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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  September 22, 2019 4:00am-5:00am PDT

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good morning. i'm phillip mena at msnbc world headquarters in new york. it is 7:00 in the east, 4:00 out west and here is what's happening. phone call fight. the president defending himself. joe biden on the attack. where the showdown is headed. >> trump is doing this because he knows i will beat him like a drum. >> somebody ought to look into
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joe biden's statement because it was disgraceful. also edging out biden. what to make of new poll results in the 2020 race. plus the new developments this week in the president's legal battle to keep his financial footprint hidden. and breaking news, pro democracy demonstrations in hong kong take a violent turn. but first to the showdown between president trump and former vice president joe biden over the president reportedly pressuring in a phone call the ukrainian leader to investigate biden's son. biden and trump now going after each other on twitter with highly edited videos of news footage to undermine each other. here is come of that. >> natural conflict of interest there. i think joe biden will have to answer for. >> the president of the united states using his presidential power to go to a foreign government to get op o or somebody he thinks he might have to run against. >> no reason to pay hunter biden $50,000 a month. >> it's a complete distortion of the facts. >> a claim that has long since
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been debunked. >> you can tell he's really scared of biden. >> as we brought you live yesterday biden took a stronger tone against the president. biden insisting he never spoke with his son about his business dealings in ukraine while he was vice president. >> trump is doing this because he knows i will beat him like a drum. and he's using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me. that's what this guy is, he abuses power everywhere and if he sees any threat to his staying in power, he will do whatever he has to do, but this crosses the line. >> and new reaction from ukraine's foreign minister. he says ukraine was not pressured during the phone call with president trump and that the conversation was friendly, but included some serious discussions. on wednesday president trump and his ukrainian counterpart are expected to meet on the sidelines of the u.n. general assembly. and on thursday the acting
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director of national intelligence is set to testify in an open hearing before congress. democrats want to grill him for blocking the whistleblower complaint from congress. meanwhile, 2020 democrats are capitalizing on all of this. listen to how senator elizabeth warren opened her remarks in iowa. >> congress failed to act and now donald trump has shown that he believes he is above the law. he has solicited another foreign government to attack our election system. it is time for us to call out this illegal behavior and start impeachment proceedings right now. >> and a new poll in iowa out late saturday shows a warren surge. she is first among likely caucus goers, but within the margin of error. biden is second and senator bernie sanders in third place. south bend indiana mayor, pete
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buttigieg will kick off his iowa bus tour. first let's talk about what is becoming a major early flash point in the race for the white house. joining me now to discuss white house reporter for the daily beast and sara ferris congressional report for for "politico." you've been reporting on this whistleblower story, what are some of the missing pieces you are looking for? >> well, first i want to point out that before all of this exploded and in a very dramatic fashion in the form of this whistleblower complaint as we first reported at the daily beast months ago for several weeks if not months house democrats and investigators have been looking to probe rudy giuliani's -- president trump's personal attorney of course, his foreign dealings and work including first and foremost his work regarding ukraine and trying to get this and that dirt regarding biden and his family members. obviously in that case hunter
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biden. this was something they had been plotting out for several months and pretty recently they officially launched a probe into this, and this was before all of this exploded in the ways it has in these past few days. obviously the missing piece is that everybody who is looking into this, whether they are in the media or in the political space, are aggressively searching for, is what exactly the president said to zelenskiy during this july phone call, is there a transcript that will ever be made public, what is in the whistleblower complaint. because there is reporting that it's not merely about this one july phone call, that it's part of a larger pattern that -- that this whistleblower claims forced their hand. so it goes without saying that all the facts aren't out there yet, but even if the worst version of this materialized
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that democrats are accusing or speculating of with regards to president trump and his conduct, team trump and the trump campaign are fully prepared to aggressively go balls to the wall to say so what? the real problem is joe biden. and it doesn't look like they're going to budge on that form of crisis calms one bit. >> trump is using his playbook of deny and deflect. what do you make of biden's on camera response? >> it was notable to watch the former vice president's response. initially he was pretty muted, he did not say a lot initially, his team was clearly evaluating the political circumstances for him because, of course, this poses a risk. he doesn't want to draw more attention into this controversial story. of course, news outlets have looked into the dealings between his son and the ukrainian government and there have not been think credible reports and that's of course the president is going to be seizing on that, but the biden response yesterday
