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tv   MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  April 17, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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pregnancy. that's something pretty much everyone can agree on. >> question authority, it's not the work, it's who you work with. don't wait for instructions. these are great, great pieces of advice for women. say yes to opportunities. the new book is "make trouble, standing up, speaking out and finding the courage to lead." thank you so much, congratulations. >> thank you so much. >> and that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks, mika, thanks, joe. hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle with a lot to cover today, starting with a courtroom bombshell. sean hannity, that's right, revealed, as michael cohen's mystery client. the fox news host certainly downplaying the connection. >> i never paid michael cohen for legal fees. i did have occasional brief conversations with michael cohen. >> not so fast. the president puts the brakes on new russian sanctions, despite a clear promise from advisers, including nikki haley. >> so you will see that russian
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sanctions will be coming down. secretary mnuchin will be announcing those on monday. if he hasn't already. >> and more problems for scott pruitt. a government watchdog group says the epa chief's $43,000 sound proof phone booth will have violated federal law. >> this certainly is an element of double standard. we've seen cabinet secretaries forced out for much less. >> $43,000. we begin today with the extraordinary courtroom drama that unfolded here in new york as president's attorneys went head to head with attorneys for his own justice department. all because mr. trump wants to keep evidence seized from his lawyer's office out of the hands of the feds. with all that going on, sean hannity and stormy daniels only added to the surreal atmosphere. i have a great team here to help break all of it down. first, i want to run you through exactly what happened in the courthouse. this stuff is important right now. federal prosecutors have a ton
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of information they took from michael cohen's home and his office. reportedly including at least ten boxes of records and more than a dozen electronic devices. the information contained there could go back years and includes everything from bank records to personal communications. remember, cohen has been with trump and the trump organization for a decade. quote for the judge, how do you make sure the evidence is not misused. on tuesday, lawyers for michael cohen and the president argued federal prosecutors should not be allowed to look at any of the seized documents. they say the raid was illegal and the documents may include privileged communications, between the president and mr. cohen. the judge, she denied that. the president's attorney argued that mr. trump should get exclusive first access to the documents to make sure they don't violate attorney/client privilege. well, the judge, since president
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trump is the person involved with all this, she denied that too. right now, judge is considering two options. either using a filter team, which is a special group of outside prosecutors, or appointing what's known as a special master to look through the documents first and sort out what is relevant and what is privileged. for now, both sides will be allowed to access the evidence. but cannot review it. so that's the substance, but there was a very big surprise as well. that is when the judge forced cohen's attorney to reveal the name of a client that the attorney had tried to keep secret and that client is fox news host sean hannity. >> michael cohen never represented me in any legal matter. my discussionings with michael cohen never rose to any level that i needed to tell anyone. i never asked michael cohen to bring this proceeding on my behalf. i have no personal interest in this legal matter. >> and why on earth would his lawyer bring up your name? remember, cohen said he only
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gave legal advice to three people last year. for two of them, president trump and republican fund-raiser elliott goddy who allegedly helped broker deals to cover up allegations for extramarital affairs. h hannity says he only talked about real estate. monday's hearing also included an appearance by adult film star stormy daniels. daniels is not part of the litigation. but she says she wanted to be there to make sure the records they grabbed were not destroyed. >> for years, mr. cohen has acted like he's above the law. he has never thought that the little man or especially women, even more, women like me, mattered. that ends now. my attorney and i are committed to making sure that everyone finds out the truth and the facts of what happened and i give my word that we will not rest until that happens. >> boy, oh, boy. i want to bring in shannon
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pettypiece, white house reporter for bloomberg news and investigations reporter tom winter. okay, tom, you were there yesterday, a true circus. walk me through what happens next. >> well, you said it, true circus. i haven't seen that many cameras since the martha stewart trial. one primary courtroom packed, three overflow courtrooms packed. it was a pretty big day. what we're going to look towards this week, stephanie, is by tomorrow, we should expect to see filings where the government should say here are four possible special masters. those are the special masters you just referred to. >> i want that title, special master. >> i know, looks great on a resume. so the government's going to say here's our four potential picks. cohen's team is going to say here's our four potential picks. then the judge is going to bring everybody together again, at some point whether in chambers, whether in open court. they'll come up with the decision whether or not they want to come forward with that privileged team or filter team or move forward with the special master. in the meantime, they're going to start to share back and forth a little bit about what was
