tv MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi MSNBC March 16, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
going to wrap things up for this hour. ali velshi, i have an unbelievable script i've been trying to get on the air and something always happens and i'm so sad i can't bring it because it is a good piece -- >> come back next week? >> i am coming back next week. and next week we'll try to get it on as well. there seems to -- it is about the cabinet and the various wild things that are happening with the cabinet and all of the -- what we were talk about with phil rucker. i imagine there will be another headline next week. >> the travel stuff is an unforced error. the you mentioned the tom price is going on for -- had started a long time ago. once that happened, you would have thought everybody in senior levels of government would have said, they're on to us and bee careful about how we spend on travel. >> how about being careful with taxpayer money. >> in general considering there is a president that ran on that but more importantly i don't understand why the signal wasn't taken. steve mnuchin does have a ear about this.
i don't know that they should travel coach or be in first class but this seems weird this continues to be a stink that they can't get rid of. >> leadership starts from the top down. >> have a good weekend. >> you too. >> good morning. i'm ali velshi. we're ending as katie mentions a whirlwind week after another looming staff shake up. it is not clear who will get the pink slip next and when but the errors are focused on three officials. chief of staff john kelly, national security adviser h.r. mcmaster and jeff sessions. there are also reports that v.a. secretary david shulkin and scott pruitt are also on this evolving list. and the trump administration never ending resolving door is having an a negative impact on moral, the situation is so grim "the washington post" said white house officials have begun betting pools among others -- among -- between each other on who is getting ousted next. a lot of people who are in the know are not in the know.
always fluid in the white house but seems particularly so right now. that is josh dossy from the washington post. moments ago the white house director mark short started the press briefing blaming democrats for not getting personnel clear through congress but this is how he responded if the clearance would prevent the president from changing his own cabinet. >> i don't think -- i believe that the president always has the ability to make the changes he wants and i don't think that when he's ready to make a change he'll do that. i'm not sure what he's worried about that pro -- process but our requirement is to put forward capable people. >> and peter alexander asked sarah sanders about the staff shake up and this is what they said. >> this is something the media wants to talk about frankly it is the president who stoked the speculation. just yesterday he said i think you want to see change. earlier this week he said i'm at a point where we are getting close to having the cabinet and other things that i want. so isn't it the president
himself who sort of creating this aura of some use the word chaos but turmoil or a potential upheaval in the west wing. >> taking the two sentences out of the thourd of remashes the president makes and trying to make it look like the entire focus of his administration -- >> [ inaudible question ] we're at a point getting close to have the cabinet and other things i want. there will always be change. i think you want to see change -- >> he just nominated two new people to be part of his cabinet. so we are getting close. we like those two individuals to be quickly confirmed, quickly put through the process so they could take a seat at the table and continue to engage with the presidentond big issues that actually to the american people. i'm going to keep moving. >> you said he had the best people. so answer my question. >> this is really kind of remarkable. i want to talk about this with somebody who oversaw operations inside president obama's white house. joining me now is jim messina former deputy chief of staff under president obama and now
the ceo of the consulting firm the messina group. and good to see you. sarah huckabee-sanders said the media wants to talk about but we cover the white house and politics and when there is the kind of turnover that we've seen since january of 2017 in the white house, at some point it is a story that is much more important than the drama in the white house. this is about whether or not the operations of the u.s. government as it relates toten tire world are getting done because of that drama in the white house. >> that is exactly right. you see history turnover. we're talking about a third chief of staff in 13 months and the third national security adviser and we have cabinet people going every single day and the problem with all of that is people are getting fired for doing one thing and one thing only and that is disagreeing with donald trump. when he fired his secretary of state this week, he said they disagreed. when i was barack obama deputy chief of staff he said i don't hire you to agree with me, i
hire you to tell me when you disagree with me. that is what you need in the white house, senior people who can have a seat at table and can say this is my opinion and this is what we need and they're now talking about firing the chief of staff today or this weekend because trump doesn't like his structure around him. that is unplus dented and especially when you are in the midst of unusual negotiations with north korea. we're talking about redoing all of our trade agreements. you need a functioning serviceable white house that could get stuff done and instead what you have is an absolute train wreck. >> so part of this as is the potentially -- the president sees mueller's investigation possibly getting closer and closing in on him. he wants the people around him to be loyalist. whether they are staff in the white house or they are cabinet secretaries. he wants people who are going to stay loyal to him and not do things that will underscore anything else that would have happened to him.