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showed that he really is ready to dig in. he must feel confident that this is something that is going to play out on the campaign for the next several months if not longer, of course. what we've seen from democrats in congress i think shows that this is going to be a massive story for years to come. there will of course be legal battles for a long period of time as they try to get out exactly what was said, again, if there is a transcript they're going to be looking for any kind of information and we're seeing democrats really just riled up, infuriated over this in a way that i have not seen, and they really have a do over here to try again and get the president on a scandal this big and they're going to be looking to really seize on this in the next several months. >> some of biden's allies they are reportedly seizing on the developments here, they are portraying him as the candidate that trump least wants to face next fall. sara, do you think this could possibly backfire on biden? >> i think there certainly is a chance. he has the spotlight on him right now over an issue that, again, is not entirely positive
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for him and what has to make sure is that this remains a donald trump problem. there will be people out there, they're going to be conservative commentators that are lighting this up trying to make this a joe biden problem. so i think that if he's able to keep the scrutiny on donald trump the story line with rudy giuliani is really -- there's so much there, there's so much that can be aired out for him and if he's able to really seize on this i think this will be a winning issue for him, of course, what has been the investigations that are going on in congress are going to be making donald trump the spotlight, but joe biden has to tread carefully here. >> you cited a readout from ukraine of that july 25th call, they reportedly noted that trump was focused on ukraine's ability to complete investigations into corruption cases that have hampered ukraine/u.s. cooperation. so when you juxtapose that with the latest statement from ukraine, what do you make of that? what's your take away? >> well, again, it's --
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regarding the specific call it's hard to know exactly what happened until, for instance, the president of the united states and his white house start to be more forthcoming with the details if they ever are going to or plan to in the first place. when it comes to that readout from the ukrainian side whether or not the president of the united states on that call or any other conversation with this foreign leader was explicit or not about a quid pro quo it certainly did seem that senior staffers on the ukrainian side seemed to come away with that impression as outlined by that readout. so this is a situation, again, where if the worst version of that materializes, you have something that a lot of house democratic lawmakers believe is yet another brick in their long road to trying to get an impeachment inquiry or vote going -- >> speak -- >> -- and -- go ahead. >> those calls for impeachment
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they're amplified. you heard elizabeth warren blasting congress as complicit in trump's transgression for failing to act and congresswoman ocasio-cortez says that the bigger national scandal here is democrats' refusal to impeach trump. sara, what is the consensus in the democratic caucus as to what should happen next. >> i read the tweet from aoc and imagine the reaction from speaker pelosi's team and them shaking their head and trying to figure out how to move forward. theres no consensus in the democratic party on this issue. you have a majority who believe that going forward with an impeachment is the right plan at this point. i do think that number is going to grow after what we've been seeing all the reporting we've been seeing on this issue, but going forward they have a couple of months left before the iowa caucus, that's basically the timeline that democrats have imposed on themselves. they don't want the issue of impeachment to be carried out into 2020 so they have only a couple months to decide and they
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have several dozen democrats who may never get to the point of impeachment. they represent districts where president trump won in 2016 and they just do not want to go near this issue at all. so the speaker is going to have to wrestle with how to keep her caucus together in this with progressives as we've seen becoming absolutely livid on this and they are not going to accept the speaker's decision to not budge on this. >> speaking of the iowa caucus i want to get both of your reactions on the new iowa poll. ez edging out biden in the crucial first in the nation caucus state. asawin what is your read on the new numbers we're seeing on the screen? >> from the trump world side i can tell you that especially as compared to how president trump and his senior aides both within the administration and on the campaign used to talk about elizabeth warren, compare a year ago to the way they talk about her now, especially privately when it comes to political strategy. i can say without getting into the weeds too much about my
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reporting on this that team trump is not laughing off elizabeth warren in nearly the fashion that they did a year ago when all of them were practically begging for her to be the 2020 general election candidate against donald trump. >> all right. sara, what was your reaction to those new numbers, warren surging ahead of former vice president biden? >> it shows to me that she's been playing the long game here. she has invested these resources early, she has so many staff in iowa, she's been playing this very carefully and avoiding the spotlight in some ways, but she has really been on the ground working this hard and it doesn't surprise me to see her at the top of that poll. >> sara, asawin, thank you so much for joining me this morning. coming up, the tax return fight. what to make of new york's effort to get eight years' worth of tax returns from the president. years' worth of tax returns from the president. every day, visionaries are creating the future.
