tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC February 1, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PST
mitchell reports," trust but verify. the trump administration abandoning a 32-year-old arms control treaty even as the nation's top intelligence officials warn that vladimir putin's russia is a major threat to america. >> russia has jeopardized the united states security interests and we can no longer be restricted by the treaty while russia shamelessly violates it. >> if and when they don't, at first, pull your punches. if they persist, pull the plug. it's still trust but verify. born to run. new jersey senator cory booker jumping into an already crowded field with eight democrats, including four in the senate. now vying for the chance to take on donald trump. >> what's happening right now is people are thinking we're going to win this by demonizing each other. what i'm going out there saying is we have common pain in this country but we've lost our sense of common purpose. and rolling stone.
president trump denies ever speaking to roger stone about wikileaks or stolen dnc e-mails as his long time political confidant heads back to court. >> did you ever talk to him about wikileaks? >> no. >> you never had a conversation with him? >> no, i didn't. >> and did you ever tell him or other people to get in touch with him? >> never did. and good day, everyone, i'm andrea mitchell in washington where president trump has officially notified russia he is withdrawing from an iconic nuclear weapons treaty first signed by ronald reagan and mikhail gorbachev in 1987 because, the white house says, of evidence that russia is cheating, a decision that is alarming critics. it's another break from international agreements for this president, who pulled the u.s. out of the paris climate change accord, the tpp trade
deal and the iran nuke deal. there are worries that the move will only embolden russia. >> there's no mistaking that the russians have chosen to not comply with this treaty and present the risk of continued arms growth in a way that they committed to when they signed this treaty that they would not do. if you just have one party complying, you're down the path that you describe. >> this comes after represent majority leader mitch mcconnell for the first time led the gop senate to rebel against the president's foreign policy, passing a veto-proof measure to prevent the president from withdrawing troops from syria and afghanistan. joining me now, peter baker who interviewed the president last night, and chief white house correspondent at "the new york times" and msnbc analyst, admiral james stavridis, and nbc's kristen welker.
kristen, first to you, this administration decision today to get out of the nuclear weapons treaty, there's broad agreement that russia is cheating and has been cheating. president obama said that as well. the argument from critics is why not try to fix it, why not negotiate with the russians, why get out of it, and is this just a play to deploy american weapons against china, which is not a party to the treaty? >> certainly part of this is aimed at checked china, andrea, no doubt about that. the bottom line is from the administration's perspective, this is something that russia has violated for, as you pointed out, the past five years. and so they're reiterating essentially that argument that you heard there from the secretary of state. but as you point out, the concern is, will this not set off an arms race. and that is what has so many of the united states' allies concerned, and foreign policy analysts who say that ultimately this isn't the right way to go
about it, that they should work on fixing it. but andrea, this is what we've seen from president trump time and time again, pulling out of these international treaties. you talked about the paris climate agreement, the iran nuclear deal. this is essentially the way in which he thinks it's more effective to carry out foreign policy. will it work, that's the big question mark. there is a very small, narrow window for this to be reversed but no one has any real optimism that that's actually going to happen. this undoubtedly marks a new low in the relationship between the united states and russia. president trump about to have an event that will get under way moments from now. there will be reporters in a room with him and hopefully they'll be able to get some questions to him about what comes next, andrea. >> this goes all the way back to the reagan white house. i just want to show you how far back it goes. this is the way we reported it on the "today" show back when we were covering ronald reagan. earlier, the day's centerpiece, the new treaty eliminating medium range missiles.
