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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  June 28, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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79. and don't tell me your mind's going because i read bush v. gore and citizens united. you never had one. that's tonight's last word". i'm joy reid. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right now. tonight the president appears to argue russia's case that they didn't hack our presidential election. and while that's wrong, the president does want the investigation into his white house to end. but tonight robert mueller continues his work. plus the attempted takedown of deputy a.g. rod rosenstein at the hands of jim jordan. a fact check for trey gowdy and a republican party buoyed by a supreme court pick. and protests across the land on immigration as melania trump makes another appearance at the southern border. all of it as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a thursday night. well, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 525 of this trump
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administration, which now finds itself facing twin battles that will likely define the trump presidency for years to come. for starters, there is that opening on the supreme court, which the president made sure to bring up again today. >> we're going to pick ourselves one great united states supreme court justice. we're going to start working on that process. we've already started. and hopefully we're going to make you very proud. >> and tonight there was confirmation that a formidable white house lobbying effort aimed at potentially wobbly republican senators is already up and running before there is even a nominee that we know of. press secretary sarah sanders wrote tonight that the president met with senators grassley, collins, murkowski, manchin, donnelly, and heitkamp to discuss the supreme court vacancy. the potus team also talked with more than a dozen other senators today as part of ongoing outreach to get views and advice
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from both sides of the aisle. the other battle this president is fighting and the other front we are covering tonight would be, of course, the mueller investigation. and this one line from the president's twitter feed this morning may say it all. this is the american president pointing out, quote, russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election. again, that's the russian argument, long ago disproven by our u.s. intelligence community. the president also attacked the special counsel by name today. quote, when is bob mueller going to list his conflicts of interest? why has it taken so long? will they be listed at the top of his $22 million report? what about the 13 angry democrats? will they list their conflicts with crooked hillary? and what is going on in the fbi and doj with crooked hillary? the dnc and all the lies, a disgraceful situation. the president's comments were a
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curtain raiser for today's hearing where his team, the republicans in the house, went after the president's own appointees, the fbi director and most especially deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. >> it's really the rosenstein investigation. you appointed mueller. you're supervising mueller. it seems like you should be recused from this more so than jeff sessions. >> congressman, i can assure you if it were appropriate for me to recuse, i'd be mother than happy to do so. >> i don't know why you won't different us what we've asked for. >> sir, i certainly hope that your colleagues are not under that impression. that is not accurate, sir. >> it is accurate. we have caught you hiding information. >> if you have evidence that this president acted inappropriately, present it to the american people. whatever you got, finish it the hell up. >> said the man who spent nearly 2 1/2 years and over $7 million investigating hillary clinton and benghazi and found no evidence of wrongdoing. that was followed by more questions to rosenstein about
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the length of the investigation. >> is the special counsel's investigation taking too long? has he deliberately slowed his pace? >> sir, i can assure you that director mueller is moving as expeditiously as possible. >> mr. wray, are you one of those 13 angry democrats that my republican colleagues keep referring to? >> i do not consider myself an angry democrat. >> mr. rosenstein, are you a democrat? >> i'm not a democrat, and i'm not angry. >> there are reports the special counsel is opening up new angles of inquiry in the russia investigation. tonight "the washington post" says mueller's team is looking at ties between brexit supporters linked to russian officials and the trump campaign. there are also reports that mueller has subpoenaed another former aide to longtime trump adviser roger stone. that aide, andrew miller, reported to have worked briefly for mr. stone around the gop convention, 2016. we heard from another longtime trump associate today, michael cohen, sending this message.
