tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC May 30, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT
and that does it for today's show. follow us online, on facebook, and on twitter @mitchellreports. craig melvin takes over next right here on msnbc. hi, craig. >> hey, andrea. good to see you, msnbc headquarters here in new york city. unrecused. president trump says he wishes he picked a new attorney general. it's his latest attack on jeff sessions and his comes as the president's personal lawyer just left court. and stormy daniels's attorney was there as well. i'll speak to michael avenatti about a ruling to keep him out of the case for now. and president trump just weighed in on the roseanne barr controversy, but he did not call out the actress. instead he called out abc. meanwhile, roseanne is defending
herself, blaming her sleep medicine, ambien, yet the drug company insists that racism is not one of its side effects. and puerto rico in peril. hurricane season just days away. puerto rico not ready. now that new study says the death toll from hurricane maria is so much worse than we originally knew. i'm going to talk to an unlikely source of help to people who lived there when help was hard to find. we start with the latest chapter in the ongoing saga about the president's locrocky relationship with his attorney general. it was just four words of a three-tweet thread, where the president quotes congressman trey gowdy's understanding of why the president would ask why he didn't pick someone else to be attorney general given the russia recusal. and the president adding only, and i wish i did. the tweets come on the heels of a startling report from the "new
york times" about a previously unreported meeting between president trump and attorney general jeff sessions over his recusal from the russia investigation. nbc's kelly o'donnell starting us off from the white house. kelly, we've seen the tweets. any other reaction from 1600 pennsylvania to this times story on sessions? >> reporter: not yet, but we expect to have an opportunity to ask sarah sanders to give us the latest from the white house. what we have certainly seen is over time, the president has been willing to put out bruising comments about jeff sessions, the attorney general, often expressing his frustration and disappointment in sessions. at the same time, we have seen how republicans on capitol hill in previous iterations of their disagreements have said that they would support sessions to the point of not confirming a replacement if they felt that sessions was somehow drummed out in a fashion that they thought was inappropriate. so, we don't know where things stand right now, but these comments give us a window into the president's thinking. the article that you cited takes
us back in time. it's not a current meeting they're describing, but this new reporting deals with a time last year when the president, according to the "new york times," was asking sessions to flip back after recusing himself from supervision of the special counsel investigation, to step back in and say that he could. we all watched how sessions recused himself, citing specific department of justice rules, because he had been a campaign surrogate, part of the transition team, but that would bar him from being a supervisor over that case. we also know that the president felt blindsided by that, based on all of the reporting and his comments, frustrated. and trey gowdy is an interesting figure in this, because he is the south carolina congressman not seeking re-election. a former federal prosecutor, who has often spoken very much in support of people like sessions, the fbi, and so forth, often a bit against where the president is. so, for president trump to cite him in an explanation of just
merely expressing frustration about sessions, that's notable in a more subtle way. and as you pointed out, the president saying, i wish i did, meaning, appointing someone else. craig? >> kelly o'donnell from the white house for us. thank you. let me bring in kim whaley, former u.s. attorney, an msnbc contributor, and so is joyce vance, former u.s. attorney for the northern district of alabama. big thanks to both of you. joyce, let me just start with you. actually, kim, this may be a better question for you. let me pose this question to you. it's a very simple question. if the president did ask his attorney general to un-recuse himself, i'm not familiar with the working definition of obstruction of justice, but that would seem on its face to a lot of folks that the president was trying to obstruct justice, no? >> yeah, the creme of obstruction of justice is about the process of interfering with the process of justice itself.
