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tv   MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi  MSNBC  September 24, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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thursday when i get back. today we're meeting with a lot of great people including president moon and over the next couple of days we're meeting with many countries, tomorrow giving a big speech. but i'll be back on thursday and when i get back, we'll have a meeting. i spoke with rod today and we'll have a meeting on thursday when i get back to the white house. i want to say the country, the united states as president moon pointed out when we first met, the united states is doing better economically than we have ever done before. the numbers are outstanding. new numbers will be released that i think will just continue this forward march. and i think that we have tremendous potential of the up side. i'm very excited about our new trade agreement. and this is a brand new agreement. this is not an old one rewritten. this is a brand new agreement. and i'm very excited about that for the united states. and i really believe that it is good for both countries. but the numbers that we're doing in the united states, whether it be unemployment numbers or
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whether it be employment numbers, we are right now this moment are more people are working in the united states than ever before in our history. that is some number, mike, right? and it is a number that people did not expect to see. takes numb it is a number that nobody thought would happen. so we have more people working in the united states today than we've ever had. our unemployment numbers are among the best they have ever had. for african-american, it is the lowest we've ever had. for asian american, for hispanic the lowest we've ever had. and we're very proud of that. and on top of that, companies moving back into the united states. in most cases they left and they are now coming back about th. they want to be where the action is. and i appreciate your kind words. but our economy is the i think have i right nowworld -
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---envy of the world. think of it, we're the fastest growing economy in the world, up $10 trillion. so we're very proud of that. thank you very much, everybody. thank you very much, everybody. >> all right. i'm going to pick it up here. i'm ali velshi. i'll just touch on those two economic claims because that is what i do. the president saying we have more people employed than ever before. takes claim by the way other presidents could have made because it doesn't take into account population growth. we also have more people in the united states than ever before. so if you have a low unemployment rate and lots of people, that is part of it. and he says we are the fastest growing economy in the world. that is just is patently false. i can name several economies
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growing faster than the united states. but that is not the lead story. that was an answer to a question about rod rosenstein and the president did what he did, he went off track. in the words of attorney general jeff sessions, you never know what's going to happen next in the capital city and that could not be more representative of what we have been watching play out all day. protests have intensified on capitol hill today of supreme court justice nominee brett kavanaugh after a new allegation of sexual misconduct was published in the "new yorker." and headlines swarmed with talk of a confirmation in jeopardy, reports emerged of the possible departure of rod rows steen trs. we know that thursday will be the day that they will meet to possibly find out rosenstein's fate after a number of stories recently surfaced concerning the deputy attorney general. >> rosenstein signed the last fisa report. >> it bothers me. >> will you fire him?
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>> i'll tell you what, as i've said, i wanted to stay uninvolved. >> are you going to fire rosenstein? >> you figure that one out. >> will you fire rod rosenstein based on this treachery? >> i don't want to comment on it until i get all the facts. i haven't gotten all the facts. but you certainly it is being looked at in terms of what took place if anything took place. and i'll make a determination sometime later. but i don't have the facts. >> well, let me tell you whyou what facts we have. we have pete williams and former assistant attorney general in the justice department civil rights division. stan's son currently works for national security council. pete, this is a fast moving set of developments this morning having do with rod rosenstein who showed up at the white house earlier today. tell us where we stand. >> well, we stand rod rosenstein
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is back at the justice department sitting at the desk of the deputy attorney general, still in that job. but as you heard the president say, they will talk further on thursday about his future. we have to now back up to last friday, the "new york times" story saying that rosenstein in a couple meetings last year suggested perhaps taping the president secretly or invoking the 25th amendment to declare him unfit for office. but rosenstein has pushed back calling that story absolutely false. what we're told now is that he talked with trends ovfriends ov weekend wondering whether people at the justice department leaked that story, whether he was being undercut by people in his own department, wondering whether he should step down, calling the white house counsel dan on mcga to talk about this. and then the heartstopping moment when we learned that he was on his way to the justice department, the white house was saying he was headed there to resi resign. people at doj were saying no,
