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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  February 18, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PST

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and hope to be going soon. we thank dad and the entire family for their service to this country. coming up, more news for hallie jackson. >> who is not a sucker for those sorries. i'll let you go. president trump is on a twitter tear this morning against two men with the front row seat to the russia investigation after the bomb shell 60 minutes interview featuring andrew mccabe. he says president trump took putin's word over his own intel officials when it came to north korea and said the justice department is off base when it said rosenstein wasn't serious. >> he said can i easily wear a recording device. they wouldn't know it was there. >> we break down the reaction to the new revelations. plus as the president called all that illegal and treason, more and more people say what he did was illegal. a national emergency his critics
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say doesn't exist. how the president's own words may come back to bite him. >> and hate crime or hoax. >> that's the question chicago police are trying to answer, investigating whether the investigation against smollett was staged. we have a show with our team set up and ready to go. fallout from andrew mccabe. the president calling him a liar. the white house saying he has no credibility and the doj maint n maintaining mccabe's version of events are inaccurate and incorrect. so here's mccabe in his own words describing what he saw and heard. >> in another explosive new claim, andrew mccabe says the president dismissed u.s. intelligence on national security recalling an instance in which he says president trump insisted north korea did not have the capability to hit the u.s. with ballistic missiles because russian president vladimir putin told him so. >> intelligence officials in the briefing responded that that was
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not consistent with any of the intelligence our government possesses. the president replied, i don't care, i believe putin. >> in another instance, it was suggested to wear a wire. mccabe says the justice department's denial is off base. and that rosenstein was not being sarcastic. >> he said i never get searched when i go into the white house. i could easily wear a recording device. he was not joking. he was absolutely serious, and in fact, he brought it up in the next meeting we had. >> my colleague geoff bennett is at the white house. geoff, we know the president is paying attention to this because we pay attention to his twitter feed. and he's been on a bit of a rant about andrew mccabe this morning. >> you're right about that. president trump this morning predictably ripping into andrew mccabe calling the former fbi director disgraced and calling
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his story deranged. here are the tweets. the president says he was fired for lying and now his story gets even more deranged. he and hod rosenstein look like they were planning a very illegal act. this was illegal and treason. an insurance policy in full action. missing in the criticism is the point that mccabe points that the president's own behavior, his own statements so startled fbi officials that they took the unprecedented step of launching the investigation and at least brooch broached the notion of using the 25th amendment. the doj is reacting with some new comments out this morning. doj official tells us this. it says this special counsel was appointed to ensure that the russia investigation was truly infeint and without bias. something that mccabe could not have accomplished. look, there is fallout for both sides. for andy mccabe, it looks like there's a congressional hearing in his future.
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lindsey graham, the republican chairman of the senate judiciary committee calling for a hearing into what he calls an administrative coup, and then there were notes on the interactions with the president that he says he's handed over to the special counsel. >> say copious contemporary ten times. thank you. i'll see you at the white house in a little bit. let me bring in clint watts, daniel alonzo, kelsey snell, jonathan allen joining us as well. clint, let me start with you. let's start with the top of what you heard in the segment. andrew mccabe saying there was a meeting in which the president dismissed north korea intelligence because vladimir putin told him it was wrong. >> it's shocking.
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it's also consistent. we've seen on several occasions whether it's poland, trump's take on why the soviet union went into afghanistan, many other occasions we've seen him essentially take kremlin propaganda lines. if you add this to the list, we saw him in helsinki take putin's word over the intelligence community. we see him here essentially behind closed doors taking putin's word over the intelligence community. this is a consistent pattern. the president does not believe the intelligence community. does not rely on them for his information. and instead goes to our enemies, our opponents overseas and uses their information to gain his perspective. it is not just troubling. it is dangerous. we have a disconnect in our country right now between the largest intelligence community probably in the world which has all of our expertise as a country providing him opinions which can be quickly refuted by someone who maybe helped elect him to president. >> there's a legal question. there is manage mccabe addressed
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when he talked about the justification for firing comey. daniel, i want your read on this sound bite from the 60 minutes discussion of mccabe talking about rosenstein and his interactions with president trump. >> concerned by his interactions with the president who seemed to be very focussed on entiring the director and saying things like make sure you put russia in your memo. that concerned rod in the same way that it concerned me and the fbi investigators on the russia case. >> he didn't want to put russia in the memo? >> he did not. he explained he did not need russia in his memo. the president responded, i understand that. i am asking you to put russia in the memo anyway. >> russia did not end up in that memo, daniel, of course, but what does it say to you that the president made the request? >> you have to understand mccabe and rosenstein were in an impossible situation.
