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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  April 30, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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good afternoon, everyone, i'm alex witt. just a bit past 1:00 p.m. in the east, 10:a.m. in the west. here's what's happening. the white house defending the tax reform plan released this week revealing major tax cuts for corporations and generating concerns about the impact on the deficit. here's how vice president mike pence is responding to those criticisms today. >> everything you outlined will increase the deficit, period, how do you prevent that? >> well, the only way we're going to meet the obligations
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that we face in deficits today are long-term obligations in our entitlements, chuck, is through growth, and the president has a growth vision for the american economy that begins with allowing the american people to keep more ohat they earn. >> in an interview this morning, senator john mccain disagreed with the president saying north korea's latest missile test was disrespectful to china. >> somebody said this could be a d cuban missile crisis in slow motion. i disagree about the president's tweet about north korea by continuing to test disrespected china. they disrespected us and the numerous agreements made by three previous presidents that was supposed to bring this process of their acquired nuclear weapons and deliver them to a halt. >> we're also hearing new reflections from president trump on what it's like to be president and why he said recently that he thought it would be easier.
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>> it's always a challenge, like life itself is a challenge, but it's something that i really love, and i think i've done a very good job at it. >> you've said in an interview with reuters that you thought it would be easier. why? >> well, it's a -- it's a tough job, but i've had a lot of tough jobs. i've had things that were tougher, although i'll let you know better after the end of eight years. >> let's bring in kelly o'donnell at the white house. good day with you. end of eight years? little ahead of himself, but what else is the president saying today? >> reporter: he always makes a point of insisting he'll run for re-election, even though we're three years off from that. the president in a far ranging interview gave insights how he thinks of kim jong-un, calling him a smart cookie, which is an interesting characterization, talking about how not picking on china as he promised to do in the campaign for currency manipulation is part of a strategy to get their help to deal with a nuclear north korea.
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he talked about pre-existing coitns, medil conditions, and those who want to purchase health insurance, that they would, in fact, be protected in any plan he would sign into law to change the current health care law. a lot of different topics, and one has been a persistent question. the president likes to say voters don't care about his taxes and there's polling to suggest many do want to know what's in his taxes to get a sense of how he would benefit from interactions in government like tax policy or connections he has in the world. he also said during the campaign that when his audit was completed he would release them, then there are now mixed signals from the administration, some saying he's never releasing them, has no intention of releasing them, and this is how the president handled a question about what is the timeline for a release of taxes, what is his thinking today about whether the country has a right to see as all presidents going back for a few decades now have released
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their personal income taxes. here's how the president responded to questioning on the tax question. >> you first said that you were under audit and was going to wait until that was done about 14 months ago. whether do you think this might happen? >> could happen soon. i don't know. >> give me a sense. >> i think pretty routine, to be honest with you. then i'll make a decision. >> then i'll make a decision. that's different than what he said during the campaign season where he said he was not releasing them as a candidate because that routine audit, as he describes it, is ongoing, although the irs does not preclude anyone from releasing their taxes, even under audit. the president has taken that position. and when he says there are no people interested except journalists, there are also lawmakers in both parties on capitol hill who say it is appropriate for a president to reveal personal income taxes so that the country can see very clearly where his interests and liabilities are. the president has done a lot of financial disclosure, which was
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required as a candidate, but tax returns, that's been a voluntary thing presidents have done for decades, and so far donald trump does not indicate that he will do so. alex? >> all right, kelly, thanks as always. joining me right now, erin mcpike, chief white house correspondent for the independent journal and john harwood. hi, guys. we're going to get going right away with you, erin. who do you think won the night last night? donald trump or the media? >> absolutely donald trump in harrisburg, and the reason is, both donald trump went after the media and the comedian at the dinner last night went after the media, and i know a lot of people in the room thought some of his jokes went over the top, might have fallen flat. i actually enjoyed it with one exception. i think he attacked "usa today" far too much and of all of the media bashing that can be done, i don't think "usa today" deserved it, because they actually do a great job of staying in touch with what americans throughout the country want to talk about, and really
