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tv   Kasie DC  MSNBC  May 6, 2018 4:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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ke teamwork, attention to detail, and customer service are critical to business success. like the ones we teach here, every day. in washington today, the spotlight is squarely on the president's legal troubles. >> the president trying to explain away troubling statements from his new lawyer rudy giuliani. >> when did the president know about that hush money payment to stormy daniels? >> this was a very bad week for the trump team. >> he's exposed president trump to possible prosecution for two crimes. >> as far as i'm concerned, it's a nothing burger. >> giuliani tries to clean up a potential mess he made for his clients. >> the president doesn't age knowledge meeting stormy daniels, correct? >> gee, i'm not involved in the daniels thing so i don't know. in terms of what you mean by met her. >> so the president does deny
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any sexual relationship with stormy daniels? >> he has. as i said, i'm not involved in that. right now i'm at the point where i'm learning. >> i want to make sure, george, did that interview just happen? >> when did the president find out michael cohen made this payment? >> that i don't know. >> president trump apparently misled the american people on air force one in april when he denied knowing anything about this payment stormy daniels. >> first of all, that is on an airplane in the middle of an important trip. >> when the president said no on air force one, he was talking about he didn't know when the payment occurred. >> it's a train wreck. >> it is possible a porn star could take down a president if the president is not cautious. >> welcome to "kasie d.c." i'm kasie hunt. we are live from washington every sunday night from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. eastern. tonight we began with the kasie dvr for a change. and the mad cap cycle of rudy junian i's own making.
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the "the new york times" is reporting president trump knew about that $130,000 hush money payment to adult film actress stormy daniels months before denying any knowledge of it to reporters aboard air force one in early april. that is according to two people familiar with the arrangement. we should point out that the president's outside legal counsel would not comment on the times story. meanwhile giuliani confirmed on wednesday the president reimbursed his attorney michael cohen for that payment. that was a comment that stunned many of the president's own advisors and led to more than one clarification. that wasn't confusing or anything. and when you separate it all out, it doesn't really become any clearer. >> that money was not campaign money. sorry, i'm giving you a fact now that you don't know. it's not campaign money. >> imagine if that came out on october 15th, 2016.
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>> sure. >> in the middle of the last debate with hillary clinton. cohen made it go away. he did his job. >> even if it was for campaign purposes, to save his family, to save embarrassment, it's not a campaign donation. >> as far as i know, an outstanding agreement, michael cohen makes payments like this, he gets paid for them sometimes, whether it's business or personal. >> oh, boy. i want to welcome in my panel, pulitzer winning bureau chief philip rucker. political reporter for "the new york times" ken vogel. michael schmidt. julia ainsley. joining the conversation from birmingham, alabama, former u.s. attorney joyce vance. thank you all for being here this evening to try and sort through exactly what the heck happened over the course of the last week. phil rucker, can you start with an overview of where we are at
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the white house right now? what does the president think of the job giuliani is doing, is there solid footing or is there distance between them? >> this has been going on five or six days now. the president did say friday he thought rudy giuliani needed to get his facts straight. felt confident he would. my colleague bob costa talked to rudy giuliani this afternoon after the interviews this morning. he spent the day with the president at the golf course in virginia, the president feels good about it and they're in a comfortable place. it is totally separate from the white house. the white house senior staff have no idea what rude si doing. they're not booking his interviews. they're not strategizing over his talking basis points. this is very much a rogue operation the president's personal attorney is doing. >> ken vogel, the switch that i seem to sense, we had the president on friday saying rudy giuliani needs to get his facts
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straight. mid week he seemed certain michael cohen had been reimbursed for this. by sunday he's on abc saying well, sometimes this happens, sometimes kind of. is that an example of him getting his facts straight or confusing the issue? >> not at all. he's doing a really bad job. you talk to all the republican finance campaign attorneys, even those sympathetic to trump. there is a lot of ambiguity. a lot of questions. the one thing everyone agrees rudy giuliani has no idea what campaign finance implications there might be here. the fact he admitted trump reimbursed the payment is significant because it speaks to truthfulness. the degree to which his subsequent explanations about what the purpose was or when trump knew, the significance of those may be a bit overstated. it really doesn't matter what rudy giuliani is saying. it matters what the intent was of these payments when they were made and who knew about them at the time that they were made.
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rudy giuliani says he doesn't know about that. he's just speaking out of turn to some extent. there could be additional light shed on this because there were documents seized from michael cohen's hotel and office by the fbi that could answer these questions. but as of right now just a bunch of speculation who knew what when. >> joyce vance, could i get to you weigh in here? is this potentially overstated? what are the real rubber meets the road legal implications of julie kind of changing his story? >> the president can't be held accountable for giuliani's statement in court, so it's not like these statements become evidence that's used against the president at some point. but the problem is the constantly shifting stories and the president's response to them which could at the end of the day help mueller, other prosecutors or congress refine a case against him. >> michael schmidt, could i get you to weigh in on that? if you're bob mueller, what are you taking away from the events of the last week? >> in all the things that came
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up, the one thing we didn't talk about is the new explanation he provided for why comey was fired. >> oh, gosh, you're right. >> in the midst of the fox interview, he says, by the way, the reason that comey was fired is because he wouldn't say that trump was not under investigation. that under cuts everything that the white house has said about that. but what it does do is it echos what comey says in the memos. comey laying out. and while i now the stormy daniels thing is more salacious, that may actually cut more to the question of obstruction. >> and it's -- would you say that it's a little bit close tore what trump told lester holt where he said the russia investigation, julia, was involved, this russia thing. >> right. >> so, to michael's point, is rudy giuliani coming closer to that than -- because they obviously reversed and said, no, no, it has nothing do with that. >> giuliani tried to say under
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the president's powers he can fire whoever he wants. that wasn't under question. what was under question is intent. he really laid bare those intentions. the interview with lester holt trump said this russia thing had to go away, but it left a lot of ambiguity what exactly it was he had a problem with. it seems like james comey laid out t had to do with trump and russia. it wasn't that he was trying to protect how all of these other people who could be indicted who worked on his campaign. it was really him. he wanted to know that he would be saved by his owen fbi director. obviously that was something comey couldn't promise him. when the president wants giuliani to get his facts straight, i think it would be over that. it would also be over these payments to women. now we see him coming out today creating more damage saying there could be other payments, which i think is just more bread crumbs for all of us to go follow. >> right. we haven't even touched on that, the additional potential payments to other women. i mean, i feel like that opens an entire can of worms that -- how on earth does the president
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still -- >> absolutely. so rudy giuliani said there could be other payments to women. he also seemed to discount this $130,000 payment to stormy daniels as, oh, it's not that much money. this is the kind of thing that happens all the time. >> if it had been millions, maybe it would be a big deal. >> to a lot of americans, it's a pretty extraordinary circumstance to payoff this adult film actress. so, giuliani is just talking about a different world that people can't relate to. >> i think we have the sound we were talking about rudy giuliani talking about additional payments. let's take a look. >> did michael cohen make payments to other women for the president? >> i have no knowledge of that, but i would think if it was necessary, yes. there were other things involved that had nothing to do with stormy daniels. >> i'm just going to skip over the part where we have to think about why it would be necessary to payoff additional women. but michael schmidt, what does this mean in the context of this investigation? do we -- we don't seem to know that there were necessarily any other payments, but that does
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seem like more for mueller to dig into. >> well, one of the issues that the trump legal team has had and cohen's legal team is understanding what was actually in the documents that were taken from cohen's office. and i think that at least in the week or so after the raid in new york, the lawyers didn't feel like they were getting a fair idea from the clients about what actually is in these things. they were acknowledging that they were more concerned about the new york investigation than they were mueller's investigation because they had no idea what was actually in there. and simply the idea of the years and years of donald trump, you know, deals and such with his personal lawyer, nothing good could come out of it. now they have a better idea of it because the government has given them copies of it to examine. but obviously we don't know yet. >> right. let's talk for a second, too, ken, your colleagues at "the new york times" had a fascinating story, profile almost of michael cohen and his potential criminal
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ties, ties to the russian mob, his taxi business that, you know, scaled onto -- into questionable loans for various real estate deals. i mean, this guy, i think there was somebody quoted in the story who came from a mainstream bank, i believe it was pnc who basically said, this is the kind of guy we wouldn't want to touch. and that yet this is the person who is defending donald trump. >> yeah, and it provides a real window into trump's world of real estate and business. this is a guy who, yes, he's involved in all these sort of disparate ventures, but the one thing that you cannot do is extricate them from trump. he has been in trump's world. and one of the closest people to donald trump on the business side personally on the legal size, for decades, and that is something that poses serious problems for trump, both in terms of questions about his loyalty ongoing and whether he might provide -- he might flip and provide information, and
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also what they mayeda find about trump's business as they, the prosecutors and the fbi try to sort through cohen's businesses. >> something i think gets left out of the comments about payments to women. $130,000 is nothing to trump. for someone running for office is serious on its own. the fact other women came up that giuliani knows about, that says something about the relationship between giuliani and trump. giuliani and trump, they had paid these women off and never brought it up to trump's attention, that shows this is a recurring pattern. i mean, that shouldn't be the thing that his lawyer should be putting out there, talking about giuliani, saying this was a common thing. and he might not know about it. so, i think that while the money might seem like not that big of a deal, you would want to know about those allegations, even if they're baseless, especially if you're in politics and you're putting yourself out there in the public sphere. >> yeah, and, joyce vance, rudy
