tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC June 9, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT
i had a very minor fender bender tonight! in an unreasonably narrow fast food drive thru lane. but what a powerful life lesson. and don't worry i have everything handled. i already spoke to our allstate agent, and i know that we have accident forgiveness. which is so smart on your guy's part. like fact that they'll just... forgive you... four weeks without the car. okay, yup. good night. with accident forgiveness your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it. good morning to all of you, i'm alex witt at msnbc world headquarters. here's what's happening now. trade tensions. president trump apparently at odds with american allies, as the second day of the g7 summit kicks off. the relationship is probably better as good or better than it's ever been. and i think we'll get to
something very beneficial to canada and to the united states. >> changing tunes, after a twitter spat one day, the president and canada's prime minister seem to be getting along. but is that just for the cameras? interpreting new comments from president trump about nfl players who dealt nurg the national anthem. making sense of his offer to use his pardon power in the matter. plus melania trump's spokesperson with a pointed and pithy response to one of rudy giuliani's latest declarations. reaction ahead on msnbc live. new this morning, the president now attending a g7 breakfast on gender equality. he showed up a little bit late this morning. after friday meetings with the leaders of both france and canada. he is expected to head to singapore in just a couple of hours. le leaving the g7 early for his meeting with kim jong un. yesterday in quebec the president expressed new-found optimism alongside canadian p.m. justin trudeau about the
u.s./canada relationship. >> the relationship is probably better, as good or better than it's ever been and i think we'll get to something very beneficial to canada and to the united states. >> meanwhile, other leaders playing down tenses that have been brewing before the summit. french president emmanuel macron who got into a twitter fight with the president before the meeting told reporters that the two countries share common values and a willingness to deliver results together. we're going to go over today's top stories this hour with nbc's kristen welker, nbc's bill neily joins us from singapore for the upcoming talks with north korea. joining us, betsy woodruff of the "daily beast" and alex si s siteswald. we go to kristen first. kristen, the president was late because he was apparently having meetings. can you elaborate on that? >> according to an administration official, president trump was huddling
with some senior staffers earlier today, that could account for why he was running about 15 minutes late to that breakfast. that got under way without him. when pressed on what they were discussing, this administration official said there are a range of topics, but the big outstanding issue here at the g7 summit is what is known as a communique'. or a group statement of agreement on a range of different topics. and there have been a lot of questions about whether there's going to be such a statement. which would be really remarkable by the way if the summit ended without one. president trump of course has broken with a number of these other leaders on a range of different issues. but most recently infuriated them by announcing new tariffs. that was met with a sharp backlash, some strong twitter responses, back and forth, including from president macron, the president of france, someone who the president has had a bromance with. >> my understanding is he was
discussing some of these thorny topics. whether or not there's going to be one. that's that's the real cliff hanger. at the g7 summit, the optics of being a full minutes late are not insignificant. in these types of summits, not just the policy, it is the optics as well. president trump a few minutes late to the breakfast. he was about an hour late getting here yesterday and he's leaving early. is he trying to prove a point? is this something that is sort of because he's been having all of these meetings, bottom line, it underscores the fact that there's a really bitter backdrop here. but prime minister trudeau, who got that breakfast started today. tried to have a little fun with some of the late comers, take a listen to what he had to say. >> i know how hard everyone has been working on this, so i'm really so excited to get into this gender advisory council.