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developing this week, a legal fight over the president's tax returns. the next twist goes before a judge on wednesday. the president's legal team is trying to block subpoenas issued to the president's accounting firm for eight years' worth of tax returns. the lawsuit argues trump cannot, quote, be subject to the criminal process while in office. joining me now are two criminal defense attorneys, danny savalas and arch ll lly -- ashley merch. the da is investigating the hush money payments made to two women who alleged sexual encounters with the president.
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what is your take on the defense's position here? do you think that argument is going to be able to hold up in court? >> i do, unfortunately. i think they will be able to stop these subpoenas, i don't think that the new york district attorney is going to be able to actually access trump's tax returns. the sitting president is immune from criminal process at this point so this isn't the proper avenue to get these tax returns. that doesn't mean there aren't other avenues to get these tax returns, they can get them through congress, that's what the separation of powers says, is that the congress ways and means is the appropriate entity to get these. the problem is that the president isn't giving them to congress. >> danny, we know that this is not the first lawsuit he can sooing the president's tax returns. can you tell us how this one is different from the others that we have seen? >> it's different for a few reasons, one is that it's by a state court, which has actually said i think it's very likely to not be successful. the supremacy clause and presidential immunity although we don't really know the full extent and contours of it in a post nixon and clinton v. jones
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era, we do know that the president at least is i'm into unfrom criminal process and he is especially immune from criminal process from the lowly states as opposed to the federal government, and that's because of the supremacy clause. >> ashley, his financial records have yet to be seen by those looking to see them. is it likely that we will see them before the 2020 election? because the president's accounting firm, they say that they would comply with legal obligations. how long of a process is this for new york? >> i don't think we're going to see these before the election. i think that's trump's exact goal is to make sure that nobody sees them before the election. he's going to tie up all the different avenues that the state governments, the federal governments are using to try and access these tack returns. he's going to keep it in court until past the election. he is not going to give these over. he could voluntarily give them over, he could comply, but he wants to tie this up until after the election and i think it's unlikely we will see any of these tax returns before we go
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to the ballot box. >> so far he has been pretty successful in that attempt. danny, there is a hearing on the president's motion for a restraining order to block those subpoenas, it's going to happen on wednesday, what can we expect to hear from both sides on those days. >> restraining orders are interesting hearings. it's not about whether or not one party is ultimately going to win or lose, it's about, hey, we have an emergency right now and so we just need to preserve the status quo, but which side gets to win at least for the time being. and the thing about injunctions and restraining orders that we've seen throughout the trump administration is that whatever decision the judge makes, it's only a short-term decision. eventually the merits of the case have to be litigated. it's often a preview for the direction the court may ultimately go. >> ashley, do you see any circumstance, any scenario in which we see president trump's tax returns while he is still president trump? >> through congress. that's the only way. through the impeachment process. i think if the ways and means committee wants to fight and
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wants to actually go forward and push their subpoenas that he has been ignoring they can. i think they can have those legally enforced. i also think we could see them through an impeachment process. the problem is congress has made it very clear that they do not want to impeach this president. so the only other option is if he voluntarily gives them over which i don't think we're going to see. the request he is what is he hiding? what is he hiding from the american people? and if i was asking -- if i was going to vote for him i would ask that question of him at these rallies, what are you riding? what do you no the want us to see? give us some transparency. >> he is fighting tooth and nail so we don't know what is in those records. ashley and danny, thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. a live report coming up from israel on the effort to form a new government there. also high water peril in texas, the dangers left behind by tropical storm imelda next. d by tropical storm imelda next.
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new this morning, five people are dead after tropical storm imelda caused massive flooding in houston. the storm was one of the wettest tropical cyclones in u.s. history dumping more than 40 inches of rain near the louisiana border. crews worked to rescue hundreds of people trapped by high water.
