tv MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi MSNBC July 27, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
the immortal words of cocaine m mitch himself. thanks for playing, don. kristen welker picks things up right now. kristen, look at us, we're primary colors. >> primary colors on another busy friday, katy. we never get a break. >> what happened to summer fridays? we should go into publishing and get half a day off. >> they don't exist in this business. good afternoon, i am kristen welker in for ali velshi. i did not know, that's what president trump is saying after new reports that long-time lawyer and fixer michael cohen is willing to inform special counsel robert mueller that trump knew about that infamous trump tower meeting before it took place. the president lashed out in a series of tweets dismissing not only the report but also cohen. last night the president's attorney, rudy giuliani, was on the attack, slamming cohen's credibility. >> i expected something like this from cohen. he's been lying all week, or for
two weeks. there's no doubt in my mind he's just not credible. >> that's a pretty sizeable departure from how giuliani described cohen back in may. >> the man is an honest, honorable lawyer. >> joining me now with the very latest from the white house is my friend and colleague, nbc news' hans nichols. hans, thanks for being here. let's start off with what you and i witnessed today. we were both on the white house south lawn. president trump was there taking that big victory lap on the economy, the strong gdp number, but of course refused to answer questions about all of this, about michael cohen. and this is the ninth time reporters have been shouting questions at him. he hasn't responded. he is responding on twitter, though, hans. what's the strategy here? >> it seems on twitter he is trying to question michael cohen's overall integrity. you have that as well from giuliani talking about how he's a pathological liar. but it seems like there is a
shift in communication strategy from this president. bill shine is starting to exert his force and at that moment earlier in the south lawn, at a certain point bill shine and john kelly walked toward the president and gave him a thumbs up. as you know, the president was almost protected by a moat there. there's some asphalt between the press and the president. he was raised, his platform was, so there wasn't a natural opportunity for the president to engage with the press. as you well know, this is a president who likes to mix it up with the press and get his version of the story out there and certainly isn't afraid of interacting. kristen. >> he certainly isn't typically, hans. and i know that you're going to be shouting questions with him and i will as well when he departs for bedminster a little bit later on today, if he does in fact leave from the south lawn and we have the chance to do that. to some extent this is just a case of he said/he said, right? how nervous is the white house
about this, is the trump team? >> i think it gets down to whether or not anyone memorializes this. mr. cohen is alleging that mr. trump, now president trump, knew about this june meeting where there's alleged dirt that was going to be proffered to the trump campaign. if he knew beforehand, if there's any conversation, any communications between trump junior and the president. so yes, right now it is a question of credibility. both sides are trying to impugn the credibility of the other side. but if there are any records, phone or otherwise, and i think sometimes in the day-to-day mix of this when we're sort of reporting what's publicly out there, we forget that robert mueller has subpoena power. he has the ability to look at a lot of these records. they have got a lot of really smart forensic lawyers there that are able to go back in time and try to reconstruct days. you saw this with mr. comey when he wrote those memos to himself. they're trying to put something in record and leave a paper trail. we'll see in this case if anyone
inadvertently left a paper trail. >> i think that's the big question, hans, is there any proof. hans nichols at the white house on a very busy day. thank you very much, appreciate it. let's refresh our memory about this trump tower meeting because it's been a while. about two years ago in june 2016, e-mails show donald trump jr. wrote to british publicist rob goldstone. quote, how about 3 at our offices? thanks, rob. appreciate you helping set it up. the "it" prefers to the trump tower meeting. in that same e-mail exchange don junior was offered dirt on hillary clinton to which he replied, if it is what you say, i love it. just hours later candidate donald trump appeared at a campaign event to tease an upcoming speech that would reveal incriminating information about the clintons. take a listen. >> i am going to give a major speech on probably monday of next week, and we're going to be discussing all of the things
that have taken place with the clintons. i think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting. >> two days later the meeting happened. it involved donald trump jr., then campaign chair paul manafort and son-in-law jared kushner met with a russian lawyer, a former russian spy and others. the public didn't find out about it until a year later after the election. one year ago, july 2017, don junior downplayed the significance of that meeting in a statement to "the new york times." don junior said, quote, it was a short introductory meeting about the adoption of russian children. he also claimed the focus of the meeting was, quote, not a campaign issue at the time. nearly a month later reports broke that president trump helped personally draft his son's misleading statement. don junior then walked back his initial statement acknowledging that he did in fact meet with the russians because they promised campaign information, but that the meeting ended up being about adoptions. two days after that, don junior appeared on fox news with sean hannity to explain.
