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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  June 2, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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powerful odor control with activated charcoal. free of dyes. free of fragrances. tidy cats free & clean. when no scents makes sense. i'm all-business when i, travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges. what can i say? control suits me. go national. go like a pro. hey there, good morning, i'm alex witt here in new york at msnbc world headquarters. here's what's happening right now. the envelope, please? north korea directly deliver as
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big message to the president in the oval office. and the result -- >> we'll be meeting on june 12th in singapore. >> the see-saw summit back on. same date, same place, but the president seemed to make one thing clear he had not before. we'll explain. pardon power -- is the president trying to send a message to allies entangled in the russia probe with recent moves, and is it legal? and the roseanne/samantha bee controversies, why some say there's no comparisons. going to extremes, a surge of candidates running on a white nationalist message. details next on msnbc live. we begin with a new warning from senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to the president as he prepares to come face to face with kim jong un. here's what mcconnell said at an event in his home state of kentucky last night. >> i think for these situations to work you have to not want the deal too much. if you fall in love with the
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deal, and it's too important for to you get it, and the details become less significant, you could get snookered. >> meanwhile new tails in what appears to be the hurdle in the logistics for the summit. the "washington post" vorting that the u.s. is trying to find a discreet way to pay for kim jong un's hotel stay during the summit in singapore. the "post" says the presidential suite where the north korean leader wants to stay costs more than $6,000 per night. nbc news's white house correspondent kelly o'donnell is joining us now. with a good morning to you, let's get to the mood inside the white house following that big meeting yesterday. >> good morning to you. i think there's a lot of expectation and anticipation and preparation that needs to be done. there's a lot of work that goes into this kind of historic meeting and the planning is under way. that's been going on before the president confirmed that it will go forward. but there's a lot to do between now and june 12th. in addition to that, remember
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the president also has the g7 meeting in canada. the group of seven nations of a large peaceful democracies and economic powers will be meeting right before this summit. what happened here friday was extraordinary. when you consider all of the history, decades of discord and hostility the white house opened its doors to one of the top officials around kim jong un. a man who has himself been part of some of the hostile acts attributed to the regime over the years. and now president trump says not only will he go to singapore on june 12 for this meeting. but he expects other meetings are likely. >> inside the oval office friday, personal diplomacy delivered in the giant-sized letter from north korea. presented during a 0-minute visit to the white house by the senior envoy for kim jong un. >> would you like to see what was in that letter? >> president trump escorted north korea's vice chairman, its
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former head of intelligence, kim young chol out to waiting cameras, along with secretary of state mike pompeo. a clear sign the president considered the conversation productive. >> i think it's a getting-to-know-you meeting, plus and that can be a positive thing. >> the president described the june 12 summit in singapore as a first step toward negotiating an end to north korea's nuclear arsenal. >> we have sanctions on them. they're powerful sanctions, we would not take sanctions off. but the sanctions are very powerful. >> while trying to make peace, the president also provoked anger, from a close u.s. friend over trade and tariffs on steel and aluminium. chuck tad spoke with canadian prime minister justin trudeau. >> the idea that we're a national security threat to the united states is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable. >> unfazed by the protest, the president stood his ground. >> they're our allies, but they
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take advantage of us economically. so i agree, i love canada. >> mr. trump hinted about a possible historic outcome in singapore. because the korean war was never officially declai lly declared resolving it now is on the table. >> can you believe we're talking about ending the korean war? we're talking about 70 years. >> alex, one of the things we could see coming out of singapore would be a signing ceremony that would officially end the korean conflict. that's something the president talked about friday as a possibility. and said that he and the north korean delegation had discussed that as well. alex? >> that could be likely. thank you so much. kelly o'donnell. joining me now, kaitlyn huey burns, reporter for real clear politics. good to see you. jeremy, is there any new insight on what the president and the north korean official talked about in that meeting? >> i think what's most significant is the president's
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deescalation in his tone and his resetting of expectations about what could happen in this meeting. on the one hand you have the president apparently, seeming to imply that they're not going to insist on a rapid denuclearization in north korea, which is what they had been saying all along. that they wanted. and number two, you have the president saying that he's no longer going to apply the kind of rhetorical pressure that he had been applying before this meeting. so already it does seem that this is, is getting off on a better footing. i don't know that a lot of diplomats and veteran north korean watchers would say that's necessarily a good thing. and there is some question about whether or not the president is giving too much away ahead of time. it's impossible to give too much away when you haven't signed an agreement yet. but yes, i think that so far it seems that this is a gentler
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approach by this white house. >> a little more realistic here. >> so the president was asked about the content of the letter from kim jong un. here's how that went. take a listen. >> a letter was given to me by kim jong un. and that letter was a very nice letter. >> can you give us a flavor of what the letter said? >> it was a very interesting letter. >> what was your response to the letter. did you send anything back? >> i haven't seen the letter yet. i purposely didn't open the letter. i haven't opened it. i didn't open it in front of the director. i said would you want me to open it? he said you can read it later. i may be in for a big surprise, folks. >> hang on there the president said it was a very interesting letter and then he said he didn't read it. what did you make of that, kaitlyn? >> it was startling, that recognition. the president went to the cameras and talk for a long time because he thought he had positive news to talk about.
