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accused of using paul manafort to get to the president. who knew what and when and new accusations that trump knew about the stormy daniels' payout months before. that is where we begin this hour. last night "the new york times" broke the story that the president knew about his attorney michael cohen's payments to stormy daniels quote, several months before he denied any knowledge of it to the reporter aboard air force one in april, and this is according to two people familiar with the arrangement, and nbc news reached out to the outside legal team, and they declined to respond, and last night, "the wall street journal" came out with the report of michael cohen through the public records that michael cohen gained access to $774,000 from the line of credit that a new mortgage of the 216 presidential campaign, and they said that they reached out to cohen and his attorney, but they did not respond to the request for comment. for more on this, we bring in betsy woodruff, a politics reporter for daily beast, and msnbc contributor as well, ju
jean -- eugene scott is a msnbc contribu contributor, and reporter for washington post. and so, let's get to you, bet - betsy, with the president's newest attorney rudy giuliani going on fox news and changing what we knew this week. yes, it was a softball on fox news reporter, and he not only said that the president knew about the payments of stormy daniels, but that the president had paid him back to recompensate him back for the payments he made. that is a shock allegation, and also came on the first day that emmitt flood, a low-key, but extraordinarily well powerhouse washington attorney joined the president's inside white house legal team. and emmitt flood certainly had a
interesting first day on the job, and in the wake of that, we saw a number of different responses from the white house, and ultimately the white house seems to have settled back on some of the original narratives which is this idea that the president didn't know that the payment was being made and when it was made, and that kind of strains credulity, and in part, michael cohen himself said publicly that he had a conversation with donald trump on the very data he made the payment to stormy daniels. the idea that he would have spokephone president, but that he wouldn't have told the president that he paid off a porn star for the alleged relationship is something hard to fathom, and so the story is complicate and moving in a lot of drirections and ultimately a body blow to the credibility of the white house. >> charlie savage, i want to play a cut here for the reporters from air force one as he made the journey to dallas texas where where he spoke to nra and how the story changed and this is what he had to say.
>> why did you change your story on the payments to stormy daniels? >> we are not changing any story, but right now, this country is moving so smooth, and to be bringing up that kind of ocrap, and witch hunts all of the time and that is all you want to talk about -- and excuse me, excuse me, you have to -- >> but you changed your words about the payment -- >> and no, you go look at -- >> well, you said -- >> excuse me, excuse me. >> and charily, excuse me, the president was loquacious on the tarmac there going to andrews, and there he was on the tarmac speaking to reporters. now, what is this that you say about who is calling the shots there. and betsy is naming a number of prin principles including emmitt flood who is another new attorney hired, and so, with all that rudy giuliani said, and issuing the statement on friday and he is supposed to be the president's point man in dealing with the special counsel, and it is striking me that one man, and
one man only here is calling the shots when it comes to the legal presentation, and that is president trump. >> if anyone is calling the shots, and this is a mee yaande walk through the thickets of what they were saying when giuliani blurted out this admission that trump had repaid cohen for the payoff of stormy daniel, we were all scratching our heads how that gave them the advantage? what was the four dimensional chess strategy behind this seemingly damaging admission and the fact that they are then trying to walk it back in this vague way, and well, he doesn't know all of the facts yet, and they are not saying which facts he got wrong, and giuliani puts out a written statement that he is portray ed as a clarificatio, but it is more confusing and suggesting that nobody is in charge, and sort of randomly firing off in different directions in a way that is not helpful to the president's cause. >> and eugene, scott, a look at what rudy giuliani said in the
statement, and we waited a long time to get, and this is summarizing the contents with regard to the payment to stormy daniels, there is no campaign violation, and that is reiterating what he said to sean hannity. and the third element here of the statement, the president has the right to dismiss comey in that firing of the now former fbi director is now in the best interest of the nation. we want to ask you what questions have been raised by a all of this and what questions raised by the two reports in "the new york times" and the "wall street journal" that broke overnight. here we have more detail on when the president might have known, and not with specificity of when it happened, but the new york times reporting of he knew well about the payment on april 5th, and the comment and "the wall street journal" talking about the money that is going into michael cohen's bank account, and what point as this is going to be reported out.
