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tv   MSNBC Live With Katy Tur  MSNBC  May 9, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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that's going to wrap up this hour of msnbc live. look who's here! miss katy tur. >> hi, chris jansing. always lovely to see you. thank you very much. it is 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in washington. the nominee to be the next cia director, gina haspel on capitol hill today after her confirmation hearing. as expected, she was confronted about enhanced interrogation and her role in destroying video evidence of torture. also, major news today at this hour. secretary of state mike pompeo is en route back to the u.s. from north korea with three released detainees. their freedom paves the way for the upcoming summit between president trump and kim jong-un. and a day after violating the iran nuclear deal, president trump sent this strong warning to iran. >> what are you going to do if iran stars up their nuclear program again? >> we'll find out. we are going to find out. i don't think they should doe
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thdo that. i would advise iran very strongly not to restart their nuclear program. if they do, there will be very severe consequence. >> we will get to those headlines in a moment. but first the story that could overshadow it all, what "the atlantic" says merges the two biggest scandals in donald trump's presidency in a single tweet. the man at the center of it all is trump's long-time lawyer, michael cohen. it started with this from stormy daniels' attorney, michael avenatti. quote, attorney mr. cohen received approximately $500,000 in the months after the election from a company controlled by a russian -- by a russian oligarch with close ties to mr. putin. these moneys may have reimbursed the $130,000 payment. nbc news has reviewed documents that appear to support avenatti's claim that cohen's shell company, essential consultants llc, received money from a company called columbus nova which has ties to russian
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oligarch viktor vekselberg. a man who also has close connections to vladimir putin, a man who, we should note, was sanctioned last month by the u.s. government over russia's interference in the 2016 election. a man who, according to "the new york times" been was questioned by mueller's team just last week and was asked about those payments to michael cohen. but has not yet been accused of any wrongdoing in the investigation. vekselberg has not been accused of wrongdoing in the mueller investigation either. columbus nova told nbc after the inauguration the nymfirm hired michael cohen has a business consultant regarding certain sources of capital and potential investments in real estate and other ventures. reports today viktor vekselberg used columbus nova as a conduit for payments to michael cohen are false. the claim that viktor vekselberg was involved or provided any funding for columbus nova's engagement of michael cohen is patently untrue.
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neither viktor vekselberg nor anyone else in columbus nova's owners were involved in the decision to hire cohen or provide funding for his engagement. according to a seven-page financial document released by avenat avenatti, essential consultants took in more than $4 million from a variety of sources, including korea aerospace industries, at&t and pharma gunt kn giant knnovartis. at&t paid essential consultants $200,000 in four separate payments in late 2017 and early 2018. at&t's response -- essential consulting was one of several firms we engaged in this early 2017 to provide insights in to understanding the new
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administration. they did no legal or lobbying work for us and the contract ended in december 2017. according to these financial documents, novartis paid cohen's company $100,000 a month for a year totaling over $1 million. novartis told nbc, quote, any agreements with essential consultants were entered before our current ceo taking office in february of this year and have expired. according to avenatti's report, cohen paid himself with three checks from essential consultants. those payments totaled $1 million. but again, documents show that at least $4 million was paid to his llc, his shell company. and we, as of now, do not know ultimately who was the recipient of that money. a reminder that cohen himself has said nat $130,000 daniels payment stretched him so thin that he had to take out a home equity line of credit to pay that hush money. so the big question we are asking today, what was that $4 million for and where is it now?
