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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  November 20, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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athletes who protest peacefully, republican senator jeff flake and his former opponent hillary clinton. the development that may have unnerved him, this report from abc news. "mueller's investigators are keen to obtain e-mails related to the firing of fbi director james comey and the earlier decision of attorney general jeff sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the specific request but was told about it." the importance of this development is two fold. it suggests the special counsel is now turning to the president's decision to fire the head of the fbi. here's the president explaining to lester holt why he did so. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey. knowing there was no good time to do it. and, in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself. i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election.
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>> but the obstruction of justice investigation may also be the tentacle that reaches deepest into the president's west wing and ensnares senior aides who will be asked to recount certain meetings or events for which there will be multiple people asked to testify to the same events and recall facts and specifics. it's a line of questioning that can result in discrepancies and lead to legal jeopardy for those advisers. the special counsel also clearly focused on the growing list of contacts between trump's campaign and russian agents. "the washington post" writing, witnesses questioned by mueller's team warn that investigators are asking about other foreign contacts and meetings that have not become public. and to expect a series of new revelations. and finally, on the scope of the mueller probe, the post reports one republican operative in frequent contact with the white house described mueller's team working through the staff like pacman. of course they are worried, says the republican. anybody that ever had the words russia come out of their lips or
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in an e-mail they are going to get talked to. these things are thorough and deep. it's going to be a long winter. let's get right to our panel. axios co-founder in washington. at the table, paul butler, an msnbc legal analyst and former federal prosecutor. and msnbc contributor jeremy peters, a reporter for "the new york times," kim atkins, chief washington reporter for the boston herald and philip bump, political reporter for "the washington post." paul butler, let me start with you on this question of mueller, not to suggest he wasn't looking at the obstruction of justice question from the beginning, but it seems to be a new phase of that part of the investigation now that he's asking for document production from the invest department and they're not denying that's the case. >> really significant development. mueller's charge is national security and obstruction of justice. collusion with the russians is probably the biggest deal, right? but sometimes it really is about the cover-up. so we have this smoking gun
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admission from trump. regardless of what the justice department, the experts told him, he was going to fire robert mueller. he was going to fire james comey. why? >> because of the russia investigation. >> if you track the statute for obstruction of justice, trying to impede an official investigation, it sounds like the president committed obstruction of justice. now if you bring that kind of charge against the president, you have to win. you have to prove it. and so, yes, we have this admission to lester holt. he's going to look at a series in which trump seems to be trying to stall the investigation. we're a long way away from, not an indictment because a sitting president can't be indicted but a suggestion of impeachment, a stern report. still a long way away from that, but this is an important development. he's got 16 of the country's best prosecutors looking at trump and obstruction of justice. >> if you look at sort of the anxiety map, the collusion with russia question is the one that,
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to the degree that the campaign aides are among the nine or 10 or 11 that had contacts with russians that we know about, that is their chief worry. the solice that white house staffers have felt was i wasn't there when any of that was going on, but anyone on the white house staff who was on board air force one when the press call came in from your paper about don junior's meeting, who was aware of or contributed to or helped craft or argued against. i've heard from several who argued against what the president ended up doing which was to tell a lie about the pretenses of that meeting. they'll all be questioned in this part of the investigation. >> and so the investigation keeps getting closer and closer and closer to the west wing. we knew all along the first round of indictments would focus on peripheral characters. and that's when you had manafort and gates be indicted. this next round is centered around, will it get a little closer this time and be flynn?
