tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC March 14, 2019 9:00am-10:01am PDT
today. >> gooddr to see you, my friend thank you very much. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," doubled down as new republicansor add their names to the list of lawmakers poised to rebuke president trump's national emergency declaration. the president stands firm in his promise to sign the first veto of his presidency. >> i don't know what the vote will be. it doesn't matter. i'll probably have to veto. and, uh, it's not going to be overturned. born to run? beto o'rourke makes it official and kicks off his 2020 presidential race in iowa. >> beto, how does it feel to be in? >> it feels wonderful. it feels even better to be in in iowa. i'm looking forward to meeting the folks herem and having a c of coffee. and safety first. the u.s. becomes nearly the last country in the world to ground all boeing 737 max 8s. some planes even turned around on thes tarmac. passengers reacting to the news.
>> the pilot gave us a call and said that we weren't going to orlando. >> it's good to look into it and make sure there's not something intrinsically wrong with the plane. >> safety first, most important thing.y wr good day, i'm peter alexander, in today for my friend andrea mitchell in washington where president trump is ramping up the pressure on senate republicans, a growing list expected to vote with democrats today against his national emergency declaration for the southern border. the president beginning his pushback this morning on twitter, warning republicans against what he calls aligning with house speaker nancy pelosi. then expanding on his veto threat within the last hour. >> the legal scholars all say it's totally constitutional. it's very important, it's really a border security vote. it's pure and simple, it's a vote for border security. it's a vote for no crime.
whether it's positive or not, i'm vetoing it unless i don't have to veto. i think that's unlikely. i'll do a veto. it's not going to be overturned. but we have doneng a great job the border through apprehension. >> my colleague, kristen welker, our white house correspondent, was representing reporters in the oval office. kristen, the president just said it to the cameraste just moment ago, as we saw, when you were there. this will be an embarrassing rejection forbe the president, forcing him to use that first veto. >> that's right, peter. yet the president was defiant as ever. you heard him there issuing that veto threat, doing it quite proudly. he knows this is an issue that reallyws appeals to his base an he knows he's going into a tough reelection battle so this gives him the chance to say that, look, i'm still fighting for this issue, this signature campaign promise, even though i'm being rebuked by members of
my own buparty. president also, i think for the first time you saw him say there, he doesn't think congress has enough votes to override his veto, i thought that was notable. of course based on my conversations, i know you've had similar conversations, peter, with folks on capitol hill, they grow, they don't think as of right now they have enough votes to override his veto. it's embarrassing from the perspective that you have ahe number of members of his own party essentially breaking with him. at the same time this is the issue that appeals to his base. what you and i will be watching for throughout the day, peter, is how high that number will go. right now we think five senate republicans will vote to essentially block the national emergency number. does the number get even higher, that's the question. >> a couple of them in the last hour adding their names, lamar alexander, republican from tennessee. mitt romney, of course, of utah, the freshman senator, as it were, onen that list. we'll watch to see how high that goes. h notably one of the names, mike
lee, had been proposing sort of a compromise, even had a conversation directly with president trump yesterday about this, that would basically limit presidential powers going forward. noter surprisingly, president trump said of that, not going to happen. >> not, going to happen, he's t going to come promise on this issue. he shut down thee government o this issue for 35 days. this is yet another instance of president trump digging anin, n giving an inch whendi it comes this border wall. i thought it was notable, peter, we asked him about n a range of topics. this was the singular issue he clearly wanted to talk about most. he talked about hisnt broader immigration policy. he was even asked if his immigration policy is cruel. he said, no, it's just the opposite, and then went on to slam the laws here saying it's the laws that need to change. nothing new from this president. but again, he clearly feels emboldened by this will toptopi
giving in. remember, he said mexico was going to pay for the border wall. we now know that's not the case, he's asking american taxpayers to foot the bill first. he says ultimately we will be reimbursed by mexico. but that argument really gave democrats fuel to their fire to win over republicans. we'll see if those numbers go up today, peter. >> kristen welker at the white house, where the president plans to head for pre-st.-patrick's day celebrations. another big message to the president and the justice department. by a countan of 420-0, the hous voted in favor of a resolution calling for the mueller report to be made available to the public and to congress. florida democratic congresswoman stephanie murphy joins me now. congresswoman, thanks for being here. >> great to be here. >> what message do you think your republican colleagues area sending with this 420-0 vote?
