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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  February 5, 2019 7:00am-8:01am PST

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dog is a man's best friend. tess and john together again. coming up right now, more news with hallie jackson. big day, state of the union. >> huge day in washington. thank you. i am hallie jaxen in washington. today president trump will walk into the chamber that may ultimately end up impeaching him. with the state of our union today divided. what the president will say tonight. what americans say about him. why republicans are nervous about something the president could say and how what democrats say after his speech could matter or not. we break down what you should be watching and listening for. >> subpoenas over the 2017 inauguration. what investigators want to know about who picked up the $107 million tab. in virginia both the states' top leaders are under fire. what the governor is telling staffers about his potential resignation and accusations the man next in line is denying.
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we are joined by a member of the senate foreign relations committee and somebody who may be, maybe is ready to announce a 2020 run. will he do it here? we'll find out with our teams spread out across the country repo reporting on all of this. we start in washington. the president is facing a new reality. delivering the address to a house the democrats partially control, and after guilty pleas have hit members of his former circle, and he's facing a deadline for another potential government shutdown if lawmakers don't give the president the money he wants for a border wall. expect him to push that message tonight and with the possibility of a national emergency declaration, that's one of the five things to watch. along with north korea, and a bipartisan overture on infrastructure. kristen welker is at the white
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house tracking things. and also we are in florida talking to folks about what they want to hear. we've learned about how the president is preparing for tonight and what we think he may or may not say when it comes to this idea of a national emergency. >> that's right. to the first part of your question, how is he preparing? white house officials saying he's putting the final touches on his state of the union address. he's going to likely run through it again today. he'll be going over it with a sharpie. we're told he practiced it yesterday in the map room. really getting down to crunch time here at the white house. white house officials saying he's going to aim to strike a unifying note. he's going to call for an end to decades of stalemate. to do that he's going to talk about areas where he thinks there can be bipartisan agreement. things like infrastructure reform as well as other big issues he's talked about. the economy and trade.
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kellyanne conway, by the way, indicating he is going to address the aids epidemic and the way to end that. but to that big thorny issue you raised, hallie, funding for the border wall, that's the reason the government shut down in the first place. that's the reason why this speech has been delayed by a week. no indication that he's going to declare a national emergency tonight, but he will undoubtedly leave it on the table. he's been very clear about that. and it comes as some republicans are urging him not to declare a national emergency at all, warning that it could create all sorts of political and legal problems. take a listen. >> i think it's a dangerous step. one, because of the precedent it sets. two, the president's going to get sued and it won't succeed in the accomplishing his goal. >> this would just be another erosion of congressional authority in this particular area. >> i am concerned about it. i think it's a dubious
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constitution constitutionality. >> the other big question, how will president trump address the new political reality, the divided government that you talked about. the fact that nancy pelosi will be sitting behind him. he'll be facing a number of democrats who have declared they're running for president and some democrats talking about impeachment. one white house official saying he'll address that head on by calling for bipartisanship. >> okay. kristen welker on the north lawn. thank you. now let's go to the ground in florida. you're at a diner in polk county. right? what are you hearing from folks there? >> hallie, we wanted to take the state of the union conversation outside of washington. that's why we're here grabbing breakfast in florida. this usually determines which way the sun shine state will swing. this is according to many analysts, where presidents get picked. and here in polk county, it's
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fascinating. even though the area has leaned republican in the past couple years, it has almost the exact same number of registered democrats and registered republicans and a hefty number of independents. you could say people here disagree about a lot more than what to order for breakfast. richard is on the far left. al is on the far right. and hallie, get this. they live two blocks away from each other. they didn't even know the other was going to be here for breakfast. richard, what's the state of our union and why? >> i think the state of the union is near total discome bob youlation. the reason why is because we don't have any ability to get together and work things out in washington d.c. >> al, what about you? what is the state of our union and why? >> earlier i said it was horrible. and i have to agree with richard. it is dysfunctional. we have to be able to come
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together to run our country and to keep it on the constitution. >> reporter: what are you expecting to hear from the president and the democrats tonight? >> from the president, i know he's going to talk about illegal immigration. i think he's going to talk about the border wall. i think he'll probably bring up the health status of people coming over the border. >> reporter: and democrats? >> no matter what he says, they'll be on the opposite side tonight. there's a war between nancy pelosi and the president. if the president said the sun is shining as it is today, she would tell us it's snowing. >> reporter: what do you say to that, richard? >> i would say that the democratic side is rational, and i think that president trump is simply trying to keep his base in line, and he will, therefore, attack the immigrants because they're a nice, easy, convenient whipping boy. >> reporter: thank you both. and as you can see, they both
