tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC July 9, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
that does it for us on a very busy rock and roll hour of msnbc. craig melvin, all yours. >> thank you, hallie jackson. enjoyed your conversation there with ms. mcgrath. good morning to you. craig melvin here msnbc headquarters here in new york city. quote, he must step down. that's nancy pelosi's demand to labor secretary alex acosta as she and chuck schumer add their name to the growing list of people calling for his resignation over how he handled the jeffrey epstein case. so, what are we hearing from the white house? we'll look at that. also, the future of obamacare. just a few hours from now, federal judges will take up a challenge backed by the trump administration that could very well decide the fate of the affordable care act. and running to ditch mitch. marine fighter pilot amy mcgrath announcing her run against senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. and it is poised to become one of the most contentious and expensive races in 2020. we'll dig into that in just a
moment, but first that breaking news we've been following here at msnbc. billionaire philanthropist and two-time presidential candidate ross perot dead today at the age of the 89. the political fire brand and original election disrupt rubbermaid his name as an independent first running in 1992 and then again in 1996. >> against then president bill clinton and bob dole. a spokesperson for the family says perot succumb to leukemia. a disease he's battled privately for the last five months. we'll have much more on the legacy of ross perot later this hour. first, new pressure this morning on labor secretary alex acou acosta to step aside in his role when he was u.s. attorney for the southern district of florida. the two top democrats in congress, house speaker nancy pelosi and senate minority leader chuck schumer are calling
for him to step down. schumer a few minutes ago on the floor of the senate. >> i'm calling on secretary acosta to resign. it is now impossible for anyone to have confidence in secretary acosta's ability to lead the department of labor. if he refuses to resign, president trump should fire him. >> epstein was charged on monday with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sex trafficking of underage girls. the indictment covers a period from 2002 to 2005. epstein has pled not guilty, he's being held bending a bail hearing scheduled for next week. we get details from kasie hunt. and msnbc legal contributor katy fang is also with me. casey, let me start with you. senator schumer's comments coming just after speaker pelosi tweeted last night the same thing, that he should step aside what can you tell us about the
democrats' efforts here and what are republicans saying? >> so, craig, obviously the calls among democrats for acosta to step aside have been increasing. and chuck schumer not only went to the floor to call for that this morning, but also said that he wants to see more details from the department of justice' investigation of why acosta cut this deal with epstein that allowed him first to not be prosecuted, the nonprosecution part of the agreement, but also the limited amount of time that he did spend in county jail and his sort of sweetheart deal to be able to work from his office six out of seven days a week. so they're looking for that information as well. republicans on capitol hill, however, have taken a bit of a different tone. we are reporting to you yesterday senator lamar alexander and he's close with republican leaders here on the hill and he essentially said this has been asked and answered. he was referring to acosta's
confi confirmation hearing as labor secretary where this did come up. although, if you do watch that exchange, a lot of critics say that acosta did not exactly come across as particularly considerate or empathetic towards the many victims. that's really the crux of the issue here, did how acosta handle this undermine the rights that victims are supposed to have in these kinds of processes? so, you know, that's kind of how things are splitting along partisan lines. and the reality is that we've not seen democratic pressure on president trump really amount to very much in terms of actual action. there have been some other questions about whether acosta was on the outs with president trump for other reasons. there were some reports to that effect. so my question is, you know, does this democratic pressure ultimately mean that the president digs in in his support for acosta? but, of course, this is becoming something that more and more democrats are speaking out
about. amy klobuchar, senator and pris chal candidate also making the same call for acosta to resign today, craig. >> hans, labor department says for now secretary acosta not stepping aside. there are headlines this morning from "politico" and bloomberg news indicating that he may be in trouble. what are you hearing at the white house about the president's confidence in his labor secretary? >> you're hearing nothing directly from the president. that may change in a couple hours on whether or not the president fully endorses mr. acosta. but you really have a three-part defense. number one they're saying the focus should be on epstein and epstein's alleged crimes. number two, they say what casey was talking about, this idea of asked and answered. this was essentially litigated during mr. acosta's labor confirmation hearing to head that department. and then finally you're hearing about the labor market, how strong the jobs are and they think, at least kellyanne conway does, that acosta is doing a great job over there. but when i asked her directly if the labor secretary still has
