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tv   First Look  MSNBC  February 20, 2019 2:00am-3:00am PST

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that. >> bernie sanders, who announced today he is in the running to beat donald trump. and that is our broadcast on a tuesday night. thank you so very much for being here with us and good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. with us from nbc news headquarters here in new york. [ music playing ] this morning a new bombshell report by the "new york times" denies he asked matthew whitaker to put an ally in charge of hush money payments. they are responding to andrew mccabe's claim he informed members of congress about a counterintelligence investigation into the president. despite legal challenges from 16 states, he is voicing confidence about his emergency declaration to fund a southern border wall. good morning, everyone, it's wednesday, february 20th.
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we begin with that exhaustive review from the "new york times" detailing the president's efforts to interfere in the russia investigation. in one instance last year the paper reports that the president called his newly installed acting attorney general matthew whitaker and asked if the u.s. appointed in manhattan, jeffrey berman, described as a trump ally could take charge in the investigation resulted in the president implicated in campaign finance violations. the paper cites u.s. officials will direct knowledge of that call. the "time's" says whitaker who told associates part of his role at the justice department was to quote jump on a grenade for the president. he knew he couldn't put berman in charge because the haugh partner was recuse from the investigation. >> according to "times" the president soon soured on whether whitaker, which he often does
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with his aides and inaability to pull levers that could make the president's many legal problems go away. the "time's" reports the prosecutors require adult super56, according to review, they are looking into whether whitaker perjured himself when he told the house judiciary committee earlier this month that the president never pressured him over the investigation. >> at no times that white house asked for, nor have i provided any promises or commitments concerns the special counsel's investigation or any other investigation. >> did you ever have any conversations with the president about firing or reassigning any person, u.s. attorneys or others who work with the southern district of new york, with the president or anybody? anybody at all? i want to know whether you talked to president trump at all about the southern district of new york's case involving michael cohen.
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>> i am not going to discuss my private conversations with the president of the united states. >> mr. whitaker, did the president lash out to you on or about december 8th about the southern district of new york where he was identified as individual one. >> new york congressman. >> did anyone on the president's behalf either inside the white house or outside the white house contact you to lash out or express dissatisfaction? >> did they contact me to lash out? >> did they reach out to newsom way to express dissatisfaction? >> no. >> so did you ask acting attorney general whit can tore change the leadership of the investigation into your former attorney michael cohen? >> no, not at all. i don't know who gave you that, more fake news. there is a lot of fake news out there. no, i didn't. >> before it's reporting the
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"new york times" reviewed documents and conducted several interviews with current government officials, members of congress, legal experts and more. after crunching the numbers the new york times says trump attacked the russia investigation more than 1,100 times, that including direct probes itself and indirect attacks by accusing the fbi intelligent actions are refusing to investigate what he calls the real collusion between democrats and russia claiming the investigation was an excuse by democrats for harrisburg willing's loss and claiming it's an illegal hoax perpetuated by the media. there were also the president's attacks on jeff sessions, trump claims we wouldn't be talking about this subject if sessions hadn't recuse himself. trump tried to get his campaign manager, corey lewandowski, who is not in the administration to pressure sessions to resign. the paper says lewandowski never acted on that request.
