tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC May 29, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT
set of wheels. not a bad gift for gradation. especially ahead of this young man getting a scholarship to college. congratulations, cory. that wraps us up this hour, i'm stephanie ruhle. i'll see you again at 11:00 a.m. and all day long on twitter. right now, more news with hallie jackson. >> thank you very much. this morning we are still saving the date for singapore because in a new twist north korea's former top spy is in the air on his way to the u.s. right now. another new sign that summit between kim jong-un and donald trump could be salvaged. that same summit set for two weeks from today. the same summit the president canceled just five days ago. now the president says he is focused solely on north korea this morning. but you know what? he's clearly also focussing on something else. the russia investigation. tweeting about it four times before 7 c:00 this morning. how democrats like chuck schumer are hitting back. also this morning, trump trademarks for the other trump
ivanka winning big for your brand in china while her dad, the president, pushes to save jobs at that chinese telecommunications company. coincidence? maybe. but you know it's raising questions. our team is standing by and ready to go. this afternoon had you pyongyang's top negotiating landing in new york. that's set to happen in a matter of hoursed in the is one of kim jong-un's closest aides and a former top spy. at the will be the most senior official to visit the u.s. since 2000. at the white house, president trump has put a hold on new sanctions against north korea. "the wall street journal" saying the administration was going to roll out new crackdowns today. has has been delayed. ? ationa, you have two teams on the ground trying to figure out what they'll talk about and how they will talk. here's the official and optimistic line from the white house this morning. >> you see have you twogation offers there working on the
logistics and the diplomatic talks and for the first time in 18 years a north korean official will be on american soil. >> nbc's chief correspondent bill kneelly is in seoul just south of there. bill, let's talk through latest development. what do we know about this former top spy who's headed to new york right now and how the talks are progressing with the second american team who's on the ground in the dmz? >> reporter: yeah, good morning. well, the four-star general is a former spy chief, he is literally kim jong-un's right hand man. that's where he was at the weekend summit between kim jong-un and south korea's president moon. he was at kim's side. incidentally, he was also pictured behind ivanka trump at the closing ceremony of the winter olympics where he was head of the north korean delegation. it's also thought he was behind the hacking of sony pictures four years ago. so this is a senior guy.
he will have the authority to negotiate on behalf of kim jong-un. and i suppose it is proof of just how much north korea is investing in this. the real work, though, is being done by a u.s. team led by ambassador kim. they're sleeping in seoul here tonight but they're doing their work inside north korea at the dmz with north korea's vice foreign minister. and they were told by u.s. officials are working on two things. a joint statement between president trump and kim jong-un that would come at the end of that summit and of course an agenda for the summit. and we've been told by those officials if they can't agree that joint statement and the agenda, then there's no point the president going. and we understand the joint statement will be general in nature if it happens, and will not have details about denuclearization. now that north korean delegation has gone back to pyongyang to consult with kim jong-un and we think those talks will restart
tomorrow. the final piece of the puzzle, hallie, is that white house deputy chief of staff in singapore to talk about logistics, the who, what, why, when, and where, who they talk to, how the press, how we all see them and so on. but those three strands would suggest, hallie, that the north koreans really have invested in this. they really seem to be serious about this. and there is a rush to this summit. >> just two weeks away from today. bill neely in seoul. hans is doing double duty today at the white house. thanks for being on the north lawn. talk through what you're flaring your sources not just at the pentagon but there at the white house about this thing happening in two weeks as planned. >> reporter: i think the significant thing what kellyanne conway was hinted agent a second meet tlarg n meeting, that not everything would get done in the june 12th meeting.
would you ooud have a general, generic statements if that is indeed the end point for the june 12th summit, those are easier to get. everyone acknowledges the spefbls and details are going to be much more difficult, that's why if you have a generic statement, that june 12th meeting is significant, but it's not as significant. it won't finish and finalize these talks. here's what the president tweeted this morning. he said we have put a great team together for our talks with north korea. meetings are currently taking place concerning the summit and more. the vice chairman of the north korea heading now to new york. solid response to my letter, thank you. the expression of gratitude from the president of the united states to the north korean gives you an indication that the mood inside the west wing is positive about where these talks could potentially go. i would add amid all these teams that bill's talking about, secretary mattis left this morning heading to hawaii and then to singapore, the very site of that summit. he'll be there meeting with defense ministers from all across the globe. hallie. >> hans nichols there at the
white house. i want to bring in gordon chang, also a columnist for the daily beast. on set, cath rib lucy and ma shis -- michelle looking at her phone. let's talk through this idea of a generic statement that's potentially being negotiated right now. as hans said, if that is going for written, sort of free written before these two leaders meet, the meeting is significant but it's part of a show. is that fair to say? >> it certainly is fair to say. kim jong-un for his part wants to have a meeting with president trump regardless of the content of the meeting, because that's legit myzatio legitzation. i don't really object so that but the president needs to keep the press secretary you're on. we are not going after some financial sanctions that could actually krim t actually cripple the regime.
