tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC March 19, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT
that wraps up this hour of "msnbc live." i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today." kasie hunt in for andrea mitchell, hey, kasie. >> hi, craig, thank you so much. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," star search. is it style or substance that will help democrats stand out in a crowded field? >> you, if you so choose, can be part of the largest grassroots effort this country has ever seen. >> we can have national voting. and that means get ready of the electoral college. >> let's just take the opioid
crisis. they should be prosecuted. uncovered. new court documents reveal that robert mueller's team was investigating michael cohen for months before they raided the former trump lawyer's home and office and hint that they're not done yet. >> there's still redaction involving the campaign finance investigation which is apparently still going on. and hot topic. the talk of climate change is heating up in a district that voted for donald trump in 2016. after a year of severe weather events. >> the dominant issue that most people were talking about was the importance of climate change. >> there's also a lot of talk here about the green new deal. do you support that as well? >> i absolutely support that. >> we're both really concerned about energy policy. servicing i do analysis of local weather and i can tell you, climate change is here in prescott. good day, i'm kasie hunt in
washington. andrea is on assignment overseas with secretary pompeo. while here at home, the growing list of democratic presidential candidates are trying to stand out. elizabeth warren and kirsten gillibrand using dueling town halls to make headlines on the future of presidential voting and the "me too" movement while beto o'rourke continues to barnstorm through the rust belt following multiple stops in michigan and ohio on monday, with a visit to pennsylvania this morning in front of a fired-up penn state student section. >> that's why i'm running to represent you, to serve you, to work with you, as the next president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] >> all the current and potential candidates in the field are still waiting on one man, vice president joe biden, to make his move and solidify his place as the early frontrunner. joining me now, nbc political analyst robert costa, moderator of "washington week."
msnbc contributor yamiche ail sin do alcindor. and msnbc contributor charlie sykes, editor in chief at "the bulwark." robert costa, for our viewers to note, we're watching the president of brazil arrive here at the white house. those are the live pictures we're seeing as we chat about 2020. but bob, there are so many candidates, obviously, in this field. it's starting to kind of be at the top of the headlines, sometimes to president trump's chagr chagrin. and we mentioned this idea of a frontrunner. what's your sense of how this field is shaking out right now between beto o'rourke's money and biden looming on the horizon? >> what's important at this point more than the polling is the message of each of these candidates. and today's split screen between president trump and the democratic field is quite revealing. there's a disconnect between
some of these candidates on the democratic side. some are making an argument for generational change like congressman o'rourke. others like senator sanders are mounting a more aggressive populist message. president trump is meeting with a far right populist leader from brazil. where are the democrats going to go? generational change or populist progressive? that seems to be the choice, the debate that's developing. >> jim messina, beto o'rourke with a real show of strength on those fundraising numbers. it seems that joe biden is all but certain to get into this race. do you think he starts out as the inevitable frontrunner or do you think it potentially puts his legacy at risk? >> no, i don't think there is a frontrunner in this field. obviously vice president biden has a lead in the early polls out of name i.d. and people loving what he did with barack obama. but democrats want two things more than anything, and that is passion and new.
the vice president's challenge is going to be matching the kind of newness of beto and the excitement of beto with his record. i think this is the most wide-open contest we've had in 30 years. and i don't think you can say there's any frontrunner. >> so you mentioned passion and newness. i think as we've watched beto o'rourke's campaign unfold, there have been some questions about whether that's all he brings, kind of what are the policy specifics behind his campaign. he was actually asked about this by a student. take a look at that exchange. >> when are we going to get an actual policy from you instead of just like platitudes and nice stories? >> i'm going to be try to be as specific as i can. i mentioned our criminal justice system. i've called for the end of the prohibition on marijuana and the spendi expungement of the arrest records of anyone arrested for marijuana. i've been talking about that a long time.
