tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC June 29, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
p.m. in the east. and today in maryland, the "capital gazette" topped its editorial page with the words "today we are speechless." five employees at that newspaper were killed when a gunman opened fire yesterday in the annapolis newsroom. a short time ago, the president addressed the tragedy publicly for the first time. >> this attack shocked the conscience of our nation and filled our hearts with grief. journalis journalists, like all americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job. my government will not rest until we have done everything in our power to reduce violent crime and to protect innocent life. much more on this story in just at few minutes. we begin this hour though at the white house. just two days after justice anthony kennedy announced his retirement, the white house now flooding the zone ahead of naming the president's pick to
succeed kennedy on the high court. president trump has already held meetings with senators who will be critical to the confirmation process. among them, the republicans who may be the most likely to defect. lisa murkowski and susan collins, according to politico. the fate of the supreme court could ride on these two senators. but how likely is it that collins and murkowski would actually break from their own party? well, we can look at some of their words now. according to politico, collins has said that an outside group should not be dictating whom the senate considers. murkowski says that trump has already kept his commitment to that list of 25 conservative choices by elevating neil gorsuch to the supreme court and that he should extend his search beyond that list. a very interesting comment there. so given that, what you're hearing from republicans, the president is also starting to put the pressure on democrats, specifically potentially flipable senators from red states that went for trump.
joe manchin, joe donnelly, heidi heitkamp in particular, heitkamp getting some treatment from the president when he visited her home state earlier this week. >> we need kevin cramer to replace liberal democrat heidi heitkamp in the senate. heidi voted no on our massive tax cuts for north dakota families. she voted no. heidi voted no on legislation to stop late-term abortions. you need a senator who doesn't just talk like they're from north dakota. but votes like they're from north dakota. >> so will the president need those democrats? will he lose votes from his own party given those questions? our big question today -- would collins and murkowski actually break with the president on a supreme court pick? let's break down the latest on the question of senate math,
confirmation math, supreme court math. again, the bottom line, democrats sit here with 49 votes and no filibuster. so if they want to block this trump pick, they are going to need help from republicans. what's it looking like with this news about collins and murkowski and how they are talking right now. let's do the math. we say republicans have 51, but john mccain right now is sidelined. we don't know if he'll stay sidelined throughout this. if he does, that right there would bring republicans down to 50. that's the bare minimum. they got pence there. if there is any tie, to break it. but 50 is the bare minimum. if -- a huge "if" -- but if collins and murkowski ended up joining the democrats, not liking this pick and voting against this pick, if you took those two of ot board and mccain stayed sidelined, that would knock republicans down to 48. again, that would be short of what they need to confirm. however, we say 48.
if you operate from that 48, we said that knocks republicans down to 48 with mccain sidelined, with murkowski and collins out. that's where those trump state democrats come in. that's where heidi heigtkamheite donnelly, facing voters this year. if that happened again, north dakota, indiana, west virginia, if those three did what they did last year, and voted for trump's court pick, that 48, it becomes 51 and republicans have more than enough in fact to get the confirmation. it is not just those three maybe that republicans are eyeing. bill nelson in florida in a very tough re-election race. rick scott, the republican governor, challenging him. does he want to vote against the trump court pick just weeks before the election? what about claire mccaskill out here in missouri? a state trump won handily.
other wild cards. how about doug jones in alabama? he's not up this year but he's up in 2020. we know alabama is a very, very pro-trump state among usual circumstances. again, when republicans say they are confident they can get a nominee, they can get confirmation, they can do it all before the election, it is because, look, even if murkowski and collins were to defect, there are a lot of options on the board to get republicans up over that 50-vote mark. a lot of moving pieces here, too. nbc's hans nichols is at the white house for us. paul king, congressional correspondent with the "washington post" joins us as well. paul, starting with you, running through some of the political possibilities on capitol hill, collins and murkowski. that question of how real is the threat. what do you think of that? >> i think it is possible that you into ed to see hot nominee is and what that nominee has said, written in terms of
opinions, briefs, op-eds, anything along the lines of roe v. wade and abortion rights. those would be the basic critical -- the critical stumbling block for trump. phenif he nominates somebody wh pretty clearly pro-life, anti-abortion, that's where you get to a point where collins and murkowski might be willing to break. but if they nominate somebody who takes the very vague position, as neil gorsuch has done, as democratic nominees in the past -- recent past have done, that is where you get into a real grey area where collins and murkowski in the past have basically indicated a willingness to give it a go and vote for neil gorsuch, even though he doesn't really clearly give you exactly what he's going to do on that issue of choice. >> the president reaching out, ratcheting up pressure. hans nichols, we saw publicly what the president's doing out there in north dakota, state he carried easily, basically daring heidi heitkamp to vote no.
