tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC August 15, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
monday but who needs an excuse for a random animal story with a cute baby elephant. i think that's all it was about. >> thank you very much. thank you all very much. marshall, thank you. this was great. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. thanks much. hi there. i am stephanie ruhle. it is thursday, august 15th. here's what's happening. is your money safe? important question. investors and average citizens alike are nervously watching wall street after the dow plunged 800 points yesterday, the worst day of the year, and the white house is worried, too. on wednesday president trump lashed out at fed chairman jay powell, again on twitter, basically blaming him for the market meltdown. but many economists and even the wall street journal editorial page talking rupert murdoch said the real problem is not the fed but the president's import taxes. that is what the tariffs are. this trade war. peter alexander is outside of the president's golf club in my home state of new jersey and my
partner ali velshi down at the new york stock exchange. peter, to you first. take us inside the administration. how worried are they that the economy is headed in the wrong direction? >> reporter: it's striking the president is almost alone here at his bedminster estate right now. if he is having conversations most are by phone. his top aides the best of our knowledge are not with him here. the president on twitter was trying to inject economic optimism in spite of the major market sell-off, that meltdown we witnessed yesterday. what was noticeable from this president is he has been trying to signal we'll win this trade war with china right now but it's not clear that the markets agree with his assessment. privately the administration, frankly publicly he has been trying to insist that americans have to look at this with a larger perspective. this is about an historic fight with china right now, this effort to come to some deal in combatting, confronting a country that has sort of gamed the economic rules going back
decades here. for the president, it does pose some real challenges not just jitters for the markets but certainly jitters within the administration as well. this is a president who cast himself as a businessman president and said he was effectively uniquely qualified to take the markets, take the country's economy to new levels and these recession fears really indicate over the course of the next year to two years it may start heading in the opposite direction that it could be weakened. that is a real problem for a president who is focused so much on the economy of course as you know as well as anybody, stephanie, when the economy has gone up, when the markets have soared, he has celebrated and taken credit but on days like yesterday when the dow alone dropped exactly 800 points, the president pointed elsewhere to put the blame. >> playing the blame game. ali velshi, let's go to the new york stock exchange. the fundamentals of the economy are strong. if you look around the globe, the united states is definitely in a better position than others
but now we're hearing warnings of a recession. what should people think about that? >> yeah, so a couple things going on. the warning of a recession that happened yesterday was a technical warning. we're actually not in that position today. but what happened yesterday is something that says there is a recession coming. why does it say that happens? because people get out of the stock market and they go to something safer like bonds while they wait out whatever is going on in the economy. to peter's point a lot of this centers around what the president is doing on this trade war with china. a recession is going to come at some point. we are ten years into an expansion almost double the length of a normal expansion. the question is not whether president trump can usher america through a recovery it's whether or not he is going to make getting into a recession more likely and make it worse. this morning we are going to see a market open in about 25 minutes that might be 150 points higher. things have really changed overnight for a couple reasons. one, china has said we want to meet america half way on trade. that is a good sign because china has been accelerating its
ak shu actions against the united states in the face of donald trump's actions. the other thing is walmart put out a good earnings report. as you know just like we look at economic indicators walmart sees more people in america than anyone else and walmart says its outlook is good and its sales were up in the quarter. so a lot of things for traders on this floor and investors across america to balance right now. what is more dangerous, donald trump continuing to escalate this trade war with china which is hurting china, hurting america, hurting investments, hurting consumers, and hurting farmers or as peter says short-term pain for potential long-term gain and in an economy as you mentioned that is otherwise not weak. traders today are going to be balancing those two things. a good, long-term economy a better investment than getting out of the market and going into bonds because nobody knows what president trump is going to do next? >> we should remind our audience when you say those investors are going into bonds those are u.s. treasuries and the president yesterday said look at all these people buying u.s. treasuries. it means we're the best.
