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tv   MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi  MSNBC  October 7, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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anything else. we'll see. >> good to see you, my friend. have yourself a great rest. >> see you at 5:00, 5:00. >> always on a monday. monday october 7th. bring in another whistleblower from the bench. president trump tweeted that today after it emerged another whistleblower comes forward with firsthand information on the president's july phone call with ukraine's president. in which he asked ukrainian late leader to investigate former vice president joe biden and his son, hunter biden. democratic congressmen praised this person for coming forward. >> i'm glad this individual, by the way, is going through the whistleblower process. that's what the first whistleblower did. it's the right thing to do. this is not a democratic-led thing. this is people around the president who have watched his behavior for a very long time and are finally saying, this can't happen anymore. i'm going to come forward. >> those comments came just before three house committees
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leading the impeachment inquiry added the defense department and the office of management and budget to the growing list of those who have been subpoenaed for documents and records. this comes as we're still expecting the white house to send a letter to house speaker nancy pelosi telling her it will not hand over anything to the house until the house votes to formally approve an impeachment inquiry but as this subpoena fight drags out, lawmakers hear testimony from two key players in the saga. u.s. ambassador to the european union, sondland and former ambassador marie. let's start with hans nichols at the white house. any sense soft when, how, or if the white house will plan to respond to the new subpoena it has received from the house committee including the ones from last week? >> reporter: if is probably the best question there. from the white house's perspective, talking to senior official just moments ago, they refer to this as a faux impeachment. there is a sense they want to
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almost dare the democrats to take this to the next level and even then, their cooperation isn't assured. you mentioned that letter talked about in nbc news reported last week, it's unclear if that letter or multiple letters are going to be sent to the congress to make sure they have certain obligations in the white house's view to do certain things before they get the full cooperation from the white house. now, one thing you don't hear from the white house is any talk of trying to prevent either the pentagon or the state department from either producing documents or making potential witnesses available for testimony. as you mentioned, it's going to be a busy day this week on capitol hill, as four key bit of information coming from the four key players in at least the ukrainian portion of this conversation. >> troops out of northeastern syria along the turkish border. this has got a lot of people. you know the story very well.
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a lot of people concerned that the kurds, who populate that area, were very helpful in the u.s. fight against isis but the tucks don turks see the kurds connected with a terrorist group inside of turkey that the turks don't like. even mitch mcconnell came out and say this is problematic. i'll read to you what he said. a precipitous withdrawal would only benefit the rashad regime, increase the risk of isis and terrorist groups regroup. i urge the president to exercise american leadership to keep together our multinational coalitions to defeat isis and prevent significant conflict between nato ally turkey and counterterrorism partners. in large part, not exclusively but in large part refers to the kurds. >> the sdf, both kurdish and fighting so valiantly against
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the islamic state and largely rolled them back. obviously, some pockets that concern officials at the pentagon. ali, i think the most significant development at least since this morning and this afternoon is the reaction from senate republicans. that quote you just read from mitch mcconnell, majority leader, amounts to a stinging review from mcconnell. lindsay graham being quite critical. bipartisan coalitions coming together and almost seems like they're trying to do what the president is simply unwilling to do and that is force and try to pressure the turks into not entering the territorial integrity of syria. there's talk of sanctions. there's all kinds of conversations taking place on capitol hill. and in general, there's frustration among republicans with not only how the president announced this late at night after conversation with erdogan but the overall substance of the announcement and that is, abandoning partners that were
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there in syria fighting. this is the view of congressional republicans and in favor of someone in turkey who, frankly, hasn't been a great ally of the united states. guys? >> hans, thank you very much. hans nichols for us at the white house. let me go on with this conversation with some of the words used to describe what president trump has done. used t president trump has done trump's sunddden decision. this move which came after a phone call between president trump and aturkey's leade eer p the way for a military operation near the syrian border. now cukurdish fighters have bee america's most reliable partner in the fight against isis. the president defended his move saying it fulfills his promise
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to end the quote endless and ridiculous wars. he also tweeted time for others this the region to pick up the fight and threatened to on literal turkey's economy if they do anything quote, great and unmatched limitsey to be b off limits. his words, not mine. brett slam med the move during n interview this dafternoon. >> just no way to run the country. i don't say that lightly. this is very serious. nobody knows what to do. i see the administration now scrambling to kind of make sebs of what's happening. the president's all over the place. his tweets indicate that he has no real idea or conception of what's happening on the ground and so nobody really knows where this is going. we took isis' capital of raqqah without a single american live because the kurds did the fighting. if he thinks we can go back in, who's going to do the fight iin?