>> a lot of people are going to want to know this about your father. did you tell your father anything about this? >> no. it was such a nothing. there was nothing to tell. i mean i wouldn't have even remembered it until you start scouring through the stuff. it was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame. >> don junior echoed that in his testimony before the senate judiciary committee saying his father, quote action wouldn't have wasted his time with it. i never spoke to my father about it. i've got an all-star panel to break all of this very confusing information down. joining me now is nbc news legal analyst danny cevallos, liz holtzman, i'm also joined by the senior political reporter for "the fix" at "the washington post," aaron blake. danny, i want to start with you. just put this into a big broad context for us. how big of a deal is this? >> if don junior lied to congress, there are about six
different obstruction statutes that apply to congressional activities. the most obvious would be 1505, but as long as he intended to mislead or omit factual information, he can be charged with a crime, and this is very important, whether or not he was under oath. if he's under oath, it's perjury. if he's not under oath, it still might be section 1001. if there was a statute of the year in the federal criminal code, it would be section 1001, false statements to authorities, including congress, but not necessarily congress. we've already seen others indicted, pleading guilty to the exact same crime. a number of high-profile people in the past have been charged with this crime. it is a very easy crime to make out. does not require an oath. it essentially requires just a knowing intentional misleading or lying to an agent or congress or obstructing some proceeding. >> danny, i take your point, but as i was talking about with hans
nichols, this is really a he said/he said as far as we know right now. we haven't seen all of the evidence. rudy giuliani, the attorney for president trump in phone conversations with myself, with my colleagues and on air last night said cohen is a proven liar. take a look. >> are you concerned at all that michael cohen will cooperate with prosecutors? >> no. i expect that he is going to cooperate with him. i don't think they'll be happy with it because he doesn't have any incriminating evidence about the president or himself. the man is an honest, honorable lawyer. >> what do you make of how the trump team is responding? and again, the fact that so far this is he said/he said? >> it's really interesting because in the past when they have been caught making false denials, they have tried to weasel their way out of it and explain how they weren't exactly incorrect. in this case they're doubling down and saying it didn't happen, he's a liar. the president tweeted it out for everyone to see and said this
didn't happen. it is to some degree a he said/he said. but remember this about the situation. according to the reports, michael cohen said other people were in this meeting and knew about what was happening here. there should be people who can corroborate his version of events or the president's. even if there's not documentation, there should be some evidence they can figure out whether don and the president are being honest or michael cohen is being honest. >> liz, pick up on that point for us. could evidence present itself in the form other than something tangible like an e-mail? in other words, if more people step forward and say, hey, i heard the same thing. i believe president trump did know about this beforehand. what's the significance of that? what's the bar and the potential consequences? >> well, if you have corroboration for michael cohen and what's been reported is what he actually believes and says and he tells that under oath, danny said, i mean this is -- could create prosecutorial
liability for donald trump jr. but let's go back historically. this is a kind of john dean/richard nixon moment. john dean said i told the president there was a cover-up going on and there was a cancer on the presidency and people were being offered hush money. and he testified before the senate watergate committee. and richard nixon immediately said, liar. might have said pathological liar but he said liar, liar, liar. john dean is not telling the truth. ultimately the tapes came out, john dean was proven to be right and richard nixon was lying. so donald trump jr. is in trouble here and donald trump sr. is in trouble here potentially if michael cohen is telling the truth and there's any corroborating evidence. >> liz, let me press you on that because of course officials with president trump, those in his camp, are going to say, hey, wait a minute, that moment you just talked about was possibly the pivotal moment of watergate,
