tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC August 29, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
jackson. following breaking news a brand new update about just how strong and dangerous hurricane dorian is, as it pushes toward florida. al roker is standing by with a brand new update from the national hurricane center. also breaking this hour the justice department says it found no reason to prosecute former fbi director james comey over those memos he released and now there comey is already firing back at his critics. plus any minute joe biden will be making his case to voters at a south carolina town hall, this is a live look, rock hill, south carolina, in the upstate near charlotte. the crowded field of democrats just narrowed by one. we'll go to the palmetto state in a moment. breaking news, hurricane dorian getting stronger and stronger as millions of folks on the east coast are bracing for impact, could be a major hurricane by the time it makes landfall this holiday weekend. state of emergency already
declared there in florida. meanwhile, folks in puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands are breathing a bit of a sigh of relief as hurricane dorian swept past them, resulting in far less damage than many had feared. we've got team coverage this hour, tracking dorian. al roker is here in the studio with us, msnbc correspondent marianne atencio is live in miami beach and kathy park in florida. what are you seeing? >> craig, you and i talked about it today, on the "today" show, that we generally tell people do not be concerned with the category of the storm. however, with this latest update, i have to say we have to be concerned about this, and i'll get to that why. you can see right now, this is the latest update from the national hurricane center. it is 220 miles north-northwest of san juan, puerto rico. it has 85-mile-per-hour winds, that has not changed since 5:00
a.m. this morning and movement still northwest at 13 miles per hour. here's where we're getting concerned. by friday morning, 8:00 a.m., a little less than 24 hours from now it's a category 3 storm, 115-mile-per-hour winds. it continues towards the bahamas by sunday and monday morning at 8:00 a.m. just before landfall, this is a category 4 storm. this is a dangerous category storm that is poised to make landfall somewhere between west palm beach and melbourne, florida. 130-mile-per-hour winds. this is the official track of the national hurricane center. by tuesday t has moved inland, down to a category 1 but it could do a lot of damage in that 24-hour time span. we've been talking about the other models that are in there. the american model makes landfall north right around the
florida/georgia border, sometime monday night. the european model a little slower as well. south florida just between west palm beach and miami monday night. we are starting to see the european model making more agreement with the national hurricane center model, so we're going to still have to wait because we still need a little -- within the next 24 hours i think we'll be seeing a lot more consensus. as far as the probability of tropical storm winds high for much of central and southern florida from miami up getting close to jacksonville opinion the hurricane force winds probably by sunday night. heavy rainfall, we're talking anywhere from four to eight inches of rain as you get into south central and east central florida, but there could be upwards of 12 inches of rain and again, we have not seen a landfall of a hurricane, we've had 121 hurricane landfalls from
brownsville, ex-texas, to east point, maine, since 1850 but haven't seen a hurricane landfall on the space coast, which is just south of cape canaveral moving further north in september. the last major hurricane landfall on the florida east coast was september in 2004, so craig, it's rare, but again, what we are really concerned about now, we're talking about a category 4 storm, 130-mile-per-hour winds, massive storm surge, heavy rain and really devastatingly strong winds. so this is a major concern and we're going into the labor day weekend, so i'm sure there are a lot of very, very concerned people. >> as it sits out over the open water there over the next few days, how real is the worry that the storm becomes stronger? >> let's face it, that's the problem, because it's got a lot of, i want to move through here and going to cycle through this, just to get through it and you can see we've got a lot of open water there. water temperatures are in the mid to upper 80s along this
whole route, and the other thing that i want to show you, the cone of uncertainty, we're talking over from jacksonville all the way down to the keys, so this is a wide area. that's because from the american model to the european model, this is basically the entire state of florida with the exception of the panhandle and that's the other thing we're concerned about, if you look at the european model, this probably brings it out early next week into the gulf, and then could meander along the west coast. we're talking about the potential that we could be talking about this into thursday or friday of next week. >> al, thank you. i know you're on top of it. we'll check in with you a lot the next few days. see you tomorrow morning on "today." miss atencio in namiami bea. what are conditions like on the ground? how are folks preparing? >> reporter: craig, good morning to you. i flew in from puerto rico this
morning and as a resident of miami, this is a city on alert for a possible labor day landfall. around my neighborhood lines of about 20 minutes for people to get gas. water is starting to run out at some of the local grocery stores and here a city like miami beach a low-lying area is preparing because they don't want to take any chances. i want to bring in the city manager. what are we seeing here in the background? >> the background here we're in a low-lying area, barrier island, whether or not we get a direct hit we'll get a lot of water from this storm so we're draining out our storm system, water system to make sure it has capacity. we're cleaning the streets of debris. we're bringing in here a temporary pump so it can push the water into the ka nools and not canals and preserve dryness in the city. >> reporter: this storm is several days away. why make preparation this is early on and what else are you doing here in miami beach?
