tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC March 12, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
playing. one democrat on the intel committee joins us live. and new this morning, joe biden is putting out his most explicit hint yet on 2020. >> i appreciate the energy you showed when i got up here. save it a little longer. i may need it in a few weeks. >> only one way to read that one. biden one of a trio of 2020 potentials maybe finally actually officially getting ready to announce presidential runs after a lot of slow walks. we've got new nbc reporting on the thinking and the timing. plus overseas more countries grounding boeing planes. why u.s. airlines are standing by the 737 max 8 even as we're learning the uk is not. we have the latest in the investigation into the crash that killed dozens of people including multiple americans. we have our teams covering it all. we start with joe biden making his most explicit hint yet that
he may end up in the 2020 race. garre garrett, joe biden dropping hints. >> that frfrt's union has invited people in the past. it was just biden. on every side of the room there have a sign that said run, joe run. he's getting pushed hard. biden has been sort of sitting at 95% of ready to go for quite a while now. it's just a matter of getting the last 5% of making the decision, and big crowds like that could be part of what pushes him to do it. he's sitting at the top of almost every poll of the early states and nationally among democrats. i think one of the big questions has been can he keep the fire going? is he as a man in his late 70s
who's been in the oval office and been the vice president, can he keep the fire through a long campaign? events like that will push him toward it. >> we're going to check back later. you have more reporting on other contenders. we want to talk about what else is happening in washington. what's either a super divisive or a smart move by the nation's top democrat to raise the bar on impeachment. pelosi telling us why she opposes it. watch. >> they wanted to impeach bush for the iraq war. i didn't believe it in then. i don't believe in it now. it divides the country unless it's conclusive evidence that takes us to that place. >> and her colleagues have something to say about that already. >> just because he's crossed the legal bar doesn't mean we've hit the political bar. >> there's a difference between committing impeachable offenses and getting the votes you need. >> i agree that we need to see
where the process leads us. >> when i talk to families in northern illinois, we don't get questions about impeachment. >> i welcome the truth. we have a lot of work to do. >> all of that comes after the speaker told "the washington post" magazine referring to the president, quote, unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, i don't think we should go down that path. it divides the country, and he's just not worth it. right now we are watching the senate floor. we expect to see potentially chuck schumer, mitch mcconnell. we'll bring you any reaction. i want to bring in kasie hunt who has been working on reaction in the halls of capitol. kimberly is with me as well. the divide among the progressive members of the party and pelosi. one saying i don't think it's something we decide if tour
investigations are worth it. if abuse of power is shown, perhaps democrats should move forward. what are you hear where you are? >> i think the speaker is looking at the big picture here and trying to answer the question why did we really win back the house in 2018? because whatever happened there is going to be the solution to beating the president in 2020. that's the argument that's coming from the establishment side. i just tried to catch up with jerry nadler who runs the judiciary committee. he didn't want to talk about it. i would say there are staff moves on the judiciary committee that indicate they are prepared or at least preparing to go down this road if need be. there is clearly an appetite for this among as you point out, the progressive wing of the caucus, but the reality is for as much as we talk about alexandria ocasio-cortez and they eat up a lot of the attention and oxygen because their comments are in many ways more surprising than that we hear from the rest,
there are way more members who are new freshman who come from places that democrats need to win in 2020 if they want to win back the presidency, and nancy pelosi is reflecting that. she was very careful about this during the campaign and frankly, her strategy worked. impeachment is something that she and others who take this kind of broader view believe is handing the president a politically divisive issue that could get republicans that might otherwise be willing to vote for democrats. yes, it's a divide, but i would argue that the view from up here is there are more people on nancy pelosi's side than not. >> that is an interesting point. kasie hunt, reaction today all morning long. we'll come back to you if we need to later. kimberly and jeff j is pelosi giving democrats an off ramp. a way to turn to their constituents and say let her be the punching bag? >> i think she's giving them cover, an opportunity for from
greszives and others when they're talking to voters to say this is what our leader is saying. not necessarily where i was going, but this is where the leadership of our party is. on the other hand, kasie is right. the speaker is looking strategically over the next couple years. they need to -- the democrats need to present this is what our party is about. these are some ideas and policies we want to get through. it's not just about anti-trump. >> yeah. and it's really dangerous to talk about impeachment politically right ahead of an election. i think what she is worried about, that division, is this visual of the democrats doing exactly what donald trump has been signaling to his base. they just want to impeach him. that's all they want to do, and this is just merely a political exercise. i think she still left some wiggle room there if something major drops in the congressional investigation that they can move. but really taking that off the table. >> as we're looking at senator richard blumenthal, he commented saying he thinks all options
