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tv   First Look  MSNBC  May 23, 2018 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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this morning, new questions over whether the summit between president trump and kim jong-un is in jeopardy. trump says there's substantial chance it won't go on as planned next month. plus, investigating the investigators. president trump fuels the suggestion that an fbi informant was embedded in his political campaign for political purposes. and one of michael cohen's business partners is cooperating with the government as part of a plea deal.
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good morning, wednesday may 23rd. we begin with the latest on president trump's scheduled summit with north korea's kim jong-un june 12th, less than three weeks away. yesterday, trump hosted the south korean president at the white house. they discussed the status of the summit, hedging on if it will happen at all. take a listen. >> well, we're moving along, we'll see what happens. there are certain conditions that we want and i think we'll get those conditions. if we don't, we don't have a meeting. if it doesn't happen, maybe it will happen later, maybe it will happen at a different time. >> what are your conditions for a meeting? >> i would rather not say, we are working on something. there's a chance it will work out. there's a chance, substantial chance it won't work out. i don't want to waste a lot of time, i'm sure he doesn't want to waste a lot of time. there's a substantial chance it won't work out and that's okay. it doesn't mean it won't work out over a period of time, but it may not work out for june
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12th. there's a good chance we'll have the meeting. >> trump appears to be hedging on a time frame for north korea denuclearization. >> in terms of denuclearization, should it be an all in one or could it be incremental with incentives along the way for kim jong-un. >> all in one would be nice, i can tell you. i am not going beyond that. it would be better if it was all in one. does it have to be? all in one would be better. or at least for physical reasons over a short period of time. you do have physical reasons that it may not be able to do exactly that. so for physical reasons, over a very short period of time. essentially that will be all in one. >> president moon's spokesperson says they don't doubt the desire to have the summit. "the washington post" says u.s. and north korean officials are meeting in singapore this week to continue planning. president trump continued to
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vent frustration about reports of an fbi informant talking with members of his campaign in 2016. last night, former campaign co-chair said he believes the alleged source was seeking to tie the campaign to hillary clinton, in e-mails of 2016 when he claimed the person first initiated contact. >> perhaps he was probing to find a weak spot in our campaign, someone who might be vulnerable to connecting things back to those elusive 30,000 e-mails that supposedly the russians have. i believe the task was create an audit trail back to e-mails from someone in the campaign or someone associated with the campaign so that they could develop a stronger case for probable cause to continue to issue warrants and further an investigation.
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>> in a photo opportunity with the south korean president, president trump said he only knew what was reported and wants investigators to open up their books. >> congress would like to see documents opened up. lot of people said they had spies in my campaign. if they did, that would be a disgrace to this country. that would be one of the biggest insults anyone has seen and it would be very illegal aside from everything else, so it would make probably every political event ever look like small potatoes. >> meanwhile, former director of national intelligence james clapper rejected the suggestion that the trump campaign was actually under surveillance. >> was the fbi spying on trump's campaign. >> no. they were spying on what the russians were doing, trying to understand, were the russians trying to gain access and influence. which is what they do.
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>> report claims that president trump's legal team is demanding special counsel robert mueller steer clear of obstruction of justice for the president to agree to interview. sources familiar with the matter tell cnn that trump lawyers are looking for a way to get mueller to limit or eliminate questions regarding trump's conduct after he won the presidency, particularly removing items related to firing of fbi director james comey. a subject of the investigation that relates to michael flynn and the russia probe. there's no indication that special counsel is willing to cut a deal. meanwhile, "vanity fair" gabriel sherman says people close to rudy guiliani say he's told trump that comey will be indicted when this is all over. white house chief of staff john kelly arranged but will not attend tomorrow's meeting to review highly classified documents related to contact between fbi source and the trump campaign. republican congressman devin
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nunez and trey gowdy meet with christopher wray and dan coats and doj official ed oh callahan. no democrats were invited. ranking member of the intelligence committee adam schiff said this is a serious abuse of power. there is a bipartisan mechanism for highly sensitive discussions that might implicate intelligence sources and methods. it is called the gang of eight and they need to use it. the white house says there's no reason to make it bipartisan. >> have a meeting with the justice department, would the white house welcome democrats at that meeting? >> my understanding is they haven't been the ones requesting the information. i refer you back to them why they consider themselves randomly invited to see something they never asked to. >> there's new legal pressure on
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the president's personal lawyer and fixer, michael cohen, and it is not good for donald trump. "new york times" reports cohen's partner in the taxi business he owned in new york, russian immigrant known as the taxi king agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in state or federal investigations, according to a person briefed on the matter. the times reports that gene freedman faced 125 years in prison on four counts of tax fraud and one count of grand lars flee, accused of failing to pay $5 million in taxes. >> yesterday, freedman pled guilty to state charges of evading only $50,000 in taxes and will avoid jail time, serving five years probation if he fulfills terms of his agreement. the times reports the paper says they call the article shameful, referring to cohen as a dear personal friend and client. freedman's cooperation puts pressure on micelcooperate with counsel investigation.
