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tv   MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle  MSNBC  March 19, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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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. deutsche bank has been synonymous, i think, in the
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united states right now with money laundering for russians and lending to donald trump. >> 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. >> the effect would be devastating. you know, she gets the reality, absolutely upside down. she said, let's do this to make sure that every vote matters. this is another way in which the democrats are undermining the sort of core constitutional structures of the country. we begin with breaking news. brand-new details revealed in the robert mueller investigation into president trump. newly released search warrants show the probe of trump's personal attorney and we know him as his former fixer, michael cohen, began almost a full year
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before the feds raided cohen's home and his office. >> the documents provide a detailed timeline into the investigation, even revealing how the feds found out about the stormy daniel payments. >> joining us now, nbc news investigations reporter, tom winter, and former federal prosecutor, kathy fleming. tom, for you, what was your biggest takeaway here? >> i think the biggest takeaway is a little bit of the timeline of the investigation. we knew this case originated from the special counsel's office and it was a case they conducted with prosecutors here at the u.s. attorney's office for the southern district. so we knew that occurred. what was interesting to me was that in the middle of july of 2017, so this is just a few months after robert mueller was appointed, that they were already getting access to some of michael cohen's e-mail accounts, so that that activity from the special counsel's office continued through november of 2017. we also got a little bit more information, i think, there's always been a question as to how the investigation into the campaign finance activity, the payments to stormy daniels, the
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payments to karen mcdougal, how that actually came about. and we can show that for you on screen. there's a part of one of the warrants, which clearly states that this came from, and we can see it here, during the course of the investigation, the u.s. attorney's office and the fbi have obtained evidence that cohen has already committed a criminal violation of the campaign finance laws. and i said this before that, they talked about how that came out of the effort by cohen to defraud multiple banks. i think that provides us a little bit of detail as to how that actually came together. >> so kathy, why are -- there's 19 pages in there about these hush money payments. but the thing tom showed us on tv is heavily redacted. this is all out there. i don't know if there's more to find out about this, but clearly there's something that we're not supposed to know. >> it's heavily redacted and there's a strong suggestion there's still ongoing activity. there's several reasons that people keep things secret out of u.s. attorney's office. one is that you protect the innocent or people who haven't been charged so they do redact
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things appropriately when people are not going to be charged with crimes and the second reason is, when there are big blocks of gray matter qu, which there are these affidavits, suggests that there are ongoing activities, that there are parts of the investigation they still don't want to reveal. they're not just blocking out names of people. there are a couple of places where they do just block out what appears to be a name. but there are whole pages that are blocked out here. and that is what i want to see. >> tom, take us into tactics. the fbi uses a tactic to trigger -- excuse me, to track michael cohen called a trigger fish. what is that? >> so this is part of a series of devices that have been developed and have been developed going back to the early 2000s. there's a couple of different versions of this hardware and software. but it basically allows them to create a fake cell phone site. it's a cell phone site your phone latches on to, the information is passed through. it has, depending on which device you're using, it has the ability to actually maybe listen to a call, to see text messages,
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to see data that's sent, if you're browsing, if you go to, say,, it would see that you were going to that address. some devices specifically say, okay, which numbers are in this area and can it get any gps information off of the phone? in this particular case, the fbi used this device called trigger fish. it's a small unit about this big and it can be attached to a laptop or a computer and basically it would see, okay, what cell phones are in the area and can we get some gps information off of them. the fbi field office here in new york apparently used that information according to the documents to discern which hotel room michael cohen was staying in at the lowe's hotel here, because he had been staying there -- he was renovating his apartment here in manhattan. so they wanted the ability to make sure the actual room they entered and conducted the search warrant on proved to the judge, hey, we know exactly where he is and we're going to absolutely go to the right room in this hotel. they used that technology to make sure they were looking in the right place. >> kathy, when the raid happened, if you'll recall,
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president trump tweeted out fairly quickly, attorney/client privilege is dead. >> we really just don't know what that means. >> i was going to say that. >> that's what i'm starting to think. >> what in this context does it mean? >> if you are a client and your personal attorney is having the offices raided, that would be a natural reaction, why are they raiding my attorneys? and there are materials that are privileged. so the department of justice, when they are going to raid an attorney's office, there are extra safeguards in addition to just the affidavit for a search warrant. they have to get permission from the department of justice to raid an attorney's office. and that means that somebody else with an extra pair of eyes down in washington is reviewing it have affidavit. they also have to put special safeguards in place. and if you read the papers, you'll see they talked about how they had separate and segregated computers and servers from the law firm, he had segregated offices, and they will have to put things in place. >> but if you're my lawyer, because this is what confuses me. there's sort of this idea, and
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the president definitely puts it out there, if you're my lawyer and i'm paying you regularly, every conversation we ever have is privileged. it seems like that's what the uneducated view is. and i think that's incorrect. >> well, that is incorrect. >> so walk us through what is privileged? >> what is privileged are communications between an attorney and a client which are given for the purpose of giving or receiving legal advice. if i am -- if my client is in the office and e-mails me and says, what would you like for lunch, that is not a privileged communication. if he says, gee, when i was at lunch, i paid somebody hush money and i'm worried that the feds are coming, that is privileged. >> so let's say you're the lawyer, i'm the client and you're hanging out in my office, and you're witness to my son or daughter walking in and talking about some other activity that doesn't have to do with what you're specifically advising me on, but you know all about it. is that privileged? >> you know, lawyer answer, it depends. probably not under the facts you just gave me.