should be on the table. i'm interested to see what chuck schumer has to say later about this. again, not everybody is on the same page as nancy pelosi on this. >> and the democrats don't need a long debate about it. if there's not a whole lot of consensus about that, the going back and forth about whether to impeach or not is sort of like going back and forth on whether or not to do a resolution on anti-semitism. i mean, it's a distraction from the policies that they really want to get out there ahead of the 2020 race. >> jeff, you have teed us nicely for several topics we'll talk about with the person joining us next. i want to thank kasie hunt and both of you. stick around. i want to bring in the member of the intelligence committee, congressman jim himes. thank you for joining us. >> good morning. >> let me start with speaker pelosi's comments. do you agree unless there's a compelling and bipartisan way to move forward, impeachment should be off the table? >> right now she's right. i say right now because while we
have evidence the president that has committed crimes, the payoff, the hush money, the checks written, any number of other crimes, we still need to see what else is out there. none of the investigations, the house, the senate, nor the mueller investigations are completed. it's important because right now nancy pelosi is right. if we were to start impeachment proceedings based on a possible violation of federal election campaign law, a couple things happen. one, we spend a year doing that and probably not much else. and as jeff said and others said, there's an awful lot of people in america saying guys, get transportation infrastructure done. i'm worried about educating my kid and my health care. that gets set aside. the other thing that happens, we've seen this everyday in the congress. republicans will not vote against this president. so the probability you get a conviction in the senate is pretty close to zero. so what do you have now? you have a year that's gone by. you have an inconclusive result, and you have probably scotched or at least damaged the ability to do what i think we need to do which is hand this president a
devastating electoral defeat in 2020. have the american people say you had your shot. you were a one-term president. we're moving beyond the hatred and craziness that's donald trump. right now i think pelosi is right. >> what does this mean, for example, for the house intelligence committee investigation? other house investigations into the president? is there a concern that speaker pelosi's comments undercut what you're trying to do with the investigations before they get off the ground? >> no. absolutely not. the objective of these investigations is not impeachment. i know donald trump would have us believe this. the objective is to get at the truth. that's bob mueller's investigation and the house intelligence and senate intelligence, that's the objective, to get at the truth. there is no connection between the two. now, if mueller or if the house or the senate provide evidence of a very serious crime that the american people can understand is a very serious crime, then the conversation needs to be revisited. but no, the investigations are
about telling the american people the truth. not about -- and by the way, maybe that truth is there was no collusion. we're not prejudging this. it's about truth, not about impeachment. >> i have to ask you about something else. president trump happens to be tweeting this morning about something called jexidus. it's a group of millennials looking to encourage jewish voters to move away from the democratic party. i don't need to tell you what the president has said including publicly that democrats are anti-jewish. i asked the press secretary about this in the briefing yesterday. i want to play you a little bit of that exchange, congressman. >> does he really believe democrats hate jews? >> i think that's a question you ought to ask the democrats. >> sarah huckabee sanders deflecting when asked about this reported comment that the president made. she said you have to ask the democrats. i pointed out i was trying to ask her. what do you make of that? >> i almost hesitate to address
this. this is classic donald trump stuff. throw out something false and unbelievable and appalling. here we're dealing with real issues of anti-semitism. here we're dealing with real issues about the need to stand in a bipartisan way as we always have in this country, and support of our ally and our friend in israel. even as we make room to criticize our friend and ally israel, those are the issues. the president is doing what he always does, acting with the maturity of a four-year-old in the service of a republican effort to try to drive a wedge between democrats and the fact that most jewish people traditionally have voted democrat. >> the numbers pulled here, you are right in 2012, 2016 and 2018 the vast majority of american jewish voters have voted and favored democrats by margins of 69 to 79%, congressman. >> yeah. that's right. look, this is about as cynical a maneuver as you could do. the president is lying. but in this case he's lying in a way that drags in some
