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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  April 19, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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right now, it's time for andrea mitchell and "andrea mitchell reports." and right now on "andrea mitt chchell reports," the art dodge. what is leaving rod rosenstein hanging? >> they have been saying, i'm going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months, and they are still there. we want to get the investigation overwith, done with, behind us. the state department nominee making the rounds on capitol hill that is bolstered by the secret trip to north korea. >> what did you learn from your conversations with kim jong-un? >> i'm just here today working. >> coming up, we'll talk about pompeo's confirmation battle and the planned summit with north korea with the senate foreign relations chairman bob corker. and oh, baby, new rules in
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the u.s. senate as they enter the 21st century allowing the new mother tammy duckworth to bring her daughter onto the chamber floor. good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. president trump arriving in key west moments ago for a meeting on drug trafficking after raising some big questions about his north korea strategy heading into a summit with kim jong-un. >> if i think that it's a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we're not fwlougoing . if the meeting when i'm there is not fruitful, i will respectfully leave the meeting. >> nbc white house correspondent kristen welker is joining me now. just imagine if he were to walk out of a meeting, walk out of a summit meeting with kim jong-un. his whole approach to this seems
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to be very unusual, to say the least. >> reporter: to say the least, andrea. it goes right back to the moment that he agreed to these talks when he was meeting with the representative from south korea and he agreed almost on the spot to say yes to this offer from kim jong-un. so in terms of what we're hearing from the president, i think he wants to remain unpredictable. the fact that he said he would walk out of the meeting if he doesn't think it is unpredictable. it fits into what we know about president trump and how he conducts foreign policy. on the other hand, this administration and foreign policy advisers are laying down the groundwork. we, of course, just learned yesterday about the trip that mike pompeo made to meet with the leader of north korea. he didn't secure a deal to bring home the americans who were still being held there. of course, that is what this administration is getting a lot of pressure to do. and the president was asked if there were any preconditions
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that the white house asked for ahead of the meeting. he didn't get details about that. but the administration clearly taking this preparation very seriously, even as the president clearly wants to put on that unpredictable face that he feels will ultimately be productive with the high-stakes talks. >> a lot of controversial questions in the summit. we'll talk to bob corker about that coming up now. and it may, in fact, be playing into the confirmation decisions over mike pompeo. meanwhile, on the homefront, kristen, we'll review where we stand. mueller and rosenstein still sort of hanging. the president refusing to give them any kind of definitive answer to jennifer jacobs asking about their futures at the news conference yesterday. and now, a lot of other questions about michael cohen dropping the whole case against buzzfeed against their publication of the so-called dossier. michael cohen very much in the middle of so many controversies.
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the intersection between the nondisclosure agreement that is he negotiated for a variety of women as well as the criminal investigation into his own role and potentially his role in russia because he was the person negotiating in 2015 at the beginning of the campaign for a trump tower in moscow. >> reporter: when you talk to the president's attorneys, andrea, you're absolutely right. they try to downplay the significance of michael cohen. but the reality is they are concerned this obviously adds one more element of controversy to this white house. and as we know, some of the president's outside legal advisers have warned him that michael cohen could flip on him if he's ultimately charge ld. now, i want to stress, he has not been charged with anything yet, but still, this is something that is making the white house, making the president increasingly nervous, increasingly frustrated. now, when he was asked by jennifer jacobs about the status of mueller and rosenstein, president trump really tried to downplay the speculation they
