tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC June 4, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT
after his own lawyer said that doing that would be unthinkable. we'll get to that story in a moment, but start with former president bill clinton defending vigorously his handling the monica lewinsky scandal insisting he did the right thing in fighting his impeachment and saying he does not owe monica lewinsky a personal apology. i sat down with clinton and author james patterson to talk about their new novel "the president is missing." talked about the book and discussed a white range of topics in our 20-plus minute sitdown and i asked the former president whether in light of the #metoo movement he would change anything about the way he handled the scandal that nearly cost him his presidency. >> a few days ago in response to critics who suggested you should have resigned, in the wake of the lewinsky scandal, you said you should not have. if you were president now, in 2018, with everything that's going on with the #metoo movement, how would you have
approached the accusations differently? or would you have? >> well i don't think it would be an issue, because people would be into the facts instead of the imagined facts. in other words, to even make this case, you have to ignore some of the evidenced as some of the older women who have written about this and in amazement saying, can you believe people are saying, this guy was defending the constitution. and -- of course, he shouldn't have resigned. if the facts are the same today, i wouldn't. and i don't want to get into the fact. i'm not going to do anybody's work for them. go back and read it. >> also, the last 30, 40 years everybody's known about the casting couch forever. >> but this isn't just about the -- no. >> you're asking, well, don't we have a right to change the rules? yes, but not change the facts. a lot of the facts have been conveniently omitted to make the
story work, but i think partly because they're frustrated that they got all of these serious allegations against the current occupant of the oval office, and his voters don't seem to care u. think this president's been given a pass with regards to the women who have come forward and accused him of sexual misconduct? >> i think that -- no. but it hasn't gotten anything like the coverage you would expect with 19 people, 19 women have been lost, because i think that -- you have other things to cover and i think people think his constituents don't care. >> one of the things this #metoo has done, women speak out, feel emboldened. one of those women, monica lewinsky. wrote in an odd ep, changed her view of sexual harassment. my boss, most powerful on the planet. 27 years my senior. at the time at the pinnacle of his career, while i was in my first job out of college.
looking back through what happened through the lens of #metoo now, do you think differently? or feel more responsibility? >> no. i felt terrible then, and i came to grips with it. >> did you ever apologize to her? >> yes. and nobody believes -- that i t of that for free. i left the white house $16 million in debt. but -- you typically have ignored gaping facts in describes this and i bet you don't even know them, so i am not going there. this was litigated 20 years ago. two-thirds of the american pead people sided with me. they were not insensitive -- i had a sexual harassment policy when i was governor in the '80s. i had two women chiefs of staff when i was governor. women were over represented in the attorney general office in the '70s.
for their percentage in the bar. i've had nothing but women leaders in my office since i left. you are giving one side and omitting facts. >> mr. president, i'm not -- i'm not trying to present a side. >> you asked me if i agreed. the answer is, no, i don't. >> i asked if you'd ever apologized you head you is. >> i have. >> you apologized to monica lewinsky? >> i apologized to everybody in the world, but not to her. never an apology. >> i have not talked to her. >> do you feel you owe her an apology? >> no. i -- i do not -- i never talked to her. but i did say publicly on more than one occasion that i was sorry. >> okay. >> that's very different. the apology was public. >> but you don't think a private apology -- >> i think this thing, is been 20 years ago. come on. let's talk about jfk, let's talk about lbj.