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giuliani brought this up in the beginning because he wanted to argue this wasn't a violation of campaign finance law, regardless of how it was handled that wasn't the problem. did he get that right in your view? >> he got it wrong and he got it wrong in multiple ways. it was a lot like watching a ping-pong match where he was hitting the ball back and forth. and wildly hit ing it off the table and it would careen around the walls. the latest incarnation we heard was on fox with judge jeannine where he said it wasn't a donation because he was just trying to spare the family from disgrace. but even if it was a donation, it doesn't matter because he paid it back. and that's just not the law. this is made so close in time to the campaign, there is now a lot of evidence that the payment was made in an effort to influence the outcome of the election. and there's a lot of additional information to come out here. but the bottom line legally is that if it was willful and
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knowingly made, this payment, in an effort to influence the election, it could well be into criminal territory as opposed to just an administrative campaign finance violation. >> ken vogel, do you agree with that? we've had conversations before on this show where you've sadie essentially if this has to do with the fec forget it, it's not going anywhere. >> if there is a willful and knowing violation that would be in the fec's purview. that would be a federal law enforcement matter to be handled by the d.o.j. and could carry criminal sanctions. i am skeptical where i find the case has been made, i think exaggerated to the degree where it's slam dunk. was it within proximity of the election and just because rudy giuliani says can you imagine if this came out in the last debate, that proves this payment was made to influence the election. there are pretty strict standards to show that's something -- legal standards that are required to be proven
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to show something was made -- that a payment was made to influence a federal or any election. and i don't think that rudy saying that meets that standard. potentially, again, with the documents that were seized from michael cohen's office we might see something that gets close tore that standard. as of now i'm unconvinced. >> phil rucker -- yes, joyce, go ahead. >> if i could interject on that, i would agree it's far from a slam dunk. these sort of cases never are. one thing we know is the southern district of new york had probable cause to pursue this allegation of a campaign finance violation when they got the search warrant. so that tells us there was something there that let the judge proceed forward with this. far from a slam dunk, but definitely worth following up on. >> phil, i was going to ask you, right now more broadly as concerns michael cone, the case, how they're making these decisions. are they operating under the assumption that co-he enhen is cooperating with prosecutors?
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>> they are operating under the fear he could cooperate with prosecutors. i don't think they've concluded he is cooperating. >> they are concerned that could end up happening ultimately and there is danger for the president in that circumstance. remember, the people -- the other lawyers trying to help advise the president on the russia matter, the advisors in the white house helping him manage the political fallout, don't know the full extent of what was seized in those raids on cohen's office and hotel room and place of living. and they don't know what kind of documents are there. they don't know what other women might have been paid off. they don't know what other financial arrangements there may be records for that the federal investigators now have. there is a lot of unknown and they are operating under a fear things could be very bad. >> very bad very quickly. it is sunday school tonight on "kasie d.c." we will have the parable of the house chaplain later on this hour. plus how the midterms could impact robert mueller. and did gina haas pel consider
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withdrawal her bid for cia director as recently as this friday? jeremy bash just spoke with gina haspel herself. "kasie d.c." back after this. more? they've been saving folks money for over 75 years. a company you can trust. geico even helped us with homeowners insurance. more sounds great. gotta love more... right, honey? yeah! geico. expect great savings and a whole lot more. there areand the best.s... we like cage free, and which ones are more flavorful? only eggland's best. we prefer organic, and which have more vitamins and less saturated fat? only eggland's best. better taste, better nutrition, better eggs.
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is michael cohen still the president's attorney? >> no, of course not. it would be a conflict right now for him to be the president's attorney. >> little bit of news there this morning from rudy giuliani. one of our eagle eye producers as of today twitter's linked in
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profiles still read personal attorney to president donald j. trump. meanwhile, the president and white house staff have sought to dismiss the special counsel's investigation as a witch hunt while also saying this about agreeing to an interview with robert mueller's team. >> i would love to speak, i would love to. nobody wants to speak more than me. in fact, against my lawyers because most lawyers say never speak with anything. i have to find that we're going to be treated fairly because everybody sees it now and it is a pure witch hunt. right now it's a pure witch hunt. why don't we have republicans looking also? why aren't we having republican people doing what all these democrats are doing? it is a very unfair thing. if i thought it was fair, i would override my lawyers. >> the question is which lawyer is he talking about? >> are you confident the president will not take the 5th in this case? >> oh, how could i ever be
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confident of that? when i'm facing a situation with the president and all the other lawyers are, which every lawyer in america thinks he would be a fool to testify, i have a client who wants to testify. please, don't -- he said it yesterday. jay and i said to ourselves, my goodness, you know, i hope we get a chance to tell him the risks that he's taking. so he may testify. and we may actually work things out with bob mueller. >> also this week ty cobb announced his retirement. while the president has time and again accused the special counsel of leaking questions to "the new york times," cobb has publicly struck a more genial tone in hopes the president will do an interview with him. >> do you think bob mueller leaked the list or his team -- >> absolutely not. i have no doubt that he did not. >> who do you think did it? where would it come from? >> you know, i don't want to speculate on that. i think it's very difficult to see who, if anybody, benefits
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from the leak of that other than people who have been trying to sabotage the possibility of an interview and/or generate chaos around here. >> joyce vance, it sounds to me like ty cobb is essentially accusing the other members of the legal team trying to convince the president via the press not to do an interview. >> it sure sounds that way. he comes up with the most plausible reason the list could have been leaked. what we take away from this, it's not actually mueller's questions written down and handed over to the president. it was really more a series of notes taken by trump's own lawyers and, therefore, it couldn't have been leaked by mueller's team even if they had a penchant for leaks, which we know that they don't. what you have to think about, this list leaking and the controversy that's come afterward and rudy giuliani coming onto the president's legal team with this bold
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pronouncement, he would resolve everything with mueller, he would negotiate an end to the investigation in the next couple of weeks. and now here we are two weeks later and that's just not how it's playing out. this is yet again the legal team constantly shifting their stories with the president about how long it will take this to resolve. >> michael schmidt, this was your story about the questions about the mueller interview. where does this all stand now? i mean, it does seem as though the president seems to go back and forth on exactly what he wants to do here. >> well, the president thinks he can explain anything to anyone, and he can go in there to mueller and do that. i think that there are deep concerns that the president doesn't even have the ability to concentrate enough to prepare for it. this is an interview where even the slightest mistake can result in a huge problem. if we've seen anything about mueller so far that we know about his prosecution decisions, it's that they have no time for folks that were not forthcoming in their interviews and they
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will bring them up and charge them with lying to federal authorities. the president puts himself in extremely difficult position, especially the president being someone who is not always great on the facts. and is someone -- >> to put it mildly perhaps. >> does not have a high rate of factualness. so, you now, these are very complicated things. the questions are getting into very -- what was the president thinking, what were his intentions. i didn't know -- i had a chance to sit with the president twice and he will go in so many different directions so quickly, i don't know if he can be disciplined enough to stay through extensive questioning. >> ken? >> the president's fear which is being fed both by some of the lawyers on the team who have a more confrontational approach than ty cobb, rudy giuliani we heard, jay sekulow, don mcgahn who have urged him to be more kaurk cautious in providing documents,
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testimony to mueller's team. one of the concerns they and others who are trump allies who have been interviewed by mueller's team have is they are asking questions that are -- they already know the answers to as an effort to sort of trip them up. the so-called perjury trap we hear so much. we just heard michael caputo former campaign advisor to trump, former new york director of the campaign, and then paul manafort brought him in to trump tower during the campaign. he went in to mueller's team and described it as a proctology exam by a large hand doctor and essentially was signaling on tv they were trying to trip him up by asking questions they already knew the answer to and suggesting trump himself would find himself in similar peril being baited essentially to lie. >> julie ainsley, we were talking before the break about what happens if the president doesn't do the interview? >> right. >> and he has to get subpoenaed. >> right now we're all talking
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about this over the interview. we know robert mueller has threaten today subpoena him in conversations with his lawyers, subpoena him to go before a grand jury. what it sounds like from what giuliani was sailing today he doesn't know. the president could decide not to comply with the subpoena for a grand jury. that would hut him in uncharted territory. there have been three presidents who have been subpoenaed in history. this goes back to thomas jefferson. he first declined to comply, then he did ultimately give over some documents. nixon, of course, was given a subpoena. he resigned before that ever came to a head. and then bill clinton was subpoenaed and did ultimately testify. if the president decides to run that all the way up and does not comply with the subpoena, we're looking at the supreme court having to weigh in. it could be a real constitutional crisisti, somethg we've never seen. let's not talk about the politics of what that would look like, what he's trying to hide if he refuses to testify. >> let's talk briefly about politics because there was a "wall street journal" story.