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>> bill, what's your take on this? the turks have been look iing f a reason to go into syria and deal with the kurds who were are a problem but obviously big nato country, having a in their ally with the kurds has causes diftty for the turks on that front. >> the shrapnel of that shell is whizzingha across the middle ea at the moment and indeed the world, especially among america's allies. first of all, after the betrayal, we may have the blood bath. u.s. troops todaytr abandoned their positions on the northeast frontier.po kurdish allies. to turkish troops who may well gos through syrian villages, syrian kurdish villages regarding every man and woman of fighting age who's there as a terrorist because they loathe
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the kurds because they've been responsible for bombings in l ankara and istanbul so for them, they're terrorists. we don't know if this will be a full scale invasion, but syria's ku kurds will fight but will be no match for turkey. turkey has air power tanks, all the weapons of a nato country of 80 million people. so these are mortal enemies and this willil be a blood bath. once the fighting start, i think the kurds will try to seek an agreement with president assad. that will link them up with iran and russia so president trump will have pushedru away his forr allies, the kurds, into the arms of his enemies and most importantly, it's very likely to lead to a resurgence of isis. it's the curds guarding around 10,000 isis prisoners. they're not going to do that muchno longer if they're being
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attacked by turkey. the guards have become fighters on the front line and those isis fighters may well take the opportunity to escape. but as you've been painting the bigger picture is the damage to america's reputation. lindsey graham calling it a stain on america's honor and which allies as we've said in the case of north korea, of iran, who's going to look at the united states anymore and say yep, i b absolutely fully trust the word of president trump when he te tells me x and y. this is this is a an erosion of an american power both in the futureri and today on that bord. >> so there's a lot of pressure and surprise at president trump you mentioned graham. he's focusing this on turkey. he said he and maryland senator chris van hollen would quote introduce bipartisan sanctions against turkey if they invade
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syria and will call for their suspension from nato if they attack kurdish forces who assisted the u.s. in the destruction of the isis caliphate. who does one get frustrated with here, bill? is it that turkey has been given a green light by the president to do what turkey has long indicated what it would likeng do, that is eliminate a political or military threat from the cukurds or america? who's at fault here. >>in well i think it's not for me really to say but i think in european capitals and elsewhere, there's a mean bebe wilderment is a mild word. at what the president said yesterday, the statement from the white house and the things he's been tweeting today. if it wasn't before, there's now. threatening to b on lit are rate
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the economy of a nato ally, turkey, with 80 million citizens, if anything is going to drive the turks towards russia and remember they've got a defense deal for equipment with russia into theem arms of iran these kinds of actions are likely to do this. the president may feel that for america's economy, the taxpayers, it's a good thing to bring the boys home and get t o of a place that's 7,000 miles from washington. but as brett and others have said, you know, you may take that narrow economic view now, but you may pay for it in the years and decades to come. >> thanks very much. bill in london. we'll take a closer look at syria's kurds, who say they could face harm as a result ofk the president's decision. according to the kurdish project, there are 30 million kurds living in the middle east
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today.as they're spread across four countries. southeastern turkey, northeastern syria, northern iraq and northwestern iran. kurds make up 7 to 10 pes% of syria's population. 20% of turkey's and 15 to 20% of f iraq's population. the relationship between the syrian government and the country's kurdish population has as we've been describing, been fraught before the civil war, many syrian kurds were denied citizenship but after the fighting began in 2011, they never sided with the rebels against the government and at time, they've been willing to work with thevend government. kurdish fighters, the ypg, became a strong force because they filled the void left when government authority collapsed this large parts of syria. after isis took control of much of northern and eastern syria, the ypg joined with several local arab militias to form the
