tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC May 12, 2019 9:00am-11:00am PDT
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good to be with you from msnbc world headquarters in new york. it's two minutes past noon in the east. welcome to weekends with alex witt. alex is off today. happy mother's day to all you moms and mom figures out there. game over or constitutional crisis? washington tries to find solid ground while the president makes a move to block more than a dozen probes. >> whether the white house stonewalling could cost some people around the president $25,000 a day. >> plus, breaking up facebook. a former employee gives his idea on this. >> developing this hour, democrats and republicans hardening their lines in the battle between the white house and congress. a new analysis suggests the president and his allies are
trying to block 20 separate investigations by democrats. and the administration is not complying with at least 79 requests for documents or other information. one of those investigations may come to a head tuesday. a federal judge is expected to rule on whether the president can quash a subpoena demanding financial records from his personal accounting firm. on friday, the new subpoena deadline to release the president's tax returns. the chairman of the house intel committee says he's convinced the special counsel ultimately testify before congress, and on impeachment, this is the advice from adam schiff. >> it's certainly true these addictional acts of obstruction, the president having obstructing the justs department does add to impeachment and that will divide us further. once we's like pushing a bolder off a cliff until it hits bottom which is the senate, then we're trying to
push the boulder back up the hill, but he may get spared. he seems to be trying. maybe this is his perverse way of dividing us more. >> seth moulton has a different idea of impeachment. >> i think we made a mistake as a party by waiting until the mueller report came out. the fact of the matter is that this is ourduty, and a lot of people make the argument it's not a politically opportune time for us to proceed with this. i'm not saying we should vote on impeachment yet, but let's have that debate. >> some investigations being blocked by the administration include topics that have received bipartisan support. that's something the house minority leader concedes. >> don't you think there are some investigations here with merit? >> there are some with merit. the problem that i have is the situation like chairman nadler is doing. chairman nadler just held the attorney general in contempt. this is a time that the country
wants to move forward. we want to move forward about health care, we have trade, we have a crisis on our border. the democrats are more interested in subpoenas than solutions. >> another trump ally is also defending the attorney general, even as some democrats have called for his resignation. >> barr is going to stand strong. he's not going to give in to these unreasonable demands. mueller had a chance to do his job. it's now over. as mitch mcconnell said, case closed. >> also developing today, tariffs on chinese goods in their second day, the president's top economic adviser said no more talks with china have been scheduled, but there's a strong possibility the president may talk to the president at the g-20 summit in june. larry kudlow is acknowledging tariffs will hurt consumers as prices increase. >> maybe the toughest burdens on the farmers and agriculture
sector. we get that. we have helped them before. we will do it again if we have to. the economic consequences are so small, but the possible improvement in trade and exports and open markets for the united states, this is worthwhile doing. >> and a republican senator rand paul has this message for the white house. >> i have talked to the administration about this. i have said my concern is that the great benefits of the tax cut, which have low unemployment and incredible economic growth could be erased by this, but i still have advised the administration get this done because the longer we're involved in a tariff battle or a trade war, the better chance there is we could enter into a recession because of it. >> let's turn to matt bradley who joins us from the white house. matt, larry kudlow was also pressed on a false claim by the president related to tariffs. what's that all about? >> what you heard was fox news' chris wallace pushing larry kudlow, director of the national economic council, to acknowledge really basic truths about these
tariffs and who will be paying them. take a listen. >> in fact, both sides will pay. both sides will pay in these things. >> the president says that china pays for the tariffs. they may suffer consequences but it's u.s. businesses and u.s. consumers who pay, correct? >> yes, to some extent. i think this is a risk we should and can take without damaging our economy in any appreciable way. maybe the toughest burden is on farmers and the agriculture sector. we get that. we have helped them before on lost exports. i think we had an authorization of $12 billion. we'll do it again. >> so this isn't even really economics 101. this is really just the basic dictionary definition of what a tariff is. and who will be paying. and it's only remarkable because it flies in the face of what the administration has been saying so far about what these tariffs mean to the american consumer. now, of course, all this is is attacks. that's what a tariff is.
and the reason why larry kudlow is right in saying this is because the idea behind these tariffs is to incentivize consumers and importers who are bringing in chinese goods to just make in america. to build manufactured items here and to sell what is sold here and build them here using american workforce and american products. now, the reason why that hasn't worked in the past and has really gone out of style since world war ii is because economic orthodoxy in the past 70 years says that these sorts of trade wars hurt both sides. they hurt the american consumers who would be paying a higher price for their goods that are imported from china and it would cause the chinese in this case, the chinese, to increase tariffs on american exports. especially agricultural goods. that could hurt the heartland of america, many of whom voted for mr. trump. >> certainly, those farmers out there are very crucial in that. matt bradley at the white house, thank you.
joining me now is tessa barrett, a white house correspondent for "time," and charlie savage, msnbc contributor. let's start off with you, charlie. how long is the president prepared to wage the trade war knowing the impact on americans? we saw the full screen, things that will be affected. things like soap, smartphones, groceries. you heard rand paul saying this could take the country into a recession. >> right. well, that's the impact on americans who are buying goods. everything is getting more expensive. washing machines and dryers are up $100, i think, already, according to some reporting i have read. but the larger impact may be politically, the damage it's imposing on american producers. especially agricultural producers. we talked about that, our colleague just talked about that in the heartland. people selling soybeans and other products to foreign markets, to china. suddenly the prices of all the goods are collapsing.
the commodities, because of the retaliatory tariffs from china. we're caught in a spiral now that's getting worse and worse, and trump can keep trying to get congress to bail out the heartland. but this really does fly in the face of 70 years of economic orthodoxy which says we should have fewer barriers and we'll produce the stuff we're best at producing and our consumers will get lower prices on the stuff we're not as good at producing at a competitive rate. this is a question where he breaks with even normal republicans' economic policy. >> turning to congress for a break in that, but hey, there's a showdown already going on. it started out as partial resistance, has blown up into a full blown war. "the washington post" broke down the actual numbers of investigations and document requests the president's team is stonewalling. here's the numbers right there. does the white house view this as a winning strategy, running out the clock?
>> that's something they're trying. and i think the key point here is that for both sides, the democrats continuing to hammer these investigations and then the administration continuing to shut down, this will be litigated by voters in 2020. so we will see. but you are definitely seeing from the white house right now after the mueller investigation, the administration is feeling very frustrated by the end of that investigation and the fallout, and they cooperated pretty fully with mueller's probe. now they feel like we're done. we cooperated for two years. and so now we're just not going to cooperate anymore, especially because these investigations we're talking about now are in congress, which is another branch of government, whereas the mueller investigation was nested within the executive branch. voters, the course might have to litigate this as well, but the voters will be able to weigh in in 2020. >> meantime, you have democrats here who are caught in a bind, trying to figure out how tough they're going to get.
politico reporting jerry nadler is facing pressure from his caucus to get tougher with the trump administration. talks of fines, jail time. so how does the leadership walk that fine line, this tightrope? >> part of what you're seeing in the calls for inherent contempt, the sort of obsolete idea that congress could try to arrest people on its own or impose fines on people on its own without going to a court, it's coming from the rank and file. sort of the back benching bomb throwers. and the house leadership is saying look, we don't own a jail. no one has ever been fined. we don't have the ability to go arrest the attorney general, but we have a couple, a sergeant in arms, but he's got the fbi and u.s. marshals and the dea and all these security forces. that's not a realistic idea. the realistic idea is to go to court and ask a judge for a judicial order to say you must comply with these subpoenas so it's not just contempt of congress but contempt of court on the table and you have two branches against one.