>> my question is who else knew, and we saw a few days ago, kellyanne conway asked about how much she knew, and if there is a continued investigation as to whether or not this violated the campaign finance laws, there is some concern, and interest in seeing who else affiliated with the campaign could have been knowledgeable or involved in this situation. since it seems more than michael cohen and stormy daniels and the president, who else could have been involved? these are question s ths that m people in the press and voters as well as those in congress want to goat the bottom of. >> and betsy woodruff, the president is fighting it on two front fronts, the special counsel's investigation that is taking place in and around washington, d.c., and the southern district of new york southern attorney's office looking into the finances of the president, and keenly interest ed interested in this and the payments as well. let me ask you about the news that broke this afternoon, the a.p. first reporting here that the special counsel had interviewed tom barrack, a long-time friend of donald trump who was in long time private
equity, and part tof the inaugural committee, and msnbc is confirming that the interview took place in december of last year a what is that telling you about the course of the investigation and how worried the president should be about where the investigation is head ed now that it is closer still to the inner circle? >> it is going to tell you that it is concerning to the president going forward. the reality is that you have talked about the two investigation, and the southern district of new york one, and the mueller one, but in terms of the way that the president's legal team communicates about the investigation, it seems they try to conflate the two. i spoke with rudy giuliani on the phone two days ago and he talked about the southern district probe and the mueller probe as if they were the same thing, and compared the investigators to storm troopers suggesting they were too far and too intrusive into the dealings of the president's inner circle, and the news about tombarrack is going to amplify the concerns,
and the attorneys about the reach and the aggressiveness of the nature of the steps that the investigations are taking. >> and charlie savage, weigh in here, and i know that you have been following both of the investigations and know about tom barrack and help us to understand the role that he has played in the donald trump universe and what it might say about the trajectory? h >> well, he was involved in inaug ra ration committee and he would understand the donations coming in to help to fund the celebrations that the trump people were putting on back on january 20, 2017, and beyond that though, like a lot of the things, we don't know. we know that he is close to t m trump, and familiar with a lot of the the money flows burk how that fits into the puzzle here remains to be seen. >> step back with me and look at the week in full beginning with the controversy over the president's doctor, and nbc reporting the way in which the president's medical records were taken from his personal doctor and brought no the white house medical office, and tye cobb leading the legal team in the course of the week, and back and forth with rudy giuliani and the
narrative of the stormy daniels' payment, and sarah huckaby sanders in the podium saying that she was blindsided as the rest of us when rudy giuliani sat on the couch and talked to sean hannity at fox news and talk about the perspective of the chaos of this week surrounding the oval office that we have seen in the course of the last seven days? >> it is seeming that we are reaching a level that is actually more complex and difficult to process for the american public than normal. it is distracting for the voters to figure out who they want to send to washington for an agenda that they believe in. i think that what it does for the republican party is highlight the risk that voters could take sending people to congress on the trump train and reinforcing so much of what you shared. that may be distracting to
address the real issues that they want addressed in the communities when you are dealing with so many investigations and scandals and other issues. >> you three stick with us, betsy, charlie and eugene staying with us throughout the hour. and now, a judge openly questioning the special counsel's motives for going after the former campaign chairman paul manafort. delivery should look like this. crisp leaves of lettuce, freshly-made dressing. clean food that looks this good, eaten at your desk. panera. food as it should be.
