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tv   MSNBC Live With David Gura  MSNBC  August 4, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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we're at the top of the hour, i'm out of time, i'm out of here. let's go to david gura. i am msnbc in new york. president trump is headed to ohio to help republicans protect a seat up for dprabs tuesdgrabs. a seat that hasn't gone blue since ronald reagan's first t e term. is he ready to talk? we may be days away from finding out if president trump will sit down for an interview with special counsel robert mueller's team. and paper trail. the potential damning evidence and testimony against paul
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manafort in the former trump campaign chairman's trial. red meat is on the menu in central ohio. president trump holds a rally tonight in the 12th congressional district. he is stumping for the republican candidate in a special election a few months before the midterms. we expect the president to do what he does at all these rallies, gin up the base and at rallies this weeks called the russian probe a hoax, but of course it isn't. taking ohio, it is one of the many states targeted by russian hackers in 2016. rudy guiliani tells nbc news he is spending the weekend drafting a response to the latest request from robert mueller's team for an interview with the president. guiliani said he expects to make a decision in days, but we have heard this tale before. >> you said now july 4th is when you expect to have a decision on whether the president will sit for an interview with the special counsel. why are you dragging it out? don't you want to know what you want to do now? >> sure, i do.
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i don't want to do it. >> seems like you're moving more and more away from the president sitting down with mueller. >> that could be true. >> when are you going to nail this down? >> i think a couple, maybe this week, maybe next week. >> there are signs investigators are circling around president trump's long time friend roger stone. nbc news reporting robert mueller's team interviewed roger stone's long time friend kristin davis, known as the manhattan madam for running a prostitution ring. they we >> you can talk all you want about russia, which is all fake news fabricated deal to try to make up for the loss of the democrats. >> russia is the most aggressive foreign hacker, no question. they continue their efforts to undermine our democracy. >> bring in a national security
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reporter for "the washington post" along with jane newton small, contributor to "time" magazine, katie rogers who covers the white house for "new york times." ellen, let me start with you and that montage there talking about the threat the country faces. he sounded that alarm before the president headed to helsinki for that summit. allow me to read from your recent piece for "the washington post." experts say the lack of forceful administration leadership on the issue with president trump at times questioning the conclusions of the u.s. intelligence community about russia's disinformation and hacking campaign renders less effective the efforts of agencies to mount a coordinated government action. we had some visibility of that in the white house press briefing room this week. the five national security officials briefing reporters, standing alongside one another. where's the beef, where do we go from here. what changed as a result of the statement delivered this week? >> absolutely right, david.
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we haven't seen anything change, and that's the problem. what was most striking about that show of force from the white house podium this week was the absence of the person most important or crucial to countering russian interference, and that was the president of the united states. he was notably not there, hasn't made any forceful declaratory statement unifying the government and country behind an effort to counter russian warfare. >> looking at the president's schedule released by the press secretary before all of that unfolded, the president was at the white house. he had nothing on the agenda while that press briefing took place. he was in the white house compound. katie rogers, let me turn to you. there was reaction from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. i'll read a statement from senator mark warner who is the ranking member of the senate intelligence committee. glad to see the white house do something about election security, even if it is only a
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press conference. now if only it was actually backed up by anything the president has said or done on russia. are we seeing a change here broadly speaking, a more perspective looking forward view from the president? has anything changed from the white house perspective? >> no. i think if anything, the president is continuing to widen a rift between the top law enforcement and intelligence officials in this country and himself. he has repeatedly said as recently as thursday that the whole thing is a hoax. the question becomes what he is going to do tonight in ohio after two days of people reacting to this perceived lack of leadership. we did see in a briefing two days ago that there is cause for concern, that russia is interfering in the upcoming midterm election. the president is going to ohio ahead of the special election. is he going to address what his
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intelligence community is coming forth with. >> and to pull up, the headline in a piece you wrote about ivanka trump's comments to mike allen. are journalists the enemy of the people, that's the question she was asked. she said they are not. jane newton small, i want to ask you about what's characterized as two administrations. you have members of the president's team of advisers on this issue, electoral interference differing widely in total opposition to the president of the united states. help me understand how that's shaping up and how stark that contrast is between the two opposing institutions? >> david, i talked to people in the white house. they talk about living on a notion, right? they tried to do most work on the bottom part of the ocean, trying to go underneath the waves, trying to not be railed by surface tension. they view what the president's tweets are as surface tension. they view it as that's donald