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we'll turn to our team of reporters for the latest in just a moment. but let's discuss the legal implications of these revelations. benjamin wittis, senior fellow in governance studies at brookings institution. here in the newsroom for once finally, joyce vance, a former u.s. attorney and professor at the university of alabama school of law and an msnbc contributor. that is lot to take in what we just went there through. but it was a big story that was broken yesterday. all of these companies paying this other company, essential consulting, which really is just michael cohen for presumably insights into the trump administration. legally speaking, do you see any red flags here? >> there is a lot to take in, in this news. virtually every piece of this information will need to be tested. and the right place for it to be tested -- and this may not be
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very popular -- but the right place to test it is inside of the mueller investigation and the southern district of new york investigation. it's really easy to look at this information and piece it together, and of course, we're all speculating about what it means and how far it goes. so, what jumps out here -- financial transactions. this is an awl lot of money that novartis paid michael cohen for very little, if no, delivery of services. i'm confident the mueller investigation is about ten steps ahead of this news, they've been testing this information and determining where the public stories that we're now hearing don't match up with the transactions. that's where i'd look for them to move forward. >> ben, where do you think the mueller team is going to be -- or what do you think the mueller team is going to be most interested in? >> well, look. any time you have somebody receiving very large quantities of money in exchange for very little apparent work, you have to ask the question, why is the
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person getting the money, and why are the entities that are giving that money giving it. right? and so i, for example, do not have an llc that gets large quantities of money from russian oligarchs or affiliated entities. maybe you do, katy, but i don't. >> no, i don't. spoiler alert. >> if i were an investigator who was investigating collusion or cooperation between the president's campaign and associated entities, and the russian state, i would be very interested in transfers of money to the president -- to an llc that funds the president's personal lawyer by an entity that's associated with a russian oligarch. >> can you legitimately say -- >> i can't tell you i know what that means, but i would find it very interesting. >> on that point, mueller has already spoken to viktor
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vekselberg. there was first the, according to reports, him coming off the plane in the new york area a few months back and the fbi and mueller's team questioning him there. also reports from the "new york times" that mueller's team has now questioned him again last week having to do with this payment. so what specifically might they be asking? >> they'll want to know whether there is a connection between vekselberg, the american firm that's run by his family member, and whether or not they were really directing the hiring of cohen. the american firm has come out and said, no, there wasn't any direction of our operations or our hiring of cohen by vekselberg or anyone back in russia. it's a federal crime for a foreigner to make a payment in connection with an american campaign or election. so that would be a real breaking point, a trigger point that mueller's investigation would be looking for to see whether there's money that flows across these different actors and ends
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up in the hands of the trump campaign. >> what cot president's legal exposure be? >> you know, this is an open question, katy. but like many people, i believe it is unlikely that we will see the indictment of a sitting president. so i question i think of his leelg legal exposure, because of long-stand tradition in the justice department. it is not just tradition. it is hinged in the understanding of traditional law. i think it falls on the other side of the equation. >> the avenatti tweet from yesterday, did you read this, these two stories converging into one single worst story so far? >> i do think there is a question of whether these are two stories converging into one. i have tried to make a point of not deciding which is the most important threads and which are the -- how things weight. because how they weight to a
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federal prosecutor is really going to depend on a series of factors that we don't have access to right now. i will say that when you're dealing with large quantities of money moving, you're always interested in the story behind the money. like why is this money moving from point a to point b? what are the understandings of and transactional understandings that lead to these flows of money. and those stories line up, or don't line up, against criminal statutes, and that's what you have an investigation for. i still, honestly, as was said earlier, i still don't feel like i understand what the story behind these transactions is. >> yeah. how does avenatti know all this? >> so this is an interesting question. he's declined to reveal his sources. much of this information looks like the type of information
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that would be protected by bank secrecy acts. so there will be some question. he has said frequently in his appearances that, as his public strategy has expanded, people have come forward and voluntarily provided him with information. but he's got cohen's banking records. it looks like he's got something that banks call "get to know your customer" information. this isn't the kind of information that's typically in the public domain. >> interesting. ben, we initially had you on to talk about the year -- i guess you could call it, anniversary of james comey being fired. that happened a year ago today. >> happy anniversary, katy. . >> believe it or not. i don't really have any more time left. but one sentence for how this year has gone, if you have it. >> it's been a bad year for the rule of law. and it's been a bad year for the idea that you should have law enforcement independent of presidential will and politics. >> ben wittis, joins vance,
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thank you very much for trying to sort it all out. i know it is extraordinarily complicated. joining us now from capitol hill, jake sherman and ashley parker. ashley, to you. this story is very complicated. it's tying michael cohen in with the russian oligarchs and potentially in with mueller. the white house isn't responding on the record as far as i'm aware. but from your reporting, what's been the reaction inside the white house? >> so this is a continuation actually of the white house's previous stance on michael cohen, which is when you talk to people in the white house, a lot of them believe that when it comes to mueller's probe itself, the president is going to be fine. if he is or not, that's an open question. we don't know. but they will tell you very confidently that he did not collude with the russians, he has nothing to hide and they are not worried about that. when it comes to michael cohen, they are more worried. not because they know of some smoking gun but because of precisely the opposite.
