tv MSNBC Live With David Gura MSNBC April 28, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
hello, everybody. i'm david gura at msnbc headquarters in new york. getting testy. spending cap, self-imposed restrictions on embattled epa chief scott pruitt. kremlin connection. the russian lawyer in that now infamous trump tower meeting in 2016 reveals her connection to a russian government official. that is an nbc exclusive interview. we begin this hour with a new target for president trump. that is one senator john tester. the montana democrat was instrumental in ronny jackson's withdrawal as virginia secretary nominee. the president tweeted allegations made by senator
tester are proving false. the secret service is unable to confirm and deny any of the phony democrat charges. tester should resign. the great people of montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking of a great human being. add mir jacksmiral jackson is t man that those in montana would most respect and admire and now for no reason whatsoever, his reputation has been shattered. no fair, tester! >> reporter: as the president assigns blame for the bungled confirmation process of ronny jackson, it suggests he isn't taking on wnership for not properly vetting jackson.
the president, we believe, retrur really trusted his gut, his own rapport with jackson and nominated him for a position that many republicans and democrats say he was not qualified for. today the president is targeting tester because, one, he's a red state -- and he's responsible for bringing to light the allegations that derailed his approval process. senators say they take very seriously their responsibility to vet nominees who are put before them for a confirmation
process and beyond that senators take very seriously their responsibility to the nation's veterans, not only because they served the nation but also because they're a powerful group. as to who might eventually take this role, we know within the white house and on capitol hill there are have good conversations with robert wilkie and chjeff miller. >> thank you. with me is a political reporter for bloomberg politics and andrew, congressional reporter for "the daily beast." let me start with what the white house might have learned by the way they put forward this nominee, how much time elapsed
before ronny jackson decided to withdraw that nomination. what went wrong? >> it wasn't just the vetting process. i talked to a number of republican senators who said that from start to finish the white house strategy with pushing this nomination was completely bungled. i talked to senator bill cassidy who sits on the committee. he said the white house was caught in his words completely offgua off guard by the nomination. he felt like dr. jackson was hung out there by himself. the suggestion being that the white house didn't properly vet dr. jackson but they weren't even prepared on the back end to defend their nominee. >> "hopefully --
>> what are you hearing about who would be a good nominee for the veterans straegs? >> i don't know that there is a clear favorite among them to be v.a. secretary at this point. they're not going to vet all nominees. this is a massive bureaucracy. its successes are not well understood. its failures turn into national scan cann scandals. whoever president trump picks is going to reflect on him. now he's fired shulkin. with regard to tester, tester has been called on by president trump to resign for releasing unsubstantiated allegations against ronny jackson. he's up for reelection in
montana, which went for trump by a large number. he's also protecting himself by doing the vetting job he's required to do. >> and drew,rew, i gather the president is back at the white house. we were talking last hour about how he was left there sort of flapping in the wind. i thought it was interesting when i listened to shaarah huckabee sanders, about how that didn't work and why not try something else. what do you make that the still have president trump talking about this today on twitter. i assume he's going to talk about it tonight when he goes to michigan to do counteractivity to the white house correspondents dinner. >> senator tester of not the one
lobbing these allegations of dr. jackson. he was relaying them. my reporting suggests that all the republicans on the committee, including the chairman, they were all perfectly fine with what senator tester did and they would have preferred that someone like him be the face of this, in terms of going out in the media and talking about these allegations. for president trump to suggest there were issues with what senator tester did, members of congress in his own party on capitol hill don't really agree with that. >> lastly, i want you to tee up the conversation about the conversation about scott pruitt. we saw him talking to the house. what's likely to happen next as he is scandal continues to escalate. three senior aides have to sign off on purchases made on his behalf over $5,000 in total. what was your sense of the takeaway from the house meeting
earlier this week? >> we've seen some early cracks in what has been a wall of support for scott pruitt. look, the hearing was problematic for him, number one, in the sense that he practically admitted to having lied about signing off on raises for aides without approval for the white house. there is no greater danger to president trump and his party politically than the appearance of corruptness and swampiness. we're heading to an election where a lot of this will come down to voters and voters who didn't show up in 2016 are not motivated by ideology but they are motivated by corruption. i think scott pruitt is exhibit
a in how much the president will tolerate this. >> talking about the cracks in the armor surrounding scott pruitt. congressman don beyer, great to have you with me this afternoon. pick up on what sawhill was saying there. what did the epa of the administrator have to say this week? >> it's very much too little too late. the horse is already out of barn. the notion that he'd take three senior political appointments, mostly his friends, to have them oversee it, just doesn't cut the mustard. he's the antithesis of draining the swamp.