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you have a request by the president. it would have given some cover to a possible defense if rosenstein had put russia as a reason for the firing in his memo. he didn't. and the two of them resolved this impossible situation by ultimately following the law and seeking a special counsel. >> i want to bring in kelsey and jonathan as well. as jeff alluded to, there is now discussion about bringing in both mccabe and rod rosenstein in front of lawmakers. i want to play what senator graham had over the weekend. he's the chairman of the judiciary committee. he was asked directly would he issue a subpoena. and he said if need be, yes, the answer is yes. watch. >> we will have a hearing about who is telling the truth, what actually happened. we're a democracy. people enforce the law, can't take it into their own hands, and was this an attempted bureaucratic coup? i don't know. i know rosenstein denied it. we're going to get to the bottom
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of it. >> that is a huge potential question that -- for graham to ask if this was attempted bureaucratic coup, that's a big, big deal. >> but that's what the president is alluding to. >> graham is not the only person who is going to be investigating this. house democrats have lots of plans to bring not just mccabe but a host of people in. you're going to see dueling investigations on the hill. it will be a question of trying to figure out who can win the public opinion. >> graham went from donald trump's biggest critic to donald trump's biggest defender in congress. i don't know what his hearings are going to look like. it sounds like the defend donald trump at all cost hearing. the house side would be a more interesting hearing from the perspective of the president. i would note the president is already misleading about this stuff. he points out rosenstein and
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says sessions appointed rosenstein. that's not true. donald trump appointed rod rosenstein. that's how it works. when you talk about a deep state or bureaucratic coup or anything like that that lindsey graham is talking about, these are people that the president appointed who are supposed to be part of the deep state and the pure karatic coup against him. that is ridiculous. >> part of the criticism against mccabe -- he was fired from the fbi, accused of essentially lying about interactions with the media. there's a new op ed out from matt lewis. it says andrew mccabe is not a hero and unelected operatives do not get to unseat a president. does that have merit? >> i don't think mccabe -- it seems like the discussions have gotten muddied around the 25th amendment. mccabe said i did not bring it up. it was part of a discussion i was part of. what we need to focus back to the mueller investigation is what made these two people rod
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rosenstein and andy mccabe so concerned about what was going on that they felt they needed to take extreme measures? why would they think they need a wire on rosenstein? why would the 25th amendment come up in because he kept interjecting russia into the discussions. he did it with lester holt. he brought it up to rod rosenstein. if you look at this as an fbi agent, there are alarm bells all the way through that 18-month period leading up to this moment. what were they supposed to do? they were probably exploring all the options. i still believe there are things we don't know that caused them to explore those options. i hope when the mueller report comes out we get to know what the things were that caused such alarm between the two individuals. >> daniel, rosenstein, if you take mccabe at his word was not totally sold on appointing a special counsel to look into this. he said rod rosenstein was not initially convinced we needed one saying he was concerning if he did appoint the special counsel, mccabe believed
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rosenstein worried he might lose his job. the department of justice has pushed back on mccabe's version of events. i was told this morning that the special counsel was appointed to ensure the russia investigation was truly independent and without bias. something that mccabe could not have accomplished. what do you make of that? >> that's right. mccabe couldn't have accomplished it by virtue of being with the fbi within the president's chain of command. rosenstein to the extent he didn't say yes immediately, that's his job. he's supposed to be skeptical. the attorney general was recused. he's supposed to apply the regulations in an impartial way. he wanted to hear more information. i think that the way that this special counsel was appointed strikes me as the way we want it to be, the information is brought to the attorney general. the attorney general weighs it and makes the decision according to regulations. >> daniel, clint, thank you for being with us. andrew mccabe will sit for his first live interview tomorrow morning over on the "today show" with savannah.