the confidence of the president, she didn't give a direct answer. does the labor secretary have the president's confidence this morning? >> what i said is that the president said he met alex acosta two 1/2 years ago when he applied for the job. i do know when he was up for senate confirmation i believe this particular matter was discussed and was -- he answered questions under oath about it. >> you know, to casey's point, they're in a bit of a bunker mentality and they don't necessarily like caving to what they think is posturing from the democratic side. so whether or not there are larger issues and there's unhappiness with acosta on what he might be doing with regulations, it seems as though that the white house doesn't want to appear to be pressured into firing him. when you look at some of the past cabinet secretaries that have held on for quite a long time in the face some of pretty damming headlines. tom price, ryan zinke, scott pruitt. we can all go through the number of cabinet officials that have
left, but they held on for quite a long time. i think that duration is the operative thing we should be looking at here. >> i think that the beginning of that sound bite from kellyanne conway was quite telling that the president hadn't even talked to the guy or met the guy that 2 1/2 years. katy fang, let's talk about the doj's responsibility because they're the ones investigating the secretary's role in the epstein case back in 2008. why is that taking so long? >> well, there's a lot of, you know, going back in time, craig. i mean, it's 2019. you have to go back, you need to look at internal emails and communications within the members of the doj that were involved in that plea deal with epstein back in 2008. then you also have to look at the external communications that happened with not one attorney, but dozens of attorneys. so, craig, to kind of frame this, there was a criminal case that was going on or that was being investigated by not only the feds but the state. and that's one thing that people forget as well. there's a lot of focus on the
doj, but there was also a palm beach state attorney at that time back in 2008 that was involved in this deal as well, this secret plea agreement where ultimately he only pled to a misdemeanor in state court. but beyond that you're also dealing with the fact that you had multiple civil cases that were brought by victims. and so that also complicated things. you had lawyers that were representing those civil cases. so there's a lot that has to be combed through. the official department of justice office of professional responsibility investigation was launched just in february of this year. it was after increasing and intense zrut u scruti inten intense scrutiny as a result of miami herald's investigative results. i think that they're taking their time. frankly, they maybe slow rolling the investigation in hopes that nothing was to come of it. but now that we have this two count indict and we have epstein in custody think there opr is going to have to hurry it up and get that information out and they're going to have to have public transparency.
because typically the opr does not release the results of its investigation. it's a self-policing office. it's a part of doj. so we need to see what the results are, craig. >> based on what we do know about how that case was handled, catie. do you think that it was a sweetheart deal that was cut back in 2008? >> that's an understatement, craig. you have a federal judge just this past year a few monthsing that said that it violated the federal crime victims act. it was against the law to do the plea agreement. sex trafficking especially in minors is not a partisan issue. it shouldn't take pressure from democrats in congress to get him to resign. but it's up to donald trump to force him to be fired or maybe he'll break up with him via twitter and say we've got a new labor secretary before the day's end. but it was a sweetheart deal and never should have been resolved in that way. >> meanwhile, two of the women who accuse epstein of inappropriate sexual behavior, they talked to abc news this morning. here's what they said. >> it just brought back bad
memories? >> yeah, it brought back the last time i saw him, which was right there at the massage table. and it just started making me feel uneasy, nervous. >> we get to look him in the face today and see him, you know, in handcuffs. it was just nice to be able to share it with somebody. look at you and say, okay, today's our day just to hear that they're standing up for the victims, you know what i mean? it's just like so overwhelmingly -- it's past due. >> as this case progresses, katie, the likelihood that we hear from more accusers? >> well, so as you heard from that presser that was yesterday when they announced the indictment and the unsealing of the indictment, there was an open invitation for more victims to come forward. i suspect more will come forward. a key issue is that this florida case from 2008, that nonprosecution agreement only
dealt with issues jurisdictionally within florida. this case is being brought in terms of the southern district of new york and so there maybe victims that are nationally and internationally involved and son they've been invited to come forward and see if they can have their claims prosecuted as well. >> katie fanningfang, thank you. always good to have you casey and hans keep us posted. meanwhile, this afternoon the future of the affordable care act and guarantee of health coverage for preexisting conditions in this country will fall into the hands of a panel of judges in new orleans, loi. lawyers for the justice department and several states will push the federal appeals court to uphold their earlier victory which essentially abolishes obamacare as we know it. i'm joined now by one of the principal authors of the affordable care act. yvette, always good to have you with us.