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sdf. with help from a u.s.-led coalition, they drove isis from its territory, inclueing areas along the border and the de facto isis capital, raqqa. syria says ito feels threatene by advances made by syria's kurd. there's already deep seeded hostility between the government and population. in 1984, the kurdistana's work party, the pkk, which calls for kurdish aton autonomy, began an arms struggle that continues to this day. in the past 35 years, more than 40,000 people have been kill nd that struggle. now turkey considers ypg forces in syria to be an extension of the pkk in turkey, which it has declared to be a terrorist organization. in the meantime, syrian kurdish forces are holding more than 10,000 isis fighters, including 2,000 foreigners, in several
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prisons. angel is worry a new -- in syria could lead to a security vacuum that allows those prisoners to escape. they also control a camp home to more than 70,000 people. mostly the wives and children of isis fighters. joining me now to have a closer look at this, a foreign correspondent for the "new york times" who covers islamices extremism including isis and at the national security counsel. also served as spokesperson for the u.s. mission to the united nations. also a former treasury department spokesperson for terrorism and financial intelligence. brook, let's start with you and the isis part of this conversati conversation. president trump in his tweets dbt didn't express concern frd kurds as bill put it. are going to go after. he's concerned about watching over the isis fighters. tell me that part of the
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equation. >> we know there are 70,000 members, women and children, beingom held in this camp and 200,000 foreign fight eers bein held in prisons. these are the most committed of the isis c members who survived thebe caliphate. mostly picked up in the last couple of months of the caliphate mean iing they surviv, year, under the rule of this group. this is the nucleus of where we believe the resurgence of isis is going to come from and the thought these people could be let go or under control of turkey, which has not shown itself to be a great partner in the fight against isis is not a great prospect. >> part of the reason why is because it's never beenha their priority. to them, the kurds are the priority. they think of them as a a terrorist group within turkey.
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in syria as an extension and they have long maintained that in their mind, if you're the turkish government, the kurds are a bigger problem than isis ever was. >> that's true. and unfortunately, of the rou roughly 40,000 foreign fighters that joined isis, what we know is that almost all of them passed through turkey. through the istanbul airport unmolested. theyle went through that airpor and from there to the border and were allowed by turkish offic l officials or turkish r officials looked the other way as they crossed the border so the foreign fighter problem we have of isis members is a problem that was, that was in fact created in part by turkey. >> let me ask you about the u.s. involvement in syria. fight i fighting isis and the degree to which the fact that the kurds were there leading in many cases that fight. >> right.
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the forces have been there since 2014. u.s. forces. and as you had noted in your background, the partnership with the kurds was instrumental in the success in defeat iing isis. but everybody has their interests. so the united states was there and remain ed there i hope continues to remain there, because of efforts for reconstruction and development to allow ref yes to return to the area. solving a global migration problem obviously. t for counterterrorism issues and also to counter iranian influence and it's a big deal because you're talking about a countryng surrounded by u.s. partners andy allies. namely iraq, jordan and israel most orimportantly. if you leave, if you leave, the u.s. has already started to take ata backseat in the syria issue and in promoting peace there. in we're going to leave this vacuum for more sectarian conflict. more arinstability, for a breedg ground for terrorism.