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on wednesday we'll join "morning joe." you're not going to want to miss either of the discussions. still ahead, a series of stunning developments in a high profile alleged attack with sources saying an actor from "empire" is no longer seen as a victim in the case. so what is he? and right after this break, why words matter. the president partly running around congress to get the wall money he wants. what legal experts say about why his own words may be held against him. danny is looking into that and into the courts where lawsuits are apparently imminent. e appar. it offers a lot of great technology inside. oh, this is fancy. yeah, that's the available hd surround vision camera. the top of your car? it helps you see dangers around the vehicle. what is that? what the? wait wait wait... what is that? oh my god. what is happening? these are big alligators. now we're surrounded. so who's getting out first? i don't know but we're keeping this camera on. [laughing]
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coast to coast are planned on this president's day at a rally against the president's national emergency. look at that. with the white house bracing for a barrage of lawsuits and lawmaker pushback. california's attorney general warns legal action is imminent. nbc news learned he's trying to put together a coalition that's expected to include new mexico, hawaii, oregon, connecticut, minnesota, and they're all pointing to a particular part of the president's rose garden speech on friday. >> i want to do it faster. i could do the wall over a longer period of time. i didn't need to do this, but i'd rather do it much faster. >> our msnbc legal analyst says the courts are likely to consider what the president did and did not say during his remarks at the white house. let me bring in danny now. kelsey and jonathan are back with us as well. danny, that key part of the president's speech that we just
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aired, the part where he says i don't need to do this, why is that critical? >> the president's words are what creates the national emergency. and once he declares it, that unlocks a number of different, hundreds of different statutory powers available only in times of national emergency. so if the president's words are that powerful in simply declaring a national emergency, then a court might conclude that so too are the other words that he says in order to determine whether or not this truly is a national emergency. and saying he didn't need to do this might undermine that claim. however, a court may also conclude that because there really are no rules or limitations on the declaration of a national emergency, that even saying i didn't need to do this, well, that doesn't really matter as long as he says those words, national emergency, that's where we are. >> you look at the states that are looking potentially to sue here. california, of course, the
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attorney general indicated that is coming in probably a matter of hours at this point. the question has been as our pete williams explained, who has the legal standing to be able to bring this case in front of a court and ultimately, potentially the supreme court. does california have that? >> standing is a core issue of any lawsuit, and that is a -- the people who might have obvious standing in a case like this would be private landowners whose property would be imminent domain taken over to create this wall. but standing is a requirement of every lawsuit that must be satisfied at the outset. that means that the plaintiff has to have some concrete interest in the outcome of the litigation. the mere fact that you or i might not like taxes doesn't give us standing to file a lawsuit. so standing is a constitutional requirement. >> and so -- listen, and precedent is probably going to play a part in any kind of a legal challenge. and this is something that chris wallace got into with the white house topic immigration adviser
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steven miller on the musunday shows. it got pretty feisty. >> can you name one case where a president has asked congress for money, congress refused and the president has then invehicloked national powers? >> the current situation -- >> yes or no. >> the current situation pertains to the military construction authority. >> i'm asking --. congress said no and he then -- >> many t meaning of the statute is clear on its own terms. if you don't like the statute, or members of congress don't -- >> the answer is no? there hasn't been a single case like this? >> how important is precedent here, danny? >> precedent is critical. the key case is the case called youngstown where president truman tried to nationalize the steel industry during the korean war declaring a state of national emergency. the supreme court ultimately struck down trumanen's attempt to take over the industry, saying that when the president
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acts against the express will of congress, his power is at, quote, his lowest ebb. it's important to note that even at its lowest ebb, the president's power or authority may prevail in this third weakest category, and steven miller might have answered to the question, that the authorization of congress isn't so much in what the senators may be saying today. it's in the fact that congress has enacted statutes that arguably expressly give the president power. for example, in the case of military construction projects. it doesn't matter so much the president may argue what individual senators say today. it's what the authority is contained in the statute. >> kelsey, one thing you're heard a lot about on the hill. this is something we've talked about at nbc, the idea of what this means not in this particular sort of micro-instance, but macro, for the executive branch and
