tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC November 28, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PST
being from michigan, and legal tax schemes in the tax bill, it does encourage companies to move overseas because they pay a lower effective tax rate on their subsidiaries. >> stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. good morning, everyone, i'm stephanie ruhle. i've got to start today with crimes and lies, a new report suggests paul manafort's attorneys repeatedly briefed president trump's attorneys on their discussions with robert mueller. the president's attorney, rudy giuliani defending the move as "a source of valuable insight into the special counsel's inquiry," and said mueller is treating manafort like a terrorist. gut check, in a wide ranging interview with the "washington post," the president questions climate change and again he blasts his own fed chair, the president saying his own gut tells him more than anyone else's brain ever could. and lost in translation,
trump officials preparing to brief lawmakers on jamal khashoggi's death. without the person who has heard the tape of the murder. national security adviser john bolton defending his decision not to listen to that tape. >> no, i haven't listened to it. unless you speak arabic, what are you going to get from it? >> you could get a translator. we begin today with a legal twist that is straight out of a john grishom novel. paul manafort agreeing to work with bob mueller, and then turning around and feeding details about mueller's investigation directly back to the president and his lawyers. i know, stranger than fiction. i have a panel here this morning to explain what's going on, but let me try and lay it out for you. it turns out that president trump and his legal team have reportedly been getting the inside scoop on mueller's investigation for months with manafort's attorney communicating information directly to trump's team, even after manafort agreed to cooperate with the special
counsel. that is according to "the new york times." and now we can make it clear. the idea of trump and manafort coordinating their legal strategies, it's not a new one. we learned in september that the two had a joint defense agreement that allowed them to share confidential information, up theically when a defendant flips and agrees to a plea deal, they have to pull out of agreements like that. as nbc news reported at the time, once manafort changed sides, the agreement should have been null and void. but giuliani told "the new york times" there was still communication going on, an arrangement that legal experts describe as unusual. here's my question, unusual, unethical, was it illegal? giuliani defended the arrangement to the times saying it was a source of valuable insights into the special counsel's inquiry and where it was headed. yeah, of course it was. "the new york times" went on to say that "such information could help shape a legal defense and appeared to give mr. trump and his legal advisers ammunition in their public relations campaign
against mueller's office." here's an example. giuliani told the "times" that manafort's lawyers told him mueller's investigators were intent on finding out what the president knew about the trump tower meeting in 2016. he said that mueller was trying to get manafort to incriminate trump. that is just one single example. remember this. manafort met with mueller's investigators over a dozen times. that's a lot of information that could have been passed along. and this morning the president decided to weigh in on all of this on twitter,
of course, saying this." while the disgusting fake news is doing everything within their power not to report it that way, at least three major players are intimating that the angry mueller gang of dems is viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts and they will get relief. this is our joseph mccarthy era." oh, my gosh, i'm sad i only have an hour. we have a lot to get to. for more on that, i want to turn
to nbc's peter alexander at the white house. peter, first of all, intimated, that's a new word for the president, or somebody else is tweeting for him. what can you tell us? >> that tweet from the president echoes comments from one of his personal lawyers as well, rudy giuliani, as he's been writing about robert mueller's team. it's clear stpt and giuliani are working if the same playbook in terms of their pr campaign. in a text message this morning to nbc news, giuliani accused federal prosecutors of treating manafort like a terrorist. "incarcerating him before trial, solitary incarceration, repeated questioning, after manafort denies, showing they're willing to exert unusual pressure that could tempt someone to lie and get out of jail." giuliani and trump also, as you noted, referring to a gang of dems, committed democrats, appears to be specifically attacking one of mueller's deputies, a long-time senior justice department prosecutor
andrew weissman who has a reputation of being relentless. critics say he can also be combative. it gives us new insight to what we've been learning over the last 12 to 24 hours. the most recent twitter attack, the president is saying wait until it comes out how horribly and viciously they are treating people, ruining lives, he said on tuesday. he's been on twitter a bunch this morning, retweeting an account that shows a picture of hillary clinton, robert mueller, eric holder, among others, behind bars, effectively accusing them of treason. stephanie? >> as i said, peter, we have a lot to get through. i want to bring in my panel. joyce vance, ken dilanian, and christine todd whitman, the
