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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  February 19, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PST

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that wraps up this hour of "msnbc live." "andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. hey, andrea. >> thank you. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," bernie is back. bernie sanders launches a second presidential run, hoping he can capture lightning in a bottle even in a crowded, younger democratic field. >> the only way we will win this election and create a government and an economy that worse for all is with a grassroots movement the likes of which has never been seen in american
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history. threat assessment. andrew mccabe tells savannah guthrie on the "today" show he ordered a counterintelligence investigation into president trump's relationship with vladimir putin in 2017. he says he briefed leaders in both parties about that. he says no one obtained. >> we had information that led us to believe that there might be a threat to national security, in this case that the president himself might in fact be a threat to the united states national security. and going nuclear. whistle-blowers inside the trump white house tell congress former national security adviser michael flynn led an effort to sell saudi arabia sensitive nuclear technology before flynn took office and that the controversial deal is still in the works. >> flynn and others tried to push this plan through and get an order for trump to sign without the required review that is necessary whenever the united states transfers nuclear technology to a third country.
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and good day, everyone, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. make room for bernie, the vermont senator who pull the progressive policies at center stage in 2016 is running for president again, telling supporters he is still the best person to make their dreams a reality. >> in 2016, many of the ideas that i talked about, medicare for all, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, all of those ideas, people said, oh, bernie, they're so radical. they are extremely american, people. you know what's happened over three years? all of those ideas and many more are now part of the political mainstream. >> you're saying the party came your way. >> well, i don't want to say that. i think most people would say that. >> senator sanders has already
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raised $1 million since entering the race this morning. he faces a new challenge, though, this time, a new generation of democratic candidates who want to push past bernie. joining me, nbc's kasie hunt in new hampshire today. nbc senior political editor mark murray and "boston globe" editor jason pindell. we know how interesting and different bernie's race was in 2016 and what a challenge and the bitterness that remains with some parts of the democratic party, and what he accomplished, which is amazing. but you also talked about kamala harris up there today. so tell us about her reactions as well. >> you're absolutely right, andrea. and frankly, bernie didn't seem to want to say this himself, but the reality is that the conversation that's going on in the democratic primary right now was the conversation that was started by bernie sanders in 2016. so those issues have very much been pushed to the forefront
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because of bernie sanders. but as you point out, those divisions were -- and as i have been reminded on twitter and elsewhere today, those divisions that were created during that primary were deep. they were ugly. they were very painful. and some of them haven't healed quite yet. i do think that the money that's poured in for bernie is a sign that many of those voters are still with him. but i also think there is a segment of voters that perhaps supported him because they weren't interested in supporting hillary clinton but are looking around for another candidate. and to that point, i was here in new hampshire with kamala harris today, she did the storied politics and eggs breakfast here at st. anselm which i'm sure that you have attended many times over the years. and she said yesterday in a scrum that she was not a democratic socialist. now, of course bernie sanders has been -- you know, remained fiercely an independent, has said he won't be a democrat but does identify as a democratic socialist. i pushed kamala harris on that
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point, what does that mean about the differences between them. take a look at how she answered. >> bernie sanders jumped into the presidential race today. you said you are not a democratic socialist. >> i am not. >> what's the difference between a democrat and a democratic socialist in your mind? >> i can talk about who i am. i believe that we have got to have a system that recognizes that it has not been working for everyone equally. so i support capitalism. it in theory is something that requires competition, that will allow us to be better and evolve. >> so what i took away from that, andrea, was first of all, it was a little bit difficult for me to find a policy difference she was identifying. i certainly didn't hear one in that answer. i went on to ask her about medicare for all and if that was a policy that would be considered socialist because she had made some comments about private insurance. she said no, she didn't consider that to be a socialist policy.