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>> republican leaders in the room are reacting to fbi director andrew mccabe's claim he informed a gang of eight lawmakers, who get briefed when the fbi launched an investigation to determine if president trump was secretly working against u.s. interests of james comey. watch this. >> did you tell them that you had opened a counterintelligence investigation into president trump? >> the purpose of the briefing was to let our congressional leadership know exactly what we had been doing. opening a calls of this nature, not something that an fbi director, not something an acting fbi director you do by yourself. this was a recommendation that came to me with our team. i reviewed it with our lawyers and i told told congress what we had done. >> did you make it clear of this this was a counterintelligence of donald trump and did you provide them with any evidence
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that, in effect, launched this investigation? >> sir, i don't want to go into too much detail about exactly what we discussed in that briefing. i want to be respectful of the fact that those communications between the leaders of the department and the leaders otven hill are things that we respect in terms of being confidential. >> the purpose of the briefing was to brief them on the steps that were taken. i also walked them through the history, how we had gotten to the point where we were at that place in time and brief them on the steps i had taken during that week. it was the same brief income which rod rosenstein announced to the leadership he had appointed a special counsel. but at the conclusion of my remarks, there were no objections. there were no protest itself. there was no -- you know there was a clear sense in the room that people were resigned to the fact that we had taken a necessary step. >> and yesterday republican senate majority leader mitch mcconnell's office responding saying we do not comment on or
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discuss the leader's work on the gang of eight. devon nunez said this to the washington examiner. examiner. >> other members of the committee offered no comments and andrew mccabe will have a lot more on all of this coming up later this morning on "morning joe". all right. as fbi agents began investigating whether the president was working on russia's behalf the api report says the leaders developed a back-up plan to make sure the information of the probe of trump associates and possible coordination between his campaign and the kremlin would survive the firings of top law enforcement officials, including special counsel bob mule early. an anonymous source, not authorized to speak publicly, an true mccabe asked investigators to develop a plan to ensure evidence would be protected.
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a plan was then created according to that person who would not provide specification. a second person familiar with the talks, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity said the february february discussed preserving evidence that it would outlast any effort to stymie the investigation. a borough spokesperson declined to comment on this world news editor for axios. dave waller, thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> good morning. >> what does it elicit about some republicans' true loyalty to president trump if they reportedly did not object tot the investigation. >> it's a remarkable conversation the acting director of the fbi comes to you and says we are going to be launching a counterintelligence investigation into the president because we think there is a possibility he was acting on behalf of the russian government. to then turn around and say stop, don't do that i don't know.
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devon nunez has obviously brine a loyalist of trump's. he has been someone that said from the beginning this is a witch hunt publicly. mccabe says in the room even he did not object. everybody was on the same page. they said, go ahead and do it. we don't know how that conversation actually went. mccabe isn't going into that depth. obviously, nobody felt strongly enough that this was an unfair or biased situation that they said stop it. >> it becks the question as to what type of evidence off that question savannah guthrie asked andrew mccabe what kind of evidence, if any, to launch this investigation. >> to get them to go along with it. >> dave, let me ask you this, the big take away from the expansive new york times report on trump's request that his federal employees to some extent kind of interfere on his behalf to curb these investigations, particularly here in the southern district of new york. does this advance talks of potential obstruction of
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justice, you think? >> what the "new york times" lays out is a pretty clear pattern at everytime turn trump out of fear or anger has either tried to put a wall in between him and the investigation or has tried to fight it publicly or behind the scenes. it's obvious, you know, going back and looking through all these steps, which a lot of us who covered them at the time have kind of forgotten, right? they make a pretty clear case that president trump has fought this at every turn it's, you know, as far as obstruction of justice, that is a legal argument and one we will presumably be hearing laid out at some point. but we can definitely tell that president trump has done everything he could to under mine the people investigating him. >> thanks, dave. we will talk to you again in a bit. president trump is projecting confident that his emergency declaration to secure
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funding for his border wall will prevail despite fresh legal challenges. a coalition of 16 states have filed a lawsuit to keep trump from using his emergency powers to redirect federal funds for the wall, accusing him of violating the separation of powers. speaking at the white house yesterday the president gave a positive i don't think on his chances aif ens that specific lawsuit. >> i think we will do very well. we have an absolute right to do that. i have an absolute right to call national security. i think in the end we're going to be very successful with the lawsuit. so it was filed. it was filed in the 9th circuit and i actually think we might do well in the 9th circuit. because it's an opened and closed case. >> all right. still ahead, senator bernie sanders, it's official, has jumped back into the 2020 race less than 24 hours ago. his supporters are turning out. >> a late ally roger stone may be in jeopardy of having his
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with xfinity home. demo in an xfinity store. call, or go online today. welcome back, everybody, bernie sanders has jumped into the crowded field. almost 150,000 individuals donated more than $4 million. that's pretty quick in a matter of 24 hours, average donation of $27 per person. yesterday sanders launched his second presidential bid by pointing out the democratic party has adopted many of his quote radical ideals. >> 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.
