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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  May 8, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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on both sides. so that's just the facts. >> there are a lot of ambitious people, not all ambitious people -- >> i learned my lesson the hard way down there, stephanie. >> that's fine. not all ambitious people get indicted. thank you, gentlemen. absolutely fantastic having you. >> it's very dramatic you saying it like that. >> that's what we do here. >> and she's not going to make you wllive with that comment abt michael flynn being a great american. >> you know what? you can go visit him. that's going to wrap us up for this hour i'm stephanie ruhle. i'm back at 11:00 a.m. with my partner and you can find me on twirtd. right now more news with hallie jackson. decision day gang from the white house to the voting booth and right now we're hours away from one of the most consequential foreign policy decisions of the trump's administration. and he is expected, at least all signs point to him pulling out of the iranian nuclear deal but some of the decisions still sketchy. we've got the four options he's weighing, plus all eyes on allies as the president right
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now is supposed to be on the phone with the french president. we'll talk what's next for europe, what iran is saying this morning, and what it could mean for your gas prices back here at home. also back here at home, primary day in four states all pretty deep in trump country. steve kornacki is over the big board with why endangered democrats might be able to hang on. plus, that shocking resignation overnight of one time force in the me too movement new york's attorney general quitting after four women accused him of abuse and assault. we've got more on the allegations and on the political overlay later on in the show. but we want to start with what's haepg happening here in the u.s. and i want to start with my colleague kristen welker at the white house. we have a lot to talk about this morning because i know you spoke with the president's lawyer rudy giuliani. we'll get to that in a minute. walk me through where the president's head is at on iran right now. he's on the phone, right, according to a white house official with the french president emmanuel macron. what do we know? what are we hearing? >> reporter: one of his closest
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allies not only to the u.s. but a foreign leader who president trump has forged a very strong relationship with macron was just here last week pressing the president to stay in the iran nuclear deal. but all signs, hallie, all signs
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are point together possibility that president trump is prepared to follow through with that campaign promise and pull out of the deal. now, he's been hearing from a number of his allies, of course he also met with the german chancellor last week who was here at the white house, the british foreign minister boris johnson was near in washington, d.c. yesterday with a very strong message don't throw the baby out with the bath water, let's fix the problems with the iran nuclear deal but not trash it altogether. still, the president has surrounded himself with mike pompeo, his new national security adviser, john bolton, they all think this is a bad deal and of course the people they replaced were the people press likely he's informing his top moments ago who says that still seems tonight case. >> i'm going to ask you to stay there for a few minutes because i want to come back to you for a inspected but first i want to get over to iran where alli is there in the capital. we know they're preparing as if donald trump will void the deal and what are you hearing from the ground? >> reporter: well, hallie, there's -- tehran has repeatedly made threats to walk away from the deal if trump walks away from it. but president rouhani was trying to strike a different note as long as tehran wasn't excluded from the global financial trading system it could consider staying in the court. now his caveat is that the
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europeans honor their end of the deal. if the europeans stand by the deal and do everything they had dmoitd do, then iran is willing to stay in the program. but that's not being reflected by other very, very powerful elements in iran who just this morning have been saying that iran won't be passive if america pulls out of the deal, that iran won't accept any excessive demands by the europeans beyond the framework of the deal. and the very powerful speaker of the parliament today said that america has breached its commitment to the nuclear deal and the only language you can speak to america is the language of force. there's no other option with america. so a very hard line being taken here. but rouhani has a lot to lose if this deal goes south and he's trying desperately to keep it together and we'll have a better idea of which direction this will go at 2:00 this afternoon. >> thank you. as ali alluded to there, as we
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talk about the iran deal, it's not like it's as cut and dry as ripping it up and walk aweigh. the president has four big options to consider if he wants too get out of the agreement. let's go through those. option one, he keeps waving aye iranian sanctions like he's been doing trying to work something out with european allies, kind of a side deal. option two, is to go ahead and not wave the sanctions. so those punishments would go into place, although not right away. europe's on an island to figure out what it wants to do and iran could choose to ignore the deal. option three, the president does not waive sanctions but says he could reconsider, says might before they good into effect if the u.s. and europe could agree on the side. option four, the president says ivan violating the deal, that could trigger a mechanism that could snap so-called snap-back sanctions into place. to break that down i want to get
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to briefly ambassador bill richardson who was a two-term former governor of new mexico. the most likely option, we know that option four the administration has already said iran is complying by the terms of the deal. option four would be tough for the president. option one he kind of has said we doesn't want to have happen. he slammed the deal again and again it's tough to see how he keeps you up the waivers. what do you think is most likely here? >> well, most likely is that he's going to pull out. he's not going waive the sanctions and he's going to say to the europeans, all right, in this interim period find a way that you can get iran to comply and maybe slap more sanctions on them on their missile activity, on their sunset provision, on the issue of helping hezbollah, hamas, syria, the murderous regime there. but my hope is that the president sticks to the deal and makes a lot of noise.