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floodwaters have damaged at least 800 houses and businesses. protests in hong kong turning violent again this morning after police fired tear gas into crowds of demonstrators this weekend. it came after protesters threw molotov cocktails towards a police line. janis mackey frayer in live in hong kong with more. >> reporter: this is the 16th straight weekend we have seen protests here and they have fallen into a similar pattern where protesters try to get together a critical mass into in order to shut down roads or obstruct traffic or effectively to try to push across their point and what they're fighting for here. police moved in after protesters went into a mall, they were targeting businesses that they saw were being pro beijing, pro police, pro government or businesses that operate from the mainland. they were setting fires, there
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was some destruction. so the police went into these shopping malls, storming through, sweeping through, making several arrests. yesterday we saw the same sort of thing where the evening ended with clashes with police, there were sponge grenades that were being fired and fires that were set. this is all coming in an environment that is increasingly tight for security in advance of the october 1st national holiday in the mainland. in beijing alone there have been several weekends now where streets have been in lockdown in preparation for a massive military parade and the directive to the hong kong government was that these protests were supposed to be cleaned up by october 1st. so we're seeing both sides digging in. protesters planning more protests throughout the week and into next weekend leading up to that big holiday. phillip. >> janis mackey frayer providing the update this morning. thank you. also new today, israel's president begins the process of
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choosing the next prime minister after tuesday's election resulted in a split decision between incumbent benjamin netanyahu and his closest rival, benny gantz. the cover story of this weekend's jerusalem post reporting gantz vows not to surrender in any coalition talks. the front page of the weekend haaretz says netanyahu wants a unity government but gantz wants to lead it. matt bradley joining us now. its a day of big meetings and big decisions. what are you hearing about how this is playing out? >> reporter: good morning. like you said, it's another big day in israeli politics. in just a few hours we are going to see the real beginning that have horse trading that goes into forming an israeli government which caught on a little more than a week ago or a little less than a week ago after the jewish state went to the polls for the second time in five months. ruben rivlin is meeting today with two bitter rivals who nearly tied in this vote last week. in one corner is the right wing
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benjamin netanyahu, he is the longest serving prime minister in israel's history, facing off against benny gantz, centrist, former military chief whose blue and white party barely beat netanyahu's likud party. rivlin does get the chance to be very political in this particular moment. he is going to invite one of these two men to try to form a government, probably in the next two days. whomever rivlin picks will have six weeks to unusual with the other parties and if that person fails rivlin can give the other candidate a turn and israelis could have to return to the polls and that would make for an unprecedented three elections in less than a year. but here is the real drama behind all of this, phillip, not only is netanyahu fighting for his political life but he's kind of fighting for his freedom because netanyahu faces three different corruption investigations with court
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hearings and the possibility of an indictment on at least one of them due as soon as next month. staying in the prime minister's office is actually one of the best, one of the only real ways for netanyahu to stay immune from prosecution, to avoid that indictment that everybody in israel thinks is inevitable. so gantz has already said he won't join a government, as you mentioned, with netanyahu, as long as netanyahu is under investigation. so netanyahu he really has his backup here. he is a survivor, he has been in power longer than any other prime minister in israeli history, but don't expect a resolution anytime soon. this kind of political impasse, you know, the political wrangling here is expected to go on for another few weeks and maybe, just maybe, israelis will still have to go back to the polls and do the whole thing all over again. phillip. >> very complex issue there about israel's elections. you did a great job breaking it down for you, matt. appreciate it. >> i try. thanks. tonight at 9:00 on msnbc on assignment are richard engel
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looks at the rise and fall of isis and the fears about thousands of isis supporters now held in detention carpal tunnel syndrome. richard got rare access inside. >> reporter: u.s. military and intelligence officials warn isis is trying to make a come back. after a successful u.s.-led campaign dismantled the terror group's so-called caliphate, tens of thousands of isis members were taken to prisons and camps. this week isis leader baghdadi called on supporters to liberate their detained brothers and sisters in the camps where many foreigners are kept. >> where are you from? >> from russia. >> from russia. >> reporter: over the last several months nbc news has been given extensive access to the alhol camp in northern syria. here around 70,000 people including wives and children of isis fighters, are loosely guarded with nothing to do. many still fiercely loyal to isis. when i asked a group of women
