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do this. >> he cared more about money and power than he did about? >> his own family. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. good morning. i'm dara brown in new york at msnbc headquarters. 7:00 in the east, 4:00 out west. trump versus lebron. how the president's tweet insulting the basketball star's intelligence is receiving backlash, even within his own white house. >> bums. me and my friends call each other that all the time. i'm not his friend. i don't want to see that on a note. >> if you don't run, trump is going to win. would you run? >> in that case, i may. >> what to make in the battle against king james and the president. a report on why the
president may be worried one of his sons is in jeopardy because of the 2016 trump tower meeting. why success for the democrats could be historic for the house speakership. we begin with a warning by president trump to republican critics, particularly those seeking re-election. president trump was in ohio last night, but not mentioning anyone by name. >> how do you get 100% of anything. you get somebody, i don't like trump, i don't like our president. he destroyed my career. i only destroyed a career because they said bad things about me and you fight back and they go down the tubes and that's okay. >> the president made no mention of lebron james in the nba player's home state. first lady milan that is offering action to bolster her
support. her spokesperson issued this statement saying it looks like lebron james is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation. the first lady is open to visiting the i promise school in akron. democrats on capitol hill weighinging in calling the twitter attack against lebron james a pattern of divisive language. >> he gives everybody silly names, but when he starts talking about african-americans and brown people, bigotry is still a resilient enemy of this nation and the president ought to do better. >> i'm with lebron james. we are not going to let you come to ohio, president trump, and do your race bathing and make your racial statements against people in ohio or anywhere across the country, whether it's lebron james or maxine waters or
anybody else. that ain't playing anymore, president trump. >> let's bring in kevin, the chief washington correspondent for bloomburg. great to have you here on this sunday morning. >> happy to be here. >> your reaction to first lady melania trump. >> we are seeing an extraordinary moment in this presidency where the president's own family, those closest to him seem to be distancing himself from the controversial statements. the tichliming of the statementm melania, defending lebron james is right after the president lashed out with his strong criticism. it doesn't seem like a coincidence there. ivanka trump breaking with her father over family separations and the criticism of the media. we are seeing those closest to the president publicly saying
they don't agree with him or implying that. an extraordinary moment in this presidency. >> are we giving president trump too much credit for thinking the attacks on another black athlete are playing to his base? >> i would continue off what sean just said. i think, on the one hand, i have sources who say what you are seeing is a breaking from president trump from the first daughter as well as from the first lady. then i have other sources who say, wait a minute. look at congress. look at the republican party in congress where you have had republicans speak out against the president's immigration policies as well as, still at the same time, back the president on a host of other issues and not break with him in terms of support. that division or that threat they are needling, while they are difficult to do in congress, now, what we are noticing has continued into the first family. doesn't mean they are not
backing the president or going to pull full support, but they are weighing in on the issues as sean correctly mentioned on an issue like immigration where ivanka is saying she disagrees with that and saying she supports the end goal of what the president is working for. >> commentators say outbursts like against lebron james are the result of president trump's frustration with the development in the russian investigation. your colleagues are out with a new report on how the president is worried about how it could destroy the lives of innocent, decent people, namely, trump jr. because of the tower meeting. what is the president thinking about the scrutiny his son is under? >> it appears there is a lot of private worry and anxiety about the investigation and how close it has gotten to the president and his son, donald trump jr. that is what he is worried about right now. from my colleagues reporting, he
worries that, you know, his son may have put himself in a legally precarious situation. the president doesn't think he did anything wrong, but he's come to terms with the fact that, you know, maybe some of his decisions put him in a situation where he is in a legally questionable spot right now. what we are seeing over the last week is behind the scenes, this president is very, very uneasy and anxious about the mueller investigation, the way the public is receiving policies and what we are seeing in public is a defiant president, a president lashing out against critics, including lebron james, a president who is making false or misleading statements about a variety of issues. we are seeing him sort of stewing behind the scenes and we are seeing, you know, these outbursts come out in various places across the political landscape right now. >> the president's advisers are telling "the washington post"