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legislative branch. >> one concern is they have what they refer to as article one powers. it's their constitutional duty to be the ones who decide how money is spent. it seems like -- that's washington speak for congress is in charge of the purse. they don't want to give that up. they're worried that the president is getting in their way. the other thing that they're very worried about is the precedent that this sets for future presidents. so one thing that keeps coming up is that pass presidents use this emergency declaration for 9/11 and the swine flu. and -- >> noncontroversial. nobody disagreed those were energies. >> yes. emergencies that had to have additional moneys spent where congress couldn't act fast enough. this is not that. there is a concern that a future president maybe a democrat could say that climate change is a national energy. >> we've heard democrats raise that. the other thing is the idea that the president as our first read team points out, stepped on a bunch of mine fields on the rose garden speech. he raised issues like the
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question mark about the nobel peace prize he asked prime minister shinzo abe to nominate him for. abe has been getting questions about that overseas. he had the north korea war claim for former president obama, that the obama administration pushed back on. questions about drug dealers and the death penalty. it was a thorny rose garden day. >> it was more of a chat room feed than a transcripted rose garden speech. there was all kinds of weird stuff. this is what happens when president trump decides that he's going to talk about a serious national policy was a script. i think it distracted from the point he was trying to make. and it undermined the point he was trying to make about the emergency. >> stick around. coming up, sources say the chicago police are now investigating the possibility
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that the attack on jussie smollett was not just staged but paid for by the actor himself. new details on the investigation next and why this bizarre hollywood mystery might mean a new headache for some 2020 contenders. ntenders i switched to liberty mutual because they let me customize my insurance, and as a fitness junkie, i customize everything. like my bike and my calves. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ stroke and heart disease? well, if you don't have symptoms, doctors usually won't order them because, often, insurance companies won't pay for them. and that's unfortunate, as 4 out of 5 people who have a stroke, their first symptom is a stroke. and 80 percent of all strokes and heart disease
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this morning chicago police say they want actor jussie smollett to come back in for a followup interview after what they call a shift in the investigation into his alleged attack. their investigation according to a police source is now into whether the empire star paid two men to stage the assault. we are following the story. this one really has taken some twists and turns. >> reporter: yeah. jussie smollett is sticking to his story saying he was attacked and he is a victim of a hate crime. but as you just mentioned, the investigators, the chicago police department is saying their investigation has shifted. the trajectory has shifted after they arrested interrogated two men seen and released them after a source tells nbc news they told investigators they had been paid by the actor himself to carry out that attack. now, one of the men was an extra on the show empire.
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he was a personal trainer hired by smollett to get him in shape for a music video. police say the two men are no longer suspects. and smollett saying in a statement that what they claim is untrue. let me read you the statement from smollett's attorneys. as a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, jussie smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the individuals he is familiar with. he's now being further victimized by claims alleged by the perpetrators. nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying. now investigators want to talk to smollett. we've reached out to the chicago police department, and in official response they say they can no -- they can't confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what's been unofficially released. they're hoping to talk to him in the upcoming days. if he's found to have filed a police report falsely, that could be a felony charge.
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>> following it all from the west coast bureau. thank you. let me bring in an opinion writer for the washington post. kelsey and john are back as well. a lot of people i think watch jussie smollett go on gma last week and was extremely emotional and angry and talked about that. and talked at length about what happened. now here we are this morning and police are saying they want to bring him back in for questions about all of this. what do you make of it? >> well, i don't know what to make of all this. when the news came out, a lot of people, myself included, were horrified. just the circumstances and the way he told the story, and what he said happened to him sort of fit in with a -- not a narrative, but a reality for a lot of people in this country since president trump was inaugurated, that there is an at fear of menace and an atmosphere of hate around the country that made it possible for people to
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either readily believe or want to believe jussie smollett. but on the other hand, at the same time, there were people who immediately thought something was fishy. >> red flags. they thought red flags in the account and what's going on here? >> right. and my colleague at "the washington post" wrote a piece where she likened his retelling of the story to an episode of "empire". it was so over the top. january, middle of the night. 2:30 in the morning. 10 degrees. and they recognized him on the street? >> and we pulled a piece of that, actually, from that op ed that was written about -- headlined i doubted jussie smollett. it breaks my heart i might be right. she writes if it's true, it will cause damage to the communities most affected. the incident would be touted as proof that there's a leftist conspiracy to cast trump supporters as violent, murderous racists. it would be embodiment of fake