we were thrilled to see the inspector general come out and say they will take very seriously the many come planepl about pruitt coming in from a all sides. >> i wonder if you have a sense here of how much longer you think this administrator will in that job? do you think from the steps he's taken here to have his expenses approved has bought him more time? >> i don't think so. i don't think he did well on thursday. question after question he couldn't answer, something basic like was samantha dravis one of his three aides and did she show up for work over the last three months? and he had maybe lied to the president about not knowing about these $56,000 raises.
i any staknow john kelly wants gone. the epa administrator is not too rich to tack a $50 a night condo. >> you sit on the natural resources committee. you've wanted the administrator to come and field questions from you and your colleagues. i gather republicans on your committee have not followed through on your request to do that. why do they say that, in light of these snowballing stories, ten investigations into epa head, pruitt. >> trey gowdy i think will demand that he comes. i'm on scenes and natural resources committee. they tend to be all climate
change deniers or skeptics. they like what pruitt is doing to deconstruct the environmental framework we've had through democratic and republican presidents. >> how different is the epa today? >> from what i talk to the epa employees, that are very distressed. you've soon massive brain drain and lots of unhappiness. the first job of a leader is to create a culture where people are moved by the work, they're happy to come to work, they think it's meaningful. that is not this epa and not this administrator. >> congressman beyer, thank you very much. >> coming up, a trump tower meeting that could have major influence into the investigation of election interference. leo, i know i'm late.
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welcome back. the 2016 meeting between members of the trump campaign and a russian lawyer in the center of the investigation is back in the spotlight as new details emerge about about natalia veselnitskaya. >> translator: the only reason i'm asking these questions is because of the contact you've had in the most senior people who are now in our government.
>> you said your relationship with the prosecutor general is what? >> and we have the house intelligence committee republicans on that committee releasing its final report surrounding its controversial investigation into russian meddling in the 2016 election. that republican author found there was no evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and russia. joining me is josh gerstein. let me start with you. that interview that richard engel did with that russian lawyer. how does this change the picture? >> well, it changes her story about what transpired. there had been suspicions for a long time, david, that she had
very strong ties to the kremlin. now had there are indications she had ties to the top office in the kremlin. i think in terms of serious investigators, they already assumed she had ties to the kremlin. the more critical question is what did they know about her connections or what did they think her connection was. and we already know that people at the top level of the trump campaign believed she was a representative of russia's government. that probably provides whatever predicate is necessary for any charges that might eventually come over that issue. whether she actually was or wasn't that kind of representati representative, could have been a sting operation. i don't think that affects the liability of the americans involved. >> there's a theory this week of stories changing. it happened about the president talking about his relationship
with his long-time attorney fixer and attorney michael cohen. how does that change that story? we have so many competing may narratives here. what's the consequence of what the president had to say on fox news this week? >> so trump is without question the worst client a lawyer could have. yet again he put his entire foot in his fourth when he went on "fox & friends" and made several inconsistent statements as usual and talked about stormy daniels and talked about michael cohen's role as his lawyer. he said he only worked on a tiny, tiny little fraction of the legal work. it made it that much harder for his attorney and cohen's to say these documents should be protected under the attorney/client privilege and
out of the hands the government. what that statement that trump made on tv was bolster the argument that a lot of those documents shouldn't be protectprotected under that privilege. he made it that much harder for him to do his job. >> you had this decision in the district of california. he's indicated that michael cohen plans to plead the fifth. you have stormy daniels' attorney saying he's going to fight that stay. time is of the essence. do you understand the motivations for appealing that 90-day stay? >> yeah. michael avenatti is doing his job and he's doing it really well but that was probably the only invoking the fifth amendment was probably the on appropriate legal option for someone in cohen's position. he is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation in new york. and so any information that's uncovered in a self suit can be
used by a prosecutor in a criminal case. so it was the only appropriate thing for him to do. if this case moved forward to discovery, cohen would have been subject to a deposition and that's the last thing he would want to do considering these two matters have overlap and that could significantly increase the chanc chances. so he did the absolute right thing and avenatti is only doing his job as a lawyer. >> i mentioned all the competing threads in rich tap industry. you've got jane and martin raskin who have been retained, they are lawyers from miami.
