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tv   MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  July 30, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks so much, mika. hi there. i'm stephanie ruhle. here's what's happening right now. president trump has spent the better part of this week attacking an endless string of american lawmakers, american cities, and american companies. in all that time, he has barely mentioned any of the 2020 democrats who are trying to take his job. but over the next two nights those very democrats will take the debate stage with the chance to hit directly back at president trump. with only a few precious minutes of face time are those candidates better served throwing punches at the president or one another? i want to get right to our lead-off conversation with a staff writer at "the new yorker" and journalism professor at columbia university. my friend david jolly a former republican congressman from florida and an msnbc political contributor. and my guest who served as deputy secretary of state under hillary clinton and cohosts the
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podcast "unredacted. i turn to you first. do democrats attack the president on race and try to win the news cycle? they will clearly get a great sound bite if they do than have themselves all over tv tomorrow. or do they bypass all of that and go straight to the voters and talk about things like health care, education, and infrastructure? >> i think that there will be a lot of people on that staining a stage with different responses. if someone is responding to trump's racial, i guess these kind of invective sprees that he goes on, i don't know it's necessarily just for black voters for trying to get the news cycle. i think there is an imperative at this point. the president of the united states has defamed an american city. he's done many things like this
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multiple times. but the kind of behavior that we're seeing, the othering we're seeing of actual american citizens, people who 600,000 people who belong to a very significant and historically important culturally rich american city, you have to respond to that. those people are looking for their leaders to actually defend their name on this. >> without a doubt. is that exactly what the president wants them to do? he has been called a racist time and again and it's not new to him. what he doesn't want is the candidates talking about his failings on infrastructure, health care, education, even the economy. so what jelani is pointing out is massively important but is it important enough to bypass the other things? the president didn't doob this by accident. >> that's true. i think there is a way to do both, talk policy and also address the topic of the day. it is less about attacking donald trump the person as much
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as that seems to be the reflexive response. it's recognizing that this is a cultural moment right now that donald trump has put in front of us. a moral failing of our national identity if you will under his leadership and through the silence of the republicans who continue to enable him. and i think any democratic candidate who wants to make the case to the country that they are prepared to lead need to draw a contrast between this failure of this moment by the president, this consternation he's injected into the national narrative, and show what they want the country to be. and how we are not represented by the likes of donald trump and those who enable him through their silence but there is a different type of leadership that does speak to our better angels. a candidate must do that. if a candidate fails to meet that moment on stage, it will not be disqualifying but it will be noticed. so i think you have to speak to the moment, perhaps less so than speaking to the president, himself, and then move to why
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your policies will empower the very people that donald trump has belittled with his casual racism. >> do democrats need to be careful and i realize it might be frustrating given the lack of care the president gives, but do they need to be careful in exactly how they answer things? i think back to the last debate. everyone raising their hand for giving free health care to undocumented immigrants rather than saying, hey, guess what? we're already providing health care. look at the emergency room. by raising their hands, it was the bread crumb trail that president trump used to point to the squad and suddenly create a narrative saying, democrats care about migrants more than they care about americans. >> i think the candidates themselves would agree because some sphere of them, some group of them told the debate commission they did not want to have another hand raising episode for tonight and tomorrow night. but i think the issue here is you're a hundred percent right and the congressman is a hundred percent right. you have to stand up for your
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values. a more raw political analysis, baltimore and detroit are not comparing baltimore and salt lake city or salt lake city and miami. the attacks on baltimore are primarily about race. they're primarily about infrastructure, about health care. if you can't walk and chew gum and defend baltimore and make the larger points that what he's attacking are his own failures. the things that are happening that he is pointing out, whether it's the crime, economy, infrastructure, a big question is what are you doing about it? he is doing nothing about it. on the racist question, it's tough. i think we all know his intent or at least we know the ancillary benefit to him of that. the debate stage is going to be full of people who are to some extent jockeying for that demographic. so you have to make sure you're not overdoing it in terms of pandering to an african-american