th that is not why. it is a flight to quality. they are saying other assets are riskier and treasuries are safer. a short-term safe haven not people saying go u.s.a. do not go anywhere, ali. i want to check in with you in about 25 minutes when the market opens. let's dig deeper into this. white house reporter for the "l.a. times" and my guest served as deputy labor secretary under president obama. ron insana, the president tweeted yesterday china is not our problem. our problem is the fed. we should be thinking big rewards and gains but the fed is holding us back. dissect this for us. >> so one could make the argument that the federal reserve may have raised interest rates one too many times as it did in december but the federal reserve is not the problem. the problem is as ali indicated and peter suggested as well, the trade war. the trade war is weakening
china's economy. ian bremer a political strategist said the only thing worse for the u.s. than a strong china is a weak china. what we're seeing is a china economy falling off the map. the trade war is causing more casualties than you would expect not only china getting hurt but germany's economy contracted. we're seeing weakness around the world that could eventually spread to the united states. so one reason why interest rates are falling around the world is that investors are terribly afraid that the global economy is going into recession and may drag the u.s. with it. >> isn't confusion part of the problem? even if the fed wanted to help the situation, isn't it even more difficult when the president doesn't have a coherent trade policy? people don't actually care what direction the president wants to go in but they just want clarity as to what his game plan is. >> it's not just the markets that need clarity. it's the businesses. they're making long-term decisions about their supply chains about what they're selling, particularly as you
move into a holiday season. and when you've got a president who has no coherent economic strategy, who is issuing a series of panicky tweets yesterday, and then is blaming his federal reserve chairman as being clueless, that's not really creating much security in the u.s. economy at this point. and it's important to understand a lot of this was avoidable. this was a president who was dealt a strong hand and could have built on an economy that he inherited by, for instance, pursuing from u pursuing infrastructure, immigration reform. instead passed a trillion and a half tax cut that has taken away a lot of the tools at our disposal right now. >> even the tax cut and deregulation while they may have been long-term bad decisions they could have been short-term positive for the economy but when you look how confused corporate america is right now, when obama was in office lots of companies weren't investing because they said we could be
hit with so much regulation we need to save our money. those companies are paralyzed again. they don't know what is in store for the trade war so they're not investing. what does that do to us? >> it obviously slows down the economy. it puts manufacturing into recession, which is where it is. and the big problem with the trump administration is that it's going in two very different directions. you have the supply siders like larry kudlow who said let's slash corporate tax rates, get regulation down, we'll get an economic boom. you can argue about the impact on the deficit and whether supply side tax cuts ultimately work but they definitely don't work if at the same time you have a completely chaotic trade war with no strategy, no end game in sight, and you leave businesses having no clue what their supply chains are going to look like, no clue how china is going to retaliate. you can't do both of those at the same time and expect a fast growing economy. that's why we don't have that. we have consumers who are okay. you know, plenty of jobs. the retail sales numbers out today were fine. that part of the economy is
okay. but the rest of it when you look at corporate investment, that is going down. when you look at confidence, that's going down. that is all due to tweets, trade wars, and uncertainty. that's all down to president trump. >> eli, to that very point your alma mater "the wall street journal" has an editorial out saying this. we never said tariffs would produce immediate recession. we said they and the climate of uncertainty they were creating for business would chill global trade and undermine the surge in capital investment spurred by tax reform and deregulation. the key to avoiding the worst is to restore a sense of policy calm and confidence. so "the wall street journal" is basically saying, hey, president trump, we're looking at you. is this really all about messaging from the white house? >> the president believes it's a lot about messaging. interesting that editorial names peter navarro not the president. they are laying this at the president's feet even though they're trying to be nice about it. you know, for the president, this is a guy who believes that in his ability as a marketer, a
brander, somebody who can convince the country that everything is great, that the economy that the country is winning, the economy is soaring. he points to the unemployment rate. but, you know, a lot of his promises including this, you know, trade war with china and an eventual trade deal, they live in this suspended animation as something that could happen down the road and you see the activity. you see the sort of quarterly or twice annual summits with she where they shake hands and agree to a thaw to ratchet things backward but there is no progress toward an actual deal, no tangible progress, and the markets are figuring that out. heading into an election it is going to be harder and harder for the president if nothing is achieved here to convince the public that everything is fine. if the markets continue to slide. remember, this is a guy who's been under water his entire presidency with his overall approval numbers and that is with a positive economy. it will be very interesting to see what happens to those numbers if the economy starts to
crater. >> eli brings up a great point. the president is a fantastic marketer. when you think about consumer confidence and business sentiment, he has made people energized and excited about the economy and now we're actually looking at what is going on in the inside. there are also those who have said, it's so crazy it just might work with president trump. what do you think of china making this statement overnight, ali cited it, as the reason the market is already up this morning saying, hey, maybe we will meet you half way. if they do, that would be a gargantuan win for the president. >> it would be and china is suffering as a result of the trade war. >> and what is happening with hong kong. >> absolutely. the president almost linked the two issues yesterday which is, you know, a policy departure. what i would say, stephanie, you know, the chinese have slow walked trade talks in the past. president xi is president xi for life. he is not up for re-election. >> and he is okay with his people suffering. >> absolutely in a variety of different ways and the chinese government is going back now 70
years has been okay with that as well. i think it is an open question as to whether they will literally meet the u.s. half way on things like intellectual property theft or forced technology transfer, the two big issues the u.s. is fighting china over. will they just buy more agricultural imports, more energy imports, and call it a day? that is as far as we've gotten so far with them and it doesn't seem we're going to get any further at this point. if they suffer enough pain they might capitulate to an extent. that would be a big win for the president but the chinese also don't respond to this type of bluster terribly well in public. so they also dig their heels in in environments like this and may just try to wait it out. >> what ron was referencing sort of was yesterday the president's tweet seemed to be comingling foreign policy, trade policy, economic policy. it seemed as though maybe he was winking at xi jinping the president not involving himself in what's happening with hong kong, not even -- not supporting the pro democracy protesters.