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he'd have to be fired. and then when it was all over, a very unusual effort by the white house chief of staff john kelly right there coming outside to be seen shaking hands with roesz ste rosenstein before he got into his car. >> which didn't have to happen. it may be inconsequential, but if john kelly didn't want to be seen shaking hands with rod rosenstein leaving the white house, he could have avoided it. >> i guarantee you that most people who go to see john kelly at the white house are not he is korl -- not escorted outside. yeah, definitely staged for the cameras to make clear all was right for the world at least for today. so now we've pushed things off until thursday. we know that the people at fox news, the president listens to, are saying don't fire anybody now, wait until the midterms. people around the president telling him that too. and also wondering whether a firing now would further be a
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drag on the kavanaugh nomination. so all of this, you know, washington sort of held its breath today while all this was going on because he is not merely the number two official at the justice department. he also has a key job overseeing the mueller investigation. and it has been something of a firewall between the president and robert mueller and a lot is at stake here. >> that is an important point, that whatever you think of rod rosenstein, whether you like him or you don't, he is the firewall at the moment between the president and bob mueller. democrats have a plan in action if the president were to move to fire mueller, but there is a little more complicated getting rid of rosenstein. >> it is. and i think the white house is smart to play it the way they have. a, don't fire him preempt torely. b, meet with the chief of star, c, have the chief of staff treat him well. compare and contrast that with what happened with comey, where it led to the problems that the president has now.
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so i think somebody is learning something. but i do think that we are probably almost praying over a dead body here. i think that rosenstein will go reasonably soon, probably by january 1. and the issue is now is for hap mueller report. the mueller report goes to the deputy attorney general. if rosenstein is still there, he will protect it and he will probably release it. if he is not there, there is a possibility that that person replacing him could put it in a vault. i don't think it makes any difference because if it is in a vault, it will end up being in ali velshi's hands in about two leak because everything leaks in washington. >> stand by. mitch mcconnell is now speaking. let's listen in. >> -- smear campaign has hit a new low. i'll get into the specifics in a moment.
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but i want to be clear. senate democrats and their al y allies are trying to destroy a man's personal and professional life on the basis of decades-old allegations that are unsubstantiated and uncorroborated. that, mr. president, is where we are. this is what the so-called resistance has become. a smear campaign pure and simple. aided and abetted by member hes of the united states senate. eight weeks ago, democrats on the judiciary committee received a letter fr eter dr. christine ford with an uncorroborated allegation ever misconduct. she had requested the matter be held discreetly and
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confidentially. the responsible next step would have been alerting the full committee to a confidential bipartisan investigation could begin. committee staff would have followed their standard practice for investigating background information. senators could have yhave quest judge kavanaugh in their meetings or in closed session while respecting dr. ford's request for confidentiality. but democrats didn't do any of that. they sat on dr. forwardd's let foreseven weeks. kept it secret. they did nothing. and then they threw professor ford's wishes overboard and leaked to the press. our colleague from delaware has
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himself indicated that either the ranking member's office or the democratic committee staff likely leaked the document. as i've noted, we know the chain of custody of the letter went through the democratic side of the judiciary committee. so mr. president, does this sound like democratic senators take their responsibilities seriously and want to get to the truth? or does it sound like a choreographed smear campaign that ignored dr. ford's request for confidentiality in order to inflict maximum damage at the last minute on judge kavanaugh and his family. this is an allegation of sexual misconduct which all four supposed witnesses either flatly contradict or are unable to back
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up. in addition to judge kavanaugh, the other three supposed witnesses have said that they have, quote, no knowledge, no knowledge, no recollection, no recollection. and no memory of the alleged incident. it is not just one alleged witness disagreeing with the allegations, it is literally every person who was supposedly there. one of those supposed witnesses says she does not even know judge kavanaugh. so all the witnesses that dr. ford says were present at the party have told the committee on the record and under penalty of felony, under penalty of felony, all confirm they do not remember any such party, do not know judge kavanaugh or have never