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news. >> right. and that's the bigger issue. there was real pain in this country and fear in this country. if it turns out that smollett did, indeed, orchestrated this attack, paid the attackers, then he's done infinitely more damage to the african american community, people of color. >> the lgbtq community. >> the lgbtq community. all for what? reportedly to save his own role on the show? was it worth it? that's a question i would like to ask jussie smollett if, indeed, it's proven that he orchestrated this attack. >> with all these questions, this has become a political football. it is a football that's been picked up in a very serious way by donald trump junior. he has tweeted about this probably a dozen times. calling out some 2020 democrats by name, cory booker and others. he writes hollywood and media types, i noticed a lot of you deleted your justice for jussie
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tweets. don't you want justice anymore? >> it's connecting candidates to a fear among trump supporters they're being characterized as being racist in some way. it's stirring up the anxiety and connecting it. it's a political play. >> i think it's a lesson for political people to wait a hot minute. >> is there a soul searching piece? >> they immediately want to jump in and say i need to condemn this. they get asked about it constantly that they have no information and they need to respond. they get criticized when they're too slow or jump to conclusions that turn out to be wrong. and by the way, donald trump junior's father is one of the most frequent abusers of jumping to conclusions on twitter that turn out to be wrong over the -- >> although the president did say the attack was appalling. he condemned the attack. >> of course. that's what you say when the
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news report was there was an attack like this. then if it turns out that it wasn't true or that it was fake, then you would step back from that, but it is a lesson for folks to just wait a hot minute. >> thoughts? >> one of the things i saw on twitter which is actually a good point is that someone said you know, forgive me for not believing the chicago police department, because of what they did in the mcdonald case. so there are a lot of moving pieces here. and so, again, to jonathan's, point, let's all wait a hot minute to see -- >> take a beat. >> take a beat. >> little jonathan power. >> thank you. kelsey snell hanging out too. up next on the president's day, people hoping to be the next one are out on the trail. nearly a dozen places where the contenders are talking as two more names reportedly get ready to run.
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p3 it's meat, cheese and nuts. i keep my protein interesting. oh yea, me too. i have cheese and uh these herbs. p3 snacks. the more interesting way to get your protein.
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your digestive system has billions of bacteria, but life can throw them off balance. re-align yourself, with align probiotic. and try align gummies, with prebiotics and probiotics to help support digestive health on this president's day the men and women hoping to be the next commander in chief are taking advantage of the holiday, getting out and hitting the trail. right now in new hampshire cory booker is hosting a house party. his latest stop. it's one of a dozen campaign events today for democratic hopefuls. if you think this map looks busy, you ain't seen nothing yet, especially with joe biden
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and bernie sanders jump in. senator sanders has recorded a campaign video in which he says he's running. and he was asked for an update on his 2020 plans over the weekend, biden was. >> no, i haven't reached a decision. i am in the process of doing that, and i will in the near term let everyone know what that decision is. >> nbc allie is at the booker event. also joining me the former media director for hillary clinton and sher michael singleton. a ali, let me start with you. you've covered the trail all weekend long. the candidates have been out and about. cory booker is somewhere behind you in that living room. what are you hearing? >> reporter: yeah. i don't know if you're a hamilton fan like me, but this
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is the room where it happens. this is in new hampshire. the way you campaign is you campaign starting in people's living rooms. getting to know them on a personal level. cory booker is talking right behind me through the heads and shoulders of people. he's making his pitch, giving him a sense of who he is as a candidate and telling what this campaign is going to be about for him. he made an interesting point where he said to voters this can't just be an election about what we're against. most of the democratic voters that i talk to agree this is an election against donald trump. but for cory booker, he's someone who wants to bring this idea of commonality and unity, of love to his campaigning, and it seems that's the picture he's been making here while also talking about health care and climate change and all the other issues of the day that voters say are top of mind for them. >> ali, stand by for a second. i want to bring you back into the conversation. i want to talk with fill lephil about things we've discussed. there's a piece in the new york times that talks about how all
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the democrats would love an dorma endorsement from obama. but obama has said he does not see it as his role to settle the 2020 nomination, prefers to let the primary unfold. even biden does not expect an endorsement if he runs, according to biden allies. is that the right path? >> absolutely. you don't want to tip the scales. also you don't want to do it and maybe not have the impact you think you have. but it's so early. you want the voters, you want the people who are in these living rooms and meeting the candidates to form their own opinion without someone really coming in and -- it's awkward with biden, but the same thing a little bit happened in 2016. >> you also have obama allies sort of consultanting privately with some of the candidates. you said hillary clinton has been doing the same. she's met with klobuchar, harris, booker, castro. has she made a decision about who she will endorse or when it will happen? >> absolutely not.