>> now alex, in addition to all the differences over tariffs, of course the president threw a real bombshell into these discussions yesterday before he was leaving. when he said that he thinks russia should come back in to the g7. of course this used to be called the g8 because russia was in it. back in 2014 its membership was suspended after it invaded crimea. that hasn't changed. and so you had a very strong reaction not only from the global leaders here, who said look, russia continues to act illegally when it comes to invading crimea. but you also had strong reaction from lawmakers, including many republicans, senator john mccain saying look, russia is not our friend and we should absolutely not consider readmitting them to the g7 summit under these circumstances, now president trump, why is he leaving early? no official word. but administration officials say he does want to get focused on
his historic face to face with kim jong un. which now just a few days away. >> to your point about optics, i had to wonder, why did the president hold those meetings 15 minutes earlier so he could get to the breakfast meeting on time. with the optics of it, he made an entrance. and we know he lirkes to do tha. let's go to singapore where the president's summit with north korean leader kim jong un is getting under way in few days. talk about the mood there, is there a lot of excitement? is there concern, anxiety? hopefulness? i'm curious what people are saying and feeling there. i think all those things alex and indeed they are watching the summit in quebec with some interest. a different kind of summit, the stage is being set here, for a summit like no other. whatever you say, this meeting will be really unique. the advanced teams from both the
u.s. and north korea are here. at the airport in pyongyang, there is an empty aircraft which we think will take kim jong un here. interestingly, it's an air china aircraft. air korea, doesn't have aircraft that are capable of reaching singapore. so diplomatically beijing appears to have lent kim jong un and air china a plane. singapore is known as a very secure state. and security preparations are well under way, concrete barriers are being put down on streets here. the island where this will, the summit will take place, santosa island is being locked down and there are restrictions, security zones, there will be air restrictions over singapore at the time of the summit itself.
and we think that the two leaders are due to arrive here tomorrow evening. we believe air force one will touch down here at some point tomorrow evening. so far, so good, alex. so much detail. you know what we don't have any detail about really, is the summit itself. you know, what's the agenda? don't know what are they going to talk about? don't know. there's a lot of speculation of course. what constitutes success? what will happen at the end? are they going to have one meeting or two? will president moon be there? we simply don't know. all president trump has said is that this is, a getting to know you meeting, plus, it's more than a photo opportunity and it's a beginning. he says he doesn't have to prepare, he's been preparing all his life. it's all about attitude and a willingness to get things done. but alex, kim jong un is has been preparing more carefully i think, he's met of course president xi of china twice, he's met president moon of south korea south korea twice.
he's well known for being well prepared for meetings. so you know, three days to go, but in answer to your very first question -- all those things being thought of here. they are looking forward to it immensely. >> thank you from what we know so far from singapore. appreciate that. joining me for the discussion, betsy woodruff, the "daily beast" politics reporter and also alex siteswald, an nbc news digital reporter. i want to get your reaction to the g7 summit. and also the president arriving late to the summit. the comments you heard from trudeau saying that tragleers will come in as they arrive. betsy, what's your reaction to that. the g7 summit is not the number one priority for the trump administration today. they aren't focused on it. they don't necessarily see it as a place where they can chalk up a lot of wins. they aren't working overtime to make good with the u.s. allies that are assembled there. instead, everyone in the
president's orbit all the white house officials who are focused on foreign policy issues are focused overwelly on north korea. today's about singapore. the g7 has fallen by the wayside. >> you agree, alex? what are your thoughts? >> i think that's right. i think president trump is communicating that. it's kind of a power move. you show up late to a party or a meeting, you're telling the wormed that you don't care about it and you're danie in deigningh your presence. president trump has this superpower to command attention, everyone to respond to him whether positively or negatively. they have to do it on his terms. that's what he's done with the g7. forcing these world leaders or close allies to have to bend everything around him. the entire summit has become about him. the both on policy and on optics, on him showing up late. that's the way he's behaved domestically and that's the way he's behaving with some of our closest allies abroad.