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joyce vance, get to you weigh in on this. looking at facing the midterm elections that robert mueller has to start thinking about the timing of any decisions, announcements, indictments, things like that because of ramifications. clearly there would be democrats angry with that similar to what happened with james comey and hillary clinton before the 2016 election. what does mueller have to think about in this context? >> d.o.j. has a long-standing policy of ensuring that its investigations and prosecutions don't interfere with the political process. so, everything that jim comey did really flew in the face of that. that's why it was so controversial and that was the conduct that led deputy attorney general rosenstein to weigh in and say that he had grossly violated d.o.j. policy. i would expect mueller to be much more closely to the tra s traditional practice, not bringing any indictments any closer than 60 days to the
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investigation. so, that gives him a hard stop for indictments, perhaps for sending a report up to the hill. we've seen him work at a quick pace. perhaps he's trying to meet that deadline. >> joyce vance, michael submit, did you both so much for your time tonight. i really appreciate it. just ahead, gina haspel was always going to face a difficult confirmation, but new reporting may make it even harder. we're back after this. but not before a little more rudy. >> the hillary clinton treatment is what i'm looking for. no under oath, only a q & a and we get the questions in advance and they write the report two weeks before. nice, nice, nice. poor little hillary, we have to be nice to her. r tonight in an unreasonably narrow fast food drive thru lane. but what a powerful life lesson. and don't worry i have everything handled. i already spoke to our allstate agent, and i know that we have accident forgiveness. which is so smart on your guy's part.
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ci ericsson director nominee gina haspel set to face lawmakers in her confirmation hearing on wednesday. but nbc news has learned that on friday haspel broached the idea of withdrawal her nomination. her reasoning, concerns that reopening the debate over brutal interrogations could damage the spy agency. the washington post was first to report this story. sources also tell nbc news that on friday white house officials went to her office at cia headquarters to encourage her to remain the nominee. and it sounds like, julia ainsley, that was a pretty frantic meeting, these white house officials raced out to langley and sadie essentially, hey, we actually do have your back. >> yeah, apparently that message wasn't communicated when she
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first met with them at the white house on friday where she wanted to withdraw. it had to be a subsequent meeting where you have marc short and sarah sanders rushing to langley to say please stay in the game. i think this is an administration where they have had so many people drop out. they've had so much turnover. this is not something they need right now. so they needed to show that she had that support. but i think she was coming from a place of not just wanting to drag her own name through all of this, but the cia. she doesn't want to bring up the issue of water boarding again. they thought they had moved away from that and they don't want to get into a lot of the questions about their interrogation programs that will inevitably come up in any hearing on gina haspel. >> phil rucker, what was the kind of view, it seems like in some of the reporting we've been doing there was a sense the white house wasn't doing the work it needed to do in defending gina haspel around this particular issue. is that the sense you get from your sources? >> yeah, initially that's certainly the case. the white house was so focused on mike pompeo who faced iraqi
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confirmation process for secretary of state. he was the top priority and they were sort of ignoring haspel for a while. now once pompeo got confirmed a little over a week ago the white house got into gear to help haspel. there was a messaging effort this past week to try to promote her nomination. they did a conference call at the white house. you've seen sarah sanders and other white house aides publicly touting her, first woman in cia history potentially and making a big push out of that. initially they were not doing the spade work required to smooth that process on the hill. >> right. look, there is a very narrow, ken vogel, window here. or narrow vote count for gina haspel for her nomination. rand paul has been opposed to these programs. he seemed opposed to pompeo until all of a sudden he wasn't any more. so that's a big question. john mccain missing from the senate. he's always been somebody who is a very prominent voice speaking out against these programs, but of course he's not in washington to vote on this.
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what's the path here? >> it is important to note that this is not a partisan issue. this issue of enhanced interrogation tick 'niques which critics call torture, we've seen multiple raise concerns over the years when they happened, when they were first revealed. and subsequently they see it as a black mark, as do many democrats, on the cia, reamlly n the united states of america as a whole. you point out they can't afford to lose many republicans and there are already some suspects who might find this to be a tricky vote or might at least give them a hard time. and i think that, as to julia's point is really gina haspel's concern. obviously she wants to get confirmed or she wouldn't go through this process. it is more the ripping off, the reopening of the wound -- >> right. >> -- that was a real deeply divisive topic with the american intelligence community of enhanced interrogation.
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>> and that likely to be the subject of the hearing if in fact it does go forward. jeremy bash just spoke with gina haspel. he's going to join us live at the top of our next hour. join us for that. thank you so much for your time. i really appreciate it. just ahead we have states of play. a super tuesday of trump state primaries. the great steve kornacki joins us in fears republicans could blow a big opportunity in west virginia. our money right into the harbor. i'm gonna regret that. with new car replacement, if your brand new car gets totaled, liberty mutual will pay the entire value plus depreciation. liberty stands with you. liberty mutual insurance. no one thought much of itm at all.l people said it just made a mess until exxonmobil scientists put it to the test. they thought someday it could become fuel and power our cars wouldn't that be cool? and that's why exxonmobil scientists think it's
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>> that's about as good as the polling gets in west virginia these days. four states that went for president trump all holding primaries on tuesday. joining me now, nbc news political reporter ali, polster and president of bellwether research, christine mathews. and msnbc's the great steve kornacki. steve, i want to start with you. i'm so excited to have the big board on "kasie d.c." what are we looking at on tuesday? >> well, we're looking at a lot. let's get the count down going, kasie. 48 hours from now we'll get a lot of results. you mentioned west virginia, four states with primaries on tuesday. let's start in west virginia. you just had trump there crowd sourcing the poll. this is the most recent poll we got out of this republican primary in west virginia. the key name here, the one getting most attention is don blankenship. very controversial. did time in prison because of that coal mining tragedy. coal mine that he owned. there is some reporting this weekend that blankenship in some private polling may be moving up, may have a chance to win.
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of course, the republican establishment, they are trying to stop a mitch mcconnell, those folks, they think that's political suicide for republicans to nominate blankenship so we will see. look, on paper the winner of this primary has a golden opportunity because, of course, west virginia, this was the mother of all trump states in 2016. donald trump won west virginia by 42 points and yet it is represented by a democrat, joe manchin in the senate. mansion up for reelection. so republicans, this really at or near the top of their list when they talk about seats they think they can flip to hang onto that senate majority. a very vulnerable democrat there. we'll see if that, if blankenship does get competitive tuesday night, though, what would that do to scramble potentially the general election? that is a big question on tuesday. not the only state with that kind of dynamic, though, where you have a primary on tuesday. joe donley, democratic senator from indiana, he's up, republicans picking a nominee in a state that trump won by 19 points in 2016. so, again, on paper for
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republicans, a big pickup opportunity. this is one of the big stories obviously on tuesday and really this year. republicans trying to hang onto the senate. what they'd like to do is knock off a couple of these. these are the ten, count them, ten democrats who are up this year in states that donald trump won. so, on paper, if republicans could pick off two, three of these, boy that senate majority becomes very difficult for democrats to break even if they got a good year nationally. so, these are the most vulnerable. the one thing we would add, though, is this. in a normal election year, all of these democratic senators you're seeing would be vulnerable in these states. but this dynamic, representing a state that was won by a president of the other party, then being up in a midterm election. this has been a favorable -- that wasn't supposed to happen. this has been a favorable combination, actually, for these vulnerable incumbents going back the last generation. call them senators in hostile states.