you can sthaep because we're in a delicate situation, but we need to keep the pressure on. >> let's talk about the sanctions for a second. i had a treasury official tell me we're not in the business of talking about sanctions before they happen, talking about the potential for punishment. but if you believe "the wall street journal" and their reporting that, yes, they did pufrpt brakes on potential punishments toward north korea in order to create a good environment, right, for these talks to happen. was that a smart, strategic move? >> i think so. you know, the sanctions have gotten the north koreans to the table. because we've crimped the flow of money, cut it in about half. but there's a lot more that we can do. and the treasury is certainly got actions lined up. so i think that if we don't get what we want at this june 12th summit in terms of a general statement, that we need on june 13th or maybe even the evening of june 12 toth put th to put i additional measures because that will convince the north koreans that they have no choice fwou disarm. >> let's go to catherine because
you also have the political overlay to this. president trump, both leaders are motivated here. president trump because he wants to be able to say he had that historic moment of sitting down with kim jong-un working toward peace. kim jong-un because he wants the legitimacy that sit down with trump would give him, with any western leader, particularly the united states. it's the leaders who are motivated. it's everybody else that has to figure this thing out. >> we know donald trump, he likes the drama of the will they won't they. he likes the talk about a possible nobel prize. he likes the attention this has brought him and he likes the idea that he could be the person to do something differently. but he certainly has had a lot of people in his ears saying how is this going to work? who do you get denuclearization? what's the end game? how are you going win here? >> it's not just kim jong-un and donald trump, there's also china's role in this and that's been a critical piece. as we reported yesterday, he spoke with shinzo abe. let me play the james clapper who was out this morning talking specifically about that.
>> kmien poses a huge economy angd scientific and technical threat to the security of this country. >> i think that i just want to go back to what catherine was talking about because i think it's so important. as soon as the president canceled this meeting, i started talking and getting on the phone with white house officials and not one of them told me they didn't think the meeting was going to happen. everyone said this means that it's not going to happen maybe right now, maybe not that the date, but this is totally going to happen. why? because the president wants to take that victory lap. i think the fact that the president wrote this letter and kind of put it out there and also kind of included that idea that we have these big nuclear weapons and we pray that we don't have to use them, i think that's all amping the drama. because i think the president absolutely wants this meeting to happen for the reasons that you stated. and the idea that china's playing a role in this isn't surprising because china has kind of their own stake in this. >> right. >> and i think we will talk about kind of the all the other china news later. but the idea is that north korea is meeting with -- the fact that north korea was meeting with
south korea this weekend and that china was even playing a role in those talks tells us that this is something that's on their mind as well. >> gordon, you had an adviser to the u.s. government talking about how fully denuking north korea, fully going through the process of denuclearization could take 15 years. which is obviously a very long period of time. the president, i think, has indicated that perhaps this could happen quicker. where do you see the realistic possibility of nuclear disarmament for pyongyang? >> we could do this within a year if we got the political will. the president has the tools. even short of use of force to make the north koreans realize they have no choice but to disarm. for instance, if kim jong-un didn't have money, he would not be able to engage in gift of politics. if he can't do that, he's got to be worried about his continued role. so there's a lot that we can do to persuade kim that really the choice is either death or disarmament. so we can do this. you know, we've got kim jong-un
on the run. we saw that on thursday afternoon when the north koreans where are unusually conciliatory. so they're showing that they've got a weak hand and we should press the case. >> thank you for coming on and for that perspective. we want to share with you breaking news over the last 30 minutes. the supreme court declining to take a challenge to a controversial abortion law in arkansas. the state law restricts med occasion abortions. those are only available in the early stages of pregnancy. women are prescribed pills rather than going through a procedure. arkansas passed a law in 2015 but it's been tied in in the courts ever since. now that the supreme court has decided not to take this up, those new restriction on abortion will take effect in arkansas. our pete williams is inside the supreme court right now. we're expecting potentially a couple other major decisions happening. he's going to be race together cam rat second he gets them. stick around we could see those sometime in the next 15 to 45 minutes here. we also want to talk about
the idea of separating parents from their kids at the border. the president's taken heat about his immigration policy and this morning he's firing back at democrats. it's just one of two and important complicated stories about families trying to come to the u.s. that we're following. we'll break them down four next. . . . . next. o next. u next. introducing walkabout wednesdays.
