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tv   MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  March 4, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PST

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rules. president trump is playing by his own set of rules and that's where a two-hour speech at cpac, no one else would have done that. donald trump does it, enjoyed it and seemingly the people there enjoyed it as well. it's a whole difrpts world. he's changed that world. by the way -- >> yes, he has. >> -- shows like this and other media outlets all through 2015, to be honest, helped to create him because the amount of time he got on the air, here and every place else, gave him even more oxygen and it was very frustrated, i can tell you, kasie knows this because i complained to her, we never got the time. we never got the time that donald trump did. >> come on, chris christie, we were attacked for giving you too much time. we told everybody during the presidential campaign, anybody that wanted to call in any day
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that was running for president and in the polls can call him. lindsey graham is the only person who took us up on it. i know -- yeah, everybody gets intoes they presidential campaigns and tighten up. i'm not saying you're tightening up. even a guy i said publicly i was supporting was afraid to call into the show. donald wasn't. he called in. >> yeah. the book is -- >> let me -- i'm going to let you finish. >> yeah, the book is "let me finish: trump, the kushners, bannon, jersey and the power of in your face politics." i would actually like to have that debate with you because we tried to have candidates come on right and left, and on the democratic side and republican side, it was tough. they weren't able to step up. >> they just wouldn't come on. >> we are here three hours a day. >> we had to get a crop duster and land in a hurricane in south carolina to interview a certain democratic candidate. >> that's true. >> by the way, we will continue. we got to go.
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>> the same deal with this presidential campaign if you're a major candidate and you're running, you want time, call in. that's why we're here. that's what we did in 2008. that does it for us. chris jansing picks up the coverage now. >> thank you very much. i'm in for stephanie ruhle this morning. devastation, take a look from above as an alabama community has reduced to a piebl of rubble after tornadoes ripped through at -- ripped through. at least 23 people killed, including childrens sa ages 6 a. dozens unaccounted for. the survivors feeling lerelief they survived mixed with grief for those who did not. >> when he saw me, he came and running and hugged like he was going to die. >> it feels not real. it really does.
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>> trump's wild weekend, after a week of hearing unsuccessful nuclear talks, the reaction this morning after the president cuts loose with cathartic release at the annual gathering of conservatives. >> all of a sudden they're trying to take you out with [ bleep ]. okay. with [ bleep ]. >> and that's not all. on twitter, guess who trump suggested is to blame for the failure to get a deal for north korea? the democrats for holding the michael cohen hearing, he says. now democrats have started looking into whether or not trump tried to influence cohen by offering him a pardon. >> it's very clear the president threatened justice. and "leaving neverland" the explosive documentary about michael jackson premiered last night, graphic description by child sexual abuse by the king of pop. but is it a revealing look behind the curtain of secrecy or spurned confidence looking for a big payday from the billion
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dollar jackson estate? a lot to get to but we begin with the devastation in the deep south, 23 dead, dozens injured, some seriously, after two powerful tornadoes ravaged eastern alabama on sunday. this morning a ground search is resuming for the unaccounted for, a dramatic search-and-rescue effort that includes one canine after heat-seeking stations were used. >> right now people are in shock and sad and people don't know what to do but the community is coming together and the next days and weeks and months to come, we're going to need a lot of prayers and a lot of people working together to rebuild. >> the lee county sheriff detailing a twister that stretched a half-mile wide. the county coroner's office was so overwhelmed, they had to call in help from the state. joining me is nbc's tammy laettner, on the ground at smith station, alabama.