and here we're talking about an investigation into russian interference with the election that our national security agencies agree was -- favored donald trump. and there are other information supporting that. so this isn't the first example of mr. trump trying to basically stop the process on a theory that the president somehow is in a special place when it comes to the rule of law. so, so obstruction is difficult, because you have to prove intent, but when you says things like, "i wish i had appointed someone other than jeff sessions," that is a statement regarding his state of mind, at least today, regarding that decision that he made. i mean, there's mounting, mounting evidence that he's interested in stopping this investigation. that's the very definition of obstruction. now, whether that would be provable in court if this were to ever go to a trial after an indictment, there are constitutional questions there. but of course, we saw articles of impeachment against both bill clinton and richard nixon for
obstruction of justice. so, this is a serious, serious issue here and a serious crime and something, i think, everyone needs to pay attention to, if we care about having an accountable government. >> joyce, i want to read just a snippet from this "new york times" report here, and talk about something on the other side. the president objected to his decision, to session' decision to recuse himself from the russia investigation. mr. trump, who has told aides that he needed a loyalist overseeing the inquiry berated mr. sessions and told him he should reverse his decision. an unusual and potentially inappropriate request. mr. sessions refused. "the times" also reports that this meeting is being investigated by the special counsel. joyce, what would robert mueller and his team want to know specifically about this meeting? >> so, kim is right on the money when she talks about the mounting evidence of the president's intent. and that's a central question here. did the president, when he approached people about ending
the russia investigation or giving favorable treatment to folks like general flynn, did he have a criminal intent in those actions? that's why all of these different incidents will be so very important to the mueller team and this story that we've now heard for the first time officially, but that we've obviously expected this will sort of communication went on between the president and the attorney general will be very informative for mueller's team, in looking at the details, to understand precisely how the president phrased the request, was it, for instance, as comey said, delivered in a way where he took the president's comments as a command, not as a request. and how the attorney general reacted. whether they, in fact, discussed the idea that this was inappropriate behavior for a president. the issue facing mueller now is that there are so many different pieces of information where we see the president putting his fingerprints on this case, that although the president might
have the ability to explain any one of them away, when you look at them all together, they become an awfully compelling case for obstruction, taken in combination. >> kim, thank you. joyce, a big thanks to you, as well. of course, we'll be spending a lot of time digging through this over the next few days. i do hope you'll come back. there's another big story that we are following on this wednesday, as well. msnbc legal analyst danny cevallos is the in front of the federal courthouse in manhattan. he is covering today's hearing in the michael cohen case. bring us up to speed, sir? .what happen what happened in court today as it relates to michael cohen? >> reporter: two major things. number one, there was an update as to the status of the provision of the documents seized by the government to the special master. now, you'll remember, special master barbara jones was appointed. she's a former judge. she's basically resolving all the privilege disputes between cohen's team, trump's team, and the government. the government seized the
documents and the records. they haven't looked at them yet. they're waiting for them all to go through the special master. part two was whether or not attorney michael avenatti would be allowed to appear pro hoc and intervene on behalf of stormy daniels. for the time being, the answer to that question is "no." >> danny cevallos outside the courthouse there. danny, thank you. the aforementioned michael avenatti, stormy daniels' attorney, he was in that courtroom a short time ago. he's here in our studio now. let's just get your take, first of all, on what danny just mentioned there. this decision from the judge regarding your standing in this case. >> well, the judge has yet to make a decision on the motion. it's being held in abeyance, basically, being side-tabled, if you will, until the appropriate time when our motion to intervene is heard. in fact, within the last hour, we withdrew the motion, my motion for admission, because
it's unnecessary at this time, in light of the court's comments relating to our motion to intervene. that may also be unnecessary. but let me tell you the bombshell that happened in court today. >> the tapes. >> the tapes. now, you know, we had nixon tapes years ago and now we have trump tapes. mr. cohen's attorney was forced to admit, as a result of our efforts relating to bringing these tapes to light, he was forced to admit in open court today that michael cohen was making recordings of various parties and those recordings, not only do they exist, but they're being kept under lock and key. he was forced to admit that some of them relate to my client, which is of huge concern to us. and our position is very clear as outlined in front of the courthouse. these tapes should be released in full to the american people and the congress so that people can judge them for themselves