>> we can take no chances. you're talking about a category 3 or larger symptom. it takes 48 to 72 hours to get a city ready public and private buildings. we can't wait. we don't have that luxury. we are working as of yesterday as if the storm were coming. we're securing our public buildings, working with the public sector, sidewalk cafes, beach concessions, working to clean our streets, get rid of anything that could be flying debris. we want to make sure we're taking no risks and if it doesn't happen, it was a great exercise. if it does, we're ready. >> reporter: you are prepared. thank you so much. craig, a state of emergency in the state of florida, and officials pleading with residents to not wait until the last minute. craig? >> mariana and jimmy, thank you. kathy park, farther up the coast there. the space coast as it is known in there in those parts. you are in cape canaveral. when i saw a few hours ago the scene seemed to be picturesque.
is that still the case? >> reporter: craig, that's absolutely right. it's hard to believe that a hurricane is on the way, and we are in the direct path potentially, but as you know, this is a big tourist area. a lot of folks are here or should be here for the labor day holiday. this campground thinned out significantly and we have folks like bernard visiting us from montreal, canada. you were here last week and here we are approaching a precarious couple of days. what do you plan on doing? >> we wait for tonight forecast and maybe we going to go north, west or south, we don't know really where to go. we just want to escape from that, but we don't know directly the trajectory. so we wait for that. >> right, i think a lot of people are just waiting and watching because they don't know exactly where dorian will hit. bernard has an rv. he traveled all the way from
montreal to this location. he wanted to have a great time just enjoy the sun and beach. you are doing that right now. >> um-hum. >> you have to cut your vacation short. >> absolutely, they closed the park so we have to leave. where we go, we'll find today. >> reporter: i asked you earlier, have you been through a hurricane before? >> no, just last year we just got cut off our vacation because of florence was in virginia and that's it. we have to leave early but it's okay. but now we have to wait on vacations. >> reporter: at least you got some sunshine today. >> yes. >> reporter: bernard, merci, thank you. the bottom line here, craig, a lot of these businesses will be taking a direct hit because they were banking on this long holiday weekend to bring in a lot more cash flow. we spoke to a person who works at a restaurant just a couple of miles from here, they're saying that the customers aren't
showing up. a lot of folks are attending to their homes, preparing for the worst. craig? >> kathy park, thank you. mariana atencio, thanks to you as well. president trump is urging florida residents to prepare as hurricane dorian approaches. for more we bring in msnbc white house correspondent peter alexander. peter, the president apparently just did a bit of a wide ranging interview with fox news radio this morning. what did he say about this storm? >> reporter: craig, we heard from the president on twitter and on the radio. officials tell me it's likely he will address this incoming storm when he makes remarks about the u.s. space command's establishment during an event to take place here at the white house later this afternoon. the president said on twitter it was a great result that the storm missed puerto rico, but he did note that this is a storm that is building and in his words it is going to be big as it heads toward florida. here is the president on the radio only a short time ago. take a listen. >> they're going to be totally
ready and puerto rico was totally ready. fema and all of the first responders did an incredible job with puerto rico. then we got lucky, took a different course. we got really lucky, but we were ready in puerto rico and we're very ready also in florida. >> reporter: notable the president is scheduled to be traveling this labor day weekend. he's going to be going to poland for a pre-scheduled foreign trip. i reached out to the white house, no indication the president would cancel that for any reason. he's expected to come back early next week on labor day on monday, likely just as that storm is making landfall somewhere along the florida coast. craig? >> peter alexander for us there at 1600 pennsylvania, peter, thank you, sir. we are following more breaking news on a thursday, declining to prosecute, that's the top line on the doj's long-awaited ig report on former fbi director james comey and his handling of those memos regarding president trump. it does not completely clear him, though. we'll dig into this after the break. and the golden opportunity