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trump being donald trump. they view it partly as a necessary evil, partly him wanting to take on his own enemies, and as strategic in some ways. they try to keep their heads down, try to ignore what he says, often times don't address what's going on. for example, is the press the enemy of the state or is it potentially not the press. i think if there is two different dichotomies within the administration, that's people trying to get work done and trying to move on, do their jobs, try to make a change in america, and they try to ignore those sort of day to day warfare the president has on twitter. >> ellen, i want to ask you about a piece in "the washington post" today, focusing on the 29-year-old woman accused of being a russian agent. the post detailing how she had a relationship of some sort with jd gordon, former trump adviser on national security issues. when you look at russian interference more broadly, this
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is an extraordinary example of this getting out of the cyber realm into the real world. help us understand the import of this development as reported in the post today. >> my colleague broke the story about how this accused russian agent did socialize with one of the trump campaign foreign policy advisers, jd gordon in 2016 and it should be noted that gordon was also the official who was behind a republican party platform change in 2016 to try to soften language relating to sanctions on ukraine. this is just yet another sign there was more contact let's say between russians or russian agents and the trump campaign than we previously knew.
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>> katie rogers, i want to ask you what's happening this weekend in new jersey. we can talk about ohio in a moment as well. rudy guiliani saying he is spending the weekend focusing on the latest request from robert mueller to get president trump to sit down for an interview. we have seen an evolution in thinking or commentary surrounding that happening from rudy guiliani and his colleagues and others on the president's legal team. where do things stand now, what's up for grabs. i know it is divided into two forms, you have obstruction and collusion. >> well, i think to cut through all of the incremental updates on this from guiliani, i think that what's up for grabs is the ultimate refusal or agreement to go forward here. we'll know as he says in a few days. i think focusing on the format of the questions is important, but if they come out and decline to be interviewed at all, the question becomes can the
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president be compelled to speak to mueller through a subpoena, do they want that political fight ahead of the midterms. those are sort of the broader, more important questions to ask, and also it is important to point out the special counsel's office is not relenting on the number of questions they want to ask. they prepare, they want to have the president answer everything that they are looking for, whether it comes in written and spoken statement. >> the president is on a break now, and he is going to take a break from the break to go to ohio tonight, to central ohio to stump for this republican candidate in this special election. whoever wins that will face the same opponent in the general election a few months away. what are you listening for. they talked about election interference, russian hoax may be things that will come up. what are you listening for when the president takes the podium outside columbus? >> david, remember the president is there to campaign for troy
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balderson. he is neck and neck in a polls that donald trump won by double digits. this is a bellwether district for democrats to see how well they'll do in the november elections. it is a district that's largely white, largely republican. the question is why is the democratic candidate doing so well there. that's because it is the most educated district in ohio, and a lot of educated republicans don't really like donald trump. it will be interesting to see when he goes there, what is he going to talk about. is he going to throw red meat to ohio, talk about his classic trade wars, his classic build the wall, and is he going to address what we've been talking about, the russian investigation and concerns that voters have about the russia investigation and whether or not there was collusion or obstruction of justice. i think that these rallies tend to be for donald trump kind of true telling sessions. he really feels unleashed to go off and talk about and comment
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on a lot of the hot button issues of the day. when he doesn't talk about things, that's when you see they're most important, and perhaps the most heavy weighing on him when he avoids them. fascinating to see what he talks about tonight. >> truth telling sessions or crass confessionals. thanks to you. appreciate your time. we're turning to paul manafort's trial after the break. that case focuses on his activities before becoming donald trump's campaign chairman. will his work on the campaign come into question down the road. ugh we're gonna be late, we're gonna be late! hold on, don't worry, there's another way [siri: *beep beepá] directions to the greek theater. ♪ can i get a connection? can i get can i get a connection? ♪ ♪ i can see it in my, see it in my reflection. ♪ ♪ ohhh can i get a connection? ♪ tryna find the old me
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welcome back. i am david gura. it was a big week for robert mueller and one expensive jacket. paul manafort on trial this week, marking the first courtroom test of special counsel robert mueller's prosecutorial team. prosecutors are painting a picture of his once lavish life-style. in sworn testimony yesterday, one of paul manafort's accountants described how his business partner rick gates asked tax preparers in 2015 to modify the amount of a loan so paul manafort could pay less in taxes. the accountant who was granted i am -- immunity.