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i'm probably a pure witness. but if i'm there and if i see that happening, i'm probably not going to be quiet. i'm probably going to be giving some advice in the context of it. so it really is going to depend. >> doesn't it seem like the president puts out this idea that there's an umbrella, you were my guy, everything we ever discussed, off the table. >> that is the idea that comes out, but it's not something that is absolute. it's certainly not that much of an umbrella, to your point. there is one other exception to the crime, fraud exception. if you were my attorney, i can't say to you, hey, i really need you to -- i'm under investigation, but, boy, stephanie, it would be great if you could pay this person off or it would be great if you could commit this other part of the crime for the thing i'm already being investigated for. that's not allowed either. your attorney/client privilege is waived in that circumstance if i'm using you as my attorney to do it. i want to add to what kathy said, because it was really smart before when she talked about how the redacted sections of this refer to an ongoing investigation. in fact, the judge said on
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february 7th that redacted portions of these search warrants would go to an active and ongoing investigation involving campaign finance payments. so we know that this is definitely still something that's being looked at. >> can i just add something on what you said, too, in terms of attorney/client privilege. the justice department did take safeguards here. they have taint teams, meaning people who aren't going to prosecute, that come and look at the documents and they also appointed a former federal judge to come in and review the materials before they were turned over, so see what was, in fact, privileged. very little of it was deemed privileged by the federal judge. >> thank you to both of you. i have learned a lot. tom winter and kathy fleming. >> all of our communications privileged, you know that. except for the microphones. all right, next, major conflict of interest right inside the white house. we are talking about jared kushner and ivanka trump. neither have truly divested themselves from their family businesses. how they benefitted and why it's
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so dangerous, at least according to one author with a new tell-all. but first, another potential conflict of interest is being examined in an appeals court today. it has to do with president trump's washington, d.c., hotel and whether he's illegally profiting from foreign visitors. is the president violating the constitution's emolument's clause? trump's attorneys says the president should not face this type of allegation or legal distraction and the case should be thrown out. you're watching "velshi & ruhle," live on msnbc. el"vshi & ruhle," live on msnbc. you got in taxation? (danny) of course you don't because you didn't! your job isn't understanding tax code... it's understanding why that... will get him a body like that... move! ...that. your job isn't doing hard work... here.'s making her do hard work... ...and getting paid for it. (vo) snap and sort your expenses to save over $4,600 at tax time. (danny) jody...