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seen him do anything remotely, remotely, like has been alleged. and this unsubstantiated allegation stands entirely at odds with everything we've heard about judge kavanaugh's character from those who have worked with him, socialized with him, dating all the way back to high school. but democrats wouldn't let a few inconvenient things like a complete lack of evidence or an accuser's request for confidentiality to get between them and a good smear. it is despicable. and the contrast of the completely professional conduct of chairman grassley could not be starker. as soon as chair will nman gras learned about the allegation, he
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imagined it through proper channels, he immediately began gathering the facts, there was a transcribed interview of judge kavanaugh in which under penalty of felony he unequivocally denied the last minute allegation. and the office received statements from all the other supposed witnesses that they either directly contradicted the story or denied knowing anything about it. what's more, chairman grassley ensured that dr. ford could be heard in a forum of her own choosing, either here or in california, either in public or in private, either with the staff or with the members. he has gone above and beyond to accommodate her request. thanks to him, we have a fair and open hearing scheduled for thursday. dr. ford will be able to state her allegation under oath and judge kavanaugh will be able to
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respond. but the smear campaign didn't stop there. that was just act one. just act one. according to the reporter of this second allegation, the accuser, quote, came forward because senate democrats began looking and now they are calling for even further delays and further obstruction over a second decades-old allegation that is so thin and so unsupported that the "new york times" refused to even run a story about it. this claim is so dubious that the "new york times" passed on the story entirely after looking into it. here's why the "new york times" declined to publish. quote, interviewed several dozen
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people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate her story and could find no one -- no one-on one-with firsthand knowledge. not one person with firsthand knowledge to support the allegation. but rather multiple on the record denials again. the "times" also reported that the claimant said she herself is uncertain of her claim. that is the "new york times" whose credo is all the news that is fit to print. and it found this latest last minute allegation not even fit to print. oh, but that hasn't stopped judiciary committee democrats from shoveling it into their smear camel pain and demanding for further delays. they kept this one secret from
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republicans too by the way, evidently several democratic offices knew of this allegation for at least a week. but like with dr. ford's claim, they sat on this one too so the committee could not take any proper action, they just wanted to wind you up in the press. another orchestrated last minute hit on the nominee. and now they are acting like it is a legitimate reason to delay things even further. as though they aren't already announced themselves as completely opposed to his nomination anyway. fast th as if they would lead to bring the nomination down whatever it took, whatever the cause. whatever it took, whatever the cost.
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let's return to the facts. let's have a fair hearing on thursday. hearing the facts that we do have, hundreds of brett kavanau across his life have written or spoken out that he is a man of strong character and tremendous integrity. numerous witnesses testified that he is a trusted mentor, a loyal friend and a life long champion of women. more than 75 women gathered last week to share their decades-old knowledge ev knowledge as a responsible guy who treats us with kindness and respect and true gentleman in all aspects of his life. and separately of course it remains beyond reasonable dispute that judge kavanaugh's legal brilliance and excellence on the bench make him one of the very most qualified supreme court nominees in the history of
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our country. all of these facts are quite clear will i ly on one side. maybe a that is why the democrats are so panicked, so willing to try to bring down this nominee. in the meantime, a good and honorable man and his family are receiving death threats. they are the subject of smears. and are facing senate democrats who say he has no presumption of innocence because they don't agree with his judicial philosophy. well, before the week is out, both judge kavanaugh and dr. ford will testify under oath before the judiciary committee. chairman grassley has made sure the facts will be heard. judge kavanaugh and the american people deserve nothing less. and i want to make it perfectly clear, mr. president, judge kavanaugh will be voted on here
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on the senate floor. up or down. on the senate floor this fine nominee to the supreme court will receive a vote in this senate in the near future. now on an entirely different matter, last week our efforts to restore regular appropriations hit another milestone. the president signed into law our first appropriations package. it will fund critical efforts in energy research and security, waterways and infrastructure projects and improving care at the v.a. earlier this month, the senate passed a report that will fund the departments of defense, labor, health and human services and education. >> okay. we've been listening to mitch mcconnell talking about brett kavanaugh accusing democrats of having sat on the information, orchestrating a last minute hit.