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trump's attorney, rudy guiliani, tried to distance his client from cohen, saying president trump is not involved in the taxis. he has as much involvement in it as i do. president trump discussed the status of trade negotiations china yesterday. take a listen. >> i think that they are a start, but we need something. no, i'm not satisfied but we'll see what happens. we have a long way to go. i want it to go fairly quickly. >> the president responded to reports his administration and china reached a deal regarding chinese communications giant zte. >> is there a deal about zte? >> there is no deal. when i looked at it, i said you know, they could pay a big price without necessarily damaging all of these american companies. but we caught them doing bad things.
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we caught them, not anybody else, we caught them doing bad things. shutting them down, we're hurting a lot of american companies. what i envision is a very large fine of more than a billion dollars, could be a billion three. i envision new management and new board and very, very strict security rules. i also envision that they will have to buy a big percentage of their parts and equipment from american companies. >> this comes as the senate banking committee voted 23-2 to make it harder for a president to modify penalties on chinese telecommunications firms. joining us, political reporter laura bore enlopez. great to have you with us. let's talk about the zte, president trump seems to be walking back that deal with china after he sent out a tweet saying we're going to work with china to save it. is this a little deal making or is trump feeling political
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pressure home because of backlash he saw among members of his own party saying they wouldn't allow zte back into the u.s.? >> it is difficult to believe it is more of trump's art of the deal making. the one thing we know that's consistent about trump's art of the deal style is that there's inconsistency to it. it looks like this time around the backlash from republicans and democrats to his initial decision to try and help zte, his statements that there could be a lot of jobs lost in china which is remarkable, given his rhetoric on the campaign trail, looks like that pressure may have finally pushed trump to walk that back a bit. >> as we saw yesterday, it seems like there's a lot of uncertainty about whether president trump will meet in
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june. do you think we could see a more flexible president trump to make sure this meeting actually happens, considering how we know he wants to be the legacy with regards to north korea? >> we know this meeting is crucial, it's important for trump. something he's looking forward to. he blamed president xi of china during that meeting yesterday when he was talking to reporters for why the north korean president appears to have taken a step back. we also know there are south korean experts that are worried trump may concede a bit too much to north korea and we already saw a bit of that yesterday when trump said he could be open to a time line where we see the denuclearization by north korea. >> let's switch gears a moment. i want to ask you about the meeting tomorrow, the white house is obviously not inviting democrats to the justice department briefing. some are saying that could set
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things up for a partisan battle down the road. do you see it that way? can we expect a partisan battle over intelligence and methods and everything else dealing with the investigation if democrats aren't invited? >> we have been seeing a bit of that already as you guys know. the house intelligence committee investigation into russian meddling was a far more partisan affair. republicans have tried to handle this on their own. there has been a long history of house intelligence chairman wanting briefings without democrats there. you can see the ranking member, adam schiff, is getting increasingly frustrated. it is entirely different than the way the senate investigation has been handled. you also see that the senate, senate intelligence burr to ranking member warner and mitch mcconnell want nothing to do with this meeting taking place thursday. they didn't even want to talk
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about it yesterday when they were speaking to press because they know that this does not look good when it comes to the security of the nation, the fact that democrats are being completely iced out of it. >> safe to say the perception on the outside, the house side is more partisan than it is on the senate side. thank you very much. talk to you in a bit. >> i want to say, it will be interesting if and how much the president does concede with regards to north korea considering how much he said the deal with iran was such a bad deal. >> good point. still ahead, stacy abrams could make history becoming the first black female governor. we have that and more election results from last night. how hawaii's kilauea volcano is effecting the number one industry, tourism. a check of the weather when we come back.