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senators that have been up in mid terms in states that a president of the other party had just won, and yet look at this. you add these up. look at all those wins up there. the incumbents are 21 and 3 in this scenario. the donleys, the manchin's, the mck mccaskills. they are 21 and 3. when the tide moves against the white house it can prop up incumbents, kasie, who might otherwise be doomed. >> that is a fascinating point, steve. i love seeing it laid out that way. christine mathews, you've been nodding along as steve has been walking through all of this. what do you think are the most important things we should be watching for on tuesday night across the map, but also specifically in indiana where you've done a lot of work? >> right. so, there's been virtually no public polling done in indiana. so, we have no idea who is likely to win the primary. i think that at this point bron, the businessman looks like he has the momentum.
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the chatter in the state is he is probably in the lead. >> and this, of course, just to give our viewers a little bit of context, the republican primary we thought was between two members of the house that got really nasty, and we had this third businessman come up out of nowhere. >> right. he spent the most money. he had some creative ads. he carried around cardboard cut outs basically saying they're interchangeable. they're creatures of d.c. and i'm the guy who is not. and the ads have been actually really creative and he spent the most money. he closed positive. his last tv spot was positive and he basically said, i'm not going to owe anything to anyone, which is kind of a trumpian line, you know. i'm an independent business guy. i'm not part of the inner circle, so i feel like he feels confident. he closed positive. todd rakita close ed in kind of a fighter fashion which is kind of how he has approached the whole primary. >> i'm interested to see if maybe the lesson we're going to take from that is it's not
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enough just to run with the president, you have to actually be a candidate who is like the president in personality and approach. i want to, though, take a move back to west virginia because our allie batally was on the ground. >> reporter: republicans are licking their chops. >> joe manchin has not helped us in this stuff. >> reporter: in the waning days of republican primaries gop hopefuls are talking less about manchin. >> it is the pill pushers and patrick has represented those people for years and made millions. >> reporter: and more about each other. >> did your mom ever tell you a that you should wash your mouth out with soap with those lies? >> reporter: attorney general patrick morrissy and jenkins are locked in a nasty fight over coal jobs, opioids and who supported trump first. both have been accused of
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stretching the truth. >> he refused to support trump over hillary. >> reporter: that ad earned jenkins criticism for doctoring a photo to look like moriy and hillary clinton. >> any man who would fake a handshake and photo shop that in and imply he was shaking hands with hillary clinton, that person is a liar. >> you know what, patrick morrissy has been mischaracterizing and photo shopping in pictures with hillary clinton buttons on me and things that just simply never existed. that ad represents exactly what patrick morrissy was doing. >> reporter: but a third figure also looms large in this race. >> i don't know any politician supporting me so that should tell you something. >> reporter: an insurgent candidate known best as the ceo of massey energy. don blankenship spent a year in prison after a coal mine explosion left 29 of his miners dead. >> it is incredible. they sent me to prison for a misdemeanor. it was clear from the beginning
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to the end it was a fake prosecution. >> reporter: blankenship's 2.3 million in spending has been as much telling his side of the story as it's been about politics. does the time he spent in prison bother you at all? >> not really. no. >> doesn't bother me one bit. don blankenship was railroaded. >> reporter: mitch mcconnell to donald trump's own son don junior. he asked voters to not vote for blankenship. you think don junior is misled? >> they're all mislead. >> reporter: blankenship blames mcconnell who's ads have blanketed him. in response. >> mitch mcconnell has created millions of jobs for china people. his china people are given him tens of millions of dollars. i will beat and dismiss mitch. >> people are offended. >> they shouldn't be.
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i'm a west virginia person. you're an nbc person. in order to have a racist statement, you have to mention a race or derogatory comment about a race. >> don tells it like it is. just like trump did. and that's why he's getting support in this state. >> absolutely unreal. republicans had thought that they had successfully pushed blankenship to the edges of this race and that they were going to end up with morrissy or jenkins, one of the two. i would argue it would be more generic republicans on the ballot. what did you find? do you think blankenship is having a late surge based on your reporting? >> it sounds that way. over the course of the past 48 hours, most of the folks that i've talked to on both sides of this race have said that it's pretty much a mess at this point and they think that's really because blankenship is seeing a surge, but jenkins is also seeing his support start sliding. a lot of that has to do with the fox debate that happened on tuesday in morgan town where jenkins and morrissy basically got on the stage and they tried to ignore blankenship and he was able to run the way he wanted to
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run against mcconnell as the outsider, as the businessman. that worked. >> did you talk to any voters about joe manchin, the incumbent? do they seem to think as though he's still somebody that is of them, representing them, kind o celebrity in a way? or have they started to believe the president who said that manchin hasn't been helpful? >> i think you're hearing both of those things, i mean, if you talk to people who are still democrats in that state, a lot of the coal miners i talk to especially the union guy s believe manchin is somebody who can bring home the bacon and constituent services are going to win the day for them. i did find one woman at the blankenship event, undecided, registered republican, who voted for manchin several times before who said i don't like his stance anymore. he has gotten too far away against the president, against the things he used to run on and stand for here. she couldn't do it anymore. you're hearing it both ways. >> great reporting, ali. if they do manage to actually give this nomination to blankenship, i wouldn't want to be mitch mcconnell in that
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particular case. steve kornacki, since we're doing the whiparound on the map, let's take a look at ohio, a key place on tuesday. >> ohio, too, a gubernatorial primary, dennis kucinich. could he pull off an upset in one race i want to highlight in ohio, the setup for the next big special election. it is in the 12th district of ohio. republican, he's resigned. special election, the primary, is this tuesday. on the republican side, house freedom caucus versus establishment dynamic. remember, this is the 12th district in ohio, not far from the 18th district in pennsylvania where democrats just pulled that big upset off. 18th in pennsylvania, trump had won that by 20 points, trump's margin in the 12th district of ohio was only 11. that one's coming in august. the special election, but the primary's tuesday. we're going to keep an eye on that, too kasie. >> steve, thanks so much. christine, last word to you, what do you think is something a dynamic you're seeing in your polling that's not being covered or you think we should be paying close attention to heading into
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these midterms? >> oh, that's a great question. one of the things that i think is happening with these republican primaries, we're focusing a lot on who's going to win the republican primary. what they've had to do is go so trump, trumpier, trumpiest, that they're going to have trouble in the generals. one of the things i was thinking about in indiana, for example, with joe donnolly, on paper he looks somewhat vulnerable. i don't think in reality he is. he's got several key nuggets comining out of the primary he n work with. for example, all of them favor arming teachers. that's something that's going to be really, really difficult for whoever comes out of the primary to talk about with moms and teachers and suburban women into the general election. so i think some of these democrat incumbents who are in these deep red states like indiana and like ohio, i think they may be in better shape. >> or better shape than we think. that's a great point. steve kornacki, ali, thank you both so much for all that reporting. we will be watching you on tuesday night here on msnbc. as the results roll in.
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christine matthews, thank you for your insights as well. "k.c. d.c." back right after this. for just $15.99. you can enjoy the classics you love, along with new creations like savory crab-topped shrimp, decadent parmesan truffle shrimp scampi, and creamy shrimp and lobster pasta. your perfect shrimp plate is just waiting to be discovered. but shrimp trios won't last, so get to red lobster today. and get your red lobster fix with our weekday lunch starting at $7.99.
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[ drum roll ] ...emily lapier from ames, iowa. this is emily's third nomination and first win.,! um, first of all, to my fellow nominees, it is an honor sharing the road with you. and of course, to the progressive snapshot app for giving good drivers the discounts -- no, i have to say it -- for giving good drivers the discounts they deserve. safe driving! stormy? this is michael cohen. are you alone? >> yes. >> what are you wearing? >> excuse me? >> michael, i can take it from here. >> okay. as your attorney, i highly advise against you -- >> so, what up, girl?