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welcome back to "velshi & ruhle." a new book looks into the potential conflicts of interest of white house senior advisers and of course family members of president trump, jared kushner and ivanka trump. and the author tells nbc jared and ivanka are, quote, perhaps more dangerous than the president. according to her, journalist vickie ward recounts kushner hosting chinese government officials at his 666 fifth avenue tower as the administration was trying to woo chinese leadership. around the same time, news broke that kushner had dined with an executive from china's en banc, who was looking to invest in the tower, and remember, that tower was bleeding money. on the middle east, ward described then secretary of state rex tillerson blaming
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kushner for president trump piece sudden endorsement of a blockade against qatar by more than half a dozen countries led by saudi arabia. kushner was also instrumental, according to ward, in selecting saudi arabia as the president's first foreign trip. it was not until later that we learned kushner's family company had courted qatari investment in 666 fifth avenue, an investment the country finally did make. and as the president toured the middle east, more about the kushner's cozy relationship with crowned prince mohammad bin salman was revealed. then there was the white house visitor log. this to me is the most important. in april 2017, the white house announced it would no longer publish logs of who was coming into the white house and why the visitors were there. at the time, the white house cited national security risks. but according to ward's interviews, then white house chief of staff, rines priebus
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said the concerns came from jared. this is interesting. and remember, lloyd -- if you don't know, lloyd blankfein, involved in cadre, mike fos telly, former goldman sachs partner involved in cadre. this is a major business for both jared kushner and his brother, josh kushner. and when jared did any sort of divestiture, it was just to his direct family members. joining me now, "new york times'" annie karni. she has written about the book. we have to lead with this, jared kushner's spokesperson, his lawyer has said, this is a book of fiction. here's the issue. they do not offer any specific rebuttals. i believe they said they didn't have time to go through it all, which is somewhat stunning. if someone wrote a tell-all book eviscerating you and your character, you're staffed up and your lawyer is getting paid by the hour certainly has time for you. you've spoken to vicky ward and
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you read the book. what stands out most? >> it's an interesting tactic this white house takes, just dismissing it completely out of hand. there's a lot in that book that's already been reported by other outlets, instead of shooting down something that they think is particularly out of hand. that's a separate subject. in terms of these conflict of interest issues you're raising, we need to zoom out for a second and take a look at where this is all coming from, which is that jared and ivanka never divested in their private businesses when they went to work for donald trump in the white house. so in 2017, through various trusts and funds, they made, according to their financial disclosure form, between $82 million and $122 million. ivanka trump made $5 million from her ivanka trump brand. so they are continuing to make money off of their private companies while serving in the government. ivanka trump disbanded her brand, but she still continues to get trademarks from china, because she says it's to protect her name. so this has created an entire
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gray area where they go around the world and it's not clear, do they represent their business or do they represent the government? that's how we got here, to where we are. >> and in fact, jared and ivanka's financial disclosures, and you know, these are tough to look at, because they're broad categories, but they indicate rising value in their assets from at least $140 million in 2017 to at least $180 million in 2018. again, it's hard to know where that increase in assets is coming from, but there are people who take the view that they're enriching themselves personally over their ties to the white house. >> well, that -- that is clear. their businesses are doing well while they are taking a break from actually being active investors, but their funds are making money while they have these positions and they're having access to these meetings, especially with chinese officials and saudi officials who are potential investors in kushner companies, have an
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intense desire to see them when they are the president's -- viewed internationally as the president's closest advisers. so there is definitely a benefit to them. and iyou know, senators elizabeh warren last year raised questions about the conflict of interest, but it all comes back to this point that they didn't divest. >> why didn't they have to? rex tillerson had to sell out of his shares of exxon. gary cohn had to sell out of his goldman sachs shares and had to agree to have no communication with two years with executives at the firm at the lloyd blankfein level. where jared kushner didn't divest and then inside the white house meets with lloyd blankfein, who is involved in the cadre investment? >> this is a question -- i mean, they're not -- they were not appointed to a government position, these are not senate-confirmed positions. they have the office of ethics said that this arrangement they came up with was satisfactory.
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but there are still a lot of questions. and house democrats, if you go through the 81 document requests they made to people in the white house and in trump world, 52 out of those 81 document requests asks for information and documents that ivanka trump's ties, foreign governments and her business interests. >> so why does gary cohn -- >> the democrats are looking at emolument questions. >> but why did gary cohn and dina powell have to say out of their shares of goldman sachs, their former employer, and fully invest, but jared and ivanka don't. they're all on the same level? >> you know, that's a good question. the -- what jared and ivanka say is this was an arrangement that passed muster with the ethics guidelines a they got at the time. everything is different -- this is the whole gray area that this administration is testing, with family members serving in the administration. this is a completely unique