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quote, my family and i are owed an apology. after two years, 15 hours of testimony before house and senate under oath, and producing more than 1,000 documents, dossier misreports, 15 allegations about me. my entire statement must be quoted. i had nothing to do with russian collusion or meddling. it's unknown what may have prompted that. emily jane fox of "vanity fair" reports tonight that as cohen debates whether to cooperate with the feds, one person she spoke to wished to get a message out to cohen. that person said, quote, please let him know that he could go down in history as the man that saved his country. i think his family would be so proud of him. on that note, let's bring in our leadoff panel on a thursday evening. kimberly atkins, chief washington reporter for "the boston herald." jonathan lemire, white house reporter for the associated press. and cynthia alksne, a former federal prosecutor, veteran of the civil rights division at the justice department. cynthia, i'd like to begin with you if that's okay, and that is
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this. the center, the center left, and the left woke up this morning after the fog of the news about justice kennedy leaving the court with the realization that this president will be selecting a judge, a man or a woman who will be seated on the court presumably in time to potentially adjudicate the president of the united states. what's your thinking about that? >> well, i think their first thought was this was this would probably be somebody who would help overturn roe v. wade and that somewhere between 15 and 18 states, abortion would be illegal within the next year. so that was the first thought. the second thought is, of course, you know, one more tragedy for what's happening to our justice system, and it doesn't appear to me that there's really a way to stop it. the president is meeting with these senators to shore that up. i mean all we can do, i think, at this point is hope and pray
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that some of the women -- the female republican senators come through and stick with their strong feeling that roe v. wade is the law of the land and should be upheld. but really it's kind of a hopeless time. >> kim atkins, on that note, the president wakes up in wisconsin and starts on social media talking about robert mueller. what do you think that's about? >> i mean it's about what he has been railing against for months now, this investigation. no matter what other wins he may have and the ability to appoint another supreme court justice and really galvanize the entire republican party around him, i can't think of a bigger political win for him this week. but he is still so focused on this investigation, which leads people to wonder and some democrats have been wondering aloud if there would be a conflict in him appointing a
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supreme court justice who would ultimately may be asked to decide whether the president, if robert mueller subpoenas him or tries to compel his testimony and he refuses, that would go to the supreme court. can a president be indicted? that's a question that would go to the supreme court. if the president fires robert mueller, what, if any, recourse congress or other investigators would have. that's also a question that's open legally. so for the president to be in the position to appoint a person who is ultimately deciding that, you have senators like cory booker openly saying that that would be inappropriate and a way to push back on that. we also know that the president has reportedly at times grumbled that neil gorsuch, justice neil gorsuch hasn't been as loyal to him as he wanted. so the question is arising, will the president put a loyalty test to the supreme court nominee that he puts forward?
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it really ties together the supreme court pick and this mueller investigation in a really unique way. >> jonathan lemire, our colleagues over at "the new york types" tonight are out with a clean kill. i will quote from it tonight. president trump singled out justice kennedy for praise. even while attacking other members of the supreme court. the white house nominated people close to him to important judicial posts. members of the trump family forged personal connections. their goal was to assure justice anthony m. kennedy that his judicial legacy would be in good hands should he step down at the end of the court's term that ended this week as he was rumored to be considering. allies of the white house were more blunt, warning the 81-year-old justice that time was of the essence. there was no telling, they said, what would happen if democrats gained control of the senate after the november elections and had the power to block the president's choice as his successor. i know you are of the mind that
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things supreme court justice related are areas where this white house has performed. >> that's right. this is the second time. for a white house that's been gripped with such dysfunction more often than not, they effectively vetted and rolled out the pick of judge gorsuch last year and of course he was confirmed and took his seat on the bench. and now this. kennedy's departure is actually sort of a two-part strategy that led us to this moment, one that pre-dates trump. let's remember of course that mitch mcconnell would not hold hearings for merrick garland, president obama's choice in 2016, saying that it wouldn't be right for a lame duck president to nominate someone to the bench. the republicans for a while now have really prioritized supreme court seats, saying that was their strategy, even as they saw sort of long-term demographic trends in this country going against them, the country becoming more urban and perhaps less white. they thought that a bulwark could exist in the supreme
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court, and they moved forward in this way. and donald trump, as a candidate, smartly released these names of potential justices, which allowed republicans, some who were very lukewarm on him, to say, well, i may not like everything about donald trump, but if i vote for him, i can get a justice that will uphold my values. and then we're seeing in a lot of this reporting how the trump white house, including ivanka trump, the president himself, others around him sort of sealed the deal with justice kennedy and made him feel comfortable, willing to step aside, thinking that someone that would share his ideological values, his views on the law, would take his place. >> it's lyndon johnsonesque, i'll say that. cynthia, i have a list here of some of what's been in the air and water this week. an aide to roger stone gets caught up. trump wakes up talking about mueller on social media this morning. the brexit architects are now in for scrutiny.