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he said let's put aside this last minute unsubstantiated smear. with me now is stanley potinger. and we were talking about rod rosenstein and then this happened. this is interesting because mitch mcconnell is laying out his view of the matter and then he says let's get back to the facts. the fact is there hasn't been a hearing yet. there have been allegations. there have been people refuting things, people spoken to, but there hasn't been a hearing but he is talking like a guy who knows what the outcome is going to be. >> yeah, i think that what is -- first of all, thirst between this and the rosenstein meeting, the country's gdp will take a hit while everyone watches television. those two stories together, this particular story seems to me depends upon the jump ball that may occur on thursday. if both sides are credible, that is if miss ford and mr. kavanaugh -- judge kavanaugh are both credible, who wins?
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if you take the position that it is strictly a jump wall, then who wins is probably judge kavanaugh because he has two more votes. he has 51 votes. but you never know how the country will tilt in one way or another, how they will read the facial expressions, the comments, the facts if you will even if the facts may be dwrektsly in ddwrekts directly in dispute. so i think that television hearing will in fact decide the fate of judge kavanaugh and therefore of the supreme court at least for a while. >> it is not a court case, it doesn't have the same standards of a civil or criminal court case. so it is unclear as to what these senators are going to use to make their decision. i think you're right, you how the world tilts may be more of it. >> i think so. sure in court you do have the presumption of innocence. this is in the court of public opinion and media and television. and that ball game is completely different. it all depends upon the most elusive little things that
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happen that become big things. and that could happen either way. it could be that miss ford says something that slips up in a way that says, well, we respect her. i think everybody has respected her and i think that is very important. no one should go out and disrespect her. she has been through something that is clear in her own mind this is an event. and i don't think kavanaugh wants to disrespect her. but whether or not you you lay the story on kavanaugh and disqualify him will be the issue. and i think that this will depend upon how it is laid play the public, not the courts or even in the senate. >> all right. thanks very much for your help. the developing news about rod rosenstein has been overshadowing this discussion about brett kavanaugh's issues on the way to the supreme court, but the president's high court nominee is facing another allegation of sexual misconduct. kavanaugh denies the new allegation like he did the first one. but here is what the senate judiciary committee will be looking at as it prepares for a
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hearing on that first accusation. bld's allegati blasey ford's allegation was made public a little over a week ago go. ford is uncertain about several details including when it happened, though she said she believes it occurred in 1982. ford says they were in a suburban maryland home when a highly in-yeebriated calf and m judge pinned her on the bed and tried to take off her clothes allegedly covering her mouth when she tried to yell for help. kavanaugh categorically denies the allegation. mark judge also denied the allegation and i want to play an interesting moment from kavanaugh's confirmation hearing when he was asked this. all right. we'll find that and i'll get back to you. but even if ford's allegation is
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true, that he was a 17-year-old at the time of the allegation. the reason i've got this up here is because the new allegation is alleged to have happened when kavanaugh was a legal adult when he was attending yale. over the weekend, the new yorker released a story about deborah ramirez. her allegation is that in the freshman year at yale when both were at a dorm room party, and this is graphic what she alleges happened, ramirez acknowledges that she was drunk at the time and has ghapgaps in her memory, that he put his genitals in her face and she accidently touched them when she pushed him away. kavanaugh denied the allegationsing them a smear. so let's talk more about this. i'm joined by karl lee and also leeann caldwell. welcome to you both. carol, you and leeann have both worked on this article.