could the president be successful here in saying, hey. xi jinping i'm not going to get involved with this and on the other side i need you to hook me up on trade because we know a month ago the f.t. reported that is kind of what the president was looking to do. >> you know, stephanie, this is consistent with this president's attitudes or indifference to human rights whether we're talking about his praise of north korea or his praise of saudi leaders. >> that's no surprise. he always -- we always knew he was never going to put human rights as a priority. his voters knew that. the country knew that. think of all those people who say, yep. i don't think he's a good guy but i like the economy. that's his jam. >> that is exactly right. he's thinking about this in terms of transactional ways but as ron and others said the chinese are playing the long game on this and they have much more leverage right now. they have much more ability to tinker around with their own economy, to wait out trump in any way. believe me, they're not going to give in on hong kong at all. what the president is doing is
not only i think dangerous from an economic standpoint but from a human rights and american value standpoint. he is going against what this country has literally stood for in the post world war ii era and that is one of the reasons why you saw people from nancy pelosi yesterday all the way to kevin mccarthy issuing statements in support of the hong kong people. >> ben, president trump, i mean, he'll say it. he is the america first, i and i alone president. we're not just possibly facing recession. "the washington post" points it out. germany, great britain, italy, mexico, brazil, argentina, singapore, south korea, and russia all could potentially be facing a recession. the fact that we are not coordinated on a global level with our allies or that the president is not flanked by the likes of hank paulson, tim geithner, ben bernanke, what kind of position does that put us in, so insulated? >> not a good one. i think about back to the "time" magazine cover, the committee to
save the world, all of the people around bill clinton in the early -- >> in the bush white house and then the obama white house you had a lot of firefighters all working together during the financial crisis to get the united states back on track. >> superstar firefighters like an nba all star team. >> we do not exactly have the nba all star team in the economic realm. not to say there aren't some smart people there because there are. and there is no coordinated global response here which is what you need when the world is slowing down. everybody is at each other's throats. that equals bad things. >> that equals bad things. harlem globetrotters. amazing comparison. thank you, eli stoke els, chris lu, ron insana, ben white. next, jeffrey epstein's autopsy is out and there are even more questions. we'll be speaking to a guy who went to epstein's island of sin to figure out what we've been dying to know. how this man got all that money. . but we're also a cancer fighting,
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this morning we are leerng new details of the exact cause of death of jeffrey epstein. "the washington post" reports according to two people familiar with the autopsy report that epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones including one near the adam's apple. "the post" reports such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves particularly if they are older but they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation.
nbc news has not yet confirmed the report. meantime a source close to the case tells nbc that an unidentified associate has claimed epstein's body from the new york city medical examiner's office and now a previously unreleased interview recorded on epstein's private island in the caribbean before he was first charged as a sex offender in florida is shedding new light on how this man was viewed and how he built his major wealth. joining me now the man who traveled to epstein's private island and spent hours with him former "wall street journal" reporter david bank now editor and ceo of the digital media company impact alpha. back in 2003 you were a felon philanthropy reporter for -- a philanthropy reporter. what attracted you to this guy? >> he came to me. there had been a story that came about after -- in "new york" magazine after he had flown former president clinton around
on his jet. so that sort of brought him to attention and i think that put some reporters on the trail. he thought i think some were going to be unflattering and frankly came to me and said, you know, come down to the island. i'll tell you everything. i think he thought he could spin me and i'd write a positive story. he certainly did try to spin me. the story never appeared though. >> why didn't you ever write the story? >> well, as you've sort of pointed out there is a kind of skepticism when a very rich person wants to, you know, have it their way, so we approached it with a certain degree of skepticism and eventually decided that we weren't quite sure that we weren't being spun and so the safer bet was to just let the story lay there. and there wasn't nearly -- i mean, obviously there wasn't nearly the attention to him then that there is now. there was nothing really lost and i think we just decided to take the safe route at the time.
