tv MSNBC Live With Steve Kornacki MSNBC March 31, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
since 20123 a3, nasdaq up 1.5% the week. this thanked to apple shares, best three months in half a decade. stock is up 24%, and 5 records by apple already this month. another technology name that was in focus today, blackberry, one of the best performers on the day, maybe haven't heard about it lately. it was up some 123%. some people thought that blackberry was left for dead, but the company no longer makes handsets and instead focus on higher margin software and guess what, they've beaten market expectations for six straigh quarters. >> fdyn, the closing bell there. that will do it for me this hour. i'm katy tur. follow me on facebook and twitter. up next, my girl kasie hunt picks up our coverage. hey there, kasie. >> good afternoon, everyone, i'm casey hunt live from washington in today for steve kornacki. day 71 of donald trump's first 100 days in office. topping the agenda right now,
will flynn get up minty? >> believes that mike flynn should go testify. he thinks he should go up there and what he has to do to get the story out. >> president trump wants his former national security adviser mi michael flynn to testify, but flynn's lawyer saying assurances must be made before he shares his story. will the house and senate intelligence committee offer those assurances? what i'm hearing from capitol hill just ahead. also on the agenda, the nunes intelligence. >> did you help provide devin nunes with information? >> i'm not talking to anything. >> i have no idea. >> current investigation going on by chairman nunes. >> nothing to say. >> the key white house players identified in the devin nunes saga offering no comment today, but as democrat adam schiff views intelligence at the white house, what will he find? rounding out our agenda, democrats onboard with gorsuch, two democrats say they'll vote to send gorsuch to the supreme court but as others consider their move, how much is 2018 weighing on their minds? all that and more still ahead
this hour. we begin right now with our top story. president trump saying he wants his former national security adviser michael flynn to testify. flynn's lawyer -- excuse me, i think we have to go to the white house. we are seeing the president. >> during the campaign, i traveled the nation and visited the cities and towns devastated by unfair trade policies. probably one of the major reasons i'm here today. trade. nobo nobody's ever made bad trade deals like our country has made. i saw the shuttered factories and spent time with the laid off factory workers. i heard their stories and i promised them action and i promised them a solution and all over america you're already seeing that solutions start to take place. take a look at what's going on in michigan with ford and general motors and fee yaiat chr and so many more. the jobs and wealth have been
stripped from our country. year after year, decade after decade, trade deficit upon trade deficit reaching more than $700 billion last year, alone, and lots of jobs. thousands of factories have been stolen from our country, but these voiceless americans now have a voice in the white house. under my administration, the theft of american prosperity will end. we're going to defend our industry and create a level playing field for the american worker. finally. today, i am signing two executive orders to the send this message loud and clear. and that set the stage for a great revival of american manufacting. and you saw that today. you w athappened. you saw the kind of numbers we have. the survey actually showed 93%
of manufacturers are not optimistic about the future. a record high. and that's up from about 56% just a couple of months ago. we're going to build on that tremendous momentum and we're bringing manufacturing and jobs back to our country. first, i'm signing an executive order to ensure that we fully collect all duties imposed on foreign importers that cheat -- they're cheaters. from now on, those who break the rules will face the consequences and there will be very severe consequences. second, i am ordering the first ever comprehensive review of america's trade deficits and all violations of trade rules that harm the united states and the workers of the united states just as i promised during my campaign. this review will be led by
secretary wilbur ross who is joining us here today. wilbur is an outstanding success story, an unbelievable businessman, a great but very, very fair negotiator, and on wall street, he's simply known as wilbur and everybody knows him. and now we have him on our side. so i thank you, wilbur, it's really -- you're going to do a fantastic job. we're going to investigate all trade abuses and based on those findings, we will take necessary and lawful action to end those many abuses. i'm not beholden to any political or financial interests. i don't care. i'm here to do a job. i'm doing a job for the american worker. i really don't care. not thinking about my business or anybody's business, wilbur isn't. peter isn't.