opal bear was your professional life's work under president obama. your gut reaction first of all knowing that the aca's fate hanging in the balance today. >> where are it's really -- it's such a striking problem for consumers is my reaction. there will be so many people whose lives are affected by this in such a negative way. you mentioned preexisting conditions. 130 million americans with preexisting conditions will lose their protection. 9 million americans who are currently getting financial assistance to pay for their insurance will lose that assistance. and 17 million americans who have gotten coverage under the medicaid expansion will lose that coverage. what we're being looking at is a 65% increase in the uninsured rate in this punt whcountry whe should be trying to expand coverage in this country. there will be 12 million seniors who's prescription drug prices will go up when they lose the med air protections. 2.3 million adult children who
will no longer be able to be on their parents' plans. the restriction on annual and lifetime limits that was in the affordable care act will be gob. it's such a broad-sweeping impact of the striking down of this law that is really part of the fabric of the american healthcare system now. >> and the smoother path for the approval of generic drugs as well. >> yes. >> that's also part of -- do you think that perhaps people just don't know all that's in obamacare, all that's part of it? do you think that's part of it here, that folks are just up aware of wh unaware of what's at stake? >> i think it's such a part of the healthcare system that people forget what it was like before the affordable care act. ten years ago you could deny a person health insurance based on a preexisting condition. you could increase the premium amount because that person is a woman, because of their gebd,nd
age, provision. i profession. i think people have forgot what it was like before because it's become such a part of the system. frankly i don't know how you unwind it if it struck down and i don't think there's any plan. i have seen no plan for how you actually replace this or replace the protections that people have if they end up striking down the law. so i think you're right, people just -- they don't remember what the system was like before the affordable care act. >> as you know, several of the went 20 democratic contenders are pushing a medicare for all plan as it's been dubbed. what do you make of that idea? >> well, look, i mean, i think that's something the american people will decide. it's obviously a crux of the debate on the democratic side in terms of how we expand coverage. but i think the broader point is, democrats are talking about expanding coverage and improving affordability. and this administration and the republicans in congress are looking at, today, rolling back
those protections and making healthcare less affordable and less accessible to 65% of the people. >> yvette, former develop director under president obama. thank you. >> thanks for having me. one and one out. just as one democratic contender drops out of the race, another one jumps into the race and he will not have to worry about a late start to his fundraising. also, taking on mitch mcconnell. retired marine fighter, fighter pilot amy mcgrath announcing her run against the senate majority leader and it's heading up to be one of the nastiest and most expensive races in 2020. nastiet expensive races in 2020. everything that's wrong in washington had to start someplace. how did it come to this that even within our own families we can't talk to each other about the leaders of our country anymore without anger and blame? well, it started with this man. n
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a u.s. marine veteran is challenging the most powerful man in the senate for his job in the 2020 election. amy mcgrath who narrowly house the house race in kentucky last year will be running for republican senate majority leader mitch mcconnell's seat. she made her case to hallie jackson just a few minutes ago here on msnbc. >> the path to victory in a place like kentucky, which has been pro-trump, and it is a red
state, but -- and we voted overwhelmingly for trump. but you have to think about why kentucky voted for donald trump. many kentuckians believe that he would drain the swamp. many of them voted for him to bring back jobs, to bring down drug prices. a and who's stopping him from doing these things? it's guys like senator mitch mcconnell. >> let's bring in david drucker. he's covered mcconnell for more than a decade now. how vulnerable is the senior senator from kentucky, david? >> not very. i think if we were looking at 2014 when he had a huge problem with the republican base in kentucky, he had a primary challenge that he had to fight hard to beat back. but he ended up winning that race by 15 points. now you're look at a mitch mcconnell who because he has worked so closely with president trump particularly on the judges issue and confirming so many conservative judges he's looked at much differently.