and decide what action should be taken. >> what's the public interest in having those tapes released? >> these tapes relate directly to the conduct of the president's right-hand attorney, relate directly to issues considering my client, attorney/client privileges that were disclosed by mr. cohen improperly by her prior counsel. and also, we have every reason to believe that the tapes include communications between mr. trump and mr. cohen that don't have anything to do with the rendering of legal advice. so those are not privileged communications. >> you know what's on the tapes? >> i'm not going to get into what i know or don't know. here's what i know. this is a bombshell and the importance of this cannot be overstated. now, why michael cohen was recording these things was anybody's guess, but it wasn't very smart. but we now know that they exist. there's an admission in court that they exist and they should be released. >> the president's voice is on the tapes? >> that's our understanding. >> and your client's voice is on
the tape? >> my client's voice is not on the tapes, to the best of our knowledge. my client's attorney's voice is on the take place, describing communications that he had with my client, which he should have never been disclosing, because that was privileged information. this whole thing appears to stink. >> judge wood also said today that if you were to be admitted to the court, that you would have to abide by this code of conduct, meaning that you would probably not be able to do a lot of this. is that one of the reasons you withdrew your motion? >> well, that's not exactly what she said. she said that i would have to be more careful in my appearances, in my media appearances relating to this case. we understood that going in. that had nothing to do with why we withdrew the motion. we withdrew the motion because it doesn't make any sense to have it sitting out there in abeyance when it's really not necessary, especially in light of the court's comments. >> i want to go back to these tapes. again, the assertion that these are akin to the watergate tapes. you recognize that's a pretty startling assertion to a lot of folks who might be listening or
watching. >> i understand that. but let's release the tapes. there's audio recordings between mr. cohen and others. we have every reason to believe it includes mr. trump. we have every reason to believe that they're doing whatever they can to cover it pup there's audio recordings that should never have occurred relating to attorney/client communications regarding my client. it's outrageous that ever occurred. this entire thing, the more we dig, the worse that it gets. we still don't have all the bank records for essential consultants having been released, relating to what michael cohen was doing as it relates to that entity, what money was taken, what foreign interests were involved, where the money went, whether any of it went to mr. trump, et cetera. the questions just keep piling up. they need to start providing answers. this is a very serious matter. we're talking about the president of the united states and we're talking about what appears to be a considerable conspiracy and cover-up. >> a conspiracy and cover-up involving who? >> involving michael cohen, involving mr. trump, and perhaps others relating to these payments and where the money
went. and look, all of this information is available. we know that. we know it as it relates to the admissions that were made in court by michael cohen's attorney. they should release the information. if there's nothing nefarious about this, they should just come clean and provide the information. we know that this is dirty. we know it's ugly. and it's getting -- >> do we know that or do you know that? >> well, i certainly know that. and i think that people with common sense, and there's a lot of american people that have a lot of common sense. you don't have to look very far to figure this out. >> you know that because you know what's on the tapes? >> again, i've already answered that question. i'm not going into details -- >> you haven't answered the question, you danced around the question as only michael avenatti can do. but i think we have a good sense that you have a good idea of what's on the tape. sometimes when i listen to you and read you, i get the impression that you know a lot more than you let on and you're waiting for the rest of us to catch up? >> it's not a question of waiting for people to catch up, it's a question of, we have a
strategy relating to this case and relating to representing my client and what needs to be released and when, and we need to follow that and we also don't have complete information at times, so we're not in a position to release what information that we have, because we need to verify what we are told. and we have to do our job in that regard. but i think that if you look at our record over the last 2 1/2 months, we've been very, very accurate in what we've predicted and we haven't danced around a lot of questions. we've made a lot of appearances and answered a lot of questions, far more than michael cohen and iz h attorn -- his attorneys. >> did you leak cohen's financial records? >> we provided the summary report and stand been the voracity of those statements. we didn't do anything improperly in that regard. and to the best of our knowledge, we're not under any investigation for anything we've done. >> michael avenatti, good to see you. >> just really quickly, this is something i wanted to ask you that may have gotten lost in some of this. your client, how is she doing?
>> she's doing great. we communicate on a regular basis, several times a day, many times a day on a whole host of issues, she's doing very, very well, very pleased on how things are going and feels more and more vindicated with each passing day. >> we'll leave it there. thank you, sir. nbc news exclusive. a new intelligence assessment says that north korea really doesn't intend to give up its nuclear weapons, but they may be ready for a burger joint. yes, seriously. also, president trump just weighed in on the "roseanne" controversy. while he's calling out the network that fired her and not roseanne barr herself. dear great-great grandfather, you made moonshine in a backwoods still. smuggled booze and dodged the law. even when they brought you in, they could never hold you down. when i built my family tree and found you, i found my sense of adventure. i set off on a new life, a million miles away. i'm heidi choiniere, and this is my ancestry story. now with over 10 billion historical records, discover your story.