former republican governor of my home state in new jersey, and michael schmidt. he co-wrote today's article on manafort. joyce, i have to go to you first, information sharing. where is the line between the unusual arrangement of paul manafort's attorneys speaking to trump's attorney and a legal arrangement. >> the idea of information sharing is a way that co-defendants in an investigation, a group of people who are under investigation, can continue to share investigation -- or can continue to share information without losing the protection of the attorney/client privilege, which would shield the conversation typically between an attorney and his client, but here sharing the information among the group. that's something prosecutors don't necessarily like but it's been approved repeatedly. >> would we consider trump and manafort to be co-defendants? >> i think i used co-defendant
loosely. maybe it's better to say people who are under investigation. and so in that sense we were told by giuliani that trump had joins defense agreements with more than 30 people who were under investigation by mueller, apparently including manafort. but here's where that protection ends. once your interests diverge and you no longer have a common interest people who decide to cooperate with prosecutors will withdraw from a joint defense agreement, often joint defense agreements require someone in that situation to withdraw. what happened here with manafort and his lawyers and white house trump lawyers is very unusual. they continued to share information. >> but legal -- >> it may be legal. we need to know the precise details. it could be problematic under the terms of the plea agreement, although here apparently there was nothing that explicitly prevented the sharing. it could be, for instance, witness tampering if pardons
were being dangled and there was something of that nature, an effort to tamper with the witness. so it will be important for us to know the precise details before we can make a decision about whether this is unusual, unethical or perhaps criminal. >> okay. then ken, you wrote about this joint defense agreement in september. when paul manafort's team decided to cooperate, joyce is right here, it should have been null and void, their defense agreement, but it technically wasn't. why? >> as a matter of law, i believe it was null and void because under a joint defense agreement you have to have a common legal interest. and their interests diverged, trump's and manafort's, as soon as manafort signed on as a cooperator with robert mueller. the key issue, those conversations between the lawyers may not be subject to attorney/client privilege. what does that mean? that could mean that mueller would haul kevin downing and rudy giuliani and others before
the grand jury to testify about what was said before so mueller can find out what information was passed. that's the issue here is that whether there is an attorney/client privilege preserved and most legal experts i've talked to don't think there is because manafort was cooperating. the other real damage that could have been caused here is not so much the questions mueller was asking. everybody knows what mueller wants to know. the issue is that when manafort came into the fold as a cooperator, he might have learned secret and confidential information that mueller didn't want trump to know and he may have passed that on to the trump team. very damaging to robert mueller's investigation and it could add up to obstruction of justice. >> michael schmidt joins us by phone. i was surprised that rudy giuliani was willing to admit this arrangement, he wouldn't confirm it to nbc. you tell us, what exactly did giuliani say and why would he tell you that?
>> i'm not sure why he said that, he talks on the record about the investigation a lot. and he basically said that this was something that was helpful to them, that allowed them to learn it. and he said it was fine and legal so he was defending it. and i think he thought maybe if he talked about it on the record he could defend it better. i'm not sure. but what this did do is it gave them real insights into what was going on and it helped feed the president's anger about the mueller investigation. the president was learning that investigators were pressuring manafort. this is what manafort's lawyers were saying, to tell them what the president knew about the 2016 trump tower meeting, a meeting where the president's son met with russians offering dirt on hillary clinton. and giuliani said that they wanted manafort to incriminate the president. and that is a significant sort of detail to know that the investigators were so hard pressing on manafort to give
them that piece of information. and why were they doing that? and giuliani using that fact as a way of saying, look, these guys are out to get the president. >> this is stunning to me. governor, does it add fuel to the fire that what manafort is looking for here is a pardon? because there's no goodness of his heart. why on earth would paul manafort and his team be coordinating or sharing information after they did a deal with robert mueller, with rudy jewel ja rudy giulian? >> he's cooperating, he's feeding them the kind of information they need to gear up a defense when it comes down. the thing that gets me, the president keeps saying there's no there there, why are you so worried about what might happen? >> good point. >> it's a question i've had for a while.