so these ideas are out there, but don't really look for that to happen. >> i want to look into that because congressman adam schiff was talking about that this morning. talking about some of these rules to enforce it. i want to ask tess about it too after we listen. >> we are going to have to consider other remedies like inherent contempt where if the courts take too long, we use our own judicial process within the congress. and look, i think if you fine someone $25,000 a day to their person, until they comply, it gets their attention. >> all right, so there may be action that must be taken that needs to be taken here. >> well, i agree with charlie that i think the most likely outcome here is that the courts get involved and the third pranch of government, but that gets back to the last question you asked me about running out the clock because that can be a very lengthy process. there are ways to expedite it, but in theory, it could last months or even years. especially because we have 20 different investigations. so if we're heading to multiple different court sites and that
could be a really long process to eventually figure out where the court is going to come down. so you know, this might run out the clock to the election. we're not that far away. so we could be heading to a situation where a lot of this isn't resolved in the near future. >> charlie, i want you to reflect on this week. you have this showdown with congress. north korea, trade talks with china, also iran, all these. what do you think is the peril for the president? >> what's the most peril? well, i don't know, because you know, focusing in particular on the stonewall strategy of trying to block all democratic subpoenas, all house subpoenas not differentiating get ones that may be more or less legitimate and say we're not going to cooperate with oversight, that seems to be driving democrats closer toward the impeachment question that democratic leadership like pelosi have been trying to
avoid. and it almost looks like, and she's actually said, trump wants to be impeached. he's trying to make democrats overplay their hand, so is that risky for him or is he crazy like a fox here? that's the really interesting question to ask about this very fraught circumstance we're in right now from a separate of power perspective. >> thank you to both of you. charlie and tessa, for kicking us off this afternoon. thank you. the firestorm surrounding the don jr. subpoena. hear from a member of the house intel committee next. this daughter was home visiting when mom saw a chip in her windshield. >> mom: honey is that a chip? >> tech: they wanted it fixed fast so they brought it to us. >> mom: hi. >> tech: with our in-shop chip repair service, we can fix it the same day... guaranteed. plus with most insurance a safelite chip repair is no cost to you. >> mom: really? drive safely. all right. ♪ acoustic music >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, ♪ safelite replace.
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they want to do investigations instead of investments. they want to do what they're doing, which looks so foolish, and maybe i read it wrong. but i think it drives us right on to victory in 2020. >> well, the president rallying this week against oversight efforts by democrats. joining me, mike quigley, a democrat from illinois and a member of the intelligence committee. i appreciate you being with me. i want to start with this. how do you and your fellow democrats counter the president's narrative without overplaying your hand. is there a delicate balance or not? >> i think there is, and first, happy mother's day to my wife and mom. so i get that out first. this is a tough balance. i think the most appropriate and important thing we do is let the american public know that we respect the rule of law, unlike
this president. i would like to think the contrast shows, that what we're doing is lawful and appropriate. what the president has done is attack the rule of law and frankly the constitution. so we are going to abide by this. we're going to use the subpoena and the courts to get the president to do what he should have done all along. >> when it comes to actual action, other options out there for that to happen? because right now, we're not seeing any. the chairman of your committee repeated today his suggestion that officials don't comply could be fined $25,000 a day. here's a suggestion from a top member of the ways and means committee. let's listen. >> we should consider the power of inherent contempt, an old doctrine that allows the congress itself to issue a summons, an arrest warrant, to an official, and demand that they appear at a congressional hearing, be subject to fines, to jail time. i think we ought to explore contracting with area
correctional institutions, provide some additional support for our sergeant in arms so the white house will get the message that we are serious. >> so when it comes to fining officials and issuing arrest warrants, is that something you support? would you see it in any case here that backfiring to help the president and the republicans politically? >> i think that's exactly why the president is doing what he's doing. whatever we think about richard nixon, let's remember. he acted and he abided by a court order. a unanimous supreme court order that he release the tapes. i don't think this president will. that's what concerns me. we talked about a constitutional crisis for some time now. and i think we have been in that crisis. when it really, really becomes an extraordinary test to the fabric of our nation and our constitution is i believe this president won't abide by orders like that. i don't know how long the court actions will take. i think we should ask for
expedited action by all of the courts on all of these matters. look, it's very clear that the special counsel left it to the congress to decide whether or not there was crimes committed and obstruction. how are we supposed to act and make decisions on that when this is a typical part of the redacted report? there's nothing for us to look at. so it's part of our, as a co-equal branch, authority to review these matters. the president is obstructing, continuing that process. we have to act. understanding that we are before the court of public opinion, and that does matter. >> when you say act, do you see the avenue of going through the courts the only effective way of actually seeing something through? >> clearly at first. depending on, again, how chairman schiff responded, i think is appropriate. depending on how long the courts take. if it becomes unduly long, congress will have to have that discussion. my colleagues are talking about, and take other actions.
>> i want to talk about here, when it comes to this, the house minority leader kevin mccarthy criticized democrats for not reading the less redacted mueller report in a secure environment. let's play that. >> if chairman nadler was that serious about getting to the bottom, he hasn't even taken the time to go read, which he's approved to read, the 99.99% of any obstruction inside the mueller report. but he hasn't even gone to read it while trying to hold the attorney general in contempt. he's asking him to break the law. >> should the judiciary committee be holding the attorney general in contempt without even looking at the mostly unredacted mueller report? does congressman mccarthy have a point. >> no, it's almost humorous. he's talking about us not taking action. we have passed legislation from health care to gun control to climate change in the last several weeks. we're camable of doing more than one thing at a time. but how ridiculous it is for the
minority leader to talk about we should accept the decisions by attorney general who has acted as special counsel to the white house instead of the independent justice department on what we can and can't see. just weeks ago, the president was clapping for himself about the fact that they weren't holding up executive privilege on this matter. all of a sudden, that changed. first, they talked about the fact that it exonerates them. well, if it does, at least let the judiciary committee and the intelligence committee see the unredacted report. there is absolutely no way they can be trusted to decide what congress should see or the american public. >> i want to ask you about the other investigations, the other requests including the subpoena for donald trump jr. that coming from the president. he testified before your committee. what do you think they want to ask him and what do you hope they will ask him? >> sure. this is a senate request at this
time. i suspect it will be a house request some time shortly thereafter. it is good to see some of my republican senate colleagues step up in a manner that senator flake, senator mccain used to, against this president when it was the right thing to do. i suspect, i don't know for sure, that they have the same problem with trump jr.'s testimony. he didn't answer a slew of questions. i believe he lied to my committee. and i think we are mindful of the special counsel in his report talked about the fact that trump jr. was in communications with wikileaks. so certainly, a lot of questions to ask. i'm curious if that goes forward and whether or not trump jr. will comply with that subpoena. >> congressman, you talked about focusing on this and the investigations going into this, and requests as well as the other policy issues at hand. health care, the economy. what are your constituents telling you about that?
do they want you to keep putting pressure on the administration, or again, as you say that you can do, is split it and do both? >> i think they want us to do both. look, i live in chicago. they want us to address violent crime, particularly as it relates to gun violence. they want to help our schools. they want to get as many people covered by health care as they possibly can. and they recognize that this is the first generation to suffer the extraordinary effects of climate change, and probably the last generation that can do anything about it. they see us doing both effectively, and i think they want the president to cooperate. >> all right. representative mike quigley, i appreciate your time and being with me. thank you. >> any time. thank you. well, the president's new idea about getting the attorney general to investigate former vice president biden. barbara mcquade weighs in. that's next. -driverless cars... -all ground personnel...
