Skip to main content

tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  February 19, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PST

9:00 am
"today." "andrea mitchell reports" starts right now live from the las vegas strip. >> and right now on a special edition of "andrea mitchell reports," live from las vegas. fight night in the ring for the first time, bloomberg versus bernie and the rest of the pack after the billionaire and sanders trade punches all week and the vermont senator opens a double-digit lead in three national polls. >> anybody here worth $60 billion, you can run for president. my friends, that is called oligarchy, not democracy. >> pardon the interruption, president trump throws a pardon party with a who's who of swamp dwellers including former illinois governor rod blagojevich. >> i want to express my most profound and ever lasting gratitude to president trump. he's got a big fan in me. if you're asking me what my
9:01 am
party affiliation is, i'm a trump-crat. >> nbc news has learned that william barr considered quitting over the president's tweet but is that a head fake to save his reputation. >> i do make his job harder, i think that's true. the attorney general is a man with incredible integrity. ♪ and good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell where what happens in vegas could change the direction for the 2020 campaign. mike bloomberg's first appearance on the debate stage tonight with bernie sanders expected to lead the charge in going after the former mayor's policies and comments. bloomberg who just qualified for the debate will be standing stage left, but he'll be the center of attention in tonight's political battle taking heat from all the other candidates
9:02 am
ahead of his first debate action in more than a decade. all the focus on bloomberg overshadowing the new reality in this race, the strength of a clear front-runner, bernie sanders. our new nbc news poll is one of three national polls showing senator sanders with a double-digit lead with plenty of delegate-rich states on the calendar ahead. our poll shows bloomberg surging to third place and joe biden fading. joining me now, annie linskey and coanchor of saturday today kristen welker. it's a noisy day in las vegas. >> sure is. >> first of all, i want to show what mike memoli just broke in the 11:00 hour which is a new joe biden digital ad. there's been a lot of angst in
9:03 am
obama world. the two of them had an edgy relationship. they worked together on things like superstorm sandy, but -- and on guns, but not on a lot of other issues. and so here's the new biden digital ad that's debuting today. at least part of it. ♪ >> the health care bill that does nothing to fix the big disgrace. ♪ >> i would argue that today we are more segregated in america, certainly, than we were in terms of race, than we were a dozen
9:04 am
years ago. why during the obama administration didn't we pull together? ask the president. that's his job, really, to pull people together. >> now, joe biden has a real hill to climb tonight. he obviously placed very badly in iowa and new hampshire. he can't keep talking about the fire wall in south carolina when he's got to prove himself, come in second at least here in nevada, and he has super tuesday ahead. kristen, how do you see it shaping up with these polls showing a bloomberg surge and bernie sanders cementing his place as front-runner. >> i think you set the stage, andrea, there are going to be fireworks tonight and the biden campaign is signaling that he is going to come out swinging tonight with that new digital ad that they're releasing. he's going to make the case based on this ad that, look, i'm the one who worked with former president obama, i'm the one who shares the obama legacy and will
9:05 am
likely accuse him of trying to falsely appropriate that. and remember how late it took bloomberg to endorse former president obama in 2012. those are among the things you're going to hear from former vice president joe biden because he knows that tonight is a critical test, it's critical to him trying to revive his campaign. there's going to be a focus on michael bloomberg but there's also going to be a focus, andrea, on the front-runner, senator sanders. expect biden and the other candidates to take aim at him as well. i interviewed pete buttigieg yesterday, and he signaled that those are going to be the two targets tonight. he said that bloomberg was a billionaire who's trying to buy this election and sanders has cast himself as a revolutionary. so those are the among the types of attacks you're going to see. we moderated a debate back in atlanta several months ago. i think tonight the gloves are going to come off. >> in fact, what we're beginning to see, and this is something
9:06 am
that the bloomberg campaign is talking about openly to democratic leaders, members of the house and senate, governors is this is a two-person race, especially going into california and the 13 other super tuesday states where people like klobuchar and buttigieg may not have the money to sustain a nationwide campaign. bernie has unlimited on line contributions. is it a two-person race and does that -- >> look, i think mike bloomberg would love for it to be a two-person race and senator sanders would love it to be a two-person race. it's not. many of the other campaigns, senator warren's campaign, for example, and the others that you mentioned, are counting on this still to be a little bit of a muddle and we don't know, right, we don't know how voters are going to react as mike bloomberg's faces the scrutiny that other candidates have had.