. >> there you see it matter making its way down to florida as well. what do you make of the hiring as this universe is expanding. >> there are a lot of trump properties in florida. they do say on their web site that the raskins have some expertise in fighting search warrants and constrain the information prosecutors can get from them. the real reason people like the raskins are being brought in is because the president cannot secure legal counsel from more large, mainstream firms. some of the foreign minister have talked about bringing in contract lawyers to go through
documents and assess them for privilege. that's not something that a large law firm would necessarily have to do, but the president finds himself in a spot where many of those big firms are already working for others in the russia saga or just not willing to take him on as a client. >> you've got rudy giuliani joining the president's legal team. i gather he's representing the president exclusive of his firm. >> right in. >> we're seeing giuliani begin negotiations, trying to negotiate with mueller, perhaps draw on some of his past ties and maybe some rapport with mueller to negotiate some kind of deal for the president to testify. but increasingly there are a lot of questions about whether the president will ever give that interview to robert mueller. many lawyers believe it's really not a good idea and it not clear how necessary or they he might
well trip himself up and it might not help investigators get to the bottom of anything that happened regarding russia. >> thank you very much for joining me this afternoon. and a big night in washington, d.c. as the press corps prepares for what's essentially called nerd prom. we'll have a preview after the break. [ drum roll ] ...emily lapier from ames, iowa. this is emily's third nomination and first win. um...so, just...wow! um, first of all, to my fellow nominees, it is an honor sharing the road with you. and of course, to the progressive snapshot app for giving good drivers the discounts -- no, i have to say it -- for giving good drivers the discounts they deserve. safe driving! for giving good drivers the discounts they deserve. booking a flight doesn't have to be expensive. just go to priceline. it's the best place to book a flight
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president trump passing on another white house correspondents dinner tonight. it's the second time he's done that in a row. he's touting his appearance at a campaign-style rally in michigan. he tweeted "look forward to being in the great state of michigan tonight. big crowd tonight will be live on tv. jac jacob soboroff will anchor that coverage. what's the vibe down there? as i said, the president's not going to be there. how does this dinner differ from those in the past? >> i am the sonny purdue, aka designated survivor because all of our colleagues are going to be inside the bar room. there as you obviously an an tao
was out and about. i think they're trying to mend fences but they still have a long way to go. >> michelle wolf will be the comedienne there tonight. has she given any indication of what her routine will be like tonight? >> she said that she is glad that president trump is not going to be in the room. it's a really hard room to play, comedians say, everybody's sitting at round tables, facing each other instead of facing forward. it should make for a really good time. we're going to have a great time. kimberly atkins, the former speech writer for president obama will all join me on set and we'll have savannah sellers from "stay tuned" on the red
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the president's travel ban went before the supreme court this week. the conservative leaning court has to decide in the third part of that ban is acceptable. here justice you a -- alito. >> would a reasonable observer think this was -- >> a familiar face and vocal critic of the travel ban was outside the courthouse on wednesday who delivered that memorable speech at the convention back in 2016. >> donald trump consistently smears muslims. donald trump, let me ask, have
you. read the united states constitution? i will gladly lend you my copy. >> khizr khan joins me. the argument that the government has made here is this a much narrower band. what's your understanding of the arguments that took place in the court this week? >> thank you. we were heartened that this case was being heard in the supreme court of the united states, and joining muslims and joining our point of view were the national security leaders of this nation. they have filed a brief 1,400 cities, mayors have filed in
support of our position against the travel ban. so it was a muslim ban, it remains a muslim ban, it does not matter how they water down that proclamation that was initially issued. the conversation that took place, the oral argument that took place really ended so well that this nation needs to hear. and if you would allow me, it's just a few seconds of the very last 30 seconds of that oral argument summed up the government's position. and if you allow me to read it, i will for your audience would read this. this is u.s. solicitor general, the lawyer of the government of the united states speaking in the last 30 seconds of the oral
