tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC May 23, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT
demands of the justice department. the democratic party has followed the rule of law. and the result of that, doj doesn't do nearly everything that they ask for, but they do some of is it. comey center that letter because he was worried about the republican party response. rod rosenstein appointed this ig investigation because he was worried. that's when you get dangerous outcomes. >> and you can read matt's full piece. thank you. that does it for us. stephanie ruhle picks it up. >> good morning, everyone. i'm stephanie with a lot to cover today. starting closing the business circle, the taxi kingal agrees to cooperate with government. michael hocohen is going toe in a worry of hurt in a short period of time. he's going to have very few options and that's why i say ultimately, he's going to flip on the president of the united states. >> we'll see. how about partying like it's
2009. congress will rule back parts of dodd-frank bill. is this smart common sense good idea? >> and it does not in any way weaken the regulations we put in there for the bank or that were there to prevent the kind of crisis we had ten years ago. >> no, that barney frank talking. and new fears that china is becoming the greatest threat to the u.s. president trump is confident in his brand. >> in the end it will work out. can't tell you exactly how or why. but it always does. it's going to work out, okay? >> well, that's not true, it doesn't always work out. we're going to start with the legal game of connect the dots. the question is does that put pressure on trump's fixer to cooperate with the government. i have a great team here to figure it all out. first, let me break down exactly where we stand.
you all know about michael cohen. he's the guy at the president's side for over a decade. serving as his personal attorney and very prideful unofficial fixer. on tuesday, we found out that one of cohen's key business partners, a russian immigrant named gene friedman has struck a deal with the attorney general office. and the deal has friedman leading guilty to a single count of tax fraud but avoiding single charges and a long prison sentence. now, we have no idea what investigations friedman might be a part of but that deal would seem to potentially include the investigation into bob mueller or the trump campaign. that said, freidman told the new york daily news it had nothing to do with its part.
sand telling nbc that may be involved in the taxis. the president's lawyers already resigned into the strong possibility that the inquiry into mr. cohen's business could lead him to cooperate with peril prosecutors. that likelihood would now be greater with mr. friedman. >> i want to bring in an msnbc legal analyst, editor-at-large for the libertarian magazine. and a professor at princeton university. >> ned, let's go to you first. can we actually say because that because cohen's business partner was dirty corner was too? >> in isolation, stephanie that would be an unfair statement. fortunately for us, or unfortunately for us we know ate great more deal about cohen's
business dealings. and that allows to us come to that conclusion pretty solid. leave it to michael cohen to be in business with someone known as the taxi king. and leave it to donald trump to have a personal attorney like michael cohen who seems to have his hands in a lot of shady business deals. >> so michael cohen's business partner could say i'm not tied to them. and rudy giuliani could say this doesn't impact the president. but if they're getting the business partner to flip, he's flipping on someone. >> the primary concern defense attorneys like me have with kwoomenti i cooperating witnesses is they have a tremendous incentive to fabricate or embellish stories because they're trying to please their captors. while it is true in many cases you need the testimony of a criminal, and in many cases, they are testifying truthfully. the very essence of an investigation is the government
saying to somebody you're either going to go to prison for a long time. or, if you have information that we find interesting about other folks. then we might be able to use you and you may be able to talk your way into a lesser sentence or no prosecution at all. so, even if you're donald trump and you think i have absolutely nothing at all to do with taxis. and if you're michael cohen, and you think i have nothing to do, even though i'm in business with this guy. or if you believe this person's text to the news saying it has nothing to do with cohen, those people should still be concerned. simply because confidential informants and cooperating witnesses have such a motivation to make up a great story about people other than themselves to sell to the government. >> all right. matt, this is what happened last year. do you believe there's a direct line into the mueller investigation? or are we creating something that's not there? because we are, like it or not in a russian investigation vortex. >> yeah, i mean, it's