but privately, we are hearing about these meetings. what's taking place in those meet sngz. >> it's clear the white house and president want to keep those things close. a larger group was here at the white house trying to involve them in the process. what's also clear, this is going to be a hurry-up nomination. we just got through a hurry-up summit in singapore. when you look at the timeline the president and his team are publicly laying out, talking about having hearings in august and a swift confirmation in september, time for the court to reconstitute itself in october. that means paul kane better not plan a summer vacation. everyone in washington knows it is going to be a very hot month, but august is going to be a very busy month. how do you find the votes for them and do this in the quick time frame, this accelerated time frame, that the president so clearly wants to happen. >> staying on that theme of the heat, paul, what is the temperature level on democratic side right now?
last year there was enough pressure for three democrats to break with their party, vote with trump on gorsuch. is there more heat, more pressure on those red state democrats now or less? >> look, literally and figuratively, it is getting really hot. we're going to be up in the upper 90s this weekend. and no, labor day weekend. so don't worry, i'll be here. what's happening right now among the democrats is a little bit of a circular firing squad. this is a different nomination process. you have to be with us this time. so it's going to create some real pockets and wedge issues for these -- this trio, plus
possibly jones and nelson. it's important to remember one thing though. in all of the year-and-a-half that we've had of trump nominees that have come through, what you're talking about in terms of will these democrats provide the margin of victory, there's only been one nomination so far in which that has happened. cia director haspel in which flake and rand paul broke against trump and then were back-filled by democrats. every other nomination like gorsuch, the democrats who did vote for the nominee, they've been kind of the extra pile-on at the end when they already knew they had enough among republicans. >> that's a very interesting question, if you get a republican defection or two, is there cover there for some of those red state democrats to stay with the party that otherwise wouldn't. thank you both. joined now by michael steele, former rnc chairman and msnbc political analyst.
also joining me, former democratic congresswoman donna edwards. she represented the state of maryland. we're going heavy on maryland right here. michael steele, start with you on the point that paul just raised. it is an interesting one. we talk about these red state democrats who were with trump on the gorsuch nomination. but if a republican -- if collins, if murkowski -- if both of them end up saying, you know what? this nominee, the stakes here, it's too far, too much, i'm not there, does that have a ripple effect on those red state democrats and give them cover? >> it potentially could. when you are particularly looking at someone like joe manchin in west virginia. i still contend that joe manchin is in a better position than all of the other democrats who are on the bubble simply because he was a very popular governor in that state. the people know him. yes, numbers look one way today, but when you go in that voting booth, i think he knows he's got a little cover with the people. so, yeah, he would have extra cover. and it would also lend cover for the other two.
