tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC July 19, 2018 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
i absolutely love this community. once i moved here i didn't want to live anywhere else. i love that people in this community are willing to come together to make a difference for other people's lives. together, we're building a better california. i ran over my time. sorry. katy tur is here. >> i thought you were going to say you ran over something else. >> no, no, never. i feel bad when i take time from your broadcast. >> we'll manage. the mooch is here. thank you very much. it is 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in washington where there is a cleanup on aisle 45.
>> that's clever. >> today the white house is yet again attempting to mop up yet another self-inflicted mess. a day after insisting that russia was no longer targeting the u.s., the president went on a tweet storm. he deemed his summit with putin a success. he dubbed the media the real enemy of the people and thanked fox news for their defense of him this morning. quote, trump recognized russian meddling many times. many times? many times? when? >> if it is russia, nobody knows. it's probably china or it could be somebody sitting in his bed. >> you don't know who broke into dnc. now, whether that was russia, whether that was china, whether it was another country, we don't know. >> i notice any time anything wrong happens, they like to say the russians. she doesn't know if it's the russians doing the hacking. maybe there is no hacking. they always blame russia. >> i said it very simply. i think it could have been russia, but i think it could well have been other countries.
>> in reality, donald trump has almost never solely blamed russia for interference, and what makes that fact all the more alarming is this report from "the new york times" today about a meeting two weeks before his inauguration. according to the times, he was showing highly classified intelligence indicating that president vladimir putin of russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 american election. the evidence included texts and emails from russian military officers and information gleaned from a top secret source close to mr. putin who had described to the cia how the kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation. the times cites nearly a dozen people who attended the meeting. nbc news has not confirmed that reporting. donald trump has tried to cozy
up to mr. putin, most recently monday when he publicly praised him while attacking his own fbi and doj and doubting his own intelligence community. what did donald trump say privately? there were no aides in the one-on-one with putin, no note takers. just translators. "the washington post" reports that the russian ambassador claims that important verbal agreements were reached at the helsinki meeting, but back here in the u.s. officials at senior levels still have little to no information. the lingering questions about that meeting have not gone unnoticed on capitol hill. today there were new calls for the president's translator to testify. >> it is our motion that the interpreter be subpoenaed to come and testify in closed session before our committee, and i would like to yield for the purposes of -- >> did you make a motion? >> i am making a motion, yes. i would like to -- >> this is, as you know, mr. schiff, this is a hearing and
the only motion you can make is a motion to adjourn. >> i thank our house democrats on the intelligence community who moved to subpoena the interpreter present in the trump/putin meeting. >> the question we are asking today is one that many people are asking. what did president trump say in private to vladimir putin? peter baker is the chief white house correspondent for "the new york times" and an msnbc political analyst. robert cost a reporter for "the washington post." and also is white house reporter for the daily beast. peter, this reporting that there was a meeting from "the new york times" prior it donald trump's inauguration where he was showed evidence, he was shown text messages, he was shown highly classified evidence that it was vladimir putin who ordered the hacking, yet he has gone out and doubted it multiple times since then. >> well, what's remarkable, of course, is that meeting was led
by holdovers from the obama administration. so the extent that whatever suspicions he had about it might have been based on politics, that would be one thing. what you see is all of their successors agree. they were appointed by president trump including christopher wray, the fbi director, dan coats, the director of national intelligence, mike pompeo when he was cia director and presumably his successor said the same thing. all of the people that donald trump has apointed to lead the intelligence agencies have the same conclusions, same view of the evidence. >> same understanding of what russia is still doing today to try to infiltrate the coming midterm elections. what's remarkable is he just di disputes his own choices for those jobs. >> we just have a little bit of news from the white house that i want to read. yesterday we saw sarah huckabee sanders asked about whether or not the united states would allow american citizens to be