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agree that the state of our union is dysfunctional right now. and this is actually the first real conversation they've had since they've known each other thanks to your show. they tell me, as you heard, that's more of what washington should be doing tonight is listening to each other. >> i mean, listen, i'm all for conversations with neighbors. even if it is about political stuff that not everybody agrees on. thank you. let me bring in now yamiche alcindor, and jeff mason, two people we always have conversations about politics with here on this show. let's talk about what you are both watching here tonight. there are some contentious issues and noncontentious issues. the national emergency, republicans are vocally telling the president don't do this. we don't agree with it. >> i think i'm watching for the president's -- for him to try to address the anxiety people feel about the shutdown. i think even though we're not in the middle of the shutdown, there's so many people looking
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around saying how are we going to get out of this waiting period? is february 15th the day the president declares the national emergency? the president keeps hinting that's what he wants to do. he needs his money for the border wall. i'm interested to see if the president gives a little bit on that. >> i think in terms of unity which the white house has everyone sized, the president is going to focus on. the question is how. it will take more than words to talk about unity, to bring back a spirit of unity to the country. so many people see this president as being disunifies. does he lead a pathway? let's see. if he spends a lot of time talking about the wall and he's tweeted about it today already. >> and he's going to talk about immigration. >> exactly. >> one thing not on the five things, idea he's going to talk about an initiative to solve the aids epidemic. that's a policy piece that the president sounds like based on our reporter is going to address tonight. >> if you look at history,
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president bush and republican president, did a lot on that as well in africa. >> there's the idea that i think both parties have said health care costs too much, and most americans agree with that. >> nobody wants prescription drug prices to go higher. right? >> correct. >> stand by for a second. i want to bring in somebody who knows the white house well. white house director of strategic communications. thank you for coming back on the show. >> good morning. >> i know you're not going to preview whether the president will or will not declare a national emergency. will he? >> you have to wait and see. >> let me ask this followup question. you've heard the discussion of the idea that republicans including leadership, john cornyn have said to the president, told nbc news this would be a dangerous step. is the white house listening to those voices and weighing into the republicans have to say? >> the president is in constant communication with republican leadership. but we have to think about this in a way that the president at
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this point is letting congress do its job. we've always asked for a legislative fix and wanted to close a legal loopholes making sure that our border patrol agents have the authority to retain, remove illegal immigrants from coming into the country and pushing forward a legal immigration process. this is a decade's old problem. past presidents have tried. this president is saying okay, congress, it's your turn. negotiate. let's come up with a deal. that's what we want to see first. but -- >> but it sounds like you're saying is we should not expect the president tonight to declare a national emergency if he wants to let congress have time. >> we need congress to finish its job, but the president is looking at other options and has the legal authority to do so. >> and he's made that clear. let me bring in this discussion on bipartisanship here. when i talk with white house officials say they that's the president's message. visionary and unifying. there are a lot of americans who
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believe that's not credible or consistent with what this president has done in the past. why should one hour tonight be more believable than how the president has governed? >> let's look at how he's governed. the criminal justice reform legislation that was passed, that was something the white house led that the president led that really is making significant -- producing significant results for so many communities and for those individuals. that's a big example of a bipartisan win. on opioids where there's been additional funding for the opioids crisis. on human trafficking where we passed legislation like the act that both republicans and democrats have come together. we have seen bipartisan solutions. >> and those smaller policy issues there have been. >> when it comes to immigration and looking at a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform, that's much bigger. i think you'd agree. >> it is one of the hardest things to tackle and the president came forward with a good faith proposal that he
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listened to his border patrol agents and officials saying what resources do you need? and -- >> how do is it -- >> bringing proposals democrats agree with. >> how is it credible if he -- when just this weekend he says pelosi doesn't care about human trafficking? she doesn't mind human trafficking. that's clearly incorrect and inflammatory. and this president likes to fight. >> he's stating his opinion on wanting to get speaker pelosi to move the ball and negotiate. i was in the room when the president spoke to speaker pelosi and said look. she said we can't do a concrete one. he said let's work together on a design. let's get this done together. he wants to work with speaker pelosi. the problem is that she's listening to those democrats on the far left saying open borders abolish i.c.e. >> that's not where nancy pelosi is. >> right.