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and what's missing from the public domain this week? we haven't heard from rudolph giuliani in a long time. what do you think is going on? >> well, i for one have not missed him. i can say that. i think what's going on is they're sort of holding their breath waiting to see what cohen's going to do. there's a lot of pressure on cohen. they have enough to indict him. he's had this switch of lawyers. he had sort of this weird tweet today that sort of indicated he was trying to tell people, no, really, really, i'm not going to flip. but the pressure is on him, and i think they're sitting back and sort of waiting on that. that's one thing. and then they're busy attacking poor rod rosenstein with both barrels in an attempt to, you know, create some kind of fake controversy about him, maybe get him censured by the house so that trump can use that as an excuse to fire him. >> it was unbelievable viewing today. hey, kim, adding to the chaos
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theory of this white house you cover, the report out today that the president is floating names to replace his chief of staff. >> yeah. i mean it's one of those things that you believe it when we see it. we have seen that for a long time. we've seen other members of the white house who have been reportedly on the outs for six or eight months. but it is no surprise that the president and chief of staff john kelly have not seen eye to eye for quite some time. and he is looking for people to replace him. i think it's just the next extension of president trump feeling as if he is emboldened. he is emboldened by what he sees as a series of political wins that he sees himself as the mastermind of, and he doesn't need this big staff of people. he has been essentially serving as his own chief of staff for some time now, serving as his own communications director, and he thinks he knows what he's doing. and i think this is a continuation of that. this is really his strategy as he moves forward into the
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midterms and beyond. >> jonathan, let's go back to the last thing you said. considering that the court unites even the never-trumpers in the republican party, it's one thing everyone agrees on. considering that they're playing offense, you think this is a week of good times and good feelings in the trump west wing? >> it should be, yes. the president got a number of victories this week. obviously kennedy's departure is first and foremost. but prior to that the court made a couple rulings that were very favorable to him. it upheld his travel ban, which the president is taking as a big sign not just as a validation of executive powers but rather a validation of his strategy on immigration, this sort of hawkish approach to the border. >> labor unions. >> that's the other one where studies have shown that in states where -- right to work states, which now could apply nationally, union members are not meant to -- compelled to pay dues, it's a 3.5% drop in democratic turnout in presidential elections.
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that's obviously another win for republicans. the president got his summit with vladimir putin that he wanted. that was announced this morning. that will happen in a couple weeks in july. that's why it's so striking that his rage this morning on these tweets about the mueller investigation still come. there's something still going on there that is bothering him despite a string of victories. >> and, cynthia, just for a last word, the role michael cohen can yet play in this case. >> well, i mean on some level we think he can play a huge role, and on some level we really don't know. it could just be that they have the evidence to indict him on taxi frauds and things of that matter -- i mean of that ilk or because he knows so much about the president's business, he could be somebody who could really be a linchpin to making decisions, indictment decisions about the president. so we really have to wait for mueller and that's very hard. but that's where we are in this investigation. we're waiting for mueller. it's like waiting for godot, but it's waiting for mueller.
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>> our thanks to all three and a literary reference no less to go out on. kimberly, jonathan, cynthia, really appreciate it. coming up, more of the fireworks between house republicans and the administration's own men at justice and the fbi. and later, hundreds of people hauled out of an office building where our senators work and arrested. part of protests nationwide. "the 11th hour" just getting started on a thursday evening.