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earlier in the morning the economic numbers came out. even though they were wrapped in controversy given the way the president tweeted about them earlier. but he seemed so eager to talk about the summit and to talk about the way in which it was back on and that the they would be meeting in singapore. that those details he completely looked over and misrepresented what he actually knew at the time. and so i think that's significant. i think, look, in the bigger picture here, you play the sound bite by mitch mcconnell earlier. talking about the way in which there is concern. that the president wants a deal so badly, that there would be potential for things to go wrong here. we have seen the president very much driven by doing things that his predecessors weren't able or couldn't or wouldn't do. that has been a major driver for this president. and so there is a lot of caution, not only from his critics, but also from allies of the president.
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who want him to really go into this meeting, prepared, knowing all the stakes to jeremy's point, it does seem according to the rhetoric. that the administration at least kind of understands that. but a lot of this is wait and see. just a week ago we were talking about how the summit was off. >> we sure were. okay. i want to talk about tariffs. so jeremy, mexico, canada, european union. u.s. allies here. why make this move? and throw in speed bumps to a strong economy? what's the strategy? >> the strategy is that this is a promise that the president made, right? so this president more than really any we have seen in our lifetimes, i think, is absolutely fixated on making sure that his voters understand that he's fulfilling the commitments he made to them during the campaign. that's his whole strategy, his whole path to getting re-elected, should he be on the
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ballot in 2020. it's also an important factor in the 2018 mid terms that the republicans are honoring what they said they would do. so -- i think the issue, though, is on the ground, these tariffs in certain states, certain states that are very important to the president, in 2018 that will decide control of the house and the senate, are not necessarily good economic news. so i think that this is a real gamb gamble. >> so to that point, then, kaitlyn, how much is the value of making good on a promise versus potentially hitting trump supporters in their own wallets. >> right, exactly. and especially if that would negate any benefit, that these people would also receive from the tax bill that both the president and republicans are trying to sell to american people. think that's really an important point. we talk about what are the consequences for this president when he treats our allies the way that he has been treating them.
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very you know taking a very hard line against them. without regard for the consequences it seems. so when we pose that question, i think we have to consider that the consequences might just be in the way in which these retaliatory efforts on behalf of canada do hit the president's core constituency. remember, we have a mid term coming up. whether that is reflective in the way in which people either vote or don't vote for these lawmakers remains to be seen. you know this is a real sticking point of course, has been for a long time, between republican lawmakers on capitol hill, traditional republicans, and this president. when it comes to the issue of trade. >> guys, good to see you, thank you very much. have a good saturday. a former attorney general says buckle up and get ready for crisis when the russian investigation wraps up. we'll tell you why, next. insurance that won't replace
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caught up in mueller's russia investigation, could this end up back-firing on the president?