>> i was very heartened to see that the resolution passed without any opposition. the american people deserve to know the outcome of the mueller investigation, since it was an investigation that looked into foreign interference in our elections. it's an incredibly important to oured democracy that we know th fullow extent of the findings s that we can protect ourof democracy from future interference. our electionsom are so incredib important that we can't have this go without answer. andth transparency is of the utmost importance here. >> congresswoman, to be clear, obviously this doesn't have tottot teeth, as they say, it doesn't change any of the guidelines at the andoj in terms of what willm barr,at the new attorney genera is responsible for doing. so,or i guess, what does this actually guaccomplish? >> it sends a clear message that this congress believes in transparency and that the american people deserve to know the ertruth. this has not been a witch hunt. it has been a search for truth.n
>> let me switch gears to another question as it relates toti this. matt whitaker, he met with the former acting attorney general, met with judiciary chairman democrat jerry nadler, to talk more about his discussions with president trump. and we saw two very different interpretations of that meeting from some of your colleagues. i want to play this for you, take a listen. >> unlike in the hearing room, mr.in whitaker did not deny tha the president called him to discuss the michael cohen case and personnelae decisions in th southern indistrict. two, while he was acting attorney general, mr. whitaker was directly involved in conversations about whether to fire one or more u.s. attorneys. >> i think one of the biggest takeaways i've found of this whole thing thati' mr. nadler agreed the worst fears and expectations of mr. f whitaker were not borne out. he said he did not talk with the
president about mr. cohen at all and had no conversation with the southern district of new york. >> the justice department is disagreeing with chairman nadler's interpretation. >> those are shocking allegations that have come out. and for me they underscore the importance of congress continuing its oversight role. you know, it'sig been two years that we haven't really seen congress exercise its oversight role. continuing to have hearings and continuing to look into this situation is important. it's also important that we protect the mueller investigation and allow it to finish, and that we see the results when it's done. we need to get to the truth, to the bottom of this matter. >> let me ask you, if i can, obviously you serve on the ways and means committee. today the treasury secretary, steve mnuchin, came before that committee and was asked about president trump's tax returns. here was his answer.
>> if i receive a request, which i presume, from what i've read in the press, i will receive, i will consult with the legal department within treasury and i will follow the law. >> congresswoman, is that enough for you? >> everybody past president has releasedpr their tax returns. i have consistently called on this president to release their tax returns -- his tax returns. i trust in chairman neal to look into this matter and decide if and when it's appropriate to make that request. it's fully within the jurisdiction of our committee to do so. also grateful to see him focused on other important issues. secretary mnuchin was before us to talk about the president's budget and he failed, quite frankly, to explain why he was paying for the republican tax cut which benefitted the wealthiest among us by punishing our seniors and our working families. u >> congresswoman stephanie murphy, we very much appreciate your time, thank you. >> thank you.
another big story making news today in the mueller probe, roger stone back in a federal courtroom this morning, then walking out less than an hour later, avoiding any additional penaltyan regarding his partial gag order. the judge, amy berman jackson, back in the spotlight for a second day in a row, following her sentencing of convicted former trump campaign chairman paul manafort on conspiracy charges, set a trial date for stone. it is november 5th, surprisingly she stated she didn't intend to dwell on his recent book release. it was in the introduction of that new book where there were some comments very critical of robert mueller. stone failed to notify his lawyers that the book publishers released an updated version of this 2016 novel days before judge jackson issued her initial gag order, forcing his attorneys to apologize to the court on monday. joining me now, two msnbc
contributors, barbara mcquade and joyce vance. the last time roger stone was in court as they enforced that gag order,en the judge, judge jacks, said there isn't baseball, there's two strikes but not three.o >>no i am surprised she didn't impose some penalty. it is a tricky area. people have first amendment rights to speak about things of public interest and this certainly is one of them. ordinarily whenne gag orders ar imposed, the judge is able to justify it on the basis of what's called strict scrutiny, finding that there's a compelling governmental interesp in protecting a fair trial, and then narrowly tailoring that order to comply with that need. and so here i think she would have been within her rights to order even more restrictions on what he's m saying or to impose penalties for violating it, but perhapsit mindful of his first amendment rights and not wanting to give n any basis for recusin
her, did not impose any additional considerations today. i amti a little bit surprised, t it's a tough issue and maybe she thought i it best to let it go knowing that l he knows he's on zero tolerance plan at the moment. >> t p zero tolerance plan is r, joyce, this is going to be a heck of a test. november 5thf is the trial dat. that means this guy who obviously has no problem speaking to any camera he sees will have to muzzle it for the course of tenit months. is it possible he can try and get the attention of the president? >> it's hard to imagine roger stone making it through evening another week. but barbin is exactly right her. from a practical point of view, judgeom jackson handled this exactly right. it may not be what people wanted but her goal is to make sure that if he is convicted, it won't be i reversed on appeal. taking too strong an action against him here could have given him something he could have argued that it impeded his trial preparation. so the long game here is the right one to play. >> barbara, let me ask you about
anotherou headline that made ne today, nbc news confirming that andrew weissmann, robert mueller's top prosecutor, one of the best minds in this business, that he will be departing the doj, mueller's team, within the next week or so. it's also come out in what was basically an almost missed e-mail, that robert mueller's top fbi investigator has left as well, going back to his offices in richmond, virginia. what do you make of that? is that more evidence that mueller's investigation is or has wound down? >> i think it is. you know, until this announcement, i was one of the view that there were too many loose ends to wrap up with outstanding grand jury as much as for a stone associate, andrew miller, with this mysterious company owned by a foreign country. but i think the departure of andrew weissmann is a sure sign that they're winding things down. he is the top deputy who was running things. it suggests to me they may not have tied up every loose end, but every big piece has been
