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tv   AM Joy  MSNBC  June 2, 2018 7:00am-9:00am PDT

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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 again, off again
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june 12th summit between donald trump and north korean dictator kim jong-un is back on. all it took was a g, fancy letter which trump praised effusively without bothering to read it. >> what was your response to the letter? did you send anything back? >> no, i didn't. i haven't seen the letter yet. i purposefully 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. >> the white house says that the trump has now read that letter and while trump was talking up his burgeoning relationship with north korea and praising chinese leader x jinping for his help, the united states imposed massive trade tariffs on imports from europe, mexico and canada. our largest trading partners and close allies. prompting outrage and threats of retaliation from our closest allies. oh, and according to "the wall street journal," trump is planning another summit with
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russian president vladimir putin. just as a thought experiment. what would happen if the world's sole economic and military power were to alienate europe, canada and mexico and alie itself instead with china, russia and north korea? joining me now is david korn, and malcolm nance, sara kenzior and christine awn. thank you all for being here. i want to go around the table and just sort of get your take on that question, david. >> yeah. >> on the question of whether or not we're seeing a de facto realignment where the world is, you know, used to the united states sort of being a-leader if not the de facto leader of the west. now donald trump has had a break with the west and seems to prefer or want or be eager with an alignment with china, we have trade issues with, but he's very positive toward north korea,
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very positive toward russia. you know, it's a very serious and important question. i still can't help shaking my head at his -- at the big envelope and that he seems to be so easily played, that if you treat him well, as putin has done. >> yeah. >> and if you flatter him the way north korea seems to be doing. >> yep. >> he's on your side. he doesn't care if -- about giving a photo op to this repressive state to north korea where they use mass starvation. it's all about how they respond to him. and they seem to get this. now, our allies seem to take it for granted that you can have a reasonable, adult relationship with the president of the united states. >> yeah. >> where they're learning that's not the case. >> yeah. >> so whether it's trudeau or merkel, they want to work with you, they share values with you, democracy, economic trade and
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all these other things. and you are spurning us while going towards strong men, auto cats like you want to be because they flatter you and they play you. it is a very serious matter, but i think it's not strategic intent on his part. i think it's rooted in his personality disorder. >> yeah. malcolm, you know, there's a piece in politico right now which i recommend everybody read called "headline." they talk about donald trump's deal making over the years and all of the times he's basically given away the store, the fact that he got very little for the apprentice even because he asked for a million an episode, you know, he was told you can get 50,000. okay. you know, i just want that. and i'll read a piece of it. it says that trump met in the oval office yesterday with kim -- the setup for this is that trump did meet in the oval office with kim yong-chol who is the vice chairman of the ruling workers party and former head of the north korean intelligence services.
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the rgb. so, he also met with, you know, an interpreter, mike pompeo was in there, john kelly was in there. he was escorted into the oval office by andrew kim, cia officer in charge of the spy agency's korea mission center, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. so you have donald trump who is known to give away things when he feels flattered, when he feels that people are nice to him. the saudis, uae, he's known to like sort of a personality type like duterte. and now that person let the chief spy master from north korea into the oval office, having done the same letting the russian foreign minister into the oval office. does this worry you? >> oh, absolutely it worries me. >> it's a rhetorical question. >> yeah. very rhetorical question. it should worry everyone. and it's not just because donald trump has opened the door to north korea. we have to make it with our strategic adversaries, even if
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it's russia, the way nixon did to china. it's the mechanism that it was done under and the philosophy that he believes that allows that to be opened. david and you made a very good summary. donald trump believes in autocracies he does not believe in republican democracy as it is represented or parliamentary democracy throughout europe and the united states over its entire history. he believes, and his biggest obstacle is democracy. that's why he doesn't like the investigations. that's why he doesn't like the way of governance in america. and he feels comfortable with dictators and auto cats. i just finished a new book on this, plot to destroy democracy which shows that he is in complete alignment with vladimir putin because putin has worked very hard over the last 20 years to create an axis of autocracies and donald trump was one of those people that they saw as
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very favorable to this global oligarchy running democratic nations and destroying the atlantic alliance, the globalist world and democracy as it's been spread since the end of the world war ii. >> you know, sara, to that very point, there was a lot of criticism that came from republicans about president obama, you know, doing the iran deal. there's a lot of antipathy to it. donald trump of course has now junctioned that deal. but is that deal was made in close conjunction with our western allies. it was a pan-western, european and american deal. and so it was a group approach with iran. in this case, donald trump is really going the opposite drengs, rigdreng direction, right? the people we see as our allies he is hitting them with trade sanctions and there is this clooefing toward auto cattic governments. what does that mean? you study these kinds of states. what would that mean if you had a realignment of the world where the united states was not a de facto, you know, leader of the
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west but was more free form? >> yeah. i think what everyone has said so far is exactly what we're seeing. we're seeing a global realignment that favors autocracies, that favors new alliances between autocrats and the ends of alliances like nato and nafta and the u.s. relationship with our allies, which trump is intentionally trying to sabotage. i think some of this is a personality thing. trump is a person, you know, who hates scrutiny but likes attention. that's basically the mindset of a dictator. he feels comfort nl in situations where other dictators in the u.s. often other criminals or kind of fixtures or mobsters are able to protect him in this way. in terms of his motivation behind this, though, i think you also need to follow the money. when you have an auto cattic system, when you have an alliance of dictators, it is easier to carry off these practices that trump and putin
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and others have been engaged in 30 years. again, you have this alliance of politics, of business, of crime, that is, you know, underneath, that's buffering this new alliance of autocrats. you want to break it down, that's the trail you should follow. >> i want to come to you on this. specifically for this june 12 meeting for north korea, on the one hand, every person of goodwill should want there to be some kind of a deal that ends this 17-year stalemate on the korean peninsula and hopefully improves the lives of the north korean people, but i wonder what you make of the circumstances of that meeting, donald trump, makes the meeting, then he pulls out of the meeting. he seems to be very, very eager for it and willing to give kim jong-un a lot of the status that he's been seeking in the world, the big letter and the praise in exchange for the meeting. and it's not clear just from his past that he, you know l do the homework or be the great negotiator that he says he is.