stop already. >> okay. >> yeah. that's also interesting. >> what? what part? >> just this -- what he just said. i don't think -- you think president kennedy should have resigned? do you believe president johnson should have resigned? >> mr. president -- >> someone should? you these questions because of the way you formulate the questions? >> again is, senator gillibrand raced the issue, during the #metoo movement. >> you're asking it now. >> but when you filter the question back to me, there was a -- a stunning article by a conservative woman that didn't even like me in the -- "new york daily news" which had more facts about what happened 20 years ago than anyone i've -- and she said, we should not cheapen victimhood, and -- so you just draw your own conclusions. i dealt with it 20 years ago plus, and the american people, two-thirds of them stayed with
me, and i have tried to -- do a good job since then wili and with my work. that's all i have to say to you. >> with me now, ruth marcus, "washington post" columnist, deputy editorial page editor and msnbc contributor and for the purpose of this conversation, ruth also covered the clinton white house. aleash jordan. former aide to george w. bush, white house and also msnbc political analyst as well. you covered president clinton. you're just general reaction to the exchange there? >> not surprised, but deeply disappointed, having lived through every day of the monica lewinsky story. president clinton would have helped himself, helped his reputation, helped the country with a little more contrition and acknowledgement of the
really grievous nature, unacceptable nature of his behavior and a little less bristling. and -- he has never been very good at the -- art of the apology and we saw it again with your excellent interview. >> aleash, you tweeted that clinton managed to make the #metoo movement about himself in that interview. monica lewinsky, she tweeted a short time ago, i believe we have the tweet. grateful to the myriad of people who helped me einvolve and gain perspective in the past 20 years. worth reposting this from today and linked that op-ed she wrote back in march. reaction to the former president's words have been swift. >> when you have done something wrong, you are supposed to own it and not talk about facts, distorted facts and obstructed facts. my god. he sounded like trump. >> the president could have
said, yeah. i should have said i'm sorry. i am sorry, and i can't say it that's all he to say. >> a lot of people don't want to loathe bill clinton. they don't want to, but he spend the first half 6 that interview not make them. it's not me. i was in debt. i don't owe her an apology. what about trump? like, take responsibility, because let's not forget it wasn't just monica lewinsky. he was accuseded of rape. >> watch bill clinton's political strategy throughout history, also a controversy, somebody attacking him, turn into that person he feels is attacking him. political adversary or reporter and start punching. >> in that moment you're seeing donald trump a little bit and i'm not comparing them on any other level beyond the terrible strategy it is to make himself, you, the issue here, and to be victimized. he was not the victim then. donald trump is not the victim now. >> that was joe lockhart a short time ago over on cnn.
striking to hear joe lockhart use president clinton and donald trump in the same sentence. is there any comparison to the made, elise, between the two when you look at their response to -- to allegations like this? >> absolutely. both donald trump and bill clinton are obsessed with their own sense of victimhood. bill clinton this morning it was l about him. it was all about the many ways he had been wronged. he was $16 million in debt and how he never was able to apologize for his own wrongdoing. he was talking about, a conservative woman defended him by saying everyone's too obsessed with victimhood and that's actually, though, what bill clinton was espousing, and all he could do was talk how been wronged. cut to today and current donald trump, and in politics, it's all about donald trump constantly being the victim and never accountable for his actions. i think it's a disturbing trend that has really infected our
politics that people cannot take accountability for their actions and apologize just like bill clinton demonstrated. he is still unable to do today. >> ruth, the president after the interview did want to make sure that i understood two key things. one, that there had been a shift in this country. the standards had changed from what they were back in 1998. and he very much agreed that the standards for acceptable behavior should have changed in the workplace. second thing, he wanteto make sure i understood that the facts of his case were very different from the facts of a lot of the high-profile cases spawned by the #metoo movement. what do you make of that? that his case is very different from some of these other cases that we've been talking about? >> well, first of all, on the question of changing standards. it is certainly clear and it is a good thing that there is much more swift and certain response now to issues of sexual
harassment and sexual abuse in the workplace than there was 20 or 25 years ago. but let's be clear. even back then i know because i was in a workplace and i was covering the white house that at that time and i wrote about this many, many times, if you had been the ceo of a opposed to president of the united states anded of behaving this way with a subordinate your workplace, not just sboubordinate, you would he been out the door in most responsible companies. changing standards, standards have gotten tougher, but the standards were clear back then that this was unacceptable behavior. so that's just all i can say to that. it's kind of -- it's really upsetting to see that the president even now, president