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>> hello, donald. >> come on, stormy. stop making such a big deal about this. everyone knows it's just an act. >> i work in adult films, we're not really known for our acting. >> that was "saturday night live" last night. and it comes as rudy giuliani tells nbc news peter alexander he plans on seizing on that cameo by stormy daniels and that it shows, quote, she and her lawyer do not have a meritorious claim. another hour of "k.c. d.c." just ahead, we're going to have an in-depth look at jina hapsel who reportedly asked to pull her nomination for cia director less than a week ahead of her confirmation hearing. plus an in-depth look at all of mitt romney's favorite types of meat. we're back after this. bill. well, that seems fair. we didn't use it. wish we got money back on gym memberships. get money back hilarious. with claim-free rewards. switching to allstate is worth it. i thought i was managing my moderate
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welcome back to "kasie d.c." i'm kasie hunt. we want to begin this hour with new revelations surrounding president trump's pick to be the next cia director. gina haspel. nbc news learned on friday haspel broached the idea of withdrawing her nomination, the reasoning, concerns re-opening the debate over brutal interrogations could damage the spy agency. sources also tell nbc news that on friday white house officials went to her office at cia headquarters to encourage her to remain the nominee. joining me this hour, nbc
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intelligence and national security reporter ken dilanian, politics editor for the daily beast and msnbc contributor sam stein, former chief of staff for cia and department of defense, jeremy bash, former krrkts eer director john mclaughlin. from the white house, correspondent jeff bennett. thank you all for being here. jeremy bash, i want to start with you, as i understand it you just spoke to gina haspel, nominee to be the director of the cia. >> going full steam ahead, she's not withdrawing her nomination. she believes her experience 33 years at the cia mostly undercover, seven overseas tours, that she brings exactly the right kind of experience that the nation needs right now. >> what was the concern that promised her to say, hey, if i need to withdraw, i will? i mean, why -- didn't she do damage to herself ahead of what was already going to be a tough day? >> maybe. i think there is -- there was concern, i think she broached it that, hey, if we're going do re-open some of the wounds from 2002, 2003, when 3 individuals in u.s. custody were
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waterboarded including khalid sheikh muhammad who beheaded the "wall street journal" reporter, if we're going to go back to these discussions, go back to those debates, that might harm cia as an institution. i think in her mode of really putting the agency before herself, she said, if it's going to harm cia, i don't need to be part of this. i think everyone around her said, no, you are the right person to do this, the white house bumped her up. she's going full steam ahead. >> what's the view from 1600 pennsylvania avenue on haspel's nomination? >> reporter: the president and gina haspel spoke over the weekend. sources who confirmed the reporting first by the "washington post" tell us the president has no intentions to replace her as the nominee. we're also told that the white house officials who are helping her with this confirmation process, they had one prep session today and they intend to have several more ahead of this senate intelligence committee hearing on wednesday, which as you well know, is expected to be fairly contentious, but already we've gotten an early sense of
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the white house strategy taking shape around this nomination. white house deputy press secretary rod shaw put out a statement earlier today, i'll read a part of it for you. he says this. "acting director haspel is a highly qualified nominee who's dedicated over three decades of service to her country. her nomination will be not be derailed by partisan critics who side with the aclu over the cia on how to keep the american people safe." combine that with the tweet that white house press secretary sarah sanders sent over the weekend, she called out democrats who support women, support national security, bullyet don't support haspel's nomination. see the tweet there. that, of course, was viewed as a dig at california senator dianne feinstein. the democrat who sits on the committee who as you know is facing a tough re-election bid in california. and who's getting a lot of pressure from those on the left to tank this nomination, kasie. >> geoff, thanks. there is still, of course, a lot we don't know about gina haspel's background.
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you may be just meeting her for the first time. we want to take you inside. here's ken dilanian's inside look at wow she's proven so controversial. >> reporter: a veteran spy, now emerging from the shadows. gina haspel is so little known that some web pages have featured the wrong image. for the last 15 month the, she's been the cia's deputy director. appearing occasionally in public. >> it is my profound honor. >> reporter: here giving a toast to a cia legend. but for years, she ran covert operations in places like ank a ankara. u.s. intelligence officials tell nbc news she secretly helped capture two terrorists who bombed american embassies in aftrica in 199 8, once shot at y iranians in an unnamed country. she speaks russian and has spied on the russians. cia veterans of all political stripes say her background is perfect for the job. >> that is what we do. is recruit spies, steal secrets and that makes her a uniquely qualified to lead the mission.
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>> reporter: but haspel faces opposition in congress over her role in a cia program that a senate investigation called torture. after 9/11, she was sent to thailand to run a secret cia prison. a black site. on her watch, cia interrogators waterboarded a terror suspect three times. a technique depicted in the movie "zero dark 30." a few years later she sent a cable with an order issued by her boss to shred all the videotapes of those brutal cia sessions. congress has now banned that kind of interrogation. but during the 2016 campaign, president trump put torture back on the table. >> don't tell me it doesn't work. torture works. okay, folks? >> reporter: official says haspel plans to tell senators at her confirmation hearing this week she'd resist if the president ordered the cia to torture. one former colleague says haspel would be willing to stand up to the president. >> she's got a spine of steel. i don't question that she can do that. >> reporter: but that's not enough for some senators who are angry that the cia has refused to declassify details of her
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work. >> that's one of the big problems that we have. >> great piece, ken. thank you for that introduction. let's -- i want to pick up on one point you made which is, you know, this president did go out on the campaign trail. put torture kind of back on the teenage and i remember being at a republican retreat, i guess it was in 2017, and this was one area where republican leaders were very quick to say, we're not going back there, this is not something that we want to do. but it seems like the subject is going to be revisited at length on wednesday. >> it is. and my reporting is that she is going to say, look, we are not going to go down this road again, it's against the law, we learned our lesson from this. that may mollify many democrats on the committee. it's not satisfying a lot of retired military officers, for example, including john mccain who was tortured in vietnam who say, look, it's sending the wrong message to elevate somebody who participated in any way in torture to be the head of the cia. to be clear, she wasn't an architect of this program, but she was the head, as i said in that piece, she went to run a black site where a terrorist was
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waterboarded and that -- a lot of bad stuff was done to that guy after he left her custody. but he's been examined by a psychiatrist who said he was one of the most damaged people that that man had ever looked at. this is a serious issue. questions are going to be asked about it. unfortunately, she's not going to be able to answer a lot of them. what she did including some of what i reported remains classified. she'll have to say, i'm sorry, senator, i can talk about it in the closed session -- >> but not in public. john mclaughlin, this agency you invested so much of your career in, is there danger in haspel's confirmation hearing? do you understand said, if this is something we don't revisit as a country, it would be better for the cia if i didn't go forward? >> i'm glad she's going to appear. it's also true, i understand why she might be reluctant. the danger is that all of this will be re-opened and the dabngr is it's not really well understood. you heard what ken said. it's difficult to get at the facts of what actually happened during this period of time. you also have to remind people
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this was an extraordinary moment in the history of the country. 3,000 people had died. we had reliable reporting that there was a second wave attack planned. bin laden had met with nuclear scientists. we had forensic evidence that al qaeda had an anthrax program under way in afghanistan. we found that after we went in. this is an extraordinary time, and this program that everyone is focused on is not well understood. it was not well examined in 2014 by the senate. that report is very controversial among people involved in many the program who look back at it and say all of that context is missing, and it exaggerates a lot of the things that people think were happening at that time. and also, i think you'll get into the whole issue of was this torture? i never heard a single cia officer say, never, do you think torture would work? we didn't think of this as torture back then because the
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highest legal authorities in the country had said that it wasn't. the cia -- >> president obama said it was torture, the senate report said it was torture. any reasonable person who reads what was godone to some of thes people may well conclude it was. >> cia doesn't get to pick its lawyers. that's an important point. >> yeah. i think ken's point is well taken. sam stein, weigh in here. >> the bush office counsel went out to essentially justify this legally which was part or the problem. i don't want to relitigate this. i think part of the problem here is we're looking at, in a weird frame to me, we keep talking about a danger in re-opening this debate about torture. what exactly is the danger? is the danger that we have never actually had this debate about what he did? the danger is we never went back and looked at it with clean sober eyes? you say the report in 2014 was missing context. let's add context to it, let's talk about this. because it -- >> it's a dark chapter in our history. i do think one of the errors barack obama made in 2009-2010, he said, you know what, i'm not going to look back, i'm going to
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go forward. and that has led us to a position where we are now, we're debating this still. we don't have clear answers, and gina haspel nomination has secrecy around it because we won't fundamentally have a conversation about what we did. >> actually i don't disagree that it's good to re-open it in that sense. as long as we don't re-open it as a prosecutorial matter. one of the things everyone forgets is that in the -- >> why not? you, yourself, think -- >> let me finish my point. >> you say nothing was done wrong. this was all aboveboard legally. the context is missing. why not? why not have that critical debate, if you feel very firm this is something that was justified, why not just have that prosecutorial debate? >> i don't disagree with that. i think everything should be on the table including, for example, during the obama administration, a veteran prosecutor, john durham, was asked to look at all this. >> that's true. >> he spent three years doing it. he had access to all the information about over 100 detainees and came away at the end of it and said, no prosecutable offenses here. >> jeremy bash --
