Skip to main content

tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  March 8, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PST

8:00 am
>> sorry to see the big picture go. i liked that. >> everything has its run. except for us i hope. >> i was about to say, do you know something i don't know. hallie jackson, have a great weekend. good morning to you. craig melvin here. there is a lot going on this friday morning as per the yush these days. grinding halt. president trump moments ago reacting to a number of developing stories this morning including the new jobs numbers showing that the hiring in this country plunged last month. what that means for the economy. also victory lap, the president also sounding off on his former campaign compare man's light sentence for crimes are far short of what was's light sentence for crimes are far short of what was expected. and documents related to security clearances, the administration refused to provide to congress, reportedly leaked from inside the white house. we'll dig into that. but we start with our breaking news, the wide ranging interview that the president just gave to
8:01 am
reporters there on the south lawn. the president en route to tour storm damage in alabama. we will of course bring you his comments live after he lands. but moments ago, he talked about two topics entwined with the fate of his presidency perhaps, the economy and his former campaign chairman paul manafort. in both president trump sees victory for himself and his administration. let's start with hans nichols at the white house and also john harwood standing by for us as well. john, let me start with you because the president has tied his entire brand to the stock market and job growth. what were those numbers today, how do they fit into the larger argument that he has made for re-election? >> just 20,000 new jobs added in the month of february. that is a disappointing number. quite low. but remember that you average these things out. you don't take one month in isolation. we had a very strong job growth in january. so you average it out, we're still on a pace of just a little
8:02 am
bit under 200,000 jobs a month. that is positive for the president's reelection. however, what isn't positive, craig, is the fact that the economy is slowing down. we saw that through the course of 2018 where we had a 4.2% quarter, then 3.4, then 2.6. and now we're looking at a job growth in -- or economic growth in 2019 that the fed projects at 2.3%. that is a slowdown that in the year before the president's re-election campaign that is not positive for the white house. and they are hoping that if they can resolve some of the trade tensions with china, maybe they can stabilize things and get things moving back in a more positive trajectory. >> and let's take a look.
8:03 am
dow down, but it has bounced back a bit. is that because of the jobs numbers? or the numbers out of china? >> i'm not sure it is the job number specifically. you nknow, stock prices are wha people expect corporate profits to be going forward. and that is a soft picture. nobody expects to see the kind of profit growth that we had in 2018. the slowing economy and trade conflict is part of that. there are a lot of reasons for people to be a bit are moare he certainly more than 2018. >> and before he took off, what did the president have to say, hans? >> it is more what he didn't have to say. he talked about everything from north korea to paul manafort, but i asked him whether or not he thought paul manafort had been treated fairly and the president went out of his way to say that paul manafort hasn't gotten a fair shake.
8:04 am
he didn't directly link to this judgment, but he was clear that he wants to keep paul manafort on his side. have a listen. >> i feel we have badly for paul manafort. but both his lawyer, aly respected man and a highly respected judge, the judge said there was no collusion with and a highly respect judge, the judge said there was no collusion with russia. there was no collusion. >> so not exactly what the judge said. when you look at the totality of the case, it is clear that this wasn't russia collusion wasn't being litigated in this particular case. here is what judge ellis actually said. he is not before the court for anything having to do with colluding with russia. so this doesn't have anything to do with the overall russia collusion case. the president clearly trying to seize upon that and make his case as he did before the athletes from north dakota state
8:05 am
the other day saying no collusion total hoax. that is the president's line on this regardless of what you ask him on this. that is where he ends up trying to argue there is no collusion and that he will ultimately be vindicated. but the judge did no such thing. >> hans, thank you. and also mr. harwood. matt miller is an msnbc justice and security analyst. elliott williams is a former deputy assistant attorney general at the department of justice and works for an organization that advocates for the preservation and publication of the mueller report. and also a professor at princeton university joining us. matt, i'll start with you. we just heard part of what the president said on the south lawn. what did you make of his comments? >> i think the president's comment comments are a disgrace. he thinks there should be one set of standards applied to his
8:06 am
ale li allege lies. the way he asked for mike flynn -- for the fbi to go easy on mike flynn. and back when michael cohen was still on his side, when the government executed a search warrant on michael cohen's apartment and his office, the president called it an attack on our country. at the same time he wants his opponents to be prosecuted and he thinks groups that he finds unfavorable, immigrants, for the book to be thrown at them. so he has always had a two tiered justice system where he thinks people close to him, department of justice should look the other way and while at the same time going after his enemies. this is more of the same and not the kind of remarks we should expect from the president trump of the united states. >> and again this is video of the president and first ladies and their son boarding air force one to head to alabama. elliott, let's show everyone the sentence that manafort received and compare that with what
8:07 am
michael cohen received. there it is on your screen. manafort facing almost five times as many years in prison as cohen. that's what he was facing. 24 years versus five years. cohen cooperated, manafort did not. manafort got four years including almost a full year already served. manafort did have to fork over more money, but what message does that send? >> we shouldn't think of this as a 47 month sentence in ice laying. i think it was a 293 month recommendation that the united states sentencing commission had crafted and congress ratified. the bigger issue over whether this was okay on its face is how far removed it is from the recommendations that we have deemed to be appropriate for this kind of crime. and what it speaks to, along the lines of what matt said, the free pass we're willing to give white collar criminals.
