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tv   MSNBC Live With Ayman Mohyeldin  MSNBC  February 17, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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the news continues with my colleague ayman mohyeldin. >> how many takes did it take her to get that one? >> i'm sure they fell on her butt a few times. still -- >> lock as yng as you get the j. >> yes. and a lot to break down this hour. including fighting back. democrats moving into action mode today ready to throw everything they have at president trump's national emergency declaration. from the halls of congress to federal courthouse and everything in between. what did they say? that's the question that has always loomed over donald trump and vladimir putin's private conversations. now members of congress want the answer, and they think they have a way to get it. and the sounds of silence. a chilly reception for vice president mike pence and his daughter ivanka trump at an international meeting where donald trump wasn't there but clearly on the minds of everyone else. a lot more than coming up, but we begin to break down this hour
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with taking sides and preparing lawsuits. that's where we stand two days in to a national emergency that was declared by president trump. watch this. >> to certainly the expansion of authority congress has given past presidents, this president has the same authority. i wish he wouldn't use it in this case. >> daring the court to strike this down. >> the wall the president wants to build is not appropriate and in fact just a fulfillment of a campaign promise he hasn't been able to keep. >> this is a serious situation. this is a crisis. >> republicans are afraid he's going to take the money from somewhere else. and something they care about, but fundamentally, they think it's a president who failed, who hates to lose, who's acting childish. >> you can imagine, did not stop there. senior white house policy adviser stephen miller defended the president in this tense exchange on fox news sunday. >> the president will protect his national declaration. we're out of time. i make this point.
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there's no threat. >> yes, he will veto? >> aclu in at least five states including california promised lawsuits will be filed soon to try and stop the president. here's some of the issues we want to break down right now. does a divided congress have the will and the power to fight back against what is clearly an attempt top usurp their powers? if congress doesn't act, that leaves the courts and the legal issues so clear cut that declaring this action unconstitutional is a slam dunk for any court that takes it up. then there's the political aspect of all this. polling show the president's actions are wildly unpopular. but he clearly believes this is a winning issue with his base. to break this all down, bring in our panel, kaitlyn dickerson, paula butler, and betsy woodruff, and victoria difrancesco, professor of public affairs university of texas.
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betsy, begin with you first. listen to this sound bite from representative adam schiff. >> he's pretty much daring the court to strike this down. so it's hard to imagine a poorer case. it is going to be a real test, dan dana for my gop colleagues if we give away, the power of the purse, our most important power, little check and no balance left. it will notting a separation of power, anymore, just a separation of parties. this is going to be a moment of truth for my gop colleagues. >> the legality tested in the courts. you see adam schiff and democrats also position this politically for their members of the congress, colleagues across the aisle. democrats need the support of republicans to fight this. are they going to get enough support nofor that? >> unlikely a significant amount of republicans will break wib
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t with the president on this issue. there will be some, that said, especially the more conservative members arguing this could be a violation of the constitution separation of powers making it so the president can't start brand new spending projects without congress specifically appropriating that money. that said, one of the reasons i think we haven't seen an outcry from house republicans, obviously, a big part of it, because trump is on their team and they want him to be politically successful. principles get sidelined in some issues. also currently a very loud, complex debate among constitutional scholars about whether or not what trump has done is legal. it's honestly not possible at this point to predict how the supreme court will come down on it. in the past, the supreme court upheld some of trump's executive actions that have drawn extraordinary criticism. the travel bran, for instance. the supreme court ruled it was within his power as president. presidential powers have grown
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over the past presidents. many find troubling but the actual constitutional issue hasn't been firmly decided yet. >> paul, to that effect, mentioning legal challenges abounds. california's attorney general, play this sound bite. already vowing to challenge this in the court. watch. >> definitely and imminently. we are prepared. we knew something like this might happen, and with our sister state partners we are ready to go. >> we're confident there be at least 8 billion ways we can prove harm. >> all right. others called this an abuse of power. aclu planning to file suit and released this statement saying this is patently illegal, power grab that hurts americans, communities and hallmarks of 0 our democracy. we'll fike a lawsuit early next week. how clear is the law on this, do you think, when it comes to the power of the purse and the president's ability to declare a national emergency, and how much has this president hurt himself with the speech he gave at the