one of several. but one of the biggest. do you really say and what makes you think this could be that pivotal? >> it could be. because what we have is a meeting. we know that this was a meeting that represent end the russian government's support for donald trump's election as president. secondly, we know that the campaign was meeting to get dirt on hillary clinton to further donald trump's election as president. so if donald trump knew about it beforehand and presumably senior and presumably allowed it to go forward, then we could have the kind of collusion conspiracy between him and his campaign and the russian government that could involve a lot of other charges aside from obstruction of justice and so forth. so we have serious, serious -- we're in serious territory. and it just does remind me of nixon and dean. yes, there's going to be a denial. you could have predicted that. but the question is what kind of
corroboration will be here. >> aaron, let me shift to you and what you wrote today in "the washington post." you sort of go through a number of inconsistencies that we've seen from this president not only on the russia matter but a whole host of issues. you talk about the president saying he didn't know about the trump tower meeting. we know he fired his national security advisor, didn't know about the national enquirer/karen mcdougal before it happened. didn't stay overnight in moscow in 2013. we know that happened. didn't know about the stormy daniels' payment. to what extent is the bigger picture, everything that you mapped out today, going to be relevant here to robert mueller? >> i think it depose goes to credibility. when you're an vectinvestigatoru have to prove each charge you come forward with. you can't say just because somebody may have lied -- given
all of these other situations, including the one about this trump tower meeting, the explanation for it in which the president was involved after they denied that he was, if they were misleading about those things, it's hard to have faith in them that they were actually being honest in this case. that said, they're standing by it and so we'll see if they are actually able to disprove that. >> and investigators will be interviewing weisselberg, which is of course significant potentially, trump.org, also someone who knows where the bodies are buried. how significant is that? >> this kind of got lost because of the cohen news last night a little bit. but there is a sense michael cohen is a person who knows where the bodies are buried in trump world. he's been around trump since 2006 essentially. he worked with the president but also didn't really have that close of a relationship. it was a very weird kind of relationship. allen weisselberg has been with
the trumps since fred trump was around, since back in the 1970s. this is a guy what handled not only the business but his personal tax returns. he has been tied to both the mcdougal case and stormy daniels case. it seems to be a guy who gets involved in everything that's going on. whether those things were illegal or not, we don't know. but we do know that he has been tied to them. >> and just moments ago this remarkable picture surfaced, showing how unique this situation is. this moment is. it's hard to see, but there you can see in that teal shirt, donald trump jr. in the background and then in the foreground is robert mueller. this was taken at dca, reagan national airport, earlier today. it just surfaced in politico. danny, we have a statement from the special counsel's office which says that is him waiting to board a flight. if it's accurate that the other
person in the photo was donald trump jr., mr. mueller was not aware of him and had no interaction with him. danny, you can't make it up. >> no, you can't. and i have to imagine that if robert mueller had known he was that close, given how much he's a by-the-book prosecutor, he would have stood up, found somewhere else to sit down and read his magazine, which i'm sure is a magazine entitled "federal prosecutor weekly" or something like that. he seems like he's all business. plus i'd like to say this picture really fleshes out in robert mueller how i'd like to dress at the airport and in donald trump jr. how i actually end up dressing at the airport. >> well, it is remarkable. it's getting a lot of traction and just goes to show you, i think, how remarkable unprecedented this moment really is. danny, liz, aaron, thanks to all of you, really appreciate your helping us break down this very complicated development. and coming up, we'll dive into some new reporting about the trump administration's
strategy to protect future elections from getting hacked, as the president holds his very first meeting today with the national security council. are they doing enough? that's the key question. on the topic of election security, senator claire mccaskill says russian hackers were unsuccessful in their attempt to hack computers in their office. the man who helped solve the dnc hack will join me straight ahead to give us insight. stay with us. (vo) what if this didn't have to happen? i didn't see it. (vo) what if we could go back? what if our car... could stop itself? in iihs front-end crash prevention testing, nobody beats the subaru impreza. not toyota. not honda. not ford. the subaru impreza. more than a car, it's a subaru.
