tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC May 8, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT
the attorney general quits among accusations of violence against women. so what happens to his legal battles with the president and that investigation into harvey weinstein? we'll get to those questions in just a moment. but we'll start with our top story. in just about an hour from now, president trump will be announcing one of the most consequential foreign policy decisions of his administration so far. we will learn whether the president will drop waivers. a move that would most likely end the agreement reach under the obama administration. the deal reached with the united states, the united kingdom, russia and germany was implemented in january of 2016. under the accord, iran agreed to curtail production of enriched uranium for 15 years, shut down most nuclear production facilities and shipped most stored nuclear material out of the country. in return for compliance, nuclear related international
sanctions lifted, united states agreed to end most of its economic sanctions as well. a lot to sift through. strategic and political details now from nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson. joe rubin, former deb deputy attend secretary of state. democratic strategist and host of "the hill" tv jamal simmons. hallie, what do we expect to hear from the president? >> all signals point to making a move to get out of the iranian nuclear deal. that should not be a surprise to anybody who has listened to the president talk about the nuclear deal over the last two years or so. let me give you new information here. number one, we know now the congress or at least house speaker paul ryan has been briefed on the president's decision. now, i know your next question is going to be, so what is that decision? and we cannot definitively say just yet but we do know the notification process has begun. there's some reporting also from "the new york times" for example that says the president told french president emmanuel macron
he plans to withdraw. we are getting pushback from the white house on that. but the white house official telling me flatly that is not a correct report. that said, it could still be true, that the president does, in fact, is, working to tell allies that he is planning to get out. again, those are what all the signals are, from everything we've seen so far. this is -- the devil's in the details, right, as always. the specifics are what are being worked out or at least what we don't know yet. for example, the sanctions, when they go back into place, if, in fact, they do end up going back into place, what the time period is there, how long that would last, what the questions are relate to any kind of a grace period for a side deal that the president may want to work on with european allies. that end of course there's the wild card of international reaction, craig. you've got concerns, serious concern, from the eu, from other signatories, the nuclear deal. you've also got the reaction from iran as well. this is a pivotal -- i don't
want to overstate this here, but i do want to pullback, this is a pivotal moment for donald trump's presidency. this is a very consequential foreign policy decisions. one of the biggest decisions he's made in his administration so far. for the president, he views this as a promise made, promise kept. because this is something, if, in fact, he does end up pulling out this is something he talked about on the campaign trail from the very beginning, craig. >> you mentioned our international allies. we know angela merkel lobbied the president directly. we know that in the last few days, boris johnson -- >> boris johnson, right. >> -- in the united kingdom also lobbying this president. if he does decide to withdraw from this deal, what might that mean for our relationship with those allies, if anything? >> here's the thing. these allies aren't going to be surprised by this. you heard macron talk about that publicly. you heard merkel refer to that or her government allude to that as well, along with the eu. they know this is where donald trump is on this.