>> i always thought the truth was supposed to set you free. is it possible this was the plan all along, that they were always going to coordinate? because robert mueller is now in a situation where, yes, maybe you could use this as obstruction of justice. but would robert mueller have known, would he have believed, yeah, manafort's going to go straight back to trump? if he hadn't, it's dangerous what giuliani may know at this point. >> even if he's not seeking a pardon, he's still helping the defense of the president and he's violating the terms of his plea agreement and sharing information about this investigation. and that, in itself, should be illegal. so their interests never diverged. what it appears to be is that manafort intended all along to do this, whether it's for a pardon or whether it's because he intends to go to jail anyway so that putin won't poison his family. god knows what paul manafort is
up to. there are many, many theories about why he's doing this. i would think, from what we know of robert mueller, that this is not his first rodeo, and he would anticipate that someone as reckless and gangster as paul manafort would certainly be tempted to go before the president's lawyers and be ratting out everything about the questioning and the investigation. i don't think this would be coming as a surprise to robert mueller. i believe he probably has a contingency plan. >> how damaging is it to robert mueller, that president trump and his steam have basically had the inside scoop on all that he's been focusing on. >> well, i think amy's right when she characterizes manafort as gangster and says it's likely mueller suspected this was happening. mueller has this background that suggests to us that he's very skillful at playing both ends in
a situation. he worked in ukraine and in other parts of the world where he sort of manipulated both sides. no surprise that he would try to do that here. one suspects that prosecutors knew what this game was pretty early on and perhaps even used this situation to see if manafort and trump would align their responses to questions. of course, mueller waited to spring the trap on manafort until trump's answers had been submitted. so there's some possibility that we'll see alignment between the president's responses and the story that manafort was telling prosecutors, that prosecutors may be able to make some use out of down the road. bottom line, i don't think mueller is particularly damaged by this situation. >> ken, can mueller use this as potential evidence for obstruction? >> we're going to find out soon, stephanie, when mueller files that document when he's laying out crimes and lies that caused
this plea agreement to fall apart, particularly if manafort lied about the fact his lawyers were feeding information to trump. that could be very germane going forward. >> michael, it's more than just manafort. in your article you point out that giuliani had joint defense arrangements with 32 witnesses, or subjects of mueller's investigation. is it possible he's getting a whole lot more information than we realize? >> caller: yeah, and that's not that unusual in any type of large white collar investigation. it sort of speaks to the severity of what's going on and how serious the investigation is. the interesting thing for us was that a year ago mike flynn, the former -- the president's national security adviser, pulled out of his joint defense agreement with the president several days before he agreed to cooperate with mueller and since has been in a cooperation agreement with mueller. so he sort of more formally put distance between his legal team
and the president's legal team and then essentially went to go work for mueller. we have no indication after that that flynn's lawyers were giving messages back to the president. >> governor, is this still a legal fight or do you believe the president has pivoted this to be all about the court of public opinion? >> that's what he's trying to do. no question about it. he's been brilliant at doing it in the past. but i don't think so. robert mueller has a terrific reputation. and so far he has held this so tightly that you can't say that he's out there leaking things and trying to make things look bad for the president. he is doing his job and he will not -- he's the kind of person that once he is given an assignment and he thinks he's got something to do, he's going to do it to the very end. he's a bulldog that way. but no one has ever questioned, except this president, his integrity. and the fact that he really is someone who is going to dot all the i's and cross all the t's, and he's not finished until he's done and we're not going to know
a lot until he is ready to share that. the one thing you don't do to bob mueller, don't lie to im. that's been something drilled into him from the beginning, everyone knows that. >> republican leaders, mitch mcconnell, paul ryan, the list goes on, are they going to weigh in here? >> when you talk to them privately the last year and a half they say we'll see what happens because they don't want to deal with the daily lies and the leaking and explosions around the clock. so what they say is we'll just -- what they say is wait and see. the question we were talking about, who at that point will say this is joseph mccarthy and bar barf out more trump tweets and say how it's cooked up. who will say actually there looks criminal? >> do you think we're closer? >> i do think that -- i don't believe robert mueller is about to wrap this up.
