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tv   MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle  MSNBC  April 3, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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snapchat and instagram. i'll see you tonight on "nightly news," reporting on the 20pruit fallout. for now, i'll turn it over to ali velshi and stephanie ruhle. only so many times the philly shoutout can happen. >> i was going to atalk about m infinity for philadelphia, but i thought you'd talk about jumping on the bandwagon. >> yeah. >> this was basketball, right? >> the one with the basket and the ball they shoot it into, yeah. >> i did pretty well on the bracket. i was just looking it up. >> so you know, you don't need to know anything. >> i did have nova. got to have that philly pride. >> you didn't need to know anything about basketball to do well in the brackets. happy tuesday. >> see ya, hallie. i'm villanova fan, ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie ruhle. it is tuesday, april 3rd. lets g let's get started. >> a lot of nervous eyes on wall street in the wake of a massive
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market plunge on monday. some say the president's twitter tirades against amazon and an escalating trade dispute with china are behind the losses. >> we're talking about the major averages ending in correction territory, down 11% from the record high. this morning, teachers will descend on oklahoma's capital for a second day, demanding better pay and more money for classrooms. >> i imagine you're not working four jobs because you want to. >> no. i like to do things normal people get to do. this morning, president trump is doubling down in the blame game over immigration and the program that protected millions who were brought here as children. >> tweeting overnight, mexico and canada have tough immigration laws, whereas, ours are an obama joke. act, congress. while this report was on the air, the president tweeted yet again, this time about polls. make that 18 tweets in the past 24 hours. this morning, another wave of bad headlines for epa
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administer pruitt. a project was approved last year during the time he was renting the apartment from a wife of a lobbyist linked to the pipeline's owner. pruitt paid $50 a night to rent a place in a luxury condo in washington, d.c. if t "daily beast" reports it was a hub for republican lawmakers to raise money for congressional campaigns. >> hotel run for $50 a night in washington, d.c., tell me that's not a gift from a lobbyist. disgusting. no decent ethics lawyer would sign off on it. if it happened in the bush administration, i would have shut it down in a minute. >> shut it down in a minute. >> if i had $50 a night in washington, d.c., i would pay for the nights i'm not there and sublet it. that is a great deal, scott pruitt. america's hero. >> some sort of deal.
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america's something, not hero. we want to begin with a look at the markets. right now, let's pull them up. boom. here's what we know. volatility is back in the market. >> yeah. >> remember 2017 was sort of -- >> nothing. >> -- a honeymoon period? markets climbing up. we'd see the markets on a steady, positive climb for eight years. the trump presidency, and we've talked about this, supercharged it with the promise of deregulation and the tax cut. >> yup. >> well, it seems that here we are, now up 230. remember, yesterday, at one point, we were down 700 points. >> yeah. >> the market volatility back in action. >> amazon is still taking a beater from the president, however. he tweeted again the morning about the company and the pos till service, saying, i am right about amazon costing the post office massive amounts of money for being their delivery boy. amazon should pay the costs and not have them bourn,e,
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b-o-u-r-n-e, jason bourne reference. >> the tweets don't look like they're being written by anybody -- >> they're factually incorrect. >> yeah. >> to say amazon is using the post office as their delivery boy, let's put boy aside. that's what the post office does. >> right. >> it delivers packages. >> kind of everybody's delivery boy. >> it delivers mail. because we spend so much more time e-mailing and texting and not paper sending anything in the mail, packages has brought more money for the post office. >> mail has diminished, has dropped, and packages have increased. now, a lot of it is fedex and ups, but a lot of it is the post office. the post office loses money for entirely different reasons than amazon. amazon cuts a deal with the post office. the post office can increase rates for amazon and maybe not have the same business. it's a separate issue. interesting but separate. >> amazon is working on drone service. amazon's goal is todissber me
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disintermediate everything. >> hate the game, not the player. if you want to change the rules, change them. this single attack that's not fact-based against one company makes no sense. remember, he wants to go after jeff bezos, the billionaire who founded amazon. bezos isn't the sole owner of amazon. >> lots of people own that stock. >> shareholders, pensions, 401(k)s, retirement funds. >> you. >> you. the stock took a beating yesterday because the president tweeted. >> now, if a person were do go out and knowingly spread false information about a stock, causing it to go down, that might be the kind of thing, in a normal world, that securities and exchange commission would look into. the president is absolutely lying about amazon, and it caused the stock to go down. but he's the president, i guess, so we don't look into that