how about a good case/bad case scenario. can you lay that out from this summit given all the tensions, the big difference between the u.s. and our allies on trade and tariffs? >> the worst-case scenario would be that tensions over tariffs would be exacerbated. we don't know there hasn't been that much good reporting on whether or not the tariff and trade issue has gotten worse at this summit. and of course the best-case scenario would be that the rumbling of a trade war would somehow be pushed down. be set aside. the reality is that right now, canada and the eu have been working to put together retaliatory tariffs, going after the united states. because of the tariffs that trump put in place on imports from canada and the eu. they see that as the first shot across the bou of a trade war. they see that as aggressive. sort of unfriendly action on the part of the united states. and they're looking for ways to strike back. and the reality of that is that if canada and the eu go forward on all the tariffs that have been reported to potentially be in the works for them, it's
likely to affect trump's states the most. for instance, rice and cranberries are two products that could be facing tariffs steep retaliation. those are products produced mostly in states that vote for trump. so it's trump's own vote who are have the most on the line with the potential back and forth, this potential escalation of hostilities over trade. >> alex, the president is leaving early. heading to singapore for the big meeting, the u.s. with north korea's kick jong un on tuesday. bill neily addressed this. i want to hear what the president said when he was asked about how he's preparing for the summit. here's that. >> what are you doing to prepare? >> i think i'm very well prepared. i don't think i have to prepare very much. it's about attitude. it's about willingness to get things done. i think i've been preparing for the summit for a long time. as has the other side. been preparing for a long time,
also. this isn't a question of preparation, this is a question of whether or not people want it to happen. we'll know that very quickly. >> do you think the president's approach to this matches that which kim jong un has done. bill neily was laying out the meetings, four big meetings with chinese heads and south korean heads. what do you think? >> i highly doubt that kim jong un is winging it. this is existential importance to north korea. something they've been working towards for years this is going to be the most important thing in the north korean leader's agenda for the day, the week, the year. and i think he'll be very well prepared and to try to extract as much as possible from the united states. clearly it doesn't seem that donald trump is treating it that way. yes, this is attitude. about relationship between world leaders. literally rocket science, we talking about missmissiles, nuc
weapons, there's a lot of details and the devil is in those details. they want to get to the certifiable denuclearization. the only way can you do that is setting clear bounds on what that looks like. that is really complicated stuff. >> betsy, last question to you. what does the president need to walk away with to deem this summit a success. >> i think what international observers will be watching for is the possibility of further talks. any conversations about denuclearizing the korean peninsula are being protracted. it took a long time for north korea to get to where they're at. the big question will be is has the united states built a comparative relationship with north korea and does that condition us to pressure them to ultimately denuclearize? that's going to be what experts are looking for. >> good to see you both. thanks, guys. the president and his pardons, he's asking nfl row testers for ideas on who to
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when it comes to trade, the united states has had a very big trade deficit for many years with the european union and we're working it out and emanuel has been very helpful in that regard. and something is going to happen, i think it will be very positive. we also had a very positive meeting a little while ago on nafta. this is turning out to be good.
the president in quebec speaking to reporters alongside french president emmanuel macron. joining me, hakeem jeffreys of new york, a member of the house judiciary committee. among the things the president said, there's a little test every now and then to see what's happening out there. do you think given the president's rhetoric on twitter and elsewhere, making comments, do you think that that's how the allies read all this? it's just a little test to everything he's been saying? >> it's very perplexing. he consistently offers to reward enemies like russia. embraces dictators like those in north korea and philippines. and is constantly attacking our allies. and it's not seemingly the product of a clear strategy to bring about progress for the american people. which is at the end of the day, is what we all in congress and what the president of the united states should be engaged in as part of our efforts. >> the president, he softened some of his rhetoric while he's