i think he's about to wrap up part of it. and i don't have mueller sources. as the governor says, nobody does. i do believe this is more far ranging than people understand, and i don't think that this is about to conclude. i think that will drive the president crazy, but i wouldn't be surprised if this spills well into 2019. >> before we go, ken, fill me in. it was over two weeks that it was reported matthew whitaker was going to be meeting with ethics attorneys who talk about will he need to recuse himself, conflicts of interest. last i checked we haven't heard anything about it and he's still in his seat. >> there's been an information vacuum on this subject. the justice department has refused to answer questions about whether there's been a ruling on whether matthew whitaker is conflicted because of the many statements he's made prejudging the facts of the mueller investigation. we don't know if whitaker is in charge of the mueller investigation. >> why don't we know? >> they won't tell us, steph. >> then we just have to keep asking.
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simple. easy. awesome. stay connected while you move with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. president trump's gut, his gut tells him more than anybody else's brain. that is just one of several new declarations by the president in a wide ranging interview with
the "washington post." in addition to stressing his high level of intelligence on climate change, the president also weighed in on the economy. gm's announcement to lay off thousands of workers, the president laying his finger against jerome powell, calling fed his biggest threat. saying "i'm not blaming anybody but i will tell you at this moment in time i am not happy at all with the fed. i am not at all happy with my choice. i think we have to let it go. if you look at it china is being accommodative, the euro and europe is being accommodative. we're not getting any accommodation. we're paying $50,000. we're paying down our liquidity. they're making a mistake because i have a gut. and my gut tells me more, sometimes, than anybody else's
brain ever can tell me." i'd like to remind our audience it is that same gut that the the had that went bankrupt more than four times. and i'm just going to speak personally when i listen to my gut, what i usually hear is gas. joining me now, a "washington post" reporter who was there conducting the interview with the president. he's an msnbc political analyst, phil rucker. we've gone from the art of the deal to the art of incoherence. you repeatedly asked him about the economy. who should be responsible for the economy? you reminded the president that harry truman had a sign on his desk that read "the buck stops here." did the president take any personal responsibility? >> no, steph. he took no personal responsibility. in fact, he wouldn't even really engage that question about harry truman saying "the buck stops here." instead he pointed his finger at jerome powell, the federal reserve chairman. this was president trump's hand
selected nominee to run the central bank, but trump said that powell is responsible for any softening in the economy. he points to the raises and interest rates at the fed. trump was careful to say he does not think there will be a recession, but that he thinks anything wrong with the economy anywhere is squarely the fed's fault. >> did he acknowledge, he's complaining that interest rates are going up. in the last administration when interest rates were very low, he blamed janet yellen saying he was rigging the system. did he acknowledge that he wasn't had an issue with interest rates? >> he did not. he said, look, one of the reasons the economy is having these cracks is because his trade deals are taking too long to bear fruit. he said give it a little bit of time, be patient with these trade deals, he's busy doing trade deals but he's not getting the kind of backing he needs from the fed. he's very disappointed in powell. he said i'm not even a little
bit happy with his choice of jay, jay being jerome powell. >> he said janet yellen was too short for the job. her ph.d. from yale and the time she was teaching at the london school of economics and harvard, that would put her at about 7'0". you asked the president about a meeting with putin in argentina. he said this "maybe i won't have the meeting, maybe i won't even have the meeting, we're going to see." he then said this about russia seizing the ukrainian ships. he said "i don't like that aggression at all, absolutely, and by the way europe shouldn't like that aggression and germany shouldn't like that aggression. you know, they're paying 1% and they're supposed to be paying much more than 1%." walk us through how -- hopefully you weren't playing a drinking game when he said aggression. >> there was no drinking game. i was surprised about what he
had to say about putin. trump has been so reluctant to criticize putin, he's complimented his leadership and strength and military moves. yet he said he did not like the aggression in the black sea over the weekend. he was awaiting a briefing from his national security team that was supposed to happen last night. after that briefing he was going to decide whether to go ahead with the planned meeting with putin later this week in the argentina at the g-20 summit or to cancel it all together. he's facing some pressure in washington to cancel the meeting as a show of condemnation for what russia is doing. i'd have to tell you i'd be surprised if he gave up the chance to meet with putin, knowing how much he -- he thinks that relationship is important for his presidency and for the country. >> you also talked to him about climate change. i couldn't even understand any of it. you walk me through what he said. >> well, good luck understanding all of it. he had a lot of thoughts on climate change.