gorbachev was not afraid to interrupt when he repeated his favorite russian maxim, "trust but verify." >> you repeat that at every meeting. i like it. >> gorbachev, to neutralize right wing opposition to future treaties, reached an agreement with a conservative president. >> admiral stavridis, that sort of flashback friday tells you how far back this goes. many would say this intermediate range missile treaty, so hard fought, to stand firm against ronald reagan, to get gorbachev to sign that, why not try to negotiate harder? >> well, let's begin with who is
in the wrong here. this really is a case of trust but verify. we have unequivocally verified russia is the guilty party here, we need to put that up front. to your point, andrea, there are three terrible potential outcomes here, one of which you've mentioned, a strategic propensity to set off a new arms race. the second is, it's very difficult, it's impossible, to tell whether these kinds of weapons whether they're nuclear-tipped or not. and these kind of weapons can have a nuke on them. this brings more uncertainty. thirdly, as you alluded to, this could potentially become another wedge issue between the united states and our european allies. what should we do? to your point, we should do everything we can at this point to reignite a negotiation, step away from the agreement if that's the decision, that's a tough, bad choice, but at this point we ought to be working with nato and working with our
european allies to try and broaden the agreement to include not only russia but china as well. so that would be the end game. but this is a new low in russian relations. and it's unfortunate to see the u.s. stepping away from an important treaty. >> and peter, you had the opportunity to interview the president yesterday, and one of the big issues that came up was his complete dismissal earlier in the day of his own intelligence agencies and of their threat warning. let me play a little bit of the way you and your colleague maggie haberman were questioning the president. >> reporter: mr. president, did you talk to your intelligence chiefs today about the displeasure you had with their -- >> i did. and they said they were totally misquoted and they were totally -- it was taken out of context. what i do is i suggest that you call them. they said it was fake news. >> reporter: we just ran exactly what they said to congress. >> excuse me. excuse me. it didn't surprise me at all. >> and of course when you were
talking to him about that later, you questioned him about that. let me read a little bit from your exchange. trump said, i believe our testimony was totally miss characterized, what are you talking about, you asked him, when you read that testimony, their statements, it is m mischaracterized by the media. making maggie haberman said, you mean the media mischaracterized it? he said, you know what i mean. what happened in that room? >> he brings in dan coats, brings in gina haspel, seems to be in effect calling them on the carpet, why are you taking issue with me in public. what he tells them is, iran is bad, you're saying iran is good. they say, sir, we're not saying that. of course they're not saying that, what they said is iran is not currently known to be making progress toward a nuclear weapon, they're not building nuclear weapons at the moment
even though the president has ripped up this nuclear agreement with them. it's not an endorsement of iran. likewise, the same thing on north korea and isis and so forth. so i think in effect, you know, what they tried to do is calm him down, make clear they're providing an assessment without intentionally trying to provoke him or impasembarrass him. >> and peter, their assessment was on global television, national television. we all carried it. >> right. >> it was live streamed. there's no question that they said what they said. and in fact, to ken dilanian and others, without attributing it to any agencies, members of the agencies were saying that they are standing by what they said. so how does that affect them going forward? >> yeah, look, you know, there has been this well of distrust
of the intelligence agencies. even before he takes office, he meets with the outgoing intelligence chiefs and they present him this information about russian interference in the election, and it's something he disavows, in effect, from then on and has repeatedly since then, even if at other times he says he does believe it. so i think there's been this distrust with the intelligence agencies at the beginning. what's interesting is, of course, he's characterized in the past saying, well, i didn't believe clapper and brennan, these were all obama people. the people he's now at odds with are the people he put in place. dan coats, former republican senator. gina haspel,s h s hahis choice director. chris wray is his choice for fbi director. they're reflecting their agencies' and their communities' consensus view of threats in the world even if that differs from the president's perspective. >> to all of you, there's fallout also from the senate republicans, mitch mcconnell and the leadership still burned about the president walking away
from them on the border wall and all the other issues that led to the shutdown. they voted, a voetoveto-proof vn the senate, on an issue sponsored by mitch mcconnell, against the president's decision to withdraw troops from syria and afghanistan, the republicans voting against the president's foreign policy on something that important. >> and i am happy to see that. we would be very foolish to walk away from syria. two things going on here, andrea. one is, the actual tactical danger, walking away would be like turning around in front of a california firefighter that was still smoldering and walking away. it's going to reflash. we're going to have to do more there. secondly, your point, the fact that the senate republicans are stepping up to put american foreign policy back where it needs to be. we should also make note that you're seeing the congress move