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given all that's on the table, can you give us some perspective on whether or not this realignment could, in its own way, help the korean people? what are we looking at here at this june 12 meeting? >> thanks, joy. i mean, i completely disagree with most of the other panelists. i first of all, the defense department, the pentagon, just issued a report about who are the new enemies of the united states last december. and it was china and russia, far beyond isis. so, even though president trump may be flip-flopping on who our closest allies, let's just remember that that has been the u.s. military position and we know during the obama administration that the pivot to asia meant that he would move 60% of u.s. naval and air force capacity from the the middle east and europe towards the asia pacific as an effort to kind of encircle china. we know that china, obviously, is soon going to eclipse the u.s. in terms of being the
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largest economy, and so we know that there's obviously an on going struggle between the u.s. and china over the south china sea. but, you know, when we talk about allies of the united states, how could we completely dismiss south korea, which perhaps could be the most democratic country in the world? moon jae-in was ushered into power from a candle light revolution, this potentially could be the only successful arab spring in recent and modern times, so the greatest number of people voted in that election. he has had, you know, enormous support 85%. and this is what south korea, our ally, historic ally, has wanted. i just don't understand why peace would not be a good thing. i mean, the fact that donald trump said yesterday that we are discussing ending the declaring an end to the korean war. this is a 70-year war that has divided the korean peninsula. it has maintained that 5,000
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american families with p.o.w. and m.i.a.s still remains in north korea that are wanting to have closure. think about how much we spend annually, $700 billion towards defense, quote unquote, defense when that should be reinvested into things that really improve our day to day security. we could really improve people's access to health care, to food. i mean, one in three children go to bed hungry in this country. so let's bring this back to what is important and what matters and, you know, for 80 million koreans on the peninsula, this is an historic day. they are looking forward to the summit. they very much want a peace treaty. so let's see whether trump and led by mike pompeo and the
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department of state can negotiate a deal with north korea that, you know, achieves both aims, the north koreans want a peace treaty, the u.s. wants complete denuclearization. i believe that the great news was that he said it's going to be a process and that pragmatic, diplomatic approach. let's put it all into context about what this means, about ending a cold war that really began on the korean peninsula. >> i think it's an important point and one of the questions i guess i'll go around the room very quickly and start with you, david. what you are seeing in this trump era where his own sort of behavior aside, you're seeing the emergence of other leaders stepping forward and becoming very important and prominent leaders in their own right. moon jae-in, anybody should be considered for a nobel peace prize is him. he has really made this happen, the back door benefit of disengage mgt. you'll have other leaders, angela merkel, emmanuel macron,
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moon jae-in, the prime minister of canada, other people have to step forward. >> i think that's true. they have to step forward in defending the western set of values and principles. i do think on the korea issue and i take her points very seriously, i think one of the issues has been that donald trump seems to -- while the goal is peace on the peninsula and denuclearization, he's been erratic. he's declared and threatened nuclear war against north korea. he's derided north korean as rocket man and invites in the spy chief involved with death camps. so, it's the erratic nature of this, which i don't think is strategic, which leads me to believe that trump isn't serious and may not be up to the job. this is very difficult, of getting peace in the peninsula and some degree of denuclearization. >> what is the risk of failure, malcolm? what would be the christine makes the most important point, which is people in the korean peninsula who are in the balance and it would be a great thing if
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this works out. if trump can't pull it off, then what? >> then what people will do is what they're probably going to do any way which is ignore donald trump and it would be in their interest to do that. trump wants a photo op. he has already shown us that he is absolutely willing to do anything to get that photo op, even going so far as might pay the hotel bill in singapore for the north korean representatives. but what's really at stake here is the matter of peace on the peninsula. and kim jong-un now is the player who will make the determination of what that peace looks like. he will not give up his strategic nuclear forces. there is no way. that is what brought him to the table to be an equal to the president of the united states. he will probably lessen tensions with south korea, reopen border, cross-border family visits, reopen the industry center that they had together for north korea. but there are issues that took
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place with japan like the hostages that they took from japan that will never get resolved. >> yeah. i think everyone will be paying attention to this june 12 meeting because the stakes are so high for so many people. there's not a lot of confidence from a lot of people among the american president but i take christi christine's point that the leader from south korea, someone we all should be watching. david korn sticking around. thanks. up next, trump pulls out his pardon pens. (vo) what if this didn't have to happen? i didn't see it. (vo) what if we could go back? what if our car... could stop itself? in iihs front-end crash prevention testing, nobody beats the subaru impreza. not toyota. not honda. not ford. the subaru impreza. more than a car, it's a subaru.
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♪ the operator came on the line and said is this deniche d'souza, hold the line for the president of the united states and there was trump. and the president said, deniche, you've been a great voice for freedom, and he said that i got to tell you man to man, you've been screwed. >> this week donald trump ignored the traditional protocol for granting pardons. not to mention 10,000 other applicants to issue a pardon to deniche d'souza. who is this, you ask? the right wing demagogue who liberal trolling is so toxic, so conservative that his own side ridiculed him. back in fwourn, d'souza pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance charges. david is back with me. joining the table now is tiffany
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cross and paul butler. all right, table. there are two ways to look at the sort of series of pardons that donald trump has done. so let's go through them. you have d'souza, joe arpaio, his defense is contempt of court, christian saucier. you have scooter libby, of course, who outed valerie plame and jack johnson. so, they're all over the place a little bit. i'll start with you on this, tiffany. there's the thematic reason for it. d'souza is famous for trolling. he trolled t parkland survivors saying that because they wanted florida lawmakers to pass a bill banning assault weapons it was the worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs. he tweeted about rosa parks overrated democrats department, so rosa parks wouldn't sit in the back of the bus.
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that's all she did so what's the big fuss? he was pretty obsessed with barack obama. he said you can take the boy out of the ghetto, right? there's a thematic reason to do it that this is the kind of guy i pardon. what do you make of that argument for the reasoning? >> well, there's a thematic reason and the reason that serves his own personal interests. obviously these pardons are meant to deliver a message to the people in the line of fire right now. and i think this is very consistent with this president who wields his power like a teenage girl. i think just to contrast here because we remember during the obama administration, i mean, i know people who worked when they were dealing with pardons and the process they went through, obama was a really well received, liked president around the globe. so he had celebrities and donors and everyone kind of lobbying him for these pardons. and he did it the proper way. he ran these things through the department of justice, through the pardon office as he was supposed to. >> he didn't do a lot of them.