>> i don't understand any of it. >> we have the whole transcript at washingtonpost.com. he took issue with the climate report. he said, look, i don't see that climate change, global warming is manmade. he doesn't believe that scientific consensus. he took issue with the findings, the predictions that global warming would have long-term economic harm in the united states and he said, look, there are a lot of smart, intelligent people like me who are not -- and this is his words, who are not believers in climate change. he's a skeptic. >> did he cite why he believes that? the report that came out friday was from scientists. and i know the president urged to you that he relies on that smart gut of his. in terms of climate, why is it that he doesn't believe? >> he had a whole answer about going from the forest fires in california, not being raked, to pollution coming over from asia,
drifting through the pacific ocean into the united states. and all sorts of other reasons. he said, look, he doesn't think that the atmosphere is changing as rapidly as the science would show. he's not convinced that it's caused by man, that it's pollution from man that is creating the warming of the temperatures around the world. he's simply not on board with the findings of the government and frankly with the consensus within the scientific community. >> so you were not alone in the room with the president, some members of his team were there, bill shine, kellyanne conway, bill sanders, were they nodding in approval? >> they were there observing the interview and they certainly were sort of in agreement with what he was saying but they let him do the interview. they actually didn't interject at all, except for one sort of aside that kellyanne conway made at the end of the interview. >> about what? >> regarding the mueller investigation. trump said -- we asked trump
will you commit, here and now, to allow robert mueller to continue this russia investigation until its natural conclusion? and trump sort of laughed and said that question's been asked, you know, many, many times over the last two years, and kellyanne jumped in and said a thousand times, sort of as a joke that he keeps being asked that. he would not commit to letting mueller continuing the investigation. he said i have no intention of ending the investigation now, or taking that sort of action now, but he would not commit to letting this go to its conclusion. >> my goodness, it was some interview, phil, thank you so much. if people haven't seen it yet, you've got to check the full transcript out. we've got to move on. president trump again insisting that new plants are coming in light of general motors' recent announcement of cutting more than 14,000 jobs. after being blasted with harsh criticism over gm's decision to slash jobs, he tweeted this. very disappointed with general motors and their ceo for closing plants in ohio, michigan and maryland. nothing being closed in mexico
and china. the u.s. saved general motors. and this is the thanks we get. we are now looking at cutting all gm subsidies, including for electric cars gent motors made a bet in china, a bet years ago when they built plans there, and mexico, don't think that bet is going to pay off. i'm here to protect america's workers. all right, well 14,000 of them are going to clock out in the coming days and not have anywhere to go. i wonder how the president is going to help them. cnbc dom chu joins me now. after the president sent out the tweet threatening to cut their subsidies, we saw the stock go down. can the president literally do that? can he remove the subsidies on one specific company? >> i mean, so there's a question about whether what he can do with regard to anything in this environment right now, specifically with regard to his threat about gm, there's still a
lack of clarity with regard to what subsidies he's referring to, are these the tax credits for individuals purchasing electric vehicles? if so, i mean, these are possibly things that need legislative approval to go through. so as analysts right now, not just in the auto sector, but also just with regard to legislative policy, start to take note of this, a lot of parsing of details will come out about what the possibilities are that trump could actually take action on this from a unilateral standpoint as the chief executive of this country. >> dom, let's say he had the ability to, he can't do it to just one company and not hit ford, for example. >> he's shown he's targeting companies in the past. not from an explicit policy standpoint, but from a rhetoric standpoint to get people to pay more attention to him. these are negotiating tactics he's used in the past to bring ceos to the table to cut the dealing. harley davidson, a one-time ally
