tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC November 21, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PST
happy thanksgiving to all and ali velshi for "velshi & ruhle." >> and you, andrea. happy thanksgiving. see you soon. good afternoon, everyone. stephanie's off today. it's wednesday, november 21st. let's get smarter. >> president trump trying to rip a rage out of nixon's playbook. "the new york times" reporting that he wanted to use the justice department as his personal prosecuting force. >> he wanted to order the justice department to prosecute former fbi director james comey and hillary clinton. >> he believes and has said
privately and at times publicly that the attorney general is someone that should work for him, that should be loyal to him, that should put his interests first. >> this is a president who doesn't understand that the government, that foreign countries, everybody doesn't exist to serve him like a medieval king. >> president trump saying thank you to saudi arabia for, quote, oil prices getting lower. all of this following the president's decision not to punish saudi arabia for the brutal murder of jamal khashoggi saying the alliance is just too important. >> it was as if they were writing a press release for saudi arabia, not for the united states, and it was unnecessarily provocative in the way that he did it. >> when we align ourselves with nations that don't share our values and we think we're pursuing national interests we are actually undercutting our most powerful appeal, our most
powerful call it a weapon. it's american values. >> federal health officials say there's one food you should not buy or serve or eat. ro main lettuce. >> this comes as it investigating a dangerous e. coli outbreak. 32 people in 11 states sick from eating it. >> throw it out if you have it. even if you've already had some and feel fine and sanitize the area where it was kept. they don't know the origin of the outbreak. >> coming from the soil? is it the water that's used to irrigate? there are any number of potential sources for contamination. >> all right. there's a lot of news to send you into the thanksgiving holiday. in "new york times," the president wanted to order the justice department to investigate former campaign rival hillary clinton and former fbi director james comey. white house counsel don mcbegan quote rebuffed the president saying he could face a range of
consequences including possible impeach. . this lines up with a nbc news report of last winter that the justice department made inquiries asking if fbi agents thought a criminal case existed against clinton and while then attorney general jeff sessions appears to have dropped the matter, now active attorney general mack whitaker has a different view laying out the legal groundwork for a prosecution. back as early as the summer of 2016. this guy writes everything down that he thinks by the way. matt whitaker says it on tv or publishes op-eds making it interesting he's selected to be the acting attorney general and wrote up about a strategy to choke off the special counsel's investigation by starving it of funds. the president's lawyers say that written responses to the special counsel's questions have now been submitted. responses that the president continually insisted that he and he alone authored.
joining me now, a law professor of university of baltimore and investigative reporter tom winter. welcome to both of you. tom, you reported in december about then attorney general jeff sessions inquiring about investigations into hillary clinton. this is a sort of highly unusual process in a working democracy. >> two things are going on at here. at the time, jeff sessions under congressional pressure and a lot of pressure i would say in conservative media to look into this uranium-1 which was this deal involving the russians. we could spend 40 minutes talking about this. >> we once did spend a lot of time talking about this. >> exactly right. but at the time the agents that actually investigated the particular transaction in money that flows around it they were asked essentially what were your recollections of the case, what were your recollections of the facts? also, did you guys think that a prosecution should have gone forward here and one didn't? can you inform us about that? we haven't heard a lot about that case since we reported it.