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rose garden saying i didn't need to do this now but didn't want to wait any longer. >> one legal issue. is there a national emergency? emergency sounds like an immediate crisis. we know that border crossings are down. most drugs come in with people who have the proper documentation. we know that immigrants commit fewer crimes than american citizens and so it doesn't seem like there's an emergency, but it's the president's prerogative. so that rift that the president did that press conference, at first he said, it's really not an emergency. it's kind of a political thing i want to do quickly, then that rift about, go to the main circuit and then the supreme court, we'll lose in the ninth circuit. probably right. he might win in the supreme court, though, because some of these conservatives justices might share his same point of view about executive power and how much power the president has. >> what i was going to ask you. are the courts responsible for deciding whether it is a national emergency or whether
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the president has the power t e declare a national emergency for funds? what is the central legal question they'll answer? >> they can review whether there's a national emergency, but they usually give the president wide discretion and deference there. the thing is, when you declare a national emergency, what you do is unleash all of these other laws where congress has said if there is a national crisis, the president can do this. but when the president does something like build a wall, he has to attribute it to a specific law, and under the constitution, it's congress who appropriates funds. if congress wants to take money congress appropriated for the military and use it to build a wall, he has to make a case how that's related to the military, and that's where he may get pushback from the courts. >> victoria, besides the courts paul just mentioned, do activists have any other recourse? we haven't seen big protests yet of the president's decision.
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could we see the kind of street protests we saw erupt after his controversial ban on some muslim majority countries where people took to the streets at airportses, even though ultimately the supreme court upheld that to some extent? >> i wouldn't be surprised, ayman, if we see protests, but because it's a little more scattered, the topic, than just immigrants, i don't know if we'll see the same massive protests. est tring to me and hearing the president over these past couple of days is that he's trying to move the emphasis not just from immigrants, also throwing drugs into the mix. saying this is a national emergency really a because all of the drugs that are coming in and earlier we mentioned that the truth of the ma thor is that the border wall isn't going to necessarily keep that many drugs out, since they're coming through legal ports of entry. the biggest issue, to me, is that the demand for drugs. a couple of years ago, let's not forget, that president trump declared a national public
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health emergency related to the opioid crisis. really if we want to deal with drugs, and this national emergency, why don't we help the people dealing with those addictions instead of throwing money away at a wall that really isn't going to do anything? >> to that point, and why it's important to have reporting on the ground. you recently wrote a piece that looks at asylum seekers on the mexican side of the border. many saying the wait is too long and they have to give up. they're not getting the support they need. many turning back to go back to their home countries. what's the reality like on the ground from the way you've seen it reported? >> while all of our attention has been drawn by the president to this concept of the wall, we've been looking at, we went from summer, family separation to a winter of the wall. meanwhile, a lot has happened and the big policy changing trump made, we report on them and sort of forget about them, but they're having a real impact. the president and his
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administration barraged asylum seekers, a huge number of people coming to the border and trying to get into the u.s. not illegally. turning themselves in and asking for refuge but a series of policies cracked down on their ability to do so. policies that make them wait long periods of time before they can enter the united states. policies that heighten the burden of proof they're required to meet to qualify for asylum. a new policy requires some people to stay in mexico the entirety of their asylum cases and those could take years. we're searing as reported thousands of people who decided they either want to give up their claim for asylum or defer it indefinitely and lay down roots in tijuana. most told us they were read sti to do so. ship killed, harder to find a job, but if you're desperate and finding a situation you might have the to wait months or years you're running out of options. the policies are having a big effect and i think achieving
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what the president wants to do while he struggles over this wall, he's having an impact with these policies. >> at least getting what we wanted by this deterrent of sorts that has emerged on the southern border. victoria, ask you, but polling show the president's actions are widely unpopular. the president seems somewhat trapped with his own base on this issue, but given the president's caving on the budget deal, was this his own choice to keep his base happy? we know obviously how in tune he was with conservative right wing media. he spent a big part of his speech in the rose garden thanking rush limbaugh, sean hannity and a few others? >> ayman, i am no fan of president trump, but if i take myself and pretend i'm his adviser saying, okay. this is what you got to do. you need to kind of keep the american public from getting raging angry again. you don't want to shut down the government, same time you've got this space. what are you going to do?