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he's not going to listen to me, but at the same time for the folg following reasons. one, you don't want continue to flame tensions in the middle east which this will do. iran is complying with the nuclear agreement and the nuclear agreement is good. what is not good is iran's extracurricular activity. and then lastly i think north korea's going to be watching this. if he pulls out of the deal, doesn't waive the sanction, north korea's going to say, how i can make a deal with one american president and then later another american president can completely tank the deal. so those are the worries that i have. >> ambassador, i want to come back to you on those particularly the last one you mings min min mingsed -- mentioned. i want to bring in senator chris murphy, democrat from connecticut and member of the foreign relations committee. thanks for being on the show with us. >> sure. >> let me start here. have you been told at oul all by the white house lee say liaison?
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there's been no notification. but it was clear that he was become secretary of state with the expectation that the president was going to substantially pull out of the iran deal but there's been no notification today. >> what happens if donald trump does in fact pull out today, what happens tomorrow? >> this is akin to a south korea player turning around and boogt the ball into his own goal. there's nothing good that accrues to the united states by pulling out of this agreement. i think it is important to reaffirm the fact that the europeans are going to try to hold this deal together. so the europeans are going to try to do more economic activity with the iranians to convince the iranians to stay within the confines of the deal, not restart their nuclear program. but that will make it less likely that the united states can organize an international resistance against iran's other
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nefarious activity in the region. the europeans are not going to work with us to do new sanctions against their ballistic missile program so it blows up our cooperation on the nonnuclear activity. >> this idea of the u.s. being able to work out some kind of side deal with the allies, do you think that's out of the realm of the possible? >> i mean the president has had a year and a half to work out a side deal with our allies. our allies have been willing to do that. congress both republicans and democrats have told the administration if you need us to pass new legislation enacting new nonnuclear sanctions we will do that but the president and secretary of state have been unable to work out that deal. in part because the goals just -- the goal posts kept on changing in the negotiations with the europeans. >> if the president does pull out of this when you talk consequences, the possibility that iran does ultimately maybe restart its nuclear program, when do you see that happening? next week? next month? next year? what's the timeline? >> it is it dependent on what the europeans do in their
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negotiations with iran. i think the reporter from tehran was right. the iranians are going to try to exact more financial concessions and more economic activity from the europeans as a means of enriching themselves and staying in the deal. so i'm not sure that iran is going to immediately break out. but if negotiations go south of the europeans, they will. and, as i said before, they are going feel more emboldened in what they're doing in syria, building out their ballistic missile program because they know there will be no international consensus to be mustered against that activity. >> what do you make of john kerry back channeling and having some of these conversations about diplomacy around the deal? democrats didn't like it when tom cotton did something similar? >> i don't know too much about that. i don't think it's super propt for former administration officials to be trying to do side diplomacy. but i haven't received any first hand reports of it if that's indeed the case, i'd be troubled by it. >> let me ask you too about something straight that also
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relates to your role on foreign relations here. any update that you're aware of on the status of the detainees in north korea? there has been some discussion from rudy giuliani and others that that would be potentially coming up soon. >> no. listen, i'd be very encouraged if there's progress on those detainees. i think a few of them have been taken into custody since trump took office. my worry, though, is that the north koreans are going to try to set up a series of concessions that have very little, if nothing, to do with their actual nuclear program so that trump can say he got a deal, the north koreans can say they got a deal and they continue to move forward on their nuclear weapons program. >> but you haven't heard anything yet on detainees? >> no notification on detainees. >> senator chris murphy, thanks for stlg conversation on this show. we want sthoi what's happening on the other side. capitol. you're watching steve scalise at the -- sorry, kevin mccarthy at the republican leadership conference. we expect to see house speaker