so it doesn't seem to be about having a team of rivals or a team of advisers or people who give you contrary guidance to what you believe. it seems to be about keeping loyalists around him. >> yeah. and people who are incompetent. you were talking earlier about all of the cabinet secretaries who could see their other folks getting in trouble for the same thing they are doing and they kept do it. you look at some of the people who wouldn't be able to get hired outside of a trump administration. and they're having senior roles. trump keeps putting these tv personalities he likes -- he put his favorite financial tv personality as his economic adviser this week and now there is rumors that he's going to put his favorite fox guy as his v.a. secretary. who is next? is homer simpson get a job by the time we're done here? this is insanity and the problem is, ali, who would work for this administration. >> well he seems to be able to find people who will.
but let's take the example you just mentioned of larry kudlow joining the white house. the question that economic advisers have had is that that position is supposed to be one in which you take different views about the economy and distill it in a fashion the president can deal with. so that the president can make better decisions. there are people who fear that what larry kudlow will do, because he's so savvy on tv and a communicator and a surrogate for the president, it is the other way around. as the president's views about the economy and as informed or ill informed and about trade deficits he is maybe ill informed or deliberately lying, i don't know which is worse. but it is getting somebody to go and sell that to the public. >> that is exactly right. and that position is one of the positions that the public does not understand how crucial and pow houfl th-- how powerful tha position is. that person's only job is to distill all of the recommendations from every cabinet agency and house and the senate and the president and run
a fair process that in the end comes up with economic recommendations for the president to take on crucial things like the economy. and instead when president trump nominated him, he said he was excited about him because he was so great on television and he would sell his agenda. that is sarah huckabee-sanders job to sell. that is not the economic adviser to the president and instead what trump said is donald trump is going to do that. and that is an absolute nightmare for both economic policy and for the country. because you have trump taking the desperate positions one day and he's protrade and then anti-trade. we can't figure out what he's doing and in the middle there is no real process going on in the white house to distill some of the decisions and make rational, clear, productive decisions for this country. >> jim, good to talk to you. thank you for joining us. jim messina the white house deputy chief of staff under former president obama. i want to go back and take a look at just how fast the revolving door has been spinning at the white house.