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thing. >> i think we do. joining us now is our dear friend and cnbc editor at large john harwood. let's talk about the market correction, what's caused it. we have the retaliatory tariffs coming from china. we have the president going after amazon. the chaos around the white house. >> well, we had a 2017 when the markets were anticipating a big corporate tax cut. over time, the market rose. they were reassured that the president was following that particular objective. they got it at the end of the year. once that happened, then the markets have to say, okay, what now? what now is the chaos that you were describing, is the potential for a trade war, is the administration kind of dismantling itself piece by piece, as the president gets rid of some of the cabinet officers who had been tempering some of his instincts, including gary cohn, who opposed the tariffs that the president is now in the
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process of implementing. so the result is, that presumption, that things are going to be fine, it is all going to be good, we're moving in a positive direction, is now gone. the markets are subject to oscillating up and down depending on events. we're going to have another event today when, after the markets are closed, the administration intinends to all specifically how they're going to target china for retaliation from what they say is theft of our intellectual property. you can bet that sectors that are affected by that and that envision responses from china, as we had already, are going to react. the market is going to react. >> this is the problem. this is where the rubber hits the road for investors. regular people who are watching us, who have a 401(k), not active investors who log into their trading accounts on a regular basis. now, they are seeing a market. look, it was great to have a market that went only one way for a long time. that shouldn't have been expected. >> president took credit for it. >> he's not taking credit for
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this. but this is blame to be had for a market reacting to event risk when the events are precip ro ka -- reciprocated by the president of the united states. if you're at home and 50 years old, this is giving you stress. >> didn't help yesterday when you had peter navarro of the white house come out on our air, on cnbc, and say, oh, relax, markets, it is all going to be good. this is going to help our -- the strength of our economy. the economy is as strong as an ox. the economy is, in fact, strong, but the markets are not strong as an ox right now. the markets are kind of shaky. i think the more the administration rattles markets, the more response we're going to get. >> it's also noteworthy in the interview, peter navarro was saying, a time like this, you buy on the dip. you don't ever hear advisers to the president of the united states -- >> giving people stock advice.
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>> -- giving market advice. something the president does keep talking about, how amazon has put mom and pop stores out of business. president trump is speaking to his base, and he's right. but him going after amazon is not going to put those stores back in business. before it was amazon, it was walmart. it was the shopping mall. this is a trend that's been happening for years. the american consumer decided they wanted goods cheap and quickly, delivered to their homes. >> it's not an invalid discussion for us to have, about whether or not amazon and digital media and digital retail is good or bad for our economy. it costs a hlot of jobs, john. it's also created a lot of jobs. i mean, it is a subject for a series of one-hour specials that we can talk about. >> right. let's remember, ali, this is not a president who is overflowing in general, or as a matter of not philosophy, with sympathy for small businesses. he had a reputation for stiffing
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contractors that worked for him when he was running real estate projects. this is about jeff bezos owning the "washington post," and the "washington post" conducting outstanding journalism that holds him and his administration accountable. people like scott pruitt, who you were talking about earlier. that's why the president is going after amazon. nobody thinks it is a matter of economic policy for him. you know, the question is, is that an appropriate use of presidential power? i will say, to the point you guys were raising earlier, one of the things that people have talked about, the "washington post" had a story the other day, that as the president sheds advisers, he's got more people around him who support his instincts. so, it is trump unhinged. read the tweets and see the way they're phrased and the recklessness of those tweets. you can see that that is, in fact, what we're getting. >> i do wonder what it'll mean for larry kudlow and his relationship with the president. larry kudlow is 100% a free trade guy.