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>> the credibility of the message. i want to get to the guests the president is bringing. one of them is a young boy, an 11-year-old named joshua trump getting bullied because of his last name. that's a bad situation. no kid should get bullied. is it hypocrisy to highlight bullying? >> this is a sixth grader. no sixth grader should be bullied. >> i agree with you. >> how do you highlight an anti-bullying message when the -- >> i can tell you parents who have -- let me say this. i have talked to parents who have told me that their kids are in middle school or high school who say they support the president or make any of those comments are being bullied in school. conservatives and republicans are being shut down at universities for trying to speak up and have their point of view. look, i like those two men in the diner where they're able to sit down at a table and have a conversation. that's what we want. we're able to have conversations about debates and ideas of policies of where we want to
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america to move in the future. do we want to move to a socialist radical agenda to the list or have opportunity for all americans. >> are you confident the president will be truthful in his remarks? >> absolutely. >> we'll see. >> the president is ready, prepared and wants to bring this country together and work together with the democrats. including areas like infrastructure, lowering brdrug prices and the issues that matter to the american people. >> thank you for being with us. we have coverage all day as we preview and break down the state of the union address, the democratic response tonight starting at 8:00 eastern on msnbc. up next, in virginia the governor still refusing to resign while the man who would replace him denies separate allegations of his own. first the new subpoenas overnight. investigators eyeing president trump's inaugural committee. what they're looking for and what tipped them off.
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we want to tell you who you'll see at the state of the union. alice johnson, a guest of the president and first lady. she was serving life in prison. johnson thanked the president for a second chance at life after she was freed in june. heu. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr. a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well enough. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma have happened. as have tears in the stomach or intestines, serious allergic reactions, low blood cell counts, higher liver tests and cholesterol levels. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. your doctor should perform blood tests before and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you've been somewhere fungal infections
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subpoenaing that inaugural committee. the committee spokesperson confirms they received that subpoena from the u.s. attorney's office in manhattan and plan to cooperate. it's all related to now the committee raised and spent more than $100 million in the festivities. prosecutors are investigating allegations that some donors gave money in exchange for access to try and influence the incoming administration's policy. "the wall street journal" says it's seen a copy of the subpoena which asks for all documents related to the donors and vendors. that's records about tickets. that's photo ops or receptions that donors got in exchange for contributions. and they want to see all documents related to any donations from foreign nationals, and by a finance person who donated over $500,000. we have a panel. thank you for being with us.
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let me start with something chris christie said about this on this network overnight. i find it interesting? >> there's no restrictions on the per view. bob mueller has a task russian interveerns. the southern district of new york is whatever you want. >> particularly to find stuff. >> you have michael cohen as a tour guide. that means you could go anywhere. >> so the mueller investigation, this southern district investigation of the trump campaign financing improprieties connected to the trump organization and now we have this separate southern district investigation about the inauguration. there the question is $107 million raised. 61 million accounted for. what happened to the other 46 million? what prosecutors do is follow the money. it could lead to serious felonies. like i election fraud. like money laundering.