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they don't know what they don't know. they do not know that this was coming. they are sort of scrambling the same ways news rooms across the country are to figure out what does this tell us, what's this mean, where does the investigation head from here, how big a problem is this for michael cohen. but their sense is, in general, michael cohen is sort of a sketchy person, for lack of a better term, in the president's orbit. they know that's problematic and they don't know what level of exposure, if any, the president does have. >> if michael cohen is a sketchy person according to their assessments, what does that make the president who's been in business with him for a long time and has used him as his fixer? >> that's a great question. and it certainly cuts across the grain of his boast or promise that he's only going to surround himself with and only bring in the best people. you are seeing an acknowledgement now among white house aides that a number of the people who are under investigation by mueller, including michael cohen, maybe weren't the best people or the
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best choices. but, they do also say that it is striking, a number of people came into the administration who are now under investigation by mueller or who are out of the administration for any number of reasons. but michael cohen was someone who was so controversial and had such a cloud over him that he did not even make it to washington which sort of says something about how people in the president's orbit viewed him. >> jake, we just got word from a senior official inside novartis, that giant drug company which contributed $1.2 million -- or paid michael cohen $1.2 million. they say that cohen reached out shortly after trump's election, quote, promising access to the new administration. con a cohen and his attorney didn't respond to our request for comments. you've covered politics a long time. is this how it works? >> i'm going to be very unlar for saying this, but in and of itself, a company hiring a person close to a politician for insight into how the politician
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thinks is not in and of itself -- just want to be clear -- that scenario is not in and of itself problematic. tons of people in this building leave capitol hill and then go to k street and they say, i understand how paul ryan or how mitch mcconnell thinks and i'm going to market myself at that. but if they are promising access in exchange for cash, if that direct construct is offered, that could be problematic. i think that a lot of companies -- i think the core issue here is a lot of companies, after the election, were trying to find people close to the president who were not going into the administration, who they could pay for insights. novartis seems to have done that, and paid $1.2 million for one meeting about health policy. and then according to their statement, seems like they kind of realized that he didn't know anything about health policy or have any idea about how the president thought on health policy. again i am reading the tea leaves based on that statement that they just put out.
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then they canceled their contract shortly after. i am not speaking about the oligarch ankle and payment to stormy daniels which i don't really have any explanation for. but a company hiring someone close to a politician is not in and of itself problematic. >> is anybody talking about this on capitol hill right now? i know gina haspel's confirmation hearings have begun. that's dominating a lot of the news. but from your conversations with lawmakers, what is the word inside that building on this latest revelation? >> well, it is really interesting that you ask that. yesterday we had an event with nancy pelosi, politico playbook event, where we asked her kind of about what she thought the contours of 2018 would be. she was very pointed in saying that she doesn't want democrats talking about impeachment. she really doesn't want them talking about russia. she wants them talking about the economy and wages and things of that nature. conventional wisdom would indicate this would be a salient issue for democrats going into 2018. they don't want to talk about it, which i found interesting. >> absolutely, considered what
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we've seen in the past year-and-a-half. jake sherman, ashley parker, thanks for trying to make sense of this. i know it is a bit complicated. next, why would a korean aerospace company, a telecom giant, pharmaceutical company and a firm tied to a russian oligarch pay michael cohen? we'll ask someone who might know. stay with us. nothing says spring like fresh flowers, so let's promote our spring travel deal on choicehotels.com like this. earn one free night when you stay just twice this spring. allergies. or, badda book. badda boom.