controversial things which quite frankly consumed my caucus last week. it touches on anti-semitism. it touches on the u.s./israeli relationship. once again the president is lying and for a cynical attempt at political gain is putting in jeopardy some really important things. >> congressman, before i let you go, i used to live and work in connecticut. i know how important boeing is to the state. there's word the uk is grounding the 737 max 8s after the crash. i want to know if you think the u.s. should follow suit, and have you had any conversations with boeing executives about this? >> boeing is not in connecticut. we have an awful lot of aeronautics. >> lots of jobs, though y in connecticut related to the industry. >> there are lots of manufacturing jobs associated with aviation. nonetheless, your question is a good one. look, i have every confidence in the faa and national transportation safety bureau. if there's an example of a regulatory regime that has done
a spectacular job over time, it is our aviation regulators. that doesn't mean planes don't ever crash. i think there are serious questions about the 737. we've now had two crashes. that could be a problem with the 737. it hals migalso might be coinci. remember the faa, and transportation board, boeing, they will work together to find out what the answer is. is this a problem with the plane or a coincidence and act accordingly. >> should congress be looking into this, do you think? or no? let the aviation -- >> remember when i said smart experts were going to look at that? i did not have congress in mind. let's see what the experts tell us first. let's look at the evidence if there are still questions after we hear from the experts and see the evidence, congress can make a determination. >> congressman, thank you for coming on the show. i'll let you get back to work. joe biden has now dropped his strongest hint yet that he plans on running. but he's only one of three
democrats who are making news as they slow up toward the runs. we have our new reporting on just what is going down and perhaps as importantly, when. but first, as we were talking about more countries grounding the kind of jet involved in the deadly crash in africa, president trump tweeting by the way in the last couple minutes about air travel. we're going to get into what he's saying and what's next. how do you determine the durable value of a business in the transportation industry without knowing firsthand the unique challenges in that sector. coming out here, seeing the infrastructure firsthand, talking with the people behind the numbers creates a different picture. once i know what a business is truly worth, we can make better informed investment decisions. that's why i go beyond the numbers. ♪ ♪ ahhhh!
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ethiopian airlines plane coming in the last hour. the united kingdom the latest country to ground the boeing 737 max 8 because of safety concerns. other countries have done the same. this puts more pressure on the u.s. at this point. we heard from the president moments ago on twitter. he says airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. pilots are no longer needed. he goes onto say computer scientists from myit are. making the argument planes are getting overly complicated. it comes as about two dozen airlines announced they're grounding the plane, and we're learning more about the 8 americans among the 2157 victim. two brothers from california were returning from a trip to australia. melvin and his wife were expecting a first child. antoine lewis was a member of the u.s. military.
answer a doctor who was a doctor at east tennessee state university who was flying to kenya to see her sister who had just given birth to triplets. let me bring in tom costello who has been all over this. tom, i have to start on the president's tweet. it's just come out. he says i don't want albert einstein to be my pilot. i want great flying professionals that are allowed to quickly and easily take control of the plane. it seems the president is alluding to the auto pilot plans. >> he seems to be suggesting planes are too complex and we should go back to the days of the stick, of the yolk only an a pilot going simply flying a plane by the seat of his pants. listen, the truth of the matter is more people in the united states over the last ten years have died in hot air balloon crashes than commercial air travel. air commercial travel has never been safer.
part of the reason is because of automation and the computer technology and fantastic avionics and fantastic training. right now the world is trying to get to the bottom of two serious plane crashes in ethiopia and indonesia, and the question is is there some common link that can be fixed. and one of the theories is that it may be a software problem having to do with a trim system. in other words, the system that keeps the plane level. as you can see we have more than two dozen airliners around the world that have grounded the plane and the list of countries grounding it is growing. i now count 47% of the global fleet has grounded the 737 max. that's 26 airliners around the world. that puts huge pressure on the faa in the united states to take similar action. the faa is insisting the data at this point does not support a
ban, a grounding. and every u.s. and canadian airliner that we've talked to that flied a plane all stand by the plane say it's safe and they've had no issues whatsoever. at the moment there is this momentum, this avalanche of opinion around the world with many of the world's regulators and airliners saying we don't want to take a chance of another aircraft falling out of the sky until we know specifically what has caused these two crashes. >> tom, quickly, bring it back to folks watching at home. there have been a lot of experts out over the last 48 hours saying a lot of things about whether if you're set to fly on one of these planes you should or not or whether they would or not. what should people set to fly know? >> the uk only has five of the 737 max 8s. they don't have a huge fleet. americans should know what i've said. that's that the american and canadian airlines are standing behind this plane as is boeing and the faa.