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it's going ugly, hit israel the hardest for sure. >> and at this point, you say you hope they stay, but the chances are donald trump has said they're leaving, which means they're leaving. >> well because of what happened last december when he originally saidbe that the u.s. troops wou withdraw and secretary mattis and brett they all resigned. then the diz decision was reversed. but at the end of the day, the message to a country like turkey and add ver sversaries like rus iran, we're not really going to be there to hold our ground any way. >> good to see you. thanks for both of you. joining us helping us understand thisin better. dozens of former national security officials are urgently calling for the ukraine to call sorry, ukraine call whistleblower to be protected. i'm going to talk to one of those officials coming up. plus, the concerns that the
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looking to the 2020 race r for the white house u, breaking news takes over the lead is summed up in this "washington post" head lolinheadline. bernie sanders is nowing at home
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aftersuffering from a heart attack. joe biden finds himself at the center of president trump's impeachment inquiry fending off unfunded questions about his son and that warren is too liberal to capture moderate voters in next year's election. so for a party determined to defeat president trump, what do these disruptions mean for the future of the race? joining me now is national political reporter for the "washington post," matt visor, who contributed to the piece. matt, thanks for joining me. the criticism around donald trump that's coming from some democratic circles is not about him and hunter biden and ukraine. most people believe that those are debunked you know conspiracy theorys, but it's about how he handled them. some say he handled them too conservatively. he didn't really come out swinging where he should have. or taking on donald trump as the opponent the way joe biden has tried to. this whole campaign.
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>> right. joe biden has really launched his campaign against donald trump. the whole frame of his campaign has been that he is the most, the best positioned to take on donald trump. and you've really had a, a look over these past two weeks at what that general election might look like and some even close to biden and biden allies want him to be more forceful, more aggressive in countering donald trump and they've yet to sort of see that until the past couple of days where he's taken an aggressive posture. but that's been concerning to come who feel like the it's a reliving in some ways of 2016 where donald trump even on unfunded allegations, was able to make a dent. this came we found somebody in las vegas who is supporting joe biden, has been placing calls on behalf of joe biden and even with those calls, she's seeing evidence that people are buying
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into the allegations has levelled against joe biden. >> let's talk about elizabeth warren. she's doing well in the polls. continues to rise and with joe biden in the eyes of some feeling a little weaker with bernie sanders' unfortunate health problems, she stands to gain from that. which causes more attention to be put on her and a whole bunch of people who say hey, her policies are great. she's got a plan for that. can she attract enough moderates to actually beat donald trump if she were the democratic no, ma'am knee. how is her campaign responding? >> her campaign has been one of the few that has clear signs of momentum. she's sort of grown steady throughout this campaign and has proved as a result and is raising lot of money. for more than joe biden is. but there's those persistent questions about her ideology and whether it will fit in a general
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election, in a general election. the moment was sort of starting to come where you saw challenges from joe biden from pete buttigieg and more moderates in the race and preparing to challenge her over medicare for all and some of her more liberal positions. that's been overshadowed over the past several weeks over the questions of impeachment. i think the debate will stay plal out, but certainly more moderates and centrists in the democratic party are concerned that that type of warfare is in the background because they think that will challenge warren and perhaps result in a boost to another more moderate candidate. >> thank you for joining us coming up, 90 former national security officials who served under republican and democratic mbs are calling all americans to insist on the protection of whistle blowers. you are watching msnbc. e protec whistle blowers. you are watching msnbc maria ram!
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as trump attacks the credibility of the l blower, dozens of former national security officials are underscoring the urgent need to protect whistle blowers. in an open letter american people, they write quote a
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responsible whistleblower makes all americans safer by ensuring that serious wrong doing can be ga investigated and addressed ed thus advancing the cause of national security to which we have devoted our careers. all americans should be united in demand iing that all branche of government and all outlets of media protect this whistleblower and his or her identity. simply put, he or she has done what our law demands. now he or she deserves our protection. the fishes who served under democratic and republican presidents signed this this letter. one joins me now who served in several national security positions in the last three administration, including president trump's. he's an msnbc national security and intelligence analyst. nick, lindsey graham says that if this goes toward an investigation, he wants that whistleblower named. let alone the second one who's coming forward now who has firsthand information.