to extraordinary women with whom i've served in congress, january sh jan schakowsky of illinois has introduced a proposal called medicare for america that ensures if you have employer-based insurance, and you like it, you keep it. your doctors, your network, what works for you right now. if you don't have insurance or you don't like the insurance you already have, you enroll in medicare. >> so charlie sykes, that does sound as though he is talking a little bit more specifically than he had been. it took him a couple of days, it seemed, to get his answer on the medicare for all question fully nailed down. how much more does he need to do that, how much is there a demand for these policy specifics? as we know, donald trump won with some broad policy ideas, i suppose, but not a lot of specifics. >> i think that's exactly the point. there's a long time for him to fill in all the blanks. remember, donald trump is sitting in the oval office right now not exactly a policy wonk. it is legitimate to say what
exactly are you going to be proposing, but i think this is kind of an insider game that we've sort of created the meme that he's got to, you know, come out with 50-page white papers that nobody is going to believe. you have, what, 40 democratic candidates for president. and they're -- >> are we at 40 now? >> 40, 45, since we started. they're all competing for some attention. so i understand how it's now become the consequentiventional that everybody has to have all the details. given what we saw in 2016, what beto o'rourke is doing is -- i mean, let's face it, comparing him to the donald trump specificity, he comes off as, you know, felix frankfurter. >> that's a deep hole, charlie. yamiche, charlie is talking about specifics here. one person i would argue in this field who is kind of rolling out very specific policy proposals is elizabeth warren, in some ways following a model, i
remember covering hillary clinton's campaign where we saw a lot of very detailed policy. it's much easier to figure out where she stands at this point on these issues than some of these other candidates. is that a mold that is going to work in this environment in which we're living with donald trump and his, you know, fingers on twitter at the ready? >> i think elizabeth warren and her specific policy stances might become the litmus test that democrats have to take in order to be viable in this field. i don't think that having those specific policies is going to somehow make her the frontrunner. i think when you look at what the democratic base is looking at, they're looking at how did you get your money. the feeling is that you should really be getting small donors and should not be working with pacs or wall street banks. there's this idea that you need to be progressive on the issues, that health care is a right, that there should be fair wages for all people, that you believe in ending inequality, the idea of republicarations is somethin people are talking about.
elizabeth warren was talking about the electoral college recently and abolishing now. i'm going to bet now that all the other candidates will have to answer the question, do you agree with elizabeth warren, should we be looking at the electoral college. i understand what robert is talking about, this idea of new generation versus progressive, but i also think there's this idea that there are so many people looking at the man in the white house behind me and thinking, we need somebody to beat him and it's not just policy, it has to be personality, because you're envisioning whoever wins the democratic nomination, they're going to be on stage with donald trump who is going to be harassing them and insulting them and you need to figure out do you want someone who will be nice to donald trump or who will punch back and say, i'm not going to take the things you're saying? >> fair point. i'm glad you raised elizabeth warren. here is what she had to say on this proposal to try and change the electoral college. >> my view is that every vote matters. and the way we can make that happen -- [ applause ]
-- is that we can have national voting. and that means get rid of the electoral college and everybody counts. [ cheers and applause ] >> bob costa, how realistic is that as a policy proposal? >> it would take a very long process to change the electoral college which has been part of this country since the beginning, part of the constitution, the way presidents are elected. and you have states who still want to protect the electoral college system to make sure that they have a say and that states like california that are vote-rich don't suddenly become the only places where people campaign. it would be a long national debate. but it also underscores the populism that i was talking about out there in the democratic party. senator warren knows policy is important, but she also needs to connect with that voter who feels disenfranchised, who feels like they're not being listened
to, with economic policies but also proposals like the removal of the electoral college. >> charlie, you look like you're itching to get in on this conversation. >> it's not a serious proposal because it's just not going to happen. i do think there's a danger here for democrats who have been rightly critical of donald trump for violating certain democratic norms, and yet almost on a daily basis, they're talking about the norms that they would like to shatter. packing the supreme court, abolishing the electoral college. and they're sort of in this rush to do this. if we're concerned about our institutions and the damage done to them, perhaps the democrats should not be lining up to do more damage to some of these institutions. and the electoral college, i mean, the process to change that is just -- it's not a serious proposal. >> jim messina, i'll let you respond to that if you want to, but i also want to ask you about senator kirsten gillibrand who at a town hall was talking about senator franken and that experience, and we've seen the reporting that that's hurt her
among particularly democratic donors. take a look at how she answered the question. >> the conversations i was having at home at the time were very upsetting. because theo said to me, mom, where are you so tough on al franken? as a mother i had to be really clear. it is not okay for anyone to grope a woman anywhere on her body without her consent. it is not okay to forcibly kiss a woman, ever, without her consent. it was not okay for senator franken. it was not okay for you, theo. if there are a few democratic powerful donors who are angry because i stood up for women who came forward with allegations of sexual harassment, that's on them. >> so that was a town hall with our colleague chris hayes. jim, how do you think she answered that question and is this something that's really hurting her behind the scenes in such a crowded field? >> kasie, two things. let me answer the electoral college question. i also think from a campaign manager standpoint, when i ran president obama's campaign, we would never go to a small state
if there was no electoral college. you would go to the major media markets. you wouldn't go to iowa, wouldn't go to montana, wouldn't go to new hampshire. i think any proposal to get rid of the electoral college, i understand the concern, and the concern is real, that we've had two presidents get elected without winning the popular vote. but i agree with charlie, that's not going to happen. on gillibrand, i think it's a brilliant answer. there is criticism in the democratic community about her statements about franken, about her criticisms saying bill clinton should have been impeached. i think the way she handled that last night shows how long she's been thinking about running for president and how very nuanced her argument is. you've seen beto stumble in his first five days because running for president is hard, and you see someone like kirsten who has been thinking about running since she was in congress, much less the senate, and obviously thought about how to deal with this issue and i thought she nailed it. >> fair enough.