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i wonder how this looks on the world stage. specifically, to china. if the goal is to go after china, you know that the chinese government is watching every move the president makes. >> sure. >> who are some of the biggest corporate superpowers out there? you've got amazon. you've got google. look to china. you have alibaba. you've got tencent. those companies are closely entangled, intertwined, in the government, and they're watching our president. >> the american president try to disembowel american companies while in china, they're protected. >> while peter nava rrro was saying, we're not going to have an action response trade volley, which is what we are having, larry kudlow was in meeting with president trump. i think the markets would be reassured if larry kudlow was out there making the administration's pitch. we have had some indications that that is how the president wants to use larry kudlow, as a public face for his economic
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poli policy. we didn't see it yesterday. >> i think we soon will. jobs day is coming up. maybe that'll be larry's first day on the big stage. >> john, good to see you. there's real stuff to discuss about china. we brought this up many times. >> 100%, there is an economic war here. all right. right now in washington, the first sentencing in the mueller russia investigation is underway. details on the deal, plus, who could be next in a live report from the courthouse. first, jill mccabe, please read this. the wife of fired fbi director -- deputy director andrew mccabe, is calling president trump's attacks on her family a, quote, nightmare. in an op-ed for the "washington post," she writes, to have my personal reputation and integrity and those of my family attacked this way is beyond horrible. i made the decision to run for office because i was trying to help people. instead, it turned into something that was used to attack our family, my husband's career and the entire fbi.
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>> here's good news for the family. gofundme account for mccabe's legal defense fund has been closed after raising more than $500,000 in four days, triple the original goal. you're watching "velshi & ruhle" live on msnbc. ♪ applebee's to go. order online and get $10 off $30. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. welcome back to "velshi & ruhle." we've got breaking news. this morning -- >> about villanova winning? >> it's not about villanova. >> oh, sorry. >> he is a huge nova fan.
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>> huge. >> this morning, special counsel's office got its first sentencing. ending at least one line of the russia probe. >> alexander vanderswan, former attorney, learning his fate after withholding e-mails he had with former trump campaign aide rick gates and person a, identified only as a former officer in the soviet gru russian military intelligence. joining us now is nbc's ken dilanian. we just got new details about what's been happening inside the courtroom. what can you tell us? >> reporter: i'm outside the courthouse. our own pete williams is inside. he reports the judge has taken a break to privately consider the sentence, which is expected soon. before that happened, vand der -- van der zwaanzwaan apologiz
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his family. the guidelines call for up to six months in jail. the government would not oppose a sentence that would allow van der zwaan to see his child born in august. >> so alexander sander van der didn't want his company to know. alphabank server was in trump tower. >> reporter: his father-in-law is a russian billionaire oligarch. he lied, sources say, to cover up conversations from his employer. he has not signed a cooperation agreement, so we don't think he
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has much to say about the underlying messages in the probe. but do not lie and don't obstruct athe investigation. >> who knows ramifications of lying. >> he's a lawyer. >> he doesn't want the partners at skadden arps to know what he did. here, you can go to jail. >> kennedy la says, we're not st to make of that. that can be a tag line. we don't know what to make of that. let's take a look at everyone who is swept up in the robert mueller investigation so far. >> take us through. >> attorney, the guy we're talking about, van der zwann, is the first sentencing in the special counsel's probe. the special counsel has also secured four other guilty pleas. george papadopoulos, former energy adviser, pleaded guilty in october. a republican authored memo in the house intelligence committee confirmed -- and they don't want
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to confirm anything, if you recall -- that papadopoulos triggered the investigation. michael flynn remains the highest profile cooperating witness in the mueller probe. rick gates, a former campaign aide and frequent white house visitor. he was a partner and protege to paul manafort. richard pinedo pleaded guilty to selling bank account numbers and stolen american identities to the russians during the 2016 campaign. these are the cooperating and guilty people. there are more cooperating witnesses. sam nunberg, former campaign aid, and roger stone associate who turned up drama with a slew of cable news appearances last month. you'll remember nose. nunberg initially said he wouldn't work with the special counsel but testified anyway. george nader, adviser to the united arab emirates leadership. he allegedly set up a meeting
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between erik prince and russian contacts. now, to those who were charged but not pleading guilty. paul manafort. he's opted to go to trial rather than plead guilty. manafort is charged with conspiracy against the united states and money laundering, among other things. he sued to get the charges thrown out, both in washington, d.c. and virginia courts. there are also 13 russian individuals and entities. the most symbolic portion of the mueller probe was the charging of the russian businesses and oligarchs. they'll likely never face trial, but the charges stand as a statement point by the special counsel. >> serious statement. while those russians are not going to face trial any time soon, we know who will. paul manafort. he chose to fight, and his trial is set to begin september 17th, which happens to be the 231st anniversary of the u.s. constitution. ahead of the court date, manafort is suing to get the charges against him tossed.