in the russian investigation. we have learned that robert mueller has interviewed the president's long time friend tom barrack who is a person with first-hand knowledge who says that interview took place in december of last year, and he was asked extensive questions about campaign manager paul manafort and his deputy rick gates. and also, the the special counsel robert mueller's team was challenged in a court appearance by paul manafort friday seeking to have the federal bank and tax fraud charges against him dismissed. the u.s. district court ts ellis said that you don't care about the bank fraud, but what information mr. manafort can give you that could reflect to mr. trump to lead to the prosecution, or tim peachment or whatever, andt president trump reacted to the comments right after. >> i have been saying for it a long time. it is a witch hunt. and then, none of that
information has to do with information related to russian government coordination and the campaign of donald trump. it doesn't have anything to do. it is from years before. >> and the judge ellis did not i issue a ruling on the defense's ruling to toss out the charge, and paul manafort's trial is slated to begin in july. joining us now former white house counsel jack quinn, and nbc national security analyst ned webb. and so now, tom barrack is a long time friend of donald trump and certainly a role here in bringing rick gates on into the campaign as well, and what are you making of the news today confirmed by nbc this afternoon? sgl >> well, it is not surprising. as you say, barrack is not only a friend of the president's, but close to paul manafort and rick gates and it is my understanding from the publiced reports that after manafort left the
campaign, it is mr. barrack who persuaded the president to keep rick gates around and some relationship there, and as you know, barrack was questioned about contributions made there, and it is not surprising that he would be interviewing him. what is specifically he is looking at, i don't know. mr. barrack also a has extensive relationships in the middle east, and, you know, the emirati s have come up in connection with the famous seychelles meetings, so he could be looking at anything here. >> and now, what about the role that tom barrack has been playing here, and he is a economic titan based in california, and what do we know about his role overseas? what have you understood, ned? >> well, he is a venture capital
i ist, and someone who has connections extensively through the gulf, and that is something that is of great interest given the means to establish a back channel through the seychelles as mr. quinn said. also, with michael flynn. and you remember that michael flynn was involved with a consortium to try and build nuclear power plants in throughout the middle east that would require the trump administration to wave sing s-- sanction, and he and michael flynn and other private businessmen were working tolt on this plan, and there are some strong insinuations that during michael flynn's 24-day tenure that he attempted to move the plan forward using the position at the time as national security adviser. so it is seeming to me that most likely as mr. quinn said that moo
mueller's prosecutors are most interested in speaking to tom barrack for the ties to paul manafort, but he is involved and enmeshed in this investigation and the separate lines of inquiries in different ways. >> and jack quinn, we are going to the virginia courthouse that you have seen the transcripts or the excerpts of what we have seen from judge ellis in the course of the proceedings and this is a little bit of what he had to say. he said that he was kor worried about the witnesses and the vernacular is for them to sing, and what you have to be careful of not only sing, but compose. i was talking to alan dershowitz who took credit for the phrase saying that the judge ellis was paraphrasing him. and how concerned should some be about how expansive this investigation has gotten? >> going back to the beginning here. and judge ellis used the harsh language, but there are a couple of important points here. number one, judge ellis, himself, said from the bench, i am not saying that what you are doing here is illegitimate, and it may be entirely proper, but
he was characterizing what he thought that the prosecutors were trying to do. number two, it should shock no one that a prosecutor would try to lean on a potential target through a witness in a fashion like this. and thir ly, the d.c. judge, an remember, there are charges pending gaiagainst paul manaforn the eastern district of virginia where judge ellis sits and the district of columbia, and the same issue was raised in connection with the prosecution of manafort in the district of columbia. the judge there, in fact, he was skeptical not of mr. mueller and his team, but rather of mr. manafort and his lawyers. now, to just summarize the legal issue here, the question of whether this is outside of the scope, bob mueller's mandate here is in three parts.
one, any coordination between russia, and the trump campaign, and two, any issues that are arising in the course of the investigation and that means criminality discovered while they are looking at issue one, and thirdly, the ob stlung of justice. so, if what is going on here is that they have found criminal wrongdoing on the part of mr. manafort involving for example his associations in russia or its puppet state ukraine, that is perfectly within the scope of mr. mueller's mandate. i expect at the end of the day, that is the ruling and what it will be. >> and mr. price, it struck me as i watched the speech before the nra there yesterday, and the president going page by page of the "wall street journal" article, that there was a resonance no way that he acted or reacted following the report issued by the republicans on the house intelligence committee,
and he seizes on something like that as a definitive end point, and the punctuation of the intelligence committee's investigation or the mooueller investigation perhaps in part, and what do you make of where we are in part, and the judge did not rule on that motion in advance by mr. manafort. >> well, the key here is that donald trump and the associates are infrequently have something to crow about when it comes to the russia investigation, and so of course, they are going to seize on the data points, but i think that what we have seen where the conclusion of the house intelligence committee report and what we saw yesterday are two different thing, and the house intelligence committee report is a sham bollic bollic that was being cooked up to go on twitter to declare that the house committee had found no collusion, even though they had failed to interview key, key suspects shall we say.