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prosecute comey for his handling of those memos on his interactions with president trump. i'm joined by nbc's julia ainsley and tom winter in new york. julia, the big takeaways from this report. >> the big takeaways is that we didn't learn much new, but that james comey, former fbi director, will not be prosecuted. the inspector general certainly criticized domy in a pretty scathing 83-page report, talking about how he violated justice department policies by handing over sensitive information. that's information that he memorialized in memos based on his conversations with the president. one was later leaked to the press, the famous story from the "new york times" about the conversation between comey and president trump, when president trump told him to let the whole michael flynn thing going, the fact he memorialized that is something the inspector general said violated policies. they referred all of this to the fbi and the justice department and the justice department declined to prosecute.
essentially what you have is someone who might have violateded or did violate department policies but didn't do something, didn't commit an offense punishable by prosecution and that's where they landed on this. there's plenty of political fodder that we can imagine republicans will use to criticize comey, the first one to launch the investigation that became the mueller investigation into any ties between the president's campaign and russia. they will be sure to use a lot of this to criticize him and the investigation going forward. >> tom, i know you just started to sift through this thing, again, more than 80 pages here, but so far, any surprises stand out to you? >> it's 83 pages. i think the thing is interesting to me is that when they came back to comey, now that we have these memos, we reviewed them. we've applied certain classifications to them, and in the one, the bit of confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification in the u.s. government system, he
responded to that, are you kidding me, when he was speaking about, that's what he told the agents that came to his house, he reviewed the memos and their classification markups on his back porch so basically, you know, he kind of said look the things that you guys are tacking up here is confidential classification is a little bit ridiculous. he didn't further engage with him because the agents that brought it to him aren't the ones that did the classification. it did seem a little bit kind of ticky-tack as far as some of the things that were classified later on. it's important to note of the memos that comey shared with his attorneys and some of those contents as julia detailed made its way to the "new york times" and other news outlets, there were memos he never passed along, those are ones he marked himself secret or con no foreign, which means they're controlled by him. as far as any further dissemination is controlled by him and can't be shared with any foreign nationals, so it is important to note that not all the memos comey generated make its way outside of his possession or the people he
originally sent it to, who were within the fbi at the time. >> we are hearing from james comey himself, at least via twitter, the former fbi director posting a short time ago, " "doj ig found no evidence that comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media. i don't need a public apology from those who defamed me but a quick message we lied about you would be nice. julia, what do we make of what we heard from mr. comey? >> first of all what james comey is tweeting, is he right to talk about this classified distinction, separate from what tom laid out from the secret classifications. classified would have landed him in legal trouble. he's right to focus on that, but we do still see james comey's brand shining through, which is often different from the fbi brand. people who want to be withdrawn,
behind the curtain, doing their work, and a big part of this report says that comey's intentions were not to save his country or the fbi but actually to preserve his own public image. you can see how that played into today. we see reactions from some republicans like congressman jim jordan, people critical of comey's decisions from the beginning, but i think we've also heard just on our air from former employees, people who worked with james comey who said they're conflicted because on one hand they think that he really did step out to make a lot of these matters very public maybe more public than they would have, they said it's charging someone with a speeding ticket on their way to put out a fire, this was a special circumstance that james comey believed he had conversations with the president that were so alarming that the american people needed to know about them and you can remember, he put out that information after he left the fbi.