among the president's cabinet, secretary of state rex tillerson was the latest to be let go. he was fired by trump on tuesday by twitter, by the way. last fall tom price resigned after criticism over his private jet travel. in the oval office gary cohn quit after losing the battle to wilbur ross and to peter nav ouro and being replaced by larry kudlow. this is one of the more puzzling. and reince priebus was ousted last summer in favor of john kelly and katie walsh and rick dearborn are gone with former white house chief strategist steve bannon amid a confrontational history with his colleagues and michael flynn resigning over a year ago. and later ---anting a guilty plea in the investigation and gina powell and mcfarland are out and as are cohen flaut nick by h.r. mcmaster and rob porter
resigned after spousal abuse and george ralph close to jared kushner and ivanka trump are gone. [ inaudible ] was edged out of the office of public liaison and top tv surrogate and presidential assistant sebastian gorka was pushed out under murky circumstances. it is hard keeping up. the white house is looking for the fifth director after hope hicks resigned last month. remember the mooch. so who is next? we've talked about national security adviser, h. rrks mcmaster and david shulkin under fire. and and he extends a business trip to europe and so he and his wife could sight see and he's paid that back and mr. magoo, jeff sessions a alabama senator loyal to president trump since the beginning, the
first senator to sign on with him but he's on the out with trump since he recused himself from the russia investigation last year and it is anyone's guess how much time
he's got left on the job. i want to bring in someone who knows a lot about the president's inner circle. chris whipple, the author of the book "the gatekeepers house the white house chief of staff define every presidency" and i was at the airport and saw the new version of the book which has stuff on reince priebus in it. chris, it sounds now that john kelly was not in the loop about the firing of rex tillerson and certainly in the way that it was done. and we thought that he was on the outs and different reporting indicates that maybe he and the president came to a truce. should you be coming to a truce with your chief of staff? >> well, this is a -- a love-hate relationship with kelly and it continues to be that. steve bannon in the interview
for my new paper back told me that john kelly represented freds trump reaching from beyond the grave. this was the guy that fred trump wanted his son to grow up to be. so we know --
>> well in fact donald trump went to a mi-- a military schoo with a young man. >> and so we know the awe of the generals but nothing annoys donald trump more than the notion that kelly is a grown up in the room and the notion that kelly -- that trump has to have a babysitter. >> the structure and discipline that the country looked at in john kelly is the stuff you just heard jim messina saying that donald trump doesn't want around him. >> it drives him crazy. but one of the really troubling things here to me is the trump reportedly feels now empowered and emboldened to think he's figured out how to govern after a year when the evidence is the opposite. >> but he wants to form his team and his way. >> if all of the people would just get out of my way, i could governor. well the evident is that he hasn't learned anything about governing and doesn't know the difference between campaigning and governing. nobody knows where he stands on anything. it's one thing one day and the
next day it is something else. and he lives in a kind of parallel universe where surpluses, trade surpluses are somehow deficits in his own mind and only his mind. so what could possibly go wrong when all of the competent people start heading for the exits and no one with any confidence or integ rit -- integrity will take a job in this white house. that is a recipe for disaster. >> the name of your book is "the gatekeepers" because that is the role that many of these chief of staff have played. this president does not apparently want a gate keeper so how could you square that circle. he wants to be able to phone people and have people talk to him and get access, he didn't even like being clustered in the white house andin joy -- and enjoys on the campaign trail. >> it is okay for him to have his own phone. he calls reince priebus and doesn't have anybody in the west wing with any political savvy. he doesn't have a karl rove or a
david axelrod so he likes to call priebus and cory lewandowski. that is okay. but you have to have a chief of staff who is willing as james baker was and leon panetta war for bill clinton, walk into the oval office and close the door and tell the president what he doesn't want to hear and alas there is no evidence that donald trump wants to listen to anything -- >> for all of us in our lives we have our mentor and rabbis and people we reach out to say you know me well, tell me honestly what you think and at every point in your life you must have that. i'm beginning to wonder, maybe donald trump doesn't have one. maybe there isn't a logical person who he can trust to say tell me what i don't know. >> well, and again, there are very few people with any competence at senior levels who want to come into this white house which is under investigation and where truth was the first casualty on the first day. so how do you find another jim baker or a leon panetta. it may be mission impossible.
back in december of 2016, ten former chiefs went to the white house at the invitation of the outgoing chief, denis mcdonough and they sat around a table with reince priebus and barack obama walked in at one point and he said, you see these guys, my chiefs, they told me stuff i didn't want to hear. they made me mad. that is what you have to do for donald trump. i don't think priebus was able to do that and i don't think kelly has been able to either. >> it is a lesson for all of us. chris whipple the author of the newly released "the gatekeepers" how they define every presidency. thanks again. another huge story haunting the white house. stormy daniels, the actress who claims to have a rell aigs ship -- relationship with the president and this morning her attorney said on morning joe she was physically threatened into silence. >> was she threatened in any way? >> yes. >> was she threatened physical harm. >> yes. >> what do you mean by that?