it's one thing for an attorney general to ask fbi agents or ask prosecutors for them to go back and say, was there something that we missed here, something not done that should have been done? it is another thing is as the "the new york times" reported for the president to ask somebody specifically prosecuted and not just investigated but prosecuted and when you look at that, the president doesn't have that power or authority. two, a federal judge would look and say is there -- if there's a complaint, does the affidavit, is the probable cause to arrest somebody actually there? a judge could say no to that. if an indictment was brought, any one of the people mentioned, could say, you know, hey, we challenge this indictment that it's either improperly brought or the facts in it and adds up to a crime. so it's not that the president can order somebody to go to jail but it's an extraordinary step and i think where "the new york times" advanced it is don mcgahn then white house counsel
involved and -- >> according to the president, not on. >> not on and could have serious repercussions for you and including impeach. >> kim, don mcgahn, we know james comey writes everything down, writing somebody, he writes it down. we don't know that about don mcgahn but he wrote a memo to the president stating what tom just said and may have told him in person and then he wrote a memo saying you can't do this. you cannot ask for a prosecution. you might be able to ask for an investigation but you will face blowback that could go as far as impeach. if you try to prosecute a political rival. put it in context. how serious is this? >> well, it is not a huge surprise given in the campaign that mr. trump was shouting lock her up suggesting he would go after hillary clinton and it is absolutely astonishing and mind blowing as a matter of democratic principles. the notion that a president, someone with the immense power of the executive branch to zero
in on political rivals, pick and choose people regardless of the facts and the law and the american public needs to wake up on both sides of the aisle. this is -- we are on a slippery slope to tyranny. there's no question about it. and the issue then becomes what's the accountability? and was mentioned, sure, if something actually got before a court, the courts are functioning right now. they focus on the facts and the law and we saw mr. mcgahn a conservative basically putting the brakes on internally. that's another check. if we saw some of this widespread political investigation and prosecution i would suspect you'd see widespread resignations within the department of justice because lawyers have ethical rules and laws that bind their decision making and how they proceed regardless of what the president said and then the big question is what is congress going to do. we have now still have a republican senate and the republicans have sat on the sidelines. their responsibility to hold the other two branches accountable. it's not happening. we'll see what happens when the
house turns democratic. if that puts some pressure on the republicans in the senate to come forward and at a minimum have mr. whitaker put before a hearing so we can have his apparent conflicts of interest and other things aired publicly. >> house judiciary committee incoming chair nadler says whitaker will be the first invitation to the committee and he'll consider subpoenaing him. however, tom, oversight is one issue. the other sisissue is that the president we call adults in the room, people that stop it from happening. most of them are gone now. and if out of 330 million americans you had to pick the guy who's on record as saying he would prosecute hillary clinton, starve the mueller investigation, i mean, this whitaker is a fantastic candidate. he has answered every question the president actually would have about an attorney general that the president would like. give me some analysis on this. it seems unusual. the president does pick the guy he wants and this guy answered
the questions. he is not going to be like jeff sessions. >> i absolutely hear what you are saying and i was actually just in an event for attorney general whitaker held at one of the most hallowed grounds for terrorism prosecutions and investigations in the united states and the person who introduced him is jeffrey burrman and people asked the same questions of whether the new u.s. attorney to do trump's bidding here in new york. and, in fact, you know, now that we look at it in hindsight, here's a u.s. attorney that brought a case against the sitting republican congressman when's president trump's first supporter in elected office, first major supporter to go for him. he's prosecuting him on a case tied to insider trading. i think when people get inside the system and obviously, you know, history is yet to be written about attorney general whitaker but people get inside the system and surrounded by career prosecutors, career investigators, there is a light that gets switched on saying
this is serious business and these are serious cases. and so, again, remains to be seen what will happen with attorney general whitaker but a lot of adults that are in the room. there's a lot of people at the justice department for a long time. there's a lot of people inside the justice department that know people that covered the justice department for a long time. and know how to let people know that, hey, something is going on here that doesn't make sense, that is -- or may be totally wrong and i think we need to rely on those career professionals and we need to rely on ourselves, frankly, to be able to do the research, to do the reporting and to do the work to make sure that the fourth estate, there's a check on any sort of potential abuse of power should that occur. >> that's -- kim, that's an interesting point to discuss. the president has said his lawyers said he submitted answers to the mueller investigation. bob mueller knew there was an election. he knows that some of those adults in the room disappeared and the president is now probably freer to act on the
worst impulses. what is mueller's next move? do you think he's got a report written? do you think he's spread the seeds of the information he's got to state prosecutors? where do you think we stand with this? >> i don't know mueller personally but i have given this a lot of thought and my guess is they have given this a lot of thought and we are in an extraordinary circumstance here. we as the american public. because with mr. whitaker under the governing regulations has a tremendous amount of power to basically puppet this investigation. of course, as you mentioned, mr. mueller to farm off stuff and has to other parts of the justice department, to state attorneys general, going to the states. he would have no -- mr. whitaker would have no control over it. my guess would be mueller has probably has some other indictments waiting. i'm sure there's a lot of the report that's probably finished and my guess is he would go on for a long time and worked on the ken starr investigation. that was a lot smaller and went on for many, many years and i would say with respect to the president is responding to these
investigations, especially when they start in the house, inside the white house is extremely burdensome and if they're thinly staffed and don't have to use your words adults in the room we'll start seeing some of this bleed out into the public sphere and that kind of pressure, the public pressure, that ultimately needs to be brought to bear on this president like nixon. is there pressure publicly to stop the slow drip to tyranny. >> richard nixon because of public pressure was an albatross around the neck of republicans. we have a weird situation of donald trump more popular than some republican members of congress. but the analogy makes sense. thank you very much, kim. former assistance u.s. attorney. tom winter. thank you both for solid reporting on this and analysis. today president trump using oil prices to defend saudi arabia and the murder of "the washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi. we'll break down the number of times trump defended dictators over his intelligence officers
and the personal personal of defending the kingdom of saudi arabia. not long ago, ronda started here. and then, more jobs began to appear. what started with one job spread all around. because each job in energy creates many more in this town. i saw my leg did not look right. i landed. i was just finishing a ride. i felt this awful pain in my chest. i had a pe blood clot in my lung. i was scared.