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situation. >> annie, thank you. annie karni is a reporter with the "new york times". >> maybe one of the reasons why -- >> yeah, the rules are a little bit different. if you have to pass muster with the ethics person at the white house these days, it's a whole different ball game. >> a whole other level. >> coming up next -- >> you're going to interview vicky ward tonight. >> i'll interview her tonight at 10:00 on "the last word". >> and i'll interview her tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. coming up next, 2020 contender elizabeth warren is pushing new policies on the campaign trail. we're going to break down where the senator stands on the economy. plus, her take on controversial topics, including the electoral college and slavery reparations. you're watching "velshi & ruhle," lye on msnbc. watching ruhle," lye on msnbc unpredictable crohn's symptoms following you? for adults with moderately to severely active crohn's disease, stelara® works differently. studies showed relief and remission,
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welcome back to "velshi & ruhle." massachusetts senator elizabeth warren is campaigning in selma, alabama, today, hoping to distance herself from the crowded field of democratic presidential contenders. candidates are out across the country, including former congressman, beto o'rourke, who's in pennsylvania and kirst iowa. yesterday, warren laid out very specifically policies that set her apart from other candidates. and so far, she has the most extensive policies in the 2020 race. in a line that sparked a very
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big response, senator warren called for the electoral college to be abolished. >> 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 every vote counts. >> warren also believes minimum wage should be high enough to support an entire family. she says, quote, a full-time minimum wage job in america will not keep a mama and a baby out of poverty. our movement is about making real, fundamental change to fix this. warren's economic policy includes fixing corruption and a lack of transparency in government. she also plans to change laws to make u.s. businesses more favorable to employees and
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consumers. warren's plans to take on big tech companies like facebook, amazon and google are there as well. she wants to classify those companies that make over $25 billion a year as platform utilities and would break them up using anti-trust laws. warren opposes appointing regulators to reverse what she calls illegal and anti-competitive mergers. and i want to remind our audience, last year, you think that entrepreneurship in tech is booming, i want to say it hit a 40-year low, because those tech giants have become so big, they've pushed everybody out. >> joining us now to talk more about this is nbc news senior editor of politics, beth fouhy. something that stephanie said there, her policy prescriptions tend to be very specific, they tend to be well and deeply thought out, regardless of whether people agree with her, she tends to on a weekly basis or more often be laying things out than can be criticized and debated. >> and it's very interesting, because we've all been in this beptomaine ya for the last few
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days and they are such a contrast one another. she's of a different generation, different part of the country. but she's gambling her candidacy on being very specific on policy, laying out very specific ways she would deal with pressing issues. we always knew her as she was coming up in politics as the person raging against corporations, against banks. she wanted to be a politician for the little guy. >> she identifies as a capitalist. >> she did. she made a very big point of that. >> which john hickenlooper, who was actually a former very successful businessman, was unwilling to do. she said, i am a capitalist. >> and she had a very good explanation there. she said, i am a capitalist, but a capitalist who believes there needs to be rules. and that makes sense to a lot of people who don't want to go fully the socialist label, but know whatever's going on in the economy right now isn't working for them and their family. so she laid out -- not only has she laid out all of those things, at the town hall meeting last night, she also said that she wanted to -- she recommended
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mississippi do away with its flag, because it has the confederate battle symbol on it. she talked about a discussion of slave -- reparations for descendants of slaves, all of which are controversial. and these are going to be things people very much disagree on. but it starts a conversation that things people are eager to discuss and debate. >> lots of people. >> so what's the gamble here in either running your campaign around what does seem to be the number one issue to most democrats, and that is, defeating donald trump, versus the conversation elizabeth warren is having, in which doesn't focus all that much on donald trump. she really just focuses on trying to explain her policies to people. >> right. because ultimately, people are going to be choosing somebody. they're making a positive decision around a candidate, as opposed to a negative, we just don't like that guy. people have got their minds pretty much made up about donald trump. the question is, among this large group of senators, governors, mayors, how does somebody stand out? this is the choice that she's making. she wants to stand out on policy. beto so far has wanted to stand
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out kind of on inspiration, on a feeling, on, you know, he can connect with people in a very, very tangible way. but he doesn't want to do a lot of the specifics, yet. >> what matters more to people? because even in the story she tells, it's as if she's speaking to that trump voter. she talks about her family. she says, when my father wasn't in a position to work, my mother went out and supported us. it's that forgotten voter who voted for trump. how do they feel about her as a person? because you've got to take rationale and put it to the left? and i know this isn't like the kind of conversation you like to have, but can they get behind her and say, she's my person? >> ultimately, that's a great person and we won't know that probably for almost a year. but at the same time, people typically go with both. they want a candidate that appeals to their head and to their heart. unfortunately, we know, with elizabeth warren, right from the start, she was one of the first candidates to jump in. so many of the questions were like, is she likable enough? is she too shrill?