secretary of state mike pompeo prepares to meet with a top north korean official this afternoon. the june 12th summit between kim jong-un and president trump looking more and more likely. but a new cia report says that the last-minute push between the two sides may be all for nothing. top intel officials concluding that north korea is more likely to open a western burger joint than it is to get rid of its nuclear stockpile. nbc national reporter carol lee has the exclusive story here. i will admit to you, carol, that when i got the breaking news alert yesterday from nbc news, i thought it was a headline from "the onion." apparently, it's not. >> i thought you were going to say it made you hungry. >> well, that too, but every breaking news letter does that, noe
no matter what. president trump seemed fairly confident back in april about this idea of denuclearization. what changed? >> well, the most significant thing that we learned from this cia report is the denuclearization piece, meaning that intelligence officials assessed what north korean experts have long believed, which is north korea has no intention of ever giving up the entirety of its nuclear arsenal. and why would they, because that's the leverage that they have on the world stage. what this does is cast a lot of doubt and calls into question president trump's claim that north korea will denuclearize and that they have a commitment or have made a commitment to that. you know, if the intelligence is showing that north korea has no intention of doing that, then it calls into question whether or not the two sides can ever reach a deal. if the u.s. sticks with what it's said, which is that north korea needs complete verifiable
and irreversible denuclearization. and so, you know, as they go into this summit, you've also seen the president last week kind of soften his language a little bit on denuclearization saying, maybe it didn't have to happen immediately and it could happen in sort of phases, which suggest that he's been made aware that north korea does not necessarily have any intention of denuclearizing. >> do we know which burger joint they would permit? >> we don't. that wasn't in the report, but we know that the intelligence officials determine that congrekim jong-un was open to opening a western burger franchise. and we know that president trump has suggested a sort of burger summit during the campaign saying, enough with the state dinners and if he were to meet with kim jong-un, then they would throw some burgers on a conference table and kind of hash it out. maybe he's trying to appeal to the president's affection for hamburgers. >> carol lee, that's a good spot to end it. thank you. thanks, as always, for your reporting. turning now to a bizarre skand stunning story out of ukraine.
a russian journalist -- follow me, here -- this journalist believed to have been assassinated by russia's security service turned up alive at a news conference today. there he is, right there. ar ararkady babchenko says his death was faked. ukrainian tv said he had been shot several times in the back at his apartment building. one suspect has already been detained in the ruse. trumping roseanne. president trump breaking his silence on the controversy, tweeting not in defense of the tv actress, but in defense of himself. why he is calling for an apology from abc. i've been making blades here at gillette for 20 years. i bet i'm the first blade maker you've ever met. there's a lot of innovation that goes into making our thinnest longest lasting blades on the market. precision machinery and high-quality materials
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gee, he never called president donald j. trump for the horrible statements made and said about me on abc. maybe i just didn't get the call. president trump using third person there. barr earlier blaming ambien for being behind that racist tweet. ambien's manufacturer tweeted a response, as well. "while all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any sanofi medication." that's the company there that produces ambien. known as a staunch trump supporter, barr also tweeted, i feel bad for potus, he goes through this every single day. the comedian has been one of the president's most public advocates. >> look at roseanne! i called her yesterday. lack at her ratings! look at her ratings! they were unbelievable. over 18 million people. and it was about us! >> it should be noted that
president trump did not say anything about roseanne last night in nashville, tennessee, at a political rally there. michael eric dyson, professor of sociology at georgetown university, also author of "what truth sounds like," one of his 300 books that he has written and published during his career. jonathan capehart is a pulitzer prize winning "washington post" writer, and david pullman, thanks to all of you. mr. capeheart, let me start with you. this is what valerie jarrett said last night at msnbc's town hall on race. >> tone does start at the top. and we like to look up to our president and feel as though he reflects the values of our country. but i also think every individual citizen has a responsibility, too. and it's up to all of us to push back. our government is only going to be as good as we make it be. >> is that -- is that fair, j jonathan capehart? how much of this can we lay at