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the chance to confront vladimir putin, he was standing right next to him during the summit in helsinki. here's how that went down. >> my people came to me, dan coats came to me, and some others. they said they think it's russia. i have president putin. he just said it's not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it would be. >> i don't see any reason why it would be. donald trump would later claim he meant why ldn't be russia. that's entirely not believable. what he said is what he said. after kim jong-un made vague agreements of denuclearization at a summit in singapore, "the new york times" reported north korea had been expaendinding th missile program. likely remains intact. when pressed on this in a fox news interview over the weekend,
here's what the president had to say. >> i think we had a real decision which way to go on north korea and certainly at least so far i'm very happy with the way we went. i have a very good relationship. >> there's talk about that they're putting new sites. >> maybe they are. maybe they're not. i don't believe that. i don't. you know, could be. and which is -- if that's the way it goes, that's the way it goes. >> maybe they are. maybe they're not. that's the way it goes. that's the way it is. it is what it is. that's what the president taken to say today. after weeks of changing stories from saudi arabia over murdered "the washington post" writer jamal khashoggi, this man, a final admission that he was killed shortly after entering the saudi consulate in istanbul in early october, the president gave a response consistent with his talk on dictators and their bad, even horrifying, behavior again downplaying u.s. intelligence agency assessments. >> they didn't make a determination. it is just like i said. maybe he did.
maybe he didn't. they did not make that assessment. the cia has looked at it, studied it a lot. they have nothing definitive. maybe he did. maybe he didn't. >> maybe he did. maybe he didn't. it is what it is. joining me from london now, nbc news chief global correspondent bill neely. bill, this -- the president's comments and his press release from yesterday are reverberating around the world. we are seeing stronger reaction to this than we have seen many other things that the president has done. earlier today president trump thanked the kingdom of saudi arabia for helping to keep oil prices low. what are the saudis saying about it? >> yeah. ali, i'll answer that in just a second but just listening to your amazing string of quotes reminds me i'm going to risk a dwoeation here. george orwell who wrote not very far from where i'm sitting right now. he wrote about political language and he said it was
designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable. >> yeah. >> that's actually what president trump has done in the last 24 hours. on that statement, which carries huge weight, it is an official white house document. not a series of early morning tweets ian that statement and his comment on oil prices has gone down very, very badly in europe, across the western alliance and especially in tur which wanted saudi arabia punished not defended by the u.s. the gulf arabs, they love it because it defends the saudi so thoroughly and in saudi arabia, well, they couldn't have written it better themselves. a u.s. president ab solving saudi rulers, not just for the killing of jamal khashoggi, but the slaughter in yemen, as well. here's what the saudi foreign minister had to say to cnbc's hadley gamble. take a listen. >> saudi arabia was declared
guilty without people seeing evidence. without people knowing the facts. and this is continued since. we have the official spok spokesperson saying the reports of the cia are inaccurate and the president of the united states saying the reports of the cia report are not accurate. wait until you see the legal steps that are taken against those who committed this crime and the procedure putting in place to prevent it from happening and then judge us. if you think our trials and investigation is mickey mouse one, criticize us but wait until it's done. >> so look, ali, the president's statement defending the saudis has two affects. the signal that it sends to dictators, to autocrats around the world. the statement was basically a shrug. maybe the crown prince knew about it, maybe he didn't. shrug. he is giving the crown prince cover for murdering a "the washington post" journalist and a green light i think to strong