i think the kavanaugh fight recast him in the eye of a lot of republicans who thought he wouldn't fight hard enough and too quick to cut deals. whether any of that's true is besides the point. when you're looking for a vulnerable for mitch mcconnell in a state like kb that does not just vote ofrmingly for president trump and likes trump and likes his style and what he has to say, you've got wonder where mcconnell's vulnerability is. i thought that clip with amy mcgrath trying to i suppose get to the right of mcconnell with this idea that he's the one standing in the way of trump. >> yeah. >> it's interesting, but it's just not going fly. >> i mean, what would fly? i mean, how would -- how would someone like an amy mcgrath, because she is, you know, on paper a retired marine veteran. how would someone like her, with that resume, beat someone like mitch mcconnell in a place like kentucky? >> right. so it's a big get for democrats
in terms of recruiting. i don't want to dismiss that because the more senate races you can at least make republicans have to fight for, the better off you are. and the better chance you have of picking off some of the winnable races. but if amy mcgrath wants to beat mitch mcconnell, the best thing she can do, i'm being a little glib here. if she was a republican running at him from the right and saying we need some fresh conservative blood, he's been there long enough, i think that that might have a better chance. i think the other thing to understand about mitch mcconnell is that we use the old cliché about not taking things for granted. this is a politician that likes the fight, that has already months ago prepared an entire campaign against mcgrath on the chance that she might run. he's already prepared a campaign against other democrats that might run. plans he'll probably be able to leave on the shelf but he's prepared nonetheless. so a lot of politicians at his age, and he's in almost his late
70s at this point, get lazy, get old, get tired, they don't understand modern campaigning, he has stayed with it. so is he not going to be caught unaware, as happens occasionally when you've been in office too long. >> mcconnell for senate committee, that website we put on the screen there, that was from their website. thank you, david. thank you, mr. drucker. >> thanks a lot, craig. need to run. billionaire tom steyer jumping into the crowded democratic race just as another jumps out. but will anyone in the field be able to win over those so-called never trump republicans? so-cald never trump republicans? it's understand for foam decide that this society is connected. it's a banana republic with a few rich people and everybody else living in misery. that's a failure. y else living in misery. that's a failure i have one kid in each branch of the military,
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well, the crowded field of 2020 presidential contenders is going to have to make room for one more. this morning, a new candidate got in this thing. despite saying a few months ago he wouldn't do it. >> if you think that there's something absolute critical, try as hard as you can and let the chips fall where they may. and that's exactly what i'm
doing. my name's tom steyer, i'm running for president. >> there you have it, billionaire activist tom steyer wants to be president of the united states. i'm joined now by nbc news political reporter, a senior fellow of the ethics and public policy center, and former develop assistant secretary of state and spokesman for hillary clinton. he also cohosts a podcast called unredacted. there's your free plug are there, felipe. >> thank you. >> we'll do another one on the back end. alex, let me start with you. new reporting on this for nbcnews.com. what changed tom steyer's mind? >> he had built this big team and pulled out at the last minute and now he's done a u-turn. i think the field has changed, i think things have changed for him personally and this is the guy who's always had the desire
to rub. he's looked at various offices and he certainly has the means. he's a billionaire. he has pledged to give over half his non charity. he's given over $200 million to politics and he's committed to spending $100 million of his own money on his campaign. we just got word that he's placed about a million dollars in tv ad buys in the first four primary states. this will be a big test about what money can actually buy you in politics and also whether there's an appetite among democrats for, you know, what some might see as a liberal trump. he's a self-made guy. he pitches him self as incorruptible by corporate interests, special interests because i has his own money. and he's taking shots alt his own party. he's pushed this impeachment agenda very much to the opposition of nancy pelosi and i think, you know, that freeze him up to take shots at other kantd dat candidates on stage the way others might not be willing to do. >> felipe, does steyer change this race in a dramatic way?