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somebody who actually served in the administration? and beyond that, what is jared kushner's role and how closely are prosecutors looking at bringing charges against him, which is a real concern? that, i think, becomes the point of no return for donald trump. once you go after his family is when the whole dynamic of this changes and when the president's demeanor and attitude toward robert mueller is likely to shift in a dramatic way. >> that's probably explains why his lawyer, kim atkins, ty cobb, has an optimistic message on mueller's probe. the post reporting that cobb had initially said he hoped the focus of the white house would conclude by thanksgiving but adjusted the timeline slightly saying he remains optimistic it will wrap up by the end of the year. people in the white house don't think that's true. is ty cobb just engaged in client mood management? >> i think he wants to. he's trying to tell the people within the white house, it's okay. it's almost over. relax. don't panic. as this gets closer and closer
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to the inner circles of the white house. yeah, that was just some sort of internal control. of course, there was no evidence at all that this investigation is wrapping up any time soon. it's probably going to go well into next year and this is going to continue on and on. as the point that paul made, we talk about collusion which isn't actually a crime. there's crimes of conspiracy and things like that, but there are other things outside of collusion that could be problematic to the prrkts suesi. we do know it's not close to being over. >> ty cobb can whisper all he wants but someone pointed out today that it's simply not backed up by the 12 counts that were brought against paul manafort and mr. gates. they had to do with business activities that the two of them were engaged in years before. there's absolutely no clue, there's no tie to anything that we've seen from the mueller probe. and what we haven't seen and
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what we don't know probably amounts to much more of what mueller is doing. nothing mueller has done so far suggests that ty cobb's analysis is remotely close to accurate. >> the post's reporting suggested there are still contacts out there we don't know anything about. i walked through today what we know about. almost two dozen different contacts involving eight or nine people within the trump campaign. that's a lot we know about. >> go online and read it. it's where trump campaign and russian actors overlap. you tick through every last one of them. >> it's significant. but to your point about cobb in particular, there's also a report out today in politico which i thought was great which was talking about how only certain pole numbers make their way in front of president trump. he only sees poll numbers about his base. he likes to hear that good news. this report about how he had this big stack of positive news stories on his desk every day. ty cobb who works for donald trump, i am not surprised to hear he's only laying good news
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in front of him. >> jim, mike allen reports mueller's team is rooting around inside trump world more deeply than is publicly known. outside west wing advisers tell me that may create a showdown. tell us more. you guys are the masters of the tease. and i was dying to know where and when this said showdown would take place. i've heard some similar reporting in part around this sort of false narrative, this false picture that ty cobb is painting that when that turns out to not be true, they're going to have a president who is even more unhinged than he was this weekend on twitter. >> yeah, i think -- listen. both the abc story and "the washington post" story, they are good. i wasn't terribly moved by anything new in those. when you step back, like what they did capture, is what worries the white house is there's so many contacts from so many different people. and whatever the mood music is right now in the white house, those people who have been interviewed have no clue if they should feel good or feel really, really nervous. all they know are the specific questions that mueller's team
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asked them. the most interesting interviews are going to come up in the next couple of weeks when hope hicks who spend moes more time with dd trump than anybody else in america and don mcgahn who was intimately involved in crafting the discussion points and legal rationale and a lot of the policy around getting rid of comey. when they go before mueller. then you'll start to have a better portrait of where he's going. and those are the people closest to trump that make them most nervous. the showdown, obviously, would come once he gets close. once he starts to think about whether or not he would try to indict anybody in the inner circle. certainly as one of our other panelists says, anybody inside the trump family. that's when trump is always preparing himself for the big showdown. whether or not he'd fire mueller or start to talk preemptively about pardons. that is what most people around trump anticipate. >> you said you weren't moved by the post or abc's reporting. let me see if i can move you.