they understand president trump has wanted to do this from the very beginning. this is not like a big shocker. there have been preparations diplomacy for this moment, craig. where does it leave, for example, europe? well, depending on the decision, right, depending on the specifics of the decision, kind of on an island with the eu and european allies having to figure out how they then work through some of the nitty-gritty in the either moving forward, working on a different deal, et cetera, and then of course iran has to decide what it is going to do, if it continues to abide by the deal, even if it views the u.s. as having pulled out of it, or not. >> white house correspondent hallry jackson, we'll let you get set up again for this announcement. joel, the president, he's made no secret of his views on this deal even before he was president. this is just a small example of some of the things he said as candidate as president. >> the iran deal made by the
previous administration is one of the worst deals i have ever witnessed. i have witnessed some beauties. >> you look at this new deal with iran. it's disgusting. >> i'm not going to be a john kerry who makes that horrible iran deal, horrible. one of the worst deals. i mean, how do you make a deal like that? >> this was a deal at the highest level of incompetence. >> i mean, people know my views on the iran deal. it was a terrible deal. should have never, ever been made. we could have made a good deal or a reasonable deal. >> joe rubin, this was a deal that was negotiated during your tenure at state. your reaction to the president's assessments. and what do you think president trump is likely to do here at the touch the hour? >> well, craig, it's clear president trump has always had a closed mind about the iran nuclear deal. if he does pull the united states out, which is expected, it will be the most significant
strategic blunder by the united states since the invasion of iraq. that is real. this is going to put us on a path inevitably, ultimately, towards conflict with iran. it will not prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. if he pulls out, there's no plan b. and so what are our options? our options are very few, if any. and really this flies in the face of the logic that his intelligence chiefs have said to him, that his secretary of defense has said to him, that leading house republican members are now publicly saying that we need to stay in the diplomatic arrangement with iran. by pulling out, we're in uncharted territory. >> the sunset clauses that exist, the fact that the deal itself does not restrict tehran from testing intercontinental ballistic missiles. what do you say to those who have legitimate gripes with the deal? >> absolutely, those are correct assessments, that the deal did not handle the issues of ballistic missiles or regional
activities by iran or even human rights inside of iran in that forum. it's true. and that wasn't the point. the point of the negotiation was to prevent the worst weapon, nuclear weapons, from getting in the hands of a regime that no one has confidence in. and we did that. we don't want to have iran with nuclear weapons in their hands while engaging in syria, while gauging in lebanon. right now by pulling out of the deal, that's the risk. that should be done, but it shouldn't be done at the expense of the current negotiation and the current deal. >> chris, to be clear, to be fair here the united nations has concluded that at no point to its knowledge has iran violated the terms of the agreement. so why pull out? >> well, to the united nations knowledge, but we all heard prime minister netanyahu present proof just last week that that was not the case. the fact is, this does allow iran to continue moving to a nuclear weapon.
they're allowed to have one as soon as 2023 due to the sunsets that are built into the deal. but i'll tell you one thing, i had the opportunity just a couple weeks ago to go to israel and stand on the border with southern lebanon where a member of the armed forces pointed out to me where the 150,000 missiles were that were paid for and put into the hands of the iranian mullahs. that shows what a flawed agreement this was. the president made an greept, he made a campaign promise, and i expect him to pull out of this deal later today. >> jamal, the mabljority of the american people believe the united states should stay with the deal. that's according to a new cnn poll. 63%. if you are to believe those numbers on a domestic level, is this simply another bow to his base? >> well, craig, it does feel like another bow to his base. it feels like the president is playing politics at the small local u.s. level and not thi
thinking about the geopolitical impact of this. the reality is, our children, my new child, all of us are at the whim of this president who is instead of negotiating peace agreements around the world, seems like he's starting to pull the country's apart from each other. one of the first jobs i had in politics is i worked for a guy who went around the world negotiating trade agreements. one of the things i learned working and traveling with him is every agreement builds on itself and you build trust with your partners. the president trump is pulling that trust away as we're going into something that's very clear like north korea, which is another nuclear stance, and if he doesn't have a good deal he's willing to stand by with iran, how can we convince north koreans we're going to stand by any deal with them? >> who is the president trying to appeal to with the decision on this deal, chris? >> well, i do think some of it is to his base. he believes this is a horrible agreement that is one of the most flawed treaties that the united states has entered into.
it was not ratified by either house of congress. so i think coming out of that, the president recognizes there is a better deal to be made. the sunset provisions in this are really a fatal flaw. the ability to allow iran with full -- with full knowledge of the international community to ultimately be able to develop nuclear weapons i just think should make this a nonstarter from the beginning. what this does do, him pulling out of it, it will allow him to go back to the negotiating table with a better agreement and one that does stop iran from being able to acquire and build nuclear weapons. >> that's a heck of a bet. >> repeat that, i'm sorry. >> that's a heck of a bet. we already have an agreement in place. part of that agreement -- >> -- for their weapons -- >> part of that agreement is in place so we can watch the iranians. the agreement's there so we have international inspectors there who watch the iranians. >> but not military locationings. >> -- and we're going to have some level of trust this is going to work out in the end because donald trump is the great negotiator. >> what can we inspect?