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to the extent that we just heard from mitch mcconnell, are senators on the committee and senators in the chamber, are they looking to get information out of these hearings on thursday or is everybody just hardening in their position? >> i think it is a little bit of both. it will be a lot of theater obviously and that is in part why republicans are concerned about questioning her in public with cameras. but it also is going to be a moment where this seems to be -- we have this new allegation and then you have the blasey ford allegation which seems to be the one that at least republicans so far have been taking more seriously. you just already mitch mcconnell was very dismissive of the second allegation. and pretty dismissive of the first in the sense that he was saying there is a lack of evidence and it is unsubstantiated. so it will be a mix. there is certainly going to be a lot of partisan theater. but we do know that democrats are -- you see it falling on party lines who is paying closer
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attention to the second allegation, and that is democrats and not so much republicans who seem to be doubling down on their support for kavanaugh with the second allegation, almost hardening their support rather than making it waiver. >> it is interesting though because judge kavanaugh's responses so far have seemed softer than what we've heard from a lot of senators including from what we heard from mitch mcconnell. just this afternoon kavanaugh september a new letter to chairman grassley and ranking member dianne feinstein in which he calls the allegations smears plain and simple. if allowed to succeed, they will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from public service. that is really one of the strongest statements that kavanaugh has made about this. and it is starting to seem more in line with what republican senators are saying about this, that takes smear campaiit is a that is bad for the country. >> yeah, kavanaugh and republican senators seem to be in line on their messaging. we've heard the word smear from
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not only mitch mcconnell and kavanaugh, but other senators who have put out statements so far. and so especially as this second allegation came ford, it is interesting how republicans are addressing this one compared to the first. this one, they are dismissing outright. they are pointing to the "new york times" who said that they couldn't find corroborating evidence. and so they are using this as a way to say this is just a campaign to tear down kavanaugh's character, they are questioning the timing of these allegations and how it was released into the press. and not through the committee, not through an investigation from the fbi or anything like that. and so it does seem that as this critical week starts, kavanaugh and the white house, the republicans, are in line with their messaging on this. >> carol, we haven't worked out all the logistics for thursday. let's take a look at what we do
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have in terms of the parameters, what was requested by professor ford. hearings will be open to the public. they will take breaks. profession professor ford will have dedicated security. kavanaugh will not be in the room at the same time. but is it a done deal that this is going to happen? >> well, you heard right now the plan for republicans and for all sides is to proceed as expected on thursday. and you heard that from mitch mcconnell. and i think it looks as if it will go forward because they are trying to separate it from the second allegation. and what is interesting is that oftentimes when you have one allegation like this and it gives way to a drumbeat of other allegations or it kind of builds on itself, politically it becomes untenable for the person who -- the individual being accused. and we've almost seen the opposite in this. and really we've seen it shift.
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and so that republicans are doing this, you know, campaign to say this is a smear campaign and that these aren't valid allegations rather than -- and hardening rather than kavanaugh softening and them sort of distancing themselves. and that underscores the broader picture which is that this is such an important thing for republicans. and they just really want to get it done. >> so leeann, with senator mcconnell saying this will be voted on in the senate up or down, he said judge kavanaugh and the american people deserve that, is there doubt in the mind of any senators at the moment as to which way they are going and what is happening on capitol hill that could influence that? >> yeah, well, most senators have their minds made up. but there are three who are critical to this, most immediately that is senator jeff flake of arizona and he sits on the judiciary committee. he is engaged in the sense that he wants to hear this hearing on
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thursday. but we don't know yet how he feels about the second allegation, if this will impact how he feels about kavanaugh. the other two senators that are of concern are lisa murkowski and susan collins. and they could be key votes on the senate floor if and when kavanaugh's nomination does get to the senate floor. so, yeah, while most senators do know how they are going to vote on this nomination, it is still not a done deal because of these republican holdouts who have not given any indication on where they stand yet. >> all right. carol lee, leeann, thanks for your reporting on this. president trump spoke about kavanaugh early this morning. >> there is a chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything. for people to come out off the woodwork from 36 years ago, 30 years ago, and never mention it, all of a sudden it happens, in