another person we expect to play a major role is of course president trump's campaign manager brad parscale who is stirring up a serious white house drama today, starring white house counselor kellyanne conway and her husband george conway, a persistent public critic of his wife's boss. parscale firing back at conway for a string of tweets about mental disorders targeting the president using mr. trump's label, mr. kellyanne conway, in his own tweet attack, writing that conway, quote, hurts his wife because he is jealous of her success. president trump, pouncing on that this morning with a retweet, adding his opinion that conway is, quote, a total loser. not to be outdone, george conway fired back with his own tweetstorm calling mr. trump narcissistic, unfit, incompetent, among other things. bob costa, what is the back story here? i mean, first of all, it seems obvious that this is only going
to help democrats. but i mean, talk about some -- what is normally private, just becoming so public. >> the real back story is, you have to go back three, four decades and trace president trump's career. he relishes tabloid drama, tabloid style fights. this is right out of that school. whenever his businesses were going sour, he was having different personal things play out in the news, he would have these kind of fights, these kind of spats or allies of his would be on page 6 of "the new york post." this was a way for him to dominate the headlines. he's not tweeting so much about bolsinaro, not tweeting about the mueller report. he's tweeting about one of his staffer's spouses. it's typical of his behavior. >> charlie sykes? >> oh, but in this particular case, what he think he hates is that george conway is, by the way, the most interesting thing
on twitter right now. it is not the president. and, you know, i mean, the drama here, between one of the senior aides to the president of the united states, you know, and the husband, it is extraordinary. but, you know, george conway is a serious guy. >> very much so. >> he is very respected in legal circles. >> he introduced kellyanne to the president. >> that's right. i don't know him, i wouldn't pick him out in a lineup, that is simple not true. but he is really raising an interesting issue. he's basically tweeting out and saying, hey, you ought to look at the definition of pathological narcissisnarcissis. george conway says, look at the various traits of pathological -- and he's very serious about this. >> are you saying you agree with george conway? >> oh, i am fascinated by the point he's making, let me put it this way. and that it's coming from somebody who -- he's married to someone with daily and intimate contact with the president of
the united states, tweeting out the diagnosis of pathological narcissism. we're not in james carville/mary matalin territory anymore. >> that was very gentle. >> i was on a call with kellyanne conway where she was talking about the opioid crisis and all these things going on and in the back of my mind and i think in the back of a lot of reporters' minds was, how awkward, when your husband is essentially having a twitter battle with the president of the united states. they call him mr. kellyanne conway, there's this idea that some people are pointing to the way they speak of george conway as problematic at best. >> reminds me a little bit of when the president got upset that sean spicer was played by a woman on "saturday night live," great point. yamiche alcindor, charlie sykes, jim messina, robert costa, thank you so much. coming up, why is deputy
attorney general rod rosenstein staying on the job and what does it say about the state of the mueller investigation? you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. duncan just protected his family with a $500,000 life insurance policy. how much do you think it cost him? $100 a month? $75? $50? actually, duncan got his $500,000 for under $28 a month. less than a dollar a day. his secret? selectquote. in just minutes, a selectquote agent will comparison shop nearly a dozen highly-rated life insurance companies, and give you a choice of your five best rates. duncan's wife cassie got a $750,000 policy for under $22 a month. give your family the security it needs at a price you can afford.
