tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC February 25, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PST
release, and what happens next? all while president trump gears up for his second summit with north korea. leaving in hours for vietnam. our new reporting on kim jong-un's nuclear program. and on capitol hill, michael cohen set for three days of testimony. what he's prepared to tell in his testimony. plus breaking news. r kelly in a chicago courtroom charged with ten counts offin a aggregated substance abus aggregated sexual abuse. first, striking an optimistic tone ahead of the trip to vietnam and not mentioning the man everyone is watching at home, robert mueller. take a listen. >> for vietnam, i leave with chairman kim and talk about
something that frankly, i think we'll have a very good summit. i think we'll have a tremendous summit. >> my colleague geoff bennett is at the white house for us. jul julia ainsley is outside the justice department. geoff, i want to start with you own the tone president trump is taking ahead of his departure. in about two hours we'll be trying to get questions to him. he's trying to stake an optimistic note ahead of his meeting with kim jong-un. at the same time, lowering expectations. tell us what you're hearing. >> it's a gnnuanced approach. he thinks that he's going to have a good shot of creating an atmosphere for the talks to continue, for the talks to move forward in a positive way. yet, he's playing down the notion that there will be any sort of significant breakthroughs. of course, we know there are intelligence officials who say that north korea has taken no
concrete steps to rid itself of its nuclear arsenal since the first summit in singapore. the president, i'm sure, is all too aware of that. as we saw him declare victory before the first summit last june, he's not doing that as he stands days away from the second face to face with kim. >> and geoff, as we're awaiting his departure, there's breaking news i want to tell our viewers about. "the washington post" is reporting a staffer on the presidential campaign filed a lawsuit because she says he kissed her without her consent at a small gathering of supporters before a florida rally. we want to underscore the fact nbc news has not confirmed this reporting. we're working to obtain the court documents. this is just breaking this hour. tell us how the white house has responded so far. >> reporter: right. i've reached out to the white house and the trump campaign. no response yet. this accuser is a 43-year-old
woman. according to the post's reporting she said that mr. trump, then candidate trump, grabbed her hand and leaned in to kiss her on the lips as he exited an rv on august 24th, 2016. johnson said she turned her head and the unwanted kiss landed on the side of her mouth which she called super creepy and inappropriate. now, in a statement to the post, sarah huckabee sanders dismissed the allegations of absurd on its face. she said this never happened and it's directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eyewitness accounts in fact one of the eyewitnesss is the former ag, florida ag. johnson says her report is corroborated. she says she shared her story with her boyfriend, her mother, and her stepfather at the time. this is just breaking. we reached out to the white house and campaign for statements. she's suing the trump campaign.
>> a lot of fast moving developments ahead of the president's departure. julia, i want to switch over to you and go back to the anticipation that is mounting for the release of special counsel robert mueller's report. he's going to turn it over to the attorney general. we don't think that's going to happen this week. what are your sources telling you about the time line? >> that's right. on friday justice department officials told me we should not expect to get that report this weekend. that would be the report that special counsel robert mueller would have to deliver to the attorney general. the attorney general would have to decide what pieces of that he gets to congress and what he makes public. there's a lot of anticipation last week waiting for that report. we understand while the president is gone and for the remainder of this week, we should not expect the report. but we could hear more news from michael cohen. of course, we know he was going to congress on wednesday as his
own open testimony that's public. one of the questions we know will be asked is why he lied in the past about his -- about the trump moscow project. about trying to build a trump tower or hotel in moscow. and, of course, the big question there would be was he directed by the president? just because we don't expect the report here this week doesn't mean there won't still be russia-related news, and one thing i think we could read into is we're being told not to expect it this week, but it's known here, a degree of timing. it's not something coming six months from now. they're preparing for it here. they seem to have some idea of the time line, more than we have at this point. we just know it's not in the next five days. >> all eyes are going to be on capitol hill on wednesday. that is for sure, because that testimony could be significant. geoff bennett, julia ainsley, thank you to both of you for your great reporting. and with me now, kim, former assistant u.s. attorney and former associate independent
counsel during the white water investigation. harry litman, and my panel for the hour, nancy cooke, sahil kap kapur. thank you all for being here. kim, i want to start with you with what we heard from adam schiff over the weekend. he said look, if the attorney general doesn't make the findings by robert mueller public, he's poised to subpoena that report. take a listen. i want to get your reaction on the other side. >> we will obviously subpoena the report. we will bring bob mueller in to testify before congress. we'll take it to court if necessary. and in the end, i think the department understands they're going to have to make this public. i think barr will ultimately understand that as well. >> now, as we know, kim, the attorney general has not said he's going to make it public. he said he needs to look at it first and then make a determination. what do you make of what you
heard from adam schiff? >> i think he has his finger on what is a conundrum right now. which is that the regulations that govern this report do not provide they be made public to the congress or to the american people. that is unlike the statute that governed the white water investigation which mandated a report to congress. this really leaves a lot to the discretion of mr. barr. he -- it's kind of a stunning -- actual actually, that someone would walk in at this late hour, would hold so much of the accountability of this presidency in his hands, and i think we are moving toward potentially a political resolution because of the question of whether the president can be indicted. the doj memos say no. if the report isn't made public, it's going to have to be a congressional resolution. it would require resolution.
