tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC March 1, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PST
>> all right. the book is "practical equality: forging justice in a divided nation." available now and what a time for it. robert tsai, thank you so much. jeh johnson, joyce vance, and susan del percio, thank you as well. it's been quite a week, skrjoe. >> quite a week. >> that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks so much, mika. thanks, joe. hi, there, i'm stephanie ruhle. this morning, declassified! "the new york times" reports that president trump demanded a top security clearance for his son-in-law, despite objections from his own intelligence officials. a direct contradiction to what the president said, what the white house said, and what his daughter, ivanka trump said about that very security clearance. >> the president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband's clearance. >> hmm. >> and just the beginning.
after three days of testimony, michael cohen will return to capitol hill next week, but it won't end with him, not at all. >> plainly, he laid out a road map to criminality by our president that needs to be followed. >> that map leading straight to the doors of trump organization's chief financial officer and a keep business partner, both now being looked at to testify. and breaking news. another democrat throws his hat in the 2020 ring, as washington governor jay inslee announces he's running for president and running on one issue. >> i'm the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation's number one priority. >> we begin this morning with reports that the president's son-in-law, jared kushner, was given access to some of the country's most sensitive secrets, but only a year after the president overruled his chief of staff, his white house counsel, and his own intelligence experts. i have a great team here to
break all of it down, but first, i want to explain exactly what's going on. there will be some people out there that are outraged about this story, just because we're talking about the president and his son-in-law, who's in the white house. but here's the thing. this story is not about nepotism. it is about national security. that is why we all should care. this morning, "the new york times" reporting that president trump personally ordered that jared kushner be given top security clearance in may of 2018, overriding the concerns of then chief of staff john kelly, then white house counsel, don mcgahn, and intelligence officials who had red flagged kushner's application. in fact, "the times" reports that both mcgahn and kelly were so troubled by trump's decision, that they wrote internal memos about this very incident. it was nbc that reported that kushner's application for top-secret clearance was initially rejected my the white house security special ists, after an fbi background check raised questions about kushner's
family business, his foreign contacts, his foreign travel, and meetings he personally had during the campaign. nbc reported that the specialists were overruled by their supervisor, but "the times" says that the decision came from president trump, himself. it says, quote, in may 2018, the white house counsel's office, which at the time was led by mr. mcgahn, was recommended to mr. trump that mr. kushner not be given clearance at the top-secret level. but the next day, mr. trump ordered mr. kelly to grant it to mr. kushner anyway. "the washington post" says the president gave the order, quote, after kushner and his wife, ivanka, pressured the president to grant kushner the long-delayed clearance. if all of this is true, it means a couple of things. first, it means that jared kushner now has access to the country's most heavily guarded secrets, despite officials at the highest levels of the white house and the intelligence community saying he should not.
it also raises new questions for deputy white house press secretary, hogan gidley, who told "the post" that the white house treats all security clearances individually, neutrally, and equally. new questions for kushner's attorney, abbe lowell, who said his client's application, quote, underwent the normal process. new questions for lowell's spokesperson who said it was handled with no pressure from anyone. and it means new questions for ivanka trump, who was asked about this on abc just three weeks ago. >> the president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband's clearance. >> what were the problems early on? >> there weren't any. >> so no special treatment? >> no! >> and it means new questions for the president himself, who told "the new york times" he had nothing to do with any of this. listen. >> did you tell general kelly or anyone else in the white house to overrule security officials? the career veterans?