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tammy, tell us what you're seeing there on the scene. >> good morning, chris. those residents in lee county had only about an hour before two twisters touched down. the first one was a half-mile wide with winds 165 miles an hour and this is the damage. i'm in a bar, what was once a bar. can you see the back wall is completely gone. this building is barely standing. the roof is missing here. there's not a whole lot left here. i'm here with the owner david mcbride, very lucky to be alive. he said he was here when the tornado came through. david, what was that like? >> it was terrifying. yes, ma'am. i pulled up here, i was actually coming to get a friend's wife purse out of that room that's gone, and i pulled up into my truck, i seen the stuff swirling in the air and i barley got in front of that storm, away from
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the direct wind, before everything blew apart here. >> not a whole lot of the building left standing but there is one thing, and you told me you believe this was a sign, if you look up here, there's a cross left. getting a little bit emotional. i know this is tough. tell me the significance of that, david. >> so we hung that up there when we built the place, and we all stood around in here and my preaching buddy blessed the place. and it's still up there. and i'm lucky to be here. it was terrible. yesterday it didn't really affect me like it did this morning. but it will be all right. i'm lucky. there's 23 people died down the street, and i'm happy to be here. and i'm praying for them. >> lucky to be alive. thank you so much, david, for talking to us. we appreciate it. >> thank you, ma'am. >> chris, as you heard very,
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very lucky to be alive. 23 people were killed, including an 8-year-old girl. the search is still going on. searchers continued late into the evening, 150 people searched into the darkness with flashlights and headlamps from their car. they had to stop searching at one point. they started again at first light. 150 people as i mentioned, and that search is going on right now. chris? >> heartbreaking to see some of those high-up pictures that were taken by drones, and you get a sense of the breadth of this devastation. there we are seeing it now in the air. give us a sense, tammy, of what you saw, some of the things that struck you as you were driving in. >> you know, there are trees down everywhere, and the trees that are still standing, there's furniture in the trees. there are houses that are completely flattened. there are people that are
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searching for loved ones. there are people that had no homes to go home to last night. it's devastating. there are people that have lost their businesses, as david. there are people who have lost their homes and there are people that have lost their loved ones and this hit with very little warning. so there are people starting over without homes, without businesses, and without those that they love. >> tommy, thank you so much for that. we will keep people updated through the day as that search continues. i want to go to the phone now where city councilwoman testifi tiffany gibbs is standing by for us. thank you for being with us. can you just talk about how you're doing this morning? >> i'm doing fine. of course, i share the heartbreak with all of the others in the community. we're actually neighbors to the community, they're in lee party and i'm in the city part. so they have a lot of people
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over there, and we have a lot of people over there grieving with our families because we're so close, a lot of our families are their families, so we're mourning with them as well. >> did you see or hear anything with the tornadoes struck? >> ironically, i did not. there was light in the oplicka and i went online and saw the tragedy happening and people who lost family members. >> what can your community do when there's going to be so much that needs to be done? >> in opelika a lot of organizations and individuals have come together and we're going to have a drop-off spot to help those affected by the storm. a drop-off stop will be at b & b associates located at 108 columbus parkway. so anyone in the community who are unable to get to the sanford
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middle school, which is a drop-off spot for the red cross, they can drop items off at b & b associated in opelika. >> that's wonderful the community is getting together. i guess -- we were just hearing from tammy liettner, our reporter, that there wasn't much warning. is this something that was on the news? is it something that took you completely by surprise? >> yes, it took me completely by surprise for that to happen. because a lot of times when a tornado comes to our area, it normally goes around us. but this time, you know, it hit, had a direct impact down in bore guard. i have family members there. they are not here, they did not lose anything but they did lose a lot of friends. trying to comfort them and let them know it's going to be okay. but i think this took everybody by surprise.
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>> tiffany gibson-pitts, thank you so much. we appreciate it. our thoughts obviously with everybody in that area around alabama. and joining us now is nbc news meteorologist michelle grossman. michelle, just how bad was this? >> hi there, chris. we saw this deadly outbreak. the storm prediction center did put out an issue early in the morning letting everyone know this was a possibility. as it got closer, there were two warnings before the deadly outbreak. now what we're looking at, radar showing us the storm is now off the coast. there was a severe line that went through. this is the classic springlike storm setup. you have two parts to it, you have the cold system that brought us the snow and sleet in the northeast. then you have this warm system. it's march, we're starting to warm up. we're starting to get springlike weather. the two air masses clashed and that's where we are seeing that severe outbreak. there was a warning early in the morning for the possibility of this severe outbreak. and that's exactly what happened. so the cold front is off the coast. that's the good news.
