tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC April 6, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
before we go, a look at where the markets are right now. 550. down 550 on this friday. katie's going to pick things up right now. see you tomorrow morning. >> thank you very much. it's 11:00 p.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in the white house where if you say it enough, it has to be true, right? >> this is not a trade war. there's no war here. >> it's like it's not a trade war. >> it is not a trade war. >> we're not running a trade war. >> we don't have a trade war. we've lost a trade war. i'm not saying there won't be a little pain. >> i don't want to talk pain. i want to talk progress. >> no trade war with china, nothing to see here, at least according to the president and his newly minted chief economic adviser. and yet in the last 24 hours, president trump threatened yet another $100 billion in retaliatory tariffs against china. china's response, the result of this action will do harm to the
u.s., and, quote, we don't want to fight but we're not afraid to fight a trade war. the brinksmanship between the two countries has roiled the markets. the dow is down more than 500, approaching 600, despite assurances from the white house that there is no trade war, nothing to worry about. given the turmoil over the tariffs, our big question is, what is president trump's end game? is it about being able to show his base he's made good on a campaign promise? is it winning? if so, what would winning look like for president trump? could winning come at the expense of trump voters who may stand to lose the most? and if he does lose, what then? what's the fallout? we'll hear from the white house any minute now with sarah huckabee sanders expected to brief reporters but first let's bring in our reporters and analysts. nbc's peter alexander is at the white house. here onset with me, nsnb anchor stephanie ruhl.
and nbc political analyst and from washington, peter baker, chief white house correspondent for the "new york times" and an msnbc political analyst. peter alexander, there's a new report out there that chief of staff john kelly, and this is a side story so we're going to take a detour, that chief of staff john kelly has asked the president or told the president that he's got to get rid of epa head scott pruitt. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. that report coming from the "wall street journal." this conversation, "the journal" is reporting, happening last week where the president was basically told my his chief of staff that he's convinced that pruitt has to go based on now all the smoke surrounding his spending habits and his management style, but we did hear from the president today on twitter about this very fact. he said of scott pruitt that he's doing a great job. he said, with all caps, he's totally under siege. remember we heard from president trump on this very topic, saying that he is not only doing a fantastic job but is a fantastic man.
as for the questions, these allegations around him, he said that he needs to look at them. what i hear, katie, based on my conversations here at the white house, is that while there are a lot of aides that have come to the conclusion that scott pruitt needs to go, on this occasion, the president does not agree. he likes pruitt, feels strongly about his deregulatory actions so far, and the efforts he's taken on behalf of the president. so while in the past through a lot of times where aides may have been trying to caution the president against firing or getting rid of an adviser, an aide, or a cabinet official, on this occasion, not that many people are saying he needs to think twice except for the president himself. >> i'm sure reporters will be asking sarah huckabee sanders about pruitt in the briefing. let's go back to tariffs. peter, once again, is there a plan here? >> reporter: it's a good question. the president has obviously tried to insist that he has a plan. he said he's open to some short-term pain because he thinks that america needs to be treated fairly, that trade needs to be reciprocal, but clearly,
this new order, effectively, that he wants them to consider $100 billion in additional tariffs on china is a dramatic escalation in this tariff tit for tat. you don't have to call it a war for it to be significant here. whether the white house is bluffing right now, with senior adviser to the president saying this is not a bluff, that they're sears about it. but you do have, as you played in the introduction, katie, this interesting back and forth, where you have the president coming out, repeatedly tough with his confrontational language about china and then you hear from larry, his chief economic adviser, basically saying, hey, we don't want pain. this is not what we're going for, trying to sort of measure the market's reaction to this at this point. it's unclear exactly what the president is trying to accomplish, other than to certainly raise a lot of attention about this topic, whether he follows through on it, well, that remains to be seen. >> stephanie, watching your face as peter reports is hilarious, number one. number two, i think i have an idea of whether or not you think there's a plan here. but let's look at it in a more
sober way. we import a lot more from china than china imports from us. so, in theory, if you're just looking at tariffs, we could impose way more tariffs on china than china can impose on us. what do you say to people who say, look at those numbers, this is an easy war for america to win. >> first of all, we're going to look at those numbers, let's look at the correct numbers. when the president continues to say it's a $500 billion number, he's incorrect. but if we're talking about the trade deficit, it's grown since president trump has been in office. and here's the other thing. when gdp rises, when the economy grows, you have a big trade deficit. now, more power to the president that he's decided to address this head on. it is a huge issue. what china has done, their behavior, especially what they do around ip, but this tit for tat nonsense certainly doesn't help anyone, and yes, larry cudlow is talking us down from this fear mountain, saying the