at the summit. while he's shaking hands and sitting among other members of leaders of world nations, at the g7 summit. he repeat lid brings up the topics of nafta. of the trade barriers, that kind of thing has rankled our allies. his style is certainly an area where i've disagreed with his approach. yes, we have an unemployment rate that is significantly lower, we can thank barack obama for setting us on that trajectory. but we have an underemployment problem in america. people trapped in low-wage jobs, we have a wage stagnation issue. we have a massive retirement insecurity and nothing that the president has done with all of his rhetoric, attacking our
allies, claiming he wants to fix these poorly negotiated trade deals, launching tariffs against friends, has brought about change in those areas. >> all right. let's look to what happened big news this week. after superstar kim kardashian comes to the white house. the president issues a pardon, a commutation toa alice johnson. talk about that, do you think the president made the right move here? >> i think that was the right decision as it relates to this particular individual case. but the broader issue is whether this is all just part of a smoke-and-mirrors effort to pretend to care about criminal justice reform which has emerged as a bipartisan issue in the united states congress. if it's authentic, then lets continue to do the things necessary to change the overall system. as you know -- the house recently passed prison reform legislation that was bipartisan in nature. we can use the president's
assistance in getting that bill through the senate. >> it's bipartisan when it comes to congress. how about the president's base. how do you interpret that? >> he has used law and order rhetoric that is racialized in several instances. in going after folks, often african-americans, the nfl players being a classic example. to energize his base in a manner that is incredibly divisive. i do think that jared kushner, the president's senior adviser is authentically committed to to the notion of dealing with our overcriminalization problem in america. hopefully he can prevail upon the president and they can push jeff sessions out of the way because he's an obstacle. >> the you mentioned the nfl. the president has talked about a new approach into how he's going to issue pardons, let's take a listen to what he said about that, here it is. >> you shouldn't go in a locker room when our national anthem is played. i'm going to ask them to recommend to me people that were unfairly treated. friends of theirs or people that
they know about, and i'm going to take a look at those applications and if i find in my committee finds that they're unfairly treated, then we will pardon them or at least let them out. what do you make of that strategy? >> it's not clear whether the president authentically understands the issue which led to the protest by the nfl players, very respectfully done in my view in the first place. the nfl players were addressing the issue of the need for police reform. and the fact that so many unarmed african-american law abiding individuals have been either the victims of excessive force and in some tragic instances, killed often for all of america and the world to see on camera without any accountability in the criminal justice system. so nothing that the president has just suggested would deal with that issue.
of the need to strengthen the relationship between the police and the community. now there are problems with our broken criminal justice system. we have a mass incarceration epidemic. there are people who have been wrongfully convicted or who are imprisoned much longer for crimes that they may have committed in the case of the most recent presidential pardon. those are legitimate issues to put on the table. let's look at everything as it relates to the reasons for the nfl protest. >> congressman hakeem jeffreys, thank you so much. next, what to make of rudy giuliani's talking about kim jong un to the stormy daniels situation, what's the strategy? we've got answers, next.
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the latest now from the g7 summit in canada. the president showed up about 15 minutes late for today's gender equality advisory council breakfast and was expected to take part in a working session set to get under way shortly. then in an hour the president will depart the g7 earlier than planned to head to singapore for the summit with kim jong un. this was the scene earlier today, a candlelit peace raly.
hundreds united in the hope that the summit will lead to decreased tenses on the korean peninsula. victor cha, good to talk to you, let's get into it here. how do you think the president should spend the next few days to prepare himself for the summit? >> i think he really needs to study the history of the negotiation. there's been a lot made of the fact that he said he's, he doesn't really need to prepare, things of that nature. but he does need to prepare. i mean there are lots of trap doors that the north koreans can open for him that he would walk right into. not knowing that he's getting a bad deal. i can give you lots of examples of that based on you know my past experience negotiating with them in the last agreement we did with north korea that of course failed. do you know if there's anybody like you who is giving the president good clear examples like the ones you have in your repertoire to say this is the