the inspector general says he should have given the information that went to the media, should have went to the inspector general or office of professional responsibility, other places he could have gone to be an internal whistle-blower rather than a leaker to the media, but it does seem in the end that you really have to put the context of the time in here and the fact that that information did eventually lead to one of the reasons why robert mueller was appointed, but all of that context really seems to be missing from this report today. >> julia, we also just got this new letter from house oversight committee chairman elijah cummings a letter he sent to the acting secretary, he's talking about committee staff being blocked from visiting some of the detention facilities that have been in the news. he writes in part congressman cummings does the department's actions are inconsistent with your testimony in july that you welcomed congressional visits to these facilities and would engage in a dialogue about
improving the standards that exist. what more do we know about this letter, and the circumstances that led to it? >> there's been a lot of tension, even going back to last summer, under the zero tolerance policy, where children were systematically separated from their parents at the border. congress were kept out of facilities children or families were being kept and this has incredible importance now, because of those reports over the summer by nbc and other outlets and lawyers coming forward saying there were children and families and other immigrants being kept in really substandard conditions, you can remember those who didn't get a shower or change of clothes, weren't able to go to sleep because they were so crowded in their cells. those are the conditions that these members of congress want to be able to go and see with their own eyes they've been improved and now they're not allowed to. that is where this anger is coming from. >> keep us posted when we get a response from the acting homeland security secretary. jewelia, thank you, mr. winter always good to have you as well. thank you. any minute now democratic
front-runner joe biden will start a town hall in south carolina. a live look there, rock hill, st somethi south carolina, the former vice president is expected to take to the podium. mr. biden trying to broaden the support among a key part of his base. we'll go to rock hill live, next. tual. they customized my car insurance, so i only pay for what i need. then i won the lottery, got hair plugs, and started working out. and so can you! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ doprevagen is the number oneild mempharmacist-recommendeding? memory support brand. you can find it in the vitamin aisle in stores everywhere. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
we are staying on top of that breaking news, in just the last 30 minutes the national hurricane center said that hurricane dorian is expected to become a major hurricane tomorrow. it's a category 1 right now. al roker a short time ago said there is a strong possibility that by the time it makes landfall come monday, it will be a category 4. an extremely dangerous hurricane through the weekend. again, could become a cat 4 storm by the time it makes landfall on monday. we are following its progress very closely. we'll continue to do it here at msnbc. meanwhile, any moment now democratic front-runner joe biden about to take the stage at a town hall in rock hill, south carolina, otherwise known as rock vegas, folks familiar with that area. garrett haake has made his way to rock hill. what do we expect to hear from mr. biden there?