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let me show you some reporting about jared kushner because i think in the same category as hope hicks and don mcgahn who i think had documents in his safe at one point, right, about some interactions in the oval office. he was also the person that sally yates had warned when she came to say mike flynn might be a target for blackmail. in addition to those two, jared kushner is in a little bit of hot water. senate judiciary committee writing him last week basically accusing him of not turning over documents that other parties have produced, documents concerning a russian back-door overture and his lawyer abby lowell had some fancy abby lowell spin on that. let's watch that and talk about that on the other side. >> if you look at the contents of these e-mails, he's the hero. he's the one saying there shouldn't be contacts with foreign officials or foreign entsities. that's what they should pay attention to and not create some sort of partisan gotcha game. >> he may have earned his $1100
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for the hour, but i don't think anybody looking at this question of russian contacts and coordination inside trump's world thinks that kushner is going to come out the hero, do you? >> no. what i was saying not moved, i'm not being critical of the reporting. i'm saying there wasn't anything concretely new that said, ah-ha, i have greater clair oit wherit they are going. what the post story did a great job of is looking at the totality of contacts out there. put aside the legal argument for a second. i look at the 12 people in a bar argument. why were so many people during an election in contact with so many shady characters that had been in contact or were close to the kremlin or vladimir putin. that is the reason there's so much smoke that a lot of people assume there's a lot of fire. that's just a lot. you were in campaigns. they do it once would be highly unusual but to have nine different people, at least, and
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probably many more, who had some level of contact with people very close to vladimir putin, it's weird. is it illegal? we'll find out, but it's definitely weird. >> it's very weird. you know i'm just teasing you about not being moved. >> i'm not easily moved. >> i know that. i know this about you. and i have to say, paul, jim was at the white house when the bush white house had a special counsel appointed to uncover the details about how valerie plame's name was revealed, how she was outed as a spy. we were often learning from the press where the special -- where pat fitzgerald had taken the investigation. so not to overplay the abc reporting, but it is possible that there are people in this white house who learned from that account about the special counsel now seeking document production from the justice department. >> special counsel robert mueller was my boss when i worked at the justice department. he's a stickler for expediency.
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it's going to take a long time but this will be quicker than a lot of other investigations. he's also a man of integrity. so i'm confident the leaks are not coming from his office. so if you get asked to talk to him, you don't have to keep it a secret. his prosecutors do. but witnesses and lawyers are free to talk. they're encouraged not to. i think the really big deal here is michael flynn. so he's shady character number one. we know at the time he was becoming the national security adviser. he was also talking to turkey about $15 million for possibly kidnapping another cliche, what did the president know and when did he know it? february 14th of this year, he asked comey, can you see your way to give flynn a break? if trump knew at that time that flynn was working for the turkish government at the same time that he was the national security adviser, that's not just obstruction. that's bordering on treason. >> and what's the repercussion. i've heard their defense is
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always if trump knew about it, he would have tweeted about it. how long can you adhere to this, trump sees no evil, hears no evil, does now evil defense. is that a legal defense? >> if you really don't know and are ignorant, it's not a legal defense but in terms of having jury appeal if you can say, i deb didn't know, i didn't mean to. that's going to make a difference to jurors and the prosecutors. you don't bring this case unless you're sure you can win it before a jury. at the same time, so many evasions, nontransparency, not just with trump but with sessions, gates, carter page, papadopoulos. at the end of the day, oh, i just department know idn't knowt doesn't add up. >> i think that they do sort of start falling back on their crutches. one of their crutches is collusion isn't illegal. the second crutch is, oh, we were just so clueless.
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we were so -- they figured out how to win. >> they like to downplay that. one of their favorite arguments is the trump campaign couldn't even collude with the rnc in pennsylvania or -- >> i've heard that a million times. >> i don't know how credible any of that all really is. i think this wouldn't come at a worse time right now for donald trump. presumably, well, i shouldn't presume anything with this congress or with this white house. you're looking at a tax bill that is making progress on capitol hill. this could be something of a victory for president trump, if it gets to the right place. now the russia stuff has been on the back burner for the last few weeks and months. the manafort indictments but that was really the first time we heard of the story in a long time. so the president right now is intent on demonstrating some type of forward momentum. as soon as the story line becomes about russia again, is when i think the president starts to have a meltdown. and that's when the tweets get worse. he starts lashing out.
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not just at hillary clinton or a football player or basketball player's father but at members of congress as we see him do in the past at robert mueller potentially, and that's not going to be pretty. >> not going to be pretty or helpful for his cause. it would be an insult to suggest that trump bottomed out over the weekend on twitter but he made some very good progress. the president suggesting three american college students should have been left in jail in china because they were insufficiently grateful. and that hillary clinton is the worst and biggest loser of all time. and there's more. also ahead -- as more of roy moore's victims speak out, three of alabama's largest newspapers urging the largely republican state to reject moore and vote for the democrat. relief for puerto rico. two months after hurricane maria ravaged the island, half of its citizens are still without power. what lasting harm did the president's harsh political war of words for some of its elected leaders have on recovery efforts there? i don't want to sound paranoid, but d'ya think
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without a tee time or government-funded trip to one of his properties, the president was home alone with his twitter feed this weekend and no one was spared. on the three ucl basketball players who were freed from a chinese prison, trump got into a public feud with the father of one of the players. the president tweeting, now that the three basketball players are out of china and saved from years in jail, lavar ball, the father of liangelo is unaccepting of what i did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal.