none of the folks that we have up here are. we're doing a job. it's an opportunity like nobody's ever given, and we're here to do a great job for the american worker and for our companies, where the american workers are employed. i work for the american people. whether you're a democrat or republican or belong to no party at all, you are an american and i'm here to represent you and your family. going to get this thing straightened out. we're going to get these bad trade deals straightened out, right, peter? it's time. you've been looking at it for years. right, wilbur? this combination over here, can't be beaten. that's why i defied the special interests and followed through on my pledge to withdraw immediately from the trans-pacific partnership, and that's why i am taking these very historic steps today. the wellbeing of america and the
american work er is my north star, and these two orders will point out our nation and point to everybody, point to the world. next week, as you know, in florida, the southern white house, we're having the president of china and a large group from china as representatives and we're going to get down to some very serious business. we look forward to it. i've spoken to him numerous times on the phone. we look very much forward to it, but it's been very bad what's been happening to our country. in terms of our companies and in terms of our jobs. so we're going to start turning it around. we're going to turn it around fast. not going tykeo take a long tim. it's going to go fast.
i want to end by saying we have a team that's second to none. when everybody is assembled and fully in gear after these two orders, i thinit's going t b something very special. i'd like to ask wilbur to say a few words then peter, you say a few words, and we're all set. our vice president -- i think i'm speaking for both, but i'm not 100% sure, i will tell you one thing, he has one hell of a good marriage going. come on, wilbur. >> thank you, mr. president. if anyone had any doubt about the president's resolve to fix the trade problems, these two executive orders should end that speculation now and for all time. this marks the beginning of a totally new chapter in the american trade relationship with our partners overseas. thank you very much. >> peter? >> i remember while during the campaign, the day the president made the speech outside of pittsburgh and laid down a set
of promises to the american people on trade and today this is the beginning of the fulfillment of those promises in a grand way with wilbur ross at the helm and the president being the grand strategist of this. we're going to get it done for the american people, workers, domestic manufacturers. thank you. >> mr. vice president. would you like to say something? >> this is a great day for the american worker and a great day for the american economy. once again, president trump is keeping his word. as we look for ways to expand exports from this country, imports to this -- >> that was president trump at the white house for an executive order signing about trade. he actually left the oval office without signing those orders. you're looking at tape there of this. then he signed them instead outside of the office. meanwhile, the president saying he wants his former national security adviser, michael flynn, to testify, what we've been talking about all day.
flynn's lawyer says his client has a story to tell about his role with team trump, and his contacts with russia. but he's only go to do it in exchange for assurances of immunity from the justices department house and senate intelligence committees. president trump endorsing a call for immunity in a tweet this morning. nbc's ken dilanian and i have been on the phone with congressional sources all day. neither the house nor senate committees seem willing to make an offer of immunity to flynn, at least not yet. a senior congressional official telling us the senate intel committee turned flynn's lawyer down. adam schiff tweeting today that lots of work needs to be done before they can even think about it.watching at the white house as well, as the president was speaking, schiff walking into the building on the white house grounds, going to review the documents that prompt the devin nunes to hold that stunning press conference last week. nbc news' hans nichols is at the
white house. hans, is schiff currently looking at this intelligence, what's going on? >> reporter: we think he's still in the eisenhower old executive office building. there's a hedge and a wrought iron fence between me and there. i can't quite see. been in there for 45 minutes, kasie. it gives you an indication this could be something a little bit more substantial. i think when we coming out, we'll see, "a," if we can get a question to him, adam schiff, ranking member of the house intelligence committee, and number two, we'll be listening very closely to his rhetoric. as we all know, mr. schiff is a man, former prosecutor, harvard law, chooses his words very carefully. we'll be monitoring that very closely. now, there's this separate story taking place, that is this offer to testify for the grant of immunity. president endorsing that, as you said, in a tweet. sean spicer in the press conference earlier today saying that he doesn't think they have he gave a one-word answer. he said, no. and listen to spicer berate reporters for following what he says is the wrong story.