toward making sure that nato stays as part of the fundamental structure for the united states, and passing legislation that would make it impossible to withdraw from nato. what's so surprising is that we have to see the congress step in, into foreign policy, which is typically the provenance of the president, but it's necessary in this case. and this is by the way, we also are seeing, and according to the my sources and checking this with courtney kube, our pentagon expert and reporter there, they are withdrawing from syria. they are on timetable to do that. they're putting in troops now to make the withdrawal possible. so they're getting out. that is what secretary pompeo is telling the allies. >> that's exactly right. and the allies hate it. they know that without u.s. presence there, and andrea, we ought to keep it in perspective, this is only a few thousand troops there. at this point we'll have a third of the troops in syria that we
have on the u.s. border where they don't really have a serious mission. this is the most serious counterterrorism mission we face. so this is a mistake on the part of the administration. i applaud the congress for moving out on this. and i hope to see the congress be very supportive of the intelligence community as well. what really surprised me in the president's tone when he said to the leaders of our intelligence community, they ought to go back to school, first of all, there is no school, and if there were a school, that would be the faculty of the school sitting there. there were probably 400 years of experience in front of that senate hearing. so let's hope that the congress can ensure that our foreign policy is moving in a sensible direction. the step in syria is a good one. >> admiral stavridis, peter baker, kristen welker, kristen, i think we'll be talking to you i hope shortly, the president is
in the cabinet room and we expect to play that tape back momentarily. coming up, jersey shore. new jersey senator cory booker jumping into the 2020 race. what does his announcement mean for the expanding field of democrats? stay with us, right here on "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. eports" on msnbc. and then, more jobs began to appear. these techs in a lab. this builder in a hardhat... ...the welders and electricians who do all of that. the diner staffed up 'cause they all needed lunch. teachers... doctors... jobs grew a bunch. what started with one job spread all around. because each job in energy creates many more in this town. energy lives here.
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and i'm going to try to show folks that when we come together, we stand together, we work together, there's nothing we can't do. >> new jersey senator cory booker on "the view" today, making it official, adding his name to a rapidly expanding field of diverse candidates vying for the 2020 democratic nomination. a former mayor of newark, booker has long been rumored to launch a presidential run, earning a reputation as one of the senate's most outspoken members and a staunch adversary of the trump administration. joining me now is msnbc contributor yamiche alcindor, mark murray, nbc senior news political editor, and alex seitz-wald. booker has a lot of advantages going in. >> he does, he has youth. he can win in the south and have a leg up in the delegate fight.
the message that he was just talking about, about a common purpose, this is something i'm really fascinated by, andrea. outside even the policy debate, what kind of messages these democrats are actually sending. cory booker is almost like, common purpose, he talked about radical empathy, which i thought was really interesting. other people like elizabeth warren want to be fighters. i'm not sure that democrats have settled on a message. that word from cory booker that you heard today about common purpose is what he's trying to accomplish in this trump era. >> and let's play a little bit. is campaign video of the launch that he put out. yamiche, i'll ask you about it on the other side. >> it is not a matter of "can we." it's a matter of "do we have the collective will, the american well." i believe wexl do.
together we will channel our common pain. together, america, we will rise. i'm cory booker and i'm running for president of the united states of america. >> we will rise, that gets to the theme, he's got a lot of credentials, then mayor of newark, living in the inner city, and establishing himself, you know, as a guy of the people. >> well, really i think cory booker is trying to get into this lane to say, there are a lot of people who might agree on the same issues but i'm someone who lives the message of the democratic party. he's someone who is trying to say, i'm the only senator from who is living in inner cities, who understands when i come home that i'm looking at my neighbors who have common issues, who are middle class people. i think the message of the democratic party going forward is not just that we will talk about diversity and talk about middle class, but we'll actually live those ideals and have experience. and the fact that he has i think this long list of
accomplishments as a newark mayor, it's going to be interesting to see how that gets parsed out. there are already people gunning for cory booker, talking about his time as mayor of newark, questioning whether or not he had the impact that he often talks about. so i think it's going to be very interesting to see what lane he can stake out. and of course i also think it's interesting that he's talking about race and putting diversity at the center of a campaign, much like kamala harris did when she announced on mlk day. >> he's gotten along with republicans in the past. he did a video spoof along with chris christie when chris christie was governor, he was mayor of newark back in 2012, let's watch a piece of that. >> governor. >> how are you doing? >> guys, any problems? a fire anywhere, people trapped? >> no. >> like a bad automobile accident where you need me to help some folks? >> nothing like that. >> do you have a cat in a tree?