8:08 am
this is bank fraud and -- serious crimes on our system of -- on a civil society, we just sort of look the other way when someone gets essentially a slap on the wrist. compared to the guidelines sentence. people are sentenced every day to 20 year sentences for similar or even different conduct. and so it is very striking here how much the judge chose to go down. and again it bears mentioning the fact that it is one of the president's buddies and yet another individual closely tied to the president who is just getting away with white collar misconduct. >> forgive my ignorance on this. but i wondered this yesterday when word came down of the sentencing. why didn't the special counsel's office make a sentencing recommendation? is that protocol or is there a reason that there was not a sentencing recommendation made, and had there been a recommendation, to we think t d manafort would have gotten more
8:09 am
time? >> i doubt he would have gotten more time because of the discretion of the judge. certainly the u.s. attorney's office -- there is what is called a prsend pre-sentence red they didn't opine on that. that is quite technical actually. it is looking at the sentencing guide lines, the characteristics of the defendant. they stayed out of that just saying that we believe this individual should be sentenced significantly and fairly in a manner that deters others from engaging in the same conduct. but the bigger point is that we don't really have a template for this because this is such as the lawyers would say a swee generous circumstance. we've never been in this scenario. it is very rare. >> and just to go back to something that matt mentioned and elliott elude to, this highlights a sentencing gap in this country. and whether it is white collar versus other crimes, kwame
8:10 am
kilpatrick came to mind. mayor of detroit who was convicted and sentenced for a lot of white collar stuff. almost 30 years. and manafort gets about four. were kilpatrick's attorneys that much worse than paul manafort's? >> or even closer home. remember congressman jefferson. judge he will wlis gaellis gave the same judge. the sentencing gap reflects what i call the value gap. understand nooet the seundernea sentencing gap is the belief that white people matter more than others. and to the extent that that is true, no matter what the inputs are, outputs are the same. and in addition to that reality being affirmed and confirmed,
8:11 am
what we see with this decision i think is a deepening of the erosion of trust. we've already experienced in the country broadly kind of an erosion of trust because donald trump lies daily. so the executive branch is looked upon with suspicion. there is an erosion of trust with regards to the legislative branch because of the hyper partisanship that defines it. even as the democrats have taken over. and now we have here the judicial branch. we thought that holding the line. and so here you have people all around the country wondering how is it possible that manafort could get 47 months with nine months served. it suggests in a something is cooked, that something is fundamentally wrong. >> and there is the question of the pardon that has been tossed about. rudy giuliani has insisted that it is not being considered at this time. but the president not ruling one in or out. this is what president trump
8:12 am
said about this three months ago. >> it is very sad what has happened to paul. the way he is being treated. i've never seen anybody treated so poorly. but the question was asked to me by the new york "post" and i said no, i have not offered any pardons. and i think that they asked or whatever would you. and i said i'm not taking anything off the table. >> president trump, if he were to pardon paul manafort, what would that mean? >> well, i think it would be the latest instance of the fundamental undermining of not only basic democratic norms, but it would confirm i think what most of us believe to be true, that donald trump does not give a damn about american democracy. he only cares about himself. look, we have been faced with something in a feels like it is wholly unprecedented. and donald trump has revealed over and over again and the people who enable him have revealed over and over again that they are willing to throw the basic norms and
8:13 am
pre-septemberseptembers of -- precepts of democracy into the trash to protect themselves. so if he has dangled a pardon before michael cohen, what it would only do is confirm what most of us know that there is something really shady about this guy. >> and we're talking about pardons and the president also talki talking about pardons. there is as we know pretty impressive wi-fi above air force one, president trump on his way to alabama. that is not stopping him from tweeting. we don't of course report on all of the president's tweets here, but there one is jermaine to the conversation we're having. president trump bad lawyer, fraudster michael cohen said under sworn testimony he never asked for a pardon. his lawyers totally contradicted him. he lied. additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. i said no. he lied again. he also badly wanted to work at the white house. he lied. the president on message as he
