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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  March 4, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PST

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little time to go and use that vote to deal with these issues. that does it for me. thanks for watching. i'll see you back here next sunday. now to my colleague, alex witt. >> another very important message, rev, from your studio pulpit. thank you so much for that. >> thank you. >> have a good sunday. very good morning to all of you. i'm alex witt at msnbc headquarters. 9:00 a.m. in the east and 6:00 in the west. presidential mood. new reports about dark days at the white house after a roller coaster week involving at least three key administration players including hope hicks who's on her way out. there's new scrutiny on what she refused to tell the house intelligence committee when they asked her about russia. >> this is the return of the cold war. >> hot talk over a new cold war. what do vladimir putin's threats amount to and why no public reaction from the white house? an expert on the russian leader joins me. the escalating rhetoric over tariffs. who are the likely winners and
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losers as president trump delivers new threats, this time over europe and cars. but we begin with a live picture of the white house and president trump signaling the start of negotiations for a possible sitdown with north korea. speaking to a room full of reporters at an annual dinner in washington last night. president trump said of north korea a couple of days ago they said they would like to talk, and i said, so would we, but you have to de-nuke. we will be meeting and see if anything positive happens. now earlier in the day the president attended a funds rafu at his mar-a-lago estate. xi jinping retained power. >> don't forget, china's great and xi is a great gentleman. he's now president for life.
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president for life. no, he's great. and, look, he's able to do that. i think it's great. maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day. >> also new today, the washington post is out with a new report, pure madness. that's how one ally of the president describes his behavior in the wake of recent scandals. aides over the past week have described an anxiety and air of disbelief. we haven't bottomed out. let's bring in nbc news white house correspond department kelly o'donnell. kelly, good morning to you. i want to start first with north korea. did that announcement come as a surprise? >> reporter: well, yes, and we're trying to really determine was it an announcement? was it a hint? was it a part of the president's planned humor? now remember, this is an event where the president is intentionally making fun of himself, of his administration, of the political environment and so there was some clearly
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attempts at humor in that piece of this. this is a dinner that has never been televised in its 133 years so we're rye lying elying on a reporters who were in there who transcribed the peresident. what was he saying that was funny and was he trying to make some head way. in the tape you played about the chinese president, you can see if you only read the words, you might have one impression. when you hear the intonation and the laughter, you get a zones that the president might have been working the room. does that apply to north korea? what is notable, he makes a reference to the north koreans wanting to have talks. the president being open to having talks. wanting the north koreans to commit to denuclearization and yet what we don't know is was this part of his presentation? was it a wish? did something really happen? were there actual conversations? we reach out to white house officials to try to get some
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clarification. we've yet to hear back on this. it certainly felt like, according to the transcript, that the president was having a bit of fun and then maybe significasigna signaling some movement there. he is trying to help north korea and south korea keep the credit. the president has previously taken credit for that. he went from the funny part to actually talking about real policy. so at this point we have to leave it open to interpretation until we get some more guidance. alex? >> can we also touch on tariffs? you well know that the president was tweeting about trade, tariffs yesterday. do we expect anymore information from him this week on that? >> here the president has been far more direct and up front about what his wishes are. we still don't know what's going to happen because he was sitting with officials and manufacturers of the steel and aluminum businesses when he said tariffs are going to happen this coming
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week. significant tariffs on imports. the president then got quite a bit of blow back from u.s. allies around the world and then he went to twitter. he said if the european union wants to further -- i'm just losing it here. my apologies. >> that's okay. >> their already massive tariffs on u.s. companies, we will simply apply a tax on their cars which freely pour into the u.s. so the president racheting up conversations about tariffs when a global marketplace is at times quite fragile and the president's voice in this is always important. he has mixed things up in the last few days making many of the u.s. allies uncomfortable, sparking threats of retaliation on various businesses and so the big question will be over the next few days, will the president somehow dial this back? will he take input from allies even within the white house to say this policy needs more time to be carefully thought through. we just don't know. this is the president really throwing a kind of explosive
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into the discussion about trade, an issue that has been a very long time campaign issue and one that he has brought to the white house. this is going to be a big week for this. >> kelly o'donnell, we'll see you again later. thank you so much. joining me right now, betsy woodruff and josh barrows. big welcome to you both. betsy, you heard kelly say, we just don't know. what are you hearing on the issue of where tariffs stand right now? >> the big issue of what happens next is whether or not the ultimate new policy has any carve outs for american allies. some of the countries we're most closely a lillied with are if te tariffs equitably go to all of the countries.