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we alleges the special counsel overstepped his authority when looking into manafort's work with the ukrainian political party. a party backed by russia. late last night, mueller's team filed a response to manafort's motion to dismiss. they cited an august 2017 classified memo in which deputy attorney general rod rosenstein told mueller he should -- i'll say it again -- he should investigate manafort's dealing with the ukraine. >> we want to bring in former u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. what are your insights into this investigation right now? >> there's a lot going on right now. you know, mueller is doing this dance. he, on the one hand, has these court filings and deadlines he needs to make, but his goal right now, one of his goals, is to keep as much information under wraps as possible. he doesn't want all this stuff getting out. as you can see, because he has to respond in court, some
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things, more and more, are starting to trickle out. i think it is going to happen more and more. >> should he be dancing or, on some level, is this a race against the clock? president trump would like mueller out. >> look, these are trained investigators and prosecutors. they're not going to let that effect how they conduct this investigation. i really believe that. they are going to -- >> they won't speed up as a result of it. >> no. they'll do the job as they'd always do it, which is incredibly, thoroughly detail oriented. if something happens poli politically, they'll be dealt with. >> what's the deal with van der zwaan? she's a skadden arps lawyer. he knows what trouble he can get into, lying to investigation. he said he lied because he didn't want his bosses to find out. i don't get it. >> couple things. first of all, just because he said that's why he lied, it doesn't mean it was actually his
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motatio motivati motivation. it may have been part of why he lied, but it may not be the whole story. one thing i think is interesting, with respect to van der zwaan, there is a clause -- actually, last night, the special counsel also filed something saying that they didn't want van der zwaan to make a foya request. >> freedom of information. >> why? >> in their motion, they said he knows more than the public knows. why does he know more? because his conduct probably is involved in the bigger picture of what was going on with manafort and gates. >> why such a light sentence? he's giving so much information, possibly? >> look, first of all, it's still a jail sentence they're asking for. >> right. >> second of all, he is facing deportation, as far as i understand it, because he is not a u.s. citizen. that's a pretty severe
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consequence, even if he's going back to a nice country. it's still leaving his home and his life. also, again, this goes back to the pressures that mueller and his team are dealing with from the court. the charge against van der zwaan had to be dealt with. they had to plead him out to something, in part, to put it to the side. they're focused on the bigger picture here. so van der zwaan's conduct, we may learn more when we learn more about manafort and gates. with respect to manafort, again, that order that came out, that they now put out there to respond to manafort's motion, what's important there is not only that they knew in august or they were authorized in august to look specifically at manafort's ties to russian intelligence. what is also important is what is still redacted there. guess what? what's still redacted there is probably other individuals that they were specifically asked to look at. it's not the ones we know about,
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otherwise, it wouldn't have to be redacted. >> i like asking you questions all day. >> she has better answers. >> you have significantly better answers than ali velshi. >> definitely. that was good. >> wow. i mean, you know who has to have their heads spinning watching this? jared kushner. kushner, knowing the hot seat he's in, watching what van der zwaan is going through, and he is small potatoes compared to jared. >> i think it must make a lot of people nervous, what is going on. mueller is, you know, so, as i said, deliberate, meticulous, and there is a method to the madness. i know rch wanoknow everyone wa the facts now, but there is a reason they're trickling out. >> mimi, thank you for joining us. >> i mean, wow. >> yeah. >> to think, when president trump first won, charlie kushner was thinking, maybe i'll be pardoned here. >> maybe not. from private jets to paying
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virtually nothing for a luxury condo rental in washington, d.c. >> america's best bargain hunter, scott pruitt. >> could be in hot water. >> or could get a tv show on how he gets good deals. >> we are breaking down the headlines in pruitt's behaviors and whether he can be the next to hear, "you're fired." you're watching "velshi & ruhle."