kind of trap that you're going to be facing if you don't prepare? >> i think there are, alex. i think there are people who are working on this who have past experience on it. but the problem is, you can give him the brief, the binder, but he has to read it, right? if he doesn't read it, it's not going to matter. let me give you one example. the north koreans might say woe want to co-existent peacefully with you, mr. trump. that sounds great. but co-existent peacefully in the parlance of negotiations says if you know the history it's not a good sign. >> i want to play what the president said specifically when he was asked how he was preparing for this summit. here it is, everyone. >> i think i'm very well prepared. i don't think i have to prepare very much. it's about attitude. it's about willingness to get things done. this is not a question of preparation. it's a question of whether or not people want it to happen and we'll know that very quickly. >> i want to point out the
president clarified and said look i've been preparing for this my whole life. to his point of attitude and willingness to get something done, do you agree with him? >> certainly both leaders have to come in with the attitude that they want peace, they want to try to get a deal but when he says things like that, it really makes me concerned that what he's going to do is walk into the room, and basically put everything on the table. you know economic assistance, lifting sanctions, u.s. troops, put it all on the table and then say -- are you going to denuclearize or not? then if kim says no, he's going to walk out of the room and we're back where we were in 2017, talking about military options. so it's not a very subtle negotiating strategy. it's not one that is informed by a deep history and understanding of how to pursue these negotiations. that's a little bit worrying. >> what's the effect of the president having withdrawn from the iran nuclear deal on this summit? >> i think it just raises
expectations incredibly of the deal he wants to get with north korea. by pulling out of the iran deal he was messaging to north korea the iran deal partial denuclearization, is not good enough. i want complete and full denuclearization from the north koreans. again, which goes against the history. 25-year history of the north koreans haven't been interested in doing that. >> to your point, kim jong un, the statement from north korea they want to get along peacefully with you. secretary of state mike pompeo said that kim jong un told him he's prepared to denuclearize. how do you interpret that? is there a disconnect somewhere? >> when the north koreans say denuclearization of the north korean peninsula, that sounds good to the layman's ear. what it means in the history of negotiations is at some point in the future after the united states has pulled forces off, removed our nuclear braille, they will consider at that point giving up their nuclear weapons. so again, it's a loaded term. but you've got to understand the history to know that it's a
loaded term. >> and look, this is not just about the united states and north korea. because you've got neighbors there, japan, china, south korea as well, they all have a shared interest in denuclearization of this peninsula. for a successful summit, does the president have to take into account the concerns and needs of these east asian countries? can he succeed? he goes in with just an america-first mindset? >> it's a really important point. when we used to do negotiations and we got wrapped up in the heat of the negotiations, we always tried to tell ourselves, we can't let our north korea policy undercut our broader alliance policy and u.s. position in the region. particularly vis-a-vis a rising china that means allies are important. we can't allow our alliance equities, troops in korea, defense commitments to japan. the short-range ballistic missile threat to japan. we can't let those things be forgotten when we're negotiating with the north koreans, over things that matter to the united states. without our allies in the region. the u.s. position is very week
vis-a-vis a rising china. >> realistically speaking where do you think things will stand when the summit is over? what are your expectations? >> i think we'll get, alex i think we'll get some positives, broad statements about denuclearization and some sort of peace declaration on the peninsula. but the real question is -- will they mandate a high-level led by pompeo for example, very high level negotiation process to implement these very broad declarations? if there is that process. then we have more diplomacy and it looks like the experts will get to work. if it's just a broad statement and no promise of a real negotiation process after that. it's just a photo op. >> okay, victor cha, thank you so much for your insight. what to make of the first lady's rebuke of rudy giuliani, that's next. ying a house? a little. thought i could de-stress with some zen gardening. at least we don't have to worry about homeowners insurance. just call geico. geico helps with homeowners insurance?