it felt exactly like germane described, it was because i watched your segment that i knew what was going on. newly unsealed court documents revealed today show special counsel robert mueller obtained warrants against the president's former attorney and fixer michael cohen dating back to the summer of 2017. we're also learning how much evidence prosecutors already had against cohen even before they searched his office, home, and hotel room in april of last year. joining me now is nbc news justice correspondent pete williams and jill wine-banks, former assistant watergate special prosecutor and msnbc legal contributor. pete, what's significant about the timeline here? you know, we've noted that there were a series of headlines in july of 2017, when this was unfolding, about that trump
tower meeting. >> yeah, i don't know whether the trump tower had anything to do with it or not. the fact is robert mueller is appointed in may. by july he's already seeking search warrants to look at financial records for michael cohen. now, what we learned from the documents that were unsealed today is, they were basically looking at two things. bank fraud, and that ultimately led to one of the charges he was convicted of, the whole thing with the taxi medallions. and something he wasn't charged with, which is failing to register as a foreign lobbyist. and what the documents say is that he had been paid by several companies, a swiss company, novartis, another swiss company owned by a russian, a kazakh bank, and also the korean aerospace company. so there were questions about whether he was failing to register as a foreign agent. he was never charged with that. and then through the bank records, according to the court documents, that's when they got onto the whole question about illegal contributions involving hush money payments. now, what we can't tell from the documents is why they started
investigating michael cohen in the first place, what was it that got their attention. and we just don't know the answer to that. >> jill wine-banks, what did you take away from what we learned here? there was a lot that was redacted, we know the feds, while they didn't listen in on michael cohen's calls, they did track who those calls were from and who he was reaching out to. >> we learned that tactics used against the mafia were used against michael cohen. pen registers are often used in mafia cases. and as pete just said, we don't know why they started the investigation but we do know it involved bank fraud and money laundering. but it also involved the possible information that he wawas acting as a representative of a foreign government. it's a lot of evidence against him. none of it is linking it to the president. but one thing leads to another
and now we had information that linked him and crimes to the president, because remember, the indictment makes the president "individual number 1," an unindicted co-conspirator. once you start, it doesn't end. that's the reason i also don't think the mueller investigation is going away soon, because there's still a lot of untied loose ends that need to be fully investigated, and it will be over when those investigations are completed. >> i'm glad you mentioned that, jill, because, pete, we're learning today that rod rosenstein is sticking around for a little bit longer. and that has sort of led to questions about whether that means that the mueller probe is going to continue on. we had thought that perhaps it was wrapping up. what does that news tell you? >> not much. i assume it means that he wants to hang around because he thinks the mueller report is coming soon. he initially had said he would leave early on after barr comes in. then he said maybe he would leave around mid-march.
senior justice department officials told me today he's going to stay a little while longer but perhaps not so long as waiting until the new deputy attorney general is confirmed, there will be some gap there. my guess is, yes, he's going to stay around to perhaps -- in the expectation that the mueller report is coming soon. all indications are that mueller is winding down his work. i think jill is right, there's a lot of work yet to be done. but it seems pretty clear now that that's going to be farmed out to the u.s. attorney's office in new york, down here and other places. remember, mueller and all his teamwork for the justice department and it doesn't go away when mueller shuts down, the work goes on. >> jill, there have been high profile departures from mueller's team, andrew weissmann among them. does that lend credence to this idea that what we're going to see that's tying up those loose ends will be from the formal kind of setup, the southern district of new york, for example, and other places? >> no, i think that we're getting conflicting signals.
