tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC June 7, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT
thanks for being with us. follow me @mitchellreports. craig melvin takes over right now in new york. >> good afternoon to you. craig melvin at msnbc headquarters in new york. piece of trash. that's what an epa spokesman called a reporter when she asked for comment on one of two staff resignations from scandal ridden scott pruitt's office. it's just latest in a drama filled week for pruitt. is this what draining the swamp looks like? no respect from rudy jewel yagi. the president's lawyer standing by those blistering comments he made about stormy daniels. he told the crowd he doesn't respect a porn star the way he respects a career woman. and burning down the house. president trump adding insult to injury by asking if canada burned down the white house after imposing tariffs as he's
about to leave for canada. before he goes, a visit from the prime minister of japan to talk about north korea. that's set to happen roughly an hour from now. we'll get to all that in just a moment. we start with new ethics questions dogging the environmental protection agency and its administrator scott pruitt as the list of questionable moves by pruitt grows. the most recent cases of a possible misuse of authority having -- include having an aide reach out to chick-fil-a to inquire about getting a franchise for his wife and the resignation of two of his top aides. at least one of those aides was carrying out personal chores for the secretary. pruitt currently facing more than a dozen federal investigations. you'll probably remember it started with his $50 a night sweetheart condo deal from a lob lobbyist, that $3 million security detail, raises for his aides, $33,000 sound proof phone
booth and $6,000 worth of bio metric locks for his office. pruitt yesterday brushing off the chick-fil-a question with this. >> with great change comes, you know, i think opposition. there's significant change that's happening across not only at the epa but across this administration as needed. look, my wife is an entrepreneur herself. she los, we love -- chick-fil-a as a franchise of faith and it's one of the best in the country. that's something we're very excited about. we need more of them in tulsa. we need more of them across the country. it's an exciting time. >> exciting indeed, mr. secretary. with us to break it down, nbc's kelly o'donnell at the white house, lana plott, staff writer at "the atlantic." ian baker, an msnbc political analyst, and charlie syke,
contributing editor for "the standard." and also an msnbc contributor. lana, you wrote on the resignation of one of pruitt's top aides yesterday. as interesting as the story was, i think what stuck out to a lot of folks was the last paragraph of your piece. when you reached by phone john wilcox, an epa spokesperson, would not comment. he said, quote, you have a great day. you're a piece of trash. this is a spokesperson. his job presumably to speak to the agency to reporters like us. what does that say about the state of affairs? >> first, the epa does have a remarkable ability among its staff to make something other than the story at hand much more interesting than what people should actually be talking about. but, you know, i realize i haven't been doing this very long, but i have to hope or believe that the state of affairs between the press corps and press officials across the administration hasn't always
been this acrimonious. >> why was he so annoyed? >> i can't tell you. i don't know if he just cracked under pressure. i just called asking for confirmation. i wasn't asking for context, background, anything like that, just a yes or no question. and that's the response i got. >> what more do we know about those resignations yesterday? >> what we know is that probably ten minutes after i reported on one resigning, the other one said she quit as well. these are two aides that as i broke the news about a month ago, they received two huge raises at pruitt's behest in running the white house and giving those raises. so they're no stranger to seeing their names in headlines. what i've been told is the two of them were just kind of fed up. they're both young officials and didn't want the rest of their careers to be marked by this.
>> was one of these -- one of these aides that resigned, was one of them the aide who was asked to go and buy this used mattress from trump tower? >> yes, that was indeed huff. ever since she got to the epa, pruitt has tasked her for doing things like surfing for housing for him, to what we learned from "the washington post" this week, that she was tasked with calling trump international hotel d.c. to find out about a used mattress. >> i'm going to come back to the mattress in just a moment. but mr. baker, president trump yesterday, with these words of support for scott pruitt. >> administrator scott pruitt, thank you, scott, very much. epa is doing really, really well. you know, somebody has to say that about you a little bit. people are really impressed with the job being done at the epa. thank you, scott.