of president trump and he turned his attention to them in a much more dire way after their response to tariffs and trade, and their moving of production elsewhere around the world. that's something that we've got to pay attention to as well. all of this is going to have perhaps an impact on the overall markets. it could drive sentiment. one of the things that many experts still tell us right now is that trade tariffs remain one of the biggest concerns for the market overall. now the markets are about 8% or 9% off the record highs. one of the concerns we're going to have is whether or not that slowing of the u.s. economy, the slowing of the world economy, is going to have any impact on policy, not just from washington, from a law point of view, but also from the federal reserve as well. these are all things these guys are watching. >> larry kudlow is a massively pro free markets, pro capitalism kind of guy, as is the president. what has happened here with gm is the free market's working. you could dislike it, but the president has no ability to force a company to keep plants
open. now, those 14,000 people who are losing their jobs, someone needs to care and someone needs to help them. but it's not gm's responsibility. so when the president says they're biting the hand that feeds them, they shouldn't be doing this, this is free markets, this is capitalism. >> well, so you hit on a number of really relevant points right now. the reason why it's important is because you do have a president, and you have an economic adviser in larry kudlow who espoused certain policies they want to go through. free trade is one of them. even though the tariffs idea is not free trade, their concern right now is that the idea of free trade has been bastardized by policies on the chinese front or other countries around the world taking advantage of the u.s. that aside, free market capitalism also works in trying to find the best allocation of capital. where can you best spend the money to get the best return for shareholders? unfortunately in this case here gm has made a decision that it
could be not in those plants here in the united states. that does result in job cuts. so there's a real push and pull, a tug of war going on right now with regard to whether or not the policies by this administration are really free trade and pro-capitalism, or are they geared more towards protecting things on the u.s. workers front. those are both things the administration has espoused in their time here. >> the markets way up this morning, is that ahead of jerome powell's next speech? >> this is the expectation right now that the markets could see jerome powell, the federal reserve chair, perhaps indicate or stay the line that they will be data dependent. that if the economy shows signs of softening, that the fed will respond in kind. so this idea that the fed may not be on this straight line aggressive path towards raising interest rates is something that markets are watching. for right now it's leading to fractional gains in stocks. >>dom chu, thank you so much. coming up republican cindy hyde-smith defeating her democratic opponent mike espy,
becoming the first woman elected to congress out of the state of mississippi. steve kornacki is showing us what the vote tells us about the midterms and beyond. george woke up in pain. but he has plans today. hey dad. so he took aleve. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve. all day strong.
welcome back, i'm stephanie ruhle. the last senate race of the midterms is over. republican cindy hyde smith is the projected winner of mississippi's controversial runoff, defeating democrat mike espy in one of the most racially charged elections of the 2018 midterms. hyde-smith claims she won 54 to 46 because mississippians know her heart. >> tonight in this victory the reason we won is because mississippians know me and they know my heart. and thank you for stepping up, mississippi. i've said all along this isn't about me, this is about the people of mississippi and what's important to the people of mississippi. >> all right, nbc's steve kornacki, of course, joins me live. according to hyde-smith mississippians stepped up. tell us what went down. >> she wins by eight points. put that in some perspective.