tariffs have not happened and he's correct. he's saying, what's happening behind the scenes, there's nothing happening behind the scenes. wilbur ross is the person the president charged back in the spring when xi jinping came to mar-a-lago and said, you're going to be the one to look at trade. nothing is happening behind the scenes and if we continue to conduct ourselves like this, who's going to lose? >> what is larry cudlow in this scenario? is he the dog or the tail? >> that's the question. larry cudlow is filling the role of gary cohn. was he somewhat successful in his role? he got tax reform through. when president trump first announced the tariffs, gary and others were the ones who got the president to narrow the scope, to leave our allies out of the aluminum and steel tariffs but larry cudlow has a tough thing to handle here. he's got to deal with people like me pulling larry cudlow quotes from the last 20 years as a true free markets guy who even a couple weeks ago said these
tafrps we taf tariffed were a disaster. >> the president himself has never had to deal with the consequences of saying the exact opposite on a number of issues, on tape, even moments before he decides to change his mind. >> but now the american people -- >> there are real consequences, but they seem to be living in this world where nothing matters, where they can say and do anything they want. and all will be well. because they've decided that it will be well. >> except xi jinping will be in office forever. president trump has the midterms to worry about and the 2020 election. there's no bankruptcy protection for the united states economy. >> stephanie, you and i can talk about this for the entire block but let's get rick tsengal in here. we like to say that nothing happens in vacuum. yeah, you can have the tit for tat tariff fight, spat, war, whatever you want to call it but china doesn't only have tariffs to fight back with. how else can china push back against this american, i don't know, tariff? >> well, in a million different
ways, and actually, to annotate stephanie's comments with my economics 101 b minus that i got, i'd actually have the what are the -- wharton school take back president trump's degree. 70% of our gdp has to do with consumption. 5% of china's gdp has to do with consumption, so you know who's going to be hurt by this? people who go and shop in walmart. china, i mean, i would not go to the bank on trying to make china say ouch. >> with the way the government works there and how deep their hands are in everything, they can sustain losses in a way that we cannot. >> and they've brought 350 million people into the middle class in the last 20 years. it's the greatest economic achievement in human history. the other thing that is wrong with all this is that while we're trying to protect a few steel makers and, by the way, hurt our own soybean farmers, they're investing hundreds of billions of dollars into what? artificial intelligence, machine learning. they're creating the economy for
the 21st century and donald trump is not even doing 19th century. he's doing 18th century economics. >> when was the last time you heard him talk about ai? >> he thinks it's a steak sauce. it's my joke but i love it. >> peter baker, i feel like we're leaving you to the. i want to bring you in. put on your foreign policy glasses for me for a second. what is a trade war like this or a tariff war, whatever you want to call it? by the way, the dow is now down 600 points. what can this sort of fight with china do, foreign policy-wise. what does it do in our talks with north korea? how could it complicate things with kim jong-un? >> yeah, it's really curious timing, of course, very consistent with president trump's view of kmien fchina fog time but very curious timing given that he's about to head into this meeting with kim jong-un and the only way anybody can put pressure on kim jong-un is with china's help. if china doesn't go along with maximum pressure, that's the president's line that he uses to
describe the program of sanctions and political pressure, then it's not going to have the impact that the president wants it to have in forcing north korea to make concessions on its nuclear program. so the fact that he's doing it right now is very, very odd and very curious. makes you wonder whether there is some sort of grand bargain, you know, imagined there in the white house or whether it really is happening on two separate tracks, an economic track and a political track, both of which are going to collide in the next few weeks. >> let's talk about another political track and what it means partnfor 2020. take a look at this ad for democratic presidential candidate john delanie, i know we're talking about 2020 and it's only 2018. but this ad is now running in iowa. watch. >> when president trump said he wanted to get rid of pork, it wasn't supposed to be this kind. his trade war could defensivast our economy. john delanie believes we should be expanding markets, not
throttling them. >> anybody in the white house, anybody at all, worried about what this could mean for 2020? >> good question. i think there are some concerns about that. i think the president feels very strongly that he is speaking to some of his core voters with this while it could have an impact on those agricultural states, there's some manufacturing states in the rust belt that came around for donald trump. let me share with you some information passed on by my colleague hallie jackson who just left a behind closed doors meeting with larry cudlow. he addressed this topic just moments ago. some of the highlights are his saying that this is not a bluff. he said, and i quote, trufr is not just using tariffs as a negotiating card. he was asked about steve mnuchin's comments that this could start a trade war but is not intended to and added, i don't really want to there. any foreign policy can go awry but we are not in a trade war, emphasizing the point you've been talking about over the course of the day.