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japan is one of our closest allies. we have a very close trading relationship with them. both of those nations would be punished if the tariffs are implemented the way the president suggested last week. the question is are there carve outs or exemptions in these tariffs. whatever their final form looks like to try to protect or at least soften the blow they could have on our close allies. it's very much a closed question. free traders, especially gary cohn, are pushing for there to be exemptions. the fact that the president made the announcement without much consultation or reliance on their advice, indicates there's not as much clout. >>ve outs, we know that he's gotten blow back. do you think all of our allies have said, we're going to push back and put tariffs on things you export? do you think that will help influence the carve out prospect? >> it's hard to say, especially
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with that tweet that kelly just read. he's treating the european union like it's some sort of adversary. we would think we wouldn't punish people who we cooperate with every day but this is president trump and anything goes. >> all bets are off. okay, josh. i know that you've written about how the president's tariff proposal will hurt the manufacturing industry, even though the president says, no, it's actually going to protect them. talk about that. why is that? >> so it will protect certain jobs directly in steel and aluminum manufacturing. it will allow american manufacturers to charge higher prices for those products. the initial effect will be that they raise prices because it takes a long time to increase the capacity of your steel mill ramp up, hire more people. at first you have the benefit that your competitors in other countries, they're subject to this tax so you can raise your price. in the long run you could get some job creation in places like
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western kentucky, eastern ohio. they're in the business of making things out of steel and aluminum so this increases the price for their inputs. they have to try to pass that price on to their ultimate consumers. that will discourage demand. you saw electrolux, the appliance manufacturer announce that they were holding off on an investment in a plant in tennessee because they thought that these tariffs, the redwierr requirement for them to pay more for the metals, what we saw you had a similar policy with the bush administration in 2002 where they imposed steel tariffs. that did save some jobs in steel making but it was way more than offset by the overall cost to the economy. pain that was caused in all the sectors other than steel manufacturing. so on net this won't save jobs and it won't even save jobs in manufacturing. if you look at a place like michigan where they make cars, you put a ton of steel in every car you make. that adds to the cost for
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american automakers. makes them less competitive as they compete with automakers around the world. >> good explanation. i want to turn to the president's remarks on china's president xi who's seeking to abolish term limits. maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day he says. i'm curious, betsy. do you think this was all tongue in cheek? there is a thing called the 22nd -- >> given that congress can fund the government, it would seem difficult to amend the constitution. the president has a habit of saying things that are half serious, half joking. he has an unusual sense of humor. frequently he says things that could be quite consequential that his staff later claimed to be jokes. sort of the classic example of this is during the campaign when trump said, russia, if you have hillary clinton's missing e-mails, i hope you make them public. >> yeah. >> it sounded kind of serious
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but his staffers were adamant afterwards that he didn't mean it and he was just kidding. i think the broader truth here, and what's important with the comments that he made according to the cnn audio, is that the president sort of instinctively has a bit of envy for autocrats and dictators around the world. he's not somebody who seems impulsively to support or at least to be sympathetic with some of the broader ideals of liberal democracy. the best example is some of the comments he's made publicly, he's suggested that singapore and the philippines have the right idea, they execute people who sell drugs. they're significantly less free than the united states and those are the countries that trump seems to think that our government should emulate. his comments about president xi, i think it was clear that he was joking about wanting to get rid of term limits but more broadly, this set of instincts that he has, this sort of envy that he has of auto kratz who have their power concentrated, that seems
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to be a very real thing. >> so, josh, even if it was a joke, is there an heir of real responsibility by saying these things? >> sure. there is in much of this administration. i think to betsy's point, i do think the president was joking here about himself. i don't think he was joking about xi and this goes to the way that he's interacted with vladimir putin and a number of other strong men figures around the world where i do think that he envies and admires their style of leadership. i think he envies the way that they don't have to listen so much to their critics the way he has to do it here. this is a president who can't fire his own attorney general whom he hates. he is not anywhere close to moving in the sort of direction. he doesn't have the ability that xi does. i think it would be a nightmare for donald trump to have to be president for the rest of his life given the way that the presidency has treated him so far. so i think there's a part of him inside that would like to be like xi but that's not available. >> not the reality.