mississippi obviously a very red state. this is actually on the closer end of how things can turn out in mississippi. by comparison, in 2016, trump won this state by 18. again, it was eight points last night. go back to 2012, obama getting 44% for a democrat. this was actually the high water mark for democrats in the modern era for federal elections in mississippi. 44%. again, 46% for espy last night. democrats overperformed what they normally do in mississippi. an eight point victory for hyde-smith. why was she ultimately able to survive? for a democrat to have a chance in mississippi three things you need, number one, overwhelming support and strong turnout in the delta and majority black counties, especially along the mississippi river. espy got that last night. strong support in the majority black areas in the states. there are some, not many, but
some suburban areas in mississippi. and those voters we talk about, nationally democrats trying to rely on, college-educated, commuter class, white collar professional. a place like this, up here, de soto county, 15 miles from memphis, largest, fastest growing counties in mississippi. hyde-smith won it, but espy jumped up ten points from what hillary clinton got. >> notice the chris mcdaniel voters is this. >> no, what you're looking at -- potentially. but what you're looking at here are -- it's the question of are these the sort of culturally moderate, traditionally republican voters, upscale economically, are these republican voters who were offended by cindy hyde-smith and by her comments, republican voters turned off by president trump? it's an atypically high performance for a democrat in a more densely populated, by the standards of mississippi, county. espy probably needed even more out of de soto, but it's the
reason he got this statewide. it's the part that's missing. heavily rural areas, trump level support for hyde-smith there. you needed to have -- for the democrats you needed to have a dent in republican enthusiasm in support there. that part didn't happen. hyde-smith survives by eight. >> democrats need to look at that map and head over to those districts, steve, thank you so much. up next, president trump once again throwing cold water on his cia, the cia's assessment that saudi arabia ordered the killing of "washington post" columnist jamal khashoggi. meanwhile the secretaries of state and defense are expected to meet with senators today on the situation in yemen and saudi arabia. but a key member of the team will not be in the room. the cia director gina haspel. we're going to discuss why not. . >> tech vo: this teacher always puts her students first. >> student: i did mine on volcanoes. >> teacher: you did?! oh, i can't wait to read it.
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you owe it to yourself, to your team, to find a fresh start. so, yeah, that's why i did it. that's why i walked away... from my fantasy league. (announcer) redeem your season on fanduel. play free until you win. fanduel. more ways to win. in a little more than an hour secretary of state mike pompeo and defense secretary jim mattis will brief senators on the situation in yemen in saudi arabia, including the killing of jamal khashoggi. one person who will not be there is cia director gina haspel, despite a bipartisan group of senators requesting specifically that she or a representative from the cia be present to speak about the cia's assessment of the saudi arabia crown prince's involvement in khashoggi's murder. let's go live to capitol hill and msnbc's garrett haake.
okay, gina haspel is not going to be in the room. pompeo will be there. mattis will be there. neither of them listened to the tapes. john bolton didn't listen to the tape. he said because he doesn't speak arabic. but, of course, he could use an interpreter. what should we make of this hearing? if it was going to be real, wouldn't you have people who firsthand knew as much information as possible? >> well, think about it in terms of a broader context here, this all senators meeting is going to be about saudi arabia, but also about yemen. it is a combined hearing, a meeting of all 100 senators to talk about these two issues in tandem. there's going to be a vote later today in the senate on whether the u.s. should get its armed forces out of yemen. so the presence of secretary mattis and secretary pompeo will likely include some lobbying on their part towards the senators to allow the u.s. military to stay in yemen and to continue to support saudi arabia. remember, you also had this op-ed from mike pompeo dropping
overnight today, all of which centers around this idea that saudi arabia needs to remain a strategic ally. senators i talked to, almost to an individual, are far more skeptical of the saudi arab government, the royal family and their role in the khashoggi killing than the president is. >> they're far more september ca -- skeptical, are they doing anything about it? gina haspel won't be in the room. they don't correct the president when he won't acknowledge the fracking. they could be skeptical in private conversations all they want. today is the day when the rubber hits the road and they would hear the actual findings. who is standing up taking issue with the fact that pastel is s haspel is not there? >> every senator i've spoken to in both parties says they do want haspel to be here. lindsey graham and bob menendez,
and graham who's been an ally of trump, sending a letter to the white house saying we want gina haspel here. we don't know why she is not coming. the white house, john bolton have in the been coming. this is a vote that's happened in the past and failed. all indications are more and more senators are coming around the idea it will be up to them to same some concrete step to stand in the way of this administration's relationship between saudi arabia and say this is something we just don't want to be a part of anymore. we might get an actual opportunity to see if senators are willing to force that issue later this afternoon. >> they asked for her to be there. they could keep asking. they could keep demanding. they could ask for answers why she's not. i'm going to have my eye on that today. thank you. we're just minutes away from the start of democratic leaders elections. we'll find out if nancy pelosi
will stay the person in charge. one point of contention could put her power in jeopardy. we'll dig into that. this president declared war on the rule of law. but you gave democrats the power to hold him in check. a majority vote in the house can impeach him and expose his lawless behavior for all to see. they just need the will. please join over six million americans and together we can give congress the courage to act. then, we can begin building a more just and prosperous future.