how frustrated he is by the paul manafort trial. mueller is aggressively prosecuting manafort and flashing snapshots of his extravagant wardrobe to undermine the president. is this why the president is singling out special counsel mueller more and more? >> the mueller investigation is nearing the next couple months some type of natural conclusion and, in fact, there's reports the president's legal team is going to huddle this weekend to decide whether or not president trump will ultimately sit down with the special counsel to get that interview. in terms of the paul manafort trial, what's interesting here is the severity of the charges. paul manafort, the president's previous co-campaign chairman for backings and relationship with the ukraine and in terms of the detail that is have emerged
from this trial in terms of the extravagance of paul manafort's lifestyle. you know, i think that's typical, these details are typical of a high-profile litigation. they are trying to build a case against him and those details are only part of the case. >> shawn, kevin touched on this, rudy giuliani, the president's lawyer is working over the weekend to work on an interview with the president. what, really, should we expect to come out of this? >> i think the short answer is, we still don't know what they are going to decide in terms of allowing the president agreeing to meet with mueller's team. it's not clear that the president's team decided, ultimately, where they are going to come down on this. we have seen mixed signals. it's clear that the president wants to demonstrate he has not done anything wrong. we have heard him say that in public. it's clear the legal team knows they need to be careful about
what he is saying, under what conditions he is questioned and how that information is used. they are going to try to be careful to defend the president. balancing the desire to protect him legally and demonstrate he's done nothing wrong is the challenge they have to deal with right now. i don't know that they have decided where they are going to come down in terms of giving mueller's team access to the president. what is the headline out of tuesday's special election out of ohio? kevin, you first? >> democrats are going to say whether or not they win or lose, it is closer than anyone hoped. >> sean, what about you? what do you think "the washington post's" headline will be? >> if the democrats win the election, really there's going to be a lot of worry about november from republicans. we have seen time and again in special elections, republicans losing or performing poorly in districts and states where under ordinary conditions they should be doing well. if they lose another one, you are going to hear a lot of alarm
bells among republicans in washington. >> how much of a wake up call would it be for republicans if they lose the congressional seat? >> i think it would be a significant wake up call. if i'm being honest, we are going to talk more about the tuesday election on lebron james and how that factored into this. you know, lebron is lebron. >> and it's ohio. >> i know. >> sean will stay with us. we are going to talk about a possible change in congress. >> yes. >> stay with us. why special counsel robert mueller wants to see paul manafort's $15,000 ostrich jacket. the late night comics had fun with it. >> he bought a 15,000 ostrich jacket. that should be what he had to wear in jail. that should be his only article of clothing. >> what is the point of wearing ostrich if you are going to take
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it's the ultimate wifi experience. xfinity xfi, simple, easy, awesome. a new report from "the washington post" this morning says things are unraveling behind the scenes for the president who fears for his son, donald trump jr. he does not believe his son broke the law, but is fearful he inadd ver tantly wondered into legal jeopardy. joining us now, doug burns. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> does president trump have to be worried for his son? >> it comes to a couple factors.
there's a difference between the political discussion and the criminal discussion in the courtroom. if, for example, donald trump jr. said, i never told my father about this and you have a witness who said i was standing there and saw him tell him, that's serious trouble. here, there's a disconnect in that donald trump jr. cannot testify about what somebody else, or in this case, his father knew. that's not within what a witness can do. the point is, if he said my father didn't know about it and michael cohen is saying, i'm testifying the president did know about it, will somebody else? it's hard to say. in terms of the overall report, i can understand where the president would be concerned, this is difficult and tricky. looking at it globally, not so much in the legal weeds, you know, if he said he didn't know about it and there's toefd the
contrary, i can see him being concerned. >> they report the president latched on to his attorney rudy giuliani's talking point that collusion is not a crime and tweeted that earlier this week. is that a smart legal move by president trump and his team? >> that's a hodgepodge. everybody's gotten it right. collusion is not in the code book as a federal crime. collusion is an anti-trump term. it is irrelevant. if conduct amounts to, they are purely hypotheticals, payments, bribery, lying to investigators, then it will be the appropriate label and you have heard people throw the term conspiracy around. it really is a bit of a talking point. at the same time, it's warranted
because there's so much about they engaged in collusion. that's a crime. that's not accurate. the better approach for those who want to condemn the president, he engaged in conduct that come to a federal crime. the chips will fall where they fall. that is silly, in my humble opinion. >> giuliani is negotiating with the mueller team about an interview with the president. if push comes to shove, should mueller subpoena the president? >> that's the key question that everybody is talking about. i have said before that in my opinion, maybe it's slightly counter intuitive, i'm not sure mueller would subpoena him. if you look at it from a purely investigative stan point, he didn't necessarily need the information from him. it becomes an ironic, circular thing.