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the upcoming elections from attacks. that's according to senior officials. that's the sobering headline as the president holds his very first security council meeting on this very topic, and it's happening right now. intel chiefs have warned that russia will try to target the midterms in november, and the attacks may have already begun. "the daily beast" reports russian hackers targeted democratic senator claire mccaskill last summer just as she began her re-election bid. the report also says there's no evidence to suggest that the attack was successful. ken dilanian joins me now. you broke the story about the administration's lack of central strategy to protect the upcoming election, so, ken, put it into context for us. they're sitting down now. the midterms are 100 days away. is there enough time for them to get caught up and play a little bit of devil's advocate and say we are taking some steps. >> they are, kristen. what's really remarkable is that trump's own cabinet has been saying in public that there needs to be a central
coordinated strategy, and the unspoken thing is there isn't one. kirstjen nielsen, the department of homeland security chief told peter alexander in aspen, she said, look, this is really not just a dhs problem, we need the whole government engaged. the fbi is doing things, but there is no presidential leadership, kristen. dan coats gave a remarkable speech in which he said the russians are continuing to interfere in our politics. they are on social media, they are on twitter and facebook. it would just take a few keystrokes for them to turn their attention to the election infrastructure. what that requires is a strategy to deter the russians. donald trump has not taken action against the russians geopolitically or with sanctions. what he has done is eliminated the cyber security coordinator job from his national security council. so perhaps today after this meeting he'll announce some new steps. as of today, though, kristen, i could not get the white house to tell me who is in charge of coordinating the effort to prevent foreign election
interference. >> and that's remarkable, because as we have been saying, it's really just 100 days out at this point. i want to talk to you about the messaging, ken, because that's a part of this as well. we of course listen very carefully to what the president says in addition to watching what he does. he tweeted recently i'm very concerned that russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming election based on the fact that no president has been tougher on ru russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the democrats. they definitely don't want trump. let's remind our viewers that during that joint press conference with vladimir putin, president putin acknowledged that he did want president trump to win. so putting aside the fact that we haven't seen evidence the russians are trying to help the democrats yet at this point, what do you expect to come out of today's meeting, and does that type of rhetoric undermine potentially any progress? >> of course it does, kristen. this is the great himystery. was that just trolling? was he just playing a game and
playing to his political base? every time he says something like that, sarah sanders comes out and says, no, the president understands that the russians intervened, he accepts that that happened but he's never had a meeting like this of his national security cabinet where they'll actually talk about what to do about it. perhaps after this and after talking to all of these officials, all of whom have said yes, the russians intervened, perhaps the president will change his tune, but he seems to not be able to steer away from calling it a hoax, calling the investigation a witch hunt and raising questions about whether he even accepts that russia attacked the election. >> nbc's ken dilanian. you have been way out front on this story, really appreciate all of your great reporting. thanks, ken. meantime as the president insists russian hackers would more likely help democrats, democratic senator claire mccaskill is responding to reports that they targeted her. quote, while this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that they think they can get away with this. i will not be intimidated. i've said it before and i will
say it again, putin is a thug and a bully. robert johnston joins me now. he's a veteran of the u.s. cyber command and the first to uncover the extent of russia's hacks into the dnc during the 2016 election. robert, i'm so glad you could be here, your perspective is so critical at a moment like this. let's just start right there with the fact that we already know that russia is targeting u.s. lawmakers, senator claire mccaskill. does the fact that they have already gotten through this election cycle, is it an indication that it may be too late to really try to stop them? >> so when i take a look at this, this is token russian gru. and for those that don't know, russian gru is akin to the u.s.' defense intelligence agency. they targeted personal accounts. they're aggressive. i often describe them as a thunderstorm moving through the network. the one thing that really resonates to me that it's not surprising that they haven't stopped. they obviously don't care about public shaming, considering that it was publicly available news