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vote. especially in michigan where you saw the depressed turnout in detroit in 2016. i think overall what you want to make sure and what, you know, you said trump is not sending these by accident. someone tallied that he sent 43,000 tweets through i think yesterday. and, no, they're not by accident but they're not that thought out either. he sends them from a state of mania in the morning and even if they're intentional by topic it doesn't mean that they're smart. it doesn't mean they're strategically successful. so, no. we can't jump every time he tweets about it. >> but if the tweets aren't smart, and everyone is chasing the tweets and not chasing their own -- not focusing on their own game, who is the fool? >> well, the fool is any candidate who can't defend, if they're being attacked from the tweet, and pivot off of that. so elijah cummings, he not only attacked -- not only defended his district and his city but
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elijah cummings turned around and unleashed a moral, just slap in the face to someone who needed it. he did it constructively from a place of moral recollect tud and standing and experience with his own personal history. >> the mayor of baltimore said, president trump, you have these views then help our city. paul, take us to michigan. the president won in 2016 but it's a very divided state. what are the issues or what candidate could push themself over the top? >> certainly health care is an important issue. certainly michigan's economy has improved significantly since 2000. or 2010. but, you know, the manufacturing sector still hasn't really come back. we right now see the automotive sector, auto sales softening, and the impact of tariffs and threatened tariffs. that is something that could cost the auto industry billions
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of dollars. >> you've written about elizabeth warren and bernie sanders. side by side next to one another on a stage. it's been reported they're not going to be attacking one another but let's be real. if either one of them want to get the nomination they've got to knock the other one out if they're going to get those voters. >> eventually that's probably true, stephanie, but i think at least as it turns out right now the dynamic we expect is less elizabeth warren versus bernie sanders and more elizabeth warren and bernie sanders against the folks on the stage that might be a little bit more moderate and might be a little more willing to knock their big, sweeping, progressive proposals. i'm thinking about student loan debt cancellation, medicare for all, especially the way bernie sanders and elizabeth warren talk about medicare for all which is there is no role for private insurance. i know that is in contrast to the plan kamala harris put out yesterday. that is the dynamic i expect to see on stage. in listening to your panel,
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there is this idea of being able to walk and chew gum at the same time and i think those candidates as far as i've been on the trail with them have been doing that in terms of responding to trump's latest tweets and also pushing their own plans. but over the course of the past few days when i've been talking to voters, there is a concern that they want to hear more from democrats on this stage about what democrats can do for the voters, what the vision is to shape america. and maybe a little bit less of the focus on trump. of course, those same voters say the biggest thing to them is being able to beat trump in november of 2020. it is a case of being able to do both at the same time. voters are really interested in what is the larger democratic vision outside of donald trump for them to make a decision? >> jelani, what people say to pollsters, at dinner parties, is different from what they do in the dark privacy when they're all alone and they're voting. of all people, kellyanne conway said, people vote not by what
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offends them, by what affects them. what are they going to vote on? >> i don't think those two are contradictory. a quick response to the comment about overdoing it and pandering to the african-american vote. we should just be very clear the democrats go nowhere without black turnout. hill hill learned that in 2016 in michigan, pennsylvania, and wisconsin. and so there's not -- there is also, i think, a problem with framing this as there is the bread and butter issues, substantial issues, medicare, health care questions and then this ancillary question of the person in the white house and his inflammatory, racial behavior. those two things are wedded together. that he is using the african americans the same way he's used latinos, the same way he's used muslims, as a means of scapegoating and pointing to his base, mostly white voters. these are the reasons you have these problems. his inability to address those
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things, he has made very little substantive progress. he has then gone back to his inflammatory race card politics to distract from that. so i don't think the two things are distinct and i also think we have to be very clear that if you have a business as usual democratic party in which people are -- not seeing as putting the interests of a community as vital, the most reliable democratic constituency, african americans, not interested in putting those interests at the very forefront you'll wind up like john kerry, hillary clinton, people who took those votes for granted and came out the worse for it. >> paul, take us to michigan. >> well, this is a state where democratic presidential primaries have been won both by governor george wallace in 1972 and reverend jesse jackson in 1988, then bernie sanders, independent senator, in 2016.