>> no, i don't think i have the authority to do that. i'm not sure i do. >> you do. >> but i wouldn't do it. >> you never -- >> jared is a good -- i was never involved with his security. >> i want to bring in "new york times" white house correspondent, annie karni, who co-wrote today's article. annie, this is some extraordinary reporting. help us understand this. the president, he has the authority to give this kind of order, so why wouldn't he just admit it? >> that's the biggest takeaway here. that's the biggest question. no one is doubting that he has the authority to give a top-secret security clearance to whatever aide he wants to. so why didn't he just say, jared kushner is my guy, this is who i want as my top aide in the white house, he needs clearance, end of story. instead, they have lied about it after every single level and the question is why. why are they covering it up? that's one big takeaway. the other thing we need to remember right now while we review this story in the current moment is that jared kushner is
the de facto chief of staff. mick mulvaney is the first chief of staff in there who has not challenged the seniority of jared and ivanka, has realized that that's the way this place works and nothing's going to change that. jared kushner just met with hamd bin salman earlier this week abroad. he is in the middle of working on his long-awaited middle east peace plan. so this is a high-stakes moment for jared kushner to have to be answering these questions about why they all tried to pretend it was a normal process when it definitely was not. >> and why did so many officials not want jared to get this clearance? >> that is unclear. there have been questions raised about his clearance from day one. on his original form, he left out key meetings he had with foreign officials and with some russians and then he later had to amend that form and said it was just a clerical error, no harm, no foul. there have been questions raised from the beginning about the meetings that he's had and
connections with his family's business and foreign governments, but we don't know exactly what the fbi and the cia, what their hesitations were about granting this clearance to them, but we know that they raised them and that there was some concern about granting him this top-secret tssci clearance. >> annie, thank you so much. this is some piece. if you haven't read it yet, please check out "the new york times." it's a must read. i want to bring in nbc's jeff bennett, who, of course, is at the white house. jeff, what exactly is the white house saying about this, specifically ivanka trump's office? >> hey, steph. well, the white house isn't saying much, beyond this single-sentence statement. white house press secretary sarah sanders tells nbc news, we don't comment on security clearances. >> except, of course, ivanka did when she was asked three weeks ago by abc! and i believe the answer was, of course not. >> reporter: you're right about that. look, and absent any sort of
substantiative comment from the white house about this, we can put this kushner revelation into the broader context of how president trump handles, or some might say, mishandles national security information. we know he's used an unsecured cell phone. we know he's talked about highly classified information in front of guests at his private mar-a-lago estate. we know he's disclosed national security information to the russians, the russian foreign minister, the russian ambassador, while he was in the oval office. and we also know that he's revoked the security clearances of his political opponents. so now you can add to that, the president stepping in, advocating for his son-in-law and senior adviser to get him access to top-secret information over the objections of not just intelligence officials, but his top two white house officials a the time. so this is serious stuff. this is a serious scandal. and already, you have house democrats, to include adam schiff, the chairman of the house intelligence committee, vowing to investigate. look, this is another one of the perils of running the government as if it's a family business,
steph? >> my goodness. all right. i want to bring my team in here. ken dilanian, who covers intelligence and national security for nbc news. rick tyler, a republican strategist and cofounder of foundry strategies. jason johnson, politics editor at theroot.com. josh gottheimer, a democratic congressman from my home state of new jersey. which means, sorry, guys, josh is getting all of the time this morning. and malcolm nance, executive editor of the terror asymmetrics project. ken, i've got to go to you. you wrote that nbc news article in january that said, cukushner article got dinged out of the gate -- excuse me, his application got dinged out of the gate. walk us through why it was rejected and really, the path over the last year, because i remember, when he did get security clearance. i remember sitting in this chair and saying, people need to dial it back. if you're so concerned that jared is up to no good, he would never have gotten clearance if there was so much bad stuff there. maybe i was wrong.
>> i think you might have been, stephanie. we all were wrong, because what we reported, stephanie, was that two white house security officials reviewed jared kushner's application for a top-secret clearance and recommended against granting it. but they were overruled by their supervisor, the man who was running the white house security office. and what "the times" and "the post" reporting says is that he did that essentially at the direction of the president, on down through the chief of staff and the white house counsel. they made that happen. and granted, ku eed kushner a tt clearance. but what we also reported is when his application went up to the cia, for what's known as sci, sensitive compartment of information, some call it a higher level of clearance, the cia also flagged questions in his background. and this is about -- we reported, the questions have to do with his family business, his foreign contacts, his foreign travel, and meetings he had during the campaign. let's not forget that "the washington post" reported that there were intelligence reports suggesting that four separate foreign governments were discussing how to influence jared kushner through financial means, and these are the kind of things that raise concern about