>> reporter: craig, he'll be greeted by a very strong crowd here, one of the biggest i've seen for the former vice president, at least here in south carolina. a mix of students here at clinton college, home of the golden bears and a couple of older folks out here as well. i expect to hear a couple of issues at the forefront of the vice president's remarks today. first, health care remains the top issue in this race, the top issue for this candidate. the biden campaign very much likes the contrast they're able to give between his proposal to build upon and expand upon obamacare versus the medicare for all proposal his closest opponents are backing and secondly i expect to hear about student loans, affordability of college and about defending and funding hbcus themselves. this is an historically black college here in south carolina, an issue that the former vice president likes to talk about a great deal on the stump, even when he is not on such a campus, i am very confident he'll come up today but this is also a town hall format today which all of us campaign reporters love because it means you just never
know what the candidates are going to be faced with from the audiences. >> that is true. garrett haake with mr. biden there, day two in the palmetto state. let's bring in senior washington correspondent eddie glock, professor and chair of the center for african-american studies at princeton university and democratic strategist antwan cewright, former adviser to hillary clinton's campaign in south carolina. you know that state better than most. mr. biden back for day two. he sat with a dozen african-american reporters a couple days ago, visiting hbcu today. you have written if you want to win the democratic nomination in south carolina the way to do that is through african-american voters. it would seem as if perhaps he read your article or heard your commentary. he seems to be doubling down on south carolina. >> not just in south carolina, i believe african-american voters are the center of the political nerve center for this democratic party. i think joe biden is smart to be
in south carolina, that is where his bread has been buttered to this point. his voting support among the most loyal african-american voters in south carolina has been rock solid. if you listen to his message in the state, you would know one thing for sure, when joe biden is on offense, that is his best defense and i think the campaign is so smart to talk about health care, because it is the number one issue but also the focus on student loans. the one area where he has to make up grounds is with millenials, the most important issue to millenial voters that i talked to all across this country. >> professor, at this point, you look at all the major polls that have come out so far. joe biden's top of the pack, not only is he top of the pack, double digits, hasn't trailed in a major poll so far. bernie sanders is up there. elizabeth warren appears to be surging, she's in second place right now. is this essentially professor, a
three-person race? >> well i'm not sure. it depends on what happens in iowa. these national polls are important, but we need to understand that what's happening at the individual state levels, will in some ways determine the trajectory of the primary, so let's think about it. remember hillary clinton thought she had it wrapped up. she was kind of, she thought she had the black vote wrapped up. what happened in iowa, obama beat her and then things changed so we need to be very careful in terms of how we read the polls and when we see biden has such a strong lead, but when we think about the support that for hillary, i mean for elizabeth warren and for bernie sanders, you think about those voters and those issues that really animate those particular voters, there's some unsettlement, right, there's some debate happening within the party, even within the date of the poll, craig, i think. >> meanwhile senator gillibrand announcing her decision to drop out in a individual ovideo wedn.
>> i know this isn't the result we wanted. we wanted to win this race, but it's important to know when it's not your time, and to know how you can best serve your community and country. i believe i can best serve by helping to unite us to beat donald trump in 2020. >> she says it's not her time, anna. she was polling in the lower tier, consistently. are you expecting other candidates to follow suit soon? >> i think we've just started to see the winnowing down of this race. jay inslee from washington state, and kirsten gillibrand and others see whether or not they make the debate stage. we've gone from 20-plus candidates to ten or so that are going to be there on the debate stage. if you're not polling in more than 1% and not having the same kind of fund-raising ability, it's really hard to justify staying in the race at this time. i think there's a lot of downward pressure for some candidates to get out if they
don't have a realistic shot to make it there in the top tier candidates because democrats are so concerned that there's going to be infighting amongst themselves instead of actually focusing on their real target, which is donald trump. >> professor, senator gillibrand had name recognition to a certain extent going into the race. why do you think she had such a hard time catching on? >> i think for the most part most of the candidates, particularly the top tier candidates, agreed with what gillibrand stood out for. when you think about how she entered into the national scene around the me too movement and the like, i think everyone is in some ways in agreement with that. i don't know if she had a lane that was distinctly hers and as a result, the attention went elsewhere. but i think she also illustrated and exhibited what we need to hear, that it wasn't her time so she wanted to go about doing the work of making sure a democrat was elected to office, making sure down the ballot that we