we can't inspect military locationings. >> my understanding is right now we do in fact have inspectors on the ground every day in that country. we have cameras inside these facilities. we have other remote detection devices as well. is that a correct assessment of what the situation is right now on the ground? >> that's absolutely right. and these are the most intrusive inspections ever agreed to in the nuclear agreement. we don't trust the iranians and their behavior. i have to correct the record here as well. what prime minister netanyahu presented was not new information. what he presented was packaging of information that the inspectors already knew. we will be blind in tehran to end this nuclear deal. we will not have the ability to go back and say let's put new inspectors in. are we going to invade? are we going to put inspectors on the ground in the country
three times the size of iraq? no, but we have them there now voluntarily and we need to keep them there. ending this deal does nothing to prevent iran from walking away from the inspections regime and it gives them the high ground. >> chris. >> it allows them to require num weapons regardless. the sunset provisions --. >> no, that's not true. >> until 2023. >> they've committed to not ever having a nuclear weapon and you can renegotiate for additional extensions of the deal. >> chris. >> we have always negotiating additional agreements with adversaries. we can do that here as well. >> you're very optimistic. >> before we get out of here, in terms of the message this does potentially send to north korea or other allies with which we might have some sort of extended agreement, is the message here that, you know, just because one president likes something or doesn't like something, doesn't really matter, two years from now, the united states of america, its word isn't that
good and we'll change? >> it's a fair question. what it does to the message is we have a process in which treaties should be ratified. it was not followed in this situation. i think the treaty, if we're going to have a treaty, it should go before the senate and the senate should have the final authority on ratifying it. we need to adhere to additional process that's been the case until the obama administration. >> are you proposing a treaty? >> i think we need to reach some level of agreement. once we pull out, we have to go back and begin the process again. but this treaty, what exists now ultimately allows them to acquire nuclear weapons and i think your trust in them is misplaced. >> i think our trust in donald trump also is a tough thing to manage. we do know the president does not have a great deal of experience with the truth. we have to trust he's going to be able to negotiate this. frankly, he's given us very little to trust him. >> we'll leave it there, thank you. mr. rubin, thanks as well for your insight today as always.
are republicans in west virginia taking a page out of the trump campaign playbook? only problem, president trump is telling voters to stay away from him. so which one will win? trump's style or trump himself? it's just one of the big primary races that we are watching on this tuesday. how they'll set up matches with vulnerable democrats come november. we'll take a look at that. plus, resigned. new york's now former attorney general faces accusations of violence towards women. we'll look at what happens to his legal fight with the president and harvey weinstein. , aging power grids, ...aging everything. we also have the age-old problem of bias in the workplace. really... never heard of it. the question is... who's going to fix all of this? an actor? probably not. but you know who can solve it? business. because solving big problems is what business does best. so let's take on the wage gap, the opportunity gap, the achievement gap. whatever the problem, business can help.
now to the voice of the people. voters heading to the polls today in west virginia, ip ndin, north carolina and ohio. republicans see an opening with vulnerable democratic senators up for re-election this november in three of those states. nbc's morgan radford is in morganville, west virginia. we're in coreville, indiana, and our man steve core nakornacki is big board to break it down. morgan, i know you've been talking to voters there. had they been swayed at all by president trump not endorsing don blankenship? >> it's not just been not an endorsement, craig, it's actually been an attack. what's fascinating is that the
blankenship supporters here, they aren't deterred by the president's lack of endorsement, but instead, they're being deterred by the local stigma. all day, i've been at three different polling stations and three different cities, and every single blankenship supporter said look, one, we believe he is the right guy to bring jobs back to coal country. they said two, we believe in second chances. they said, three, i don't want to talk on camera because here in the heart of coal country, people will be upset with me. they said these are people who knew people who died back in that mine explosion, that he was responsible for back in 2010, and they said my neighbors will ostracize me. i found a local political strategist and said why aren't people willing to talk publicly but support him privately? take a listen to what he said. >> a lot of people wouldn't admit that they were going to vote for trump. i think in this election there may be a lot of people who aren't going to vote they'll vote for blankenship. >> you don't think they want to come out and say?