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all of those ideas, people say, oh, bernie, they're so radical, they are extremely american people won't accept those ychltdz you know what's happened in over three years? all of those ideas and many more are a part of the political main stream. >> so you are saying the party came your way? >> well, i don't want to say that i think most people would say that. >> i don't want to say that, but other people would say that. sanders also picked up the endorsement of vermont senator patrick leahy, who enforced hillary clinton during the 2016 primary. >> it was a slight humble brag. >> i won't say, everybody else is. >> the associate editor on the hill, great to have you with us this morning. does sanders running complicate the field for democrats? others positions themselves as progressives like kamela harris or elizabeth warren or does he hold the mantle as the one true progress 95 this race?
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>> well, he does hold that mantle. >> that adds to the complexity he brings to this race. first and foremost, bernie sanders could win this thing. i think it has become fashionable in certain journalistic circles to play down his chances. i don't think it's a sure thing by any stretch. there is a progressive pace that adores bern benefit and in a big field that can be very potent. now, to your point, there are candidates like senator harris who have been trying to thread a needle to a clearly progressive platform and an appeal house, a mar magnetism to centrists that is complicated by his entry into the race. >> also, of course, yesterday, president trump weighing in on bernie sanders jumping into the race. he says he thinks bernie sanders missed his time. he did wish him well. he added it will be interesting to see what he does by this and
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he was disrespected by hillary clinton during the 2016 race, a lot said there to say the least. what do you make of the president's comments on sanders' campaign? >> reporter: well, i think president trump's punditry on the democratic prime sari in itself quite interesting. he seems to enjoy making his observations about the early going in this race and the idea that bernie sanders may have missed his time is a fairly common place one. the more interesting thing i think is the way that president trump's re-election campaign was immediately out calling sanders a socialist, suggesting he has proved the democratic party in a socialist direction. now, senator sanders is a democrat socialist, but to me that suggests that the trump campaign is going to be trying to paint any nominee who emerges as outside the main stream and trying to really darken the reputation of that person, perhaps because it's not so easy
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for the president to make a positive case. >> we have already heard this, obviously, with regards to elizabeth warren and kamela harris and the direction in which they are steering their campaign shall we say. nial sanders, thank you so much for joining us. we preseappreciate it. let's switch to bill kierans, give us the breakdown for snow, is it one inch, three inches? is it going to be substantial? is it going to stick? are our flights going to get delayed? >> wow, i don't have enough time. 132 people pundz advisories from des moines to washington, d.c. the snow broke out, from indianapolis up to toledo, hitting detroit here shortly. snow has broken out from richmond, now approaching washington, d.c.. the white house here, no snowflakes yet. about an hour from now you will
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see snow on the inside of the beltway. the blue shows you where it's snowing. the white is where we are getting a burst of heavy snow, you know north of richmond, that's that burst of moderate 12340e. >> that will be over the top during the morning rush hour. that's why the federal offices are all closed. the schools are closed for good reason. this will go northwards, during the morning hours to philadelphia, eventually new york city. it looks like a good evening commute. again the timing of everything, washington, d.c., about an hour from now. it looks like the heaviest is 6:00 a.m. to noon. the snow forecast is still around four-to-five inches. philadelphia less, around two-to-three for you. new york city three-to-four inches possible. a little less for hartford, boston, everyone is in kind of the two-to-three.
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you remember that snow event, people got stranded on the road, it's similar to that we could get three-to-four inches, right before the evening rush hour. driving philadelphia, southern new england, you don't want to be on the roads from 3:00 to 7:00 tonight. >> i think you answered some of louis' questions. >> i'll do essay form for the rest. >> still ahead, the latest developments in the alleged incident of jussie smollett. police investigate a threatening letter sent to the actor. we'll be right back with more details. t to the actor we'll be right back with more details.