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>> these additional acts of obstruction, the president having obstructions the justice department investigation, now obstructing congress, does add weight to impeachment. >> they're saying he obstructed justice about something that was not considered a crime. >> he's going to be defeated. he has to be defeated. >> this was politically motivated from the beginning. >> i don't know how much our democratic institutions can take on the attack on the rule of law. >> joining me is former u.s. attorney and msnbc legal analyst barbara mcquade. thank you for your time. as we heard right there, senator paul claimed just then the president was falsely accused of a crime. is there anything in the mueller report that supports that? >> no, he couldn't be more wrong. for one, the idea of being falsely accused suggests that everything that was said about you was wrong. they had the wrong person, they had the wrong guy who committed the bank robbery. there was a lot of profoundly wrongful conduct described in the mueller report, and regardless of whether that
constitutes a crime, it can still constitute obstruction of justice to try to interfere with the investigation. when i was a prosecutor, we prosecuted people all the time for obstructing justice or attempting to do so even though ultimately no underlying charges were filed, in part because they were really good at obstructing. even in the mueller investigation, we saw george papadopoulos and roger flynn charged with obstruction of justice. it's frequently done because it's an attack on the process that's so important. >> i wanted to bring this scenario to you to see if that falls under obstruction of justice or something else, especially with this white house working to block don mcgahn from testifying before congress. would you consider that obstruction or is that more like witness tampering? >> i do. witness tampering is a form of obstruction of justice. i would see it as part of that category of crimes. now, it may not be obstructing with the official proceeding that was the mueller investigation. but it is also a crime to obstruct with a congressional
investigation. and so interfering with don mcgahn from testifying before congress absolutely can be seen as an act of obstruction of justice. you know, again, always comes down to the person's intent. president trump's intent, is his intent to interfere with fact finding and if that's the case, i think it absolutely could be a crime of obstruction of justice. >> i want to play this also from senator paul who had this to say about democrats alleging the president tried to obstruct justice. >> people are horrified by the idea that you could put someone in jail for obstructing justice on something where you didn't commit the crime. think about it from the perspective of the president. when you're accused falsely of a crime and you try to defend yourself, should you then be accused of another crime for trying to defend yourself against false accusations? i think it's absurd. >> as an attorney, how do you see that, barbara? >> now, again, i think he couldn't be more wrong. president trump wasn't just defending himself. we all absolutely have a right to defend ourselves. that's what the court process is all about. that's where the presumption of
innocence comes in. but the ten episodes in the mueller report that talk about president trump engaged in obstruction of justice is not about defending himself. it's asking people to lie, trying to get robert mueller fired, about asking jeff sessions to unrecuse himself and curtail the investigation, using the machinery of the power of the presidency to try to end the investigation. that's very different from defending one's self, and i think obstruction of justice. >> before i let you know, i want to ask you about this. a president in a new interview with politico said a discussion with barr over probing his potential opponent joe biden would be, quote, appropriate. congressman schiff has something to say about that, too, but how do you see that? >> as a matter of constitutional law, the president probably does have the power to direct doj and the fbi to conduct investigations, but ever since watergate, we have respected certain norms in this country to make sure that the public has confidence in the unleindepende
of the justice department. all the time i was at the justice department for 19 years we had strict prohibitions between communications between the department of justice and the white house to avoid the appearance of partisan politics at work in prosecutions. i think to avertly suggest that the department of justice investigate a political rival undermines that. >> we appreciate the legal aspects you're breaking down for us. >> thanks. developing this hour, crews in houston working to contain the damage from a massive toxic chemical spill after bad weather put cleanup efforts on hold. a collision between a tanker and two oil barges friday spilling thousands of gallonsf a chemical using gasoline into a shipping channel near that city. tammy leitner is in laporte, texas, with the latest details. tammy. >> frannest, much of the channel here is still closed after thousands of barrels of a chemical spilled here into the channel, and it's unclear how long it will take to remove it. now, this happened on friday when an oil tanker collided with
two barges. each of those barges was carrying 25,000 barrels of a chemical, 8 to 9,000 barrels spilled into the channel. the chemical is something you find in the gasoline that you put in your cars. it's highly toxic to marine animals and can be to humans if it's consumed. now, residents and communities as far away as 20 miles are reporting smelling this gasoline smell. and so they're going to continue monitoring the air quality around the clock for as long as it takes. back to you. >> tammy leitner for us, thank you. >> the fight over facebook. a former executive argues against a co-founder's call to dismantle the social network. the one-time facebook insider joins me next. (dad) aaaah! (mom) nooooo... (son) nooooo... (avo) quick, the quicker picker upper! bounty picks up messes quicker
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developing this hour, facebook is now firing back. the vp of global affairs and communications defending the tech giant, saying their success should not be penalized. this days after the company's co-founder, chris hughes, called for its breakup, claiming it has too much control. joining me now is chris kelly, a former chief privacy officer of facebook. so chris, thanks for your time. as i ask you here, your first take, taking a look at what chris hughes told nbc news about facebook and mark zuckerberg. let's listen to that. >> do you think facebook is
dangerous? >> i do. the reason i'm speaking out is because i think facebook has become too big, too powerful. he is extremely powerful because he has no boss, because there's no regulatory agency from the federal government. >> so as someone who used to be bart of the company, do you think facebook has become too powerful? is mark zuckerberg too powerful? >> so, the company is definitely becoming very powerful. for the most part, that's been a very good thing for the world. it's the first time that the planet has been really interconnected in a truly comprehensive way. many different technologies have driven that. facebook is one of the telecommunications technologies that's done that. that has a whole bunch of wonderful effects. it enables people to connect with their mothers on mother's day and to do all sorts of wonderful different things. but it also has this downside, which the company has been quite aggressive in responding to. bigness is not the relevant
factor in that. it's whether or not we're building community over time. >> talk a little bit about this. you have hughes, who wants the government to separate facebook, instagram, whatsapp into all separate businesses here. he wants stricter regulations to make it more accountable to the american people. so given your position there, former one, in privacy, as a privacy official, how might facebook be a danger to the american people? >> so, i don't see it as a danger on balance, of course. that there are various things that happen when you do the amazing building technology that sell uconn valley has done for quite some time. in my early days at the company, when we came up with newsfeed, when we started to roll these things out, they were radical changes in the way that people communicate. that takes some time to get used to. obviously, the effect that this deep connection has had is causing all sorts of other challenges and problems. and that the governments are
rightly responding to, the company is rightly responding to, and citizens are rightly responding to as they figure these things out. as a former anti-trust attorney, using anti-trust law to break up a successful american company is a sort of strange approach. >> why is it strange? wouldn't to be easier to have a handle on it, especially when it comes to privacy, which we know has been a major concern when it comes to facebook. why not break those three up? >> of course, it's been a challenge. but if you did break up this into three companies or six or whatever, and who knows what the ultimate proposal would be on that front, how is that actually addressing the issue of privacy regulation? and actually the ability to think about how companies are supposed to treat personal data? i have been involved in helping write legislation, both when i was at the company and elsewhere, that's driving that in a good direction. and the company is deeply
engaged right now. anti-trust doesn't really address any of those problems at all. i represented netscape in the microsoft anti-trust trial when i was an attorney in private practice. we had to come up with a variety of theories that would actually justify that action, when there was concentrated power in the technology industry. it's not clear that facebook is the number one player in all of the markets that it competes, in digital advertising. it's fairly clear it's not. digital advertising, telecommunications. all these communications things, it's not even the number one player so it doesn't have a global monopoly. >> let me ask you one more statement. let's take a listen. >> i'm angry at mark and i'm angry at lot of facebook's leadership for taking something that held so much promise and could have been so amazing and sacrificing quality, security, stability, for clicks. and i think that it's time to hold them accountable.