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>> his document is inaccurate. >> that was michael cohen's response this morning to claims that his shell company received half a million dollars from a company controlled by a russian oligarch. as for president trump, he is focused on everything but michael cohen today, at least publicly. joining me now, anthony scaramucci who served as white house communications director under president trump. we should say donald trump's been asked about a number of things today, so far he hasn't reacted to the michael cohen story. let's clear this up at the top. >> good idea, mr. president. >> nobody is accusing other than stormy daniels cohen or any of these companies officially, at least, of any wrongdoing here. but there are a lot of questions being raised about why people would pay michael cohen given that he owes no -- tell me if i'm wrong -- expertise in health care or aerospace or telecom communications. why were they paying him so much money if he's not a person who could really help them in any way? other than give them access to the president? >> i mean, i love the way you're
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asking the question because it is a very good lead-in to what i'm supposed to say, what i'm supposed to say right now is they're paying him to curry influence and what they're doing is paying him to run their banner through the west wing and to influence the president of the united states on their behalf and so this lobbying of influence is worth the multiple millions of dollars that they're paying michael cohen. but that's actually not what i'm going to say. what i'm going to say is that i think -- if you really know the president, as well as i know the president, as well as you got to know the president in your book, he's not really a person that happens to. at the end of the day, he's a guy -- >> so then why pay michael cohen? >> because i think there were probably looking for him to help him on several legal matters, and i think they were probably looking to him to help them understand the president, how the president thinks. and i think they were probably asking him for advice thereto. i don't think they were asking him -- i'm pretty confident,
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knowing michael as well as i know him. i don't think he ever turned to anybody. we'll have to see how the facts come out of this thing. i don't think he turned to anybody said, hey, write me a check, i'll walk into the eoval office and -- >> segue into a piece news that we just got, somebody senior inside nor vi innovartis, the one with the ceo after they started paying michael cohen had dinner with donald trump while they were at davos said that cohen reached out to them shortly after the election and said that -- i guess he promised access to the new administration. >> okay. all right. so i -- he is not under oath. that may be true, may not be true. but again, when you say access, you know, there's difference between opening up ideas and talking to people and then unduly influencing an administration. the president is not a guy that you're going to be able to lobby. he doesn't have any of that in his personality.
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he's already made multiple billions of dollars. he doesn't like it. he signed an anti-lobbying petition in the beginning. i signed it. you can't lobby for five years -- >> why is his personal lawyer lob lobbying? if he doesn't like it, it is such a no-no in the trump world? >> again quarterba >> again, this is how it -- look, this is what happens in washington. you get the story out there. there could. some haze on the story. >> is there another way to look at this? >> one thing james comey said -- i didn't az agrgree a lot with n his book tour but he says a lie gets out there and it spins around -- >> this isn't a lie. this is document we have -- tell me if there is another way to read this. i am not aware of michael cohen being an aerospace expert or a pharmaceutical -- >> let me explain to your viewers my experience with washington i'm so much more experienced in how it works. what this is designed to do,
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this is called an oppo drop. what they do is craft a story, dump it in the morning -- >> i don't need the terms, the oppo drop. the facts of the story are right here. you tell me -- >> you need to understand what's being done to michael cohen. >> you tell me if there is another way to read this. >> he hasn't had his day in court. he hasn't -- >> let's move past why they might have paid him than money. >> what this is designed to do is to win the court of public opinion and sour the -- >> no, i'm trying to figure out why they would do this. if you're going to tell me right now that michael cohen is an aerospace expert and pharmaceutical expert and i don't know why the russian oligarch would pay. >> you're not going to be able to spin the conversation that way. >> let me ask you where the money went. there's $4 million that went into this account. michael cohen -- this is an account that he used to pay stormy daniels. michael cohen has said that he needed to take out a home equity line of credit in order to pay the $130,000 to stormy daniels.
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where did that $4 million go then? >> so here's the problem with the question. michael cohen has not had a full exposition of his side of the story. he hasn't had his day in the court of public opinion. he hasn't had his day in court. you caught him walking into a cab. one of your reporters. he said that the document is inaccurate. now that's going to be scoffed at. people are going to say that he's lying and these guys are not. but here's what i know. okay? stormy daniels, or stephanie clifford and michael avenatti, are on the hunt to take down donald j. trump. they want to put a hurt on him, so they have a process in place to try to do that. i think the president's done a good job of isolating this story away from any bad outcomes for the president. i think the mayor, despite all of the hullabaloo about the mayor, i think he has also done a very good job of at least getting information out there and forming a strategy to protect the president. i can't speak for michael cohen because i don't know the facts
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of the case. but i like michael cohen. >> i know you do. >> michael cohen is a friend of mine. i've said to you on this network and other networks, frankly, i'm not going to run from my friends when they're in trouble. >> i fully understand that. that's why i'm having you on. i want some clarity. it does raise a lot of questions. he could have stopped and talked to reporters today. he could very well release the banking records that show here's where this money went to or -- >> unfortunately, because he is a potential defendant -- okay -- he hasn't been charged yet. he's innocent until proven guilty in our country. >> 100%. >> he hasn't been charged yet. he is between a rock and a hard place. they pinch you on this side because what your lawyers are going to tell you, white collar or criminal lawyers, can't say a word to the press. >> can you tell me confidently that none of that money that went into that company went to donald trump or the trump organization? >> look. good news for me and you, you know i'm a straight shooter.