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we're left over with the cold part of the storm now in parts of new england but this is quickly moving off too. that is good news for everyone in the northeast with the snow, everyone for better news in the southeast where we're going to see a day of cleanup, it's going to be a tough day for many there. it's a tough day in the northeast too with getting to work and getting to school. we do have warning and advisories in place. back behind us we're going to see a cold air infiltration as we go throughout the day. down even in the south, we're going to be dealing with cold air. chris? >> michelle grossman, thank you so much for that. up next -- the only committee that can recommend trump's impeachment is now looking into potential pardons, abuses of power and witness tampering. we're digging into the house judiciary committee's investigation next. first, "snl's" take on the cohen testimony and ohio congressman and ranking member jim jordan. >> you know something, mr. cohen, i have never even heard of you! >> your mother has. >> you've been working in some of the sleaziest circles in america for years. what other criminals and
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and reaches everywhere. this is beyond wifi, this is xfi. simple. easy. awesome. xfinity, the future of awesome. because some time today, the top democrat on the house judiciary committee is expected to release lace of about 60 people he wants to hand over documents, everybody from donald trump jr.
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to the cfo of the trump organization, allen weisselberg. congressman jerry nadler said it's all part of a broader push to hold the president accountable for his actions. >> we've seen abuses of power, obstruction of justice, of threats to the mueller investigation, threats to witnesses, all of these have -- all of these have to be investigated, and laid out to the american people. >> now, the key thing to remember about judiciary is it's the only committee that can recommend the president's impeachment. it's one of half a dozen different committees investigating everything from the president's russia contacts to his tax returns. but there is a hesitation to talk impeachment until all of the facts are in. >> i'm going to reserve judgment until i'm finished but anybody -- there's no one that can factually say there's not plenty of evidence of collaboration or communications between trump organization and russians. >> while there's abundant
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evidence of collusion, the issue from a republican point of view is whether there's proof beyond a reasonable doubt of criminal conspiracy. that is something we have to wait bob mueller's report and underlying evidence to determine. >> i want to bring in brendan hake on capitol hill and shep bennett is at the white house. garrett, what's going on at the hill today? >> we will see these letters go out. people understand we shouldn't see a response to them any time soon. these are document requests. this is not a subpoena. this is the start of the judiciary committee in the house laying out to what could ultimately lead to impeachment hearings. i want to sort of pump the brakes on that. you will see the broad investigation into everything the trump organization and campaign touched happening in public. if it sounds like this is what robert mueller is doing, it's similar. the mueller report could slide -- essentially ride in under the table setting that's been laid out here for the house
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judiciary committee if and when that drops. you're looking at a list of other committees in the house also investigating the president, this is now the white house's biggest threat. they have essentially every major committee in the house looking at different elements of the trump organization and trump presidency, everything from the president's tax returns being looked at by the ways and means committee. financial services committee questioning whether or not the trump organization might have been knowingly or unknowingly laundering russian money. this is going to be happening on all fronts and i will leave it to jeff to explain how the white house is going to deal with all of this over the next weeks and months. >> let's go over to jeff. what's the white house saying and what's the plan? >> hey, chris. the president rather predictably is lashing out, even going so far to suggest the scrutiny from democrats and that damning testimony last week from michael cohen contributed to the collapse of the second kim summit. so here's what the president had to say this morning on twitter. he said, presidential harassment by crazed democrats at the highest -- in the highest level in the history of our country.