speculative. obviously what i wonder is if the big fish to catch here might be michael cohen. right? we are operating under the assumption, because we're spending all of our time thinking about the president of the united states for understandable reasons that trump is at tt at the head of t pyramid. michael cohen has a shady behavior including trying to sell access to the white house. >> but that's okay. it doesn't have to be something that takes down the president. one of the president's closest advisers could be breaking the law and they need to be punished for it. >> and also exposing the president to such a risk that it would leave a counterintelligence agent to suss out. the question is whether the new york business whether it rolls up into is this, or whether it rolls into huge amounts of groaning pressure of cohen to flip on trump. will the prosecutors say at the
end what we really want here, despite all of this smoke around cohen, do we want him just to collapse all of that and point it to trump? or is cohen himself actually a large target of this investigation. >> well, they are building a bit of a cooperating witness j jambor jamboree. we know in michael flynn and rick gates. >> both of those things could be true, matt. he could be the big kahuna. and he could lead us to trumble. one of the things i can say about all of this, because i'm not a lawyer, i'll defer to you - you could say how does the president call this when you've got five cooperating witnesses. >> and part of it -- all of it kind of reveals how much of a cesspool it is. that is to say, what does it mean to extend trump to donald trump, when every day, what is being revealed is that he is in a relationship with people who
are suspect with regard to their character. people who have broken the law. >> if you've pleaded guilty, you've done something wrong. so, at the very least, when the president gets on the podium and says i choose the best people, he can't possibly hang his hat on that one anymore. >> he didn't necessarily choose freidman at all, but he did align himself with michael cohen. what we can say at this point, at minimum, a judge did find at least probable cause that there were fruits of a crime at his home or his office because that's what authorized the search warrant. i agree with a lot of what you're saying but as i said before, when it comes to witnesses, they've struck a deal. these could be people who say snitches get stitches. i ain't never cooperating. but what you find with white collar defendants when they start thinking about their wife and their family and the federal system that tune changes pretty quickly. everybody sitting around here,
you love your family, you love your children, what would you do to get back to them five, ten, maybe 20 years sooner. >> that doesn't mean -- i mean, you will sing like a canary, perhaps, but that doesn't mean you're going to sing a false song, right? >> 100% means that. because the cheap criticism by every federal defender and every criminal defense attorney out there is that the very incentive -- in cases like this, where you don't have a bag of drugs as evidence, where you don't have guns. all of the evidence in this case is going to be anecdotal. it's going to be direct testimony from other co-conspirators. this is not a literal or smoking gun kind of case. to catch criminals like this, you need to employ other criminals who worked hand in hand with them, to come into that courtroom, and in a parade, and it often it is a parade, and point the finger and say that's the guy i had to deal with. it becomes oath versus oath. and since defendants don't normally testify, it becomes a
one-sided story that the defense is scrambling to defense against. >> and i also point out quickly that whitewater produced 15 convictions. a lot of people rolled on a lot of people. there was skulduggery there. it's not apples and apples but we have to remember that. >> great point, danny, people put their own interests or their family over their boss. what happens when your family is your boss, jared, ivanka, don junior, think about it. on to the drama at capitol hill where the white house has cleared a way for a pair of house republicans to receive a briefing in connection with the russian investigation. who's one of the republicans? i guy in the thick of it, devin nunes and trey gowdy. the respect tiive houses of the intelligence and oversight questions. we're going to get it from chris
wray and dan coats and ed o'callaghan. those five men are expected to be the only ones in the room. you know who is not going to be there? zero democrats. zero senators, either republican or democrat. the white house says they're not sending anyone either. i have a sinking feeling devin nunes knows the phone number to the white house. i'm going to bring in nbc's chrkristen welker. what do we know about this briefing? >> reporter: well, we no that the deputy general called rosenstein to the white house and met with them there. john kelly tasked with setting up this meeting. it that is has happened, sarah sanders announcing yesterday, to your point that there are only going to be republicans there, steph. i can tell you that has infuriated democrats. they are demanding that they be
a part of this briefing including senate minority leader chuck schumer who is essentially saying this is all outrageous. now, sarah sanders yesterday weighed in on this. they sa she said to my understanding it's unclear that democrats would consider them invited to randomly see something they never asked to see. chuck schumer fighting back about that allegation. the president tweeting, his first tweet, spygate could be one of the biggest political scandals in history. he's really trying to brand this entire thing. and also tweeted, look how things have turned around in the criminal deep state. they go on with phony collusion with russia, a made up scam and getting caught in a major spy scandal the likes of which this country may have never seen