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>> well, he didn't do a lot of them. he's famous, ridiculous -- >> right. >> he used a system to, you know, he pardoned people where the system failed them and used it to pardon people who were disenfranchised, nonviolence offenders which is what this is for. the d'souza pardon, it highlights the lack of understanding that he has not only about the system but he kind of backed himself into a corner because this is clearly what i called the apprentice, the good fellows version. this is the way he's talking to michael cohen, wink, wink, don't flip i got your back. if he does start initiating these preemptive pardons he'll back himself into a corner because then they have no reason to plead the fifth. then they can speak openly and freely about everything. he hadn't realized that. we'll see how it plays out. but i don't think he had the legal foresight that somebody like your paul butlers of the world had. >> let's go to our paul butlers of the world. lawrence tribe agrees with
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tiffany's reasoning of it. he is very anti-obama and trump has a thing about obama. >> yes. >> one thing to look is people who have a thing about obama i'm sending a signal to you thematically. theer way is what tiffany said lawrence tribe tweeted d'souza's pardon makes sense only as a elephant whistle to michael cohen and all who know damning things about trump. >> this is a message to michael cohen, michael flynn, paul manafort, roger stone. i got you, my dudes. the white house has a gift bag. there might be something for you. so hold tight. but it's also kind of a diabolical genius because these pardons work as payback. trump was also sending a message to prosecutors he doesn't like. martha stewart was prosecuted by james comey. rob blagojevich was prosecuted
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by patrick fitzgerald now representing james comey. d'souza was prosecuted by preet bharara who has been very critical of president trump. prosecutors, of course, don't like when pardons are issued because it undoes all of your work and it seems in most cases like it's not appropriate in terms of the rule of law. there were some cases, again, with president obama who issued a lot of pardons for people who had been caught up in the failed war on drugs, but then you had to go through such a long process to get people pardoned through that. there's all these rules, whole office of pardoned attorney, got to wait five years after your sentence. you have to show that you've been rehabilitated and express remorse. president trump has completely gone around that. the pardon power comes from the devine right of kings. that's what president trump thinks he is. >> it's interesting. so now we have three options to choose from, right? because pardons can be thematic. president obama also did try to pardon a lot of people sentenced
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under the drug laws that a lot of people feel are unjust. there's a theme to that. with trump you do have a combination of anti-obama person in arpaio's case, an immigration message and options that our other have said, sending a mess to the people who could be prosecuted and i didn't remember this, sending a message to the prosecutors. >> it's like the old saturday night live routine. is it dessert topping or floor wax? both. i think there's one theme here which is that trump has no -- doesn't come to this from a position of justice, of righting wrongs and looking at systematic failures. what he's doing with these pardons, making them political, sending messages, she's undermining the judicial system. he's undermining prosecutors. you know, in each of these cases he's saying the prosecutors went too far. they did something wrong. now, why is he worried about prosecutors going too far? >> yeah. >> because they're f to him, f
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to michael cohen, f to the people around him. so if you watch this other network that begins with the letter f, they go on and on about a deep state out of control with the fbi and federal prosecutors plotting actively against the president, against everything in this country that's holy. >> yeah. >> so by issuing these pardons that are highly politicized and attacking the prosecutors who did these cases for no good reason, there's no reason to attack them. >> yeah. >> he is basically pushing forward this theme as well that you can't trust the judicial system of the united states. >> yeah. so what do you hear on the hill? i mean on the house and senate judiciary committees, what are the republicans saying about it? >> i think the republicans have -- as we talked about before -- don't have a spine really. they've spoken out against him on some things. i think they'll ride this wave with him. i think what is interesting, though, is how people have got on the this president. you know, like you have to be a reality tv star, kim kardashians
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in the west wing or silverster stallone. >> ted cruz. >> exactly even though he said nobody asked him to do it, ted cruz lobbied for this pardon as well. >> the ted cruz that he used to say his dad -- >> exactly. >> and his wife, you know. >> people lobbying this president. so rob blagojevich wrote this op-ed in "the wall street journal," good luck that the president reads papers. he was saying, you know, that he rails on the justice system again. he says feel at the fbi and doj are abusing their positions to incriminate people who are just doing regular politics. no, my friend. the people who are doing -- who are in regular politics are trying to criminalize the doj and the fbi. it's quite the inverse in this situation. so it's interesting to see if he'll actually pardon blagojevi blagojevich. he's talked about pardoning martha stewart and sending a mess to the people in the line of fire right now. >> the big question i'll give
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you, the exit question paul butler f donald trump were to pardon michael cohen, michael flynn, paul manafort, what would that do to the mueller probe? >> well, mueller is at least as crafty as donald trump, so people who have exposure on state levels could be charged with state crimes, which the president has no ability to pardon. but it's also true that if he does pardon these people, they can't claim the fifth. >> right. >> so they could be forced to testify. so president trump it ain't going to work. >> it will just create more testimony than you have to give it. >> thank you. interesting. coming up, can't live with him, can't get rid of him. trump's not happy to be stuck with jeff sessions but stuck he is. that's next. kyle: mom! mom! kyle, we talked about this.
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okay. we're killing our previous tease plans. david korn just mentioned a 1976 saturday night live clip. in case you do not know what he was talking about, here is a clip of that skit right now. >> no new shimmer is a dessert topping. >> it's a dessert topping. >> it's a floor wax i'm telling you. >> it's a dessert topping you towel. >> hey, hey, hey, calm down, you
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♪ he should not have recused himself. if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office. and i would have quite simply picked somebody else. i told you before, i'm very disappointed with the attorney general. but we will see what happens. time will tell. time will tell. >> those attacks on attorney general jefferson sessions may
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now be backfiring on donald trump. according to "the new york times" robert mueller is investigating both the public and private efforts by trump to get sessions to resign. including one specific encounter between trump and sexes in march of 2017. where he specifically asked sessions to reverse his decision to recuse himself from the russia probe. trump reportedly was furious over sessions refusal to recuse something he had to do because he was involved in the trump campaign and considered firing the attorney general, an act that would likely spark bipartisan backlash. we were just discussing this in the break so i'll bring it forward. you know, my understanding of it is that the trump team when they came into the white house, the transition team, the new team, should have known that jeff sessions would have to recuse. he was on the campaign. how could they think that he could be attorney general and be
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involved in anything to do with russia? >> not only was he on the campaign, he was the first u.s. senator to endorse donald trump. >> right. >> he became his national security committee adviser. he led that committee for donald trump. so that put him directly related to any conversations about national security for the campaign. then fast forward, i think, the bottom line is they really weren't thinking about how they had to be subject to the norms of justice in the united states and they were also making rookie mistakes. i don't think they were thinking things through. they were deciding -- as we saw -- there were a lot of mistakes in vetting. they weren't vetting people very well. there were a lot of rookie mistakes with not understanding governance and the way in which you have to approach how you make decisions about cabinet members, what kinds of things you think through. they might have. you might have said, you know, he might have said i still want you as my attorney general even
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though we don't know whether or not where this russia thing is going and whether or not you'll have to recuse. >> yeah. >> because i want you to say, rip children from their parents at the border. >> right. >> he could make that decision as a president, but i think the point is they didn't think it through. >> i want to come back to you in a second. but jason, even if they hadn't thought about it beforehand, once jeff sessions was actually before the senate judiciary committee for confirmation, at that point there was a flashing red light on him because he was being asked point blank did you have meetings with any russians. >> right. he was constantly using that very effective legal team i don't recall. and he said that a lot. i don't recall that. i can't remember this meeting. i can't remember boris or natasha and everybody should have known and seen this coming. this is very important, part of why donald trump can't get rid of sessions isn't just because of the fact that it would trigger a constitutional crisis and everything would explode and people would be afraid, one of the few things that the senate has made clear is that we like this guy and we're not going to
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replace him if you get rid of him. as long as he's implementing the president's white nationalist agenda, letting bad cops run roughshod and throwing people into jail and trying to combat the opioid crisis his job is safe. >> republicans are indeed trying to protect jeff sessions in private meetings, public appearances on television and late night phone calls they have done all they can to persuade the president not to fire cabinet official. he's a member of the club and still has access to the cloak room. he is a former senator. axios reports on thursday that trump pressured attorney general sessions to reclaim control of the russia investigation, at least four separate times. three times in person, once over the phone according to sources familiar. one more piece, "the new york times" reporting this week that trump complains to friends about how much he would like to get rid of sessions, but he's demurred under pressure as we just mentioned from senate