questioned by russians. initially, sarah huckabee sanders said that they were thinking about it. they were going to -- donald trump was going to talk to people it. here is the response from the white house. it is a proposal made in sincerity by president putin but president trump disagrees with it. hopefully, president putin will have the 12 identified russians come to the u.s. to prove their innocence or guilt. just a note, guys, that that's not quite how the president described the offer. he called it an incredible offer while he was standing on stage next to putin. he also repeated that to sean hannity later in the night. bob costa, the pressure surrounding or the -- how much of a drama was created after sarah huckabee sanders did not definitively say, no, we would never allow american citizens to be questioned by russian officials in the same way that sta state department said it emphatically following that. >> it sparked an outcry not only among democrats but republican. senator rand paul of kentucky
has been a lonely voice in support ever the president's engagement with president putin. most republicans are very weary of having u.s. officials engaging with the russians at all, especially russian intelligence officers. they are trying to push in the senate today to protect the mueller investigation, underscore that russia did interfere in the 2016 election. >> also yesterday when you were in that spray, we call it a spray, that meeting where donald trump was asked by cecelia vega of abc whether he thinks vladimir putin is still meddling, she said that the president said no directly to her, that he was looking her in the eye. what did you see? >> well, i was standing right there just feet away from both of them, and i have talked to other people who were in the room when this happened and we all agree that what happened was relentlessly clear. the president of the united states looked at cecelia. she asked him a question. they were making eye contact. he was addressing her. not once, but twice. he said no to both the initial
question and the follow-up question with regards to is russia still targeting the united states in its elections. and not only that. he followed up with an expanded answer about putin, russia, and his supposedly tough policy and stance towards both. so it kind of undercuts the white house spin right after this happened from sarah huckabee sanders and others that the president was trying to say, no, i'm not taking any questions from reporters in the room because he had just finished taking a question not with just the word no, but with a follow-up explanation. this is another instance of president trump and those around us trying to tell us very plainly that what we see and hear right in front of us, even within inches, did not occur. >> he has in the past tried to claim that he hasn't said things. we have him on tape saying them. the "access hollywood" tape is the best example of that where he tried to claim maybe that wasn't me on tape. all of this surrounding this particular controversy, this
behavior towards vladimir putin and yesterday's comment is adding renewed talks to a couple of things on capitol hill. one is to release donald trump's taxes. the other to potentially subpoena the translator in that one-on-one meeting. that is so far not going to happen. there was an issue raised in the house. devin nunes and congress conaway shot that down. bob corker was talking about it yesterday, guys, as you know, but bob corker has since backed away from it as well. peter, in trying to figure out what he said in this private meeting how unusual or how normal is it for u.s. officials to have such hard time getting a hold of what the president may or may not have agreed to? >> well, very unusual. it's not unheard of that a president will have a one-on-one meeting with a counterpart with translators. that's happened. what's unusual is the degree of, first of all, suspicion about this particular meeting because of the obvious things we talked about, and because even his own people don't know whether they
can completely rely on what president trump tells them afterwards if they ask him what happened in the meeting. they are relying on his memory, his word, his interpretation of events. as we have even repeatedly, his interpretation of events can vary depending on the day. the last few days have been the obvious example of that. so what you have is an american government at a disadvantage to the russian government which has a clearer version of what actually happened in the room and may in fact be providing a public version that may or may not be true but to put the president in a box. we don't know. when president putin and his people say there are agreements and the americans say we don't know anything about agreements, are the russians telling us because they know something more than than the american officials do or are they creating agreements that weren't generally agreed to? >> bob, what might officials be worried about that the president could have agreed to? >> they are worried that the president agreed to something about sending u.s. officials or former u.s. officials to russia