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i honestly can't say that one way or the other because i don't know the answer. >> yeah. >> what i can say is that this information that's out there right now is a very jagged edge pieced jigsaw puzzle and the entire picture is not in. >> do you think it looks bad for this white house? >> bad for the white house? >> he ran on not -- no pay to play. >> i think the president has made it very clear that he's not a target of the investigation. he's not a target of the investigation related to michael. he's made it very clear that he likes michael. >> even if it is not investigation. these are companies that are doing business that are trying to pay to do business with washington. >> what ashley parker's reporting, it is no offense to ashley, she has these anonymous sources inside the white house calling michael nefarious. if you really think he's nefarious, put your name on it and stay before a camera, say my name is john doe -- >> i would love to put people on the record as well. i'm sure ashley would love for people to go on the record as well. >> this is the snake-like activity that goes on in
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washington that the american people are tired of. >> donald trump promised to get rid of all this stuff. his personal lawyer is taking -- his personal lawyer is taking money. this is my -- let me finish the question, anthony. donald trump -- >> you've gotten more of these nonsensical -- >> ant ininthyhonanthony, if i question, there is no sense in doing this. if michael cohen received money, why would companies like at&t to lobby this administration, like this korean aerospace company tried to get a defense contract with lockheed martin, this novartis company lobbying on behalf of pharmaceutical companies on health care. why would they pay donald trump's lawyers? if donald trump has told everybody in his orbit that has no more place in my government. >> so i think they're paying him for strategy. i think what you just said is totally true. there's no place for the lobby
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in donald trump's government. president trump's government. i think they are paying him for strategy and not necessarily lobbying. i don't think any of that has been effective. when you mention the novartis person, i do believe when he had dinner with the president, it was like with 50 or 60 other people that were european ceos. it was not like he had a one-on-one dinner with the president. >> we will see what more comes out of this. anthony scaramucci, always good to have you. president trump's pick to lead the cia, gina haspel, had been fielding a barrage of questions today, big ones. members of the intelligence committee asked her if torture works. she said no. they asked if the cia's enhanced interrogation program used after 9/11 is moral and if the president were to order haspel as the agency's director to revive those practices, would she do it? >> will you carry that out, that option and that order, or not? we're entrusting you in a very different position if you are confirmed. i just need to know what you --
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>> senator, my moral compass is strong. i would not allow cia to undertake activity that i thought was immoral, even if it was technically legal. i would absolutely not permit it. >> you would not follow order if you felt it was -- >> no. i believe that cia must undertake activities that are consistent with american values. >> haspel served as the base chief at a secret cia prison in thailand where a terror suspect was waerd boaterboarded in 2002. one of the committee members questioning haspel today is with us. even before the hearing started you said you were a no. why? >> well, i got a chance to sit down with the nominee earlier. based on the answers that she gave -- which were remarkably consistent with what she gave in the open hearing today -- i didn't feel comfortable that
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this nominee was being completely transparent about her role and offering up the information for us to be able to make an informed decision about her nomination. >> you said that she was remarkably consistent with what she said during the open hearing. are you saying you learned nothing more on her opinions on torture or more on her background in a closed hearing? >> i think that's correct. i mean this is someone who's very good at giving long legalese answers but avoiding the fundamentals of just saying yes or no to whether or not torture is consistent with american values. and i was looking for the buck stops here sort of approach to this, and instead we got these sort of long-winded legalistic answers to some very fundamentally basic moral questions. >> the senate's report on cia's enhanced interrogation use of torture found much more than just waterboarding.