and one point that he's been reiterati reiterating as he did to these reporters was, blame china, not trump. >> peter baker, last word to you. what happens next? >> well, if we knew what was going to happen next, we wouldn't need to have this program, that's the great thing about this. this is a presidency where what happens next is the constant preoccupation of everybody in washington and around the world, in beijing and pyongyang and europe and so forth. what we've seen so far, though, with the steel tariffs, for instance, was a max mall position put out at the beginning and in the end, they backed off a little bit, exempted the european allied, australia, canada, mexico, so we don't know whether this is in fact where they're going to end up on these new tariffs in china or even though larry cudlow sayssays it's not a bluff, whether it's meant to extract some concessions that will ultimately make this trade war go away. but for the moment, there's real fear and that's being exhibited on the markets. >> here's the thing about
calling a bluff or claiming you're bluffing, you have to have credibility and this white house doesn't have a lot of credibility because they've turned around on almost everything they've said in the past. we're not going to fire that guy, that guy gets fired, et cetera. i love having you guys here. stephanie, you especially. >> wow, sorry, rick. >> i'm a little hurt. >> steph, look at her. she's just -- >> she's just saying that because she had a moment with ali this week. >> don't look at our twitter spat. stephanie, rick, love you too. the trump administration has levied new sanctions against several russians for their attempted meddling in 2016. some of the new targets are tied to putin and even former campaign chair paul manafort as we will explain next. you know what's awesome? gig-speed internet.
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if it is 2:00, the white house briefing interrupts our show. here's sarah huckabee sanders talking now. >> before it could even take place. >> look, i think that's part of the purpose of the two individuals, the two leaders being able to sit down and have those conversations and develop that relationship and hopefully put some pressure for russia to change their behavior. >> aren't you sending a very distinct signal to putin that you have to assume he would respond negatively to and not want to talk about it. >> we hope that he'll respond positively. >> what do you want him to do? >> we'd like them to change their behavior. we would like to see significant changes. i'm not going to get into all those details right now. >> can you name two?
>> what we would like to see is the totality of the russian behavior change and we want to continue having conversations and work forward to building a better relationship. john. >> two questions on china. first of all, what was it that prompted the president to come out last night to come out with a statement that he's threatening tariffs on another $100 billion in chinese goods? none of these tariffs have taken effect, who was the purpose offing the ante, if you will? >> the united states is responding to chinese actions that have gone on for decades. the chinese have engaged in unfair and illegal afraid practices for many years, and this is simply a response to that. we would like to see them change and make significant changes to the trade back and forth that we have with them, and that's the purpose. >> what was it that prompted the escalation? he had already announced $60 billion worth of goods targeted for tariffs and then upped it to another $100 billion. >> the president is actually going to do something and be tough when no one else has been
willing to do this. china created this problem and the president is trying to put pressure on them to fix it and to take back some of the terrible actions that they've had over the last several decades. >> second question. a few minutes ago, on cnbc, steve mnuchin, the treasury secretary, said while it's not intended to, this could ignite a trade war. how concerned is the president that this could tip the balance into a trade war? because the stock market took a look at that statement, didn't like it at all. >> we are, again, this is something that china has created and president trump is trying to fix it. and we are moving forward in that process of trying to -- we're going to continue putting pressure on china to stop in the illegal and unfair trade practices that they've continued in for decades. >> is he willing to fight a trade war on this? >> we don't want it to come to that. the president wants us to move to a process of fairness, to free and fair and open trade and that's what he's trying to do. >> does the president think the trade wars are easy to win? is that still his view? >> i think that the president feels like if he is in charge of
those negotiations,absolutely. he's the best negotiator at the table and we have full confidence in his ability to help move things forward. i think if you look simply at the chorus deal in which the president was able to get a much better deal for the united states, we've made great progress on nafta. >> and sarah, can you clarify something he said in west virginia. he said, yesterday it came out where this journey are coming up, women are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before. what was he talking about? i'm talking about yesterday. >> there was a story, i believe the "l.a. times," i don't have it here in front of me. th documented some of that but this is also a well documented fact that a lot of the people, i believe, up to 80% in recent years of women that are making that journey have been raped in that process. the president is saying that's simply unacceptable, and this is something that should be looked at.
>> you're saying 80% of the women coming cross the border are raped? >> no. he's saying that the drug smugglers t traffickers, the coyotes, this is something that, again, has been in recent years. i know it's been up to as high as 80%. >> sarah, the dow is down about 500 points the last time i looked. does that give the president any pause as he pursues these actions? >> we know there could be some fluctuation but at the same time, the president has said enough is enough. china has to change this ill lael a -- illegal and unfair practice. this is the first time -- frankly, we shouldn't be in this situation. previous administrations should have stepped up and tried to stop these actions long before today, but thankfully, we have a president that's willing to actually stand up, be tough, and take some really courageous and bold action like president trump has done. >> the next step, what is the next step? what do you want to see happen now? do you want the chinese to come forward and ask for talks and negotiate? what do you want to see happen?