do other candidates have to change their calculations now? >> i think the biggest impact steyer is going to have is for over a year now he's been a one-note band which is pro impeachment. i imagine some of his motivation for jumping in after he said he wouldn't vun frustration with what he sees on the hill, probably with speaker pelosi's reluctance to move forward, at least move forward quickly on impeachment. he might think he that can introduce that literally on the debate stage. but overall i think the argument about too many people is sort of specious. everyone should run, everyone's mother tells them as a kid anyone can be president. we learned in 2016 that that literally is true. the process will wind will itself out. >> alex, i want to come back to you a second here. going back to this money that's being spent, million dollars in each of the four early primary
states. so we know he's going to spend a lot of money on tv, a lot of money on ads. in terms of his retail politics, how is a guy like tom steyer going to play with voters in south carolina? voters in new hampshire? is he going to be able to press the flesh in a way that's really going to resonate with primary voters? >> well, we'll have to see. but he has been doing this. so he started this group called need to impeach and it spent a lot of his money on tv ads, but it's held events all across the country that have featured him doing exactly this. so he's had a bit of a dry run pressing the flesh, doing these retail politics events in these early primary and caucus states. interestingly, though, impeachment was not even mentioned in his launch video, so he seems to be transitioning his message a little bit, positioning himself more as some kind of clean government advocate. but there's a lot of other people in the race who are already in that lane. bernie sanders, elizabeth warren come to mind. and there's a question whether
he's the best messenger for that. i could see sanders and warren going after him because of his money. they have sworn off talking to big donors just like tom steyer and now here is going to be one potentially on the debate stage with her. >> mona, let's turn to a column that you just pinned for "politico." here's the headline. i'll read it for our listeners. how a democrat can win over another trumper and if you don't think you need us, you should think twice. you write in part, quote, no sweeping federalism smashing plan to overhaul everything in the name of your preferred policy, then please don't call for the abolition of tro decisions in cons sfution u institutional structures like the electoral college that make voters nervous about your stewardship. what scares conservatives most about the idea of voting for a democrat, mona? >> look, please understand that this is not actually a plea to try to appeal to the never trump vast voting constituency out
there which scarcely exists. we're a tiny bunch of writers who -- don't be like us. we've suffered badly for our views within the republic and conservative world. my point is when you look at the reports from 2018, for example, many midst road or lean republican voters in the suburbs pulled the lever for democrats. they were not -- those democrats who won in these leaning-republican districts tended to be moderate democrats. they were not running on norm smashing. for the last several years we've heard nothing about -- from democrats about then about how much donald trump is threat evening the norms and institutions of our society. and yet you look at democratic candidates this year and they are for smashing norms of our society. they're for eliminating the electoral college. they're for packing the supreme court. they're for medicare for all,
the green new deal which is require massive changes in our entire society and economy. and so what i'm saying to democrats is, you are being trumpy and especially one, this is the most important point. kamala harris is particularly guilty of this, but she's not the only one. some of the other candidates also have been talking about how if they are elected they're going to do a variety of things that will be done through executive order. that is exactly the kind of unconstitutional airgation of power the democrats have been complaining about when trump does it. when he declares a spurious national emergency to put troops at the border, they say you kont can't do that. but kamala harris said she will institute gun control doing it. >> democrats and republicans of like have been a fan of the
executive order over the past 20 years. one could also argue that is because at some point congress decided to all but cede control with regards to legislating in this country. >> you're right about that, but it is not helped by presidential candidates who rather than having a certain sense of constitutional order and modesty are saying this is is not within the president's purview, we have to rebel against the trumpian te tendency, they're saying they're going to do more of it. >> felipe there is this debate that's going on in the democratic primary right now. does a democrat need to win over never trump republicans and moderates to win? or, is the smartest strategy to play to the democratic base and make those voters -- make sure that those voters are engaged? >> well, i think we're conflating two things. never trumpers like mona, george conway, tom nichols, rick wilson, they are saying never trump. so they're not going to vote for
trump. think it's a question of whether they vote for our nominee or don't vote at all. now, i find their insights about trump, their insights about the party and particularly their insights and understanding of why people voted for trump in 2016 fascinating. they are welcome in my home for dinner, i want them to make themselves at home, but i also want them to stay out of the kitchen. because the second what we're conflating with are what i would call never again trumpers who are the people who voted for him who in 2018 might have voted for barack obama. it's not just in wisconsin, michigan, and pennsylvania. it's places like ohio. and while we won missouri, there was a close call there. so if this is an ideological argument that republicans are considering, trump is not a good guy and he's a hot mess in everything he does. but republicans are getting their judges, kavanaugh,