but here's the rub, steve. i don't think that murkowski and collins are going to be that much in play as a threat to balk. i think the president will come to the table with another gorsuch-type pick. it is not going to be some hard-charging sort of liberal version of a rabid conservative. i think he likes the style of the gorsuch pick and i think is he going to stay with that. and that's going to be comfortable enough for murkowski and collins to stay in camp. and it will also give cover to those democrats, as well. so i think the president's team, they may have bungled a number of other opportunities on health care and the like, but on these types of appointments, they played it smart and played it well. and with the help of mitch mcconnell and the senate, i think they'll get it done on the time frame they want. >> donna edwards, to you and the politics of the democratic party. it occurs to me, not all democrats are made the same. we're hearing the pressure campaign from liberals nationally, national interest groups, and i can see kamala
harris, kirsten gillibrand. i can certainly see that resonating with them. then you turn around,eidi heitk donnelly, someone smack in the middle of trump land, what's at stake? >> we've been talking a lot about abortion rights and the importance of this pick. but also what's on the table are things that really are important to democrats in west virginia, in indiana, voting rights, immigrant rights, employment rights. i mean those are things that are on the table also with this nominee, this potential nominee. and i think that what red state democrats have to worry about is whether they so demoralize the voters that they need among democrats by running away from
the majority of the party on this nomination. and so i think the pressure is high for red state democrats from a democratic party base. they can't afford to lose that, either. and, look. this is on the line. we are talking about a generational pick here, someone who could be in donald trump's words, on the court for 40 years. and so this is not like some cabinet appointee or agency nominee. what's on the line, and what's at stake for democrats, are the heart and soul of our party and of our country. values and principles. and i think that red state democrats cannot afford to lose our party on that. we have had tremendous amount of enthusiasm. we've seen over the course of the primary season. we don't want to do something that cuts away at that. i think that putting public
pressure on our democrats and on senators murkowski and collins is really important right now, and we have to play both an inside and an outside game in order to make sure that we actually can come up at the end with at least a consensus choice if there is a choice at all. >> michael steele, i'm curious, too. we hear about those meetings the president now sitting down talking to some of these senators. when it comes to a supreme court nomination, what are those conversations like? is there horse trading? are they looking for something unrelated to a supreme court that they get consideration for? are they philosophical? >> i think the conversations pass as prologue with largely around the idea, okay, mr. president, who do you have in mind? what type of pick are you looking at? and then folks kind of fill in the gaps, if you will, around that. the president is the lead dog here. he's the one who's saying, look, this is what i'm thinking about.
this is the style of jurisprudence i'm looking for. the hot button issues like overturning roe versus wade or pushing back on unions, that is not a driver in these conversations because people are playing the long game here when it comes to these picks. to the congresswoman's point, this really is about what the court looks like, not in five months, but in 5, 10, 15 years. so it is a long-ball conversation, steve, around principles and ideas and philosophical positions, as opposed to a specific case. and it is the president who leads that conversation and members on the hill who are going to be voting, the senators. they then say, okay, so this is the types of judges we're looking at you can send to us who can get through our membership. >> battle lines already being drawn on this. all we need now is a nominee. michael steele, donna edwards, thank you both. turning to the story that we began the hour with and certainly has preoccupied us
throughout the day, how the journalists of the "capital gazette" newspaper covered the loss of five of their own. we'll look at that next. before you and your rheumatologist move to another treatment, ask if xeljanz xr is right for you. xeljanz xr is a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well enough it can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts, and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you were in a region where fungal infections are common and if you have had tb, hepatitis b or c, or are prone to infections. don't let another morning go by without talking to
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poignant tribute to the five victims of yesterday's shooting. gera gerald fischman. robert hiaasen. john mcnamara. rebecca smith. wendi winters, special publications editor and prolific writer who chronicled her community. this morning the "gazette" intern who hid under a desk and survived the shooting was on the "today" show and talked about the experience. >> i'm still trying to digest everything. i think it was so sudden and it's not something that anybody can prepare themselves under th
not able to talk to them. i didn't feel i could do something that wouldn't tip off our position to the shooter. once he moved away from us i tried to call again. the line was busy twice but that's probably because the multitude of people within the entire office park that were calling. from there, i decided to text my friend. i said, please call the police. i'm in trouble. after i did that, celine's with me and her phone is at her desk. in that moment i thought i was going to die, i thought we were going to die. only solace in that moment, here, you can have my phone. text whoever you need to text, contact whoever you need to contact. she texted her mother. i'm not sure if she texted anybody else. then she proceeded to send a tweet. i saw that she was on twitter but it didn't register to me what was going on. that was heads up by her, testament to herself awareness in that moment. it was chaos. the office was kind of in shambles. unfortunately, we saw -- we had to pass two bodies of our colleagues which was something that nobody should ever have to stomach. just unfortunate that somebody
would come in to a place that only reports truthful stories that are fact-based and unleash hell on the office. >> we'll be right back. it all started when donald trump tore thousands of immigrant children away from their parents. we the people challenged him in court and in the streets. then trump was forced to admit that his policy was wrong. and he caved. the court just ruled that trump must reunite every family he broke apart. (clock ticking rapidly) time is ticking. these children must see their parents again, and they're counting on us to act quickly. these children must see their parents again, only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes.