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does she sound like a schoolm m schoolmarm? all very sexist, ageist tropes. >> but you have to have those conversations, even if they're offensive, if that's how people feel. >> no question. no question. >> do you know what i mean? >> i'm not answering that. >> that's exactly it. i don't want to answer it and i don't want to touch it. if you don't touch it and it exists in people's homes and how they vote, you'll have to at least acknowledge it. >> so maybe her answer to that is, i'm going to throw more policy at you. let's talk about one of the ones that you talked about. reparations. she's laid out a reparation policy. let's listen to it. >> i believe it's time to start the national, full-blown conversation about reparations in this country. [ applause ] and that means i support the bill in the house to appoint a congressional panel of experts, of people who are studying this,
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who talk about different ways we may be able to do it and to make a report back to congress, so that we can, as a nation, do what's right and begin to heal. >> now, normally i would say, she's supporting a congressional, you know, discussion on this and it sounds like that's not really a commitment. but you know her history. her history is that she studies things well and then she puts forward what she thinks on it. and then people can debate it. >> and again, sort of, with the way we all know elizabeth warren is that kind of fighter for the little guy against the banks and against the corporations and everything. she's taking another step here. and she's making a point that there has been a very big difference between how members of different races have been affected by the economy. and that african-americans have fundamentally felt the economy and its downsides and disadvantages in a way that's different from non-african-americans. and so for her to take that step out on that subject, pretty much new and it's provocative. and as you said, it might be
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something that people don't like at all. but she's started a conversation. >> but ali brings up a great point. if she keeps flooding you with thoughtful policy, that's what you're going to discuss more than, do i want to eat dinner with this person? because when you think about right here in new york, all right? and this isn't a surprise. if you ask people who work on wall street, they know elizabeth warren as the bogeyman who came to them after 2008, with dodd/frank, with the volcker rule. but if you sit down and talk policy and talk about what she talked about at south by southwest and talk about big tech, you'll stop people in their tracks and they'll say, hole hold on a sec, i dig that policy. >> i had this conversation the other night. and when you actually spell it out, you can think, it's actually more thought out. and >> and i had a conversation with someone who said, oh, ugh, elizabeth warren, and i said, this is her take on big tech, and they said, i'm into that.
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>> this is how she's carving her niche. so far, she's really driving the conversation. >> beth, always good to see you. next, president trump's economic team says we're in for ten years of booming growth, but there's a condition, we're going to tell you what it is. and if the white house argument stands. you better stick around. you're watching "velshi & ruhle." und. you're watching "velshi & ruhle. look limu. a civilian buying a new car. let's go. limu's right. liberty mutual can save you money by customizing your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh... yeah, i've been a customer for years. huh... only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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next ten years, but there is a catch. the boom only comes if the nation adopts the president's economic agenda. in the 700-page annual report from the president's economic advisers, they say the economy outperformed expectations for the second year in a row and predicted it would expand at a rate of at least 3% or higher over the next five years. this year alone, the economy was expected to grow at a rate of 3.2%. that's in line with president trump's economic goals. as a candidate, however, president trump promised growth as high as 6%. >> we are bringing gdp from really 1%, which is what it is now. and if she got it in, it would be less than zero, but we're bringing it from 1% up to 4%. and i actually think we can go higher than 4%. i think you can go to 5 or 6%. >> that's obviously not realistic, especially when you look at what the congressional budget office forecasted, 2.7%
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in 2019. and 1.9% in 2020. but the president's advisers say 3% annual growth, not 4, not 5, not 6, 3% annual growth is possible over the next ten years, as long as several things are in place. one is a major infrastructure bill, more tax cuts, additional deregulation and more policies to get people off of government aide and into full-time jobs. the council of economic advisers's chairman, kevin hassett said earlier today, the labor market is one of the keys to keeping growth at 3%. >> a strong labor market is doing such a good job of getting people back off the sidelines that our numbers are that we think that that's going to continue. we think, though, that the really, really big push for that, that's different between us and the private forecasters is in the second five years of the ten-year forecast, because we've got a lot of training programs and stuff that we're studying now and hope to bring online by perhaps the president's second term.