gorsuch. they're getting their tax cuts. they're getting their environmental regulations pulled back. so the question is whether the ends justify the means. and i think a lot of republicans have decided it is. in terms of how we go after the people who voted for them, i'd like to think it is not an either/or situation. but bottom line, we took back the house in 2018 because of energy both for moderate candidates and progressive candidates. the problem we should probably look at is the senate. it's very rare in a midterm for the senate and the house to deviate. and part of that is because you have any state where you have anything even remotely rural are pretty much locked for republicans. >> felipe, we'll leave it there. thank you, mona, thank you. alex, thank you as well. we are going back to our breaking news here. the death of billionaire and two-time presidential candidate ross perot. more on his legacy and his f
moments in policy. >> i said the war is over. we do have to have change and people who never take responsibility for anything which it happens on their watch and people who are in charge. >> your time is up. >> time is up. >> time is up. e is up. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection and headache may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines, and if you're pregnant or planning to be. otezla. show more of you. ♪
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age of 89. the tech billionaire philanthropist were he ran twice as an independent for president, once in '92 and again in 1996. perot family spokesperson says that he lost his five-month bat well leukemia early this morning. president george w. bush released a statement a short time ago that reads in part, texas and america have lost a strong patriot. ross perot epitomized the entrepreneurial spirit and the american creed. i'm joined now by the national correspondent for nbc news and also nbc news and politically analyst peter baker is with me. chief white house correspondent for "the new york times." peter, i'll start with you there. what did you learn about ross perot in your time covering politics? >> yeah, no, ross perot is an american original. he really represented sort of the strain and generation of
american politics that stand out. you know, raised in texarkana, delivered newspapers at age 12 by horseback. earned his way into the nafl academy. started a wildly successful computer data company and forced himself on to the national stage with these two presidential campaigns. he channeled the sort of popular resentment against a two-party system that would later propel donald trump to power. he had many the same issues were resonating back then. he talks about nafta, that great sucking sound you hear is jobs heading to mexico. i think he was quirky, colorful, he was conspiracy-minded, but he also sort of appeals to kind of this american idea of can-do spirit and independence that stands out today. >> steve, let's talk about his impact on modern politics, because it is significant especially on this day when tom steyer decides to get into this
race. i mean, here's a guy, one of the things i remember about ross perot, he decided that, you know what? he wasn't pleased with the traditional campaign ad. i'm going to spend my own money and buy an hour's worth of prime time programming to get my message out. in what other ways did his campaign strategy and his business background affect the way we do politics now? >> yeah. you mentioned, know, peter says a populous. i think a profile was written before that campaign and it called him the world's first populous billionaire. terms we think of being in contro diction. perot was able in a way we've seen this donald trump to a degree was able to bring those together. i think one things that's significant about that '92 campaign is think about his place in history. that was the first american presidential election after the fall of soviet communism, after the end of the cold war. i think our domestic politics were change in a way i think we're still realizing the impact of. perot showed a bunch of things, but one thing he showed was with the power of that personality
and the money that he had, he was able to go around the two parties and he was able to go around a lot of traditional news media. he launched his campaign on cable news in nine 92. february 20th, '90 two, he went on larry king live and larry king asked him would you run for president? he said i'll tell you what, if the people put me on the ballot in all 50 states, i might do it. there was no internet the way we have it now. within weeks he was on the ballot practically across the country. by june he was leading in the polls. he was ahead of bush, he was ahead of clinton. >> and, peter, if i remember correctly, i believe he managed to garner about 19% of the vote at least in 1992 and he ran against president bush and bill clinton. he ran as an independent, still today the most successful third-party candidate since teddy roosevelt, right? >> that's exactly right. had he not been quite so colorful he might have gotten more. he dropped out of the race at one point and then drops back
into the race. he had dropped out because of republicans dirty tricks involving his daughter's wedding. he got turned off. the fact that he got 19% talked about what a popular appetite there was for something different. now, bush people will tell you that they think perot cost hinl the election. i think steve has written about this, his book is terrific, but the data doesn't back that up. but he definitely joined clinton in attacking, you know, the bush presidency in that sense. and therefore, he had an impact. he also showed, though, i think the limits of what an independent can do. even with all the money he had. even with all the exposure he had, he wasn't able to crack that two-party mo no poe that i runs our system. dump donald trump ran for president in 2000 on the reform party, you know, that was created by perot before dropping out mat you learn from that is you can't run outside the
system. so he runs in 2016 inside the system. in effect, he has a takeover one of the two parties, republican party because he learned from i think perot that you couldn't do it outside the system. >> if you can't beat them, join them. peter baker, thank you. steve, thank you. by the way, in his final interview with his home state paper the "dallas morning news," ross perot was asked what he wanted to be remembered for. he said he didn't worry about that. according to the paper, his parting words in that 2016 interview were this. quote, texas born, texas bred, when i die i will be texas dead. ha. we'll be right back. as dead. ha we'll be right back. when you need the fuel to be your nephew's number one fan. holiday inn express. we're there. so you can be too.