giving someone access to classified information. so to this day, stephanie, he does not have that cia, sci sensitive compartment information clearance, which means he cannot see national security agency intercepts and source reporting, unless the president is giving it to him anyway, despite his lack of that clearance. this whole thing, though, raises questions about -- look, trump absolutely had the right to do this, but why did he have to lie about it? and why did ivanka trump lie? "the post" is reporting that ivanka trump and jared pressured their father to do this. so they were aware according to the "washington post" that their father intervened and gave him special treatment, contrary to what ivanka said in that interview. >> why lie? that's the question of the morning. malcolm, this is not about nepotism. this is not about why do they work at the white house anyway? this is about national security. when someone who gets their application flagd goged goes on get this level of clearance, talk about the risk. >> the risk is immense. i held a top-secret sci
clearance for a quarter of a century -- >> showoff. >> -- plus special access clearance that he would need in order to do these jobs he's doing, but he was flagged well before he came into the white house. you recall that there was a s t secret report that was issued that jared kushner had gone to the russians and had asked them for secret cryptologic communications in order to have a back-channel behind nsa and cia. that is the first thing that we would flag you for, because it means that you may be under the sway or in communications with a foreign power, against the best interest of the united states. so they flag your clearance right off the bat. the president is the ultimate central adjudicating authority for security clearances in the white house. but he still usually goes on the recommendation of the two adjudicators who work under him, plus their supervisor. the cia, fbi, and nsa have their own processes, in which they determine whether you can see their information or not. jared kushner proved himself right off the bat as a security
threat. not just because of that. his financial dealings, whatever it was, it was so bad, the u.s. intelligence community didn't want him to have their information. >> then, rick, you've got to answer the "why lie?" the president easily could have said, this is my boy. we know that jared is his adviser on a variety of things, really, his closist confidant. and the president could have said that and could have said, pound salt, but he didn't. >> the reason to lie about it is because there's something else going on. the president has the ability to give jared kushner any security clearance he wants. he knows that. he said he didn't know it. ivanka lied about it directly. the whole thing is a con job. and the con job is jared kushner is not out securing peace in the middle east or securing peace with saudi arabia. he's out to secure contracts for a post-presidential business or whatever it is, both for him, for ivanka, for himself, for his family, and for donald trump. that's what he's out there doing. that's -- because there's no
other explanation for it. because he would say, you know, american people, the reason jared kushner needs a security clearance is because he has all of this foreign policy experience. i value his advice -- but he doesn't have that resume. he is good at one thing. securing business financing contracts. that's probably what he's doing. >> he's good at securing business contracts, when on the other side, he can offer u.s. government leniency. >> that's very lucrative business. this is caused -- this is what grifters do. >> ran a business that was bankrupted over four times. 666 fifth avenue, the kushner's building, was in peril, was in financial straits. we have to remember, when we say he's great at securing financial deals, he's got something big to offer on the other side. jason, john kelly and don mcgahn didn't just push back -- and we always have to remember, john kelly was on the other side of the house. in terms of palace intrigue, he and jared kushner were not friends. >> right. >> so it's no surprise that he would not want to help jared, but for john kelly and don
mcgahn to go so far to write internal memos, mark this day, i don't support this, what does that mean? >> it makes me think of james comey. and you remember comey was like, every time i met with the president -- >> i do remember -- >> i think we always probably remember. but he was like, let me write this down, because i know this is going to be bad one day. because when history goes back and talks about what this led to, i want to make sure i'm on the record as being one of the people who said, this is not a good idea. essentially, it's not just t russian contracts and trying to secure his own businesses, but wasn't he connected to passports and something like that with china, he is basically selling our secrets for his own business, not just future businesses, but even things they're doing now. and the issue is, i can't imagine hold up problematic it is -- >> but we don't know that for sure. >> we do not know that for sure, but what else is he doing? i mean, like, it's very clear that he wasn't actively involved in the middle east peace process. it's very clear that he wasn't actively in finding out what happened to khashoggi.