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>> now, what happens if you don't like all of these things that have to happen? or you don't think that they're necessarily possible? you might like them, but they might be hard to do? here's what happens if the president's policies aren't adopted. the advisers predicted for the first time, growth will be slower. about 2.5% in 2022. and just 2% in 2026. >> joining us now, austin goolsbee, former chairman of the counsel of economic advisers under president obama. now a professor of economics at the university of chicago's booth school of business. oak okey-doke. is this the first acknowledgement by this white house that the 3% annual growth rate could be pie in the sky? and let's remind our audience, the president didn't say just 3%. he said, they're saying 3%, i'm saying, 4, 5, 6! >> yes and no. they're not admitting it. and what we have seen repeatedly by advisers and by the president himself is whatever they predict and whatever they claim credit
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for, if the actual numbers come in below that, differently, worse, they just change the -- move the goalpost, change the prediction, and i do not think that you will ever see them -- we could be in a recession a year from now, easily, and they would still be saying, we're going to have 3% gdp growth every year for a decade. they'll just keep saying it. regardless. >> put aside for a second the fact that sometimes these documents are political. >> well, you can find data for anything you want. >> you can. so let's just talk reasonably about why it didn't make sense in the campaign or after president trump was elected to talk about 4, 5, and 6%. and let's talk about the reality of 3%. i think every president, regardless of your political party, would like low unemployment, would like, you know, people to be earning well and happy and would like high gdp growth. that doesn't seem to be partisan to me. >> i 100% agree with that.
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and the thing that's a little frustrating about the quote/unquote analysis, separate from that it violates what i have described on your program as the trump policy directive, which is, let us never spend more time discussing trump's policy ideas than he spent coming up with them and at the end of this sentence, we're already in violation. no, separate from that. the thing that's frustrating is they make predictions. so when they advocated the big tax cut, $2 trillion, many analysts on both sides of the aisle said, this is going to blow the deficit up and it's going to have a limited impact of stimulus, if you want to call it stimulus. the impact on investment is not going to be near as big as what they say. yet the administration predicted huge impact on investment. average worker would see a $4,000 increase in their wages. and when they got end of year
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bonuses at a few firms, they ran out the door. look, they got these bonuses, because of the tax cut. now, since that time, this has become the most unpopular tax cut in the history of american polling, because people have not gotten $4,000. you have not seen the giant increase in investment that they predicted. you've seen huge share repurchases, exactly like what the critics said. and they just changed the goalposts and say, oh, we never predicted that. we're going to get 3% starting next year. and i don't see it. >> i remember when they first announced it, i remember gary cohn said, $4,000 would get you a kitchen renovation. i would love to know where exactly that would be. >> that's also not true. >> extraordinary. so, yes, they've moved the goalpost. we know that different data gets used for different political narratives. but as jamie dimon pointed out this morning, we've really g
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gotten into the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. now deregulation has happened, now they're headed toward the direction of growth and going into recession. and we've had the tax cut. how do we get out from under this to help the people on the bottom. >> look, i'm 100% want the boom to continue. it's been going for many years, as you know. it started back in 2010, 2011. and i absolutely want it to continue. but you can't look at the data without noticing growth is slowing quite significantly. it was quite strong a year ago in the 4%, then to the 3%s, then to the 2%s. now the prediction is the quarter we're in now is going to be in the 1%s. so if you say, what's going to give us extra juice in 2019, it's not going to be the tax cut. we got the tax cut last year.
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so you have to have another giant tax cut to try to juice it in 2019. and we ochbviously are not in t position to do that. >> austan, good to talk to you, as always. at 3:00 p.m. eastern time, i'll talk with kevin hassett that put out this particular report. we'll ask him some of these questions directly. at the moment, we have our eye on the white house where the president is about to take questions with brazil's president, which many people call the trump of south america. nbc's kristen welker is live just outside. kristen, the administration says this meeting is a chance to create a, quote, north/south access of the western hemisphere as the two largest economies. do we know what exactly that means? and are there any details? >> reporter: well, steph, this is about strengthening ties between the united states and brazil. i was just in the oval office
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with president trump and the president of brazil. they both underscored that point. mr. trump making the case that these two leaders are very similar, they are both considered to be populists, outspoken. in fact, the president touting the fact that the president of brazil ran a very similar campaign to that of mr. trump. so what does that look like from a policy perspective? well, there are a number of items on the table here. they're going to talk about the crisis in venezuela, for example. they're going to talk about trade. that's going to be a big issue, because brazil's increasingly concerned about the expanding footprint that china has on its trading relationship in south america. and then they are also going to talk about strengthening military ties, as well. i asked president trump if he would consider giving brazil nato privileges. that's something very much that brazil is looking for. he indicated it's a real possibility. it's clearly under discussion. so they're hammering out some of those very key details. and we are expecting the two to