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on the other hand, it could be a counting improprieties where just reporting errors. >> what jumps out to you when you look at the list of the things that the trump inaugural committee is being subpoenaed for? >> it casts a wide net. they're looking at donors. photo ops. their big concern is pay to play. that's hard to prove. if they can get evidence that someone was promised something in return, we all know when people give $1 million to an inauguration committee, it's not because they want to see a lovely parade. that kind of access is legal. but you cross the line if you're trying to get something official in return. >> so, people to donated a ton of money. >> a los angeles based venture fund investor. he gave a lot of money to hillary clinton and barack obama. what does that suggest to prosecutors? he's an opportunist. he has ties to the middle east. 100 reporters in washington are trying to figure out who he is.
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chris christie said this could be a bigger deal than the russia investigation. i don't think it has the same significance as to whether the trump campaign conspired with the government. i think it could be a bigger legal danger. they can go in any direction. they're not restricted by a specific mandate and pay to play is a standard thing for prosecutors to prove. >> when we look broadly at the mueller investigation as we're talking about it. chuck grassley was on this morning and had something very interesting to say. watch. >> when do you expect to see the special counsel's report? >> within a month, if we see it. >> within a month, if we see it. of course, if it's released. paul, it means potentially we may be getting closer to finding out what robert mueller has been up to. >> he still has pretty big things to do list. he's indicted roger stone. he's got to see that trial through. he's doing that with other prosecutors in d.c. but presumably he's not going to
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close shop until that's done. i'm still expecting donald trump junior. if he told the same kind of lies to the senate intelligence committee, i don't see how don junior doesn't get prosecuted as well. >> there's also something now in the trump tower moscow project. ken, you've looked through the new reporting from buzz feed. secret files show how moscow talks unfolded while trump heaped raise on putin. we knew this already. these are the foundation documents. >> it underscores that people were actively negotiating with vladimir putin's government over where and how to do this deal and that trump signed a letter of intent while he was hiding that from the voters and saying i had no business dealings with russia. >> when it comes to the mueller report, are you hearing grassley isn't off base. >> that's consistent with our reporting. >> is that wishful thinking?
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>> he's hearing from people in the justice department as are we that they are expecting a report. i think it's possible mueller could close up shop before the stone case goes to trial. >> we really have no idea. mueller's office does not leak. >> black box. >> if he's talking to whitaker, i don't know if that's true. i don't see rosenstein or everyone giving whitaker a lot of information. it's speculation at this point. we won't know it's over until it's over. >> paul butler, thank you. ken, thank you as well. i appreciate you guys being here onset. coming up, president trump facing political head winds going into the house chamber now criminaled by democrats. but they are in the spotlight too. how will depths respond and what's their message on this public platform? we have ben cardin standing by on capitol hill on this big day and another state of the union guest you'll see tonight, yeni, gonzalez garcia.
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i believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end. one year of water gate is enough. >> and i must say to you that the state of the union is not good. >> the time has come to proceed toward a great new choallengcha second american revolution of hope and opportunity. >> what is at stake is more than one small country. it is a big idea, a new world order. >> the era of big government is over. >> states like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil arming to harp the peace of the world. >> they reversed a century of law that i believe will open the flood gates for special
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interests including foreign corporations to spend without limit in our elections. >> state of the union speeches often feature those kinds of memorable moments. but they're also a chance for americans to assess not just the message but the messenger, the president. so how are americans feeling now about president trump? i want to bring in steve kornacki to break out down. we've seen a bunch of little things happen over the last couple weeks as it relates to president trump's approval ratings and poll numbers. >> yeah. you can see basically the second two years of his first term here, they're underway now. he's going to set the agenda in a lot of ways. what he wants the third year to be about coming into this speech, trump's approval rating, put at 37%. this was about a week old here. the government shutdown was still going on as this was polled. so we'll see does that tick up a few points now that that drama is over. does it stay around here? that 37%, how does it compare to
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some of the past presidents? coming into their year three state of the union address, this is how president trump's predecessors were doing. he showed president bush. that was during the gulf war, '91. george w. bush, this country was on the verge of war with iraq. they were at the top there. you see mixed results. ronald reagan won reelection overwhelmingly. you wouldn't have known it at this point in his presidency. trump is also near carter. carter lost reelection. it shows you year three can be critical for the presidents. the biggest problem for trump is 37%, it's a tight range. he's been between the high 30s and low 40s his entire presidency. is that going to change year three. and the other question is how about within his own party? how does trump compare his support with republicans to how his predecessors have done with
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their own parties at this point? you see on this note trump is near the top. 88% approval rating from republicans right now. that's significant because when you look at the overall low approval rating you always ask about could there be a primary challenge here? nervous republicans. when he's running at 88% in his own party, carter, carter is the one who got challenged in 1980 by ted kennedy. carter was sitting at 55% with his own party. trump is up there at 88% right now. >> so is that a flashing siren light to those who may try to come at donald trump from the republican side come 2020? >> you have to contend with that. the evidence suggests republicans got a lot of different views of donald trump. but ultimately you saw it on election day 2016. and you see it in polling like this. ultimately republicans seem to have an instinct to circle the wagons around this president. primary challenger would have to contend with that, yeah.