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whether the information is firsthand or second hand, the concept of a whistleblower is supposed to make somebody aware that something is wrong and they, that body, the inspector general, the dni company in case of corporate america, they should investigate. >>. >> i've lost your sound, hali. >> can you hear me now? >> yes. >> very good. lindsey graham says he wants the name of the whistleblower exposed. what do you make of that? >> well, fortunately, b i don't believe he's in a position to be the decider on that question. if it doesn't make sense to me that whistleblower's name ever be known to the b public. as we said in the et willer, the protections were put in place fo allow for greater transparency for americans. they need to understand and have confidence in the work of their intelligence community and
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anything done to undermine these protection will make us less safe over time and less informed over time want what our government is doing. >> so we happen to know from history, from water gate to the military through government when i whistle blowers that some of the biggest things we never would have known and it was really good we did know, came from whistle blowers. graham is a military guy. wi would republicans not see this as clearly as anyone else? you're a whistleblower. you should protect whatever side. whoever they tend to damage or protect. >> well there's a tendency to look at whistle blowers through a partisan lens and figure out what is their political agenda in bringing forward the information they're bringing. that's why you hear the president using words like partisan hack or even worse, words like treason or a spy. and of course those are loaded words. they suggest something about somebody who's maybe perhapsing
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acting in an un-american way. i think the act iing dni last wk made it quite clear: this individual, whoever he or she is, acted exactly in accordance with their professional responsible ilities and with th law. and that ought to be respected. >> so what happens now? when you said graham's not the decider on this. the president wants to know who it is. he want it is the know who the people are who informed the whistleblower. he thinks they're traitors. he thinks we should do what we used to do with them. ie, execute them. the president has put a target on this person's back. is there a way to get the necessary information and make sure whistleblower number one and potentially number two, are actually protected? >> that's a great question. i think this has put a more significant burden on the investigating committees of the house of representatives to bend over backwards in whatever arrangements they are making to speak to the whistleblower or learn about the complaint to do
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so in a way that protects the information. that's one o the reasons why myself and our colleagues put our name to this letter. shouldn't have to do this. it should self-evident to all. if nothing else, it will put in the public domain, the idea that acting against the interests of the whistler now should be viewed as an unpatriotic act. >> thank you for join iing me. a former national security official in the united states. he served in the last three administrations include uing under president trump. i want to bring in eric. a partner of san francisco whistleblower law firm can stan teen canon. give me your thoughts on this. there's been some sense of there being a primary whistleblower. the first who had secondary information and now another whistleblower who has firsthand information. i feel like this whole substitution is going down the wrong track because the first said something wrong happened. you all should investigate it. then we had all sort of people saying well, second hand
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information, admissible in court. that's not the point. z >> that's right. they don't necessarily give you admissible evidence in court. they give you a road map and they point to other people who have firsthand information. and i have to say that senator graham's remarks and the presidents are, that's chapter one page one of the play book that's use d by corporate defendants to fight against whistle blowers. >> i want to stop you there because we don't discuss that enough. we have endless examples of people being better off and safer because of corporate whistle blowers who tell us what the tobacco industry knew, what the oil industry knew, what the pharmaceutical industry knew and opioid makers knew and if not for these people, we would be in the dark. >> that's absolutely right and in that context, the federal government has collected $60 billion from whistleblower tips
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and cases that have been brought in the corporate side. on the national security side, we rely on them to shine a light into the darkness, into the corners that the rest of us would otherwise never see. so to attack the credibility of the whistleblower is just to distract from the only relevant question, which is not is he or she credible. the question is is the evidence they are pointing you to, the texts we're now seeing, the people's testimony who were in the room. is that credible. >> not with standing the fact all sorts of people have been convicted on the basis of testimony from people who aren't crede bable because they're able to point investigators towards facts that stand up in a court of law or in this case, an impeachment. the disinformation campaign that is being led by the president and his allies is is irrelevant to the way a whistleblower complaint should be handled. >> right. the antithesis of the way a