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i want to talk about the washington post article which paints a pretty grim picture of the white house. betsy, based on what you're seeing, how accurate is that portrait? >> that's completely accurate. the staff turnover, the tension, i think at first glance some of these stories can look like inside the beltway gossip, stuff that perhaps only people who care about the mechanics of washington would be really interested in, but the reality is that these stories and this information is part of making sense of a lot of the policy decisions that the trump white house makes. nbc reported last week that because the president was so irate with some of his advisers, he made this tariff announcement in the rash and unplanned way that he made it. so for people who are reading these stories and trying to make sense of why the mood in the white house is so important, why the anger and frac shusness and
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unpredictability of those vieders matter. all of these matter because the way the white house works actually has direct impacts on what the white house does which obviously impacts the american economy. >> right. >> jobs, this sense and mood music that we're getting from "the washington post" is vital to why trump works the way he does. >> in addition to working the why he works the way he does, i'm curious why this comes out. according to the "post" this is based on interviews with 22 white house officials, friends, advise zwroers trurs to trump. >> this white house has been very leaky. i wouldn't necessarily assume it's strategic because something makes it into the press. in terms of why this is happening now, i think it's not just that the president's moods are causing the staff turnover. to a larger extent, it's the other direction. some of this goes back to the resignation of staff secretary rob porter.
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we had wondered why were they protecting porter who is not an especially high profile white house official in spite of these credible accusations that he had abused his exwives, coming to light and then with the tariff decision, the report has been that porter was the person controlling that process keeping the president away from making impulsive decisions. with him gone everyone has been able to get in front of the president, rile him up and sort of prod him into making this impulsive decision. i think that's likely to happen in a lot of areas. i think that increasing chaos even though his management philosophy and theory is supposed to be to have the chaos, competitive people under him. because it makes his white house so turbulent it's lookly to make him more volatile in the long run and not to be so happy even if he sort of tried to build that. >> it has been reported that gary cohn said to the president regarding tariffs, you can't do this. you can't do that. and that may have been what flipped this president.
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does that go along with your reporting as well? >> yeah. i think that certainly passes the smell des. the president doesn't like being told that he can't take certain steps. cohn is an influential voice. we're seeing that his cloud is not what it used to be. >> trade is one of the policies where the president had a real ideological view where it was consistent before the campaign. there are some topics where the president does not have a strong fixed view and was open to listen to advisers. this is a thing he has an opinion. people are saying he's been saying to advisers, bring me tariffs. this is something he was likely to get around to. >> you guys, great conversation. thanks so much. >> thank you. why my next guest says the investigations into russian
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meddling is not enough. new editorial about hope hicks and what she did before she resigned as white house communications director. em for . i'm also on a lot of medications that dry my mouth. i just drank tons of water all the time. it was never enough. i wasn't sure i was going to be able to continue singing. i saw my dentist. he suggested biotene. it feels refreshing. my mouth felt more lubricated. i use biotene rinse twice a day and then i use the spray throughout the day. it actually saved my career in a way. biotene really did make a difference. [heartbeat] cohigher!ad! higher! parents aren't perfect, but then they make us kraft mac & cheese and everything's good again.