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welcome back, everybody. the environmental protection agency facing criticism after barring several news organizations from attending a national summit convened by scott pruitt. the epa prevented the ap, cnn and a and e! news from attending the event and harmful water contaminants. the epa says guards of the summit prevented it passing through a security checkpoint inside the building, it says when their reporter asked to speak to an agency official, security guards grabbed her by the shoulders and shoved her forcibly out of the building. cnn said in a statement its reporter was also turned away from covering the event after multiple attempts to attend. >> epa spokesman told the news organization that they were not invited to the event and there was no space for them, but gave no indications of why they specifically were barred.
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in a statement to nbc news, wilcox says this was simply an issue of the room reaching capacity which reporters were aware of prior to the event. we were able to accommodate ten reporters, provided a live stream for those we could not accommodate, were unaware of the individual situation that's been reported. later in the day, wilcox released another statement saying the associated press was told we were at capacity, and live stream would be available. but preceding to push through the security entrance. when we were made aware of the incident, we displaced stakeholders to the overflow room that flew to washington for the meeting so every member of the press could have a seat. criticism for barring media outlets, epa made the afternoon session of that meeting open to all press. the volcano eruption on the big island may be driving away some tourists, but the governor says the rest of the island is open for business. it began to spew lava and toxic gas earlier this month. since then, ohio volcano
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national park has been shut town according to tourism authorities. some bookings have fallen almost 50% on the island. hawaii's governor says the rest of the chain is uneffected by the eruptions and visitor arrivals are still strong. bill, we have to feel for people effected by the volcano. the images are stunning. >> interesting how much tourism for people to see the volcano. when it erupts and toxic gases, chases people away. i would love to see live lava flow. it would be incredible. we had rain in the southeast, some through the northeast. there's one batch of showers over long island, southern portions of rhode island, clip cape cod. and one lone storm over scranton. this will exit quickly by peak
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of rush hour, it will be gone. then the attention goes to tropical development. this is 90-l. next two days, zero chance it develops. off the coast of belize, has to skirt past the yucatan. next five days has a 50% chance of becoming a tropical storm or subtropical storm. a system we will track. this is the development zone as it drifts northward next couple of days. that takes us toward the weekend and takes it closer to the southeast. here's the rainfall forecast through thursday. this is typical afternoon rain we have been getting. by the time you get to memorial day weekend, three to four inches of rain. north florida, northern gulf coast, not a good destination for a beach weekend. it will be rainy, breezy, cloudy and wet. still ahead.
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a game four thriller. will james harden and company have enough for the series. details next in sports. squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom and floss to set a good example. you fine tune the proposal, change the water jug so no one else has to, get home for dinner and feed the cat. you did a million things for your family today but speaking to pnc to help handle all your investments was a very important million and one. pnc. make today the day. you might be missing something.y healthy. your eyes. that's why there's ocuvite. ocuvite helps replenish nutrients your eyes can lose as you age. it has lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3. ocuvite. be good to your eyes. i needthat's whenvice foi remembered that my ex-ex- ex-boyfriend actually went to law school, so i called him.
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quarter. houston would take the lead at the half, steph curry shot lights out in the third quarter, giving the warriors the edge. it appeared to be over. in the fourth, chris paul helped them beat the warriors on the road, 95-92. with that win, they even the series two games a piece, and reclaim home court advantage. a bizarre moment in st. louis. two outs in the first inning, runners on the corner, perez attempts a double steal. tricks the runner on third faking a throw to second. tosses the ball to the third baseman for what would have been an out, but he drops the ball, allowing martinez to score. it was ruled as a steal of home. the only run they muster as kansas city goes on to win 5-1 in that one. in nfl league owner news, league owners voted to revamp the kickoff. new rules designed to limit high
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impact collisions during what the nfl says are the most dangerous plays in the game, ban on running starts and restrictions where players can line up, and language regarding ejection standards with use of the helmet rule. they're expected to address how to handle player protests and recent legalization of sports gambling. house republicans renew push for a second special counsel as president trump declines to say whether he has confidence in rod rosenstein. and what the homeland security secretary said that has her facing criticism this morning. i was really surprised that i wasn't finding all of these germans in my tree. i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna. the big surprise was we're not german at all. 52% of my dna comes from scotland and ireland. so, i traded in my lederhosen for a kilt.