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this probably would have been what i would advised. it's a terrible idea for me when i start to think about it, but from that mcvallian point of view, the only recourse he had in keeping the american public, quote/unquote, happy for not having the government shut down again. >> alluded to at least 2020 a few times subtly in his speech saying he was thinking ahead. betsy, paul, thank you. the others, appreciate your time. coming up, a congressional threat and a prominent republican wants answers after former acting fbi director andrew mccabe talked about discussions about using the 25th amendment of the constitution to remove president trump from office. we'll tell you about that, next. . to make you everybody else... ♪ ♪ means to fight the hardest battle, which any human being can fight and never stop.
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well, we're going to find out what happened here. the only way i know how to find out is call the people in under only and find out through questions who's telling the truth, because the underlying accusation is beyond stunning. >> that was senator lindsey graham this morning reacting to comments by former acting fbi director andrew mccabe who told "60 minutes" he, rod rosenstein and other justice department officials in fact discuss add plan to potentially remove president trump from oft. back with me, betsy woodruff and contributor to msnbc and paul
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butler, analyst and former prosecutor. betsy, walking back this statement he made to "60 minutes" in fact his spokeswoman releasing a statement on twitter that says, at no time did mr. mccabe participate in extended discussions with the 25th amendment nor aware of any discussions. do you think lindsey graham will follow through on this public threat to source this out and having rosenstein and mccabe testify now that they're private citizens? >> i certainly think so. the key phrase in that statement from melissa schwartz is the term extended discussions. there's no disagreement rosenstein brought up the 25th amendment in a conversation that happened at the justice department, but rosenstein and his allies say it was a joke and mccabe and as reported lea ed le a top attorney at the time, took
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him seriously and trying to oust president trump organizing opposition among the cabinet secretaries. for senator lindsey graham an important moment. just became chairman of the senate judiciary committee. one of trump's strongest allies, although he has broken with the president on a small handful, but a handful of important matters and having hearings with rosenstein and mccabe would be a moment for him to make huge headlines and potentially do some of the oversight that house republicans had been wanting to do. wanting to go after some of these senior doj officials they allege engaged in a coup attempt against president trump. lindsey graham, gives him a chance to be the white knight, ride in and take trump's former foes from the justice department to task. >> correcting, rod rosenstein hasn't left yet. all indications he will at some point. and congressman adam schiff chairman of the house intel
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committee, and eric engle, focused in trying to find out what exactly took place in those private conversations between vladimir putin, russia's president, and president trump. tried everything to get the note of the translator and what have you. having a hard time nailing this down and may want to try to get the translater in front of congress at some point, if that's possible. does the white house have absolute executive privilege over these conversations? >> you know, these are issues of first impression, because believe it or not we don't have a lot of circumstances in which a president talks one on one to a foreign leader and nobody knows what's said. no one has any idea. >> somewhat unprecedented. >> really is. the idea, maybe they can subpoena's the interpreter or other people trump talked to. apparently, unlike almost any other president, he didn't allow the secretary of state, the vice president or his other foreign policy advisers to know what was said. so they're kind of, you know,
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kind of reaching for the stars in terms of what the law allows. i think he might have a credible, i don't know about executive authority, but some kind of privilege. the idea is, when the president talks to a foreign leader about sensitive issues, does he have a right to some kind of confidentiality? like we talked about before. if this goes to court, these conservative judges that have a very kind of strict view about how much power the executive has, they might be willing to grant trump this power grab he's doing in so many different areas. >> stick around for me one more minute. something else to talk to you about. betsy woodruff, thank you very much. your thoughts on this next story, a new twist in the investigation into the alleged assault on actor jussie smollett. police source familiar with the investigation tells nbc news investigators are now focusing on whether or not smollett staged the attack and paid two men who were previously questioned in the question. bizarre twist there. chicago police confirm that