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they did a huge feature on infrastructure and how the trump administration and congress haven't done anything on infrastructure, but americans really wanted it, a package on infrastructure, that is, especially during the campaign, after the campaign, and i think "usa today" didn't deserve those attacks, and heidi, as you know, good friend of ours, msnbc contributor, writes for "usa today," great reporter. they didn't deserve it, but the rest of the attacks actually kind of worked. >> can i ask you, are you sending your resume to "usa today" any time soon? >> no, but he didn't go after "the times," "the post," "the wall street journal," he just went after "usa today" and the cable networks. on every cable network they deserved some of the criticisms. >> he went after all three of the big ones. let's say, he was talking about "usa today" being delivered under the door of the hotel, but
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john, let's get to your latest piece, which you write that the president went into this presidency thinking he was superman, but 100 days in looks less like superman and more like the scene in the wizard of oz when you see oz isn't so big after all. put that in perspective, what do you make of the first 100 days? >> well, they haven't been very successful in achieving goals that are important to his constituents. he's not repealed and replaced obamacare, he's not implemented his travel ban. he's not implemented the sanctuary cities crackdown. he hasn't really gotten anything of consequence through the congress, and so what you see is the president sort of retreating into a narrower definition of what's successful. we saw that in his op-ed today. he is talking about the executive orders that he signed, most of which don't have a particularly large effect. they are studying things that will happen in the future, so i think the president's had a tough time and he's trying to
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adjust to that reality or counter that reality, and on the question you asked erin, i don't think anybody won last night. i don't think anybody cares really what the comedian said about the press or that sort of thing, but i do think the republican party took a hit last night. if you look at the remarks that president trump gave, the way that he read that poem, the snake describing illegal immigrants. when you see a president descend into that kind of base appeals to people's fears, that makes it harder and harder for other republicans to stand with him, and i think the 40% approval ratings that he has, that's an indication, but boy, when you start describing people, millions of whom are in the united states, many of whom have become citizens as snakes that can kill you, that is stuff that
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is not going to help grow the republican party. >> yeah, i don't disagree. that's true. erin, the senator john mccain, he was on cnn this morning and take a listen to what he said real quick. >> sometimes it's important to watch what the president does rather than what he says. >> but, you know, there are people listening all around the world. shouldn't we be able to take the president at his word? >> oh, absolutely we should, but so much of what he says is a strategy. there is so much spin, so i understand what senator mccain is saying there. and, look, i think on the world stage at least, even though president trump has said some things that have made people have their mouths gaping open at certain points, i think he has learned a lot in his first 100 days from an international standpoint and has been more pragmatic than we thought he would be. >> i think that's fair. last night, john, the president -- it was like he was
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in campaign mode, but how much does that buy him when it comes to governing? >> nothing. the president has got a co set of supporters. they are sticking with him, and our poll this week we showed him at 82% among fellow republicans. that's fine, but he needs a higher percentage of republicans in the congress, and as i was saying a minute ago, the more he retreats into simply talking to his base and not saying things that are additive, that bring more people to him, the harder it is to get things moving in congress. you know, he was talking in the interview that erin referred to about how the law that's moving in congress is going to protect people with pre-existing conditions. it does not do that, and that bill is not going to become law, and so the president -- the more he says things that don't match with reality, that he prolongs an effort that is not faded to
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succeed, which is -- we can say that the american health care act is not going to become law in anything like its current form, the more difficult he makes it to achieve other things on his agenda like tax reform. >> erin, it's interesting, because in the president's op-ed he struck a populous theme, no longer will we listen to the same failed voices of the past who brought us but nothing war overseas, poverty at homes to countries that have taken total advantage of the united states, but as john suggested, this message is not resinating with a majority of americans. look at his numbers, 43 bank account approval rating. it has been lower, as well. can he change, can he broaden his message? >> yes, and look, i think that op-ed was again talking to his base, as john was suggesting, but i don't think it's true he's just talking to his base and i think wierig mothering the fact over the past week he's done a number of interviews with mainstream news organizations,