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so i think kind of working this out is going to be part of this primary going forward. it's very clear to me that kamala harris seems to be running on her biography, on her story. to that point, i'm curious to see if this is something that bernie sanders runs into a little bit of trouble for. one of my colleagues here, benji sarlin, he talked about how these identity-based distinctions, whether a man or a woman, african-american or white, shouldn't necessarily matter in the context of voting, that it should just be a contest of ideas. that doesn't seem to be exactly where the democratic electorate is at this point, andrea. >> it's so interesting, and mark murray here, what are you and the first read team here looking at in terms of what's different for bernie sanders this time? what's the new challenge? >> to me the biggest challenge is the composition of the field. in 2016, it was hillary clinton versus bernie sanders. and, you know, you had martin o'malley in the race but he
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really never took off. bernie sanders was able to portray himself as the anti-hillary candidate. there were a lot of people who liked bernie sanders' message but others who just didn't want hillary clinton as the democratic nominee. you saw that dynamic play out. this time around you have elizabeth warren who is in that progressive liberal lane. you also have someone like tulsi gabbard who is an endorser of bernie sanders in 2016. jeff merkley, the democratic senator from oregon, might decide to also run too. all of a sudden, throw in the kamala harrises and the cory bookers who are running on progressive policies, and this is a lot different. bernie sanders said maybe 35% can be a winning number. the other downside to bernie sanders is, what happens if elizabeth warren, say, finishes ahead of you in iowa and that would be a very tough situation. so this field is so much different than it was in 2016, provides some potential strengths for bernie sanders but liabilities too. >> his ability to raise money online is being replicated and advanced now by beto o'rourke and others who are taking off on
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where bernie had this big advantage against hillary clinton, not just on the way he scheduled himself but also the way he raised money. >> that's right. this field is obviously much different than he had in 2016. if you want to look at just what your point was, the small dollar recurring donations, as he kept saying, $27 was the average, he has by far the biggest fundraising base of anyone in this 2020 field, twice or three times as many small dollars. he'll have to get those people back on board. now they have obviously many more choices. the one thing i'm struck with, particularly in new hampshire, is that while we don't have different lanes yet of the moderate lane or the establishment lane or wherever you want to go with it, we have a one-person lane right now and that is bernie sanders up in new hampshire. and those people in iowa are flirting with tulsi gabbard and interested in jeff merkley. the hard-core bernie is still hard-core bernie and they're now open for business. >> he's next door, in fact. he has some issues to address as well. we all saw bubbling up the
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concerns about sexual harassment in his 2016 campaign. "kasie d.c.," i want to play this. >> there are charges of discrimination and sexism. you met with some of those former staffers. what did you learn? >> i learned that that was true. and it breaks my heart. i'm telling you that in retrospect, some of the people that were hired issushould not been hired and some women went through experiences that they should not have. we are going to have the strongest protocols to protect women and anybody else against any form of harassment. >> kasie, that's really interesting, that he's confronting that. and also, with all these progressives in the race and the whole movement on the hill toward progressive policies, you've got amy klobuchar and others staking out a very different lane, kasie. >> that's absolutely right, andrea. and, you know, this question about the women on his campaign,
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i mean, bernie has evolved on this, i would say. that answer seemed much more regretful, you know, there was some emotion in his voice. for bernie -- bernie has sort of one setting, as you know. that was a slightly different setting. he tends to think that a lot of coverage along these lines is frivolous. he'll sometimes snap at reporters who ask him things that he considers to be frivolous questions. i've experienced this, i know you've experienced this as well. and that was his first kind of take on this issue when it came to light, that was kind of the category of response he had. and it wasn't well-received. so i mean, this strikes me as him moving to recognize that he did have a problem and to start talking about it in a different way. now, we'll see if that ultimately resonates. but your other point as well, amy klobuchar to a certain extent, she's kind of alone in that line. she's talking about working with republican senators on capitol hill, she's down in the weeds on farm policy.
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she's saying, no, we're not going to pay for four-year college for everybody because we've got too much national debt. i mean, it's a very different set of policies, different message, different approach than what has become an increasingly crowded progressive kind of jostling over on the left side of the party. now, we'll see who else gets in and potentially competes with her on that. and whether or not that's going to resonate in a primary setting. but the reality is democratic primaries are a little different than republican primaries. republican primaries so dominated by the most conservative voters. among them, there are potentially different lanes here. right now klobuchar is by herself, that's an advantage in and of itself. >> until or unless joe biden gets into it. let's play a little bit of amy klobuchar at the cnn town hall with don lemon. >> what's your reservation about supporting medicare for all? >> i think it's something we can look to for the future.