>> hughes also sehe's disappointed in himself and the original news feed team for not thinking more about how the algorithm could change our culture, influence elections, empower nationalist leaders here. how can facebook face these issues, especially with so many really reluctant and dumping out of it ahead of the 2020 election? >> i think there's been an immense amount of effort happening at the company and have seen a radical change in the way they're thinking about these, that there have been both a lot of very smart people put obthis, but also building technologies in the artificial intelligence and machine learning spaces that are powerful in catching a lot of misinformation before it gets out. that's what we want to encourage successful companies to build on. and to build technology that addresses those problems. and it's not clear how a breakup actually even advances that goal in any way. >> all right. before i let you go, mark zuckerberg himself responded to
hughes, addressing security in an interview with a french broadcaster. he says if what you care about is democracy and elections. then you want a company like us to be able to invest billions of dollars per year, like we are in building up really advanced tools to fight election interference. you have chris hughes who says facebook's size is a danger. mark zuckerberg saying that it's a benefit. can they both be right? >> well, i mean, i think that we do have a policy in america about competition when monopolies do arise and when they abuse their power, but you have to show that in a court of law. we still operate under the rule of law. it's not clear to me that facebook even has a monopoly in these markets. so size and scale can be huge, huge benefits in terms of being able to effectively address the problems that we're talking about. the company i think has heard a lot of criticism from outside. a lot of which was rightfully levied. but they have responded well,
and they continue to build out technologies that can address the problems that we're talking about. breakups don't advance that in any way. >> all right. chris kelly, i'm sure our viewers will all agree maybe when it comes to facebook, instagram, whatsapp, everybody will be using it with a picture of mom or wishing them happy mother's day. >> thanks. >> what kamala harris said on the sunday talk shows about the president's standoff with congress. crack. this daughter was home visiting when mom saw a chip in her windshield. >> mom: honey is that a chip? >> tech: they wanted it fixed fast so they brought it to us. >> mom: hi. >> tech: with our in-shop chip repair service, we can fix it the same day... guaranteed. plus with most insurance a safelite chip repair is no cost to you. >> mom: really? drive safely. all right. ♪ acoustic music >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, ♪ safelite replace.
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. there is a failure to respect the significance of congress' duty to perform a role of oversight over the administration, over the agencies. i'm seeing a failure to appreciate the importance of testifying before congress in a way that is straight forward and truthful. so i think, yes, i think it is fair to say that we are looking at a crisis, not only of confidence but potentially a constitutional crisis. >> 2020 presidential candidate kamala harris declaring the trump administration is stone walling a constitutional crisis. let's bring in strategist alyana beverley who worked for the obama administration, and republican strategist susan del
percio, also an msnbc political analyst. jonathan, let's start with you. the number of democrats labelling this a constitutional crisis is climbing. has the burden to actually do something about it grown as well? >> yeah but nobody can quite figure out what to do. that's why it's a crisis or a brewing crisis. when the branches of government are in conflict the way they are now, if this was just over one or two subpoenas, it could get worked out. but really what they've done is they've said almost as a matter of principle that we are not going to respond to subpoenas. that's what the folks in the white house are saying. that is clearly unconstitutional. so the question becomes, you know, how do we respond. that's what people are wrestling with. are there fines that be imposed or other remedies. nobody thinks they're going to put them in a jail in the basement of the congress as happened in the 19th century.
the search is now on for remedies. think of it, francis, just for a second, if the shoe were on the other foot, if congress decided, no, the president isn't going to name the members of his cabinet, we're going to do that. or, if they said the supreme court is not going to issue decisions, we are going to. that's what the white house is doing in this case. they're grabbing duties that are not theirs under the constitution. >> so what do democrats see as the advantage here in employing this kind of rhetoric? what is that? >> the democrats see this as an opportunity to show the ways in which this administration is acting corruptly and not recognizing our democratic principles and tearing down our institutions. i personally don't believe we're in a constitution crisis but a contusion
constitution ago problem but i will say that kamala harris has set herself apart, holding a.g. william barr to task and judge kavanaugh to task during his testimony and standing up for the principles of a co-equal branch of government and congress' oversight responsibilities. >> susan, what's your read on it as far as republicans? are they prubrushing this off? >> right now the republicans in the house are in the minority so it doesn't matter and the senate is just watching it play out, and it's time for action. at least that's what the public sees. right now they hear a lot of talk and it's just becoming more talk in washington. i think the democrats are correct bullt they need to do something, whether it's move to a more legislative-based agenda and keep putting forward legislation to hurt the -- make the republicans take some difficult votes, start impeachment hearings or don't
start impeachment hearings. they need to boil down the message. all of this talk around the president's tax returns, just say that the president still has current business interests and we need to see his returns to see if he is benefitting from them. we don't need all of this talk but they have to take action because this is exactly why people are sick of washington. in 2018 it was a message to the president that we want checks and balances and we put the democrats in except now the democrats actually have to do it. >> is this lack of clarity dangerous to the democrats, jonathan? >> actually, they've passed a whole series of bills on health care, climate change and a lot of other things just in the last few weeks. they can walk and chew gum at the same time and they're showing it. now, those bills are not going to become law because they're going to die in the senate. even if they pass the senate, they would probably be vetoed but they do set up a series of issues that will help the democrats in the next election. >> alaina, same question for you
for 2020 as we look ahead to that, how can that potentially hurt the democrats? >> i think that both jonathan and susan are right that the democrats need to boil down and disstill the message down to two words for each of these issues. for example, unfortunately, trump is very good at minimizing and simplifying each issue to no obstruction or essentially no obstruction and no collusion and so on. the democrats need to get better at messaging this and explaining, yes, we are walking and chewing gum, we are legislating. we have passed bills on criminal justice reform, introduced bills on health care, all of those issues that jonathan just mentioned, and we are still upholding our rights as voters in the democracy. >> we got to leave it at that. i wish we had more time for all three of you but i appreciate your being with me. >> happy mother's day. >> happy mother's day, everyone. >> everyone will celebrate their
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appear before a committee. fighting for attention. how the growing list of democrats running for president are elbowing one another to stand out. good afternoon. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." alex is off today. i'm frances rivera. developing this hour, democrats and republicans, a new analysis suggests the president and his allies are trying to block 20 separate investigations by democrats and the administration is not complying with at least 79 requests for documents or other information. one of those investigations may come to a head tuesday. a material judge is expected to rule on whether the president can quash a subpoena demanding financial records from his personal accounting firm. on friday, it's the new subpoena deadline to release the president's tax returns. the chair of the house intel committee now says he is convinced the special counsel will ultimately testify before congress. on impeachment, adam schiff had this to say.