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recovered or what was seized with michael cohen not only with michael cohen but with the trump organization and the president, the president's attorneys themselves. so this way here they can get a look at it. see what we're talking about as far as the scope of the material. see what type of material we're talking about here. they can come together and the judge can make a decision as to how this is going to proceed. >> is the administration worried about mueller or this investigation into cohen? >> after this cohen raid, people said they haven't seen the president this angry ever. some people just could not emphasize how angry the president was over this cohen raid. we could obviously see that on twitter and visibly in those comments shortly after this raid happened. the name of the game is try to take the whole temperature down on this. they feel like if he can keep out of it, keep quiet, and let things play out, it's going to decrease any sort of risk or
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liability they have here. last week the focus was on syria. now they have his focus turn to japan and mar-a-lago, meeting with shinzo abe. that was a previously scheduled meeting, but the timing works out well to give him something to focus on and keep the president quiet and out of this and emphasize to him this is a legal matter and you're not going to do yourself any favors if you're out there venting about it on twitter or going over to the press microphones before you take off on marine one, which he avoided doing yesterday, and just be quiet. >> okay, tom, walk me through the sean hannity revelation, because what i don't understand is michael cohen and his attorney did not want to reveal who the third client was. they were then forced to reveal this it was sean hannity and you got hannity out there saying ig never paid him, we had a little chitchat here and there. tucker carlson saying it was nobody's business. if sean hannity was never a client of cohen, i don't
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understand why he would be to begin with, if i'm making 30 million bucks a year and could get the best legal advice in the world, why on earth would i bring in a fixer? but walk me through because it's two different arguments. cohen says yes, i had three clients, sean hannity is one of them. >> while somebody can say michael cohen's attorneys were forced to turn over the information -- >> why is it information? if hannity is saying i wasn't your client and cohen's saying i had three clients last year, right there, that doesn't line up. >> there's no lawful purpose for them to conceal the third person's identity who we now know to be sean hannity. for anybody to suggest this was somehow the judge forcing somebody to do something. this is just the law of the court. i didn't understand that. the second thing to your point, we seal em to have a little bit a disconnect looking at the statements. it's not quite lining up. clearly, mr. cohen or his attorneys believe that this person, that there is attorney/client privilege here.
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that's why he's naming him as a client. this is for work that was done in the last two years. either 2017, 2018 or both. this is not something that happened a long time ago. this is something that is quite recent. because that's what the question -- that's what the question that was posed by the judge, that's what this was about. i think it bears some -- it bears a little bit of scrutiny as far as the disconnect of the statements. you have somebody making a statement in court before a federal judge, that's going to be the statement that's going to stand. that's the statement that michael cohen and his attorneys are accountable for. you have somebody saying something different on tv, but that's a little bit of a different standard in front of a federal judge. >> the disconnect is how michael cohen is characterizing his relationship with sean hannity. >> exactly. >> and how sean hannity is characterizing it. you got to give me the white house reaction to it. >> well, most of the people in the white house were on their way to mar-a-lago -- >> -- i'm pretty sure they can talk on the phone. >> the best things have happened on the way to or from mar-a-lago
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in this administration i feel like. there was a lot of surprise. i think there is this concern, you know, about this incestuous relationship between fox news and this administration which has been going on for a while. you see the fox news commentators come in and have dinner with the president. we know that sean hannity and president trump have this -- they have conversations. they talk on the phone. they've known each other for a long time. they only drew out the drama of this, though, in the courtroom, by making this mysterious third person. and when that -- those headlines came out, i saw there was one client they didn't name, all of us started asking around who's the other person. is it don jr. there was this search before it was revealed sean hannity. once again, all this build-up that if you had just disclosed that in the first place, there wouldn't have been this build-up, there wouldn't have been this moment of anticipation that, you know, added to all the drama of this. >> speaking of anticipation, my panel is lunging at me because
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they got to weigh in on this. i want to bring in benjamin wittess, senior fellow at the brookings institute and editor and chief of law fair. hugh hewitt, host of the hugh hewitt radio show. midwin charles, attorney with the law firm midwin charles and associates. and eddie glock, professor at princeton. if this was a boxing match, which side won? let's make it clear, it's trump's department of justice versus trump's lawyer. >> oh, so, i mean, the u.s. attorney's office won this round in a significant way. they, you know -- clearly the president has not -- will not get to, you know, prevent them from reviewing this information. and, you know, the judge kimba woods expressed confidence in the u.s. attorney's office and
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will set up some kind of process in which the information will be reviewed in a fashion that is not sort of wildly out of step with what the government wants, whether that involves a tag team or a special master. and in addition, michael cohen here has taken a real bruising in terms of revelation that he is, you know, not actually a practicing lawyer as most people understand the term and his client base is small and peculiar and i think sean hannity has taken -- we didn't know who was in the ring at all. took a few punches as well. >> the appointment of the special master, would you be happy about that? ensure a fair process here? >> i believe a special master, stephanie, absolutely.