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hold a joint press conference soon. i can tell you a number of top officials have already started to gather here in the rose garden, larry kudlow, sarah sanders, it looks like much of the brazilian delegation have arrived as well, so it looks like things are running on time. a lot of questions about all of that and all of the issues looming over this meeting like the 2020 election, getting underway on the campaign trail. guys, back to you. >> kristen, there was some comments made by fthe president in the last hour about john mccain. in his tweet storm this weekend, the president decided to pick a fight with john mccain. it was responded to, the president now has clarified in case anybody didn't know, he never liked john mccain. >> reporter: he did, i asked him why he's attacking the late senator after his death and he said because he voted no on that health care bill. mr. mccain said he assured him that he would have voted "yes." to president trump calling that move a disgrace. there may be some follow-up
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questions about that today, but a range of other issues on the agenda, as well. that terrorist attack in new zealand will undoubtedly be one of the key topics. and again, the political election that's getting underway on the democratic side. ali and steph? >> all right. we are expecting venezuela to be a topic of conversation, obviously, you mentioned larger trade and china. donald trump has said, all options are on the table when it comes to venezuela. that sounds good and open minded to a lot of people, that sounds like a possible military intervention, tuscalooat least colombian side. >> it does. he hasn't gone that far yet, but he did reiterate that all options are on the table, and these leaders see eye to eye when it comes to the crisis in venezuela. that was a key topic of discussion when we were in the oval office a short time ago. and it was asked, what specifically are they going to do about that crisis in venezuela. that is one of those topics that they're discussing and we'll
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hope to learn more about, but clearly they have both endorsed the opposition, government of juan guaido, and they are saying that there needs to be significant leadership change in venezuela. so it is the top issue that these two leaders are going to be addressing. something clearly that impacts brazil very closely. ali and steph? >> this will be an interesting one for the president, who, remember, america first, america first. so his inclination in any of these foreign policy issues, not my problem. this is the united states, not venezuela. this is such a complicated issue. and the fact that he is now meeting with brazil, he's going to be having a conversation that isn't necessarily one he's comfortable, but because bolsonaro is so similar to president trump, maybe it's one that won't be as bad for him as it is when he speaks to, let's say, emmanuel macron, angela merkel. >> where they do not seem to be shared common interests. >> i think you hit the nail on
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the head, steph. because, remember, these two leaders do see eye to eye on a range of different topics. and that is one of them. that america first foreign policy. the president of brazil has a very similar outlook when it po. so as they address this issue in venezuela, undoubtedly they'll bring that very similar view point to the crisis. and just underscoring your point, we know that over the weekend, steve bannon actually had dinner with president bolsonaro. he's sort of indirectly giving him some guidance as he begins this very high-profile meeting with president trump on a range of issues, everything from trade to nato to that crisis in venezuela. of course, bannon is a former top adviser here at the white house. he's considered a nationalist. so i think it really makes the point, steph, that you are saying, which is that these two leaders have very similar view points, very similar ideologies, and now we're learning that he's also getting advice from one of the president's former top advisers.
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>> okay. i hate to go back to this, but i'm going to for a second. we know that the president traditionally rage tweets to distract us. we fall for it. we fact check nonsense claims because it gets us off the topic at hand. but i want to go to the john mccain thing again. tell me what people inside the white house who you speak to every day, what's the strategy there? there's lots of ones that don't make much sense because they seau, oh, he's doing it for this one, doing it for that one. going after john mccain and today hitting with you, i never liked him anyway, who is saying to the president, right on, brother? >> reporter: well, i think what you are seeing is a number of other top officials sort of coming out and trying to redirect the messaging when it comes to that. i spoke with top adviser kellyanne conway yesterday and asked her specifically about the comments about senator mccain. she underscored the fact she considers him to be an american
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hero and went back to the broader point president trump was making on twitter about that very controversial dossier. we know senator mccain did turn that over to the fbi. it's something he wrote about in his memoir. mr. trump clearly taking issue with that and any potential ties that there might be between mccain allies. no surprise that's an issue that gets u gets under the president's skin. what i think you're seeing is the president very defiant today, even as some of his top advisers walk a fine line. >> i think it was this morning where the president tweeted out -- just trying to find the tweet -- about the media. the fake news media has never been more dishonest or corrupt than it is right now. there's never been a time like this in american history. very exciting but also very sad. fake news, and this is the interesting line, fake news is the absolute enemy of the people and our country itself. >> but ali, that tweet works for him. >> yeah. >> you walk down a street in new