8:14 am
heads down to alabama. what do we know about the truth here, matt, or do we? >> well, we don't. if what the president says in his tweet is true, that he and michael cohen discussed a pardon according to his version of it, cohen asked him about it and he said no, that would be signatsi news. we haven't seen disclosure of that and now that the president puts it on the table, i think congress has the responsibility to follow up and say what was the subject of that conversation, what did cohen say and what did the president say. because the president's publicly talking about these pardons all the time has had a poe looting effect on the entire investigation because just bringing it up puts it into all these witnesses' minds at the time when they trying to make this decision do i cooperate with the government or do i not. and if they know there is a chance of the pardon, either because neff seen the president's public remarks or their attorneys have had back channel conversations and we know cohen's attorneys were with rudy giuliani, it maybe makes them less likely to cooperate
8:15 am
because they think if they stand strong the president will reward them and that is extremely damaging to the ability of the special counsel and other prosecutors investigating the president to find out what actually happened. >> it is hard to keep up. elliott, i think this may be the first time that the president has asserted that cohen directly asked him for a pardon. is this the first time you're hearing that? >> i think that it is. i mean the thing that is tricky, the president has demonstrated that he is willing to use the pardon power to be a little fast and loose with it and benefit his friends like the sheriff arpaio pardon. and that was also for obstruction of justice. that is what sheriff joe had been convicted of. so i don't know if they had this conversation. the president does not need to have said it explicitly whether he dangled the pardons, but by merely putting it out in the national conversation, he is raising the specter of what
8:16 am
people out oig people ought to do with their testimony. and that is stfl an act of obstruction of justice. if he is trying to impede justice by pardoning people in advance of their untruthful testimony. >> he wielliott, matt, thank yo. professor, you will stick around. breaking up big tech, a 2020 candidate waging quite the war on facebook, google, amazon as well. a look at that plus the leak is coming from inside the house. congress getting their requested documents related it ivanka trump and jared kushner's security clearances from an unlikely source. and the contender, how joe biden is clearing the 2020 field and he hasn't even said he's in yet. ♪ sure it's like a morn in spring ♪
8:17 am
more than half of our community have discovered their irish roots. order ancestrydna, and find the surprises in you. just $59 through march 18th. get your kit today.
8:18 am
8:19 am
i found a companyeans to who believes in me.rt. they look out for me. and they help me grow my career. at comcast it's my job to constantly monitor our network, prevent problems, and to help provide the most reliable service possible. my name is tanya, i work at the network operations center for comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome.
8:20 am
what is sure to be a controversial plan breaking up this country's tech giants is being proposed by democratic presidential candidate senator elizabeth warren. warren on the medium blg writing it is time to break up amazon, google and facebook. let's turn to tony romm to talk about this. so obviously the plan pre-supposes that the senator would become president of the united states. but if she does, could she really force this kind of breakup? >> yeah, the senator could
8:21 am
certainly force this kind of breakup on companies like amazon, facebook and google. and make no mistake, this is the toughest plan that we have seen to date from any of the democratic contenders for the white house in 2020. and basically there are two parts to what senator warren has proposed. the first would be to use her power to put people at key agencies that could take a look at tech companies and potentially break them apart and the second is the writing of new regulation, passing a law that would put in place penalties for tech companies and essentially separates some of them that offer large line oig plonline p. it will be interesting to see how other democrats potentially follow suit. >> how would you even go about doing that, what would that look like, what would a facebook, going -- what would that even resemble? >> we've certainly seen antitrust investigations of mammoth size here in the united states. i thinks one that everybody points to is microsoft. just a few years ago, google was under investigation in the u.s.