>> no, i think we're all set here. >> trooper, what have we got? >> mayor, thank you for coming. there's a two-alarm fire on state street. a car is broken down on route 1. and a little girl has lost her cat in a tree. >> governor, i got this. >> booker! >> of course booker was criticized, lampooned, for always running to fires and trying to be out there in the streets with people. and so, alex seitz-wald, that's another side of booker, people would say he overplays his hand. >> he was one of the first politicians to really get social media and use twitter. he was famous for, during a snowstorm, you could tweet at him and he would show up. >> he was beto before beto was beto. >> exactly, and before alexandria ocasio-cortez was alexandria ocasio-cortez. i don't know, now that he is competing with younger people who are more digital natives, how much that works to his advantage. there are so many ways to divide up this primary field, and the voters that they're going after.
he's clearly going to have a collision course with kamala harris on black voters. he's going to have a potential collision course with beto with millenial voters and bernie sanders. but he has vulnerability on the left too. he's trying to be a little bit of all things to all people. he's on the medicare for all bill that bernie sanders endorsed. but he got in trouble in 2012 for defending bain capital, he's in favor of school choice. with policy he's where the progressives are but he uses the language of bringing people together, rather than elizabeth warren and bernie sanders who use the language of activist revolution. there's an opening there but there's also a danger of being nothing to everyone. >> the president in his interview with "the new york times" was suggesting that they are taking kamala harris very seriously, just having watched the oakland rally, which was 20,000 people, that kind of crowd really impressed.
and he also called her kam-eel-a. we can't exchanpect him to get everything right. but chris christie, in talking to robert costa, talked about how cory booker could be a serious threat. >> talented, smart, articulate. he's got a serious chance to be a problem for the president in the general election. if he goes way wacky left, then he's just going to be another one of those people and won't be able to distinguish himself. >> which i think you were just saying, alex, he's got to the who he is, what his message is. >> we've talked about all these different lanes that people have. there's the kamala harris and cory booker lane, bernie sanders versus elizabeth warren lane. to me the winner will be the one who transcends those lanes, can you win african-americans,
millenials, white class voters in the rust belt, be able to do all of that. the candidate who transcends things, like barack obama was able to do in 2007 and 2008, will probably end up being your democratic nominee. >> mark, you and your colleagues talk about how it's so early but it's actually getting late for those who have not yet jumped in. yamiche, what about joe? joe biden watching all of this, saying to people, you know, i'm watching to see if somebody rises to the top. but also saying to people, i'm 75% there, i'm 85% there, i really want to run. >> i think the advantage that joe biden has is that he was vice president, he is someone who people understand for reasons that were beyond his control, he didn't run for president, the tragic death of his son. in some ways people might give joe biden a little more time than they would other people, say cory booker or someone else. i will say this, i think that key to the person who is going to beat donald trump if that person is able to beat donald trump is, can they match the president's bluntness, the
president's ability to really i think beat down some of his opponents. i sat down with cory booker a few months ago and was talking about maxine waters and he said he appreciated maxine waters' tone, he appreciated the voice that she was bringing, and that maxine waters is someone who is someone who has been blunt and given the president nicknames. he also said, that's her lane, and i'm a different kind -- he didn't say i'm a different kind, but said my tack is different. >> what a race, what a year. yamiche alcindor, mark murray, alex seitz-wald, thank you all. stone has a scheduled appearance today in a d.c. courtroom. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. tchell reports" only on msnbc your brain changes as you get older. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient
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president trump's long time friend and political consultant roger stone is going to be in federal court in little over an hour from now. one day after special counsel robert mueller's prosecutors announced that they had seized what they call voluminous and complex amounts of evidence from stone, including financial records, e-mails, and hard drives. a signal that they have plenty of reason to deploy a large reason when arresting him last week to ensure that no evidence
would be destroyed. in an exclusive interview with "the new york times," president trump defended roger stone. >> i like roger. he's a character. but i like roger. for a team of 29 people with ak27s or whatever they were using, to charge a house like they did at 6:00 in the morning, i think that was a very sad thing for this country. >> reporter: did you ever talk to him, did you tell other people to get in touch with him? >> never did. >> joining me now is nbc's intelligence and national security reporter ken dilanian, "new york times" chief correspondent peter baker, and also an msnbc contributor. and matt miller, former chief spokesman for attorney general eric holder.