the debate would be over justice department confidentiality. the necessity of keeping criminal investigations unpolitical, depoliticizing them. on the one hand. on the other hand, the congress will be listen, we have a prerogative under the constitution of the united states to engage in oversight and potential impeachment hearings and we need this information. >> harry, let me have you jump in here. what are you anticipating? as kim maps out, the rules are different than they were for the star report, for example. we're not expecting the same level of disclosure, and yet, the calls are growing louder for the public to see something. what do you anticipate is going to happen here? >> and yet, that's exactly right. the rules were written because of the star report and the 356-page delivery to congress. they do provide for a sort of bare bones report to the ag,
even less to congress. barr in his nomination hearing said he would push for transparency to the point permissible by law. i think the regs don't prevent it. the sort of political one will push in favor of both a broader report from mueller. i believe he is writing, and a broader disclosure to congress which is what i believe will happen. >> i think a lot of people are curious to hear from robert mule mueller either way. do you think we're going to see him on capitol hill even if the attorney general makes a fair amount of his report public? although w we expect redactions, clearly. >> not if he can help it. i think he will rightfully -- want his report to speak for hirms. i don't think he will relish the possibility of going in front of congress. it's not his style. but yeah, there's going to be a tussle. and not an easy one. there are going to be arguments
about executive privilege, grand jury material, and the like that if congressman schiff is right and they subpoena, it won't immediately mean that people will show up in congress, much less mueller. i think his report will see the light of day one way or another. >> and nancy, let me turn to you. the white house, the president's legal team, bracing for the report when, in fact, it is turned over to the attorney general. talk a little bit about how they're preparing the mood, as the president prepared to head overseas to vietnam? >> it's going to be an interesting week. the president has been trying to pivot to foreign policy because his domestic agenda is blocked now that the house democrats have taken over. he's trying to pivot. meanwhile, he keeps getting dragged into things that aren't necessarily what he would like to be talking about. and it seems the president is very concerned. he talks to people outside the white house all the time. and i think he is very concerned about what this report could say, and he and all those
surrogates have been trying to undermine mueller for the last 18 months. >> sahil, kim talks about the fact that we're ultimate headed toward a political resolution. democrats are bracing for the possibility, preparing for the possibility to move toward some type of impeachment hearing after they see this report. they say they're not going to do that until the report comes out. >> that's correct. i don't think they've made any decisions on that. and democrats have been cautious about the talk of impeachment. they're wary of being perceived of overreaching. many democrats believe this president has committed impeachable offenses and deserves to be removed. they're looking for evidence the president lied to the american public and he was somehow compromised. this is a towering charge. if russia knew something about him that if they disclosed could be damaging to him politically, they could have potentially used that as leverage to influence
u.s. policy. it's true there's going to be a political resolution. doj guidelines are not to indict or try a sitting president no matter what they find. people have refrained from commenting until the mueller report is out. this is going to put them on the spot. >> yes. michael cohen is going to be on capitol hill for three straight days this week including public testimony on wednesday. talk a little bit about what we're anticipating to hear from michael cohen. we know along the topics, the president's work that he's done with the president. the president's debts. payments related to efforts to influence potentially the 2016 campaign. those hush money payments. tax laws. finance laws. talk a little bit about what you are expecting to hear and to learn on wednesday. >> well, i think it's a really important moment for the american people as well as as we discussed, a potentially political resolution of this. this is the first time people are going to see someone tell
their story who is so tight with the president for many years who knows where the bodies are buried on a host of matters. you listed them very eloquently in terms of the span and scope of the information mr. cohen knows. people can watch and make a determination as to whether these give rise to serious concerns about the propriety of the president being in office going forward. so i think we can make our own judgments as to whether he's believable. the white house will attack him as lacking credibility. he's a convicted fellon. it could shift the dialogue around -- away from the idea of witch hunt, deep state. this is all a bunch of trumped up charges to maybe there's something here. this person doesn't have a lot to lose in not telling the truth at this juncture. >> and you're right. the president's legal team has their talking points down when it comes to michael cohen.