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paul ryan any second step up. he'll make some comments but we'll bring it to you life because there's a lot he could be talking about today. everything from the iran decision to potentially north korea and even rudy giuliani and the president's legal team. we're going to come back to that when it happens, again, kevin mccarthty there speaking. but i want to bring back ambassador bill richardson to finish oup our conversation because us said something interesting that senator murphy picked up on. which was what happens with the north korea discussions if, in fact, the president does pull out of the iranian nuclear deal some you're concerned but other are not. there are others who say listen, the argument from the administration could be we want good deals, not bad deals and that could in fact be convincing to kim jong-un. what do you make of that argument? >> well, i don't think much of that argument. it's very simple, in my view, the north koreans, they're very strict in terms of protocols, signing documents, treaties,
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they violate them. but here what i'm concerned with is kim jong-un is going to say americans want denuclearization, that's the biggest thing for me because i have 40 nuclear weapons. i do make a deal with a president who is known to tear up all deals? and this is what kim jong-un i think is going to see, an american president, president obama, signing what i thought was a goo dead deal. it could have been better. but then all of the sudden a new president comes in and says on the issues of sanctions, which are very important to north korea and north koreans want those sanctions off and we reimpose them with pulling out of the agreement today, they're going to be very skeptical. it's going to make an agreement tougher, in my view. >> you have also and we were showing photos of this, kim jong-un going over to china. they are now saying he's back in
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pyongyang so he's back in north korea. what is the importance of that as we wait to hear about the president's talks with kim jong-un? >> kim jong-un wants to improve his relations with china. china has put some debilitating sanctions. the international community actually, on north korea. but china's the main enforcer. 80% of all commerce to north korea goes through china. so what kim jong-un is saying, look, president xi, give me a break. ease up on sanctions. i'm ready to negotiate with the americans. but you got cool things down for me, back me up. that's what he's doing. he's playing skillful diplomacy. he's also dividing us a little bit with the south koreans. because the south koreans and us we're not exactly on the same page on denuclearization. >> ambassador bill richardson, it's nice to have your perspective on the show. i know we'll have you back because there's plenty to discuss when it comes to north korea and iran for sure. i goont back to kristen welker. we talked about this at the very
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top of the shor. the spres juggling a series of major international headlines. iran today, north korea, the move and the embassy to jerusalem. he's also dealing with domestic issues, specifically as it relates to some of the legal challenges he's facing with the special counsel and his lawyer keeps talking. keeps going, keeps going jie just spo. >> reporter: i just spoke to him and he's saying that this investigation is getting in the way of the president being able to focus on all of those things that you just mapped out, everything that you've been discussing this morning. i can tell you that one of the big headlines giuliani really firing back at reports including our own, that the president is growing frustrated with some of his television interviews. i spoke with one official who said, look, giuliani still has the president's confidence but if he doesn't begin to show more discipline, he's going to lose that. so i put that question to giuliani, asked him to respond. take a listen to what he had to
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say. >> the president is encouraging know do more of them. i try to keep them under control, i just did one on sunday given though we had about four requests. the president -- president feels that the tv interviews have organized his supporters and those who are -- who understand the way in which he's been badly treated in this situation from the very beginning. >> kristen, of course rudy giuliani would say the president's not mad at me, wouldn't anybody say that in that situation? what seems notable to me is not so much the content of his comments, although that's important that he talks about wanting to have a decision on the interview by may seven teeth. but rudy giuliani is still going on the record and doing these interviews. >> reporter: that's right. that is certainly notable and he's not showing any signs of slowing down in that regard. >> right. >> reporter: although did he
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tell me i might not do anymore until the end of the week. we'll have to see if that holds. but, look, he clearly sees himself as someone who not only has legal strategy, but you heard him kind of talk about the fact there's a political strategy. i said do you see yourself as the president's spokesperson? he said absolutely not that's sara sanders job and she's doing a very good job. one more thing i'll say, giuliani says that mueller rejected their proposal to have the president respond to questions in written format. so they are now going back to the drawing board and they're hoping to issue a counterproposal by next week, hallie. >> i'll see you at the white house in just a little bit, my friend. thank you. >> thanks. >> we want to talk about voters in four different states heading to the polls this morning for a bunch of high-stakes pry mayor races ahead of the midterm. we're going tlooif west virginia and indiana to see what voters are saying. lous, check it out, there he is, steve kornacki breaking it down at the big board. ring the winter of '77.