the feet of president trump? >> oh, we can lay a lot of it at the feet of president trump. what valerie jarrett said yesterday at the msnbc town hall forum on everyday racism is exactly what she told me a few months ago when i interviewed her on my podcast here at "the washington post," cape up, where i was asking her, now that she's out of the white house and president trump is president and we had already gone through a list of horrible things with this president in the oval office, and she said those exact words. that people, if they don't like what's happening, they need to make their voices heard, because the government is only as good as the people demand of it. and also, i don't think anyone should be surprised by the dignified and gracious response of valerie jarrett to something so horrendous and racist. she reflects the obama administration and both the former president and the former first lady, when they go low, we
go high. she was not going to dignify roseanne or those comments by talking about them direct ly, bt reminding everybody that when things like this happen, not just to her, but to people of color, women, anyone who is different from the quote/unquote majority, these things happen to people every day. and it's incumbent upon us to rise above it, but also to call it out when it happens. >> dr. dyson, president trump, of course, no stranger to controversial remarks on race. >> absolutely not. >> when mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists. and some, i assume where, are g people. the total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. you know what i'm -- oh, look at
my african-american over here. look at him! you were here long before any of us were here. although we have a representative in congress who they say was here a long time ago. they call her pocahontas. and those were just a handful of the comments that he's made since he was on the campaign trail. but dr. dyson, one of the things that continues, i guess, interests me to a certain extent, the donald trump, is he the cause or is donald trump the effect? >> he certainly is the effect. donald trump didn't begin all of this. he and roseanne are taking the same drug, bigotal, whose side effect is uncontrollable racist tone. so, clearly here, what's going on is that donald trump is the logical summary of 300 years of white supremacist ideology, of white resentment, tethered now to white power. this is what happens when conspiracy substitutes for
knowledge and bigotry substitutes for insight. yes, president trump is the product of brooding skepticism about black and brown and red and yellow people, skepticism of people of color, about transgendered people, about gay and lesbian people, about mexican people, about muslims, about the other. and this is not something that began with donald trump. this is, after all, a man who cast aspersion upon our first african-american president by denying him legitimate and valid, you know, citizenship in america. so, yes, it's no surprise that donald trump would amplify that. but make no mistake, he is amplifying a deep cesspool of bigotry, of racial hate o, of white supremacy and he has bold about it and has emboldened people like roseanne. roseanne hates black pigment more than she loves green paper. when you're in a position where you're messing your money up over your bigotry, you are really, i think, discombobulated
and you messed up and you don't understand, you know, keep your feelings to yourself. go on and make your tv show, and then do what you have to do outside of it. this is what bigotry does. it wrecks the brain. it undermines the capacity of racial thought and logical reasoning among those who are possessed by it. so unfortunately here, what we see is that donald trump is not the beginning, he is merely the most bigoted amplification of a centuries-long tradition of anti-blackness. >> derek, i'm always reluctant to have anyone follow dr. dyson, but today it false on you. abc's entertainment president, in part, calling the tweet repugnant, abhorrent. but, you know, here's the thing, anyone who's followed roseanne barr over the last 15 to 20 years or so, she's said and tweeted and done other things that are just as repugnant. for abc, what was different this time? >> oh, i mean, the story here to me is really, really simple.
abc reaped exactly what it sewed. right after the 2016 election, the brass at abc had a meeting in burbank, california, and what they said was, we need a show that goes after this trump demographic. now, what is this trump demographic? according to copious research, we've seen that this demographic is distinguished not because of economic anxiety, but rather because of a pro-white, pro-male culturally conservative bias, which tends to be mixed with racial animus. and then we see right here that after renewing "roseanne," they get the star and the bigotry. they get exactly what they bought. so in many ways, yes, think bob iger, the ceo of disney and the brass at abc, they made the decision that they had to make. but at the end of the day, this is exactly what they bargained for. they were taking a risk that said, we're going to get high ratings and hopefully we can muzzle roseanne and make sure she doesn't say the sort of
stuff she is famous for saying on twitter, but then she said it. so you can say that "roseanne" is a little bit like the story of the trump kpacampaign itself. it is debuted to shockingly high ratings and them it is revealed to have bigotry after bigotry after bigotry. i don't think this is a surprise at all. >> we'll have to leave it there. m dr. dyson, thanks to you, mr. cape hart, thanks to you as well. all right, hurricane season is about to start and puerto rico is not ready. people there still dealing with the devastation from hurricane maria and desperate for help. how an unlikely figure is stepping in and and hhas alread raised some $50 million. little less alone. but then something happened. we had to deal with spam, fake news, and data misuse. that's going to change. from now on, facebook will do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy.