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but i want to get action now. >> the green new deal includes a complete shift in renewable energy sources, overhauling the nation's transportation systems to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and to set a goal for carbon neutrality by 2030. do you believe those goals are achievable? >> i think they are aspirations. >> would you support free college for all? >> i am not for free college for all, no. >> what really interests me this year, to all of you, mark murray, this is a year with a democratic field that we're not defining by oh, here's the man, here's the woman, here's the person of color. this is a debate about ideas, not about how do you react about the latest thing that donald trump said or tweeted. >> ideas, and the specifics about how you get to a particular goal. almost all the democrats share the same, hey, we want universal health care coverage, we want to help people through college, the question is how you end up doing that. to me the amy klobuchar answer
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there is really that pragmatic obama kind of looking at what the situation is. that's not surprising for someone who is a united states senator, who knows you need the votes, and there aren't the votes for a green new deal or medicare for all. other democratic strategists told me, when you run as a pragmatist, you're campaigning with one hand behind your back. the person with more aspirational ends up sometimes being a more powerful campaign message. >> this is such a great year, kasie, we all wish we were up there with you right now. thanks so much for that great interview with kamala harris. and job this afternoon, mike molie will be with him. the former acting fbi director defends his investigation into the president and russia.
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highlights of a savannah guthrie interview, next. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" right here on msnbc. i switched to stimulant-free miralax for my constipation. stimulant laxatives forcefully stimulate the nerves in your colon. miralax is different. it works with the water in your body to unblock your system naturally. and it doesn't cause harsh side effects. that's why i choose miralax. look for the pink cap.
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andrew mccabe, the fired fbi acting director, is detailing explosive new revelations about the counterintelligence investigation he ordered into president trump, after the president fired james comey in may 2017. in his first live tv interview today with savannah guthrie on
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the "today" show, he reveals stunning new details about those critical days after comey's shocking ouster. >> did you suspect the president might be actually working for russia? >> we thought it might be possible. >> did you tell congress? >> and i told congress what we had done. >> did anyone object? >> that's the important part, savannah, no one obtainjected, on legal grounds, not on constitutional grounds. >> joining me now, harry litman and jeff mason, thank you very much both for being with us. harry, first of all, the significance of mccabe saying that they notified congress of this counterintelligence investigation in those days. and justifying in his book and in this interview why they felt the president was a threat. the title of the book, as savannah pointed out, is "the athleti threat: how the fbi protects
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america in the age of terrorism and trump," and he combines those two things, terrorism and trump, in the title. >> both of those seem highly significant, the notification of the gang of eight, it really blunts the newest brouhaha about this being some kind of coup or fbi acting -- driving out of its lane. when they heard about the charges, they understood that you have to have some kind of counterintelligence investigation because the risks were so potentially grave. and to the risks itself, what it really brings home is how erratic and troubling and unprecedented the behavior was in those tumultuous days in may. and we've gotten a little bit used to it. but at the time, everyone's head was sort of exploding, trying to figure out whether the newly elected president of the united states could actually be working for a hostile power. >> now, the book just came out today. a quick read of it indicates
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that he does, jeff, discuss going to congress. it's not clear precisely in the book whether he goes into details about, quote, counterintelligence, and that may well be the big issue, did he actually explain that he was opening a counterintelligence investigation. that is unclear. it's classified. the gang of eight, many of them are on a trip back from nato right now, and it's impossible to talk to them, and certainly they don't discuss those things. what are you hearing there, if anything? >> yeah, and i think that's a good point, it's worth underscoring the exchange that he had with savannah in her interview, that he let congress know and there were no objections and he let key members of congress that would have been then-speaker paul ryan and minority leader pelosi and their counterparts, the top leaders, republican and democrat, in the senate. and none of them objected. and his point no doubt in
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emphasizing that is, this was not an attempt by the fbi to do a coup, we know this is very significant and wanted to keep congress informed. >> the president has been tweeting up a storm about mccabe, he's been going after him, after his wife, that's one of the issues, mccabe has described that as bullying and how offensive it was that his wife, who is an emergency room physician and had run previously for state office in virginia as a democrat, even though he was a lifelong republican, she took money from the governor's pac, the political action committee of terry mcauliffe, said she never met bill or hillary clinton and is not connected to them but the president made a huge issue out of this. mccabe was asked by savannah about an inspector general report that led potentially to his filing and the fact that he's going to file a lawsuit against them for that. let's watch. >> i read the inspector general's report. that suggests the inspector general is in on it, basically