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we want to show you paul ryan wrapping up his news conference. not aton of headlines out of that but we will hit on those later on in the show. you can see he's walking out the door having a little chitchat with reporters. so, not too much from paul ryan but there's plenty from trump country because that's where some key primary fights are playing out on voting day. people are making their picks in west virginia, indiana, ohio, and north carolina with three of those states have vulnerable democratic senators up for
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re-election in november. we have reporters live this morning watching it all and at the election big board national political correspondent and frentd of the show steve kornacki. steve, i don't need to tee you up for it. i know you'll break it down so just get at it. >> happy primary day to you hallie and everybody out there. we'll start big picture and zoom in if t in. these are all in states that donald trump woman in 2016, democrats in trump states and today three of them, donnelly in indiana, sherrod brown in ohio, manchin in west virginia, they find out in republican primaries today who they're going to be running against. for republicans these are three pickup opportunities for democrats. they got to defend turf in trump country. but 1 of these races has really taken center stage in the last 48 hours or so, and there's a ton of suspension and a ton of mystery around it. let me show you what i mean. it's in west virginia. joe manchin, the democrat, these are the republicans vying to run against him.
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what you're look at here is the most recent public poll. i mean a media poll. we can all look at the numbers and dissect them. they put it all out there. the most recent public poll, about a week ago had don blankenship running in dead last. republicans in washington have spent a fortune trying to stop blankenship, the former coal mining executive, he was in prison for safety violations, they think he would be a disaster as a candidate and a disaster for the republican party, and they thought a week ago that they had nipped it in the bud. but this is what's happening the last 48 hours or so. a streex headlines about internal polls. these are not public polls. we can't look at them, but the rival republican campaigns in west virginia are sounding the alarm. they say blankenship is surging in their polls. they say he's taken the lead in their polls. they say he could actually win this primary in west virginia tonight. hallie, i don't need to tell if you these internal polls that we're hearing reports of are correct and blankenship wins
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this, that's a big, big national story. >> sure, but isn't that if? i mean everything is wrapped up in that if, right? because conventional wisdom is there's no way blankenship has a shot in the general. >> yeah. had is the interesting thing of course because donald trump weighed in yesterday telling republicans in west virginia, hey, he can't win, don't vote blankenship, vote someone else. remember, though, how many of those voters remember that donald trump, that's what they said about trump in '16, he can't win, vote for cruz, rubio, we don't know. joe manchin west virginia is the biggest trump state in the country. he won this thing by 42 points in 2016. look, conventional wisdom on paper, blankenship wore the waen weakest wa weakest candidate. if he's able to win tonight, this is the state he's running in november, i don't think if he
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wins tonight we could say it's impossible. >> what when do you think i might know. >> i think the first hour to 90 minutes we find out is he for real? is blankenship in the game? and from 9:00 on if he's in the game we find out then if he's actually going to win it. >> steve kornacki, glad you have your sneakers on. i appreciate it. >> thanks. >>. i want to go up to west virginia that's where we find morgan radford. and as we talk about bla blankenship, the controversies surrounding his campaign. >> reporter: he told me that he can and that he will win. and citing one of those internal polls that steve just mentioned, he said i've gone up 18 points in the polls in the last 24 hours and that's not something that my competitors can ignore. but the question for the people
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who are filing in nao thinto th polling station today do they agree with him in the prtd the president coming out and saying this guy is not electable not only because of the fact he was in prison for a year because of that local mine explosion here, but also because some of the things he simply said on the campaign trail people find unpalatable, like the china people kmecomment he made with regard to mcconnell's familiarly. >> a lot of people were offended by that china people comment you made. do you feel badly for that? >> absolutely not. >> why not? >> because it's not anything that should make anyone feel bad. i mean, i don't know how else to describe the people that live in china. let me make it real easy for you. what is the name of china? it's called the people's republic of china. so the people's republic of china has china people in it. >> reporter: on one hand we have voters who say we simply cannot forget what he did.