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free of dyes. free of fragrances. tidy cats free & clean. when no scents makes sense. the start of hurricane season is friday and officials on the island of puerto rico say they are not ready for another hit. a harvard study shows that hurricane maria killed at least 4,645 people there. that is far, far more than the official government total of 64. researchers say that many of the fatalities were preventable. my next guest, very much knows the depth of destruction and suffering in puerto rico all too well. you may know her as a star on the hit series "real housewives of new york city," but bethenny frankel has emerged as a surprising source of support for the devastated island through her organization, be strong disaster relief.
just days after plmaria struck, frankel was involved on the ground. in fact, she was on the ground before president trump himself. she's also chartered more than 50 planes packed with tens of millions of dollars of aid and supplies for the island. take a look. >> so -- yeah, because you need -- i think you need it. $600, okay? >> oh, my god. >> i talked to her a short time ago about what she has seen there and experienced. take a look. so you have been there more than half a dozen times, on the ground, talking to folks. were you surprised at all to learn yesterday that the death toll is reportedly perhaps 70 times as high as the official government toll? >> i wasn't. i was there recently and the power went out when i was there two weeks ago or a couple of weeks ago, and when i first started going -- i was there before the president was there.
i was like, a week and a half in. and when i was there in the beginning, the news was saying, it was 17 deaths, but i was going into small villages in people's homes and seeing old people without insulin, their respirators weren't working, their dialysis machines weren't working. and in all of the 54 eplanes that we sent, we were sending sick patients home spop if you're just a rationale human being that's looking around you, you know that it's not 17 people, because i have seen over a hundred people that are dying. >> what motivated you initially, bethenny? what was it about the crisis in puerto rico that compelled you to act? >> understanding what the word "crisis" meant. i created be strong, which is an initiative that was initially for women and their families in crisis year round. and when houston hit, the texas hurricanes happened, i said, oh, god, this is a crisis. and i went there and we raised over $300,000 in kind and in money and helped over 1,000 people that were waist-deep in water.
and then i went to mexico, a town of 7,000, that 73 people were dead under the rubble. and then i said, wait, puerto rico, can't do i do this? can't i charter a plane and fill it and figure out how to distribute it when everyone was saying that you couldn't? and we've helped usvi and domenica and st. thomas. everyone talks about puerto rico, but everybody is in trouble. and we're about to have another hurricane season. and you need to lock the door before you get robbed, not afterwards. so we're preparing for that and have still been on the ground the entire time. we've been to 73 municipalities, we've been to every town. and it's always been a crisis. and so i'm so happy that we get to talk about it again, because some people get sick of me talking about it and i'm not stopping to talk about it. >> i've heard that you've collected somewhere between $40 and $50 million in aid. is that right? >> yes, we took all of the relief through people in the united states, using twitter as a vehicle and instagram, finding all the relief that people
hadn't planned how they were going to get it to puerto rico, we amassed it in miami and we had a warehouse we filled four times about the size of a costco. >> with what? >> with insulin, solar power, medicine, rice, beans, diapers, tampons, anything that a human being would possibly need, water. i mean, it changes people. i couldn't get people to give me rain boots the first week for houston, and now massive companies contact us and we amass all of the relief and we thank everyone and we're prepared. i mean, it's been an incredible thing and it's a skill set that we now have. i have a partner in miami, michael kapony. we are still on the ground. we've been there the entire time, five-day period is the most that we haven't been there. you know, we've been there the entire time and we're still there now. >> what are some of the stories that you've heard from folks there in puerto rico that have touched you the most? >> so you go into san juan, which is, you know, people are having fun and it seems like
everything's okay. you go into the mountains and you see people now and you don't think about it. you have kids, your kids -- think about your kid at 7:00. it's pitch dark, it's mud, there's such slums, you can't imagine how disgusting it looks just to be there. you wouldn't want to be there for ten minutes and people are living there with babies. there's vermin. they're poor bored, they're depressed, they have nothing. they ration water. it looks like it happened yesterday, in many, many places. people are spending $1,000 a month to keep their power on, to keep their dialysis machine on. so that's why we raise -- we have raised over $1 million in cash to give them cash cards directly, put money into the community. it's to give them some dig ani it's to give them some dig anty and to give them exactly what they need. people sending me clothes, i don't know exactly what someone needs. i don't know if they need dialysis or insulin or water. it's a bad situation. and also, not to be forgotten, domenica, usvi, st. thomas, it's
a bad situation everywhere. >> so for people watching, what can they do? >> my initiative is be strong delivering good. and i think you're going to post up, you can donate. and if every one of my fans, followers, anyone watching donated $5 million, we could make a much bigger difference. i mean -- you know, the thing is, we know how to distribute the money, and we give the money directly to people. there's corruption here, all of the publicized work here, we hear that the money is not get there because of bureaucratic costs and red tape. 100% of the money goes into people's hands. all of the other relief and the planes, those are donated or paid for by me or people donate them, but the money goes directly to people to get what they need. >> bethenny frankel, you've become like this one-woman american red cross. >> can i say one more thing, you have msnbc and you have businesspeople, think of how you donate as you invest. you're not just going to throw your skmun gimoney and give it random person. invest in an organization that you trust to give it directly to the people 100%.