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now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. this is the return of the cold war. the united states and russia have each been about 1500 and 1800 warheads. they have hundreds of ways to deliver those warheads by submarine, bombers and missiles. this is according to putin, he's
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just trying to defend their interests. >> one animation showed warheads raining down on florida. joining me is he haevelyn farqu. always good to talk with you. >> likewise. >> is this a new arms race? >> no. i don't think it's a new arms race. there are two things i would bear in mind here. first of all, president putin is up for re-election march 18th. that's what he's doing right there. he's giving a speech to the russian people saying i made russia great again. we can stand up to the united states so come out and vote en masse. he knows he's going to win the elections but he wants a high turnout. his second audience is actually
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aimed a little bit at the united states. he's angry at us because, first of all, we killed some of the russian contractors working for the russian government in syria and, of course, he knows that we continue to have a larger military, a more capable military than the russian military so he's venting a little bit there. the third point i guess i would make is that he's also admitting that russia cheated. run of those -- one of those missiles, the ground launch cre cruise missile is one that they're denying they're developing. he's doing what he's done before, deny, deny, deny, admit. he's now admitting that he's violated a bilateral international treaty with the united states and that russia is spending more money on weapons but none of that is a surprise to the pentagon. the bottom line is nothing's really change. >> so you think it's true that he has an earth-hugging drone, that he potentially has an
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underwater drone which he could use to strike us. and if that's true, why is that -- the president has not commented on that snnchts we? >> well, in regards to weapon and development, we are well aware of that. the intermediate cruise missile, we've been aware of that as well, as i mentioned, so none of this is alarming from the perspective of the pentagon. they will work to continue to beef up u.s. deterrence and if needed we'll alter our missile defense system. right now it's not actually aimed at russia and the russians know that. if they continue to speak the way that they've been speaking from the kremlin they will face a u.s. military that will adjust its missile defense capability. i do think it's alarming though, to get to your question, that the president hasn't said anything because the russian president should not be threatening the united states to include florida with these -- you know, with these videos, et cetera, even though it's within
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the context of a domestic political campaign. our president needs to stand up to russia across a whole host of issues. >> look, it's almost as if they targeted russia because, of course, that's where mar-a-lago is. that was particularly a dig at the president, you might interpret it that way. what about the numbers, evelyn, these more allegedly low yield nukes that are being developed right now, is that really where concern is? >> i think our concern should be there because what it gets at actually, alex, is not numbers, it gets to somehow lowering the threshold for use of nuclear weapons. i've written about this. other people have expressed alarm about the fact that the russians have a military doctrine that allows them to use lower yield nuclear weapons if they feel that the existence of the russian state is at stake. that's highly alarming. they will determine whether they think their state is at risk and the use of nuclear weapons should be something that's
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absolutely the last resort. there should be no space for tactical nuclear weapons. in that respect what the russian president says is alarming because as usual, because this is not new for him, he's talking about nuclear weapons in a way that we regard as calf valier. >> i know you have called for a bipartisan commission to look into the russian meddling. here's the question, do we need another group of congress people mulling this over? >> we need another group of retired, respected states men and states women, not members of congress, people who will take a sober view of all of the evidence and lay out for the american people the entire story of what happened with the russian attack on our elects and what any americans might have done to help them. it's really important because robert mueller's investigation will only provide the american people with the parts of the story that lead to criminal evidence and prosecution.
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he's not responsible for giving us any information about things that don't rise to the level of a prosecution so there will be a lot of gaps, unless he decides to fill in the gaps, but he's not required to. congress, on the other hand, should be giving us a full picture, but as you know -- >> yeah. >> -- they are completely divided politically. they refuse -- on the house side they refuse to subpoena key witnesses who would be required to give information to the congressional investigators and congress is not looking at their own role in whatever happened with russia and with u.s. personnel, with u.s. citizens. an independent commission would also look at what congress has done or hasnd done and issue recommendations pertaining to congress. >> okay. very clear why you've asked for that now. thank you. coming up, who is next to go? does president trump want jared and eivanka to leave the white
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house? the hope hicks departure, is it having a destabilizing impact on the president? saving other hom. neighbors helping neighbors and strangers alike. - this is what america's about. - sometimes it's nice to see all the good that's out there. bringing folks out, we have seen it in community after community. you wouldn't accept from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances.