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>> not only that, senate intelligence committee wrote a 0,000 page report, executive summary, 500 pages. >> i have not read all 6,000. >> read the executive summary, 500 pages? >> yes. >> we had an exhaustive debate. this happened 16 years ago. her nomination is about her 33-year career working in every tough spot in the world. mostly overseas, mostly undercover. she's the most qualified person to put up as a cia director in as long as any of us can remember. and more importantly, i'll say this as a democrat, someone who served in obama's administration at the cia and the defense department and was democratic chief counsel of the house intelligence committee, reviewing the tapes destruction issues and other issues, we want a career professional, a nonpartisan person, be running our intelligence agencies. he's precisely the kind of person we want in the age of trump. we don't want a political crony. we don't want someone who is a political or partisan pick. we want someone who is a professional. she's qualified. she happens also to be the first
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woman, that's not a reason to have her as director, but it is an attribute, and she is the most qualified person to be put up, so, yes, you can have a discussion about enhanced interrogation but, boy, we've had that discussion. >> jeremy bash, quickly before we go, what do you know, or what -- you may not be able to tell us much, the destruction of the tapes, the heart of the issue with gina haspel, what is missing from our debate right now? >> i investigated this issue when i was democratic chief counsel. she did not make the decision to destroy the tapes, in fact, one correction, ken, your piece, which was a terrific piece, by the way, she did not send the cable to the field to destroy the tapes. she drafted it. it was sent by her boss. she believed her boss, jose rodriguez, was going to get approval from the cia director before he released that cable and rodriguez did not get that approval. so she was not depicted on the tapes. she did not make the decision. so that's the record. we found that basically, what john durham found, which no laws were violated and basically nothing was done incorrectly. >> well, if the debate here at this table is any indication of
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what we're going to hear on wednesday at this hearing, i think gina haspel is in for a fiery -- >> this wasn't that fiery. this was friendly debate. still to come, john mccain has a few things to get off of his chest. plus, new reporting out from david fahrenholt of whether the president is really king of debt after all. "kasi d.c." back after this. (vo) what if we could go back? what if our car... could stop itself? in iihs front-end crash prevention testing, nobody beats the subaru impreza. not toyota. not honda. not ford. the subaru impreza. more than a car, it's a subaru. you wouldn't accept from any one else. so why accept it from your allergy pills? most pills don't finish the job because they don't relieve nasal congestion. flonase allergy relief is different. flonase relieves sneezing, itchy, watery eyes
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welcome back to "kasie d.c." cnbc is reporting robert mueller and his team are focusing intensely on president trump's longtime adviser roger stone.
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specifically, his interactions with trump campaign official, rick gates. stone is connected to both gates and paul manafort through his old lobbying firm, where manafort was a partner and gates, get this, was an intern. stone has also been under intense scrutiny for hinting at communications with wikileaks founder julian assange. >> you, roger stone, have said, i believe on multiple occasions, publicly, that you have a back channel to assange. correct? >> uh-huh. we just happen to have a mutual friend -- >> happened to have a mutual friend. >> yes. support of assange, had some connection. >> how aware of this is trump? have you discussed wikileaks with him? >> i have not. >> not once? >> not once. >> never, in none of your private conversations? >> not once. >> this new focus on the relationship between stone and gates comes as a judge overseeing paul manafort's case is expressing skepticism about the scope of robert muellemuell investigation. the president seized on those comments in a speech on friday.
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>> they have a headline, "judge in manafort's case says mueller's aim is to hurt trump." you believe that? it's called a witch hunt. a federal judge questioned special counsel robert mueller's authority to bring tax and bank fraud charges unrelated, unrelated, nobody knows that. everyone thinks, oh -- let me tell you, folks, we're all fighting battles. but i love fighting these battles. it's really -- >> makes me want to throw my scripts on the ground. stan -- >> very dramatically. >> sam stein, this judge in virginia that, you know, the manafort case split into two pieces here, part of it in federal court, part of it in front of this judge, manafort's lawyers have wanted to keep it here partly because this judge seems to now be expressing some sense that they just want to go after, in his words, the
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president, that they're not actually after getting manafort on money laundering and those charges. how much does this muddy the waters? >> depends where judge ellis ends up, obviously. there's obvious validity to it, they were trying to flip manafort. did not start out as something looking into manafort's finances, whether he committed bank fraud, if me violated foreign lobbying laws. that being said, mueller does have, if you look at his -- the special counsel's dictum, whatever you want to call it, he has a fair amount of purview and can do these things. ellis apparently has a reputation for being a tough questioner, ultimately, siding with federal prosecutors, the suspicion is that will be the case. but just to backtrack a second, this morning rudy giuliani was on tv saying, you know, collusion is -- it's off the table, no one's talking about collusion anymore. if they are looking into roger stone and rick gates and wikileaks, that is -- that is the heart of the collusion case. >> right. >> what we saw with michael caputo coming out of anner be n
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interview is an intense focus on the russia nexus. collusion is off the table, they talk about it as if it is but it clearly is not off the table. the manafort thing is a related issue, somewhat of a side issue, collusion is still there as a focus for the special counsel's office. >> ken dilanian, you were at this hearing, you agree on sam stein's assessment? >> judge ellis, i'm not sure he realize how his comments would reverbera reverberate. he came in there to make a legal point expressing skepticism with the special counsel, what he called unfettered power and to speak the truth, you want to flip him against donald trump. we all know that's true. the special counsel did not admit that in court, but this judge, you know, suggested that manafort charges are not related to mueller's, you know, mandate to investigate russia collusion, but at the end of the day, the law seems to be on mueller's side on this. the regs are pretty clear, he can investigate any matter arising out of his larger mandate, and this judge has a
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reputation of batting the government around like a cat with a toy and ruling in the government's favor. >> essentially putting on a show saying, oh, you got this problem, that problem, that problem, actually i'm going to say at the end of the day that you're right. >> yeah, that's what a lot of legal observers believe will happen. >> jeremy bash, what's this collusion question and to kind of back up to where we started which is paul manafort, julian assange, rick gates, yooucu kno what happened to the democrats, the president getting up there and saying let's read all of hillary clinton hacked e-mails, i want to see all of these things. how much there, there, do you think there is? >> one of the reasons i don't like the word, collusion, because the president keeps saying no collusion, it conjures up the image of the president, vladimir putin, whispering to each other together constantly all day, every day during the campaign. we know that didn't happen. however, there my have been a conspiracy to violate federal election law. that conspiracy could entame te trump tower meeting with a russian government delegation came to -- it could have been
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the connections between roger stone, trump's longtime political confidant, and agent of the russian federation, julian assange and wikileaks. could have been the papadopoulos meeting with a russian agent, could have been other connections between other trump campaign officials and russian officials. so if you put it all together, it looks like a conspiracy to violate the federal election law. >> john mclaughlin, can i ask you kind of the broader question of one thing that we've talked a little bit about is the idea that perhaps these people were trying to be -- the russians were essentially recruiting them, this was, you know, what we're seeing here is russian spy craft, an attempt to turn these operatives. >> that's absolutely what we're seeing, kasie, absolutely what we're seeing. in fact, when i look back at the last week or so, one of the key things that happened is this lawyer who was at the trump tower meeting. >> right. >> acknowledged she had a relationship of some sort with the prosecutor in moscow. if you look back at the providence of that meeting, that's where it started. the prosecutor in moscow gave
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information to the industrialist in moscow who had done business with trump, it's a long dpli complicated story. then to the son, then to promoter and then to donald trump jr. >> right. >> it's classic russian stuff. in other words, there are so many people in that pipeline that you get two things out of it, you get confusion, took us a long time to figure that out. number two, you get plausible denial. number three, the russians get a down payment because donald trump jr. took the bait. when they offered dirt on hillary, he said yes. if that had never been discovered, if the press had r never picked it up and two years from now russia wanted something from the trump administration, they have what's called kompromat, have an e-mail in which donald trump jr. "a" says i'm game, and "b" did not notify the fbi. >> so maybe the press saved don jr. from later headaches. >> i think -- >> or perhaps the country. john mclaughlin, jeremy bash,
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ken dilanian, thank you all so much for an interesting discussion tonight. still to come, when he was a developer, donald trump was the self-proclaimed king of debt. why did he pay for some projects in cash in recent years? we'll dive into brand-new reporting from david fahrenthold still to come. first another whiplash week in washington and it started so quietly. "kasie d.c." back after this. >> the white house is keeping ronny jackson on the job. >> president trump is going to take questions from the president of nigeria. >> breaking news here. stormy daniels is suing donald trump for defamation. >> we come on the air with breaking news. >> on kelly. he's referred to trump as an idiot multiple times. >> we have breaking news. >> mueller has dozens of inquiries for trump. >> 49 questions that special counsel robert mueller has recently provided. >> we have breaking news this hour. >> president trump's longtime doctor -- >> bornstein says his office was raided by three men.