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whistleblower complaint should be handled. the only ones who make the arguments we're now heari ining president and senator are the ones accused by the whistleblower and they're looking for a way to discredit the evidence by discrediting the messager. in the corporate context, it doesn't work. we have professionals who see through those tactics and the same should be true here. we should not be distracted by looking at the shiny object over there. the whistleblower's party affiliation or motivations for coming forward. the fact is he's pointed us to evidence. the focus should be on the evidence. >> eric, thanks for joining me. coming up, kowtowing to china. that's what both republicans and democratic lawmakers are alleging against the nba after the league called a tweet from a houston rockets executive who backed protests in hong kong
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regrettable. as one republican congressman puts it in response, the nba issued a statement saying money is the most important thing. we're going to get into what's sparking the outrage in congress. plus, 2020 democratic candidate has seen a steady climb in the polls, but there's one group she's strugging to attract. that group could be key. you are watching msnbc. e watchic or other child. or their new friend. or your giant nephews and their giant dad. or a horse. or a horse's brother, for that matter. the room for eight, 9,000 lb towing ford expedition. "fine. no one leaves the table "fine! we'll sleep here."."
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another republican senator criticizing -- to help democratic opponent. joe biden, that is, but this senator is stopping short of calling for impeachment. while explicitly saying that the issue at hand is not an impeachable offense, ohio republican senator rob portman reportedly told the columbus dispatch quote the president should not have raised the biden issue on that call, period. it's not appropriate for a president to engage a foreign government in an investigation of a political opponent. the paper goes on to quote portman saying that if bipartisan groups such as the senate intelligence committee could investigate the allegations surrounding trump, including alsos that the fbi was politicize d in 2016. now to the 2020 race. senator warren is rising in several national polls. one group has yet to rally around her in large numbers and that's african-american voters. as "the new york times" points out, quote, african-americans
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were critical the hillary clinton, barack obama and bill clinton winning come ppetitive primary contests and capturing the no, ma'am nax. like those earlier candidates, she faces multiple rivals who may splinter the electorate this winter and running up the vote margin in black areas could deliver troves of delegates needed for the delegation. joining me now is al sharpton who was quoted in that "new york times" piece. also the host of politics nation which airs on weekends eat 5:00 p.m. eastern here on b msnbc. rev, good to see you. >> good to be here. >> there are a few candidates in the race who have appealed to african-american voters. couple of them are african-american. joe biden has great support mens african-americmongst african-am part because of his affiliation with barack obama and others have come out with specific formulas and policy per scriptives that would be beneficial to african-americans.
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where do you place warren in this? >> she has some very good policies that would appeal. i think african-americans nationally were not as familiar with her and she has been actively campaigning. i would even say aggressively campaigning, in african-american communities and we can see from the quinnipiac poll she went from 9% black voters to 19% so it's beginning to work. i can say she is one of the few candidates i've seen in the years i've been out here that actually reaches and touches you. she stays in touch. she'll call me and ask for advice. never ask for support. and her policies and substance is good. the question is getting it out there and getting it to really resognate in our, in the african-american communities, which i think she's beginning to do. but make no mistake b about it, the driving force and i'm
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talking as one that heads a sh national organization and does television and radio every day, the driving force is to get rid of donald trump and if she does well in iowa and new hampshire and the electability question is no longer there with biden, i think many african-americans would go with her because her policy is not offensive and her background. with bill clinton, we had questions ab tbt capital punishment of a guy in arkansas. we don't have anything we hold against her and it could be all uphill for her if this happens to go that way. >> put up a fox poll that talks about south carolina. this is important and not everybody, sometimes we have to remind our viewers that south carolina is really the first big test of african-american support. look at joe biden. he's at 41% amongst, in south carolina. up six points. warren's got a bigger gain. she's up sempb. got the biggest gain amongst leaders, but 41 to 12 to bernie
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sanders' ten to harris' four to cory booker's three. >> i think joe biden certainly we've known him for years. he was president obama's vice president. he was loyal. he took a lot of hits for the president and no one is r more popular in america probably the world, but certainly in black america and america then barack obama. the question becomes did his biggest appeal is i'm the one that can beat donald trump. if he does not win iowa or new hampshire, that argument becomes something else and if mr. biden then doesn't have electability and warren does i think you'll see it rising even more for elizabeth warren. what is interesting about that poll is the 7% increase she has because it shows that she is beginning to move that way. i've seen her. she fospoke at national network convention last year and this year. she got among the best responses