>> an impeachment process will divide us further. once we get started it's like pushing a boulder off the side of a cliff. it gathers a certain moment tumutum until it hits rock bottom and we're trying to push that 3w0 d boulder back up the hill. maybe this is his perverse way of dividing us more. >> seth molten has a different idea on impeachment. >> i think we made a mistake as a party by waiting until the mueller report came out. the fact of the matter is that this is our constitutional duty. a lot of people make the argument that it's not a politically opportune time to have this debate. i'm not saying we should vote on impeachment yet. we don't even have the full mueller report but let's have that debate. >> some investigations being blocked by the administration include topics that have received bipartisan support, something the house minority leader con seecedeoncedes.
>> don't you think there are some investigations with merit? >> there are some with merit. the problem i have is some like a situation that chairman nadler is doing. he just held the attorney general in contempt. this is a time that the country wants us to move forward. we want to move forward. we got health care. we got trade. we got a crisis on our border. the democrats are more interested in subpoenas than solution. >> just last hour i asked the democratic member of the intelligence committee for his reaction. >> should ask for expedited action by all the courts on all these matters. the president is obstructing, continuing that process. we have to act. we have passed legislation from health care to gun control, climate change in the last several weeks. we're capable of doing more than one thing at a time. >> also developing today with tariffs on chinese goods in their second day, the president's top economic adviser says more talks with china have not been scheduled, but china has invited the treasury
secretary to beijing and there's a strong possibility the president may meet with china's president at the g-20 summit in late june. larry kudlow is acknowledging the tariffs will hurt consumers as prices increase. >> maybe the toughest burdens on the farmers, the agriculture sector. we get that. we've helped them before on lost exports. we'll do it again if we have to. the economic consequences are so small but the possible improvement in trade and exports and open markets for the united states, this is worthwhile doing. >> republican senator rand paul has this message for the white house. >> i've talked to the administration about this. i've said my concern is that the great benefits of the tax cut which have low unemployment and incredible economic growth could be erased by this tariff war but i still have advised the administration, get this done because the longer we're involved in a tariff battle or a trade war, the better chance that we can enter into a recession because of it. >> i want to turn the mike
viqueira who joins us from the white house. larry kudlow addressing a false claim by the president related to tariffs. tell us more about that. >> reporter: that's essentially what we already heard from larry kudlow and to a certain extent senator rand paul is the administration's argument in a nutshell and that is, yes, there could be some short-term economic pain as we sit down at the table with china and try to open up those trade barriers that we have with china that leads to this massive trade deficit, and yes, there will be some pain, especially among farmers and the agricultural sector. they will be given some $12 billion in subsidies to help the medicine go down, but the long-term pain is worth it. we need to open up those borders, those trade barriers with china. they're not playing fair in accordance with world trade organization rules. they're taking technology, insisting that american companies that want to do business there transfer their know-how, their technological
know-how to chinese companies and the chinese government before they're allowed access. here's a little more of what larry kudlow had to say by way of explanation. >> in fact, both sides will pay. >> the president says china doesn't -- it pays the tariffs, they may suffer consequences but it's u.s. businesses and u.s. consumers who pay, correct? >> yes, to some extent. i don't disagree with that. i think this is a risk we should and can take without damaging our economy in any appreciable way. >> reporter: so a remarkable admission there from one of the president's top economic advisers. the president repeatedly says over and over again that china is the one paying these tariffs, these tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods that could go up in another month or so. it's not china, it's u.s. importers, and by extension and eventually u.s. consumers will be paying a portion of that. it's not the first time that the president has insisted on something that is demon stra
blee and imperially not true and not the first time the aides have had to go behind him and do a little mop-up. nonetheless, the simple fact the president keeps stating to the contrary that u.s. consumers will ultimately pay the price if this trade war drags on and that's what we heard senator paul alluding to as well. >> thanks for starting us off. joining me is lauren baron lopez and jacqueline ail amanty. to both of you, welcome. laura, how does the president make sure that we doesn't overplay this into a disaster for the white house and the country when it comes to that? >> it's hard to say whether or not he's -- he's not going to overplay it. the administration really believes and continues to push out this narrative that china is going to bear the brunt of this trade war, but again, we know based off of studies, one from
ucla and berkeley that these tariffs actually impact republican-leaning counties the most so that could have consequences for the president as well as republicans running for senate and the house come 2020. >> jacqueline, i want to turn now to the showdown between the white house and congress and your paper, "the washington post," broke down when the comes to the number of investigations and documents requested in the president's team and the stonewalling that we're see as a result. give us a sense of the white house' thinking here and the strategy. >> what you're seeing as experts who analyze the many of investigations that the white house has stonewalled is really an unprecedented block put up by the white house. i think the thinking was after the mueller report, it was case closed in the words of mitch mcconnell, complete and total exoneration and they didn't see any much more incentive to cooperating after providing what they viewed as unprecedented corporation during the past two
years for special counsel mueller's investigation. so what we're seeing now is the white house attempting to move on, but really what has happened here is actually really escalated tensions between congress and the white house. in the words of nancy pelosi, the president is potentially self-impeaching himself. but there's also concern that this really is a political move by the white house. the majority of trump supporters don't really see a problem here with the president fighting back against pelosi. you have democrats even saying that the president, if he was to be impeached, it might work to his political advantage which is why i think you see democrats being so cautious here in what exactly next steps are going to be in order to conduct proper oversight. >> the subpoenas, the request for documents, how much does the white house get closer to the question of impeachment, laura? >> democrats are treading a fine
line when it comes to whether or not they want to pursue impeachment hearings and so far pelosi has not changed her tune on that at all. she wants to protect these vulnerable democrats up for re-election, protect her new house majority. we haven't seen her really wavering on that. yes, she has said that trump is self-impeachable but pelosi has made no indications that they're ready to move forward to impeachment proceedings. right now what we see is democrats escalating their investigations, escalating their confrontation with the administration, and they aren't backing down when it comes to saying that they want to hear from mueller and don mcgahn and they also want to hear from attorney general barr and if that doesn't happen they're going to hold some of these officials in contempt of congress. >> we're seeing pressure when it comes to jerry nadler, facing pressure from his caucus to get tougher with the trump administration, threatening fines, even jail we're hearing about. is there a risk here of boosting the president politically this way?