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started on a thursday evening. as we talked about earlier, conservative house republicans ramped up their attacks on
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deputy attorney general rod rosenstein today. and in a big public way. during this house judiciary committee hearing, congressman jim jordan, republican of ohio, accused rosenstein of hiding information on robert mueller's russia investigation. >> mr. jordan -- >> it's redacted. >> i am the deputy attorney general of the united states, okay? i'm not the person doing the redacting. i'm responsible for responding to your concerns as i have. i have a team with me, sir. it's just a fraction of the team that's doing this work. and whenever you brought issues to my attention, i have taken appropriate steps to remedy them. so your statement that i'm personally keeping information from you, trying to conceal information -- >> you're the boss, mr. rosenstein. >> that's correct. and my job is to make sure that we respond to your concerns. we have, sir. now, i've appointed mr. lausch, who is managing that production. and my understanding is it's actually going very well, sir. so i appreciate your concerns. >> again, i think the house of representatives is going to say otherwise. >> but your use of this to
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attack me personally is wrong. >> well, it went on like that, and a short time later congressman jordan asked rosenstein about a report that he had somehow threatened staffers on the house intelligence committee. >> mr. rosenstein, did you threaten staffers on the house intelligence committee? media reports indicate you did. >> media reports are mistaken. >> sometimes. but this is what they said. having the nation's number one law enforcement officer threaten to subpoena your calls and e-mails is downright chilling. did you threaten to subpoena their calls and e-mails? >> no, sir, and there's no way to subpoena phone calls. >> well, i mean i'm just saying. i'm reading what the press said. >> i would suggest that you not rely on what the press says, sir. >> i didn't ask if there was no way to do it. i asked if you said it. >> if i said what? >> what i just read you. >> no, i did not. >> who are we supposed to believe? staff members who we've worked with who have never misled us, or you guys who we've caught hiding information from us, who tell a witness not to answer our
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questions? who are we supposed to believe? >> thank you for making clear it's not personal, mr. jordan. >> i'm saying the department of justice -- >> you should believe me because i'm telling the truth and i'm under oath. >> the committee then took a break for a full vote in the house many republicans have been waiting for. the house voted along party lines to approve a nonbinding resolution that insists that the justice department hand over sensitive documents on the russia investigation by july 6th. here to talk about all of it, joining us from tampa tonight, david jolly, former republican congressman from the state of florida. here in new york, mara gay, a member of "the new york times" editorial board. welcome to you both. hey, congressman, some people have gotten a sense that this is kind of a footrace. with the same end date, on or about the midterms, and on one track you have the trump administration trying to seat a supreme court justice, all the while kind of trashing and causing foment having to do with
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doj and the fbi. on the other track, you have this enormous investigation going on looking into the trump administration. >> and i think there's a great unknown among republicans, and that's why you see the anxiety and the unease among folks like jim jordan and matt gates and ron desantis. they don't know what rosenstein and when the mueller investigation frankly is going to hit because mueller and rosenstein are not playing politics. they're following the law. brian, the contrast today was one between two men in rosenstein and wray committed to the truth, and committee members committed to a political narrative. and the most damning moment of all was actually that last sound bite you just played where a member of congress was questioning the number-two official at the department of justice, who was sworn under oath, saying should i believe you, or should i believe political staffers who are telling me that there's this other narrative that undermines
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the mueller investigation? there is pressure right now when it comes to republicans looking at november. the great unknown is what is the status of this investigation, and that's a matter of great respect for both rosenstein, for wray, as well as for bob mueller. >> mara, getting our attention today, as he often does, was one steve schmidt, who recently renounced his political party and left the ranks of republicans. he said on twitter today, rod rosenstein doesn't look like an action hero, but that is what he is. guts, integrity, and courage. americans don't get to see that from our high-ranking public officials these days. but today they did, and america is strengthened because of it. he went on, jim jordan is a clown, albeit a dangerous one. he is an heir to mccarthy, demagogic, and faithless to his oath and america. he is unfit to serve in the congress. it is hard to keep track of your players these days without a scorecard. >> it's amazing. what steve schmidt said and what