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making up a pretext to fire you. is that what you're suggesting? >> i read that report closely myself. i've been writing and reading investigative reports for over 20 years and that report was not like anything i've ever read before. i disagree with the conclusions they drew. that's something i'll be raising in a civil lawsuit i'll be bringing against the department of justice. >> harry, his critics would say he had the right to leak to a "wall street journal" reporter a correction to a story that was inaccurate but he lied four times about it, as outlined in the ig report, to his own agents, and that's the issue that led to him being fired and his pension denial. where does this stand? >> i'll say a couple of things. first, even if it's so, it doesn't invalidate the points he's making about what happened in may, much of which have corroborating circumstances. but the ig report is of course troubling. i'll say, i know andrew mccabe a
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little and i know very well people who know him very well, and they consider him to have been a very honest broker and an honest person and one of integrity all during his career. this was -- one of the interviews we're talking about happened the day comey was fired. it was all extremely chaotic at the department. there is another person who didn't remember the same events that mccabe said he didn't remember. at a minimum, it's something that could be interpreted more than one way. it was an unusual report. but even if you credit it, i think it takes away from the headline which is what his book is revealing about the president. >> indeed. fair points, harry. also we have a couple of other things breaking. as expected, rod rosenstein is going to be leaving in mid-march because we now have a new attorney general, william barr. and roger stone, what roger
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stone did, i have to ask you, harry, and then jeff, about this. roger stone has now deleted a post and apologizing to judge amy berman jackson, the presiding judge. he posted on instagram, first of all, he posted a picture of the judge, the presiding judge in his trial, with some sort of a target in the frame. here you've got federal judges who have been -- some have been not only under threat but there have been assassinations. and then deleted it but left the picture of her up. she's also the presiding judge over the manafort d.c. trial and over the gru case involving the russians. harry, have you ever seen anything like this? she's now scheduled a thursday hearing at 2:30 on whether or not his conditions of release and the gag order should be reviewed. >> right. and she's showing that she'll do it, as she did with manafort. if i've seen anything like it, it's from plainly sort of mentally ill inmates who write
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these sorts of screeds. for stone, it's kind of a performance. he was doing this to raise money for his defense fund and a colossal lapse of judgment. and i think we are now seeing him brought to heel, in some ways for the first time in his life, the dirty trickster has to understand he's in a different world now. and judge jackson is not going to sit still and take it. and she can really affect his liberty. >> and could this damage him, jeff, with the white house, which has been relatively supportive of him? >> it certainly could. i mean, i think the president has made clear and others in the white house have been supportive of people like roger stone, like paul manafort, who are not, quote unquote, turning on the president. but this certainly doesn't help his case. it's not unusual for roger stone to push the envelope. he's sort of made a career doing that. it is rather unusual for him to
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have to issue an apology. and i think that underscores what sort of a misjudgment it was for him to do that yesterday and then the fact that he and his lawyer had to apologize to the court for that. and the court obviously not just accepting that apology, because the judge is asking roger stone to show up again on thursday. >> jeff mason, harry litman, thank you so much. former fbi acting director andrew mccabe will be joining me here on "andrea mitchell reports" this thursday, please be with us for that. and this from the supreme court. nbc's pete williams reporting justice ruth bader ginsburg was back on the bench today, taking her usual place next to chief justice john roberts for the first time since her surgery for lung cancer in late december. pete was in the courtroom in chambers and tells us justice ginsburg, as is often her custom, asked the very first question in today's case. this marks the first time she was back for oral arguments although she's been working from home and attending the justice' closed-door conference last
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friday. her spokesperson says doctors found no remaining disease, adding that no further treatment would be required, good news for all. coming up, tales from mar-a-lago. what is the president telling his friends about the turmoil in washington? we'll talk to someone from the inner circle who was there this past weekend. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us on msnbc. rea mitchl reports. stay with us on msnbc. when i went on to ancestry, i just put in the name of my parents and my grandparents. and as soon as i did that, literally it was like you're getting 7, 9, 10, 15 leaves that are just popping up all over the place. yeah, it was amazing. just with a little bit of information, you can take leaps and bounds. it's an awesome experience.