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information they've received has changed the trajectory of their investigation. smollett's attorney denied suggestion the actor was involved in his own assault. among the people most interested in this latest twist, the president's oldest son don trump jr. sending out a flurry of tweets and retweets today on the case slamming the actor and those who supported him in the wake of the initial attack. reports singling out for special attention, senators and presidential candidate kamala harris and cory booker. talk how serious the potential legal issues are for jussie smollett. people are questioning the chicago p.d. two unnamed sources, haven't said this publicly. a lot of different language used by both side. obviously, it's reaching a different trajectory given what's emerged. >> for the record, jussie smollett his statement stayed the same. he's consistent. it's the police department that
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had shifting versions of what they think happened. now, it's a crime to falsely report something happened to you when it didn't happen. you can go to jail up to three years. so far mr. smollett has not been accused of that. people think police solve crimes. the reality, most crimes, they don't solve. in chicago, the clearance rate for murder, the most serious crime, is only 20%. so even 80% of murders they don't solve. the reality, we may never know exactly what happened. what we do know, though, in response to donald trump jr.'s tweet, hate crimes have risen 17% since donald trump took office are and we know when people report traumatic episode they should be respected and honored. it's difficult to come forward with those and so the idea is, even if this didn't happen, that should cast doubt on people who claim byas and discrimination is flat out wrong. >> helping us keep or eyes on
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what is important in the story. appreciate your insigtsds. couldn't get two more different reactions from the leaders. that there. and donald trump's policies on the world stage. we're going to break that down, next. no more excuses with cologuard. we all make excuses for the things we don't want to do. but when it comes to colon cancer screening... i'm not doin' that. i eat plenty of kale. ahem, as i was saying... ...with cologuard, you don't need an excuse... all that prep? no thanks. that drink tastes horrible! but...there's no prep with cologuard... i can't take the time off work. who has two days? and i feel fine - no symptoms! everybody, listen! all you need is a trip to the bathroom. if you're 50 or older and at average risk,
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hold for applause seemed to the message at gathering of world leaders this weekend at least when mike pence was speaking. may not be able to tell from an audience clapping, but who this international audience chose to shower with affection and who they greeted with stony silence. a clear story how the world feels about donald trump in 2019. watch. >> i bring greetings from the 45th president of the united states of america, president donald trump. the time has come for our european partners to withdraw from the iran nuclear deal and join with us as we bring the economic and diplomatic pressure necessary to give the iranian people the region and the world the peace, security and freedom they deserve. >> i promise you, i promise you,
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as my mother would say, this, too, shall pass. we will be back. we will be back. don't have any doubt about that. >> all right. at the end, you can see who did not join in at that standing ovation for angela merkel's remarks. trump's daughter ivanka trump, the statement making cars in the united states, german cassrs wa somehow a national emergency for the united states. and allied commander at nato, joining us, and from los angeles, and editor for foreign affairs magazine.
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admiral, begin with you and put you on the spot and ask you to not necessarily interpret the silence that was there in the room, but give me what was your reaction? what has been your reaction to speaking to many of our european ap lies who attend this conference and what is the mood among our allies when it comes to how this president is conducting foreign policy towards the europeans? >> i think, ayman, you saw it all in the video that you just played. cold, stony silence. a real sense of disagreement between our european partners and this administration. could not be more stark. afterward a number of senior european leaders both political and military said to me, you know, admiral, your vice president looked like a robot up there. pretty harsh. on the other hand, vice president, former vice president
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biden warmly, warmly greeted as you saw. really quite extraordinary how he managed to captivate that crowd. really, a tale of two vice-presidents, and wririding r it, angela merkel, clearly the crowd favorite and i thought the best i'd ever seen the chan chancell chancellor. i've known her a decade. she was loose, connected with the audience and did her nation a good day on the world stage. not a good day for the president here. >> are there people in europe who buy into the argument of the trump administration? you had mike pence reiterating america first strategy calling on europeans to withdraw from the iranian deal. does that resinate with europeans? is there support among europeans or some in european politics that europe should take a