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republicans who said they won't confirm anyone else. could that first thing be an obstruction problem? >> yes, the legal term is obstruction of justice. the president is trying to get sessions to unrecuse himself. first of all, is that a word? unrecuse. second of all, the reason that he wants sessions to take over the russian investigation is because sessions has taken the loyalty pledge, and that's the kind of person who trump thinks should be supervising a criminal investigation of him. so we talk about norms. norms don't work for this president. norms suggest that you shouldn't call for personal prosecution or investigation, which trump has done of many people and sometimes the justice department responds. and so, one concern is that when norms are eroded. there's a slippery slope. so sometimes we see the justice department actually responding to the president's unethical demands. >> yeah. so there's -- some people are trying to give donald trump an
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out, maya, trey gowdy has been supportive of the mueller probe and getting a lot of heat from his own side for doing that, stood up for mueller, this is what he said about trump and sessions on wednesday. this was on cbs. >> if i were the president and i picked someone to be the country's chief law enforcement officer and they told me later, oh by the way, i'm not going to be able to participate in the most important case in the office, i would be frustrated too. that's how i read that. senator sessions, why didn't you tell me this before i picked you? there are lots of really good lawyers in the country. he could have picked someone else. >> donald trump responded to that saying there are lots of really good lawyers in the country. he could have picked somebody else, that was a quote from gowdy. i wish i did. i mean, as a legal matter, is it a way out to say this is the most important case that could bring down my presidency. somehow i didn't understand that you being in my campaign meant that you couldn't be involved in this case. but you should have told me in
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advance, i can't help you with this case. >> you should have told me in advance that as your national security adviser on your campaign having met with ambassador kislyak two times during the campaign after testifying to congress in january that he wasn't aware of campaign members actually having contact or having relationships with russians, i find it a bit a astounding suggest things that actually jeff sessions had to say. >> yeah. >> i just want to say that. >> yeah. >> he shouldn't have had to say, by the way, all these things we all know, i want you to know. so i think the question becomes, one, if donald trump did not commit any crimes, this is not the most important case of the department of justice. >> right. >> this is if at most people if they hadn't done anything wrong would have said i did nothing
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wrong. i certainly if anyone on my campaign did anything wrong, then they should be called to account. and i, as president want to know if they did anything wrong. and therefore -- and we've got this huge agency of career prosecutors and investigators who know and understand their job, who work in a -- they don't work in a partisan way. they work for the rule of law. >> right. >> we've got a deep bench to take care of this? it is not the most important case. >> yeah. >> unless it is because it will bring down your presidency because you did something wrong. >> and i guess the other point is who worked for the american people. >> yes. >> it is a misunderstanding of who the attorney general works for. the attorney general can't actually help the president, right? >> the attorney general is the lawyer for the people of the united states. when i worked at the justice department and i go to court, i say my name is paul butler and i represent the united states, not
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donald trump or bill clinton who was the president when i worked at the department of justice. >> why do you hear trump trying to make it sound as if eric holder, they were careful about meeting with each other, president obama and attorney general eric holder. he seems to have in his mind that the attorney general is the president's lawyer. >> again, he just doesn't get it. this is a man who does not understand civics. he does not understand basic -- the way that the constitution works or the way that the government works. and so it's ironically is lose/lose for us because the president is stuck with an attorney general he doesn't like. the united states is stuck with a lousy attorney general who, again, is trying to bring back the failed war on drugs, who wants to throw people who come into the country without documentations under the jail, who wants to give police departments bayonets and tanks the program that president obama resended. so again, nobody is winning from this. >> yeah. lastly to you, jason, then as a political matter, it is a conundrum people who are
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uncomfortable with jeff sessions, if he were to be fired would provoke a constitutional crisis. >> right. >> it's tough. >> yeah and here is the thing. i always thought what a constitutional crisis means and the american public needs to understand this. it doesn't mean that the white house explodes and nancy pelosi and chuck schumer walk out in slow motion. what it would simply mean is we literally have no precedent for knowing what to do next. if a president were to do something like that. so you would have people trying to research. you would have congress putting together committees. it would create an entire mess and grind certain aspects of government to a halt just because the president wants a my cousin vinnie instead of a attorney general running the country. that's why this is dangerous and problematic. even if for some reason republicans change their mind, we don't know who would be better. >> who could that possibly be. jason johnson, thank you. have a great rest of the weekend.
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coming up in our next hour, the great lawrence o'donnell joins me live. and the women whose video changed america. more "am joy" after the break. (wienermobile horn) it's oscar mayer's mission to put a better hot dog in every hand. and that's just what we do. with no artificial preservatives, no added nitrates or nitrites, and by waving bye to by-products. so you can get back to loving them. for the love of hot dogs. (wienermobile horn)
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get an a plus and i will tell you what, i think we've done just as good in puerto rico and it's actually a much tougher situation. >> no, no, the trump administration does not deserve an a plus for the recovery in puerto rico. more like an f. especially as puerto rico faces a new hurricane season while still grappling with the effects of hurricane maria last september. which was much more deadly than we realized. a new harvard study found that 4,645 people died as a result of the hurricane. it calls the government's official stole of 64 deaths a substantial underestimate of the true burden of mortality. joining me now is gabby acevedo reporter for nbc 4 in new york and telemundo's san juan bureau. give me a sense of where puerto rico is now in terms of power being back on, in terms of people being back to somewhat of a normal life before we get to
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that devastating report about the death toll. >> reporter: thank you, joy. good morning. it's my pleasure and honor to share this information with your viewers. where are we? as far as the power grid, fragile, very fragile. after the hurricane we have had four major power outages, one of those left a million citizens without power. definitely fragile. the power grid is not getting better, it's not improving. with he need to remember this. the power grid is being restored to what it was before hurricane maria. so there is no improvement on that end and we don't have redundancy lines, they all those secondary lines that feed and distribute energy. it's very fragile and even for those who have energy they are going to see interruptions in that service. i'm one of them, i'm a resident that has seen recently just this week a service interrupted. as far as people who haven't had electricity back from hurricane maria or irma, remember that, because two weeks before maria, september 6th, irma also took power out for a huge part of the island, i say around 13,000 to
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14,000 consumers also remember a consumer may have two or three more members of their family on the household. so 14,000 consumers can turn into more than 24,000, 30,000 citizens, mostly in the mountain areas, in the eastern valley and in the southeast corridor of the island which was impacted first by hurricane maria. >> that is challenging enough, but when you get this harvard study that says that the death toll was 4,645 people. can you give our viewers is sense of what those deaths were down to. was it the flooding? is there a sense of where that death toll came from? was it just the actual hurricane and people to died in it? what are you hearing that it was? >> reporter: well, that's a very good question, joy, because we are not talking about the impact, per se, we are not talking about that september 20th people died because because of the impact, we're talking about medical service interruption, 30% of the medical
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interruption affected people in puerto rico. we're talking about access to the rurals, most of the people in rural areas did not have a way to get to citizens who needed help, that's when the coast guard came in eventually seven, eight days after the fact. no electricity, no connectivity. that's important. at least 90% of the island was completely blacked out from connectivity can cellphone and internet service. to get to people and to know where the emergency was was a very big challenge in those days. so those deaths you can attribute them to the fact that a lot of elderly people, the poor people in puerto rico, they live in those areas that were disconnected from the emergency. those people in the mountains, those people in the southeast, those people who live next to the rivers and obviously flooding and obviously what we call the terrain movements that happened in the mountains, all those mudslides that covered people and we saw some cases that died actually on september 20th due to mudslides that covered their homes. >> and carmen cruz who is the
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mayor of san juan has been blunt in saying that she believes the trump administration has been derelict and not facing the truth about what happened on the island. is that a general consensus among people that you talk with? >> reporter: it's a very good question, joy. first off, we have to be thankful to those federal responders and first responders who came from the u.s. mainland who are still here to this day. i mean, when you criticize, where you send a negative opinion about the federal response, we must remember that there are people here who came from the u.s., who came from the gulf coast, from florida, from new york, from everywhere in the united states to help and those people are part of the federal response. as far as the connection between government entities and government agencies, yes, quite probably it could have been better. mistakes were made. i think that general consensus is that mistakes were made, we weren't ready. i think the puerto rico was ready for the federal golf for a three to four day emergency not a 100 career storm as we call
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hurricane maria. i want to thank everybody who is here. we have to remember there are americans who are here, american citizens like us who are helping in this process. i think the government entities did not connect faster or fast enough after that impact of the storm. >> gabi, thank you very much. be well and thank you so much for bringing us up to date on what's happening in puerto rico. very important. thank you, sir. more apple joy after the break. okay. [ buttons clicking ] [ camera shutter clicks ] so, now that you have a house, you can use homequote explorer. quiet. i'm blasting my quads. janice, look. i'm in a meeting. -janice, look. -[ chuckles ] -look, look. -i'm looking. it's easy. you just answer some simple questions online, and you get coverage options to choose from. you're ruining my workout. cycling is my passion.