rosenstein staying is saying maybe it's going on. i think that the gates delay in sentencing is another sign that the investigation is going on. and remember, it was delayed because he's still cooperating in ongoing investigations. the departure of the top prosecutor for the manafort case means that manafort is pretty much done and that he could leave. there are a lot of other excellent prosecutors and trial lawyers on the team right now, and they can take it over. so i think it can go on for quite a while. if you look at whitewater, that case lasted years and years. i think it was almost seven years before they wrapped up. our office, i mean, our trial, went from may of '73, we had a verdict in the obstruction case , and january 1st of '75. so that was very quick. but the office didn't close down. there were still other
investigations besides the obstruction of justice case. so it doesn't really tell us anything. i think pete is right, we really can't guess. and all the predictions have been wrong so far. i have said from the beginning i didn't think it was wrapping up as soon as people said it was. >> i personally am ready for this guessing game to be over, pete, so i'm excited for you to report that this actually is coming. >> my information is that the mueller report is coming out last tuesday. >> there you are. another story you're tracking is the arguments around the president, his hotel and the emoluments clause. >> the ever-popular emoluments clause. this is the first time a federal court has chewed over what it means in our entire history because there's never been any litigation about this. today the fourth circuit court in richmond heard arguments because a judge in maryland said a lawsuit can go forward brought by the attorney general of maryland and the district of columbia who are saying it's wrong that president trump has
ownership in this hotel, the trump hotel, five blocks from the white house, it's unfair competing with other companies here, because people want to stay, foreign governments want to stay in that hotel because they can curry favor with the president. that's something no other hotel can offer. they say when the foreign company stays at the hotel it provides a financial benefit to the president which violates the he memoluments clause which say nobody can pay the president except for his salary. that's the question. the three-judge panel heard the argument today and seemed to show some skepticism about this argument, whether it really is emoluments. one attorney said, can the president own treasury bills? because he's getting some benefit other than his salary. it was pointed out that both george washington and jefferson sold their crops to foreign
countries and nobody objected to that. >> pete williams and jill wine-banks, thank you very much. nbc correspondent kristen welker just got out of the oval office. what did you hear, kristen? >> reporter: i asked president trump why he continues to attack senator john mccain now nearly seven months after his death. he answered the question very defiantly, he said because of his vote against repealing and replacing obamacare, he said that he had guaranteed the white house he would be voting in favor of it prior to that thumbs down vote. the president going on to say that it was a disgrace. i tried to follow up, i asked the president if it's beneath the dignity of the office to take aim at someone who has passed away. at that point we were being ushered out and the press handlers were essentially shouting over us so it's not clear that he heard me but i did ask that question a couple of times, kasie. this continues, clearly, to loom over what is a very serious day of policy here at the white
house. president trump meeting with the president of brazil, someone who also, like mr. trump, is seen as being a populist, far right. mr. trump underscoring that the two have a close relationship. here
is that tape. >> known as pele, who gave us so much joy playing football. >> we're looking at it very strongly. we're very inclined to do that. the relationship that we have right now with brazil has never been better. i think there was a lot of hostility with other presidents. there's zero hostility with me. and we're going to look at that very, very strongly in terms of whether it's nato or it's something having to do with alliance. but we have a great alliance with brazil, better than we've ever had before.
[ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: mr. president, brazil is working to offer the united states access to a rocket launch site in brazil. americans will be able to go to brazil without a visa. what would you like president bo balan baldonado to take to brazil? >> we're working on different options. we're working on visas and going in a much easier fashion. all of that is good. we have many things that brazil would like. and i think we're working on those things. one of the big elements of the relationship is trade.
brazil makes great product and we make great product. and our trade has been never as good as it should be in the past. and in some cases it should be far, far more. so i think our trade with brazil will go substantially up in both directions and we look forward to that. that's one of the things that brazil would like to see. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> steve? >> reporter: what do you want to see happen in venezuela? >> i know exactly what i want to happen in venezuela. we'll be talking about different things. all options are on the table. it's a shame what's happening in venezuela. the death and the destruction and the hunger, hard to believe one of the wealthiest countries is now one of the poorest and most impoverished countries. we'll be talking about that in great length. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: on military action in venezuela, and also, are you
offering brazil, are you supporting brazil's effort to join? >> i am supporting their efforts to join. i think i can speak for both countries, all options are on the table. every option is on the table with respect to venezuela. >> reporter: and you would like to see brazil have any sort of militarily option? >> we haven't discussed it, we're going to discuss it today. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: mr. president, where are you attacking john mccain seven months after his death? >> i'm very unhappy he didn't repeal and replace obamacare, as you know.