argument and he said "president has made chrrystal clear on september 25th he has no intention of imposing muslim ban. he has made crystal clear that muslims in this country are great americans. many, many muslims love this country. he has praised islam as a great religion." this took place the last 30 seconds. so we are heartened that we stood in the symbol of justice, symbol of fairness of this nation. we are heartened by the argument, we are heartened by the hearing. the results are in the hands of justices now. and we wait a favorable decision but we were heard. >> i want to play one more excerpt from those oral arguments between the solicitor
general and elana kagan. >> let's say in some future time a president gets elected who is a vehement anti-semite and says all kinds of denigrating comments about jews. what emerges is a proclamation that says no one shall enter from israel. this is an out of the box kind of president in my hypothetical and -- >> you hear the laughter at the end. a lot of people have written about what she might have been getting at, including noah feldman, a law professor at harvard. he said the goal of the kagan strategy is to remind kennedy that if you vote to uphold the ban, she has the will to write a withering dissent that would align him with a head in the sand denial of the existence of
anti-muslim animus. that last line in particular, do you think that's likely to happen here? >> we hope so. of that the point she was trying to make and she made it eloquently and very clearly that today it was muslims, tomorrow it would be others, especially other faiths. therefore, who is to stop, if you don't stop it now, if we continue to -- congress or the supreme court continued to validate the president's power, what would be the -- what would be the limit of that. so that was the point she was trying to make and she made it really clear and i hope this point is heard and continues to resonate with the nation. >> last question here, i played at the top a bit of the speech you delivered at the democratic national convention. that was a warning of those
watching what might happen. there is a recording of him back in 2014 talking about muslims. >> this threat to america is from people who dopely believe that islam is the way and the light and the only answer. we have to recognize these folks believe it's religiously driven for them to wipe christians from the faith of the earth. >> i want you to react to that and the whole foreign policy team that we have now. >> well, pompeo and bolton seem to use this division and hatred against once another among muslims and other faiths, among
americans as a dog whistle to generate hatred and generate support for themselves. but i wish they had heard what on september 25th donald trump had said, their boss had said. i don't know who is correct, either donald trump or his subordinates in his cabinet and especially pompeo. he's known for making -- him and bolton both are known for making islamophobic statements to create unamerican division against the fundamental values of this nation, of this country. i wish to end my comments on this. i have lived twice. the reason why me why are you so passionate about america's liberties, liberties, declaration of independence, constitution and our -- this is
the reason, i have lived twice under martial law, i have see how martial law, how dictators begin to overtake the liberties of the ordinary citizens. they malign the media first. they turn off the television stations, they shut down the newspapers. the media is bad. then comes rule of law. judges are bad. the nation can connect the dots, but these are the beginning of an authoritarian-minded president, authoritarian-minded president of this nation that is very much prone to dictatorships, to an authoritarian system. but we are glad we have our rule
of law. they are under attack. i am heartened to know and feel throughout my travels that m. >> and our institutions, our rule of law, our constitution, our civil liberties will prevail in the end. >> thank you very much. as always, appreciate you coming on with it this afternoon. >> thank you. >> this is the final week in april, a time when the sports world is focused on, mother other things, the nhl draft. the commission on college basketball put together by the ncaa and led by former secretary of state condoleezza rice just released a 53-page on how to reform the sport last year there
was a scandal involving coaches and agents and shoe companies all wrapped up in an investigation. i'll ask you, first of all, what we saw in that report. i mentioned 53 pages. it took about a half year for condoleezza write. what was in it that you thought was a positive thing? >> chris: the idea that if you're 18 years old and you don't want to go to college and you don't want to find a professional track, the sports world should make that happen. >> that's likely to happen here. you're allowed to have an agent to advise you. you're allowed to enter the draft and then if you're not
drafted, stay in college. these are all things that are not allow now what's the bad thing? everything else. they stick with the core idea that the heart and sole of college sports is amateurism. therefore you can't get paid. therefore the highest goal is a college education. no that there's anything wrong with that. but they coach you. there's a matter of morality. yet they're running a multi-billion dollar business. they're not amateurs, they're free labor force. so even if you didn't want to pay the players outright for whatever reason, at least do what the olympics do. let them get endorsements. let them sign their names on things and get paid for it. there are all sorts of ways to boost the income of players without, you know, putting them
