tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 2, 2018 4:00am-4:30am PST
earthquake, a tsunami and god knows what else. >> yeah. yeah. yeah. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm natalie moralis. thank you for watching. good morning. i'm dara brown at msnbc in new york. here's what's happening. face to face, at least one critical bit of news after president trump and the leader of china met for hours trying to settle an escalating trade badle. individual one fallout from the michael cohen guilty plea. what new did we learn about the president and russia. in perfeil. could robert mueller's next targets be the trump family? the last days, last words and
plans for the last resting place. how 43rd president george h.w. bush will be memorialized by the nation he served. new this morning, president trump back at the white house just about two hours ago after returning from the g20 summit in argentina. his final act there a trade truce with chinese president xi jinping. the trump administration has agreed not to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of chinese goods. those tariffs will remain at 10% but the u.s. is threatening to raise them to 25% if a new trade agreement is not reached in 90 days. in return, china has agreed to buy more energy and agricultural products from the u.s. beijing will designate the opioid drug as fentanyl as a skroe controlled substance. president trump says he will consider signing a two week waiver on the budget.
president trump also said that he will formally end the north american free trade agreement, quote, very soon. that will set a deadline of six months for the new congress to approve the revised and rebranded nafta. joining me now is melanie zanona with "the hill" and a reporter from the washington post. months of trade talks between the u.s. and china have proved unsuccessful. why is this any different? >> look, the trade war has been put on a temporary pause, there's a cease-fire but it's not over yet. now there is a 90 day clock for the talks to continue. they have to come to an agreement on a whole host of thorny issues. it's not just trade but also over intellectual property theft, cyber theft. there are a whole bunch of things they have to come to an agreement on. keep in mind there are competing forces in the white house. in the one corner you have
steven kn steve mnuchin and the other corner though you have his trade advisor, peter navorro, who's an absolute hawk on this issue. he wants the president to take a tougher stance against china. it could be the battle of which side of this comes through with the president. we'll just have to wait and see. but in the meantime, united states has agreed to not automatically impose these tariffs that are set to take place in january. >> shawn, why is this trade truce happening now? are his moderate economic advisors that melanie is talking about, are they gaining leverage, or is the president feeling the sting of china's retaliation to the tariffs? >> when you look back at the last two months, you look at the mid term elections, they looked at the trade policies and tariffs, this was something that was a sensitive subject. this is something the democrats were attacking him on. they had to tiptoe around it because they didn't want be to split from the president.
i think this is something that republicans, particularly on capitol hill, are going to look at and breathe a little bit of a sigh of relief to see the president pumping the brakes on his tariff policy. we'll see where this goes and what the route of this is, but certainly i think it's something that republican leaders are going to look at and say, this is something that they welcome. this was an issue that was politically perilous for them over the last few months and something they're hoping the president will turn the page on. we're seeing an initial indication of this right now. >> president trump wants to formally end nafta very soon. democratic house leader nancy pelosi has described the new deal as a work in progress. let's listen to her reservations about this new agreement. >> what isn't in it yet is enough enforcement reassurances regarding workers, provisions that relate to workers and to the environment. there also has not been a law passed in mexico in terms of wages and working conditions in mexico so when all of that
happens people will make a judgment about whether they will be supporting it. so is at any time -- this is not something that we have a piece of paper or we can say yes or no to. >> so, melanie, will pelosi get what she wants in this new nafta? >> well, look, it's goings to be an uphill battle to get nafta ratified by congress. not only in the senate do you have 2020 contenders trying to make their mark and create distance between themselves and the president but you have a newly empowered house majority. nancy pelosi and chuck schumer have concerns about the lack of the environmental protections and labor. they want to see something stronger. it's going to be difficult to get this through. i will say there has been some agreement between democrats, particularly from the rust belt who are skeptical of free trade and the president, so perhaps he could find some common ground here and thread the needle, but it's going to be difficult. president trump says he's willing to sign a two-week
agreement but what are they demanding and what is their strategy to get what they want? >> right now what you're seeing is a really big standoff over wall funding. republicans are saying we want $5 billion for trump's border wall. democrats are saying, hold on, there's a smaller number that we have agreed to in the past. we don't want to dedicate $5 billion to this. the question is whether negotiators will be able to meet someplace in between. if there is a temporary funding deal that extends this negotiation, we'll see whether they can come to aen agreement, but remember, this was a signature proposal that the president put forward as a candidate. he promised to construct the wall. he said as a candidate that he would have mexico pay for the wall. we have not seen that happen or any indication that that's going to happen. this is something that both sides are really, really digging in their heels right now. they don't really want to give up any ground. it will be interesting as we get towards these deadlines as to whether a deal can even be
struck. >> melanie, this michael cohen play, while it's cast a shadow over the g20 meeting, is there any conventional wisdom on what most impact the president will have from his plea? >> you know, i think immediately one thing we're going to be looking for is in the senate. they are already agreeing to review the tax money for donald trump when he testified to congress earlier this year. some of the things that cohen has said in this plea agreement raise questions about whether donald trump jr. was telling the truth or not when he testified about the pursuit of a trump tower in moscow. immediately that's something we're going to be looking for. in the long term it's also clear that before it was people around trump whom mueller was focusing in on but now it's clear that the president is becoming a target, individual number one as the complaints have said. we'll have to see whether or not there's real acting going on in washington here. >> sean, some democrats say they're going to hand over