change those who have been elected to office, so i think she represents a good example for those who are thinking about what they should do next. >> antjuan she leaves the race which believe about $8 million in other campaign account, not up for re-election until 2024 if i'm not mistaken. is she likely to spread some of that cash around toment so of the other candidates? does she hold it until the nominee's name? what typically happens in cases like this, when they have a few million bucks left? >> the one thing that all of the candidates have demonstrated is that it is better to be united than divided and i think everyone realizes they have a role to play. i think for the senator, she has to ensure that we get across the finish line first in terms of ramping up our numbers in the u.s. senate in order to be where we need to be in order to move an agenda forward. so i think she's going to use her resources to do that and people ask what does she bring to the race? i think she elevated the conversation around women's issues and the entire democratic process and primary benefited
tremendously from her being in the race and i commend her for her leadership, thank you for her support and commend her for the work she's going to do. it takes a village in order to take our country back. >> anna, this piece in "the daily beast" talks about some of the dissension within the ranks of the democratic national committee. i'll read a snippet. multiple dnc members told the daily beast that they have privately sounded alarms about the organization's strategy heading into 2020, emphasizing what they view as chairman tom perez's inability to reach swing voters in midwestern battle ground states who voted for the president. are democrats right to be concerned about the president's early visits to some of these states, anna? >> absolutely. i think democrats, this is a recognition among democrats and those that are very active in the dnc, that they need to be doing better. i think particularly in states like wisconsin, which obviously
donald trump won, there's a lot of heartburn and consternation about what is the dnc doing. are they focused too much on debates or doing the groundwork that is going to be needed to expand that base, and actually try to win the presidency? >> i saw you nodding there. >> yes. i want to remind these people who may have been quoting this article who names have not been mentioned to quote jay-z, nobody wins when the family feuds, so this idea of beating up on our own does not help this process. the dnc has a role to play, the d triple c and all of these committees that make up the democratic party organization as a whole. i think we all just have to run our separate plays and do what we need to do but teamwork makes the dream work. >> we appreciate the jay-z reference, thank you. thank you, anna palmer, professor, thank you for your time as well. a big announcement in the senate could mean a big shakeup come to capitol hill. we'll dig into the chances that democrats actually have to take
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state. "the washington post" column says it should have republicans worried. is the golden opportunity democrats hope it is? here is how it breaks down. follow me closely in 2020, there are 34 senate seats up for grabs, 34. 12 belong to democrats, 22 currently belong to republicans, but many of those gop seats are in solidly red states, the plitt kohl report studies which seats are most likely to flip parties, and they labeled four seats, four as true tossups, alabama, arizona, colorado and maine, and in order to take control democrats need four seats to get the majority. let's bring in the experts to help us break it all down, mark murray, senior political editor at nbc news, michael steel is a former senior adviser to jeb bush and spokesman for former speaker john boehner. michael, i will start with you. if you were in the republican war room right now, what race are you watching on that map
closest, which one concerns you the most? >> arizona is probably the race i'm watching the most closely. march that mcsally is a great senator, built a great record. mark kelly has had trouble explaining his position on issues, he's had trouble explaining some of his business dealings. that's a battleground for the presidential race. it's a state that is trending blue, and so that's the gop held seat that heim' most worried about right now. >> arizona, for michael steel. mark, in first read this morning, the gold standard of political news letters you called these two georgia senate seats a "peach of an opportunity." what do democrats need to do to win both of them? >> craig, you showed four states, and essentially for democrats to be able to win back control of the senate, they have to run the table on all four of them and win the white house. the problem really to me comes down to that alabama senate race. historically republicans have done very well and when you think about a presidential year
with president trump, at the top of the ticket, it's going to be very difficult for senate doug jones, who was able to stun the political world a year ago. but when i actually, you know, so if democrats fall short in alabama, that means they need to pick up a race somewhere else and georgia provides them two opportunities as well as north carolina. you could throw in texas and iowa as well. the path is there, craig, but democrats, you know, need to have the things, the races break in their way and also maybe more importantly they need to have the candidates and the presidential nominee who is going to play well, play very well in a state like georgia or north carolina. >> who plays very well in a state like georgia or north carolina, the top of the ticket, mark? >> craig, to me, that question is still unclear. you look at the polling where things are right now and joe biden seems to be that person. there are many doubts whether he can actually sustain that but to me, craig, there's been this question among democrats who is the most electable or what is