that russia was responsible for election meddling since june of 2016. that obviously is not a good deterrent for them, so they're going to keep coming. it comes down to one fact. i'll tell you, russia has built a magnificent overt offensive cyber capability that cannot be deterred as of this point. and it's something really the u.s. has yet to master is this overt offensive cyber capability. >> and the tactics that they used in this case were similar to what they were doing to try to hack into john podesta's e-mails, hillary clinton's campaign manager. >> absolutely. i think, as i've seen the kind of transcendence of the security market, you're seeing personal accounts, things like g-mail accounts impersonating log-ins. you're seeing that as a great avenue to make entrance into someone's e-mail or network to compromise their infrastructure. it's often very hard to go through the front door. security technology is actually getting pretty good, so they're
going after the weakest link. i think the russian gru is capitalizing on these personal accounts and how people depend on them. >> this was something that was broken in "the daily beast" and they report in august of 2017 around the time of the hack attempt, trump traveled to missouri and chided mccaskill telling the crowd to vote her out of office. some wonder whether there's a little parallel going on, this is two years ago to the day in florida then candidate trump said this. take a look. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> is russia listening? how seriously should we take those what appear to be public calls to russia? >> so before i came over here, i wanted to kind of understand the gravity of what senator mccaskill was up against. and just in the past year, most of them in the past 30 days, 26 of senator mccaskill's staffers
user name and password combinations have been leaked in russian and i.d. theft and organized crime hacking forums. so this is readily available not just at the nation state level, this is bleeding down into the organized crime, the criminal level. i mean if she's not worried about it now, she absolutely should be. >> is there one thing that could happen that could come out of today's meeting that you would say, hey, that lets me know they're taking it very seriously. >> yeah. i think what we've done previously, like the recent indictment, right, that has been u.s. deterrent policy. we're going to see if an indictment is good enough to stop the russian gru or the russian government from coming after the u.s. elections. just looking historically, in june, july, august of 2016, public attribution and governmental attribution of a nation state behind these attacks was not enough. i don't believe that an indictment of russian individuals is enough to be a
deterrence, so we'll see. i want to see stiffer action. we need to implement sanctions and use other methods of a ways to deter the russian government. >> all right. i know you're going to be tracking this very closely along with the rest of us. robert johnston, thank you so much for all of your great information today, really appreciate it. coming up, be my guest. that's president putin's message to president trump about visiting moscow. this comes as putin says he's ready to come to washington. so what would a second trump/putin summit mean for future relations between the u.s. and russia? that's next. stay with us. who would have thought, who would have guessed? an energy company helping cars emit less. making cars lighter, it's a good place to start,
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your place or mine? russian president vladimir putin is offering to host president trump in moscow, even though trump has already announced he invited putin to visit d.c. putin told reporters in south africa that he's ready to visit washington if the conditions are right. white house press secretary sarah sanders had this response to putin's comments. quote, president trump looks forward to having president putin to washington after the first of the year, and he is open to visiting moscow upon receiving a formal invitation. joining me now to talk about all of this, joel reuben, former district secretary of state and president of the washington
strategy group and retired admiral james stavridis. the two of you have the credentials to have this very weighty conversation so i appreciate both of you joining me. joel, i want to start with you. let's set this backdrop. president trump extended this invitation to president putin to come to washington, d.c., for a second summit. he never got a response, wound up delaying that meeting until next year. what do you make of the fact that putin is coming out today and inviting him to moscow? >> it's a stone cold power move by putin. he is basically saying to trump he has control of the situation and trump is now boxed in. president trump, as you said, he extended the invitation, he got no response. it was humiliating for him. and then within that time frame, domestic pressure here ramped up, bipartisan angst and anger frankly about the idea of putin coming to the oval office while