all eyes on the testimony on wednesday. over the weekend we saw the sentencing memo for paul manafort, another person ensnared in the special counsel's investigation in the president's inner circle. and it was scathing. it essentially didn't weigh in on what he should be sentenced with, but it said basically no holds barred because he acted in such an illegal and brazen way. don junior weighed in on this. i want you to listen and get your reaction on the other side. >> they put incredible pressure on regular guys that couldn't afford million dollars in legal fees and got them to slip up and say something incorrectly. that's all that happened. there are no actual crimes. there's only things that people did in past lives. >> what do you make of that. and hanging over this whole discussion is the president considering pardoning manafort? he has yet to say that he's not going to do that. >> right.
and it's his only possibility here. they eviscerated him. they didn't need to make a recommendation. he's in for life. the defense by trump junior is ludicrous. we have chapter and verse in that sentencing memo of crime after crime. and this is part of what we see from cohen is it's dating back. it's the loud days in the ukraine where anything goes including all kinds of criminal behavior. we think the same thing is going to be part of what cohen almost with a sense of relish is going to be divulging come wednesday, thursday, and friday. but the portrayal by the special counsel is just of a total criminal course of conduct over years and years. a complete disconnect with what trump junior is saying. >> given that, do you have any sense of how many years manafort might yet? >> yes. probably 20. more than enough -- that's without the new york state
charges. to -- without doubt, he will die in prison except for a pardon. >> all right. fantastic conversation. thank you all. we have new reporting today on how democrats plan to beat president trump next year. their strategy? the bigger, the better. how candidates are trying to outdo each other with bigger and bolder ideas, more progressive ideas. plus, r kelly in court facing ten counts on sex crimes charges. we're live with the latest. we're live with the latest oh, i- -family recipe. can i see it? no. new philadelphia dips. so good, you'll take all the credit.
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and happening right now. in chicago r kelly is back in court after spending the weekend in jail. the 52-year-old singer is expected to plead not guilty today to ten counts offing a ra gaited criminal sexual abuse. he's denied any sexual misconduct. ron is outside the courthouse in chicago. you've been tracking this story. what's the latest there today? >> reporter: good morning. here's what just happened. r. kelly made a brief appearance in the courtroom just off our camera position here with the chief judge here. he was then told who his judge will be presiding over his case, judge lawrence flood. they're headed upstairs to the fifth floor where he'll enter
the plea of not guilty to the charges you mentioned. he's been dogged by the allegations he's preyed on underage girls for two decades now. 2008 he was acquitted of 14 countries of child porpornograp. the prosecutors now allege he was continuing to prey on young girls. there are four women involved in the current allegations. three of them were minors at the time. i spoke to his lawyer earlier today. spoke to him over the weekend. here's what he had to say about r. kelly's defense of this video that shows r. kelly purportedly sexually abusing a 14-year-old. >> he kept records. he made people show him i.d.s. he made people sign statements. he didn't ever knowingly certainly have sex with someone underage. if they showed him a fake i.d., if they filled out a form and lied on it, that isn't his
fault. >> reporter: now, this morning michael avenatti tweeted there is a second video he planned on turning over to prosecutors that purportedly shows r. kelly again, sexually abusing a minor. we don't know if the tape is in the hands of prosecutors yet. i saw avenatti walking on the other side of the courthouse with a gentleman carrying a big briefcase. if he comes down here, and we suspect he will, we'll ask about the second tape he says he's uncovered and has turned over the authorities. >> we know you'll get the latest on that great reporting. ron, thank you for that. joining me now, danny haveceval. weigh in on what we're hearing from the defense. you have r. kelly, he says had folks sign documents saying how
old they were and statements showed him i.d.s. is that a reliable and believable defense? >> in illinois, it is an affirmative defense to aggrav e aggravated criminal if they believe the victim was over the age of 17, and in illinois, the prosecution has the burden to disprove the defendant's reasonable belief as to the victim's age. some factors, some courts in illinois have considered in the past is the fact that the victim is 16 years or 10 months. or the victim is drinking or doing something mature. even the jury's perception of the victim can warrant a jury instruction of reasonable belief as to the victim's age. these are all very important facts. and if he was presented with fake i.d.s which is not something i think normally happens. if there's evidence he was having people sign documents and present i.d.s, then that will go