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we saw today really does underscore in many ways the crisis in this country right now is no longer simply political. it's moral. and i think, you know, you really see that individuals matter. the people who are in certain roles matter. i mean the drama we saw play out today in that hearing, this is all amongst republicans. >> rosenstein would normally be a towering hero. >> that's right. >> career prosecutor, a career public servant. >> but he's also a republican. >> yeah. >> and so is chris wray. and so i guess my point is here this is not about partisanship. it's about what's right and wrong. and it's about upholding democratic traditions and those who are attacking them. and essentially jordan is a lap dog at this point for the trump administration. and how embarrassing, not just for his constituents or for him personally, but for the country. how sad and how embarrassing. >> david jolly, i mentioned lbj
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earlier for a reason. you can go get his recorded phone calls in austin, texas, and hear him, as president's do, giving marching orders to his lieutenants on the hill. have you any doubt that the gop committee script in that hearing today came from pennsylvania avenue? >> i don't doubt it, and i love that question, brian, for this reason. there is a story yet to be uncovered whether this is occurring or not, and i do believe it is. and it is lbj-like. are jordan and others on the committee and perhaps members of leadership coordinating with the white house to ultimately create a moment where they either pass this resolution in the next two to three weeks finding in contempt rod rosenstein, or do they move to impeach him? and the only reason they would do that -- you know, we could say, hey, this is just the republican crazies in congress doing this. but they actually would do it for the specific reason of giving the president of the united states ammo to actually have him fired.
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if donald trump can say that rod rosenstein has now been found in contempt of congress and therefore i am dismissing him, now he has the opportunity to control the mueller investigation by appointing somebody under donald trump's control who takes a loyalty pledge, who ultimately dismisses the mueller investigation. i am very suspicious that that's actually what we're seeing go on right now in congress. this is one of the early chapters, but it's going to be a very quick book here in the next six to eight weeks. >> and, mara, you seem to think this has entered a kind of a new level of seriousness and worry right now. >> i absolutely do. i mean i think it's hard to remember that it was just, you know, days ago that we weren't even sure whether the president could sign an executive order stopping separations at the border. those families have still not been put together. we're looking at, you know, the supreme court kind of dismissing the concerns that the president
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was motivated by racism despite his own words when they sent a ruling. i mean honestly all in all, this is no longer about political gridlock, which was supposedly the story under barack obama. this is really about a moral crisis. and i think what we saw today was political theater. and i do worry. i agree that it might set the stage for, you know, the firing of rod rosenstein. and i hope that's not what we're seeing, but it's just -- it's very discouraging. >> we're much obliged to our two guests tonight and to david jolly, to mara gay, our thanks for being part of our conversation. coming up for us, with trump and putin due to sit down 18 days from now, trump gave putin's side of the argument publicly again today. we'll talk about it when we come back. eptance is guaranteed. it's hard to believe, but i've been talking about the colonial penn life insurance company for almost 25 years.
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oh went on to attack comey and hillary. talking there about his own countries putin and trump are to meet in helsinki, finland, on july 16, just days after the president attends the nato summit with america's closest allies. the timing is cause for concern among nato members and foreign affairs experts. former secretary of state john kerry shared his worries with our own chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell. >> what are the risks of a one-on-one with vladimir putin? is it good for them to be talking? >> it depends entirely on how prepared he is, on what his agenda is, on what he hopes to get out of it, whether he knows what he wants to get out of it, whether or not he can explain to people why it is that he praises vladimir putin while attacking our allies. >> their concerns may be heightened even more with comments like we heard from the president last night in fargo, north dakota.
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>> last year with the european union -- and we love the european union. we love the countries of the european union. but the european union, of course, was set up to take advantage of the united states, to attack our piggy bank. sometimes our worst enemies are our so-called friends or allies, right? >> with us to talk about all of it, andrea mitchell, host of andrea mitchell reports. at noon eastern each day on there network. she's with us from aspen tonight, where she hosted that conversation with secretary kerry. rick stengel is back with us as well, former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, also former managing editor of "time" magazine. andrea, is the real concern here that the president will somehow pull a canada and pull out of the nato talks, maybe taking a swing at our allies on the way out and then be seen with vladimir putin? >> exactly. the timing could not be worse. excuse me. i've got some allergies out here.