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may be on the outs, stressing that they are still here. that's true, but he didn't, andrea, rule out the fact that he would fire them at some point in time. i can tell you, i have been speaking with sources who say in the wake of michael cohen's raid, which you know infuriated president trump, the talk about getting rid of rosenstein, that's really where it was focused and has been muted, in part, because he was dealing with the syria crisis. andrea, his attention really focused shift to that at tehe ed of last week. and we have not seen it bubble up to the surface yet, but clearly we are watching that closely. >> thank you for starting us off today. and joining me now as promised, senator bob corker, senate foreign chairs commission. let's start with north korea. the president was very -- let's
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just say, unusual in his description of how he would handle this meeting yesterday when he said, if it doesn't go well, i'll walk out. if it doesn't go well, we won't even have it. there's no indication that they even brought up the whole question of three americans being held there. how comfortable are you with the way they approach this? >> all of us want to make sure the meeting is well and the professionals who repair the way are highly involved in a lot of precursor meetings. that's one of the reasons i was glad mike pompeo was there. i think you know because of what you do every day. our back channel to north korea has always been through the cia. so mike was exactly the right person to begin the conversations, but look, we need our department of energy leaders, we need folks from defense, i mean, all these people need to be meeting with those around kim jong-un who are going to influence them and get the meeting set right in the first place. otherwise, you know, it's just a
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social event and nothing occurs. so it seems to me that the white house is taking seriously the preparation. i hope there will be many other individuals meeting there in advance. and look, i think all of us need to know, look, we need to approach this with skepticism and caution. kim jong-un has developed these weapons that he hopes will be deliverable to the united states in order to get a ticket towards dying as an old man in his bed. it's his survival. and so i don't think we should think that a meeting, if you will, all of a sudden he's going to give that up. it's going to take a lot of work. to me, probably a long period of time. >> admiral -- the former premium commander was speaking on "morning joe" today. i want to share with you part of what he had to say. >> i think president trump somehow feels he will walk in,
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slap the table like he's still in a building in manhattan, and walk out the door to collect his nobel peace price. ain't going to happen this way. this is a process to unfold. >> i don't know what the president's mindset is and that changes from time to time. but i a agree with his comment, it's not going to be that way. and it's going to take some dill je -- diligence and patience. like everything in the past, that's when we sit down to talk, we relieve pressure. i think this administration is committed to continuing to put more and more pressure on. and hope over the longhaul there's a break through.
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>> did mike pompeo tell you or anyone from foreign relations that he had actually gone to north korea? >> he did not. i don't think anyone -- i know one of the members was sharing with me yesterday that he was, you know, a little concerned. that he had shared that with him. on the other hand, up in of us ask. i didn't ask. i didn't know it. but it certainly didn't bother me. actually, i was glad, as i mentioned in my earlier comments, that the administration is taking these kind of preparations and have been something like him there. so i wouldn't have just told him. i mean, i wouldn't have just volunteered it. the cia does a lot of things that we don't know about, even the leaders of the committee, the intel of this committee, don't know some of the things underway. so it didn't bother me at all. and i don't really think it bothers many people. i've known a number of the democrats on our committee have said they are appreciative that
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he had been involved at then stage. at this stage. >> there are reports that it may have been leaked to help the confirmation process. >> could have been. you know, you know about these things more so than me, but it could have happened. >> well, it's a very closely divided vote right now. 10 negative, 9 in favor on committee. and he can get confirmed without the recommendation of the committee, although it's never happened, for secretary of state. rand paul, let me share with you what he just said about whether he would change his vote. >> i just spoke with the president a few minutes ago. and he asked if i would meet with pompeo. i have not yet met with him individually. and because the president asked me to, and because i have a great deal of respect to the president, i will meet with director pompeo sometime before the vote. >> does that mean you're open to the meeting?
