our lives. she was a wonderful present. and we're blessed to have known her as a friend. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. >>> hey there, good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt here at msnbc headquarters. 7:00 a.m. in the east, 4:00 a.m. out west. nuclear no more. new developments out of north korea where kim jong un plans to shut nuclear test sites. is this a sign that diplomatic approaches are working? >>> if he goes, i go. a new report says jeff sessions told the white house if the deputy attorney general is fired, he is leaving. why this could be the last straw for the embattled ag. >>> and will he flip? the president's private attorney once said he would take a bullet for trump, but is that still the case now that cohen is earn fire? >>> new this morning, the white house is reportedly dealing with yet another protest designation as it relates to the mueller investigation. his deputy can's firing could prompt his departure, too. people familiar with the exchange say sessions made his exchange in a phone call last weekend at president trump's furry at rosenstein peaked after he approved the fbi's raise on the president's attorney michael cohen. meanwhile, the "new york times" out with this report. michael cohen has said he would take a bullet for trump. maybe not any more. the times is sharing new details on how the relationship factors may cause him to flip. the attorney for stormy daniels says he's certain cohen will turn on president trump. >> michael cohen knows where almost all the bodies are buried. and i think he's going to sing like a canary. i know he's going to fold. >> wow. >> here is the problem. when you have a fixer, you need two things at least. you need a guy that's tough and you need a guy that is smart. this guy is neither tough nor smart. >> and new developments this morning as the justice department is investigating former fbi director james comey. nbc news confirms the doj is looking into comey's handling of newly disclosed memos, detailing conversations with president trump. nbc's hallie jackson has more. >> from the moment these memos' existence was revealed -- >> i create dollars records after conversations -- >> high anticipation and high drama. the memos, painting a picture of the focus on then national security adviser mike flynn in the early days of the administration has flynn was under investigation by the fbi. at one point, james comey says donald trump explained his serious reservations about flynn's judgment, apparently furious over a phone call you wasn't told about quickly enough from vladimir putin. just weeks after the president was briefed on russia's interference in the 2016 election. comey says the president never brought up that interference. comey says he was asked whether the fbi was secretly surveilling flynn. quote, this illustrated the kind of question that had to be asked and answered through established channels. >> so you're sort of teaching the white house chief of staff how these things are supposed to happen when they're handled, when the relationship between the justice department and the white house is properly handled. >> trying to. >> did he learn? >> i don't know. >> the president feeling vindicated, he tweeted james comey showing there was no collusion. >> claiming vindication from these memos is not a logical conclusion. time will tell. >> hallie jackson, nbc news, west palm beach florida. >>> yesterday, the democratic national committee filed a lawsuit against the trump campaign, the russian government and the wikileaks organization. it alleges a widespread conspiracy to help trump win the election. let's bring in melanie and kevin. with a good morning to you both, we'll go ladies first here with you, melanie. how big of a misstep was the this by republicans to force the doj to release these comey memos? >> well, you really have to wonder, is there a little bit of regret now two days later on behalf of the gop and some of trump's conservative allies. i think they thought these memos would reveal no evidence of collusion or at the very least take some of the headlines and coverage away from comey's book tour and media blitz. but these memos do not paint the president in a very attractive or favorable light whatsoever. in fact, a lot of the headlines have focused on some of the more salacious details, joking about jailing reporters, suggesting that flynn might be crazy. and i would point out that these memos never were supposed to be about the inner workings of the russia probe. these were conversations between comey and the president and the first couple of months of last year. so i'm not really sure what the gop was really expecting to find. but certainly there's a whole treasure trove of information that offered a lot of insight into the president's thinking, his real obsession and preoccupation with the russia investigation and some attempts to influence and shape it. >> yeah. and melanie mentions the russia situation in terms of the president's presence there. kevin, one issue, because of the comey memos, is whether or not the president stayed overnight during his 2013 trip there to russia. he says he didn't. but nbc news and other reporting suggests otherwise. and evidence includes this picture that was taken by an msnbc producer on friday night and video of the sit-down interview between a former msnbc agent and the president on saturday. how significant is this? >> well, look, i think to the president's detractors or critics or even those within the president's own party who want to see this investigation reach its conclusion, it definitely takes the situation in an interesting direction. and we've seen this, right, in the public comments this week, alex, from james comey about him not being able to guarantee any details about that trip to russia. but on the flip side of that, i spoke with a source very close to this white house who pretty much put it in context as, according to president trump's supporters, he's teflon done. these scandals have not been able to slow him down yet. >> melanie, the president last night appears to somewhat undercut his victory in the north korean crisis and he serchbt out this tweet. james comey illegally leaked chas phied documents to the press in order to generate a special council? therefore, the special council was created on a illegal act. is this another attempt to try to fire mueller in some way or at least a threat? >> i think what he's referring to here is the fact that some of these memos have been considered classified after the fact. i would point out that the fbi director does have discretion to consider what is classified and what is not chas phied. comey said look, when i was writing these, i did so to make sure that it wasn't classified. now the ag is looking into this. the president has cooled off on attempts to fire mueller and fire rosenstein. part of the reason is rosenstein told him he was not a target and he has sort of backed