9:07 am
i think what is striking about that ad that you just showed is it's a digital-only ad and they're fighting the mammoth $300 million that bloomberg can put in. but there are people who are going to feel uncomfortable with a billionaire buying his way into the presidency, into this race, and he's going to get attacked from -- he's going to be treated as a front-runner tonight. we're going to see him attacked not only from senator sanders, i was talking to one of warren's allies last evening, and he was saying, yeah, we're getting ready for this night. >> to that point, he's going to get the front-runner treatment, andrea, and he has a record that's going to get scrutinized particularly when it comes to his time as new york city's mayor, his policies when it comes to expanding stop-and-frisk. he's apologized for those policies but expect a pilon.
9:08 am
that's all going to be at the forefront. bloomberg is not going to be competing here, but there are going to be big questions about super tuesday as well. speaking of mike bloomberg, joining us know is kevin sheekey, mike bloomberg's campaign manager. kevin, what about the reactions from the other candidates, the challenge that you're expecting from bernie sanders and the rest of them piling on your candidate tonight who's not debated since professional politician and obviously he hasn't been doing this for the last 30 years of his life. he chose to run to help new york city recover from 9/11. he won in 2001 and won two more times. he participated in debates in all of those elections. but i think i'm going to have to disagree with the folks that you had on before. the math is simple. it really is down -- i think
9:09 am
bernie sanders campaign to lose and mike's to win. there isn't math for anyone else in this race at this point. i think bernie sanders has figured that out, which i think has led to the onslaught of attacks that we see from him and i think president trump has figured that out which is why you saw president trump yesterday talking about how sorry he felt for bernie sanders and how democrats are treating him badly. the president is trying to put his finger on the scales this week and get involved in yet another election. listen, i also don't want to overstate this, tonight is not a battle. tonight is about candidates making their case to decide who will defeat donald trump. if every candidate enters this debate tonight thinking about how we can tear each other part, we will do everything we can to elect donald trump. mike bloomberg got into this campaign to defeat president trump and at some point the other candidates are going to have to focus on that. >> of course the other candidates right now are focused on coming up with clips from his
9:10 am
background, some edited out of context which show him in bad light. one of them has just come out about transgender people from something that he said quite a while ago. let me play that and get your reaction. >> if you go to the middle of the country, people would say, if your conversation during a presidential election is about some guy wearing a dress and whether he, she or it can go to -- and go to the locker room with their daughter, that's not a winning formula for most people. >> that was from march of 2019. i should clarify, the human rights campaign has responded saying we expect all proequality candidates including mayor bloomberg to create policy solutions to end the epidemic of violence our community faces, not just the same talking points our opponents use to dehumanize transgender people and justify their own hateful beliefs.