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so it's not a state that's easy to predict or pigeon hole. voters here don't always take the predictable position. what's going on right now, because when president trump won in 2016, it was the first time a republican had taken michigan since 1988. it was a bit of a shock to many in the state. then in 2018 you had a huge turnout, big democratic vote, democratic women swept all of the top positions -- governor, attorney general, secretary of state. and now the question is, what kind of turnout are we going to get in 2020? and some people are predicting possibly another record turnout, as many as 6 million votes. but the question nthat's tearin up the democratic party in michigan right now is do you go
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with somebody like former vice president joe biden or do you go with somebody that is more on the progressive wing of the party, because, remember, bernie sanders won the primary here. and then hillary clinton lost the -- lost michigan to president trump. it's a real division right now. >> congressman, a head scratcher for me is when over and over we keep hearing president trump is playing to his base. he has his base on lock. there is a new quinnipiac poll that lays it out. 32% of voters will definitely vote for the president. he doesn't need to worry about them. 12% say they'll consider it. the more important number is 54% say they will absolutely not vote for him. if you're an absolutely not, for president trump, there is no scenario where you change your tune. given that those are the numbers why is the president going with
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this strategy? what do democrats do about it? >> because he is panicked. very quickly on the issue of race and democrats, something to look for in the debate is this. you must address it. the candidates who only play to the outrage will demonstrate they don't fully understand this moment. what they have to do is address the unsettling of the american spirit over this topic as led by donald trump. had that bill clinton i feel your pain moment, relate to the voter concerned about this topic of race out of the white house. >> what about address it with policy? >> absolutely. >> let's address it with better schools in our inner cities? >> absolutely but you can't miss the moral failing first. then you talk about how do we empower communities of color through early childhood education, criminal justice reform, through increasing home ownership among communities of color? all those policies democrats are very strong on. as to the polls, look. donald trump is panicking. we cannot look past the fact all of these attacks 48 hours after jeffrey epstein was taken into
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custody, he started this race narrative. he started with the squad. it worked. he moved to cummings. the reason he is panicking if not to do with epstein is this. for 2020 he has to precisely replicate what happened in 2016. there is no other pathway to the white house. he has to narrowly win these four or five states by turning out the white grievance platform voters and the only way he can do that is through this. because what we saw in 2018 is the policies of republicans on immigration, on taxes, on health care. none of that works. they got trounced in 2018. >> how do you replicate that when you then have to deal with the fact the president will have a two-year track record where he said, i'm going to change things for you but he didn't? >> because he is not playing to the high information, intelligent, policy driven voter. it is not the fault of the voters. it is the fault of the leader who's taking them there. the voters being framed an issue
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that is frankly untrue and they're buying it. >> all right. you have to give a last piece of advice. you played president trump which is maybe my favorite fun fact about you, when hillary clinton was preparing for debates. knowing how he plays the game what are you looking for in democratic candidates tonight and who could face off against him? he is not playing any traditional debate game. >> no. he is the worst debater in the world. that makes it tough to go against him. >> the worst or the best? >> he's the worst. you can make fun of hillary clinton all you want about 2016, but she kicked his whatever in at least two of the three and the middle one was probably a ko if not a tko. i think the problem and weird dynamic going on which ali referred to is the thing you hear most from the democratic primary electorate is we want someone who could beat trump, which is sort of funny. i think in 2004 we wanted someone to beat bush. in -- you always want the guy to
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win but what does that really mean? i think it means we're not sure how to beat him. we're not sure how we won. we're not sure how to do it. part of it is things you might be doing on a debate stage with democrats is the last thing you want to do on a debate stage with donald trump. joe biden is getting a lot of grief for how he is handling various accusations without apologizing. without regard to the merit of the arguments if you can get on stage with donald trump the inability to apologize is a pretty good trait. >> thank you all so much. jelani, this is the first time we've met. you've already made me starter in the last 15 minutes. i'm asking, will you please stay on? coming up, why is president trump attacking american cities, american companies, and elected officials? maybe -- maybe it's so people don't notice the latest campaign promise he has failed to deliver on.
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and all votes must count or at least they should so why is mitch mcconnell defending his decision to block the bills that will protect that? wake up! there's a lot that needs to get done today. small things. big things. too hard to do alone things. day after day, you need to get it all done. and here to listen and help you through it all is bank of america. with the expertise and know-how you need to reach that blissful state of done-ness. so let's get after it. ♪ everything is all right what would you like the power to do?® ♪ all right what would you like the power to do?® ♪ applebee's all you can eat is back. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. great riches will find you when liberty mutual customizes your car insurance,
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president trump's twitter feed he called out by name ten u.s. members of congress, four u.s. companies, three u.s. allies, and two u.s. cities. he's not the only one on the
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attack. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is playing major defense right now after he blocked bills to protect our elections from getting to a vote. >> these pundits are lying. lying. when they dismiss the work that has been done. they're lying when they insist i have personally blocked when in fact i have championed and the senate has passed. >> but ultimately, who benefits from all of this especially as dan coats, the president's top spy, one of the men tasked with keeping this country safe, is on his way out the door. joining me is ken delaney covering intelligence and national security here at msnbc news. calling out americans or allies and blocking election security and losing our top intelligence chief who just appointed an election security czar? who does this serve? >> nobody.