testimony of congressional transcripts from the russia investigation. why would they do that and who is the most vulnerable here? >> melanie makes a great point. this investigation is going deeper and deeper toward not just the people around the president but potentially the president himself. democrats want to show that they're being transparent about this process. of cures, in a matter of weeks they are going to have subpoena power, power to hold their own investigations. as we see them emerge and whether they use their new powers when they're in the majority to conduct any investigations to follow up on any of these things, to hold any hearings. this is the kind of decisions they're going to have to make on a week-to-week and month-to-month basis while they're juggling trade, immigration and other things in the pipeline.
>> january will be here before you know it. sean and melanie, great to have you here on this sunday. thanks so much. >> thanks. overnight, a candlelight vigil for george h.w. bush. he died friday at the age of 94. his son neil spoke last night expressing thanks to the people in houston. >> anybody that would ask my dad even when he was in a wheelchair for a picture, he would stop and graciously, you know -- he would treat everybody in houston the same, with the same amount of respect. he loved houston. i should say i'm personally grateful. >> an official state funeral will take place from monday to thursday. the former president's remains will fly on air force one from houston to the u.s. capital where he will lie in state from monday evening to wednesday morning with the guard of honor in attendance. president trump has ordered flags to fly half staff for 30 days. a state funeral at the
washington national cathedral will be held on wednesday which has been declared a national day of mourning. the white house has said trump will attend the funeral. he will lie in repose overnight wednesday and the final funeral takes place thursday. before his remains are taken by union pacific train car, the same one named for bush 41 to texas a&m university and the george bush presidential library and museum. well, coming up, why special counsel robert mueller might soon get a whole lot more potential evidence in the russia probe and why it may come from congress. and nbcnews.com is asking for your nominations for the upcoming series "she thrives." black women making history. ten black women leaders who shape black culture and to nominate someone go to nbcnews.com/shethrives.
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new developments this morning when the president's former attorney turned mueller informa informant. democratic congressman believes he is not the only one who lied. take a listen. >> we also believe that sitting in the house basement are pages of lies and the transcripts of witnesses who came before the house intelligence committee that we wanted to send to bob mueller. item number one will be to get those transcripts to mueller and then we want to fill in the blanks on the russia investigation. >> joining me is criminal defense attorney ashley merchant. great to have you with us this morning. >> good morning. >> i want to get your take on
cohen's claim. >> cohen's claim is explosive. he's opening himself up to lying to congress, so extra charges, but i think he's getting closer to trump jr. and where that is really important is that's the best way to sort of squeeze the president. they're getting closer to his son, to his family. what we've seen is the closer they get to allies of his, that's not prompting him to come forward, but when they start to target his family, when they start to talk to folks about his family and talk about the trump tower deal and that donald trump jr. had some involvement in that, that's going to get us a lot closer to actually getting to president trump. >> and in that same memorandum cohen's lawyers state that michael voluntarily took steps to cooperate, even 23under the full bore attack of the president. >> part of what he's asked for is for mueller not to object to
a probation deal. so the judge could give him a probation deal. i think it's interesting to look at how cohen is doing this strategically versus how manafort is doing this strategically. what we've got likely is cohen has been able to get a deal where he is able to avoid jail time. manafort was not able to get that deal from special counsel so he is playing his cards now and he's trying to seek a presidential pardon in my opinion. i think what we're seeing is cohen was able to get what he wanted from special counsel. so that meant he's more likely to continue to cooperate and be truthful and reveal all of these things. when we compare that to manafort who is doing a completely different tactic and i think the reason is manafort is not able and was not able to get a deal that included significant jail time from special counsel. >> this comes one week after president trump submitted his question to the special counsel. what is your take on the timing? >> i think that they're getting closer and i think that they were waiting for the president
to submit those questions so that they could then go back and ask michael cohen his view on that because what they're looking for is to catch president trump in a lie, catch him in some type of obstruction because if they can't -- this is what we see a lot of times in federal investigations. you see this all the time where people are actually not indicted for the original crime they were investigated for but they are indicted for lying. they're indicted for some type of perjury. some type of obstruction of justice in the investigation. so following up on president trump's written answers with michael cohen could be the line -- the strategic line that they're trying to catch the president in some type of a lie or some type of obstruction of justice. >> a recent report in the wall street journal reveals that they have received e-mails between cohen, donald jr. and ivanka. >> i think this is headed towards his family, his children
being targets. special counsel has tried to pick off the different allies of the president and that has not led to what they need. and so at this point they're going to try and focus on potentially his children and hopefully that will cause the president to step up and to make some different admissions in order to protect his children. i think it's a sign that things are getting a lot closer. they're getting a lot closer to their end game and we'll see a resolution a lot sooner when the president's children are implicated. >> you say sooner, ashley. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. next a simple revolutionary tool that could lift people out of poverty. joining america in remembering george h.w. bush. "saturday night live" saluted him and recognizing mr. bush for his ability to laugh at himself.