8:22 am
for antitrust violations. and there was a lot of verse around whether google should be broken up. the government didn't take that step under barack obama and in the meantime it allowed a number of large transactions to go through. like facebook for example was allowed to buy instragram. but essentially what senator warren is saying, she wants to use agencies like the department of justice or the federal trade commission to take a closer look at these companies and then to use their power to bring them to court and to take them apart in areas where she thinks that they have caused competitive harm. >> obviously a proposal that will likely appeal to her base. but how is it likely to play among the broader democratic br lot of frustration with the technology industry. privacy foefbs and tr example as facebook has misused data or the election interference like we saw when russian agents had
8:23 am
spread misinformation on major social media sites. almost ten years ago barack obama when he was just starting out as a candidate, he was paying visits to google to show off his tech credentials to young voters. and now democrats are trying to outdo themselves with proposals on regulating the industry. so there has been a sea change within the democrat being party. you may see variations of what senator warren has proposed. >> you're right, there was this embrace of all things tech just a few years ago. and now it does seem as if a number of candidates are trying to run as fast as they can away from some of these guys. tony, thank you. joe biden impacting the brace for the white house even before he makes a decision. president trump on the way to survey the damage from those devastating tornadoes in alabama. i'll talk to a congresswoman from that state about what she
8:24 am
hopes it hear from tto hear frot trump today. r from the president trump today. after months of wearing only a tiger costume, we're finally going on the trip i've been promising. because with expedia, i saved when i added a hotel to our flight. ♪ so even when she outgrows her costume, we'll never outgrow the memory of our adventure together. unlock savings when you add select hotels to your existing trip. only when you book with expedia.
8:25 am
if your moderate to severeor crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough it may be time for a change. ask your doctor about entyvio®, the only biologic developed and approved just for uc and crohn's. entyvio® works at the site of inflammation in the gi tract, and is clinically proven to help many patients achieve both symptom relief and remission. infusion and serious allergic reactions can happen during or after treatment. entyvio® may increase risk of infection, which can be serious. pml, a rare, serious, potentially fatal brain infection caused by a virus may be possible. tell your doctor if you have an infection experience frequent infections or have flu-like symptoms, or sores. liver problems can occur with entyvio®. if your uc or crohn's treatment isn't working for you, ask your gastroenterologist about entyvio®. entyvio®. relief and remission within reach.
8:26 am
8:27 am
president trump is expected to touchdown any minute now in georgia just east of the alabama state line. the president is going to be visiting with victims' families
8:28 am
and first responders after the deadly tornadoes struck central alabama sunday and left 23 people dead. gabe guttierez is in beauregard. what is the situation like on the ground right now where you are? >> reporter: the cleanup effort here is well under way. and this as you mentioned has been such a devastating week with for the people here in alabama. the president touching down in just a short time in georgia. and will make his way here to alabama, will be here for several hours. this is beauregard, the community perhaps hardest hit. as you mentioned, 23 people dead, more than 90 people injured. the funerals for some of the victims have already begun and more and more are expected through the weekend. one family lost ten extended family members, obviously a devastating time for this state. many parts of the south were slammed by those torntss latorn.
8:29 am
ef-4 with winds of about 170 miles an hour kit being cutting a 70 mile path of destruction. >> gabe guttierez on the ground for us there. again, president trump expected to land any moment now and make his way to that area that has been completely devastated. let me bring in congresswoman terri sewell. she represents the 7th congressional district there in alabama. and that district encompasses parts of montgomery and birmingham. so congresswoman, i know that your district waurpt sdwrenlgt affected, but what do the people who have been so affected by those storms, what do they need to hear from president trump today? >> compassion. and that he will do all that he can to help with speedy recovery efforts so that people can get back to living their lives.