khashoggi, thank you. it's very clear that he's not necessarily doing much in china. so what else could he be doing, other than selling favor? and that's one of the problems. and what you've got is a guy who basically can't get through tsa precheck, but you give him a pilot's license. and that's what he's doing right now. [ laughter ] >> all right, well, there is only one person at this table who can actually do anything about this, and it's you, congressman. we know the house oversight committee has already launched an investigation into this, but what can actually be done? i mean, nepotism is not a crime. >> well, i think this is exactly why we have oversight committees, so you can bring people in who are involved, who you're talking about, are in the decision making process. how did this happen? who made the decisions, when were the decisions made? what did the nsa say? what did the cia say? i think those are the fact gathering that need to happen and then we can draw the conclusions that we need to do. there will be plenty of things swirling around and a lot of guesses, and my job is to get to the bottom of it. that's exactly what chairman
schiff is going to do. we have other oversight bodies and i think that's the next step here. >> ken, this sticks out to me. you personally reported that this is not the only time that somebody got top-secret clearance despite being flagged as unfavorable. are you ready for this? it didn't happen one, it didn't happen twice, it happened 30 times. 3-0. do we know anything about the other 29? and because i have no expertise in this, how common is that? to me, 30 sounds huge. >> stephanie, our sources told laura strickler and i that it's without precedent. it never happened in the obama administration -- >> oh, ken, when you say unprecedented on this show, you've got to pay me two bucks. >> i said, "without precedent." >> we'll go with $1 today. without precedent, yes. >> it didn't happen in the obama administration or the george w. bush administration, according to our sources who are familiar with this process. we don't know the identities of these people, but we know that many of them had some the same issues, foreign business entangleme
entanglements. let's not forget, these were people with unusual background who is came to work in the trump administration. many had not had clearances before, had not been in government, so you expect that would pose some delay. what you would not expect is that the process would be overridden. and the question now is, did the white house or the president get involved in any other cases where the clearance process was disregarded, essentially. >> malcolm, last year "the washington post" reported that china, the uae, israel, and mexico had all been overheard discussing ways that they could manipulate, specifically, jared kushner himself. help us understand how that would happen. >> oh, it's very simple. they understand that the united states government is now open and for steal. and by doing that, they now will figure out the pathways to get to their influence into the white house. and if that means you have to help -- you're the qatarries, right, and you suddenly realize that jared kushner is in debt at 666 fifth avenue and you decide to buy all of that debt in order to gain leverage against saudi
every week. they know how to play this game. the rest of the world knows how to play this game. the united states up to this point has never been buyable. no president or his staff have ever been in a position where their knowledge and information was for sale. like, for example, when mohammad bin salman got an enemies list from jared kushner, nah that he claims came from u.s. intelligence, he was bragging about it, and then shook down princes in his own country for almost $1 trillion of withheld money. that is abuse of the intelligence process and abuse of intelligence material. but it also tells our enemies that this guy will use the most secret information on the planet in order to advance their interests, if you give him enough money, time, and influence. >> congressman, i obviously don't want you to name names, but you actually spend a lot of time with your fellow republicans. it is very clear that the president and his family have an extraordinary amount of influence over this
administration and this country. what are your peers on the other side of the aisle telling you privately? >> there are plenty who are very concerned, not just about this, of course, but about lots of factors going on. and i think they are, there are those i speak to, of course, there are those who believe in a lot of the ideas coming out of the administration, but are concerned with the process of the administration and how things are done. >> you can separate the two. >> i think you do separate the two. we saw just this week on the emergency powers, on our vote earlier this week, big concern of, you know, there's a separation of power here. we have a deep responsibility. and my republican colleagues tell me the same thing. there's -- we have -- we in the house have to have strong oversight, even when it's not great for their party. >> but mike pence could deliver them the policies that they're looking for, and the conduct we're talking about has nothing to do with the republican party. most of them didn't know donald trump three years ago. why did they stand by him when we hear things over and over like this? >> well, i can't really speak for -- i can't really speak for
that, but i'll tell you this. on -- there's plenty of substance we can agree on and there's plenty of substance we're going to disagree on. but i think there is a increasing concern, and not on tv, but behind the scenes from a lot of my colleagues in the republican party about why were things done certain ways? how were they done? let's get to the bottom of this, we want to get the facts. and i think that's our job now, to get the facts, to get the facts out there, not just guess on what happened, but to actually find out what happened. >> all right. we're going to leave it there. coming up, is michael cohen just the beginning for the people in the trump orbit? democratic members of congress say cohen has given them a road map of where to head next and who to speak and what documents to ask for. the foundation, the trump organization, and the taxes may be on the menu. yikes. that could give somebody indigestion. more on that in just a few. inge. more on that in just a few we see two travelers at a comfort inn with a glow around them, so people watching will be like, "wow, maybe i'll glow too if i book direct at choicehotels.com". who glows? just say, badda book. badda boom.