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but the fact is that he behaved so badly toward our allies in canada and tried to get putin back into the g7, and he's going now into nato, where he will be beat up on those same allies as he did about the eu the other day in north dakota. and then he's going to be going directly to moscow where putin is going to be celebrating his victory as the host of the, you know, the soccer finals. so it's all playing out in putin's favor, and we've seen already the way the president is prone to freelance as he did in singapore with kim jong-un, canceling those joint exercises, offering that without any prior notice to south korea's president moon, without telling general mattis, as our colleagues reported exclusively last week. that is the concern, that he will get one-on-one with vladimir putin, whom he has
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admired so relentlessly as the tweet today indicated, and buy into putin's narrative. and this just after dissing our closest allies. this is a real threat to the post-war alliance. >> and, rick, if nothing else, it looks terrible. take andrea's point. the world cup will have just come to an end. how could this not fit into a kind of victory lap narrative for putin flying into helsinki, especially given the p.r. help he received from our president this very morning? >> it's like a bad version of the manchurian candidate or something. i mean the timing, though, could be worse, brian. >> how? >> president trump could meet with putin before he meets with nato. >> so by three days we're dodging -- >> that would be an insult. yes, i mean it's -- i mean even what he said about the eu, i mean he is channeling putin's view of the west. i mean the eu was set up to repair the world after world war ii, to put all the democracies
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together as a kind of counterforce to russia. >> to coalesce. >> and trump sees it as some kind of mechanics union that is meant to, you know, diss the u.s. economy. that is exactly the way vladimir putin sees it. it's like he's channeling putin all the time. >> the destabilization of the eu, of course, as rick points out, andrea, longtime putin goal. here's the reporting from "the listen to this. during a private meeting at the white house in late april, trump was discussing trade with french president emmanuel macron. at one point he asked macron, why don't you leave the eu and said that if france exited the union, trump would offer it a bilateral trade deal with better terms than the eu as a whole gets from the u.s. according to two european officials. so there's some "there" there, andrea. >> first of all, describing the eu as trying to rob our piggy bank, they are our market.
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he doesn't understand international markets. he doesn't understand that when he imposes tariffs, that is a tax on american farmers and producers. and he doesn't know that macron is -- was setting himself up as the leader of the eu to replace merkel. that was the whole macron policy as he came to the big state visit to the u.s. it just shows that he's not reading -- well, he doesn't follow the briefings, and it's really disconcerting. we've come ironically from the most intellectualized, academic president we've had in recent history, who was arguably too cautious about policies in afghanistan and syria according to many foreign policy critics, to one who is too impulsive, and that is in some ways a virtue. okay. meet with kim jong-un. better than going to war with kim jong-un. but too impulsive without
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understanding the facts. >> rick stengel, what do you say to allies if you're what you used to be, on the staff at the state department? let's say you're a career diplomat. you're part of the career staff there. is there any back channel? are the allies talking among themselves about their friend who took a turn in the united states? is there anyone in the u.s. government saying to the allies, we're going to be good. it's still us. we're good, aren't we? >> i hope so. i mean certainly the allies are talking to each other and saying, what the heck is going on here? i hope there are people at the state department saying, you know, this is a lot of drama, and maybe the reality won't be exactly that. but remember what's so strange about this and disconcerting and worrisome is that putin's view of the world is that all of these international organizations, the eu, nato, the world bank were set up by the west to neutralize russia, to
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keep russia in a box. and basically trump is parroting that same line of putin's, like, well, why do we have the eu? nato doesn't do anything for us. people don't pay their dues. he is basically taking this line that putin has been privately saying and publicly saying for 15 years, and the american president, the president of the united states, the bastion of these post world war ii institutions is saying, well, why do we need them? what the heck? >> rick stengel. >> it's crazy. >> here with us in new york. andrea mitchell in front of her very own large blue mountain out in aspen, thanks, friends, very much for joining us on tonight's broadcast. >> thank you. coming up for us, her last visit was overshadowed by a fashion choice she made. today the first lady visited our southern border again while protests erupt surrounding her husband's policies.