for some kind of screening or questioning by the russian government. they are also worried that the president has not involved the whole apparatus of the federal government in the planning of his deals with putin, that this is really the president isolated in foreign policy making alone, trying to talk to a foreign leader who many, in his own administration, see as hostile. what's telling at this moment is where is secretary mattis? what is secretary pompeo going to say when he testifies on capitol hill next week? these are open questions. >> peter, robert, gentlemen, thank you very much. and joining me is former white house communications director anthony scaramucci. you know that the president likes his "time" magazine covers. he has a new one today. let's play it. you will see it's -- >> yeah. >> trump turning into vladimir putin and turning back. why is the president -- i mean, he has to know that people don't trust russia. he has to know that he is going to engender outrage not just from democrats or the media or
his own party. why does he continue to be so obje -- >> i have spoken out about it. i am not on the same side of this. i can give you the argument from his point of view, which is that he is a contrarian. the escalation of the situation between russia, the eu and the united states has gone up immeasurably since the invasion of crimea. he knows that roouns and u.p.s. control 90% of the nuclear arsenal in the world and he wants to figure out a way to get along with the russian government so there can be a de-escalation of tension related to those issues. i don't agree with what he did. i said that publicly. i understand what happened and i wish he had either walked back immediately, which i tried to do the other day, or gone into the meeting way more prepared and said the following thing. my intelligence agencies are saying that you guys meddled. you are saying that you didn't. all i can say is that it happened on someone else's
watch, not mine. it can't happen on my watch. >> do you think the way he responded to it is adequate? >> you said there was a cleanup mission. when the pickles drop -- because i worked in a supermarket. the pickles take two weeks to get rid of on the aisle because of the way they break and you have to get the smell off the aisles. >> is this like a pickle mess? >> it should have been like a box of crackers breaking where you sweep it up. this is more unforced errors because he is a stubborn guy. he doesn't like walking things back. he doesn't like apologizing. he doesn't like reframing things he has done. he has had a 50-year career, katy, of being successful with that strategy. i think he is in a different job today. this is more after political job and less of a business executive's job. he would be better served building more of a consensus. >> you say he is a contrarian. he is president of the united states now and it's job to protect american interests, not just his job to be a contrarian
because he likes being a contrarian. why did he not -- chris wallace sat down with vladimir putin, handed him the 12 indictments. donald trump knew those indictments were coming for a week. why was there not a plan in place for him to hand over the indictments and say, mr. putin, here's what we have on you. here's what we know that your president did. >> i don't think he would do that. >> why? >> because he is trying to build a relationship with the guy. >> what is the point of building a relationship with a guy if you are going to let him walk all over you? >> that's where i think the mistake was. the imagery, optics. i said it wasn't just a mistake of words. it was a mistake of strategy and he should not have done that. we are in agreement on that issue. where i think -- i'm trying to interpret it for you and your viewers is what the president would say being contrarian is everyone's been tough on russia. the sanctions have been in place. it's causing, he thinks, too much of a strain, too much of a tension, too much of an
escalation. the russian federation is the only country in the world, katy, that can take out the united states in 35 minutes. they have the nuclear strike force capability to do that. the tensions are way down since the end of the world war. sorry. the end of the cold war. but they are up in the last four or five years. so his nature is let me see if i can figure out a way to de-escalate that and get along with the russian fepeople. we can discuss tat particula-- strategy. >> do you want to hear from the interpreter? do you want to know what he said in that private meet sng. >> i'll tell you what, i don't want to hear from the interpreter. we changed the laws in the congress. we moved it from 60 votes to 51 votes. some people like that. some people don't like that. it depends what side you are on and whose party is in control. if we move into the realm where now now we are pulling the interpreter in who is supposed to be, if you understand the law, the president's, you know,
inside his own brain, i think it's unfair to him and i think it will be unfair to future presidents if you do that. >> do you want to see his tax returns? >> do i want to see his tax returns? you want to see his disturbanta. 95% of the people who voted for him don't care about his tax returns. so he knew from the governor romney election that the d divulgi divulging of his tax returns hurt him. >> do you think -- this is a man who brags about his plane and having his name on his plane and how rich he is and what a great businessm businessman he is. do you think that's going to hurt him, someone who brags as much as he does? >> i think it's a complicated return and opens up the door to a ton of opposition research on the return. he made a strategic decision that you don't like where he didn't divulge the returns. 40 years ago people were divulging the returns. 41 years ago they weren't. so he broke the -- >> we live a different world.