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i've been practicing law 35 years. last time i was in the courtroom was 2014 so it's been four years since i've actually been in a courtroom but i've got hundreds of clients over 35 years and i've never had any single piece of paper seized by a government officer. and, therefore, i believe a special master ought to go in and look. because you can't unsee what you've seen. and if the southern district of new york, which are the world's best attorneys, the best prosecutors in the world, in the southern district in new york. they include andrew mccarthy. they're just brass knuckled prosecutors. if they see something in plain view as they review these documents, they're not going to be able to unsee it. a special master will segregate that which should not be seen by anyone. it predates spousal privilege. it has to be preserved. >> but if that's how it works, aren't their special designated teams? the prosecutors just don't see
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everything. >> i sat down with one of my law partners yesterday, judge steven larson. he's had rule 41 proceedings before. you do not want the taint team to look at the material because they can't unsee it. they're with the government. you want a special master. if you're concerned about civil liberties. the aclu ought to be all over this and say judge wood you need to put a special master in here to protect those clients. not mr. cohen, but to protect president trump, and mr. brody and sean -- sean's a friend of mine, by the way. if he was indeed a client. this is going to strike you as a little bit odd, it's possible that sean -- >> you know what, let's stay on that, let's stay on that full disclosure. attorney midwin charles, to the best of my knowledge, seanchaeln tv loads of times. he's never once said he's giving me legal advice. last night on tv, he said, i never really paid him, i didn't seek legal advice from him. as a lawyer yourself, why would michael cohen name, i had three
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clients in the last year, i don't want to mention the third that third turns out to be sean hannity. sean hannity saying nope, we didn't do business together. why would this even happen? maybe it's a bridge too far. unless michael cohen in that office has lots of information between him or in the trump team and sean hannity that he doesn't want out there. and the only way to prevent it from getting out there is to say attorney/client. >> right. well, one of the two is not telling the truth. i think that's clearly obvious. i think it's important to note here that michael cohen himself didn't really say these things in court, his attorney did. and this is important because he brought up an excellent point which is that attorney who made that representation in front of that judge is accountable for that statement. i've admitted to the southern district of new york to practice law. there are rules all the attorneys must follow. one of them, if you are telling a judge something, you must be telling the truth. it's important to also note this attorney said this client, we
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now know to be sean hannity, did not want his identity to be known. and it's also my understanding that sean hannity instructed them to file an appeal if the judge had granted or the judge had ordered that his identity be released. so why would he think these significant things wouldn't be the case if he wasn't representing him? the two of them are not telling the truth. one of them is not telling the truth. >> i want to share what allen dershowitz said last night on sean hannity's show about this. >> sean, i do want to say that i really think that you should have disclosed your relationship with cohen when you talked about him on this show. you could have said just that you had asked him for advice or whatever. but i think it would have been much, much better, had you disclosed that relationship -- >> a difficult situation obviously -- >> you can deal with this later in the show -- >> i understand. it was minimal -- >> you should have said it.