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there was sleep deprivation. detainees kept awake for 180 hours, sometimes standing with their hands shackled above their heads. detainees were also dragged naked and beaten in corridors just to remind people of the severity of this stuff and it was all very much out there about a decade ago. in this testimony she said she would never have the cia do something that she believes is immoral. why do you think -- that was i guess supposed to encompass any sort of torture, even if the president tried to reinstate that program. why do you think, though, she wouldn't look back and say what we did then was immoral and i don't agree with it now? >> your question is great. i couldn't get at the heart of that. she seemed completely reluctant. we need to learn from our mistakes. and that is a dark period in our country's history where we were doing the wrong things for the right reasons. we can never go back there again. and if we don't learn those lessons, it is hard for me to
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know that she has the leadership skills and will be transparent enough with the oversight committee to make sure that we don't end up in a similar position in the future. >> if she was a nominee of president obama, would you vote yes for her. >> i would not. >> then why did you vote yes for john brennan for cia director back in 2013? this is one of the republicans' concerns. they think that just because she is a trump nominee there is a vote of no from democrats and that it is a double standard. >> i took john brennan at his word at the time. i will tell you that was a mistake. at one point i called for john brennan's resignation because of some of the things that he did as director. so i think we need to hold all cia directors to the same standard, whether it is john brennan, whether it is gina haspel. and more importantly, we need someone running that agency that the entire oversight committee feels like they can trust and
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that trust just isn't there right now. >> new mexico democratic senator martin heinrich, thank you. three americans detained in north korea are heading back to d.c. right now. what does it mean diplomatically ahead of the president rae s's sit-down with kim jong-un especially now that we've pulled out of the iran nuclear deal? git even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin, i'm up for that. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis is fda-approved and has both. so what's next? seeing these guys. don't stop taking eliquis unless your doctor tells you to, as stopping increases your risk of having a stroke. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily
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♪ ♪ i want some more of it. ♪ i try so hard, ♪ i can't rise above it ♪ don't know what it is 'bout that little gal's lovin'. ♪ applebee's new bigger bolder grill combos. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. north korea has released
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three american detainees after another visit to the country by secretary of state mike pompeo. right now they are on board a plane with the secretary and headed bag to the u.s. president trump announced secretary pompeo and the detainees will land at andrews air force base at 2:00 a.m. in the morning and that he will be there to greet them. pompeo says the u.s. and north korea have settled on a date for a meeting between president trump and kim jong-un. reporters pressed the president on more details about that a bit earlier today. >> mr. president, where is the summit going it to take place? >> we're going to announce that within three days. >> within three days? is the we're just working arrangements. >> will it be in the dmz? >> do you deserve the nobel? >> i want victory for the world. >> senior administration
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official says the president will host a white house dinner tonight to talk about korea. michael mcfaul, author "from cold war to hot peace," the book is officially out. jeffrey lewis is here as well, director of the east asia nonproliferation program at military institute for international studies. gentlemen, thank you. first, congratulations on the book. >> you know how hard it is to write books. >> i know what a labor of love it can be. >> or a labor of something. >> i know we'll talk about it a lot given the fact that russia's in the news almost every day but focusing on north korea. your thoughts on the timing of the release of the detainees? >> i applaud it. think it is great. any time americans are freed that's a fantastic thing. i hope we remember the americans that are still in eye rairan an fighting to get them out. it suggests the north koreans want a seriously substantive
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summit. >> is this going to have an effect on negotiations, a real material effect on the negotiations, jeffrey, the release of these detainees? >> well, i think if the north koreans had continued to hold them it would have been a challenge. but i don't know that it will help. i mean this is pretty typical behavior for the north koreans. they tend to grab people, hold them until they need to make some kind of gesture, then release them. if things go bad, they'll grab more people again. >> how do you suspect this will play out? we have a time set apparently where we'll hear from the president on where this meeting will take place. it won't be at the dmz. what's your sense of how this will play out? >> you know, i think they'll probably pick a third location. maybe singapore. what they're going to do is they're going to spar a little bit. i think the north koreans are excited to have the meeting, so the pomp and circumstance will be a big deal for them. but i have real doubts that they'll be able to actually find
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the middle ground between what kim jong-un has been saying and what the president has been saying. >> how does the iran decision factor in to this in your estimation? >> first, it was a bad decision because of our national interests, vis-a-vis iran. let's be clear about that. it screws things up i think with our allies. if you want to unite the russians and the chinese with our nato allies, this is the move you make. i hope the president has a plan b. i'm not confident that he does. but then indirectly another one, it makes it hard to be credible that you're going to commit to some kind of agreement about denuclearization when you just pulled out of another one. i think it undermines the president's kroebl acredibility. i also think it is going to be very hard to get to yes. not just in a summit but years from now. this is just the beginning of what i hope will be a long process. but this does not make us look like we're ready to commit to the long term to agreements that we sign up to. >> jeffrey, is kim jong-un feeling bolstered by donald trump pulling out of the iran
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decision? i say it because this. kim jong-un refused to scale back his nuclear program. he fought to get a nuclear warhead and that's when he came to the negotiating table with the president. his calculus, according to all the reporting that's out there, is that once you give up your nukes you don't have any leverage. the iranians came to the table before they had a nuke. is this just saying that in order to really negotiate with the president and to be on the same playing field you've got to pursue your program no matter what? >> oh, i think absolutely. i mean if you look back over the past 20 years, the lesson is that saddam disarmed under international inspections and he ended up invaded and hanged. moammar gadhafi of libya, also disarmed, agreed to a deal with the united states, including john bolton who was in office at the time. he ends up with a nato air strike on his convoy, dragged out and dies a grizzly death. the iranians strike a deal and now the u.s. is pulling off.