8:30 am
let me say that my heart hand my prayers and my prayers and thoughts are with all alabamians. we're bracing for more inclement weather this weekend. those of us from alabama know very well that this is the season of tornados and no one can brace us for the kind of damage ands will s willoss of experienced. so i just wanted to make sure that we as a nation understand the importance of recovery efforts and disaster assistance at this very important time in people's lives. >> let's turn to congressional politics here for a moment. the house yesterday passing this anti-hate resolution after days of debate within the party caucus. a measure originally drafted to rebuke apparent anti-semitic comments by congresswoman omar. it was widely expanded. why did it take so long for
8:31 am
democrats to agree on what to include and does the broadness of the final measure water down its impact? >> listen, i think that it was important that we acknowledge hate in all of its forms. and that's what this resolution ultimately did. we have witnessed the president of the united states say some very derogatory things and not come out and root out hate in all of its forms. and so i think that it was important that we broaden that resolution and that we don't speaks ocify one particular act. none of us should be encouraging hate speech, hateful actions. and we need to as americans root out hate in all of its forms. >> let's talk about the manafort decision yesterday. you are a member of the intelligence committee which of course is continuing its investigation into russia influence and the presidential election. we've just seen a tweet from the
8:32 am
president saying that michael cohen directly asked him for a pardon. this appears to be the first time that the president has made this claim. what is your reaction, what does this change? >> you know, i think that as an african-american in this country, we've seen fwr african-americans sentenced far worse for less egregious actions. so we need to take a hard look at our criminal justice system especially when it comes to sentencing. the guide lines would have gotten 19 to 24 years. so for this judge to give these treacherous -- i mean he was a traitor frankly. and for him to get only four months -- four years sends a horrible message. so i think that we need to make sure that we get mueller's report and that that is unimpeded. we in the house intelligence committee, i'm very happy that
8:33 am
we are finally doing our full oversight investigation work and i want to commend our chairman, chair than shman schiff, for do. and i think it is important to get to the bottom of the truth and follow the facts where they lead us. >> with regards though to the president's claim a few moments a go that michael cohen directly asked him for a pardon, what does that change? >> well, you know, i think that that -- if that is true, then that would obviously contradict what he said in public. and obviously i can't talk about what he said in the classified setting. but i think that we need to really wait to hear all the facts and follow the facts where they lead us. and then make a decision as to what we should do about it. >> and i did want to ask you about the legislation that you were sponsoring, hr-4. the voting rights advancement
8:34 am
act. >> that's right. >> it seeks to restore parts of the law knocked done baywn by 2 supreme court ruling. are you going to be able to get it through without bipartisan support and what would it do? >> so hr-4 is the house democrats answer to the shelby decision which was in 2013, the shelby versus holder decision which struck down section will of the voting rights act of 1965. i not only represent civil rights district of alabama, but i also am a native of selma. so it is quite personal to me that we make sure that we put the full protections of the voting rights act back into place. and so what hr-4 would do would look for the most egregious state actors and make sure that those state actors have to have all of their voter changes pre-cleared by the justice department before they can make additional changes. many of my republican colleagues who say that they haven't signed on because they think that we
8:35 am
are picking on certain states, and frankly my retort to that is fine, i think that voting is such a cornerstone of our democracy that every state should pre-clear changes to voting laws, to ensure that they are not discriminatory. but you and i both know that that would be quite expensive proposition. and so what the supreme court told us in the shelby decision is that congress must come up with a modern day formula for determining which states have the most egregious action. and so that is what we would do in the hr-4 voting rights advancement act. and voting rights thoo not besh a part is isan issue. in 2006, it passed unanimously from the senate. and it passed overwhelmingly from the house of representatives with only 30 members voting against it. so it did have bipartisan support. we're just trying to put the teeth back into the enforce
8:36 am
ability section. and so i am looking for republican support and really want americans to understand that voting is a cornerstone of our democracy. and no american citizen should be denied access to the ballot box. >> congresswoman, really quickly here, this back and forth appears to continue during the course of our conversation. i asked you about the president's tweet regarding michael cohen. apparently mr. cohen has decided to respond to the president using twitter of course on this friday morning. michael cohen tweeting just another set of lies by president trump. mr. president, let's me remind you that today is international women's day. you may want it use today to apologize for your own lies and dirty deeds to women like karng karen mcdougal and stephanie
8:37 am
cliff forwar clifford. >> i think we need to stop legislating through social media. i think it is important that all of the house oversight committees, that we do our job, that we look for the facts. and we report the facts. and stop trying to make these decisions through social media. i think that the president would be wise to heed to that advice. >> congresswoman terri sewell, thank you. our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the fine people of alabama. thank you. >> thank you so much. here is something that hopefully makes you smile on this friday. today is of course international women's day and for celebrate, new york city announced that they are going to pay tribute to incredible women from all five boroughs. a schoolteacher that helped
8:38 am
desde s deseg system. and billy holliday not just a trailblazer for singers, but shed light on racial inequality. and also a monument for a speed i can pediatrician who abdicated for women's health. and staten island will pay twrib but tribute to katherine walker. and shirley chisolm, first black woman to serve in the house of representatives and first woman to seeks democratic party's nomination for president in 1972. will he or won't he when it comes to joe biden? that is the question. we're apparently now closer than ever to the answer. he is already impacting the rates even though race. trouble to trump, why the latest leak could mean problems for jared kushner and ivanka trump.