men around the world. murder your opponents. i'll turn a blind eye and not lost on, well, on vladimir putin, for example. but secondly, we know this was a test case for u.s. foreign policy and a moment when american values met murder and values lost. trump has now firmly said this is a foreign policy of dollars and arms and oil and jobs. has got nothing to do with values. america first. values last. show me the money. to hell with the consequences. that will create deep cracks in america's alliance with the world, with london here where i'm speaking from, with berlin, with paris. the micro effect in the middle east i think just as dangerous in a way. the u.s. can't be seen anymore and won't be seen as any kind of independent go between. it is not -- it is now tied to the saudi crown prince, of course to israel and sees iran as an enemy. maybe there's nothing new there but as senator corker put it,
this is a white house moonlighting as a public relations firm for the crown prince. and that's a republican chairman of the senate foreign relations committee with a pretty remarkable swipe at a republican president, ali. >> in that battle between murder and values, values lost. bill, thank you for that. bill neely, chief global correspondent putting this into sharp relief for us. like to bring in washington but owe chief daniel dale. daniel, you have chronicled a lot of what donald trump talks about and we have heard him talk a lot about how much he likes the saudis. let's go back a couple years. listen with me. >> i like the saudis. they're very nice. they buy all sorts of my stuff. all kinds of toys from trump. they pay me millions and hundreds of millions. saudi arabia and i get along great with all of 24e78. they buy apartments from me. 40 million, 50 million. am i supposed to dislike them?
i like them very much. >> daniel, here's the issue. there are lots of reasons why saudi arabia probably needs america more than america needs saudi arabia. saudi arabia's not buying hundreds of millions of dollars, hundreds of billions of dollars of stuff from america as donald trump claims. $14.5 billion. not hundreds of millions of jo b -- jobs from saudi arabia. this sounds -- this smells weird. it smells like donald trump is going absolutely out of his way to not upset the sensibility of the saudi rulers. >> i agree. and we have seen this before where even for trump, even by his standards, strange behavior. the extent to which goes out of the way not to anger autocrats is eyebrow raising and a number of possible reasons and impossible to pinpoint any given one. he has had financial entanglements with saudi arabia. we know that they flattered him very early in the presidency.
that famous orb photo. pull out all the stops to make him feel like he was king of the world. and, you know, there is john bolton and others in the administration telling him that iran is the real enemy here and saudi is not and we shouldn't be so quick to rule out personal affinity. he admires autocratic leaders, leaders that use violence to silence people that oppose them. we have seen that over and over with putin, with kim. in this case i think it's also possible in addition to the other things that trump simply has more sympathy for the autocrat that silenced the dissident than for the dissident himself. >> donald trump tweeted earlier oil prices getting lower, great. like a big tax cut for america and the world. enjoy. $54, was just $82. thank you to saudi arabia. but let's go lower. so there's a bunch of things going on right now. we get more oil from canada than
saudi arabia. secondly, american oil sort of a sweet spot and $54 at the very low end of that sweet spot. much lower than that as the president is calling for affects production from parts of the country that frack. and the third part is thank you to saudi arabia within 24 hours of the world saying that the response to saudi arabia was inadequate. >> yes. this is the classic trump double down. i think what he was trying to do there is make it seem as if there was some sort of benefit for america in the way he handled the khashoggi situation the day before and telling the gullible voters, look, i was nice to saudi arabia. they're giving you something back. they're giving you money and not at all how it works and that's his spin here. >> daniel, good to see you as always. thank you. daniel dale, "toronto star" washington but owe chief. president trump better get ready for this. nancy pelosi is moving toward another term as the speaker of the house.