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rick gates is scheduled to testify any day. joining me, former u.s. attorney and arlington correspondent barbara mcquaid. you are both attending the trial in the courthouse. andy, let me start with you, i am going to read from your dispatch. on the fourth day of paul manafort's trial, invoices and photos attesting to the luxurious life-style of president trump's former campaign chairman were replaced by talk of k-1 forms and gross receipts, schedule bs and schedule es. the ostrich jacket and silk suits were gone. what have we learned? >> we learned that paul manafort and rick gates engaged in what seems like shady if not illegal behavior with their accountant to deal with essentially the collapse of their business. the thing to remember is they
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were living this life-style when the money was coming in, when they were working in ukraine. then when that fell apart, their business imploded. that's what led to the schedule bs and es and this fraud as td prosecutors laid out and as we saw for the first time friday. >> barbara, you were in the courtroom. i want to ask about the dynamic between the prosecutor and judge. in particular he was quick to bat down a lot of what prosecutors wanted to do when it came to the ostrich coat and estates in virginia and new york. is he interjecting less? how was he involved in this testimony regarding tax matters? >> he definitely stepped back. first few days of the trial was
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extremely hands on, although that may be the way it goes. i think that's the idiosyncratic nature of the judge. he frequently said it is not a crime to live a lavish life-style. prosecutors had i believe the correct position which is they have the burden of proving that paul manafort was living beyond his means, at least living beyond his reported income on tax returns, showing proof of all of the expenditures was important because he wasn't declaring the bank accounts in cypress which he used to pay for all these lavish luxury goods, wasn't declared on income tax returns. he allowed the amounts and documents but did not allow publication of many of the photographs. they're in evidence and the jury can look at them later. he didn't allow the showing of these in court. with the tax records on the other hand i think it was a bit of a contrast. i think he recognizes that the jury needs to see these in real time in order to be able to follow along. it is dry. it is talking about line 17 of the tax return, and so he did
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allow the jury to see the documents as the prosecutors walked the witness through each of those in hopes of helping them understand the facts. >> i see a big question emerging, if paul manafort was under the level of financial distress that he was under, at least relative to where he was, why did he join the trump campaign in an unpaid capacity? we heard time and time again from president trump and other members of the inner circle that paul manafort was an unpaid adviser to the president. yes, he was campaign chairman, but he was doing an unpaid capacity. how do you square those two things having heard what you heard? >> the best way to think about why paul manafort would have come on the campaign and why he would have as you say not taken any money is that he was in this precarious position, that his firm had essentially imploded. he was resorting to questionable financial tactics, him and his accountants, but manafort like a lot of people that join the trump campaign were making a
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long shot bet that if they had an in, if they could get donald trump through the nomination, get him through the convention, maybe pull off a long shot victory, that this would be the hail mary that would save the business. that this would be the golden ticket, if you were the campaign chairman for a long shot republican president and he won, you were set for life. all your bills would be paid, your debts would be paid off. you would be through. and of course paul manafort did get donald trump through the very long but his problems in ukraine, his financial irregularities caught up with him before he could get donald trump all the way to the finish line. now he finds himself in the position he is in today. >> barbara, you talk about the judge and there are peculiarities to this district, the rocket docket district. things move fast and they have in the course of the last week. we were waiting yesterday to see if rick gates, paul manafort's
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long time partner would sit down, take to the stand yesterday. that didn't happen. what do you kmexpect it to be le when he does? you listen to the defense, the way they cast dispersions or doubt on rick gates and how he will testify. what are you listening for? >> it is not clear to me he is going to testify. prosecutors have gone back and forth, suggested in opening they would, backed down and said they weren't sure, then they said they fully intend to call him. the case is coming in so well on paper, i'm not sure they need rick gates. if he does come in, the defense will point that he was the wrong doer here, and paul manafort was too busy to pay attention to the finances. i think what will happen is they'll put it in the middle of the case so if things go bad, they have a chance to recover with an fbi agent to close out the case. i think he will testify about what his role was. he will have to admit to his own wrongdoing. he will have to admit he is