>> i think it is really getting lost in this debate that american citizens who were not government employees at the time, who were not targets of stuff, potentially were surveilled, had their information unmasked, made it available, was politically spread. >> reporter: kasie, that is sean spicer being the assignment editor for the entire white house press corps. he's not the first press secretary to that. he won't be the last. but clearly, they're trying to shift the conversation not having much success. kasie? >> hans, thanks, i can't say i've never been on the other end of spicer trying to tell me what to write or say. joining us right now, jake sherman, politico senior writer, co-author of the politico playbook. eli lake, columnist of "bloomberg view." al alex, gop strategist and former communications director for marco rubio. gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us today. eli, i want to start with you because you lad one of the more direct stories i've seen from somebody who essentially accused
devin nunes of misleading you. he had said to you that he talked to intelligence officials about this. >> that's right. and it turns out that he says he has -- i mean, he said this all along, he's had other sources but the confirming sources were in the white house, and they were, you know, named by "the new york times," the "washington post" as members of the national security council. to me, that's parsing. so i said, all right, you know, you're misleading and by the way, the whole thing looks like kind of a little bit of kabuki theater. we know now that one o the officials at the national securiouncil was doing a review of kind of nsa sharing policy, discovered this stuff, sent it to the white house. donald trump did not need devin nunes to tell him about this kind of stuff. that's the key thing. >> let me ask you, a direct question. do you think that devin nunes is getting played by the white house or is he a player who's going along with the white house knowingly? >> i just think sometimes, you know, there's human error and
this is undermined what i still think is an important issue that i'd like to see. adam schiff is now looking at this stuff. let's see what there is. as somebody who's been a national security reporter on this, i got to tell you, this has been an issue, aclu, lots of groups have talked about this question of incidental collection. >> from the other side. >> how easily it can be shared. there has been some precedent here with members of congress and surveillance of israeli prime minister and other israelis. it's not out of the question. we know there was a leak of mike flynn's conversations with -- >> sure. >> -- kislyak. that's all i think been a red flag and i don't look at this, by the way, from a leak perspective. i love leaks. more leaks, please. >> don't we all? >> it's not about that. it's about we got to trust the eavesdroppers not to interfere in our politics. there's two things. russia is important, too. this is also important. >> yeah. jake, tell me a little bit, you've been covering the house of representatives for years now. >> too long. >> what is going on in the
speaker's office behind the sceneses? what do republican leaders think of what's playing out with deinn nun nunes? >> we need to keep in mind, paul ryan and devin nunes have long been allies in the ways & means committee, guys who are incredibly place. paul ryan, some would say, i can feel the anger coming from the speaker's office already, ryan has a blind spot for him. dealing with a health care bill that went down -- >> a lot on his plate. >> the white house says he's going to do tax reform by august which is patently ridiculous. he has a lot on his plate. i think if you put him on truth serum, he would saye wishes devin nunes tightened t system up. the big problem is nunes -- a good problem for us. we all appreciate it being on the hill all the time. he spops a s we all appreciate it being on the hill all the time. he spops atops and talks to eve. he's going to make a mistake at some point. he does it every day, talking and talking. republican leadership, what i've heard from the rank and file, they want this wrapped up and tightened up. >> want him to fight the instincts to talk.
alex, i want to bring you in here because this is something that really splinters the republican party, i think, in an unusual way. to have a white house that does seem to be posturing closer to vladimir putin, the russian president, than many on the senate side are comfortable with. you used to work for senator marco rubio. he was one of the only ones during the campaign who warned that, hey, maybe we shouldn't be embracing all these leaks that are coming from wikileaks and other places. i think we have some of that. let's take a look at marco rubio on on tthe campaign trail. >> i personally will not be talking about any revelations that come about solely as a result of wikileaks. what i would say to my republican colleagues, some whom may be disappointed by the position i've taken, today it's them, tomorrow it could be us. >> at this hearing, we learned this own senate election may have been meddled with by the elections. >> he said at the hearing yesterday after he announced he was going to seek re-election, somebody in moscow, somebody in russia, tried to hack one of our campaign staffers from the presidential campaign staff's e-mails and coincidentally or