and i would say that air safety is the best in the world in the united states and canadian air space. these are among the best-trained pilots and airlines in the world. at the moment the data does not support the idea of a ban, of a grounding. however, the concern is that should we -- should they learn something, is a common problem between both of these crashes, you can imagine that the faa is going to act very quickly. >> that's right. >> listen, we have one problem. one outstanding issue. that is getting those black boxes read. and candidly, we don't know who's reading the black boxes. we've talked to our sources in the u.s. government and elsewhere. and they don't know. which leads us to believe that maybe it's the ethiopians doing a readout on the black boxes. we don't know right now. >> hoping to find out more on that. tom reporting for us in washington. we'll look more reporting from you later on. thank you. up next on the show. the 2020 tease continues with
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i appreciate the energy you showed when i got up here. save it a little longer. i may need it in a few weeks. be careful what you wish for. >> that was joe biden just within the last hour or so giving his biggest hint yet on his 2020 plans. already sounding a lot like a presidential candidate talking with firefighters in washington. their union cheering him on. the crowd chanting run, joe run. it's not just biden we're watching. you know who is hiding to iowa? multiple sources say beto o'roarke is making his first trip to the state this weekend. yet another sign that after a pretty lengthy slow walk he seems ready to jump into 2020. mike is at joe biden's event in
washington d.c. garrett haake is on capitol hill with his beto o'roarke reporting onset, kimberly atkins and jeff mason join us as well. mike, i think the firefighters have cleared out so far. biden has another event later today. i'll be honest, he seemed -- i need your energy in a few weeks. that's a pretty big hint from joe biden there. no? >> well, ali, just to correct you, it's been a half hour since he talked. he's still in the room taking pictures and doing selfies. you would not be surprised. hallie, this is a critical week in terms of joe biden and his deliberations. i've been following the vice president for about 11 years since our friends at nbc had me camping out in his driveway the week he was named as barack obama's running mate. even though he wasn't supposed to announce anything, and he didn't. even his closest advisers, watch today, you might get a hint. the timetable his aides have laid out is an april announcement. that means they're hoping for a
decision this week. we didn't hear that announcement from the vice president. we did hear a preview of the message he would take into the campaign. he criticized the president for his new budget proposal noting it would slash medicare. he talked about the pettiness of politics today and noted he's criticized for saying nice things about the republicans. he talked about how we're defined by our diversity and not by religious identity. a preview of what we might be hearing from the vice president if he runs. >> mike, hang for a second. mike talked to the president of the yiefrter's union. that's a huge support group for biden. here's what he said about why they're throwing their support behind biden. in past years there's a bunch of candidates there. now it's just joe. >> i think he understands flyover america and middle america. i personally see the party
beginning to lurch too far to the left, and it continues to do that, i think it does it at its own peril. >> he brings up a good point there. joe biden has appeal not only to the progressive parts of the democratic party but also the center. you win primaries by moving to the left. you win general elections by being in the center. that's something they're seeing in joe biden. >> yeah. look, he has to come in with the splash, come in with all the support he has around him. in a field this big, there's a danger of him having his highest poll numbers the minute he jumps in and then having it -- >> drop off. >> and that would be -- that's sort of the game he's playing. >> mike rightly notes and he's too humble to call himself the biden whisper, but let's be real. you are, and you have new reporting on what proposals biden is considering for 2020. this is new and interesting. that's been a big question, his platform, tax code overhaul, $15
minimum wage, free tuition at public colleges. the renewal project to rebuild the country's infrastructure. there are progressive ideas. is it enough, do you think, for biden to pass the kind of primary progressive litmus test that seems to be out there? >> yeah. there's certainly a balancing act that the vice president and his team are trying to walk. as he's said in the past, i'll put my progressive credentials up against anyone. he's said he's no bernie sanders populi populist, and as it was said yesterday, he's not a democratic socialist. his pitch is very much centered on the middle class, the types of voters that donald trump successfully won over in 2016 that put him in the white house thanks to states like michigan, wiscons wisconsin, and pennsylvania. that's very much the appeal that the vice president is planning to make. they believe that he has a deep reservoir of support across the party. also among african americans, a key demographic we've seen in polling. they view him as a loyal foot