so it was an expedition and didn't really turn up anything we wanted to publish. >> tell us about the island. in the article you say, he wanted to speak in a gazebo rather than the main house. he said that the main house had too many girls. what was it like on the island? i've spoken to others who went there and they said when they arrived there was a giant, inflatable trampoline with girls jumping on it in bikinis welcoming guests. tell me what it was like there. >> that did not happen. i was there, you know, to do an interview. i was not there to socialize or party in any way. >> were there girls all over the place? >> i did not see any. i arrived at the airport in st. croix. i was met by a woman who introduced herself as ghislain and turned out to be ghislain maxwell. she took me with a driver on the tarmac, showed me the jet, gave me the sort of nickel tour of the jet and then flew me with her as the pilot in a helicopter and we landed at a helipad at
the top of the island. jeffrey met me in a golf cart, took me around a little bit on the island. pointed out a few things. showed me to a guest house, i think it had been a red eye flight. said i could take a shower. there was nobody else in the guest house. and then said meet me down at the beach in the gazebo. so i made may way down there and i said why haven't you shown me the main house? and he said, you know, jokingly, too many girls. and so we sat down on the beach under the gazebo and talked for a few hours one afternoon and then a few more hours the next morning. >> too many girls. i want to listen to one of the recordings you dug up from that interview where epstein discusses his money. >> one of the biggest issues is if you have too much money most likely you won't miss it if some is taken from you.
that's very important, which is in fact the security concerns, and this is the reason i've always been private and wisely so, is as you become known as a philanthropist or giving away money you become known as the perfect victim of frauds and identity theft. >> he said one of the big issues is if you have too much money most likely you won't miss it if some is taken from you. that is very important. which is in fact security concerns. this is the reason i've always been private. and wisely so. as you become known as a person giving away money then you become the perfect victim of fraud and identity theft. how ironic is that statement since we now know that l brand ceo les wexner who had given power of attorney for all of his
estate to him, now he is giving documents to the feds saying epstein stole tens of millions of dollars from him back then though wexner did not report it to the authorities at the time. did anything seem off to you when he made a statement like that? >> well, he was positioning himself in the interview as more than just a financial adviser, more than just a trader. he was sort of a counselor to rich people is the way he said it. he thought, you know, in fact, money as he says in that quote could bring trouble as well as luxury. and so he would sort of counsel people. why do you need more money? you know. and he basically said, i think he told me, if you have a billion dollars you basically can't spend it all in your lifetime so you better make sure it's doing you more good than harm. and he positioned himself as sort of the therapist to the billionaires. >> if you've got a billion, it's okay if somebody takes a cool hundred million. no big deal. no. really big deal. david, thank you so, so much. i'd like to hear all of those
recordings. david bank, thank you. coming up, after the worst day in the trump economy, the market opened to take us -- will the market open to take us closer to recession o are a rebound thursday? we'll take you to the new york stock exchange. one democratic presidential contender may not be looking for the white house anymore but is not canceling his flight to d.c. just yet. what is in store for john hickenlooper? joint replacing, and depression relieving company. from the day you're born we never stop taking care of you. we're going all in fromthion strawberries.ra, at their reddest, ripest, they make everything better. like our strawberry poppyseed salad and new strawberry summer caprese salad. order online for delivery. panera. food as it should be
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breaking news. markets just opened for the day after the dow dropped 800 points. my friend ali velshi back with me from the new york stock exchange. ali, you seeing green? >> yes, bells just rang. just waiting for the first trade. looks like we'll see about a 150-point increase at the open. that is my guess. that is a very change from what we were looking at overnight which was futures indicating another really bad day after a really bad day yesterday. a 3% loss on the market. the fourth worst point drop for the dow ever yesterday on fears combined, stephanie, of the problems with the trade war that president trump is engaged in and some signals that a recession might be ten to 20 months away. we are now seeing trading open
on the dow. as you can see it is trading much higher now. not as high as i thought but let it work up over the next few minutes and we'll see where it goes. that doesn't mean the fears are over. that just means there is good news this morning from china about trade. >> remember, when there was that recession warning, the warning is for ten to 18 months out. not ten hours. ali velshi, thank you. now let's turn to 2020 because this morning the field might be getting a little bit smaller. a source close to former colorado governor john hickenlooper telling me late last night that hickenlooper is expected to drop out of the race today. this as president trump heads to new hampshire to rally supporters in a state he lost by less than a point in 2016. there's another republican in new hampshire this week who still might jump in the race and challenge the president. and right now beto o'rourke speaking in el paso where he plans to lay out how he is going to reset his campaign again. here to talk through all of it the chairman of the new hampshire democratic party, my friend arthur brooks, happy to see you again, professor at the