aren't you curious about what sort of leverage he might have in russia? wouldn't it be good to have that taken off the table if it's not there? >> so i do believe, if that is the case, that will ultimately come out. i couldn't i don't think it's the case because it would have came out already. >> anthony scaramucci, thank you for joining us. >> we almost agreed today, right? >> i like your pin today. >> it's hard for you to fight with me today. >> to be fair, i'm losing my voice. anyway, a reminder that next hour the aspen security forum, our andrea mitchell will speak live with director of national intelligence dan coats. his first one-on-one -- first, on-camera interview since the president's summit with putin next hour right here on msnbc. and the president has flipped it, reversed it, and clarified it in a matter of days leaving his own party scrambling to keep up. that's next. slams on his brakes out of nowhere. you do, too, but not in time. hey, no big deal. you've got a good record
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members of the president's own party are struggling to keep up with all the mixed messages he has been sending when it comes to moscow. i mean, really struggling. verbal game of twister struggling. let's go to the videotape. >> my people came to me, dan coats came to me and some others, they said they think it's russia. i have president putin. he just said it's not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it would be. >> the way i interpret it is
that the president was trying to maintain some rapport with him, but clearly i disagree with mr. putin and i agree with our intelligence officials that they did attempt to meddle in the election. >> it feels like the dam is breaking. >> i said the word would instead of wouldn't. the sentence should have been, i don't see any reason why i wouldn't or why it wouldn't be russia. >> he said he misspoke, and i know that's something that human beings do occasionally. i know i have. >> he was walking back what he did and, you know, apologizing but kind of not. look, i think that's a positive step. >> is russia still targeting the u.s., mr. president? >> i had a chance to speak with the president after his comments and the president said thank you very much and was saying no to answering questions. >> it almost feels like his advisors forced him to walk it
back. he wasn't comfortable with it. now he is walking it back in the other direction. i don't know. >> it's very confusing and i believe that it would be helpful if the president were to issue a very strong, very clear statement. >> helpful, certainly. likely, not so much. a republican strategist and nbc political analyst and zo lean a maxwell is the director of progressive programming for serious xm guys, i know we talk about why republicans aren't breaking more forcibly, and how they want to get re-elected and they are afraid of the voters. the atlantic has an op-ed that says can trump's republican critics find strength in numbers. they don't have to prove that they are the majority of their party. they just have to demonstrate that the party can't win without them. what do you think, susan? >> that's one way of looking at it. i think at the end of the day what republicans need do is
especially on this issue, just say where you are on it so you can't -- the president has come out with different stories. this is what i think, and that's why they don't have to really separate from the president and they can get their point of view across. this is a simple thing. russia is our enemy. putin is not our friend. he is not a kpcompetitor. he is someone who works actively to disrupt this country whether it be politically or in other ways. so that's it. we have to stop, as republicans, trying to dance around and show how much we support donald trump when we -- instead of worrying about ourselves because donald trump is only focused on what is good for donald trump. >> steve bannon doesn't think it's a big deal. surprise. listen to steve bannon. >> i thought the press conference was fine. i would like to be a little stronger maybe about the meddling. but at the end of the day and the democrats are just going to
have to embrace this, the meddling is on the margins. not that big a deal. >> when are they going to give it a big bear hug? >> we are talking about something as essential to our american democracy as voting. i would like that to be a completely transparent, fair, and open process because it's the heart of our democracy and it is a big deal. it's a very big deal. people died in the streets so that black people and other americans could have the right to cast their ballot and have their voices heard. and steve bannon dismissed the lack of integrity which we clearly saw in 2016 because we know enough facts to know that russia, maybe they didn't change a vote, but we don't have proof they did not do that. all we have is proof or at least a pile of evidence that showed that they manipulated what people thought and believed about hillary clinton based on lies, that they targeted potentially the voters she needed to turn out like african-american voters intentionally to ensure that
they did not turn out and vote for hillary clinton, and i think that there is a very dark side and intention there. additionally, they could decide in the 2018 midterms to do the same thing to republicans. so i think at the end of the day, as susan said, it has to be about a larger conversation and something about patriotism and not politics. >> if you look at the poll numbers, it seems like it's about political parties. two different polls. one from axios, the other from cbs news. how do you think donald trump did in the news conference with putin? republicans 79% approve. democrats 7% approve. big numbers for independents. 33% approve. 62% disapprove. that's a big window for both parties. cbs news, pretty similar. republicans 68% approve, democrats 8% approve. independents 29% approve. 53 don't approve. those numbers, that 53%, 62%