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working under a plea agreement with the prosecution, that he signed that, and that he is hoping to get a better sentence as a result of that, but nonetheless, i'm sure they'll try to corroborate what he says with documents, when he says he engaged in a transaction to show a bank statement or tax return or e-mail that confirms what he says because jurors will be instructed to view with some skepticism any witness that received benefit in exchange for testimony. >> thank you very much. new reporting on accused agent maria butina, who she communicated with before the 2016 election. this is your wake-up call. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis,
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welcome back. i want to go to the report in "the washington post" putting a russian spy closer to the trump campaign. they report maria butina was in touch with jd gordon, candidate trump's national security adviser for six months. that's the latest in the drip that is the russian investigation. the president continues to m
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malign, unless he needs another reminder on the threat, here are his top advisers making it clear. >> russia attempted to interfere with the last election and continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day. >> our democracy itself is in the cross hairs. >> it is real, it is continuing, and we're doing everything we can to have a legitimate election that the american people can have trust in. >> a few of the national security advisers speaking to reporters. want to bring in vice president of a national security program at the think tank and national security analyst. evelyn, let me start with you and get your reaction. no advance notice to reporters in or outside the room that five men and women were coming to the podium to address this issue. what do you make of that and the way in which they did it? >> david, first of all clearly they are alarmed.
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they're seeing more intelligence than you and i are. so they know the nature of the threat. it is a week we heard from facebook that they had to take down some accounts because russia has been continuing the on-going operation against american citizens. not just against elections. of course we heard the warnings from the same people earlier. we are reading more reports about infrastructure in the united states, energy grids and the like being essentially under silent attack by the russians. i think they recognize they had to come out and say something. but it is august. they should have been saying something earlier. and then they didn't actually do anything, david. they didn't talk about new money, or new organization or new person in charge. it was good that they alerted the american people, but it was insufficient. >> let's talk about that. my colleague here reported on
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how some agencies have been doing something. the fbi might have been doing something, you may have seen the cia, et cetera. but there's no unified effort here. what needs to happen in light of what we heard this week from five members of the intelligence community, what are concrete things the federal government could and should take? >> one of the things we have seen the trump administration do is demote and eliminate a number of cyber security positions that were senior at the white house, at senior agencies like the state department. they are reducing the priority of the threat at the very moment the director of national intelligence says the light is blinking red. this is like when the bush administration was raising bells about counter terrorism. we are seeing that same ignoring the problem here in the trump administration. they need to re-elevate the positions to focus how to solve the problems across various
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agencies. >> i will turn to you, on the nsc, nobody is in charge of cyber security. what would you like to see change? >> right. i think it would be great if they had that position, but even more importantly i would say is you need someone above that cyber security official, a kind of czar for foreign interference because the foreign interference spans a lot of things beyond cyber security. i mentioned already yes, there are cyber intrusions into the energy grid, but we have the social media intrusions, we have attempts trying to influence people that are powerful politicians or behind the scenes players or average citizens. there needs to be somebody coordinating this effort. and they need to put real money towards it. the other thing that happened this week was wednesday, the senate failed to pass a piece of legislation proposing additional funding for election security in the states. would have been $250 million.
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and unfortunately it failed. we need to see a concerted effort, leadership, and the part we haven't mentioned yet in this segment, the president. the whole government needs to speak with one voice and reach out to the private sector. >> i think we last spoke after that indictment was handed up, and i asked about the import of that. as you see the latest reporting that she was in touch with somebody that was an adviser to president trump, invited her to a styx concert, how does that change the narrative for you that this wasn't something well confined, it seems to be spreading out. >> that's right. last time we saw these allegations, it was all about her connections to the nra which is a powerful interest group in republican circles but wasn't about the campaign itself. we're seeing her connection to jd gordon, a trump campaign adviser.