>> this is a guy who's been convicted, you know, i'm going to admit to you, i'm going to tell you, but in reality, in the ballot box, it's just them and god, i think a lot may vote for blankenship. >> so on the other hand, there are people who said to me just moments ago, i'm not willing to put a murderer in office and they said that blankenship has blood on his hands. well, in fact, we found one guy who was a co-worker who was inside the mind the day it exploded. the day of that infamous explosion that blankenship was found responsible for. listen to what they said. what did you think when you saw blankenship was running? >> it made me sick. i wanted to puke. >> do you think blankenship has a chance? >> i certainly hope not. don blankenship ran his own fear, intimidation and false propaganda. that same thing he's doing in this political race. >> so blankenship is the name that's on the tips of everyone's
tongues here in coal country. they say he could be a real contender in what could be one of the most important races in the country. craig. >> hard to imagine, considering just a few weeks ago, very few folks thought he had much of a shot. morgan radford in west virginia. ali batel is standing by, where we've seen one of the nastiest primaries in the country so far. what are you hearing to voters there this hoosier country? >> they've had exactly that takeaway. people have remarked on the fact this was a really negative primary. some of the folks said that almost turned them off from voting. they felt it was too much of a responsibility. most of them are really focused on this race. really as a means to get to november, the goal here among a lot of the republicans i've been talking to is to beat joe done nal
donnelly. take a look. >> so we were somewhat disappointed how it seemed to be in a downward spiral. and we were sorry that it got to that point. because i think they could have kept that discussion on a higher plane. >> overall, i felt there was too many emphasis on the negative aspects and not enough on the candidate's qualifications. >> we think senator donnelly has proven himself to be fairly moderate as a senator. i think maybe he's even been rated as one of the more moderate democrat senators currently serving, and so that may make it a little bit harder for mike braun to prevail in this race. >> and of course those voters do get to the heart of the issue which is that joe donnelly is one of the more moderate
democrats but this is a state that trump won by 19 points in 2016. a lot of the voters here still have a positive opinion on him. they were focused on the iran deal today. they're much more focused on what trump has meant to them locally. hopefully most of these voters say they want hill to support the president. so we'll see exactly what happens tonight at the polls. really at this point, anyone's race to win or lose at this point. >> let's turn to our man, steve kornacki. steve, we heard morgan ratford there talk about don blankenship there in west virginia. again, as i noted, a few weeks ago, a lot of folks thought he was out of this thing and it looks like blankenship has a real shot at winning, no? >> yes, there's some unusual suspense and mystery about this thing. this is actually right here, you're looking at it, most recent public poll in this race. public, i mean a media poll, they show us all the numbers, we decide if it's reliable or not. here it was, blankenship running
in third. this is after republicans in washington nationally they had spent a fortune trying to sink him. they looked that the saying mission accomplished, we don't want blankenship as our nominee, we're not going to get him. now, this is the last 48 hours. the thing here is these are headlines about internal poll, not public polls. we haven't seen them. you have got republicans from these rival campaigns in west virginia saying hey, our numbers show that in the last few days, blankenship has surged. he's near the top, he's at the top, he's in the lead in this republican primary. so what you have are republicans in washington who do not want blankenship to be the nominee, they're in a panic right now. they're afraid he's surging. they may not be able to stop him. you have the rival campaign saying yes, that's what our numbers are showing. we haven't seen those numbers but there are all sorts of indications of movement toward him. >> if blankenship does win tonight, two question, what does it tell us about the state of the republican party, and also what are his chances of
unseating joe manchin come november? >> first of all, could he win? first of all, this is the backdrop of course. manchin, a democrat, represents a state that went for donald trump by 42 points just two years ago. every county in west virginia red. manchin's won here before. certainly not by a margin like this for the u.s. senate. if you nome name blankenship, you know what the knocks are, is he unelectable or is the fact, if he's able to win tonight, is the fact that despite all that, he's able to win a nomination in a state like this, is there some appeal there, something he could tap into that could help him win a general election. a guy like blankenship, probably the best thing that manchin could hope for. i got to say if he wins tonight, i can't sit here and say i'm not sure he's not going to win in this state in november. >> a man who says he's trumpier than trump. thank you. we have some breaking news now on president trump's expected announcement on the iran nuclear deal. our chief white house