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different posture towards iran, more aligned with what the trump administration wants? >> i did not encounter any support for the iran's policy. you do see some divisions particularly in eastern europe. the baltics, they're more supportive of the trump administration, than western europe, than some that you see particularly in france or germany. you see bit of a split in general terms on the administration, but in terms of iranian policy, there's nobody in europe i came in contact with here in three days at the various highest levels of european security high were supportive of pushing to pull out of that iranian deal. i think europe is going to stick with it, and it's not only because they think that's the best path to peace in the middle east. it's also because they don't want to simply follow in the wake of american policy. they want to demonstrate an independence here. part of that is atmospherics and
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the difficulty between this administration and the many of these senior european leaders, particularly angela merkel. >> let me ask you about chancellor merkel's speech, and particularly about the u.s. withdraw from syria saying it gives russia and strengthens their position, some she and others in europe did not want to see. do you see it that way? is america withdrawing from syria and by doing so giving our adversaries the upper happened? >> yes to put it bluntly. the fascinating thing of what we're seeing at the security conference, is the control over the executive branch and u.s. foreign policy and doing whatever he wants. that's trump. on the other hand, starting to seem like a lame duck and people are already starting to think about waiting him out and playing for the post-trump era. like democrats in congress are
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challenging him, allies coming out from under the rock and speaking back in challenge. the news about merkel is basically that the europeans feel embolden pd enough to call for, to wait for the post-trump era, try to hold the baton during the next couple of years until america comes back tots senses s. that a risking gambit in case trump is reelected? how is that going to strain their relationship further if europeans have gone on the limb, we'll wait, buy into the biden notion, we're coming back from this and trump wins in two years? >> if trump wins in two years, everybody's expectations will be recalibrated everywhere and everything we know about international politics goes off the books if trump wins another term. white are right now they're saying, another two years. let's ride it out. they see the president as political fortunes dwindling, the invest results coming, they
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feel he'll survive but not succeed. >> and benjamin netanyahu had kroes controversial remarks appearing to call for war in iran. saying this is what the gathering was all about. israeli officials tried to soften all hesoft en altering the english transition from war to combating iran. you have the pulse on the ground. what have you been hearing? >> hi, ayman. the reaction, the iranians wanted. iranians said for a long time the enemy is at the gates. that israel along with saudi arabia, their new-found friend in the region and the united states, want to unseat the regime in iran and here's your evidence. they're now threatening war. even though they back pedaled those comments, they were out there and the regime in siiran saying, listen, we have to be on our guard and vigilant because
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people are trying to destable the country, but also, the munich conference also plays into iran's hands. if you look at it, they have caused a wedge between the united states and their closest european allies. that plays exactly into iran's hands. when the united states and europe are not reading off the same hem page it makes it very difficult to enact policy to get at coalition together. so in a way, although iran is under immense pressure, they're upset that the jcpoa is not going the way it should, they're also seeing a split amongst the international community and no cohesive decisions are being made on iran and that suits them. if you look at a time, you remember very well, ayman, when the jcpoa was being signed, president obama created a formidable alliance against iran. not only amongst europeans but got russia and china onboard. nobody in iran believed in their heart of hearts he was going to
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attack the country, but they knew at the same time if there was an off chance an attack on iran, he would have the support of the community. that is not the case today. >> let me ask you this. our nbc correspondent richard engel interviewed zarif at security conference and in a nutshell, zarif said negotiating with america is difficult because end of the day you're not able to trust the americans to stick to the word of what they sign. my question is, does he have a point? are we at a stage where the words of american presidents and the documents they sign are worth nothing, if every president at a whim decides to change it? >> a very interesting question. the question of general credibility of the united states and how that will be affected by the president's actions is one thing. more interestingly and specifically, and the reason why zarif may feel this particularly, he, rouhani and other moderates bet on a peace process with the united states,