he campaigned on repealing and replacing obamacare for years then he gave a thumbs down. we would have had great health care. he campaigned, he told us hours before that he was going to repeal and replace. and then for some reason, i think i understand the reason, he ended up going thumbs up. and frankly had we even known that we would have gotten a vote because we could have gotten somebody else. i think that's disgraceful. plus there are other things. ives i was never a fan of john mccain and i never will be. thank you very much, everybody. [ simultaneous speaking ] thank you very much. >> back with me is nbc's kristen
welker. you just heard her asking questions of president there. also joining us, michael steel, former spokesman for
house speaker john boehner, and former democratic congresswoman donna edwards. kristen, the mccain topic, that was your question there, he said, i was never a fan of john mccain and i never will be. and this is obviously something that has caught the attention of course of john mccain's family, his daughter meghan mccain urging him to spend time with his own family. pretty remarkable that he is still focused on this. and i would just add as well that democrats frankly were expecting the vote that john mccain took on obamacare, the president seemed to be offering an opposite narrative to that. >> reporter: really important point, kasie. and it is just remarkable that you would see the president of the united states continue to attack a senator months after his passing, particularly
someone who was so highly regarded, who was referred to as an american hero. meghan mccain making it very clear she will take on the mantle of defending her father with that very passionate and emotional response that she delivered yesterday, kasie, saying he should be spending more time with his own family instead of obsessing over hers. her father, who she called a great man. so president trump not resisting the urge to escalate the feud. now, what you probably couldn't hear is that i asked the president, is it in fact beneath the dignity of the office to continue to attack a late senator. at that point you heard the press handlers sort of shouting over us so not clear that he heard me, but we did try to get that question in. the president will be holding a joint press conference with the president of brazil later this afternoon and perhaps we'll have a chance to ask him then, kasie. >> we'll of course be watching. michael steel, is what we just saw there from the president
about john mccain beneath the dignity of the office? >> yes, of course. you can disagree with john mccain, he was profoundly wrong about campaign finance reform, in my opinion. but he's an american hero and there's no need to disparage him particularly since he's passed away and continue to do so in such vicious and stupid and personal terms. it's utter lir claly classless. >> donna edwards, i was lucky to cover john mccain in the senate, for several years. watching what essentially was a state funeral for him as he died, in covering that as well, the president noticeably absent from those proceedings. i wonder how that plays into his continued public bitterness over this. >> you know, it's hard to explain. and i think it is beneath the office of the president. but this president seems to do things every day that are beneath the office of the president of the united states. and i think one thing that can
explain it is that the president continues to argue against a dead man because he's a man who can't speak. and i think that for the president of the united states, what this means is that he's more focused on what happened a year ago, two years ago than he is on doing his job today and being accountable to the american people. and, you know, people can see that for what it is. and it's really rather disgusting. >> and michael, i don't want to lose sight of the fact that one of the things -- the president was attacking the personal character of john mccain and of course this was the same week that marks the return of john mccain as a prisoner of war. this is a president who did not serve. what does this kind of say about the values of the party at this point? >> i think it says a lot about the values of the president and the fact that he does not honor the military services, the
captivity that senator mccain endured, his decades-long record on public policy. he attacks him in these vicious personal terms, i think that this is one of those attacks, one of those things, flaws in the president's character that makes a lot of republicans very nervous, very uncomfortable. but at the moment he continues to have sky high approval among republican voters. >> i was going to say, why does he have that sky high approval? john mccain's colleagues in the senate are afraid to break with this president. >> i think until and unless we see some sign that the president's popularity among republican voters is fading, republicans who face a primary election in the next two years are going to be very, very leery of challenging him openly. >> michael steel, donna edwards, you're going to stick with us. ahead, heating up. why climate change is a top priority for voters in the flood-ridden midwest, ahead on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. ly on msnbc pay for what i need.