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we're getting out of here. you're welcome. run! holy! this is gonna be awesome. rated pg-13. president trump is adding fuel to the fire around comments made by his personal lawyer, rudy giuliani. the president defending giuliani yesterday. >> rudy is great, rudy is rudy. but rudy is doing a very good job. actually. doing a very good job. >> he said what? >> i'm not going to disagree with him on that. >> let's bring in jonathan alter, a columnist for the "daily beast" and an msnbc political analyst and republican strategist arena shah. we have rudy giuliani making
controversial remarks, we should play them. let's do that now. >> i'm sorry. i don't respect a porn star. the way i respect a career woman or a woman of substance. or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman. and as a person. and isn't going to sell her body for sexual exploitation. >> the president was pretty quick to back rudy giuliani up on that. why? >> sorry -- >> i'm sorry, i thought i asked you. >> well, you know he likes rudy giuliani because giuliani is basically an amen corner for him every day. in every venue. and is spreading his message, dumping on bob mueller, so you know, if he makes a comment like this, which a lot of people out there probably agree with, it's totally predictable that trump would back him up on it. what's, what's striking to me is
that giuliani is being laughed at by democrats, but not countered by them. i actually think i'm a little bit alone in this, that he's being pretty effective on trump's behalf. by discrediting bob mueller with a big chunk of the republican party. democrats need to push back harder. >> do you get a sense of how these views reflect back on the white house, these views on women, reena? >> conservative women agree in conversations and publicly. that this president is a misogynist, but he's been elected by the american people. we have what we have and we knew what he was when he came to office, we cath be all that surprised. in my private conversations, that's what i hear from republican women. we know this man. can we be that surprised? and also in evangelical circles as well. they probably share this view of
stormy daniels. this that this woman is not one that's taken part in any sort of respectable work, she's an adult film star and she's accusing the president. who was rightfully elected and so that's what we're seeing at play here. i don't think the administration, this white house, is going to say anything different. i think they're going to continue to be fine with anybody who is going out there and putting themselves out there for president trump. and that is, that is what rudy giuliani is doing. >> reena, when you say the woman with whom you speak say look, we know this man, do they also extend to say yeah, we like this man? we support this man? i hear "support" i don't hear "like" very much. support is very different. people on the right side of the aisle really genuinely believe that the card we've been dealt is the one we have to deal with. he was elected by the american people. so it's patriotic, it's very american to support the president and wish for his or her success. >> this is what is really
bugging me right now in the debate. it's patriotic to support the president, when he's in your party. even if he's a liar and a scoundrel. that's putting party in front of country and that's what all of these republicans who are supporting donald trump, even though they know better and they say differently, privately, and they are flunking a major character test in their own lives. by appeasing him and backing him out of some ridiculous idea of what patriotism requires. it does not require you to unthinkingly support the president of the united states and all the ridiculous things that he says. that's not patriotism. >> no, it's not. it's not. and you know, especially at a time where the white house seems to be putting out patriotism tests you know look at what's happening with the nfl. this is troubling. and what's even more troubling is that republicans, congressional republicans especially, are not willing to say where that red line is any more. personally, i was part of the never-trump movement and i have
to say putting party over country is going to lead to the republican party not existing one day very soon. >> jonathan, i want to ask you about giuliani's claim that the first lady believes the president's denials of an alleged affair with stormy daniels. that drew quite a response from melania trump's spokesperson, here's the quote. i don't believe mrs. trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with mr. giuliani. how do you respond to that. >> that's slap-down of rudy giuliani by the first lady. like when she would push the president's hand away when he was trying to hold her hand. the "washington post" had a story that quoted a number of melania trump's friends, saying that after the stormy daniels and karen mcdougal stories came out, there's much more distance between the president and first lady. they've always been separate bedrooms, they spend very little time together. but what i would expect from her and she's going 0 to make an