toward the defense of reasonable belief. >> danny, what about michael avenatti who is representing two of the alleged victims? he says look, he has video tapes. could that undermine any signed documents that r. kelly has? >> and that will go against the defense of reasonable belief as to the defendant's age. this is ultimately a jury determination after they get the instruction, and reasonable belief has a definition, but it's essentially did he reasonably and then believe? the jury will have to weigh these at trial to decide whether or not the prosecution has met its burden. did the prosecution disprove that r. kelly reasonably believed these victims were over 17? if there's video of him discussing it, well, then, that would blow up any kind of documentary evidence or signatures or fake i.d.s or real i.d.s trying to argue for his reasonable belief as to their
age. >> and danny, quickly, how much jail time are we talking about if he is convicted? >> this is a serious felony. up to seven years for each count. if each sentence is laid out end to end, it could be a very long prison sentence. that's not likely to happen. most likely a concurrent sentence, but absolutely a minimum of three years in prison. >> all right. it is a high profile case that continues to capture the nation's attention as we watch what happens next. danny, thank you for helping us break down the latest developments. appreciate it. glnchts democr glnch democrats are drawing huge crowds. the one thing voters are telling them. they want someone who can beat donald trump. among a dozen candidates, who will be the one? we'll take a look when we come right back. a look when we come right back i switched to miralax for my constipation. stimulant laxatives forcefully stimulate the nerves in your colon. miralax works with the water in your
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tear down the border wall, upgrade every building in america, tax the assets of rich people and eliminate private health insurance. kamala harris defended it on an interview that aired last night. >> do you think eliminating private insurance would be a socialist idea? >> no. okay. so my -- i strongly believe that we need to have medicare for all. and within that system there -- >> do you think that's socialist or not, medicare for all? >> no. it's about providing health care to all people. it's about understanding that access to affordable health care should not be a privilege. it should be a right. >> joining me now, former dnc adviser doug thornel along with julia and sahil. thank you for being here. what we heard from harris, democrats are trying to define how progressive they are, whether they want to take on
that label of socialism. she's walking a very fine line. is that a smart strategy? >> well, none of the people running except for bernie sanders who is a democratic socialist is a socialist. i think the idea that you're going to be -- that you're supporting health care for all, how that works in terms of how you define medicare for all, that's a different question that i think we're going to have to find out on the trail. but yeah, it's important that none of these folks who are running are socialist. i think that's going to be where republicans try to paint us. but the reality is if you look at the radical vision for this country, i believe it's on the right in terms of people who want to take away people's health care and not do anything on climate change. >> and yet, doug, do you have any concerns that a lot of the candidates so far are saying hey, we are progressive. we are embracing progressive policies. could that hurt some candidates, whoever wins in the general election? >> i think this is typical for a
primary. we see this in republican primaries and democratic primaries. >> do you worry some are going too far left? >> i'm not worried about it now. some are going to fall by the wayside. some will catch fire within the democratic party. we're not sure where that is right now. by the time we pick a nominee, i think that person will be able to effectively make a broader case to the american people that they're better than president trump. >> you have a lot of people to choose from. to that point, sahil, i know you were in iowa over the weekend. what were democratic voters saying to you about the batch of candidates they have to choose from? >> the crowds were remarkable. the crowds feel more like the crowds in november or december right before the primary. there's a lot of intensity and energy on the democratic side this far out. the most important thing they want, many voters say, is a candidate who can defeat trump. the thing about that is they disagree on who it is.