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i should have left them in jail. shoplifting is a very big deal in china. as it should be. 5 to 10 years in jail. but not to father lavar. should have gotten his son out during my next trip to china instead. china told them why they were released, very ungrateful. and on hillary clinton he wrote this. crooked hillary clinton is the worst and biggest loser of all time. she just can't stop, which is so good for the republican party. hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years. and this one was my personal favorite. this was in response to gop senator jeff flake who was overheard saying the republican party would be toast if it became the party of trump and alabama's senate candidate roy moore. senator jeff flakey who is unelectable in the great state of arizona, quit race, anemic polls, was caught purposely on mike written like the guy's name
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saying bad things about your favorite president. his career is toast. i need my high school grammar teacher to diagram those sentences. helping us out in this conversation from l.a., mike murphy who may moonlight as a high school grammar teach are for all i know. and former adviser to mitt romney and john mccain. help me out here. throw me a lifeline. what did i just read? they don't even sound real. >> it's just raging thumbs on a keyboard. it's like therapy -- >> do you blame the thumbs or is that your -- >> no, i blame him. it's just this is -- i totally blame him. the only suspicion i have is there's an amplifier effect because some of these tweets apparently he dictates to hope or has a social media guy. and i think on the phone when he's doing that or in the room he wants to impress them. we get into this feedback. i'll show them. tell them this, tell them that
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and it just amplifies itself and it's crazy. it's like going to the monkey house at the zoo. you make eye contact with them too long and he throws the feces at you. twitter is his weapon of choice. >> i'm going to leave that right there and for both of our sake i'm going to turn to jim. i want to read you something that was in buzzfeed today. mcmaster mocked trump's intelligence. the top national security official dismissed the president variously as an idiot and a dope with the intelligence of a kindergartner. buzzfeed's reporting is based on five sources with knowledge of the conversation, but oracle, who is the host and the trump administration heatedly denied the comments. i bring this up only because if true, it would have taken place almost the same week, the same exact period in which rex tillerson called the president a moron and went out and, as we all know, didn't deny that he
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had said that. i think maybe a spokesperson has since denied that. but this period in july where his national security adviser has had to take him into the tank at the pentagon and brief him on the world, it seems like more than a coincidence. and it seems like this reporting based on five sources could very well be true. if you have your national security adviser and secretary of state who think you are an idiot, a dope and in tillerson's case a moron, that doesn't really -- the tweets seem to reinforce their analysis. >> if my staff thought i was a dope and a morornn, i probably shouldn't be ceo of oxios. we know the tillerson is true based on his reaction and other reporting. i don't know if the mcmaster thing is true. mcmaster and trump haven't gotten along and i can imagine him getting furious with trump in some of these meetings when he comes ill-prepared on complex topics. the morning tweet stuff over the weekend, here's some news we can
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all use. don't look at twitter on the weekend. like substantively, nothing new ever happens from trump on twitter. emotionally it can make all of us deranged because it is the name-calling you're talking about. just freeze the last two minutes of your show and put it in a museum. like that is america 2017. >> let me tell you who agrees with you. i'm a huge golden state warriors fan. steve kerr says what you said but in the case of donald trump, you can't ignore him. he's the president. >> you can ignore him. you can. we can actively choose on the weekend to ignore him. when he's alone with his tweeter, he's going to say absurd things, call hillary names and go after anybody whoa has a grievance with so that we all get jazzed up about it. i get just as jazzed up as you. i'm not being critical of it, but nothing substantive happens. it's all rhetoric. i was telling someone the other day. imagine that you had gone to bed on election day and woke up this morning and just read what has happened. you didn't watch twitter or
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listen to what he says. like a lot hasn't actually happened. it's all this nonsensical rhetoric, largely manifested on twitter that sends us all into a tizzy. but it is remarkable and as much as i can on the weekends, i'd rather listen to my kids do it than trump. >> we were talking. i did not watch any news or follow the president over the weekend. so i read in last night. and maybe it packs more punch when you read it all at once. but i did catch adam schiff's response. the president would have left american students in a foreign jail because their families department lavish sufficient praise on him. how can someone in such a big office be so small? and you -- just to sort of address jim's point, they are petty nonsense, but we have always throughout the history of american sort of presidential politics, we've always taken any little window into the human being as an opportunity to glean something about how they govern. and i think what we glean from these tweets and jim is right.