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like wise, the most vicious and corrupt mainstream media that any president has ever had to endure. so president trump is rolling out the superlatives early on this monday morning. it followed the cpac speech he delivered saturday. it was a two-hour tour of grievances. the president at times using vulgar language to refer to some of the his political enemies and he made the point he feels unfashu unfairly targeted as relates to obstruction. take a look. >> if you use your rights, use your power, you use article 2, it's called obstruction, but only for trump. nobody elimination. >> despite the paranoia evident in the president's tweet and public comments, i have to tell you the view from white house officials and some people in the president's orbit is bring it. they're prepared to use executive privilege when they see fit and they think democrats are so invested in the legal fever dream of seeing president trump frog marched out of the white house they're going to overplay their hands and deliver
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the white house back to trump come 2020. >> good to see a white house used to being a war room, no surprise it's gearing up as well. geoff, thank you so much for that. i want to bring in my panel, national kplil correspondent, former congressman from pennsylvania, ryans could tellio and former director senator of the new york state party and a seni senior reporter with "business insider." so on one hand many people are saying there's a lot of evidence, so how would you characterize where we are with this? is it at least the preliminary stages or an inevitable march towards impeachment? >> chris, i would say that there are a growing newspaper of democrats who believe that they have the foundational that they need to begin an impeachment. however, you're going to see much more information that needs to come forward in the public
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domain before they go there. you've heard from jerry nadler, who is the chair of the judiciary committee. you've heard from nancy pelosi that they're just not there yet. the reason why is they understand that those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it. president nixon didn't have to be impeached because it was so bipartisan that he was forced from office. on the contrary, president bill clinton was impeached and there was a backlash to that because it was very partisan. actually, he bucked history in 1998 and picked up seats because it was partisan. these same democrats believe that the most important thing he can do right now is bring more information into the public domain and that is why you will see them push hard to try and get this mueller report eventually released to the public. that's very much in doubt. what we saw from our own reporting today from mike numbly that democrats are prepared to use the same arguments that republicans have used for the past two years to try to compel the department of justice to release that information,
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including sensitive, classified information, that the republicans forced when they were in control. >> let me read at least part of what axios says is going on here -- democrats plan to pursue a slow-bleed strategy with lengthy public hearings and scores of witnesses to methodically pick apart trump's finances and presidency. democrats want to create a large, damning public record of testimony, documents and investigative reports. congressman, from a republican point of view, smart strategy? >> no, i think it's foolish. i think this is going to turn into a fishing expedition. i think most republicans already feel that way. i think those who don't like trump or think he isn't always above board already have that perspective and this just makes a lot of republicans dig in. even some republicans, i might add, who are not always fully supportive of the president. they look at democrat and say rather than try to govern what they campaigned on this, will be an open investigation and they will lift up every rock to try
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to find something. >> congressman nadler talks about the difference of finding evidence of crimes and impeachable offenses. this is part of his conversation on abc "this week." >> some of your fellow democrats say the evidence the president obstructed justice in the russia investigation is an abuse of power that justifies impeachment. can there be impeachable offenses like that that are not crimes? >> sure. crimes and impeachable offenses are two different things. there crime and non-impeachable offenses. >> you have the argument impeachment is really about politics in the end. where do you stand on this? >> i actually disagree with the congressman. i think it's a great strategy, a death by a thousand cuts. there be a movement to get the president to do a perp walk out of the white house. but i have worked with him before. he's not a shrinking violet but not a possess amist. we may never get to impeefrpment. >> if it's his case to lay out,
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do the other five investigations make it look like it's just piling on? >> i don't think so. as much maligned as she's been in the past, alexandria oscasio-cortez's line of questioning is important here. as the daily news op-ed said it was an inquiry, it wasn't advocacy. the important thing is ask questions that get cohen and others to pull out information so you can lay a very good, very solid case that when you bring it to the american people, there's no sense of partisanship here. it's about bringing the country together. that's why it's important to do it slowly, carefully, methodically. >> and there is that famous line from the movie about watergate, "all the president's men," follow the money and that's where the tax returns come in. >> absolutely. this brings to mind something rudy giuliani told me last year. he said at the end of the day, the biggest threat that trump faces, of course, is impeachment. he said our jury is the american people. it seems like democrats are taking that to heart and that's the reason why they want
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everything, every document, every bit of witness testimony, out in the open so that the people can decide. did the president commit impeachable offenses or are democrats just digging in and going on a fishing expedition? >> i think that's something some of the more reserved democrats said about michael cohen's testimony, what they liked is when there was hard evidence to back him up. since he's somebody who has known to have lied. heidi, i want to go to you because you wrote that exclusive piece about the ways and means committee getting ready to go after the tax returns. get us up to date on that. >> right, chris, the ways and means committee has now made definitive decision that they're going to go after those tax returns. and it could happen in the next few weeks. really, it's just a matter of sending a letter to the irs. here's the rub, we're expecting that the treasury secretary could actually refuse that request, which would be unprecedented since this committee does have the legal right to request any americans' tax information.