on salary. but i personally believe they should be on salary but that's a whole other story. >> we're talking about two sports in particular, men's basketball and football. >> that's right. >> why when you look at the way those two sports have eevolved, why is it so different from hockey that i mentioned earlier or baseball? >> here's the reason. hockey and baseball began as professional sports. before they were college sports. so they had a minor league system because they had to train players to be good enough to be in the major leagues in both sports. football and basketball began as college sports. so colleges from the start were the minor leagues. and it was the names of the college players, the stardom of the college players that caused them to want to go see the pros in the first place, george miken and players like that. football and basketball never bothered to have a minor league
because they didn't have to. now we have the system where the players really do become famous in many cases so that by the time they go to the pros, they have a name, a shoe contract, they have this and that and people want to watch them play. it's a good deal for the pros. >> lastly, what does this process, having this commission and the former secretary of state who does like to go watch college sports, say about the power of the nba? can you fault the nba as much as you can fault the ncaa for creating it? how much power does the ncaa have? >> the ncaa has a lot of power. one way to think about their power, this fbi investigations, these arrests, what are they charging these people with? they're charging them with violating the ncaa rules, which are not, by the way, the law of the land. but the ncaa has a stature that is unlike any other
non-governmental institution in the country. they have incredible power over the players and the culture of sports. >> and kanye west's praise of the president trump next. of protein to help manage hunger and carbsteady, unique blends of slow release carbs to help minimize blood sugar spikes. every meal every craving. it's the choices you make when managing blood sugar that are the real victories. glucerna. everyday progress.
which caused quite a stir on social media. mr. trump seized on the comments writing kanye west has performed a great service for the black community. thank you also to chance and dr. darrell scoot. they really get it. low black and hispanic unemployment in history. >> she also interviewed kanye. what we've seen here in all of this. kanye west dropping a new single yesterday. this is a moment for him in concert with the president. >> this is quite a moment for them. we haven't seen him on the scene since about november 2016 now he's back with a bang, make america great again bang. it's not really working for a lot of his fans. they see it as an actual betrayal. but for kanye any press has been good press. more than 4 million tweets alone about him in the past week. he's got a new album coming out
in early june, another one a few days after that. he's got a let for dr dr i have a sinny cal take. >> i think it's entirely commercially driven. a bit of an andy coughmanesque sort of flow to this. i know he's interested in being a provocateur and generating interest. his song yesterday, it's called lift yourself. classic kanye, about two minutes long, samples and old school obscure track from the early 70's, but then he comes in, in about 30 seconds, towards the end the song and i want to read you a quote. he starts rapping. scop itty woop. -- i'm going to do a strict textural analysis of that after the show.
>> what it means, no one knows, but this is what he's been pumping this up for. there you go. you'll never be the same, will you. >> i won't. you interviewed hip after katrina, he was outspoken about politics what's his level of engagement been like. >> for many he became a hero when he spoke out during hau hurricane katrina. so to see him turn around and embrace someone who a number of people of color and women regard as someone who has den -- kanye is a provocateur and he has actually said he wants to embrace people, embrace love, that's his guiding ethos right now, and so even if it's difficult, even you have to embrace your enemies.
interestingly, earlier today he said his album kol cover is going to be jan adams. he says that's going to be his new album cover and he actually said, quote, he wants to lead with love. i want to forgive and stop hating. clearly, he's still grappling with the loss of his mother, which happened in 2007. grappling with notions of love and hate. all of these come up in his music and have for the better part of a decade. now grappling with it public. >> so nice to talk to you with t the. >> rapper ti is going to join me tomorrow to discuss all things kanye. debating each other over politics in a newly released song. 3:00 p.m. right here. coming up in the next hour, a new tradition, president trump holding a campaign-style rally rather than staying in d.c. for the white house correspondents'
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hello everyone i'm in new york. targeting tester. president trump calls on the montana senator to resign for accusing his former va nominee dr. ronny jackson of misconduct. stalling the storm. a federal judge delays the formy daniels lawsuit for 90 days. why it could be the writing on the wall for president trump's personal attorney. and a pledge for peace. friday's historic korea summit pae pa pae pa paves the way. we begin this hour with the end to a very busy and controversial week for president trump. this morning defending his nominee saying ronny jackson