not, it happened again two days ago, the same staffer was targeted by somebody in russia. these are ongoing. this brings the entire investigation current because it's not just about what happened or did not happen during the election, did the trump campaign collude with the russians or not? all that is interesting and worth looking into. i think just as important, if not more important, is where do we go from here? how do we make sure that foreign governments do not meddle in future elections? how do we make sure the american people have faith in the outcome of the midterms? how do we make sure that future presidential campaigns are not targeted, are not having all their e-mails leaked out in the open as we did in this last election? there are lessons to be learned here i'm afrd so far our political system has not learned. that's most important thing that the senate investigation needs to look into and the house investigation if it can get its act together here. which i realize is a big if. >> a little bit of a rough week in that department. we also had sean spicer today
talking about dr. park, comments she made on msnbc. i want to show you what spicer had to say about that. it relates to this house investigation. >> on march 2nd, day before the president's tweet, comments by seen or administration official, foreign policy expert, dr. evelyn farkus, together with previous reports, raise serious concerns on whether or not there was an organized and widespread effort by the obama administration to use and leak highly sensitive intelligence information for political purposes. >> so, i want to show you what he was talking about. this is what the doctor, good doctor, had so say on msnbc. >> there's a total distortion of what i said and what i was talking about. i was talking about the fact that i was -- i was outside of government. i had no access to intelligence on this whatsoever. buttist concerned because i knew how the russians operate and was reading these reports about them hacking into the elections and giving the information to wikipedia and trump people, trump team people are going to moscow, there was a lot of
reporting on this. i got worried the process wasn't being followed with regard to capitol hill, with regard to congress because it wasn't clear to me that the white house was keeping them inhe loop and that was really important especially since we're about to have a transition in the governnt. >> and there's also some indication this was potentially brought to the white house as a tension in part through conservative media. eli, is is it plausible that the comments she made were something that national security officials, that's not out in the public domain? >> listen, i know her and i should say that i think -- i watched the original "morning joe" clip and watched her interview and she was a little different when she was on in that forum because she did talk about kind of hearing from people in the government about stuff. but that's what i do. it's what we all do as journalists. we talk to people in the government. they try to tell us things. it's not the same as being handed intelligence information, but all of this goes back to "the new york times" story from
march 1st which is more definitive on this, talked about a deliberate effort from the obama white house in the final days to preserve intelligence to make sure it was more declassified, widely dribted, sent to congress, sent to foreign allies and so forth. does that overlap with stuff that was about the trump transition? there's probably a bit of overlap there. depending upon what the fbi finds out, we will find out if that was a necessary precaution or political use of surveillance. >> something actually there. jake, really quickly before we go, a little bit, what does this ongoing saga mean for republican attempts to actually pass conservative legislation? >> i think it's just a huge distraction. it shows that the white house and the congress are not working within political norms that the city is used to. we could say that donald trump is a disrupter. disruption doesn't work in washington. you know who else was a disrupter? barack obama. a lot of people thought his legislating skills were not up to snuff. so i think the distraction to the extent they want to tk about jobs and killing regulations and things like that, they're not.
this is on cable news all day. >> i would just add to that, not only that, it's also a problem with the trump administration's credibility. i mean, they have a crisis of credibility over there because they say things that then a couple days later turn out to not be true. and so in order to get -- in order to get congress to do things, you need to get the american people to support you and the american people don't believe you, that's really hard to do. >> alex. eli lake, jake sherman. thank you so much. much more on our top story ahead. i'm going to speak to a legal expert who suggests flynn's public offer to testify for immunity suggests he might not reveal any new or damning information. plus, donald trump moved to fulfill one of his biggest campaign promises earlier. up next, we'll break down the details of his two executive orders targeting foreign trade abuse.
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> president ump today moving to fulfill one of his biggest campaign promis. moments ago, the president signed a pair of executive orders cracking down on trade cheats. this comes one week before mr. trump meets with the chinese president at mar-a-lago, his florida home. trade is expected to be a major topic of discussion during the two-day meeting. nbc's jolene kent joins us with more on this. jo, what more can you tell us about what the president is trying to accomplish with these executive orders? >> he's certainly trying to, kasie, fulfill husbais promises the campaign trail. here's he had to say about what the executive orders mean. >> under my administration, the theft of american prosperity will end. we're going to defend our industry and create a level playing field for the american worker. finally.