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democrats believe that they are on solid, legal footing. but here's what they're concerned about consider p, chris, a drawn-out, legal process that could stall their efforts and throw a number of investigations into the house that really rely on the tax returns ranging from house financial services to the oversight committee and, yes, to the ways and means committee. so what they're doing is pulling in a number of different committees to also make a legislative argument for why those tax returns are the basis for a number of investigations. and this is where they go -- i'm sorry? >> how confident are they feeling they will get them on either front? >> democrats are very confident in their legal argument. when republicans actually don't dispute that they have the right to get them, but it's a question of when they get them. so if they are the backbone for some of these investigations, a delay could be a big problem because they're looking into so many things that relate to trump's businesses ranging from
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the moscow tower to, frankly, the question of whether the entire trump business model of using these shell companies, 500 different llcs all over the world, to potentially -- i think potentially because these are accusations at this point but there may be evidence of money laundering, so they want to get the tax returns and if they don't, chris, they may have other options including subpoenaing deutsche bank, including byi including bringing in folks like allen weisselberg, the bbookkee for trump's businesses, and go after tax returns. >> congressman, is this what makes republicans most nervous, complicated, certainly complicated given the amount of money talked about and the way it was moved around, complicated tax returns? >> i don't think so. the administration is not going to give them up. i think the president should have released tax returns while he was campaigning. that won't happen. we know there will be a fight to the bitter end.
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it's not highly likely the tax returns will be released soon. i think it's more of a risk to democrats respectfully because i think the american public gets very confused by the ultimate different reiterations of the number of investigations and it's hard -- >> maybe, but i'm not sure they get confused about a president breaking press didn't and not releasing his taxes. >> but he has already. >> do people automatically, especially if you're undecided, let's not talk about the far right or far left, if you say he's not going to release them, do you say he must have something to hide? >> i agree with the congressman in this respect, i think a lot of that is already built in. if congress and jerry nadler will make the case, they're going to need to do all of the complex work and deciphering on their own but for the american people, they're still going to want to know democrats are governing on their behalf. that's the challenge with this impeachment argument because if we stop talking about that, it takes away from everything else we should be talking about.
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>> a new poll, 37% believe the president is honest and truthful when it comes to the russia investigation but when you ask republicans, 75%, almost 76%, give him approval for what he's doing. i wonder how much of this will be tied up in the polls? >> yes, and i think that's where win testimony is critical. we are talking about how much the american people might not care as much about financial crimes or getting his tax returns but when you have someone like michael cohen, the president's former lawyer and fixer, go before the house oversight committee and really implicate the president in a multitude of times -- >> here's the check, right, a thing. here's the check. >> exactly. it's kind of hard for people to see that and say -- maybe they don't agree that president trump should be impeached but it's hard to look at that and say, no, there's no investigation warranted here. >> yeah. thank you. the guys are coming back.
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up next -- what to break of the record-breaking more than two-hour-long speech to republican loyalists, which "the washington post" says, by the way, had more than 100 lies or misleading statements in it. trump ripped everything from the russia investigation to democrats and their hacked e-mails, former attorney general jeff sessions all in an effort to drum up his base. but was it also about basking in frequent applause with his most ardent supporters after what was arguably a pretty tough week. discover.