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>> i'm open to the meeting and we'll see what happens because of the meeting. >> he's key because the democrats, we don't know for sure what chris cokoontz is goi to do, but right now rand paul is the only republican voting against. we don't know what jeff flake will do. do you think rand paul is open to change? how important is it to get him out with a favorable vote? >> it doesn't matter to me how he gets out of committee. look, i'll let the president influence rand. he is a friend of mine. i'll leave that to the white house. and i hope they have a good meeting today with pompeo or whenever it takes place. but andrea, if i could, i understand where we are, and you do, too, i just saw you the other day, i always enjoy seeing you. mike pompeo was at west point, top of the class, harvard law review, served in the military
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patrolling the iron curtain, understands the importance of diploma diplomacy, has built a great culture that we need at the state department and the cia. look, secretary clinton andcare with 94 votes. you don't think they said things when running for president that republicans disagreed with? i mean, come on. i mean, you and i both understand that mike pompeo is very -- who could know more about what's happening around the world than the director of the cia? no one. he knows more about what is happening around the world than anybody here in washington. this is -- we understand, i don't even want to give him a hard time, i just want to get him confirmed, but my friends, my democratic friends, who know that the base, i hate that word, but the base as you view this as a proxy vote in support of
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trump, obviously are finding ways to not vote for him. this is very much against any kind of tradition that we have had here. you know that. and there's nothing in pompeo's past that, in any way, could possibly disqualify him from getting an up or down vote on the floor. and it should be overwhelming, but we just live in a bipartisan time. i don't even want to give my friends a hard time because i know the pressure that they are under from this base of people that uphold the president. but i would just say to you and to everybody listening, and certainly my democratic friends, are you kidding me? you don't want someone like mike pompeo to go in with somebody like secretary mattis and ensure that the right kind of advice is given to our president who takes all kinds of input from all kinds of people at night and early in the morning? you don't want them sitting and
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talking with them about how terrible it would be just to walk out of syria without finishing dealing with isis? we don't want him doing that. so you and i know where this is, we know that this is most unusual, and i would say inappropriate. i don't even -- when i talk to my friends on the democratic side, i don't even want to give them a hard time because i know what it is they're dealing with, but we need to get him confirmed. and people on both sides of the aisle should want someone like him sitting with the president, making sure that the president has the right kind of republic that hasn't the white house has become an adult day care center. who is left looking after the president in the white house now? now that tillerson is gone, kelly, disempowered, if you will, the president not listening to him, so other than mattis, who is in charge of the adult day care? >> well, look, the -- everything
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that was just said speaks to the fact that we need mike pompeo to be confirmed. by the way, i would think if you took a truth serum to people on both sides of the aisle, they would want to ensure that someone like mike pompeo is sitting at the table with the president and leading our diplomatic efforts. so i -- you know that, i know that, they know that. we're probably going to have a very tight vote. i hope and think he'll be confirmed. and thankfully, be in a position to be one of those people, as you just mentioned, like mattis, who is sitting there with general kelley and others advising the president. it's going to happen, i think. i wish it would happen in a little more overwhelming manner. but our nation, everybody in your audience, your listening audience, should hope that someone with this qualifications should sit there advising the president on what direction to take on our behalf.
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>> earlier today you said you were not even sure that president trump would run. you were asked whether you want support anymore 2020. he's already named a campaign manager, brad pesqual. isn't it clear he's going to run in 2020? >> i'm the last one to know what is happening in the presidential campaign. presidents always want to act like they are running for re-election because they become lame ducks. i have no idea if the president's going to run for re-election. no idea who the other people might be that would be running against him. and i think most people with prudence are going to wait and see what the field's like, if the president even seeks re-election. i don't have any indication that that is a sure thing. and might even bet against it, are continue know. but we'll see what happens as time moves on.
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>> was nikki haley right when she said on sunday there was finding to be russian sanctions, more sanctions, and then undercut clearly by the white house, by larry kudlow, saying there was no such decision, the president changed his mind, that she was confused. she said she didn't get confused. what's the deal there with us telling the russian embassy in washington that there are not going to be sanctions? >> so -- so, look, i don't know what happened there, andrea. but look, just look at the last few weeks. we were going to put tariffs in place against our european union friends. and then we didn't. we were going to put tariffs -- thankfully. we were finding to put tariffs if place against canada and didn't. and then we were going to do it against mexico and didn't. we were going to pull out of syria and then we're not. so, look, it's sort of a chaotic atmosphere there. you know that, i know that. that's why mike pompeo needs to be confirmed.