today, i am signing two executive orders that send this message loud and clear. and that set the stage for a great revival of american manufacturing. >> now, those manufacturing jobs are what is on the table. you'll remember back on the campaign trail, president trump as the candidate said that chinese had stolen millions of manufacturing jobs. so all of this coming just ahead of the president's meeting with president xi jinping of china happening in mar-a-lago as you mentioned next week. this certainly sets the stage even though last night the white house did say the executive orders are not necessarily pegged to the chinese president's visit. it certainly sends a signal to china. earlier we did hear from the white house, they said that they aren't going to be calling china a currency manipulator out just yet, but they are hoping to have a productive meeting. but of course, the chinese looking at this very closely, analyzing both of these executive orders. as it goes country by country, a
90-day recoport going product b product. no doubt if they look closely, they'll find a lot on china, it's a question of what they're going to do with it. >> sounds like it might be a difficult meeting, indeed, joling kent, thank you so much. up next, that congressman adam schiff is at the white house to view those documented cited by zdevin nunes. is he satisfied? plus, showing no intention of laying low, hillary clinton spent the morning honoring the role of women in global politics. while she didn't name him directly, she had a lot to say about her former opponent's administration. >> studies show, here i go again, talking about research, evidence, and facts. >> more on that speech and the rest of the day's top headlines when we come right back.
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statement saying that his client will not testify about alleged ties between the trump campaign and russia without assurances against unfair prosecution. senator claire mccaskill has just become the latest democrat to say she'll back a filibuster of judge neil gorsuch's supreme court nomination. two other democrats, joe manchin of west virginia and heidi heitkamp of north dakota say they will not support the filibuster. hillary clinton is criticizing president trump's proposed budget cuts to international programs. >> this administration's proposed cuts to international health, development and diplomacy would be a blow to women and children and a grave mistake for our country. i am pleading that our government will continue its leadership role on behalf of peace in the world. secretary of state rex tillerson telling nato colleagues that they have to
boost their defense spending. he also says the u.s. will not ease sanctions against russia over the conflict in ukraine until russia respects commitments to help restore peace there. a federal judge approved the $25 million settlement between president trump and some former students of the now defunct trump university. lawyers say their clients should get at least 90% of their money back. trump did not admit any wrongdoing. and turning back now to our top political story, adam schiff, the top democrat on the intelligence committee, suggesting incriminating evidence may have led ousted national security adviser michael flynn to seek immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony in the russian investigation. schiff tweeting earlier today, "the public should learn a lot re about why general flynn wants immunity when sally yates testifies before t house intelligence committee." former acting attorney general yates, of course, was scheduled to testify before the house earlier this week, but her hearing was postponed
indefinitely. amid controversy surrounding house intel committee chairman devin nunes. yates was the first official to tell the white house about flynn's improper communications with russian ambassador sergei kislyak that eventually led to flynn's firing. with me now, alex whiting, professor at harvard law school. alex, do you believe flynn actually has valuable information that will aid in these investigations or is he looking for a get out of jail free card? >> good afternoon, kasie. it's hard to know whether he has the information, but i'm skeptical that he's ready to offer up information. and the reason for that is that if he had good information that he was willing to provide, i think he would go -- his first stop would be to go to the prosecutors. and i don't think he is trying to appeal to the prosecutors here for two reasons. the first is that he's doing this publicly and secondly, he seems to want immunity -- he seems to be asking for immunity without giving any kind of a
preview of the kind -- the sort of information that he might have. and that's just not the way prosecutors operate. so it suggests to me that he is trying to get immunity from congress with the hope that that would complicate down the road any attempt to prosecute him for any crimes that he may have committed. >> how common is it for a really high-profile potential witness in something like this to ask for immunity from congress or from the doj? >> there's nothing wrong with asking for immunity. anybody who's the target of an investigation will certainly consider it. he's represented by experienced counsel. to me, it's the way he's going about it. if he really was serious about this, and really wanted to give information in exchange for immunity, he would do it quietly. he would approach the prosecutors because he knows, his lawyer knows that ross cu prosecutors want these investigations to be conducted quietly and the public nature of this appl from his lawyer and