correspondent hally ja yhallie rejoins me now. >> according to two sources familiar with these discussion, senior administration officials are briefing congressional leaders about the trump's administration intent to remove the united states from the jcpoa, the iranian nuclear deal. what this does, craig, this, from these sources, confirms what the expectation publicly had been. that president trump will, in effect, do what he said all along he would do, which is get the united states out of ideal that he has described as various times as the worst deal, as a bad deal, as one of the worst deals ever made. so that is the baseline for where we are as we head into this event in just about 35 minutes from now, in the diplomatic room of the white house. here's what we'll be listening for when the president speaks. what is the time of this? is there a grace period? if the sanctions do go back into effect, when does that happen? when does the president say is an olive branch to allies who
were very upset about this decision? will the president make an overture to those allies in his speech? what message does this send, for example, to north korea, to kim jong-un, as the president is currently looking forward to negotiations with a different nuclear deal with north korea. the officials say it is the wrong single no send noto sent your trying to pull out of one deal. maybe it does show kim jong-un that the president does not tolerate what the president calls bad deals and they will end up getting a good deal. there's also the quote of oil prices, for example, depending on these sanction what kind of sanctions go into effect, et cetera. if there are energy sanctions. and what does that do if it becomes harder for iran to sell it on a global market? could that drive gas prices up? that is a concern from experts as well. again, this is all we will know. exactly all of it from the
horse's muouth at 2:00 p.m. whe the president makes that announcement. two sources telling us that, in fact, congressional leaders are being notified by the administration of the intent to pull out, craig. >> to be clear here, we're talking about the intent to withdraw. are these sources telling us that the president at this juncture plans to propose some deal to take its place or is that the president has just decided this deal is so bad, we're getting out and we don't really have any idea of a replacement? >> so far, what our sources are telling us, what i just sort of talked about there, that's essentially the extent of it. to get to the point of your question, will the president negotiate a different deal, there have been overtures that the president or that allies want the president to be open to that. right, to -- for example, when macron was here, talking about the possibility that that could, in fact, happen. there's been discussion for example of some kind of a side deal that could be worked out. the criticism from democrats for example, i spoke with one democratic senator this morning who suggested, hey, the
president's had a year and a half this is 16 months into his administration. if he wanted to cut a different deal, he could have done it already, but he has not. there's some skepticism from that side of the aisle that that could actually happen, craig. >> our chief white house correspondent there at the white house with some breaking news. sources telling nbc they're being informed of the president's intent to leave the iran nuclear deal. we will know torture here within the next 30 minutes or so when the president makes that announcement from the diplomatic room. hallie, thank you. we're keeping a very close eye on that white house. this breaking news we just heard from hallie a few moments ago. president trump expected to announce that decision here top of the hour. again, sources telling us that congress is being informed of the president's intent to leave the iran nuclear deal. (vo) i was born during
separate women. two of his named accusers said he repeatedly hit them often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. one woman called him a dr. jekyll and mr. hyde figure and told the new yorker seeing him lauded as a supporter of women has made her feel sick. back in february, his office filed a civil rights lawsuit against harvey weinstein for failing to prosetect employees. his office helped special counsel robert mueller's investigation into former trump campaign aide paul manafort. schneiderman denied the allegations. his statement before stepping down reads, in part, in the privacy of intimate relationships, i have engaged in role playing and other consensual sexual activity. i have not assaulted anyone. i have never engaged in nonconsensual sex which is a line i would not cross. danny cevellas, criminal defense