was her life threatened. >> i won't answer that. people will have to tune into 60 minutes on march 25th. >> can you tell us whether it came from the president directly. >> i can't answer that. >> will you deny the president of the united states threatened your clients. >> i will not confirm or deny. >> well the press secretary was just asked about those allegations and here is how she responded. >> we take the safety and security of any person seriously, certainly would condemn anyone threatening any individual, but i have no knowledge of that situation and would refer you to the president's outside personal attorneys. >> the president have anything to say about it. >> i haven't spoken with him about it. >> well the white house is continuing to deny the allegations against the president. we know this man -- donald trump's personal lawyer michael cohen paid stormy daniels -- stephanie clifford the $130,000 in alleged hush money days from the election and coen said his used his personal funds and the kaix wasn't involved.
i'm joined by danny saval os and there is new information that there was a lawyer for the trump organization involved in this. which starts to chip away at michael cohen's story. nobody has ever been clear on why michael cohen would pay this woman $130,000 of his own money and not be reimbursed any way. >> it is confusing based on just the four corners of the agreement that was attached to the complaint. you have e.c., a business entity signing in the initial space for d.d. who we know is supposed to be donald trump. his alien which is david dennison so even from the pages of the complaint and the agreement itself, there is mystery. you add to that all of the surrounding allegations and it is going to be very confusing for a court or an arbitrator to figure out. >> does the court have standing to ask the very simple question that a lot of people have been asking, this guy said he paid this $130,000 out of his own pocket and not from the trump organization and not from
anybody involved in the campaign or not from donald trump. does a judge have the -- have the ability to ask him why. >> in this contract case that may have to be an issue they have to solve. assuming this stayed in california court and trump and e.c. and co ep could be successful in dragging the case into arbitration because the terms of the agreement explicitly provide for arbitration. so assuming it stays in california court, they'll have to eventually untangle to what degree and how was michael cohen acting. was he acting as an attorney for david dennison or was he soly acting as an officer of e.c., a separate entity to the contract. another important thing to consider is the language of the contract. only allows d.d., david dennis son to seek arbitration and the penalties. it does not allow e.c. to do the same. the fact that e.c. sought to assert its rights and leaving trump out or dennison is a big
question whether or noting it valid. >> the part of the arbitration and companies prefer it over courts but in this particular instance, the relevant part is the proceedings could be kept secret in arbitration. >> big companies love arbitration clauses. because they deny consumers or individuals the right -- the great equalizer, the right to an open trial. by keeping a case in arbitration in a -- and by the way, you and me and everyone out there, we're all subjected to arbitration agreements in things that we sign, our cell phone agreements, anything. so these arbitration agreements allow an entity like e.c. or david dennison so keep litigation private to it never sees the light of day and use an arbitration company they might have a prior relationship with. i'm not saying that the arbitrator wouldn't be neutral -- >> this is just a general comment. >> a general comment on arbitration. if the trump team keeps this
case in arbitration and e.c. keeps this in arbitration, they will win. >> better for them. as always, thank you for your analysis. the legal analyst. we'll head to london after the break where police have opened a murder investigation into the death of another outspoken critic of putin. what might this death to already tense relations between russia and the united kingdom and later the development in the special counsel investigation and the subpoena involving the trump organization. did robert mueller cross a red line that trump warned us about last year. you're watching msnbc. a wealth . a wealth of perspective. ♪ a wealth of opportunities. that's the clarity you get from fidelity wealth management. straightforward advice, tailored recommendations, tax-efficient investing strategies, and a dedicated advisor to help you grow and protect your wealth. fidelity wealth management.