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we have new insight this hour from a former white house official. here's former chief of staff reince priebus defending president trump's announcement about tariffs. >> what the president does and he writes about it even in his own books is he puts rivals around him intellectually. they fight it out. the media covers the fight but ultimately the decision is made. the drama is there and that's how the president makes decisions. >> an article in the washington post pulling back the curtain on one of the most volatile weeks. these are the darkest days in at least half a year and describing the president who is fuming, frustrated and increasingly isolated. let's bring in adrian elrod and sabrina shaver, vice president at the harold group.
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i want to read another perspective. administration officials and outsiders with windows into decision making describe a growing sense of despair within trump's ranks driven by the mounting frustration that intuition and improvisation is incompatible with a competently functioning executive branch. mixed messages on guns, is there truth to that? >> look, alex, i think there is a lot that is unconventional at this white house, no doubt. i spend a lot of time at the herald group and working with the media and i don't know one reporter who isn't looking to pick winners and losers. so i kind of take some of this with a grain of salt. we have the oscars tonight in l.a. i feel like we're sort of
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hollywood in washington looking for who's going to come out on top. yes, there are real concerns coming out of this white house. there's instability that could lead to very, very bad policy decisions especially on trade. i like to take some of the drama with a grain of salt so as not to lose focus on what's really important. >> sabrina, you've got 22 "people" that are insiders, friends of the president who made these comments, who want to get this image out when they spoke to washington post. the media is doing its job. >> you're right. i think that is deeply worrisome. i don't mean to underlimine tha. i think it's concerning if it's driving him to make bad decisions. i just like to keep some of it in perspective because i think there is a lot of hype around this white house in particular. >> i don't disagree with that. in the terms of winners and
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losers, who uses those terms all the time? anyway, adrian, how are democrats interpreting the events of this last week? >> look, alex, we have seen a president who has had a really difficult time trying to even out his temper, both on the campaign trail and now in the white house, but it's only getting worse. phil rucker has been covering president trump, he's covered him during the campaign, the tenure of his presidency so far. when phil rucker leads a byline that leaves the insinuations how people think this has gone to a new level of extremes, insiders, friends, it's very alarming. the whole message or the whole tactic of don't step in it when the message is sort of driving itself from president trump, we're sort of taking a step back and letting this play out.
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as an american it's kind of scary to see. >> sabrina, as we try to figure out the reason why the president is acting the way he is, they called hope hicks the president's closest west wing confidanteand she acted as a defacto therapist. she's linus with the blanket. is there a link, do you think, between her resignation and all of this turmoil that's erupted the last few days? >> certainly that's the suggestion. i think there's something interesting about the fact that the white house is having trouble keeping communications directors in place. that is worrisome because they do help drive the narrative out of the white house. i think it's concerning that some sort of more aggressive trade policies are being made in the wake of this. you do wonder if some of this is wearing on the president. that being said, again, i feel like it's important to go back and remember that a lot of republicans voted for trump
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holding their nose, hoping some good policies would come out of this white house even if they didn't like him personally. i think some of this is not that surprising. we've always known that he's volatile. we've always known that he seems to sort of keep people around him who he feels are his confidantes and that he can act in a sort of rash, unprepared way so i'm not sure it's surprising but we need to keep our eye on it. >> what about jared kushner and ivanka's business dealings. that's growing. we have white house aides who have, quote, noted that mr. trump has told the couple they should keep serving their roles, even as he has privately asked mr. kelly for help in moving them out. how do you make sense of that? the president is wanting them out? >> it's hard for me to believe that president trump would want to get rid of his daughter and her husband who are, you know, arguably at this point his closest allies in the white house but, look, this is the
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issue when you have nepotism. especially when jared and ivanka are not getting paid. since they are foregoing a salary, they seem to think that maybe they can instead, you know, by pass some certain rules that are very standard when it comes to being federal government officials. look, again, this is a very disturbing trend that we've seen time and time again. mueller is closing in on his investigation and we know more and more that he's looking into jared kushner so, again, i think this is something that is only going to make voters more concerned when they go to the ballot boxes in november. >> what about the audio recording, sabrina, that was obtained by cnn in which the president comments about china's president xi being president for life even if he's joking. is it responsible? >> i think that is irresponsible, alex.