clinton, has a hard time accepting responsibility for how seriously wrong his behavior was. >> elise, back in november, talk of clinton's past, if you will? the way he handled this. bubbled up an the "new york times" wrote an opinion piece titled "i believe juanita." and reviewing this is complicated and painful. at the same time looking back at the smear campaign against the clintons shows we can't treat the feminist injunction to believe women as absolute. three days later senator kirsten gillibrand saying clinton should have resigned over the lewinsky affair. leading liberals to doubt broderick's allegations. in the #metoo era, do you think that's changed at all, elise? >> i still think that the pa k hypocrisy is there and we need to be careful to constantly challenge it and to, to look at
women, to look what they're coming forward with, and to believe women. you look at how so many feminists back in the late '90s supported bill clinton, because they said, well, he's really good on women's issues. let's just -- you heard the same argument with al franken and you hear so many democrats still so upset that al franken was forced to resign, but there were so many women who had complained of unacceptable behavior. so i think we on the right and the left, everyone, needs to be careful to test their bias and to stop their own has bok crazy. >> -- hypocrisy. >> leave it there. thanks for joining me. just in to the newsroom right now, former president george h.w. bush is now out of the hospital. he had been there for about a week. he was being treated for low blood pressure. a spokesman telling us that he is deeply appreciative both for the terrific care and the many good wishes he has received. the 93-year-old will celebrate
his 94th birthday next week. much more of my conversation with former president bill clinton including one of the biggest disappointments of his presidency -- deg with north korea. had a chance at the end of my presidency -- kind of regret this now. first, the supreme court siding with a colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple citing religious freedom, but the ruling fails to address one key issue with potentially huge implications going forward. more on that, right after this. m so small no one thought much of it at all. people said it just made a mess until exxonmobil scientists put it to the test. they thought someday it could become fuel and power our cars wouldn't that be cool? and that's why exxonmobil scientists think it's
the supreme court today in a narrow ruling sided with a colorado baker over his refusal to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple. the court did not decide the bigger issue. whether a business can legally refuse to serve members of the lgbtq community. justice correspondent pete williams is outside the supreme court for us and here in the studio with us, legal analyst danny cevallos. pete, start with you, sir. did the court address -- well, actually, i guess the best question is what did the court address and what did the court not address, argues is gijust a important? >> reporter: allegations are important. this is a nir scenario ruling an
it be narrow 7-2 vote? on very narrow grounds deciding that the baker of denver should prevail only because of t way his specific case was handled in colorado. the justices said in their majority opinion they didn't give his religious views serious enough attention. for that reason the finding in his case was defective. colorado has a human rights law, you can't discriminate on sexual orientation. two men went in and asked for a cake to celebrate their wedding was turned down. they sued and they failed. because colorado didn't give the baker enough consideration and take his religious seriously enough, he wins. what didn't they say? didn't give a clue about how to resolve similar cases in the future. justice kennedy who wrote the opinion, when future cases like
this come and they're going to come from florists and people who print wedding invitations and so forth, when they come he the court has to give, has to be tolerant, both of the religious views of the business owners but also to recognize the dignity of the same-sex couples that want to be served by these businesses. so really, no tipping the scale one way or the other. i should note, th t the centerpiece, if you will, of jack phillips claim here was a first amendment of free expression violation. he said his cakes are works of art. that forcing him to bake them for something he doesn't believe in would violate his free expression. his right of free expression. the court today really didn't engage on that at all on this idea of whether bakers and florists have a free expression right in the cakes they prepare. the court gave short shift of that argument and it didn't seem very impressed by that claim. much more central to this in the
future, the cases will be coming, the religious claims. >> pete williams from the high court there. pete, thanks as always for helping breat down. danny savalas, danny, almost sounds like pete is saying the baker here in this particular case did not necessarily win because of the merits of his argument but more based op technicality? >> i wouldn't call it a tech t technicality. avoid deciding constitutional issues they don't have to decide. in this case, they looked how the colorado human rights addressed his case and concluded the commission did not give the baker the full and fair respect of his sincerely held religious beliefs, and because of that procedural defect, the baker wins. that's consistent with the supreme court's approach of not deciding constitutional issues if it doesn't have to. make no mistake about it. this is going to be a very difficult decision when it finally is before the court and