some say kamala harris, some elizabeth warren, one voter told me i like brown and klobuchar because they can win the midwest. winning michigan, pennsylvania, and wisconsin. voters don't run the electability through a matrix. they go with their gut. >> nancy, remarkably the president is engaging with these primary candidates. usually the president sits back, waiting until there's someone who looks like they could be a nominee. not this president. >> he's very engaged and watching the field closely. i know aides tell me he was watching harris's kickoff campaign in oakland and was impressed by that rollout. some of his campaign people have been worried about worried about amy klobuchar thinking she could do well in the midwest. i think it's going to be fascinating to see how the
president reacts over twitter. he's reacting to elizabeth warren, calling her pocahontasp. he wants to try to dominate and whittle down the field to his own liking rather than sort of just leaving it to democratic primary voters. >> and doug, nancy raises amy klobuchar, she's dealing with her own set of controversies. chief among them, she's tough to work for in a way some of her former staffers say was dehumanizing. "the new york times" says two people familiar with the policy under klobuchar say those took paid family leave, they were required to remain with the office for three times as many weeks as they had been gone. the policy outlined in an employee handbook called for those who left anyway to pay back paid money earned during the weeks they were on leave. klobuchar responded.
>> there was something in there from the past that we changed. we never enforced it. >>. >> why was it in the handbook? >> i don't know. i don't write the handbook. >> she says to some extent, there's a double standard. men can be tough bosses. why can't a woman senator be a tough boss? >> absolutely. and i understand that. i do think oftentimes women who are tough are labeled something more than that. but i think the issue here is whether we're talking about toughness or abuse. and i'm not sure. i've known -- i've known people who have worked for the senator for a long time, and i've heard different stories. and i think that she had a really good iconic rollout. since then she's done a good job dealing with several of the different events that she's done on the trail. but this continues to dog here, and i think at some point she's going to have to confront it and
address it front on. it's just sort of lingering out there. >> she hasn't addressed it sufficiently, you think, at this point this. >> i don't think so. i don't think -- i think she's still -- i think that she's still struggling with sort of addressing the matter in terms of just dismissing it as look, i'm a tough person. this is sort of what everyone goes through on the hill versus some of the allegations which are serious. and again, i don't know what is the true story. and so i think it's important that she starts to -- that she addresses it. >> all right. we'll have to see if she does. doug, great to see you. thank you. appreciate it. nancy and sahil, stick around for more conversation. air force one is fueling up for the trip to the second summit with north korea. but as president trump prepares for round two, serious questions remain. why u.s. intelligence officials are saying they doubt kim jong-un will ever give up his nuclear program. that's when we come back. stay with us. stay with us
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quote, increasingly doubtful that kim intends to dismantle the nuclear program at the center of kim's diplomatic gamble. we are live in hanoi, also with us evelyn farkus. thank you to both of you for being here. carol, i want to start with you and your reporting. i'm going to read some of it. you write with just two days before the leaders are set to meet, the white house is setting low expectations for the second summit this week in vietnam while senior u.s. officials and north korea experts are expressing mounting concerns that president trump will give away more than he gets in return. set the stakes, and what are the concerns, carol, the president will give up? >> christen, there's a numb er f concerns. the concern is the president is
going to cut a bad deal with kim jong-un. either that could take on several different forms. officials are concerned about denuclearization, for instance. u.s. intelligence shows that kim jong-un has no intention of denuclearizing any time soon. has shown no signs of moving in that direction. the concern is the president will accept one that falls short of complete denuclearization. that's one area in which u.s. officials are concerned. one thing that they're supposed to talk about with north korean officials is establishing some sort of diplomatic presence in each other's capitals. they're known as interest sections. there's a possibility they could agree to an end of war declaration in the korean war. those things coupled with the president again meeting face to face with kim jong-un raised concerns that the u.s. could essentially do de facto recognition of them as a nuclear