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and children if isis was finished, they hurled insults and water bottles at me and held up a single finger representing the one true god. in the camp i met hoda, an isis bride, who claims she now opposes isis. >> what happens to all these other people in the camp? do you think they're still dangerous? >> it's obvious who are still radical, who are still dangerous. >> reporter: president trump says he wants isis members here returned to their home countries, mostly in europe. but their governments are refusing to take them back. >> they can try them, do what they want. at some point i'm going to have to say, i'm sorry, but you either take them back or we're going to let them go at your border. >> we will hear more from richard engel tonight on assignment, the rise and fall of isis right here on msnbc. coming up at the top of the hour "up" with david gura. what do you have in store for us? >> a lot of questions unanswered
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when it comes to this whistleblower complaint as joe biden calls for a congressional investigation into a phone call between president trump and ukraine's president, one of the former vice president's biggest supporters is going to join us, senator chris coons of delaware, sits on the foreign committee on foreign relations at the top of the agenda for world leaders gathering in new york for the u.n. general assembly in climate change, it is topping the agenda for everyone, i should say, except for president trump. we're going to sit down with jay inslee, the governor of washington, one of the most outspoken advocates for saving the planet, he will be with us this morning as well. >> thank you. also ahead at noon today on weekends with alex witt, tulsi gabbert on why she opposes more u.s. troops in abe. up next, elizabeth warren pulls ahead in a new iowa poll, but there is one major caveat that should make her feel uneasy. that shoulmad ke her feel uneasy i am the twisting thundercloud. i am royalty of racing,
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a big weekend in iowa for 2020 democrats. 17 candidates making their pitches to more than 12,000 voters at the iowa steak fry. organizers are calling it the biggest turnout since 2007. as a new poll reveals a big shakeup at the top of the field. here is a look at a few of the highlights. >> we will address as the big challenges of our nation the issues that wake people up in the middle of the night. issues like health care. >> they speak of faith, but tell me what faith condones taking money out of a budget for
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feeding hungry children or tearing kids out of the arms of their parents. >> we've got to start to reward work, not wealth. that means reversing his tax cuts. that means cutting the tax cuts for the super wealthy. >> we can attack the corruption. we can restructure or economy. we can protect our democracy. >> this is how we free ourselves from fear. we decide what we believe in and we fight like hell to achieve it. >> let us create a government and an economy that works for every man, woman and child in this country and not just the wealthy and the powerful. >> let's bring in bishop garrison co-founder of the joseph rainy center for public policy and republican strategist brian darling, founder and president of liberty government affairs. good morning to you both. >> good morning. >> bishop, let's start with you. who stood out the most yesterday
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and what does the high turnout there tell you? >> well, the high turnout, for starters, tell us all that you have a lot of interested voters and an actual debate, actual policies. it's fantastic to see in those clips so many of these presidential candidates actually going all in on what they believe as a part of their platforms and policies. what they believe in terms of their actual values and what they're going to be like as leaders. i don't know if any one particular necessarily stood out among the others right now, but honestly i would say that this is a fantastic opportunity for all of the american people to truly see what a future leader of this nation could look like. >> brian, this new des moines register poll has elizabeth warren surging into first place in iowa leading joe biden by two points there. how dramatically should this shift republican strategy? >> well, now there are two front runners. republicans will have to take a hard look at elizabeth warren and recognize that she's a
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legitimate candidate that's got a shot at winning this nomination, somebody who is going to be a front runner and acting like a front runner and talking like a front runner and being treated like a front runner. so she will start getting attacked by other democrats, much like joe biden has been the subject of attacks for the past few months. >> bishop, to what would you attribute warren's big gains there in iowa? >> well, first of all, she's incredibly authentic, she has incredible energy and she is honestly thus far one of the tops in terms of policy. she is an incredibly intelligent leader who has been through these types of tough situations in terms of running a campaign. she absolutely knows what it takes to take over leadership like this. she's demonstrating that time and time again on the campaign trail. >> bishop, this month biden's campaign signaled plans to shift their focus towards the south, particularly south carolina, and now we have this poll where he has dropped down to second place. are these numbers simply
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reflecting that strategy of going to the south or do you think this is something his campaign should be worried about? >> well, i mean, anytime poll numbers drop i think the campaign should take a step back and try to understand exactly what's happening, but i don't necessarily believe right now -- we're still so early -- i don't necessarily believe that this is a reason for anyone to start going all in on a panic mode of some sort. i think vice president biden is going to go down to south carolina, he's going to demonstrate what he has continuously, that he truly cares about the voters there and the things that really resonate with them. he's going to need to continuously demonstrate that moving forward. >> staying on biden here, he had some sharp words for president trump after the president tried to shift attention away from reports about that phone call with ukraine's president. let's watch joe biden here. here is what he said. >> trump deserves to be investigated. he has violated every basic norm