mistakenly tweet 2014 pictures from obama's term showing children from the boarder in steel cages. they thought it was recent pictures in order to maction look bad but backfires. dems muss agree to wall and border protection for good of country. eelisies, bipartisan bill, exclamation point. that has been make rounds by some journalists over the past couple days but as the president correctly points out, the photo is from 2014. but that tweet highlights just how did he this whole discussion has become. kristen welker is over at the white house. there's bane lot of misinformation surrounding this. you have the controversy over this zero tolerance border policy announced earlier this month. separately you've got these questions about the whereabouts of those hundred of kids who crossed the border without their parents. break this down. >> reporter: well, you're right. the key here is there is a lot of misinformation on both sides gnat zero tolerance policy coming under scrutiny and it's controversial. the missing, unaccompanied
minor's a separate issue, but that zero tolerance policy is raising fresh questions about what we're doing with those kids. this morning an immigration mystery. what happened to nearly 1500 missing, unaccompanied migrant children. many are from central america and entered the country alone. a top official with the department of health and human services testified recently that in all more than 7,000 migrant children were placed into sponsor's homes in the last year. but acknowledged that during the last three months of 2017 the government lost track of 1500 of those children sparking a backlash on capitol hill. >> where are these kids? why don't we know where they are? >> reporter: on social media, outrage of over those missing children has a hash tag where are the children gaining traction. they're saying that nearly 1500 children, quote, are not lost, they're sponsors who are usually parents or family members and in all cases have been vetted for
criminality and ability to provide for them simply did not respond or could not be reached when this voluntary call was made. >> we have the worst immigration laws of any country anywhere in the world. >> reporter: still, president trump blamed democrats for supporting what he has described as lacks immigration policies tweeting this weekend, put pressure on the democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from their parents once they cross the border into the u.s. but democrats say breaking up families is largely a result of the trump administration's zero tolerance policy for illegal border crossings touted earlier this month by attorney general jeff sessions including this warning to migrant parents traveling with children. >> if you are smug ailing chigl then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law. >>? >> reporter: and now ivanka trump is posted.
some critics online calling that tone deaf amidst the controversy over the migrant children. and notably ivanka trump is respond together criticism these getting this morning by quoting roman emperor and philosopher who wrote if thousand holdest to this, expecting nothing, fearing nothing but satisfied with thigh present activity, according to nature, thou will live happy and there's no man who will be able to present this. basically saying focus on the big picture topics, folks. now, separately, when pressed why the president is blaming the democrats for the child migration process, he told me overnight it's democrats who are the ones who are refusing to close loopholes which the white house says is allowing unaccompanied minors to fall between the cracks. democrats have been pushing back at that argument saying they're not loopholes they're laws enacted to protect those very children because they require that children under 18 be placed in a setting that's in their
best interest instead of being held in detention facilities. this is a debate that continues to rage on. >> and it's not going anywhere. i'll see you over at the south lawn in a little bit as the president leaves for nashville, something we'll talk about later in the show. i'm joined by recall reyes back with me, catherine louisiana i can with the associated prets. raul, to you first. let's start with the unaccounted for children put heard that are push back from hhs that came out roughly 12 hours ago after the story had bubbled all during the holiday weekend saying we reached out on our ob to call these response rers some 6,000 plus we heard back from, roughly 1500 we did not. seems like some of those sponsors may be incentivised not to pick up the phone when the government calls, is that a fair assessment? why do you think they may be unable to reach them? >> it's absolutely a fair assessment. to be clear, no matter what administration we're talking about, whether it's bush, obama, or the current administration, our immigration court system is not really set up to deal with large numbers of children.