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>> steve kornacki, love having you at the big board. we'll see you all afternoon and all evening on msnbc. >> i want to bring in ben cardin. a member of the foreign relations and finance committee. senator, thank you for being with us? . >> my pleasure. >> we're talking about president trump. we spoke with members of his white house this morning who say he'll call for unity and bipartisanship. is there any president trump can say tonight that would convince you that he is serious about working across the aisle with you? >> first, we're always stronger when we speak with one voice in a unified way. the president could go a long way by reaching out to us and letting us determine the border security issues rather than threatening to shut down government. that certainly is a matter that has torn our country apart. quite frankly, it's important to have the separation of branches of government, the checks and balances in our system. and i think it's important the congress exercise that authority. but we're hoping the president
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will do more than just words. let's see his deeds and wribrins together. >> when it comes to foreign policy, there's a part of the speech that will relate to foreign policy and national security challenges. there's an interesting headline talking act the president putting maduro on his heels in venezuela. the drawdown of u.s. troops. north korea has not tested a missile since 2017. does donald trump deserve some foreign policy credit? does he? >> well, let's go over some of those. north korea has nuclear weapons. our intelligence community has indicated they have no intelligences in north korean korea of giving that up. the syria policy has baffled our allies, saying that isis has been eliminated is not consistent with the intelligence information. russia still bullies america, and this president has allowed mr. putin to get away with so much. now his polies on the imf treaty is puzzling a lot of us who
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believe it's in our interest to work to reduce the amount of nuclear weapons. i think there's a lot of concern about how president trump is conducting foreign policy. >> so it sounds like what you're saying is the answer is no. he does not deserve any credit for -- what -- you don't call a win, but at least a little bit of movement on some of these things? >> on venezuela, there is strong bipartisan support for not opposing the maduro administration and supporting the democratic process in venezuela. i think there's support in that regard. >> let me ask you when you look at the democratic party, after the president delivers his state of the union speech which you will be in the chamber for, stacey abrams will deliver her rebuttal. she ran for governor of georgia. there's also another rebuttal,
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senator bernie sanders. are you concerned that might end up stepping on the message from abrams and show that while bernie sanders is an independent, that the progressive wing of the party is not unified? >> i don't think this is the first time that senator sanders has -- >> he's given them before. >> yes. and we have attorney general giving the reply in spanish. abrams is an incredible spokesperson for the party. her energy level and story is commanding. i think it's a great person to give the reply for the democrats tonight. >> very quickly before i let you go, while we were having this conversation, president trump tweeted about somebody else that you work with, chuck schumer saying chuck schumer is already criticizing the state of the union speech before he's seen it saying he's just upset he didn't win the senate. >> the president always will backtrack on things that he says. he says he wants to bring us
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together, but he's already poisoning the well. look, we hope that we can work with this administration and get things done for the american people. that's what we want to do. we want to build infrastructure in this country. we want to build on our economy. we want fairness and opportunity. but the president's words have not been followed by actions during the first two years. i hope that he turns the page and we can work together in year three. >> senator ben cardin, appreciate your perspective. we'll see you later tonight. up next in the show, virgin virginia's governor is staying put. the new time line about when he'll decide whether to resign with his lieutenant governor denying allegations of his own. another state of the union guest we want to tell you about. judah samet. he lost 11 members of his community when a gunman opened fire at the tree of life temple last year. year.