they're forced to make a decision, because it brings two very equally competing elements of the first amendment head to head crashing into each other. >> can a baker -- forgive the simplicity of the question, but does this mean now that bakers can put up signs that say, you know, no gays allowed, or we don't serve gays here? because to do so would go against his or her personal religious beliefs? >> absolutely not. the baker in this case was never arguing for that kind of freedom. in fact, the baker's argument in this case was that once a cake or any piece that expresses an idea is completed, this speech is completed. you can purchase it as a consumer and add whatever you want to it, or add whatever meaning you want to it. it is the specific conscription it is forcing a cakemaker to speak in his cake that becomes that compelled speech. so the baker in this case was never asking for the freedom to never serve gays and sell them
pre-made cookies or cakes or anything like that. that is a separate issue that really wasn't before the court. >> sounds like a topic we will revisit once again. >> yes. >> thank you. and president trump asserting special counsel robert mueller'sussia inveigion is unconstitutional and declares he has the absolute right to pardon himself. really? we'll go through some of the holes in those arguments right after this short break. ♪ traders -- they're always looking for advantages. the smart ones look to fidelity to find them. we give you research and data-visualization tools to help identify tential opportunities. so, you can do it this way... or getvething yoneed to help capture investment ideas
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president trump is spending his 500th day in office ramping up his attacks on the russia investigation. he just called special counsel robert mueller's appointment unconstitutional. he also said, "i have the absolute right to pardon myself, but why would i do that which i have done nothing wrong?" the president once again going a bit further than his lead attorney rudy giuliani. >> the president of the united states, pardoning himself would just be unthinkable, and it would -- it would be lead to probably -- immediate impeachment. >> again, that was sunday. joining me now, nbc intelligence national security reporter ken
delanian and mimi, former federal prosecutor currently at case law school and msnbc analyst. m mimi, let me start with you. president trump and his legal team can't seem to get on the same page here. i want to play something else rudy giuliani said this weekend. here it is. >> this is the reason you don't -- want the president to testify. if, you know -- our recollection keeps changing or we're not even asked a question. somebody makes an assumption. >> mimi, how do these changes stories, these bizarre stories, how do they -- what do they tell tu will affect the special counsel's investigation? >> well, it's an extraordinary statement by trump's lawyer, if you can call him a lawyer right now. that, you know, basically they can't keep their story straight, and that's why donald trump cannot go testify. so the claims that, about
cooperation with the special counsel, and transparency, i mean, this just shows really what a lie that is, because, you know, if he was going to be straight and play this straight, he would meet with the special counsel, and he would be able to tell his version of events, because he would be talking about facts that actually happened as opposed to trying to come up with a cover story, which is clearly what he's acknowledged in that20-page letter doing. you know? prosecutors tell juries all the time, of course when you're talking about major events that have happened, sure, you know. different people are going to rememb details differently. but the main point of the events and here we're talking about, for example, meeting with the russians during a campaign to get information on a political opponent, while that's a major event, and the purpose of that meeting is something you would remember one way or the other. it's not something you should
have to keep your story straight about. >> we're going to get to that meeting in a moment, ken, but all of this coming in the wake of this newly released memo, mimi alluded to it. this is the newly leaked memo obtained by the "new york times" in which president trump's lawyers argue the president's powers are so broad he cannot obstruct justice, not be forced to testify and he can pardon himself if he wants to. how does this -- this new memo what does it reveal about the president's legal defense? >> what it suggests, craig, the president's lawyers have no intention of allowing him to sit down with the special counsel and they're worried robert mueller will issue a grand jury subpoena, confronting him with a choice putting himself in great legal jeopardy testifying or taking the fifth amendment. politically unimaginable. trying to head off that possibility making expansive arguments including that the president cannot obstruct justice because he's in charge of all executive branch criminal
investigations. we know the doctrine says the president can't be indicted but certainly can be summoned to appear before the grand jury as bill clinton was and president nixon, forced to resign over the watergate scandal. they both swore to execute the laws of the united states. one of the laws, you can't interfere with a federal investigation. >> and another thing, big thing about the memo, the president didnastic, dictate, apparently word for word that statement about his son meeting with the russian flo russians. >> the statement released on saturday was released by donald trump jr i'm sure in consultation with his lawyers. the president wasn't involved in that. >> i want to be clear the president was not involved i the draing of the statement and did not issue the statement. it came from donald trump jr.