the leak that appeared in the "wall street journal" suggests to me that this is not that kind of an approach. >> alex whiting, thank you so much for your time. we really appreciate it. for more on this, i want to bring in california democratic congressman eric swalwell who sits on the house intelligence committee. congressman, great to see you. what do you make of the former national security adviser, michael flynn's, request for this immunity in exchange for testifying? >> good to see you, kasie. generally, innocent people don't ask for immunity, and i have prosecuted homicide cases in the past where i've had to use immunity and i would never do it in any criminal case without asking the witness or the defendant what do you know? and right now, he's not offered to us what he is willing to say and so to give blanket immunity without knowing much more i think would be very irresponsible of any committee investigating this. >> congressman, the ranking member, adam schiff, is
currently from what we can tell at the executive office building taking a look at some of this intelligence that devin nunes saw and then obviously went out and dropped that kind of bombshell press conference on all of us last week. he, though, says that he has some concerns about not having the proper staff to actually pore over these documents. do you think he made the right call going over there? is the white house doing what they need to do? >> i think adam schiff should have been able to go over there a week ago when devin nunes went over there and i think he would prefer that his colleagues on the intelligence committee, republicans and democrats, were there with him. actually, if we take a step back, kasie, it shouldn't even be viewed there. so devin nunes really obstructed this investigation by going over to the white house where the president's campaign right now is under criminal and counterintelligence investigations. so there should have been a bright line that no one should cross by talking to witnesses in an investigation and right now i think we have nothing more than an asterisk on our house investigation. >> can you update us a little
t on the status of the investigation? clearly it ground to a standstill. there seemed to be some progress. on friday, the ranking member said you may have compiled a witness list that could be ready to go. is that under way? to you know who you want to talk to? >> yeah, we're charging forward on this investigative road whether we have a chairman who wants to join us or not. so we're reviewing documents this week going out to the agencies. we'll continue to invite witnesses to update us, but we need public hearings and we need to have the hearing with sally yates and former directors clapper and brennan. i think that would be a next very good step. >> congressman, i'm having told that we have a new interview, actually, from the chairman of the house intelligence committee, devin nunes, who talked to a local station in his fresno district of california. let's take a look at that then talk about it. >> you understand we're not going to get into sources and methods. i mean, if not, who's ever going
to come to our committee? i can tell you that those reports are mostly wrong. there's -- there are -- i mean, this is something that i've known about for a very long time from people who were not affiliated at all with the white house or anybody there. the challenge was fimnding a place to be able to view this information, get my hands on this information. i think what's in those stories, there's a lot of innuendo. there were people that probably knew about this. knew about me being there. the fact of the matter is, that doesn't make them the source of my information. >> so just to recap here, if i'm tracking all of the various things that the chairman has said over the past week, he says that those story -- it seems he's alluding to "the new york times" story calling it mostly wrong, and also says he's known about the existence of these documents for a very long time and not from people in the white house. what's your reaction to that, congressman? >> he has made himself too close
to this investigation to be independent. he's essentially a witness now. and to hear him say he's known about this for a very long time, i think makes it worse. that means that he thought about having this information. he deliberated and he chose not to involve other members of the committee and he chose to go and work with the white house. that makes it worse, kasie. i think this investigation is bigger than one person. it's about our democracy being attacked. he would do us all a service and bring back independence, credibility and progress to the committee if he recused himself. >> congressman eric swalwell, thank you so much for taking the time. >> my pleasure. supreme court pick neil gorsuch getting an assist from west virginia senator joe manchin, breaking ranks along with other democratic colleague and supporting his nomination. manchin vowing more in his party will vote to confirm gorsuch but it's unclear who that might be. will there be more red state democrats willing to break with their party? i'll talk about it with our panel up next.
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senator, you're one of two democrats now that has agreed to join up in a confirmation process of judge gorsuch. >> yeah. >> need six other democrats. are you aware of any other democrats? >> i think you're going to see some more. you'll see more. the bottom line is i understand the democrat caucus being extremely upset with how merrick garland was treated. never -- unprecedented. never in history have we ever not sat down and talked to a person who was recommended. our job is to advise and consent. how can you advise and consent if you won't talk to a person who's recommended by a president? no matter whether it's a president you voted for or not. so that was done. i understand the democrats are mad and my colleagues are mad with that. the bottom line is two wrongs don't make a right. >> a shout-out to nbc reporter vaughn hillyard who tracked down senator joe manchin, one of two democrats who announced support fordonald trump's supreme court pick neil gorsuch.