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regardless of recommendation, i was going to
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fire comey. knowing there was no good time to do it. and, in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. >> welcome back to "a.m. joy." donald trump is trying to rewrite history contradicting his reason for files james comey. in a tweet thursday trump insisted he never fired comey because of russia, that's despite his own words to lester holt that you just heard. and "the new york times" reporting that trump told russian officials whom he had invited to the oval office the day after comey was fired that he had relieved great pressure on himself by kicking comey out of his job. we are learning more details about the circumstances around comey's firing this time from fired deputy fbi director andrew mccabe. "the new york times" reports that mccabe report a moat mow last year describing a meeting with deputy attorney general rod
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rosenstein who added a new detail about comey's firing. the memo written by rosenstein that trump used to justify t according to the "times" rosenstein said the president had originally asked him to reference russia in his memo. the people familiar with the conversation said mr. rosenstein did not elaborate on what trump wanted him to say. to mr. mccabe that seems like possible evidence that mr. comey's firing was actually related to the fbi's investigation into the trump campaign's ties to russia and that mr. rosenstein helped provide a cover story by writing about the clinton investigation. joining me now msnbc legal analyst paul butler, maya wiley and joining us now is the host of msnbc's must see tv, the last word, one lawrence o'donnell. lawrence, i will start with you because among the people who are undercutting donald trump's new defense that he didn't fire comey because of russia are donald trump in the past in his past statements but also rudy
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giuliani. here is rudy giuliani on sean hannity's show on may 2nd. >> he fired comey because comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn't the target of the investigation. he is entitled to that. hillary clinton got that. and he couldn't get that. so he fired him and he said, i'm free of this guy. >> the investigation being the russia investigation. >> donald trump and rudy giuliani are now in the middle of a contest for who can say the stupidest thing about the firing -- the most harmful thing about the firing of comey on tv, most harmful to donald trump. and, you know, when i sit here in this, by the way, very relaxed pose as a guest, just watching that lester holt interview clip and i feel none of those anchoring pressures, i was just able to take it in in a way i haven't in a long time. lester holt's position in american history is now set. he is the anchor person in the
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history of american television who asked the most important question ever asked of a president on television and got the most important and most revealing answer ever obtained. >> yes. >> from a president on television. >> absolutely. and the problem being that obstruction of justice stemming from the firing of comey is part of donald trump's biggest problem right now. >> that's right. so what prosecutors think about is criminal intent. was this -- as he -- comey to step down, was that part of a way of impeding the investigation? we have smoking gun evidence from the president that he fired comey because of the russian investigation. >> yes. >> so, again, as a prosecutor it doesn't get much better than that. >> on top of that, maya, you have an ongoing crisisen side the department of justice and an ongoing public worry of who is the next person to be fired. andrew mccabe has been fired. people who witnessed what comey
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told in the oval office reassigned or fired. here is eric holder on friday in new hampshire about the state of the department of justice and the potential that this is careening towards a crisis. >> i suspect that we are on a path where there's going to be an inevitable clash. we are going to get to a point where the justice department simply will not go any further, i think rod will not go any further and something is going to happen. i don't know who gets fired or what happens, but we will be -- buckle up your seat belts. we will be in the middle of some kind of crisis. >> and that's, again, because of the threat that donald trump will continue firing people because of the russia probe. >> right. i mean, the real question here are the republicans in congress because as we talked about earlier what's really held trump at bay are the republicans, are people like mitch mcconnell saying, okay, i may not sign on to this legislation that says you can't fire the special
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counsel but i do expect you not to fire folks. right? >> right. >> and the whole question about protecting jeff sessions at the same time. so it's become highly politicized. if the republicans continue to sort of say while we won't publicly in the ways i think that would be appropriate under the conditions that we're in, which is a president who is violating all our constitutional norms and societal norms say we are going to actually hold the line politically even if we won't institute legislation that will help us hold that line, but if they shift, if they flounder then i think it's a very different question. just to go back to something that lawrence said that i think is so important, donald trump did something amazing because he actually probably told the truth in that lester holt interview which was as outstanding as the question was that he actually answered it honestly. >> lawrence, to that point about the hill, you know the hill very well, republicans seem to have one line which is you can't mess with our friend, jeff sessions. is that what winds up kind of
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saving bob mueller? >> possibly. it was just a throw away sentence literally in a recent "new york times" report that said republicans -- republicans in the senate have told the president they will not confirm another attorney general if he fires jeff sessions. if that is true, that is the single most important thing that republicans in the senate have done in a presidency where they have literally done nothing else important. like it's the only important thing they have done. >> right. >> but, you know, i'm always trying to stare at these tea leaves and when i notice paul ryan and mitch mcconnell separating from the president, very clearly, on tariffs this week, in a way they have never separated with him on any policy before, and then we hear mitch mcconnell yesterday in kentucky in local tv in kentucky saying, well, you know, this north korea thing, you've got to be very careful. you can't want the deal too much. he doesn't say he's describing the president, but he is
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describing the president and he's criticizing the president's approach to north korea. that's something -- that's the kind of note you weren't hearing from mitch mcconnell even months ago, never mind a year ago. >> i guess the question is -- those of us who are dubious about the idea that republicans would never impeach donald trump. if democrats did it and donald trump then, let's say, had created so much -- what you would need is 67 votes in the senate. that doesn't seem even in the realm of possibility right now with these republicans but does what lawrence is describing the creep away is that also a threat to donald trump, if they creep away and democrats then have the house -- >> so it's a concern. so impeachment is largely a political issue rather than a legal issue. there's legal high crimes and misdemeanors that's the standard, but ultimately the house charges and then the senate has to convict by a two-thirds margin. so whether that can happen is i think very dubious. you know, one segment -- one
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issue that that segment raised was rod rosenstein. the former fbi director has said that president trump asked rosenstein to add russia to the memo justifying the firing of comey. that makes rosenstein a fact witness in mueller's investigation. >> would he have to recuse? >> at some point he's going to have to seriously weigh that. what he's saying now she's talked to mueller and ethics officers at the department of justice and they say at this point he is not required to recuse, but at some point he might be. >> what happens then? >> well, it then goes to whoever -- the never person down the list. here is the question, there's so much that we know that's in the public view right now that points directly to corrupt intent, which is what robert mueller has to show in order to say that he has an obstruction of justice case against donald trump. there's tons of evidence of that already. trump himself has given that evidence. actually, giuliani himself as
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his legal representative has essentially said, yeah, he did it. yes, he did. >> he is not his lawyer, right? >> he is not acting as a lawyer because anything that he's doing is astonishing. i worked in the u.s. attorney's office for the southern district on the civil side and i have never seen anything like this. i think this is the point, there already is an obstruction of justice case, it may be they don't need rod rosenstein as a witness. i think that will come into the calculus because robert mueller has been an extremely astute political actor in this and by that i mean not that he's been playing politics, he had as been very astute at not playing politics, but in also making sure he's covering his bases with his filings in court. that become his way of demonstrating what he's doing, how he's doing it and in a sense making an argument to the american public that he can't go to the press and make. >> make publicly. that has been one of the tactics, lawrence, has been to