in terms of the collusion itself. but yesterday, was far from the end point, bun part of the ongoing process and maybe it is turning out that the judge was asking hard and difficult questions as judges often do, and will then rule in the prosecution's favor. what happened yesterday is not a definitive ruling, and there is a lot yett to come when it comes with the manafort case. >> thank you, both of you, and thanks for using the word shambolic. and has the country accomplished anything after the parkland shooting? next, i will speak to a father who lost his son in that shooting. the wonderful thing about polident
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they would put these signs on the door to let the teacher know you didn't cut off the light. the teachers, they would call us the energy patrol. so they would be like, here they come, turn off your lights! those three young ladies were teaching the whole school about energy efficiency. we actually saved $50,000. and that's just one school, two semesters, three girls. together, we're building a better california. welcome back. i'm david gura, and as the national rifle association holds the annual meeting in dallas, the group is a epicenter of the roiling debate over gun policies. and there could have been a policy to prevent shooting massacre in france in 2015. >> if one person in this room
had been there with the gun aimed in the opposite direction, the terrorists would have fled or been shot, and it would have been a whole different story. >> well sh, the french governme is now responding to what president trump said, and saying that the free circulation of firearms in a society does not constitute a barrier against the terrorist attacks. nbc savannah sellers is live at the nra meeting, and we know that the french didn't like it, but the fiery speech heavy with politics going over there with the conventiongoers there in dallas? >> well, david, it is interesting. it is almost like the sentiment that i have heard is almost similar to what you are hearing from the parkland students, cameron kasky and the calling trump a professional liar and saying that he should say whatever he should say many front of the room that he is n and i have heard it from people here saying that as soon as parkland happen and met with the students he said that he would be for things like raising the
age and expanding the background checks, and people here are feeling that he is flipping again now at the nra and noticing it, and feeling that he is an unreliable ally, but they are pointing to the fact that president trump and vice president pence was here and that unprecedented for both of them to be here and so they are feeling supported in that way. i talked to scott wyatt and his father is a 75-year-old vietnam veteran and he was telling me that he is supporting anything and everything that trump does. when he was here at the nra and everything that he said that day, he felt supported an felt that the second amendment rights would be protected by him and the fact that he was here meant a lot to him. >> and so, savannah sellers thank you very much. and she is at the annual nra meeting in dallas with the update on the proceedings. joining me is emanuel oliver, and father of joaquin oliver one of the victims of that tragedy at parkland, florida. and he is focusing on regulating
gun, and what prompted you make the trip. what about the event that is scheduled to take place today? >> well, first of all, thank you for invite meg -- inviting me to the show. we are demanding changesb and giving a voice to joaquin, we felt that this is a unique opportunity to bring the message to the right people because of the nra meeting happening this same weekend. >> what is the level of dialogue been like? i go back a couple of months from what we have heard from the president and other elected officials who have talked about unpredented this was taking place in not part san terms the, but things that we needed to talk about and i a am curious about what are the conversation likes that you been involved with in dallas? >> well, the conversations the that i have had so far are with the community.