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one of president trump's closest international allies is taking a page straight from his playbook on blaming the media. israel's attorney general announced his intention to indict prime minister benjamin netanyahu on corruption charges. in a fiery response, netanyahu attacked the two-year investigation into allegations of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. as a biased left-wing witch hunt and denied all charges against him. i want to go straight to nbc's senior international correspondent, keir simmons, who is on the ground live in tel
aviv, israel. keir, walk us through exactly what's going on here, because netanyahu is going into an election, but this thing isn't just going to have an impact on israel. this could affect the whole region. >> that's right, stephanie. look, this may feel uncomfortably familiar to your viewers, because prime minister benjamin netanyahu is accused, oes effectively as selling favors. he's known here affectionately as bb. and he's come to be known as king beebibi. and you can see why because some of the selling involves champagne and cigars. he likes the high life. now he's accused of corruption. and now king bibi may set two records in the months ahead. if he wins the election, he may be the first prime minister to be facing charges, at the same time as serving. so, you're right, it's really crucial.
that election has been electrified by this announcement from the attorney general that bibi will be indicted. it is possible that he will lose the election. the opposition, the center left oppositi opposition, betty dance is leading in the polls. we'll wait to see how the israeli people react to this latest news. but an interesting point, of course, jared kushner's peace plan is still waiting. many people here suspect that may be announced after the election. who leads israel could have a real impact on the fate of that peace plan. >> my goodness. this is extraordinary. keir, thank you so much. we have to keep an eye on what's happening in israel. witch hunt. something we hear back home often. all right, we're going to take you back to washington, because lawmakers are not finished questioning president trump's former fixer and attorney, michael cohen. after three long days of testimony, in front of the house
and senate committees, the president's former personal attorney will be appearing before the house intelligence committee again next wednesday for another closed-door session. and it appears cohen is just the beginning of their road map. "the washington post" reporting, the house intel committee anticipates bringing in allen weisselberg for questions. familiar with his name? he is the trump organization's chief financial officer and has been for decades and that's not all. >> you said you're going to be following up with some people. are those some people, are there people like allen weisselberg, that you -- he sort of seems -- >> all you have to do is follow the transcript. if there were names that were mentioned or records that were mentioned during the hearing, we're going take a look at all of that. we'll dgo through, figure out wo we want to talk to and we'll bring them in. >> people in the trump family, ivanka trump, donald trump junior? >> just follow the transcript. >> congressman adam schiff says the house intelligence committee also plans to question president
trump's business associate, felix sater, later this month, again in a public hearing, on efforts to build that trump tower in moscow. joining me now to discuss, msnbc legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, cynthia oxney, and former u.s. attorney and former deputy attorney general in the clinton administration, harry litman. cynthia, to you first. let's talk about michael cohen. president trump was on fox news last night with sean hannity, disputing part of michael cohen's testimony about president trump himself and his involvement in paying off stormy daniels. take a listen. >> i was kind of dragged in a little bit into the michael cohen issue. i can tell you personally, he said to me, at least a dozen times, that he made the decision on the payments and he didn't tell you. >> yeah. >> told me, personally. >> well, he did, and he made the decision. >> we just have to remind our audiences, last year, it had been reported that sean hannity was one of michael cohen's three clients. sean hannity said he wasn't.
it was an informal relationship. what do you think about this defense that the president has, that sean hannity's backing him up on? >> well, apparently, he forgot that there's a tape of him discussing the payment before the payments were made. did he just forget that? and i think what makes sense is, two things. one, when's testifying further, he needs to go into more details about the making of that tape, exactly when it happened, who -- if anybody else was in the room, the complete conversation, everything that he had talked about with weisselberg before. every conversation they had after, and really get into details about trump's involvement in the payment, and not just the generalized, you know, he directed me to do it, but every nitty-gritty detail. the other thing is that sean hannity is going to need to come in and testify about what those conversations were. now, recognize that sean hannity's comment is in keeping with what the president told cohen to do. you say you're responsible. so, i don't view it as a big shocking revelation.
i just think it's more of the same. >> okay, harry, i want to talking allen weisselberg. "the washington post" points out that his name came up at least 30 times on wednesday, as cohen accused him of participating in schemes to repay hush money, mislead trump investors and lenders and also skirting campaign finance laws. and if you'll remember, when weisselberg's name was first out in the public about a year ago, those who know trump best were often said, yikes, weisselberg has been with him for decades, even fred trump. this is the guy who -- and i'm speaking metaphorically -- knows where the bodies are buried. but he was also granted limited immunity by new york prosecutors to provide them with some information in their case involving the hush money. given that, how could it potential factor into him speaking to the intel committee and what he can share? >> yikes is right. 45 years, he's worked for him, by his own description, the eyes and ears of trump economically.