8:39 am
. . is boost® delicious boost® high protein nutritional drink has 20 grams of protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals. boost® high protein. be up for life. about medicare and supplemental insurance. medicare is great, but it doesn't cover everything - only about 80% of your part b medicare costs, which means you may have to pay for the rest. that's where medicare supplement insurance comes in: to help pay for some of what medicare doesn't. learn how an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by united healthcare insurance company might be the right choice for you. a free decision guide is a great place to start. call today to request yours. so what makes an aarp medicare supplement plan unique? well, these are the only medicare supplement plans endorsed by aarp and that's because they meet aarp's high standards of quality and service.
8:40 am
you're also getting the great features that any medicare supplement plan provides. for example, with any medicare supplement plan you may choose any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients. you can even visit a specialist. with this type of plan, there are no networks or referrals needed. also, a medicare supplement plan goes with you when you travel anywhere in the u.s. a free decision guide will provide a breakdown of aarp medicare supplement plans, and help you determine the plan that works best for your needs and budget. call today to request yours. let's recap. there are 3 key things you should keep in mind. one: if you're turning 65, you may be eligible for medicare - but it only covers about 80% of your medicare part b costs. a medicare supplement plan may help pay for some of the rest. two: this type of plan allows you to keep your doctor - as long as he or she accepts medicare patients. and three:
8:41 am
these are the only medicare supplement plans endorsed by aarp. learn more about why you should choose an aarp medicare supplement plan. call today for a free guide.
8:42 am
medicare supplement plan. so we improved everything.g. we used 50% fewer ingredients. added one-handed pumps. and beat the top safety standards. johnson's® choose gentle. more now bombshell president trump just dropped a few moments ago while he was aboard air force one enroots route to ala. an attack on michael cohen who for cohen's part called it another set of lies. in that tweet again president trump calling cohen a fraudster and bad lawyer. but the president here appears to for the first time claim that
8:43 am
michael cohen directly asked him for a pardon. trump saying his response was no, he lied again. however the idea that the two ever had a direct conversation, that this wasn't just talk between conversations, that would be a significant turn in this story. and i'm joined now by our legal analyst, former federal prosecutor glenn kirchner. why is this a big deal? >> i don't think it is a big deal. michael cohen did say during his congressional testimony that he wasn't interested in a pardon, he didn't ask if a pardon and then we learned that maybe his lawyers talked to trump's lawyers. anytime you get lawyers involved in discussing possible dispositions of a case, benefits to a witness, it gets very murky. so i don't think cohen has put position in any legal jeopardy based on his testimony to congress.
8:44 am
he may have put himself in some more atmospheric jeopardy because it tends to tarnish his credibility a little more. but now we have the president directly weighing in and saying that he asked me for a pardon. whose credibility are you going to take. are you going to take cohen's, the president's, is it a push, neither one? neither one of them are particularly credible. but here is the interesting part. you want to say that cohen perjured himself in front of congress because he directly asked the president? you know how you prove that up? trump has to walk into a grand jury and swear to it under oath. that ain't going to happen. >> and you also althink i would assume that if michael cohen did directly ask the president of the united states for a pardon, maybe we would have hard about it before friday morning at 11:30. >> exactly. this occurred to him, popped into his head, another way he thought he could dirty up cohen by stretching the truth if not outright fabricateding.
8:45 am
>> and is there a major difference between whether cohen's attorney might have asked for or might have wink wink nod nodded about a pardon, whether his lawyer did it or whether michael cohen did it directly? >> there is a distinction. if michael cohen did it directly, then you might be able to say he lied to congress. but there is a phenomenon with cooperating witnesses who have done a lot of wrong and then they plead guilty and agree to cooperate. and they try to start telling the truth. sometimes they start believing in their own righteousness. and it colors their recollection of whether they ever wanted a pardon or not. i think what is most important, it is not this nonsense about who asked for a pardon when. it is the corroboration of the signed checks by the president out of the white house which brings the conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws right into the oval office. that is a big deal.