oftentimes, they do not seek to interview the person. if it's more on the lines, as people said, he wants to wrap it up, similar to the way they interviewed hillary clinton, that's a different discussion. to answer your question, i think there's a good likelihood he will not subpoena him. >> i want to talk to you about the paul manafort trial. when will we hear from rick gates? >> first, on the lifestyle, i have sat in many courtrooms, as you can imagine and pictures of rolex and watches blown up and put before the jury and so on and so forth. on one hand, in a tax case, they have the expenditures method of proof. you show how much somebody spent and that constructs their income. let me give you an example. if i'm a judge and the judge was giving off this indication saying you can prove he spent
$15,000 on a coat, but explain why you need to make it clear exactly what type of coat it is. you aren't the rules of evidence, it can be blocked if it's prejudicial or whatever. this judge made it clear, he is upset they are going on and on with the lifestyle. as far as gates, it was interesting. dara, it was a head fake, as you, of all people know, in journalism, they said we are not sure he is going to testify. the reason that happened, i have been in these situations many times myself. the comment about a witness said wait, mr. gates is coming in. it's a knee jerk reaction. it's a justification by the lawyer for why you need it now. it was clarified. i think you are going to see him this week. >> great to have you on a sunday morning.
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>> president trump sounding so confident of a red november to remember, while former white house insider, steve bannon tells the hill, he has a warning for republican candidates. if they want to distance themselves from the president this fall, don't do it. politico playbooks and a uniformity that believes the gop could lose the house. two democrats are pushing back on a report the congressional black caucuses are looking for a number of house speakers if they regain control in november. here is what was said on msnbc yesterday. >> i don't think jim clyburn is looking to challenge nancy pelosi. we don't know what is going to happen. we have a lot of people that could fill that seat. >> there's one single focus, winning the house back. talking about leadership or anything of that nature is premature.
>> let's bring back kevin and sean. kevin, i want to start with you this time. what did you hear by the responses by the congressmen? >> they want to win back the house. they have the enthusiasm gap. republicans would disagree with that assessment. the second point is, there is a battle, a moving battle for the leadership of the democratic party. house leader nancy pelosi is going to have to make her case, should democrats win, she deserves to hold on to that seat. look, ohio, ohio, ohio is a bell state. >> what are you hearing about the efforts for a new speaker? >> kevin makes a great point. this underscores the division in the democratic party and the factions that are competing for power. we talk about the republicans divisions between trump allies
and people critical of trump, conservatives and moderates. the possibility looking more and more real the democrats could take control of the house, we are going to see the divisions play out more and more publicly and really going to be a battle for power, not only for the speakership, but top levels of house leadership. >> can you expand on that a bit? what are you hearing of the strategies to replace nancy pelosi? >> it's going to be interesting what type of democrats win. is it the more progressive democrats who are aligned with bernie sanders or someone who is more sen tryst? that division is the attention we are going to watch fuel well beyond november, at the 2020 election cycle. >> great to have you here on a sunday morning. appreciate it. great to have your insights. that will do it for me, i'm dara brown. thanks for watching.
at the top of the hour, "politics nation" with al sharpton. up next, it's "your business." ♪ ♪ ♪ raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens ♪ ♪ bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens ♪ ♪ brown paper packages tied up with strings ♪ ♪ these are a few of my favorite things ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ these are a few of my favorite things ♪ your insurance rates a scratch so smallr you could fix it with a pen. how about using that pen to sign up for new insurance instead? for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise their rates because of their first accident. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ i've been making blades here at gillette for 20 years.
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