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now to a development that could further inflame tensions between russia and the united kingdom. there is a investigation into the death of a russian business man who was a critic of putin. nikolai glushkov was found dead days ago amid a deepening divide between theresa may following the poisoning of a former russian spy and his daughter in salisbury on u.k. soil. they say a nerve agent was used and the order almost certainly came from the top of russia's government. >> our quarrel is with putin's kremlin and his decision we think it is likely that it was his decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the u.k., the streets of the europe for the first time since the second world war. that is why we're at odds with
russia. >> moscow has denied involvement and they say there is no evidence that they are linked to the death. tammy leitner is in london to join us. what do we know about this? for purposes of people not following this closely, these are two separate events. >> reporter: that is correct. there is no official link between the cases. but certainly there is a lot of speculation now that nick lie glushkov's death is a murder. according to the pathology the official cause of death is compression to the negotiation. the counter-terrorism command is taking a lead in this investigation because of who he was associated with. and his death came just one week after the poisoning of former russian spy sergei skripal and his daughter. >> and what do we know -- do we know more about that poisoning? >> reporter: a new theory emerged on the nerve agent that was used to poison skripal and his daughter. the u.k. daily telegraph report that british intelligence believe the toxin which is known
as novichok may have been planted in the luggage of yulia skripal back in russia. so according to the article, it could have been in an item of clothing or cosmetics or else in a gift that was opened in his house in salisbury. meaning that she was deliberately targeted to get at her father. now nbc news has not confirmed this report. but russia did announce today that it is opened its own investigation into the attempted murder of sergei and his daughter as well as the murder of glush kov. >> and this is called universal basic income and picking up steam in silicon valley. how would it work and would it work at all. we'll discuss that with kevin hasset, the chair of the white house economic advisers when he joins us live after this break.
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mckenzie and company released a study showing automation and robotics, things we talk about, are going to replace up to 800 million workers around the world by 2030. machine operators and food processors will be the hardest hit but not alone, mortgage broker and staff and what about automatic cars. with all of that, there is renew add tension being paid to an old idea to provent and reduce poverty and joblessness by guarantees citizens something called a universe basic salary. many are voiced their support. it is guaranteed minimum salary from the government to individuals regardless of their income or employment status. everybody gets a check from the government. the theory is that providing everyone with basic necessities of life, we live in -- we eliminate poverty and inequality but the goal is to patch those
who don't earn enough money. i have a hunch my next guest will talk about the disadvantages. the economic council of economic advisers. and we debate things. i didn't bring you here to debate. i want to explore this, why people think this is a interesting idea. i guess we should put out there, the issue is that increasingly we can do more things with fewer people so we may even if demand for things increase, we may not be seeing a demand for labor. >> but remember that right now just to tip it off in the jolts data that koim out, and you're the wizard of the jolts statta, that we have more job openings ever in recorded history so people that don't have a job are listening. encourage you to go out and open up the want ads. but you've identified a real problem that in 2009, we wrote an article on tax notes where we suggested back in that time a
unified credit because there -- at that point there were seven different refundable programs for poor people and they had different eligibility requirements and range in and range out and people weren't claiming the help they deserved and needed because everything was so confusing. and so unifying somethings is something that economists on the right and left have been talk about for a long time. i think that if you look at president trump's approach, he carries desperately about getting people back to work and the things that we've emphasized so far but i'm sure there are more to come on these issues in the coming months, is that if we black grant stuff back to states and let the states experiment with their own procedures for making things easier to get, then we won't have a problem with such low take rup rates tht things that -- >> we talk about health care and the place with universal health care is that people know how to use it. they don't have the complexity -- >> and so for example you have a
universal work requirement like dube what the work requirement are and how they vary by program. maybe you do, but you might be the only one. >> no. >> so if we had a universal work requirement that would be easier for people to understand and it might -- right now with the highest job openings we've ever had going back to 2000, it is a good time to have a universal -- there is no proposal in the white house but it is something i've written about it and the fact that i'm here shows that president trump is serious about the issues. >> and the truth is -- i don't know what the number is, 6 or 7 million openings and similar number of people on unemployment. but do you believe there is a mismatch between them that the people who want jobs are not necessarily particularly qualified for the jobs that are available. >> there is always such a thing and there was this guy named lord bench who had something called the beverage groove and not what you drink on st.