>> the president has let cabinet secretaries go before. why is scott pruitt surviving? >> we don't really know the answer. some of the other officials let go before who have come under fire for things usually had other issues as well. there wasn't a reservoir of good will. clearly scott pruitt has been keeping faith with president obama's agenda. he's been implementing the policies the president wants to have implemented. i think the president these days feeling the heat from the investigations that have surrounded him is feeling sort of, you know, projecting on other people the notion that they're somehow being persecuted unfairly. any day, one of these stories kind of like get his goat and he decides too much is too much and he could switch gears. >> charlie, republicans, at least some of them, they say they're starting to get concerned about pruett and the
impact he could have on the party at large. this is louisiana senator john kennedy a few hours ago. >> the hits just keep on coming. i think he's hurting the president. he's hurt the country. some of these things that mr. pruitt apparently has done, i know some of them are allegations, some facts, he is act like a moron and he needs to stop it. >> why hasn't the party leadership gone to the white house and demanded pruitt's ouster? >> i think -- >> i don't know that he does that. he's not only a moron, he's a swampy moron. i think we're reaching a tipping point. i think he has, in fact, overstayed his welcome. you're starting to see the erosion of support in congress and these stories really are -- i mean, they're crossing one line after another. you know, using your staff to try to get your wife a job at chick-fil-a.
the bizarre story about the mattress. i mean, honestly, who wants hotel mattresses? i mean, it is just bizarre. so he's becoming an embarrassment. he's becoming a distraction. when i think republicans realize that he is going to undermine the agenda that they support, that i think is going to be the, you know, when they finally pull the plug on him. >> we heard from the president yesterday. questions have been asked about this though. as you know, for months. >> i haven't had a chance to speak with the president directly about the "washington post" new report. we continue to have concerns and look into those and we'll address them. certainly looking into the matter, i couldn't comment on the specifics of fuiture. he was referencing a reporte by the epa which we arereview. there was a much larger number of security issues surrounding the epa administrator in the past but for specific questions,
i'd refer you back to the epa. we take this seriously and we're looking into this. >> kelly, i mean what are you hearing? are white house officials, are he close to getting tired of tap dancing around scott pruitt? >> well there is a frustration that's building. some of these instances have, on their own, seemed sort of small and petty. they always of course deal with what's appropriate. sometimes it's the people's money. you put them together and it really builds pressure. what we don't hear are voices from the president's base saying this is unacceptable. what we have not heard from scott pruitt is an acknowled acknowledgement that he has crossed the line. whereas early on in the administration when the treasury secretary was criticized for overuse of military aircraft, he acknowledged that changed patterns. i've been on flights where the secretary is visible in a coach seat. you don't get that from scott pruitt, a willingness to say i have done something
inappropriate here. even in the most benign way, i'm sorry if we made some bad judgments, we're going to do better. the absence of that has not built the pressure. when we see a tom price, the first health and human services secretary, he acknowledged some of the flights he had taken weren't appropriate. that seems to weaken the figure and the pressure builds and they crumble. scott pruitt has taken almost a trump-like response of ignoring it, smiling through it, the answer to the question about the franchise regarding chick-fil-a, there was not a hint of embarrassment or a sense that anything inappropriate was there. he answered enthusiastically. that tactic seems to be part of it. the white house also has the never ending challenge of how many things are on their plate and other pressures and this would be a seat that would have to be senate confirmed at a time when they're trying to get judges through and so forth. that we have not always seen as a reason not to replace someone. scott pruitt has had more lives than some cats we know.