before. what is important to point out, james clapper said, look, even if they were spying it's to determine what was at the root of russia's meddling. president trump has tried to cast this informant embedded in the campaign. there's no information to that case. president trump is going to attend a roundtable in new york. we're hoping to ask him about this when he gatdeparts the whi house. >> ned, i want to point out something you tweeted out, no dems are invited to the meeting trump demanded on the investigation into his campaign. the white house and its congressional enables are turning this into sour most sensitive assets. into a partisan weapon. >> the question in all of this, stephanie, where is rosenstein's
red line? what line will he not cross? he's broken a lot of norms. this is a big one. i've spent more a decade in the kri where classified meeting were a way of life. you have to wonder why congress has classified information in the first place. it's for legitimate oversight purposes. this has nothing to do with oversight, nor is it legitimate. in fact, these congressional leaders have turned the process on their heads. they are in fact, in some ways, running their own operation against our own intelligence law enforcement community. devin nunes who went over to the white house in the middle of the night last year, after learning some information from the white house, devin nunes will probably use his phone, use the phone number he has for the white house to inform them of what he has learned. so, in some ways, they are running their own covert operation and that really erodes
the intelligence system we have. >> okay. except rod rosenstein and the rest of the world know that's exactly what devin nunes is going to do. matt, i want to talk about who's there, because no senators, not even republican ones. how does that make sense? you know, you've got devin nunes as the guy -- we all know that devin nunes is compromised. lindsey graham in march of 2017 said that nunez has lost his ability to lead. what argument can be played that it's only these guys in the room? >> it won't be convincing arguments for sure. >> maybe it doesn't have to be convincing as long as it works for trump. >> rudy giuliani gave an enter rue to help post among evening, saying in his point ever view, this oversight is most useful because it provides discovery. they're finding information about what mueller has, which he wants to know, as he's negotiating the terms of what gets asked and what doesn't get asked if they have a
conversation with mueller and the president. i think that's is what's happening here. the problem with the republicans and trump here with the spygate comments and stacking the deck with people like nunes and the republican party, he's creating pressure on something he can't possibly deliver. we've seen that with the memo. >> remember that nonsense nunes memo. oh, my goodness, it's coming and he looked like a horse's you know whatt eewhat. i'm not talking about the head. >> and who applied that blanket after that? trey dowdy. there's nothing in that letter that making it invalid. >> but he's got nothing to lose. >> he's got nothing to lose. even though they're stacking the deck with only house republicans who have been running interference for the president. >> well, how does the house intel committee work after this? >> it doesn't. it doesn't. but it hasn't worked in a year. >> i know, but it is completely
broken. >> it broke a year ago. >> yeah, it broke a year ago. but what we do know how, it has been weaponized these folks are gaining access to folks that could be sources to the fbi right now. so if they're exposed they could be in some sort of jeopardy. and we know, didn't nunes recuse himself? >> part of what is so baffling -- >> that -- didn't he recuse himself? >> from spygate to bill belichick and the patriots is interesting. to invoke all of this is stupsdz. >> or desperate times call for desperate measures. your last point? >> we can expect that the president's attorneys if they get asold of this information, they're going to use it in any way they possibly can, legally or not. as long as it's within the boundaries or rules of
professional discovery. they have a duty to zealous representation. so if that information makes it to counsel at the white house, then it will be used. >> it will make it to counsel at the white house no doubt, they'll use it. here's the issue, if there's wrongdoing, they'll find it. up next, a partial reappeal of dodd-frank passed the house yesterday along with bipartisan vote. is this is a smart pullback on banking regulation? remember, they're not completely wiping out dodd-frank. they're tightening it up, and barney frank of all people think it's not a bad in the. but first, politico reports that president trump is worried about his cell phone. >> i heard white house aides told president trump to switch out his phone on a monthly basis. trump is like, the only thing i switch out on a monthly basis is my staff.