right now, former trump associate is testifying before the house intelligence committee behind closed doors. it's part of the committee's investigation into russian election interference. he worked with michael cohen in the 2016 presidential campaign for plans on a trump real estate deal in moscow. he said i'll answer everything question without exception and i always have and i always will
cooperate with anything the u.s. government asks of me. a new report shows members in congress, not bashful about admitting they haven't read most of the document that d.c. is -- the mueller report. politico reporting this headline, what's the point? lawmakers fess up to not fully reading the mueller report. a republican senator said she was plugging along. called the report tedious. tim scott asked what's the point? democratic senator tim kaine, democrat from virginia, didn't have to read it. i lived it. joining me now, the reporter behind that story. politico's senior white house reporter daniel samuelson. here's the thing about the article i found fascinating. not only did they not read it they seem to be proud of the fact they haven't read it. >> i would say proud maybe is one word for it. i think i caught them by surprise asking them the question. they had largely moved on, many
of the members of congress were caught by surprise just that a reporter was asking if you read, point blank, the mueller report as i made my rounds on capitol hill. i guess i was surprised that so many didn't have answers prepared for that question. they were still plugging away. lisa m lisa murkouski said she hadn't gotten to pick it back up again. lawmakers are very busy people with lots of different issues front and center. this is the one that's dominated washington for the last two and a half years. with robert mueller coming up to testify, it was definitely worth going around and seeing if members were prepared, especially those that will be questioni questioning robert mueller. they're potentially getting to be asked the question of impeachment. it was really fascinating to see, you know, there is this literacy gap between the mueller report and the general public.
very few people, very few americans have read, you know, anything about this report, let alone try to go cover to cover. >> as someone who has thumbed through the report, i attest to the fact it's not an easy read. especially the nofootnotes. did they say their staffers had at least read the report? >> a number of them did. a number of them said they had dog eared copies sitting around their offices. several held up their tablets and said that's where they were reading it. several members said they had been briefed by their staffers and discussed it with other members of congress. i was surprised to find democrats as well as republicans acknowledging not reading the report. especially members of congress who are not on those two committees who maybe don't have to deal with this on a day in, day out basis are not being the ones asked questions by reporters like myself and others who cover this investigation and have been for a long time. who don't need to be briefed on
it on a daily basis. at the same time you would think on something that's dominated so much american discussion going back to the 2016 campaign itself, that they would probably want to look back and read what robert mueller put together and clearly coming up in a couple of days now they're going to get a chance to watch it live on television. it's going to be interesting to watch how many members of congress who are not on those committees spend the day watching the testimony. are they riveted to it like, obviously, the reporters who have been coviering it? >> my high school math teacher used today a ask me, mr. melvin are you going to take the test if you didn't do the homework? did you get the sense that lawmakers aren't reading other important pieces of legislation, shall we say? >> this is something you hear over and over covering congress for 20 years now. you hear this all the time about
whether members of congress read the bills they're voting on. something asdan dense as a muel report have been challenging and hard to follow along. at the same time, there are parts of the report that have been in the news so front and center for so long. it's hard to believe that they wouldn't know who michael cohen is or who don mcgahn is. they can't follow along with the key parts. this is why we have hollywood celebrities doing the dramatic readings on broadway where you had actors playing the part of mueller and trump and why you have these videos coming out. >> thank you. coming up, senator bernie sanders will join andrea mitchell. he'll talk about his plan to declare a climate change emergency if he's elected. declare a climate change emergency if he's elected. maria ramirez! mom! maria! maria ramirez...
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"andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. and right now on "andrea mitchell reports," under fire. labor secretary speaking out for the first time after calls for him to step down. >> it's now impossible for anyone to have confidence in secretary acosta's ability to lead the department of labor. guess who's not coming to dinner? hours after disinviting the british ambassador to a dinner for a visiting head of state, donald trumpab