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welcome back to "velshi & ruhle." just last hour, we heard a major new announcement from epa administrator scott pruitt. cars in the u.s. must average 50 miles per gallen lon by 2025. it'd cause the industry billions of dollars. pruitt says the epa wants to set a standard that, quote, allows automanufactu auto manufacturers to make cars people want and can afford. >> what he didn't say is what people are talking about. he is under fire for another potential ethical violation. he used a procedural loophole to
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give two top aides significant pay raises after the white house rejected the request for their salary hikes. the loophole pruitt used was in the safe drinking water provision. he reportedly reassigned both employees on paper to make them eligible. >> we heard from people saying people are going after him because of policy. not talking policy. i want to go through a few, just a few potential conflicts of interest and ethics violations. that is in a totally separate bucket. to begin, pruitt is currently under investigation by the government accountability office for spending almost $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth inside of his office. next, there's the issue of pruitt's travel. the administrator spent $160,000 on first class flights, military aircrafts and charter flights in his first year in office alone. then, we've got pruitt's living
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situation, which we mentioned earlier. for six months last year, he rented a condo from an oil lobbyist at far, far below the market rate. paying about $50 a night, and only paying on the nights he slept there. the "daily beast" reports now that the condo was also used as a location for republican lawmakers to hold fundraisers. some were held while pruitt was in washington. it was a party venue. to make matters worse for pruitt, "politico" is reporting white house chief of staff john kelly has considered firing him in the coming months. >> for more, we're joined by noah bookbinder, the executive director of citizens for responsibility and ethics. no noah, thank you for being with us. >> good to be here. >> we should note, it's been reported this morning that the president did reach out to scott pruitt last night and say, we have your back. from my reporting inside the white house, people have told me, the president's quite conflicted here. while he doesn't necessarily like these violations, he trusts
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less and less people in the administration. scott pruitt is a guy he knows and likes. >> well, in some ways, it is not surprising. the tone of the administration comes from the top. the president himself made clear from the earliest days of the administration that he wasn't concerned about ethics violations. wasn't concerned about norms. he made it clear when he held his own businesses which create tremendous conflicts of interest. he's excused a lot of white house employees and cabinet officials for their ethics violations, unless the outside heat is so much, it is hurting the president too much. >> if i'm tom price, if i'm va secretary shulkin, who got the boot for far less than this, aren't they saying, what gives here? >> absolutely. in many ways, scott pruitt is the worst of the worst on ethics questions. he has this business about this condo that's really -- it is
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impossible to defend. >> let's just be clear on this. he rented a condo partially owned by a lobbyist for $50 a night. >> right. >> which he didn't have to pay for when he wasn't in it, which what a fantastic lease. i wish i could have something like that, you only pay for the lights you stay. i think it's called airbnb. >> the organization they represent, the project got approved on scott pruitt's watch. >> the question, noah, is how does that get approved? somebody deemed that okay in the epa. i mean, who is watching the chicken coop here? >> first of all, it doesn't look like anybody knew about this or approved it while it was happening. that's a huge problem. scott pruitt should have identified this as a potential conflict and brought it. first of all, he should have never done it. even if he was contemplating doing it, he should have brought it to ethics officers at the time. it was approved after the fact,
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when press stories came out based on what looks to be partial information by an ethics office that, as best we can tell, is utterly broken. has been approving arrangements that no reputable ethics officer thinks should be approved. >> it is important for you to back that up again for us. last night when i was speaking to hugh hewitt about this, and he was adamantly defending scott pruitt, he said, the ethics lawyers approved it. this is much to do about nothing. you're saying, they approved it after the fact and didn't really know what happened? >> that's right. i mean, the approval is dated in the past month, which is long after this arrangement actually happened. it's after the damaging stories came out. from press kaccounts, it appear there were key pieces of information that ethics officials didn't even know when they wrote the initial approval. there was an initial one that was withdrawn. it was replaced, written by a