>> peter, dana milbank in his column today writing somewhat tongue in cheek, pruitt's problem isn't that he's corrupt, it's that he's not corrupt enough. he could be thrashing with the big gators in the swamp, but he's lounging with them in a mud puttal. he should abandon his penny-ante corruption and get rich the way others do. are these infractions perhaps just too small, just an example of how business is done in washington, d.c. for anyone to really care? >> well, they certainly highlight some of the coziness you've seen over the years between, you know, outside special interests and people in government. this is not the first time we've seen that. what you see here that's different, though, is an accumulation of all these different types of questions, you know, the sound proof booth and the use of security to obtain first class travel and the use of aides to seek a
mattress or a franchise for your wife, it's a continuation of all these kinds of different things. they may be small individually but they seem to add up to an overall approach to the office that has troubled not just democrats but, as you say, joni ernst, the republican from iowa said this is about as swampy as it gets. it's causing an image problem but so far the president has stuck by pruitt. >> we put this image on the screen for viewers at home because it's easy to lose track of the number of scandals that have plagued pruitt since he became epa administrator. what's your gut tell you, charlie? is this going to end soon or is he going to get his act together and stop behaving this way? >> well, you know, kelly's analysis is pretty sound. he apparently has the same super power that donald trump has,
which is lack of shame. andhamelessnesspptly is an asset in politics these days. but on the oth hand, it is the accumulation. it is the red line that when you actually are using government employees to enrich yourself, members of your family, those are the kinds of things that i think are hard to come back from. so it's going to be interesting to watch, you know, what congressional republicans do and whether or not they decide that this is going to be an issue, a negative issue for them in the midterms. in they decide it is, i think he's gone. >> before we get out of here, alaina, really quickly, the mattress, do we know why at all he would be trying to secure a used mattress from a trump hotel? >> i think that would require probing the psyche of someone who to this point after covering him for a while, i still don't quite understand. i'm not sure i want to try to go there, craig. >> they haven't denied it. it's not like they've said, no,
no, no, that's not true. it's just so bizarre. kelly o'donnell, thank you. alaina, thank you so much. and way to hold up there. charlie, always good to have you. peter, one of my favorites there at "the new york times," always good to have you, sir. another possible case of collusion involving president trump. reports that lawyers for nfl player colin kaepernick, the player who started the national anthem protest, want to subpoena the president. we'll tell you why. rudy giuliani doubling down on those comments about having a lack reef expeof respect for st daniels because she's an adult film star. what her lawyer has to say about giuliani's attack on her credibility. >> i don't even think he has a slight suspicion that it's true, excuse me, when you look at stormy daniels, i know donald trump and -- look at his three wives, right, beautiful women, classy women, women of great
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beautiful women, classy women, women of great substance. stormy daniels? i respect all human beings. i even have to respect, you know, criminals. i'm sorry, i don't respaektect porn star the way i respect a woman of substance or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a personndsn't going to sell her body for sexual exploitation. so stormy, you want to bring a case, let me cross examine you. >> all right, okay. so that was rudy giuliani in israel. stormy daniels' attorney reacting by slamming giuliani for showing his client no respect. >> this guy is a disgust -- this guy is an absolute disgusting pig. he should be fired immediately. he must believe that this president will support him and back him in these outrageous comments against women and my client. enough is enough. this cannot be allowed to stand.
>> former director of strategic communications for hillary clinton's campaign and our msnbc legal analyst joining me now. just general reaction to the comments? >> you know, it's going to be really hard for me to get through this without completely losing my cool. i will say this, any woman who has ever felt that her voice does not matter because of her looks, her job, whatever it may be, that her voice, her opinion is somehow not as credible as another woman's opinion knows how they feel like, they sting, anger. this is why you're seeing so many women this election cycle, 2017, turn out. women are angry. they are frustrated. they're taking out their anger and frus tatitration at the bal boxes. >> not to try to give it any sort of credit here, but perhaps this is part of some sort of
larger strategy, a legal strategy maybe? or is that just rudy being rudy? >> perhaps, but i can't see how this is a beneficial legal strategy. at our core, lawyers are about risk aversion. and there seems to be no strategic reason why rudy giuliani who has put himself out as trump's lawyer as it relates to the mueller investigation, as it relates to russia collusion, to now step into the land of michael av netty and stormy daniels, for no apparent legal reason. why draw them into the fray? as you can see, the last thing you want is an angry michael av n avenatti breathing down your neck. i can't see the strategy why rudy giuliani would attack stormy daniels when it really is not germane to anything related to russia or adrienne, could it rudy giuliani is speaking on behalf of the president? >> absolutely, this is very