>> we certainly want to be able to negotiate. we want them to stop participating in unfair and illegal trade practices in intellectual property theft, being a huge detriment to united states companies and businesses. >> just following up on steve's question, regarding the stock market, the dow is down nearly 4,000 points since january 26th. does the president, does the administration believe that any of that decline is attributable to any of the president's actions concerning the tariffs that the president has announced on steel and aluminum, perhaps the tariffs the president intends to impose upon china, anything related to what the administration has done since that time period? >> we're focused on the long-term economic principles. let's be clear. the tariffs that we're talking about with china have not been implemented and are months away. the president has cleared the way for a strong economic environment through the tax cuts, through deregulation, we're going to continue pushing
forward on long-term economic principles, but at the same time, we're not going to allow a country like china to continue to have these unfair and illegal trade practices. >> i understand that. but just getting back to my question, any actions that the president has taken since january 26th, since that period in which the dow has declined almost 4,000 points, anything that he's done or said, do you think, is attributable to that stock market decline? >> the actions of the president have certainly strengthened our economy. we've created almost 3 million new jobs. we've gotten regulation out of the way. we've provided tax cuts for american individuals and companies. again, we're focused on the long-term economic principles and we feel very confident in where we are. >> thank you, sarah. on the sanctions, why hasn't the president spoken out personally about the sanctions and the behavior enumerated by the administration today? >> the president has. it's ridiculous that you guys say that. just earlier this week, the president stood on a stage in an
open press room and talked about how he had been tough on russia and he's continued to do that through action. and we've continued to do that through a number of administration officials, but to say that the president hasn't addressed it directly, he did that while standing on stage with the leaders of the baltic countries in front of, i believe, almost every single one of you earlier this week. so that's not a fair or accurate statement. >> on these sanctions imposed today, he's not spoken out and there's been no statement issued under his name and he's not spoken out specifically about the issues enumerated by the administration. he hasn't condemned the alleged subversion of western democracies, the activity in syria, a number of things, cyber crimes, all the things that your administration has outlined. he said he's been tough on russia. >> we speak on behalf of the president, day in, day out. again, the president has signed off and directed these actions. i think that that speaks volumes, actually, on how the
president feels and exactly underscores what he said earlier this week when he said no one has been tougher on russia. >> just a question about the president's stance on scott pruitt, keeping his post at the epa. has he been advised close to anyone that pruitt should step down? >> no one other than the president has the authority to hair and fire members of his cabinet, it's a decision that he'll make and right now, i don't have any personnel announcements. the president feels that the administrator has done a good job at epa. he's restored it back to its original purpose of protecting the environment. it's got an unnecessary regulations out of the way and we're continuing to review any of the concerns that we have and i'll keep you posted if there's anything. if there's anything further on that front. sorry, guys, i can't hear if you're all talking at one time. let's be respectful. i'll call on your one at a time. >> in everything that has been reported about mr. pruitt ends
up being true in the president's estimation, the security detail, the -- >> i'm not going to walk through hypotheticals until we have time to go through a full review. that's what we're doing right now but again the president thinks he's done a good job on the purpose of carrying out the goals of the epa. >> sarah, two quick ones. the first is, the treasury secretary was on cnbc earlier, was asked about the sort of ongoing feud with amazon and responded by saying that the president was focused on the post office and, quote, in discussions with the post office and looking at that. party line around here has been kind of that there are no additional actions being contemplated by the administration against amazon so i'm wondering if that's changed and specifically if the white house put the president or any part of the administration has been in contact with the postal service about amazon's contract. >> i'm not aware of anything specific taking place on amazon. but we are looking at ways to help the post office modernize
and certainly help move them forward. the post office has lost tens of billions of dollars over the last ten years, and we'd like the see that stop. and bierrwe're looking at the b ways to do that. but anything specific dealing with amazon, i'm not aware of anything on the table. >> on this china discussion that we've been having, i think we're all trying to get a little clarity of whether the u.s. and china are actively in negotiations now or if there's sort of the routine contact that we would expect between the u.s. and china but you're hopeful that sort of direct negotiations -- >> currently in routine contact but this is a negotiation period. that's why it doesn't happen immediately, and there's a process and we're going through that process. >> thank you, sarah. two questions. one, following up on that, in terms of negotiations, earlier today, chinese officials say negotiations would not be possible in this current situation with the threats of tariffs. what is your response to that? >> look, if they want to stop
unfair and illegal trade practices, that would be great. until then, we're going to continue moving forward in this process. >> and then the second question, there are a number of, with the talk of tariffs, a number of farmers who have suggested that the volatility of the markets has made it very hard for them to plan for the upcoming season and they're already thinking that there's going to be a negative economic impact on them. what is this white house administration to those farmers, many of whom supported the president two years ago. >> we're working with the department of agriculture. the president has directed secretary purdue to do what we can to protect our farmers and to look at different ways possible. i'd refer you to them for some of the specifics and the specific actions that they're looking at taking. >> thank you, sarah. i was wondering if you could speak to, there seems to be a perception that at times, the president makes announcements and then the white house has to come up with policy to match what the president said, like with the talk about the military
at the border, there weren't really a lot of details about that at first and with the issue with syria, him saying he wanted to kind of pull all the troops back. can you talk anything about that perception and what's going on there? >> well, i think that's a perception of completely -- people that don't understand, i guess, how civics works. the only person elected to make these decisions and actually outline what policy should look like is the president. so, when he makes an announcement, he's the only one that has the authority to do so. he's carrying out the duties that he was elected to do, and it's up to his staff to implement those policies that he announces or that he makes, so it's -- he's doing exactly what the american people asked him to do and that's to come here and change washington. and he's doing that every single day. >> sarah, quick question. >> thank you, sarah. on the border -- >> i was pointing up here. >> okay. >> anita and then april for the last question.