they're both breaking with their democratic colleagues who are voicing strong opposition to gorsuch. we just learned senator claire mccaskill is joining the chorus of democratses who will vote no on gorsuch and will back a filibuster. that all but ensures that mcconnell will go nuclear. it takes up to 36 democrats who have pledged to support a filibuster of his nomination. including at least six who are up for re-election in 2018 in stat that voted for donald trumpn november. mccaskill had been among republicans' last hope to help block a filibuster. the announcement increases the chances republicans will have to deploy the nuclear threat, killing the filibuster all together. i want to bring in coach kofinis. democrat from west virginia. rick tyler, msnbc political analyst and former spokesman for senator ted cruz. betsy woodruff, politics reporter for the daily beast. chris, icht to start with you, you used to work with senator
mankmin. explain the pressure he's under. why is he on board with gorsuch? >> i can't speak for him. you're talking about west virginia, the state that voted at a higher p eer percentage fop than any other state. political reality to it. the way he approaches things, having worked for him, he wants both sides to kind of get along and he looks at this as kind of a reasonable approach and i think you kind of take him at his word in temple terms of wh said. >> is he still a democrat? >> more of a conservative populist democrat. here's the political reality. the political reality is for most democrats you look at what the republicans did with merrick garland. what was the political consequences to republicans from that? it was nothing. they won. so for a democrat who's either up in '18 as senator manchin is or others, to be honest, the political consequences of supporting the filibuster or opposing it, there are none. i mean, democrats -- >> mccaskill had originally said
otherwise. she had warned democratic donors of the pitfalls of blocking a trump pick to the supreme court. rick, what's your assessment of -- if you're a democrat in a red state and trying to keep your senate seat in two years, what does this choice look like for you? >> well, senator manchin, it's -- he's a politician who's rooted in reality. his supporters support donald trump. now, that may change. look, donald trump is at 35%. that's what the other senators are looking at so each state is going to be a little different. if you're a senator and can afford not to vote for donald trump -- i think that's it because a lot of the base -- chris is right, they're mad about merrick garland. there wasn't political consequence but there would b politi consequence, although it's a double-eed sword, if they go nuclear then you most assuredly are going to have -- this is a conservative, gorsuch, replacing a conservative, scalia, and whoever leaves the court next is most likely going to be a liberal and he's going to get replaced by a conservative by a majority vote.
>> but i would make the argument, you know, if the republicans choose to go nuclear, what you actually are -- the political consequences will be worse for the republicans because you will mobilize the democratic base like never before. >> yeah. >> i think that said, though, the republican base is so invested in these questions with the federal judiciary if mcdonnell decides to go nuclear, he's going to have tons and tons of support on his right flank, for instance, you judicial crisis network, put up tv ads supporting gorsuch. you've probably seen if you're in the d.c. media market. this afternoon, referring to the nuclear option as the constitutional option. they're already sort of getting ahead of the game here trying to frame this debate in a way that's favorable to the right. on conservatives are so invested in these guesquestions, too. >> democrats gaifr us the original nuclear option on judicial nominees -- >> two wrongs don't make a right. >> again -- >> my mom used to say that all the time. i would say -- she wasn't a fan of that. betsy, i want to pick up on
something you were just talking about. the idea that the progressive base is going to be more excited than we've seen and this is something that's starting to show up on the radar in washington, this special election down in georgia. suburban atlanta to replace -- >> neutral district. >> -- tom price. yeah. there are reports now that republicans are scrambling a little bit to try to get in there and help it, if the democrat, young guy, kind of in the model of jason kandor, handful of democrats in the last election, what will this tell us about president trump and his popularity, if osaf is able to get to 50%, take away this long-held republican state? >> huge because, "a," i mean, if this was newt gingrich's old seat, it's buck head, it is not a seat that democrats have had. and we looko off-year elections for sort of a bellwether of how the president is doing. and if we lose that seat, then
what you're losing is a lot of white more wealthy suburban voters who said, this is not the kind of candidate -- trump -- we don't like the way trump is going, we want a check on trump. it's also about recruitment. democrats if they do a good job with recruitment, they can win these kinds of seats. >> he's raised more money, millions of dollars for a congressional race than any congressional race normally draws especially in a special election, in a very off year. what does this all say about how democrats are wanting to get involved right now? >> i think you got to say -- got to give a thank you note to president trump. he has done more in three months to mobilize and focus democrats than any other candidate or president maybe in recent history. and that is not just -- i'm not trying to be snarky about it but the last three months have been such an unmitigated disaster. usually this is the honeymoon period. this is a honeymoon that guarantees divorce. >> 71 days i think. >> democrats are looking at this