electable, but i do think now where georgia is firmly at play, north carolina remains a battleground for the senate and the presidential race, the question becomes what presidential candidates can actually play well and help their nominees into these senate states particularly in the sun belt. >> michael, what senate race do you think that we're not talking about enough here, which ones is not getting enough attention? >> i think we're not talking enough about michigan. i think that gary peters is unknown by 40% of the voters there, the incumbent democratic senator. i think he's a career politician, thoroughly unimpressive and the republican candidate john james say veteran. he flew apache helicopters in iraq in the army and been a successful businessman. i think he's a really dynamic, exciting candidate and that's a race we should all be paying more attention to. >> mark, you also wrote something in first read this morning that caught my attention about your home state, the lone star state, texas. and you argue that the field of democrats running in texas right now, running for the senate stronger than the field running
in georgia. how vulnerable is john cornyn? >> you know, craig, he is vulnerable, and to me the question is what we saw from beto o'rourke in texas in 2018 was that the best that a democrat can do in this current time, or is the state changing so much that now all of a sudden that's where a generic candidate could end up being. i think the answer to that question tells you maybe how vulnerable john cornyn is. i always thought in a lot of ways ted cruz in a midterm environment and particularly with democrats so fired up against ted cruz is always a little bit more vulnerable than john cornyn, but when it comes to the field right now, and despite all the talk about beto o'rourke should run for the senate in texas, that candidates like m.j.hagar who has
proven to raise a tremendous amount of money, royce west, manna edwards, a houston still councilmember, there's a lot of talent, young and established in that texas field right now. the georgia race to me, when you
chat with democratic operatives who are in the case they feel their candidate quality can be ail little bit better. so much focus on the texas senate race and not up until yesterday on georgia and their candidates there. >> michael steel, for republicans right now, in terms of the top of a ticket, president, vice president, which combination worries you most? >> look, if the election were held today there's no question that joe biden has the best chance to both take back those northern midwestern battlegrounds so the president narrowly won in 2016 and help down ballot democrats in places like north carolina and georgia because of his record as the vice president under barack obama. he should help with turnout in those states so right now, if the election were held today it would be joe biden. at the same time the election is not for a very long
time and the former vice president is a true gift for putting his own foot in his mouth regularly and spectacularly. >> as we are talking about him, the former vice president there at that town hall happening in
rock hill, south carolina, just a live look in there. mark, thank you. michael steel a big thanks to you as well, sir. the first major project from the obamas and netflix, while they largely stayed on the political sidelines, their new film makes a subtle statement about our political climate, and it is earning rave reviews. the director also join me on the other side of this break. here is part of their conversation with the former first couple. >> there's some common ground to be found, and you can move forward together. >> and one of the many things i love about this project is that it's not an editorial. you truly let people speak for themselves. 18 year old was in an accident. usaa took care of her car rental, and getting her car towed. all i had to take care of was making sure that my daughter was ok. if i met another veteran, and they were with another insurance company, i would tell them,
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sometimes within 24 hours. before you send your teen to college... make sure you help protect them. talk to your teen's doctor... about meningitis b vaccination. the obamas are making one of their biggest political statements since they left office. it doesn't come in the form of a tweet or an actual written statement. it's a new documentary on netflix. the film is called american factory. it takes audiences inside a chinese factory in the heart of trump country staffed by struggling former general motors plant workers. here's why he said this film stood out for the first project under his new partnership with netflix. >> if you know someone, if you talk to them face to face, if you can forge a connection, you may not agree with them on everything, but there's some common ground to be found and
you can move forward together. >> american factory, which has already earned a 2019 sundance film festival prize is now open in theaters and available on netflix. its award winning filmmakers joins me now. i caught most of it, i haven't completed it. full disclosure here. it's a powerful documentary. why did you choose this story? why did you choose this particular factory, guys? >> we live here in dayton, craig. we're very proud to be from this small strong scrappy midwestern city. in our town we had a gm plant that closed in 2008. when that plant closed we lost a big chunk of our blue collar middle class we once had. that plant was empty for six years, and then suddenly a chinese billionaire, entrepreneur showed up in town and says we're going to bring jobs back to dayton, ohio. it was an amazing opportunity to tell a story.