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people who were in the mine on the day that it exploded said don blanken ship ruled with fear and i timdation an he's doing the same thing when it comes to politics. then on the other hand you have people who are walking into this polling station saying they support him because at least when he was here they said they had jobs. hallie. >> morgan radford, you got a long day ahead of you. thank you much. i appreciate. '. it's not just west virginia, it's also indiana. that where he with find nbc news political reporter alli vitaly just to the north of indianapolis. alli, it's gate have you on. walk us through what you're seeing there in indiana. >> reporter: so, hallie, you have a day where have you two outsiders threatening to take themselves to a general election in these states where democrats are very vulnerable. mike browne u braun is the outside here who taking the political system by storm of course against tro congressman. and this sent of a really nasty primary, something that voters have picked up on and they're talk about here at the polls
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this morning. >> but i wish there were a way to get rid of that horrible negativism. i wish there were a way to force candidates to talk about what they believe in and what they're going to do instead of just trying to smear the other person. >> and a lot of conversation that we heard from these candidates when they were talking about issues was how much they're in line with president trump? >> yeah, i guess they believe that that's the way to get elected in indiana. >> reporter: and it's unclear whether or not this is the way to get elected in indiana. certainly in the primary what voters are looking at is yeah, we like he talks about trump. but at the same time he has to go up with someone that's a more moderate democrat that's not necessarily a huge public roadblock to the president, democrat joe donnelly. we'll see if that strategy shifts for primary election day. but they tell me they're pretty comfortable with these three folks. >> i'm joined now by washington
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post political reporter dave. good to have you. you've been wrietd about the midterms put right republicans whose jobs once seemed safe are struggling for 2018 survival strategy across the country dozens of house republicans who previously coasted to vic trir for the first time facing credible and well-financed democratic opponents and working furiously to find a strategy for survival. what's going on? >> i've been in ohio, north carolina very recently. and ohio has outraise and incumbent. these are incumbents who who had streamly safe rides. and what i found there is that sometimes they're ready for this and a lot of cases they're not, they're running as if democratic wave is going to crash and running on your association with trump is going to be enough to elect. >> you talk about that because alli and more gone to a degree mentioned that in some of these races in west virginia and indiana and elsewhere. is that a smart strategy? is that going to work for these candidates? >> it's not right now. in each case they're -- they're
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not in the dull drums but it's six months out. they're not right now. they have -- ted budd who's running in north carolina first term is focusing on opioid policies, bipartisanship, things he's done with other things. it's not terribly compelling. the thing you have to remember about any midterm, it's not 100% of the country you're voting on. sometimes they just don't believe that democrats are engaged as they are or if they are they're going to crash against this trump wave. there's a lot of confidence that enthusiasm for trump can be replicated in the midterm. you can ask anyone that worked for barack obama's presidency that's not how to works. >> we'll talk about the trump effect because somebody who is try to play that card a ton is blankenship who said yesterday morning he's trumpier than trump was i think the direct quote. >> it's a combination of words, i'm not sure what it means. >> that's is a sentence, that's a fact. ha do republicans do? and steve touched on this a little bit. let's say blankenship at 9:00
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p.m. tonight looks strong and pulls this out. what does the gop do? because we've been asking folks on the hill and they're like we don't think it's going to happen. >> jeff flake was telling us yesterday he probably will continue, he thinks other republicans will contribute to manchin and just bail on it. manchin they think he's less popular than a year ago. you've had the vice president go there, donald trump go there. even though he helps with voting 30% of the time. but his grand is so resilient in the state i think they might triage and spend more time in florida where bill nelson's brand is not as strong. >> thank you for coming back. >> thank you. >> i want to make sure know all about our coveragend at primary races the places we've been tauging about, indiana, ohio, west virginia. and follow along right here because after the break we're talking about new york's attorney general stepping downover night just hours after that boom shell report accused him of physical abuse less than four hours. the claims they're making
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because antonio villaraigosa millions got it done.healthcare he defended women's healthcare, banned military-style assault weapons, banned workplace discrimination, and more. antonio for governor. so this morning we're following the stunning fall of one of donald trump's most high-profile political
