congressional investigators or prosecutors request e-mails or request documents. there's usually a tussle over what's responsive and what's not. i have to say, mr. kushner has a very, very good lawyer, and his lawyer responded, i think, in a very strong way in saying, hey, this was not covered by your
request. if you want it, here it is. the most important fact, though, is that according to the reports, kushner said he didn't want a meeting between putin and trump. >> and kushner's lawyer also made a similar argument about e-mails related to campaign communications with wikileaks, saying that kushner had no direct contact. can this be interpreted by the senate committee as stonewall,ing, astonewall, and can that work against kushner? >> there's a difference between what may be illegal or not and the perception. for example, mr. kushner did nothing wrong by saying, hey, we don't want a meeting with putin. on the other hand, if there's the perception that he's not being forthcoming with respect to e-mails and delivering documents to a senate committee, that just doesn't look right. >> and these e-mails are coming from a different source than kush nea kushner, so it could be troublesome. nbc news has learned that kushner may have said in congressional testimony that he wasn't familiar with wikileaks'
attempts to contact the trump campaign, but his lawyer says kushner did receive e-mails from donald trump jr. about wikileaks, so it kushner walking a line of incremental truth telling here, and if so, what are the risks? >> well, this is a problem that some of the trump officials have in the entire investigation, which is the underlying activity may not be illegal, but the comments and the responses to congressional investigators and to prosecutors may be problematic. that's what got papadopoulos in trouble. he lied to investigators. >> and kushner's lawyer, he took issue with the senate judiciary committee, asking for these e-mails when they already had copies from other sources. so why is the committee pressing for kushner's copies here? >> that's what investigators always do. a lot of times they'll circle around an investigation, get e-mails from different sources, but they also want the person they've subpoenaed or asked for information to provide those
e-mails or those documents as well. that's a very standard investigative technique. >> special counsel robert mueller's team slapped the trump campaign with a subpoena even though they previously handed over more than 20,000 documents. do you think the campaign should be concerned here? is mueller's team going after something specific, and if so, what could that be? >> well, there are two areas that subpoena was focused on. one is the wikileaks information and whether or not there was any involvement by the trump campaign with respect to the hacking or the release of the wikileaks documents. second was whether or not there was any, what they call, a back door effort by russian officials to connect with the trump campaign. so those are the two areas that the mueller investigation seems to be focused on right now. >> very interesting developments here. john, thank you so much for your time this morning. >> thank you. also new this morning, the trump administration backing off a controversial decision to lift a ban on dead elephant trophies brought to the u.s. and a ban
put in place by the obama administration. president trump tweeting last night, put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as i review all conservation facts. under study for years. will update soon with secretary zinke. thank you. well, conservation and animal rights groups slammed the trump administration after the u.s. fish and wildlife service said on thursday it had determined a ban was no longer necessary on the import of parts of elephants u hunted in zimbabwe and zambia and that lifting the ban would provide a boon to conservation efforts. critics pointed out the president's adult sons are big game hunters. pictures of those two with dead animals surfaced in 2012. now to the sexual misconduct allegations currently surrounding both parties, and president trump is slamming democratic senator al franken after his admission of misconduct but refraining from the debate over allegations leveled against republican senate candidate roy moore.
nbc's kristen welker has the story. >> reporter: the white house on defense after president trump dubbed senator al franken al frankenstein on twitter. franken apologized for inappropriate sexual misconduct toward a former model and radio host during a 2006 uso tour. so why has mr. trump stayed silent all week on republican embattled senate candidate roy moore? >> he did it while he was on a foreign trip in asia. i did it repeatedly yesterday. >> reporter: the president briefly told reporters while in asia he was aware of the story and indicated he would speak further. that hasn't happened yet. though, sanders called the allegations deeply troubling. still, the disparity is renewing focus on the president's own controversial past after this "access hollywood" tape surfaced during the campaign, more than a dozen women came forward, accusing then-candidate trump of sexual misconduct, including jessica leeds. >> it's just indicative of this culture that allowed this
behavior. there were no repercussions. >> reporter: so what's the difference between franken's accusers and mr. trump's? >> i think in one case, specifically, senator franken has admitted wrongdoing and the president hasn't. >> reporter: and the political infighting cuts both ways. senator kiersten gillebrand has sparked a backlash for saying former president bill clinton should have resigned after the monica lewinsky scandal. some democrats calling her a hypocrite for accepting the clintons' support and money. >> it's ridiculous and he's wrong. bill clinton did very important things for this country. but my point is about this conversation we are having today and that we need to have the highest standards for elected leaders. >> that was nbc's kristen welker reporting. coming up, the person who is stepping into the spotlight to defend roy moore against sexual misconduct allegations. that's up next.