patrick's day. it is -- >> it is a great name. >> that is right. but the beverage curve measured the mismatch between people and jobs and there could be a lost onlyings for msnbc but very few people with the skills to do it and that is something we see in the economy. we've made progress in mismatch compared to where we were seven or eight years ago. but in part, maybe because you can go online and find a job and things like thax but mismatch is still a problem and i think that what happens in the fullness of time is that people get retrained if they lose their job because this is one of the things you mentioned and then move on and the challenge in government is to come up with retraining programs that help with the process because the ones that exist are so poor. >> part of the issue is there isn't a great example somewhere in the world where we can say, hey, they do it well and why don't we do it here. retraining large numbers of people is not something that we've seen proven examples of.
do you have an idea in mind that would work for that. >> there was this one program in germany but again this is being an economist not a white house spokesperson for policy. >> just talking. no one is listening. >> in germany they had private firms compete to place long-term unemployed into jobs and if they were successful they got a cash bonus and the last time i looked at evaluation it looks successful but we need to be open to ideas in the space and on the unified basic income, that is one idea that gets support on the left and the right in think tank circles and i think that unifying credits is something that should be a bipartisan thing because right now we've again got this confusing programs and people don't claim things that they deserve because they just don't understand the rules. >> now kevin, it is 3:30 on a friday and no one is watching -- >> and it is cold. >> between us what is going on in the white house with the economic advisers.
gary cohn didn't like the tariffs and now there is a guy that doesn't like the tariffs idea larry kudlow coming in. >> i'm very -- work very closely with gary cohn. i view it as one of the great privileges of my chance to go to the morning meetings with him and i'm sorry to see him go. but larry kudlow is coming in and as you know, he's a person that has been in the middle of economic debates for decades and he's going to be very, very good at the job. i'm confident that there is a very smooth transition between the two fellows and that asoon as larry is up and running and has his papers filled out that he'll come in and that gary will make sure that he's here until that time. and so it's the way transition should work. and we're going from a great person to a great person and for me at the agency and i saw that president and larry agreed, i was happy to see he would be there because as you know he is a smart guy and a good guy and it will be fun to work with had im.
>> -- i think i will agree -- you will agree, but the united states does have a trade surplus with canada, right? >> i think that -- if you look at goods, we don't. and goods are the things that the president always emphasized because the goods producing sectors as you emphasize on your show are the places where the high wages are. >> but the truth is -- we have a huge surplus -- >> on that, there is a good deficit and a service surplus. that is right. and we've got that all spelled out in the economic report of the president in our trade -- >> there is actually a full trade surplus. canada buys more stuff from america than america buys from canada if total. >> but the president always emphasized good production when he talking so the fact that you said that doesn't mean he said something false or incorrect or inaccurate. he's talking about the surplus. >> it is just between us. nobody is watching. >> and to make clear -- and there are times when you want to talk about the good surplus and the balance of the payments and for the balance of payments
which is what macro economists talk about, that is the thing when you are worried about the macro economy, that usually fits into the equation to the total that includes services, but if you are worried about the decline in the manufacturing sector and the result belt and how we'll turn it around, your worries about goods production and that is the emphasis back to the campaign of the president. >> good to talk to you. and given that tomorrow is st. patrick's day, i will get a big shirt that said lord beverage. >> you could be lord beverage. >> tomorrow i mie be. kevin good to talk to you. the chairman of the white house council of economic advisers. coming up next, new deadly details about the bridge collapse in florida, a bridge that took hours to install. day. over the years, paul and i have met regularly with our ameriprise advisor. we plan for everything from retirement to college savings. giving us the ability to add on for an important member of our family.