9:11 am
they're not he, she or it, they're women. >> i agree with the statement that they put out. mike has fought for the rights of transgender people through three different terms. mike performed the first gay marriage in new york and fought for marriage in new york state which would not have happened without mike's leadership. mike was also talking about the difficulty of how you talk about this around the nation and how it's been used by others to sway elections. if you look at mike's record which is stronger than anyone else on that stage tonight around what he's done for transgender people, it is simply stronger than anyone else there. i would have a hard time pointing to anyone else on that stage who has done anything to stand up for that like mike has in new york. >> i want to play one of your digital ads, a new ad which shows people whom you've interviewed who say they are switching from other candidates
9:12 am
to mike bloomberg, let's watch. >> my name is mike. >> my name is jeff. >> angie. >> i was a complete biden person. >> i have been a bernie supporter. >> initially amy klobuchar, then mayor pete. >> i had always been a bernie sanders supporter. >> now i'm inspired because mike bloomberg has entered the race and with it comes a lot of wisdom about what it takes to bring people together. >> kevin, as you are describing this as a two-person race and showing that people are converting to mike bloomberg and there's been a dropoff in support for joe biden including african-american support importantly, what do you do about the impression which will create a new battleground that this is a stop bernie movement? when you're saying if he gets
9:13 am
35, 40% in california, he'll be unbeatable, he'll come out of california with 200 delegates. he won't be able to be stopped. doesn't that make you the enemy of the bernie bros and are you asking for trouble, frankly? >> listen, i think, you know, we know in many ways we are the enemy of the bernie bros. but even the bernie campaign. his national spokesperson said this morning that mike bloomberg had had a heart attack. that's a lie. in fact, bernie sanders had a heart attack in las vegas. they're going to employ the types of techniques that the trump campaign has used. i think this party has a crisis in front of us which is how we defeat donald trump. the party needs to think about how we unify behind a nominee who can defeat that president. and, you know, as people once say it's going to get very -- you know, very early very
9:14 am
quickly. i do think that this campaign is going to take a turn on march 3rd on super tuesday and my hope is is that we can get together to find a nominee who can ultimately go forward and actually win this campaign. hey, guys. i've lost this. i'm back. >> i think -- kevin, i think maybe -- i'm sorry about the -- i think we have you now. in our new -- in our new "wall street journal" poll, joe biden is stronger than mike bloomberg head to head against donald trump. >> well, listen, i think -- i have respect for the former vice president. i happen to know him personally. he's one of the most decent public servants i know. i don't think you come in fourth in iowa and go on to be the national nominee. our history since 1976 doesn't show it and the polling in this primary doesn't show it.
9:15 am
it shows that mike bloomberg is now in second place of a bernie sanders. it also shows that senator sanders is racing ahead in states like florida which could be dispositive. as i think you said earlier in the broadcast, it's a two-way race at this point. things could change and perhaps we don't see, but it's not going to change the delegate math. it will make the first case more evident in the future than it is already to me today. i think the debate tonight is going to be very important, but i think the next few weeks are going to decide not only the future of the democratic party but the future of the party. >> how are you preparing him for this debate tonight? >> well, listen, mike is studious, if not anything else. he has taken some time aside over the last two days to prepare for the debate. as i mentioned, he's not a profession profession professional politician like most. he can be blunt. he is someone with a record of doing things and i think he will
9:16 am
talk about that record and compare it to the other folks on stage. >> and one other quick question, you put out that he will release his tax returns and put his business in a blind trust and sell it if he's elected. the tax returns, when would you release the tax returns? >> the forms come next, i think that comes in a week or so and taxes would be released after that. but certainly we expect to both comply with what's required from the fec and to release his tax returns as well. >> one of the things we've heard is that howard wolfson has been playing bernie sanders in debate prep and has used some puppet characters. >> i feel like it's howard playing larry david playing bernie sanders and we'll see what happens tonight. >> that's an "snl" skit i would love to watch too.
9:17 am
thanks very much. good luck to you tonight. >> thank you. coming up, friends in low places. president trump pardoning and commuting the sentences of former nypd commissioner bernard kerik and rob blagojevich who is about to speak to the press. senator bernie sanders surges nationally. will he be unstoppable after super tuesday. jeff weaver joining us right here in las vegas ahead on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. i like liberty mutual. they get that no two people are alike and customize your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. what do you think? i don't see it. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ a clear plan for retirement to help cover the essentials, as well as all the things you want to do. because when you have a retirement partner who gives you clarity at every step,
9:18 am
there's nothing to stop you from moving forward. leadership that makes a difference.ep, vo: a great president and an effective mayor. obama: he's been a leader throughout the country for the past twelve years, mr. michael bloomberg is here. vo: together they worked to combat gun violence, and again to improve education for every child. obama: i want to thank the mayor of this great mayor bloomberg, for his extraordinary leadership. i share your determination to bring this country together to finally make progress for the american people.