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facing are voters' changing perception on climate change. that debate was front and center during town hall events with democratic lawmakers in the rust belt. nbc's hans nichols was there. >> my big concern is the environment. i would like to see us move towards -- first of all i would like to see congress support the new carbon fee and dividend. unmistakable signs of more precipitation and bigger events. that's not good for the crops, that's not good for people who live near rivers. >> we're very concerned about the policy moving forward that will be constructive and protect the environment and good for people. >> nbc's hans nichols joins me now from wisconsin. hans, were you surprised to hear that many of these voters were listing climate change at the top of their list? i know we've been hearing about health care for many years now. that was a little bit different. >> reporter: well, it's a
combination of health care and climate change. i get i'm most surprised about how little people are concerned about the investigations into president donald trump. i heard one voter here in wisconsin bring up what's happening with the manafort sentencing. there's a little bit of concern here. but on the climate change, it's not cut and dry. i think voters are reckoning with a changing climate. kasie r, that doesn't mean they believe full stop in climate change the way the scientific community describes it. yes, the mississippi river is getting pretty high, throughout the midwest, nebraska, iowa, we have a lot of flooding. i think on the democratic side, activists are trying to push their lawmakers to be more pro-green new deal, to do more on climate. here in wisconsin's third congressional district, the lawmaker here failed to endorse the green new deal. that answer was disappointing to some but satisfying to others. >> it's an issue that most people were talking about, the
importance of climate change. this was something that i feel very deeply about. >> towards the end there he said he wasn't for the green new deal. did that disappoint you? >> no, not at all. i completely understand. i myself am very much in support of many of the eventual goals of the green new deal. but the green new deal is not legislation. the green new deal is a bunch of long term goals that will take many years of legislation. >> reporter: kasie, i don't know if it's too early to start talking about primary challenges, but we heard from a local doctor here in wisconsin, dr. mark newman, former pediatrician, he told me he's planning on challenging ron kind from the left on issues of medicare and the green new deal. so i think we're at the beginning of an important conversation about what direction the democratic party is going to take. we'll see it play out in the
presidential election and also house races across the country. >> hans nichols, thank you very much for your on the ground reporting, stay warm, my friend. back with me, michael steel and former democratic congresswoman donna edwards, contributing columnist to "the washington post." donna edwards, what did you hear, in listening to those voters talk about the divisions potentially within the democratic party? >> well, i mean, these are -- these were fairly sophisticated voters. but i mean, part of what i hear is, you know, democrats who maybe embrace the idea of a green new deal, but haven't gotten down to the operatipreci what the legislation would be. there's a lot of variation on the theme, even if you have voters who are very interested in doing something about climate change. >> do you think it's a fair litmus test for candidates? >> litmus test, we're going to have a lot of them. you can already see in the presidential field there are a number of issues that really
animate voters, health care, you know, jobs and the economy, wages, college debt, and of course climate change. and i think that these are going to continue to bounce back and forth in terms of the top priorities of the candidates. and we're going to be able to see i think among at least the top tier candidates them begin to put some meat on the bonus wh bones when it comes to these big ideas. >> i think the democratic party is making a huge mistake here by embracing these two things, green new deal and medicare for all, both of which are more slogans than policy at this point. green new deal has no necessary policy associated with it. medicare for all has different versions. by latching onto these things you allow your opponents to talk about eliminating cows, eliminating air travel, eliminating popular private health insurance options that people have right now. and so by moving so far to the left, i think the democratic party really is alienating all of those middle of the road voters that they could get
because of popular revulsion at some of the things that the president says and does. >> speaking of middle of the road voters and the president, for that matter, there are some republicans facing backlash at home this week over specifically backlash at home this week over that national emergency vote. it's cutting both ways. roy blunt voted against the president and was disinvited to a republican event in missouri. cory gardner voted with the president and was slammed in a "denver post" editorial. what do you think this says about the state of the republican electorate right now? >> i think it says that the republican electorate remains fiercely loyal to the president. the base of the republican party is at this point still fiercely loyal to president trump and those that defy him do so at their peril. i think that most of the senators who voted for -- voted against the president on this issue are not in cycle in 2020. the great things about being a senator is you don't have to run every two years. i don't know that there will be any long-term fallout. but the folks that are up in 2020 are definitely concerned about the possibility of a