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been doing it for years. i'm calling geico right now. good idea! get to know geico. and see how easy homeowners and renters insurance can be. an update on news that broke this time yid. investigators are working to determine what caused the pedestrian bridge to collapse in miami killing six people. crews have spent today looking for more victims trapped in the rubble. mia rodriguez is live in miami. mia, what is the update? >> reporter: well we have just been able to confirm the identity of one of the victims in yesterday's pedestrian bridge collapse and that is 18-year-old alexa duran. she was a student at florida international university which as you know is right next to where this bridge collapsed. she was taken a friend home from a medical appointment yesterday when this happened. and as you mentioned, there are still a number of vehicles
trapped underneath the bridge. authorities do expect the death toll which right now is at six to rise. there have been ten people taken to the hospital and two people were in critical condition yesterday. there is no particular update on their conditions. now there are a lot of questions about what might have been happening in the moments leading up to this collapse. was there a stress test going on, the way the miami-dade mayor said was happening or were there cables that were being tightened by workers at the time of the collapse, that is something that florida senator marco rubio tweeted yesterday. this morning investigators said they could not confirm either of those particular details and if that was part of the investigation and in the meantime the recovery effort is ongoing on the scene. take a listen to what miami-dade police have to say. >> it is going to be a -- a very difficult task. because of the type of equipment that -- it is required so we have some of the equipment out
here last night, we need to bring other equipment so that is going to be here on the scene to start to remove these pieces. trying to make the pieces smaller and more controllable so it is going to be a -- a tedious process to be able to do that. once we break that large piece apart, then he'll be able to start pulling it off. >> now there are two simultaneous investigations going on. one is local, it is a homicide investigation, though investigators here in miami-dade are quick to point out that that doesn't not mean there are any criminal charges pending at this point. the other investigation that is going on is federal and that is from the ntsb and they say they do have experience looking into bridge collapses and looked into the one in minnesota on i-35 west about a dozen years ago, ali, so this is something they will look into to make sure something like this does not happen anywhere else in the united states. >> mia, thank you very much for your reporting. mia rodriguez in miami. coming up next, too close to home. robert mueller subpoenaed the trump organization and will the latest move by special counsel
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getting closer to the president. back in july the president said if mueller poked around his finances that would be a red line. >> if mueller was looking at your finances or family finances unrelated to russia, is that a red be a breach of what his actual charge is? >> i would say yes. >> if he moves outside that lane, would that mean he'd have to go? >> no, i think that's a violation -- >> for more on what the subpoena could mean i'm joined by msnbc contributor former u.s. attorney barbara mcquade. barbara, interesting part. mr. schmidt asked if robert mueller were looking for things unrelated to russia, we don't know what's in the subpoena. we don't know whats a p unrelated to russia. we also know robert mueller is looking for things that could be involved in the obstruction of justice. so, i think the president is saying he doesn't want robert mueller on a fishing expedition but we don't know whether this is a fishing expedition. >> no, and i would suggest that it's not. i think robert mueller is taking
a broad view of his mandate which is to look for links between russia and the trump campaign and also any matter that arose or might arise in connection with that investigation. and to do a thorough investigation in a complex case like this, it's absolutely necessary to look into financial transactions because you want to see where money is coming or money is going. you want to look for links between individuals. you want to look for motivations and you want to look for potential sources of leverage. so, i think looking at those finances is an essential part of looking into the trump/russia connection. >> so, the original comment by donald trump about a red line may not be the decision of someone who is being investigated to make. >> absolutely right. i mean, targets don't get to say you can look at this but you can't look at that. robert mueller gets to decide and a grand jury is is allowed to take investigative leads in a very broadway. he's not -- i don't think he's fishing and turning over rocks to see what he might find that can stick to the president, but i do think he is looking for financial transactions that