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>> breaking news from the woe "washington post." >> mueller raised the possibility of a presidential subpoena. >> we do have some breaking news. >> another member of president trump's legal team is out. >> attorney ty cobb is out and emmet flood is in. >> subpoenas have on issued now for any video and audio recordings from "the apprentice." >> a stunning admission from rudy giuliani. >> the president's reimbursed michael cohen for the $130,000. >> special counsel mueller's team just filed a request for 70 blank subpoenas. >> the house shchaplain rescind his resignation. >> feds are monitoring michael cohen's phones. >> president trump is set to teenage the stage at the nra conventi convention. he would love to go to talk with robert mueller. >> epa chief scott pruitt is facing new scrutiny again. >> former mayor says there's, "there is no campaign violation." >> he'll get his facts straight. he's a great guy. >> wow.
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welcome back. senator john mccain does not want president trump at his funeral. that's just one of the details included in a new piece by
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jonathan martin in "the new york times." it's a snapshot of the senator battling brain cancer as he shares memories and regrets with visitors in arizona. among them, his former senate colleague joe biden, who mccain urged not to get out of politics. there are some other interesting revelations out of the piece. including mccain expressing regret for not choosing joe lieberman as his presidential running mate in 2008. mccain's memoir comes out othis month. in it he writes this about president trump, quote the appearance of toughness or reality show fax facsimile of toughness matters more than any of our values. flattery secures his friendship, criticism his enmity. clearly from someone who's led one of the most courageous public lives that we've seen. >> yeah, first of all, read the piece that jonathan wrote. >> do. >> i read it twice. it was just -- it's a moving snapshot of what is the swan
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song solof this man's life, a difficult one at that. reconciling his lot in life. decisions he made. a few major regrets he had. also what his legacy will be. and, you know, i left it thinking to myself that, you know, mccain has managed to tick off all the people in his life. >> he's not exactly -- i mean, he's -- he's got a sharp personality. >> he's loved but he's also bemoaned. he -- liberals always want more of him, conservatives always hated him. he kind of straddled a weird part of politics for a while. but there are very few people like him. >> yeah. >> and certainly there are very few people remaining who are like him. giant personalities -- huge personalities. >> that's one thing that really has struck me, you know, over the course of the last ten years when i first started covering congress. there were people, figures of incredible stature in both parties. ted kennedy. john mccain. even -- >> people who understood, like,
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political drama as sort of a type of capital that you could use. so the kennedys, but even lesser known people like a chris dodd type who understood moments and the power of speeches and imagery. and nowadays, i don't want to get all sentimental, it's just a different politics. there are not those types of people who use that type of dramatic moment to move things. for mccain, it was an amazing thing to see. also led him down very weird paths. and he doesn't say he regrets picking sarah palin, what he says is he regrets not picking joe lieberman. but that -- the choice of sarah palin was in a way an amazing illustration of his penchant for drama. >> right. >> of rolling those dice. pausing his campaign when the market crashed in 2008. things people would not normally do, he decided, you know what, i don't fear the drama, i embrace it. that made him very different, unique, often hated but often beloved figure in washington, d.c. >> a lot of people who saw those moments as contrarian to kind of
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his greater vision or the man that they thought, liberals in particular, that they wanted him to be. but his call, i think, for civility, one he is making publicly and privately, worth paying attention to. >> yeah. coming up, before he was president, donald trump called himself the king of debt. new reporting from the "washington post" shines a light on how the president grew his real estate empire. alright, i brought in new max protein give you the protein you need with less of the sugar you don't. i'll take that. [cheers] 30 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar.
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♪ big jim, he's got you covered ♪ ♪ great big jim, there ain't no other ♪ -so, this is covered, right? -yes, ma'am. take care of it for you right now. giddyup! hi! this is jamie. we need some help. for years, president trump dubbed himself the king of debt.
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but a new "washington post" deep dive shows over the last decade more of the trump organizations' purchases came in cash. the "post" writes, "in the nine years before he ran for president, donald trump's companies spent more than $400 million in cash on new properties including 14 transactions paid for in full without borrowing from banks during a buying binge that defied real estate practices and trump's own history as the self-described king of debt." joining me now one of the authors of the story, pulitzer prize winning political reporter for "washington post" and msnbc political analyst david fahrenthold. thank you so much for being here. i'm sort of going to steal sam stein's off-camera questions. the thing you don't say out loud is this potentially wreaks of money laundering. i know the report doesn't go that far. put this in context for people, why is this such a big deal? >> well, it's a big deal because nobody does this, right?
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nobody buys giant golf courses. we're talking about in these cases golf courses that cost $80 million for just 2 of them and lose money year after year, requiring more money to put in. moeb b nobody buys that thing in cash. it's risky to sink your cash into something. >> you borrow it from the bank, you spread the risk around. >> get co-investors, you borrow it from a bank, this is what trump did his whole life until he started doing it totally differently in 2006. the question was why would you defee something that seemed to be at the core of his identity as a developer? the answer from trump, they felt like it, felt it was too risky to borrow money starting in 2006 and had the money, had so much money coming off their other businesses that they could invest this way without any problem. >> what is the potential benefit to buying cash that you wouldn't get using more traditional ways? like, i mean, how does this paeshlly help them? >> the benefit for them, they say they can move faster, they say they heard about the dune
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bag golf course in ireland, cost them more than $10 million 7 days before they decided to buy it. no bank would you money that quickly for a large and money losing golf course, it's not a good investment. this allows them to move quick l, they spend their own money. for him, they like to have -- eric trump likes have to inve investments that turn out cash. it's not a risky real estate business as much of on annuity, a risk-averse cash business now. >> sam stein, i mean, this is -- there are not very many people that have $400 million in cash lying around. >> speak for yourself, kasie. >> really, care to share? >> just under my mattress, a few bills. no, this is super weird. $400 million in bacash to play with and buy golf courses is basically unheard of especially when you can borrow money for really cheap right now. it's not like interest rates are particularly high and prohibitive to do that. so, yes, there are a lot of questions around here. i looked it up because money laundering is a specific legal definition. what we do not know is the
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origins of the money they had on hand which would be a money laundering definition, have to have criminally generated money put in to something that looks legally appropriate. so who knows where this money cane from. that is the -- to borrow a phrase -- $30 million question or $400 million question. >> $400 million question. >> where did this money come from, why did he suddenly decide he didn't want to take on debt? i mean, he did go some bankruptcies. maybe he was scarred by that. >> i was going to say, before, he didn't seem to have any problem borrowing more money, spending, going bankrupt then fixing it all over again. >> the weird thing about this period, as eric trump says we're becoming a much more conservative company, buy everything in cash, they take out two gigantic loans to buy a golf course in florida and the old post office building in -- >> i have one question. there are all these previous reports he was having such trouble getting banks to loan to him, deutsche bank was the only bank that would loan to him. how do these two things co-exist? how was he having such trouble trying to find a bank which is
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premised on the idea that he was trying to get a bank to loan to him, and the incredible liquidity he had with cash? >> that doesn't make a lot of sense, eric trump squares the two by saying we could have gotten loans from banks, everybody wanted to loan to us. nobody wanted to do it. seems if you have $400 million in cash, you're the type of person a bank would want to lent lend to. you're not a credit risk. they're borrow some, seeding that money across -- >> especially with interest rates so low because you could in theory invest, get a higher rate of return at the same time borrowing. oh, boy. david fahrenthold, another fascinating story. please come back with the next one. we appreciate your reporting. coming up, under fire. uber, how the company handles sexual assault. that movement gaining steam on capitol hill. "kasie d.c." back after this. company says they'll only payure three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do?