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after declaring a national crisis on the border on friday, president trump flew to mar-a-lago where he was surrounded by friends and other club members, even as a coalition of 16 states were preparing to challenge the emergency order in court, which they did late last night. today, joining me now, long time trump confidant chris ruddy, ceo of newsmax media, thanks for being with us, chris. the president had just made this emergency declaration, he had gone to mar-a-lago. he's being criticized on many sides. was he -- what was his mood, i guess is the main question. >> i think he was in a great mood and very confident. he was very pleased by the reception he's gotten from the state of the union address. i think the vexing thing for him is a lot of the media coverage.
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i was just watching your show in the lead-up to my interview here. there are so many misleading statements that are constantly made. for example, somebody earlier said that the president was an intelligence asset of the russians. >> wait a second. who -- >> let me finish my point. the fbi opens an investigation, andrea, when there's evidence of a crime. the only reason this thing with russia has ever come to fruition is there was a political dossier that the political campaign, the clintons and the dnc paid for, the clinton presidential campaign, that's provable. it had widely discredited allegations. there's no proof that the president or his campaign worked with the russians. then there's this insinuation that the fbi director mccabe felt that the firing of comey was the cause of another investigation into the president. the president has never tried to stop the russia probe. there's no evidence he ever tried. he did fire comey. he never took any steps to close down the russia probe.
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in fact rather than exercising his rights as president not to allow interviews and document transfers, he turned everything over to the special counsel, which probably was a mistake, but he did it because he's been acting in a way, i think anybody that looks at this fairly, and i know it's probably a shock to some of your viewers to hear this point of view, but it's vexing to i'm sure him and certainly people like myself when we don't have a balance in the media on some of the accusation than are the wild accusations that are being made. >> well, i think, not to litigate this, because we're going to find out from whatever is released by the attorney general, when the mueller report goes to him, and then it goes to congress. whatever is -- >> why accuse the president of being a russian mole, a russian asset, you know, and i keep hearing this on your network. i'm not saying you do it, i think you're a fair journalist. but i keep hearing it and it's very frustrating. i'm a friend of the president but i criticize the president. if you go to newsmax, you'll see
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some articles that are supportive, some are critical of him. >> i know you do. >> in fairness, he can live with a lot of criticism. i think he would just like to see a fair shake from you guys and he just never gets that sense. >> i think he does. let me just say, this is one person, andrew mccabe, with a book, like there are a lot of books. savannah guthrie pushed back and questioned him on what was your predicate, why did you open this. i think it's important to find that out. it's important for the president, for all of us, to find out why did they open this investigation. >> look -- >> we'll know -- >> the reason why director comey was fired, rod rosenstein wrote a memo. he first of all broke fbi protocols when he talked about the clinton e-mail matter in a public forum and talked about the indictment, he wasn't supposed to do it. he then reopened an investigation the week before the election, broke justice department and fbi protocols. the democrats didn't like him at the time the president fired him. but now the president is the bad guy for firing him.
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you know, and everybody is insinuating this and that but there's never any evidence that he did anything wrong or that it was inappropriate. >> that's exactly what -- that's what the mueller investigation is all about. we'll know soon enough. in fact we're told we may know in the next couple of weeks. let me also ask you about what you were asked about on cnn, that you say that the president is very concerned about his intel leaders, the intel chiefs unanimously testifying last month in their annual report. where does this stand? because that was a unanimous view of his own appointees, and they are people who are professionals, and in particular dan coats is a former republican senator, strongly supported, and a former republican appointee as ambassador to germany who has taken on the role of being in charge of dni. can you clarify what you think the president's thinking is on this? >> sure. i want to make clear, i did see the president this past weekend. we didn't talk about this
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particular issue. i cited on cnn several white house sources and people in the national security arena, current and former, who are telling me there's widespread view that the director of national intelligence overstepped his bounds and really undercut the president with his testimony. the purpose of the intelligence agencies is to give the president the information he needs to make informed decisions. >> and congress. >> not to make policy. and congress. he could have done that in closed session. >> no, they are required -- let me just explain something, chris, let me just explain the law, because i've covered this for 40 years. the intelligence community is required by law to go to congress, house and senate, and give their assessments in open and then closed classified session. that was their declassified version. they are required to do it and they were reporting their unanimous consensus. there was no disagreement there in the committee. i just wanted to state that. but i just want to clarify from you, you're not reporting on a conversation with the president, you're reporting what you're
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hearing from other people. >> correct. correct. >> okay. >> correct. people sometimes misinterpret, and i always make it very clear, i don't speak for the president or the white house. and i -- you know, i'll tell you a conversation we had this weekend. he talked about prescription drug programs. he's outraged that canada pays 50% less for prescription drugs from the same drug companies, for the same drugs that americans have to pay. and he's like, well, why are we paying twice as much as the canadians and he has a great detailed knowledge about the policy implications of this. this is the type of thing the president is concerned about. he's about making america stronger, better, and protecting our tax paye erstaxpairs and ta consumers. >> thank you very much, chris ruddy. coming up, whether the white house is still trying to make a nuclear deal with south korea.