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because he is trying to get outside of the base. we talk about all the fliplopping he's done, how he's reversed himself o a number of positions and done that via mainstream news interviews, so i think we can't get lost in the fact he's just talking to his base. he's trying to keep them riled up so he can have support and, obviously, he likes going after campaign ral lies, it boosts him somewhat when he's getting a lot of negativity in the beltway, but i think we would be remissed to say he's not making this outreach in other places. >> making an outreach for sure, i agree with that, but making this outreach, is anything getting lost with his message? is he furthering what he wants to do? is he successfully promoting his ideas that will get him into, you know, legislation and the like? or is it just more talk? >> it's more talk. look, the president -- he's not an ideas guy. he's not committed to any
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particular ideas, and as you indicated, the populist message in that op-ed where he talks about changing the old ways and doing it differently and not following the path that previous presidents have taken that caused jobs to go overseas, whenever it's come to crunch time, he's taken that familiar path. he backed away on china currency manipulation. he's decided that nato is okay. the president has not withdrawn from nafta, and he says he's going to do a complete renegotiation. we will see. but he decided that the bank, which a lot of people, conservatives were saying it's crony capitalism or whatever, drain the swamp, he's decided that's okay, too. he's decided that some of the pledges that he made in the campaign about wiping out debt, mick mulvaney said, oh, that was hyperbole. the problem is he doesn't feel
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anything viscerally with respect to ideas or ideology. he operates in the moment, he seems to pivot mostly off how he's feeling at that moment and how events are feeding or bruising his ego, and so i don't think it's really possible to chart a specific course for the president, because that's not who he is. >> okay, john harwood and erin mcpike, always good to have you on, thank you so much. >> thank you. we're also following breaking news, at least seven people killed by severe storms across multiple states. live in canton, texas, where a twister caused some widespread damage there. charles, let's get to the latest on cleanup and the efforts there. have they accounted for everyone there? >> reporter: they have so far. in fact, the death count has actually gone down. earlier today they thought it was five, but they realized they had counted one person twice, so the death toll remains at four, about 49 injured. these texans were expecting a lot of storm activity yesterday
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and definitely got it. this is a place called the rustic barn, it's a party venue, and last night they were holding a prom here that was to begin at 7:00, but at 6:30, the storm came rolling over the horizon. people heard the alarms going off, their cell phones were going off in alarm, and they saw the storm coming. even though the party had not started yet, there would have been 100 people here at 7:00. at 6:30 there were only about 20 workers here and they all huddled in the bathroom back there, and they all survived. even though the building came apart around them. they say it was a miracle that it happened. and it's a miracle more people weren't killed, because this storm turned out to be a half mile wide and left a path of destruction across east texas for about 15 miles in a tal ne acrosshe county. alex? >> andhe missed the start of the prom by how much? >> reporter: 30 minutes.
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30 minutes later there would have been about 100 people in this area ready to celebrate their prom night. as it turned out, the 20 workers all survived by huddling together in the bathroom. >> just extraordinary. okay, i want to let everyone know charles is absolutely correct, four killed in canton, but across several states seven total have been killed yesterday. what a tragedy. charles, thank you so much from canton, texas. in the standoff with a defiant north korea, president trump deploys a word that raises questions about his diplomatic approach to diffuse the crisis. i'll speak about that with the former ambassador to south korea next. american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services
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involves enforcement of the u.n. sanctions in place. it may mean ratcheting up those sanctions even further, and it also means being prepared of military operations if necessary. >> national security adviser this morning on the trump administration's threat by north korea just a day after the regime's latest missile launch attempt. joining me now, ambassador christopher hill. he served in south korea and iraq, among other posts, currently the dean of international studies at the university of denver. welcome back to the broadcast. we'll get right to it, mr. ambassador, because we keep hearing the administration reference military action. how much do you think is saber rattling and how much do you think is a preparation for action? >> well, i think what the trump administration's trying to signal is that north korea's kind of moved up in the charts and is probably number one issue. after all, ty have multistage missiles capable of reachinghe u.s. they are busy trying to take