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my opinion it is totally political. it is totally political. >> joining me now is geoff bennett who has been following all of this from new york as the president participates at the u.n. general assembly. geoff. >> reporter: what we saw there from the president and when you combine that with what we saw from the senate majority leader, you can see a well coordinated intentionally choreographed strategy to defend brett kavanaugh and keep his nomination, his entire confirmation process, on the rails. you saw the majority leader cast these allegations as baseless claims. he is sticking to the strategy to you attack the process, democrats, you don't attack the a. accusers. however we saw president trump break free from that last week casting doubt on the claim made by blasey ford. the president believes he is right on the merits. according to a source, he believes that brett kavanaugh should defend himself against what he sees as baseless
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accusations. and it is also true that i'm told that white house officials realize that if they withdraw brett kavanaugh's to get somebody else new through. so right now, they are sticking with the guy they got and that is brett kavanaugh. >> let's talk about rosenstein's visit to the white house. it has been reported that rosenstein spoke to don mcgahn the white house counsel over the weekend. do you know what they were talking about, was that rosenstein saying maybe it is time for me to leave? was it don mcgahn saying maybe it is timing fe for you to leav? >> reporter: that is where it gets fuzzy. what we know happened based on multiple sources is that over the weekend rod rosenstein had a conversation with don mcgahn. some say that rod rosenstein offered his resignation. others say that he was resolved to stay in the job. one thing we know for sure according to these sources is that rod rosenstein told don mcgahn that if he was to be
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fired, that it would have to come from the top, that donald trump would have to be the one to pull the trigger. from there, we then lived through this sort of bizarre and unusual two hour fire drill where it wasn't entirely sure whether or not rod rosenstein would end the day as a part of the administration, that all ended with a statement from sarah sanders saying that rod rosenstein and president trump spoke at rod rosenstein's request and that they would pick up the conversation on thursday when the president returns to washington. president trump himself actually spoke to this sometime earlier today, let's take a look at the video. >> -- with rod rosenstein on thursday when i get back from all of these meetings. and we'll be meeting at the white house. and we'll be determining what is going on. and we transparency, openness and i look forward to meeting with rod at that time. >> reporter: and the immediate fate of rod rosenstein is the one thing where you have democrats and republicans
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agreeing. they both want him to stay on the job for different reasons. democrats say that if he were to be ousted, it would tip the could you be no a constitutional crisis. republicans are concerned that that could galvanize democrats in the midterm elections come november. so at the moment, we are where we started earlier today, rod rosenstein is still the deputy a.g. we'll see what happens after thursday. >> geoff, thanks very much. geoff bennett in new york city for us. up next, rod rosenstein's role in the mueller investigation, what could happen if he should leave the justice department. should leave the juse department these friends were on a trip when their windshield got chipped. so they scheduled at safelite.com. they didn't have to change their plans or worry about a thing. i'll see you all in a little bit. and i fixed it right away plus, with most insurance i'll see you all in a little bit. a safelite repair is no cost to you. >> customer: really?! >> tech: being there whenever you need us that's another safelite advantage. >> singers: safelite repair, safelite replace.
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let's get back to the fate of rod rosenstein. he still has a job as of this moment. nothing we don't think will change until at least thursday when he will meet with the president at the white house following trump's return from the u.n. general assembly. we're told the conversation will be about recent news stories and undoubtedly the main topic will be about the "new york times" report saying that rosenstein allegedly wanted to secretly record the president and recruit cabinet members to invoke the 25th amendment. for more on this including how it could impact robert mueller's investigation, i'm joined by liz holtzman who voted to impeach president nixon and glenn kirshner. what do you make of all of this? >> the frenzy and concern is great. the problem here is that the president has been hostile to
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the mueller investigation from the get-go. he was hostile to it when it was being run by comey. he wants the investigation shut down. meanwhile this has been an investigation that has produced several guilty pleas plus a number of indictments. he has detailed the russian attack on our electoral system. mueller has done a very methodical careful job of enforcing the law. that is what we need somebody to do. who is nonpartisan in this effort. even though he is a republican are, he has just towed the line. no leaks, no nonsense. everybody has respected the job be he's done, but the president is furious about it. and so he could put the kibosh in various ways. i think process steen has doros professional job in protecting the investigation. no matter where it goes. but you put someone else in