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the one person who gets a summit is kim jong-un? when does it get it? he gets it after he's tested a thermonuclear weapon and after he's tested a icbm that could hit the united states. >> that's precisely why there is not going to be a deal. just think about what that series of historic events, why if you're kim jong-un would you want to go down those paths that were just described. >> after writing this book, does the relationship we have with russia and the way donald trump is interactions with the russians, is anything surprising? >> yes. i'm surprised by the way president trump talks about russia. the trump administration i think has a pretty good policy towards russia. there he a just one problem with it. the president is not really signed up to it. and that contradiction is surprising to me. it demands an explanation. there is some about him and how he likes to deal with strong leaders, he personalizes all diplomacy. if we could just get in a room, have a nice piece of chocolate cake, we'll all be better off. but it doesn't work that way,
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especially not with vladimir putin. >> jeffrey lewis, thank you very much. former ambassador, michael mcfaul. new book, "from cold war to hot peace." michael, thank you very much. congratulations. jeffrey, thank you, as well. my next guest rose to fame on "law and order: svu" but she's now eyeing a seat in congress as an independent in one of the most liberal states in america. why? and can she work with donald trump if she is elected? diane neal is here live in just three minutes. i'm your phone, stuck down here between your seat and your console, playing a little hide-n-seek. cold... warmer... warmer... ah boiling. jackpot. and if you've got cut-rate car insurance, you could be picking up these charges yourself. so get allstate, where agents help keep you protected from mayhem... ...like me. mayhem is everywhere. are you in good hands?
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hundreds of women have worked to get their names on the ballot in 2018, and in last night's primaries, they saw success. according to politico, women won 17 of the 20 open democratic house primaries where they were on the ballot. but bloomberg points out the record number of female candidates may not necessarily mean big changes in congress because there are still states where women just aren't running, period. quote, in five states no democratic women are running for the house or senate. there are no republican women running for congress in 14 states. but not all women candidates are running as democrats or republicans. diane neill, best known for casey novak on "law and order:
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svu" has launched an independent bid at new york's 19th district hoep hoping to challenge me now. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> why are you running for office, as an independent? >> like everyone, november 9th of 2016 you fell like you have been punched in the sternum. what is happening, it's confusing. >> not everyone. >> not everyone. some people were excited but for those of us who didn't vote for president trump it was a bit of a shock. so i was like i have this perfect opportunity wherefore the first time in my adult life i'm not working. i love governance, right, i love that, less than politics, but i love politics antics. i love all of this stuff so much. and i'm lucky because i get to fight mean people on tv. a lot of people think i'm gop because it's with gus. but i'm mostly liberal with a bit of libertarian and i thought
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i could win my district. new york 19 is mostly independent, more than anything else. so i thought, i could do this. >> what are you selling to voters? what's your issue? >> well, it's all the issues. we have to get to basics. right? this is seriously the biggest problem, the tribalism. dropping the party and running as independent was one of the hardest decisions i made in my life. the day i made it was when john ossoff lost the special election in atlanta. i was watching this cute 30-year-old guy and he was like yeah i don't like "star wars," i liked "star wars" when i was a kid. i was like oh, my god i have five custom sabers. why didn't they polish him and make this. i realized that the party machines aren't doing a lot of anything. and i thought if i dropped the color and the letter and the label because we are all more of those things that we could talk to each other as human beings and learn what the problems are. >> you say all the issues.