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more than 2,000 migrant children remain in detention still being kept apart from their parents. in a new nbc news report, it details how some of these detentions took effect before the trump administration's zero tolerance policy. running what some called a pilot program in texas of july of last year ramping up prosecutions of illegal border crossings and separating parents from children, if necessary. this being reported that 600 women were arrested at protests at a senate office building yesterday demanding an end to family separation and detention. joining me now from tucson, arizona, mayor yariana atencio. the justice department said
we'll take every illegal border crossing and prosecute it, in some cases that means separating these families from their children. turns out this was going on in some instances last summer, maybe earlier. >> yeah. according to our investigative unit which puts together this tremendous report it goes back to october of 2016. where i'm standing will give away why they tried it out here. the city of juarez is directly behind me, so it provided an area where the government could try these things out. to be clear, we don't know the month by month breakdown. we've asked for the breakdown going back to october of 2016 and we just don't have that information. but if you want to criminally prosecute one of the parents, if you want to criminally prosecute the mother, for example, you separate out the child, mother goes into criminal prosecution, and that child goes to a center somewhere in the u.s. what it shows that the u.s. government going back some time to the end of the obama administration was looking to try out this policy as a measure
of deterrence. without question, it has sped up. it has gotten worse under president trump. >> do we know -- because the dates are confusing here. reading this report, folks can read it online. the dates that are being used, the number of separations between a period is a little confusing why those particular dates were selected. when you say october 16, you bring the obama administration -- it is an indication the genesis of this, where this actually began and how and why? >> yeah. again, what we understand is that this was sort of being tested out as a measure of deterrence. but all of it goes to the broader immigration issue and how the court system works. mariana atencio's been covering that extensively through her reporting, which is that if you want to prosecute somebody for a criminal offense, you cannot hold them with their child. that will spur on this court process. so what has been happening in the past is that it's more of a civil proceeding. what happens is then the family can remain together.
this border initiative is sheltering them on the other side, but it is actually having to give them numbers, steve, like in a supermarket line for them to even wait to get on the bridge. the average time for families is about two weeks waiting out there. blazing-hot sun. then getting on the bridge for an hour to three days, then to turn themselves in to american authorities so say i'm here to seek asylum. we don't know why this is happening but it is certainly making it nearly impossible with these families with little
babies, many of them, to seek asylum the right way. >> i think folks watching at home seeing the picture behind you where you are right there, you are in -- correct me here -- are you in one of the shelters where folks are waiting that two weeks at the port of entry are being held? is that where you are? >> that's correct. this is a shelter in tucson. there are about 23 people here. babies as young as 8 months old, who crossed as krrecently as tw days ago. they are the ones telling us we waited out there for two weeks to turn ourselves in and do this the right way. and, may i add,
quote, 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 united states. this according to two european officials. these comments come ahead of the president's july summit with russia's president, vladimir putin, certainly no fan of the eu as well. you are in france. the president apparently raising this possibility to the french president. what do you make of that? is that donald trump kind of musing or do you see some sort of a plan afoot there?