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this happens a great deal. we have had a lot of great things that have happened over the course of the last 15 or 16 months for our nation. and i'm thankful for that, but no doubt, there's been chaos as that evolves. or chaotic environment. and, you know, who knows what happens there. candidly, i don't care. it's like so non-rell vaevant t as to who shot john or who was right or wrong. it's just another day in the life of communications out of the white house. >> another day, except that the russians now have the signal that we're not going to be standing strong against them. >> i don't know about all that and maybe that's the case, but i will say this. i would appreciate if the president's rhetoric against russia would be a little stronger. i've shared that with him. but if you look at the actions that have actually been taken on the ground, we passed 98-2 katsa
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to put russian sanctions in place. i've been in the skiff with many others holding classified might eggs and public hearing phone calls. this is the toughest we have been on russia. and i do think they are carrying it out in a responsible manner. the rhetoric could be a little stronger from my standpoint, but i don't think anybody can say we are not pushing back against russia. no doubt, congress took leadership in that. i agree with that 100%. and our committee was in the center of that. but we're pushing back against russia. and i would say to you, andrea, our relations with russia are the worst since cuban missile crisis right now, the worst. the worst since the cuban missile crisis. so, you know, this is not a play thing. and i think that we need to be
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cognizant of the fact that things can get out of hand. again, let's keep putting pressure on, but again, i'm thankful that secretary mattis who understands that probably more than anyone else and hopefully mike pompeo will be joined at the hip trying to make sure that we make good policy towards russia and other places. and with that, i'm so sorry, but i have people waiting on me in the office. i always love being on your program. and thank you for having me, okay. >> let me quickly ask you about geena haskell, her confirmation has been delayed until may 9th. do pompeo and them see about haske haskell? >> i don't think there's horse training going on. i couldn't pick her out of the lineup, i have never met her, know very little about her. i'll pay attention to the committee hearings that will take place, but i don't think there's anything relative to horse training. as a matter of fact, i would be positive that's not the case. it's probably just trying to work towards a successful conclusion.
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>> thank you so much for your indulgence. thank you for your patience. >> thank you. thank you. >> you bet. coming up, still standing, president trump dismissing questions about firing robert mueller and rod rossen stein. i'll talk to a member of the house intelligence. stay with us here on msnbc. your body was made for better things than rheumatiod arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist move to another treatment, ask if xeljanz xr is right for you. xeljanz xr is a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra
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i can say this, that there was no collusion. and that has been so found, as you know, by the house
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intelligence committee. there's no collusion. and there was no collusion with russia, other than by the democrats. >> president trump's skipping over a few key facts. first of all, it was only republicans on a highly partisan intelligence committee that found no evidence of collusion. and as she's still under investigation, not only by the committee, other committees, but importantly by robert mueller, eric swalwell works for the intelligence committee. >> all the documents you want to look for, bank records, travel records, particularly with michael cohen, it is still up in the air whether he went to prague or not. >> what is it about the president not giving any affirmative statement that he's not going to fire rod rosenstein, which is, i think, the key issue after his fury over the raid of michael cohen's
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home office, hotel residence? >> he's never finding to give a clear statement about it. it's incumbent on congress to prevent him from doing the firing. there was a hearing today in the senate. i was encouraged to see leaders like tom till list uris to move and protect mueller. that way we don't have to care about what the president says. >> mitch mcconnell says it will never get to the floor. >> i think he's conflicted on this. his wife works for the president. even the most honorable person may have a hard time doing the right thing here. i think, you know, we should just put it up for a vote and maybe take it out of mitch mcconnell's hands. >> what about the whole -- what we hear from the wall street journal story that the president talked to a former lawyer and friend. that michael cohen is going to flip on him.
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>> i think most people believe that there's something to tell. and so, you see this panic among the trump team that michael cohen may flip from our perspective. we have a lot of questions that may not flip from october 2015. and the russian-american who helped trump with the hotel in new york. and also sunlighted that vladimir putin -- we don't have the records, we asked michael cohen to provide records as to whether he was over in europe at the time and never saw him. >> michael cohen now a major factor in this. >> he is. he's very close to the president. and again, it just highlights how premature it was for the republicans to shut down our committee, whether it's what we have learned about michael cohen or cambridge analytica or new information that's come out
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about phoenix list -- felix sader. bob mueller may tell people what he found out about the crimes, but there's a lot of information out there he may not be able to prove. but we want to prevent the ballot box from being attacked in 2018. coming up, loyalty tests. more questions about cohen's commitment to the president. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. patrick woke up with a sore back. but he's got work to do. so he took aleve this morning. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill.