>> yes. so inherent contempt i think is a really relatively new term for most of the american public, probably hearing it for the first time, which would involve potentially throwing people like attorney general barr and don mcgahn into prison actually. there is a prison in congress that they could potentially hold some of these officials who refuse to comply with these subpoenas. but i think if democrats are really trying to avoid the risk of looking partisan and political instead of rather waiting, engaging in a fact-finding mission, this would probably be the wrong way to go. that is really why i think you're hearing the term impeachment finally being thrown around by people like speaker pelosi because there are very few ways here for democrats to actually move forward in order to obtain the information that they're looking for, and so impeachment would be a way to leverage subpoenas to sort of add more power onto it so that people like the president and all of his allies would be forced to start complying with
it rather than holding people in inherent contempt or waiting for a very long litigation process to play out. >> let's back up and talk about the action that could enforce in getting this information, especially adam schiff talking about it this morning. let's listen and i'll ask you about it, laura. >> we are going to have to consider other remedies like inherent contempt where we use our own judicial process within the congress. i think if you fine someone $25,000 a day to their person until they comply, it gets their attention. >> laura, would it get their attention? my question is how would they collect, number one, $25,000 a day? do you see it getting to that point? >> it could. democrats are frustrated right now. i was talking to congressman jamie raskman on friday from maryland. he said that the atmosphere is really tense and that he as well as a lot of the chairmen including schiff are very mad at
the administration and so the house intel which is under schiff's jurisdiction, they could end up voting to hold barr in contempt and then we could see it proceed from there. pelosi said there may be a joint action where multiple officials are held in contempt that the house will vote on that on the floor all at once. so there may be other officials wrapped in that. we could see those fines being dished out and whether or not that draws the administration's attention is hard to say right now. >> laura, jacqueline, thank you. >> thank you. now to the latest on the campaign trail. the democratic contenders including senator cory booker on the sunday talk shows outlining their positions on the deficit, trade talks, gun control and what it would take to defeat president trump. let's get right to new hampshire where nbc road warrior shaq brewster is in town. it's been a busy day for the
candidate so bring us up to date. >> reporter: it's been a very busy day for senator cory booker who's really trying to reach voters in all parts of the state. he began this morning giving a commencement speech in manchester and is driving north up the state, about to meet with voters here in a county that president trump won in 2016 by 17 points. this is booker's fourth visit to new hampshire. by the end of the day he will have hit all ten of new hampshire's counties. the main focus for booker on this trip is his new gun violence prevention plan. he talked about it at that commencement speech, telling a personal story about how gun violence affected him. this morning he wrote an op-ed in the concord monitor. then later today he'll be talking about gun violence but listen to how he talked about the issue in an interview on abc this morning. >> the first way you get this done is stop having a debate on the corporate gun lobby's terms. they've been forming this debate and telling us what we can't do.
we've had more people killed by gun violence than every single war combined, from the revolutionary war, world war i, world war ii, vietnam, all the wars combined, more people killed in the last 50 years by gun violence. that has been normalized and what have we done? massacre in a synagogue, we do nothing. massacre in south carolina in a church, we do nothing. massacre in my mom's city of las vegas, we do nothing. >> reporter: also getting some attention from that interview is when booker said that breaking up and talk about breaking up some of the big tech companies like amazon and facebook sounds like a donald trump thing to say. he was reminded that. that's a proposal that you hear from elizabeth warren and booker kind of backed off a little bit and said he's not trying to compare the two but he thinks he would go about the process differently by enforcing anti-trust laws. >> shaq, thank you. also new today, mayor pete
buttigieg is in las vegas where he is taking on so-called identity politics. nbc news political report josh letterman is in vegas. buttigieg brought up a crisis of belonging in america so what can you tell us about his speech and who's to blame for the problem? >> alex, he says that both sides are to blame. he specifically called out the republican party saying that they are playing the worst kind of identity politics which is white identity politics but he also called out his own party and said that this thinking has become part of the democratic party. so he tried to reframe this so that instead of it being about how one group can't understand the experiences of another, it's more aspirational, talking about a new form of american solidarity among groups. he tried to do that by talking about how the feeling of exclusion is similar between different groups. let's take a listen. >> when an auto worker 12 years
into their career is no longer sure how to provide for their family, they're not part of the country we think of ourselves as all living in together. that's why we can't seem to get on the same page. these divisive lines of thinking have entered into the consciousness of my own party, like when we're told we need to choose between supporting an auto worker and supporting a trans woman of color without stopping to think about the fact that sometimes the auto worker is a trans woman of color and definitely needs all the support she can get. >> francis, there's a reason that pete buttigieg was doing this last night. this was the culmination of weeks of questions constantly on the campaign trail about whether he can appeal to minorities, whether he can benefit from white male privilege to the extent that it's not in line with what democrats are really pining for this cycle. so pete buttigieg trying to deal with what really has become his biggest vulnerability in the
democratic primary, diffuse that issue and cast it in a way that folks from all different parts of the democratic party can feel like supporting his candidacy is supporting the direction that the party wants to move in. >> let's see if he can make that shift successfully. josh letterman from las vegas, thank you. you're going to hear from beto o'rourke tomorrow night when he appears on the rachel maddow show right here at 9:00 eastern. if money talks in washington could it be the key to getting the trump administration to comply with congress? a house intel committee investigator joins me next. l co investigator joins me next it's so important to us that verizon is supporting military families. when i have a child deployed, having a reliable network means everything. so, when i get a video chat, and i get to see their face, it's the best thing in the world. and i've earned every one of these gray hairs. military moms, we serve too. (vo) the network more people rely on, gives you more. like military plans with a special price on unlimited, $100 per line when you switch,
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we are going to have to consider other remedies like inherent contempt where, if the courts take too long, we use our own judicial process within the congress. look, i think if you fine someone $25,000 a day to their person until they comply, it gets their attention. >> that's house intel chair adam schiff discussing the possible next steps as the white house holds firm on fighting all subpoenas. according to a "washington post" analysis, the trump administration is trying to stone wall 20 separate investigations by democrats and is not complying with at least 79 requests for documents or information. joining me now, washington representative denny he cack. congressman, i appreciate your being with me. you heard a little bit from adam schiff earlier but he suggests
daily fines so what could those fines look like and do you agree that that would work? >> i do. i think the constitutional obligation of the congress is continue to press for the release of both the documents and the witnesses that could help us more fully understand a lot of the information that we are seeking and enables us to fulfill our article one constitutional responsibility for oversight. adam suggested fines up to $25,000 a day. that's attention getting to be sure, francis. by the way, somebody earlier on the program made reference to the prison that the congress has. it's not actually a prison. there's a confinement space. >> a holding area. >> i don't think it's been used in 100 years, so let's be clear, there's no prison within the u.s. capitol building. >> thank you for the clarification there. we're talking about arrest warrants and fines as we have been discussing. those are going to be issued. the optics of that would be pretty unprecedented in this era. so would that give republicans more reason to blame the democrats for creating a
constitutional crisis? >> i don't think anybody's talking about arresting anybody. there's been a lot of talk about pursuing inherent powers that would enable us to levy fines. look, if a court rules or a congress subpoenas and the executive branch refuse ts to comply with it, they've created the constitutional problem. where this is all going, unfortunately i suspect, depending on the timeline, is all the way to the supreme court and awaiting their decision on whether or not what it is they're going to require of the executive branch. if at that point the administration does what it's been across the board in more than 20 investigations, then we have a full blown constitutional crisis. while all this is going on, let us remember that there are 14 investigations by federal prosecutors under way coming out of the mueller report, 12 of which we had no idea about until the mueller report was actually issued. so there's a lot going on here.