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there who wants to do the president's bidding, he could probably throw a lot of monkey wrenches into it. he could fire mueller. i think that would be very difficult because you have a requirement that he be fired by cause. but since he has to approve certain kinds of techniques and directions of the investigation, he could say, well, i don't really like this. and stop -- >> that's what the bigger inch pli indication ka -- implication. >> yeah, he could stop the methods mueller wants to take going forward. and he could basically obstruct justice. >> and that is what the issue is. rod rosenstein has been in the president's good books or not so good books. but he did choose robert mueller, he did pick robert mueller to run this investigation after jim comey was removed. and there is some question as to what that "new york times" story was about last week in that that the allegations that rod ro rosenstein wanted to catch trump
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being unfit for office. that is a little fantastical just because it is a very difficult thing do. most of the cabinet would have to come together to get that done. so what do you think is actually going on here, do you think this is the president possibly having an excuse to say rod rosenstein is working against me, i need to get him out? >> yeah, this seems like actually an unusually measured and circumspect step that the president is taking. if we put ours in telves in the president's shoois, e's shoes, that the deputy attorney general has purported contemplating wiring himself up or a possibly 25th amendment removal of the president, it is not surprising that the president would want to get to the bottom of it. now, be it seems to me that if the president had in knee jerk fashion simply jumped to the end game of firing rod rosenstein because of the "new york times" reporting, you know, given that
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the president as we have heard over and over again as sales the "new york times" as fake news, the failing "new york times," this story was based on anonymous sources, if he then bought into it and used it as a vehicle to fire rod rosenstein without trying to drill down and get to the bottom of whatever rosenstein may have said, i think everybody would have seen it as the pretext it is. but he has chosen to take an intermediate step and talk to rod rosenstein and i would expect that meeting on thursday will sort of look like okay, what did you say, when did you say it, why did you say it, were you serious or joking. and i'm actually not surprised that the president would want to get to the bottom of that kind of a statement. >> so liz, the issue is that if the president were do anything to try to get rid of rob mueller, as you said there are legalities involved tanld it wo uproar y upro
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uproarious, but this is more complicated. does the world get up in arms about the president getting rid of rod rosenstein especially in light of reports that he may have done things to diminish the president. >> of course it is not as clear cut as the saturday night massacre where nix on on said to the attorney general you fire the special prosecutor and then the deputy, you fire the special prosecutor. that is probably not going to happen. it will be more indirect. but the american people aren't stupid. and if this results in the removal of mueller, then there will be held on oig to pl to pa president. i doubt he will do anything before the midterm elections because i think everybody is too nervous, it is too close and the republicans certainly don't want to get the democrats morage stated morage -- more agitated or make the president feel that he has something to hide here. so i feel that they are not going to do it. the president hasn't done it yet.
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but that didn't many he can't. and then we're really in a very serious situation where we have an ongoing critical investigation of whether the president and his campaign con fired with the russian government to get elected president. this is very serious. we're not talking about a joke, we're talking about something that goes to the center of our democratic system. so it has to be investigated and in a fair and thorough way. if there is nothing there, so be it. if there is something there, so be it. but the president has no right to shut this down and if he does, then he is above the law and i don't think the american people will tolerate that. >> liz holtzman, glenn kirshner, thanes to you both. up next, will president rouhani meet with president trump in new york this week? lester holt asked him just that and joins me next. my mom's pain from
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deal, tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of financial and oil sanctions. international inspectors say iran is complying with the deal, but despite opposition from a number of other countries involved in the deal, president trump announced in may the united states was pulling out of the agreement and reimposing sanctions on iran. the first set of sanctions took effect august 6th. they target iran's acquisition of u.s. dollars, its trade in gold and other precious metals, the sale of steel and aluminum. sanctions on iranian oil go into place november 4th. after that date, companies that buy, ship or ensure shipments of iranian oil can be excluded from the american market and banking system unless they get a waiver. the u.s. hopes the sanctions are going to drive iranian oil exports down to zero. one of the president's criticisms of the nuclear deal is that it didn't do anything to addressiani efforts to