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and i was one that would say i don't know how she's going to do with that crowd because we have thousands of activists from around the country. she had a standing ovation and even more so in '91 so i would not count out that as much as i question polls, that these are right. she's going up, but i al dismisharris and others being underpolled. >> thank you. president of the national action network and host of politics nation here on msnbc. the wide world of sports getting embroil ed with politics today. the nba taking a loft heat for a tweet about china. we're going to explain next. you're watching msnbc. in next. u're watching msnbc. oh! ♪ ozempic®! ♪ (announcer) people with type 2 diabetes are excited about the potential of once-weekly ozempic®. in a study with ozempic®, a majority of adults lowered their blood sugar and reached an a1c of less than 7 and maintained it. oh! under 7? (announcer) and you may lose weight. in the same one-year study, adults lost on average up to 12 pounds. oh! up to 12 pounds? (announcer) a two-year study showed that ozempic® does not
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ask your doctor if it's time for xarelto®. to learn more about cost and how janssen can help, visit xarelto.com. break news. congressional sources tell nbc that two business associates of donald trump's personal lawyer rudy giuliani have refused to agree to testify or to turn over relevant documents requested by the house committees. joining me now on capitol hill is msnbc's garrett haake. garrett, what do we have? >> reporter: ali, the golden age of letter-writing continues here on capitol hill. here we have a letter from john dowd, the attorney representing these two men saying that, yes, as we have already sort of presumed by the fact that they
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have not been seen showing up here on the hill today that they will not be complying with a request to show up and provide testimony. nor will they be handing over documents which dowd calls an unduly broad and burdensome request made of these associates of rudy giuliani. now for people keeping score at home, you may remember the name john dowd was of course one of the white house lawyers for president trump early in the robert mueller saga appearing again here in his capacity as representing these two men who had worked with giuliani in ukraine. dowd's letter goes further and says that because he was working as an attorney here and because they were working with giuliani in his capacity as an attorney, there's all sorts of layers of privilege here that will be asserted over time. dowd essentially argues that he needs more time to work with these clients, potentially produce documents. but so far not helpful, not participating. congressional sources tell us the next step on their end could be a subpoena here in the ongoing back and forth about
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trying to get more information out of all of these players in the ukraine drama. >> okay. so i'm going to ask you the next question as if my colleague stephanie ruhle were sitting next to me because she is. in the golden age of letter-writing and asking people to do things, most people connected to the white house, donald trump, in this case rudy giuliani, have exactly the same answer to those letters. they take the letter, they read it, and then they do this, and they throw it away. what happens? >> reporter: well, if there's a subpoena this becomes potentially more complicated. these men could be held in contempt of congress. frankly for private citizens this is always a little bit more difficult than it is for an administrative official. it becomes burdensome for private citizens rather to continue to fight this. as it relates to the impeachment inquiry, here's the difference as well. in the past democrats have tried to go to the court to go back and forth through a judicial process to compel testimony or a document production in these cases. here you've got adam schiff who's been leading this inquiry,
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say, if they're going to say no to subpoenas we're just going to use that as data towards an obstruction charge essentially an obstruction article of impeachment. democrats are tired of playing footsie with folks who do not want to comply with congressional subpoenas and now they're just saying your lack of compliance is evidence that you are obstructing. it changes the game slightly and puts, you could argue, more pressure on the white house to make a decision. do you not comply and risk further obstruction, or do you comply and let folks testify who might provide damning evidence. >> garrett, thank you for your explanation and your reporting. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are actually joining together on something. they are calling out the nba and criticizing the organization for backing the communist regime in china. now this started when houston rockets general manager daryl morey posted a now deleted tweet on friday saying, quite, fight for freedom, stand with hong kong. not the world's most controversial tweet. he then posted this
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clarification. quote, i did not intend for my tweet to cause any offense to rockets fans and friends of mine in china. i was merely voicing one thought based on one interpretation of one complicated event. the nba released a statement we recognize the views expressed by houston rockets general manager daryl morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in china which is regrettable. his tweet does not represent the rockets or the nba, the values of the leagues supporting individuals educating themselves and sharing their views are matters important to them. what is everybody bending over backwards to make sure china's maybe? stephanie ruhle has some insights into this. she is my colleague on "velshi and ruhle." standing with hong kong is not a wildly political statement. it's talking about freedom. >> it's also not an official statement. it's not an official statement from the nba, not from a team. it's from the gm from a team.