harvard kennedy school, and the former aei president, chris lu, back with us. hickenlooper expected to drop out. you think he'll have a senate race next? >> i hope he does because it is one of the three sets democrats need to get to 50 and he -- the latest poll shows he is up about 13 points over the incumbent senator so democrats i think are breathing a sigh of relief that this is a seat they can pull back. but i think you should expect there will be other 2020 candidates that will drop out. probably after september 30 which is when the next quarterly reporting period happens. >> arthur, john hickenlooper was probably one of the most moderate candidates in the democratic primary. he was the one who was warning, do not talk socialism. it will make us lose. what does it tell us that he is dropping out? he and the other centrists with the exception of joe biden seem to be struggling to crack 1% and 2% in the polls. does this help the elizabeth warren, bernie sanders case who
party is way far to the left? >> you'll see people that are more extreme on the left have more success because they have to win the primary. so you'll find people who are more moderate who would have a greater success in the general election have less success under the circumstances. plus there are like 500 candidates. >> democrats are voting in the primary. and real democrats, not real -- the majority of democrats are closer to the middle than they are to the left. >> that's true except the people closer to the middle are the ones least likely to vote in the primary, least likely to turn out, and not the activists. that is who you have to appeal to. that is exactly the reason that republicans are more to the right in the primary and under the same circumstances. that's why everybody sounds crazier in the primary than the general. >> is that exactly why the president wants it to be a bernie sanders or elizabeth warren, two candidates who are really most like, i can't imagine them actually pivoting. >> and also careful what you wish for. remember all the democrats who said, oh, man i hope -- remember, everybody says donald trump won because of the way the
republicans changed. no. donald trump was a 20% ideology the other 80% happened to be split up between like a thousand other candidates. what happened was donald trump was a minority ideology but had a plurality and happened to win because that 20% ran through and then the democrats said, hurrah, because that is going to be easy to beat and guess what? so the republicans who are saying that something that is not in the main stream of the american ideology, that's way to the left, wouldn't it be great if that won the primary? well, not so fast. you never know what can win these days. >> be careful what you wish for. raymond, there is a lot going on in new hampshire today. the president rallying supporters tonight ahead of this rally 21 of the 2020 state directors for the democratic contenders put out a joint statement about the president's visit. i want to share a quote from that. donald trump's presidency has been defined by broken promises, hateful rhetoric, and choosing to side with lobbyists and the top 1% at the expense of everyone else. this week, when he comes to new
hampshire, we expect more of the same. is that what you hear from new hampshire voters? >> absolutely. a slew of polls just released in the last couple days. he is tanking here in new hampshire. the latest poll showed 61% of the people of new hampshire saying they don't support his presidency. that by a 2-1 margin the country is going in the wrong direction. you know, i think that when you take a look at his very long list of broken promises here in new hampshire, you know, cleaning out the swamp, really? he has brought in every swamp meister in the country to try to dismantle government and the protection of the people of america. >> chris, in september of 2008 it was the height of the financial crisis. john mccain made a huge mistake. he said in a speech, quote, fundamentals of the economy are strong. that was a devastating
statement. do you expect the president is going to take that route again? >> well, i think he will because i think that is the only card he has right now. when you look at his approval ratings on every other issue whether immigration, trade, you know, he is below water. the only thing where he gets positive ratings is on the economy. as the economy starts to slip he has no other road than to continue to talk it up. the problem is it looks tone deaf. we always used to say in the obama white house if you are unemployed then the unemployment rate is effectively 100%. you have americans right now who are struggling with rising consumer debt. consumer debt is higher than it was before the 2008 recession. while unemployment is good it doesn't take much for it to go back up to start to see more and more people wonder how they'll make ends meet. it is a card he will play. he'll look tone deaf but that's all he's got at this point. >> is it, arthur? it seems the president is focused on the culture war, you know, democrats care about them not us.