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and we, and now feel we're like lucy and the football and they're charlie brown and we pull it away, because they got the deal, took fire from domestic hard-liners and we're not paying off for the deal. with the irans, probably what the administration hawks are playing for. to build up so muches did trust and discredit iranian moderates it's impossible for the next american administration restart negotiations with the next iranian regime. >> to that point, admiral, your final thoughts on this diplomatic conundrum. why would a country, whether north korea or anyone else involved in negotiations with the u.s. trust what american administrations have to say if they can simply walk away from a deal like we just saw? >> we're very damaged at the moment. give you two other examples. one is the decision to pull out of the paris climate accord. regardless of what you think about global warming, the decision after so many years of
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negotiation to simply walk away from that hurt our credibility enormously. the second is the trans-pacific partnership. we spent much of a decade trying to put that in place, and then pivoted away from that. you're exactly right. the going to be very difficult to recover that credibility, and frankly, if there's another four years of a trump administration, buckle up. we're going to have a great deal of difficulty. ayman, if you think of it like ships in a convoy, they're safer when they sail together. the ships in this convoy of starting to pull apart. that's bad news for the united states of america. >> admiral in munich, and from los angeles and here on-set, thanks to you all this evening. straight ahead, we said, they said. how the world's media reacted to president trump's emergency declaration. and right now a look how "saturday night live" reacted to it. >> i'm going to sign these papers for emergency. they'll immediately be sued and
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the ruling will not go in my favor and then i'm going to the supreme court and then call my buddy kavanaugh and say it's time to repay the donny, he's say, new phone. who "dis"? and i plead insanity do a few months in the factory and my personal hell of playing president will finally be over. trips to mars. $4.95. hydroponic farms. robotic arms. ♪ $4.95. delivery drones or the latest phones. no matter what you trade, at fidelity it's just $4.95 per online u.s. equity trade.
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time for "we said they said." president trumpal emergency declaration to fund the wall at the u.s. southern board sir a top focus among media overseas. >> this is very surprising that we are still going to see a declaration of emergency. i thought if he signed a budget we weren't going to have to declare emergency. why is the president doing both jthts duri jth . >> during the shutdown in december and january, his popularity of the republican party slipped considerably. he realized he was, a loser. it made very little sense to get involved in another drawn-out conflict with the democrats. >> congress passed the legislation to avoid another government shutdown. trump's proposed border wall has really escalated. >> several news outlet highlighted the washington opposition. >> democrats and even some
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republicans warn the president is setting a diangerous precedent. >> opening the door for future presidents to achieve unilaterally what they could not get out of congress. >> challenged in the courts, in u.s. courts. in the past donald trump has shown he's not too worried about making executive orders that he knows will be challenged in court. >> the response of the democrats and of many critics of donald trump has been to declare this potentially to be a constitutional crisis. some saying donald trump himself is a national emergency. >> many international opinions slamming the emergency declaration. the uk's "guardian" says trump's clear abuse of power faced a torrid of lawsuits and also the president's emergency ruse is a wake-up call. adding the emergency declaration is a brazen move eninvolving both the longest shutdown in u.s. history and the case of outright president's blackmail to force funding from congress. all right. coming up, freshman
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congresswoman, he'lling the heat for comments earlier in the week an american political support for israel some took at anti-semitic. next, joined by two members of the media who wrote very different op-eds in the reaction to the controversy. car insurance so you only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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freshman congresswoman ilhan omar created controversy for this tweet saying merkel support is motivated by money, all an the benjamins, baby. responding to another tweet claiming the public affairs committee known at aipac is supporting american politicians prompting house democratic leadership to issue a joint statement condemning her quote. use of anti-submit eck tropes and supporters and called on her to apologize. she did apologize saying she is listening and learning and standing strong nap apologies did not appease the president who had this to say. >> i think she should either resign from congress or she should certainly resign from the house foreign affairs committee. >> all right.