that's why unaccompanied children at the border were a problem even for the obama administration going back to 2014. with this administration, because it has been so hostile and been perceived as so hostile to the immigrant community, it's going to make it difficult going forward even if they went back and tried to -- to reach them because people are very afraid of the government. they may be a mixed status families where someone has citizenship and someone has not. and the other reason this is so relevant, the missing children are so relevant to the government's zero tolerance policy is that the government is potentially about to put huge more numbers of children into this system at the same time that immigration judges have now been giving quotas to speed up decisions as fast as possible. so the system is overwhelmed now and it's about to get a lot more kids. >> let me break that down because i think this is an important nuance here. "the new york times" has a peetion out and we broke this down yesterday on this show. did the trump administration separate immigrant children from parents and lose them?
no, the assistance no. that is not what happened. this is two separate things. here's the deal, though. because of this zero toerence policy, as you just alluded to, that under this policy, if these parents and children who come here together and are separated as heard jeff sessions said under this new poll vir they would end up in the office of resettlement, which is the same office overseeing these unathe kd for children. these nufbs children that we are talking about. that's where ultimately this link may come together down the road. i want to till something because just popping into my e-mail is an interview that the department hhs secretary who obviously oversees this office gave with hugh hewitt on msnbc. this is not great tv but i'm going to read you the quote because that's what we want to do. he says, these children are not lost. he says the only reason why people believe falsely that the children are lost is because that sponsor does not answer their phone when we make the call after 30 days. so here you have hhs deputy
secretary eric harga, n talkin, the children aren't lost. is that semantics at that point? >> it sounds like semantic because you've called the person that had the kid, that person did not pick up the phone call. is the kid completely lost? we have no idea. but if you haven't picked up your phone call and it's been 30 days and we're still looking for the kid and you have a voicemail that says we want to know where the kid is, that means that kid is not accounted for. i want to read something to you quickly. a 2016 inspector general report showed that the federal government couldn't locate 884% of the kids that it to the break that down there was a day dhar was losing kids and the trump administration said when you come to our border we're going to put more kids in that daycare. that's a problem but it's too 2 separate issues. >> we talk about the problem more broadly. this stems back to past administrations. >> yes. the 2016 report shows that under a democratic president there was this problem. the problem is that now we have
a new republican president who is saying, i see the problems that we have, but i'm still going to put more kids in that program and i'm going separate them from their parents because their parents broke the law. now, there are people of course that support that because they say well if these parents were committing murder or shoplifting and had to go to jail, they wouldn't be able to be with their kids. that's the trump administration's argument for why they should be separated from their parents and there are people who believe that. >> there's the deterrent factor too. when we talk about immigration you have to talk about what happens to those undocumented immigrants living in this country who had been protected under the dream act, under daca. and this move now for lawmakers saying to president trump, this is do or die time, there's a revolt happening inside the republican party in some corners to get some action there. how does that play out? >> that's the million dollar question. for the dreamers right now daca remains in place thanks to a series of court decisions. long term there's a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about whether congress will be able to craft some type of solution as
we get closer to the midterm dpoint thi. i don't think people be willing to be helpful but they're trying to get their congressman to sign on to the discharge petition. >> thanks for coming on the show. i'm going to ask you two to stick around because the president's attacks on mueller went further. the president now says the special counsel is actually getting involved in 2018. what? no evidence to support that. we're talking about it after the break. (baby crying) (slow jazz music) ♪ fly me to the moon
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we are back with a look at your morning's headlines. and this morning florida, alabama, and georgia are all under a state of emergency. we have subtropical storm alberto getting weaker but dumping a ton of rain on the south meaning there's a risk of flash floods. in north carolina, we are grieving the loss of two journalists from our nbc family. they were killed when a tree fell on their car as the two, out reporting in this storm. we're sending so much love and prayers to their families and to wiff down in greenville. in maryland, sergeant herman was reported lid trying to help a strange irrelevant find her cat when he disappeared into the