soldier for barack obama. he certainly is taking pains to show that he is a progressive in the truest sense of the word but hasn't drifted as far to the left as the party might seem to have. >> somebody else a potential jumper inner to the race is somebody you've been reporting on, garrett, as our resident txt tex texan, beto o'roarke. you have information about his first trip to iowa this weekend. >> that's right. beto o'roarke will be in iowa on saturday. he'll be there campaigning on behalf of a state candidate. it's interesting. they've tried to avoid trying to do anything to hype up expectations he's ready to jump into the race. my reporting indicates that's what's happening now. he's ready to jump into the race. he's come a long way from when he told me in november he would not be a candidate for president. he went on this road trip across the country. he met with people and spent a lot of time talking about this
with his family. we know he made the decision before the end of february. now i'm told by people close to him he'll announce the decision before the end of march. they're essentially trying to get their ducks in a way and trying to get an organization in place. he has not hired any staff because he doesn't have a day job. he can't hire his congressional office. he doesn't and probably won't have an exploratory committee. they think when he's in, he'll be in and press the go button. all of this will spring to life. i don't know, to be completely transparent, whether or not that will happen before he goes to iowa on saturday, but his team appears comfortable dispensing with some of the playing footsies with when he'll go to the early states. he's reached out to potential staff in new hampshire. these are not things you do if your announcement is you're not running for president. >> right. speaking of i guess in the words of garrett haake, playing footsie. stacey abrams is talking about maybe putting a 2020 run on her radar after she seemed to rule
one out. she's tweeting 2020 is definitely on the table. this was a wow moment considering people put that speculation to rest for her. she's somebody who has a lot of support inside some of the democratic communities? . >> she did. when the first headline came out, there was disappointment she would not be in this. i don't know if she was reacting to that if or if that wasn't what she meant the first one. the republicans are watching her. republicans are afraid of young democrats from red states. and she would be one of them. they've already put out a club for growth, put out an ad against beto o'roarke already before he's in this. you're going to see that. they're also keeping an eye on pete but pete. >> kimberly, jeff, stick around for longer. mike, garrett, our experts in the 2020 field. thank you. i appreciate you joining out. coming up after the break, more
news to get to on this busy morning. the humanitarian crisis is getting worse in venezuela. the country still without power and clean drinking water. wait until you hear what people are trying to do as the u.s. makes a big diplomatic move. e.wr with the new gillette skinguard. it has a unique guard between the blades. that's designed to reduce irritation during the shave. because we believe all men deserve a razor just for them. the best a man can get. gillette. uh uh - i deliverberty the news around here. ♪ sources say liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. over to you, logo. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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of venezuela sinking deeper into chaos. the humanitarian and political crisis so bad that pompeo pompeo overnight ordered all remaining diplomatic staff to evacuate the country. an explosion in a power station in the capital plunged more people into the dark. millions around the country without power for the sixth straight day. there are food and water shortages to the point where people are getting water from polluted rivers and leaking water pipes. maduro is accusing the u.s. of sabotaging the electrical grid. secretary pompeo said the u.s. was leaving because of the deteriorating situation and the country concluded the u.s. presence has been a constraint on the policy. josh, you've covered this story deeply since the beginning. what's the next step, how bad is it? >> this is not what the trump administration wanted.
it was only about six weeks ago that maduro actually ordered all u.s. diplomats out of the country and the trump administration said no, they're going to stay. they wanted to make a point there. so now the u.s. is pulling out. they're trying to put a spin on it. they're saying that keeping american diplomats constrains u.s. policy. they said all options remain on the table. the trump administration likes that ambiguity. they think it gives trump more ability to scare other countries into not knowing what trump is going to do. what happens next with the power out in much of the country. food running short and maduro clinging to power. the u.s. will have to evacuate not only the diplomats but deal with classified documents with special equipment in the embassy that will all need to be either destroyed or somehow removed from the country. but diplomats rehearse these scenarios and have a protocol.