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tonight in our undercovered segment, a new call for uber to end forced arbitration for sexual assault victims now gaining some support on capitol hill. senator richard blumenthal wrote an open letter to uber in support of properosal, seeks to end the company's practice of prohibiting riders from pursuing their cases in court.
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joining me now from san francisco to talk about her reporting on this story, senior transportation reporter for recode, johanna, here on set, media reporter for axios, sarah fisher. johanna, i want to start with you because your story on this stuck out to me because i have a feeling that there are a lot of women and men as well who get in ubers and have no idea that when they agree to those terms of service, they're essentially saying, if my driver sexually assaults me or hurts me in some way, i am giving up my right to take that person to court. that is how these agreements work, right? >> yeah, so if you, basically as uber's terms of service exist those today as a rider, we relinquish out right to litigate an issue against uber in open court or seek a jury trial. that's not the case for uber drivers as well as uber employees. they don't have to agree to arbitration. hay can opt out of it as part of their agreement.
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>> is there a difference here between the company and the driver, themselves? so a driver who commits a crime while you're in their car, are they considered to be a different entity, could that still be a criminal case and these codes are essentially only talking about the company saying that you can't sue or go after uber? or are you agreeing to waive your rights in both of those instances? >> as far as i know, any lawsuit directed at uber must be arbitrated or litigated behind closed doors, not in open court. and a lot of -- the reason why senator blumenthal actually wrote this letter is because cnn recently revealed more than 100 drivers were accused of sexual assault and his letter actually echoed, a recent open letter, that 14 women who allege they were sexually assaulted by their drivers also wrote asking uber to waive their arbitration agreement because they want to see class-action status for the lawsuit against the company. they're not suing the drivers. they're suing uber for one financial compensation for the damages and the issues, you know, around the sexual assault.
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they're also suing for the court to force the company to have things like stricter background checks and other emergency or safety requirements. >> sarah fisher, let's talk about the kind of broader picture here. these terms of service agreements have come under scrutiny across the board whether it's for facebook or any of these other large companies because we've gotten so used to just clicking through these lengthy, you know, completely a lot of times unintelligible impossible to understand agreements and giving up a lot more than we realize. >> that's the point. we've seen tons and tons of companies that have lengthy agreements. the thing is it's not just uber. lyft has the same arbitration agreement problem. these kpcompanies are massive. it makes sense they'd start to revisit it. capitol hill would want them to take action. uber serves us 15 million rides a kday. if you think about that scale, why wouldn't you want your consumers to have a better understanding of what they're signing up for? >> sam stein, i'm going to ask
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my producers to queue up this ad that facebook has been running. i think one of the other broad questions here is for these silicon valley companies, i mean, for so long, you know, we've loved that it's so convenient, it's on our phones, itst changed the way we interact with everything day to day.inte. they are grappling with not being as popular as before and facing regulation. >> yes. are we cueing up the ad? >> yes. then we will talk to sam. >> we came here for the friends. and we got to know the friends of our friends. then our old friends from middle school, our mom, our ex and our boss joined forces to wish up happy birthday. we discovered our uncle used to play in a band and realized he was young once too. we found others just like us. just like that, we felt a little less alone. but then something happened. we had to deal with spam, click
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bait, fake news and data misuse. that's going to change. from now on, facebook will do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy. so we can all get back to what facebook good in the first place, friends. >> it's an incredible statement on the way things have gone for facebook. >> full discuss clos disclosure works for facebook. so i actually -- i feel like there's a weird sort of market trend story to be written about how a socially conscious company can make it -- can fill a niche in silicon valley right now, promoting themselves as someone who is for your privacy is for your safety obviously, is against fake news. even someone who would give you really easy to understand terms
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of agreement. >> bullet points. >> i feel like there's enough user demand for that type of product at this juncture that a venture capitalist or someone who had the ability to create that, could do well. maybe i'm wrong. that's why i'm in journalism. >> there are some companies trying. snapchat never had a fake news problem because they said we're going to be vigilant. >> it disappears so quickly. >> part of that is what they designed it to be so you wouldn't have a fake news problem. they have been forthcoming. i think this is a learning moment for everyone in silicon valley, which is that the convoluted terms of agreement which were useful can now come back to haunt you. you need to build your company from the ground up, thinking about these things first. >> i want to give you a last word. how hard is uber fighting against these efforts? >> uber is going to meet -- the
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board of directors will meet to discuss whether they should do away with mandatory arbitration for riders. this is because there was a deadline to respond to the complaint that the 14 women filed against the company last week. they have extended that to this week to allow uber to respond properly and determine whether they are going to do away with arbitration. >> thank you so much for joining us tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you. when we return, what to watch for in the week ahead. (vo) what if this didn't have to happen? i didn't see it. (vo) what if we could go back? what if our car... could stop itself? in iihs front-end crash prevention testing, nobody beats the subaru impreza. not toyota. not honda. not ford. the subaru impreza. more than a car, it's a subaru.
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before we go tonight, i couldn't resist showing think from mitt romney. the candidate telling the washington examiner, my favorite meat is hot dog. that's my favorite meat. the second favorite is hamburger. everyone says, don't you prefer steak? i like hot dog best. i like hamburger next best. >> like a 5-year-old. is hot dog a meat? >> i want to know if ann romney thinks hot dog is a meat. she probably doesn't. >> it's hilarious. it's vintage mitt romney. when he said about lemonade in the july fourth parade. he said lemon wet good. >> i personally like the tree is at the right height. i agree they are the right height in michigan. >> it's a weird thing to say though. >> yes.
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speaking of dogs, i want to thank all of you for tweeting your dogs watching, including christine matthews. she was on the show. here is a photo of her dog tuning in. thank you for coming on tonight. thanks to colleen, she tweeted this photo of her dog whose head is swinging along with ours from this week's news. thank you. don't forget to send the pictures of your dogs. it's my favorite thing. we will do quickly what to watch for in the week ahead. >> i mean, blankenship. that's the weird senate race that's happening tuesday. he has been running on cocaine mitch mcconnell ads. >> they are stunning. i'm not sure i have seen a campaign ad like that. >> this is a man who is running an openly racist campaign. he could win the primary in west virginia. this will be maybe another chapter in the long saga of where the republican party goes in the years of trump. >> mcconnell's people have been
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fighting against that and thought they had taken care of the problem. what are you watching for? >> melania trump's final putting out her cyber security initiative tomorrow. we have been hearing about it for months. 15 months into the presidency, she will talk about children's health, internet safety in her first speech from the rose garden. >> there are -- i will say -- i brought this up on my ipad as we were finishing here. "the washington post" has a story out about their separate schedules, waking up in separate bedrooms, the private life that she carved out for herself. it will be interesting from a public perspective, we don't normally see her. she's not playing the traditional role. >> she wasn't in the white house the first few months of the president cy presidency. >> i'm watching for the confirmation hearing. it's sure to be intense on capitol hill. that does it for us tonight.
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we will be back next week from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. eastern. for now, good night from washington. we do not back down. we do not shut up. >> she came to washington ready to fight. >> enough is enough. >> fierce and fearless. >> at best, you are urinyou are. >> people ask me -- >> let me follow up. >> is elizabeth warren the person she plays on tv? the answer is yes. >> our agenda is america's agenda. >> elizabeth warren in a revealing in-depth interview. >> i learned about fighting in washington. i learned about fighting against those with power. do you know where the money went? >> she's co


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