9:19 am
bloomberg: i'm mike bloomberg, and i approve this message. that's why xfinity mobile lets you design your own data. you can share 1, 3, or 10 gigs of data between lines, mix in lines of unlimited, and switch it up at any time. all with millions of secure wifi hotspots and the best lte everywhere else. it's a different kind of wireless network, designed to save you money. switch and save up to $400 a year on your wireless bill. and save even more when you say "bring my own phone" into your voice remote.
9:20 am
that's simple, easy, awesome. click, call or visit a store today.
9:21 am
welcome back to las vegas. disgraced former illinois governor rod blagojevich freed from prison tuesday night after the president commuted his sentence. one of 11 people granted clemency by president trump who campaigned on a promise to drain the swamp. it includes a close friend of
9:22 am
rudy giuliani, bernard kerik who was proposed for homeland security secretary before he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and making false statement served t before being released in 2013. joining me now, peter baker, chief white house correspondent for the "new york times" and jonathan lemire. peter baker, first to you. bernard kerik, such close connections, he was even in business with rudy giuliani in recent years. let's talk about that and how he gets to the president and why he got to the president for this pardon. >> right, i think that's one of the things you see is the commonality of most of these recipients yesterday is they had a connection to the president, one way or the other, they had an in. and the in for bernard kerik was rudy giuliani. rudy giuliani is also the one
9:23 am
who got him appointed or nominated at one point to prosecute bush's cabinet until the vetting process came along and determined that he wasn't appropriate. he had to back out because of some ties to unsavory business characters. that didn't stop him from being, you know, on president trump's list for clemency when the time came and one of the things that certainly helped him aside from his friendship with rudy giuliani is his own advocacy for president trump on fox. he's been a regular come me commentator on behalf of the president. >> there's been speculation by some of our legal experts that this is a multipart play. this is a signal to roger stone, stick with me from the white house, you might get a pardon too. don't start cooperating, don't get desperate. i've got your back. it's a signal that he has this
9:24 am
power and it's something that the president loves. it's unrestricted power to pardon even though he, unlike previous presidents, most of them at least, is not going through the traditional justice department procedure. what's your take on it? >> well, there are a few things at play here, some of these individuals were advocated on fox news by hosts there or spent time on fox news defending the president. of course we know how much that gets president trump's attention. a few of them, not quite the household names on the list were proposed by a group who was freed from prison last year. it was even featured in one of his super bowl ads. and i think there's some concern in trump world that that is a good play, that that's a nice outreach to african-american voters. it touts a bipartisanship and he steps on it by advocating, you
9:25 am
know -- pardoning or granting clemency to those like rod blagojevich and others like bernard kerik who were more of the fox news crowd. but there's no question here, the undercurrent is a signal. the president has not said one way or the other whether he would pardon roger stone, paul manafort, michael flynn. flynn's lawyer was one of those who pushed for kerik to receive clemency. this is something that the president is dangling there. he's sending a signal, stay loyal, i could have your back. it might not be until after the election, but it's something he's willing to do. >> and, peter baker, is it any signal briefly to roger stone who is getting sentenced tomorrow? >> yeah, he is. and the judge in that case has decided to go ahead with that sentencing despite the request for a new trial, despite the president's demand on twitter for a new trial. even the justice department opposes that. as jonathan said, roger stone
9:26 am
has to be looking at these pardons and thinking maybe there's one for me in this at some point down the road. >> thanks both to you. and coming up, slash and burn, hours ahead of tonight's debate, bernie sanders skyrockets to the top of the polls. jeff weaver joining us live next right here in las vegas. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. - [spokeswoman] meet the ninja foodi pressure cooker, the best of pressure cooking and air frying now in one pot, and with tendercrisp technology, you can cook foods that are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. the ninja foodi pressure cooker, the pressure cooker that crisps. but maybe not for people with rheumatoid arthritis. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr, a once-daily pill for adults with moderate
9:27 am
to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well enough. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz can lower your ability to fight infections like tb; don't start xeljanz if you have an infection. taking a higher than recommended dose of xeljanz for ra can increase risk of death. serious, sometimes fatal infections, cancers including lymphoma, and blood clots have happened. as have tears in the stomach or intestines, serious allergic reactions, and changes in lab results. tell your doctor if you've been somewhere fungal infections are common, or if you've had tb, hepatitis b or c, or are prone to infections. needles. fine for some. but for you, one pill a day may provide symptom relief. ask your doctor about xeljanz xr. an "unjection™". woi felt completely helpless.hed online. my entire career and business were in jeopardy. i called reputation defender.