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they're nothing more than his musings. it is petty. it's all about him. he didn't release anyone from jail was he was compelled to have americans have their justice get it out in america. he did it with an expectation that he'd be praised and celebrated like the people he was visiting. >> and it's a demonstration under complete lack of utter impulse control. jim is right. they're substanceless but they have a big impact hospopularity. you can actually trace the polling from the day that he tweeted about having his wires tapped, obama tapping his wires at trump tower and look at his job approval rating and that's when it starts to take a turn from which he still has yet to recover. >> you have written about not just trump's tweets but what he sees on twitter. what i've learned is that is what he's doing the rhetoric, as jim said, and what makes him unpopular among swing voters and some who crossed over and voted for him. i've heard this, too.
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they hate the tweets. they like the policies, even as polarizing and as extreme as some of them are. but they hate the tweets. he sees reinforcement for it. >> it's important to say, the americans broadly think donald trump should stop tweeting. a lot of republicans and people who support trump think so as well. there's this pew poll that came out that i keep coming back to. it said that of those people who approve of donald trump, 50% of them approve of him because of his style and not because of the policies that he's enacting. they like that he gets into these fights. and so going back to the point we just made about how he only looks at poll numbers that reinforce his base. this is him talking to his world and his world talking back to him. the same way he sits and watches fox news all morning. he sees just a certain feed and that's the environment in which he lives. that's important for us to pay attention to. we need to know what donald trump is seeing about to his world and what he's hearing back from his world. >> i don't think all of this is
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substanceless. these are done for a reason. a very politically calculated reason. these tweets came as this russia investigation heated up as the moore campaign became a bigger problem for the campaign. and both this and he also threw in an nfl protest tweet as well. these things fan that. he lochs this culture war. n the ucla tweets and nfl protest tweets fuel that kind of culture war that he likes, that he thinks his base likes that are criticized by civil rights organizations, of course, who have called them racial dog whistles. i think these are things that are political calculations that he's taken. i don't think it's all without substance. >> let me give you a really quick last word on the substance of jeff flake's comments caught. not like a hot mike moment and that he's written a book on the same topic, but he did enrage the president by asserting once again that if the party follows moore and trump, we're toast. >> yeah, look.
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i think the math is right. politics is a weird mix of kind of noise and math in the long term. the demography of the country is changing and the guy who was 2.9 million votes behind in the popular vote, where now if you ran the election he'd be 3 million behind just on demographic change. i think trump is in real trouble. but the issue is right now and we're going to have some bumpy political and policy times. >> and we pals haalways have on helmets. roy moore rolls on with his campaign for the u.s. senate but some local voices are pushing back. she's nationally recognized for her compassion and care. he spent decades fighting to give families a second chance. but to help others, they first had to protect themselves. i have afib. even for a nurse, it's complicated... and it puts me at higher risk of stroke.