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the future only happens audible members know listening has the power to change us make us better parents, better leaders, better people. and there's no better place to listen than audible. with audible you get a credit good for any audiobook and exclusive fitness and wellness programs. and now, you'll also get two audible originals: titles exclusively produced for audible. automatically roll your credits over to the next month if you don't use them, and if you don't like a book just swap it for free. enjoy 100% ad free listening in the car, on your phone or any connected device. and when you switch a device pick up right where you left off. with our commitment free guarantee, there's never been a better time to start listening to audible. the most inspiring minds, the most compelling stories, the best place to listen. to start your free 30-day trial, text listen27 to 500500 today. ♪
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welcome back. now to the latest developments in the case of jussie smollett. police want to speak to him after two guys claim they were paid by the actor. the fbi is looking at whether they are sending a threatening letter mailed to the actor. correspondent miguel almaguer has the latest on the investigation. >> reporter: law enforcement sources tell nbc news jussie smollett is no victim. he could face criminal charges. the two men he claims attacked him say they were hired by the actor to strategy the attack. the brothers could be called to testify in front of a grand jury. the brothers are cooperating with detectives after they were arrested and released without
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charges, with authorities tracing all communications between smollett and the brothers, investigators seeds stamps and a magazine at the brother's home. smollett says he received this death threat before the attack. cbs chicago citing multiple sources reports he concocted the assault because the letter didn't receive the attention he desired. >> did i make that up, too? >> reporter: immediately after the attack, smollett received a wave of support on social media. but now a deafening silence. house speaker nancy pelosi deleting her tweet with smollett's story unraveling, a new twitter storm, nikki haley posting he must pay resources used for the incident he caused. police and the public are waiting to hear from the once outspoken activist who remains silent. >> crazy story. >> yeah. >> every day i feel there is a few twist it to.
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still ahead, a new memo, white house lawyers wrote a briefing about the firing of michael flynn. what he said was full of misstatements. >> former vice president joe biden ramps up his criticism as he waves a 2020 run. we have those stories and more coming up. run. we have those stories and more coming up.
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audible members know listening has the power to change us make us better parents, better leaders, better people. and there's no better place to listen than audible. with audible you get a credit good for any audiobook and exclusive fitness and wellness programs. and now, you'll also get two audible originals: titles exclusively produced for audible. automatically roll your credits over to the next month if you don't use them, and if you don't like a book just swap it for free. enjoy 100% ad free listening in the car, on your phone or any connected device. and when you switch a device pick up right where you left off. with our commitment free guarantee, there's never been a better time
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to start listening to audible. the most inspiring minds, the most compelling stories, the best place to listen. to start your free 30-day trial, text listen5 to 500500 today. ♪ . welcome back, everybody. it's the bottom of the hour. let's start with the top stories. the "new york times" is raising questions about how the trump
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administration handled former national security adviser michael flynn's resignation. on february 14th, 2017, just 25 days into trump's presidency, sean spicer stood at the white house podium to announce that flynn had been asked to resign over an erosion of trust. watch this. >> i want to adoctor tess events of last night first and foremost. we have been reviewing and evaluating this issue with respect to general flynn on a daily basis for a few weeks trying to ascertain the truth. the evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances is what led the president to ask for general flynn's resignation. immediately after the department of justice notified the white house counsel of the situation, the white house counsel briefed the president and a small group of advisers. the white house reviewed and determined there is not a legal issue but rather a trust issue. that's why the president decided
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to ask for his resignation and he got it. >> two years seems like ten years with trump, doesn't it? now according to "times" the night before that briefing president trump and his briefers were in the oval office explaining that resignation. one mentioned that paul ryan then speaker of the house told reporters they asked flynn to resign. it was unclear where he got that information. trump seized on those words. according to people with the knowledge, trump says that sounds better and turned to sean spicer, say that, trump ordered. spicer reportedly asked whether or not it was true, trump repeated, say that i asked for his resignation. the "times" reports lawyers met with spicer about what she should say about what was a sensitive national security investigation. as spicer's briefing began the lawyers started hearing numerous