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i have been married to my husband, judge roy moore, for over 32 years. he was a graduate of west point. he served our country in vietnam, and he has always been an officer and a gentleman. in his words, and i quote, i will not stop until they lay me in that box in the ground. [ cheers and applause ] >> kayla moore fiercely defending her husband, the embattled republican senate candidate for alabama. several women have accused roy moore of sexual misconduct and assault they say occurred decades ago. the senate race in alabama is now entering its final stretch, and both moore and his supporters are vowing to fight to the finish. nbc's mya rodriguez is in birmingham with the latest. good morning. this special election is moving forward despite the controversy, correct? >> reporter: it is, dara. there are only 25 days left
before that election, but questions continue to swirl about the past behavior of the republican nominee, roy moore, and that is still dividing this state. in a little more than a week, at least nine women have made allegations against roy moore about inappropriate behavior stretching back decades, ranging from unwanted pursuing of teenagers to sexual assault. moore denies all claims of sexual misconduct. his campaign calls them, quote, politically motivated. >> we're in a battle. >> reporter: while he avoided the spotlight on friday, his wife kayla did not, speaking before her husband's supporters. >> even after all the attacks against me, against my family, against the foundation, and now against my husband, he will not step down. >> reporter: on friday, alabama's republican governor c kay ivey said while she has no
reason to not believe his accusers, she still plans to vote for moore to help republicans keep their majority in the u.s. senate. >> i will cast my ballot on december the 12th. i do believe the nominee of the party is the one i'll vote for. >> reporter: but tnot all women are convinced. in moore's hometown, some of the scrutiny welcomed. >> i think it's an important issue. i think the truth needs to be dug out. there's things that have been known here for years and years that have just gone unchecked. >> reporter: meanwhile, the white house is pushing back on claims that president trump stayed silent about the allegations against moore. >> he said if the allegations are true, he should step aside. he also weighed in when he supported the rnc's decision to withdraw resources from the state of alabama. >> reporter: moore's opponent in the alabama senate race, democrat doug jones, not mentioning his opponent by name but acknowledging all the attention paid to this race. >> i think for all women, we're at a tipping point in this country. we're empowering women to stand up and speak out. and i think that's a wonderful
thing. >> reporter: by the way, the democrat in the race you just heard from, doug jones, has benefitted from moore's troubles. he's raised about a quarter of a million dollars a day since news of the scandal broke. dara? >> maya, thank you for that report. let's bring in julia manchester, reporter at "the hill" and erin delmore, senior reporter at bustle.com. great to have you here this morning. julie, i want to start with you. alabama governor ivey saying she's voting for roy moore because he'll vote on supreme court justices. a couple hours later, the white house updates president trump's list of supreme court justices. julia, do you think this was coincidental or a clear message to the base in alabama? >> i think it very well possibly could have been a clear message. i think that supreme court justices have very much been a rallying cry for the conservative voting base and trump's voting base. you have to remember that during the campaign, trump constantly
campaigned on getting a more conservative supreme court that would follow through on what conservatives call family value, such as abortion. we see that although trump and republicans have struggle to get a legislative victory, trump has followed through on appointing a conservative supreme court justice in the form of neil gorsuch. i don't think this is a coincidence at all. it's like dangling a carrot to conservative vote who are are caught between these allegations but at the same time wondering if they could ever vote for a democrat. >> erin, the polls seem to favor roy moore's opponent right now. so what is the convention untal wisdom on this race? and it's coming up december 12th. >> right. and the longer this story stays in the news, the more of a problem that is for republicans. and senate republicans have very few good choice at this moment. if roy moore is their candidate, they could vote to expel him once he gets in the chamber. they could refuse to seat him.
all of those things would create more division in the party. remember, roy moore is steve bannon's candidate. he won the primary against luther strange. this would just further divide voters in the state. and alabama is a state that went nearly 2-1 for president trump in the last election. that's an even wider margin than the state voted for mitt romney. so there are a lot of republicans in alabama willing to vote for moore despite these allegations. that said, the latest poll has the democratic opponent up, so we'll see. >> and julia, now to the other controversy, the white house saying the allegations against president trump and senator franken are different since the senator admitted to his behavior and the president has denied that. so what does this posture by president trump and the white house signify in the middle of this national dialogue? >> it really signals that the white house is very, i guess, skeptical about stepping in and making a stance on this. we have to remember, al franken has admitted to wrongdoing in the sexual misconduct
allegation. he's talking about it. he's said he's willing to take responsibility, called for an ethics investigation on himself. president trump has denied numerous allegations in the past, going as far back as the 1980s. you know, a year ago, it's interesting the parallels between all of this. a year ago the "access hollywood" tape leaked. that showed president trump in his own words bragging about touching women inappropriately and talking about women inappropriately without their consent. so i think this is a sign that the white house is really nervous to get into in debate, but at the same time would rather, you know, i guess, avoid talking about it and avoid addressing those allegations against the president. >> and erin, i want to play for you hillary clinton's reaction during a recent radio interview on senator gillebrand saying president clinton should have resigned over his affair with monica liukin ski. take a listen.