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. in a rare bipartisan move congress has just approved the biggest regulation rollback on banks since the 2008 global financial crisis with several democrats on boards. in fact, not just several. 33 house democrats joined republicans to ease restrictions on thousands of small, note that, small and medium-size banks. those restrictions were enacted back in 2010 as part of the dodd-frank act. that act was designed to ensure that the financial collapse we
saw in 2008 would not happen again. and it sought to attack the principal problem lawmakers believe led to the crisis in the first place. the growth and proliferation of too big to fail banks. the big ones. to that end, dodd-frank laid out significant reforms increased the amount of money banks must hold on to giving the banks a cushion to avoid loan losses and future downturns. and subject to regulatory environments. so what does it the new regulation do it raises the threshold from $50 billion to $250 billion. these banks will not have to undergo stress test for free fall. joining me cnbc editor-at-large john harwood. john, i'm just going to start with, i think this is a really good idea.
in 208, 2009, i worked in investment banking. i was in tgnarliest part of it, derivatives. when dodd-frank was put into place, it brushed every bang in the same way, and we were subject to regulatory capture. so those massive jpmorgans of world, they could hire more. and if you were a small bank that predominantly ran loans in the u.s. you couldn't possibly afford that. even if you don't care about banking if you need a loan and you run a small business in all different parts of the country, you couldn't get it, because the jpmorgans of the world, they're not interested in doing business with you. this is a great move and the fact that barney frank thinks it is i think says a lot. >> right. and it also is, the farther away from the financial crisis, the
more inclined people are, legislators are able to listen to the complaints of small and medium banks, and large banks to say, okay, that's reasonable, let's make that change. as you indicated this is not a repeal of dodd-frank in any way. it's a tweak to regulations bone on large banks, medium-size bank side, with capital requirements and oversight for those banks between $50 billion and $250 billion in assets. but it also reduces reporting requirements and some of the regulations on those small banks. and it's why you got not only republicans but a significant number of democrats in both the house and the senate making this happen. and putting it on president trump's desk. >> the democratic critics of this appeal are citing wall street record profits saying these wall street banks don't need regulatory relief. but the thing is it's not about
wall street banks. you're right, it's been a happy payday for them again. but lumping all banks together are just not the same. >> true, but community banks are also doing well. but really, the issue is exactly where on the margin do you want to place that regulatory hand. and those that are things that we're going to always argue about. and banks are always going to want less. and people who are alarmed about the prospect of another financial crisis and also alarmed about things like income inequality, like elizabeth warren, are always going to want more. but this has moved in the direction of the banks. and it's why president trump is going to sign it. and it's a significant bipartisan achievement that donald trump and the republicans can talk about. >> listen, caring about equality and wanting to address it is a majorly important thing but in the last year, we said
regulation is awful, we need to get rid of it. this is progress, in that it's taking regulation, five or six or seven years let's tight itten up. market set to open any minute now after a strong day. futures down after president trump's pessimistic talk on south korea and north korea talks. plus, steve karnackky. we'll find what the board means. olay ultra moisture body wash
let's go to the opening bell on wall street where stocks have been down in free market trading all morning, that is, after president trump put a damper on trade talks telling reporters he's not satisfied with how negotiations are going. right now, as i said, things are down triple digits. i want to bring in dom chu. help me out here. the market is getting a little stinky, how come? >> the markets are stinky, but we're not talking about a massive two or three point to the downside. just as we haven't seen a massive upside when we heard