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nuclear devices and turn them into warheads. it's the number one issue. whether there's a preemptive military strike, that's another matter. after all, there's some 20 million south koreans living within, you know, north korean artillery range, so not an easy thing to do. what he's been doing is working very hard with the chinese trying to suggest a whole new day in terms of relationship with china, been trying to reassure allies, although i must say his comments the other night that he wanted to tear up the u.s.-south korean trade agreement would not have come as very good news to most people who worked on that relationship, but i think what we have really is a work in progress in terms of trying to shore up alliances in and around the korean peninsula. >> let's take a listen to some of the new comments from the president on north korea's latest missile test. here it is. >> this was a small missile. this was not a big missile. this was not a nuclear test, which he was expected to do
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three days ago. if he does a nuclear test, i will not be happy. and i can tell you also i don't believe that the president of china, who is a very respected man, will be happy either. >> not happy meaning military action? >> i don't know, we'll see. >> the president also referencing respect in a tweet yesterday saying that the missile test was disrespectful to china. ambassador, do you think there's a strategy behind that? >> well, i think it's disrespectful to everybody, but i think what he's trying to do is make sure the chinese understand that, look, this is not helping them. this once and future ally of theirs, north korea, has been acting in a way that really shows they don't really care what the chinese think, so i think he's trying to some extent goad the chinese into action. that's, i think, the right strategy, whether it works, time will tell, but certainly the chinese have not been abused by north korea at all, but the question always comes back as what are we going to do about
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this. certainly, more rigorous enforcement of u.n. sanctions is part of that, but that's a train that's kind of moving -- not moving as fast as the north korean relation train, so i think the president is trying to really push the north koreans very hard and signal to them that bad things can happen if they continue this program. so it remains to be seen if that's going to work. >> and the failure of this missile launch attempt two days ago brings to mind the cyber defense program, aimed at sabotaging efforts like this. here's what steve clemons said about the capabilities on our air yesterday. >> when the briefing of 100 u.s. senators at the white house happened the other day, i talked with a number of those senators, they said they had classified briefing in which they were told that american capacity right now to penetrate north korea's weapons system with malware and other controls is high, there's
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a significant degree of confidence we have right now in our ability to do that. >> are you hearing anything about this, and do you think that may be exactly what we saw in effect? >> well, i'm kind of old school when it comes to these sorts of things, and my point being the less said about them, the better. i would be very disappointed, however, if there were not an effort, an effort reportedly started a few years ago by president obama, to look for all means to slow down these programs, because they are not interested in negotiation to slow them down. the only thing -- the only reason they get slowed down, it seems they encounter unexpected difficulties, so i was very pleased to see the failure of that launch and i look forward to many m sh failures. >> i wt to take a look athe new column you have out headlined "trump's use of hard power can only go so far." what do you mean by that? >> well, there was an effort to tie the mother of all bombs in afghanistan to north korea, to
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tie the strike against syrian air base as also related to north korea, but, frankly, i think we need a little more diplomacy in all those places. certainly there's no indication what the american view is on syria except that we didn't want saddam hussein -- bashar al assad to use chemical weapons, but i think we ought to kind of get together and figure out what it is we want to see happen in that country. do we really want to see a hard line sunni sectarian regime take over from assad? is that any better than assad? so there's a big question what are we trying to do there. and finally on north korea, yes, i think we need to be tough as nails with them. i'm rather discouraged about the prospects of negotiations with them, but i think rex tillerson has been saying the right things lately, which is we want to push them hard and see if we can get them back to the table and back to the table on the basis of denuclearization, and i'm not sure trying to just do military things around the world is
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necessarily a solution. you know, too often i think in our country we've conflated the use of the military with diplomacy, and i think we need to kind of give diplomacy a chance in a number of areas where right now we're only talking military solutions. >> all right, former u.s. ambassador to south korea, christopher hill. thank you so much, mr. ambassador. 100 days in, what do trump voters think of him now? a new poll brings us fresh insights coming up.