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welcome back, everybody. i'm yasmine vossoughian alongside ayman mohyeldin and lewis berg door of. we are less than three weeks away from president trump's scheduled summit with north korean kim jong-un. yesterday, trump hedged on whether the summit will take place, placing some of the blame on beijing. >> i'm a little disappointed because when kim jong-un had the meeting with president xi, i think there was a change in attitude from kim jong-un. so i don't like that. i don't like that. i hope that's not true because i have a great relationship with president xi, he is a friend of mine, he likes me, i like him, but there was a difference when
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kim jong-un left china the second time. >> do you think china discouraged him? >> no, but i think president xi is a world class poker player. >> joining us live from beijing, nbc news kropt, and international kronlt cal perry. trump going after china on twitter, saying north korea is becoming more porous. has china's behavior at all changed from what you've seen? >> china was never going to sit on the sidelines. they want to see stability in north korea, they also want to protect their own geopolitical security interest, and it is no secret china has clout at the least with sanctions. so what you're also seeing is president trump reconciling with that. analysts say north korea has been consistent in messaging all
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along, that it was never going to give up everything, which is what u.s. officials have been expecting. president trump is showing some flexibility, though it is unclear whether it signals policy change or whether it is just the administration wanting to be sure the summit happens. at this point it probably will. president trump and kim jong-un are both now invested in this, and what has happened over the past week perhaps has corrected the expectations to reflect that this was always going to be a bumpy, meandering road, but also important to remember that she jun ping was going to loom over it. meantime, looks like north korea will follow through with closing the nuclear site. south korean journalists have joined other foreign journalists there. there are no experts that have been invited, it is believed because most think dismantling the site will cover up a lot of evidence. >> let me ask about another
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dynamic to this in the u.s., china relationship. all of this comes as trade negotiations the united states and beijing continue. describe how all of this dovetails together. >> i think everyone is going to try to get something out of the deal. for china, ever since president trump linked the trade negotiations the sort of as he put it the pressure campaign china is putting on north korea, for the chinese, it is a better trade position. that's what they want out of the deal. the problem is, you heard her talk about this, there are no visible deliveries for denuclearization of the korean peninsula. trump loves television events. it is key to see in the next 48 hours, do we see explosion on a nuclear site, destroying one of the launch areas. really the audience for that is president trump. when we saw detainees released middle of the night, that was a high moment for trump. you look at this meeting, it becomes all the more necessary,
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which i think chinese, it is in their interest to make this happen in singapore. >> could be destroying some evidence that nuclear inspectors need down the road. thank you both for joining you. during his oval office news conference with the president of south korea, he shot down a question about deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. take a listen. >> do you have confidence in rod rosenstein? >> what's the next question? >> president of south korea here. he doesn't want to hear these questions if you don't mind. >> house republicans introduced a resolution calling for second special counsel to investigate any misconduct by the justice department and fbi during the 2016 election. >> it is deeply troubling when we talk about transparency that we're not getting transparency from the fbi and the department of justice. it's time we get to the facts. it is time we appoint a second
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special counsel. >> we should tell the doj we are sick and tired of the run around we are getting from you guys. if this pattern doesn't want a second special counsel, somebody tell me what does. >> in january of 2017, the u.s. intelligence community released a report concluding russia favored trump in the 2016 election. but the homeland security secretary says she's unfamiliar with that report. >> do you have any reason to doubt the january 17 assessment that said vladmir putin tried to meddle in the election to help president trump. >> i do not believe i have seen that conclusion that the specific intent was to help president trump win. i'm not aware of that. i generally have no reason to doubt any intelligence assessment. >> just last week, the senate intelligence committee announced