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adversaries. new york attorney eric schneiderman resigning effective close of business today. his resignation announcement came roughly four hours after the new yorker publishes stories from four women saying he slapped, demeaned, choked, threatened them. they're now investigating those allegations. two of the women say they were row moontically involved with schneiderman at the time of the alleged violence. both say they sought medical help but never reported it to the authorities. in his resignation statement he said he strongly contests the allegations. before stepping down he released another statement reading in the privacy of intimate relationships i have engaged in role playing and other consensual sexual activity. i have not assaulted anyone and never engaged in conconsensual sex which is a line i would not cross. we have been on this story since it broke and kate is here with more. allegations are pretty serious. >> reporter: they're really serious. michelle manning barish and
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tanya sal va rat nam where are they are the two who are named. other two are not named but they tell the new yorker that schneiderman was controlling, abusive and, quote, repeatedly hit them often after drinking frequently in bed and never with their consent, this is direct lit opposite of what he is saying. we should say that schneiderman's ex-wife released a statement last night saying the allegations inconsistent with the man i know. hallie, you may know she's a political advisor to schneiderman. the new york city police department meantime has said that there haven't been any complaints filed against schneiderman. s about a-- but as you said the district attorney is now investigate. >> there's a bit of an overlay because he was a champion of women's rights. he went up against donald trump again and agains a remember from the campaign. >> right. right. and famously took him on from trump university, remember that big case? was there schneiderman leading that case.
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mr. trump actually sued him in response to that. here's the thing, hallie. in the article last night at least three of the women were described as democrats. this morning ron anyone farrow the author of that article was on good morning america and said all four of those women making allegations were democrats. so in erms tft political overlay, one of the women, a democrat who was anonymous in the article was a lawyer and was indicated in the article that she didn't want to come forward in part because he's an attorney general who she believed in his politics, she believed in what he was doing for the democrats and that was part of why she stayed silent. so in terms of the politics here, you know, some might be thinking is this -- is this vendetta from donald trump or something, it doesn't appear that way. it appears that these are democratically leaning woman coming forward, very difficult to come forward with these kind of really dramatic allegations. >> kate snow hitting all the right points. thank you very much for joining
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us here. we now have national political reporter from bloomberg politics and the associated press. kate mentioned that ronan farrow discussion this morning. he's one of the people behind this new yorker report. we want to play a little bit of what he had to say four and then i want to talk about it. >> he's a power player within their world, these are all women closely connected to the democratic party in various ways. and because they say in several cases that he used his office and his power continue to tim date a -- intimidate and threaten them. >> they say after the former girlfriend ended the relationship she told efrl friends about the abuse. a number of them advised her to keep the story to herself arguing that schneiderman was too valuable a politician for the democrats to lose. she described this response as heartbreaking. >> yeah, i mean, let this be a reminder that there are no boundaries on this stuff. this is a problem across the board. there's no ideological partisan
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racial, generational, provision encryption to the sexual abuse and misconduct. this is another reminder that there are many people that viewed him for his politics but you can't excuse this. >> you just played the clip from ronan farrow that talks about this woman being afraid to come forward against someone who's very powerful. that's kind of analogous to the situation we're seeing with the president and stormy daniels and the nondisclosure agreement where she agreed to keep it quiet where are there's this powerful person running for president, and now that's all out in the open too. >> and sally you make the point about the president, some of the president's supporters have seized on this, seized on this reporting on snooid eman based on the new yorker report. >> the president's allies are understandably gleeful about this. he had launched i think there in trump's first year more than 100 legal or administrative actions against the president and his republican allies in congress
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ranging from everything from the birth control to the travel ban. you know, let also it be a reminder that journalism matters and holding powerful people thai account is not fake news. you can't just say that when judge ifl negatively affects your ideological allies. >> there's more to talk about rarity in the show include something newly released documents giving us a closer look at the epa under an embattled scott pru. >> i if the what we're learning about his budget and he faces multiple allegations ever his uses of taxpayer money. some who used to hold his job is coming to talk to me about it after the break. nth after month, the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion. humira can help stop the clock. prescribed for 15 years, humira targets and blocks a source of inflammation that contributes to joint pain and irreversible damage.