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misstatements and ended up compiling them all in a memo. according to "times" the lawyer's main concerned was spicer exhaustively stated the white house had investigated mr. flynn and that he said, wrongly, that administration lawyers had no issues surrounding flynn's conduct. a new report from the house oversight committee, senior white house officials, michael flynn pushed a front share a nuclear power technology with saudi arabia despite objections of ethics and national security officials. the report cites whistle blowers within the trump administration. lawmakers from both parties expressed concern that saudi arabia could develop weapons if u.s. technology were transferred without proper safe guards. flynn and others ignored warnings as they pushed power reactors in the kingdom. the house oversight committee is
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looking into an investigation into saudi arabia of sensitive information it says appear to be ongoing. the report describes how flynn and derek harvey who flynn had hired to oversee middle east affairs on the national security counsel worked closely on the plan with a group of retired u.s. generals anded a michelle's who had formed a private company to promote him. the report says the white house officials and private sector allies worked to place a phone call with saudi arabia's king salman, despite warnings from white house staff and an order from the top lawyer to stand down. now the house oversight chairman elijah cummings, has sent a letter to chief of staff dick mulvaney to provide all the documents it has regarding building power plants in the middle east by march 5th. vice president joe biden
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criticized mike pence's presence on the world stage. >> the vice president of the united states spoke there and i know him, and i like him, but he spoke on behalf of the president and lectured, lectured nato about their obligations and how they had to break all ties with iran and how they had to do in dictating to them. when he said, i'm here on behalf of the president of the united states of america, you got the exact same result i just got. dead silence, no, i'm serious. this is worse. it's not about democratic-republican. it really isn't. there was a deafening silence and the conclusion was, the conclusion was that the united states cannot be counted on. >> as former vice president biden faces new scrutiny, especially with republicans, yesterday he spoke about the many racist members during his time in the senate.
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>> jesse helms from north carolina who was a very, very tough guy and a bit of a racist, no, for real. he made no bones about it. he was like when i first got there, there were a bunch of racists, james o east. strom thurman and so on. >> biden slammed general motors after they received tax breaks and still laid off thousands of workers. >> look, i don't begrudge anybody making a million or hundreds of millions of dollars, i really don't but i do think there is some shared responsibility and it's not being shared fairly for hard working middle class and working class people. >> joining us once again from washington, d.c., world news editor for actionio, dave
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lawler, let's talk about joe biden, he is notching up his rhetoric, he was in europe at the munich security conference, there he was at the penn biden center, is he going to run? >> so i think for biden or any of the top tier candidates, you are running until you say you are not running. joe biden always sounds like he's running for president in my opinion. in this case, it seems like he certainly has not sided he is not running. he is leaving the door opened. he might be leaning slightly towards it. if are you joe biden, you are look at the polls, you are signature at the top at the moment. you know this is your last chance to do it if you are going to do it. it sounds like a tempting proposition. >> i want to read through this stream of unearthed connections
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between the president and safe harbor. >> inc elbe. >> this steadfast dedication that the trump administration specifically has had with saudi arabia since president donald trump has been in office and. >> and in the killing of khashoggi. >> the lack of acknowledging the connection between the murder of jamal khashoggi and mbs actually. >> right. there was a meeting last week at the white house about this idea of putting nuclear reactors for nuclear power in saudi arabia. so that is an ongoing proposition. i think for -- there's a couple things going on here, one is that the saudis have been willing to splash a lot of money around in terms of arms deals and the nuclear proposition. that's something that trump has obviously been resituate to. there is also this idea that the administration views everything in the middle east in terms of iran and saudi arabia is on the right side as far as they are concerned. when it comes to iran. and so we are with these guys. we are against those guy, and no
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matter what has come down, sorry, what has come out the things that you were naming, they have not waived from that position. >> can you imagine if the middle east unstable, saudi arabia, israel with technology and weapons? >> no, not necessarily one i want to imagine, let's just say. >> exactly. >> dave lawler. thank you. >> thanks a lot. so the judge overseeing the trial of roger stone has ordered him to appear in court to decide whether he should be sent to jamie. stone has been ordered to explain to judge amy berman jackson why the conditions of his release amid the trial should not be changed or revoked. the hearing was ordered after an image was posted to stone's instagram showing the judge's face next to it appears to be crosshairs. this happened on monday. stone initially said the image had been misinterpret and later apologizing for the incident. the former adviser to president trump could be sent to jail if
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the judge revoke his $50,000 bond. stone said i will be present for the hearing as ordered. still ahead the supreme court takes up a high stakes battle for water in this country. which major baseball teams are shelling out big bucks to land all star manny machado. and bill kierans is back with the latest on a massive winter storm moving across the country. we'll be right back. torm movinge country. we'll be right back. oh!