look what he's done with immigration this week alone saying i'm sick and tired of immigrants coming here and all going on welfare. that's clearly preying on stereotypes and our own ignorance. the majority of immigrants who come here aren't even eligible for welfare. dreamers, visa recipients, temporary workers, undocumented immigrants. they don't get public assistance. the president knows we don't know and tells us that. isn't he going to lean on culture and not the economy? >> he should lean on the economy as a matter of fact. that is the only area where he is not upside down in public opinion polling. whether he is handling the economy well or not is a different matter but when things go in the right direction in the economy and people feel that is true they give the credit to the president of the united states. all his polarizing rhetoric about immigrants, the hateful things he says, the tweets really sort of out of bounds, these things hurt him. >> a lot of this stuff also isn't true. >> people don't like that it is not true, that it's hateful.
people don't like it. it appeals to a small group of people that scream at rallies but it is not good for him politically. he continues to do it. he should be out there saying the economy is getting better. we're working for you. we'll do the best we possibly can. you got to go with the numbers. 53% popularity is the best he's got and it is on the economy. not tone deaf, just smart politics. but he is not really doing it. >> even chuck schumer is happy that the president in spirit is going after china. the problem is the way he is doing it. raymond, former trump campaign manager, somebody we all remember from 2016, corey lewandowski, reportedly weighing a senate run in new hampshire. and he's looking for an endorsement for the president and he kind of got that this morning on new hampshire radio. the president said this. i think cory is a fantastic guy. if he ran, he would be a great senator. he would be great for new hampshire. does lewandowski have a chance in your state? >> i think the response just by the republicans, former senator gregg referring to him as a
thug, the manchester union leader calling for a write-in if he is the nominee because he'd be unacceptable as a senator from new hampshire. people here in new hampshire know his long record of violence and his inappropriate behavior. so we believe that, you know, senator shaheen has a strong record, strong base of support. people of new hampshire have known her. she served as our governor. now two terms in the u.s. senate. so we feel very positive and strong about that effort. corey has to make it through the republican primary first. >> that is true. thank you all very much. chris lu, raymond buckley, arthur, tough luck. you have to stay. coming up iowa congressman steve king. this guy has been called a racist and offensive many times before but his latest comments have a whole new crop of lawmakers including republicans now calling for him to resign. you didn't think it was possible. guess what? steve king took it to a whole other level. ole other level. but we're also a cancer fighting, hiv controlling, joint replacing, and depression relieving company.
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for 24 hours. so you can... breathe easy, there's therabreath at walmart. but we're also a cancer fighting, hiv controlling, joint replacing, and depression relieving company. from the day you're born we never stop taking care of you. take a deep breath with me. this morning iowa congressman steve king is under fire yet again. the controversial lawmaker getting major backlash from both parties after he said this while railing against legalized abortion in cases of rape and incest. >> what if they went back through the family trees and pulled out of the people who were products of rape and incest? would there be any population left if we did this? considering all of the wars and all that has happened in culture
and society? i can't certify i am not a product of that. >> without rape and incesst there would be no population. josh, this isn't a surprise. a ton of the 2020 democrats have called on him to resign. but here's the thing. members of his own party are saying that. what about the people of iowa, his own constituents? what do they think? >> reporter: stephanie, we've been talking to folks here in fort dodge as they show up for work and do some of their shopping this morning. the collective reaction has been a deep sigh. people are tired of this. they've heard these kind of comments from steve king before. they're not happy about the way that it represents iowa to the rest of the country. take a listen. >> i don't feel very good about it. i think we could do better. >> reporter: do you think congressman king at this point should resign? >> well, he should resign or people should fire him. >> i think we're getting laughed
at. i do. when we make comments like that. >> reporter: and, stephanie, we wanted to show a cross section of views here. we've been looking to find someone who might defend what steve king said. so far we have not been able to find anybody. >> all right. here's the thing. he has said a lot of offensive things before. and he won re-election. does it seem to be in question at this point, are there other republicans there saying i'm going to need to take this seat? >> yeah. he has a republican challenger. but look. this is a deep, red district. trump won here by 27 points. in any normal times the republican here would have no problem. the last election steve king barely held on by about three points. he does have a republican challenger but the ironic thing here stephanie is for democrats that want to flip this seat the worst thing that could happen would be for steve king to resign or lose in the primary because if it is steve king heading into this next election democrats actually could have a chance at flipping it. >> thank you so much.