indicative of how the trump administration has conducted itself. we saw donald trump who time and time again on the campaign trail, when women would accuse him of sexual harassment, he would say he's not attractive enough, not pretty enough. these are the way these men view women. julianne follows that same mentality. it's an old-school, outdated mentality. it has no place in politics. it has no place in civil discourse. i believe he's channeling the president's viewpoints 100%. >> this is what the law professor alan dershowitz had to say about mr. giuliani's remarks. >> i didn't approve of much of what giuliani said. i don't think it justifies his firing. i think it justifies his being called in and told essentially, you know, stick to what your job is as the president's lawyer. >> i made a short list. i don't believe it's complete but i'm going to share it with our viewers and our listeners. last month, rudy giuliani, he
made his debut as the president's lawyer by talking about those payments michael cohen made to stormy daniels, created quite the kerr fluffle. said that kim jong-un was begging on his hands and knees for the summit. broke the news about the detainees in north korea being released days before they were released. he called the president's son-in-law jared kushner disposable. a few days ago, he said that president trump could shoot james comey and not get indicted. and then a few hours ago apparently he said that he thought the special counsel was trying to, in fact, frame president trump. what kind of lawyer is rudy giuliani? >> oh, you're baiting me into passing on giuliani's fitness to practice law. >> no, you're a longtime new york attorney. i don't know what his area of expertise is. >> i don't know what the legal strategy -- most of the things that you just said amount to dares. challenges. they're open challenges in areas that don't need to be
challenged. my -- a possible strategy could be just that giuliani is supposed to be the person on tv who creates this fog of war while behind the scenes the real pros like emmett flood are doing the hard work of defending the president and that's why we never hear about them. and maybe in that sense it's effective. maybe rudy giuliani is creating this haze that we keep focusing on when, in reality, the core purpose of defending the president from the investigation that might be going on in a way we don't even know about because it's not public. these comments, again, as an attorney, you owe the dad of duty to your client, as is often said in the hippocratic oath, do no harm. part of that is when you speak to the media,ake sure, if nothing else, you don't damage your own client and kill them with self-inflicted wounds. and i just, again, do not see the strategy. >> it does seem to be, adrienne, half the time, you watch him, you read him, you listen to him, it's like they decided to just
try to flood the zone with crazy. >> this is what they've been doing, you know, since the beginning of the trump campaign when he got into the race for the presidency. >> but rudy giuliani, he was america's mayor. >> i know. >> and now he's off in israel talking about porn stars having no self-respect. >> frankly that is what is so disappointing. we were talking about this before we came on air. hillary clinton said several times in the last few months how -- what a great partnership she and mayor giuliani had during 9/11. it is so sad to see somebody who is such a great mayor. handled 9/11 so well. america's mayor's what he was call called. has now pivoted to this level of behavior. >> i just add, too, if you want to attack the credibility of stormy daniels, for example, you can do that. rudy giuliani has many options for doing that. she's given statements that are arguably very inconsistent. she's had credibility problems to date. to base her comparative
attractiveness to trump's prior wives, that doesn't make any sense, especially when there's a reasonable alternative. >> the whole thing is odd. reminded us that the president has been married three times. danny, thank you, adrienne, thank you. immigration showdown. lawmakers making a last ditch effort to come up with a bill apparently. will it include saving the dreamers? i'm going to talk to a republican congressman who attended today's meeting right after this. any object. any surface.
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there at the rose garden at the white house. top of the hour, president trump expected to appear with japan's prime minister shinzo abe ahead of the north korea summit in singapore next week. there are reports that the japanese, japanese officials are a bit concerned about the summit. that's one of the topics between the two of them. we should note president trump said he is adequately prepared for the summit and that he actually doesn't need to prepare very much. the president says he's ready. meanwhile, not far from the white house, just down the street in fact, behind closed doors on capitol hill, a long and slow simmering fight within the republican party came to a head today.
if all goes well, down the road it could lead to a major deal on immigration. so far, house speaker paul ryan has not allowed a vote on immigration but a small group of moderate republicans want to force him to hold a vote. msnbc's garrett haake has been chasing down lawmakers today. what can you tell us? >> well, craig, the speaker and his team have bought themselves some time as it concerns that rogue group of republican lawmakers. they've been trying to force the issue with something called a discharge petition, essentially forcing a series of votes on the floor on immigration. today it appears that the speaker who has promised to listen to their concerns and take in the concerns of the entire republican conference has bought a little bit of time saying they're trying to work on a compromise bill. they spent about two hours in a meeting of all these republican house members going over the areas where they agree on immigration as an issue and the
areas where they disagree. it's increasingly clear that the big stumbling block is still a question of citizenship for dak ra recipients, whether and how to allow it. so while they're close, there is this big stumbling block. conservative house freedom member described this to me as he was leaving. >> obviously, there is no bill. there's certainly a lot more input then has taken place. we're not in the discussion phase. that's a very big difference. >> a lot of these republican lawmakers tried to describe this as a big step forward. if it sounds familiar to you and to our viewers, this does certainly feel that way up here on capitol hill to another discussion about an issue that has bedeviled congress for years now. >> it's like groundhog day i feel like it's every two weeks. >> garrett haake on the hill for us, garrett, thank you. >> republican congressman ryan costello joins me now.