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all right. congresswoman nancy pelosi's bid to be speaker is getting stronger. the only democrat publicly considering challenging pelosi as speaker, ohio congresswoman fudge now say she's support pelosi announcing last night as pelosi announcing to reinstate a subcommittee on elections and make fudge the chairperson of that committee. eugene, good to see you. >> you, as well. >> in an article of "nancy pelosi's last battle" chris van hollen that served in the house for years now in the senate said this of her. one of the things that's really set nancy pelosi apart is her uncanny ability to unite all the different democratic coalitions around a negotiating position and whether it was bush or boehner or ryan, they never doubted she had the votes to back up her position. this is really the strength of nancy pelosi.
>> absolutely. and i mean, it seems to be a position that some republicans understand even more than some democrats. we have seen donald trump come out in support of keeping pelosi as speaker and people affiliated with the republican national committee admitting in past elections they targeted pelosi primarily because she was so effective at what she is doing and doesn't seem that everyone who's a democrat in the house to get the message, though. >> you have been writing about this battle for the speakership. there's 16 democrats who signed a letter saying to oppose nancy pelosi. one of the arguments against pelosi is that democratic leadership should reflect those who supported democratic candidates most in this past election, including people of color, millennials, lgbtq voters but those calling for change in leadership are mostly white men. >> the majority of them who signed the original letter were either white men or from really conservative districts that have large percentages of white
working class voters. the reality is that that's not the demographics that helped democrats to be successful in the last midterm election. and while pelosi, it's not a woman of color and not a millennial, she formed strategic relationships with people in the house from these demographics and that why we saw marsha fudge come on board with her in part and then others supporting, her as well. >> this is interesting. nancy pelosi is 78 years old. alexandria is the youngest woman in congress. she is a progressive. both progressives. on chris hayes show, here's what she said about the letter which she didn't sign. >> if we are not on the same page about changing the systems and the values and how to adapt as a party for the future then what's the point of just changing our party leadership just for the sake of it? >> so that's an interesting question.
right? nobody's been able to actually go and run against nancy pelosi. two people have tried. fudge was about to try. the fact is the change has to come along with the this is what change looks like. how does nancy pelosi deal with this? she's good. she is effective. she is hard charging. she gets the job done. she is a legislative brain, a master negotiator. but she's got a lot of young members of congress who want to see something different. >> i think what she's been doing for a couple of weeks is reminding people to look at her record. she has this longevity of being in the house and vouching for groups she's not a part of and helping them get to the issues that they want to see become priorities for the democratic party. earlier today i was looking at a tweet of her speaking at a gay rights march in 1987. so, i mean, that type of message lets people know if i'm not just like you i can be here for you and the critics primarily are --
not been able to name a name they want to replace her and the whole anybody but pelosi argument is not strong to people who look at how successful she's been over decades. >> good did see you. >> always. coming up next, separating children from their parents, house asylum seekers in tents. you are paying for this and we have new details on how much president trump's immigration schemes cost american taxpayers. you are watching msnbc. hi, kids! i'm carl and i'm a broker. do you offer $4.95 online equity trades? great question. see, for a full service brokerage like ours, that's tough to do. schwab does it. next question. do you offer a satisfaction guarantee? a what now? a satisfaction guarantee. like schwab does. man: (scoffing) what are you teaching these kids? ask your broker if they offer award-winning full service and low costs, backed by a satisfaction guarantee. if you don't like their answer, ask again at schwab.
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welcome back. president trump's immigration policies are going to end up costing you big bucks. according to the associated press, the pentagon told congress it costs $72 million for the nearly 6,000 active duty troops to provide assistant to border agents. add that to the $138 million it will cost for the 2,100 national guard troops on a separate mission at the border since april and you have $210 million to keep troops on the southwest border. that money could pay for a year of college tuition, housing and meals for 10,000 veterans if they went to a state school. according to "new york times," the family separation policy cost $80 million and will grow with more than 140 children who are still in custody. joining me now is caitlyn dickerson for "the new york times" and wrote the article on the cost of family separations. good to see you.
thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> the family separation policy's no longer in effect but kids have been separated. how long do we know how long the kids stay in detention and continue to pay for this? >> yeah. so about 2,600 kids were separated over all and a small number in detention and about 145 or so and we're still paying to house them so the report that i got a hold of came from a democrat from connecticut, member of the house of representatives. she pressured hhs to explain to her how much money it had spent on housing and transporting these kids because they had to be reunified with the parents and it's $80 million to the legal fees, health care, dna testing to prove their parents were who they said they were because they were separated and poor records. >> wouldn't have needed if they weren't separated from the parents. >> this 140 or so kids costing money every single day not to
mention, you know, that this is, of course, damaging to them, as well. >> i think taxpayers are never clear about where money comes from. clearly there wasn't moneyer ark phd a budget for this policy popping up. where does the money come from? >> so the $80 million we talked about came out of the hhs budget and one of the biggest issues that the members of congress demanded the data pulled away from other programs under hhs like hiv and aids resedge aarch why you see people taking issue and other thing about money is we haven't talked about the amount of money spent in federal court on legal fees that have been required to defend the trump administration's immigration policies. they have been tied up since day one. >> court challenges. >> exactly. >> and then we have asylum seekers. that's a backlogged process. not entirely broken process.
donald trump would have you believe everyone that seeks asylum gets it. the percentage is quite low. >> it is. >> there are going to be hearings and backlogs now. that's also a cost. >> absolutely. it's a cost. the backlog in immigration court just surpassed 1 million cases. >> 1 million cases. >> 1 million cases and it is really, you know, for me, i'm covering immigration for years and i remember hit 750,000 and we thought how are they ever going to get through the number of cases and now over a million and hard to see how the process is fixed. there aren't enough judges and the process, you know, it is very disorganized. a new administration comes in and changes the order in which cases are heard, change the venue in which cases are heard and i've seen before and over again is reshuffles the issue and not fixed it. >> thank you for your great coverage of this. a national immigration reporter with "the new york times." okay. it is almost thanksgiving. americans are facing multiple urgent food warnings. the cdc, centers for disease
control, is warning against, get this, all romaine lettuce. we'll tell you what's not safe to eat this holiday season and you may lose weight after this thanksgiving break. you're watching msnbc. ♪ the greatest wish of all... is one that brings us together. the lincoln wish list event is here. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with $0 down, $0 due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment. only at your lincoln dealer. and a complimentary first month's payment. ♪ applebee's bigger bolder grill combos are back. now that's eatin good in the neighborhood.
on this thanksgiving week, the centers for disease control warning about a common food item to avoid. romaine lettuce. 32 americans have gotten sick in 11 different states due to what the cdc calls an e. coli outbreak. it's strange. it's not a huge number. i'll talk about why it's so serious. the states stretch across the country and might be part of the problem. california, new york, illinois, michigan, maryland. 13 of the people reported sick have been hospitalized. one case so see veer it resulted in kidney failure. but the outbreak doesn't stop in the united states. canadian officials report 18 people have been infected with that same strain of e. coli in ontario and quebec and no deaths thankfully have been reported from the united states or canada. but the cdc wants you to take it very, very, very serely.
in fact, one of the most serious recalls i have heard of. dr. john torres, nbc news medical correspondent joins me now. does this strike you as -- that's a big deal. normally you don't hear the cdc saying everybody all over the country don't sell it, store it or eat it. >> it came out with a message without prior warning making sure that the lettuce is out of everything, out of houses, stores, restaurants and i think what you are seeing is a couple of things like you mentioned. such a nationwide distribution and canada, as well. this thing could be just about anywhere and then families get together, salad for some people is a component of the thanksgiving dinner. they want to make sure that people aren't getting sick because of this, like you said, even though there aren't that many numbers, they could increase and it's -- >> might be good proactive stuff. what are the symptoms? >> getting i would milder, you might not know. you get the stomach flu. cramps, diarrhea. if it gets severe, severe
cramps, diarrhea, sometimes bloody diarrhea and fevers, seek help because it can change and get the kidney failures and if you remember in arizona in the spring, five deaths associated with that. >> what do you do if this happens? because people get those kinds of symptoms all the time. does it -- should it change your behavior? should you tell your doctor? maybe you had lettuce. >> if you had romaine lettuce and getting the symptoms, talk to your doctor. if you don't know if you did or don't think you did, see what happens over the next few hours. getting worse, especially if you start getting diarrhea, severe cramps, bloody diarrhea and low grade fevers, seek medal help at that point. >> talk about other recall warnings, not just romaine lettuce but beef, ground turkey and cake mix. >> and i think what you are seeing happening here is a product of the distribution system. used to be the question i get from people all the time, why are we seeing so many recalls