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a second woman has step forward with an allegation
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against democratic senator al franken. she says it happened while they posed for a photo in 2010 while he was in office. franken has already said he plans to fully cooperate with any senate ethics investigation having to do with the first allegation for which he has apologized. but down in alabama, roy moore is still standing his ground against the nine women, most of whom were teenagers at the time, who have accused him of sexual misconduct. here he is on a breitbart reporter's radio show over the weekend. >> i believe with all my heart that mitch mcconnell and the establishment are in cahoots with the democrats to stop this campaign. they have taken a calculated risk for two years with the democrats and tried to elect another republican in two years. and they want me out. and so that's what's going on. >> following that, one of his accusers, who was 14 when she said her abuse from moore took
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place, was on the "today" show today responding to questions that money was somehow involved in "the washington post" original reporting. >> were you paid or compensated in any way by any entity for your story? >> absolutely not. absolutely not. if anything, this has cost me. i've had to take leave from my job. i have no tickets to tahiti, and my bank account has not flourished. if anything, it has gone down because currently i'm not working. >> and alabama's three largest newspapers all run by the alabama media group put this editorial on the front pages. stand for decency. reject roy moore. the panel is still here. let me ask you to weigh in on this moore defense. he just tweeted since we came on the air along the same lines. mitch mcconnell loved being top senate republican under obama. he didn't have to do anything. but now he blocks the maga
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agenda. sad. sounds familiar. how is trump's little mini me sustain this lunacy that he's not wanted for anything other than the fact that he is a sexual predator who preyed on teenage girls? why isn't that part of the defense? >> it's important to remember this is roy moore. twice sitting as chief justice of the alabama supreme court and twice ousted from that role because he rejectioned institutional law. he digs in his heels and fights his fights. he clearly wants to be senator and has done nothing that he has wavered or feels any regrets for what's happened to these young women. it's ridiculous to say -- mitch mcconnell would love to have any senator who is a republican in that seat except roy moore because of these allegations. he didn't want roy moore to win the primary. that's absolutely true. but there is no indication he was going to try and take him out of office prior to all this stuff coming up. mitch mcconnell wants to have
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the -- we heard the republican governor say she was going to vote for roy moore. she believed that the women who were coming forward with these stories were telling the truth but she wanted to have a republican vote in favor of this next message or supreme court justices was an example she used. i don't think that's an uncommon argument and one that mitch mcconnell would make but for these allegations. >> mitch mcconnell said i believe the women. you either believe that nine women who have nothing to gain and everything to lose as we just heard from his youngest victim, have come forward and told their story. i think the original "washington post" reporting, which was exquisitely detailed, early similar to the harvey weinstein reporting. since the revolutions were first made public, we've only had more and more proof points which was how these stories unfold when they're true. >> it's true. you see some roy moore supporters keep calling them unsubstantiated claims or saying there's no evidence. and that is just simply not the case. it's one thing to make a
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political calculation like some of his supporters have which is unfortunate and a problem for the republican party but, yes, mitch mcconnell who said those four words. i believe the women which were very important words to say they came at a time where some folks were still saying, if true, then it's terrible and he needs to step down and that really changed the conversation, the way that the republicans framed that moving forward. but politically, there's still the problem that a lot of folks who support roy moore hate mitch mcconnell and the fact he's talking about ousting him if he were to win is funding roy moore's fund-raising. and sort of backfiring in that way. >> jim, let me get you in on this. everything -- any reporting you guys have unearthed about what sort of inspired mitch mcconnell to take it farther than anyone at the white house had to that point, taken it and to say those words, i believe the women? >> he looked at the women on the
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record. looks at the women on camera making a charge about a grown man going after a 14, 15, 16-year-old girl. there's almost no place, if i ever met people that would say that's kooshlgs that's fine. let's vote for that person. mitch mcconnell did what he thought was right. the big moral question for the republican party is going to come if moore wins. do they really try to expel him from the senate? mitch mcconnell says they would try to. i don't know if they'd get two-thirds of the senate. a big chunk of the republican party to kick him out of the institution if he does win. and he could win. the polls definitely look bad for him in the last couple of days. it's a very conservative state where republicans see very, very supportive of roy moore. and the white house today basically endorsed him by saying let the voters decide. they didn't say this is horrific behavior that should not be tolerated. they basically said let the voters decide. it's possible roy moore does win and republicans have to have another moral quandary and