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pg&e wants you to plan ahead by mapping out escape routes and preparing a go kit, in case you need to get out quickly. for more information on how to be prepared and keep your family safe, visit after a week that included the collapse of talks with north korea and congressional testimony from his former fixer, michael cohen, the president needed a soft place to land, and he found it on cpac on saturday night. >> you know i'm totally off script right now. this is how i got elected, by being offscript. please get us e-mails, please! they don't respect us. they think we're stupid-o! they don't respect us. what's your name, sir? my name is raisin. what the hell kind of a name?
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i said raidssin like the fruit? i'm going to regret this speech. this speech should have been delivered one year from now, not now, damn it. there's so much love in this room, it's easy to talk. you can talk your heart out. >> so much love. for more than two hours the president felt the love, offering the crowded cpac a look inside his head, serving up a free-flowing narrative that touched on everything from china tariffs to crowd sizes to socialism and secret service. it was his longest speech ever as president, and also included so many false statements, the total for saturday alone hit 104, according to "the washington post," and that is the fourth lyingest day, according to "the post" in donald trump presidential history. congressman ryan costello, former congressman, and a doctorate! thank you very much. i will set up even taller here to hear what you have to say. i will start with you, congressman, you're quoted in a big "the new york times"
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article. i think it's relevant here. you were quoted about pennsylvania winning over some of these swing states, right. how important are events like that where it counts? we know it's firing up the people who were there, who can get stuff organized, but to the crowd that was out there, sounded to me this is a man who knows his audience. >> oh, yeah, that's a perfect illustration of him going on stage and making the people that don't like him not like him even more, and people that love him love him even more. it was a comedy show. that right there is trump at the wwf. it's just a show. it's not to be taken seriously, in my opinion. >> but he goes back over the things that he knows works for him and gins up the base. there he played -- there he is
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hug ug the flag, let me play what he said again the dnc hacked e-mails. >> if you tell a joke, if you're sarcastic, if you're having fun with the audience, if you're on live television with millions of people and 25,000 people in an arena, and if you say something like russia, please, if you can, get us hillary clinton's e-mails, please, russia, please zlm so everybody's having a good time, we're all having fun and then fake cnn and others saying he asked russia to go get the e-mails. horrible! >> he was just kidding, bethel. >> no, he wasn't. if i start to see people burned in effigy at these things, i would not be surprised. this is scary stuff, and why i have a problem with this. it's not leadership or governance. he's consistently in campaign
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mode. what scares me about a rally like this and his language there, those folks are electing people to office. they're electing people to congress. so when we talk about trying to work across the iaisle and brin people to middle ground, there's no chance of that when you hear him talk this way. >> new york magazine saw that two-hour plus this speech this way -- my theory about the public skapt cal when by is no way how human beings communicate is president trump processing the stress and disappointment of a particularly bruising period. >> there's some psychology there. i would probably tend to agree with it. i also tend to add there's nothing in the form of governance or leadership when he does those soliloquies. a lot of republicans feel that way too. a lot of republicans would like him to lean in on some policy prerogatives, particularly now with the democratic house on an infrastructure bill, maybe cyber
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security measures. there's areas even republicans would like to focus on that. >> the fact there's no depth there, the fact we know he doesn't like to read in on this stuff, he doesn't do the work necessary, doesn't top them from full-throated support. >> i'm not so sure there the folks were looking for policy depth. there were a lot of conservatives who look at cpac and say, that doesn't fully reflect young conservatives across the country. it's more about folks that get riled up and like to go to those type of events. >> it is interesting looking at the polls, 41% of registered voters say they definitely, probably will vote for him in 2020. definitely probably or won't, 48%. you would think they would look at that and get nervous but his job approval rating, i said it early almost 90% with republicans. his overall approval rating inched up to 46% and we don't yet know who is going to be running against him. so with all of that said, if you
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have a strong economy, what do you think? >> there are a lot of voters i talk to, democratic voters, who feel he will be re-elected. that scares me -- >> they're very nervous because they learned a lesson in 2016. >> you're absolutely right. it will take time for one candidate from the democratic party to emerge to take him on. there's a question about electability versus progressive politics. i think it's going to take time, sadly. because we have 20 people in the race right now. but we'll get there. >> i want to stop you there. we have a whole segment coming up, i want to talk to you guys about what is now officially a dozen democratic candidates. we're now at 12 for president. and we're going to get into the latest candidate who has thrown his hat into the ripping just this morning, former colorado governor john hickenlooper. plus, "leaving never land," the caming documentary following two men claiming the king of pop, michael jackson, sexually abused them for years. is the me too era impacting how