water. if you're thinking about an afternoon coffee at starbucks today, you may want to triple check that your local spot is pop. the company is closing 8,000 stores today so employees can go through antibias trangs. it's part of the response to what happened in philly last month while two men were arrest ford tres passion while they wait ford a business meeting. right now over in paris, guess who's back? ms. serena williams returning for her first match in 16 months as she's making her comeback from maternity leave kput see her here. there's been some controversy over her seating. serena lost her spot at the top and critics are saying why is she being punished for being pregnant. turns out the justices have declined to hear a case over one state's strict abortion law. nbc's pete williams is at the supreme court. walk us through what this means and what else we may or more likely may not hear from the
court today. >> reporter: okay. so no further decisions today. >> got it. >> reporter: this was an action on what the cases the court was going to grapt -- grant or deny. according to planned parenthood, medication abortion is now blocked in the state of arkansas. they say this is the first time this has ever happened at a state. arkansas has three clinics that provide abortion services. two of them provide medication abortions in fayetteville and little rock. then there's a surgical place in little rock. medication abortion places will have to stop giving those service dollars. so -- services. these are medication abortions, these are those that the woman takes one bill in the doctor's office then takes another set of medications at home. arkansas passed a lot in 2015 that's never gone into effect until now and it said that any doctor who provides this medication has to have a contract with an obgyn, another doctor who has admitteding
privileges at a nearby hospital. planned parenthood challenged this law saying this is like a law that the supreme court struck down two years ago from texas that said doctors who provide these services themselves had to have admitting privileges. so the arkansas law is one step removed from that, not the doctor but the doctor has to have a contract with somebody who has admitting privileges. but today the supreme court declined to hear this case. that lifts a lower court ruling that blocked enforcement of this law. so now arkansas can start enforcing this ban. it's effectively a ban, it doesn't really -- the words of the statute don't ban medication abortions, but what planned parenthood says is they contacted all sorts of doctors in arkansas, none of them were willing to provide this contract service so that would effectively block medication abortions. so it's not completely over. it goes back to the trial judge. but for now, arkansas can start enforcing this ban.
>> pete williams there at the supreme court. pete, thank you very much for that. i know we'll be seeing you much more this month as we wait for more decisions from the court. this morning, you have the president accusing the special counsel of twork interfere with the midterms. the president is write, the 13 angry democrats plus people who worked eight years for obama working on the rigged russia witch hunt will be meddling, he says, with the midterm elections especially now that republicans, parenthesis, stay tough explanation medication paint are take the lead in polls. there was no collusion except by the democrats. that's after the president fired off a total of nine tweets over the holiday weekend blasting his least favorite governmental investigation. you know who has had just enough enough it? chuck schumer. he has indicted or secured guilty pleas from 19 people that we know of. his work is as a prosecutor who is kwarly focused on getting to the bot tox russia's meddling on
our elections. any possible collusion with your campaign and a hostile foreign government. all of that is to talk about the president latest move to drive what he has described as spygate into the narrative. coming on the two-month anniversary, by the way, of hope hicks leaving her gig as the white house communications director. why does that matter? well, it has seemed to have put donald trump square fly in contl of white house messaging with more control than ever over his administration as a whole after a bun' of staff changes. the post writes, quote, rather than struggling to manipulate the president to follow their personal gaendss, the seen yo yore staff members of year two or season three focus on trying to curb his most outlandish impulses by generally managing his vision and whatever fallout may follow if the let's bring in philip rucker. also michael steele back in action, former rnc chairman,
msnbc political analyst. phil, to you first. take us inside the west wing because two people that you talked to in the president's orbit likened the die nam atlantic to "game of thrones" but not for the reason you may necessarily think, right? >> that's right, hallie. it's a lot of solo players inside the west wing now. they have personal relationships with the president. they're trying to sort of survive and do their jobs and over see it but you don't have the factions that you saw early on with the globalists versus the nationalists. instead, you have all of these individual actors trying to work with the president and effectively follow his ideas and his instincts. they're not so much trying to shape his policies as they are executing what he says he wants to do. he's very much in control and especially when it comes to m g messaging. he's not replaced hope hicks as the communications director. that's been vacant for two months but we write that president trump is effectively filling it himself.