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what's happened. last night in pennsylvania president trump talked about advancing his plans to cut taxes and get tough on trade deals. >> we are reviewing every single trade deal and wherever there is cheating, we will take immediate action and there will be penalty. we are proposing major tax relief for the middle class and lowering the business tax from 35% all the way down to 15%. >> joining me now, director for politics at the university of virginia. always good to see you, larry. i want to get your take on things on the president right out of the gate. how do you assess things? >> he has pretty much maintained support among his own people. our survey, which was a very large survey, the largest so far of just trump voters, couple thousand in the poll, plus eight separate focus groups in the states that put him over the top
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like wisconsin and ohio and pennsylvania. he still got 93% support among them, but what was interesting, alex, and we don't often see this in surveys that include everybody, 51% of his b only somewhat approve of his perfornce. his hard core 43% of his backers strongly support him, so they are with him, but they are still waiting to see what he's going to produce, because not much other than a supreme court appointment came out of the first 100 days. >> yeah, and you say the 93% approve of his -- actually support him, but only 70% are saying they think the country is going in the right direction, but you've always said, larry, that the first 100 days are not that important big picture. why do you think it's been getting so much attention? >> well, it's tradition. at least we're maintaining some traditions in this very untraditional presidency.
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it goes back to franklin roosevelt, and actually it applied successfully only to franklin roosevelt. but look, you can get a sense of a presidency and you can get a sense of how a president operates and, of course, we've learned a fair amount about donald trump just in those 100 days. the substance can change in the second 100 days or the first year or the second year, you never know what's going to happen. >> can you illuminate us on how this president poeroperates the? what's the sense that you've taken away? >> well, he's a very tractional president. look, let's be honest. he doesn't have a lot of fixed principles. i think that's obvious to everybody. i'm sure it's obvious to his aides in the white house. he is flexible and that's why he's flip-flopped on so many things. he really just wants to get things done from a republican and conservative perspective, because that's his base.
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but if you push him or you give him contrary information or he can see a way to succeed by changing his position, he'll do it. so none of us are sure what's coming tomorrow. that's why we're so exhausted after the first 100 days. >> if the president fails to get health care reform or a tax cut before the year's over, how mh rm would that do to the rest of his term? >> well, iwould do harm. throw in the wall, okay, throw in that border wall. if he doesn't get abolition of obamacare with some replacement, if he doesn't get the wall, if he doesn't get major tax reform, then he's going to keep pointing back to neil gorsuch, but that only lasts for so long. maybe there will be another vacancy on the court, but you can't exist in a presidency and convince people you've succeeded with just supreme court appointments. >> larry, with respect to political history of presidents, how do you interpret and assess
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the role of what some might describe as a permanent protest class. is this going to dog this president? >> i think it's more intense than i've seen it since the late 1960s, early 1970s with vietnam and watergate. will it last? the anti-vietnam war movement lasted for many years. people felt very strongly about it. people feel very strongly about donald trump, for and against. i do want to mention one thing that's critical, alex. we found in this survey of trump voters that 20% of his support, 20%, one in five of the trump voters, voted for barack obama either in 2008 or in 2012 or in both of those elections. those voters are still potentially available to democrats, both in the midterm elections of 2018 and the general election of 2020, when umcomes up again. >> fascinating statistic there. always a good conversation, too. thank you so much, larry, appreciate it. >> thanks, alex, appreciate it.
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absence of malice? perhaps not. coming up, it was a no-go for president trump at the white house correspondents dinner, but he's already indicated he'll make it next year. that's ahead. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most. stay with me, mrs. parker. that's the power of and. at crowne plaza we know business travel isn't just business. there's this. 'a bit of this. why not? your hotel should make it easy to do all the things you do. which is what we do. crowne plaza. we're all business, mostly.