peter, since you were in the room, tell us about his comments about roger stone and the investigation. you also made a lot of news on his approach to robert mueller. >> yeah, no, as you played just now, he did deny talking with roger stone or having anybody else talk with roger stone. roger stone was arrested, the indictment said that, you know, there was somebody who had directed roger stone to communicate about wikileaks, and we didn't know who that person was that was doing the directing. there was a lot of specification that speculation that it was the president, he says it wasn't him. he did make some other denials that were important. he said that he did not in fact talk about the moscow tower project as late as his own lawyer, rudy giuliani, said he did in 2016. he said rudy is wrong about that. he denied that these tweets that seemed very threatening against michael cohen, his former lawyer
who turned on him, were meant to be witness tampering, even though he couldn't say exactly what they were. i said, what were they if not witness tampering? he said everybody has a right to speak out and he was talking things he had heard about his father-in-law. >> rod rosenstein told him that he was not a target. i want to play that and talk to you guys about the significance of that. >> reporter: has rod rosenstein given you any sense over the course of the last year about whether you have any exposure, either in -- or there's any concerns or whether you're a target of the mueller report? >> well, he told the attorneys that i'm not a subject, i'm not a target. >> reporter: did he say that about the sdny investigation too? >> about which? >> reporter: the sdny investigation, because there's two, there's mueller and there's cohen. >> that i don't know about. >> reporter: did he tell you what they were looking for in terms of cohen? >> no, we didn't discuss it.
>> matt miller, what is the significance of rod rosenstein telling the attorneys for the president that he's not a target? of course it's not clear when he told them, because you cannot be a target one day and then two days later suddenly some new evidence come s -- >> yeah, there's a few strange things about that, we know jim quarrels, one of mueller's senior deputies, has been the one talking with rudy giuliani and the other attorneys the most. i'm confused in what context rod rosenstein would be having that conversation. in terms of the president's comments it wasn't clear to me whether i'm not a subject and i'm not a target or saying i'm not a subject and then correcting that to say i'm not a target. a target is someone the justice didn't is going to indict. we know the justice department believes they can't indict a sitting president.
it was clear he knows he's a subject of the investigation, both for obstruction of justice and for the underlying russian collusion question. i also found it very interesting that he didn't have -- he wasn't willing to say the same thing about the sdny investigation. >> exactly. >> either because he hadn't been informed or didn't want to answer, i found that very telling. >> which is the michael cohen investigation. den dilanian, your read on all of this as you await the roger stone arrival there at the courthouse this afternoon. >> i think matt just made a very important point, which is that, look, the fbi doesn't even use the term "target." "target" is a very precise term. people get a target letter when they're about to be indicted by a grand jury. the fact that if they in fact have assured the president that he's not a target, i'm not sure that's meaningful. in terms of trump denying he was the person who asked roger stone to go get information from wikileaks, that's very important, that's a flat denial.
if robert mueller has evidence to contradict that, that could emerge as a huge point in this investigation going forward. then lastly, roger stone is going to be here in this courthouse behind me today in a status conference, essentially. there may be a gag order coming out of this, there may be a trial date. the main issue the judge has to decide is whether to grant an exception to the speedy trial rule which is likely to happen, it's routine, because the evidence is so voluminous in this case because mueller has been investigating stone for some time, it appears, and has subpoenaed and obtained thousands and thousands of documents, terabytes of information on his communications, other documents, bank records. and now they turn all of that over to stone's lawyers who get to go through it before the trial. >> and the fact that a speedy trial has been -- the waiving of a speedy trial has been decided -- agreed to by both sides, i should say, in the florida hearing, the meaning of that is just that there's so much to go through, and it's in
roger stone's interests also. >> it's waived in almost every trial. certainly for a trial like this that's been designated as complex, meaning they have a lot of evidence to go through, usually that would mean we may not be looking at a trial date for nine months or more than a year. we may get that date today, we may not. >> peter baker, what was your impression of the president, here he is embattled in a fight with his own intelligence agencies, the senate voting against him led by mitch mcconnell for the first time with a veto-proof majority, a nonbinding amendment on foreign policy. >> i think that's exactly right, this is an embattled moment for the president. he suffered a pretty bad defeat last friday when he had to back down from the shutdown without getting a time for his border wall. the senate has rebuked him on syria and afghanistan. he didn't appear like someone who was embattled, he was calm and relaxed.