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time for money power politics. in a few minutes house democrats are set to start voting for their new leadership roles for the new year. we'll keep you posted on all that happens there as new developments come throughout the day. one point of contention for those challenging nancy pelosi's commitment is her commitment to pay go. also pay as you go. it requires spending cuts or tax increases to cover the cost of any new policy. when democrats passed obama care back in 2010, every cent of additional spending had to be offset by spending cuts and tax increases. democrats passed a law making pay go required for all legislation going forward. when republicans took control, they voted to waive the pay go rules in favor of the tax cuts and spending bills they wanted to get through. some democrats are coming into the house who want to throw pay go out the window entirely. they want to improve health
care, tackle climate change and reduce college. the president is pushing for billions of dollars for the border wall funding. remember that mexico was going to pay for it. even threatening a shutdown of the federal government if he doesn't get his way. here is what chuck schumer had to say about that. >> the $1.6 billion for border security negotiated by democrats and republicans is our position. we believe that is the right way to go. third, if there's any shutdown, it's on president trump's back. first, left to our own devices the senate and house could come to an agreement. second, the republicans are in control of the presidency, house and senate. the shutdown is on their back. >> my panel back with me. the president wants billions of dollars for the wall. this is only going to increase the deficit. does the deficit not matter to
republicans at this point? what are the consequences of doing this to the deficit? >> it seems the republicans don't care anymore. it saddles the next generation, our children and grand children with a huge burdens because there's going to be a price to pay. the economy will continue to go along and people will say the deficit doesn't impact that much but as you see it grow, it does start to have financial implications. right now still the dollar is strong. people are investing in the united states. other countries are coming to this currency. we still have strength here. it's going to come a point where that's going to start to return around. that will be very, very difficult to overcome and it will be devastating in the long run. >> where is that point because it doesn't seem toll be a core issue for voters. it seems to be abstract. look at the ballooning deficit. if you look at his business career, he's great at racking up debt. >> the voters don't want to hear that we have to cut spending.
what trump introduced to the republican party is the idea of throwing it overboard. they followed along and they've run up the bills with president trump through their tax cut and other things. everything you look at, he wants to keep entitlements spending where they are. he wants a wall. everything is a big budget item. the idea of this wall, they are advocating it's really necessary and you've seen what's happened at the border and they are not interested in having this discussion anymore and they know that -- they can't disagree with president trump. they know once in power, the democrats will stop come plplai about debt. it's something you did when the republicans are in control. when you want to spend like you just pointed out, they'll stop talking about it. >> why should anybody be responsible if you don't get in
trouble for being irresponsible. if they want to do something on climate change and health care, that costs money. >> all the new female members and old female members from both sides ought to get in a room together and they'd solve it. women balance budgets. they care about -- many of these women are mothers. they have households. i'm not joking. i really think they will make a difference even though you have some of those new member kos cog in who do want to spend on everything. you can understand because they want to help people. unfortunately, it comes with a price. the immediate price you can get away with but another five, ten years we'll be paying a heavy price. >> i always end the show with good news. let's put the girls if charge. that's our good news for the day. thank you so much. we're going to leave it to
there. i hand off to another great lady who will be in charge for the next hour. this morning heads spinning. new headlines in the russia investigation as senators try force a bill to protect the special counsel. two key lawmakers say they have the vote but it may be dead in the water with mitch mcconnell even as we're learning about paul manafort's lawyers sharing details with the president's lawyers. that plea deal he cut evaporating. with donald trump's attorney, rudy giuliani, is telling us just this morning. the president himself unplugged and unincumbekucup -- unincumbered. happening now, the first test for nancy pelosi. house democrats meeting in private sg