9:28 am
vo: take control of your online reputation. get your free reputation report card at reputationdefender.com. find out your online reputation today and let the experts help you repair it. woman: they were able to restore my good name. vo: visit reputationdefender.com or call 1-877-866-8555. with time, comes change that's for sure... and when those changes might help more people, especially those in retirement, i think it's worth talking about! so, aag is introducing a new jumbo reverse mortgage loan so you can now access as much as $4 million dollars in cash, tax free, from your home's equity.
9:29 am
aag's new jumbo reverse mortgage loan can give you more tax-free cash than ever before. if you've had your home for a while, it's probably worth a lot more today. so why not use that appreciation for anything you need maybe it's some home repairs, or updates to make it more comfortable so you can stay in the place you love. it's a viable effective way to support your other investments long into the future, and another way aag is working to make your retireme... better. don't wait. get your info kit now!
9:30 am
welcome back. bernie sanders is on a roll surging ahead of the competition with double-digit leads in three new national polls and another poll from california. but former mayor mike bloomberg is hot on his heels before tonight's debate which is shaping up to be a showdown between a democratic socialist and a billionaire. there are troubling signs for sanders, though, among the most unpopular qualities in a candidate, democratic primary voters point to socialism, a candidate who's had a heart attack in the past year, and a candidate who is over the age of 75. check. joining me now, senior adviser to the bernie sanders campaign, jeff weaver. it's good to see you. it's great to be out here in las
9:31 am
vegas. >> a beautiful day. >> ahead of a big night. what about those caveats? you have a candidate who's surging. there's no question that he's cementing his position as the front-runner, post the debated, disputed results in iowa and a victory in new hampshire, but a smaller victory than you might have liked. he's been coming up in all of these new polls nationally. what are your concerns, though, as voters do express some concerns about an older candidate and about the label of socialism? >> michael bloomberg is an older candidate as you know. let's be clear, when this conversation turns to issues of social security, mike bloomberg proposed cutting social security, proposed cutting medicare, cutting medicaid, called farmers a folks who don't have a lot of gray matter. when those issues get in front of the voters, any concerns they have about senator sanders will be overridden about their concerns for michael bloomberg.
9:32 am
>> the farmers comment was back in 2009, i think, and he was talking about the evolution of the economy going -- >> he said teach anybody to be a farmer, dig a hole -- >> a little bit out of cut. in any case, there's a lot of stuff out there. he was a businessman, a wall streeter talking in different areas and not being a politician. yet, if he turns out to be the strongest candidate against donald trump, would you back him? >> sure, we're going to back whoever is the nominee of the democratic party. let's be clear, when folks look at the stage tonight, michael bloomberg will be the weakest candidate against donald trump. if you look at the film, donald trump is a great guy, donald trump is my friend, they compliment each other on their golf game. michael bloomberg will have a difficult time going into wisconsin, michigan and pennsylvania and explains about
9:33 am
why he cares about working people and how he's different from donald trump. you have two wealthy new york businessmen turned politician, how are they different? we need somebody who can contrast with donald trump, stood with working people for decades, that person is bernie sanders. >> you mentioned wisconsin, michigan and pennsylvania, in our "wall street journal" poll out just last night in the battleground states, those states, joe biden is stronger than bernie sanders against donald trump. >> look, i think all the polling has shown that bernie sanders beats donald trump nationally and in those states and it's important for folks to know in the general election, the democratic candidates in wisconsin and michigan wanted bernie sanders there during the general election because they know how popular he is with general election voters in those states. >> what is the game plan tonight? is it to beat up on mike bloomberg? is that the scenario that -- >> no. you're making me laugh, andrea. it's not about beating up anybody.