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>> do you expect her to endorse? >> yes. >> when? >> i think she's been on the other end of it. she knows how valuable endorsements are. she knows the time is before people are voting or when they're voting. there's no point in doing it now unless you're saying please, everyone, give $20 to so and. if you want to do it before iowa or new hampshire, as things flush out. we're a year of endorsements named clinton or obama. yeah, she's going to weigh in when the time comes. it's going to be valuable. >> i want to go back to ali. i was struck by a friend of the show writing in the washington post about the disconnect between what happens on twitter and listen, on cable news, and what people are talking about in places like where you are. he writes if any theme has emerged it's that the democratic e lek rat showing up to meet candidates is far less skeptical than the one that lives in social media. sometimes the gulf between the discussion on twitter and the
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discussion at campaign events is a mile wide. so waggle is all the events and said candidates, the first questions were on medicare for all, the green new deal, the national debt. it's not about russia. it's not about, for example, the controversy over elizabeth warren's native american heritage. what are you hearing. >> reporter: i've been with them, especially this weekend. he's right. the tough conversation with a lot of these voters is not necessarily about mueller, about russia, about paul manafort, the time we spend our time tracking their legal problems and what's going to happen with them. it's a lot more of the what's going to happen to my pocketbook? how are you going to help me pay for my health care? there have been a lot of questions about prescription drug prices and climate change. when you think about the kind of candidate that's going to eventually make it through the nominating process, there's a lot of conversation about do you need someone from a voter's
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perspective who is going to beat trump or someone who is going to check progressive boxes? i think that's going to be the interesting thing as we go on, seeing what voters prioritize more. i'll tell you yesterday with senator harris in south carolina, there was a voter who said look, we're desperate. how are you going to beat the president while also saying at the same time, what are we going to leave behind for our grandchildren? there's the concern. >> when it comes to the gop side, you have bill weld who becomes the first republican to announce this potential challenge to president trump. he was out this morning talking about that. here's what he said. >> so why don't you run as an independent? >> i thought about the libertarian party again. i decided i really wanted to go man to man with mr. trump. there's so many things he's doing that i think are undermining our democratic institutions. >> do you think he is a real threat or no? >> no, not at all. donald trump has over 80% approval with republicans.
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i think someone who were to attempt to challenge mr. trump would have to be someone with high name i.d. it would have to be someone who could raise a lot of money. the expectation would not be to defeat mr. trump but to cause enough chaos within the party to pull enough votes from mr. trump causing him to essentially lose against someone who some people see as a moderate. president obama has given good advice to try to form a message that resonates within republican-leaning districts. i think that there is a case to be made for some democrats, perhaps maybe a harris or klobuchar, who could talk to some republicans who are upper middle class and college educated and voted for trump because he's a republican but are not happy. saying i am willing to vote for a democrat who i may not agree with 100%, but is moderate enough to gain my support.
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>> thank you all. i appreciate you all coming on. thank you. coming up, the revolving door inside the trump administration with the withdrawal of one high profile name highlighting the vacancies two years in as the president learns he'll have to find another nominee for u.n. ambassador. later the president will appear at florida international university talking about the crisis in venezuela as the administration reiterates the support of opposition leader guaido. the president is expected to demand that maduro leave power. and the president will call for venezue venezuela's military to allow for humanitarian aid. this speech matters not just on the international stage, but on the domestic stage with the votes of tens of thousands up for grabs in florida in 2020. on car insurance?
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the trump white house is now looking for a new nominee to be the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. after former state department spokeswoman and former fox news anchor heather nauert said she was withdrawing her name. she said the last couple months
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have been grueling for her family. it was because of issues with back taxes on a foreign born nanny. that means add u.s. ambassador to the u.n. to the list of unfilled includes defense, eta, chief of staff, interior, they all have acting leaders. dhs, hud, va, small business administration do not have deputies. by the way, that doesn't include the dozens of positions unfilled at the state department, including 18 ambassadors. nobody knows that better than political reporter josh letterman. so the heather nauert thing, new reporting, this nanny issue. turned out, it created problems for her in the confirmation process. >> actually, new details on this into nbc news this morning. this happened ten years ago, after heather nauert had her first child. they hired a nanny who was in the u.s. legally but did not have legal authorization to work here. the nanny didn't pay taxes on the income she was getting.