>> well, i think the big plan is to try and break up the european union and if possible break up nato as well. he thinks that that would serve american interests. it's not clear exactly why he t american interests. it is not clear exactly why he thinks that. we know it would absolutely serve russian interests. macron was asked -- president macron was asked at a press conference about this a few hours ago in brussels. he said, look, anybody who knows me knows my commitment to the european union and you can just imagine what my response to be to a question like that if it were posed. so he didn't say that trump said this or said that. he just said, it is a ridiculous question, ridiculous suggestion, and that indeed it is. >> i guess that's the question i might have just looking at what the president apparently said there. is there an argument, is there an up side if the u.s. instead
of dealing with the eu did a series of bilateral deals with other countries throughout europe. you don't see any potential up side to the u.s.? >> well, there would be an up side if you could break up the european union and cut bilateral deals, then you could shave off the weaker states, make deals with them, eventually put pressure on the stronger states. you know, it would be a decent negotiate ing britain, which has already broken away from the european union. so i think, you know, this is wishful thinking on his part. it's his real estate deal mentality. and it's totally discounts all the political and economic history of the european union. >> what is i don't have all the relationship between trump and macron? we all remember the meeting and that sort of famous handshake. that was about a year ago. a year later what's the state us of their relationship and more
broadly the u.s./france relationship right now? >> well, intru think trump is creating an impossible situation for macron. macron has said all along, whatever we think we have to have the best possible relations with the united states. because even with trump as president it's going to be a huge partner of europe. but trump is creating a situation where the united states feels like an extremely unreliable partner for europe. macron is very much invested in the idea of more and more european unity. trump and trying to destroy that. so i think that all of macron's effort to build a personal rapport with trump, which he seems to have done very effectively in the past has been essentially for naught. i think we are going to see france moving away from that attempt and putting more emphasis on uniting europe, not mollifying trump. >> this is an interesting, from
axios today quoting a senior european officials on a sequence of events that this official sort of dreads. i plays out like this. the fear is this. a bad nato summit followed by a good meeting with trump fearing the president would provoke a fight with his allies and lavish praise on a dictator like he did on kim jong-un in singapore following the g7. that attitude about the trump/putin sit-down, how palpable is that over there? >> i think it's very palpable. look, i think that everybody looks at trump over here and they have mixed feelings. is he really nuts or does he have some sinister strategy? none of the feelings are very positive at all. there is the sense that you know, he is the kind of person who is invited to a poker game and throws all the cards in the air and says let's play 52 pickup. that's what he did at the g7.
may be what he does with nato. his relationship with dictators, whether kim jong-un or vladimir putin seems to be very comfortable i think people look at that and they say is trump really more comfortable with dictators than he is with democratically elected governments and sometimes difficult democracies in europe? i think the answer obviously is yes. he is more comfortable. he likes one man he goes to who makes all the decisions. that's not what he is dealing with with european democracies. but i think that makes them distrust him profoundly. >> we have one more thing right after this break.
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and one more thing before we go. federal housing assistance ends this weekend for puerto rican americans who relocated to the mainland after hurricanes. the program end tomorrow night. fema extended it four times to help families get through the school year. come sunday morning they will have to leave or pay for the hotels rooms they have called home since september. as of last month, close to 2,000 families were relying on the program across 30 states. majority of storm victims around 600 people, are in florida. an estimated 75,000 puerto ricans left after maria due to a lack of power, safe drinking water and a delayed federal response. because of that slow response, legislation this week was
introduced that would make puerto rico america's 51st state. resident commissioner republican jennifer gonzalez cologne who is a non-voting member of congress revealed the plan earlier this week. it has received bipartisan support from more than 30 members of congress cosponsoring it. if the territory were to become a state puerto rico would be able to vote in presidential and congressional elections. it would also require citizens to pay federal income taxes right now they only have to pay a payroll tax. there have been similar efforts tried in the past. the latest just last year but a vote on puerto rico's statehood failed to get a vote on the floor of the house or the senate. ali velshi joins us right now. >> good afternoon to all of you. i'm ali velshi. the economy is doing well. that's according to president trump today who made sure to hammer home that message in a 32 minute speech touting his tax
cuts and jobs act. this is six months old now. it wasn't the first thing he said, trump spent 1:21 of that speech commemorating the five people killed in yesterday's mass shooting at the "capital gazette" newspaper. the president made this pledge. >> when you are suffering, we pledge our eternal support. the suffering is so great. i have seen some of the people. so great. my government will not rest until we have done everything in our power to reduce violent crime and to protect innocent life. >> the journalists at the "capital gazette" have not stopped doing their job. this is the front page of the annapolis area paper that was put out just hours after a gunman killed five of their coworkers. these determined writers and editors also composed themselves enough to write incredibly personal obituaries about each of these five men