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joining me now, msnbc legal analyst mimi rocha and former congressman elizabeth holtzman. elizabeth to you first, after listening to eric holder, does this action potentially put the president in legal jeopardy? >> i think and the justice department shouldn't back away from this, that the president can be indicted. i recently wrote about that. legally he can be indicted. if the evidence is there, he should be indicted. the other thing that can happen is if the let's just say mueller and decides that the evidence is sufficient to be shown to a grand jury, this could be sent to the congress and start an impeachment effort. so the president could be liable. should be liable on two fronts if his actions amount to crimes or abuses of power.
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and maybe holder says he's concerned with the president's recent pardons. in regards to that. "the new york times" wrote by choosing to pardon the political sporters whose cases largely failed to meet the basic guidelines for pardons, mr. trump could turn a slow and imperfect system into an unequal and unjust one. in which those with fame money or access to the president's ear are first in line to receive clemency. is there anything, mimi, that that committee or anyone else in congress can do to limit exactly what the president can use his pardoning powers for? >> not now, in other words the pardon power is pretty absolute and the president can use it in this way that he's using it. which is absolutely wrong. he's not going through the pardon process as many have noted. he's not using it to correct injustices. he's using it to dole out favors. and reward people who support him politically and send
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messages both to prosecutors and potential cooperators against him. that's not how the pardon system is supposed to be used. however, you know, i think that these pardons can form the basis or being part of a larger prosecution. down the road. if he is prosecuted or if there is impeachment proceedings about obstruction. these could form -- i don't think standing alone they would. you know form an obstruction charge. but they could be part of the story. of how he's trying to undo and derail an investigation that encompasses his own actions and he's abusing the powers of the office to do that. >> what is the purpose, elizabeth, of a president having unfettered pardon power? and is trump using that correctly? >> well, i can't put my head in minds of the framers, but basically the framers of the constitution, we have pardon powers, the governors have
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pardon powers, kings have pashden powers, basically because the criminal justice system follows the letter of the law. the result is unjust. let's say there's a 30-year sentence, the prison is reformed in prison, so forth. and that kind of thing. but let's go back to the point about pardons, and misuse. in watergate, president nixon offered pardons to the watergate burglars to keep them quiet. that was a quit pro quo, i'm going to give you a parten. you don't cooperate with the prosecutors, if that's what's going on here. you definitely have an impeachable offense and you may well also have a crime. because the president just can't use his powers, even though he has them to commit crimes and obstructing justice is a crime and the argument that some people make, the president has
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the power to do whatever he wants, is just wrong. >> do you think the pardon to dinesh d'souza was a signal to michael cohen? >> absolutely. i've heard people say the president is not playing chess, not being strategic, absolutely if you look at the pardon of d'souza, a man who pled guilty under oath. he admitted his courtroorimes. and he was prosecuted by preet perara. that is reinforcement of the fact that this is personal and political, it isn't about justice and if you look at the other pardons that trump says he's considering, again, they come back to prosecutors who you know trump has a vendetta against. it looks like this is very calculated. >> can i ask you, that robert
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mueller wants to speak to someone with whom the president has granted a pardon. does that person have a leg on which to stand to claim the fifth? >> not for what's already happened. >> but we don't know if that person is telling the truth. so you know -- people say well it doesn't really obstruct the effort to get at the facts, it still could. >> okay. good chat as always. elizabeth holtzman and mimi rocha, thank you. in the race, congressional candidates running on a white nationalist message making history at the ballot box with statements of hate. coming up. nbc's morgan radford talks about her conversation with one of those candidates. ♪ tired of wrestling with seemingly impossible cleaning tasks? sprays in the bathroom can be ineffective.