8:46 am
>> all right. helping us try to make sense of this friday morning back and forth between the president and his one time attorney. glenn, thank you. we turn to 2020 now. it is still 605 days to the presidential election. but the action pretty hot on the democratic side. three bs at the center of the speculation this week. bernie and beto not among them. we are talking about sherrod brown and michael bloomberg, they both pulled themselves out of the running. and that has raised the level of speculation about joe biden, the 47th vice president, the happy warrior as president obama referred to him. biden though hasn't scared everyone ooff. there are still 20 democrats who could compete for the party's nod. let me bring in ryan costello, republican from pennsylvania, and back with me here in studio, chairman of the center for fwrin
8:47 am
studies at princeton university. noted author. congressman, i'll start with you. it is becoming more and more likely that joe biden will get in this thing. the "new york times" reporting that his strategist has called a handful of would be candidates and their aides to signal that the former vice president is likely to enter the race. he's been telling democrats that he is 95% committed to running koofr correspond to officials directly familiar with the discussions. is it joe biden's for the asking? >> oh, i think so. i would add to that, i don't know if you know, but i usually do your programming out a studio in wilmington, delaware that chris coons and i switch off and on. today i walked in, there is actually a joe biden scented candle with a picture of him saying that he likes corvettes. i thought of bringing it on camera. so something is going on. i don't know what it is. but i think that there is an announcement coming.
8:48 am
i obviously have no inroads. i'm a republican. but something is going on in biden land. >> i appreciate the on the ground reporting there. the concern amongst your fellow republicans about a biden candidacy, is it real? >> oh, sure. he gets into i think some of those voters that traditionally have voted democrat. but didn't vote for hillary. i would call them working class voters in pennsylvania, southwest and northeast part of the state, same in michigan, samin wisconsin. maybe didn't view nafta the way hillary clinton did. maybe labor union represented. i can tell you that there were a lot of labor union workers in my district that historically vote democrat who said i'm voting for trump. so i think that biden speaks to
8:49 am
s that voter and i think he is the toughest match-up against the president. >> joe biden may be the flavor of the month for democrats, but he has a history and that history may be a bit troubling to some members of the base of that party. the "washington post" dug up this 1975 quote from freshman senator joe biden on brace in bin -- in race in busing. i don't buy the concept we have suppressed the voting. we must give the black man a head start or even hold the white man back to even the race. this is what biden told a delaware based weekly newspaper in 1975. i don't buy that. okay. we were going to talk about that, professor, but just getting in breaking news now that bill shine, the assistant to the president, communications tore at t director, he offered his
8:50 am
resignation yesterday evening. the president accepted that refg nation. hans nichols is standing by for us there at the white house. han hans, was he there like five, six months? >> he was there bill shine, was like, what rwhat, five months, months? >> reporter: he was there longer than that, we'll get the precise date for you. he was both deputy chief of staff and white house communications director. he's going to be a senior adviser to the trump campaign. now, in this statement coming from the white house, they're thanking bill shine for his service. that may be an indication it's been amicable. he is going to the campaign so he'll continue to be involved in the messaging of donald trump. i think this says something very important to us, and that is that the energy in this white house is shifting towards the 2020 reelection campaign. when you have trusted advisers like bill shine leaving the west wing to go to do the president's reelection campaign and serve as a senior adviser, that's an indication that the 2020
8:51 am
campaign is up and running and the white house is already figuring out, thinking about how they're going to frame the issues moving forward. this campaign has just really started much, much earlier than previous ones, craig. >> hans, so shine out as communications director. any indication who might fill that spot, who might be a likely candidate? >> reporter: anno, and remember they've had trouble filling this spot in the past. if you and i go off the top of our heads, shine is either the fifth or the sixth communications director. in the past you've had a press secretary who goes out and briefs reporters, then you have a communications director thinking more about longer term strategy, about how to frame and sell the president's message. in this white house, the president seems to do more briefings than the press secretary, the press secretary rarely comes to the podium.
8:52 am
sometimes she'll do fox news and we'll talk to her when she goes back to the west wing. they have you have this communications director that really should be, in a traditional white house, would be thinking about how to frame longer term strategic initiatives. bill shine was very involved in the pageantry, the backdrop to the president, where he should be. this is a transition, he's leaving the white house and heading to the campaign. we don't know the exact role he has in the campaign. one other note on this, this comes after "the new yorker" published that explosive article talking about the relationship between bill shine and fox news perm personalities that he used to manage and then stayed in touch with, namely sean hannity, and the synergy between fox news and the trump white house. remember, bill shine came from fox news, his title there was president, and he moved into the white house and tried to manage a lot of the president's stagecraft and his communications from here, craig.