he's the one who decides how to structure the payment in the stormy daniels case. he's the classic understated, keep your head down, accountant. but he knows where everything is, and trump has kept him close, and he doesn't figure, at 71, to be a guy who's going to lie when forced to it. the immediate thing, stephanie, is there's probably going to be an immunity battle. he's going to demand it. and if he gets it, that will have complications for the mueller probe. but in terms of chapter and verse of all the financial transactions that cohen detailed on wednesday, thhe is the guy. >> yikes. cynthia, let's talk felix sater. this is the russian-born, one-time business associate of the president. he's the guy who worked on that plan, the moscow trump tower project with michael cohen. he's going to be testifying publicly on march 14th, before the house intel committee. what could this thing -- what could he really bring to the table? i mean, we've seen him do tv
interviews before. >> he brings to the table -- yeah, he brings to the table the corroboration of cohen about the manner in which the deal was negotiated. he may be able to shed some light on conversations with the children. for example, don junior apparently said something in his senate testimony, that he knew, tangentially, that sater was aware. so it will be interesting to see whether he corroborates don junior or contradicts don junior and where that meets. we know that adam schiff thinks that don junior lied when it came to this specific area. he could provide prior consistent statements about what cohen was telling them about the briefing. he could provide us information about the russians we're seeing, about the deal. there's just a lot of information. and if i could just highlight one thing harry just said that i think is really important, it has to do with this immunity issue and weisselberg. because, remember oliver north and admiral poindexter had their convictions overturned because the senate -- the house and the senate didn't get the immunity
deals right. and we need to be really careful about that. so that in no way the mueller probe is compromised. >> wow. harry, there's some conservatives out there contending that all of this is just a precursor to get president trump's children to capitol hill to testify. do you think that's true? could don junior and ivanka be next? >> no, i don't think they'll be next. i think the democrats are going to be conscience, as is mueller, of not looking to be actually casting the drag net on the children. but at some point, they do come up. but, of course, first sater and wait until you get a load of this guy. talk about a contrast with weisselberg and a study in contrast. he's the colorful figure who's been on both sides of the law, says buddy boy, we'll get trump elected president. down the road, trump junior and now maybe ivanka figure in, especially in any security clearances determination. but i think they will tiptoe very lightly and gradually to
that precipice. >> well, we'll soon find out. i'm quite sure, on wednesday, we'll all be tuned in. thank you both. >> thanks. coming up, the field of democratic hopefuls growing yet again. nope, is it not beto, it is not biden. why the washington governor says he is the right man to take the oval office from trump. that is next. but before we go, the fight to bring amazon's headquarters, well, the second one, to new york city, it is not over yet. in an open letter posted in "the times," more than 70 new york-based unions, businesses, community groups and elected officials said they are not ready to give up the 25,000 jobs and 28 billion bucks in tax revenue that the company was prepared to bring to new yorkers, asking amazon to reconsider pulling out of new york, adding that governor cuomo will take personal responsibility for getting the project's state approval. could help you save on homeowners insurance. nice tip. i'll give you two bucks for the chair.
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♪ 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. welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. the list of contenders in the democratic primary just keeps growing. two-term washington governor, jay inslee, has become officially the 11th candidate announcing his candidacy for president early this morning. and his entire campaign will be focused on one issue. >> we're the first generation to feel the sting of climate change. and we're the last that can do something about it. we went to the moon and created technologies that have changed the world.
our country's next mission must be to rise up to the most urgent challenge of our time. defeating climate change. i'm jay inslee and i'm running for president because i'm the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation's number one priority. we can do this! join our movement. this is our moment. >> so who is jay inslee? the 68-year-old governor of washington spent two decades in congress before being elected to lead the state in 2013. he has been a vocal opponent of president trump, including suing the president after trump tried to ban immigration from several muslim majority countries. i want to bring my panel back in. rick, jason. jason, to you first. inslee, he is nowhere near as well known as the other people on the list. is his number one job or hurdle to just get some name recognition? >> yeah, he's got to tell people who he is, first. and then they have to find out if that's something that's exciting for them and then he has to find out if he can
actually compete in these debates. i don't even think it's an issue of money. he was the former head of the democratic governor's association, i think he can go out and get money. and i think a lot of the political elites know who he is, because he was out stumping and campaigning for other people, but he has to get his name out there. and my concern, i think he has a fantastic progressive resume. if you're a liberal, you've got to like the kind of stuff he's done with health care and criminal justice and raising the minimum wage, but you've got to be concerned if his whole issue is climate change, that's not moving the needle. that's not making people excited. >> to that point, can you make progress when you're just a one-issue candidate? and while many, many people think it's a massively important issue, there's a whole heck of a lot of people who don't think it even exists, right? if you wanted to choose the economy, everybody could say, yes, we want a stronger economy. climate change, we have a president who's a border line denier. >> so if you have -- if you look at climate change, right? so it's a big gamble for him. he wants to sim identify with one issue.