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it supported the intelligence community's assessment that russia intervened to help trump in the 2016 election. speaking to reporters, she said they did try on a variety of issues. yesterday's elections a historic night for women in georgia's primary. former minority leader stacey abrams defeated her opponent, making her the first black woman to be a major party nominee for governor in the united states. abrams won that nomination outright with 76% of the vote. 52 point margin of victory. she's going to attempt history in november by becoming georgia's first woman governor and the nation's first black female governor. on the republican side of things, lieutenant governor casey cagle and brian kemp were top vote getters. the two head for runoff july
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24th. in another victory for women, former fighter pilot amy mcgrath in a stunning upset there. mcgrath, part of the democrats' push to make kentucky part of a blue wave. she will face off against congressman andy barr in november. meanwhile, in texas's seventh district, lizzy fletcher won the democratic runoff. the race became a flash point for progressives that rallied after the democratic national campaign committee dropped opposition research against ahead of the primary. let's talk to laura bar own lopez. good to talk to you again. evan talked about marking another series of elections, including a number of major wins for women historically. what is this telling us, laura, about the state of the mid terms
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looking ahead to november? >> from last night to the primary contest we saw earlier this momt, women have been dominating across the country and that's a theme we expect to continue all the way to november. one thing about the races that you highlighted, whether abrams or fletcher or mcgrath, they'll be tough battles for these democratic women. but that being said, democrats are still in a strong position to take the house in november. knowing that there's a lot of buzz on the hill now, i spoke to more than 30 members for a recent piece. 30 house democrats about what they want to do if they gain the majority, and you're going to be seeing oversight amped up. they're holding hearings on stormy daniels. payments to stormy daniels by trump. going after trump's tax returns. they're going to be issuing
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subpoenas. they can do this all unilaterally. democrats are already gearing up and preparing. >> lot of democrats are debating whether to campaign on impeachment. let's switch gears a moment. i want to ask you about a stunning revelation from department of homeland security secretary. she made a comment she was unfamiliar with the intelligence community report that russia aimed to help trump back in 2016 during the presidential election. she may be the only person in washington unfamiliar with that intelligence community assessment. >> in the country maybe. >> how surprising given when she came in was deputy homeland security secretary? >> it is stunning. we know that neilson's relationship with trump is a bit rocky now. we know they recently had confrontations. there was speculation that she may be on the way out soon. so we have to ask whether or not
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neilson is actually unaware of the intelligence official assessment which would be frankly shocking or whether or not she's pretending to be in order to be in trump's good graces. >> try to curry favor with the president not saying you know about that assessment. thank you very much for joining us from d.c. still ahead, everybody, contender for landlord/tenant battle of the year. details on legal action two parents are taking to get their 30-year-old son out of their house. >> nothing wrong with living at home. bill karins is back with another check of the forecast.
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it's funny really, nobody ever does iti didn't do itppens. and of course it's the really tough stains that nobody ever does ready? really? i didn't do it so when i heard they added ultra oxi to the cleaning power of tide, i knew it was just what we needed so now we can undo all the tough stains that nobody did dad? i didn't do it huh, he didn't do it introducing new tide ultra oxi; it's got to be tide all right. this is a good story. if you think you overstayed your welcome at your parents' house, the next story offers
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perspective. new york state supreme court judge ordering a 30-year-old man to move out of his parents' house. the judge ruled that michael rotundo, write that name down. in court filings, they have been trying to get their son to move out several months, includes five written notices they left him starting back in february. did they put it on his bedroom door? stay out, mom and dad. eviction notice. one of the notes offered him $1100 to help him find a new place. there he is, the man in question. michael says he will appeal that decision. >> he loves his mom's home cooking. >> now there's no date when he has to be out of his home. i have to say, when you're home, maybe mom and dad are doing laundry for you. >> it is comfortable. >> i don't think they're doing his laundry. >> my parents won't take me back
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at this age. >> as soon as he left, they locked the door. that was it. let check the weather. you have umpdates on the weeken. >> the weekend is iffy in the southeast, mid athletic, split weekend. another quiet day, no tornado threat. this is peak of tornado season. this shows where tornadoes have occurred by state. kansas had the most at 30. lot of other areas single digits. we are well behind the normal pace for tornadoes. texas only having two. as far as the forecast today, showers exiting areas of cape cod and rhode island. clears up in the northeast, mid athletic. afternoon storms in the southeast. middle of the country looking good. going into thursday, this is the tropical system in the middle of the gulf. by the time you get to friday and saturday, some moisture