>> i want to get an update on the national guard, sending the troops to the border. couple days ago, the dhs secretary was saying that it could happen as early as that night. we still haven't seen them gone over. i was wondering if you could update us. i know california is the one that hasn't said what they plan to do. will you all still go ahead with the plan if it's just the three other states and not them and can you tell us what the hold-up is with california. >> we will continue working forward with the other states. we're working with states governors right now to go through this process and we hope to have national guard on the ground as soon as possible and we're going to continue to work with california and we're hopeful that they'll do the right thing and help protect our borders. >> is there timing? >> there's not a specific time but as soon as possible. >> sarah, the 4,000 -- >> it's going to be as many as it takes. we're looking at what that needs to be and we're going to move forward in the process. the president thinks that's a good first step to have 2,000 to 4,000 and if we determine that
we need more, we'll make that decision at the time. >> a follow-up one on that and also on amazon. really fast, what happens when this honduran caravan gets there and you have this presence of national guard. what is going to happen when the caravan arrives at the border with the national guard? >> well, thankfully, the mexican government in conjunction with our team and in administration has broken up a lot of that and is continuing to do so. in terms of what the specifics will look like of the national guard, they will be working in conjunction with cbp and they will actually be the lead law enforcement on the ground with national guard backing them up and supplementing them in those efforts and for the specifics on that, i would refer you to the individual states who will help make some of those decisions. >> on amazon, what is the administration doing with the issue of faxing and e-mails. administrations before this were
dealing with the fact that the post office was losing money because of the internet, because of social media, because of people being able to correspond versus using a stamp or metered mail. how is the administration targeting that versus going to amazon and looking at them as the problem? >> look, we're doing -- as i said a few minutes ago, we're working with the post office. we're doing a thorough review in looking at the best ways to modernize that. i don't have any specific policy announcements on that front, but that's something that we're in ongoing conversations with the u.s. postal service. >> amazon contracts -- >> thanks so much, guys. have a great friday. >> sarah huckabee sanders finishing friday's briefing. just a top point on tariffs, the dow is down 600 points right now. sarah huckabee sanders was asked what the end goal was with this these tariffs and she said it's to stop intellectual property theft and stop illegal trade
practices. i wanted to flag one other thing. john carl asked sarah huckabee sanders about the comments the president made yesterday talking about rapists and mexico coming over the border. again, the question was president trump said yesterday that women are being raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before. what was he talking about? she referred to an "l.a. times" story and john carl asked, is he saying that 80% of women coming across the border have been raped? her response was, no, we're saying that the drug smugglers, the traffickers, the coyotes, that has been up to 80%. the only mention of rape in the 8 "l.a. times" article refers to robberies are common in one incident in 2010. 72 kidnapped migrants were killed by a cartel in northern mexico. terrible, terrible, yes, but not quite this claim that 80% of women coming across the border
have been raped. so just a fact check on that. the other big headline is scott pruitt. joining me now is nbc's peter alexander at the white house, also with us from the "washington post," is senior political reporter aaron blake who's been reporting on scott pruitt and maxwell, a former director of progressive media for the clinton campaign, a direct or of progressive programming and an msnbc political analyst and susan is a republican strategist. peter, let's start with you. scott pruitt, the white house is still saying that the president is standing by him. it sounds like they're not denying that "wall street journal" report, though, that said that john kelly was telling the president that it's time for scott pruitt to go. >> well, i'll let you hear from sarah sanders in a moment, but i should tell you while that briefing was going on, i confirmed with a white house official that earlier today, president trump did meet with scott pruitt. the circumstances, the terms of the conversation between the two men, we don't yet have those details but again, to let you