his country is ongoing attacking us right now in an ongoing manner, so it was a very strong man move. i think president trump is really boxed in. >> admiral, do you agree with that? is president trump boxed in or is he responding in the right way by saying we're open to that, but of course he's delayed this invitation to washington until next year. what do you make of this moment? >> i think boxed in is really a pretty good expression. i think joel has got it roughly right. another way to put this is putin has all the cards at this moment. president trump really has a busted flush in poker terms. what president trump has managed to do is put himself in a position where if he goes to moscow, he looks like a supplicant to putin. if putin ends up coming here, it will be a firestorm. here's a news flash. the mueller investigation will
continue to clank along like a panzer tank, and it's not going to be optically acceptable to bring him here. so i don't see where president trump has a good move at this point. i do want to say overall should we talking to the russians? yes. do we want good relations with russia? absolutely. we need to avoid stumbling backwards into a full-blown cold war and we're perilously close if we haven't already. but it's got to be done in the right way. what president trump ought to do is send secretary pompeo over there, get lavrov over here, let's get this in the regular order. >> to follow up, admiral, there's still no read-out from the first summit that the two had when they had that one-on-one meeting. how concerned are you about that, and what type of a backdrop does that create as they are going back and forth about a potential second summit? >> i think it's a very dangerous backdrop, kristen. the reason is that president trump's kind of inexplicable
adoration of president putin on a personal level just gets stranger and stranger. all of it ought to allow us to recognize that we've got to keep regular diplomatic channels going. this can't turn into a personal bromance between two leaders. the fundamental underlying tension between the two cup tre -- countries would make this a dangerous way to go. >> joel, as we have this discussion, president trump is chairing his first national security meeting to deal with election meddling. "the daily beast" broke the story that senator claire mccaskill who is facing a very fierce re-election battle was the target of potential russian hackers. she says she wasn't hacked. she said that she was blocked. but talk about the fact that you have this at the backdrop. you have a national security advisor, as you and i were discussing, that referred to the russia investigation as a witch hunt. >> that's right. and so the credibility from the
administration is very mixed right now. we have dan coats, the director of national intelligence, saying that russia is hacking. it's embarrassing, frankly, to see the white house now at the 11th hour decide to take this seriously. it's not as if this is a new piece of information. my sense is that the inside workings of the administration, the intelligence community in particular, they're saying that this has to be dealt with and we need the white house to get everybody on board. if it's not a whole of government response, the hacking isn't going to be blocked. >> admiral, what do you make of what you've seen from the administration so far? they say we are working with state and local governments, trying to make sure their election systems are secured. we're trying to upgrade our cyber security systems. we have sanctioned some russians. what do you make of the efforts you've seen so far? is it enough? >> i don't think it is, kristen. tactically i think they are going to make a sincere effort inside the country, but we need a strategy that is going to push back on the russian federation.
that's where this is coming from. an until russia sees that they will pay a real price for doing this, they're not going to stop. and we could push back with further sanctions, we could work with our allies in europe. unfortunately those relations aren't great at the moment because of two terrible summits. or we could go after senior russian officials like vladimir putin, reveal their holdings. we have a lot of cards to play in offensive cyber. we need to get more aggressive, show them a cost and that has to be part of a broad strategy. inside the lifelines, i think they're going about it in a reasonable way. they need to up their game, they need to up their away game. >> joel, very quickly before we go, if there is a second summit between the president and president putin, where should it be? does it have to be here in the u.s.? >> it should not be in the west wing. we should not be rewarding vladimir putin for attacking our democracy by letting him into the west wing. maybe he'll go to the home
office in moscow, as some people in congress say. if anything, it should be in a neutral area, third party, third-party country. certainly there's room for that. in the near term, vladimir putin shouldn't be rewarded with another meeting until russia makes real changes in how it deals with us and our democracy. >> important benchmark. joel reuben, admiral stavridis, thanks to both of you for the conversation. appreciate it. the deadline for reunification has passed, so what will it take to reunify hundreds of migrant children still separated from their families? next i'll talk to one woman who's been working at the border to find out what's being done to help these families. you're watching msnbc. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr. a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well enough. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis.