>> he certainly didn't dictate, but he -- like i said, he weighed in, offered suggestions like any father would do. >> mimi, this is a -- again, this certainly shouldn't get lost in all of this. it went from, no meeting. to, well, there was a meeting, but the president, he really had nothing to do with this meeting. well, the president didn't dictate any -- oh, well, yeah. the president dictated it word for word. we know the president doesn't always tell the truth to us, mimi. would it seem now that the president is not telling the truth to his own attorneys? >> well, look. that's one explanation. they didn't know the facts when they made those statements. for the sake of those lawyers, i hope that's the explanation. but, you know, that's going to make -- anyefense lawyer will tell you it is hard to really defend someone and come up way good strategy if they're not telling you the full story. now we're getting this drip, drip, drip. if i could make one other point about that admission we now have
and not an admission come up with by democrats or the special counsel. it'seally an admission that's come out through his own lawyer's letter and through his son's e-mails that he released. and that is that while it is not a crime to lie to the american public, at this time, the kw that there were going to be congressional investigations and even possibly an fbi investigation, and so this was really them coming up with a legal strategy at the time that they crafted this letter. so, you know, i don't think we can just look at it as, it's not a crime to lie to the american people, because i think it is at least fair and mueller will be the one to decide whether there's enough to charge it, but it's at least fair to consider the fact that this was them coming up with a legal strategy, a lie, about that meeting to use in official proceedings. >> ken what, if anything, have we heard with regards to an explanation of the changing stories about that meeting? >> we've heard no explanation,
craig. in about 30 minutes, sarah sanders will be at that podium and is sure to be asked about this. what's important to remember is, what the lawyers have confirmed in this memo is what the "washington post" reported in a front page story on july 31, that president trump dictatedth the trump tower was about adoptions, not sanctions, and sarah sanders one of her jobs, gather the facts from the staff, present them te american people. say tatoday.isled, she should if she wasn't, it's a sad state of affairs because her job is to tell the truth and she hasn't b than one occasion. >> thanks to you both. >> you bet. much more of my conversation with former president bill clinton, including what he calls >> i w have had to go to rea. north korea, to get rid of the missiles and the nuclear materiel, but i couldn't do
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meetings with north korea was during the clinton administration. play more of my interview with president clinton, the regret clinton feels about his own administration. >> let's talk about north korea here for a ment. as youknow, president trump on friday announced the summit in singapore is back on. how do you think that the president is handling negotiations with the north koreans so far, and how optimistic should we all be that verifiable denuclearization will happen? >> it's important to the american people and important to understand what i believe the issue is. if north korea ever used the weapon it would be the end of their country and the leader of the country destroyed. the danger to america, the danger to china, the danger to
japan to all of the neighbors is that north k can make bombs and missiles and can't bring in a crop. they can't feed themselves, can't stay warm in the winter. they've got a bankrupt system. so the pressure is to sell our, even give awa for destabilizing purposes their nuclear materiel or the technology, they're pretty high. we should want this to succeed. we had eight years when i was president where because of the deal i made early that there was no physical materiel produced. i had a chance at the end of my presidency. i kind of regret this now, but i would do the same thing again faced with it. to end their missile program but would have had to go to north korea. you get rid of the missiles and the musnuclear materiel.
arafat begged me not to go and i promised him. >> you regret that? >> i made the right decision. peace between the palestinians and the israelis especially back then, it would have been better. but i regret that i didn't end their missile program. now, maybe once they became par you know, all gone away. so we need to keep that in mind. this is their trouble causer. it keeps them relevant. gets them what they need when they need it. >> knowing that, why would we be optimistic that this summit is going to lead to them giving up -- >> because the president of south korea convinced the president of north korea that they really do want them to improve their economic fate, and they really don't want to take them over. and -- because -- the president of north korea may believe president trump when he says, he doesn't want to replace him nap he thinks that he's a strong dictator and that's good thing.