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>> if it was minimal, why make it part of a federal court proceedings, where he said he only had three clients? what's your thought? >> it calls into question his journalistic ethics, right, what does it mean for you to have a relationship with michael cohen and you're the pit bull with regards to situations he's involved in? that's the first thing. it seems to me that fox news, its executive, they need to ask themselves the question about the integrity of their reporting. we've always been kind of concerned and questioned the cozy relationship between the trump administration and fox news. and this simply deepens this suspici suspicion. i think the second thing is understand michael cohen only had three clients. two of which, two of whom he, what, executed ndas, right, with regards to women, extramarital affairs. the third client is sean hannity. now, it would seem the odds would suggest given what michael cohen seems to be good at,
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that -- >> is he? >> seems to be or perhaps, that hannity would be implicated in the first two. came out and said there was no third parties at all. the other option is there are documents. this is the whole thing at the heart of this thing. the documents that will enter into evidence, that the trump administration simply does not want anyone to see. and they want to cover that with the client, attorney/client privilege. it seems to me there's two things happening here -- >> hugh hewitt, you've got to weigh in on this. >> i want to point out it is possible, not likely, but possible that sean did not know he was a client of michael cohen -- >> if he didn't know he was a client of michael cohen, why would michael cohen have him listed? >> because if michael cohen -- i don't know michael cohen. i do know sean. i know elliott brody from los angeles circles. if michael cohen goes back to his office and makes a memo of
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his conversation with hannity, it's covered by the privilege. it just is. sean may not know about that. i want to point out it's possible for both of them to be telling the truth. >> why would you have a privileged conversation -- ben, you run a law firm. why would only one party know it was privileged and the other not? >> look there are some conversations in which a lawyer -- a client or a would-be client has a sort of preparatory conversation with a lawyer about whether to retain him should he be -- should he become a client. and those may not result in the lawyer/client relationship. they are generally considered privileged. so i do think it's possible to reconcile the two accounts. to me, the most salient and important feature of the revelation that the third client, if he was a client, was
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sean hannity, is that it shows how specialized and particular and small the man's legal practice actually was. he had three -- 2 1/2 clients if you believe sean hannity, and two of them were -- it's not clear that what he was doing was legal work at all. he was sort of arranging hush payments to women who might otherwise talk. and so this is a -- i think we can say a very unconventional legal practice irrespective of of what it was he did for sean hannity, even if it was just kind of casual legal advice about real estate as hannity says. >> all right, we have to leave it there and head to commercial. on the way out, i want to share a coat from the new yorker piece. where they write about what could happen if the evidence is
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public bla si publicized. writes, the narrative that will become widely understood is that donald trump did not sit atop a global empire. he was not a genius who created billions of dollars of worth through fearlessness. he had a small global operation mostly ran by his two children and michael cohen, a lousy lawyer who barely keeps up the pretense of lawyering. that is a stunning assessment of what could be. imagine if that is what is at the root of what is centered around the conduct of our president. coming up, ambassador nikki haley just announced, she came out swinging on sunday. well, guess what, forget about it. the president, he decided to delay them for now. plus, the supreme court is set to hear a case today that could impact how much you pay the next time you buy something online. but first, late night's jimmy kimmel trying to make sense of the president's current job approval rating. >> the abc/"washington post"
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poll has his approval rating at 40%. nbc news/"wall street journal" says 39%. trump's thrilled, he's like, that's a total of 79% i've got. . i smoked a pack and a half a day and i was able to quit with chantix. i never thought that i could quit, but i did. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. without a doubt, chantix reduced my urge to smoke. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. some people had changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, or suicidal thoughts or actions with chantix. serious side effects may include seizures, new or worse heart or blood vessel problems, sleepwalking or allergic and skin reactions which can be life-threatening. stop chantix and get help right away if you have any of these. tell your healthcare provider if you've had depression or other mental health problems. decrease alcohol use while taking chantix. use caution when driving or operating machinery. the most common side effect is nausea. my older smoker-self would be so surprised.