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he was the one during the rnc convention that fought against stronger anti-russian policies in the platform. so he had been trying to push a pro-russia position. his contacts with her show the russians were much closer to the trump campaign in many ways than we had heard before. >> thanks to you both. red alert. republicans appear to be in panic mode to protect a seat they held for three decades. what will tuesday's special election tell us about what's to come. tim ryan joins us live after the break. charmin ultra soft!
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president trump back on the campaign trail tonight. his mission, throwing support behind a republican congressional candidate in a special election tuesday. he started the day tweeting about the gop candidate saying troy balderson running for congress in ohio is in a big election fight with a candidate who just got caught lying about his relationship with nancy pelosi who is weak on crime, borders and your second amendment and wants to raise your taxes by a lot. vote for troy tuesday. president trump won this key district by 11 points back in 2016. joining us, ohio democratic congressman tim ryan that represents the 13th congressional district nearby. i want to get a read from you. a lot of people say this is a
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special election, don't use it as a litmus, won't tell you about the midterms. how do you see it, what are you watching for tuesday? >> well, if it's close, i think that's indicative of where places like ohio are and other congressional districts that are trump plus ten or republican plus 11 district, that democrats are going to be competitive in there. we have a shot to win this thing. it is very close, neck in neck, comes down to turnout. frankly the democrats have no bisque business being in the game, but trump's behavior violates a lot of midwestern sensibilities. it is an inclusive place, they're going to look for some independent member of congress to represent them against what's happening in washington now. >> i am going to put up the latest poll, monmouth poll from july 26 through 31st, troy balderson 44%, danny o'connor 43%. that's statistically insignificant. they are in a dead heat here.
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what do you make of ground danny o'connor made up. the president won this district in 2016. what does that say about the electorate in the 12th district? >> i think he came out very early, he said that we need new leadership in the republican party and new leadership in the democratic party. that put him in the position of being an independent minded democrat, someone that would represent central ohio, take their views to washington, d.c., was not going to be told what to do by either political party. i will tell you in this environment that plays well. i have known danny a long time. he is a great young guy, a great candidate. he cares about where he comes from. he grew up in this area of the country. he knows exactly who he is coming to represent. i think that's why the republicans are worried. i heard they cancelled a $600,000 ad buy they had up this weekend, that they've now withdrawn. we'll see. i think the momentum is on our
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side. >> the congressman vacating this seat said this of candidate danny o'connor. he characterized him as a blank slate, that's what was good for the democrats here. how do you react to that, is he an unknown, somebody to whom democrats or republicans moderates can pour what they want into? >> there's always an advantage when you don't have a long voting record. i mean, president trump got in because nobody knew what he stood for, he ended up lying to everybody about what he stood for and got in and did something completely different, but danny has a long track record of being for people, for workers, for people that need health care. he talked about these issues a long time. yes, he hasn't had a federal career or legislative career but has been involved in public service a long time. i think that's why he is getting support from independents and republicans. they know him personally and don't need to know his record to know where his heart is and who he will represent. >> congressman, you can see on the sign over your shoulder,
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you're at net roots nation in new orleans. you talked about independent minded democrats. if you look at the 12th district and you as well, you both have been critical of current leadership in the democratic party. dare i say you're more moderate than many members of your caucus. is that the future of the democratic party as you see it, and how is that message resonating with those you talked to in new orleans? >> well, i think we have blown these labels up. i think globalization, automation, information, cultural shifts have blown the old labels. people try to stick a label on me. i have been supporting medicare since 2007. i am for publicly funding campaigns, for immigration reform, for women's choice and all of these other progressive issues. i'm not sure how i get labeled as a moderate sometimes but at the end of the day, the reality of it is that people want someone that will represent their interests. each candidate in each district