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i don't even think it serves donald trump. >> not one other person from one other country? >> yes. but vladimir putin has been laughing since november 9th, 2016 about this. the clip you showed about mitch mcconnell is very unnerving. you can disgrae about elements of it. what is most notable to me about mcconnell is he knows he runs the place so what he often does if he doesn't like a piece of legislation he dismisses it and says here is mine. he is just sitting there saying no and stomping his feet and in no way saying i got this other one over here. sign number 800 that his caucus has just given up. you have people like lindsey graham and others pro election security who have gone completely silent. so the other number to go to the point of whether this even serves donald trump the other number that's gone up over the last few days is the number of democrats who want to impeach
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him. i think it closed the night last night at 109. probably more as we sit here and on a trajectory to get higher. i don't really know -- you know, mueller, his performance i think we all saw. don't know whether that influenced people. yeah, there are democrats who are saying i want this guy gone because he is yelling and screaming at elijah cummings. these things are not helpful. if we ever get to a point where he is impeached, meaning just in the house, you can look at all these little things and say, boy. it was not smart to get into a twitter rant with the chairman of the oversight committee. it is not smart to call adam schiff names when he is the head of the intelligence committee. these things aren't smart. they might be deliberate but they're dumb. >> congressman, mitch mcconnell says he's claiming to be defending himself against left wing pundits. it's actually you. you are the one who called mitch mcconnell out. >> yeah, poor mitch. poor mitch. let me expose the fatal flaw of mitch mcconnell in this and i hope everybody understands this. mitch mcconnell is leading the
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republicans to object to the democrats' bill on election security because he is claiming states rights and saying states have control over election systems so there is no need for a national standard. where that fundamentally fails is this. our entire union is to deal against foreign threats. when mitch mcconnell is saying this is a state's issue he is saying this is not a national security moment for the nation when every other continual jens agency says it is. one thing mueller said we can all agree on is there is urgency right now. let's all criticize mitch mcconnell right now for saying you're failing to inject urgency into a debate over one of the most critical matters we face in 2020, which is the safety and security of our election system. he should be canceling august recess to bring up the democratic bill on election security. >> fact check us, ken. mitch mcconnell says he has actually championed these bills. >> i don't know where he's
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getting that because as these guys just said the democrats have a bill that would funnel $600 million to the states to help everybody transfer to paper ballots which a bipartisan report from the senate intelligence committee, endorsed by senator burr, just said was required, and mcconnell has blocked that. mark warner has a bill -- >> without an alternative. mark warner has a bill that would require campaigns to report to the fbi if a foreigner comes to them with dirt on an opponent. susan collins i'm told today will get onboard the bill. that has bipartisan support. mcconnell has blocked that. he doesn't have an alternative. that's why you have dana mill bank of "the washington post" writing a column that says, mitch mcconnell is a russian asset and why joe scarborough is calling him moscow mitch. it obviously got to him but he doesn't have an answer. this issue of states rights, states always want to run their elections but our nation was attacked by a foreign power and the senate intelligence report shows that states are not equipped to deal with this issue. >> they know, you know, mcconnell, the republicans, they know trump only won in 2016 with
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all this various help. they also probably know he cannot win in 2020 when all of this various help. why would they shoot themselves in the foot? as much as he drives them crazy they want donald trump more than a president biden, president warren, president harris. when you look at the congressional republicans the reason they let a lot of it slide off their backs is because it doesn't affect them. what do they care if people are putting kids in cages? they're not their kids. why do they care if cities are being attacked on racial grounds. it's not his cities. they are the last on the list of people who are at risk and vulnerable by donald trump's antics and therefore they are least animated by them. >> the person most focused on defending us or addressing election security, dan coats, now out of a job. congressman, you have worked with john ratcliffe, who the president would like to appoint. >> i have. >> help us understand who this guy is. >> i think it is fair to question his politics coming out of last week.