>> you write that the generational aspect here with who the president is. iing in pla-- putting around hi >> and rudy giuliani. >> yes. >> all four of them return concludesing the president, are at or in their 70s. they're generational peers, many of them have known each other for many years in new york before the bhous. >> why does that matter, phil? there is a reason why it could matter here as far as relationship with the president, right? >> there's a comfort level that they're exhibiting. someone like kudlow is an old friend of the president's can talk to him more comfortably than some of the other advisers did and temperamentally they're more in sync with the president. rudy giuliani is the same sort of street fighter and brawler that president trump views himself as being. and so president trump seems comfortable with these men and they seem comfortable working for him and executing his ideas. >> you have this broader
discussion, too, about the president pedaling conspiracy theories from the early days of his political career before he was president, the "new york times" writing about that arguing what the president has called spy galt. it's the latest indication that a president has trafficked in conspiracy nearries has brought them from the fringes of public discourse to the oval office. michael, the president has saying as we teed up no proof but robert mule's teeller's tea going to interfere in the midterms. >> they said that they are going med he will in the 2018 elections. that's absurd. >> i think that hat president might be talking about, i haven't spoken with him about this, but there are a lot of people in the republican party who suspect that the mueller investigation might time releases of information that are -- to release them at times when it's advantageous to the democratic tickets. >> are you really, michael, a lot of republicans who believe this? >> no. look, you know, the president is
enjoying his twitter crack right now and he's having fun with that. every morning he gets up, he takes his hit and he starts his day. everybody else is expected to then react to this -- to this news. this is not news. this is part of a longstanding play by this president and specifically not the administration so much, but the president himself to delegitimize anything that can slam up against his efforts, whatever those efforts may be. so the reality is simply this for me. there is no spygate because there are no spies in the campaign. number two -- >> so nobody else is calling it spygate. >> nobody else is calling it spygate. number two, if the republicans fall this november, if they fail to hold house, it won't be because of democrats, it won't be because of collusion or anything. it will be because of a failure to make a message that sticks and works with the american people in a way that coincides with the president's agenda and the house agenda and the senate agenda. that breakage, that system does
work. and the people react to that. so stop the push that is going on. >> but if that happens, let's say the republicans don't as well as they hoped in the midterms. is it your reporting that the sources you talked to that the president is potentially trying to lay the groundwork for dela gill mizing those election results? >> think we're still trying to decode this tweet dwees every day. by do think to michael's point he has been trying to discredit the russia probe and this could be a part of that. >> philip rucker thank you for joining us. i'm going to ask the three folks on set to stick around. phil, pleasure to have you on the set today. thank you. the president on a noition save a giant chinese company and now new questions swirling around ivanka trump's trademarks in china and the timing of those potentially profitable deals. we have that after the break. atr timing of those potentially profitable deals. we have that after the break. um the timing of those potentially
profitable deals. we have that after the break. ad timing of those potentially profitable deals. we have that after the break. ars in china and the timing of those potentially profitable deals. we have that after the break. treating their cardiovascular disease, victoza® is also approved to lower the risk of major cv events such as heart attack, stroke, or death. while not for weight loss, victoza® may help you lose some weight. (announcer) victoza® is not for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza® or any of its ingredients. stop taking victoza® and get medical help right away if you get a lump or swelling in your neck or symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as rash, swelling, difficulty breathing, or swallowing. serious side effects may happen, including pancreatitis. so stop taking victoza® and call your doctor right away if you have severe pain in your stomach area. tell your doctor your medical history. gallbladder problems have happened in some people. tell your doctor right away if you get symptoms. taking victoza® with a sulfonylurea or insulin
but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. the name to remember. okay, let's talk about the trump brand. specifically ivanka's. because "the new york times" reports this month her company scored snen e seven new trademarks in china for some of their products. and what happened this month some president trump's surprise announce meant to find a way toe stop chinese company zte from going under. coincidence? as the time puts it probably. but the timing raises questions about what concerns there might be of potential conflicts of interest the. latest round of trademarks means the president's daughter now has 34 total in china according to the times which let her market and sell her products in the world's second biggest company.
she has stepped back from management of her brand but she still has a stake in the business. i want to bring in stephanie ruhle, noah bookbinder, citizens for executive edthics. there is pushback from these brand. they're not denying they got these trademarks. but what are they saying about those? >> so here's the thing. the ivanka trump, you know, scented candle at the very least smells bad. and while her company says these trademarks some of them they've been requesting approval for up to two years. >> sure, before -- before this. >> this is her business. in their statement they say the brand has filed, update and rigorously protected its international trademarks over the past several years in the normal course of business especially in regions where trademark infringement is rampant. >> you bet you. and the president of her company is doing what any ceo of a brand would do, that's absolutely right. here's the issue.