know that the president did meet with scott pruitt on this day. obviously it comes amid a lot of questions about the future of pruitt and this administration. the president has been one who has felt very strongly in support of pruitt. just yesterday, he described him as a fantastic man doing a fantastic job. on twitter today, he said that he is doing a great job, that he is totally under siege but obviously, there have been a lot of questions about how long he can stay in this position given all these questions, all the reporting, about his expensive travel habits, about the money he spent just $50 a day staying at a condominium that was owned by the spouse of an energy firm lobbyist and more broadly beyond that about his management style at the epa. here's what sarah sanders said a short time ago when pressed about scott pruitt. >> has he been advised by anyone close to him that pruitt should step down? where does the president stand? >> this is a -- no one other than the president has the authority to hire and fire
members of his cabinet, it's a decision that he'll make. and right now, i don't have any personnel announcements. the president feels that the administrator has done a good job at epa. he's restored it back to its original purpose of protecting the environment. it's gotten unnecessary regulations out of the way and we're continuing to review any of the concerns that we have, and i'll keep you posted if there's anything. if there's anything further on that front. >> as for the various controversies that pruitt is facing right now, the president yesterday aboard air force one told reporters, i have to look at them. i'll make that determination about his future, but you know, it's become familiar around here, we call fridays farewell fridays. for the moment, at least, it sounds like if that decision is to be made, the president hasn't made it yet. >> aaron, why is the president standing by scott pruitt in a way that he did not stand by other cabinet officials? >> well, i think it comes down to politics in a lot of ways.
this is a guy who is a favorite of the base. this is a guy who drives liberals crazy. this is a guy who, in a lot of ways, looks like the president when he's talking to -- talking about doing things that aren't agreed to by the other side. i think if you look at the other members of the administration who have been let go, allegedly for ethical reasons, talking about david shulkin at veterans affairs, tom price at hhs, both these guys had other policy driven reasons for their dismissals that could have been the reason. the ethical stuff just kind of provided a justification. in the case of scott pruitt, he's doing things the president likes. he's cutting regulations. and the president's getting people like ted cruz telling him that he should stick by his men and weather the storm and so far, that seems to be what the president is at least entertaining doing. >> what does that mean, drives liberals crazy? >> i mean, i guess because he's rolling back regulations but
liberals care about clean water and air. how terrible are we that we care about places like flint, michigan, and other places in the country where the regulations that are in police station, some of which scott pruitt is rolling back, protect our children from poisoned water. and i think that certainly, any republican administration would have been doing these similar actions by rolling back regulations that the conservatives didn't like, but i think what scott pruitt is doing is essentially he represents the level of chaos, corruption, excess in this administration that we're seeing in a number of different cabinet officials and that's because donald trump's white house is chaotic and so these officials feel like they can run rough shod over their agencies. >> susan, what does this mean, that as long as scott pruitt is carrying out this agenda, he can do whatever he wants, have a $50 a night room, have a soundproof booth in his office, he can have a bullet proof desk, which he's requested. i still don't understand why he nodes a bullet proof desk. >> if you were to drain the swamp and find the muck on the
bottom of the swamp, that's what pruitt's actions represent, that muck. and that is something that really should trouble the president, because i could see an end, very clearly, welcome to president trump's new swamp. and showing pictures of this. if he doesn't dismiss and that's what he was concerned about with price, if he doesn't dismiss him soon, he is going to do exactly what you said. look like he's forgiving all of these ethical lapses for someone carrying out his own agenda which doesn't make sense anyway because we know trump will fire someone and just hire someone who will do what he wants. >> i don't understand the optics of representing real america when you're showing the epa administrator using or trying to use a security detail, trying to use a police detail to get him to a fancy fresh restaurant in washington, d.c., faster than he could have because he doesn't want to wait in traffic. how does that represent real america? >> that's the optics. >> it does not. >> i want to play the sound byte really fast from sarah huckabee