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like connor lamb did in western pa, like danny o'connor is in his district now, you have to represent people. they want to look in your eye, know where your heart is, and then they trust you to go to washington, d.c. and make decisions on behalf of them. these issues are complicated. danny has been that. the president's chaotic behavior inciting conflict, trying to divide puts danny o'connor, a candidate that grew up in this district in a very, very good light as someone that can maybe go to washington and combat some of that. i think he's in a good position now, his politics are good for his district. >> can't let you go without asking about the latest division the president has sewn, that effects ohioans. lebron james was just interviewed by the dumbest man
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on television, don lemon. he made lebron look smart which isn't easy to do. i like mike. john kasich says rather than criticize, celebrate his charity efforts to help kids. all around, he is better than michael jordan, that's a fact. reinviting that hard fought debate. what's your take on what the president had to say about one of ohio's favorite sons? >> the president is always interested in race baiting. he's always interested in finding a black person or brown person to call dumb or stereotype in some way. this is consistent. i will say this. i love don lemon's reply to that, who's dumb, the person who's building schools for kids in akron, ohio or the person who's separating kids from their parents and putting them in cages. lebron james has done so much good work for akron which is part of my district, he has done
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so much work for the boys and girls clubs, youth clubs there, the schools there, millions and millions of dollars over his career. he has been one of the premier citizens for the city of akron, not just the star basketball player and great role model, but he has given back. we showed up at one of the youth centers a few months back. they received boxes of shoes and clothes and uniforms. they were sent without anybody asking. that's the kind of leadership we need in this country, not the kind we're getting from the white house. >> where do you fall on the lebron, michael jordan debate? >> lebron, without a question. is this even a conversation? >> appreciate it. >> i am slightly biased. thanks to you. i appreciate it. happening moments ago, activists rally against gun violence in front of the national rifle association he
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headquarters. the protest seven months after 17 were killed in parkland, florida. i want to go to fair fax. what are you hearing from protesters about what brought them out today, the message for the largest gun rights group in the united states? >> reporter: if you can see around mere me, the protest aspect is largely finished. people are starting to make their way out of the area. but behind me is the counter protest area, too. the police had separated out the folks here with the march for o our lives and counter protest h protesters. we saw in the beginning, people were coming together, both sides trying to have constructive conversation about the gun control debate. students said that's what they're trying to accomplish. as we have seen, the space between is bridged with mega phones and people are shouting
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and the debate is less of a conversation and a little more of a shouting match. one of the things that's been the focus here is we're outside the nra. some students told me this is one of the road blocks as they see it to starting a national legislative conversation on guns. >> the nra's money has been funding a lot of inaction, right? they don't want lawmakers to take any specific action. they want them to stay away from their guns. i feel like as long as we have a corrupt organization like the national rifle association controlling our politicians on the right and even some politicians on the left, i think it will be impossible for us to do anything productive in congress and even for the white house. >> reporter: that doesn't necessarily mean the kids are giving up. many of them continue on the road tour for change. many of pushing towards midterms, urging people to vote on this issue.
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>> all right, thank you very much for that. appreciate the update. up next, losing earth, the untold story of the decade we nearly stopped global warming. this is the ocean. just listen. (vo) there's so much we want to show her. we needed a car that would last long enough to see it all. (avo) subaru outback. 98% are still on the road after 10 years. come on mom, let's go! (avo) right now, get 0% apr financing on the 2018 subaru outback. stop fearing your alarm clock... with new*! zzzquil pure zzzs. a drug-free blend of botanicals with melatonin ...that supports your natural sleep cycle... ...so you can seize the morning. new! zzzquil pure zzzs.
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whether to wait or book your flight now. so you can be confident you're getting the best price. giddyup! kayak. search one and done. uhp. i didn't believe it. again. ♪ ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth? ♪ i want to believe it. [ claps hands ] ♪ ooh i'm not hearing the confidence. okay, hold the name your price tool. power of options based on your budget! and! ♪ we'll make heaven a place on earth ♪ yeah! oh, my angels! ♪ ooh, heaven is a place on earth ♪ [ sobs quietly ] record setting heat, deadly wildfires and major flooding. scientists attribute these disasters to rising global temperatures and policy is also at play. the trump administration plans to role back fuel efficiency standards we learned this week.