with the minority which is what is the right way to approach this issue. to be honest, president trump being at the nra opening with a speech shows a lot of support from him to the organization. and it forgets totally about what is going won the victims and not only in parkland, but all around the nation. >> precious few months have elapsed since this tragedy and i have been wondering how you feel how this is process and how it is coming with the policy and as i have mention ed ined in the wf following the shooting in parkland and talking about things changing, and things being different and you heard what the president had to say about school safety and arming teachers and what he has plan and look back at the three months of what little has happened and i wonder how it has
changed, and can be changed in this country. >> i have seen changes but not from their side. i have seen a lot of changes from the youth, and what they are doing is amazing. let's not assume that the changes will be coming from the government, itself, or the president, himself. my hopes are on the people of the young jen race, and this is who we support, however, it will help a lot that we can have the support of the government. we have seen changes and we have all seen changes, but because of the power of the young generation, and not because of any political decision, because i have not seen as you have just said any any point on the control of the issue that we all share. >> last question about the
message to the president as i understand it that you have invited him to your home. i wonder if you could explain why you think that is so important and what you hope that he might glean from making that trip to your home in florida? >> well, i believe that we could be activists and make noise, but leave some space open for dialogue. i thought that it could be a good idea to have president trump spend five minutes in my son's room which is empty now. so maybe hoe is going to feel what 17 families in parkland and some and all around the country are going through. this is very painful. i ta thought that sharing these moments with us, we could find the dialogue that we are looking for, and we are not being
unsupport ed in unsupported in the ideas. >> that is a father who lost his son in parkland. and now, will the president allow the iran deal to happen or not happen? the changes he wants to strengthen the deal. starting this year's garden with miracle-gro potting mix and plant food. together, they produce three times the harvest to enjoy... and of course, to share. this soil is fresh from the forest and patiently aged to guarantee more of what matters... every time. three times the harvest. one powerful guarantee. miracle-gro. you wouldn't accept from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. flonase.
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already. and i think that prime minister netanyahu did a good job of showing us how it was violated. >> begging the question, can you have a conversation about anything without rudy giuliani's involvement. that was him speaking moments ago at an iran freedom convention in washington. his boss, president trump juggling two major foreign policy issues and we are a week away from may 12th, and that is the last day according to the president that the u.s. will remain a party to the iran nuclear deal absent renegotiated terms. right now, we are awaiting the news on the potential release of three american men detained in north korea. the white house officials said that the release would been an incredible sign of goodwill in anticipation of the summit between the the president and the president of north korea kim jong-un. and joining us, is the former ambassador to lebanon, kuwait, and pakistan just to name a few and now in residence at princeton, university.
and am bbassador crocker, thank you for being with us, and you have written a letter of support of the iran nuclear deal, and lay out the case as we are preaching this self-imposed deadline and why should the u.s. not remove itself from the deal. >> thank you for having me, david. laok, a perfect agreement? no. no ne fwoesh yated ing ee eed -d agreement is perfect for all of the parties m. this case, i don't know about the nuclear physic, but people i know who are expert in the field say it is a pretty good arms control agreement. but it is not a treaty of peace and friendship which is some in the obama administration attempted to portray it as. it reminds me of the reagan years, and president reagan negotiated salt i and salt ii with the soviets and those were pretty good arms control agreement as well. salt ii never went into effect,
but salt i made the world a safer place, but it did not stop president reagan from referring to the soviet union as the evil empire. so i hope very much we stay in this agreement, because we are not going to get a better negotiated deal, and we could back ourselves into a corner where the options could be pretty severe like use -- >> sorry to interrupt, but i want to ask you more about that, because my understanding of the way that the deal came can together, iran was interested in putting more on the table, but the u.s. and the allies wanted to keep it narrowly tailored deal focused on the issues in particular, and just picking on what you said there, and if the u.s. were to remove itself from the deal, and as a result of that if the whole deal were to be diminished or the fall apart, how much more difficult would bit to establish some sort of better relationship with the republican of ra iran? >> well, a better overall relationship with the islamic republic is simply not in the