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joining knee now, battia unger sargone, for an individual a pot at the insurrection. both wrote op-eds on this same topic for this site. and we thought it would be perfect to have both of you here on this set to talk about this, given there are so many different opinions. battia, let me start with your op-ed. you wrote -- the title is omar i will hilham tweeted something anti-semitic again, bribing to betray american values. it belongs in a cartoon, not on the twitter feed of a u.s. congresswoman. first, walk us through why you got to that conclusion just from the simple language she used. >> the forward is an independent, progressive jewish publication. our job is to call out
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anti-semitism where we see it, whether it is on the right or the left. and that's what we do. so when kevin mccarthy tweeted a disgusting anti-semitic tweet, an ad right before the mid terms or aright after the mid terms saying three jews bought the mid terms, we called it out. he didn't apologize. when president trump started pushing an anti-semitic conspiracy theory, alleging that jews were paying for the refugees who were part of that caravan that was approaching america, that -- we called that out. we have to have one standard a zero tolerance policy for anti-semitism on the left or right and i reject the idea you cannot stand up for palestinian rights without being mum on anti-semitism on the left. i completely reject that idea. >> fair enough. i want to get to that specific tweet and walk us through how you got to the conclusion that
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was anti-semitism. your colleague sees it differently. explain to our viewers who may not be familiar, why you think that tweet was anti-semitic and can you have a conversation about the influence of money on american politics like the nra, big faphrma, fossil fuels. >> 100%. we should be having a conversation about the israel lobby, apac. it is possible to do that without being anti-semitic or straying into even unintentionally anti-semitic tropes. one of the ways to do that is, as you know, jews have literally been mass murdered for accusations we are secretly controlling the levers of power with money, right? so when you know that a people has literally been mass murdered over that kind of portrayal, you want to be accurate when talking
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about jews and control and ppowd money. yes, a lot of apac's power comes from the fact that israel is popular among americans, right? they are not controlling politicians. they are not controlling them with money. they are offering them a pro-israel credential with which to go out and tell the american people that they are pro israel. so we need to be very, very careful in the language, right? if they were no christians in america, aipac would have almost nowhere near the same amount of power. >> okay. let me bring peter in. you obviously wrote a very different opinion. and in your tweet -- sorry, your titled, ilhan omar is not an anti-semitic and you wrote, the problem is all lobebies use money. so unless you want to deny there even is an israel lobby, it can't be off limits to point out it works in secret and uses money to bring out policy.
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so how -- are you getting the same -- from the same tweet a very completely different conclusion? >> i think her tweet was accurate and not anti-semitic. and it was not that different from tom friedman, who is a big israel supporter who when benjamin netanyahu spoke in front of congress, said, this speech was bought and paid for by the israel lobby. now, the "wall street journal" this week reported that aipac raises and spends $100 million on its lobbying efforts that are not direct contributions to candidates, but they do a lot to direct those contributions. they have a congressional council where your standing depends on your willingness to make contributions to israel politicians that aipac finds and identifies and even sets up meetings. so i think, you know, there is no question -- i mean, when $100 million a year is raised and spent by aipac, countless more comes from donors that are bundled and affiliated with
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aipac and sheldon adelson says i'm a single-issue guy, and my issue is israel. h saban had almost identical quote, i'm a one-issue voter and my issue is israel. it's -- it can't be off limits to talk about this money and say it's all about the benjamins, because otherwise it's gas lighting. >> so why is it that some people believe that talking about israel and its influence in terms of policymakers is off limits? people don't want to touch it? and when you see the reaction -- when all the issues that we've talked about, you know, people have criticized money's influence on our american political system, why is that one different? the pro israel lobby at large? nothing to do with jews, per se, but as you were saying all the groups involved, whether it's the military group, christian, zionists and evangelicals, what have you. >> people are scared, supportive of israel in this country, but we're seeing those numbers change drastically.
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right now we see four times as many americans think that israel lobby has too much influence versus the percent that think that it has too little. 40% of americans and 56% of democrats would support sanctions on israel if it doesn't stop expanding settlements, which is going. and those sanctions are the "s" in what's known as bds. so we have a lot of people who are changing their opinion. and i think that the israel lobby does not want this discussed. >> it is a nuanced conversation. we just tried to shed light on it. thank you, appreciate it. thank you, guys. we'll be right back. appreciatet thank you, guys. we'll be right back. when i first came to ocean bay, what i saw was despair. i knew something had to be done. hurricane sandy really woke people up, to showing that we need to invest in this community.
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that will do it for me this week. join me next sunday at 4:00 p.m. to break down the major stories of the week. you can reach out to me, of course, as always on social media. now i turn it over to reverend al sharpton and "politics nation." good evening. and welcome to "politics nation." tonight's lead, fault line at the border. democratic lawmakers prepare their challengers for president trump's national emergency. as the administration looks to divert funding from one of its favorite rallying cries.


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