independents. i independents. >> swing voters in swing districts during the midterms. >> where are they going? >> to the democrats. you add that and the change in turn outi don't think especially women in suburban areas that have changed anywhere from 10% to 40% in some elections, that's going to democrats. >> what if the big blue wave isn't that big and it isn't blue? >> i think it's going to be a wave. i don't know how big it's going to be. i think every district is going to be separate. i don't think it's going to be like look at the big wave everywhere. i think there will be particular areas of the country we will be completely surprised because there is a brand new candidate who never ran for office before that may come out successful in their races because they have gotten into the race because of donald trump. there are millions of american women who are angry about the election of donald trump given what he said on that "access hollywood" tape and his comments about women more broadly. so i think that there are women who have never run before. so it's hard to look at previous
elections and say this is what's going to happen in 2018 because i think what we are going to see is unprecedented. i think the blue wave is going to be a wave of women. >> is it a wave -- like if you get 40 or 50 as a huge wave, doesn't matter. if you get 23 -- >> right. you have the majority. exactly. >> i love your outfit today. >> thank you. susan likes this, too. i have worn it. she was like so happy. >> will you give it to me so i can wear it and look cool? thank you. >> next up -- >> i like it. you always look great. susan, you look great as well. i don't mean not to point you out as well. moving on. next, the foreign act at the nra and the reporter who interviewed her first in 2012 when she was just a strange young woman trying to get russia to legalize firearms.
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national rifle association and allegedly used that relationship to get close to leading republicans. prosecutors also say butina romanced a gop power broker using him to gain access to republican political circles and alleged she offered sex in exchange for a position in a special interest organization. butina also went to the nra convention, the national prayer breakfast twice, and attended an event for conservative evangelicals where she posed this question to then-candidate donald trump. >> if you would be elected as the president, what will be your foreign politic especially in the relationships with my country, and do you want to continue the politics of sanctions in the economy? >> i believe i would get along very nicely with putin, okay? and i mean we have the strength. i don't think you would need the sanctions. i think that we would get along very, very well. >> but now butina is behind bars
without bail charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent on behalf of the russian government. a "gq magazine" correspondent and daniel goldman, guys, russian roulette, that book by david corn and michael isikof talks about that moment we saw when butina is asking president trump -- or then candidate trump a question, how she got there, how she asked the candidate that and why the candidate said he would not be for sanctions. it was ithe first time he said that. they said much later trump's campaign advisors would watch the video of this encounter and wonder about it. steve bannon raised it with rnc chair reince priebus, how was it that this russian woman happened to be in las vegas for the event and how was it that trump happened to call on her? and trump's response, it was odd, bannon thought, that trump had a fully developed answer.
priebus agreed there was something strange about butina. julia, you have known her the longest i think of anyone, or known of her the longest. in 2012 you interviewed her when you were a correspondent in moscow. tell us about her. >> well, she was actually the story about her was my last story out of russia, and at the time the protests against vladimir putin were kind of dying out, but they had given rise to a lot of kind of civil society groups, and some of them advocated for legalizing firearms in russia where they are not legal. there is no second amendment in russia. butina was the point person for the biggest one. she was very young. she was very dynamic. she had a great story. she took me shooting. you know, it's interesting. now i'm thinking about it in retrospect. it seems like she was not just a good shot, about you well trained. the other thing that occurs to
me is that at the time it wasn't -- we weren't talking about russian influence of american elections. at the time there was a lot of influence by american organizations like the nra, like the world congress of families, like the national organization of marriage, these right wing evangelical christian groups, christian fundamentalist groups that were trying to influence politics in russia and other countries as well on homosexuality, abortion, conservative values, and it kind of showed -- to me it showed more of that side. now things have kind of flipped in the other direction. >> what do you make of these pictures we have been showing? pictures of her with scott walker, with rick santorum, with bobby jindal, wayne lapierre of the nra. she has a knack for getting herself close to people who were in positions of real influence. >> sounds like this was her job. she sounds -- yeah, it sounds like this was her job and it
sounds like she was a lot better at it than the woman she is compared to, another russian redhead, anna chapman, who of course was uncovered by the fbi as a russian spy and traded in 2010 as part of this big spy swap on which the americans is then based. she sounds like she was a lot better at it. it was a lot about kind of subtle -- a subtle influence campaign, getting close to people who were not just -- who knew what was going on, but people making decisions. people close to the top. sounds like she was good at it. >> this is not a mueller indictment, daniel. this is separate from it, but it is an indictment of a russian charged now, and alleged to have tried to spy on behalf of the russian government. there is also meetings that she had with donald trump's family. donald trump's eldest son, don jr. let's look at this from "the new york times." they did meet with mr. torshin, her associate, and miss butina at an nra sponsored dinner.