this brand that's defending or requesting trademarks for international expansion, the name sake is ivanka trump. that name sake just opened up a store in trump tower. and while they may have a stake in the trust and the ceo runs the firm, ivanka still owns it and the value of her brand has only increased with her position in the white house. let's remember what her job in the white house is. look at her twitter profile. adviser to the president on economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. so as ivanka as a private entrepreneur, her company is benefitting from the chinese government rewarding her with trademarks while we are in the throws of trade talks between the united states and china. and, yes, it could be a coincidence that the president wants to lighten up on zte as ivanka is getting trademark approval which may be the normal course of business, but it stinks to the high heavens begging the question why do
both? >> you can thans question noah book bind center you deal with issues of conflict of interest every day. >> we said from the beginning that the president and ivanka trump should not be doing both. they shouldn't be maintaining their businesses and there are two major problems that come from that. one is the possibility of self-enrichment, of ivanka trump using her position and they're father's position to get business for her company. and the president doing the same. and, look, if you're china and you're looking for an advantage in trade talks, it's a cheap and easy way to potentially swing things in your favor by giving business concessions to ivanka trump and president trump. and the other problem is that ivanka trump or her father could be influenced in their policy decisions based on these business favors. there's not much happening in the world that's much more consequential than these trade talks. you don't want the president's businesses and ivanka trump's
businesses to be a factor. >> so drill down a bit and seth i want to come back to you. is it an optical issue? take abigail clem who runs the brand at her word that these were in the works for two years even before donald trump got elected. it is the course of business for companies to try to protect what their intellectual property spt stepping back, is will a question in your mind of how this looks given that, for example, ivanka trump wore her brand and more than two-thirds of her social media posts this year? that's her brand put got a brand maybe you'd wear it a lot too. >> it's more than that. remember the first interview that the first family did with "60 minz minutes" ivanka trump's company sent out an e-mail in the media that says ivanka was wearing a bracelet from the ivanka trump fine jewelry collection. they since said that was a mistake. but when xi jinping went to dinner who was he seated next
to? ivanka trump. the same day she got 13 approvals for trade marks. >> how do you think this is playing with folks who say hey, leave her alone. this is the cost of having a business person in the white house? >> listen, they can make that argument. but at the same time people are going to question how is it that ivanka is running a business and getting approval and do you believe that the president can operate as an honest broker on trade when you've got his immediate family running businesses? whether or not she's stepped away from the business or not, the business is called ivanka trump. she is the brand. the brand's value increases internationally as she has a president internationally. who closed the last olympics? it was ivanka trump. >> right. >> in pyongyang. >> final thoughts to noah. >> this is why a president or major advisor to the president shouldn't main tab thetain thei businesses. we don't know why the decisions were made but as long as we have them both we're going to have to
wonder. >> we'll see you in 15 minutes. >> thank you for coming on set with us today, i appreciate if the bewant to tawe want to talkt more as we say hello to our next segment. mitt romney back on the trail. so which mitt romney are we going to see there and potentially the u.s. senate, the trump antagonist or ally? that's next. prescribed lyrica. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, unusual changes in mood or behavior, swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling or blurry vision. common side effects: dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs, and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. now i have less diabetic nerve pain.