>> just to clarify, it was congressman docket when it was talking about going to jail. that's not the picture being painted here. i want to ask you about your committee, the latest to subpoena the doj for materials from the mueller probe as well as the unredacted version of the report. do you think they're going to comply with your committee after invoking executive privilege over house judiciary? what's the goal here? >> the goal is for us to fulfill our constitutional responsibility. i have no optimism whatsoever that they will comply but it creates the predicate for us to pursue it another way such as in court. >> for those who call it political theatre? >> no, i call it our constitutional responsibility. look, francis, the founders had a very clear idea of creating three co-equal branches of government and unless we're willing to allow all power to devolve into one of those branch
branches, namely the executive branch, then we're doing what our founders wanted us to do. >> i want to have you listen to what how minority leader kevin mccarthy had to say this morning. >> if chairman nadler was that serious about getting to the bottom, he hasn't even taken the time to go read which he's approved to read the 99.9% of any obstruction inside the mueller report, but he hasn't even gone to read it while trying to hold the attorney general in contempt. he's asking him to break the law. >> is he right? why have no democrats opted to view it so wouldn't seeing what's there help the case for the full unredacted version? >> it gives me no joy to say this but frankly i fear my republican colleagues have frankly lost their political souls to the degree that they're willing to enable this president. what's been offered is an opportunity to read a less redacted version, not to take and remove notes and not for the
underlying material to be reviewed. they've really made no offer whatsoever. >> let's turn to former fbi director james comey who's weighing in on the mueller report. let's listen to his reaction in regards to obstruction first. >> there's ten different episodes. i actually think the ones that would be most likely charged are not the ones that involved me but particularly this mcgahn episode and another episode where he was trying to get the attorney general to limit the investigation only to future elections are examples that any reasonable prosecutor would charge. >> should you obtain the underlying evidence there? is that something your committee would look further into? >> absolutely. in fact, one of the reasons why we're seeking some of the underlying documentation is that we have reason to believe that director mueller was able to collect a lot of information and material of a counter intelligence nature that's not included in section one or section two of the final mueller report but that would help us in our efforts to secure america and keep us safe against future
russian interference. that's part of our motivation for wanting to see some of the underlying documentation. but look, let's be clear about what james comey's assertion is about obstruction of justice. this is not the utterance or the position of somebody who just happens to have had a very distinguished and long-term career at the federal bureau of investigation. this is also the position of, count them, more than 800 former federal prosecutors. there is now consensus obstruction of justice was committed. >> before you go, sir, your colleagues in the senate intel committee issuing a subpoena to donald trump jr. to appear before the senator. he appeared before your committee and i was told, quote, i believe he lied to my committee, unquote. do you believe that and what do you hope the senate asks him, the key questions? >> i think it's highly curious that he's the only person that the senate intelligence committee has called back and it makes me think that they have reason to believe, frankly -- although i don't know this and i
want to be fair. it makes me think that they have reason to believe that some of what he said to them strained credibility if not was an out and out lie. there are lots of people that came before us, among them donald trump jr., whose remarks to us in private under oath do not square with that which we learned in the mueller report and part and parcel about why it is we want to continue to see the unredacted vurgersion as we as the underlying documents. >> thank you for being with me. >> thank you, francis. and happy mother's day to you. >> thank you. why one democratic 2020 candidate says the democrats waited too long to consider impeaching president trump. is it too late? r impeaching president trump is it too late >> tech: at safelite autoglass, we know sooner or later... every chip will crack.
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let's bring in adrienne elrod, former director of strategic communications for the clinton campaign, democratic strategist don calloway and former nevada state gop chairwoman, amy tarkanian. welcome, as we start with you, adrian. congressman schiff speaking there. is he speaking in hyperbole when he says that our country can't survive another four years of this? >> no, he's not speaking in hyperbole. he's exactly right. we know that donald trump is constantly using all the powers that he can possibly find both in the legal sense and from the court -- in the courts to try to block any sort of attempt by congress to collect documents from him. i guess you could basically call it like a block and tackle. this is very dangerous and i think the point that chairman schiff is making there is, if the courts actually allow this blocking, this type of blocking to go through, then this is something that will actually damage our institutions in the
long term and i think when he says we can't have another four years of this, he's exactly right because the damage that the trump administration is doing to the entire process, to the entire structure that our founders put in place in our constitution, it sets a very, very dangerous path and i'm not sure we will be able to recover from this if trump is re-elected in 2020. >> let's show you the numbers we're talking about at least when it comes to reporting from "the washington post." house democrats say that the trump administration has failed to respond to or comply with at least 79 requests for documents or other information. so, amy, do republicans not see any conflict with the constitution here or are they turning a blind eye? >> unfortunately this precedent was already set by former attorney general eric holder under the obama administration dealing with fast and furious. so you've now got a current administration who's pretty much doing the same thing and nothing happened to attorney general eric holder. so are we turning a blind eye?
no. is this the first time that this current president has actually used executive authority? yes. i think he's doing everything that he can according to law to make sure that he's doing the right thing for him and his family. >> we've heard it through the week, don, the terms constitutional crisis, constitutional confrontation. as bad as democrats say that it is, doesn't that mean that they have the increased responsibility, the burden is on them to confront it? why not take more severe action now? >> democrats are correctly assessing their responsibility to investigate at the same time that they're legislating and ultimately to investigate in a way that leads to impeachment but i think it's important, the fundamental answer to your question, is that they can't take more dire action because the democrats know that the house and congress in general has no enforcement mechanism. that's what the president ultimately knows, that he can flout the law as much as he wants to because as the congressman just said before us,
congressman heck, there is no jail in congress, that congress does not control the military or any type of enforcement execution mechanism other than fines which these folks certainly will not pay. so it's in a very frustrating position. the main thing that the democratic controlled house can do right now is go on the record as continuing to subpoena, continuing to press, and this matters for historical context so that history will look upon house democrats as the one body in this whole mess who stood up and tried to do what was right even though they did not have the enforcement mechanisms and the president continued to flout the law. >> let's talk about the enforcement action here that can be used. you don't believe that it can be -- that it will be effective. adrian, we heard from chairman schiff's idea about those enormous fines, $25,000. democrats talking about possible jail time. are these scare tactics or
should they be put into motion? >> i think they should be put into motion if the trump administration continues to not comply with congress' request. again, if we allow this to happen, if this president has said that the current administration can basically get away with anything and not have any recourse or punishment, that's a signal to all future presidents, anybody who's thinking of running for the white house and i don't care what political party you're in, that send a signal that you can get away with just about anything in the executive branch and there will be no recourse or repercussions. congress is going to do whatever they can and don is exactly right. if everyone sort of makes fun of this phrase, walk and chew gum at the same time but it's true because congress has a responsibility to exercise oversight authority on the executive branch and this is something that they simply cannot abdicate responsibility for. >> when it comes to this, amy, is it something that republicans could be using to their benefit and playing into president
trump's hands? >> well, if they do continue down this route, it is going to help the president get re-elected in 2020, plain and simple, because i think the american public is very tired of this ongoing mess of subpoenas that they keep issuing. then you listen to democrats basically become parrots saying it's a constitutional crisis without any definition or feedback on why it's a constitutional crisis. quite honestly, this is now once again -- it was said by attorney general eric holder. was it correct to do? no. is it correct now to do? probably not but it has set a precedent. i don't believe there's going to be any fine or jail time that will be issued. >> don, last word for you. what's the level of public fatigue when it comes to this back and forth enforcement action that you don't believe could be affected? >> i think public fatigue is
pretty high but ultimately that's not up to congress to worry about. if you're concerned about public fatigue, that means you're concerned about your re-election as opposed to do what is right by the constitution. we don't send people up here to worry about re-election but to do what's right by the american people. ultimately eric holder turned over all the documents in the matter of fast and furious and we don't expect any such compliance from the trump administration. >> we'll leave it at that. all three of you, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you. congresswoman katie hill of the oversight committee joins me to give us her take on the white house stonewalling. that's next. take on the white house stonewalling that's next. aaaah! nooooo... quick, the quicker picker upper! bounty picks up messes quicker and is 2x more absorbent than the leading ordinary brand. [son loudly clears throat] [mom and dad laugh]
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the kwon fron tags between the white house and the house democrats is heating up. this tuesday a federal judge is expected to fast track a ruling on whether the president can block a subpoena from the white house oversight committee for financial documents from his personal accounting firm. joining me now, a member of that committee, congresswoman katie hill, a democrat from california. thank you for your time. i want to bring up the president here and his argument on twitter that voters in 2016 didn't care about his tax information. so why should a federal judge rule in favor of your committee's subpoena this time? >> well, i think that money is so indicative of how people -- what people's motivations are and that's why we need to know this information. the best comparison that i can give is that when anybody is going to get a security
clearance -- and this is very common in my district. we have a lot of defense contractors that require security clearances. those individuals are required to give financial information because ultimately if somebody is in debt, if somebody is accountable to any kind of outside interest, then we need to know that because that can put our national security at risk. the same goes for the person at the highest levels of government in our society. that's why every single other president, every single other presidential candidate has released this information and frankly it doesn't matter whether the voters care about this. it matters for us as members of congress to do our job when it comes to constitutional oversight of the executive branch. >> and if the judge does not rule in favor of having those tax returns, financial documents released, where do you turn to next? what is the option here? are you looking at fines, jail, where do you turn? >> well, i think that the ruling and what we see in the ruling is really what's going to determine the next course of action.