congressman costello from pennsylvania. he was inside that meeting. always good to have you, congressman. take us inside. did you make as much progress as it would seem you did? >> i don't know that we did. i mean, look, people talk. there seem to be some emerging consensus. being one of the rogue ones, i would still like to see a couple different bills go to the floor and find out where the majority of congress is on this so we get a durable bipartisan solution not just to daca but on issues of border security and also the visa -- the visa program. so it is still slowly simmering as you aptly put it. >> what's the crux of the conflict here between you guys? >> i think, look, the most conservative in the conference are still feeling like if you take daca children and enable them to get lawful permanent
residency over a period of years, that somehow that's a special pathway and somehow that's not acceptable to them. i don't accept that. i think the children are here. they've been here. they've grown up here. they strepeak the language. it's not a special pathway if they follow the law, they go to school here, they're employed here. that's not the way to solve the problem is just find new ways to object to what i think is a reasonable compromise. that's the crux of it at the moment. >> got it. thank you. i want to talk to you about this new nbc news "wall street journal" poll out this morning. it shows that president trump's approval rating is at 44%. that's up four points in about two months. the latest controversy out of the trump world i'm sure you've heard these comments made by rudy jewel yagiuliani, here's t, none of this stuff really seems to be affecting the president's
popularity. you're not running for re-election. a lot of your colleagues are. these numbers, these controversies, how do these things affect strategy for the midterms? >> well, i think that those who don't like the president, every day, they wake up, they discover new reasons not to like him. those who support him wake up every day and see what the latest is and it makes them double down in terms of their support for him. there's favorable economic indicators out there. 3.8% unemployment. 3.2% gdp growth. more folks -- there are more jobs available than folks looking for work. there's a good story to tell as republicans. at the same point in time, there's a group of republicans and some independents that don't like the style, that there are some objections to the presidency. and so it's going to be that middle group of voters that's going to determine who wins or loses. so strategically, democrats are going to continue to lean in on the things that make the president unpopular.
as the republican, the emphasis has to be on the favorable economic climate out there. >> congressman ryan costello, congressman, thanks for your time, sir. >> good to be with you, craig. right now, president trump meeting with japan's prime minister shinzo abe about the north korean summit. in the last hour. when the president says when it comes to the summit, he doesn't need to prepare, he's ready. and freed inmate alice johnson said it was divine intervention that led to the president commuting her sentence yesterday. one of her lawyers is going to take us inside last 24 hours. veh a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin, i'm up for that. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis is fda-approved and has both. so what's next? seeing these guys.
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an emotional scene two decades in the making is 63-year-old alice johnson reuniting with her family. the great-grandmother woke up at home for the first time in years. she also thanked president trump for commuting her life sentence for a nonviolent drug conviction. >> i'm just so thankful. i feel like my life is starting over again. this is a miracle day. >> the president's decision came after an oval office plea from fellow reality tv star kim car dash i
kim kardashian. joining me now is one of the lawyers who handled the clemency petition. you've been working on this for five years. all of a sudden kim k picks up the phone and boom. is that how it works in this country? >> well, look, we've been fighting for alwaice for years. i never could have foreseen this turn of events for sure. >> give me the back story. how did this all go down? >> so back in november alice gave an interview to mic.com which made a plea for her life and talked about her sentence and kim was scrolling through twitter, saw it and was moved to do something. she was really moved by this idea that a great-grandmother had been sentenced to die in prison for her first conviction on a nonviolent drug offense. we decide to pursue clemency and didn't know that it would end up this way. but we are overjoyed when we got the news yesterday. >> in the early '90s, for folks who may not be familiar with the back story here, johnson was accused of helping run the largest drug trafficking
operation in memphis history. it was an operation totaling a more than 2,000 to it,000 kilograms of cocaine, that's it tons, 2 tons of coke, worth reportedly $50 million on the street. she was the head of a multimillion dollar drug ring. what sentence do you think she deserved? >> look, she did not deserve to die in prison. alice got involved in desperation. she was a single mom raising five kids. her role is much more limited to passing messages among drug dealers. she is the first to admit that she should serve some time. but no one deserves to die in prison for a nonviolent drug conviction, certainly not their first. >> one of the first things i thought when i heard about this story some time ago is how bad was her first lawyer? i mean, was it a case of just having a really shoddy attorney? >> this was a case -- it was a mandatory life without parole sentence. once the prosecutor chose to go