attorney, nbc legal analyst, he joins me now. we know the d.a.'s office has issued an investigation into schneiderman. there are some notable characteristics to this case. the fact patterns, if you will. you've got four women independent of each other telling very similar stories. the likelihood here that charges are eventually filed against eric schneiderman. >> it's hard to say because there's so many different assault crimes and different statutes of limitations in new york. on the low end, third degree assault requires only a reckless causing of any bodily injury. as you move up the continuum, if there's any serious bodily injury, for example, in the new yorker piece, there was a description of a slap to the ear that caused some -- some sort of long-lasting injury to the inner ear. that could qualify as serious physical injury. doesn't necessarily require a bullet wound but a permanent impairment of an organ like your ear, for example, or your
hearing ability. so there are many different options available to prosecutors and different statutes of limitations. in, no, misdemeanors, two years. if it's a felony, five years. so first, i think prosecute irs will look at the severity of the charges available to them. then they have to consider the statute of limitations. finally, they have to consider how consent or at least the defense of consent will play into any potential criminal investigation. >> what might this mean for the harvey weinstein case in new york? >> with any change of command, the investigation is going to go through a -- some kind of brief delay. but as you -- as with many prosecutor offices, whether it be the ag's office, there are a number of prosecutors who have been working on these cases for some time now. so they may have their marching orders and their day to day procedures that may not change all that much by a changing of the commander. so we may not see that much delay overall. >> all right, danny, we'll have
to leave it there, thank you. the trump primary, the battle for future of the republican party, is starting to play out right now in key primary races. insurance that won't replace the full value of your new car? you're better off throwing your 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. and it's time to get outside. pack in even more adventure with audible.
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you'll make my morning, buty the price ruin my day.ou? complicated relationship with milk? pour on the lactaid, 100% real milk, just without that annoying lactose. mmm, that's good. some newspaper headlines underscoring the high stakes for republicans and president trump in today's primary elections. potential battle for the power within the party by candidates claiming to be trumpier than the president himself.
>> we all really like president trump's policies but which know he doesn't get things right. he recommended people vote for a guy that was basically accused of pedophilia in alabama. >> but do republicans only have themselves to blame? with me now, ken blackwell, former ohio secretary of state. steve benjamin, the first african mayor of columbia, south carolina, my hometown. he's also the new president of the u.s. conference of mayors. and chris cofinis is with me as well, former chief of staff for senator joe manchin. ken, let me start with you there, sir. this is what dana milbank wrote in "the washington post" today, a snippet of it. before trump, there was sarah palin, the tea party movement. senator ted cruz, the republican study committee. the republican party tried to harness the rage of the nativist
right but ultimately couldn't contain it. now we have even felons on the republican ballots. they're monsters created by the gop or, rather, the power vacuum the gop has become. are chickens coming home to roost for your party, ken? >> no, again, dana -- not too many people in ohio listen to dana. the reality is this, the republican party controlled the senate, the house, all of the statewide offices, and one senate seat. u.s. senate seat. look, this is coming down to which one of these candidates can actually harness the energy of trump voters. i think both of them have tried to attach themselves to the hip, to donald trump, and it remains to be seen how long the coattails are of the president. >> but you're talking about
ohio -- >> they're pretty long. >> you're talking about ohio specifically because, you know, that's where you are, but you look at some of these other races. you look at west virginia, some of the things blankenship has said, you would have to admit a lot of the comments were outside, shall we say, the normal confines of civility? >> well, look, look, we just had a democrat ag in new york resign for untoward activities towards women. so look, there's no party has a claim to misfits. they pop up all over the place. so the reality is this is still a pretty free country. if you can get the -- meet the requirements to be on the ballot, you can run. i believe that the voters of west virginia will, in fact, pick the person they believe will best serve their interest. >> steve, when the president did decide to come out against