for example, if they rule that we cannot -- that we can't get this information from a subpoena because it has to be related to something other than an investigation, it has to be related to legal action, that's where the question of impeachment comes in because impeachment gives that underlying legal basis. so i think we have too many unknown factors to really determine the next steps until we find out what that ruling really looks like. >> i want to ask you about the some 20 investigations the administration is trying to block including inquiries from your committee. how can you convince voters that these investigations surrounding the president are politically motivated? >> you mean the investigations are not politically motivated? >> yes. how do you convince the voters that they are not? >> i mean, for me it comes down to us being able to communicate what this is about. i like to say that i didn't come here to do investigations. i didn't come to washington, i didn't run for congress to investigate the president. i came here to work on the issues that matter most to the people in my community. that includes working on the cost of housing, working on the
cost of prescription drugs, working on the exorbitant costs of health care and how are we building an economic that works for everybody. but we can't do our job when it comes to working on those issues if we have somebody in the white house who is frankly a complete danger to our national security so we have to conduct these investigations. it's like the parts of your job that in any other employment you have to do. so it's not fun. it may not be politically convenient. it isn't politically convenient but it's something that we have to do and frankly i believe that the voters at the end of the day will understand that and it's going to pan out that way. >> i want to pivot because this week you presided over a hearing about how to fight the opioid epidemic. you actually support here a proposal, this legislation by chairman elijah cummings and senator and presidential candidate elizabeth warren. the bill would provide $100 billion over ten years to address the opioid crisis but are you confident the legislation will receive support
from the president and republicans in congress and this showdown that we're seeing? >> frankly, i don't think we can be confident about pretty much anything when it comes to this president or even our colleagues, our republican colleagues in congress which is incredibly unfortunate because i do think that this is an area where we see a lot of common ground. i recognize that it's really difficult when we have so much contention going on but right now we have 130 americans who are losing their lives to opioid overdose every single day. that is a public health crisis. that's more than people who died from car accidents, gun violence, and we have to treat it as such. we cannot put any kind of political issues ahead of that. so i hope that we will see that support from our colleagues on the other side of the aisle and from the president. >> what's the timeline here as far as how quickly you could remedy this? within months, years, to be able to make a real difference? >> well, it's something that has to be -- it's an ongoing effort
but one of my biggest concerns and i spoke about this during the hearing is that the kind of universally agreed upon tools that we have to increase access to is medically -- medication assisted treatment. that's m-a-t and that means different kinds of drugs that help people to get off of opioids. even the trump administration itself has said that this is the tool that we need to be exploring. it's paid for. the only way that we are really able to pay for that right now and expand those services is through the affordable care act. the majority is paid through medicaid and even the insurance companies is a small fraction compared to the medicaid. so if the affordable care act is undermined, if the ruling in the courts goes against upholding it, then we're in really serious trouble. how are we going to come up with a back stop. >> representative katie hill, thank you so much for your time. >> thanks so much for having me. it could be a gift of a lifetime on this mother's day.
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it's called "earn it!" the story served as inspiration for the project, a guide for young women beginning their career. welcome and congratulations. >> thank you. >> talk to me how you get in there. you are a booker here for "morning joe." why take this leap? >> it started from a story i told mika. i was working with her for two years. i told her about this platform that i wanted to create called access, which was based on my own struggle and getting myself in the door. i wanted to create a platform for young women and men to learn from the professionals that they one day could see themselves becoming despite not having professional mentors or a way to get there. >> when you jump into a career, whether you have done it for decades or just starting, a lot is about pay for women. whether we feel brave enough to ask for me. the statistics, 75% of young
women say they don't feel comfortable negotiating their salary. how do you change that? humble old me, little old me, i'm just happy to have this job. >> studies show that women enter the workplace earning less than their male counterparts and rarely catch up. one of the reasons why this book is so important is because we want to import women with theed arow indica aed arow indicating power to get there. you have to ask for more when you are starting in the workplace. one of the things that's going to empower women that read this book is to understand that they need to gain leverage and power from the moment they walk in the door. it's really understanding the data about what they bring to the table and what can they move -- what needle can they move within the company from the start so they have that power when it comes to the negotiating table. >> there's so much advice people give out when it comes to starting careers. >> there's so much in the book. i think the main thing would be for women especially is to take
nos as opportunities to find a yes. women internalize feedback and they are scared of failure. they think the no is set in stone. whether getting your foot in the door, getting the no when you are negotiating your salary. it's not permanent. >> take the no. many times we fester with that no. here we go, just take it and go with it. congratulations. >> thank you so much. >> thank you for being with us. still to come, paying the price. some involved in the college admissions cheating scandal may face a day of reckoning. that's ahead. >> tech: at safelite autoglass, we know sooner or later...
every chip will crack. this daughter was home visiting when mom saw a chip in her windshield. >> mom: honey is that a chip? >> tech: they wanted it fixed fast so they brought it to us. >> mom: hi. >> tech: with our in-shop chip repair service, we can fix it the same day... guaranteed. plus with most insurance a safelite chip repair is no cost to you. >> mom: really? drive safely. all right. ♪ acoustic music >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, ♪ safelite replace.
that's our time. alex is celebrating mother's day. she will be back next week. i will go get hugs from my kids. >> happy mother's day to you. >> i will take it. good day. lashing out, that's what the president is doing on twitter today at his former white house counsel don mcgahn, amidst new reporting on the staggering number of congressional investigations the white house is now stonewalling. mayor peting identity politics. felicity huffman is