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decide whether they follow through on a lot of the words of mitch mcconnell and others. >> mike murphy, let me get you in on this. how does a republican sort of not take that stand and not vote to expel someone who molested a 14-year-old girl? >> in the end, they will and have to. the only thing worse than roy moore running around wild in alabama is running around wild in the u.s. senate. so he will -- i heard from the democratic operatative was a little talk on the democratic side of the senate. what if we don't vote to expel and don't get to two-thirds. that was laughed down as a crazy idea. the votes are there. right now as jim said, moore is a little behind in the polling, but it is alabama. i've worked down there. it's a rock hard republican state and the creeper vote tends to underreport. if i had to bet, i'd bet moore loses but it's still an operative race. i'm sure there will be the votes
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on the republican side to expel this guy and then the. >> referee: governor will appoint somebody new who is sane and not the kind of creep that roy moore is. in the end, some republicans would argue better that he win, get expelled and get another vote in there than lose the vote to a democrat, even a conservative one like jones. >> we don't talk a lot about the democrat mike murphy. he's a very, prosecutor -- why isn't that a shoo-in as almost you can see republicans saying, you have to have a democrat. he's a darn good one to have. >> absolutely. brought a very tough civil rights case in alabama. won the case against racial justice. as a republican you'd think it's someone they'd be championing, who they'd be proud to have representing them. but, you know, they're not going for it. you have to wonder what's up. >> the brave ones would say i'd rather have a brave one than a pedophile. it has been two months since hurricane maria made a direct
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hit on puerto rico. our next guest is just back to weigh in on the price the uislad has paid for questioning the president's response. in the southern tier is helping build the new new york. starting with advanced manufacturing that brings big ideas to life. and cutting-edge transportation development to connect those ideas to the world. along with urban redevelopment projects worthy of the world's top talent. all across new york state, we're building the new new york. to grow your business with us in new york state visit
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today marks two months since hurricane maria ravaged puerto rico. half of the island is still without power. the death toll still unknown. the president hasn't tweeted about puerto rico since mid-october. "the washington post" wrote in an editorial that the departure from puerto rico this week of the army general who led the military's response to hurricane maria is being depicted as a sign the island is no longer in crisis mode but instead transitioning to long-term recovery. let's ask our next guest who is just back from puerto rico herself. new york city council speaker favorito. if that's the case is that an appropriate designation from the federal response to say it's
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transitioning out of crisis mode when half the island is without power and into long-term rebuilding? >> it's not out of crisis mode. it's still in full-fledged crisis mode. when we talk about 50%, talking about power generation which does not mean that people have -- 50% of the people on the island have power. and we all know economies, how much everything is relying on electricity these days. and you have a grid which is highly unstable. that you may have power generation one day. the next day dips down to below half. well below half. it's very, very fragile and inconsistent. obviously, recovery of the electric grid is critical. as the mayor of san juan indicated, once you leave the capital area you still see the need. people may have access to water but they cannot drink that water. it has to be filtered or purified and people are accessing water from areas that are unsafe. there are legitimate concerns we still have and the fact that the president may not be paying attention to it on twitter, maybe his agencies are also taking the lead that it's not
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critical. that it's not important to continue to put emphasis on it. we have to continue to raise the alarm. it's still a crisis. an incredible crisis, particularly for those communities more out of reach and harder to get to. >> do you think the island has paid a price for sort of the intensely political nature of the fight that president trump had with the mayor of san juan in the days after the disaster hit? >> everything has happened is based on the president's response, right, that he is a fragile individual. he is very emotional and unhinged, and his response to any sort of criticism is taking it personally. and then kind of responds in kind so it's hard for some of thyself agen these agencies not to be responsive to their leader. the ones that suffer are the ones on the ground and that's very unfortunate. also the racist element here. there are policies put in place which have puerto rico being
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treated very different than what other states have been treated. and that is also in line with the view he has of us as a people. and it's very racist in nature. and his policies are following that lead. >> it's a strong charge so i want to press you a little bit. what you back up the charge with is that you haven't seen anything in the response that suggests puerto rico is getting the fulsome government support that the disasters in texas or florida got? is that the sense of the people in puerto rico, too? >> without a doubt. and i think also when you talk about the level of aid being talked about, it's more in the figure of loans or well below what is needed. about $94 billion that's needed and others have said that's what would be needed or more. we're not talking about anything near that when we talk about the amount of resources being allocated. no discussion about eliminating