blankenship, it wasn't because he disagreed with some of the more ridiculous things that blankenship has said. he said that, you know, he can't win anyway, he can't beat joe manchin in november. is there a danger for the president, there's the president's tweet right there, is it a danger for the president to fight against more extreme trumpism? >> it's -- i would say, craig, it's disheartening to watch the level of rhetoric and vitriol that comes out of washington every single day, and it's also the fact it's our compaapitol. i'm here on behalf of those who work every single day just to get the job done. recognize there are no republican ways, the democratic ways, to get things done on behalf of your people, who pick up trash, police your streets. we hope and pray our message of bipartisanship, in these days of nonpartisanship, might elevate
up to our state capitals and washington, d.c. >> the vitriol that exists on the national level has not filtered its way down to the local level? >> i feel very comfortable speaking on behalf of the 1,400 cities and america's mayors of all political stripes that president lincoln, a great republican president, said, you know, we're not enemies but friends, we must not be enemies. we have to make sure every single day where we speak to the better angels of our nature and we start working on really solving the problems facing america. name calling, partisan politics, vitriol, doesn't solve problems. we've got problems with infrastructure, preparing for this new innovation economy. what's happening all across this country in this world. and certainly starting to foster the better language around inclusion, bringing people together, recognizing that the issues that bring us together are much more prolific than the words that separate us. >> chris, if blankenship does win this thing tonight, is president trump endorsing him? national republicans disavow
him? >> i think they're going to be in a really tough spot. aside from the fact you're talking about somebody convicted of a serious crime, just his nature, his personality, the way he communicates, his positions, his rhetoric, some of the offensive statements he's made. he just puts them in the box again where you're -- instead of trying to put the other side, meaning democrats, on the offensive, they're having to defend their nominee or their candidate in the case of, you know, blankenship happens to win. here's i think the challenge, this is kind of reflective of what we've seen play out again and again and again. dana milbank actually got it right. what's happening here has been growing over decades. both parties had it in various moments but it's really taken over the republican party and this division has fed where they're eating their own, in a race where they have three candidates and two i would say
are arguably relatively serious candidates. joe manchin's this very strong senator and a very strong west virginian, but don blankenship, given his past, his record, his rhetoric, is going be to the weakest and most vulnerable candidate in a state that trump won by 42 points. >> ken, it's hard to step back and not acknowledge that a guy who spent near lay year in prison, for being responsible for one of the worst mining disasters this country's ever seen, is it not hard to see why someone might have a problem with don blankenship? >> no, it's not hard, but it's in the hands of the west virginia voters. you guys, this is a very elitist view that you think that the people of west virginia can't sort this out. and in the final analysis, you know, whoever wins the nomination is accountable to the voters that elect him or her.
so let's go back to this, you know, don't paint a picture of a republican party that is eating itself out of nonexistence. we control the u.s. senate, we control the house of representatives. i told you, we control more state legislatures than the democratic party. the party that is on the blink of irrelevancy is the democratic party. so let's talk about that. let's talk about the problems that they are dealing with. and governor manchin, absolutely. >> we'll leave it there. always good to have you here well. safe travels back to columbia. >> mr. mayor, god bless you. >> thank you, thank you. >> i want to say something to the mayor. he's straight up. way to go, sir. >> that's an endorsement there. we'll take that back to columbia. where we do read "the washington post," by the way, ken blankwell, we read that. while we were distracted by melania's trump launching of her
be best initiative, focusing on teaching children to put kindness first, her husband unveiled a request to congress to rescind $15 billion from the previously approved spending package, including in the cut, $7 billion gutted from the children's health insurance program, otherwise known as chip. omb director mick mulvaney offered this explanation. >> the two biggest pieces of the chip are number one, a large portion that's unauthorized and it would not be legal to spend. i want to make that very clear. that money could not be spent even if the rescission package fails. >> chip just one of the 30-plus programs facing various cuts as part of the package. congress is going to have 45 days to act on the president's request once it received it. we continue to follow breaking news there at the white house. sources telling nbc news that congressional leaders are being told that president trump intends to leave the iran nuclear deal. the formal announcement expected in just a matter of minutes.