we didn't know where the story was going to go. we knew it was going to be big. >> why did you think the obamas chose you, the two of you as their first partners for this new production venture? >> well, you know, the obamas saw the film at sundance around that time, and the film was totally done by then. i think, you know, they related to the sort of working class people. they're from humble backgrounds themselves. they're midwesterners themselves. the first lady said to me that when she saw these workers going to work with their uniforms punching a clock, that was just like her dad. it was just like my dad. i think they felt a real connection. i also think that's the kind of work that they want to get behind. they want to embrace. stories of average people. >> the company is called higher ground for a reason, craig. you know, one thing this film
tries to do, which we tried to do in making the film is to hear from different points of view. and in these polarized times, you know, you don't get to have that that often. we're running to the barricades of our particular ideology. the film tries to bring people together who don't necessarily agree with each other, but to treat people with respect and create a space where opposing points of view can listen to each other. higher ground productions is aspiring towards that story telling as well. >> another thing was globalization is a big word we hear a lot. this film takes you on -- look at that from a very intimate human level. what does that mean in people's lives? in china and in the united states. blue collar lives. >> perhaps you've heard that some have labelled this
documentary, you know, we love labels in her country. especially right now. some have labelled this as anti-trump. this is an anti-trump film. how would you characterize -- >> it's so funny. >> -- the documentary? >> there's no mention of our current president or president obama in the nmovie e. this film is about the larger forces, sort of generational forces, globalization and the shifting fortunes of both chinese people and american people. you know, we're looking at 30 years of working class americans having to fight harder and harder to have a decent life. we also in this film, we see that in china, the last 30 years have been like a run away train of growth. and we're not looking at particular politics in the film. >> i would say to people who say it's something against trump, i would say watch the film.
watch the film. you'll see what it is. >> that's a good spot to leave it. julia, thank you, steve thank you as well. it's called american factory. meanwhile, some obama family news. the youngest daughter, sasha, reportedly set to start her college career this fall. we now know where she is going. she's enrolling in the university of michigan, according to reports she was seen by students attending summer freshman orientation. again this week accompanied by what appeared to be secret service agents. go blue. we're staying on top of breaking news. in our next hour, "andrea mitchell reports" new reaction to the decision not to prosecute former fbi director james comey over how he handled the memos in his interactions with president trump. corey is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. she's also taking ibrance
with an aromatase inhibitor, which is for postmenopausal women or for men with hr+ / her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole was significantly more effective at delaying disease progression versus letrozole. patients taking ibrance can develop low white blood cell counts, which may cause serious infections that can lead to death. before taking ibrance, tell your doctor if you have fever, chills, or other signs of infection, liver or kidney problems, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant. common side effects include low red blood cell and low platelet counts, infections, tiredness, nausea, sore mouth, abnormalities in liver blood tests, diarrhea, hair thinning or loss, vomiting, rash, and loss of appetite. corey calls it her new normal because a lot has changed, but a lot hasn't. ask your doctor about ibrance. the #1 prescribed fda-approved oral combination treatment for hr+/her2- mbc.
that wraps up this hour of "msnbc live." i'll see you tomorrow morning on today. "andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. thank you, craig melvin. right now, the comey report. the department of justice inspector general finding that former fbi director james comey violated policy of his handling of private memos about president trump, but says he should not be prosecuted. >> the inspector general is saying the release of sensitive information was not in his best conduct as director, but the justice department ultimately decided because it was not classified that was not prosecutable o