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president trump's friends and allies are warning the president his long-time lawyer michael cohen could turn on him. "the wall street journal's" report that jay goldberg, a former trump lawyer and friend, told him during a phone call last week that cohen could turn against the president and cooperate with facebook prosecutors. on a scale of 100 to 1 where 100 is fully protecting the president, mr. cohen isn't even a 1. joining me now is nbc national security analyst frank mazizzi. and ruth marcus, marketplace editorial, and sam stein, politics editor from "the daily
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beast" and msnbc contributor. frank, what is the significance of michael cohen? he said he would take a bullet for the president, but he's facing a serious investigation and potentially if convicted, of course, a terrible outcome. >> yeah, even the toughest most loyal individuals will eventually reach the point where they've got to consider flipping. i've seen it over and over again in organized crime cases, tough guys who actually have to spend a few months in prison before they kind of get on the phone and say, hey, i would like to talk. i think i've rethought this process. so look at the bank fraud violation that cohen is potentially facing. the federal sentencing guidelines are tough on this. he could face 30 years in prison for bank fraud and go to the campaign election fraud violation, he's looking at up to another five years in prison. he's got a family. at some point, we will break. and it might be after he spends a night or two in federal prison, or it might be on the eve of the trial.
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we'll have to wait and see. >> well, meanwhile, the attorney for michael cohen on the buzzfeed case, ruth, has dropped that case. this is a case over the publication over the dossier that conventional wisdom would be, you don't have to be deposed when facing a major criminal case. >> sure. i think any reasonable, responsible lawyer would have advised him that prosecuting, pursuing this case right now is not a good idea. because you expose yourself to questioning. questioning that can harm you, in general, but can particularly harm you when you've got federal prosecutors breathing down your neck. so it's not surprising that he did that. it's particularly interesting that it happened to come after these reports about whether he was or was not in prague. >> and meanwhile, karen mcdoug
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mcdougal. her case involving ami. >> how do we keep track of all the cases? this one is an interesting one. the interview with rachel maddow was fascinating last night. >> she was on mj as well. >> you can see both sides saying they have a victory. in one specific case, she still would be penalized $75,000 if she sold the rights to her story, even though now she's free to tell her story. i think the bigger picture here is that, essentially, it encourages other people who may have signed a nondisclosure agreement with the president or under similar legal constraints when talking about their dealings with the president, it may encourage them to go forward and make similar efforts to get out of the agreements. that could be profoundly consequential. >> if there were any such agreements. >> who knows. >> frank, your take on the whole mcdougal case and the inquirer? >> this all impacts the public
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perception. you'll see ms. mcdougal talk more now that she's been released from this kind of strangle-hold on her. and this is going to be a drum beat constantly combined with stormy daniels, combine with michael cohen and the special counsel and what he's coming out with in the next days, weeks or months ahead, and this weighs on the entirety of public perception as we head toward the possibility of impeachment proceedings, public perception becomes very important, because the representatives of the public, the congress, will have to make decisions with regard to potential impeachment. so all this weighs heavily on the president, none of it is helpful. and the stress is increased while bob mueller is trying to negotiate the possibility of an interview with the possibility, which is becoming less and less likely in my opinion. >> and ruth, before i let you go, tammy duckworth, senator, first senator to give birth while a senator, she's just had this baby a couple weeks ago, and now they have had a vote in
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the rules committee on whether she could bring the baby. now, she's tweeted, bring the baby to the floor. there's a potential vote on the nomination of the new nasa head who barely made it out onto the floor in a vote, very closely divided vote. so she has said that she may have to take the baby to the floor today. and if she does take the baby to the floor, she hopes the dress code is okay. because there are senate rules about that as well. >> shoes are essential, and possibly coats and ties. you know, talk about babies on the floor, they should all grow up a little bit. a little cute baby upon the floor should be a welcomed thing. happy 2018! >> we're talking about a mom here who is a veteran who suffered grievously and managed to not only become elected. >> she does need a baby sitter.