could explain connections to russia and could explain ultimate leverage points in the election. >> what reasoning does someone like robert mueller have to provide for these things? who does he have to satisfy when he gets the subpoena? does he have to satisfy a grand jury or is it just up to him to decide that he wants to look at certain information? >> well, ultimately he is held accountable by the grand jury because you have to let them know in their name certain documents were requested and make those documents available for the review. you are accountable to the grand jury. but in terms of what you're looking for, really anything that is reasonably designed to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence is permissible. so, it's a very broad standard what you're allowed to look for. it's not for the purpose of harassing or annoying people, but anything that could arguably be used in your case is fair game. >> in what way should robert mueller be governed by the president's implied threat of
crossing a red line? >> i think not at all. it would be improper for him to allow a target of investigation or subject of investigation to tell him what areas are off limits. now, i suppose if and when he does and looks like he has crossed that red line, there is some risk that president trump will fulfill his promise and have him fired. so that is a possibility. but i think if robert mueller is to do his job properly, he has no choice but to look into these financial transactions. >> and just to be clear, if robert mueller were fired by president trump, the remedy for that, for people who thought that there needed to be a remedy, that remedy would have to be political. at that point it's out of the realm of the justice department to do anything about that? >> yeah, you know, it's unclear what would happen in that scenario. if robert mueller was to be fired at this stage without, as the regulation says, good cause being shown, i think there would be repercussions at the justice department. one would hope high-level appointees would push back or resign as a protest for that. and as we saw with the saturday night massacre, the firing there of the special prosecutor didn't
mean an end to his work. it just meant a replacement of the special prosecutor. so, maybe in this instance if robert mueller were fired we would see someone replace him to continue that work. >> barbara, good to talk to you as always. barbara mcquade is san nbc news contributor and former u.s. attorney. tributes are pouring in from both sides of the aisle for congressman louise slaughter who died after falling this her home wednesday. she was in upstate new york and the first woman to chair the powerful house rules committee. she remained the ranking democrat on the committee until her death. she was serving her 16th term in congress. among her many accomplishments, coauthoring the violence against women act. congresswoman louise slaughter was 88 years old.
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all right. that's what we're talking about. i have my boots ready because i am headed to austin. i'm going to tell you about that in just a moment. first thing i want to do is tell you where the market is closing. this market has been in the green all day today. this market has been all over the place, with small movements, though, half a percent, a percent, which is kind of the way it's supposed to be doing. we're going to probably end up with a loss on the stock markets for a week. there. been some worries about a trade war. but the bottom line is this market is operating much more in the way that a stock market should be operating. now, that brings this busy hour and remarkably busy week to a close for me, but back to the
boots, be sure to join stephanie and me for a special edition of velshi and ruhle tomorrow for live in south by southwest in texas here on msnbc at 12:30 p.m. eastern. i'm going to let the boots say good-bye for me. thank you for watching. have a great weekend. "deadline white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. >> hi, everyone, it's 4:00 in new york. are the wheels and the guardrails coming off or is donald trump shaking his staff to dominate the headlines and show everyone who is in control? the answer depends on who you ask, when you ask them and whether they believe they are being recorded or quoted. there are fresh rumblings from inside the national security establishment that the manner in which rex tillerson was summarilily dismissed on twitter was particularly upsetting to his allies in donald trump's orbit, namely the generals that donald trump like los to call my
generals. that would be chief of staff john kelly, national security advisor h.r. mcmaster and secretary of defense james mattis. the three men are said to harbor growing concerns about the president's conduct in office according to two sources. the president had lunch today with secretary mattis who one of these sources tells me maintains the most distance from trump and is, therefore, the most secure. the washington post is the moechl vivid details of disfunction based on interviews with 19 sources. they write, quote, the mood inside the white house in recent days has verged on mania as trump increasingly keeps his own counsel and senior aides struggle to determine the gradations between rumor and truth. the washington post offering a much fuller picture of mcmaster being on his way out. trump is comfortable ousting mcmaster with whom he never gelled, but takes time executing the move because he wants t