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frankly, it is politics of john ratcliffe. >> meaning when he questioned robert mueller. >> you have to get deep in the conservative conspiracy chat rooms to follow what ratcliffe and the other republicans were doing to try to question mueller last week. it is not the politics of john ratcliffe that i recognize from the person i served with. where i do speak to his credibility is he is a very capable, intelligent person. there is a bell curve in congress. there are real idiots in the congress who frankly shouldn't be there. >> would you like to tell us what that means? it's hard for me to understand. what does it mean? >> they're also very capable, intelligent, qualified people. he is a former district attorney for texas. he took on a 40-year incumbent in a primary and beat him. he is very capable. the question is when he presents intelligence to the president and the president follows back will he follow the political narrative? i think last week we saw that he will. >> he has said he put terrorists in prison. where is there a record of that? >> pete williams fact checked that yesterday and we can find
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no evidence he has ever prosecuted a terrorism case. there were no terrorism cases in his district when he was u.s. attorney. his office points to a case against the holy land foundation in dallas but his role there was to investigate juror misconduct not terrorism or prosecute terrorism. the idea he put terrorists in prison just appears to be false. >> ken, would you have us believe donald trump has picked someone that's lied about their qualifications? >> don't be sassy. congressman, philippe, ken, thank you all very much. stick around. we have a lot more to cover. coming up a new report asks the question, is the white house willing to put the president's friends and allies' interests above the national security of the american people? the american people? most people think a button is just a button. ♪
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time for money, power, politics. a new report from congress this morning raises a simple but massive question. did the white house put the potential profits of the president over national security? the report from the house oversight committee says that trump's strongest allies used access to the white house to promote a saudi nuclear project. it points to a group of private companies, one being led by the president's fundraiser and long-time friend tom baric.
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it says they used their close ties to the white house to secure support for a nuclear power project backed by saudi arabia. joining me now, making her debut as nbc news senior digital white house correspondent, my dear friend, shannon pettypiece. philippe still with me. shannon, welcome. let's go straight to this report where it says he was dealing with the president and other senior members of the administration possibly discussing a position for himself? >> right. >> at the same time he was promoting interests of u.s. corporations with regard to saudi arabia. and nuclear technology. how do we make sense of this? >> there are a lot of people close to the president. few are closer than tom barrack. they go back to the 1980s. tom barrack was involved in the plaza hotel deal that donald trump did. they had financial ties for decades after that. tom barrack is one who brought
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paul manafort into the trump campaign and tom barrack is very close to jared kushner and was the one who helped build the relationship between the saudis and kushner. so while we have seen other people trying to use their access to the white house, michael cohen, paul manafort, other people who worked on the campaign, no one has as close a relationship as tom barrack. he led the transition and is the type of person who can pick up his phone and call donald trump in the middle of the night or who donald trump will call at 11:00 p.m. and ask for his advice on something. that is the type of relationship. when you have tom barrack with his own financial business interests working his connections to the white house, that is where you kind of see this concern and conflict arise. >> the decision to make this transfer to saudi arabia happened not long after jamal khashoggi was killed. what do you make of the timing? >> i think we've seen this from literally the moment he was sworn in. if you remember mike flynn was
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on stage texting about a nuclear deal with a client of his. this is something they've been doing since day one which is monetizing the presidency. every single one of them whether their name the trump, kushner, manafort, or barrack. tom barrack is a little different animal because he is so familiar with donald trump. you know, shannon alluded to it. the way he met donald trump was he sold the plaza to donald trump and fleeced donald trump. it was one of trump's worst deals. my point is tom knows, barrack knows how to push trump's buttons and he knows how to make money for himself. that is a very dangerous combination. he is also a very polished guy. if you look at the people hanging on to this administration to make money he doesn't stand out but you go back and i think when this is all said and done, the inaugural
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committee, which he ran, will be a real focus of where money came from and where it went. that was all tom barrack. this is no different than jared, you know, what's happening with his buddies in the middle east. they are making money and they are doing it in donald trump's name. they are doing it for donald trump, doing it for themselves, doing it in spite of america's best interests. >> jared kushner was asked by jonathan swan in an interview several months ago about khashoggi. jared said we're waiting to see what it says in the report. the president was asked a day later and he said what are you talking about? we haven't covered this. in months, as defensive as you say this is, this is their playbook and it doesn't seem like anything is going to stop. republicans issued their own report saying they did not see evidence of wrongdoing with regard to barrack and this transfer. so that being the case, does anything happen here? >> well, and the congress just decided not to override the president's veto on the saudi
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arms deal. the efforts to get saudi sanctions aren't going anywhere. so this sort of baffling relationship between the white house and the saudis continues. now, this deal that tom barrack was pushing for to get a nuclear power plant in the middle east, that never came to be partly because the saudis didn't want to agree to the u.s. terms. but the perception is there. when you step back and think about how the rest of the world sees america and its relations and trace to figure out, and they see connections like this between the president's close friend and the saudis and trying to understand, well, why isn't the white house responding to the khashoggi murder? why is the president vetoing efforts by congress to admonish the saudis? there is certainly this perception of ill relationships. and that this is not about what is in america's best interests? >> does perception actually matter anymore? you know, kellyanne conway blowing her nose at the hatch act, you know, ivanka trump ignoring it, subpoenas being ignored. perception in other times means