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who was endorsed by trump. and villaraigosa's being bankrolled by a handful of billionaires. it's everything that's wrong with politics. and none of it is helping struggling families. here's my pledge to you. i'll keep our budget balanced. invest in affordable housing. fight for universal healthcare. and stand up to donald trump. as governor, you can trust me to do what's right- because i always have. a disturbing trend ahead of the 2018 mid term elections, the southern poverty law center says more white nationalists than ever are running in local ballot races. at least eight so far. nbc's morgan radford joins me now. you spoke with some of those candidates, a good morning to you. what all did they tell you? >> we travelled from chicago, out to san francisco and what we're seeing right now is unprecedented. we haven't seen anything like this in recent history. and the reality of it is,
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there's an historic number of white nationalists coming out publicly, they're talking about their views and now they're running for office. the question is why do they feel like this year is their year to win? why do they feel emboldened today and now? warning to some of our viewers, when we asked that question, we god answers you might find over. >> my name is earl jones i'm doing a little early campaigning. >> arthur jones is running for congress in chicago's third district. >> i received 70% from all the votes in the republican party in the march 20th primary. >> once a member of the american nazi party. who denies the holocaust ever happened. >> the crying and wailing about six million jews, ridiculous. >> he's one of eight white nationalists running for mid terms. he's campaigning to make chicago's neighborhoods 90% white. >> most white people want a
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white neighborhood. >> do you think black people are genetically inferior. >> the average iq of a black person is about 20 points lower than the average iq of a white person. >> i went to harvard. >> all right and you got a lot of white blood in you. >> some white blood, i'm african-american. >> that's where your intelligence is coming from. >> you think it comes from my white side? >> i think so. >> many americans can't believe jones is even on the ballot. >> he's such ignorance and such hatred. >> it's all -- >> that makes it mutual. >> anti-hate groups say the number of white supremacists running for office this year is higher than ever before. many of them running on the republican ticket. >> we're seeing something we've never seen before. why do you think that is? >> i think we have a tone that's been set during the campaign and the presidency of donald trump that some would say creates a senate dog whistle, a signal to
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these groups and individuals. >> like patrick little who is running against senator dianne feinstein in california? >> did you vote for president trump? >> yes. >> white? >> he dog-whistled against globalists. i didn't understand he was talking about jews until after the election. >> hes is seen dragging and spitting on the israeli flag. >> the republican party says it doesn't want anything to do with little or jones. >> the candidates say they think this is what will make america great again. >> it's not because we're racists, it's because we feel marginalized. we're the ones being oppressed. >> anti-hate groups say the number of hate crimes has jumped 20% in the last year in major cities and the number of people killed by white supremacists doubled in 2017 compared to the year before. alex? >> i'm curious what the effect is on these candidates when they get this kind of publicity. is there a way to measure that? >> it's funny. this is the question i've gotten
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most frequently since we first did these interviews. why are you showing this? why are you showing this ugly truth? we asked that of a lot of hate groups. they said you can't stop the hate if you can't see the hate. said one, this is happening in unprecedented numbers. but two, these people are on the ticket. so patrick little, the second guy i interviewed, he lists himself as a civil rights advocate on the ballot if you're voting a straight ticket, you may not even realize he's on there. alex to be honest, professionally and personally, this is what makes america, right? we are resilient people. we have had a history of sharing and staring an ugly truth in its face and believing enough in this country to believe that it can be better. it's what my grandparents did, right? my grandfather drove a garbage truck and now i get to say in 2018 i'm looking at the same type of person in the eye who made him drink of a separate water fountain and be able to say, i went to harvard. but you can't get to that progress if you don't acknowledge the pain. as a journalist, my job is to
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show you what's out there. even if it is an ugly truth and everybody else geddes goetz to decide what to do with it. >> you did an excellent job, thank you so much. let's bring in democratic strategist crystal ball. host of the hil hill's ymg coming new show. and michelle bernard, president and ceo of the bernard center for women, politics and public policy and msnbc political analyst rick tyler, former cruz campaign spokesman with a good morning to all four of you. we're going to start with you, here, some of these white nationalist candidates are running on the republican ticket. yes, as we heard from morgan, there are state party leaders disavow them. but does the republican party have a responsibility to do more? and how much of a role would you say the president has played emboldening these candidates? >> the republican party absolutely has to reject any white supremacy and white nationalist groups as the party has historically done.