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this week's issue of "the new york times" magazine, all 70 pages of it, is devoted to one article, the headline, lose earth. an account of how political leaders were close to stopping climate change 30 years ago but failed. nathaniel rich wrote that story. he joins me now. great to have you with me. let me start by reading one line from the piece. we'll use that as a spring board. in the decade that ran from 1979 to 1989, we had an excellent opportunity to solve the climate crisis. the world's major powers came within several signatures of endorsing a binding global framework to reduce carbon emissions far closer than we have come since. you go on to write about the conditions of success. what was that the right time to make folks take action? >> by 1979, you had a strong scientific consensus about the nature of the problem and a group of activists and scientists and congressional
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staffers started to try to bring the issue to the attention of first the white house, congress, later the public and finally the global conversation. and in that time, it was not a partisan issue. the oil and gas industry hadn't linked arms and started their campaigns of propaganda, buying off politicians and ultimately the entire republican party, and so you still had a moment there in which an agreement was possible and we almost got there by the end of the decade. >> you break this down into two parts. there's the part where there's the science and then the policy that follows it. it strikes me we're having a conversation in this country about america first. we see the president ignoring global alliances. this stands in stark contrast to where things were there. as you point out in the piece, folks from both sides were happy to look at humanity writ large,
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to be looking at things that are good for all people. >> the political conversation was completely different. at the end of the decade, you have a dog fight within the george h.w. bush administration between chief of staff john sununu and the head of bush's epa william riley who is pushing very strongly for a global agreement. modeled after the montreal protocol for the ozone layer. s sununu wins that fight. and he thwarts the effort and we're sort of locked in ever since then. i think the story also as related to me by people involved raises other issues about our a built as individuals, as democracies and really in the global order of tackling vast problems, existential problems that face us, especially when the worst ramifications aren't
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going to set in for decades or generations. >> i want to ask you about the format and what you want people to take away from this. this is hauntingly and beautifully ill traded by the photographs of how things are around the world today. you have focused on a period in time. now many decades ago. what do you want folks to read this article to think? i know there's been some criticism that perhaps you're letting the oil and gas companies off the hook. you're giving people an absence of hope. what do you want the take away to be? >> yes, i think -- i certainly don't let the industry off the hook, but i wanted to broaden the conversation by going back a little further. and i feel that we as a society have failed to articulate a moral vision for this problem. you know, we speak about the political story, the science story the industry story, and those are all crucial stories
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that need to be told and have been told pretty well. but we don't talk about the human story. we don't talk in moral terms the same way we do, say, about gun violence or family separation. you mentioned at the top about the new trump policy. with fuel emission standards. i think what i've heard about the reporting of that is this is a thumb in the eye of the environmentalists. this is a handout to oil and gas and so on. and that's all true, but i think we also have to speak of it as a moral abomination. in the same way we speak about family separation. that's what we look at. future generations will look at these efforts by the republican party and by industry over the last decades as crimes against humanity. and i think we need to start thinking in those terms as well. >> i'll go out here with one more line from that piece, just looking at this in the context
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of humanity as a whole. if human beings really were able to take the long view to consider seriously the fate of civilization decades or centuries after our deaths, we'd be forced to grapple with the transients of all we know and love in the great sweep of time. thank you very much. lose earth appears in the newspaper tomorrow. appreciate your time on this saturday. thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. >> ahead in our next hour, much more on president trump's attack on basketball great lebron james and the fallout from that attack. in the movies, a lot of times, i tend to play the tough guy. but i wasn't tough enough to quit on my own. not until i tried chantix. chantix, along with support, helps you quit smoking. it reduced my urge to smoke to the point that i could stop. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. some people had changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, or suicidal thoughts or actions with chantix. serious side effects may include seizures,
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welcome back, everybody. at msnbc headquarters in new york. protecting the house. the president traveling to high today as part of the gop's all-out effort to protect a congressional seat that shouldn't need protecting. but with a special election just three days from now, will tell us about november's midterms just three months from now. the king and oy. president trump attacking lebron james on twitter, triggering swift backlash from basketball legend michael jordan and from politicians on both sides of the aisle. moments ago, the first lady's spokesperson weighing in on the controversy. does she agree with her husband? and roger that, why he once interviewed a woman once known as the manhattan madam with close ties to roger stone. rudy giuliani says president trump will reach a decision about whether he'll sit down for an interview with the special counsel in ten d

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