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i presume you have been talking to people and learning what the problems are. what are the problems and what is the concern for people in your district. >> in my district, well, the good thing about actually living upstate is i see everybody all day every day. and even one of my exes that used to do a character of me on "snl," i only talk about politics, okay, that's all i do anyway. jobs is an important thing. even to get jobs into the district, because there is nothing and people are leaving. it's hemorrhaging people. all the young people leave because there is no opportunity and that's why your district keeps getting bigger and bigger. and we have absolutely no telecommunication infrastructure. literally like none. and we are 70 miles away from new york city and it doesn't make any sense. randomly i'm embarrassed to say this but i've been back in school because i couldn't do much with my back injury and i got a c mine us in one class. nobody gets a c minus, i don't get a c minus. it's the internet, the maximum i
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could pay for was three mega bytes per second. >> would you introduce legislation that could enhance infrastructure? >> absolutely. we need communication infrastructure, self service, enter nechltd you couldn't open a smallist business because you wouldn't be able to sell on line. we need regular infrastructure. we don't have any transportation. you live this the city. most people here don't have cars but you can get there. there is one train and it only goes to one place and that's it. you can't enjoy everything that's there. we need a tourism infrastructure. there are amazing examples around the world where it costs very little money because no one wants to spend nun and you get a huge benefit and long term jobs and people get to see it. it's beautiful up there. >> diane neil, you have a long way to go. as an independent, no primary. >> coming.after the break, one more thing four.
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first, as my producer overlord are forcing me to do, you can follow the show on facebook, twitter, and instagram. katy katy nbc blac. ♪ ♪ (baby crying) ♪ ♪ don't juggle your home life and work life without it. ♪ ♪ and don't forget who you're really working for without it. ♪ ♪ funding to help grow your business... ♪ ♪ another way we have your back.
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california values senator dianne feinstein one more thing before we go. it was primary day across several states yesterday. most sideyes were on west virgi last night because of coal
quote
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barren don blankenship. he came in third. he conceded before midnight. but that's not where this story ends. it is far from it. blankenship was hoping to unseat joe manchin, his real opponent was senator mitch mcconnell which he made very clear from the get-go. >> if you want jobs, if you want to end the drug epidemic and you want to protect the unborn you need to vote for me. one of my goals as u.s. senator will be to ditch cocaine mitch. >> naturally, as voters were dropping ballots in west virginia today, report prers on capitol hill and -- reporters were on capitol hill and asked mcconnell about had attack on him and others against his wife. >> we will wait to see what wins in west virginia and have more to say about it tomorrow. >> within moments of blankenship
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bowing out mcconnell's team tweeted quote, thank for playing, don. do you wonder what that powder is swirling around him, presumably that's cocaine. the national's most powerful republican making a joke about cocaine. that's i think a marco ad but they put mcconnell's face over it. you can love him. you can hate him. you can care less but now you can't deny that senator majority leader mitch mcconnell isn't just politically savvy, he is also a political troll, at least on twitter. that will wrap things up for this hour. allially picks things up now. >> that is going down in history. >> the time that we live in, the republican senate majority leader is even joking with a cocaine swirl around -- >> that's funny. under your picture, on the internet right now, they are creating memes of katy tur saying presumably, that's cocaine. >> i'm going to leave it there. that's what you call a mike drop. >> i wouldn't know. >> that was the implication,
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that katy tur thinks that might be cocaine but she's not sure. i think it's best if we leave that conversation, i guess, right now. >> i think so. awkward. awkward. ali very well she. >> it is a good thing this is taped so we can edit this all out. good afternoon. this hour president trump is going to take to the podium at the celebration of military mothers and spouses events. it's happening as the white house's foreign and domestic affairs are under a microscope. right now, three americans who were detained in north korea are on a plane with secretary of state mike pompeo headed back to the states as free men. at the same time, trump says a date and place has been set for his meeting with north korea's leader kim jong-un. the president has mounting troubles on the home front. trump's pick to head the cia, gina haspel faced a

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