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>> we are talking about a senator bringing her child to the floor. >> wearing tennis shoes or flip-flops will not apply to the baby. coming up, block the vote. can republicans save mike pompeo? i am joined by the senate foreign affairs committee member next. and i know that we have accident forgiveness. which is so smart on your guy's part. like fact that they'll just... forgive you... four weeks without the car. okay, yup. good night. with accident forgiveness your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it.
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friends, who know that the base, i hate that word, but the base will view this as a vote, a proxy vote in support of trump. obviously, are finding ways to not vote for him. this is very much against any kind of tradition that we have had here. you know that. >> senator bob corker, the foreign relations chairman, moments ago here on nbc. joining me is democratic senator jean that shaheen on armed services. senator, are you saying you are against mike pompeo? >> that's a good talking point because it allows them to not deal with the very real challenges that director pompeo has when we think about him as secretary of state. >> what are your concerns? >> well, i think the secretary of state represents the united states to the rest of the world.
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and when we have someone who has past statements that can be construed as anti-muslim, who has not taken on some of the hate groups that have existed in this country, who has made statements that can be viewed as anti-equal rights for people who are in the gay community, then those present issues as he tries to represent american values around the world. and then we have some of the other concerns around how is he going to work with our allies on -- as we look at the agreement with iran, as we look at climate change and the paris accords. and he's already been very vocal in his opposition to those. so i think all of those things raise concerns around his ability to adequately represent the united states. >> the counter argument would be, he's so trusted by the president that he was the secret
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envoy to kim jong-un. he's in the inner circle, finally, there will be someone at the state department that gets to talk to the president. and the presidentmight listen. >> well, i'm pleased to hear that he actually did the overture to north korea. i think it is important to know that this administration is laying the groundwork for those negotiations. and we need to continue to do that. but as we saw with nikki haley, we need to have someone who is going to speak their views and what they think is important to the administration. and we didn't hear any evidence at the hearing for director pompeo, that he was willing to do that. >> what did you think about the man-splaining by the white house and larry kudlow that she must have been confused? >> well, she was very clear that she was not confused. and i have had a number of
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interactions with senator haley, and i don't think she would get confused on russia. sadly, we have heard the voice on the issue and want the russian sanctions to be implemented. for whatever reason, this president is not willing to do that. >> thank you so much, jeanne shaheen. it will be a busy day on monday when the vote comes up. perfect comeback. ambassador nikki haley show nothing confusion on her standing in the trump white house. stay with us right here on "andrea mitchell reports" right here on msnbc. we can't predict what tomorrow will bring. but our comprehensive approach to financial planning can help make sure you're prepared for what's expected and even what's not. and that kind of financial confidence can help you sleep better at night.
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to help protect yourself from a stroke. talk to your doctor about xarelto®. we were going to put tariffs in place against canada and then we didn't. we were going to pull out of syria and then we're not. look, it's sort of a chaotic atmosphere there. you know that, i know that. >> republican senator bob corker not mincing words just moments ago.
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criticizing the white house turmoil. joining me now, ron clan, former aide under obama. and rick tyler, former spokesman for newt gingrich and ted cruz, now an msnbc political analyst. you can't argue with what's been going on the last few weeks, rick. >> argue with what -- >> argue with what bob corker, the way he described it -- >> no, no, look, i think that nikki haley probably wasn't confused about what she was told and she wasn't uncertain that she would have announced the sanctions because someone said go ahead and do that on a sunday show. but where she was confused is depending on the president not to change his mind. this is the fallout. >> here's what nikki haley had to say yesterday when asked about all this. >> how's your relationship with president trump? >> perfect. >> perfect she said, her relationship with trump is perfect.
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obviously the reporting is he was angry when he watched her on the sunday shows. you and i have been through this a lot in covering the white house. when people go on sunday shows, they are going with talking points from either the white house chief of staff or the national security adviser. >> there's no question, what she said was clear, it was a proved by the process, the system, as we say, and the talking points were circulated to other people. >> maybe there's no system. >> but, you know, i agree with what rick said. there's an entire system and then there's president trump. and he either hasn't learn order doesn't want to learn or doesn't care to learn that he undercuts his own administration. he undercuts his own people with incidents like this thing with ambassador haley. and, you know, it works both ways unfortunately. i think she stood her ground. she made her point. she pushed back on larry kudlow taking a shot at her, you know, kind of distinguish herself, but in the end everyone around trump is colored and slimed in some ways by the way this whole thing works.