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welcome back. you are watching msnbc. if you're an online shopper, listen up. today the supreme court will hear a case that could be a game changer when it comes to taxes for online retailers and consumers. justices will decide whether to allow states to impose sales
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taxes on out of state purchases. south dakota argues allowing interstate sales taxes could bring billions of dollars of revenue to states. nbc's pete thomas joins me from outside the courtroom. this battle has been going on for decades. what arguments make this case different and this is not president trump taking a swipe at amazon. and we need to make that abundantly clear. >> no, no, this was all a battle recently started by south dakota. it was about 25 years ago the supreme court said if you're a company in one state and you sell something to somebody in another state, you don't have to charge the sales tax unless your company has some physical presence there, retail store, a warehouse or something like that. it was a case involving catalog companies and what the supreme court said is, you know, catalog companies are just a little bit of all retail sales and with 6,000 different tax rates around the country, it's just too complicated to figure them out.
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now south dakota says everything has changed. e-commerce is growing. you can get software. you just type in the zip code, it tells you what the tax rate is. that's what the supreme court's going to have to decide whether that ruling from a quarter century ago is now out of date. the internet companies say, look, the big ones are already charging the sales tax. amazon does it in all 45 states that have statewide sales taxes. most of the big companies like walmart do it anyway. so what they say is this would hurt the little medium and small companies that would find it very expensive to buy that tax software which they say isn't that dependable anyway and the internet companies also say internet sales are still only a small part of all retail sales even though it is growing, stephanie. >> a quarter century ago, we know, there certainly wasn't internet sales, certainly not like this. >> that's right. coming up, ambassador nikki haley said there will be new sanctions against russia for its support of the assad regime in
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. the market opened a minute ago. up 230 already. we got a big positive number out of netflix. goldman sachs reported their best results in equity trading than we've seen in three years. based open corporate earnings. we're going to keep an eye on markets but also of course on the trump administration. it is now putting the brakes on a plan to impose new sanctions against russia. here's what doesn't make sense. this is just one day after u.n. ambassador nikki haley officially announced them. nbc's jeff bennett is traveling with the president. jeff, what is the white house saying? nikki haley was very clear on sunday. sanctions coming. how'd they hit the brakes? >> well, the reason there won't be at least for now a fresh round of sanctions is we're told president trump in consultation with his national security team is not comfortable with executing of them. remember just a couple days ago,
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president trump said russia would pay a big price for enabling syria's use of chemical weapons against civilians. it appears for now big price will not include a fresh round of sanctions. >> great, can you just pause one second? if they weren't -- if trump and his advisers weren't comfortable with it, nikki haley, why would they let her go out there and tell the world on sunday what the government was about to do if they hadn't approved it? they're making her look like a chump and it's not her fault. >> i would say you're right about that. we're working right now to get some more reporting on that. to give you a sense how it all came to be, nikki haley on sunday, saying this week the administration would roll out sanctions against russian companies believed to have ties to the syrian chemical weapons program. a day later, stef, the white house puts out a statement attributed to sarah sanders saying this. it says the decision will be made in the near future. fast forward a couple hours
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later, sarah sanders comes to the back of air force one talking to reporters and says the president has been clear he's going to be tough on russia but he wants to have a good relationship with vladimir putin. so we've seen this play out recently, where the administration has been tough on russia, expelling more diplomats than at any point since the cold war. they've instituted two rounds of sanctions. but yet the president you'll remember a couple weeks ago personally called vladimir putin and con grat lated him on winning what is widely believed to be a sham election. that's why there are those who say the administration has struggled to find a consistent voice when it speaks about all things russia -- >> i just want to make two things clear. yes, those russian sanctions had hit specifically some oligarchs, but as far as expelling those diplomats, remember, they expelled them, but they said you can trade some in. after what he just did to nikki haley, i wonder, does he want to
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have a good relationship with her? i want to bring in foreign a fairs expert bobby gosh and eddie glock back with me. this guy's a former ambassador at large to the state department, a russia expert, said, by and large, other governments don't know whether to laugh or cry at all of this. but in russia, laughter is getting the upper hand. >> yes, i just got back yesterday from europe, from italy. he's absolutely right. there's a lot of head scratching going on all over the continent. you know, perhaps the best spin you can put on this, and you really have to stretch is that trump likes to keep the russians guessing. he's, you know, giving with one hand, taking with the other. it's a very questionable diplomatic strategy. and here's why that is problematic. it's not just the russians -- >> it's all of us. >> the europeans are guessing. that's not a good situation. you want your allies to know what your strategy is. if you're italian, if you're
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ukrainian, you're wondering where the united states really stands. those countries, i should point out, much closer to the russian bear than the united states is. much close to actual harm's way. and actually very anxious about what the white house really means. they were very pleased with the 60 diplomats. the u.s. -- it seems like that the u.s. was taking the lead and then -- now they learned that there's going to be sanctions. no, there's not. it's a real -- and who would want to be nikki haley at the united nations this morning? >> eddie, think about this. obviously there's a constant swirl of questions about president trump. his relation with russia. the constant question, is there russian collusion. and he loves to say i'm the toughest on russia. sarah huckabee sanders loves to say i'm the toughest on russia. then why at the very least isn't there a consistent strategy with their own administration? nikki haley appointed by president trump. >> i have no idea.