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as we mentioned, first lady
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melania trump was back at our southern border today, this time without the clothing controversy that marred her last trip. and this time she visited two different locations in arizona. she did offer her support at migrant facilities in both tucson and phoenix. >> i know how dangerous and difficult your daily jobs are, so i really appreciate all you do in the behalf of the country. i wanted to come here and see your facility and meet the children, and i want to thank all of you for what you do. and i'm here to support you, and let me know what i can do to help you. >> meanwhile, the fight over her husband's family separation policy rages on. demonstrations were held today in arizona, texas, wisconsin, washington, d.c., to condemn the trump administration's so-called zero tolerance policy. inside the huge office building
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in washington, almost 600 protesters were arrested. some of them wrapped themselves in those silver runners' blankets that we've seen used for the children at the border. those arrested included a democratic member of the house from washington state and the actress susan sarandon. the protests are continuing as the controversy has actually worsened. an hhs official today said the total number of migrant kids in custody is actually up from last week. that's despite a federal court order late tuesday that requires migrant families be reunited within 14 to 30 days depending on age. well, with us from el paso county, texas, tonight is our own cal perry. cal, i'm told we're fighting a bit of a satellite delay, but my first question for you is this. is the federal government any better equipped tonight than when you first got out there to, for example, reunite toddler "a," who happens to be in a
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michigan shelter, with family "a," who may be in mcallen, texas? >> reporter: i think they're probably worse equipped because family "a" may not be in in mcallen, texas, anymore. they may be back in guatemala. mcallen, texas, anymore. they may be back in guatemal mcallen, texas, anymore. they may be back in guatemal mcallen, texas, anymore. they may be back in guatemala. the other thing is there's a paperwork issue sneaking up on everybody. the u.s. government loves its paperwork and they love it in duplicate. if you're born in a rural hospital in guatemala, and your mother presents that birth certificate here to officials while you're trying to get to your child in some kind of tent city, it's quite likely they're going to reject that paperwork. they're not going to accept that birth certificate. so i think the u.s. government is actually worse off than they were when this policy was implemented. they were vastly unprepared to handle the child separations. they were even more unprepared to handle the situation when we started moving around those tender-aged children. that's when we saw the creation of these tent cities and these beds and the discussion about perhaps moving folks onto military bases. so, no, i don't think they're any better off than they were a week ago, brian.
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>> and, cal, what personal reporting do you have on the stories we've seen emerge that the zero -- they've taken something off of the absolute zero-tolerance policy at the border, that it's not being enforced as much or as effectively? >> reporter: right. so what we're seeing here is a continuation of the immigration system overwhelming the courts really. when you go into these courts and you see people come in in groups and you see them plead in groups, and then you see them leave, you realize that the system wasn't great before, but it's worse now. and while they may not be separating families at the border -- and we've heard really awful anecdotal stories about i.c.e. agents going basically doing duck, duck, goose down a line where they're pulling kids away from their parents and putting them in these tent facilities. and while that may not be happening anymore, we don't know what the federal government is doing when they're still separating these kids, when they
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say that the parent is a danger to the child because they're doing it without showing us. they're moving these kids around at night. they're keeping them in facilities that we don't have access to. and when you start down that road, when you start putting kids in vans and sending them down a road at 3:00 in the morning, trying to hide them from the media, everything else becomes nefarious. so when you say to me that the number has risen, which we know it has, i don't know if the government is making a good faith effort to try and stop separating families or just finding a loophole in the law that says if the parent is a danger to the child, they can still separate out the child, brian. >> we have sure appreciated your reporting from out there, cal perry. we really appreciate you joining us from el paso county, texas. coming up for us, president trump breaks ground in wisconsin. that's one matter. the other matter was he dug himself into something of a rhetorical hole on one of his favorite topics -- the presidential election we just had in 2016. that and more when we come back. i'm april kennedy and i'm an arborist
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with pg&e in the sierras. since the onset of the drought, more than 129 million trees have died in california. pg&e prunes and removes over a million trees every year to ensure that hazardous trees can't impact power lines. and since the onset of the drought we've doubled our efforts. i grew up in the forests out in this area and honestly it's heartbreaking to see all these trees dying. what guides me is ensuring that the public is going to be safer and that these forests can be sustained and enjoyed by the community in the future.