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starts to creep northward. by the time you get to saturday, rain moves in along the gulf coast from pensacola city, mobile, through the west coast of florida. not a great beach day, especially saturday, maybe friday too. here's the weekend forecast. heavy rain through the southeast. florida looks to keep wet. incredibly wet may so far. that continues. heavy rain near miami to west palm beach. by sunday, still soggy. a slow moving storm system like the last one. on sunday, we start okay in the northeast, then afternoon showers and storms. a cold front pushes down from the north. it will actually be a cool memorial day. doesn't look like it is too rainy. 59 in boston. 68 in new york city, with a few showers. then steady rains in the mid atlantic. the weekend forecast as far as holiday wnl
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holid holid holiday weekends, a lot of lost revenue. >> we should book to wisconsin. still ahead, facebook ceo facing questions over his company's data scandal. >> the latest on mark zuckerberg's apology tour. i'm about to start the nature's bounty hair, skin and nails challenge. so my future self will thank me. thank you. i become a model? yes. no. start the challenge today. and try new tropical citrus flavor with collagen.
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look at you. this tech stuff is easy. [ whirring sound ] you want a cookie? it's a drone! i know. find your phone easily with the xfinity voice remote. one more way comcast is working to fit into your life, not the other way around. welcome back, everyone. congress taking the biggest steps rolling back regulations on the country's banks since the
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global financial crisis hit. they voted to ease restrictions on thousands of small and medium size banks that had been enacted as part of the 2010 dodd-frank law. 33 democrats supported that legislation which cleared the senate earlier this year. among rule changes, the measure raises the threshold to $250 billion from $50 billion under which banks are deemed too big to fail, believe that or not. the banks will not have to undergo stress tests or submit living wills, designed to prevent financial disaster. the legislation will leave fewer than ten big banks in the united states subject to stricter oversights. the bill headed to president trump who is expected to sign it into law. facebook ceo mark zuckerberg kicked off a three day european apology tour with appearance before european lawmakers in brussels. rather than ease concerns with
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regulators, zuckerberg was met with a cold reception, on regulatory pressure and list of questions he left unanswered. karen, obviously like we said, a lot of unanswered questions during those exchange. i guess the question today is will zuckerberg receive a warmer welcome when he meets with french president macron later today? >> mark zuckerberg seems happy to be in paris. he shared a photo last night of a late-night walk around the louvre. next up here in about an hour, meeting the french president emmanuel macron for lunch with about 40 other industry leaders in technology, talking about tech for good. much friendlier terms than last night in brussels, where mark zuckerberg was effect ively grilled by lawmakers. it was a much shorter hearing, 990 minutes, the bulk of the time taken up with a series of
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questions by european lawmakers and then zuckerberg was given 30 minutes to choose which topics to adress. one topic, european regulation, this is what mark zuckerberg had to say at the testimony. >> i think the question is what is the right regulation. i think the internet is becoming increasingly important in people's lives, some sort of regulation is important and inevitable and the, the important thing is to get this right. and to make sure that we have regulatory frameworks that help protect people. >> there are big fines if there's breach of the consent clauses. facebook effectively needs to get the consent of users to access their data. one other quick point, the idea of facebook being monopoly was something closely tackled by some of those lawmakers. i would watch out for that. because there's a lot of form in
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europe around antitrust. particularly around google that could be a threat for investors. coming up, axios' jim vandehei has a look at this morning's one big thing. and a scaling back of expectations for the north korean summit. president trump adds fuel to the uncertainty over whether it will take place. as pyongyang's denuclearization becomes the centerpiece. senate for relations member chris murphy and president of the council on force relations richard haass break down the likelihood this summit becomes a reality. "morning joe" moments away. freezing away fat cells with coolsculpting? now that's cool. coolsculpting safely freezes and removes fat cells. with little or no downtime. and no surgery. results and patient experience may vary. some rare side effects include temporary numbness, discomfort, and swelling.