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the only thing i can do is fall back on my mama's wisdom. one plus one equals two. there's a since when it comes to the question of russia, donald trump is not only skittish, he's suspicious. not only that, not only the question around what is donald trump's relationship to russia, do they have something on him, are they leveraging him in some way, not only that, we don't understand what his foreign policy is. we know that the situation in syria. we know that we just engaged in a strike on syria with the french and with the british, right. but what is the trump doctrine? it seems to be some version of chaos theory. i don't know what the outcome of that will be. i do know what one outcome will be. kind of continued destabilization of the global village. two, donald trump will always act in the interest of donald trump. when we see him walk back. because nikki haley did one
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thing. she set about the -- rolling out the sanctions. even steve mnuchin, the treasury secretary, might have even already said what those sanctions will be. >> today steve mnuchin is taking a tour up to new hampshire to talk taxes with ivanka trump. i got a sinking feeling he's not going to be talking russian sanctions. what do you think about what eddie did, destabilizing the global village? that's a big statement. >> absolutely. as i was saying earlier. imagine you're nikki haley today, taking calls from the other ambassadors to the united nations. >> you've got egg on your face. >> imagine you are an american ambassador in, among our nato allies. imagine the calls you're taking from people saying what should we believe? you said one thing on friday. you're saying something else on sunday. what are we supposed to believe? our countrysters are line of fire. with the russians. we've got major, major concerns. our people are frightened and
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are right to be frightened. they expect the united states to stand by them. we're not sure we can tell people that the united states has our back. >> what's the next move? the u.n. security council meets in less than an hour. she's gotten a huge amount of support from people who appreciate that, you know, what her position has been. what position is she going to be in today? >> she's going to toe the line. >> but here's the issue. what is the line? >> whatever donald trump -- >> you didn't think she was going rogue on sunday, did you? >> no, no. >> so what line is it? >> it's the line that donald trump takes today. and that is we're not going to impose additional sanctions against russia. remember, they said she was going to enter -- release a statement, walking back her claim, then she was going to release certain -- a series of statements qualifying what she said. she never did. right now, nikki haley is steaming. she was sent out there and left out to dry. we'll see what she -- how she
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thinks and behaves. >> it's stunning. nikki haley does not appear of sarah huckabee sanders or kelly anne conway. she did not sign on, nor does she need to be a human shield. she's a woman with real credibility. she doesn't need this nonsense -- >> one of the more disciplined actors in the trump administration -- >> this is not the first time she's been caught wrong-footed where she's gone out and said something and the white house contradicted her. heaven help us, she's probably getting used to this, but this is an especially egregious example. >> indeed it is. coming up, a damning new report. guess who it's about, epa chief scott pruitt. this report says he violated the law with his $43,000 sound proof phone booth. i don't think that's the one superman used. but this morning, he still has his job. why is it this guy is so untouchable? and next, money, power, politics.