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the party should return to its roots, the party of lincoln is the party of freedom. the anti-slave party. the proud history of promoting freedom. and fortunately we haven't had some of the organized parties, that europe is actually experiencing with white nationalist parties that are gaining ground an winning seats. what's disturbing about this story is that this may look to be a forerunner to white nationalists organizing and winning seats in congress. or even in state legislatures. regardless of party, that's a terrible term. we've had too many people die for freedom and we've learned a lot of lessons over the years. and ultimately america is always striving to get it right. >> jason, given that these white nationalists candidates look, they're outliers, at this point. is it fair to place blame on the president or the republican party? how important is it to highlight
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them? or do you think they should be ignored. >> i was asking that question to morgan as well. the extent to which giving publicity helps or hurts. >> well, i think we do need to acknowledge that they're there. this is the hate that hate created. i know that the illinois republican party has rejected arthur jones, but at the same time they have to understand that what they've done is built up the sentiment and created this, and i also believe that we have to remember that arthur jones has run five times before unsuccessfully. but he won now and there's a reason for that. now as far as highlighting you know, and showing what they're doing, i think it's important as was stated earlier, to show and bring awareness, so that people don't make mistakes on the ballot. but at the same time, i think it's also important for us to acknowledge all of the women of color, african-american women who are also running right now, record number of african-american women and what they do need is more support from the democratic party.
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of course we all know about stacy adams in georgia. and i think so it's important for us to also highlight some of those moments of progress. >> i'm sure, i'm curious, michelle, where you place the blame here for all of this. is it the republican party's disavolunte disavowal? is that sufficient for you? >> i place the blame for this on donald trump. i'll tell you, alex, as sad as it was to see morgan's story, i actually felt vindicated after watching it right before the election in 2016 i was on the air from 30 rock and i predicted that this was coming. a fellow named luke o'brien did a story about his journey with the alt-right that was published in the "huffington post" and there were people here that you know, at msnbc and nbc news quite frankly that basically said when is the last time you had a problem with the klu klux klan and sort of pooh-poohed it.
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it was obvious as this fellow o'brien said in a piece he did. either the alt-right found donald trump or donald trump found the alt-right but whichever it is, it was clear that it was coming. they are organized, all the discussion about the ethno-state and revival of neo-naziism. in places around the country that liberal as well as conservative. i think the time has gone where people don't want to hear any more about the republican party of abraham lincoln. that is not today's republican party. i don't want to hear the analogies any longer. and frankly, so irritating what we want to see from the republican party, is that they stand up and not only denounce these people. b but. >> reaction for this crystal. >> i think michelle is exactly right. look, you cannot sit there as a
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republican party and be just fine with president trump calling immigrants animals and be shocked and appalled that these are the types of people that run for office on your ticket. and align themselves with your party. that's where we are today. and the republican party unfortunately hasn't been the party of lincoln in a long time. in a lot of ways donald trump and this moment where you have out-and-out white nationalists running proudly for office is a culmination of years of the southern strategy and trafficking and racial tropes and dog-whistling. they're taking it the next step further, let's be honest, the ascendant intellectual movement within the republican party today is the racist alt-right and some of the fiercest battles that are being fought in the republican party and on the right are to be sure that racist ideas have platforms on public life and college campuses and elsewhere. so i think it was important to do this piece. because it's part of the moment that we are living in.