state. that's among two of the things u.s. officials are concerned about as the president goes into a one on one meeting. he can have the tendency to sometimes when he gets face to face with another world leader, agree to things that he said he would never agree to. i think the two big worries among u.s. officials is he would either lift sanctions in some way or agree to reduce u.s. military presence on the korean peninsula without anything in return. that's the key. officials are worried he'll give away things and not get much in return. >> i know officials have been on the ground for several days trying to hammer out some terms ahead of the president's arrival to prevent that from happening. that's the concern which you laid out well. evelyn, let me turn to you on this point. the reporting which says essentially his own advisers are worried he's going to make an ad hoc decision in the moment, and give something huge away without
getting something big in return. you in 2008 actually were there on the ground touring the north korean nuclear program. talk about the stakes. >> yeah. basically we've been here before where the north koreans say they're going to denuclearize. now they're not saying that. and we didn't get really anywhere under the bush administration when i was there. i was there with the senate. we saw the cooling tower right before they exploded it. well, we know they reconstituted the cooling tower. any time they can reverse things. i think the problem is we came out of the last summit and got something but the north koreans got a lot mainly because we froze our military exercise. >> and they got the photo op with the president. >> right. >> there's a lot of mixed messaging going on. how do you define denuclearization? i was talking to top officials who couldn't put their finger on what that meant for both sides and also whether or not north korea still poses a nuclear threat. the president after the first
summit tweeted no, he doesn't. motorcycle pomp mike pompeo was pressed on that other the weekend. >> do you think north korea remains a nuclear threat? >> yes. >> the president said he doesn't. >> that's not what he did. >> he tweeted it. there is no longer a nuclear threat from north korea. >> what he said was the efforts made in singapore, this commitment that chairman kim made have substantially taken down the risk to the american people. it's the mission of the secretary of state and the president of the united states to keep the american people secure. we're aiming to achieve that. >> evelyn, how do you go into such a high stakes summit with so much mixed messaging and in which the basics haven't been defined. >> if the president doesn't think north korea's a nuclear threat, why is he talking to them? maybe because they're a conventional threat. that's the other thing to remember. what's at stake here is the independence, the democracy of south korea, our alliance with south korea. of course there's an issue in the nuclear realm because that's
how they could attack america directly in the homeland. they can still attack americans just across the border. right? >> yeah. and you have the intelligence community saying they don't think kim jong-un will ever give up his nuclear program. >> i mean, it's a long way away if it ever happens. yeah. >> evelyn, carol, thank you. congratulations on a fantastic report, and good luck with all our reporting covering this tremendous summit. we look forward to it. a trade crisis has been averted at least for now. why the president is delaying new tariffs set to impact hundreds of billions of dollars in chinese products. does it mean progress or is it a punt? that's coming up next. the new capital one savor card. earn 4% cash back on dining and 4% on entertainment.
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president trump is now putting the brakes on chinese tariff hikes. over the weekend, he announced the delay on twitter, citing what he called very productive talks with chinese negotiators. speaking this morning, he again mentioned how well the talks were going and teased a forthcoming summit with president xi. take a look. >> lovely dinner. i told you how well we did with our trade talks in china. it looks like they'll be coming back quickly again, and we're going to have another summit. we're going to have a signing
summit, which is even better. hopefully we can get that completed. we're getting very, very close. >> nancy cook and sahill kapour are back with me to discuss this. they have been working on this attempt at trying to strike a deal with china. really, we've seen the stock market have a strong reaction in the midst of this. how significant is this, that president trump is saying, hey, i'm delaying this march 1st deadline, and i'm poised to have a summit with president xi? >> it is important. it is not the first time the president has delayed a deadline, but they're trying to work through the basic log jam of the u.s./china trade negotiations, which is not so much the tariffs and open markets. they can change that around and make products more available to the country. that's the easy part. the tough part is intellectual technology theft and cracking down. it'll need a structural change in china's economy. other countries have their own politics, and this is what president trump is dealing with.