so -- we'll just see, but we ought to -- all the rest of us ought to be pulling for them to make progress. and we shouldn't -- be too quick to say, it fails if it doesn't cross every t and dot every i. in these deals, you have to make a compromise. and so the test every american should have when it's over is, if both sides do what they promise to do, will we be better off? if the other side doesn't, can we gelt out of this without more harm? if the answer to both of those questions is yes. then we should say it was a success and worth doing. >> with me now, msnbc political analyst rick stengel, former undersecretary of state and editor at "time" magazine. you were saying through the course of the exchange there that there were things you had not heard before from president clinton with regards to north korea. >> yes, craig, i'll get to that in a second.
what he did do, he was statesman-like in the sense we should be rooting for this deal. he said zero tolerance for them using nuclear weapons and then the third point, people have to realize, without nuclear weapons, kim jong-un is the hereditary leader of a failed state that cannot feed its own people. there is no incentive for him to let go of those nuclear weapons. what was new to me was this idea that -- that clinton, who negotiated with the north koreans in '94 was actually contemplating going back in 1998 to try to actually either extend that agreement or ban the use of missiles. it was pretty successful about stopping the enrichment of uranium from '94 to the end of clinton's term. >> but hearing him talk about it. sounds like the president was making a very hard choice between peace in the middle east and north korea. you'd been on the inside. when decisions like this are
beal made, how different is the decision-making process in this administration and what might that mean for the success of the summit and ongoing negotiations with north korea? >> yeah. well, you can't do that many things at once and i think at that time, mideast peace seemed like the whole ball game and nuclear enrichment in north korea seemed like a very subsidiary issue. now in ways it's reversed, at least in the trump administration. they have the north korea denuclearization number one. i think what trump has done and this may lead to something that is more like a success is he has put the bar down. jit remember, the original idea was, we're going to solve everything in this one meeting and we're going to end the whole korean war and denuclearize the peninsula. now talking about a friendly get to know you meeting and the bar noor is much lower. >> indicating could be the first of several meetings. all right talking about the sequel to the originalti tv sho
and then the third part of it. >> spin-offs. reports vladimir putin has also invited kim jong-un to come to russia. what might the logic be here in terms of russia inviting the supreme leader to come? >> first of all, russia, the old soviet union, was the main patron of north korea until the fall of the berlin wall. they basically allowed north korea to survive and had sent food and this and that. what we've seen with putin over the last six, eight years, him injecting himself on the world stage in areas where he wants to have some agency. and i think he does have some agency here. he has a long-term connection with north korea and hs injecting himself. he wants to be part of whatever it is. the four, five-party talks. >> there was a time, it would seem, not long ago there was a concerted effort made not to legitimize kim jong-un and now you have the president of the united states and the president of russia both clamoring to meet with kim jong-un.
it really is a fascinating turn of events. >> he's the "it" boy now. we will leave it there. rick stengel, always good to have you. thank you, sir. first lady melania trump set to make her first public appearance since her hospitalization last month. do not expect to see pictures or video of her, though. we'll explain why. welcome to holiday inn! thank you! ♪ ♪ wait, i have something for you! every stay is a special stay at holiday inn.