that treasury talk from steve mnuchin. >> we don't believe it either way. >> right. the market is trying to figure out what exactly we can do, for that reason, they're not making broad streak moves one way or the other, based on tweets that happened or president trump makes a remark in the white house with the leader of another country kind of off-the-cuff a little bit. the reason why it's so important right now is this is a market struggling to find some kind of a direction and you're not getting a lot of it claritywise from the administration as things stand right now. what we do know, certain parts of the market will be affected. you and john harwood were just talking about deregulation of small and medium-size banks in america. we are seeing strength in some pockets because of specific actions taken on things like that. but when it comes to the broader market picture, it's hard for investors out to make big macro picture moves because of what's
happening out of the white house. >> thank you, dom chu. tuesday was ladies night. we're talking primaries. a historic night. stacey abrams easily took home the democratic nomination, making her the first black woman ever to be nominated for governor. my friend steve kornacki is here at the big board. steve, what does stacey's win mean for the democratic strategy in november? we're talking about a more centrist candidate and left candidate. >> stacey, is not just winning this, she's swamped. stacey abrams. 3 to 1 margin now. the abrams strategy says, basically, in the trump era, there are voters who should be democrats who we can make
democrats. get them energized. out to vote, younger, nonwhite single women. abrams says forget about ten years from now. let's do it now. he swins the primary. we don't know who the republican is, we'll have to wait a while to find out who stacey abrams runs against. here's the interesting thing, what she's up against in 2016, donald trump won this state by five points in 2012, mitt romney by eight. here's the other interesting thing, though, last night, there were competitive primaries in both parties. the last time you had competitive primaries in both parties in georgia, 2010. from 2010 to last night, the republican turnout was down 75,000. the democratic turnout was up 150,000. 2010, rememberer was a republican way here. in georgia, nationally, 2018,
democrats are hoping it's a wave year. the thing that's going to support abrams at least a little bit is that if it's to get new turnout in the primary, we're seeing that last night on the democratic side. >> all right. steve kornacki, pretty exciting stuff. primaries, we're just getting started. we're going to have more on the election news in the next hour. democratic nominee stacey abrams will be speaking to our colleague hallie jackson. that's a major win. 76%, the first african-american woman running for governor. welcome to 2018. up next, president trump laments the delay in the trade deal with china saying it's costing us $1 billion a week. and we're going to explain how the long-term planning with regard to the trade deficit is making them the greatest threat to the u.s. what happens this week, next week? not what they're looking for.
but first, turn up the volume and take a look at this. a sinkhole has opened up on the white house lawn, one year ago to the day that a sinkhole had opened up at president trump's mar-a-lago resort. in a statement the national parks service said it has been monitoring the situation, but they, quote, do not believe it poses any risk to the white house or representative of a larger problem. end quote. i'm going to leave that there. stick around. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do? drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had liberty mutual new car replacement™, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. a new report says the greatest growing threat to the united states is china. a source reveals china has, quote, outlined strategies for 2018, 2025 and 2050, all designed to displace united states as the dominant global economic and national security superpower. we're seeing one of the economic battles playing not realtime with threats of a trade war easing, after president trump puts his call to impose tariffs on china on hold. this all started after president trump claimed the u.s. lost $500 billion on trade with china last year. but that figure, it doesn't pan out. the u.s. ran up a trade deficit with china of 375 billion bucks in 2017. and u.s. firms actually ran up a $39 billion surplus in services with the chinese. and it's really important to