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different official. if you look at it, the suggestion in this ethics opinion, that this was an appropriate market rate transaction, is just preposterous. this is $50 a night, but only when he's staying there, but the place was being held open for him. it was there whenever he wanted or needed it. he was paying for only one bedroom, even though the second bedroom was vacant for the entire time. other family members were using it. most importantly, and this isn't addressed in the ethics opinion at all, is the fact that he was renting this from a lobbyist. he made the arrangement directly with the lobbyist, not through a broker. that lobbyist's firm, apparently, had clients with interests in front of the epa. the epa made favorable decisions. we don't know if the two were linked, but there's no way that that is an acceptable situation. any ethics opinion this says
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otherwise can't be taken seriously. >> now that all this is out, now, what does the oge do? >> well, it is -- both the oge and potentially the inspector general for the epa should be looking at this. not only to look at this arrangement, which they immediate to be doing, but also to see what is wrong with the ethics office at the epa. are they feeling too much political pressure and feeling like they have to back up scott pruitt in indefensible situations? >> that's not useful. if you have ethics minders feeling political pressure, you might as well not have ethics minders, which is kind of how it is running. noah bookbinder, executive director of citizens for responsibility and ethics. if scott pruitt leaves his post, he is going to have a great career with america's sweetheart deals, as a host of the show. >> steals and deals blog coming his way. >> unbelievable. many schools in oklahoma and kentucky are shut down again today as teachers demand better
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education funding. kids are joining, showing up with tattered textbooks older than they are. we're live on the ground in oklahoma. you're watching "velshi & ruhle." we'll be right back. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪
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it is expected to force the cancellation of classes for most of the state's 700,000 public school students. teachers are rallying at the state capitol in oklahoma city to press for their demands. >> oklahoma teachers rank 48th among states in pay, ahead of mississippi and south dakota. they earn an average of just over $45,000 a year, versus the national average of nearly $53,000 a year. that is not their only issue. we go live to the state capitol in oklahoma city. the teachers walked out, even though the state legislature approved a $6,100 pay raise last week. what is this about, if it is not just about their salaries? >> reporter: teachers tell me, ali, this is about the students. that $6,000 raise, they say legislators came up short. that's why you have more than 1,000 teachers here inside the
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oklahoma state capitol. i want to actually tell you about new developments that just happened a couple of minutes ago. the house voted to adjourn their session. people here just started growing more and more frustrated. chanting, "we will be back." they, apparently, according to folks inside, won't be able to discuss anything inside the legislature until 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. growing frustration, as teachers vow to return tomorrow. ali? >> we have to leave it there and take you back to washington. we have breaking news from pete williams. what have you learned? >> reporter: the judge just pronounced sentence for alex van der zwaan for lying to the special counsel. he'll have to serve 30 days in prison and pay a $20,000 fine. now, to put this in perspective, the maximum sentence for lying to the government is five years in prison, but under the sentencing guidelines, which
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advise judges, he could have served zero to six months. his lawyer said he should get probation so he can go back to london and attend to his wife, who is having a difficult pregnancy and is expected to give birth in august. the government suggested that he should have to serve some time. what judge berman-jackson said as he stood before her, she said, he came knowing what the special counsel had been interested in. he'd been practicing law in london. he is a lawyer himself, represented by counsel, but he lied. he knew how important the special counsel's investigation was. he knew what he said he false. and he said, this is not something that -- the judge said, this is not something that happened to him. this is something that he did. he put his personal interests ahead of the interests of justice. the judge also said that the sentence has to reflect a fairness, proportionality, so there's no great disparity between the kind of sentences