and is that enough to electrify the democratic base so we can get the nomination? that's one thing. but then he's got to win -- then he's got to win a general election. and i think democrats are more concerned about beating donald trump than they are on any specific issue. and the thing is, with the climate change is that you can go out and say, do we have an obligation to protect god's green earth? that will get a 98% among -- across the board. but then you get down to how you're going to do it. and he tried a climate tax in washington, he didn't succeed in that. he had a green initiative for energy. he was successful with that. he did some green transportation. he was successful in that. but the question is, again, is, everybody -- many people love the environment, of course, but does it make their decision when they go into the voting booth? and historically, it's been single digits. >> apparently, he's actually been in conversations with al gore w gore, i guess who is the last person who really ran on this thing. i think they kind of were in
agreement. but at the end of the day, i don't think any single-issue candidate. i don't care if you're running, if you're steve forbes running on a flat tax. i don't care if you're running about pro-life and abortion, i don't think a single issue as the way to bring yourself out there is the way to go. and had he started with, the greatest danger to our economy is climate change, the greatest danger to our health is climate change, i think that would have been a great way to start. >> he describes it as a manhattan project, which is a huge single focus, right? and if people believe that climate change was all the things that he says it was, then, yes, he could be successful as a single issue. my question is, do they believe that? and the other issue on my side, so just give you a sense, we compost, we recycle, i drive a plug-in hybrid, i'm very interested -- >> look at you! >> yeah, i'm very interested, but when they talk about carbon tax -- which australia just repealed, they couldn't get i done in washington. then there's a lot of issues where people say, we really want to tax the economy for what
people believe is an unprovable theory? >> rick tyler is wearing a hemp suit today, as well, he sewed it himself. today's march 1st. you know what that means? where's beto? i was at his event with oprah winfrey. he said he would make his on decision whether to run by the end of the month. last i checked, it is neither a leap year -- february's over. >> yeah, we've moved from black history's month to women's history month and he still hasn't said anything, having told this black woman he was going to make a decision. my concern is that the longer that you wait, you start losing out on the good consultants, right? because at this point, a lot of the best campaign managers out there -- >> people would get on the beto bus. >> they might. they might. but this sort of apprehension makes people concerned. because they're like, dude, this was your one promise that you were going to give us an answer by now. the other thing is this, he can't run an unenthusiastic campaign. he's got to come out there and he might even have to explain why he didn't make the decision by the end of the month of december. i think that beto has probably, out of all the candidates, he has the greatest chance of both winning a nomination and actually beating the president.
i think he is the only person who i can look at right now, and i'm fairly confident he can do both. but if he can't even make a strong decision, he's got no chance. >> well, miake bloomberg has goe out and hired the biggest, best, all-star team, a massive tech effort and he's got a whole lot of dough. he could just take that effort and pass it to beto. >> beto can wait. i think he can wait. he's got name i.d. people know who he is. he's a proven fund-raiser. he can electrify and excite the base, maybe he's just waiting for it to shake out. but i have to say this, if you're invited to an event with oprah winfrey and you don't nou announce your protest, that's crazy. >> i was ready to announce that day. well, we'll see, beto, it's march 1st. maybe you made the decision yesterday and you're waiting for it to go from your head to the rest of us, we're ready. coming up, the house has passed two pieces of gun legislation. this is the most action taken on
gun reform in the last two decades. that's good news. but this probably isn't. why does this legislation have basically no chance of becoming law? plus, a hat tip to membership friend and colleague, craig melvin, for reminding us that today is dress in blue day. that's why i'm we aaring blue i honor of national colon cancer month. approximately 145,000 people every year are diagnosed with colon cancer. so i want to please encourage you to dress in blue, to bring attention to this cancer, and the devastating impact it has had. and please, get yourself checked out. self checked out.