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so the mess at the capital in virginia is only getting messier. governor ralph northam is not stepping downright now even though a ton of organizations and democrats want him to. that's after his response to this picture in northam's old medical school yearbook showing to people in black face and a kkk costume. he says it's not him in the picture after he said it was. and then admitted on another occasion he darkened his face as part of a michael jackson
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costume. justin fairfax said a sexual encounter was consensual and called the allegation an uncorroborated mess. joining me now is geoff bennett. there's been a lot of back and forth about all of this, the resignation of northam. what's the latest this morning? >> rally, great to see you. we're in a holding pattern. the governor is still telling members of his cabinet and aides that he wants more time to deliberate. he wants more time to clear his name. the governor i'm told feels that if he were to step aside now, that would be an admission of wrong doing and that he would be branded a racist. and so the other thing complicating his decision making is as you mentioned the fact that his would be successor, the lieutenant governor, is facing these troubles of his own. in the form of this now uncorroborated allegation of sexual assault dating back to the 2004 democratic national
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convention. fairfax vehemently denies this allegation. here's what he said in his own defense yesterday. >> this is 14 years ago. in fact, when we first were -- this was not only from left field. it didn't happen in the way that is described. they even admitted it was uncorroborated. how many elected officials -- how many elected officials in the commonwealth of virginia have been smeared in this way with a completely uncorroborated story? >> reporter: fairfax says the timing and the sourcing are both suspect. there has been some reporting that he's leaving open the notion that governor northam himself is in some way linked to or responsible for the publication of this allegation. but justin fairfax told us directly no, he does not believe that governor northam is in any way linked to the latest
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allegation. again, we're in a holding pattern. the governor digging in and saying he's not going to resign, at least not yet. >> geoff bennett, we'll look for your reporting later tonight. thank you. yamiche, this thing is something. and now lindsey graham, senator from south carolina, is here on capitol hill talking about it. here's what he said a couple minutes ago. >> i mean, how do you defend yourself over something that's 15 years old and there really -- there are no facts to support the allegation. i don't believe the allegation to be self proving. >> where does this go next? >> this seems like it's going to go longer and longer. the woman who is making this allegation against lieutenant governor justin fairfax has apparently hired the same law firm as dr. blasey ford. we'll see more statements coming out, probably more details of the encounter. i don't think this is going away or ending quickly.
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i think it gives governor northam some time to think about this as people try to figure out if justin fairfax is going to be in a situation where he might not be able to be governor because of the allocatioegation. fairfax has been strong on this is a smear campaign. it's interesting to see senator graham use some of the same language that he used to defend brett kavanaugh. i think the democrats will probably take a pause because people will say they can rub that same language from kavanaugh and people should believe the women. in this case it's going to be a tough one for fairfax. >> it's tough for democrats too. this is broadly a distraction they don't want, especially as we're beginning to see more and more candidates come out saying they're going to run for president. >> you think it's going to have 2020 implications? >> in terms of messaging.
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i think that's one key reason why the national party and other democrats have very, very swiftly said please step down. >> although, northam has been -- for five days he's refusing calls to resign. i've talked to sources who said it's about mark warner and others. they've made clear they want him out, but northam seems to be hunkering down making the bet this could all blow over. >> it seems like he's trying to wait this out and trying to get more people to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was somehow confused and he's going to atone for darkening his face, using black face to be michael jackson. even in the press conference, he said face painting. that's not face painting. that's black face. that's racist. the governor has boxed himself into a corner and maybe he sees a way out because of the fairfax thing. i think it's going to be tough for him to stay. >> thank you both. i appreciate it. as we bring you a look at
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the state of the union guests, we want to talk about kiersten ji gillibrand. she's bringing blake dremmand. she calls him a loyal patriot.