these days? and then the numbers haven't gone up but the distribution is wider. and the old days a lot of things locally produced and region 58. now it's ships to maine. the shipping down to florida. this is the kind of thing that is going flanation wide in distribution centers where one place is taking care of a whole nation. they have to warn the whole nation. >> good to see you. do take this information very seriously. this is matter of your life and health and your family's life. we're live in mississippi next where a racially charged senate fight is under way after republican cindy hyde-smith sort of kind of apologized for her remarks about public hangings. does democrat mike espy have a chance in this red state? john roberts was uncharacteristically critical of the president's rhetoric today
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hyde-smith gave during a debate. she expressed regret for a joke where she said she would be on the front row of a public hanging. here's what they said. >> for anyone that was offended there's no ill will, no intent what so ever in my statements. i recognize this comment was turned into a weapon to be used against me, a political weapon used for personal and political gain. >> no one twisted your comments because your comments came out of your mouth. i don't know what's in your heart but we all know what came out of your mouth. it's caused our state harm. it's given our state another black jie theye that we don't n. >> both candidates didn't get enough votes to get a run off
election. joining me from cleefveland, manyst miley cyrman mississippi. what is mike espy saying? >> reporter: good afternoon. i think we'll cut right to the sound. i was down here, this is the delta region here. this is a high concentration of the black voting community here in a north western part of the state where mike espy was campaigning. this tape that came out there of cindy hyde-smith referring to going and being willing to sit in the front row of public hanging that's been the focus of the conversation from hattisburg to jackson. to those who were offended she apologized. this is what mike espy told us. >> i try not to judge people. i only heard what i heard. when i began to hear that coming
out of her mouth, i looked and she had her head down and she was reading it. my mother always told me when you apologize to someone, you look them in the eye. you tell them that you're sorry and you offended them and try to make reparations if you can. i can judge her sincerity. >> reporter: mike espy was out on the campaign trial. he's been visiting and doing retar retail stops. who has not been on the trail is cindy hyde-smith. she's not made an appearance since on capitol hill last tl z thursday. there's not been much of a reckoning of that statement she made there. this is an issue when talking to individuals here, particularly in african-american community, who said there's a history to this. there's a history to this and they said not only were there parents and grandparents familiar with what a public hanging meant here and they said
cindy hyde-smith apology or lack of apology up until last night has put them into this situation of having a difficulty of understanding of where she was coming from and i want to mention that walmart has pulled back its -- yesterday in their state they said they were pulling out -- they were asking cindy hyde-smith to refund their donation. over the next six days it will be a question of whether a large part of this white population, the white electorate will be willing to go and vote for mike espy. the numbers from the democrats campaign, they need to pull about 25% of the white electorate to pull off a victory. >> that's a big task. i saw you speaking to one farmer who is a republican and said he will be voting for mike espy. katie, you were busy last night doing something very interesting. i don't know if you saw the
debate or heard it but cindy hyde-smith has a remarkable ability to replace one foot with the other when she says something. there's only a few right answers to her comment that she made. you and i discussed it the other day. her apology seemed insincere and then she accused mike espy of twisting it. >> she had to read her apology as well. i think she's shown something of her true colors so for. when you say that comment and try to defend it and you refuse to answer questions on that comment you're speaking pretty loudly by not speaking at all. >> as you know, her speaking loudly may not be inadvertent. >> when you're talking about a public hanging in mississippi, there's only one way to read that. it calls back some very ugly memories of our past in place where those ugly memories are not in the distant past. they are still very raw. >> there are vote rs who are
alive that no lynchings. >> talking about voter suppression and lafr abough abo. it's strange she had to look at her notes so many times. usually when you're looking to elect somebody, you want them to have a handle on it. >> good to see you. i'll see you back here in an hour. >> what are you thankful for? >> my whole life has turned into being thankful for things and not the other way around. i'm thankful for friends, this opportunity to work here and my family. >> i like your sincere answer. happy thanksgiving. it's 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in the east. this hour, new proof that president trump isn't just trying to test the limits of his power but attempting to make those limits disappear. this, according to a report