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♪ the new capital one savor card. earn 4% cash back on dining and 4% on entertainment. now when you go out, you cash in. what's in your wallet? according to an nbc news report breaking today, the house oversight committee is launching an investigation into former national security adviser michael flynn's attempt to share census nuclear technology with saudi arabia without prior approval. some fear president trump is still considering this plan.
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joining me now, national security reporter ken dilanian and john mclaughlin, nbc global affairs analyst, happily. ken, tell me about the significance of this. we sell a nuclear power technology all over the world, american technology. >> right. >> but there has to be prior approvals because it is sensitive and there are certain states that we fear might try to transform this technology into non-peaceful uses. >> exactly right. and that's the issue here, that these whistle blowers are telling the house oversight committee about. they're saying, this was a plan that mike flynn tried to jam through the process without getting prior approvals. >> in the 28 days he was national security adviser? >> exactly. the testimony is that he came into office saying, i've already made this decision. and the important thing about that is he was advising the company behind this plan, and lawyers looked at that and said, sir, you have a conflict of interest that could be a criminal conflict of interest. but one of his top aides,
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derrick harvey, was pushing this, and meeting some of the people behind this, including retired general jack keene, fran townsend was involved. this is all reported out by the house oversight committee. >> and there's nothing wrong with them being involved in it. the problem is if somebody in the government is pushing something that's a conflict. they're private citizens. >> exactly. they signed an order that would have named his close associate tom barrack as special envoy to the middle east to build power plants across the middle east, they called at it marshall plan for the middle east. >> john mclaughlin, this would set off a lot of flags. one of the reasons there's been so much concern about iranian nuclear ambition than were reported, purported certainly by this administration, is that if iran were to get a bomb, then the saudis would want one, egyptians would want one, they
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would be proliferating throughout the region. >> it's worse than that, andrea. the saudis have made no secret they would go for a nuclear weapon if iran got one. by pulling out of the iran nuclear agreement, the u.s. pulling out, the chances of that are somewhat greater. the second thing is, saudi arabia has for some time, as you know, had missiles from china, medium range missiles that are nuclear capable. they say they would only use them for conventional weapons. but they are configured to carry nuclear weapons if they were available. and when you add to that the fact that what we call the international regime for control of nuclear weapons, the nonproliferation treaty and so forth, that's i think fraying these days when you consider that we've now withdrawn from the intermediate nuclear forces treaty. i've just come from a trip to moscow where we discussed the potential for renewing new
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s.t.a.r.t., the arms control treaty that control nuclear weapons. >> which expires in 2021. >> 2021. and the administration has indicated it's not enthused about renewing it. against that background, what we have here, if this is all true, and there's a lot to sort out, is the potential for spreading nuclear weapons in a very dangerous part of the world. >> what are the legal implications here? and is this something that mueller could even be looking at as part of the flynn case? we don't know that. >> he may well have. we don't know what mike flynn has told robert mueller. the system worked in a sense, the career people came forward, blew the whistle. h.r. mcmaster when he was national security adviser put a stop to this. house investigators think this is still on the table at the trump administration. just last week the president was talking to the saudis about nuclear technology and they're concerned that this is still an
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active proposal. >> there's nothing fundamentally wrong with saudi arabia having a civil nuclear program for energy. and that's been in the works for some time. they want 30 or so reactors by such and such a year. but here's the problem. they refuse, so far, to agree to an arrangement under which they would buy uranium and reprocess you' uranium by someone else. they want to do it themselves. as soon as they do it themselves then they have the potential to enrich that uranium to a weapons grade level. that's the problem. it's not that they can't have nuclear programs. >> they won't agree to the protocols other countries have agreed to to make sure they cannot create nuclear weapons fuel out of a peaceful nuclear program. >> that's exactly it. >> we'll have to leave it there. thanks so much. coming up, another scoop, an nbc news exclusive breaking this moment. the trump administration taking on countries that execute men for being gay. it's largely men. the bans against homosexuality