cards, david. with or without the agreement. which is why it was wise to to keep this narrowly focused. to open it up is going to take us nowhere good. you have to remember, too, that this is not a bilateral agreement, but it is a multi lateral agreement. the permanent five of the security council plus germany and iran. ourle allies on the kocouncil a saying clearly that they are not going down this road. they are not going to renegotiate, and iran has made it clear, too, so, by pull iing out of this, and if that is where the president decides to take us, we will be the ones who are isolated and not the iranian s. >> and i want to ask you about north korea, and the president saying yesterday that he has a location and a dashgt a and we should stay tuned to see when the two thing, and when and where the two things are, and of course, no strange rer to the high level diplomacy, and what are you watching for with the high leader summit between the
president and kim jong-un, and what type of the preparation do you want to see in place before it does occur? >> well, there has to be a lot of preparation on this, and i am worried that the administration simply hasn't gotten the bench that it needs to thoroughly do the analysis, and thoroughly prepare the ground. we don't van am bbassador in korea, and the secretary of state has been on the job for about a week. so i am worried that we are going into this unprepared, but what is important is to understand that we are not going to be walk out of it with a signed agreement where north korea commit s s to giving us t weapons. we have to make sure that we don't make concessions, and we need to be prepared for some, but we would be best advised as taking it as an exploratory meeting that might be possible, but might not. >> and quickly here, mike pompeo
spoke to the troops at the foggy bottom this week, and you were critical of his predecessor and what did you hear from what he had to say and more optimism about his tenure at the state department? >> well, david, it does. we have had a horrible ride at t the state department with secretary tillerson. pompeo came in and said that he valued the institution, and that he valued the foreign service, and that we are going to be backing in the game. that is what he did over at the cia and if he follows the practice there at the state department, i think that he is going to be well regarded by a lot of loyal troops that are going to be doing everything that they can to help him succeed. >> ambassador crocker, thank you for speaking with us. ambassador crocker now at princeton university. the punches thrown ahead of the midterm primary and why hillary continues to pop up in thousands of campaign ads even though she is not running.
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ohio and indiana and west virginia. in the mountain state the claws are coming out. listen to this political ad from senate candidate don blankenship. >> mitch mcconnell has committed millions of jobs for china people. and in fact, mitch's china family has give en him millions of dollars. and now he is running millions of dollars of ads against me, and so i say ditch mitch. and so, now joining us is policy advisers. teema, let me start with you, and the ad from don blankenship, and before we get, there i want to play a little bit of the tape, and my colleague caught up with him in west virginia and take a listen. >> the phrase china people are
offended. >> well, they shouldn't be, i'm a west virginia person, and you an msnbc person, and in order to have a racist statement, you have to be mentioning a race or a derogatory comment about a race. >> a race or a derogatory comment, and so, let me have your reaction of what he said there and what he said in the d ad? >> i was probably caught the end of my face there, but i am quite stunned that in 2018 that an ad like that would run anywhere. and, you know, his, just deflection on his part, and this is a man who is playing in the trumpian politic, and playing into the -- i don't know how the put it, but trumpian politics to make the point to win in this election, but i don't know if he is doing well this the polls to pull out in the primary, but this is where the west virginia gop believes they should be going. >> and so a very derogatory comment there?
>> well, it is despicable, and reflective of some of the other comments on the campaign trail. it is quite frankly appealing to the the worst instincts and he believes it is the way to win the election, but he is wrong. because west virginiians are not going to be picking a convicted felon to be the next senator, but the ad itself is awful. >> another ad, and this is paid for by the national republican senatorial campaign here against bill nelson in florida. let's look at this one. >> you could put half of the trump supporters in what i call the basket of deplorables. [ laughter ] >> if you look at the map of the united states, there is all of that red in the middle where trump won, and his whole campaign make america great again was looking backwards. >> lonnie, forgive me, and 15 months into the trump presidency, and why are we seeing ads that center on or about hillary clinton?