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>> by these descriptions, rick, roseanne barr is offensive and racist tweet this week has, has this climate given license to that? >> yeah, i think so. look, i do degree with the fact that the president has more responsibility here and the president is supposed to be in many ways the moral leader of the country and to you know, to talk about our values and this president has failed to do that repeatedly. i think that roseanne barr -- look, people are going to say stupid things and it stems clearly from her racist tendencies, she thought it was funny. it clearly was not funny. and it was racist and abc, she lost her job over it. so yes, i think the, we've had a coarsening of the public discourse and i don't think, i don't really blame trump for that. and i think it's actually, he's sort of the result of the coarsening of the discourse and the tolerance we've had for it. and i'd like to return to a more civil engagement among the
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american people so we don't get leaders who are as crass as donald trump has been. >> michelle, how does the roseanne barr situation fit in the big picture here? >> i think it is indicative of the fact that since the rise of donald trump, we have seen the country change in a way where people who might have been covertly racist now feel completely comfortable in being overt with their racism. and roseanne barr to me is clearly demonstrative of the fact that people believe that in today's america, it not only is okay to be race icht but that it's something to be proud of and to make light of it every statement that she has made is so over the top. from saying that she didn't know valerie jarrett was black, as if that would make the statements okay or not racist, all of it is awful. but again i have to say, it starts from the top. we have amoral leadership at the very top of the country and it
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has given license for people that at one point in time no one would have ever wanted to do anything about or have anything to do with. it has given license to politicians to ignore who is in their base because it seems as if the only thing they care about is getting re-elected. >> so how do we reverse this? jason and then crystal? >> well i think one thing i do want to say to begin is to kind of disagree with one of your panelists. i don't believe that that was a joke at all and she's made that exact same statement in the past. i spoke actually to a couple of comedians and they were like, we know a lot about jokes, that was not a joke. and she said the same thing about susan rice in 2013, calling her an ape, so i think it's almost disrespectful to comedy to even pretend that was a joke. that was just a racist statement. one of the things we have to do of course is to address these things. i think we have to reject racism and discrimination at every
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level and we need to start with education at very young ages. you know, and as we've seen with students that it's, it's multiculturalism and multicultural environments help all students, we need to push for that. and try to end some of our segregated schools right now. >> last word to you on this, crystal? >> at the ballot box. we see powerfully it matters, who is in leadership and who is in power if you don't like what you see in the country, get engaged, run for office, be an activist. make sure you and everybody you know, your family, bring them to the polls and get out and vote and let's change it. >> we have another topic of controversy. samantha bee and what she said, we'll discuss that after the break. powerful potential...
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president trump is asking why samantha bee heath been fired. my panel is back with me. michelle is it appropriate for the president to equate roseanne barr's tweet with samantha bee calling ivanka trump a very vulgar word. >> no, it was vulgar, so horrible, completely out of taste and she shouldn't have said it. but there is absolutely no comparison to be made whatsoever
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to the statements that roseanne barr made and to the statement that samantha bee made. they are unbelievably different. and quite frankly, i find it so disrespectful to the african-american community that the president has had nothing in-depth to say about the statements that roseanne barr made. when we look at the history of everything that has happened to african-americans in this country, from racism to people being shot in their back running from police in their grandmother's back yard, to african-americans being not necessarily arrested but being stopped and having to prove for example that this young woman was a student at yale. -- there's no comparison. and that's what the president should be speaking out on. not about samantha bee and standing up for his daughter. stand up for the rest of the country. his daughter can take care of herself. >> you know jason, i took a look at the new opinion piece you have on nbc think and it is entitled trump pinning samantha
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bee's comments against roseanne is another example of republican moral relativism. explain what you mean. >> well i think again, this is something that we teach our children, is you know a lot of times well, like he did it, too, and that's always a bad excuse for anything. and number one, first of all we have to remember that roseanne's comments are a pattern of behavior. this is not just one comment she's made. and she's made the exact same comment twice, publicly. and i think one of the things that we have to remember is that the republican party, used to say that they were the party of family values, that they were about you know, moral fiber and today, you know they've abandoned that and said well, even when they do things poorly, they blame it on and said well, bill clinton did it, hillary clinton did it obama did it. rather than just taking responsibility. i know one this bing leadership, you have to take responsibility
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every now and again. and as i said in the piece, they used to say they followed the teachings of jesus and now they follow the tweets of trump. and i think that that's really bad position to put our country. >> alex can i also point out it seems so inherently crazy that the president who, i call him the p in chief. the person who gave us the "access hollywood" tape finds samantha bee's statements disgusting. i mean isn't that kind of ironic? he used much worse language. >> i see what you mean. >> he's the inflictor in chief. >> we should say samantha bee and the network tbs have issued apologies for the profane language. do democrats think samantha bee should face greater consequences? >> no. i personally agree with what the right normally says on this. that we shouldn't have a safe space that you shouldn't be drummed out of the public square
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for one offensive comment and that's what sam bee's thing was, one offensive comment. while she made one vile comment, roseanne barr is actually a vile racist person and the problem with roseanne's statements was not the statement itself, although that was very problematic in and of itself. but it reminded us all, this lady is super racist and she has been for a long time. you don't get a platform. >> okay. good to see all four of you, thank you so much. appreciate it, crystal, jason, michelle, rick. coming up next, how could president trump have been so confident to go ahead with the north korean summit without reading that letter from kim jong un. ahead on "a.m. joy" the arrest of a wisconsin teenager raises new questions about police use of force. i'm really into this car,
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alice calls it her new normal because a lot has changed, but a lot hasn't. ask your doctor about ibrance. the #1 prescribed fda-approved oral combination treatment for hr+/her2- mbc. the president and kim jong-un summit it's on again with u.s. officials visiting north korea and north korean officials now visiting washington. well, yesterday, the president displayed a giant envelope that he said contained a letter from kim. he said it was a nice letter. then later said he had not read it yet. joining me now is former senior special adviser of the u.s. state department. with a welcome to you on this saturday morning.