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that people in white collar crimes get. she said, i can't just let him go with probation. she did say two other things that i thought were interesting. she said, he didn't seem to show a lot of remorse. while letters were sent to the judge about what a fine person he is from his mother, from his father, from members of his family, he himself, van der zwaan himself, did not sign such a letter. she seemed to think it was important and reflected a lack of remorse. secondly, she said, you know, one of the problems here is, normally, i might sentence somebody in a white collar crime like this to community service. but if he goes back to london, he's outside of my jurisdiction and i can't make sure he does it. he's been here since november. i'm surprised given all the lawyers he has, he hasn't volunteered to do community service right now. the bottom line is, 30 days in prison. $20,000 fine. now, there is a little sticky point here. after he serves his sentence, he's going to be probably picked
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up by i.c.e., going into deportation proceedings. there seems to be some question about how long it'll take. in any event, it seems clear that he'll be able to get back to london by the time his child is born in august. >> here's what i don't understand. if the defense is, he was putting his personal interests first, wouldn't his personal interest be to avoid going to jail? >> and not lying to them to start with? >> like, fine. let's say my boss is mad at me or fires me. i'll take getting fired over going to jail. >> reporter: well, what his defense was early on, is that he got nervous and lied, covered up these conversations that he had with gates and a person in ukraine about their work for the ukrainian government, and a report that his law firm wrote about the previous president of ukraine, that he wanted to -- didn't want the law firm to know
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that he'd been communicating with them in ways that the law firm didn't want him to do. he got nervous when he was interviewed by the special counsel. that's why he lied. but the judge said he put his personal interests ahead of the interests of the firm and ahead of the interests of the government, in trying to get to the bottom of this. >> ali, do you buy it, a skadden arps lawyer -- >> the judge didn't buy it. whether ali buys it or not, the judge didn't buy it. >> doesn't seem like the nervous type. >> as the first conviction in the mueller probe, it is significant. however, clearly -- >> reporter: the first sentencing. >> i'm sorry. you're right. first sentencing. the 30 days and the $20,000, what message does it send? does it send that if you cooperate, we'll give you a lighter sentence, or does it send the message, we're serious, these people will do jail time? how do you interpret it? >> reporter: the latter really. this is the point of the
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prosecution. unlike in the manafort, gates, flynn, some of the other convictions here, papadopoulos, those convictions were intended to get somebody's cooperation. there's no cooperation agreement here. doesn't seem that he has anything to tell the special counsel that they don't already know. so, this was a purely, if you'll pardon the expression, a punitive sentence and punitive prosecution to send the message that you can't lie to the special counsel. the judge, in fact, said, that's one of the reasons for the sentence. >> thank you for your great reporting and analysis on this, pete. we will continue to cover this event through the course of the day. pete williams for us at the court in washington, d.c. >> how about my analysis? >> amazing. >> i don't buy like a skadden arps attorney, the son of a russian oligarch, is the type with nerves. >> he's a skadden arps attorney, so he knew he would be in trouble. the minute the special prosecutor asked him the questions, he knew he'd be out of a job. i don't think it was the right
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bet, but you can sort of see, maybe this isn't getting back to the employers. skadden arps couldn't possibly keep him employed. >> would you not mind getting fired -- again, whether he lose job at skadden, he could, a, get a job elsewhere. he is the son of a billionaire. there is a mega gap he could be on. i just go back to -- why lie. president trump's latest tweet storm. i can't even follow this one. this takes on immigration. >> for fact sake, it appears the president isn't quite understanding how all of this works. i'll explain it to you next. you're watching "velshi & ruhle". only preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula recommended by the national eye institute to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced amd backed by 15 years of clinical studies.
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welcome back. you are watching "velshi & ruhle." president trump took to his favorite social media medium this morning -- twitter -- to once again air his grievances about immigration. "the big caravan of people from honduras now coming across mexico and heading to our "weak laws" border had better be stopped before it gets there. cash cow nafta is in play and is -- as is foreign aid to honduras and the countries that allow this to happen. congress must act now."