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stock exchange and nasdaq holding a moment of silence tomorrow and both will close on wednesday. the markets usually close to honor the passing of a president having last done so in 2007 for president ford. today is the global citizens festival mandela special in south africa featuring artists like beyonce, jay z and ed sheeran. by campaigning to end extreme poverty kick start international is one of the organizations highlighted at the global citizens festival. its aim is to help farmers in african countries rise out of poverty. in kenya many farmers are rural farmers and they make enough to survive but they don't have enough for education, housing or savings. joining me is the ceo of kick start international. citi's a sponsor of the global 100. dr. fischer, welcome. >> thank you very much.
>> tell us a little bit about what you're doing in africa. >> kick start is a nonprofit social enterprise. it's based on the understanding that the number one need of a poor person in the world is one thing, a way to make a lot more money. the mission of kick start has enabled people to make a lot more money. 80% of the poor in africa are poor farmers. they're scratching out an existence on a little part of a piece of land to survive. the best way for millions of them to make more money is to move from rain fed farming to irrigated farming. they all plant at the same time, harvest at the same time. they can't sell to their neighbors. there's very few middlemen. they get very low prices. 40% of that crop rots in the field before it's eaten or sold. then a few months later in the dry season there's no food. 30% of africans are hungry. 35% are stunted because there's
no food in the dry season. we designed low cost pumps. the lowest cost pump is only $50 and with that little pipe you can irrigation 3/4 of an acre of land or more. >> how has this affected the middle class in africa? >> we started with these pumps since 2000. we've sold 350,000 pumps. that's lifted 102 million people completely out of poverty. there's close to 100 million farmers to do the same thing. we've only reached 1.2 million. we're partnering with donors. we're partnering with nonprofits, with u.n. agencies, with government agencies, with the private sector and with banks like citi. >> kick start international says that its mission is to take people out of poverty sustainab sustainably. what does that mean? >> they're no longer worried
about the basics, about having food security, income security, being able to pay for health care, sending their kids to primary school. on top of that, they have more money to invest in the future. i can tell you a story about a woman i met two years ago. she was living on two acres of land. he passed away, died of hiv, left her with absolutely nothing. she went to her father-in-law and she said, can you help me? he managed to buy her one of these pumps. she was telling me she took the pump home, first thing she did, she employed a young man to work on the farm with her, sent the two kids back to school. after two years she had enough money to buy a couple dairy cows. after another two years she started a poultry farm. in the fifth year she bought another plot of land, then she told me today my son is in the top school in nairobi and my daughter in college. >> dr. fischer, thank you so
much for being here today. >> great. thank you. global citizen festival tonight at 9:00 p.m. on msnbc. i'm dara brown. thank you for watching. at the top of the hour it is "up" with david guerra. stay with us. next it's "your business." ♪ the kenya tea development agency is an organization that is owned by tea farmers. every week we sell this tea, we get paid in multiple accounts. we were looking for a bank to provide a safe and efficient technology platform to pay our farmers. citi was the only one that was able to ensure that this was done seamlessly.
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i believe the best technology should feel effortless. like magic. at comcast, it's my job to develop, apps and tools that simplify your experience. my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. good morning. coming up on msnbc's "your business" his father fired him 20 years ago, but now he's back running his family owned model airplane business. we'll tell you what he's done to move the company forward. kiersten becomes a business owner by turning her love for whisky into a brand. and