he didn't particularly like the russia question, he has a way of folding his arms when he has questions he doesn't like. he wasn't hostile in any way, he answered the questions we asked. he didn't always answer them with precision, but he gave us an hour and a half of time in the oval office which is a pretty sizable amount of his time. so it was a very interesting encounter for us. i think a lot of the answers that came out of this interview will probably be referred back to in weeks and months to come, as ken was just saying. if the prosecutors have things to contradict what he said yesterday, we may be hearing back about this. we don't know. >> peter baker, extraordinary, congratulations to you and maggie, you've done it again. ken dilanian, freezing out there, please try to stay strong as you wait for roger. and matt miller, of course thank you as well. coming up, vanished. saudi college students accused of crimes in oregon are suddenly disappearing with help from back home. we'll have more on that special report coming up next on "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us right here on
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troubling questions are emerging about five students from saudi arabia who are still facing criminal charges in the u.s. but they have all disappeared from the u.s. there are now increasing suspicions that the saudi government helped them escape. here is part of our exclusive report. fallon smart was a high school
sophomore in portland, oregon, killed in a hit and run just before turning 16. >> she was imaginative and empathic. she's intelligent. >> charged with reckless driving, living in oregon on a saudi government stipend. he pleaded not guilty, the saudi government paying his bail. just before his trial, u.s. marshals tell nbc news his ankle bracelet was cut and he rode off in a black suv, disappearing. >> we've put out information to all law enforcement agencies to the on the lookout. >> homeland security told prosecutors he turned up in saudi arabia a week later. he's one of five young saudis accused of crimes in oregon, including two accused rapists and a pair of hit and run drivers who all vanished. saudi diplomats likely spirited them out of the u.s. with a forged passport on a private plane, as first reported by the
"oregonian" up in. oregon senator ron wyden is demanding answers from the secretary of state and the fbi. >> what are they going to do to make sure these suspects are brought back to oregon to face justice? >> do you think you'll ever see sight of these young, very privileged saudi college students? >> what i know is that i'm not going to give up. >> fallon's mom is still devastated. >> she at least deserves a legal system that put her killer in front of a jury of peers. >> the saudi government has not responded to our request for comment. joining me now is ned price, a former cia analyst, former national security council spokesperson and nbc national security analyst. ned, what senator wyden is asking is for secretary pompeo to answer questions. he's said that chris wray, director of the fbi, should come back with answers, that was ten
days ago. no other government has been able to pull this off, spirit people out of the country who don't have diplomatic immunity. >> it's a very important story because it adds to our understanding of this administration's relationship with saudi arabia. the trump administration did nothing when the saudis picked a fight with our neighbor to the north, with the canadians. they've gone along with mohammed bin salman's disastrous war in yemen. they essentially kidnapped the lebanese prime minister with no recriminations. and of course trump has gone along with the blockade they instituted on qatar where we have 10,000 troops. and nothing in response to the brutal murder of jamal khashoggi. i think what we learned from this story is it's a much more multidimensional relationship. what the trump administration has allowed the saudis to do is to essentially get away with murder on our soil. to cut an ankle bracelet, to
provide a car, provide a private plane, to post bail, then to accept someone who is absconding from horrific crimes, murder and rape in these cases, that takes sophisticated support. that's precisely what it seems the saudis have provided with no repercussions from the trump administration. >> and this preceded the ca ed khashoggi case but shows why the saudi regime can get away with murder. >> they face no consequences on the world stage. and far from facing no consequences, they've actually gotten the green light from the trump administration in just about everything they've asked. look at the war in yemen, it's now the most dire humanitarian catastrophe on the face of the earth, and the trump administration has done very little to actually rein in the crown prince, mohammed bin salman, whose adventure this has become in yemen. we've seen nothing. when the canadians were subject to essentially diplomatic war on
the part of the saudis. the canadians are our neighbors to the north. we have not put up an arm when it comes to saudi aggression on the world stage, when it comes to saudi's malign influence on the world, and apparently not when it comes to these nefarious activities here at home. >> in yemen we're helping them in their war effort even though most people in the region believe this was really a misplaced adventure, misadventure on the part of the crown prince. ron wyden and jeff merkley, his fellow senator, are not giving up. >> that's good to see. coming up, you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. tchell reports" on msnbc. ♪ hey, saved you a seat.