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save $300 on the x350 select series™ tractors with the purchase of a mulchcontrol™ kit. welcome back, joining us from washington with a look at axios a.m. co-founder, co-founder and ceo of axios, jim vander hyde. talk to us about axios' one big thing. >> we have a look at the anti-robert mueller brigade that's starting to grow, i say slightly in numbers.
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but substantially in how loud it is. and what this brigade is, it's not just trump any more. not just trump, but his twitter feed. you start to see mark penn, a former clinton aide sort of questioning the mueller probe. you see allen dershowitz on cable questioning the probe. you see these members of congress who will be meeting today to discredit the origin of the probe. so it's not always totally coordinated. but now it's all of these voices, almost every day. trying to raise questions about the probe now. but also the origins of it. and the why it matters. the why it matters, is that the more you have this and the more successful it is, and polls show with republicans it is pretty successful, where you have a lot of republicans saying this investigation should end and that the president is not guilty enough to be impeached. that gives the president more and more leverage. because at the end of the day, this is both a legal debate, but it is also a political debate.
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because it's a house of representatives, that's controlled by republicans that would decide impeachment. and it's the senate which is controlled by republicans that would decide removal. so we should pay attention to this campaign. >> so besides it just being kind of a public chorus and solidifying that republican base, this is actually producing some tangible results, or at least having some impact on the investigation nonetheless, with the recent decisions by the department of justice to so-called investigate the investigators. >> this meeting, congressman nunes who wants to meet with the justice department to talk about this informant and do it only with republicans present, this is unusual. usually when you are talking about intelligence matters with capitol hill, until recently it's almost always done in a bipartisan fashion. worth noting, the senate republicans are not joining in on this. there's much more bipartisan activity on the intelligence side on the senate. but you've got house republicans
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wanting to discredit the origin of the probe. saying you know what, it looks like there's an informant, a mole inside the trump campaign, this was tainted from the beginning. even if it's not true and almost every single investigation involves informants, very similar to this. even if it's not true, a lot of people do end up thinking it's true. you see it in polls. a lot of republicans think this is much ado about nothing. i think to all of us is a little shocking, we look at the known knowns and we're like, there's a lot there, there's a reason the republicans in the senate are quiet. they see there's a lot there that at least warrants investigation, whether it warrants impeachment or legal activity, that's later. >> talk to us about jonathan swan's reporting on all of this and the white house's legal team sabotage with regards to the mueller investigation. >> there's two sides to this, right? you have your emmett floods, your lawyer who is are looking at this on the inside, who are really thinking about the legal strategy. that's being done behind the scenes. should be done behind the
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scenes. but you are now have rudy giuliani, who is really kind of the spokesman for the white house. constantly on the phone with the president, late at night, often multiple times, shares his grievances and he really has become sort of the public mouth and the public face of the anti-mueller brigade. and so you've got those two sides of it. the pr side and the legal side. working in conjunction both to try to end the probe and always to discredit mueller himself. >> i want to ask you about the epa. i know you guys have some new, you guys have new polling out showing that the epa chief scott pruitt has hit a low approval rating, probably the lowest approval rating during his tenure. despite having a low profile for someone in that position. what do the numbers reveal in. >> it's so interesting. all of these stories that we hyperventilate about. it turns out that about 50-some percent of the public, doesn't know who scott pruitt is.
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they haven't been paying attention to all the stories about the shenanigans going on with him and his staff at the epa. the poll did find of people that 80% of people said if the inspector general's report being done on him shows that there was, that there was these activities and they were improper, that he should be fired. while he's not super well known, people do feel strongly that when you hear about the charges if true, he should go. >> jim vander hyde, live in washington, d.c., we'll be reading axios a.m. in just a little bit. you can sign up for the newsletter at axios.com. that does it for us, i'm yasmin vossoughian alongside ayman mohyeldin and louis burgdorf, "morning joe" starts right now. see what happens, whether or not it happens. whatever it is, it is. we'll see what happens. if it doesn't happen, maybe it will happen later. maybe it will happen at a different time. we will see. whether the deal gets made or not, who knows. you never really know. there's a chance that it will

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