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add-on advantage. only when you book with expedia. the u.s. government has missed its court-ordered deadline to reunite all the parents and children separated at the border. here's what we do know. 1,442 out of the 2,551 children separated are now with their parents. so that leaves 711 children still in federal custody. many of their parents have already been deported and the government is not saying when those reunions will happen. even as the federal government struggles, a host of volunteers, including religious congregations an even major airlines are stepping up to help the hundreds of families in need. with me now alita garcia, the policy director of an advocacy group started by mark zuckerberg and other tech giants to focus on immigration.
thanks for joining us, i really appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> the government is saying, look, those remaining 700 or so families are not necessarily eligible to be a part of this process for various different reasons. what do you make of that and what are you doing to try to make sure all of these families are in fact reunited ultimately? >> well, i'm overwhelmed to have learned that the government completely missed its deadline yesterday and that 711 children remain separated from their parents. 463 parents have already been deported without their children. 900 parents may be deported in as soon as a week. we don't know which parents those may be. but what i can share is that my organization in partnership has been working around the clock with the flights for families effort to ensure that for those families that have been released and reunified by the government that they're not stranded and
abandoned in the middle of nowhere. they're greeted with care and love and dignity and put on planes to their next destination so they can pursue their asylum claims. this has been a labor of love powered by daca recipients who know far too well what it's like to have their government turn their back on them and throw their lives in disarray. >> alita, i want to get your reaction to a report in pro publica. it is upsetting, i'm going to warn our viewers. this is a look at more than two-thirds of the shelters housing immigrant children. they looked over police reports and call logs. the reports document hundreds of allegations of sexual offenses, fights and missing children, immigrant advocates, psychologists and officials who formerly oversaw the shelters say the trump administration's harsh new policies have only increased pressures on the facilities, which often are hard pressed to provide adequate staffing for kids who suffer from untold traumas. you have seen this firsthand,
you've been with these children, you have seen these facilities. is that an accurate depiction? >> what i can say is that yesterday my co-worker gave a coloring book to a little girl. it was a finding nemo coloring book. she said when the government took my father from me, i felt like i was nemo. and i think that that is a reminder of how young these children are. a reminder of the grave immorality that this zero tolerance policy has yielded upon these families, and an alarm for the 711 children ununified from their parents and how expeditiously we need to demand answers from our government. the only families who have been reunified is because of the
lawsuit. >> i can hear in your voice how emotional this is for you. if you could speak directly to the president today, to his top officials, to dhs secretary nielsen, what would you say? >> i would say to have a heart. i would say to put your feet in the shoes of a mother named vilma whose husband was murdered, who traveled to this country to seek refuge for safety and security to save her child's life. and to understand that these families are not criminals, to understand that these families believe in the hope and the promise of america. they come here for the american dream thinking that we will treat them with respect and they're met with an american nightmare created by this president, created by kirstjen nielsen, created by stephen miller, and these policies were political and they have completely harmed and devastated
and traumatized children and it must stop. >> alida garcia, thank you for the work that you are doing to reunify these families and for joining us to share your perspective. we really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> and we'll be right back. ♪ you shouldn't be rushed into booking a hotel. with expedia's add-on advantage, booking a flight unlocks discounts on select hotels until the day you leave for your trip. add-on advantage. only when you book with expedia. add-on advantage. with my bladder leakage,
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president trump is about to leave for a weekend at his new jersey golf club, but before he left he took a victory lap to celebrate some very good economic news. the commerce department reports that the gros domestic product grew by 4.1% during the second quarter, boosted by consumer and business spending. and a rush by farmers to get their soybean exports into the global market ahead of new tariffs. the president predicting there is more good news to come. >> we are now on track to hit an average gdp annual growth of over 3% and it could be substantially over 3%. each point, by the way, means approximately $3,000,000,000,010 million jobs. >> joining us now to take a closer look at all of this is diane swonk, chief economist for advisory firm grant thornton.