we are expecting sarah huckabee sanders, white house spokesperson, to take to the podium here roughly ten minutes from now. she will likely get a number of questions about the administration's changing stories with regards to that meeting inside trump tower in 2016. likely to also get some questions about what we were just talking about here, north korea. and there also might be a question or two aboutania trump. the first lady is returning to the spotlight today -- sort of. mrs. trump will be making her first public appearance in nearly a month at an event honoring gold star families. however, that event is closed to the press. mrs. trump has not had a public appearance since may 10th. that's four days before she
underwent kidney surgery. i'm joined now by nbc's white house correspondent, geoff bennett. nbc's jonathan is ao with me. jonathan just wrote on this over at nbcnews.com, why melania trump's vanishing act matters. jonathan, for those who might not have access to the internet, walk us through your article. what's the thesis here. why does this matter? >> i think it matters because first ladies, while they have no formal role in government, play a lot of important informal roles in terms of supporting the president, particularly with regard to international relations where you often have heads of state and their spouses at the same events. there are people who might be able to have influence not only on spouses of world leaders but also on the world leaders themselves. i spoke with the chief of staff to laura bush, anita mcbride. she made that point in particular. melania trump, we find out last night i guess, that she is not
going to be going to the g7. that's one of those events where you would expect spouses to show up. that's in quebec city later this week. then also not going to singapore with the president. i'm a little hesitant to read too much into this simply because she's just had kidney surgery and oftentimes doctors will tell patients who have had surgery not to fly for a while because you've got issues with potential deep vein thrombosis and other complications from surgery. >> those pictures are from melania trump at the g7 summit last year. geoff, what are you hearing from the white house about the first lady? what's the administration saying? >> the first lady's staff of protective aides give the impression that there's nothing ominous happening here bup they haven't said anything beyond the fact that melania trump won't be attending the g7 summit in canada, and won't attend the north korea summit in singapore. not only that, look. the white house gave few details about the treatment that she underwent a month ago.
not explaining why she was kept at walter reed for four or five days for a procedure that would have had most medical experts say a one-day recuperation period. so this event tonight will be the first time that some people. she's making her first o an event for gold star families. it is closed to the press so we won't see her in real team though if the white house so chooses could release some picture or video of the event. >> when folks started noticing that the first lady had not been seen in a while, some wacko started to spew conspiracy theories. some smart people asking legitimate questions. this was posted on her twitter account on may 30th. "i see the media is working overtime speculating where i am and what i'm doing. rest assured, i here at the white house with my family, feeling great, working hard on beof ha of children and the american people." did that stop the questions or just raise more questions? >> if anything, it fueled more of them.
there were white house ling linguisticologists pointed out the language mirrors some of donald trump's tweets and theorized that it was him tweeting or perhaps something who worked for him rather than the first lady. there are been any number of conspiracy theories in what geoff appropriately points out is a little bit of a vacuum of information about why the first lady underwent such a hospital day. of course why she hasn't been at the president's side more often. that said, the conspiracy theories here are not peak first lady conspiracy theory. that of course would have been the conspiracy theory, untrue, of course, that hillary clinton had killed vince foster. so there is a long history of people theorizing what's going on with the first lady and being completely off about it. >> jef, this briefing that's set to start top of the hour, what can we expect? >> i think you laid out all the
greatest hits. i think the a the top of the list is the president's tweet this morning sugget he e power to pardon himself as rudy giuliani said over the weekend. that of course was connected to the "new york times" obtaining and publishing this letter from january where the president's lawyers say that as it relates to the russiinvestigation, the president has broad constitutional authority, craig, not to jn himself but to end the russia investigation or any investigation, for that matter. so expect questions about that, about the pardons the president issued this past week for two folks. also about north korea and even potentially questions about melania trump, where she's been this almost past month. >> geoff bennett, we'll leave it there. thank you. jonathan allen, always good to have you, as well, sir. again, were waiting for that white house press briefing to get started just minutes from now. often times these things run a few minutes late. judging by the empty seats, two seem as if this might be one of those briefings that does not start right on time. there is our man, peter
that's going to wrap up this hour of "msnbc live." katy tur joins me now. i will see you tomorrow morning on "today." >> craig melvin making news today. >> well, if you want to call it that i guess. >> i think i can call it news. most certainly. craig melvin. have a nice evening. >> you, as well. >> it is 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. at the white house
where a confidential memo to robert mueller has pulled back the curtain on how the president's team attorneys is trying to protect him. rudy giuliani made the sunday show rounds parroting some of the memo's most explosive claims. among them, that the president cannot obstruct justice, cannot be subpoenaed, cannot be indicted, even if he shoots someone. but can pardon himself. except giuliani claimed the president would never do that. >> the president of the united states pardoning himself would just be unthinkable. and it would lead to probably an immediate impeachment. >> but this morning the president couched that in a tweet. i have the absolute right to pardon myself but why would i do that when i have done nothing wrong. here's the thing. every tweet, every giuliani interview, every leaked memo, every lie looks like whatld be called a