off. but there is nothing to preclude him fromming moving from a subject to a target. there are some efforts on capitol hill right now to try to protect the special counsel's probe. >> and what is your reaction, kevin, to "the washington post" article that ag sessions was telling the white house last weekend he was resign if rosenstein was fired? >> if this is what bloomberg was reporting last week, that president trump is no longer the target of this investigation. let's dig into the weeds here on capitol hill. it has been said they will not bring legislation to the floor even if out of committee led by senate judiciary committee chuck chairman, chuck grassley, a republican out of iowa kicks out legislation making it more difficult for president trump to fire mueller. republican leadership saying we're not going to hold a vote on that, but also with regards to foreign policy, particularly that tweet refer to north korea, really, really fascinating development last night when senator chris coons withdrawing support from mike pompeo the president's nominee to be secretary of state calling into question mathematically with the vote counsel whether or not pompeo can get confirmed to secretary of state. so all of this comes about six weeks out from that meeting with president trump and kim jong un, the dictator. >> the timing of the uncertainty isn't great relative will north korea, that's for sure. melanie, i know you have some reporting on republicans considering impeaching rosenstein. take a listen to this. >> for some that suggested i'm filing this bill because i don't trust the president, it's quite the contrary. i trust this president on this issue. what i don't trust are future presidents that i don't know yet. >> okay. so there's a lot of reading between the lines going on there. essentially, how divided are republicans now over mueller and this investigation? >> it's interesting because on the one hand, you have some republicans who are lining up behind this legislation to protect mueller, and on the other hand, you have conservatives calling to impeach or hold rosenstein in contemporary of congress over a separate issue related to a stalled document request. they've been seeking 1.2 million documents related to the fbi's decision making in the 2016 presidential election, including how they handled the investigation into hillary clinton's e-mail server. they have not gotten those documents. rosenstein missed the deadline of april 5th to comply with that subpoena. now they are warning that they will action if they do not get all the documents they want. they are encouraging the president to go on tv. this will put gop leaders in a tough spot and i don't think we would see something like this come to the floor. but it's certainly interesting to hear these calls. you have to wonder whether trump is hearing them from capitol hill. >> and here is a question i'm going to ask you guys in just a little bit as to whether or not the president is going to run for re-election. there's some question about that. stay where you are. we'll get back to you after a couple of breaks. thank you both. >>> meantime, new from north korea, with kim jong un says he is suspending the country's nuclear and missile programs. more from south korea on the what this means for nuclear ambitions. >> overnight, an announcement kim jong un said to have his quest for nuclear weapons complete, pledging to halt nuclear tests, suspend long-range missile launches, close ago nuclear test site while promising not to transfer the weapons or know-how to anyone else. the surprising shift coming ahead of two key summits, a meeting with the south korean leader next friday which can pave the way for a face-to-face with the american president next month. donald trump tweeting big news. great progress. caution from japan. prime minister shinzo abe calling for complete verifiable denuclearzation. but the north korean dictator isn't giving up his nukes, at least not yet. no mention of dismantling his current stockpiles and a pledge not to use his arsenals if provoked. its sixth and most powerful test last november sparking fresh sanctions. kim says it's now time to focus on rebuilding his country's shattered economy. but north korea has duped the world many times before and resolving this threat will take more than just talk. and alex, it's not clear whether this is a genuine olive branch or a trap perhaps to buy more time and eventually economic relief. the nuclear program is what gave kim jong un his legitimacy. so he's not going to easily give that up without demanding significant concessions in return. >> how about sanctions, do you think sanctions played a role in this behavior, in move? >> it's undoubtable sanctions have taken their toll on the regime, certainly on the 25 million people living in north korea. but there is some evidence that the regime has managed to get along despite this. we know some factories have closed because of a lack of resources. there are some voices out there that say this is not the time to ease up economic pressure on the regime, that this sanctioned regime should continue. so that is one of the things that is seen as bringing kim jong un to the negotiating table. b but, alex, no one at this point is talking about overturning those sanctions. allies will want to see more than just talk from this regime. they're going to want to see action. >> lucy, thank you. >>> well, the man who once said he would take a bullet for the president, will he turn on him? we're going to ask our legal expert, next. just listen. 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is it something comey should be worried about? >> technically, the probe has to happen. the documents, the memos themselves were classified as classified in 2017 after comey left his position and he was fired by donald trump. so to the extent that the inspector general must look at these memos, of course. but something interesting and noteworthy, alex, comey himself noted within the memos that he wasn't sure about the classification. what is a possible legal out for comey.? at the time he prepared the memos, one he thought they were personal and two he was allowed to, as the acting fbi director, determine whether they were classified or not. that might provide him with a legal defense. >> and the fact is, that he redacted things that he thought at the time were classified. but to your point, how much can he be held responsible for something that happens after the fact? during his writing, it's not classified. that when he thinks is classified gets redacted, someone else makes the judgment call. >> how do you substitute someone else's judgment for that of the acting fbi director? so i think that should be a sufficient defense. but remember, we've seen andrew mccabe through a similar inspector general kind of investigation, not about leaks, but the idea about the ig looking into you, it's a strenuous investigation. so i don't think james comey