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try to degrade the public's view of robert mueller in that case. anything he comes up with is tainted because he's tainted. i wonder if that strategy can help if at the same time constantly berating and threatening jeff sessions. you know, donald trump really has an audience mostly of the congress because the public can't impeach, they can't throw donald trump out, only the congress can do it. it is a weird strategy. >> the one clear thing that rudy giuliani has said is that this is all about impeachment. >> yes. >> and so because it's all about impeachment he has said we are trying to appeal to trump voters and we are hoping -- he said -- he has said this, we're hoping that the voter puts pressure on the republican office holder in the house of representatives and on the republican office holder in the senate. so their jury as they see it is this bank shot, you know, from the voter to the office holder. we've never seen anybody try to play that bank shot in impeachment before, but it's
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already -- it's working already because, you know, trumpism is republicanism now and so you don't have anything like what you need in terms of political strength in the house to do anything, but i am one person who has never said these republicans will not impeach him. and the reason i haven't said it is having worked in the congress, worked in the senate, i can tell you that the very last people who know what a member of congress is going to do or what a senator is going to do is that senator and that member of congress. they are the last ones to know what they're going to do because they basically all operate out of last minute fear calculations and really last minute. >> but to that very point, just to stay with you a second, lawrence, the trade thing, talking about bank shots, if those tariffs start hurting kentucky, if they start hurting texas, right, then that could be a bank shot that hurts the president no matter what he does, no matter how much they want to apiece his voters, if
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his voters are also being hurt by him then they are in a weird political position. >> my guess about that is kudlow and the people who understand how bad these tariffs are in the white house will pull the president off of it. it's political harm to the president, too. i mean, the president can't -- it's not good for mitch mcconnell in kentucky, it's not good for donald trump in kentucky. he runs in all 50 states. so there isn't a place where the tariffs are good for donald trump. >> i think the news that was made today is lawrence o'donnell saying that it is not true to say that the republicans will never impeach donald trump. i have been in the never ever -- they won't do it, but you never know. >> they never know. and when you look at the nixon republicans, which is to say the republicans who turned against nixon, they didn't know they were going to turn against him two weeks before they did. that's the kind of time frame that works in the congress. on the big ones, on the big decisions, most of them don't know what their position is until a week or two before. >> and then they do it. >> at the earliest. >> i'm keeping all of these guests. our guests will be here with us
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we all want what's best for this country. that's what i heard in mr. trump's remarks last night. that's what the country needs. a sense of unity, a sense of
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inclusion, a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law, and a respect for each other. i hope that he maintains that spirit throughout this transition and i certainly hope that's how his presidency has a chance to begin. >> despite those optimistic words president obama went through some inter turmoil after the election of donald trump. according to a new book by ben rhodes. excerpts obtained by "the new york times" reveal obama struggled to understand what led to the rise of trump and his doubts over the timing of his own presidency, telling aides, quote, sometimes i wonder whether i was ten or 20 years too early. joining me no you is jonathan capart and tiffany cross and lawrence o'donnell. i will start with you, jonathan. first of all, i think the nostalgia factor, that seems like that was ten years ago. >> right. >> for the president to say maybe he came along ten years
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too early, what do you make of that assessment of president obama of himself? >> well, what that acknowledges is that the campaign run by president trump was like lifting up a rock in the forest and watching all of the bugs and worms squirm out from underneath. i think the president who ran on hope and change and our better angels and rising to the ideals of who we are as the american people represented by his election and then reelection, seeing that someone who is the an 'tis a sis of him in every way get elected was personally galling, but also i think in that reflection of maybe i was 10 or 20 years too early is maybe the country wasn't ready for me. maybe the country -- maybe i was an aberration is what i kind of get from that in that quote. it's amazing to hear an introspective thoughtful
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president again. >> especially since, you know, president obama was relentlessly positive. if you spoke to him and had the opportunity -- he was trying to be very positive. you saw that grim-faced picture of all of his aides, he was trying to say everything is going to be okay, it's going to be fine. when you realize in his inner most thoughts, president obama reportedly says what if we were wrong? maybe we pushed too far. maybe people want to fall back into their tribe. one more clip and this one is even more searing, that few moments shook mr. obama more than the decision by voters to replace him with a candidate who had questioned his very birth. what do we do with that? >> i mean, even watching that sound bite i had that single denzel tear strolling through my case. >> is it a merkel tear now? >> it's disheartening. i will say i definitely echo president obama's sentiments,
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but i do think mopgsamongst a l people of color we always knew that the racism in this country laid dormant. just to hear the thoughtful words from a thoughtful leader who can put the country first, it's not about him but beyond him. in terms of him being ten years too soon i think most transformative leaders might have these thoughts. when mlk was around he was considered divisive at the time and people who love to bring up his words to champion docile black people those would have been the same people who would have criticized him back then. at the top levels of government absolutely i can understand why he might feel that way. i disagree. when you look at what he inspired, he cast a wide net of influence. now you have these obama alumni -- >> all over the place. >> all over the country, lauren underwood in chicago, all these historic candidates. these are on the federal level. then you have local candidates,
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michael blake in new york, people doing amazing things in the private sector, people like google and airbnb. so i think you have to look at it on a larger scale and look at the macro and micro. i think, you know, his influence happened when it was supposed to and it will ripple through time for generations to come. when you look at what happened that led us here when we had george bush in office, we were coming off the heels of the huge iraq war misstep, we had to have george bush to get a barack obama. >> i think that's an excellent point. lawrence, presidents are reflections of each other but for george bush maybe the country wouldn't have taken a chance on a relatively unknown guy named barack hussein obama. in a lot of ways but for barack obama you don't get donald trump. >> the real rhythm of this is after eight years of one party you get the other party. it's just as simple as that. i mean, i was absolutely certain
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at the end of the eight years of george w. bush that the democrat was going to win, whoever that democrat was. >> yeah. >> and i also was betting it was going to be barack obama. when i hear a statement like that or read a statement like that from barack obama who is, as we said, in an introspective and thoughtful and we surprise man and a brilliant writer and he says something like maybe i came along 20 years too soon, my reaction to that is what do you mean? which is to say, i cannot possibly fill in the paragraph that that is the first sentence of if it is spoken by barack obama because his mind is too supple, too complex, too rich compared to my own to fill out what the rest of that thought is. i think he's got a really interesting thought there and when you hear him in an extended interview like he most recently did with david letterman, you understand that wherever that
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first line began is not -- did not tell you where that answer was going to go 75 or 200 words later. so i'm not sure about that, but i do think it is -- it sounds like the kind of feeling that you get in government because in governments it's a very slow incremental mode of progress and a presidency is only eight years, which is an incredibly short time to try to have a real and lasting and long-term impact on the way american government works. you know, when you consider the brown decision was in 1954 dee segregating schools and in 1975 in boston, massachusetts, in a federal court they are fighting the segregation of boston schools, would thurgood marshall who argued that case in 1954 say, geez, maybe i was too soon. no. that's the way progress steps
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along. >> and i think one of the things i don't agree with when people say that trump is wiping away president obama's legacy, you mentioned one way his legacy is lasting, it took a while for obama -- even things like the iran deal, the principle underlying it, the deal that was made, trump can undo it, but look at the ripple effects into north korea, the cuba policy, obamacare which it's turning out to be quite difficult to undo it and people don't want it taken away. he has this sort of really incredible legacy, but even on race, he forced us to confront some things that the backlash to it is even teaching us. >> yeah, i think one of the things that drove people crazy about president obama was he was so sober and rational and strategic and plotting and laying the foundation so that whatever decision is made is something that is as long lasting as possible.