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what are you expecting from trump on the state of the union? what is your position on national emergency. >> i think it would be a mistake for the president to invoke his national emergency powers for this purpose and that it would be of dubious constitutionality to take large sums of money and repurpose them for use than what other than what congress appropriated would upend the appropriations process and the balance of power between the executive and legislative branch. so i hope that he does not resort to that. i don't think that that was what
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the national emergencies act was intended to address. >> susan collins there, senator collins m ca collins making clear where she stands on the president dei declaring a national emergency. our garrett hake has been working the hallways of the capitol of what is going to be a long day for you. tim scott was more ambivalent about it. he said, hey, it's the president's decision but there is republican resistance to the idea? >> reporter: i had a long talk with john cornen. he's more or less right. he said this would be a bad idea for the president to go this route. it sets a bad precedent. he's certainly going to get sued. then there's the issue of a resolution of disapproval which
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would come over from the house and for parliamentary reasons i won't bore you about, it could lead to another rebuke. i'm hearing from democrats, i sentence i never i would say on television which is democrats very much hope the president does what the white house has said he's going to do tonight and strike this theme of unity and talk about things they could actually get done together. a number of democrats say if the president comes out and says he wants to talk about infrastructure, he really doesn't want to talk about fighting the opioid epidemic, for example, those are things they would like to hear tonight. they are cautiously optimistic for that. >> we'll see you tonight, thank you. all of your sources are talking about things related to the state of the union,i right? one topic is trade. we know that's going to be something the president will
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take up. >> he's going to talk about trade. he's been talking about trade since day one. there were talks in washington between china and u.s. officials about a big trade deal. the president has been trying to give an optimistic view of the possibility of a trade deal. he's interested in getting the stock market to be buzzed up again. >> he's going to talk about the economy. >> absolutely. what my sources are saying with regard to a deal with china is that the president, despite some of the more positive rhetoric he has used, is absolutely going to insist on china making some major structural reforms on ip transfer, intellectual property, technology transfer forcing companies to give their technology if they want to do business in china. that so far has been a barrier to any major breakthrough. >> what are your sources telling you? >> remarkably that if the president does have another shutdown, he in some ways wants to do a do over. i was talking to a former official who says if there's
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another government shutdown the democrats will be blamed. so it's in some ways remarkable because so many people don't want a shutdown to happen. there's that a little bit of president trump i'm told that actually wants that to happen just for his political benefit. >> love having you both on, thank you. we'll see you all day today. tonight. you're reporting, you can see us all day on msnbc for coverage of the state of the union. our team of correspondents and reporters are fanned out all across the country. we'll be right back with today's big picture. country we'll be right back with today's big picture.
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today's big picture comes to us courtesy of the navy. it is a flyover, but it's not just any flyover. it's the navy's first all female flyover. navy captain rosemary marner broke a lot of barriers for women. she died at the end of january in knoxville, tennessee at the age of 65. this flyover in honor of her, somebody a lot of folks in the navy are thinking about today. the photograph here from the u.s. navy. we would love to hear your thoughts on facebook, twitter, snapchat, instagram. i'll see you later tonight during our coverage of the state of the union. craig melvin, hey, pal. thank you for joining us.
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craig melvin here. taking the stage. president trump preparing to deliver the state of the union tonight amid several legal fights and political pressure from all fronts. for the first time he'll have a democratic speaker on the stage with him. a and some lawmakers from his own party is giving him a stark warning. we have sent reporters across the country taking the pulse of voters on what they think the state of our union is right now. that includes atlanta, where homestate democrat stacy abrams will give the official response to the president's speech. federal prosecutors just subpoenaed documents from the president's inaugural committee. we start with tonight's state of the union speech. a reset opportunity for president trump. traditionally, a presidentit

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