michael steele, former senior adviser to jeb bush and new father, joining me, and arthur brooks back with me. before we jump into the latest comment in case people don't remember i want to read some of the other things steve king has said in the past. in 2010 on the house floor king said, of racial profiling, profiling has always been an important component of legitimate law enforcement. in 2013 when talking about undocumented immigrants, he said, for everyone who is a valedictorian there are another hundred out there who weigh 130 pounds and have calves the size of cantaloupes because they are hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the dert. in 2017 when talking about birth right citizenship he said i'd like to see an america that is so homogeneous that we look a lot the same. that same year on twitter assimilation not diversity is our american strength. this year he posed the question. white nationalist, white supremacist, western civilization, how did that
language become offensive? arthur? >> hum? >> how is this person still a sitting member of congress given this laundry list of things? iowa is a great state. there is no other republican who will say, i believe in your -- i agree with you on policy but we're going to have to have somebody else here. why hasn't that happened? >> i don't know. it's hard to say. you have to ask the people of iowa. it is revealing that somebody that has, you know, a super, super, blood red district is almost losing not with standing the fact he has so many terms behind him that he locked up this whole infrastructure. the truth of the matter is that he's not as popular as he would be if he were in any way normal or said normal things. the other thing is that he goes to a cow town kind of republican event and has a thousand cameras because he is one second away from saying something crazy apparently all the time. then of course what happens is, you know, in politics today, the democrats say, oh, he represents the way -- the id of republicanism. this is what conservatives
think. they take this as crazy things that he said this off the wall event and we broadcast it and talk about it as if it were kind of what republicans were thinking. he is a one man sort of republican version of the squad. he doesn't represent the party. i don't think. >> except he is in office. michael, you are a member of the republican party. >> i am? >> how do you feel about steve king representing republicans? it doesn't have to be, oh, he is so crazy the district might flip to blue. you could just pick another republican. >> sure. look, steve king is a nasty old kook who ought to be muttering to himself on a park bench not representing anyone in the united states congress. he is an embarrassment to the republican party, an embarrassment to the state of iowa, an embarrassment to the proud tradition of the united states. i think that's why you're seeing bipartisan condemnation not just from democratic 2020 candidates, not just from democratic congressional leaders but the head of the house republican conference has called on steve
king to resign. both because what he is saying is deeply offensive and wrong and hurts the party and also because he is putting a very, very safe republican seat potentially in play. look, steve king has a republican primary opponent. i urge anyone interested in responsible, conservative governance to support him in any way possible. >> it is funny you say he is sort of the squad. he is different than the squad, the point you're making but our colleague jonathan allen says his comments could actually pose a big threat to the republican party and he writes this. for democrats, king represents an opportunity to tell voters particularly suburban women, that republicans are pushing extreme policies based on an outlandish ideology. we know republicans need to figure out how to get new voters, young voters, women. how can they do that with steve king in office and democrats in a position to run that sound over and over? >> they need a great primary challenger who will beat him in the primary and replace him. you just saw a representative of
the republican party saying exactly that. what he says is offensive, what he says is wrong, what he says is bad for the party. everybody go out and vote for his opponent in the primary. that's what they have to do and unless they get that done it is going to be a major threat. any time that wrong. unless that's what they do, he will be a major threat. any time there is a party that is way outside the mainstream of their party, it's going to get played over and over again. >> he is way outside the mainstream. >> he is. i'm not a member of a party but i look at republican opinion polling all day long. the stuff he says is not shared. the stuff he says about immigrants, people are actually very positive about immigrants, including mainstream republicans. >> but michael, do you know who isn't positive on immigrants? this current administration. so will the president see this as offensive? will mitch mcconnell say, hey, steve king, time for you to pack it in and resign. >> i think the fact he can't find people to defend steve king in his own district is pretty
telling. i think senator mcconnell is probably going to say this is a house matter. the president is an easy question. but i hope that what mitch mcconnell has said and the party in his house has been so clear that if the president decides to address this ishsue, he will sa steve king does not have his support and we can protect our republican seat in iowa. >> michael steel, great to see you. speaker of the house nancy pelosi broke out a new talking point on her colleague senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. >> they sent their legislation to the senate. moscow mitch says that he is the grim reaper. imagine describing yourself as the grim reaper, that he's going to bury all this legislation. >> she just said moscow mitch. moscow mitch, a nickname given to senator mcconnell after he
blocked election security measures in the senate earlier this summer. despite evidence of russia's interference in the 2016 election, mcconnell, nope, no election security. but this story published in "time" magazine is raising big new questions about the senator's relationship with russia and other motives behind his blocking those bills. a russian company with direct ties to the kremlin and part owned by russian billionaire oligarch deripaska purchased a 40% stake in the ash land plant for $200 million. vera, help us understand this story. our own colleague came up with moscow mitch. is he just trying to protect the president by not pushing these election security bills? no.