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it is deeply concerning to people like myself that say there's a lot, people held their nose. they were happy he was able to get tax reform through and happy that he was able to peel back obamacare but these kinds of comments, they resonate. there's a trickle down effect. we do need to keep an eye on that. that's where, again, the communications office has got to sort of rein the president in. these are serious ramifications that can come from all of this. a lot of people say, well, i don't want the president to act presidential. i do want him to act presidential. i want him to overturn some of the big government policies that i disagree with. i want him to realize there are hundreds of people's lives at stake. calculating the legal trouble jared kushner might be facing. does it raise anymore questions of collusion with russia?
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new today, the washington post editorial board is calling out hope hicks for refusing to answer questions in congress last week. that's a view endorsed by democrat mike quigley. >> it's not what she talked about, it's what she refused to talk about. she joined mr. llewandowski, mr bannon, trump, cohen, and many, many others refusing to answer questions about critical times.
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they're going along with the white house on a gag order, which makes finding out what the russians did and who helped them almost impossible. >> hicks refused to answer questions about her time in the white house even though president trump has not invoked executive privilege. she has since resigned. let's bring in gentleman jamile javier and katie fang, msnbc legal analyst. katie, is the white house on solid ground here directing staffers not to answer certain questions? >> at absence of president trump officially invoguing executive privilege to instruct people like hope hicks to not answer questions in front of the house intel committee, you're not going to be able to invoke that. meaning, you can't hide behind it. so maybe it's about time that the members of these intelligence committees forced these issues, litigate it in court and see whether or not this alleged executive privilege will give teeth to the trump administration because frankly it looks worse for the
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administration to basically be instructing people not to tell the truth. if there's something not to be satisfied just let it out. >> jamile, it looks, according to democrats, that this is being 23r5i7 framed as a gag order. how does congress act if this is allowed? >> that's a great question. katie is right to say if they're asserting executive privilege, that's one thing. all that's happening is the staffers and associates are saying we're just not going to answer. that's now on congress. if they want too do something, they can hold them in contempt of congress. they can go to the u.s. attorney to seek to enforce an order. they're not doing that. the white house is having their cake and eating it too. they're getting away with not having people answer questions. this is really on congress at the end of the day. >> are you saying, amil, that those on the intelligence
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committee could not have pressed further and further without a subpoena because these were voluntary appearances? >> exactly right. if they want to press further, congress has tools. they can force people to come testify. they can hold them in contempt if they don't. they can hold them in contempt if they don't answer questions. that's on the committee. this is a problem that the committee has because they're not acting in a bipartisan committee. when i was part of the committee, we worked hand in hand to move it forward. they can't get their act together. >> can we tell, katie, if hope hicks is in legal jeopardy? >> she's incurred thousands and thousands of legal expenses so far. she's not out of the way of a
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le legal subpoena. >> in terms of what she can use for legal protection now that she has left the white house, katie, does that mean that she is more vulnerable, more open to having to tell the truth and be completely forthcoming with testimony? >> it should be irrelevant, alex, whether or not you're in and out of the white house whether you tell the truth. you and i both know trump coming forward saying i'm lamenting her departure is a very overt message to hope hicks that he's got her back still. if i were her, i'm not in the white house, the chaos, the insanity and the incompetence that this white house has put forward. i still have the protection from the president of the united states. >> i want to switch gears. i want to talk about nbc's exclusive report that robert mueller's team is asking if jared kushner's foreign ties influence trump policy.