both countries would make an economic hit if the tariffs go into hit. president trump doesn't want that to happen. >> you're right. talk about the local politics, the president has been getting so much pressure from farmers across the country to get a deal done, to get this issue resolved. the president tweeting today about the dow, saying since my election as president, the dow jones is up 43% and the nasdaq composite almost 50%. great news for your 401(k), as they continue to grow. we're bringing back america faster than anyone thought possible. yet, nancy, the stock market has been all over the place because of this uncertainty with china. >> absolutely. president trump really pays close attention to the stock market. aides told me he views it as a form of polling, another form of parallel polling. i think they are under such pressure to cut a deal with the chinese, even if it is not the big deal they want, just cut some kind of deal and not go forward with the tariffs. heading into 2020, really, the best message this white house has is the state of the economy.
the tariffs threaten that. i think that trump's political advisers know that, so they definitely want to give him the talking point that he worked with china and was tough on them and came to this big deal, but they also want to table this, so that heading into the election, the economy doesn't have tariffs hanging over them. >> critical point. >> it is a critical point. if the president doesn't pose the tariffs, he loses the economy. if he fails to deliver a trade deal with china, he basically fails to deliver one of his biggest promises that helped him in the rust belt and the upper midwest and, arguably, made him president, this idea that american workers are getting clobbered by existing trade structures, and he is the one person who can pierce through all of that and deliver something no other president could. that was the message. if he can't do that, he's in trouble. >> very, very quickly, the white house convening what it is calling basically this -- it is going to be a counter-climate group, to counter the assessment of the federal government, a
stark assessment on the environment. the political significance heading into 2020? >> the democrats are energized around climate change. this deal would respepresent th% to 3% of scientists who don't believe it is human caused. the president is speaking to his base, as he often does. >> guys, stay with me. we have some breaking news. out of chicago now, we now know r. kelly has pleaded not guilty to those ten counts of aggravated sexual assault. that happening just now inside a chicago courtroom. ron mott is there. he and we will continue to bring you all of the developments as we get them. we'll be right back with what our sources are saying and today's big picture. stay with us. stay with us
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time now to look at what our sources are saying. nancy and sahil are with us. nancy, let me start with you. what are you hearing this week? >> amid everything else that is going on, naomi roe is up for brett kavanaugh's old seat. i'm hearing that folks in the white house are very concerned that she might -- her nomination might not go forward, it might get tanked around concerns about her views on abortion. this is something that the white house counsel's office is watching very closely, and it is just sort of another to-do list this week on an almost packed agenda. >> absolutely. sahil, what are you hearing? >> we have a story this morning about elizabeth warren rejecting
high dollar fund yn rairaisefun. everyone who donates, whether they give $1 or $1,000 is going to get equal access to her. sources are telling me this will be the single biggest factor that thins the herd among the democratic field. they won't make it to super tuesday and iowa if they don't have the resources. there are so many of them. >> risky strategy. great conversation. thanks to both of you for being here for the hour. fantastic conversations. today's big picture is what we want to end with. it comes to us from the oscars. hopefully you were up late watching them. that is writer/director spike lee, jumping with joy into the arms of samuel l. jackson, one of the great moments of last night. he presented lee with his first oscar win ever. lee won best adapted screenplay for his film "blackkklansman." in his speech, he referred to the upcoming 2020 presidential election saying, quote, let's all mobilize and be on the right side of history, adding that we need to make the moral choice
between love versus hate. well, president trump was apparently watching. he responded this morning on twitter, calling lee's speech a racist hit. adding he's done more for african-americans than, quote, almost any other president. but the political back and forth cannot overshadow the joy of this picture. the photographer, kevin winter for getty. ton of great moments from last night's oscars. thanks so much for watching this hour of msnbc live. more news right now with my colleague craig melvin in new york. hey there, craig. i'll head back to the white house and ask the president some questions hopefully before he leaves for vietnam. >> i know you will. safe travels, kristin. thank you so much. good mondaymelvin. msnbc headquarters in new york city. new revelations. michael cohen preparing for testimony on capitol hill. the mueller report is expected soon, after the special counsel slammed paul manafort in the 800 page sentencing memo. what it all