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the case of the wild life fun will pin the supreme security as various rulings on the matter. in fact, last year the 9th circuit ruled maui county violated the act for millions of gallons of sewage into groundwater that ultimately traveled into the supreme ocean. the supreme court will hear the appeal that was filed. it should happen later this fall. >> let's get a check of weather with bill kierans. we are bracing for the snowstorm. >> we continue to watch the d.c. area, snow is falling inside the beltway. the temperatures are 33 or 34 degrees in d.c., initially at least the roads will be melting. that's great. i know they are treated. most of the grassy surfaces will become slippery as first. it should cool the air. right now the heaviest snow is in northern virginia, aim through southern portions of pennsylvania and then the northern half of ohio and indiana has some of the heaviest snow out there.
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we have heavy rain. i don't want to forget our friends in tennessee. you are under a flash flood watch, the mississippi, alabama and very heavy rain now heading for the nashville area. let's get back to the snow forecast here. against the areas of pink is about four inches of snow, d.c. we have you in the four-inch range, same baltimore, philadelphia, i-95 here, more or less the two-to-three. new york city is somewhere between the two-to-three inch range, same for hartford, boston, once you get to northern new england, that's when we get up to the four to eight-inch rain. there will be ice out there, too. considerable ice in west virginia and southern ohio. >> that snow extends, now arriving in chicago and snowing from iowa into minnesota the heaviest snow will be from minnesota into northern wisconsin. again there is a lot of travel
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issues today. the highest impacts late this afternoon, new york city area and southern portions of new england. >> drive safe, get home early. someone has been lobbying to take our sports away from us. turning now to sports and what's shaping up to be the biggest free agent contract in american sports history, reports that manny machado is finalizing a deal for a contract worth $300 million, surpassing the ten-year $275 million contract signed by new york yankee alex rodriguez in 2009 machado a two time golden glove winner will opt out after five snps. >> $300 million. >> it's still not as big a it is contract he was getting this off season. >> yes. exactly. >> what we need to do to keep
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sports? >> i don't know. we have to talk to you, bill. >> oh, yeah, i have got that much pull. look what's for you. >> all right. that's it. >> moving on. still ahead the new admission over north carolina's disputed 9th district contest. and back on the bench the latest on supreme court justice ruth bader ginsberg following surgery. we'll be right back. bader gins surgery. we'll be right back. is boost® delicious boost® high protein nutritional drink has 20 grams of protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals. boost® high protein. be up for life. they have businesses to grow customers to care for lives to get home to they use print discounted postage for any letter any package any time right from your computer all the amazing services of the post office only cheaper
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welcome back. everybody. election crews in north carolina have admitted to counting votes days before the polls close in the undecide race. the state boards of election heard from workers at the center of the disputed district 9 house race. >> that votes were tallied when early in-person voting and the days before election night. the workers said while they can see who had the early lead in the bladeen county sheriffs race, they did not alert anyone. officials also presented evidence that showed the disputed house race between republican mark harris and republican dan mccready was marred by disappearing documents. harris leads mccready by 905 vote. the state board has been investigating voting irrec larts since shortly after --
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irregularitys since shortly after the election. they will certify race results as early as this week. 0 un the announced they canceled almost a billion dollars in funds and violated agreements and another option to get another $2.5 billion grant being used to finance another rail line in the central valley. governor new som vowed to fight the administration. it comes less than 24 hours after challenging trump's emergency declaration and a week after vowing to scale back the rail project himself. president trump summed up both topics in a tweet saying the