we're expecting for more detail the next few hours. >> and what are we hearing from guy doh? >> he's talking about restoring power bit by bit, acting like he's in charge and running the country. >> josh, i know you'll stay on top of this story. bring us any updates as you get them. we want to turn to a developing story involving a huge college cheating ring at some of the country's most well known universities. tom winters is one of the reporters that broke the story. this involves a couple of really familiar names and celebrities. >> that's right. court documents are being sealed up at district court in massachusetts. the fbi in boston and the u.s. attorney's office is announcing that they are charging hollywood actresses felicity huffman and lo
lori loughlin of full house in a scandal involving cheating on s.a.t.s and acts. they've indicted several college coaches for their part in the scheme. essentially some of this, and we're still going through it because we're up to over 300 pages of charging documents this morning. essentially what we have here is a scheme whereby an individual william singer from a for profit kind of college counseling s.a.t. guidance company in new port beach, california, he was paid in order to either extend the time basically bribing the test facilitators of the s.a.t.s and acts into giving students more time. telling them to claim disabilities, and basically taking money to help these kids with their boards. in addition to that several schools, the coaches, not the schools themselves as best we know so far, several coaches at
schools, prominent division one schools have been involved in a scheme where they would say a student would be a prospective student athlete in a way to get that kid into that school. in return they would get payment from singer and some of the parents. way tonight read to you a couple of the schools that were vofled in this. again, the schools themselves to the best of our knowledge are not involved in the scheme, but this is where some of the students attended. georgetown, stanford, ucla, university of san diego. university of southern california. university of texas. wake forest and yale, and some of the coaches are from those schools. again, kind of recapping here. more details at 11:30 this morning at a press conference we hope to bring to you. we're going to pore through more of the documents. felicity huffman as well as lori loughlin have been charged themselves in the scheme. in addition to that, we expect to learn the names of maybe
prominent ceos as well that are expected to be charged. we'll get that to you and come back to you as we get updates. >> we'll be eager for the updates tom on what seems to be some serious developing news now. thank you much for jumping in front of a camera for us. after the break another nbc exclusive. our inside look at russia's plans to mess with elections across europe, perhaps a preview of what moscow may try to do here come 2020. 20 ♪ to walk along the lonely street of dreams ♪ ♪ here i go again on my--- you realize your vows are a whitesnake song? i do. if you ride, you get it. geico motorcycle. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more. we really pride ourselvesglass, on making it easy to get your windshield fixed.
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this morning nbc news is getting an exclusive first look you will only see here at an exhaustive report on what russia has been up to secretly for the past year and the mess it wants to make across europe coming up. the report says russia will probably interfere in the may european parliamentary elections, focuses their efforts on germany, france, italy. it's keeping up with the broader extensive cyber spying campaign against the west. the kremlin's military activity has been expanding. russia has been building up the presence along the borders, preparing for an extensive military conflict with nato. if some kind of crisis did happen, the experts say russia
would probably attack the baltic states first. it could involve attacks on western europe as well. kourtney broke this story. she has that exclusive reporting from the pentagon. walk us through what you've learned and how significant it is. >> reporter: this is coming from the estonia intelligence community. they've been paying attention to russia. they watch them closely. russia is the biggest threat to estonia. they're constantly gathering intelligence on them. most of the findings are not particularly new and that we know that russia tries to meddle in elections. we know they engage in extensive cyber operations and they engage in large scale military exercises. but what's particularly interesting is it looks back at what they did in 2018 and looks forward at 2019. you mentioned the eu parliamentary elections. these are people elected for five years and the estonia
intelligence services are saying that they believe russia will attempt to influence and get russia friendly candidates from some of the largest members including italy and france. so that would mean they'd have pro russia people in these roles for up to five years. another thing is the extensive cyber espionage campaigns russia underta undertakes. this includes everything from, you know, information wars, information operations to actually monitoring phone calls and intercepts. they talk a lot about intercepts in the report. again, these aren't new concepts, but it's an interesting inside look at what russia may be trying to do this year. and also the military buildup along their western side of the country. hallie. >> yeah, it's some startling stuff. i appreciate you bringing it to us here on the show.