8:53 am
>> and of course hope hicks also a communications director for this white house as well. hans, stand by, we'll come back to you in just a bit. by the way, bottom of your screen there, we've just put it up for you, i'll describe it for our listeners on sirius satellite radio, this is air force one touching down in ft. benning, georgia. we expect the first lady and her son to emerge, they're going to be touring some of the areas completely ravaged by those tornadoes a few days ago. again, air force one there touching down in georgia, just over the state line there with alabama. we'll keep a close eye on that. i do want to bring in white house reporter for bloomberg news, shannon pettypiece. shannon, bill shine out as communications director. how surprised are you by this news? >> we had actually been hearing
8:54 am
rumblings for a while that bill shine might be on the outs. at hans listed, there have been a long list of people who have blown through that position. to the point that hans alluded to, president trump is his own communications director, he is his own producer, he is his own communications strategist. so anyone in that role struggles to compete with the communications director in chief. the other aspect is the president is perpetually unhappy with the bad press he is getting and he needs someone to take that out on. the president is very close to white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders, he likes her in that position. he's not one to take the blame out on her. we have been hearing that bill shine was getting some of the blame for the bad press the president was getting. so i'm actually not surprised. and then the shift to the campaign is a pattern we've seen over and over again with white house officials who resign or
8:55 am
are pushed out, sometimes in very high profile ways. they typically end up either directly for the campaign or working for one of the pacs for the campaign. in trump world, you're never really out, there's always a place for you. sean spicer has been working for the campaign. he resigned after anthony scaramucci. also not a surprise there. >> we should describe the scene here on the tarmac there at ft. benning, georgia, the president and the first lady. you also see ben carson, of course the secretary for housing and urban development. i believe i also caught a glimpse of republican senator richard shelby as well, keeping a lookout for doug jones, i did not see senator jones, but there
8:56 am
you see president trump exchanging pleasantries with officials assembled on the ground as he prepares to board one of those ospreys. we saw homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen as well. but again, let's go back to this breaking news here, eddie glaude, breaking a few moments ago, white house communications director bill shine has decided to move over full-time to the campaign. no one seems to be -- no one who covers the administration on a daily basis appears to be totally surprised by this. >> it seems like we've become comfortable with the chaos at the white house. there is that, i mean, we look at the list from 2016 to now, of all the people who have cycled through that white house. it would make sense that we become kind of accustomed to the turnover. i think hans hit it right on the head, this is a clear sign that the 2020 election cycle, presidential election cycle is in full swing now, that they are -- that shine will now throw
8:57 am
his energy behind how he will trying to get donald trump elected. so again, chaos. but we need to prepare for the chaos to come. >> hey, shannon, what do we know about the relationship between this president and his communications director? have they been getting along as merrily as they had before he took the job? >> at first they seemed very close. shine traveled on a lot of the campaign stops for 2018. he was doing a lot of the behind-the-scenes production work. we had gotten word in the last few weeks that the president was sending people to other people in the communications shop rather than to shine and there was a growing distance between the two of them. he does not appear to have parted on bad terms in any way, when you look at the statement the white house put out and the fact that he's going over to the campaign. but yeah, there definitely hasn't been a close relationship in recent weeks.
8:58 am
>> as i believe you noted, or maybe it was hans, all of this coming after that scathing "new yorker" piece that detailed the relationship that still exists between mr. shine and a lot of the folks that he used to manage at fox news.
8:59 am
>> the fifth communications director at the white house in just two years, hans was trying to remember all of them. we have managed to put together the list here. seanst spicer, mike dubkey, sea spicer again briefly, anthony scaramucci who had the shortest tenure ever for a white house communications director, hope hicks, and shine was in that position for about eight months or as our clever producers who did the math, that was about 22 scaramuccis in terms of the duration. that's going to do it forf us this friday afternoon. president trump has landed there
9:00 am
at ft. benning, georgia. he will make his way to alabama to tour the areas that have been completely devastated by those tornadoes with the first lady and their son. i am going to hand it off to andrea mitchell. i'll see you back here on monday morning. "andrea mitchell reports" starts right a now. and right now on "andrea mitchell reports," 47 months, a light sentence for paul manafort sparking outrage from many but sympathy for the president. >> i feel very badly for paul manafort. i think it's been a very, very tough time for him. the judge said there was no collusion with russia. it's had nothing to do with collusion, t there was no collusion. damage control. democrats trying to repair their party's rift over hate t speecha new target forec president trum. >> i thought that vote was a disgrace. the democrats have become an anti-israel party. they've become an anti-jewish party. and that's too bad.h y.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on