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of a president. you should be asking him the question why is he on the phone with a foreign leader trying to intimidate a foreign leader if that's what happened. that appears is what happened. you should be looking at trump. trump is doing this because he knows i will beat him like a drum. >> do you agree with that, brian? what do you think of the president's attack on biden? do you think that's a sign that he's really worried about him? >> hey, if i was joe biden i would be yelling, too, because this is a real scandal. the fact that joe biden's son amassed $3 million working for a natural gas company in ukraine when he has no experience in natural gas, he has no expertise in regulatory affairs in the ukraine and what did his dad do? his dad was vice president of the united states overseeing ukraine policy and threatened to withhold money, a billion dollars in aid to ukraine, if they didn't fire the prosecutor that was investigating that company. i would be screaming, i would be pointing my finger at president trump because i would be angry and scared that this could end
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my campaign. >> yeah, i think a lot of americans would be angry as the vice president is, but i think for absolutely different reasons than what brian just laid out. i think they would be very upset that the president of the united states is targeting a family member of a political opponent. this is the type of thing that happens in a banana republic. this is not something that happens or should happen in the united states. if prosecutors or if a political opponent was coming after any member of trump's family in this type of manner, he would be livid, he would be on twitter, he would be in the news cursing and damning that person completely and totally. so for him to turn around and use this as a political tool is just beneath comment. >> bishop, do you think this is something that democrats have been waiting for, this new aggressive side of joe biden? >> well, i think we as voters have been looking for it from all the presidential candidates. i think you've seen it in some, you've seen it in elizabeth warren, you've seen it in secretary castro. so, yes, i think people are
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excited to see someone actually truly fighting back with not only policy but with leadership, with the spirit that it takes to engage someone like donald trump on this level. >> the "washington post" they are out with a new article it's titled "trump's ukraine call reveals a president convinced of his own invisibility." do you think that he is convinced of his own invincible, brian? >> maybe. i mean, he's full of confidence, he does maybe think he is invincib invincible, i think that's possible, but i do think that the president recognizes that by raising the level of this controversy into the public domain the american people can actually see that the vice president when he was vice president may have engaged in acts that would have been impeachable had it come out when he was vice president of the united states. using your powers as a vice president to help out your son, to protect a company that was pa i go his son, that's bad. that is something that would be a high crime and misdemeanor and
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i think this may be one of those instances where trump gets hurt a little bit, but biden gets hurt a little bit, too. maybe this all will help elizabeth warren and push her to the front, but this is not a good story for joe biden. he can yell and scream all he wants. it's just not going to help him out in the long term. >> what you just described is exactly what's happening with the trump family, the trump organization and trump administration, when you talk about emoluments and everything else, what you described is pitch perfect for what happened with trump. >> you're saying that joe biden may have violated the emoluments clause. interesting. >> no, i'm saying the president has. don't try to flip that around. >> this sense of aura of invisibility that he claims to have here, do you think that that is a danger to the country in the eyes of the republican party? >> no. i mean, look at what's happened. the president is upset and the reports if they are to be believed -- and we don't know what really happened, we don't know what the whistleblower
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said, all we're getting are reports in the media that have been leaked so we don't know the facts, but what we think has happened and what we think the facts are that he called a foreign leader saying, hey, i think you should investigate this. i don't feel comfortable if there was any quid pro quo, there no evidence there was, but we know there was a quid pro quo with joe biden and that is a huge problem. but i do think the -- i do think the president has been very strong lately in pushing back very hard on these allegations of corruption. >> all right. brian darling, bishop garrison, appreciate the discussion. >> we need an investigation, brian. women who say that jeffrey epstein abused him speak out, some for the first time. hear their stories next. or the . he tarheir stories next. at verizon, we're building the most powerful 5g experience for america. that's why the nfl chose verizon. because they need the massive capacity of 5g with ultra wideband, so more screaming, streaming, posting fans... can experience 5g all at once. this is happening in 13 stadiums all across the country. now if verizon 5g can do this for the nfl...