>> i'm not exactly sure what she was trying to say. there has been some confusion about it, but look, this was a painful time not only in our marriage but in our country, as i have written about. but it was investigated fully. it was addressed at the time. he was held accountable, and he paid a price for it, as was appropriate. >> erin, on top of the closeness between senator gillebrand and the clintons, how big of a deal are these comments? >> these comments open the flood gates for drremocrats. now what do they say in response? do they agree this is something that should come back from president clinton's legacy? senator gillebrand does enjoy a close relationship with the clintons. i've interviewed her about the mentorship she received, especially while running for hillary clinton's former senate seat in new york. this is an uncomfortable topic for her to wade into. the point that gillebrand was
trying to make is that in today's culture, especially at this flash point of the "me too" movement, there might be more credibility given to some of clinton's accusers. and the democrats stepped up when these accusations came out against al franken and said, well, we should listen. this movement toward hearing out the accusers is what's changed over the last couple of decades here. but it does put democrats in a predicament. what will they say in response? for the clintons, they're not eager to bring this back up. hillary's point is that the president's legacy is firm and solid and that his accusations have been completely investigated. so in that interview there, she wants to put this behind them. >> i'm sure she does. erin and julia, stay with us, please. we have more coming up in the next break. and we're going to move on now. up next, jared kushner didn't tell lawmakers about communication between a putin ally and the trump campaign, so could he be hiding even more from this investigation? i saw the change in rich when we moved into the new house.
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what i ask, is ambassador k kislyak in the room? before i get started here, any russians? anybody been to russia? got a cousin in russia or something? so anyway. >> that was attorney general jeff sessions at an event for the federalist society yesterday. the same venue where he and russian ambassador kislyak attended a campaign event by president trump. his joke there coming days after he returned to capitol hill for a grilling on alleged ties between russia and the trump campaign. let's bring back julia manchester and erin delmore. julia, what did you glean from that joke and the timing of it? >> yeah, so that joke was interesting because he was obviously making it to a very
friendly audience, a more conservative audience. i think it's safe to say democratic lawmakers would in no way be laughing at that. i think the attorney general is trying to make light of a very serious situation at this point about russia. he's got an lot of blowback for not really keeping his story straight on, you know, his contacts and his knowledge of contacts with russian officials from the campaign. so it was interesting to watch that. >> erin, what did we learn from the grilling during a judiciary hearing this week? because they really hit sessions hard about his lack of recall, correct? >> yeah, this is the issue with a widening investigation. the more information both congressional investigators get and special counsel robert mueller get from other sources, the more hot water these other sources come into. and they're pressing jeff sessions in this hearing this week about what he knew about contacts with the russians, especially now that investigators have new information from george
papadopoulos, the campaign adviser to president trump. and sessions made a point of saying, well, i don't remember the specifics of what was proposed during that meeting, but i know i pushed back on george's idea. that's what hung him up in front of senate judiciary committee. >> and julia, jared kushner is in hot water with the -- i'm sorry. erin, i'm going to ask you this. he's in hot water because he didn't disclose those overtures last year with the russian banker with ties to putin. they're giving him a deadline of november 27th to hand over those e-mails. what does this mean for the committee's investigation? >> it's a story that's come out in drips over the course of trump's first year in the presidency. and these small disclosures, especially these revelations that information submitted was incomplete, is what's haunting this administration. and this is the case you see coming back up with jared kushner. now, at this point, investigators are holding copies of e-mails that show that he's been forwarded some of these conversations or have been looped into some of these notices. they'll say, well, why haven't you brought them to us? this is just part of a widening
probe and a larger investigation. as we see more people swept into both investigations, this is what happens. >> erin and julia, thank you so much for your time this morning. and that'll do it for me. i'm dara brown. thanks for watching. at the top of the hour, it's "hugh hewitt." first, it's "your business" with jj ramberg.
good morning. coming up on msnbc's "your business," two companies with a new take on the old-school retail model are shaking things up in an industry that's struggling. how one woman is spearheading a business revolution in beloit, wisconsin, and it's bringing thousands of jobs and new blood to the local main street economy. and the first of our elevator pitchers vying to get their items on the shelves of sam's club. let's grow fast and work smart. that's all coming up next on "your business."