mr. trump's lawyer called the encounter brief. congressional investigators have obtained a photograph of the three at the event. people familiar with the inquiry said that. how significant is this going to be or is it going to be significant at all for somebody like robert mueller? >> i think robert mueller is going to be paying and has likely already paid pretty close attention to all of the tentacles of butina's connections. we know about the nra now. we know her connection to torshin. but my guess is that it didn't necessarily stop there, and we don't, as in the public, know everything that the prosecutors know. so i think he is likely to be monitoring it very closely, and there may be evidence sharing between the prosecutors on this case and the prosecutors in the special counsel's office. >> so everyone knows, alexander torshin is a former top russian government official. he was the one that was working with butina. at one point she emailed him or
messaged him after donald trump was elected and said i'm awaiting further orders. it sounds like it's out of a bad spy novel. >> absolutely. i mean, it's sexy stuff. i use that word intentionally because she was using her sex appeal to have a relationship with a republican operative. based on my reading of the materials, not only was she trying to solicit sex for a position in another organization, but it doesn't sound like it's the nra. it sounds like it's probably another conservative organization. i think politically where this is going to go is anyone's guess because who knows how many other organizations she was trying to infiltrate or at least had access to, and now four months before an election the nra gives a lot of money to a lot of people. if we already know that she was involved with the nra, torshin was involved in giving money to the nra, this is going to become a potentially hot button issue.
>> julia, what will you be watching out for in this? >> a couple of things. the first thing, the biggest thing is alexander torshin. weighs a deputy governor of the russian central break which has more power than the federal reserve here. he, most notably, was named by spanish authorities as having -- laundering russian money in spain and, two, as having been the top guy in a notorious organized crime ring, a russian mafia figure. we have been hearing a lot about money going into organizations like the nra and ways the russian government could have funneled money for the election meddling effort. that will be something i am looking at, too. >> and just to add on to what julia said, the spanish prosecutor in that case that involved torshin said that don
jr. may have been caught on wire taps that they had of torshin and he should be very nervous, too. >> we will see. guys, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> and the president's summit with putin has reignited calls for trump to release his tax returns. we will explain why next. hing. but as you get older, it naturally begins to change, causing a lack of sharpness, or even trouble with recall. thankfully, the breakthrough in prevagen helps your brain and actually improves memory. the secret is an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. until her laptop crashed this morning. her salon was booked for weeks, having it problems? ask a business advisor how to get on demand tech support for as little as $15 a month. right now, buy one hp ink and get a second at 30% off at office depot officemax
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lawmakers so confused. they want to know what his financial records show. does he have debts or something like that in russia? new reporting from "bloomberg news" questions whether trump's business dealings with russians could make him vulnerable to putin. quote, imagine if trump were ac which he is ent of putin because of financial favors exchanged. for example, for policy reversals involving the lifting of economic sanctions on russia or supporting russia's military annexation of part of ukraine. in that context, trump's finances and his tax returns touch on national security and the public interest. joining me, the author of that report, timothy o'brien, executive editor of "bloomberg" view. tim, thank you for being here. his tax returns, there could be so much information in the tax returns. he's refused to show them. what could be in there that would shed light on to why he is behaving the way that he is?