note, trade deficits, as much as they are fueled by the chinese government policy, they're also pulled by u.s. demand. it's stunning. it's as though the president has no ready how trade deficits work. and then there's this. with today's global supply changes, a made in china smartphone -- stay with me -- one of these can contain up to 30% of their parts from the united states. and here's the thing, the u.s. trade data, they do a terrible job accounting for this. they don't put it in their data when they talk about finished goods. if they actually changed the way they evaluate the data we could see the trade deficit numbers go down by as much as 36%. by not even doing anything about the way we supply our stuff. it's just about the way we add the numbers. i want now to bring in the co-founder of axios. jim, i saw your report on monday. and it was stunning to me. first, china's got their 2018,
2025 and 2050 plan. the united states, our administration is still smacking each other in meetings and don't know what they want to do next tuesday. everything that he's said he's had to talk back. >> yeah, so often in politics, particularly in this area of twitter and so many people focused on cable, we're thinking about in the moment. we're not thinking long term. the chinese, obviously, are notorious for thinking long term. now in particular, they have laid out strategies this year, 2020, and 2050, they're sucking up more of the global economy often at the cost to us. and politics here don't think about it long term. but when you look what the china's doing, look at how much money they pour into infrastructure. look what the they're doing while reretreat on the global stage, they're pouring money and
people and ties into almost every continent in the globe to make sure they have an economic relationship with other countries, that they get trade deals with other countries, so that they can continue to grow. often at our expense. and a lot of this is on us. we sit here and freak out about -- sore the president freaks out about a trade deficit. but the bigger problem, really how easy it is for china to use its authoritarian regime to force our economies to turn over our technology to them which they can exploit for china's gain. a lot of this stuff gets lost. a lot of it gets lost in the policy weeds. but it's not in the policy weeds of the chinese. it's part of their long-term strategy sbp. >> that's why it's absurd to lighten up on zte, one of the few companies we're going after. but when you talk about china being able to make long-term decisions, don't have have to feel some level of sympathy for our lawmakers.
xi jinping is going to be in office for the refuse of his life. and whether we're talking about a lawmaker who needs to get elected for the next few years or a ceo who has wall street analysts beating down his ear every day, we can't make long-term moves, we won't let them. >> it's a fundamental defect in our government. always has been, we're ill equipped to move quickly enough to think long term. in terms of how do we structure the education system, how do we structure trade, how do we structure our regulatory and tax system to make sure we can sort of make on china. and one of the points i made in the piece is that, this is an area where someone could unify, sort of a country not against each other, republican against democrat, but again china. not saying you got to go to war against china and become a military villain which they are, but we do. >> a great way to do it would be to sign tpp, not just ban together as a country, work with
our al thrice put pressure on china. of course, the president decided he didn't want to do that. he wanted a better plan. a plan that he's not yet shown us. >> look at what the germans are doing. germany, one of the great u.s. allies wants to do a ton of trade with us is very frustrated that we're pulling back from our alliances and trade deals. and what are they doing? they're looking to the chinese. remember when the head of china went to davos and said, listen, i want to fill that void. if it's america first, i want globally. most would rather do business with us. they prefer our ideals certainly to the communist ideals. >> but they need predictability. >> they need predictability and a marketplace. china used to have a one-child policy, and then to a two-child
policy. now they're going to let the chinese have as many children cass they want. why does that matter? because right now they're 1.2 customers right now. and they're going to allow that to go to 1.4 or 1.5. more workers, they think about that. and obviously, they have an authoritarian regime that can organize things however the hell it wants to. we don't have that. trump could have that somehow in the united states. when you grab them by the lapels and think, how do we look at more long term, looking at china, laying out a document division is one way to do it. >> indeed it is. my take-away, great point, 2017, xi jinping went to davos, and he was the star of davos. the talk of the town. it had a big impact. i forgot about that. thanks, jim. up next, jared kushner, the prison reform bill. it's a day of bipartisanship. why is it in jeopardy in the senate?