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all right. nothing the president has tweeted about immigration in the last few days makes sense. in fact, his tweets on the subject are a collection of outright lies. let's take a closer look for fact sake. over the weekend he tweeted, border patrol agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the border, capitalized, because of ridiculous democrat laws like catch and release. republicans must go to nuclear option to pass tough laws now. no more daca deal. okay. let's start with "catch and release." it is not a law, it is an immigration protocol. the number of immigrants apprehended alongside court rulings and simple resources makes it impractical to contain any person who crosses over the border. those who are released are allowed to await trial while not
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in custody. daca protections only apply to people who have lived in the united states continuously since june 15th, 2007. no matter how hard you try, you cannot jump on the daca bandwagon. it is nonsense. it is a lie. and yesterday the president fumed, quote, daca is dead because the democrats didn't care or act and now everyone wants to get on to the daca bandwagon. no longer works, must build -- sorry, wrong page -- no longer works, must build wall and secure our borders with proper border legislation. democrats want no borders, hence drugs and crime. for fact sake, members of both parties have proposed daca. it is dead only because president trump ended it. not the democrats so there's pretty much nothing in those tweets that made no sense. for more, we're joined by our friend, raul reyes, an attorney and nbc news
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contributor. walk us through this. the deal was almost a month ago but all president trump has done about it is tweet. >> it's so hard to make sense of these tweets because he's conflating asylum policy, nafta, daca, all these things under the umbrella offism gration, so it is hard to even analyze it. one thing i don't think he totally gets is, yes, daca is dead. yes, there is no daca. however, for people in the program it does exist because two judges have ruled that it can stay if place until final decision. >> you can even renew if you're in it. >> only if you're in it so no one new can come in. these people in the so-called caravans coming to our border, these are people who are going to come to the border around apply for asylum, which they have the right to do under international law. >> but let's be clear -- these caravans law enforcemearen't caa bush. they're showing up, meeting with
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immigration officials and using legal procedures. >> they've signaled they're seeking asylum. that's under international law. >> we can say no at the border. >> exactly. some can be turned back if they have a credible case, some can be moved through the process. the other thing that trump doesn't seem to realize, he has antagonized mexico so much. in the past mexico has very actively discouraged this type of pass-through immigration coming through central america. they deport between -- i think 80,000 to 160,000 people from their southern border, keeping people who want to come through mexico to the united states. because he has had such an antagonistic relationship with the mexican government, now mexico's saying, okay, go ahead -- >> let it rip. >> when mexico has its election on july 1st, the new president is running on a very anti-trump, stand up to this white house. we'll see even more of this of our relations deteriorating even more. >> if you're worried about the southern border, the wall is one thing but you really need to be
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talking to the central american companies and mexico because that's where people are coming from to avoid their economic desperation. >> what trump doesn't seem to get is a lot of the undocumented people we have in the country now are from mexico, people who came here basically to work. the in-flows now are not from mexico. they're central americans fleeing gang violence and cartels. >> sexual violence. horrible wages. you think -- they make $10 a day in some countries, they can come work on an american farm for $100 a day. >> those farmers need labor. >> it is interesting because a new poll taken february 20 to 23rd indicated that 83% of americans think daca should be continued. raul, thank you. thank you for watching this hour of "velshi & ruhle." i'm stephanie ruhle. i'll see you tomorrow. >> i'll see you back here at 3:00 p.m. eastern. right now it is time for "andrea mitchell reports." and right now -- bully
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pulpit. president trump on the attack with rapid fire tweets against amazon, the media, and president obama. and calling embattled epa administrator scott pruitt to tell him he has got his back despite a growing ethics scandal. >> this president has shown tremendous courage to say to the american people that america is going to be put first. we have nothing to be apologetic about. sending message. as we learn more about the scope of robert mueller's investigation to former trump campaign chair paul manafort. the first sentencing in the russia probe is handed down. >> the judge has just pronounced sentence for alex van der zwaan for lying to the special counsel. he's going to have to serve 30 days in prison and pay a $20,000 fine. and bearing witness 50 years after the assassination of dr. martin luther king jr. a waitress at the lorraine motel in memphis is ready to share her story of what she s

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