>> it's pretty straightforward. i think this applies to any president. i want to know what their business or financial relationships are because that obviously could influence their decision-making. you don't want the white house to be a place where deal-making and policy-making intrude on one mother. in trump's case it's important because he has a number of businesses in which he had relationships with russian business partners or had russian clients. in the mid 2000s a lot of cash came into trump's business that is relatively unexplained. all of this could be cleared up if the president did like every president before him going back to gerald ford released their tax returns. >> some say people before gerald ford didn't do that, so why does donald trump need to? why does it matter now? >> that's a good question to ask from scar pluchchy. the reason we did it was watergate. it began as a response largely to the nixon administration. nixon submitted his taxes after he actually ran, after his
campaign every president, every nominee submitted them before they -- before the election even occurred. and it's clear this is about good government. it's really not an ideological issue. it's not a partisan issue. it's about making sure that whoever is seated in the oval office has the public interests at heart. >> are you confident there is something interesting in there? if it was just donald trump being very, very rich, wouldn't ta be something he would want to show? >> he could easily show that. donald trump is very, very rich by any normal, you know, definition of what wealth is. donald trump is a wealthy man. i don't think that's the reason it's holding him back. i think the tax returns would show how robust his businesses are, it would show how philanthropic he is. what's more jermaine now and in the context of his behavior in helsinki is what business relationships or financial relationships does he have that
may explain that kind of behavior. >> you write there are a lot of unanswered questions about how trump came by at least $400 million in cash to fund small golf courses and real estate deals between 2006 and 2015 and there are some projects, including the soho hotel in new york that have murky financial pedigrees. that is true. there were a lot of investments made. it was a four-year span or something like that all made in cash. >> that's right. and the post has done great work on this. the trump family acknowledges that they spent at least $400 million on various acquisitions. they said they did it without bank loans. they said they did it without selling off any other properties. they say they generated all off this from their own holdings. >> donald trump is supposed to be the king of debt. >> and he spent most of his career borrowing banks to do it. so he definitely needed to find something else to fund what he
was doing other than major u.s. commercial banks who largely shunned him. i think the issue is where did the money come from. the trump family says it came from their own coffers. i think they should put that to the test and release their tax returns. >> i would like to see them as well. timothy o'brien, thanks for being here. and breaking news. you are looking live right now at the senate floor where a vote is underway on a resolution, non-binding resolution to take a firm stand of handing over america's diplomats officials and members of the armed forces to be question ds ed by russia. this is a purely symbolic non-binding vote. we also want to remind you within the hour we are going to hear directly from the director of national intelligence, dan coats, for the first time since the helsinki summit. you remember he issued that strongly worded statement in response to the president where he said once again that russia is still meddling and that it is
pervasive. he will speak with andrea mitchell 3:30 eastern here on msnbc. tune in. and facebook's ceo mark zwluk s zuckerberg is facing backlash, this time for defending the rights of holocaust deniers on his billion billion dollar social media platform. here is what he told kara swisher. >> i'm jewish. and there's a set of people who deny that the holocaust happened. >> yes, there's a lot. >> i find that deeply offensive. but at the end of the day, i don't believe that our platform should take that down because i think that there are things that different people get wrong, either -- i don't think that they're intentionally getting it wrong, but -- >> in the case of the holocaust deniers, they might be, but go ahead. >> it's hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent. >> he later clarified the remarks where he said i personally find holocaust denial deeply offensive and absolutely did not intend to defend the
intent of people who deny that. it does raise the question, though, does zuckerberg have a deep understanding of how his platform can be used as a vehicle to spread hate? joining me is a silicon valley correspondent for "the washington post." elizabeth, i'll ask you that question. does he understand how influential his site can be? >> you know, it's a great question. i think that if you look at mark's response, what he said at first was we can't possibly know people's intents. you know, you heard kara in the background saying i think these holocaust survivors know what they're doing, and essentially that's how the world reacted to this, which is let's not be naive here. a lot of these people who are putting out conspiracies on facebook have that intent. and another issue is plenty of companies say we don't need to know the intent, we're just going to make a moral choice. we disagree with this. i think what's important to think about with mark zuckerberg