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the white house correspondents' dinner is drawing perhaps more attention this year due to the absence of president trump. >> we got to address the elephant that's not in the room. the leader of our country is not here. and that's because he lives in moscow. it is a very long flight. it would be hard for vllad to make it. vllad can't just make it on a saturday. >> and while being the butt of jokes there, the defiant president was in pennsylvania holding a big rally. let's get a look now at the traditional washington affair. to do that, savannah sellers is joining us now. hi. >> hi, thanks so much. it's been actually 36 years since a sitting president has skipped the white house correspondents' dinner. back in 1981 president ronald
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reagan was not there for a much different reason, he was recovering from a gunshot wound from an assassination attempt. we took a look what else was different this year and how this gathering of the press began. the white house correspondents' dinner has been an event that brings oscar winners and journalists together over cocktails all in the same ballroom as the president of the united states. the first dinner was a gathering of the men of the white house press corps at the arlington hotel in washington. it wasn't until thr years later in 1924 that a sitting president, calvin coolidge, attended. 20 years later, bob hope became one of the first celebrity performers. since then, the dinner celebrating the first amendment has been attended by the who's who of hollywood. the most notable guest is always the president of the united states. but this year was noticeably different. >> we're just, you know, this is not the appropriate year to go. >> it's no secret president trump has a tumultuous relationship with the media. >> i call the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are. >> even these really dishonest
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media people, the world's most dishonest people. >> i've never seen more dishonest media than the political media. >> while trump has attended as a private citizen, in february president trump announced he was skipping the annual dinner. members of his administration also staying away. instead, the president spent the night at a campaign-style rally in pennsylvania. >> a large group of hollywood actors and washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now. >> trump himself has been the butt of many jokes throughout the years. >> donald trump has been saying that he will run for president as a republican, which is surprising since i just assumed he was running as a joke. >> in 2011, with trump in the audience, president obama called him out. >> so ultimately you didn't blame lil jon or meatloaf, you
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fired gary busey. >> this year the absence of the president mixed with his strained relationship with the media, meant a different type of night. >> we've got to address the elephant not in the room. the leader of our country is not here, and that's because he lives in moscow. it is a very long flight. it would be hard for vllad to make it. as for the other guy, i think he's in pennsylvania because he can't take a joke. >> there was a noticeably different atmosphere this year, and not just because of the absence of the president, but also the lack of celebrities there. that, coupled with an emphasis on the first amendment and remarks by veteran journalist bob woodward and carl burnstein refocused the dinner on journalism. president trump said he will be attending the dinner next year in 2018. >> okay, we'll mark our calendars. thank you very much, always good
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to see you. it is a combination of people, power, and pursestrings. banking on unity to enact change. that's next. coming up at the top of the hour, chuck todd's exclusive with vice president mike pence. to do the best for your pet, you should know more about the food you choose. with beyond, you have a natural pet food that goes beyond telling ingredients to showing where they come from. beyond assuming the source is safe... to knowing it is. beyond asking for trust... to earning it. because, honestly, our pets deserve it. beyond. natural pet food.
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combining people power and the power of the pursestrings, one of the nation's largest african-american owned banks has seen a surge in deposits as a result of an effort to bank black. schawn ty takes a closer look. >> reporter: he's spent his life trying to make a difference in his community, and he knows that every dollar counts when it comes to change. that's why shorters moved his money to one united, one of the largest black-owned banks in america. >> you can put your money any place that you choose, so why not put it some place where people actually care about what's happening in your community? they'llel to you, help you buy businesses and homes, all these things. just makes commosense to me. >> shorters' move was part of the bank black movement started last year after a string of high profile police shootings. rapper and activist killer mike
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urged the black community to fight back financially and move their money away from traditional blanks to black-owned banks. other celebrities like usher and solange knowles championed the cause, leading to the trending hash tag "bank black." the effects were immediate, president of one united. >> deposits come in, we're able to lend those funds, we're able to hire more, we're able to make more money, we're able to contribute, and we're able to partner. all of that from just people moving their money. >> williams says the idea of banking black isn't radical. ten years ago there were 41 black-owned banks. today, only 23 are left. the largest asian-american owned bank had $35 billion in assets. the largest hispanic owned bank, $30 billion. one united, just $650 million. one of the challenges for minority-owned banks is the lack of facilities. brick and mortar stores like