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still nervous [about buying a house? a little. 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. and see how easy homeowners and renters insurance can be. welcome back. after sailing through the house with overwhelming support, a prison reform bill called the first step act moves to the senate where it faces some major
hurdles. garrett haake joins me now from capitol hill. garrett, this would be the first major bipartisan success for the trump administration specifically for jared kushner who, let's be honest, we tool on every single day for his massive portfolio and he's done a grand total of nothing. but this, if it happens, is a big win. >> reporter: yeah, it could be, stephanie. there's a lot in this prison reform bill that members of both parties like. it basically works to change sentencing by allowing people to earn different ways to get out earlier, good at the haver credits, credits for doing vocational and rehab work during the time that they're sentenced. and it makes smth ore changes in the system. it funds different programs, places prisoners closer to their families. but the bill has what a call an anti-goldie locks problem. it's too hot for some on the right, too cool for some on the left if the accident address things like mandatory minimums
and sentencing on the front end. that's one of the things that particularly democrats would like to see a lot more in this bill. >> the bill does have support from some democrats who have previously criticized and can't we make the argument something is better than nothing? i mean, this thing is called the first step. >> reporter: right. absolutely. it's in the title here, the first step act. but democrats are not entirely confident, particular spli senate democrats, i'm thinking of folks like cory booker, dick durbin all have worked on this before and all are less than entirely confident that this san issue that the trump administration or a republican controlled congress would be willing to revisit to take a second or third step. they would like to see more done now while there is bipartisan support, particularly on these issues of mandatory minimums and snn sentencing reform. that's something this that had gotten a lot of talk in the senate but was not included on the house side of the bill and it's something that might hold back some of the more liberal
senators who want to support this issue but don't feel like there's enough in the bill that they can support. >> i want to bring my panel in. eddie, i appreciate many are going to say this isn't enough, but is something better than nothing? to pass any sort of bipartisan bill and take action on prison reform when you've got a guy like jeff sessions in a position and we thought all we were going to do was to go backwards, should people play ball here? >> i think they should play ball but in a very, very deliberate way. and that is if there's -- if there's a possibility, and i think cory and senator booker and harris and others are right to be suspicious, that this might not come around again given the trump administration's attention span, that they need to take advantage of the moment to do as much as possible in terms of prison reform. and mandatory minimums is driving the expansion of the carseral state. and if we don't do that as jeff
sessions amps up the drug war, you're going to find people caught newspaper that net aup i going to see continued expansion even as folks are trying to do the first step act and that's not going to help. >> you've got jeff sessions amping up the drug war. >> trying to. >> how big of a win for is this for jared kushner sne said my father's incarcerated, this is a huge issue with me roar i'm going attack it head on. trump's in office and he goes well, now that i've spent time with jeff sessions it looks like we have a great prison sentence. now it appears he has found his legs or his voice. >> i think the one way this thing can work if it gets passed through, i'm hopeful that it will, is as a demonstration project. that you can, in this climate, in any climate, you can get this thing passed. it passed overwhelmingly in the house. the president said he's enthusiastic about signing the bill.