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>> and there is so much confusion overseas, i can tell you from talking to diplomats, we've got two big visits, macron, the first state visit here, rick tyler, next week, followed by angela merkel who has a terrible relationship with donald trump. she hasn't learned to flatter and schmooze. so she's now coming. they've got a big concern. not only the iran deal, but also the -- the tariffs against the european union. >> well, in getting back to what bob corker said is who -- the united states, we don't have to be friends with everybody around the world but at a minimum we have to be predictable. like, we have to mean what we say. we say we're going to retaliate within a certain period of time, then we don't do that. people lose their confidence in us. if they lose -- this is the whole problem with the secretary of state tillerson. he just had nobody believe that he had -- was speaking for the president. so meeting with him was really kind of a waste of time. you've got to have people around you that the foreign leaders know that this person speaks for the president. unfortunately, the president often doesn't know what he is
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for or what he's going to do right up until he does it. >> while tillerson may have been more mainstream in his foreign policy, his ideology, he was so closeted by his chief of staff that major allies could not get their foreign ministers in a -- finally being told, i'm not going to have my foreign policy fly across the atlantic for 15 minutes with you. >> look, rex tillerson may be a little bit push back against donald trump but also push back against his own department. there's really no way you can be secretary of state if you divorce yourself from the state department. >> so shouldn't the diplomats now say wait a second, we may not like what mike pompeo says about either gay rights or the muslims in his past, but he is going to at least be a voice at the table and restore the state department, why do you vote against a guy like pompeo might be the argument. >> i understand that.
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i also listen to senator corker on your show explain all the chaos in the white house and why do you want someone who kind of is a donald trump yes man than in the state department? we haven't really seen any evidence that mike pompeo is other than that. so, i mean, we're in this terrible situation where the so-called adults in the administration get pushed out, don't get listened to by the president, and then the president's alternatives, well, give me more yes people, more yes men, more yes women that doesn't seem like it's a fix either. in the end, mike pompeo gets confirmed in republican s line p and vote for mike pompeo. republicans have the votes to confirm if they want to put those votes up so let's see what happens. >> maybe with a negative recommendation or no recommendation from the foreign relations committee. hanging in the balance is gina haspel to be cia director. her confirmation hearing delayed. maybe because they think if pompeo doesn't get confirmed, you don't need to go through the agony of trying to confirm her. >> look, to her -- she's a
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controversial nomination and, you know, the -- i think the democrats are going to look at her. she brings this issue of torture is a big issue. and putting her in there i think would be tough. >> rick tyler, ron, thanks for being ,here. more ahead, we'll be right back.histil smuggled booze and dodged the law. even when they brought you in, they could never hold you down. when i built my family tree and found you, i found my sense of adventure. i set off on a new life, a million miles away. i'm heidi choiniere, and this is my ancestry story. now with over 10 billion historical records, discover your story. get started for free at
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and that's all for today. thanks for being with us. where we'll keep track of whether senator duckworth gets
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to bring her infant child on to the floor of the senate. stay tuned to all of that. follow us online on twitter @mitchellreports. craig melvin up next. >> hi there, andrea. we're keeping a close eye on the floor of the upper chamber. craig melvin here. loyalty test. new legal battles pushing limits for loyalty for president trump's personal lawyer michael cohen and now people who know both men are chiming in on to whether cohen could flip on the president. also, this afternoon, power struggle. right now, lights are coming back on in puerto rico after that islandwide blackout. but is this uncertainty? is it the new normal for people still recovering from hurricane maria. and criminal case, the governor of missouri trying to get a felony charge connected to a sex scandal dropped in court today. but when it comes to politics, to some, his defense seems to be coming out of the trump playbook. we'll look at all those stories
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in just a moment. but we start on this thursday afternoon with new drama over the legal battle surrounding this trump white house. "the wall street journal" and politico reporting concerns among president trump's advisers that the president's personal attorney, michael cohen, could turn against him. and new


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