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destabilize the middle east. iran's revolutionary guard has sent weapons and thousands of soldiers to shore up the regime of president bashar assad. more than 1,000 iranians have been killed in syria since 2012. iran is also accused of supplying weapons and other assistants to the houthi rebels in yemen, something it's denied but most people agree it's probably doing. the u.s. is supporting a coalition led by saudi arabia aimed at stopping the houthis also involved in a number of civil rights violations there. the country's 3-year-old civil war has killed more than 10,000 people and led to what the united nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis. iran could respond to the new sanctions by tightening or even disrupting the global oil supply. it's important to take a look at this. one-third of all the oil that's shipped in the world passes through this area here called the strait of hormuz. it's a narrow water way separating iran from the arabian
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peninsula and near u.s. military bases in the region. iran has threatened to mine it or close the strait which could put the movement of 17 million barrels of oil a day at risk. and you're seeing oil prices around the world rise. hassan rouhani is one of dozens of leaders in new york for the opening of the united nations general assembly. lester holt sat down for an interview, an exclusive interview with president rouhani. lester, good to see you. any likelihood or chance that rouhani and trump are deliberately going to meet this week? >> they're in the same neighborhood. and some of his officials have expressed a willingness to meet anywhere, any time. but i put the question to the president of iran. you are in new york. president trump is in new york. will you meet? >> translator: there is no such program for a meeting. mr. trump did not create
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conditions necessary to bring about the atmosphere conducive to a meeting. >> he talks about conditions, he's very upset the u.s. pulled out of the nuclear deal, despite the fact iran was technically complying with all the things it was required to comply with. i further asked him about the model of the north korean meeting with kim jong-un. the world witnessed that. adversaries. is there a model there. he rejected that for the same reason. in this case there was an agreement iran had with the u.s. and in their view, the u.s. violated it. >> iran is dependence on the sale of its oil and movement of its oil so the stakes may be higher. >> and north korea, of course, has nuclear weapons. >> all right. lester, thanks. you can see much more of lester's interview with hassan rouha rouhani, not something readily available so tune in for that tonight on "nbc nightly news." remember if you want further explanations of the news of the day, tweet me with #ask ali velshi. every week i'm going to look at your questions and choose one of
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this just in. brett kavanaugh will break his silence tonight in an interview on fox news. kavanaugh will be joined by his wife in an interview that taped this afternoon. moments ago, we got new reaction to the accusations against the supreme court nominee from senator orrin hatch and senator joe manchin who could be a key swing vote on kavanaugh's
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confirmation. >> these are all concerning. absolutely you're concerned but, still yet, he has the right to clear his name. so let's give him that opportunity. >> and what about this piece in the new yorker. are you concerned about what you heard? this allegation now? >> you mean the latest magazine? >> the new yorker article. this allegation he exposed -- >> that's very serious. all of this is extremely serious and we take it serious. but these are allegations made, and they have to come forth and prove their statements, and he has a right to prove himself. >> we will hear and should hear from dr. ford on thursday, as planned. then we should vote. there should be no more frivolous approaches towards the united states senate, or towards this confirmation process. >> interesting choice of words. frivolous. the trade war between the united states and china intensified today with both sides imposing fresh tariffs on each other's goods. the u.s. will levy tariffs of
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10% on $200 billion worth of goods from china. electronics are the single biggest category hit followed by wooden furniture, tv parts, vacuum cleaners, solar cells and vinyl floor tiling. china is retaliating by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of u.s. goods. it's going to collect additional taxes of 5% to 10% on agriculture products to energy exports. all of that causing markets to react. trade talks with china this week are, well, probably going to be cancelled. the president has -- china has accused president trump of trade bullying. the dow fell right off the top, about 100 points. now down about 170, about 180 points right now. and the standard & poor's 500 is down. the nasdaq tech heavy is up. i'm going to see you right back here tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. and then at 3:00 p.m. eastern. thank you for watching. "deadline white house" with
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nicolle wallace starts right now. a swirl of dramatic and conflicting reports throughout the day today suggesting deputy attorney general rod rosenstein's job was on life support. what we know at this hour. rosenstein is still the number two at the justice department. and after attending a meeting at the white house this morning, white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders issued this statement. at the request of rod rosenstein, he and president trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories. because the president is at the u.n. ga and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they'll meet on thursday when the president returns to washington, d.c. when asked about rosenstein's future, the president was vague. >> i'm meet with rod rosenstein on thursday when i get back from all of these meetings. and we'll be meeting at the white house, and we'll be determining what's going

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