announcement on monday about some of her new initiatives, is to extend her anti-bullying campaign to her husband. he's the bully in chief. you know, a lot of bullying is just making up demeaning names about people on the playground, pushing them around, throwing your weight around. that's what he does. so i know there's some new sympathy for melania trump, she's been ill lately and so forth. but it's really extremely hypocritical for her to be launching an anti-bullying campaign. and going further and saying that it needs to start at home. >> rina, giuliani also sparked some controversy with the comments on the upcoming summit between president trump and kim jong un. he said after president trump called it off, that kim jong un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it. why does he comment at all on foreign relations? mike pompeo pushed back and said hey, you know, rudy giuliani is the president's personal lawyer. he does not speak for this administration. why does rudy giuliani continue
to say things which at times it's proven he doesn't know what he's talking about. he's not speaking the truth. >> well this new rudy giuliani is one that many of us who have been republicans for our entire lives, just don't recognize. he's not averse to controversy. similar to how his boss is not averse to controversy. he's embracing it. and in every way, he's put on the armor of trump and that is why the president remains so delighted with how rudy is acting in the public sphere. he is having diarrhea of the mouth i call it he just doesn't know when to stop. and the president is okay with that. the thing is that we, our american voters have a short-term memories. it's those of us inside the beltway that sometimes forget that every little headline isn't making its way out to my home state of west virginia, for example. people are too busy to pay attention. they grab the big stuff. i think that's where giuliani seems to think that anything he says, let's put it all out there and see what sticks. what's most concerning to me, alex. is that he's trying to shape
public perception of mueller's probe and that's really troubling. like i said, voters have a very short-term memory and what he's putting out there is wrong. he doesn't have any right to say anything. and you know, he just, he needs to stay in his lane, but he's not going to. that's the reality. the president doesn't. >> you know, jonathan, i have to ask you about mitt romney's comments. when he said that this president can very easily get re-elected in 2020. he talked about it from an economic perspective. and the fact is, you and i have discussed this before, and as i have with many other analysts. a lot of times americans vote their wallets and the economy is doing pretty well right now. what do you think about what romney said? >> i'm disgusted with mitt romney. he's about to be elected to a safe seat. in utah. he's not going to be defeated. in 2016, he called donald trump quote a phony and a fraud. dishonest, and he was suckering the american people. and now what is he doing? he's kissing up to him, he's
appeasing him. romney is gutless. and you know, what he should be doing is trying to rebuild the republican party independent of donald trump. these are character tests. it's really unfortunate to see mitt romney flunk it in this fashion. instead of saying well, donald trump is a shoe-in for re-election. which would be really disastrous for the whole world. as experts have been saying this week, basically end the western alliance. if were you to get re-elected of the. instead of resisting it, he's rationalizing it, excusing it. he needs to build a new republican anti-trump party. and he's not doing it. >> well that's where i disagree. i have to say you know, look, he saw that the window was there. to maybe try for that. and it wasn't going to happen. and so i think governor romney, exactly. i agree with that on a personal level. but governor romney is not gutless in this regard. i think he's stating some degree of fact here. he, historically is very
difficult to unseat an incumbent president. and with trump's approval ratings now teetering in the mid 40s. look, again this just all goes back to the fact that american people are seeing things that they, that they like. the president's supporters, let's put it that way. they see this, the brokerage of this summit with kim jong un, they see that as a positive thing. so i think you know, let's give the governor a break here. he's just literally i think he thinks at this point is stating fact. >> let's get to the mid-terms first before we start focusing on 2020. we'll get to that certainly with you both. rina shah and jonathan alter, thanks so much. in the next hour, joy reid has stormy daniels' attorney. but first, new charges against paul manafort. is bob mueller turning up the heat? map. i'll take you there.