enjoy your rest of the day. we want to talk about the special counsel's investigation of course. tomorrow paul manafort, the former trump campaign chair will be sentenced in his second trial. he's facing up to ten more years in prison after his 47 month sentencing last week. but there's still the question here, right? is the president considering a pardon for his former campaign chair. it's something that came up in that white house briefing as you're about to hear. >> why hasn't the president ruled out a pardon for paul manafort? >> the president has made his position on that clear and he'll make a decision when he's ready. >> joining me here, joyce vance, former u.s. attorney for the north district of alabama. it's a pleasure to see you in person. let me start with paul manafort. the president refuses to take this off the table. the white house doesn't want to take it off the table either. they want to keep his options open. is that a smart strategy? >> what it signals is that the option is on the table. and that's really an abdication
of the rule of law. if the president of the united states can pardon someone to reward them for withholding testimony that might have incriminated the president, then the president is above the rule of law, above the law, something our system is based on having not happen. the point here is that the president should have simply said a pardon won't be issued in this case. the fact he won't say that is troubling. >> we also are waiting to see what exactly the judge will do tomorrow. there was a bit of an outcry in some circles after last week's 47 month sentencing which was much lighter than the recommended sentencing guidelines. you watch her, you know this. do you think she's going to be tougher than the last judge was? >> federal sentencing is very complex, but what's different and unusual here is the statutory maximum in this case, the highest sentence she could impose is way out of the ball here, and so the sentence that she can impose is a maximum of ten years. that's different in virginia
where there was a guideline sentence in place. the judge came low in the guideline range. here we're looking at ten years, maybe a lighter sentence. the question is whether she'll stack that so that paul manafort services the two sentences together. she has the option of running them consecutively so he serves the 47 months in virginia and then the ten years in d.c. >> roger stone and the idea that he had this book release out, maybe did he break his gag order, they had to make this filing, which they did. his legal team says they weren't trying to hide anything by failing to mention he'd be releasing a book. it didn't occur to them they could be violating his gag ord or. do you think they're testing the limits of this gag order? >> they're pushing to see what they can do. the reality is the judge is doing exactly the right thing. playing it smart. what she doesn't want to do is give stone an issue on appeal. assuming he's convicted at
trial, she doesn't want him arguing on appeal i was impeded. she'll let him push a little bit, but as some point as every good judge does, she'll make him understand she wears the black robe. >> it's great to see you in person. we want to wrap up the show with a look at what our sources are saying. and jeff let's start with you. we love when you come on because you bring hot trade scoops. >> i love trade. i love that trade story. you may remember from a couple weeks ago, the president had a meeting here in washington with the chinese delegation -- >> i was in the oval for that one. >> we both were, exactly. the treasure secretary said may have a summit at the end of march. it's been two weeks and there have been crickets. there have been no new talks between the two sides. so concern, apparently, on the chinese side that president trump might walk away from a
deal. >> like he did in vietnam. >> two ways to look at that. one, that's a genuine concern. another is china is using that as an excuse because they aren't ready to sign up to some of the reforms the u.s. is looking for. one of the sources i spoke to said in terms of negotiations going forward, look to see if the president puts a deadline back again on putting those tariffs again. if he does, then there's a breakdown. >> you're bringing it back to the hill about discussions in the senate. >> senate republicans are eyeing a nuclear option, not the big one, the filibuster is not in danger yet. but we'll call it a little nuke. they're thinking about -- they would like to change rules to speed up judicial confirmation, particularly on these district judges. president trump already is on track to appoint more judicial nominees than any other president in his first term in modern history. the republicans want to keep that energy going. they want to slow the time it takes to pass to confirm these judges. but to do that, they need 60
votes. they know democrats are nn't gog to get them that. they might lower that threshold again, making it so they have the ability to override any sort of democratic dissent. >> thank you for bringing it. come back again soon. i'll see you back for another hour of news, including news from florida. where former felons are advocating for their newly restored right to vote. hans nickels is in the sunshine state where they're looking to register a big portion of the newly eligible voters. we're going there later in the show. we're going erthe later in the show moving? that's harder now because of psoriatic arthritis. but you're still moved by moments like this. don't let psoriatic arthritis take them away. taltz reduces joint pain and stiffness and helps stop the progression of joint damage. for people with moderate to severe psoriasis, 90% saw significant improvement. taltz even gives you a chance at completely clear skin. don't use if you're allergic to taltz. before starting, you should be checked for tuberculosis. taltz may increase risk of infections
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it's 11:00 a.m. on the east coast. another hour here in washington while craig melvin is on assignment. breaking news, a major college scandal. the feds bust up a large scale scheme helping students cheat on their college entrance exams to get into top schools. two big time hollywood actresses are among the people charges. plus, ready to run? former vice president joe biden speaking not once but twice today in front of friendly crowds. even though he won't say whether he's getting into the 2020 race, he sure did drop a big hint. plus, divide and conquer. president trump leaning into his latest controversy. how he's trying to drive a wedge between jewish americans and the democratic party. we want to start with the breaking news. a nationwide cheating scandal involvingge