going if this is the best, imagine where we are six months or a year from flnow. they're clearly mobilized. seeing the matter very energized. in a normal situation, let's say president, the president, norma circumstances, would have had a honey moon. gorsuch would have been an easy confirmation and it is falling apart. >> you've covered conservatives. as they start to look at this, to what chris is talking about, are they at the point of talking about the potential of losing the house in 2018 if the president's approval ratings stay where they are? >> i don't think anyone is acutely concerned about that but it is on the radar for republican leadership. the reality is the president's ratings are abysmal. a some point there are members who could be on the verge. i think the larger point is that there are those here could be in trouble in 2018 are mostly mbers at a more moderate, closer with leadership, the r
plus one. he is already come out publicly against building the wall. and it is likely he thinks that's good policy. but the politics of disagreeing with the president are really interesting. even if republicans keep the house in 2018, it will be harder for paul ryan to keep that kaugs in line. >> i'm going to switch gears and talk about what we've been talking about all day. mike flynn and his request for immunity. here is a democratic member of the house intelligence committee talking about what he may or may not have to offer. >> the best defense is a good offense for starters. the fact that michael flynn on the campaign trail talked about immunity as admitting that you have committed an offense is kind of telling in and of itself. i agree with everyone who has said that it is very pre mature. and there's no way that immunity will be granted and it would be granted by the department of justice. if and only if it provided a bigger fish in terms of dotting
the is and crossing the ts and getting to someone who is more critical in terms of violating the law. we also know -- >> i want to interrupt for a moment. you say a bigger fish. he was the national security adviser to the president of the united states. there aren't a whole lot bigger fish out there. clearly the president is a bigger fish. >> that's right. what's your sense of mike flynn? they're twhafg out of blue statement from the lawyer. >> let's start with the president's tweet today. wanting his former director to get the immune is in his purview he works for the administration of which the fbi is part of. the senate intelligence this morning is likely not to grant immunity. because what they learned out of iran contra hearis is that
they oered colonel north immunity and he never gave up the president. and spicer talked today about the idea that it is a witch hunt. if he grants immunity, and i today about this. if he gets immunity, that makes him immune from perjury, then he could be a witness who doesn't tell the truth at all. so take down the tents, move the clown show out of town. it is really looking bad for this administration. >> and you're saying this as a republican of granted, you ran against him of betsy, what's your sense of where republicans, from a reporter's perspective, as opposed to a consultant. for publics as they watch this play out. are they biting their finger nails? are they trying on find someone to run against donald trump? i think there's a really high anxiety level. the one republican having fun
with this is the member of the freedom caucus has had the best two weeks of anyone. he was part of the xauks brought down of course, the president's health care bill. and now nunes who is sort of his sworn enemy. nunes said he was his best friend in congress. so amash, this, for the others, this cause as huge problem. when they do the town halls, it is the opposite of what anyone who is elected wants to deal with. >> i think it is fun. >> the president could pardon him if he wanted him to have immunity. >> the problem is it is a story that will not go away. talking about the national security adviser to the president. think about this. in 70 plus days, is asking for immunity. it is mind-boggling, how much
bad news we've had in one administration in such a short amount of time. to talk about nervous republicans, forget about nervous republicans. there are nervous americans. >> and only one bigger fish in the sea. thank you so much. great to see all of you. coming up, our most important member of the day and i'm pretty sure it is one steve kornacki will never do. cyn since he's out, i'll take a swing at it. >> she inherited a secret family recipe for hibiscus tea. she now bottles her great grandfather's caribbean drink and she is trying to build it into a national brand. she said she needs help. we answered her call. he nosy neighbor with a keen sense of smell... glad bag, full of trash. what happens next? nothing. only glad has febreze to neutralize odors for 5 days. guaranteed.
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that's the most important number of the day. that does it for this hour. i'm kasie hunt in for steve c n kornac kornacki. if it's friday, there's one thing president is not immune. from controversy. tonight, a presidency on the brink. and an ousted white house adviser says he has a story to tell. >> is the white house concerned that general flynn has damaging information about the president? >> no. >> plus targeted trolg. life ill tamitates art. >> it can't get enough. >> how the russia real life cyberer attack strategy. >> sometimes you can't get what you want. this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now.