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co constantine culimnic. joining me now, ladies welcome to you both. katie, to you first here. these new charges against manafort not directly linked to the russia investigation of election meddling, but they did come from the investigation. so what happens now with manafort's case? >> well, manafort's case has actually gotten stronger if you're robert mueller. and why? because these two new charges added in this third superseding indictment potentially add time and exposure for mueller but it is a direct link between an alleged codefendant between an american and a russian, the russian being constantine kilimnik. if you think about it, alex, if you're out on bail and a significant one for paul
manafort and you're able to prepare for your defense to go to trial at the end of late july and then your bond gets revoked and your in jail you have more incentive to perhaps flip on people higher up in the food chain. there was a late night filing on friday by the manafort defense team in response of attempts to revoke the bail for paul manafort. paul manafort notes he doesn't even know who robert mueller's trial witnesses are going be in july, and yet why on the date gates announced he was going to be pleading guilty, did he attempt to contact these two specific witnesses? it does suggest there was an attempt to obstruct justice by trying to influence the outcome of the testimony of these two particular witnesses. >> before i ask you a question i want to let all of you know we're keeping an eye on the lower box of your screen. the president is expected to make statements following the
gender equality breakfast before a working session before gender equality will be continuing. so once the president takes the podium we will take you there as well. meantime, let's get to your piece natasha. you asked the question, when was manafort thinking by allegedly reaching out to these witnesses? what did the people you spoke with have to say about that? >> he was ghost writing an op-ed in violation of a court order last year. and legal experts were completely baffled why he would go a step further and attempt to obstruct justice through witness tampering. that is something prosecutors and judges take extremely seriously. so everyone i spoke to said they would be surprised if the judge did not revoke manafort's bail and he would not be sitting in jail until trial later this year. he has operated kind of at the
margins of the law for the better part of two decades. so maybe it was hubris, maybe it was he expects a presidential pardon so he's operating with a sense of recklessness overall. but the idea he contacted these people in trying to get them to change their testimony, and say this lob yg firm was not operating in the united states when in fact it was, that suggests also there's something he is seriously concerned about to what this firm and what these people could tell prosecutors in relation to this case. >> i do want to ask you one quick question simply because we're waiting for the president to get to that podium any moment. they want to speak to a former republican congressman, kirk weldman about his connection to russia and the trump campaign. what is it about welden that
peaks their interest? >> we don't know exactly why they want to speak to welden. but an associate he spoke to last year said he indicated there was an effort by a russian oligarch named victor vexilbering to bankroll this russian peace plan, that of course michael cohen gave to then national security advisor michael flynn. and as we know the u.s. subsidiary of vekselberg's company ended up paying the better part of that money. he could be an answer to that puzzle in terms of why they were paying michael cohen. >> ladies, again, my apologies for cutting this a bit short. we will blame it on the president. thank you so much. let's go to my colleague. she's in quebec city with this breaking news. there is this briefing that's supposed to be held. we didn't know if the president
was supposed to be speaking and now you're reporting that he is. >> reporter: he is going to be speaking. at 10:00 a.m. the statement from the president, is he going to take some questions. look, i would be surprised if he didn't take a couple of questions given the format, given the fact we are at this global summit. but we'll have to wait and see. clearly something that he wants to say. i don't know specifically what the nature of his statement is going to be. i do know that earlier today as you and i have been reporting on he say about 15 minutes late to that gender equality breakfast this morning. and an administration official told me the reason in part is he was huddling with top advisers talking about this big joint statement. there was a question whether or not these different countries would be able to agree to a final statement, what is referred to as a communique.
given the very sharp divides that are at the backdrop of this g-7 summit, particularly over the issue of trade, remember the president really set the tone for this summit by announcing new tariffs against a number of these countries. that infuriated some of america's oldest and closest allies. we saw this war of words erupt in the hours leading up to the summit. and then the president dropped a real bombshell, a shock, alex, by yesterday saying, hey, he thinks russia should be readmitted into the g-7 summit. it used to be called the g-8 summit. so a lot of controversy in the backdrop. >> we'll keep a close eye on that, everybody. if kristen is correct and the president is running on time the president should be taking the podium in 30 seconds. with that said, we do know the president was running late at that gender equality breakfast meeting. there was supposed to be a
working session running ten minutes ago. we will see the extent to which this all runs on time or not. i look forward to seeing you at noon eastern time. but now stay tuned my good friend joy reed right now coming at you with "a.m. joy." russia should be in the meeting. it should be a part of it. you know, whether you like it or not and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run. and in the g-7, used to be the g-8 they threw russia out, but we should let russia back in because we should have russia that the negotiating table. >> we are waiting for donald trump to speak live before leaving the g-7 this morning. trump yesterday pined for the good old days when his friend russia was part of the exclusive global club of the world's top economs ce