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>> not the charge that people have been so interested in, but one that would probably have been more straightforward in terms of the court case, in terms of proving. but that was one thing that he wanted and he got it and the writing was on the wall and he was going to have to go sooner rather than later. >> i want to ask you about something else completely unrelated to what we're talking about now. this is an article i came across
in the "sacramento bee." and it's related to partisanship to a certain extent, this is something we've talked about a lot in this broadcast. independent voters now out-number republicans in california, becoming the second largest voting bloc. it's big news in california. is this the wave of the future, josh? are folks becoming so disgusted with both parties that they're going to start shedding their party affiliation? >> they may change their voter registration as we're seeing in california, but political scientists talk about this concept called pseudo independents, which is people who describe themselves as political independents, but virtually always vote for one party or another. maybe you're a pseudo independent. do you call yourself an independent but vote almost all the time for democrats or republicans? we've seen a rise of that. if you talk to independents and they say they lean toward one party, those people are actually more partisan than people who identify as members of a party, but say they're not strongly identified members of that party. so i suspect a lot of these voters in california, they haven't started voting, you know, either way, one party or
another. they do have increases in political views of both parties, but it doesn't necessarily signal true independence. you have an issue in california, a few years ago, california abolished party primaries. one run you would identify is to enable yourself to vote in that party. now, they run in one big primary. there's no voting advantage to being a member of a party there anymore. >> yamiche, really quickly here. first lady melania trump, she's not been seen in public since may 10th, spawning a whole host of conspiracy theories out there. and it prompted a question in our meeting this morning. i'm going to pose this question to you. does america have the right to know why she's been out of sight? do we even have that right? >> i mean, i think that america has the right to be concerned, but this is -- she is the first lady. she is someone that has a public schedule that the press and other people -- that the press
and other people look at. and in some ways, it's a hard question, because if it's a personal thing, a health thing, and she's not the one that people that people elected into office, i might lend her some personal time and say, look, whatever's going on, we know she had this week-long stay or almost week-long stay in the hospital. i talked to her spokesperson several times and other people in her office, asking kind of, what's going on with the first lady? they all say she's doing fine. but, i'm not sure if we're going to have the right to actually say, hey, this is what -- you have to tell us exactly what's going on with you. because she's first lady. she didn't run for a political office. >> yamiche alcindor, josh barrel, we'll leave it there. a big thanks to both of you and we will be right back.
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that wraps up this hour of msnbc live. katy tur standing by. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today". >> hey, craig, how are you? >> i'm great. thank you for having. >> have a good hour. >> an hour off, at least. >> yes. it is 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in washington, where in just 45 minutes, we're expecting the first official white house briefing in over a week. and it is reasonable to expect reporters will press sarah sanders with this. does president trump still have confidence in his attorney general jeff sessions? if the president's tweets are any indication, that answer is a pretty hard "no." cherry-picking comments from republican congressman trey gowdy this morning, president trump tweeted, quote, i wish i did pick someone other than jeff sessions. hee conveniently ignored, th