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i remember the lgbt community was so angry with president obama because he would not move as fast as they wanted him to. >> or do an skoo uexecutive ord >> right, on marriage equality. his plan from the beginning was he want to make sure what happens is lasting, that it cannot be overturned by another president. so with all of these deals, the iran deal, the thing that's fascinating is that even though president trump has done away with it, the rest of the world is hanging on to that deal shoo that's right. >> and i think that says a lot about the leadership and work of not just president obama, but the obama administration to go into a negotiation like that with real goals and with strength behind them and here we are on the precipice of a summit between president trump and kim jong-un, and i don't know anyone around this table have any idea what's going to happen at that meeting? i mean, president trump has
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given the leader of north korea something that his father and grandfather couldn't get, wouldn't get because no president of the united states would grant that person the audience, and yet here on the opening shot president trump has given it to this guy. the united states leadership in the world is crumbling before our very eyes and the man we just saw in that clip, president obama, in the days after president trump's election was someone who was trying in the moment when the country was in deep grieving project strength of the american ideal and the american people and the idea of america. and in the year and a half since then we are watching all around us how that's either being nibbled away at or taken -- president trump taking a sledgehammer to the idea of america. >> and not only that, but making his own president derivative of
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barack obama's presidency. everything is in relation and reflection of the man who came before him. which is a weird way to be president. i will let you comment on that and a i will give you the last word to lawrence because that's what his show did is called. >> i will be the second last word. >> the penultimate word. >> i think even donald trump will be his place in history. i do think during the obama administration, i talked about this before, a lot of my family didn't understand the difference between state and federal, local government. i had friends who didn't really understand, they were so excited about this president, they would say, man, with he got president obama in office and that pothole on the corn er it got fixed. it like obama doesn't know nothing about no pothole. i think what president trump has done is he has inspired people to pay attention to what is going on. people are now more engaged than they were before. so, you know, we have to have a president trump to get perhaps a president cory booker, kamala harr harris, elizabeth warren or
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whoever who may come next. >> the obama quote about the 20 years i'm reminded about a daniel patrick moynihan story when he was chairman of the finance committee and i was running staff for the committee and we had a nominee coming in to come down and work on welfare policy in the clinton administration. it was a harvard professor and we knew that to maintain his tenure he could only do two years and then he would go back to harvard to maintain his tenure. it's more than just holding on to tenure. at the end of that discussion this professor had high hopes for welfare policy in the clinton administration, as he was walking out the door senator moynihan said to him, well, you know, no sense getting involved in this if you are not going to stay at it for 30 years. and that's the truth of anything that you pick up and try to do and try to move in american government and three to do it within your lifetime and career. if you don't -- if you can't devote 30 years to it, there are
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going to be times when you feel like what are we doing here? what happened? did anything happen? and so of course an eight-year presidency can leave a president at moments wondering after the fact did we get where we needed to go? and the answer is you got -- at best you got where you could go in that very limited time they allowed you. >> and i think that president obama came along at just when he needed to and it's important that he was there. jonathan capehart, tiffany cross, lawrence o'donnell thank you all. coming up, the use of force back in the spotlight.
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jersey is just the latest controversial incident putting a spotlight on plus use of force. police in wildwood, new jersey, released the body camera footage showing the violent add rest of a 20-year-old woman accused of underaged drinking. among the charges facing her aggravated assault on a police officer. while that incident got a lot of attention you may not be familiar with an incident in a wisconsin mall last month where a teenager was punched by a police officer who was responding to a call about disorderly teens. >> why he punch him like that? ain't he a minor? >> call my mama. >> put your hands behind your back. >> call my mama. call my mama, bro. call my mama, bro. >> wow. a police investigation into the incident cleared the officers calling their actions justified. the teen's family is considering
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suing. the case raises questions about how and why police use force. back with me a paul will you tell ber and maya wiley of the new school. those videos are excruciating to watch. as a parent you think if that was my kid of course i would sue and yet the attorney general in new jersey released their policy on the use of force. physical force is employed when necessary to overcome a resistance of exertion or protect person. striking with the hands or feet meaning you can't punch in the face. wisconsin a report finds a police officer was justified and this is what the report said from watching the video and talking to p.o. olsen it appears the strikes to the head were effective even though p.o. olsen didn't put much behind those strikes. there are five key rules for the
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use of force according to the wisconsin dat system and one of those reads: once you have gained control of a subject you must reduce the level of force needed to maintain control and they say after p.o. olsen strikes the person, the teenager, he falls down and p.o. olsen deescalates. these officers are following policy, they can punch you in the face. >> there is what's called use of force continuums which allow the police to start with harsh kmants using their voice and then use their gestures, it ratchets up to nonlee strategies like stun guns all the way up to guns. people say how can the police still be doing this? don't they know that they could be videotaped? part of it is there's something about their anxiety especially about african-americans that still even if they're being videotaped it's still going to control their actions, but the other part is they get away with it. >> and they know it. >> they know -- i mean, the reality is -- police officers understand they are not going to
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be prosecuted for these things. so they go into it as paul said even if they're being videotaped, it doesn't matter. >> as you know i chaired the civilian complaint review board in new york city where we received complaints of police misconduct. the thing that is really surprising to me is twofold. one of course you have a lot of police officers who actually agree that this conduct is wrong, is bad policing and they are often silenced within the department. they are often made to feel afraid, to actually speak out about it. i think that's something that's very important for us to understand because there really are a lot of people we should be happy about on police forces because they want to do the right thing and they want to behave in the right way. and the second is this fact that there is so much discretion in terms of what force is necessary because it's extremely subjective in the moment. >> right. >> and so what police officers often say is our jobs are so dangerous and there are so many
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of these situations that flip on us on a dime, we have to have this broad discretion to make these decisions in the moment. now, put aside what we view of that because obviously these videotapes suggest that we should have deep concerns about if nothing else both how are we training police officers, because deescalation many of these videos when i see these videos and sitting and seeing these types of videos in the civilian complaint board what i'm seeing is police officers who escalate a situation that makes it a situation which use of force becomes something they consider rather than saying, do you know what, if i drop my -- i'm going to say, baby, what's going on here? let's just have a talk. that's a totally different relationship. the good police officers actually do that. i've seen police officers do that. bad police officers start yelling, they raise their voices, they become physically aggressive and i have had my own daughter's friend was punched by a police officer on a small like just didn't like the way he was