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i know you've been down this road before. you've prepped for talks with north korea. what do you think is in that letter? and why was the president confident it would be a nice letter without having read it? >> oh, well, i think it's president trump and his usual, you know, off the cuff style and personality and way of talking. i think he just assumes that any kind of letter that would be personally hand delivered would be nice. so, and obviously a letter from kim jong-un, which in and of itself is so unusual, would clearly be a very solicitous letter, it would not be hand delivered by men as important as kim yong-chol. >> okay. u.s. officials went to pretty extraordinary lengths to try to keep this summit going, but the white house is now lowering the bar. the president himself no longer using the words like complete denuclearization, you're not hearing maximum pressure, nothing like that now. he is saying that nothing will be signed on june 12th.
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it's more about a get to know you meeting. what do you think happened to change the tenor of everything? >> well, no. let's be very clear, i don't think the administration has at all changed what it desires from north korea, which is absolutely complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization. secretary pompeo was very, very clear about this yesterday in the press statements and i think also the day before. so that is the ultimate goal. i think what they're saying is lowering expectations about the results of june 12th. and i think that that is actually very smart and very realistic. i don't think anybody thought that you could get denuclearization on june 12th. and so, i think that that is realistic. june 12th is a meeting, and it is the beginning of establishing a relationship, a working relationship. >> look, i said that you've been down this road before. what do you expect are going to
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be the speed bumps, if you will, to getting this on track and accomplished? >> well, many administrations have been down the road before on talks with north korean officials. nobody has been down the road of a presidential meeting with the leader of north korea. this is something that has never happened. and i think we have to understand that this really is incredibly historic. no president of the united states has ever met the leader of north korea. i mean, former presidents have, but not the sitting president. so this really is momentous and very, very extraordinary. >> is this a win for the trump administration? is this a win for north korea already just by your description of the historic nature of this? >> well, i think it's actually mistake for us to even to really categorize it or think about this as a win for the united states. one way or the other. for north korea perhaps but not for us because i think, you
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know, in terms of denuclearization, we are not going to get it on june 12th. we may never get it. on the other hand, i think, if we look back to where we were six months ago or even a year ago when we and the united states and everybody in the world was so concerned about the potential for nuclear war, about catastrophe on the korean peninsula which i personally argued we were not, but many people were afraid, this, this kind of, you know, jocular, am best of my ability, is that a win? most people think we're better off today, maybe not in substance but in tone, yes. >> thank you for your time. >> thank you. that is a wrap for me this hour. i'm alex whit. thanks so much for watching, everyone. i'll see you at noon eastern. coming up now, a new sobering discovery about the devastating impact of hurricane maria ahead
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♪ a letter was given to me by kim jong-un, and that letter was very nice letter. oh, would you like to see what was in that letter? >> tell us what was in the letter? >> how much? how much? >> can you give us a flavor of what the letter was about. >> it's a very interesting letter. at some point it maybe appropriate. i maybe able to give it to. good morning. welcome to "am joy." well, the on

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