trump-fueled primary challenge in their elections. >> do they have every right to be afraid of that, don edwards, in a presidential year? >> i think they should be afraid of that. i think it's also true that a democratic candidate who really sort of carries the voice and the vision and the passion of democrats, is going to turn out an awful lot of voters. and you know, so we look forward to that kind of challenge, you know, the president on the ropes and many in his party. and weapon don't know where the party is going to be, frankly, in another seven months and where the investigations are going to be that nobody wants to talk about right now. the fact is that ten months from now, we could be having a completely different conversation about this election. >> i think one of the big questions that we just don't know yet is is there going to be a revelation that breaks through in this investigation? i think right now, people have gone to their opposite corners. they believe what they believe based on their partisan affiliation or ideology. is there anything at this point that can break through and pierce that and actually convince trump voters that he's done something so egregious
that -- >> that he no longer deserves to be president. it seems to me that jeb bush and larry hogan, two republicans that are watching that very closely. michael steel, thank you very much. coming up, oh, brother. how the "national enquirer" got their hands on jeff bezos' raese te texts and pictures to his girlfriend. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. tchell reports" only on msnbc ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪ ♪ make u say oh my god my drop drop ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop make u say oh my god ♪ ♪ and you never felt this type of emotion ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪ ♪ make u say oh my god my drop drop ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop make u say oh my god ♪
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now to that growing public saga between amazon's billionaire founder jeff bedeposit the company that owns the "national enquirer." we're learning new details about how the tabloid allegedly obtained racy text messages and nude selfies sent between bezos and his girlfriend, lauren sanchez. "the wall street journal" reports that according to people familiar with the matter, bezos' messages were actually sold to the "national enquirer" by sanchez's brother, michael, for $200,000. in a statement, michael sanchez says, quote, "wall street journal's" report on old rumors from anonymous sources is disappointing. i don't dignify the rumors last month and i'm not going to dignify them now. nbc news has reached out to ami, jeff bezos, lauren sanchez for comment and have not heard back from any of them. nbc's stephanie gosk now joins me for more on this story. we have not corroborated the story, but what more do we know
about this rather juicy report? >> hey, there, kasie. what i would point out in this article that jumps out is an interesting anecdote where david pecker, who is the ceo of ami, he's good friends with donald trump, he had a lunch an chipriani's with his attorney and found out that michael sanchez has been paid up-front this $200,000 and he was apparently furious about it, which would suggest, at least, that he wasn't onboard with this project. he did eventually go on to approve it. i think at the end of this reporting from the "wall street journal," you are left with one really big question. and that is, how? if michael sanchez was behind all of this, how did he get his hands -- it wasn't just one text and one photo. this was a trove of texts and photos. and on top of it, bezos alleges that ami was then blackmailing him with even more photos and text messages that hadn't been
published. so you're left wondering exactly how that happened and whether more is going to shake out in this story. >> and stephanie, how do the politics play into this? because it sounds like -- you know, certainly in that e-mail, what they wanted jeff bezos to deny was that there was any political motivation around any of this. did we learn anything new about that? >> yeah. i mean, we don't learn anything new in this article, but it gets a bit conflicted. david pecker, friends with donald trump. the allegation is that this article was targeting jeff bezos because he owned "the washington post" with all of its coverage that donald trump doesn't like and apparently that ami wanted to get out from under that accusation. on top of it, bezos in that editorial that he writes at medium, he accuses the "national enquirer" of, well, the "national enquirer" perhaps in cahoots with a foreign
government of illegally tapping phones. and this is clearly -- this reporting out of "the wall street journal" suggests that that was not the case, but there are lots of lingering questions, including the fact that michael sanchez says he never obtained what we've been euphemistically describing as the below-the-belt selfie himself. if he wasn't the one who got it, who did? how did they get it? some of those questions still out there to be answered. >> stephanie gosk, interesting story you're covering today. >> for sure. that was a very diplomatic comment. >> that's going to do it for us on this edition of driandrea mitchell reports. remember to follow the show online, on facebook, and on twitter @mitchellreports and make sure to tune in for kasie d.c. every sunday right here on msnbc. but now here's ali velshi and stephanie ruhle coming up for "velshi & ruhle". >> hello, everyone. i'm ali velshi. kbl and i'm stephanie ruhle.
it's tuesday, march 19th, let's get smarter. >> i think these two people are particularly dangerous, perhaps more dangerous than the president. because the president is, for all his peccadillos, in plain sight. jared and ivanka are kind of in disguise, as we've talked about. and the damage that -- the danger and havoc they've played with the protocols that have been put in place in this government, in our government for decades to keep us safe have in and out been undone. >> an extensive report from "the new york times" into deutsche bank's relationship with president trump. details that the bank saw multiple red flags over a two-decade relationship that included bankruptcies and inflai inflated assets, yet they still gave him more than $2 billion to finance his real estate projects. >> the problem is, while they're actually earning money on managing his assets and interest rates on the loans, it's a huge self-inflicted tarnishing of their reputation.