after her and worked out deals with co-conspirators who testified against her, once she was facing a mandatory life without parole sentence and that's what was handed down. the judge had no choice but to sentence her to die in prison. >> the department of justice under former president obama denied her petition. we're told at least three times we know of. would there have been blowback in president obama had commuted her service? >> no, i don't believe so. i thought alice's case was a slam dunk. i reviewed thousands of cases. alice's was among the strongest. she had a spotless record. even the warden supported her petition. she had strong support of her family. a job lined up for release. i don't think there would have been blowback. we don't know why obama denied it. but obviously kim kardashian saw
that alice did deserve a second chance. i'm glad she'll continue to be reunited with her family. >> do we anticipate that kim kardashian's going to start doing some more work with the aclu? is this going to become a thing? >> i hope that kim and others will use their platform. criminal justice and mass incarceration is a critical issue in this country. i hope that everyone uses their voice to push for criminal justice reform. >> there are a lot of alice johnsons out there who do not have celebrity lobbyists or even the aclu backing them. thank you so much. thanks for coming by. we've got some new information about the culture war. the ongoing culture war in this country and the legal fight between president trump and the nfl. colin kaepernick's legal team reportedly now wants to subpoena the president and vice president pence. they want more information about the administration's contact with nfl team owners over the league's national anthem protests. i'm joined now by the msnbc
legal analyst. and jason nichols, contributor for "the hill," lecturer on african-american studies at the university of maryland who wrote a piece on this. danny, kaepernick's attorneys reportedly seeking federal subpoenas now. what's the goal here and how likely is it they are going to be able to get the president and/or vice president to sit down? >> it looks like they're trying to get subpoenas for testimony. they want to drag the president and whoever else into a deposition, which is just an interview that's conducted under oath. the reason it's so dangerous, particularly for someone like the president, is that every single answer to every question is a potential perjury opportunity. because every one of your answers -- >> if you tell the truth it's not. >> if you tell the truth, that's correct. as long as it's not a material issue but in general you're right. anything under oath for that extended period of time opens any opponent up to serious
liability. the reality is, however, it is very difficult in this kind of case that's governed under the arbitration act to get a federal subpoena of a nonparty like the president for a deposition as opposed to just getting documents. that can be easier. actually getting someone to sit down for a deposition by a subpoena will be very challenging in this case. and you better expect the president's team will oppose it. >> jason, colin kaepernick has alleged for some time now tha this is a legitimate examp ofll. you wrote a think piece for nbcnews.com. the headline here, donald trump makes everything about his own ego, including the philadelphia eagles. why pick this fight, jason? >> well, i don't think that i'm picking a fight. think the president -- >> no, not the president. >> oh, well, i think the president is the divider in chief. he makes everything about himself and what he wants to do
is drum up more support by taking a contentious issue. i think that's his major goal is to get more support. but in the process, he's dividing us as a nation, which is really a shame. >> we're seeing a very different reaction from the nba than we did from the nfl about how their pl players choose to protest. last night, the nba commissioner said these players in our league are speaking out about issues that are important to them and important to society. i think, i encourage them to continue to do that and on top of that, maybe more importantly, look at the things they're doing in their communities. jason, what do you make of how the nba has handled this dispute versus the nfl? why is there such a difference between the two? >> well, i think in reality the nba is thinking about their best interests as a corporation to be honest. i think they realize the best corporations treat their workers very well. that they are the producers for
the corporation. so it's a bad idea to actually go against them. and so i don't necessarily think that it's, you know, out of benevolence but i think in many ways they're saying that this is what our workers want. this is what we're going to support them and the nfl has done the exact opposite for a long time. and has supported not only their players but also their communities, you know, in terms of domestic violence, in terms of their player's health. they've made lots of mistakes that the nba has not made. >> do you think the nba values its players differently than the way the nfl does? >> oh, absolutely think that the nba values its players differently. i think number one you can see in the construct of their contracts that they value their players more. i also think that the nba also just realizes that it's good business. and the nfl for some reason does
not recognize that. >> we'll leave it there. jason nichols, thank you, danny, thanks for sticking around. who has the president not ticked off ahead of the summit? right now, he's meeting with japan's prime minister shinzo abe. they'll be holding a joint press conference. we know the two of them are talking about this summit that's going to happen in singapore next week. right side of your screen, shinzo abe, the prime minister of japan, and president trump at the portico. welcome to holiday inn!