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going to say anything because that's what he told me to do. >> joining me now is william cohen a special correspondent with "vanity fair," he is the author of "four friends: promising lives cut short. good morning. >> nice to be here, phillip. >> what picture are the new accounts giving us, combined with the facts we know in the federal sex trafficking investigation. >> well, first of all, phillip, you have to feel for the women who came forward, had the courage to come forward. i really applaud them for that. that took a lot of courage. i appreciate very much dateline doing the segment to put them on the air. we are in an interesting moment in this case. jeffrey epstein of course committed suicide more than a month ago. we're at danger of it coming off the headlines and the front pages. and i think that would be the worse thing that could possibly happen here. this is the case, another one of those cases where an incredible abuse of the justice system, incredible instance where rich
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and powerful people have manipulated the justice system to their benefit. and we cannot let that happen. we have to take a strong principle stand to prosecute the people responsible for enabling jeffrey epstein, of which there are many and who need to be brought to justice. it's up to the justice system to subpoena these people and get to the bottom of this case. >> i want you to listen to what virginia had to say detailing her claim that she was trafficked to prince andrew. here it is. >> the first time in london i was so young. she woke me up and said you're going to meet a prince today. i didn't know at that point i was going to be trafficked to that prince. we leave club tramp. and i hop in the car with gee lessen and jeffrey. and she said he's coming back to the house and i want you to do for him what you do for epstein.
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>> buckingham palace telling nbc news in a statement, it is emphatically denied that the duke of york had any form of sexual contact or relationship with virginia roberts. any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation. prince andrew has vehemently denied any inappropriate behavior or being aware of any such behavior by jeffrey epstein. a palace spokesperson said this relates to proceedings in the united states, to which the duke of work is not a party. any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue. just a few weeks later, prince andrew released a statement saying in port, i depolar the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, oren courage any such behavior. these are very adamant by the prince. do we know more about this, aside from virginia roberts' account?
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>> well, we know there's a picture of the prince andrew with roberts when she was 17 years old. maybe they have an explanation for that. we know that jeffrey epstein and gu lane maxwell flew on jeffrey epstein's jet over to a castle that the british royal family owns in england. there's plane records to that effect. you know, this is a tough one. i find that everybody involved with jeffrey epstein, especially now that he is deceased, is going out of their way to make clear how little they ever had to do with him when there's so much evidence of how much they did have to do with him. this is standard operating procedure by high-priced lawyers and p.r. people. and frankly, it shouldn't stand. we should have the u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york should be issuing subpoenas to people like leon black and
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glen dube in and leslie wexner, people who know exactly what jeffrey epstein was up to and claim they don't. >> and the role of gu lane maxwell. she has not been charged with a crime. where is she right now as all of this is unfolding? . >> well, she better be -- her whereabouts better be known to u.s. law enforcement. if she was smart, she would be participating and cooperating and sharing everything she knows about jeffrey epstein. because if she's on the lam and trying to run from this, she will be found and she will probably spend the rest of her life in prison. because her fingerprints are all over this. and it's just completely, you know, unacceptable. as i said, we're in danger of this falling off the front pages. it needs to be investigated
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thoroughly. maxwell is one of the key people that needs to be found and she needs to spill her guts. >> she has denied all the accusations. >> they all have, phillip. . >> jeffrey epstein, he may be dead, but accusers are still hopeful justice can be served. >> justice now is holding the perpetrators who helped him and participated with him and encouraging more people to come forward so we can try to put this puzzle together and understand how it happened. how did this happen for so long? how did he get away with it? >> okay. if any of this is proven true, what hope of justice do these victims have? what will that look like, justice, to them? >> obviously that's tough. the principle player in this is of course deceased. >> maxwell is not deceased. any of the other number of people in jeffrey epstein's
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famous black book are not deceased. they are rich. they are powerful. like prince andrew, leslie wexner and leon black. they can be brought to justice. they can be made to tell what they know about their involvement. it's long pastime they do that. i'm hopeful prosecutors will pursue the case and people will be made to testify. . >> important to note, we don't want to speculate any names as of now. no charges have been filed there. all right. i appreciate that and all your help for helping us break this down, this very sensitive issue. william cohan, thank you very much. >> thank you. the president's whistle-blower firestorm. that is next on "up" with david gura. h david gura dayquil severe. the daytime, coughing, aching, stuffy-head, fever, sore throat, power through your day, medicine. our mission is to provide complete, balanced nutrition...
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msnbc. i'm phillip mena. now it is time for "up" with david gura. this is "up". i'm david gura on a sunday morning when elizabeth warren tops a major poll in iowa for the first time. the massachusetts senator has pulled ahead of former vice president biden and senator bernie sanders who is traveling today to oklahoma for an event in senator warren's hometown. this morning, more new data will bring in results from the latest survey from nbc and the wall street journal. in washington and on the campaign trail, the whistle-blower story

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