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nuclear deal. white house officials are telling us that congress is being briefed right now on whether we're going to leave that deal or not. back with me is joel ruben, former secretary of state, fwe should know that ruben was secretary of state when this deal was created. if donald trump does withdraw from the deal, which seems like what he's planning to do, what would be the immediate consequences? >> what the immediate consequences would be is that the united states would move to impose sanctions on iran. but they're not directly sanctions on iran, they're on europe, the partners to this agreement to support it, because their companies are engaging in business with iran, so we would use secondary sanctions to create that. thus we would be creating another gap with europe right in
the moment we need them on our side to deal with korea and with russia. so the question comes, who's really benefiting from this, and really if you're the are you ohr the irans, thranians, you may b this is not a bad thing after all. >> so this is not the international sanctions that we saw the first go around, correct? >> it would be sanctions on american businesses doing business with iran. >> it's a signal that president trump had some flexibility, when he tweeted that he will be making an announcement. he said that iran will face some problems, but, quote, we will pass through this. kevin, what do you think he could have meant by that? >> from the translation i read, it sounded like he said that iran may voluntarily decide to stay with whatever they agreed to, he mentioned the europeans, and basically ride out the trump
era. and just assume the u.s. will come back to its somehow, who knows? we'll have to see. it's a fitting commentary to see iran aligning itself with victory on europe day when heed announcement. >> president trump places the onus on iran to live up to its end of the bargain, and according to the iaea, the international atomic energy association, iran has done just that. how is this administration going to continue to sell that iran has not done that? >> because the administration wants everything that's not in the deal, right? they have said all along, none we have pompeo and others going to iran and saying, iran is holding the deal. but they want terrorist fini fu
and far more than just the nuclear deal. that's all this is about. it's not just about nuclear deals, the centrifuges, most inspectors who are the most credible say they have done that. if cnn's saying 63% of americans approve of the deal, but a cbs poll, 62% of americans saying they don't know what's in the deal. i'm a defense reporter, i barlyi can know all the details of the deal. but we need to know the details, like joel was saying, what's going to come next and what's going to happen next? there's real worry about those missiles, and the pentagon has stepped up it's talk about how iran is sending ballistic missiles to lebanon that affects
american troops, american diplomats and american forces in the region. there's other things that go along with that other than the nuclear part of this deal. so we'll see what president trump says soon enough. >> >> joel, the implications here on a personal level, what do you think those might be on a midterm election, or even a presidential election 2 1/2 years from now, is this the kind of an issue that's going to motivate voters? >> i think it will motivate voters and this means we don't have a nuclear agreement with iran and that we could where on the path to war. and even in the prime ministers, republicans were very much opposed to the regime change when we went into iraq and for democrats, this is just one more nugget to be very frustrated by trump about, which is
dismantling obama's legacy with no real day after. so this is not going to be something that trump will be able to win voters over with, maybe some donors will get on his side, but it's not a really winning hand from a national security perspective. >> joel ruben who earlier in the broadcast asserted that this would be the most colossal foreign policy mistake since iraq. most people have no idea what's in the iran nuclear deal. you are probably also correct on that. >> pay attention to the french, remember, macron's plan was to expand this to syria and all of iran's influences, and that bug is still in trump's ear, even if he goes back on this deal as a nuclear restricter. katie tur is standing by to pick things up now. >> we're going to get into the nuclear aspects part of the deal
and the sanctions around it. this is a major day across the world, frankly, it's 11:00 a.m. in the west, 2:00 at the white house. any time president trump is expected to announce his decision on the iran deal, whether he plans to stay in it, or to vliolate it. two congressional leaders say they are being informed by senior administration officials that president trump plans to withdraw from the iran nuclear deal. >> there's no duty that iran has continued to cause a lot of problems across the middle east and there's no, and it certainly doesn't appear that they feel like the deal binds them from continuing to fund terrorists across the middle east. >> this deal which was imp