9:34 am
this is what people deserve. people deserve a contrast on the issues. mike bloomberg has a record. are you suggesting he was speaking honestly before and not now, he's walking away from everything he has done in the past, stop-and-frisk, et cetera who's going to stand up for seniors on social security, medicare, medicaid, fair taxation. who is that candidate? that candidate is bernie sanders. >> isn't bloomberg's record on guns better and more progressive than bernie sanders going back to his record when he was a house member. >> he has a long record of supporting commonsense gun legislation. you know, supports background checks, supports increasing penalties on strawmen purchasers. bernie sanders has a strong record on gun control. mike bloomberg has spent more money on gun control, but he's spent a lot more money on a lot of things because he has more money. >> what's your response to the comments that bernie sanders has
9:35 am
not fully disassociated himself, reined in the bernie bros, the vicious comments online and i heard senator sanders saying, well, you can't be sure, there are bots that could be coming from other people. but these are traceable comments to people supporting bernie sanders. some on your high people on your staff calling bloomberg an oligarch but going after members of the culinary movement and others who failed to endorse him out here. >> look, there are people online who behave in an offensive manner. bernie sanders has spoken out and told them he does not want us to be part of his movement. mike bloomberg is an oligarch, to be clear. let's put it this way, joe biden and mike bloomberg, they would rather talk about rude people on line than talk about their record. those people on line aren't running for president. let's talk about what those people are going to do for the american people rather than this distraction. they don't want to talk about
9:36 am
their records. for social security, they've been advocated for cutting social security. >> can you win out here without the culinary union support? do you expect to place number one here? >> look, you know, we're fighting very hard here. we're fighting to win. you know, we have been in many places where we don't have institutional support but we have rank-and-file support. a lot of states that bernie sanders won last time he didn't have an official endorse him and he won. he speaks to people at the grass root and is they respond. >> good luck to you guys on the debate stage tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. and right now in chicago, rod blagojevich, the former governor of illinois, is speaking outside his home where he is thanking president trump for commuting his prison sentence. four years before he was set to be released. he was convicted on corruption charges in 2011 after trying to sell barack obama's vacated u.s. senate seat. he called president trump a problem solver. coming up next, tweet
9:37 am
justice? is the president's use of twitter really a problem for the attorney general? you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." we are live in las vegas ahead of the debate, only on msnbc. brt has something for every lobster fan like wild caught lobster, butter poached, creamy and roasted. or try lobster sautéed with crab, shrimp and more. so hurry in and let's lobsterfest. or get it to go at red lobster dot com
9:38 am
i've always been faand still going for my best, even though i live with a higher risk of stroke
9:39 am
due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin... i want that too. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis is fda-approved and has both. what's next? reeling in a nice one. don't stop taking eliquis unless your doctor tells you to, as stopping increases your risk of having a stroke. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily and it may take longer than usual for any bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. eliquis, the number one cardiologist-prescribed blood thinner. ask your doctor if eliquis is what's next for you. the best of pressure cooking and air frying now in one pot, and with tendercrisp technology,
9:40 am
you can cook foods that are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. the ninja foodi pressure cooker, the pressure cooker that crisps.