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republican congressman ryan costello from pennsylvania. i will open with pennsylvania again because this is one of the states people say you have to look at if you're going to be a democrat and succeed, is pennsylvania a place hickenlooper could win? if not, who can? >> he would be a good candidate in pennsylvania. i happen to think whoever wins pennsylvania, is going to be the next president. i think ohio and florida are really trending republican, and there are a couple of states that are now trending democrat and if you win pennsylvania, you probably also won michigan and wisconsin. the problem with the governor is the problem that i think a number of democrats are going to have, is that base is sizzling right now. and you have a biden lane, a berry sanders lane, and there's probably another lane for a candidate but it's difficult for me to think a more centrist, pragmatic governing type elected official -- >> you think biden could be successful, amy klobuchar? >> it would be tough for
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klobuchar if biden is in the race. >> sherrod brown? >> i think it will be tough for sherrod brown if biden is in the race. >> we have a widening pool, 12 officially. we know perhaps we will have more. where do you see the lane for somebody who can both win the nomination and beat donald trump? >> first thing when you put up that graphic, it really does show the diversity of the democratic party, which is quite extraordinary. and he's interesting because he's a great journalist candidate. but go about electability versus progressive politics, where are voters going to be six months from now, a year from now as they start going to the polls? a lot of voters are telling me they're folkcused of getting ri of donald trump. that brings somebody like hickenlooper and sherrod brown to the table. and then the fight will be number two. >> that does change the conversation.
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typically what you would say is, all right, the primary voter is the more progressive voter. he or she is someone who is more likely to be further left. but those folks who are involved the process, who do vote in the primary, will it be difficult this year that that will be the equation? not who do i agree with most on the issues but who can i support that will beat donald trump? >> polling is showing -- and the same with the republicans in 2016 -- they want to be for the candidate that best reflects what they feel. by the way, a lot of this is not even what your positions are, it's rhetorically your style. do they feel a connection with you? i think right now a lot of democratic primary voters are field voters right now, whether that changes or not once biden gets in remains to be seen. >> and when you talk about the industrial midwest and pennsylvania, a place where joe biden would do very, very well, is that the right place though to be putting so much of our
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attention? would for example, sunbelt, georgia, arizona be the places we should be looking at even more closely? >> i'm not so sure. i think going back to hickenlooper, he does have a bit of progressive record that can translate to states like that. with increasing funding -- >> sounds like we have a couple hickenlooper fans here. >> expanding medicare and things people in those states would like to see and he's also a champion of oil and gas. which is not necessarily where the far left -- >> and a theme on the right. >> it's not where the far left is but it will resonate in other states. >> let me add this, normally, conventionally, being a governor is a plus. republican or democrat. i governed something. ironically right now because so much attention is focused on washington, d.c., being a united states senator or democrat, it gets you in the game. you have committee hearings. that's where the president is focused right now. so in an odd sort of way, while
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being a governor, i implemented this, i reformed that, is a good meat and potatoes general election. but in this environment, that may not be the way to sizzle and get the attention and affection. >> former congressman ryan costello, dr. michael bazl. i can only go so far with the whole doctor thing. it makes me feel inferior. can congratulatelations. >> coming up, graphic documentary detailing allegations of abuse against michael jackson. why the jackson estate is now suing the film company behind the documentary. ♪ now do you love me? ♪ do you love me ♪ now that i can dance? ♪ watch me now! ♪ work, work, ah work it out baby ♪
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no matter what your name is. ♪ tonight part 2 of the shocking and controversial hbo film act michael jackson. last night leaving neverland painted a lurid picture of the pop superstar cultivating relationships with entire families to get to their young sons. at the center of the documentary, detailed disturbing interviews with two men who claim michael jackson sexually abused them for years. they recounted being mesmerized by the kindness and attention of a megastar, but then years of
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abuse when they were just seven and ten years old. >> he helped me tremendously. he helped me with my career. he helped me with my creativity, with all those sorts of things. and he also sexually abused me. for seven years. >> myself and michael would scratch each other here on the palms of holding hands and that meant like, you were thinking of them sexually. >> joining me now is our msnbc media analyst and tv critic. and i'm joined by lisa green. erik, i think most people would say as a piece of film making, this is very compelling stuff. you come to understand how entire families came under, i guess, the spell of this biggest star on the planet at the time. and then the details of how these men say the sexual abuse unfolded.