there could be something very different. sanctions against russia we saw lifted specifically in the case of oli deripaska, and maybe there was a reason. >> what we've really been looking at, it's important to understand in context that this was a really huge, you know, extended lobbying campaign, not just of mitch mcconnell but of members of congress and the treasury to lift the sanctions. this was months and months. they hired former louisiana senator david bitter and a former trump campaign aide brian lanza, and it was a much bigger effort. they enlisted all these european countries to tell the treasury to lift the sanctions. so, of course, the investment leader came in kentucky, but i think it's important to see it in context as something that was really a much bigger effort that a lot of experts and officials are really worried about. >> what's mcconnell's role in all of this? and what do the people of kentucky say? we might realize this doesn't reach the smell test, but that
is a really economically distressed region, and they might say, i don't care who deripaska is, i just want a job. >> right, that was certainly the feeling on the ground. i was in ashland for several days there talking to everybody. not a single person said they would reject this investment. obviously for them this is a big deal. they say that rusal is a company, it's not a country, and this is just all politics. that's what the ceo of the company says as well. obviously democrats have really seized on it. they're saying, say yes to moscow mitch. they're really going all in. but again, i think it's important to remember that according to everybody, that's really what our story was all about. the treasury made the decision to lift the sanctions as part of this big lobbying effort and then mitch mcconnell ended up -- his role was really kind of thwarting the effort to block the sanctions from being lifted that was led by both democrats and republicans. but it wasn't -- it's really
unlikely that it was only mitch mcconnell who stood in the way, and if he hadn't done that, then the sanctions would still be in place. rusal really activated this enormous global machine of people saying they disagreed with us. so there was a lot of pressure from all sides, but of course mitch mcconnell has really caught on here. >> he's a very powerful man. what has he said or his team said about your story, because we know he's really chafed about the nickname moscow mitch. >> he really doesn't like that. he called it modern day mccarthyism. he was following the treasury move. the treasury decided in december we're going to lift the sanctions, democrats said we're going to block that, and he said i'm going with the trump administration's decision. that's what his office has said and he also denied that he knew anything about the investment. our story shows that the ceo of the company actually met with rusal, with this russian
company. he met with them before the sanctions were lifted. he was careful to say they didn't negotiate at all, but they definitely met before. this was in the works. mitch mcconnell denies that he knew this would be a badly needed investment in the most economically depressed region in the state. >> all right, so mcconnell is saying, it wasn't me, it was the treasury department. so is he implying it shouldn't be moscow mitch but instead moscow mnuchin? thank you very much. this is a must-read piece. >> thank you. coming up, democratic hopeful tim ryan will tell us where his campaign stands right now compared to his 2020 rivals. he'll be on v"velshi & ruhle" a 10:0 p.m. this afternoon. you don't want to miss it. o mis.
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simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. >> i'm stephanie ruhle. i'll see you again at 1:00 p.m. with my partner ali velshi. >> a little bit of a volatile day on the market, right? >> the market has definitely taken a turn for the positive from where we were yesterday. down 100? we haven't seen that since the crisis. i'm in for hallie jackson. as we mentioned, breaking news on wall street. the markets opening with a little bit of a whiplash. right now the dow doing a little seesaw toggling. this after plunging 800 points, still on track for its worst week since the end of may. the market meltdown triggered by growing signs of a looming