sanders talking about the mexico rapists. >> president said yesterday with this journey coming up, women are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before. what was he talking about? >> it's not -- >> i'm talking about yesterday. >> there was a story, i believe it was the "l.a. times," i don't have it here in front of me, that documented some of that, but there's also this is a well documented fact that a lot of the people, i believe, up to 80% in recent years of women that are making that journey have been raped in that process. the president is saying that's simply unacceptable and this is something that should be looked at. >> that is such -- that is an explosive, explosive claim to make, and you don't make that claim unless you know it to be true. if that is true, that is horrible and everybody should be horrified by it. but she's referring to an "l.a. times" article that does not say that. period. does not say that. how is it acceptable for a woman in her position, a person in her position, to stand there at the
white house podium and peddle something? >> it's not the first time that sarah huckabee sanders has lied from the podium and i think that's what she did today. i think that scapegoating immigrants and brown people and essentially saying you should be afraid of these immigrants who are crossing the border, in this case, it's folks who are trying to seek asylum. it's not people sneaking under or over a fence to try to illegally enter the country. it's people who are coming here and saying, showing up, give us asylum. i think that scapegoating grown immigrants is essentially the way that this president panders to his base. >> susan, peter, thank you for joining us on this friday. happy weekend. next up, the new focus on paul manafort by special counsel robert mueller. stay with us. with the power of 335 turbo-charged horses lincoln mkx, more horsepower than the lexus rx350
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this time, it's his turn. you have 4.3 minutes to yourself. this calls for a taste of cheesecake. philadelphia cheesecake cups. rich, creamy cheesecake with real strawberries. find them with the refrigerated desserts. as the president has said, he wants to have a good relationship with russia, but that's going to depend on some of the actions by the russians. however, at the same time, the president is going to continue to be tough until we see that change take place. >> that was sarah huckabee sanders a moment ago at the white house press briefing, addressing the trump administration's new sanctions against russians for election interference, among other things. the sanctions target seven russian oligarchs, 17 russian officials and 12 companies. among those targeted is ol oleg deripaska, a known associate of former trump
campaign chair paul manafort. robert mueller's investigators have a new search warrant against him, the central itasev. warrants have been served for his property, banks, a hard drive, e-mail accounts, five phone lines, and a storage locker. chuck rosenberg is an msnbc contributor and a former u.s. attorney. chuck joins me now. a seventh search warrant for paul manafort. can that be construed to mean that the special counsel is having a hard time finding what they're looking for? >> well, i don't think so. let me give you some context for this, katie, if i may. normally, a grand jury hears evidence and receives documents and then is asked to consider an indictment. if it returns what we call a true bill, an indictment, normally its work is done. but sometimes in complex cases like this one, both the counterintelligence investigation and a white-collar investigation, prosecutors and
agents continue to get more information, and so here, what i think you're seeing, katie, is an example of an ongoing criminal investigation on new information that has come in probably either right before the indictments or just after the indictments. >> what's more likely, that they're after more charges against manafort himself, though, or potentially somebody else that might be connected to him? >> well, there seem to be a whole bunch of charges against mr. manafort right now, both in the district of columbia and in the eastern district of virginia. so my guess, and it's just a guess, is that they've gotten other information about other people connected to some of manafort's stuff. >> got it. >> for instance, his telephones. now, they could, in theory, bring additional charges against mr. manafort. there's something we call a superseding indictment. it's simply, well, supercedes the existing indictment and contains additional charges. that's also a possibility, katie. >> in this new documentation, paul fishman, another former
federal prosecutor, noticed that there was a semicolon after paul manafort's name, which led him to believe that there are more against manafort that had been redacted, not necessarily other folks. that was an interesting thing that he noticed. syntax is always our friend. talking about sanctions, i know they're unrelated to this mueller investigation, but we are sanctioning a russian oligarchs. cnn is also reporting that some russian oligarchs are being stopped as they're coming across the border, flying into the united states, so border or so mueller's investigators can search them. the general consensus is that they're looking for any evidence that any russians gave to donald trump's campaign. what is your take on that? >> well, first, kudos to paul fishman for the paying attention to detail award. i gave that to him earlier today. second, we have law enforcement, broad authority, at our borders to do searches, even without a search warrant.