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a lot but today with the exception of those saying i don't want this person to be in the white house anymore, are there any ramifications? >> no. >> well, i think -- >> there is one that for some reason we're dragging our feet, we being the democratic leadership in the house in doing because these are, you know -- >> doesn't take him out of office. >> it might. i'm not dumb. i can count about the senate. but that does not mean you don't take someone to trial. you don't pass an indictment to lay out his crimes. the problem with what we're talking about here, one of the problems, is that we are so focused on what happened with the russians and with comey and that at large is we don't talk about these other high crimes and misdemeanors. they are working with foreign entities to line their pockets. that is against the u.s. constitution. that is an impeachable offense. these things they are getting away with everything, and the two members of congress that can
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be most active or ostensibly, are the chair of the intelligence committee and the chair of the oversight committee ad adam shich and elijah cummings. he knows he can blow off congress for the next 16 months and why should he care? there's been no ramification, no consequences. >> i think the perceptions do matter when talking about other countries and other maybe authoritarian regimes trying to figure out what they can get away with on the international stage. >> the president is laser beam focused. >> we're all about that. >> didn't i warn you about sasainess? >> when they think what can you get away with, if you are friends with this person or have business ties maybe you can get away with something else. >> a few moments ago the president was outside the white house and spoke to reporters before departing for virginia. we have the tape. >> doing fantastically well. we have people over in china
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right now. we're negotiating with china. we'll see what happens. we're either going to make a great deal or not make a deal at all but a lot of great things are happening including with china. our country has gone way up in terms of its differential, we're the number one economy in the world. it's picked up tremendously in the last three years since i've been here. so a lot of great things are happening. a lot of really great things are happening. the economy is through the roof. i guess we'll hopefully get good decisions from certain branches of government. we'll see what happens. we have a lot of good things happening. we were just speaking with the department of commerce and we have interests in our country like we've never had before. >> mr. president, do you regret what you said about baltimore?
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>> no. baltimore has been badly mishandled for many years. congressman cummings has been there a long time. he has an iron hand on it. it is a corrupt city. no question about it. all you have to do is look at the facts. the government has pumped in billions and billions of dollars over the years to no avail, absolutely no avail. baltimore is an example of what corrupt government leads to. billions of dollars have been given and i feel so sorry for the people of baltimore. if they asked me, we will get involved, but we're already involved from the standpoint that over many years, billions and billions of dollars have been given to baltimore. it's been misspent it's been missing. it's been stolen with a lot of corrupt government. as you know, cummings has been in charge. i will say this. i think that representative cummings should take his oversight committee and start
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doing oversight on baltimore. he'd find out some real things. >> on the feds, what should the rate cut be? >> the talks are moving very well with china but they were often with china but china always makes a new deal at the end or seems to. we're taking in billions and billions of dollars from china in the form of tariffs. our people are not paying for it. china reduced their currency. they devalued their currency. they're pumping money into the system in order to pay for it. they had the worst year in 27 years. they've had a terrible year because of the tariffs. a lot of companies are moving out of china. you've never seen this before. the united states is doing phenomenally well and we're taking in tens of billions of dollars from china. we're giving some money to our farmers who have been really targeted by china to do a number
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on them and because they like me, the farmers like me and i love the farmers. and i will say that the farmers are very grateful. the most they've ever spent on agricultural products is $16 billion. when they pulled out, i took just a small part of the money that china is paying us, and i gave it toward the farmers. the farmers are very happy. [ inaudible question ] >> the fed move in my opinion, far too early and far too severely. it puts me at a somewhat of a disadvantage. fortunately, i've made the economy so strong that nothing is going to stop us. but the fed could have made it a lot easier. i would like to see a large cut and i'd like to see immediately the quantitative tightening stopped. it needs to be stopped. for them to have done quantitative tightening and also higher interest rates simultaneously i think was a big
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mistake. i also think that had they not done it as good as we've done we've set a record as you will say in the stock market. we have the all-time high in the history of the stock market. i think i would have been 10,000 points higher and i think we would have been in the 4s with gdp. president obama had zero interest rates. we have normalized interest rates. with zero interest rates, anything happens. and yet we still blew his economy away. [ inaudible question ] >> i don't talk about that. i just -- i'm very disappointed in the fed. i think they acted too quickly by far and i think i've been proven right. people have said i was right. they were wrong. the fed is often wrong. the fed is often wrong. [ inaudible question ]
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>> "the washington post" called mitch mcconnell what? [ inaudible question ] >> i think "the washington post" is a russian asset by comparison. mitch mcconnell loves our country. he's done a great job. we're trying to pass an infrastructure bill. it is being written up right now as we speak for our hshs and roadways. mitch mcconnell has gotten more judgments than probably anybody. in all fairness, with my help. but as a combination, we've got -- we'll be up very soon to 179 federal judges. nobody has ever seen anything like that. other than george washington, we'll end up having the highest percentage of judges put in the court and it is going to be a legacy. mitch mcconnell is a man that does less about russia and russian influence than even donald trump and i know nothing.