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later, several years later, when heather nauert and her husband discovered that, they paid the taxes retroactively. now that she's under this extreme vetting process for the senate confirmation for u.n. ambassador, this came up. it was a major problem. it has derailed her nomination. >> as we said, it is an indication of some of the roles that are not filled. they're filled in acting capacities, which the white house doesn't seem to mind all that much. >> that's right. the president said he likes that situation. >> right. >> it gives him what he calls more flexibility. he can move people around. he doesn't have to stick with people that he doesn't like. we know he grows tired of people quickly. when he doesn't want them anymore, he likes to move them around. for foreign countries and allies and others who are looking for who in the u.s. government -- >> correct. who is my point person. >> exactly. that's difficult when you have someone that doesn't actually have the full gravitas behind them. >> you know what's interesting here, is this long list is on top of a long list of judges that the senate also wants to get confirmed. there are steps.
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we expect the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell will take steps to speed up the nomination process, but it takes a long time. there's political animosity on the hill. this could be the primary fight in the senate for months to come. >> josh makes the point there are allies internationally who are like, who do i even talk to at this point? what do i do? some of that unease seems to be spilling over, particularly after vice president pence went overseas. angela merkel ruffled at prospect of more trump hardball tactics. rift between trump and europe is now open and angry. no clearer indication of that than the stone cold silence mike pence got, his sort of please clap moment. watch. >> i especially want to invite all of you to thank senator lindsey graham for leading this delegati delegation. to them and all of you, i bring greetings from a great champ io of freedom and the strong
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national defense, who has worked with these members of congress to strengthen america's military might and to strengthen the leadership of the free world. i bring greetings from the 45th president of the united states of america, president donald trump. >> hold for applause. keep holding. keep holding. keep holding. start talking. >> oh, my god, hallie. i mean, this is the munich security conference. the president of the united states not getting even a clap, not even a polite golf clap, it is unheard of. it is embarrassing for the country. to the extent that other countries are looking for ways to talk to the president, it appears the only way to have good relationship with him is like shinzo abe of japan, nominate him for a nobel peace prize. i think it is a big problem for the united states government right now internationally. there are not a lot of our
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long-time allies that feel good about us at all and, specifically, feel good about our president in any way, shape, or form, not even to give polite applause to the vice president mentioning greetings from our president. >> of course, the trump administration will say, hey, man, we're doing what's best for america. that's the line we've heard. josh, you know, again and again, they'll do what it takes to make sure americans come out on top in the discussions. >> that's right. what we heard from officials traveling with mike pence and with mike pompeo on this trip is that they think foreign countries finally understand that america first doesn't mean american alone. they get it. they're not scared of the president anymore. when you look at how they're reacting, particularly them rebuffing this push to abandon the iran deal, it doesn't seem like that's the case. >> josh letterman, thank you. kelsey and jonathan, stick around. we'll be back with the big picture. ound we'll be back with the big picture. to severely activeh modey crohn's disease, stelara® works differently. studies showed relief and remission, with dosing every 8 weeks.
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time to sources are saying. jonathan, you were on a tweet storm last night. >> judge in south bend, indiana, is running for president. he was in washington, d.c. last night. i was interviewing him. i know in early events, he's been worried he'd have more reporters than supporters in iowa, new hampshire, d.c. i was interviewing him for this book. >> look at those pictures. >> there were 350 or so people jammed into this bookstore in d.c. i've done a ton of events there
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in the past. i've seen ted kennedy read "the midnight ride of paul revere." i've never seen that number of people. i had trouble getting in. i had to talk my way in and tell them i was the moderator of the event to get let in. >> like anybody would believe you, my friend. >> look, crowd size is an intangible, but i was surprised to see so many people out there for pete buttegieg of south bend, indiana, who many haven't heard about yet. >> mine is a bit of a bummer. people thought they were done with talking about the shutdown. president signs the spending bill, and we buy time. people i'm talking to on the hill are worried we're going to be in a shutdown fight in a 2fe months. they have to raise the debt limit. the people doing the negotiators are preparing for a huge fight. >> thanks, kelsey snell. we'll end on that snonote. jonathan allen, thanks, as well.
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we have today's big picture from finland. the beautiful aurora borealis over the night sky. it's an amazing spectacular photo for your holiday monday. i'll turn it over to craig melg v melvin for us in new york. take it away. >> wah-wah. >> another shutdown, please. >> thank you for the sound effects, hallie. craig melvin at msnbc headquarters in new york city. i believe putin. stunning words from president trump according to the former acting fbi director. not only did he say he trusts russia's leader over his own intelligence officials, but andrew mccabe is describing just how the president may have tried to undermine the special counsel investigati investigation. plus, national emergency. president trump going full speed ahead with plans to build his border wall, paid for not by money from mexico but from


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