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that team happens to be the houston rockets that has huge sponsorship from chinese companies yao ming a retired nba player played for the houston rockets. but think of how this has now been set like wildfire that one individual who works for a team puts out a tweet like that and china reacts this dramatically. this is a window into how china operates. and now adam silver, the commissioner of the nba did come out and say -- >> he's actually been much more measured than the nba about this. >> well, adam has come out and said we support freedom of speech. you know, he can say whatever he wants to say. but adam himself has gotten a lot of backlash saying so is the nba now standing with communist china? this is where it gets tricky, ali. in 2019 brands and companies that we use that we know that we love, we have now decided because so many of them have weighed in, we now want companies to weigh in on social
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issues. >> so i'm going to go out on a limb here. i bet you our parent company has dealings in china, as every major company does, right? i'm going to go out on a limb that our reporting suggests that the chinese efforts to suppress expression in hong kong are misguided. that's not a weirdly political thing, right? >> no. >> i don't represent comcast or nbi when i say that. i represent 25 years of journalism that says when you are shooting and gassing people who are asking for basic freedoms, that seems misguided and bad government policy. >> and that's what this man may have thought when he sent out that tweet. he obviously didn't think that they were going to be losing massive business opportunities that would then hurt his team, his league. but then one says, well, where does speaking for freedoms and democracies start or end and where does business begin? now we have seen politicians in the last 24 hours on both sides weigh in and condemn the nba
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saying, you know, we need to talk about this, rick scott, former governor of florida now a u.s. senator says he wants to sit down and talk to adam silver. but that then begs the question who wants to sit down and talk to president trump. >> who has been largely silent on this. >> cnn reported back in june that when the president had a private call with xi jinping he said if you continue to have trade talks with us, ie, do business, i won't talk too much about the hong kong situation. >> the president basically said i hope you all work it out. >> your problem, not ours i hope you work it out. but this is a more complicated situation that you can't just say i stand for democracy. well, it seems like today it's a lot more dicey than that. >> it's kind of a remarkable story for that. thank you for coming back. >> do you think the president is going to weigh in on this? >> we shall see. i'm 100% wrong when i think the president's going to do anything. i am just going to keep on going with my record. you can always watch stephanie and me at 1:00 p.m. eastern
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every day. i'm going to see you right back here tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. eastern with stephanie ruhle. tune in msnbc.com/now. and you can always find me on social media, twitter, facebook, instagram, snapchat and linkedin. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace begins right now. ♪ hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in washington, d.c. where the president today finds himself cornered by twin political calamities of his own making with the impeachment inquiry yielding the kind of evidence that turns the president's defenders into baghdad bobs. the president opened up a new front today throwing a grenade into his senate republican firewall by abandoning u.s. allies in syria, a move sure to strengthen adversaries like iran, russia and assad in syria. two officials tell me today that donald trump is effecti

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