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so i think it is a horrible thing when a paper, which is really just a paper for the benefit of amazon, "the washington post" is fake news. just like the "new york times" is fake news. it's put there for the benefit, "the washington post," of amazon. that's my opinion. and i think it's a disgrace. if they actually said that -- i didn't read it -- if they actually said mitch mcconnell is an asset of russia, they ought to be ashamed of themselves and ought to apologize. [ inaudible question ] do you have a sense as to who your likely opponent will be? >> well, i think right now i am watching -- i think right now it will be joe. i feel he'll limp across the line is what i think. what i think doesn't mean anything but i know the other people. i know him. i think he's off his game by a
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lot. personally i think it is going to be sleepy joe. [ inaudible question ] >> no, i think i'm helping myself because i'm pointing out the tremendous corruption that's taken place in baltimore and other democratic run cities. all you have to do is look at the past mayors in baltimore, see what happened. no, i think i'm helping myself. i'll tell you what. the white house and myself and letters and e-mails and phone calls, have received more phone calls than i think on any other subject of people from baltimore and other cities, corruptly run by democrats, thanking me for getting involved. those people are living in hell in baltimore. they're largely african-american. you have a large african-american population and they really appreciate what i'm doing. and they've let me know it. they really appreciate it. and by the way, the numbers just came out.
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unemployment for african americans is the lowest it's been, the best numbers, meaning, in the history of our country. the lowest in the history of our country. but people have called from baltimore thanking me so much because all that money that's been spent, over 20 years, has been stolen and wasted by people like elijah cummings. [ inaudible question ] >> well, i have a great relationship with brazil. i have a fantastic relationship with your president. he's a great gentleman. he was here as you know. in fact, they say the trump of brazil. i like that. that's a compliment. by the way, i think he is doing a great job. it's a tough job, but i think your president is doing a fantastic job. he is a wonderful man with a wonderful family. we're going to work on a free trade agreement with brazil.
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brazil is a big trading partner. they charge us a lot of tariffs. but other than that, we love the relationship. >> (inaudible). >> the what? >> i heard about it. i'll find out about it. this is new. i heard about it last night. john ratcliffe is a brilliant man, a wonderful person. i spoke to him long before about this. long before. months ago. i spoke to him long before the mueller fiasco. that was a fiasco. i think probably nobody in the history of capitol hill has embarrassed themselves like what mueller did to himself and to the democrats.
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john ratcliffe, he's a talented guy, a strong man. it's what we need in that position. >> (inaudible). >> i am the least racist person there is anywhere in the world. all my business life i had to deal with them unfortunately in new york. but i got along with him, al sharpton. now, he's a racist. he's a racist. when people -- when people -- let me explain to you. what i have done for african-americans in two and a half years no president has been able to do anything like it. unemployment at the lowest level in the history of our country for african-americans. nobody can beat that. you look at poverty levels. we're doing better than they ever have done before. so many things. opportunities. criminal justice reform.
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president obama couldn't get it done. it was done, really the biggest beneficiary probably is african-americans. i got criminal justice reform done. president obama couldn't get it done. no other president was able to get it done. what i have done for african-americans no president, i would say, has done. now, i will say this, they are so happy because i get the calls. they are so happy at what wife been able to do in baltimore and other democratic-run corrupt cities. the money has been stolen, what they've done. it's been wasted and it's been stolen. billions and billions of dollars. and the african-american community is so thankful. they called me and said, finally, somebody is telling the truth. >> (inaudible). >> well, i think the biggest
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problem is we have to wait and just hope -- they hope. but they would just love if i got defeated so they could deal with somebody like elizabeth warren or sleepy joe biden. they have been allowed to rip off our country like they have been the last 30 years. china has been taking hundreds of billions of dollars a year from our country. now what i have done with the tariffs is, number one, they have had the worst year in 27 years. yesterday, "the wall street journal". the worst year in 27 years. companies have been leaving china by the thousands. and i will tell you this, china is dying to make a deal with me. whether or not i do it is up to me, not up to them.