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always the lowest price, guaranteed. book now at choicehotels.com we have breaking news. ot otto warmbier's family released a statement after president trump said he took kim jong-un at his word that the dictator knew nothing of what happened to their son. the statement reads we have been respectful during this summit process. now we must speak out. kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son, otto. kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity.
no excuses or lavish praise can change that. back me, josh. you don't have firsthand information of what happened in north korea, but president trump took a tidictator at his word. >> i think we all feel deeply for the parents. this is obviously a particularly emotional week. i believe deeply in diplomacy. we have to be aware of the kind of person we're dealing with here and president trump is dealing with, and this is not somebody to be trusted on face value. the key is no matter what process is followed, understand who we're dealing with. >> i want to talk about how our government works. this was a historic week. we saw gun safety measures finally make their way to the house. two bills passed around background checks in that. is big news. we haven't seen anything like this in decades.
here's the issue. it's probably not getting past the house. >> i think -- >> well, listen -- >> go ahead. it's probably not getting past the house. >> here's the progress. and i met with a group earlier this week. and i was with law enforcement from jersey last night. everybody believes, 92% of the country believes that we should have background checks. that we should close the gun show loophole. we should make sure people shouldn't get a gun without a background check. we passed that. we closed the charleston loophole. there it was three days if we had more time for the background check, given the levels of government to deal with, we would have stopped him from, i believe, getting a weapon and killing nine people. >> what do you say to republicans who say supporting this is not going to do anything to make communities safer? >> come on. i have yet to have a republican look at me and tell me that. i think the problem is, and you
know the problem, these things become so political. but i think that 92% is important. that's why you see a growing number of republicans saying it's not just democrats saying we need background checks. it doesn't mean you can't get a gun. it doesn't mean you can't hunt or protect yourself. it means you should go through a background check if you're a criminal, you shouldn't get your hands on a weapon. i don't know how you argue against that. >> all right. i want to talk about the president and his emergency declaration to get funding for his border wall. republican senator lamar alexander is warning the president that he could actually face a gop revolt over this thing. is that an empty warning or do you think that could happen? >> i'm hearing it could -- we passed it out of the house this past week. now the question is can you get enough folks in the senate? i'm hearing there's a chance of that as we heard not just from lamar but others are saying it. this is about separation of powers.
this is about misusing emergency powers. right? there's times where of course we need it if there's an urgent threat, we should use it. we need to make sure the commander in chief as an opportunity to respond to the threat. this is about overruling what we agreed to in congress where we have a responsibility in congress and the president has a responsibility. there's a clear separation of responsibilities here. he's just trying to in this case encroach on our responsibilities. that's why i think you see people in the senate responding that way. >> we'll see what happens then. congressman, thank you. we'll leave it there. coming up, lawmakers not done with president trump's former attorney michael cohen. after days of hearings, a member of the house oversight committee will be here on what more michael cohen can offer and who else in the trump orbit he wants to speak to. look limu. a civilian buying a new car. let's go.
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♪ it doesn't matter what you're hungry for. it doesn't even matter how many you are. ♪ restaurants come to you. delicious at your door. download doordash. first order, no delivery fee. we all know the statistics about how much less women make on the dollar to men. and the #metoo movement as galvanized women all over the nation to speak up and out for their rights. here's the thing. we've been here before. back in 1972 the equal rights amendment passed the house and senate but failed to get ratified by enough states. with the fight leaving the country divided and kicking off a culture war, this happened on account of sex airs this sunday at 9:00 on msnbc. take a look.
>> for as long as there's been a nation, there's been inequality between men and women. >> we have to get our rights in stone. >> that should be enshrined into our constitution. >> 50 years ago, another fight for equal rights divided the country. >> they are for the killing of unborn babies. >> approving of sexual perversion. what a disgrace. >> i don't want to be great. i don't like being a mother and a housewife. >> the battle lines were drawn. >> it was a rallying cry. >> the proponents of the equal rights amendment for prematurity victorious. they said we won. not exactly. >> please join us sunday night. this happened on account of sex. narrated by yours truly sunday at 9:00 p.m. only on msnbc. i don't know. i call that some good news. that wraps up this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle.
i'll see you again at 1:00 p.m. with my partner ali velshi. coming up right now, my friend with chris jansing. >> i can't wait to see the people. number one. number two, you're coming home, you have no responsibilities all weekend. the kids won't ask you for anything. >> right. >> feel better. >> thank you. good morning in new york. i'm chris jansing in for hallie jackson. right now march coming in like a lion in d.c. president trump taking shots at his former fixer, michael cohen, and lawmakers are not done with him. they're calling him back for more next week. what democrats want to know now, and the other key figures in the president's world that are calling in to answer questions under oath. we're also following reports of an intervention inside the white house. president trump stepping in to help his stoppable, jared kushner get top