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the full value of your new car? you're better off throwing your money right into the harbor. i'm gonna regret that. with new car replacement, if your brand new car gets totaled, liberty mutual will pay the entire value plus depreciation. liberty stands with you. liberty mutual insurance. welcome back. time for money, power, politics. according to the government accountability office, epa administrator scott pruitt broke federal spending laws by shelling out 43,000 bucks on a sound proof phone booth. the government watchdog agency says pruitt needed to notify congress before spending more than 5,000 bucks on remodelling. political reporter for "the new york times" ken vogel joins me. "new york times" won twoprizes e
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of the election, weinstein and the me too movement. congratulations to you and your colleagues at "the new york times," that is an extraordinary achievement. >> thanks. >> let's talk pruitt. how significant is this? you watched watchdog groups raise a red flag all the time but is this something the administration or congress should care? >> folks in congress care. we've seen scrutiny from not just democrats but republicans who have an oversight role over the executive branch. that said this is -- the reason why this is significant, it's not just a watchdog group like the many sort of independent groups outside of government who have called out pruitt for various aspects of his stewardship of the taxpayer dollars. but this is the government. this is an arm of congress that is saying bipartisan or nonpartisan arm of congress that is saying that this was a violation of federal contracting law that says any expenditure
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over $5,000 for cabinet secretaries redecoration of their offices requires congressional a proval. so this would seem to give ammunition for folks on both sides of the aisle who are saying scott pruitt is kind of thumbing his nose at the rules and protocols that have dictated how cabinet secretaries spend taxpayer money. >> the republican senator of wyoming released a statement saying the epa must give a full public account of this expenditure and explain why the agency thinks it was complying with the law. so does the agency have to respond to congress and are there ramifications? are the only ramifications that by the president or does congress actually have a say or a lever to do something here? >> well, their say is they can demand records and demand that someone come before congress and testify, pursuant to congress' oversight role over all the executive branch agencies. >> they can embarrass hi, but
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what can they do? >> that's what it is, building pressure that the administration would ultimately have to be the arbiter as to whether this pressure is too much or whether it's offset by the things from their perspective they think scott pruitt is doing in terms of rolling back regulation. so far, those things and the support scott pruitt has within the konz moconservative movemen conservative group, as well as conservative donors. so far that support is outweighing this scrutiny this mounting scrutiny, both from congress and these independent and government watchdogings in a way that is really surprising, given that president trump has, in fact, fired cabinet secretaries for far less and far sort of narrower questions about their stewardship of taxpayer dollars. >> when he's traveling on his own dime, he flies coach. when the government is paying for it, "the post" is reporting
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that pruitt might have to pay taxes on the 3 million bucks he spent on security and travel since taking office. "washington post" is making this claim. how real is that? could scott pruitt have to write a big check? >> i think that's kind of a technicality but it's bothersome for fiscal conservatives in particular, including the folks who do like what he's doing in his agenda as far as rolling back these regulations. they are troubled, my sources tell me, even within the agency, are troubled by the way that he has spent taxpayer money on his travels, particularly when he is justified by saying there is a security need here that he is under threat. yet when he travels on his own dime, he apparently does not see quite the same security and imperative for him to have that seat. >> interesting, interesting. ken, great reporting. i also have my eye on ryan jackson. that is scott pruitt's chief of staff. he's the one who approved those big, big raises to a couple
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employees. raises, money that was specifically allocated if they had brought in scientists to look at clean water. but instead it was for just some staff members. we're going to be looking at his chief of staff, see what his fate is going to be. ken, thank you. we're going to leave it there. coming up, house speaker paul ryan offering new praise for president trump. let's make it clear there wasn't tax reform, tax cuts, in today's tax tip. >> i'm grateful that he has given us this chance with his election to do fundamental tax reform that is a long time in coming that finally got done. >> no, it didn't, sir, it was tax cuts. but not everyone is feeling the benefits of the republicans tax overhaul. we're going to find out who and why. this is the ocean. just listen. (vo) there's so much we want to show her. we needed a car that would last long enough to see it all. (avo) subaru outback.