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so some newly released e-mails are giving us some more incite into embattled scott pruitt. you know if you've watched our show that he has been under fire for weeks now over lavish dinners, travel expense dollars. we got one e-mail obtained by the sierra club showing he dined at the five star hotel eden in rome. it offers a taftding menu for over 300 $ a person. his entire trip cost about $120,000. this is just one of the many stories that have come out about scott pruitt over the last month or so. the epa continuing to defend their boss against these questions. i'm joined now by former epa administrator under president bush and kristine todd wit man. thank you for join s us on the show. i no, i you've been following the headlines as they kim out. i will ask you simply when you
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were an administrator would you have expected to keep your job if you did kwha scott pruitt did? >> not past the first minute. ethical tone deafness of this man is unbelievable and it's costing us taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. people have got to start getting upset about it. >> so scott pruitt's epa makes the argument that this is all legit, right? he's got security concerns. we talk about the italy travel pruitt is said he was attending important meetings at the g-7. and then he said was dumbfounded by all the attention it generated. should he have been dumbfounded? >> he shouldn't have been given the previous trips'd taken. when he went to morocco there was no good reason for him to be there. but he was talking about liquefied natural gas, as i understand it, so that didn't make any sense. the trip to italy, meeting with the g-7s, you do that but you don't eat in the five-star restaurants, or at leave i never
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did. >> talk about that because is he make a credible argument that he had to travel, the epa will point to past administrators like yourself and whorthss did do travel, you have to go around the world and take some of these meetings. is that not a fair argument? >> that's a fair argument but do you it where you have epa business. if you're meeting with the other ministers for the environment, that's absolutely appropriate. if you're going look at things where ep sanctia is funding pro that's appropriate. but you don't take extra side trips because you want to do that while you're there. >> have you spoken with scott pruitt at any point? did he call before he got the zwrob ask advice? >> no, he didn't. >> when it comes to what you've seen, there are roughly a dozen now vefgs investigations or inq into scott pruitt.
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given that, how does he emerge from this unscathed? >> the president seems to like him. he's doing what the president wants to do as far as rolling back environmental regulations which frankly are at least getting headlines. fortunately for us not all of them will be rolled back because there's a process you have to go through and he hasn't done that. but he's sending a message the environment isn't important and that's what the president wants. that part of it is understandable, but the president could get anything to do that. i don't know what it is. there's something special in this relationship that keeps him there and i don't know what it is. >> so then two quick questions before i let you go, governor. if you were go give advice to scott pruitt, what would be it? >> i would reach out to the staff. gotten them to a point where morale is in the tank. he's not getting good advice from the people that know the issues because he won't let them talk. >> sara huckabee sanders says the president does still have confidence in pruitt. should he? >> i don't think so, no. not because he's not -- because pruitt isn't doing what he, the president, wants him to do but
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because of all these other violations ethical and otherwise that are drooaw scrutiny that's unfair to the agency but casting a bad light on the administration as a whole. >> thank you so much for being on the show. i appreciate you make time for us this morning. this story is one that we've been covering for weeks. president trump's choice for cia director is on capitol hill this morning for some last-minute meetings. this comes ahead of what will probably be a pretty tough confirmation hearing for her. tomorrow, a forming acting drirkttor of the saif talks with me about high he thinks she's actually the right person for the job. thought i could de-stress with some zen gardening. at least we don't have to worry about homeowners insurance. just call geico. geico helps with homeowners insurance? good to know. been doing it for years. that's really good to know. i should clean this up. i'll get the dustpan. behind the golf clubs. get to know geico.