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york city or chicago or anywhere and people talk fake news, fake news. the president has been successful at sowing doubt and anger among the american people when it comes to the media. so we could take huge offense to that. that's worked for him. the mccain thing, i don't get who it works for. >> reporter: well, in that tweet you reference is something that fires up his base, no doubt about that. yet, he did take a number of our questions in the oval office. he's going to take some of our questions here today. what we would expect is that each country would get two questions per country. so we're sort of arms with our questions, and it hasn't slowed down that process. but you're right. that was sort of one of the tweets that started the day, that very sort of defiant stance as it relates to the press. >> i love what kristen said there. what we would expect. that could be another book title. >> reporter: you never know. >> what we could expect, my years in the trump white house. >> you never know. kristen welker, my years at the
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white house, you never know. >> we'll take a break and be back here in two minutes. stay with us. in two minutes stay with us so chantix can helpt "slow turkey." along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting so when the day arrives, you'll be more ready to kiss cigarettes goodbye. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix. you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. stop chantix and get help right away if you have changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions, seizures, new or worse heart or blood vessel problems, sleepwalking, or life- threatening allergic and skin reactions. decrease alcohol use. use caution driving or operating machinery. tell your doctor if you've had mental health problems. they're going to start their address. as kristen said, expectedly, they may take two questions from
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each side. let's listen in. >> today i'm very thrilled to welcome president bolsonaro of brazil for his first visit to the white house. president bolsonaro, i want to congratulate you again on your tremendous election victory. last october was an incredible feat and really a truly incredible challenge, and the end result was something the whole world was talking about. you also know that we're going to have a fantastic working relationship. we have many views that are similar, and we certainly feel very, very true to each other on trade. i think brazil's relationship with the united states because of our friendship is probably better than it's ever been by
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far. i also want to congratulate you on your recovery from a truly horrible ordeal. it was an incredible recovery. the people of your country know it. great bravery you've shown, tremendous bravery. for two centuries, the american and brazilian people have been united by shared values, including an enduring love of faith and family and country. the united states was the first nation to recognize brazil's independence in 1822, and in the second world war, brazil was the only south american country to contribute troops to the allied war effort. today the united states and brazil are the two largest democracies and economies in the western hemisphere. we're in close agreement on the incredible opportunities and continuing challenges facing our
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region, and we have a truly historic chance to forge even stronger ties between our two great nations. this afternoon the president and i discussed many of our mutual priorities, including venezuela. brazil has been an extraordinary leader in supporting the venezuelan people's efforts to reclaim their liberty and their democracy. brazil has helped so much. along with the united states, brazil was one of the first nations to recognize venezuela's legitimate interim president juan guaido. i also want to express our profound gratitude to president bolsonaro and all the brazilian people for their efforts to provide humanitarian aid. we also thank you for allowing the united states to station extensive assistance and massive aid on the brazilian border, the brazilian people have been
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incredible. together we could -- and have been really very happy to -- feed thousands and thousands of starving venezuelans. the venezuelan people have appreciated it, and if the maduro forces would step aside, it could be a truly great and successful humanitarian project. we call on members of the venezuelan military to end their support for maduro, who is really nothing more than a cuban puppet, and finally set their people free. the united states and brazil are also united in support of the long-suffering people of cuba and nicaragua. the twilight hour of socialism has arrived in our hemisphere, and hopefully, by the way, it's also arrived, that twilight
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hour, in our great country, which is doing better than it's ever done economically. the last thing we want in the united states is socialism. so president bolsonaro, i will tell you that we'll be consulting and talking a lot. we'll be working on all of our problems and assets, and we're making tremendous strides. we had a great meeting today. as i told president bolsonaro, i also intend to designate brazil as a major non-nato ally or even possibly, if you start thinking about it, maybe a nato ally. have to talk to a lot of people, but maybe a nato ally, which will greatly advance security and cooperation between our countries. our nations are already working together to protect our people from terrorism, transnational crime, and drugs and weapon
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trafficking. also, human trafficking, which has really become something that's come to the forefront of crime. horrible, horrible situation. we look forward to an even deeper partnership and working together. in our meetings, we also discussed a strong economic ties between our nations grounded in the principles of fairness and reciprocity, my favorite word, reciprocity. president bolsonaro and i are both committed to reducing trade barriers, facilitating investment and supporting innovation across a range of industries, particularly energy, infrastructure, agriculture, and technology. the president's vision for freeing the private sector and opening the economy is the right way for brazil to achieve strong economic growth, and our great companies are ready to go when that table is flat and free. to improve our business


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