9:41 am
just days after saying that president trump's tweets kept him from doing his job, attorney general william barr telling people close to the president that he considered resigning over the president's continued messages on twitter about the justice department and current criminal cases. according to an administration official. but a justice department spokeswoman tells pete williams that the attorney general has no plans to resign before heading out west to arizona yesterday, president trump raised the stakes saying he has the power to tell the justice department what to do. >> i'm allowed to be totally involved. i'm actually, i guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country. >> joining me now from
9:42 am
washington, pete williams and jeremy bash and former general counsel at the house intelligence committee. what is the situation with william barr as best as you can ascertain it. was this barr putting out the word that he is disturbed by the president's interference, perhaps, worried about his own legacy and the criticism from the judiciary or is this really william barr agonizing over the president's comments about ongoing criminal cases? >> both, andrea. i think it was an effort to make the message clear to the white house that this is really disturbing to the attorney general, that the president needs to knock this off. at the same time i think the justice department and the attorney general realize the president has been open about saying he's not going to stop. today, the president did retweet a lot of critical messages about the mueller investigation, a familiar theme that he's come back to over and over again and
9:43 am
the prosecution of michael flynn, but he did seem to restrain himself a little bit today in terms of attacking the judge who will sentence roger stone on thursday. he had tweeted tuesday morning about that and i think that is something that really got under the attorney general's skin. so i think it's both. i think there was a point where he really thought maybe he should step down. but i think more than anything, this message to the white house was intended to say, look, he really needs to stop doing this because it's harmful to the justice department. but at the same time i think doj realizes that he's probably not going to stop. >> it seems to me, jeremy bash, that if he wanted to send a message to the white house, he is one of the two cabinet members who are closest to the president, the other being mike pompeo, and have not pushed back at all on policies. why can't he say you have to
9:44 am
restrain you're on twitter? >> it's only in part because he's been enabled by people like bill barr. if bill barr is concerned about it, he has only himself to blame. the president has used the criminal justice system as a political shield, potentially to shield his political cronies. he's weighing in in the roger stone's case. if the president can use politics and the criminal justice system as a shield, he might use it as a political sword. this is what i think we have to worry about over the next coming months and if the president is re-elected. what i mean by using it as a political sword is going after his rivals in the mode of lock her up and also using the justice department to engage in inappropriate or sham investigations of people like joe biden. and i guarantee you, andrea, that no matter who emerges from the process that you're covering out there in las vegas, no
9:45 am
matter who emerges, that person will find themselves subject to some trump criminal justice probe. that's the way the president views the department of justice now, that's how he thinks it ought to be used in our country. >> you know, to both of you, pete, it's very clear to those of us covering this campaign that for all of the other problems with joe biden's candidacy, the impact of the continual hammering against biden and his son hunter has had an effect and it really has even emotionally really stifled his campaign, even though he started off much stronger. >> i'm sure that's true, andrea. in terms of politicizing the justice department, it is interesting that the same week that the attorney general urged the president to knock it off on the tweets, the justice department also announced that it would not prosecutor andrew mccabe who has been something of
9:46 am
a for the president because of his involvement in the hillary clinton email investigation and the russian meddling information. if the justice department was intent on prosecuting the president's political enemies, that might have come out differently. so that's -- i think that's been somewhat reassuring to people that the justice department decided not to prosecute mccabe. >> andrea, if i could -- >> sure. >> it's not reassuring that the president doesn't prosecute people against whom there's no case. i think what's going on at the justice department is indeed very concerning. >> this is going to be continuing. it certainly is not going to be resolved very easily. it could very well be an issue on the debate stage tonight. jeremy bash, pete williams, thank you both. the gamblers, what is the strategy tonight for anyone not named bernie or mike bloomberg? we'll talk about that coming up next. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" live from las vegas. introducing even more value from fidelity.
9:47 am
fidelity now has zero commissions for online u.s. equity trades and etfs. and fidelity also offers zero account fees for brokerage accounts, plus zero minimums to open an account. and only fidelity offers four zero expense ratio index funds directly to investors. with all of those zeros, there are zero reasons to invest anywhere else. fidelity. ♪ so maybe i'll win ♪ saved by zero
9:48 am
9:49 am
9:50 am
9:51 am
tonight's debate is make or break for former vice president joe biden. he is betting on making a strong showing tonight to get the bounce he needs for the nevada caucus this weekend. joining me now is michael steele. he's a spokesman for former house speaker john boehner. mike memali following the joe biden campaign and also the former communications director for the obama white house. mike, first, you broke the story this morning earlier, and we played part of that biden digital ad. digital someone pointed out -- >> not paid. >> not paid, because they don't have the big bucks that michael bloomberg has. >> but to get the kind of attention they need at this point, they have to make a splash. this is somewhat out of character for joe biden. cheeky, but it's going to get the kind of attention and it speaks to the big frustration the biden team has that michael bloomberg has essentially
9:52 am
through his television blitz turned himself into an obama stall worthy. that's one of the two big frustrations the campaign has had and what they're fighting against. we've seen the biden super pac using obama's own words praising joe biden saying that he is who others pretend to be, who they wish they were. and that's a very clear message at their rivals. the other frustration from the biden team, and he has an opportunity for this tonight, they don't think there's enough being done to take bernie sanders down. he's in close to amassing a delegate number many won't be able to surpass. we'll probably see him take the case to him tonight. >> when you look at the way the campaign is shaping up with an early front runner, joe biden, something in new hampshire, losing momentum and being passed by an outsider by the name of
9:53 am
michael bloomberg, does it remind you of jeb bush? >> it does a little bit. i think that there is a comparison there. but at this point the biden campaign has a weekend at bernie's quality to it. unless he gets all in tonight, has a big night, a night that propels him to success on saturday, he can't wait for south carolina and still be competitive on super tuesday. there's no way in the three or four days over the weekend that he can turn even a big win in south carolina into the money into spending the resources effectively in order to commune on supertuesday. if he doesn't shine tonight, i'm afraid this is the end of the road for the former vice president. >> jen, it's the compressed calendar. california coming so soon. that change in the calendar makes such a large pot of delegates available to bernie sanders or whoever places higher than joe biden. and sanders could be unstoppable after super tuesday. >> yeah. he could. he's the front runner.