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>> (inaudible). >> i think china is willing to give up a lot. i think if china had their wish, they would wait until after the election. they will pray trump loses and then they will make a deal with somebody who doesn't know what they're doing like obama and biden, like all of the presidents before because what they have done is picked our pockets as a nation. that's not happening with trump. >> (inaudible). >> that's okay. well, i think if that's the case, i'd be shocked. but if that's the case, they're fighting against their people. because the african-american people have been calling the white house. they have never been so happy as what a president has done. not only the lowest unemployment for african-americans, not only for the biggest beneficiary, the inner cities, and not only criminal justice reform, but
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they're so happy that i pointed out the corrupt politics of baltimore. it is filthy dirty. it is so horrible. and they are happy as hell. it is all a fix. the fact is african-american people love the job i'm doing because i'm working for them. i'm not working for the politicians. >> (inaudible). >> what elijah cummings should do is take his oversight committee, bring them down to baltimore, and invest all of it and really study the billions and billions of dollars that's been stolen. it's been wasted. it's been stolen. they ought to take a that beautiful waste of an oversight committee. go down to baltimore and other democratic-run cities and take a look, see if you can find the
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billions that have been stolen. >> (inaudible). >> my relationship with kim jong-un is a very good one, as i'm sure you've seen. we'll see what happens. i can't tell you what's going to happen. i know one thing. that if my opponent was president, if she won, you would be in a major war right now with north korea. and we are nowhere close. so we'll see. i have a good relationship with him. i like him. he likes me. we'll see what happens. >> (inaudible). >> at the right time, i'll visit. but the people of baltimore are very thankful. they have let us know by the thousands of people because of the fact that finally somebody is pointing out how corrupt baltimore is. how billions and billions of dollars have been stolen. and the ones that like it the
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best what i'm doing are african-american voters. those are the ones. thank you. >> all right. we have a lot to get through there. already the president not giving any supporting evidence around the billions of dollars he claims was stole then baltimore and the thousands of african-americans who have reached out to him in thanks. there is no evidence of that we invite the white house to provide any of that. back with me. what do you make of the president's comments there? the least racist person in the world. >> it was quite entertaining. i mean, so -- where to start? >> that sigh is like where to begin. >> so the -- let's start with the actual numbers. he is saying african-americans love him and we are so grateful for what he is doing. yet somehow it seems african-americans themselves are unaware of this. his approval rate with black voters is 5%.
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cinco. this many. and beyond that, elijah cummings approval ratings have consistently been high. so the in couple ben say rate that he has in his district. so that doesn't seem to add up to the face of it. there is the other question about him alleging corruption, which is also so strange. because what we know about the president's record, this is the cynicism to his political character we have seen for a long time, which is accuse other people the things you are guilty of. the donations he made around trying to avoid prosecution and whether or not that was what happened. the "new york times" covering $400 million in income taxes he was able to avoid paying. the nepitistic appointment of his family members. the and the return of money
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coming to his hotel from foreign governments trying to curry favor with him. the number of cabinet members who have had to step down. ben carson getting in trouble, an ethical rebuke for trying to decorate his office as if it was something from mtv "cribs." you don't have enough time to lay out all the ways in which he is culpable of the things he is accusing baltimore of. it's the same thing we have seen before. no, none of that holds up. >> you're right. we don't have enough time. fortunately, this is cable news and there's a lot more hours ahead. thank you so much. i'm sorry. we are all out of time. i appreciate you joining me this morning. that wraps up this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. more news with hallie jackson. ms. jackson, i don't know what you are planning to do in the next hour, but i'm pretty sure you have a whole lot of fact-checking to do.
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>> out of the white house, the president delivering a spoken word recitation of the grievances he's been airing online for days. responding to questions about the attacks of elijah cummings, the city of baltimore and more categorized as racist by the president's opponents. unsurprisingly, not by the president himself. >> i am the least racist person there is anywhere in the world. what i have done for african-americans in two and a half years no president has been able to do anything like it. >> plus, the political strategist in chief. a showdown in the motor city for the second democratic primary debates. several candidates signaling they're ready to go on the attack this time around. we have a lot to get to in the next 60 minutes with our team covering the biggest stories of the day. we will start with geoff bennett. joining us now from the white house north lawn. you just had a

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