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failed fast train project in california where the cost overruns are becoming world record setting is hundreds of times more expensive than the desperately needed wall. all eyes are on the supreme court as justice ruth bader ginsburg returned since recovering am home in late tennessee missing oral arguments for the first time in their 25 year tenure and participating in the decisions of 11 cases based on written briefs and transcripts. at her return for yesterday's arguments, npr reports ginsburg was the first to ask a question in a firm and strong voice. at the end of the argument, ginsburg got up carefully as she descended the steps behind the bench, chief justice roberts walked next to her ready to help but ginsburg walked on her own. she is not expected to be at the oscars in the audience sunday where "rbg" on her life has been
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nominated for an academy award. >> have you seen it? >> i have not. >> it is incredible. whatever side of the aisle you lean on, she is incredible not only on the bench but gender equality and women in the workplace in general. coming up, one big thing, and more on the new bombshell report on president trump's alleged efforts to interfere with the probe by pushing the acting attorney general to push a friendly prosecutor. >> former andrew mccabe will weigh in on that. r andrew mccabl weigh in on that
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what is the one big thing? >> we're taking a look at the democratic field with bernie sanders in it and how old it is. the first person in, elizabeth warren in her 70s, bernie sanders in his late 70s entering yesterday. a lot of democrats are waiting for the person they think could split the difference candidate, joe biden, 76 himself. you look at congress, nancy pelosi, 78, her number, too, steny hoyer, 78. interesting because you just sta pose that where the party's energy is, the freshmen, average age around 40 and activists and social media presence, that's something democrats have to sorting through. in the history of the democratic party they have only elected three candidates since 1968 in their 70s and even 60s.
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>> and kamala harris running for president skews the number you're talking about. what kind of challenges could this age gap between the democrats 2020 hopefuls present for the party moving closer to the election? >> a big field and lots of different ages. you look at the polls and a lot is name recognition, it is older candidates performing best early on. the challenge is the democratic party, there's a real war inside, a lot of people, activist wing, socialist wing wants to be a different party into the idea of the "new green deal" and want to bring the social energy able to elect this freshman class to the stage. that will be a challenge. of in politics people wants something new. anything that feels old in age but been there done that is a
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challenge for sanders and warren in particular they have to overcome. >> as we mentioned, former fbi director, andrew mccabe will be on "morning joe" coming up, and new reporting how the white house is treating his new book as an opportunity. what are you hearing about that? >> a little bit of contradictions. the white house on one hand saying he's full of it, you can't believe anything in the book. on the other hand, they're out there the last 24 hours there was this internal coup effort to overthrow the president early in his presidency. they're hitting that, a lot of surrogates are hitting that saying this is evidence of the deep statement warning about democrats on the inside hate trump and trump supporters and want to overthrow the government from within. in some ways they're trying to weaponize the book. the upside for mccabe you can talk about, it's now number one on the best-sellers list and
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passed michelle obama's book which has been there for a while. there is intense interest on this interview on "60 minutes," newsy interview driving the news the past 72 hours. this is somebody in the seat in the room saw a lot of this. >> it would be interesting to see how that interview plays out. i thank you very much. see you again on "morning joe." we will be reading axios a.m. in just a while. you can sign up for the newsletter by going to >> that does it for us this morning. "morning joe" starts right now. president trump, if the "new york times" is correct, wanted his ally to be in charge of both of those investigations. matt whittaker, to his credit, apparently, did not execute that command. >> that phone call you say that's evidence of corrupt
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intent. >> on the phone call. >> would that be instruction? >> yes. it would be attempted obstruction. only obstruction if it succeeded. if you try to interfere with a criminal prosecution that may knock at your own door by putting your own ally in there, that is clearly an attempt to obstruct justice. >> napolitano, that guy has been doing 99 miles an hour fast. >> on fox. >> for months. >> the part of fox news the president might not have wanted to see or retweet yesterday. we'll go in-depth on that sweeping "new york times" piece. good morning. it is monday, february 20th. along with joe and willie we have mike barnicle, katty kay is here. and msnbc news


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