should just brush his shoulders off about it, but i think that he has a viable defense as to whether or not it was classified at the time. >> and part of the scrutiny of these memos, it comes from the president and the tweets, among them saying james comey illegally leaked classified documents to the press in order to generate a special counsel, therefore, the special counsel was established based on an illegal act. really, does everybody know what that means? >> no. that's your typical donald trump circular logic. let's unwind that a little bit. let's look at the real facts and the chronology, alex. it's because donald trump fired james comey, right? it's not because james comey had memos. donald trump really didn't even know about it at the time when he fired him, or maybe he did, which would then go to another obstruction element. so it's really important for donald trump to be admonished that maybe they need to put a muzzle on his fingers. we know that's not going to happen. >>> a federal judge in manhattan ruled that donald trump and michael cohen can't do that at the first bite of the apple. >> that's not going to happen and we know there's been a submission of proposed names for a special master to determine whether these are -- or not. but cohen's team overplayed its hand this week to hide behind the attorney/client privilege, to use it as a shield is an issue especially when you have three clients. they need the to figure out whether there is significant exposure to michael cohen. which we believe there is. there will be an indictment. >> rudy julie another ogiuliani make of his addition to the team? >> he's huge. rudy giuliani, he's going to be the guy in the media on this. it's going to be the lawyers in south florida that got hired that will do all the heavy lifting. >> i look forward to seeing you again in the 9 oshg a.m. hour. thank you very much. >> absolutely. >> is the president's run for election in 2020 a sure thing? not everybody seems to think so. >> vo: these neighbors are starting right. miracle-gro guarantees results with rich potting mix and essential plant food for three times the blooms. success is sweet. miracle-gro. three times the beauty. one powerful guarantee. and it's also a story mail aabout people and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you burning, of diabetic nerve pain these feet... ... made waves in high school... ...and built a career in construction. but i couldn't bear my diabetic nerve pain any longer. so i talked to my doctor and he prescribed lyrica. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, unusual changes in mood or behavior, swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling or blurry vision. common side effects: dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs, and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. now i have less diabetic nerve pain. ask your doctor about lyrica. it takes a lot of work to run this business. but i really love it. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i don't eat the way i should. so, i drink boost to get the nutrition i'm missing. boost high protein nutritional drink has 15 grams of protein to help maintain muscle and 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d. all with a great taste. boost gives me everything i need... to be up for doing what i love. boost high protein be up for it you know what's not awesome? gig-speed internet. when only certain people can get it. let's fix that. let's give this guy gig- really? and these kids, and these guys, him, ah. oh hello. that lady, these houses! yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. >>> my colleague joe scarer burrow with a new message to those on capitol hill, relax because it's clear president trump will be be running in 2020. scarborough says the ambassador declared unlike most other members of trump's cabinet, she would not allow herself to be humiliated. but bottom line with regard to the president running for president again in 2020, what's the word you're hearing? is there really an open door that he may not, melanie? >> well, you know, when you talk to republicans on capitol hill, they will express some skepticism and they are very reluctant to endorse him. and i think it reflects the political uncertainty surrounding this president, especially with the russia probe looming, now the cohen developments. but look, at the end of the day, this president likes to win. i suspect that he will run unless, of course, other events prevent him from doing so. >> and quickly, kevin, with regard to whether michaelco sn going to flip with regard to testimony, let's take a quote from the "new york times." for years, mr. trump treated mr. cohen poorly, with gratuitous insults. are there signs as to what he's going to do? >> i think the bottom line is michael cohen is now at the center of an investigation that has less to do with his personal relationship with president trump and more to do with his own viability and future life. >> well, right. he's young. he's potentially facing somewhere i read life in prison for this. he has a wife, two kids can. that all has to be taken into consideration. so are there expectations predominantly now that he might flip? i'm sorry, kevin, finish up. >> i think the expectation is essentially, alex, to see where the conclusion is reached in the investigation and then this is a legal fishing expedition in the sense that he what he provides information could lead investigators in a completely different direction and that's why this is interesting. >> all right. kevin, melanie, good to see you both. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> it's also a wrap up for me. i'm alex witt. it's seen you again in one hour at 8:30 eastern. time right now for "your business" with j.j. ramberg. stay tuned. your brain changes as you get older. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. the name to remember. and a baseball diamond... ...a mythical castle... and a grand banquet hall. this is not just a yard. it's where memories are made. the john deere x350 select series with the exclusive one-touch mulchcontrol system. nothing runs like a deere® save 200 dollars on the x350 select series tractors at your john deere dealer today. you know what's not awesome? gig-speed internet. when only certain people can get it. let's fix that. let's give this guy gig- really? and these kids, and these guys, him, ah. oh hello. that lady, these houses! yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. >>> good morning. coming up, steve jobs had one, so did president trump and even albert einstein. how create ago work uniform may give you more time at work. >>> a kentucky-based interior designer discovered the key to acquiring customers is interviewing them. >>> and will this fireman convince hsn executives to let him sell his coffee on their network? we have got your back. so let's grow fast and work smart. that's all coming up next on "your business."