even a president who is law and order, you know, at the republican national convaengsd aintd pod jeff sessions, the fact that you can get something done, you're right, it doesn't get mandatory minimums, there's a whole bunch of stuff that congress does constantly including past couple weeks, you know, making a federal hate crime to assault a cop had is a ridiculous probably unconstitutional bill that will make things worse. however, a project saying you can do criminal justice reform, republican president congress is a great thing to show that the politics of this are doable and viable. >> that's a great win for the american voter who said, i'm tired of grid lock, i want progress in this country. but is it a great win for politics? the mid-terms are on the horizon. if democrats play ball here were president trump is put a feather in his hat and say, see, i'm the pragmatist you wanted me to be. >> yeah, they have to be careful. they have to be really careful and they have to be careful not only because of what trump -- how trump could play it, but they also have to be careful of
the actual base, the folks who are suspicious of trying to split that difference in some sort of way. and let me just say this about the bill. >> don't they also have to figure out who the base is. >> well, yeah, that's true. in georgia last night gives us an indication of how complex that is with stacey abram's nomination. >> it's complicated. >> it is. i want to say this. if it's the case, could you imagine that one of the points that you could get towards rehabilitation is working, right? being able to put yourself out there as -- >> i love that idea. >> no, as mississippi prison systems, louisiana prison systems exploit prison labor in order to depress wages in those states. and how we -- i've got to be very, very clear about the motives here, right. what are some of the incentives for rehabilitation? what is driving it? >> back up. say it again i think i lost. >> you what i mean by that is i'm always suspicious when we don't go far enough in some of these instances, when we're get together heart of it. >> yes. >> i'm worried what if it's the
case under certain conditions, i haven't seen the bill in its details that one way that you can earn some time off of your sentence is by participating in work programs. and what we do know is that prison systems in at least at the state level in mississippi, i know this is a federal, in mississippi, louisiana, that they are exploiting prison labor throughout the country. folks are making next to nothing and building all throughout the country. and i want to be very, very -- i want to be very, very careful in how we think about the ways in which we're rehabilitating. i need to hear more. >> do you agree with that or do you think to your earlier point passing this prison reform bill could mean the door's open do more in the future? >> criminal justice reform is happening right now on the state and local level. it's been a left, right, and libertarian bottom up alliance happening here to the extent that even if you appoint a drug warrior, an open drug warrior as attorney general, he can't even do this. the president has said i'm not
going to enforce the drug laws in state -- legal states. that's an amazing thing. that shows that you can -- that there's going to be public popular opinion on the side of this stuff. americans don't want marijuana to be illegal anymore, there's a whole bunch of stuff in our kind of built-up state that americans are rightly against right now. there's politics for this. bypassing this you're demonstrating that there's an active politics for thantd retro grades like tom cotton who said that we don't have enough people incarcerated are going to be on the losing end. i want to see tom cotton lose every day of the week. >> tom cotton, i'm just going to say we do have enough people incarcerated. i'm not saying we have all of the bad guys, but there's some good guys in there and it's time for them to be rehabilitate. great conversation. i appreciate your time put know how i like tend to the show, good news because i believe there's always good news somewhere and it roouls. michelle boozman has been a waitress for 20 years. this week total strangers left her a $3,000 tip on a $44 bill.
along with a note thanking her for smiling and working so hard. after sharing some of the tip with her coworkers, boozman plans to spoil her grandchildren and pay for a trip to ireland that she has always dreamed of. she wasn't even able to thank the couple for their generosity before they left, but now she says she's going to be having a guinness and toasting them. those are a couple of great americans and we wish michelle the best. that wraps us up this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. i will see you again at 11:00 a.m. and all day long on twitter. more news with my friend hallie jackson. how about that, hallie, 44,000 bucks. >> that's like my life -- >> sorry, $3,000, 44 -- >> it's amazing. she's going to have a blast. thanks. we'll see new an hour. i'm hallie jackson in washington. also in washington, paul manafort, the former trump campaign chair back in federal court right now making another move to try to quash the special counsel's seises against him.
you have the president up and tweeting about witch hunt again. and separately the partner and the plea deal. one of michael cohen's business buddies making a deal with the government. they get his cooperation, they give him a get out of jail free card. so why should you care? it's the flip factor. we'll explain. and the other shad dpo over the white house, north korea with the new sfrons china after three options president trump's laying out. it will happen, these talks with north korea will happen eventually, or it won't happen at all. we've got new reporting on where this goes next. plus, overnight primary results and the headline women are in. sweeping primaries across the deep south. one of those women making history is here with us life, stacey abrams, the first black woman to be nominated ford a major party for governor will be joining us lafrt on in the show. our team is here covering it all and i want to start with what we're watching this hour. we mngsed paul manafort. he's argue the fbi searched his property illegally. he wants that evidence tossed out. it's coming ahead of his federal