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just within the last hour our cameras spotted the woman nominated to be the next director of the cia on capitol hill. she's there less than 24 hours before her senate con mfirmatio hearings meeting with people concerned about parts of her record. one condemned the entire process in the last couple of minutes. play it. >> if this is allowed to go forward as what i have called a secret confirmation process, it sure as heck won't be the last
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one. >> joining us now is john mclaughlin, our national security analyst and former acting director of the cia. it is a real pleasure to have you on today. >> great to see you. >> you have the job she currently has and she's going for the top gig. sa sara ra -- sarah sanders quoted you yesterday. we know where you stand. people say the cia is hiding behind the classification process and they've selectively declassified the record to show the good parts and not the bad. >> these are always tough calls for the cia, particularly with someone like gina who spent her life in the clandestine service. if you reveal precisely where he was and what she said and who she was dealing with, you would expose operations and sources
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who would be in trouble. >> did the specific the complaint -- >> and the fact that she spent her life in the clandestine service makes this more difficult. >> it does make a difference. what do you say to the criticism that they're hiding behind that, that everything is going to be behind a dark door of classified information? >> i think the senators are hiding a little bit too. they have access to everything that they want to know about her privately and in classified settings, so they have the material they need to make a decision. i think what they're asking for is help us explain to the public why -- what's behind our decision. that's a tough call for them too. >> is it a little bit of a pr play on behalf of the senators, some of the critics? >> look, yes, i think that's part of it. if you go back to the program that's so controversial, of course, that was briefed in quite a bit of detail to the leadership of the intelligence
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committees in 2002, 2003 and by the time the program ended in 20 08, over 60 times. it's not as though the congress has been in the dark about this. >> michael hayden said of this hearing it is going to be in his words, a living hell. are you confident the white house is adequately preparing gina haspel? >> having done a lot of testimony, i don't think you get adequately prepared. the best thing you can do is have your facts straight and remain calm. everyone else is going to get worked up. i think you're going to see a very composed, professional woman who knows her stuff and will be convey -- i think what's an accurate picture of her as an honest person who will be objective in this era of fact-challenged era, and who will speak the truth when in a room with a bunch of politicians. >> one of the things she'll be asked to speak is this question
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of enhanced interrogation techniques. do you expect her to say the united states will not torture? what must she say to satisfy the senators? >> i'm confident she'll say the cia will not be doing this again. a couple of reasons for that, and maybe the most important one is president obama took it off the table and legislatively, it is now no longer legal, though, at the time it was done it was declared legal by the justice department. that has now changed. the legal opinions are now firmly ensconced in legislation. >> what about the president? he's been supportive of her. i was told by a white house official, the message was we got our back. does his tough on terror, does that help or hurt her? >> i don't think it helps her for him to say it. people read that differently. i can tell you that she's not going to authorize this program again even if he says i want you to do that. >> she'll go against the president's wishs? >> yes. on this program. >> what makes you confident in
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that? >> one, it's illegal. >> has she told you? >> i know this. one is that it's illegal, but the second is what's going on now? this was a program that was at that time seen as appropriate legal authorized and when there's a change of administration and that then is taken back, i think that's a lesson to the cia that you don't do this again, because there's a different consensus now. >> very quickly, who are the senators to watch? >> sure. susan collins. a moderate republican. member of the intelligence committee. i spoke to her yesterday. she had a good meeting with gina. withholding judgment. dine feinstein. and then the hand full of red state democrats up for reejection. >> rand paul was an opponent of pompeo also and he flipped at the last moment. and where are you if the president does as expected pull out of the iran nuclear deal, do
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you think he should, in fact, make sure there's room to negotiate before the sanctions are slapped back in on iran? >> yeah. he'd better leave a grace period here. it would be really dumb to pull out of this agreement, lock stock and barrel. it would lead to a cascading range of trouble with alliealli. and perhaps most important of all, iran might turn the clock back and start again, exposing israel and others in the region to a more dangerous iran. >> a pleasure to have you here. we close today's show as always with today's big picture and for it, back to hawaii for a story we've been following closely. this is a blockade of lava crackling through a street on the big island. it's coming up through fissures in the ground sending toxic gas into the air. some 2000 people have been forced out of their houses as
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folks wonder will there still be more eruptions to come. we'd love to hear your thoughts on facebook, twitter, snap chat and instagram. i'll see you later for the president's announcement. that does it for me. ali velshi and stephanie ruhle, all yours. >> good morning. good morning. >> he's back, and i am stephanie ruhle. it's tuesday, may 8th. let's get started. it is decision day at the white house. will president trump follow through on his threat to pull the u.s. out of the landmark iran nuclear deal? >> i'm not going to be a john kerry who makes that horrible iran deal. horrible. >> it's a terrible deal. it should have never been made. >> europeans say if president trump slaps iran with sanctions today, it will start a chain reaction. foreign companies will back out of deals with

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