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live pictures from the white house rose garden there where in just a few moments, japanese prime minister shinzo abe will join president trump for a joint press conference. today's somewhat hastily arranged meeting reportedly emerged out of japan's concerns about how president trump is going to be dealing with north korea next week. today in this room, a reporter drilled down on that concern and asked the president what he was doing to prepare. >> i think i'm very well prepared. i don't think i have to prepare very much. it is about attitude. it is about willingness to get things done. but i think i've been prepared for the summit for a long time.
as has the other side. they've been preparing for a long time, also, so this isn't a question of preparation. it is a question of whether or not people want it to happen and we'll know that very quickly. >> not a question of preparation. joel reuben, former deputy assistant secretary of state, president of the washington strategy group joins me now. so does velvina wong, former senior advisor at the state department. joe, we just heard from the president there last hour. what must the dozens, if not hundreds of diplomats who are working on the summit think when they hear their leader say that he doesn't really need to prepare very much? >> well, craig, i don't think they'd be surprised at all by that attitude and that is certainly not the attitude that we want heading into a major summit between the president of the united states and the leader of north korea. there are serious issues at play right now. nuclear weapons are not to be
treated lightly and the redevil really is in the details so i hope the president's team is really briefing it properly. i hope he doesn't go in and go naively because there is a real danger here a summit could conclude with very vague general approaches, no real commitments and certainly not a real clarification about the process going forward. if that doesn't happen, north korea will come out with a victorious hand. >> this is the 30th time that the two leaders are speaking to each other -- excuse me. their alliance has always seemed strong. mr. abe was just on the phone with president trump on monday, we are told. what do you make of this in-person meeting right now? how concerned is shinzo abe? >> oh, prime minister abe is absolutely concerned. in fact, probably japan is in the worst possible position. and, frankly, this is japan's worst nightmare scenario because japan is absolutely concerned about everything. it is absolutely being eclipsed
and is about to, frankly, perhaps lose out on everything, especially going into the g7 summit. so it is concerned about losing out potentially in every scenario. >> besides being eclipsed, perhaps, by another country on the peninsula, what are some of these other concerns that shinzo abe has? >> it is about security. until now in the six-party process, it had secured a position in terms of all of its bilateral issues related to north korea. it's abductee issue. its bilateral issues with north korea in terms of security. its concerns about nuclear weapons. missile concerns. its equity issues on the korean peninsula. and now essentially it is being eclipsed in terms of everyone of these issues. and so -- and now its future in terms of its concerns about china and now even in terms of
its relationship with president trump. and so i think that prime minister abe is concerned about securing its position in terms of his personal relationship but also about japan's future relationship with the united states. >> joel, yesterday president trump's attorney, rudy giuliani, boasted about the president's hard-line stance on north korea. here's what he said. >> well, somehow north korea, after he canceled the summit because they insulted the vice president, they insulted his national security advisor, and they also said they were going to go to nuclear war against us. they were going to defeat us in a nuclear war. we said, we're not going to have a summit under those circumstances. well, kim jong-un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in. >> joel, is that part of some sort of diplomatic strategy?
our number one priority issue. so president trump needs to address that. >> thank you both. appreciate your insight. that's going to wrap up this hour for msnbc live. katy tur back from california. i'll see you back here next week. 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. at the white house where the president says he doesn't need to prepare for the summit in singapore with kim jong-un. >> i think i'm very well prepared. i don't thinkvy to prepare very much. it is about attitude. it is about willingness to get things done. >> donald trump speaking right there with shinzo abe. they've been meeting, him and japan's prime minister, now for a couple hours. the two will hold a joint news conference at the white house in a moment. north korea will, no doubt, be a topic for reporters as we are sure it was a topic behind closed doorsh