9:54 am
he's been really the front runner since the des moines register poll came out in early january that had him leading. in a calendar like this, if you win iowa and you're in a position to win new hampshire, you're on a roll, and it's hard to slow that momentum. and i'm not sure why the party made the decision to have this monster super tuesday and to have it so early. i think that they wanted to get a nominee early, but having the nomination conclude early doesn't necessarily mean you get the best nominee for the general election. and it is going to wrap up. it's going to wrap up pretty soon. i mean -- >> there are already 1 million votes cast in bernie sanders. >> bernie sanders is going to be hard to stop. that's the truth. >> is this partly because the moderates are fractured, and elizabeth warren pretty much collapsed in new hampshire? >> and yeah, i think -- i think there's -- it's interesting why did that happen to elizabeth
9:55 am
warren? i think her gender -- there's a lot to unpack with how she was treated. there's -- there's a lot of questions about that. i know she has a chance to shine tonight. she's good on the debate stage. she's trying to be the progressive that can unify the party. and klobuchar and pete are going to try to make their arguments about why they're america's last best hope. i feel like we're on a trajectory of bern nie versus bloomberg. it's like the first year of the democratic primary didn't happen. >> it did matter in that klobuchar did not get the attention that a person of her qualifications really deserves. she didn't get that attention on debate stages. she didn't get the money, and now for klobuchar, and even buttigieg to compete in 14 states in a national primary, it's really tough. >> and this is what the biden team sees in terms of why they feel like they can own the
9:56 am
moderate lane. neither buttigieg or klobuchar has demonstrated the kind of support you need among african american voters which is important in the super tuesday states. >> thank you all. we'll be right back. introducing ore-ida potato pay. where ore-ida golden crinkles are your crispy currency to pay for bites of this... ...with this. when kids won't eat dinner, potato pay them to. ore-ida. win at mealtime.
9:57 am
with our moving and storage solutions.
9:58 am
pack what you want, we store it for as long as you want. then, we deliver it where you want, so whether you need to move or store your things, pods is here to help you with flexible moving and storage solutions.
9:59 am
and that does it for a busy edition of andrea mitchel reports live from las vegas. we'll be back tomorrow. tonight, watch the democratic
10:00 am
debate with nbc news, msnbc, telemundo and the nevada independent 9:00 eastern right here on msnbc. and right now here is chris jansing in new york. >> and i cannot wait for tonight. good afternoon. i am chris jansing in new york. we're just eight hours away. what who is counting, from the nbc, msnbc debate. it comes as the new poll numbers give us a window into the state of the race and what's hat stake. the latest wall street journal poll showing bernie sanders with a double digit lead nationally, setting him up potentially as the biggest toshsd target tonight. well, is he the biggest? there's also fire power for joe biden's struggling campaigns. in the poll's head to head matchup against donald trump he outdistances others as the strongest opponent nationally and particularly in the battle ground states where this election will be won. and then there's former

61 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on