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real meat #1. a different breed of natural nutrition. purina one true instinct. now, try new purina one true instinct treats. . look at today's is tax day. the average family of four is getting a $2,000 tax cut because of the tax bill. this is the last year of this old tax code. now you have a new year of lower tax rates, a simplified system. these are good things. >> house speaker paul ryan promoting the republican tax cuts passed last year. today of course is tax day in the u.s. marking the last time
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people will file their returns under the old tax code. president trump writes, on this tax day, america is strong and roaring back. paychecks are climbing, businesses are vfsing in our great country. and most important, the american people are winning. he also tweeted employment is up, taxes are down. many people are seeing the benefits of the tax cut bill, everyone is talking. really nice to see. president trump making this argument that we are seeing tax cuts drive up wages and increase job growth as promised. but i'm looking at a morgan stanley note saying only 13% of company's tax cut savings are going to go to raises. fewer than 45 of the companies have paid out cash bonuses to their workers. >> 80% of americans will have reduced taxes, that's what the president is counting on. revenue growth is a good
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indicator. last year the federal government took in $2.3 trillion in taxes. in two years it's going to go up by 1$100 billion. >> where is that money going to come from? >> lots more people working, lots more people making more money, lots more people investing. corporate tax rates are going down. >> we're not seeing huge wage increases yet. there's no way you can compare wages going up to the massive amount of tax cuts for corporate america. that's just not even. >> corporate tax cuts got much more than the individual. that's absolutely true. when more people go to work, the economy expands. we're going to keep getting closer to even more as more people who left the workplace come back to the workplace. i saw stats yesterday on high school students. they've got their best moi employment rate in something like 15 years.
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3.2 trillion this year. >> where are these new high paying jobs bringing in people who have left the work force? >> apple is bringing back $250 billion of stranded investment abroad. look at where amazon is going to build a new headquarter. >> for the president to say things are happening, things are churning, what i'm saying is you have the midterms coming and republicans want to say these tax cuts are going to be their winning strategy. apple's not going to break down, amazon is not going to break ground for quite some time. how do republicans win off that? >> it's what do people feel about the economy, the emotional economics of the moment are very good. that's why the generic ballot in the "washington post" today is down to four point preference for the democrats from double digits six months ago. people are feeling better. i was in the reagan
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administration in 1984 when we said morning in the america. democrats are going to say what you have is a high, it's not going to last. that argument will be played out over six months. i'm pretty optimistic that the boom will continue throughout 2018. >> business sentiment small and large is up. cbo projecting that deficits are going to surpass 1 trillion by 2020. >> never believe the cbo, very important. never believe them. they're always wrong, especially with regard to tax cuts. >> never believe the cbo. it's kind of like on some level you've got to love the one you're with. the cbo is the best measure we've got. >> the cbo uses static scoring. larry kudlow has been upset with static scoring for a long time.
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i am a dynamic scorer. i think we could hit 4% gdb this year. >> i agree with you in dynamic scoring, but it's unclear to me how the trump administration could use cbo numbers during the obama era. and now today when trump is in position, it's forget the cbo, they stink. >> that's just politics. >> that's disengeneral would sasa say -- disingenuous. >> i look at that consumer confidence number and i say we have in for a red hot 2018. that's going to show up in november at the polls. >> i would agree with you that confidence matters and enthusiasm and optimism matters. underneath it all, when you look under the hood, that engine better be running.
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you know how i like to end the show with some good news. right around these parts, we think good news rules. you may have seen the results from the boston marathon yesterday. two-time olympian desiree lyndon was the first woman to win the boston marathon since 1985. check out the story behind second place. 26-year-old sarah sellers finished minutes behind the olympian in what was only her second ever marathon. that gives hope to all of us. she works as a nurse and trains before she goes to work every day. she plans to use her $75,000 in prize money to pay down her and her husband's student debts. if that does not inspire you to throw on a pair of sneakers and get out there and start running, you too could just kick it in a marathon. i'll be back at 11:00 a.m. and all day long on twitter.
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hallie, there could be a marathon for you in the future. >> reporter: i think i'm a human slug. you will never catch me running a marathon. you will catch me running to the fridge for another pint of ice cream. >> a human slug? >> it's the truth. facts matter. right now we are coming to you live from sunny west palm beach, florida. although the two leaders here today are under a cloud. you've got president trump and the japanese prime minister both dealing with separate scandals in their home countries, looking for wins out of their mar-a-lago meetings. north korea front and center for both of them. but that's not the only international pressure point for president trump. he's looking at syria and at russia. now reversing the sanctions announcement from his u.n. ambassador. the security council meeting is going on right now. over on the hill, you've got congress getting briefed in just a few hours on


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