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they seem interested in the qatar ri talks and the saudis and the uae. are these inevitable conflicts? >> any time an individual has foreign ties, whether they're economic or personal, they would look into it. that being said, it's interesting. these claims that jared is going to qatari leaders to get business loans but then the president is going after qatar. so it's interesting that this is the concern because that doesn't seem 20 have influenced the process at all. to the contrary, the other way. >> what kind of legal connection would the mueller team need to make? who might they be interested in talk to go? >> we know from the nbc report, qatari officials refused to talk about it. it's novel, unique and crucial
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for the american people to understand. to have foreign officials interested in cooperating in a foreign internal affairs investigation, let's be blunt. jared kushner is not just looking at this being a potential for him. we know recently an sec inquiry was dropped against a lender that gave the kushner companies and citigroup $5$505 million. you shouldn't look like you have a conflict of interest and yet jared kushner, ivanka trump and other members of the administration are completely having their hands completely inside of all of this and that's why there's a problem for that appearance of impropriety. >> very quickly, jamil, does this make kushner vulnerable to black mail or at least tremendous pressure? >> it's hard to know. that's what they're looking at. look, a lot of people have financial ties. we've heard all of the stuff about the clinton foundation and
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all of the challenges there. i wouldn't jump to conclusions about what's going to happen. i think it's important for the security clearance process to go forward and see if there are issues with jared's ties. at the same time it looks to the contrary this concern that the white house might have been influenced by policy on the qatar issue we have come down firmly, i think the president has publicly, not on the qatari side. it's not surprising they want to cooperate with officials when he has not been on their team. coming up next, the trump tariffs. the tremors of a trade war valid concerns? coming your way the next hour on "am joy," the poor people's campaign. what is it and how will it help the disadvantaged? if you listen real hard you can hear the whales. oop. you hear that? (vo) our subaru outback lets us see the world. sometimes in ways we never imagined.
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we're so much closer to home ownership. >> the tariff is terrible for the american citizens. we don't win by assessing tariffs that basically come back to bite us. >> outgoing republican senator orrin hatch opining on the new aluminum and steel tariff announcements by the president this week. senator hatch is just one of a number of republican lawmakers who are not supporting the tariff plan. joining me, rick newman, columnist for yahoo! finance. you assess the winners and losers. clearly orrin hatch shared an
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opinion. who are the winners? >> the winners are the domestic producers of these two products, steel and aluminum. the tariffs essentially make imported products more, you get to charge more and make more money. the losers are the people who buy those products because they have to pay more money. so this is not a win-win. it's a win-lose. for everybody who wins on one side, somebody has to lose on the other side. >> going forward, can the president unilaterally impose these tariffs, or does he need to get approval to do it? >> he can unilaterally do most of the what he says he wants to do. it gets complicated if this escalates into on going retaliations and so forth. that gets complicated. it involves the world trade organization, appeals by other countries, can the united states do this?
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that drags on for months, sometimes years. at the end of the rode it leads to the question is it plausible the united states could withdraw from the world trade organization. that's many months in the future and that's sort of a spun-off scenario at this point. that's why this is so unnerving for markets. the worst case scenario is very bad. >> then there's the blowback. the eu will slap tariff on harley-davids harley-davidson, kentucky bourb bourbon. if the eu wants to increase the tariffs and barriers on u.s. companies doing business there, we'll attach a tax on their cars. harvey davidson, bourbon in mitch mcconnell's home state. florida is a massive swing state. is there any chance this sparks the president to drop the tariffs? >> it's not whether it convinces the leadership of the republican party.
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it's whether it convinces the president. so the real question, what you just described, that's the war of words that's happening right now. we need to point out that the tariffs that trump wants to impose, those are not imposed yet. we think they'll become official this week. we have to see what really happens. we will see some retaliation for sure. will it be measured retaliation that's designed to leave everybody a way out even though they're talking tough, or are we going to get into an eggsing lating scenario here. that's terrible for financial markets. watch the stock market this week, you'll be able to tell what investors think is going to happen here and what the outlook is on the global trading econ y economy, based on what happens in the stock market. >> we'll have you back and talk about how this is all progressing. ahead on "am joy," think steve bannon is really on the outs? not so fast. he could be making a political
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