is what are the underlying reasons why he might be saying what he's saying. and in my view, paying attention to facebook for the last number of years, for mark zuckerberg, the cynical view is getting as many people as possible to use facebook is like religion. because his religion is getting people to use facebook, that ends up putting him in a very far free speech corner of the political spectrum. >> he also says if something is spread and it's rated false by fact checkers, it would lose the vast majority of its distribution in news feeds. why hand it over to fact checkers? why not -- or if the fact checkers find it to be false, why not just remove it? why bury it? >> exactly. and what is burying it going to do? maybe it won't go viral to the whole world, but you're demoting it into this echo chamber where people can start talking about
it and believing it. people can start confirming each other's viewpoints. so you're saying, okay, it's okay if this echo chamber uses it as long as a lot of people don't see it. that's a judgment call and a moral choice. what i find is interesting about facebook is that they're often saying we can't make editorial judgments. we're going to outsource this to third-party fact checkers to make a decision as to what's true and not true. the choice to demote something and not delete it, for example, is an editorial judgment. mark also said in his response yesterday to kara swisher, he said, you know, you guys may have gotten me wrong but i just want to let you know that what i believe that the best way to counter bad speech is with good speech of the and that's problematic too, because actually it's a very active debate. there are lots of researchers that have said that good speech, just more speech isn't always the answer to harmful speech. sometimes that can create more harm so it's almost like what
he's repeating what he read in a freshman college class on free speech at berkeley and there has actually been a lot more debates about this very issue than he's acknowledging. >> hate can be much more effective than love in some circumstances. elizabeth, thank you very much. after the break, we've got one more thing. stay with us. it's pretty amazing out there. the world is full of more possibilities than ever before. and american express has your back every step of the way- whether it's the comfort of knowing
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benjamin franklin knew that. a master of words and images alike, he published america's first political cartoon in 1754. a snake cut into eight parts called join or die, urging british colonies to join together or be attacked by french and indian allies. for america with honest abe working to repair the union to europe with napoleon and william pitts splitting the world. for years cartoons have been used to convince, control, cajole and serve a healthy feeding of crow. today is no different. here is how the new york daily news responded to the helsinki summit. they used his fifth avenue comment against him by showing putin grasping one hand while trump shoots uncle sam with the other. another shows putin holding the president of the nra by the waist after he learned about a suspected russian agent who infiltrated the gun lobby. and the new yorker's latest issue is topped with this.
it depicts trump's stumbles in helsinki by showing him face down on the escalator he used to launch his campaign. he's still making the thumbs up, sign, though. why did we decide to show you all of these? it wasn't to mock or make fun. it's simple really. no matter what their message, these cartoons remind us of what has made this country so great. the fact that we are allowed to view them, and debate them. >> political cartoons are the unsung heroes of democracy. >> there was a great political cartoon exhibition at the british museum showing a lot of those napoleon political cartoons. interesting fun fact, napoleon wasn't actually short for his time. he wasn't actually short. it's a joke because british cartoonists depicted him as being short. >> short and -- >> so the complex was all made up by british cartoonists. >> when you go to philadelphia,
they have life-size figures, bronze figures of the framers of the constitution, the signers, and they're all short. in those days people were just shorter. you and me were giants compared to what they used to be. have a good afternoon. we'll see you back here in two hours. good afternoon, everybody, i am ali velshi. president trump has been on his fake news kick in an effort to steer the narrative to one that puts him in a more apositive light. they make up stories without any backup, sources or proof. that's what he claims the fake news media is guilty of in a series of tweets today. since his claims in helsinki, the president is failing to see that his own words are the backup, the sources and the proof. he's about to sign an executive order to shift the focus onto the economy, but he continues to sabotage his own efforts. trump stirred the pot just hours ago with this tweet teasing a second meeting with russia's