it's one of the exceptions to the fourth amendment requirement that we obtain a search warrant in order to look in your house or into your hotel room or whatever the case may be. and then third, i don't know precisely what they're looking for, but it's interesting to me that they continue to do this, if news reporting is accurate, at our borders, at our airports, looking for additional connections. but then again, katie, this is what good agency agents and what good prosecutors do. >> chuck, thank you very much. happy friday. >> same to you. and yesterday, we asked but didn't have time to answer, what would happen if we ignored the president's tweets? so, we'll do it today. what if, @realdonaldtrump wasn't a thing? would anything be materially different? that's next. when i found out i had age-related macular degeneration, amd, i wanted to fight back. my doctor and i came up with a plan. it includes preservision. only preservision areds 2
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last june sean spicer used to words referring to donald trump's tweets. "official statements." >> are president trump's tweets considered official white house statement. >> the president is the president of the united states, so there are -- they're considered official statements by the president of the united states. >> official statements are driving the news cycle but what if they did not and how many officials statements amounted to new law or a substantial change in policy. in march 2017 anchored by the new yo -- angered by the new york time, trump hinted he might change u.s. linel laws. over a year later there is no effort to do that. late last month the president through congress into a panic when he suggested he would veto the omnibus spending bill but hours later he signed it. he said he wasn't happy with it but he still signed it. and it was back in february when he first tweeted the u.s. should impose tariffs on countries that
charge u.s. companies taxes. this week he repeated the threat offering up a list of products to place levies on. china retaliated with the items it would tax and the dow tum belled on fear of a war. we're not in a trade war said larry kudlow. and he said the placement of tariffs might not happen. and they have done more to inform us about who is in and out at the white house than to inform voters on actual policy. to today we ask the question again, especially with the dow down 700 points, what if we ignored it all? it being the president's official statements. at least the ones on twitter. eli is a msnbc political analyst and eli, what is the consequence here? is it what donald trump is saying on twitter or how
everybody is reacting to it? >> it is both, katy. this is one of the things covering this president so difficult. donald trump is obviously a twitter troll of the first degree. and yet he's also president of the united states. these are official statements and an amazing window into his mood and it is always changing and being affected by what he hears and what he sees on television and so it can make everyone sort of crazed here covering it and consuming this all around the country. but it is hard to sort of just turn the other cheek and ignore some of the statements when he's tweeting at kim jong-un, that has potential consequences for our national security. when he's saying misogynistic things about women, i've been in that situation and editors and we don't want to write that story and this is a reflection on the character of the person elected to the highest office in the land and it is hard not to write that story. and it is not just the tweets and he's contradicting himself
and inate coherence and the press conference and the interviews, reporters clammer for a sitdown interview in the oval office with the president and come away with statements that don't really clarify, if anything, they confuse the issue even more. and that is really -- it is not just the tweets, it is a president who sort of vamps his way through every day. and it leaves us all kind of confused to say the least. >> we've been following this now for many years. through the campaign, for over a year he's been in the white house and he does tweet and things end up with nothing. and can you make an argument, as people make an argument to me on the street i'm sure and i'm sure to you, that we would be better off if the entire country just hit the mute button on him. >> i mean i think there is a good argument to be made and it is incumbent upon all of us who cover this administration to really always be asking ourselves, how important is this, to try to calibrate what
deserves coverage and what is just serving as a distraction. >> i'm talking about things that never amount to anything. if you look he's tweeting about amazon, but nothing is happening to amazon in terms of the policy. he's just angry about amazon because he doesn't like jeff bezos and the washington post. >> it is quite possible that nothing comes of that. just like nothing has come of the other things he's thrown out there on twitter. but i think part of why so much attention is paid to the president's emotions from minute to minute, who he's angry with, whether that is the head of a massive corporation, whether that is a member of his own staff is because the emotions of this president more than anyone who has come before him do have a outside effect potentially on policy and that is a scary thing to take in and understand. but that is where we're at 15 months into the administration. >> a wise man remarked to me just the other day that about 90% of our coverage seems to be about how the president feels on
any given day. >> yeah, and that is probably too much. but donald trump's feelings do obviously impact policy and they impact the direction of the country and impacting the markets as we're seeing in realtime right now and it is hard to ignore when we talk about the president of the united states. >> eli stokeles, thank you. and that is that will wrap things up for this hour. ali velshi picks things um. you were a wise man. >> what happened here? >> i didn't do anything. sarah huckabee-sanders and the president -- larry kudlow. >> you have one thing going for you, you could see the pattern of the market so i can't blame you for this. but look at what happened since you got on tv at 2:00. so i have to just see if i can -- >> it is not my fault. i didn't break it. i promise: ali velshi tune in at 11:00 tonight and have a hot date with me. >> i'll be on at 10:00 so i'll finish and have a little hello. you have a good afternoon. i'm ali velshi. it is the final hour of trading
on another wild day on wall street. it is all a reaction to the president's surprise announcement of additional tariffs on $100 billion worth of chinese imports but the closest advisers insist we're not in a trade war. the markets don't seem to agree with this. as the day has progressed as i was just showing you, the markets have gotten lower and lower and this is the part that concerns me, when we have a downturn toward the end of the trading day. we have an hour left. we'll see what happens. if this goes down lower then we are in for motrouble and we hav had some bounce backs because the stock is cheap and it goes the other way but i don't like to see a seven in front of the numbers and that is what i'm looking for. we are at 3.05% and it is coming back and investors are fighting this. moments ago sarah huckabee-sanders was grilled on it. >> what was it that prompted the escalation? he already announced $60 billion worth of