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president trump visited the ground breaking of a foxcon manufacturing complex in mount pleasant, wisconsin, today, claiming credit for the new jobs that are to come. foxcon makes display panels for iphones among other things. on twitter today before and after the ceremony he bragged will 15,000 jobs created a significant boost when he first announced the deal last summer. >> the company's initial investment of more than $10 billion will create 3,000 jobs at a minimum with the potential for up to 13,000 jobs in the very near future. >> then speaking after the ground breaking, the president talked about his 2016 election victory in wisconsin. >> i just realized the other day they told me when we won the
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state of wisconsin, it hadn't been won by a republican since dwight d. eisenhower in 1952. did you know that? and i won wisconsin. and i like wisconsin, a lot. but we won wisconsin. and ronald regan, remember wisconsin was the state ronald regan did not win. >> explaining the tepid applause there, a lot of folks know the politics in wisconsin and in fact, ronald reagan won wisconsin. and republicans won wisconsin in '56, 1960, '68, '72 and' 80 and '84. the president ran into another issue in his rally in north dakota last night when he said the head of u.s. steel told him the company was adding six new facilities. moments later, trump increased that number to seven. >> united states steel is opening up six plants through
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expansion and new. the head of united states steel called me the other day. and he said, mr. president, i'd like to thank you. i've never seen anything like it we haven't opened up a new plant in 32 years. and now we're opening up seven of them. >> the "washington post" reached out to a spokesman for u.s. steel to confirm the claim they were told, to answer your question, we post all the major operational announcement to the website and report them on earnings calls. the most resent pertained to the granite city a blast furnace restart. the post writes, translation, the president is wrong but apparently u.s. steel is afraid to say so out loud. let's take another break. when we come back, a late live update on the story that dominated the news coverage late today. another tragedy in this country, when we come back.
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>> while our broadcast tonight has been devoted to politics and geopolitics that, bricks us to the last thing before we go tonight. >> as you no doubt know from the heavy news coverage into this evening there has been another mass shooting, the 154th of this year. tonight five families have been contacted by law enforcement with the worst possible news. a man with a shotgun entered the offices of "the capital gazette" the local newspaper in annapolis, maryland.
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>> he had a shotgun and he started firing as he came in. the death toll stands at five with two wounded. the noted writer carl hiaasen confirmed tonight his own brother rob, an editor at the paper, is indeed among the dead. the paper is on the first floor of an office building in a annapolis. there were about 170 people in the building at the time. the gunman identified as jarod ramos. age 38. apparently had a grudge against the paper. he lost a defamation suit. investigators say for that reason, this was a targeted attack. he absolutely did what he meant to do what he did today. in addition to the shotgun he brought smoke grenades with him. police tonight are being credited with responding to the scene in 60 seconds. they captured the gunman alive. he was apparently found hiding under a desk. the newspaper is the long time voice of the annapolis community. it is owned by the "baltimore sun" and importantly, the
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capital gazette" is planning to accomplish tomorrow's edition of the paper. that's our broadcast for the thursday evening. thank you for being with us. good night from nbc news >> tonight on all in. >> there's been a terrible tragedy here. >> a mass shooting in a maryland newsroom. >> the shooter is in our custody. >> tonight what we know about the victims and what the suspect is telling police. then. >> the president of the united states right now is a subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. >> will a president under criminal investigation pick a supreme court justice that may rule on his case? >> he asked specifically of loyalty. >> tonight, senator elizabeth warren on the new push to delay a nomination until the mueller probe is over. and as protests descend on washington -- what we know about

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