>> well, two reasons. it unifies the republicans that nothing unifies the republicans more than hillary clinton and nancy pelosi both of whom are making the cameos on the campaign trail this year, and the other reason why is that frankly, it is reminding a lot of independent voters about aboy clinton, about her campaign and the failings of the democratic party. that can only be the advantage to the republicans. it's a twofer, motivating republicans and demoting others to support democrats. >> not running in 2018. she does not intend to run again. what do you make of the fact she has the galvanizing factor to get them to the polls? >> they have it because the republican party doesn't have anything to run on. it's been 15 months. they control almost all branches of government and all they have passed is gop tax plan, which is so popular, as a matter of fact, with their base, they had to pull their ads off the air and
pa-18 where connor won the district he shouldn't have, that went 20 points for trump. the next thing, the foil for conservatives, that is hillary clinton. >> the last question to you, loni, president trump traveling to cleveland, he did a business round table and talked about the tax plan mentioned there. what is the appetite, as you see it, for president trump to play a role at the vanguard, have a role here in the 2018 midterms to be talking about the tax plan or any number of things. do candidates running for office in 2018 want him stumping for them on the campaign trail? >> the answer is, it depends. in california, having president trump come out to campaign may not be the best thing. overall, candidates know, republicans realize, they are tied to donald trump whether they like it or not. you might as well have him as a galvanizing factor. most places will welcome president trump's appearance on the campaign trail with them. >> the convention in san diego,
thanks to both of you for the time this saturday. a chaplain gets fired and rehired, then rumors of john kelly gets canned and pruitt's controversies. the long list of dramas that played out in the west wing this week. there's a lot of innovation that goes into making our thinnest longest lasting blades on the market. precision machinery and high-quality materials from around the world. nobody else even comes close. it's about delivering a more comfortable shave every time. invented in boston, made and sold around the world. now starting at $7.99. gillette. the best a man can get. ♪ with expedia you could book a flight, hotel, car and activity all in one place. ♪
fallout from ronny jackson's nomination to be the secretary of veterans affairs. dr. pena was among those who complained he acted unprofessionally. he returned to the white house medical unit, but not as president trump's physician. the growing list of controversies plaguing the white house. to break those down, let's bring back the panel, betsy, eugene and charlie. eugene, let me start with you. the president, still fond of talking about admiral jackson. he gave the speech in dallas before the nra and talked about the bad bestowed upon jackson. this is an initiative that will stick with us through the midterms. what is the importance of this resignation? >> addresses the concerns many people outside trump world had about whether or not the president would nominate the
best people as he promised. these, repeatedly, have been situations to the medical unit where they showed lapses in integrity and professionalism that makes trump's judgment seem more problematic to those watching from the outside. >> a fine segway here. betsy woodrough, let me turn to you. reporting this week, upon getting that job, the list of places he wanted to visit around the world. i talked to lawmaker after lawmaker astounded he is still in his job. what are people saying about the longevity he has? >> republican lawmakers are concerned about the future of scott pruitt, not because of confirming another cabinet secretary sucks up more of their floor time, but these scandals distract people from the topics they want to talk about. i have a copy of the rnc talking
points. the things they want to talk about is the economy and the distaste they have for nancy pelosi. that's their focus this week. instead, the scott pruitt news is moving the ball away from where they want it to be and put them on defense. republicans are operating under the assumption that they are going to lose the house in november. i spoke with a republican member yesterday who communicated that yesterday. they assume it is going to flip. stories about scott pruitt's travel plans make things more complicated for vulnerable republicans. >> charlie, help me understand why the trump administration is not as worried as republican lawmakers are about scott pruitt's position, about what he's done. are they focused on the mandate they have given him? >> the mystery that you are putting your finger on, why is scott pruitt there when a normal administration of either party, he would have been canned five or six scandals ago. the reason being, of course,
anyone else could do what he is doing. his deputy also believes in deregulating and making it easier for corporations to pollute or not be overburdened by burdensome regulations. this white house likes lightning rods. they like someone the left hates. it's a trolling gesture to the center and the left. that gives him an advantage in the culture war environment which trump operates. >> eugene scott, weigh in on this, quickly, if you would. >> this is someone who has proven to be loyal to trump, in a white house where we don't see much loyalty. if he continues to show himself as being consistent with what trump needs to happen to have his agenda move forward, i don't think he has much to worry about. >> great to speak to all of you.
thanks to all of you for the time. that wraps it up for us at this hour at msnbc. you can join me tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. eastern time. all in with chris hayes is coming up next on msnbc. have a great night. tonight on all in. >> he started yesterday. he'll get his facts straight. >> the trump and rudy show continues. >> we're not changing any stories. >> tonight as the president and his new attorney attempt to get on the same page. >> excuse me, you take a look at what i just said. >> how rudy guiliani keeps making things worse. >> we love rudy. he's a special guy. >> then why the president was praising paul manafort on stage today. >> there for a short while but he's a good person. >> what happened when the man who said he would get tough on the nra spoke at their convention today. >> some of you people are petrified of the nra. you can't be petrified.