she is also advisor to the federal reserve. diane, it is always great to see you. thanks for being here. >> good to be here. >> so the big question on everyone's mind, is this sustainable? let me play you a little bit of what larry kudlow, the president's top economic advisor had to say, and get your reaction on the other side. >> this is sustainable. you know why it's sustainable? a couple things. in a sickly cal business cycle sense, we're coming off a low inventory base. that's extremely positive, okay. if inventories were the big contributor and you know they have to be worked off at some point, that would not be so great. this position cyclically is very strong. the second point i want to make is comes from the private sector gdp, cd plus i, business is booming. >> that's his case. is he right, diane? >> there is a case on the inventory side. we do still have a tail wind there. i agree with him there. on the downside, that one-time soybean surge in exports which
accounted for over a percent of that increase in gdp is not sustainable and that will go away. he also didn't mention that we turned on the federal spigots again and we're spending money by the federal government. that will continue to go in the latter part of the year, but it's borrowing from the future. this is a marathon. what we'd like to do is pace ourselves, not overheat and be unable to finish the race. >> that's a great point. let's look at gdp predictions. the president saying he thinks that when you take a look at the year overall, once we get to the end of the year, that gdp will be at least 3% for all of 2018. take a look going back to 2008. is that realistic, diane? >> 3% is realistic for this year. sustainable not. it is realistic for this year because of the extra gas we've gotten, juice we've gotten for fiscal stimulus. that's important. i think that's good news. we want to welcome it. the problem is it does borrow from the future and there will be at some point of time we're
robbing peter to pay paul. >> diane, as you know, the president is in a fierce fight over tariffs with a number of countries. china being the biggest fight arguably. should consumers be concerned about that? is it possible that these trade -- i don't want to call it a war, but battles the president is having could slow the economy down just when it's getting going? >> absolutely. we have already seen some inflation from that. in fact, wages have picked up, but not as fast as inflation has picked up. so even though wages are finally gaining a little bit of traction, not as much as we'd like, inflation is picking up faster and tariffs are attacks. they show up in prices, but they don't show up in wages. it's simple math there are more steel consumers and aluminum consumers than steel producers and aluminum producers. they go down the line at the end of the day f. we're going to trade war with china, that's a lot of inexpensive goods that become expensive for the american consumer. >> all right, diane swonk,
always great to have your insights. have a great friday and a great weekend. appreciate it. >> you, too. >> we'll be back with more. you're watching msnbc. 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 help is just a call away with global assist. or getting financing to fund your business. no one has your back like american express. so where ever you go. we're right there with you. the powerful backing of american express.
witness michael cohen. cohen now offering to tell special counsel robert mueller that the president knew about the trump tower meeting between his son and campaign leadership and russians with ties to the kremlin who promised dirt on hillary clinton. in light of the tape released earlier this week, in which cohen and trump appear to discuss the minutiae of how to funnel hush money to a former play boy play mate, it is certainly in line with the nature of donald trump's interest in matter big and small to have known about a meeting like this. what we now know about trump and cohen's relationship and what we've now heard with our own ears is that trump was not at all walled off from the seedy era expects of being donald trump. in fact, he was very much hands on. if cohen's account proves true, donald trump's daily collusion denial may undergo an extreme make over and his supporters may soon be conditioned to accept that collusion isn't a crime instead of there was no collusion at all, and that is just the p.r. battle front. the legal problems for the