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i'm in this race in part because of ann, in part because of my belief that even though i didn't get the job i fought for which was to become president, that even though i didn't get promoted to general, so to speak, i'm going to keep on fighting. >> that's mitt romney. the utah senate candidate and at time donald trump critic. out tonight ahead of the senate primary debate. this is the first time he'll be on a debate stage since he ran for president in 2012. romney is hoping to take over oren hatch's old seat. we thought it could get interesting to garrett haake scored an interview with romney. they talked about the rocky relationship he's had with the
president. i'm old enough to remember march of 2017. watch. >> donald trump tells us he's very, very smart. i'm afraid when it comes to foreign policy, he is very, very not smart. donald trump is a phony, a fraud. his promises are as worthless as a degree in trump university. he gets a free ride to the white house and all we get is a lousy hat. how if mitt romney wins is he going to navigate things with president trump? >> reporter: romney has made it clear when trump acts like a conservative republican, he'll be by his side. he told the audience in salt lake city, it was sort of a picnic town hall event here. he thinks donald trump has exceeded his expectations as president on the policy side. he talks about how he likes the tax cut bill and described himself still as a fiscal hawk
and talked about a pretty conservative position on immigration. he said he supports building a wall. he talks a lot about e verify. he's right there on the conservative policy side of things. when he sees trump, he says he'll support him. the two could not be more different stylistically. that's still the same. i asked romney about that after the event when we delved into it a little bit. take a listen. >> reporter: are you going to be the mitt romney who gave the speech in march of 2016 or are you going to be somebody who wants to work closely with the president? how do you thread that needneed? >> where the president is right on policy for utah and the country, i'll be with him. and he's exceeded my expectations with regard to tax policy, regulatory policy, public land policy. there are some other places where we disagree. i'd like to have seen a greater effort on the tpp agreement. i think we need to open markets for goods in the country. i'll do my best to convince him
to the rightness of my thinking, but if the president says thing divisive or race i or misogynistic, i'll call him out. i think it's important for people to know where one stands. >> reporter: do you think he's a role mod snl. >> i don't think i would point to the president as a role model for my grand kids on the basis of his personal style. he has tact in a way that i think is not entirely appropriate. i believe his policies have been by and large a good deal better than i might have expected but some of the things he said are not ones that i would aspire for my grand kids to adopt. >> and hallie, one other note from the event last night. you had the experience in 2016 of being called out by a candidate from the stage. it was not a pleasant one. romney called me out last night, but it was to tell the audience he intends to continue to respect all of the constitution including the first amendment, and journalist who is are out doing their jobs. so another sort of important
stylistic difference from a candidate who this will be his race to lose. his brand is still rock solid in utah and he's finding that lane between the conservative base of his party and the president who he only sometimes aligns with. >> thank you, garrett. back with me michael steele, katherine lucy. and yamiche alcindor. i was watching you watch romney. you took a suck in of beth when he answered. >> he is threading a difficult needle. he does not see the president as a role model for personal behavior and rhetoric and mannerisms. he pivoted back to the policy piece. i think for him this is not about the personal side of the president but more the policy side. that's the space romney needs to be in in a republican election
in utah. >> he fits in with the other republicans who off the record tell you they can't stand the president and think somes of the things he says are racist and then go out in the rose garden and tell him he's amazing. republicans want to get things done. they're looking at their long-term can but they're dealing with donald trump who most of them don't like. i've talked to republicans who shake their head and cringe when you ask them what they think about the president's latest tweet. >> safe to say donald trump won't campaign for romney in utah. we're told maybe as often as once a week, that's the expectation. you know how these things sometimes turn out with president trump. he's headed to tennessee. >> he's heading out there today. how do you see him factoring into the tennessee race own the midterms? >> he wants to be out there a lot. republicans who are in trouble they are looking at and shoring up republicans who need help. but it's also going to be hard
for mitt romney to run far from the president. he's out there a lot talking and as you know, when he does a campaign rally, who knows what he's going to say. >> that's for sure. >> thank you all for being here. i appreciate you being onset. we end with the big picture. we're heading back to utah for something else. this is josh hold draped in an american flag. that's his grandmother, linda, with him. that's an awesome picture. he was freed over the weekend after being held in a venezuelan prison for nearly two years. he was arrested after going down to marry his now wife. accused of attempting to destabilize the government. he's home and surrounded by more than 100 friends and family members. the photographer here kim raff for the a.p. we'd love to hear your thoughts. i'll see you tonight on nbc nightly news. we'll report more on the immigration drama. stephanie ruhle, you've been watching it closely.
>> indeed. good morning, everyone. i'm stephanie ruhle. i feel like i've been with you all morning. ali velshi off. it's tuesday, may 29dth. let's try to get a little smarter. a flurry of diplomatic action this morning connected to the potential u.s. summit with north korea. >> three sets of north koreans are now in about to with the u.s., one a former spy chief according to president trump and a tweet in the last few minutes, he is now heading to new york. >> we have two delegations over there working on the logistics and diplomatic talks. for the first time in 18 years a north korean official will be on u.s. soil. >> criticism over the revolution that scores of immigrant children were lost track of in the united states last year. >> this morning an immigration mystery. what happened to nearly 15 00 unaccompanied migrant children. many are from central america and entered the cou