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which criminalize homosexuality around the world. this is "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us on msnbc. rea mitchl reports. stay with us on msnbc. ♪ let me be by myself ♪ in the evenin' breeze, ♪ listen to the murmur of the tall concrete, ♪ ♪ send me off forever, but i ask you please ♪ ♪ don't fence me in. special offers available at your local mini dealer. only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief. tylenol®
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and breaking now on msnbc,
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nbc news is advisering that the trump administration is launch ago global campaign to stop countries around the world from penalizing homosexuality. richard gre in. nell is leading this effort, kicking off tonight in berlin, aimed initially at iran, which reportedly executed a young gay man recently. joining me from berlin, josh letterman, who broke the story. josh, you win the backdrop competition today, there in front of the brandenburg gate. what propelled this. why did rick prgrennell take ths on? earp. >> reporter:ing this kick off
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with the bureau that deals with human rights issues, to try to to get countries to change their laws. what led to this is the reported recent hanging of a young gay man in iran, something that u.s. officials found to be quite disturbing, and they wanted to take action against this. of course it playing right into the trump administration strategy to try to isolate iran, denigrate iran, and helps the trump administration to find a point of agreement with european countries about iran, which has been quite lacking as the administration has been trying but failing to get european cunning to leave the iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions. >> they're taking it on primarily because of iran, it's an egregious case and human rights abuse, what about saudi arabia, the uae, pakistan, other u.s. allies, particularly saudi arabia, where the monarchy has not responded to human rights problems?
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>> that's the big question, of course, u.s. officials saying they're aware they'll have to be consistent in their push on this, that they'll have to call out countries that are close closeu allies that still have laws that are used to penalize homosexuals. this comes at a time when the administration is pushing to try to unite those cunning, along with israel, to form an axis against iran. unclear whether calling out countries that still have his laws will make it hard, we know countries like saudi arabia in particular don't like to be called out for their human rights record, but this is something at least for now the administration says it will push anywhere in the world, some 70 countries that still have laws that criminalize hocks izize hi.
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>> and there is some conflict here with the et trump administration as well. >> in his acceptance speech at the republican national convention, the president became the first president in a republican nominee to bring up gay rights. he said he's final with same-sex marriage, but on the other hand the administration has scaled back some workplace protections for gays and lesbians, as well as to enact the president as ban on trans-gender people serving openly in the military. and what about rick grennell and whether or not he could be the next nominee for the u.n. ambassador, and we now know that heather naugert has withdrawn hr nomination. >> there are others being considered as well, and we'll see who the president ultimately
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picks. >> thank you so much, josh l lederman, we appreciate it. and coming up, the loss of a legend. d coming up, the loss ofa legend we'll be there. saving you time, so you can keep saving the world. >> kids: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ -it's our confident forever plan. -welcome to our complete freedom plan. -it's all possible with a cfp professional.
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the world is a little less fabulous today. karl law lagerfeld has died at the age of '8 a. he began his career in 1955 as
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an assistant to pierre belmomn, and he led the iconic fashion house for 36 years. he was creative director for fendi and his own namesake brand. he was working hard up to his death, even giving direction for this week's show. longtime ana wintour wrote -- to be his friend was an exceptional gift. karl, she is wrote, was brilliant, wicked, funny, generous beyond measure, deeply kind. i will miss him so much. first lady created out a sketch created for her, today the world lost a creative genius, we will miss you, karl. known for his wicked wit and at times outrageous quips, he said once -- i'm very much down to earth, just not this earth.
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that does it for us. follow the show online, on facebook and on twitter. here is ali velshi and stephanie ruhle. i went down some strange rabbit hole looking at old photos. he look fabulous in every photo he's ever taken from his 20s all the way to now. that is sort of the definition of what looking fabulous was. >> indeed. >> andrea, have a great afternoon. >> thank you. >> you know what head said, when you bought sweatparts, you've given up. >> i have a pair or two. >> it is tuesday, february 19th this was. let's get smarter. >> you think the president is a threat? >> i think it's entirely possible. that's one of the reason we ordered -- >> did you order a counter-intelligence investigation. >> i did. >> did you suspect the president might be working for russia? >> we thought it might be possible. the fact that the p

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