just as important as what you get out of it? our broccoli cheddar is made with aged melted cheddar, simmered broccoli, and no artificial flavors. enjoy 100% clean soup today. panera. food as it should be. welcome back. and just now during a meeting on human trafficking in the cabinet room, we have this breaking news. president trump said that there is a good chance he'll have to declare a national emergency to build a u.s. border wall. here's what he told "the new york times" in that interview yesterday. >> i think nancy pelosi is hurting our country badly in doing what she's doing.
and ultimately i think i've set the table very nicely. >> settle table for -- >> i've set the table. i've set the stage for doing what i'm going to do. >> set the stage. joining me now, msnbc contributor jeremy peters, "the new york times" politics reporter. he seems to be -- well, he says he's giving up on negotiating with congress. this could be, you know, a negotiating tactic, but there seems to be no middle ground at least between him and congress. as you see emerging negotiations between the senate republicans and nancy pelosi and the democrats. >> exactly, andrea. it could be a negotiating tactic in only there were real substantive negotiations happening that would eventually lead to some type of resolution on the wall which i don't think is going to happen. now, there is an awful lot of concern inside the white house right now about trump's insistence that this emergency declaration is something he ought to do because look at the door that this opens up.
a future president, say a democrat, could decide, well, i'm going to declare a national emergency on something like climate change, or gun control. so the slippery slope that would result if trump does indeed follow through with this is something that's quite alarming to many very senior people in this administration, including vice-president pence who has made these concerns of his very clear to the president. >> and many republicans on the hill -- because this basically is the president saying -- any president saying, i can take money that you have appropriated for this, which is congress' legal right, constitutional right, and put it to this for a wall. so you're basically going up against the college of cardinals who are the appropriators. >> yeah. that's exactly right. and for a president who doesn't dwell too much on the details of governing and the finer points of the legislative process -- >> you think? >> -- and our constitution, it doesn't matter. do you think he stays up late thinking about the appropriations committee?
i doubt it. but that's of course the problem. >> they're going to vote against him. what he's doing is building republican animus on the hill. >> of course. >> you saw the senate vote, incredible senate vote. you shouldn't understate that. 68 votes in the senate led by mitch mcconnell. >> led by mitch mcconnell. that's exactly right. what he's done is really set up this imperial presidency where, from here on out, there could be a very dangerous precedent set that republicans, once they're out of power, are not going to like. >> since you follow the 2020 race so closely, i just want to also share with our viewers that the cherokee nation has issued a statement about elizabeth warren, apologizing to them for her claim based on scanty dna evidence, whatever, that she was part native american, and they say they welcome that because being part of the cherokee
nation is part ever, you know, centuries of cultural tradition. it has nothing to do with dna, and that they hope this puts to rest all the slurs against the native americans and other tribes. >> i wouldn't bet on that. >> i wouldn't bet on that at all because it's become -- yet again, in the interview with your colleagues at "the new york times," the president called her pocahontas. he's going to continue. >> he's going to continue doing it because he gets affirmation doing it. at his speech, they laugh and cheer and applaud. it's like crooked hillary, little marco, lying ted. any slurs he's used against his political opponents. he sees it as very effective and i don't see any reason why he's going to stop doing it. i know elizabeth warren would rather be talking about anything else. i think the question is how long this continues to dog her and what that really says about the kind of campaign we're going to have in 2020. and whether it's going to continue to be our politics, that is, going to continue to be
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twitter at mitchell reports. you're about to see the president coming up. ali velshi from "velshi & ruhle." >> thank you, andrea. we'll talk to you later. have a good afternoon. as andrea said, the president is about to speak. let's go to jeff bennett at the white house who is following this. jeff? >> reporter: hey there, ali. the president brought in members of the press to a prescheduled event that was focused on human trafficking, and he reiterated what he said before. he says that he says that a national emergency, him declaring a national emergency is still on the table because he doesn't believe that the ongoing negotiations happening now on capitol hill will result in a deal that is acceptable to him, namely, he doesn't believe he'll get that border wall money he says he wants. in part because nancy pelosi has said all along that while she signalled she's open to new fencing, she will not fund the border wall that president trump has described. so for that reason, the president says -- and i'm reading from my not