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riding his skateboard, punched him. >> i think that is what is so unnerving. we take people in their early 20s in some cases who go through the academy and we give them the power of life and death. >> that's right. >> with almost no accountability, nothing there's almost no way even if they kill someone that they will go to prison. we're handing that power over to people, but i don't know that the country has sort of wrestled with what that means. >> yeah, so there are 18,000 police departments in the united states, there's no national standards, no requirements for minimum training and a bunch of these are young men, especially, or coming in the job with what president obama described as a warrior mentality when they ought to have a guardian mentality. there is a real concern about -- you know, it's not only violent, but it's bad law enforcement because the way that the police make serious cases is by getting people to cooperate with them. when you see your grand baby getting beat up or see these kinds of videos it does not make
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you want to cooperate with the police. >> let me play two things. cut five and seven just to show you the difference in the way the previous administration, it's the attorney general of the united states, former attorney general eric holder talking about policing. take a listen. >> people have to understand it's hard to be a police officer. it's hard to be a cop. it's hard to be out there in the middle of the night and approach a car and not know what you're going to face. that's a hard thing. people need to understand that. but people also need to understand what it's like to be a person of color and to be stopped or, you know, questioned. your car pulled over for no, you know -- no great reason. >> so that was on friday. that's former attorney general eric holder from the obama administration. here is donald trump last july speaking to an audience of law enforcement officers. >> like when you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand --
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like don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody. don't hit their head. i said, you can take the hand away, okay? >> it's just a different approach in what is being encouraged. >> or sanctioned. >> or sanctioned. >> essentially you have a president of the united states that was in nassau county right here outside of new york, he was actually sanctioning excessive force. he ex plitly sanctioned excessive force and that's the difference between how do we have a dialogue as a country about how do we keep ourselves safe and be fair. >> and, lastly, can any civilians ever win in these cases? you just had a case of a man killed by police in florida and the jury awarded his family $4. what a slap in the face. they should have awarded them nothing. you can't win. that's how i think civilians into he will. >> people look at cases like eric garner and freddie gray where there are big civil settlements and they think that's how that normally works the this goo i who was shot by a
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police almost behind a closed door and the jurors blamed this guy 99% it's his fault. give me a fault. that's more typical. >> on a noise charge. >> they were getting charged not on a violent crime charge. >> stuff like family disagreements, noise, we shouldn't have people with guns showing up. there are better ways to resolve those issues. >> absolutely. thank you very much, paul butler, maya wiley, i appreciate you both. have a great weekend. up next, the two women who shared a video that sparked a national conversation. you bough. okay. [ buttons clicking ] [ camera shutter clicks ] so, now that you have a house, you can use homequote explorer. quiet. i'm blasting my quads. janice, look. i'm in a meeting. -janice, look. -[ chuckles ] -look, look. -i'm looking. it's easy. you just answer some simple questions online, and you get coverage options to choose from. you're ruining my workout. cycling is my passion.
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you know, personally i would acknowledge that this happens in america, race and racial bias is something that america has been dealing with for centuries, yet i think it's too easy to be on the sidelines and say someone else needs to do something about it. >> this week starbucks closed 8,000 stores so its employees could receive racial bias training. this came after two black men were arrested at a starbucks in philadelphia while waiting for a friend. the video of their arrest was shared by two women, one of whom is white and tweeted all the other white people are wondering why it's never happened to us while we do the same thing. joining me now are the two witnesses who shared those videos, michelle sahan and melissa zapino. thank you ladies for coming back. i want to start by talking about -- i will start with you, michelle, you started filming this incident. tell us how the incident began to unfold and why was your
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instinct to start filming. >> i saw it happen from the very beginning, i saw them come in, i saw her tell the police that they were refusing -- >> the manager. >> the manager. and i knew that wasn't true. i knew she was lying about it. and when i looked over at the two men i could see confusion and nervousness and fear on their faces. and i said, you know, i'm one of four black people in this entire starbucks, i need to do something. >> when the police arrived what was their posture towards the men. >> was it aggressive or threatening? >> it was not initially aggressive but when they were not able to describe a logical reasoning as to why they should leave they started to get more aggressive. >> tell us how your interaction with this started. >> so the first thing was he saw the police come in and i heard michelle's voice, we did not know each other until that day and i stood up and i started, you know -- joined in with what she was saying. when we got outside i shared the video and i thought, you know -- i said i will share this, but
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i'm not sure this will get that much attention, namely because these things don't get that much attention. >> right. >> so then, you know, we know it went completely viral. >> you could hear the voices of what sounded like white patrons saying, wait. i think that's one of the things people of color were struck by in the color was that actually white patrons saw this and saw it was injustice. was this something that surprised you to see this happen? had you seen anything like this happen before? >> since that day we've learned so much, namely, number one, our social networks are highly segregated. if you are white then it's likely that 91% of your social network is white. >> right. >> we also know from a poll that came out that said, you know, 80% of the white respondents said that they heard about the starbucks incident but only 48% said they thought it was indicative of a larger problem. >> wow. >> so -- >> wow. >> -- the idea is that we learned that we need to desegregate the networks and that many, many more white people need to speak up.
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>> there's also a poll that shows that 64% of americans think racism remains a major problem, 15% say they've personally been treated unfairly. i want you to listen to starbucks ceo kevin johnson on an issue we heard a lot about during the obama ceo kevin john on color blindedness. take a listen. >> this is the beginning of our journey. and we have steps that will follow this. in fact, we're working on additional content and module we'll roll out the each month or the next 12 months. i see this woven into the fabric of how we operate as a company. >> that's fine. i'll read the clip, this term called color blind was a growing behavior pretending to make race. and that's ceo kevin johnson as a person of color, you're noticed. >> right. everywhere you go. it doesn't matter if i'm in a coffee shop. a mall, if i'm the minority, you
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notice it. and racism isn't calling somebody the "n" word. it's subtle. it's micro aggressions. >> you have a new one you're forming today. >> it's privilege to progress. what we realized, when people who have privilege use it for the greater good then it makes a difference. when i shared that video, it, you know, broke through the segregated network. so, if more of us do it, then we can get more attention and more change. >> and how, michelle, can people access the organization? >> they can go to the our twitter feed, facebook feed, they can educate themselves. >> tell us the twitter feed. >> from privilege to progress. p-r-i vto. -r-o g
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a very good day to you all. i'm alex witt here in new york. at msnbc. high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m.
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out west. here's what's happening right now, pushing the diplomatic envelope. what was in the letter from north korea to donald trump about the on and off again nuclear summit and why what the president said is getting reaction today. maybe we pushed too far. new allegations about president obama and his thoughts about the 2016 election results. plus, the idea of universal basic income and the democratic candidate for president who says it's great for the economy. but, we begin with new reaction from the president reigniting his feud with democrats over the border wall. this time, using the white house weekly address as his platform. >> they don't want border security for two reasons. number one, they don't care about it. number two, they're afraid it's going to make me and the republicans look good. and they don't want that. >> well, the president's comments come at when his add station has come understand fire for losing track of nearly


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