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this one. one solution, online and mobile banking. despite those issues, the bank black movement is doing something bigger than financial investments. >> they are proud that they are black-owned banks. they are proud that they can actually get the services that they could get at a bank of america at one united bank or other black-owned banks, and that emotion is something that is real and it really inspires me every day. >> building a bank for the next generation. one deposit at a time. schwan ty, msnbc, miami. well, 25 years later, reflecting on the l.a. riots as a searing new documentary looks at the pain, fury, and social injustices that linger still today. fast. woooh! it's not how fast you mow... it's how well you mow fast! it's not how fast you mow... it's how well you mow fast. they're not just words to mow by, they're words to live by. the john deere ztrak z345r with the accel deep deck to mow faster, better. take a test drive
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the billboard music awards. sunday, may 21st. 8, 7 central. only on abc. we, the jury, find the defendant n guilty. >> today, this jury told the world that what we all saw wasn't the crime p. >> that's a very brief clip from
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l.a. 92. it's a documentary about the los angeles rights 25 years ago. joining me now from l.a. is jonathan chen. he's the producer of that national geographic film. with big credit to you, jonathan, you lookal those things, you see that courtroom and it takes us back to that time. talk about where you were when the verdicts were read and what drives you to want to tell this story. >> thanks for having me on. i appreciate it. i was actually a young film student at usc, so i was right there in the heart of it in south central. and i was quite new to los angeles. i had been here for maybe four or five months. and it was an incredibly powerful moment to watch my -- the city that i had chosen to be home explode amidst the racial tensions and all kinds of things like that. so i think when we realized that
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the 25th anniversary of the civil unrest in los angeles was coming up, we felt that we wanted to be a part of the conversation, for me personally because i had lived through it, but also i think because of where we are now as a country, and in some ways how little we've moved on from that moment. and i think we wanted to make a film that hopefully could present those historic events to a younger and more modern audience and try and connect the dots between back then and where we are today. >> yeah, and you and i have some definite parallels because i'm a native loss angelino, and i recall very profoundly that day being at my parents' home and standing outside on a deck between two bedrooms, and i thought at first it was raining. and yet where their home was located, we were affected by the ash that was coming from the fires. there were all sorts of, you know, la brea avenue, and for anybody who knows the city, it's
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a very prominent road there. there were fires from tires that were being burned from different stores or from cars that were out on the street. i mean, it was an incredible experience to be part of it. unbelievable, wondering, what has happened to make this occur? but when you were looking for witnesses, and as you were reviewing tapes, what was that process like for you? did you get emotional at any time? >> absolutely. i mean, i should add that our film "l.a.' '92" is completely told through archival footage. we didn't interview anyone, the film is totally told through footage at the time. which made it an age-old experience because we didn't really get the ability to sort of hear people talk about it and analyze it and talk about their memories of it in the way that we are. we basically were just faced
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with the raw footage of what happened and, you know, we uncovered some footage that's incredibly emotional, whether it be store owners trying to protect their businesses. but i think for me the most emotional part of looking at all the footage and being involved in the film was really the human stories and also the complexity of the issue. you know, we often need to see things quite black and white, that the black community was monolithic and the korean community was monolithic and the white community was monolithic. but in actual fact, everybody had a very subjective and personal point of view, and i think to me that was, in a weird way, the most emotional thing to realize that ultimately on a human level people were being affected incredibly deeply. >> actually, the way you describe the film, i cannot wait
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to see it. i'm going to ask in a second when people can see it because it really will take people back, then, if it's all archival footage. i do remember rodney king saying the line we've all remembered, can't we just all get along? what was the impact of those words at the time? >> what's interesting, when we came to that part of the film, and obviously we wanted to include that iconic moment in the film, interestingly in the film we sort of show almost the entire news conference, and that line, can't we all get along, is obviously the one that is sort of stuck. in some ways it's become a kind of meme, if you like, and it's sort of supposed to stand for the sort of optimism of, you know, we can get through this together, we can all get along. when you look at thele news conference, actually, what you're looking at is a very traumatized 25-year-old man who, you know, was trying to process
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what had happened to him and what had happened to his city. >> jonathan, unfortunately, i'm running out of time, but i want to take this time everybody can see the documentary "l.a.' '92" tonight. thanks for being with us, jonathan. >> thank you. remote moisture sensors use a reliable network to tell them when and where to water. so that farmers like ray can compete in big ways. china. oh ... he got there. that's the power of and. at planters, we put fresh roawhich has its, guys, know anything about this missing inventory? wasn't me! the cheeks don't lie, chet... irresistibly planters.
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