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the debt, eliminating the jones act. critically important for the future and economic well-being of the island. >> you bring me back to those early tweets from the president. he actually attacked puerto rico for all of those things. last question. you were at the march in d.c. yesterday. what does puerto rico still need from congress? what do they need from leaders still listening and paying attention? >> the ones i outlined. get elimination of the debt which is talking about the jones act which is about recovery and that is being defined by the puerto rican people. and by nobody else. and that proper resources are allocated to respond to that. so it really is something that takes a lot of work and attention. something this administration doesn't seem to be able to do. can't walk and chew gum at the same time but this is still a crisis. we desperately need the support and there's great effort on the ground. people are helping themselves but we cannot do this alone. >> would you like to see the military leader, the general
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come back until the crisis mode has sort of taken a turn that you'd like to see? >> i think there is a level -- that would be a move. the fact that he's walking away or leaving is giving that away r leaving is giving the impression things are vastly improving and that is not the case. images need to be out there. people haven were incredibly supportive and the spirit on the ground of great resilience, those here have to raise the pressure. >> be the voice. when we come back, what may end up being the most popular decision of the trump presidency. to reach your business goals it takes more than buzz words. it tooks tools. tools to help you work better. attracting customers and driving growth getting you and your business to the next level. join me weekend mornings at 7:30 on msnbc and connect with us
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after receiving widespread condemnation for lifting the obama era ban bringing hunted elephant trophies into the united states president trump took to twitter first to halt the decision of his own fish and wildlife service writing, "put big game trophy on hold until i review facts. under study for years. will update soon with secretary zinke." and then, "will be very hardpressed to change my mind that this horror show helps conservation or elephants or any other animal. >> do we have a breakthrough with the president, taking a position that may be against his own son's interest in elephant hunting? >> against some other great,
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powerful interests, too, like the national rifle association, nicolle. came out in strong support when president trump initially announced he was lifting the ban on the import of elephant. >> ivory, right? the ban was on ivory? >> essentially. yes. so basically, what you had was this fierce backlash from the right, from people you wouldn't ordinarily assume to be critics of president trump, laura ingraham, fox news and talk radio host. mike sernavich, and -- >> what was the reason? >> why would anyone shoot these beautiful animals? what it boils down to. a poke i spoke to in the fact, he gets it. doesn't like the fact his sons are hunters.
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never been a gun guy although he's become a champion of the second amendment. in doing this he realizes, it's really inhumane to kill these majestic creatures. >> i agree with everything you said. he gooid decidecided he believe >> i agree with you on elephants. made my day. we have to sneak in one more break and be right back. a tiny sword? bread...breadstick? a matchstick! a lamppost! coin slot! no? uhhh... 10 seconds. a stick! a walking stick! eiffel tower, mount kilimanjaro! (ding) time! sorry, it's a tandem bicycle. what? what?! as long as sloths are slow, you can count on geico saving folks money. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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and it might be hard ♪ what ito handle ♪ve got ♪ but like the flame that burns the candle ♪ ♪ the candle feeds the flame topped steak & twisted potatoes at applebee's. eatin' good in the neighborhood. if any animal is bridge the divide, it's an elephant. it is another sign this white house is not functions as a well-oiled machine. i appreciate that the president landed in a place that you just described as thinking of these beautiful creatures shouldn't die, but how did he make the wrong decision in the first place? >> that's the idea. what led to this dis, wiecision everything going on? clearly interests going on at play and the president was unaware of it, if he's so
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clearly against it now. it does sort of speak to a malfunctioning about the messaging from this administration. >> and this goes to, extends to policymaking. >> right. again, we don't know how this came about. seems his son donald trump jr. has been photographed actually having hunted elephants, what seems like maybe pressure coming from her family. we don't know what the cause was. again, this is not normal. maybe this is just too much a metaphor of an elephant being killed by donald trump and didn't like it. >> spared this one. big thanks to you all. that does it for our hour. i'm nicolle wallace, "mtp daily" continues now with the fabulous katy tur. >> if it's monday, need we say more? tonight, more silence. >> do you believe his accusers? >> do you believe roy moore's accusers, mr. president? >> thank you very much. >> how president trump's silence about roy moore


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