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they're deeply disturbing. they're disturbingly similar. the controversy is is this a balance story? what do we take away from this? >> well, what we can say is that this documentary is very focussed on the stories of the two men. there's in depth original interviews with them, their wives, their mothers, and a few other family members. what they didn't do was reach out to the jackson estate or feature original interviews with anyone from his family or people who might have supported jackson's point of view. so it is a story that's very much from the point of view of the men, but we're in this moment now where we're trying to focus on the stories of people who say they've been victimized particularly by powerful people. and this documentary is a powerful account of two people who have come to regard how they were treated by michael jackson very differently as adults than
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how they felt when they were children, and they want to tell that story, and this documentary does that well. >> it's wrapped up in a budge of things happening right now. one is there's so much at stake, michael jackson's family trying to protect his legacy. the estate billboard says it's brought in $2 billion since 2009, but unlike when he went to trial, unlike in the immediate aftermath of when he died as you rightfully say, we are now in the me too era. does that change the way we look at michael jackson? >> i think without a doubt. there's a sense you think about r kelly has another music star whose past actions are being re-evaluated in a modern light. you think about bill cosby in jail because of a similar dynamic where people went back and looked at decades of things
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and re-evaluated them. the film maker is asking for some trust from the audience that he's presented enough context for people to understand what the family has done, how the family interacted with michael jackson, and what michael jackson and his representatives with their point of view might be on the new allegations because they use news clips from when michael jackson was accused in 1993 and 2005 of different acts of molestation, but they don't, of course, have any contemporaneous reaction to the specific stories of these men. so you do have to kind of trust that the film maker is giving you enough context n. it's to up fans to look at this, decide how they feel and decide how they feel about michael jackson's songs. he has talked about how he was accused. there's songs like scream. songs like childhood, songs like
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you're never alone. how are people going to feel about these songs now given the stories that these two men tell so compellingly. >> i recently heard a conversation on radio about should we still be playing michael jackson's songs or r kelly. i want to get with lisa. $100 million is what the estate wants from hbo. do they have a case? >> it's a very -- basically their main obstacle is because michael jackson is dead. you can't libel someone who is dead, but they're able to cast a aspersions who make the claims. they're saying they have hundreds of millions of dollars to lie, and they're providing what the documentary film maker did not which is the other side of the story. you know, up to viewers to decide what they believe. that documentary was wrenching,
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and we hear victims in a totally different light. it's interesting to go back to 2005 when jackson was criminally charged with apuzing a young -- >> but when one of the two young men was the first person on the stand and he said he didn't do it -- >> complicated. >> it's all very complicated, but an important conversation. that's going to wrap up this hour. i'm chris jansing. coming up right now, more news with kristen welker. >> hi there, chris. great to see you. i am in for hallie jackson on this monday in the right now the search is on. the desperate hunt for survivors in the deadly tornado outbreak in the south. one twister half a mile wide ripping through one small town. we're live on the scene. back in washington democrats dialing up the heat. targeting more than 60 people close to the president for questions. who they're looking at and what it means for the white house. we're also talking about the newest candidate in the 2020 race. now a dozen democrats eyeing


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