addressed, that they're in the final stages of whatever it is they plan to do, write an additional report, maybe additional charges to be unsealed but those can then be farmed out to federal prosecutors and u.s. attorneys' offices. i think that is the biggest tea leaf i've seen so far that the investigation is winding r down. >> the biggest tea leaf you've seen so far. joyce, let me ask you, we were talking about thee judiciary chairman, jerry nadler, bringing matty whitaker, former acting attorney general back before him. he said that he didke not deny that the president called him to discuss the michael cohen case and personnel decisions in the southern district of new york. department of justice is disputing this. >> matt whitaker is a critical witness on the issue of whether or not the president of the united states tried to obstruct justice, tried to obstruct the n
sdny investigation. it would have made sense to have a transcript, to have him under oath. so this conversation in itself may not be all that valuable. down the road, if whitaker did have this conversation with president trump and lied about it, he may flip with federal prosecutors toth cut his losses. >> thank you both. coming up next on "andrea mitchell reports," running man. how willor beto o'rourke's dry into the 2020 pack change the state of this race? and california democratic senator and presidential candidatean kamala harris joinss live ahead on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
this is the first stop in our campaign to be president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] it is a huge, huge honor to be here with you. >> beto o'rourke today making it official. the former texas congressman whose star-making senate run catapulted him into the national spotlight, kicking off his presidential bid in the crucial caucus state of iowa today, road testing a message of hope and unity that is likely to shape his campaign. joining me now is msnbc's garrett haake, who spoke with o'rourke in iowa this morning. jim hightower who advised o
o'rour o'rourke's senate campaign, and heidi heitkamp, former senator. garrett, where does beto o'rourke fit into this giant field of democrats? and you had a chance to speak to him about this very topic. >> yeah, look, o'rourke wants to be a unifying figure. he doesn't want to run a race against the other democrats that are running. he's not even really running against donald trump as much as he's trying to be someone who he says can unite the country at a time when they need it now. when i pressed him for specifics about how he stands out from this field, he said he brings two things specifically to the table. first, his home state of texas and its 38 electoral votes could become a target, as could other conservative states where he might play a little bit better than some of the other progressive candidates. and second, he says he feels like he's uniquely qualified to talk about issues around the border and immigration. he comes from arguably the p
preeminent border states in the country. you've set it up in the intro, peter, beto o'rourke is undoubtedly a star. the question is can he be a successful politician. we didn't hear a lot of specifics from him about the policies he wanted to pursue or how he would do them. it will be interesting to see how it develops as he gets pressed with questions about national issues in a way that perhaps he didn't get even in that grueling senate campaign. >> jim, you've advised beto o'rourke in the past. did you have any say in this call? what was your take? did you advise him in favor of it and what were i guess his concerns in advance of making this call? >> my advice is that he run for senate against john cornyn. that tells you how much influence i have. but i'm happy to see him in the race. i have been against beto
o'rourke first when he was in the congress for positions he was taking against working people. i've been for him running for the senate. now i'm like most americans who are paying attention, that is, we're watching, we're lesseniis, we're waiting to see who beto o'rourke is going to be. being a star is one thing, but, you know, and being open to ideas, which he certainly is, and that's a virtue. but, you know, you can be so open to ideas that nothing sticks. and we're going to have to see what it's going to be. this is not just another county rodeo that he's entering here. he's vying for the cowboy championship. and there are very serious contenders on the other side. this is not going to be as easy as the senate race was, as hard as that was. >> there's a lot of cowboys out there right now, he becomes 13 with other names likely to join that list. senator, we had this conversation ahead of time, you said there's three c's you look at when you're talking about a candidate. i want you to describe what those are and whether it's an
issue for a guy who has so much charisma but maybe lacks a signature initiative, something he stands for to be viable. >> i think the three c's are character, and the next one is competence, and the third is charisma. for a lot of our candidates charisma is a little harder. once they start getting their groove on, i think they'll get better at it. >> he has charisma. does he have competence? >> that's for him to prove on the campaign trail. what unnerves me is when candidates say, we're not going to run against donald trump. guess what, the number one issue that democrats are talking about is electability, can you beat this president. the candidate that can prove they have the best narrative against the sitting president, donald trump, is the candidate who is going to get nominated. so get in the real world, quick playing soft politics and start telling people how you're different. >> as you speak, he's playing some retail politics right now. this is a live picture from ft. madison, iowa, not even noon,
he's already on his third stop of his day right now. the president is arriving on capitol hill, he's there as part of the pre-st.-patrick's day celebrations. should be an interesting handshake, as he's been ripping on the house speaker, the top democrat in the country over much of this day. senator, what is the best strategy for the next democratic nominee for president as it relates to president trump? do you take him on, as we watch the handshake, a nice greeting between the two, what is the strategy for taking on the president of the united states? do you hit back or play above it, go high? >> you be who you are. and you begin to talk about how your policies are going to be different. but you also have to talk about how you're going to acquit yourself in a different manner, because a big part of what people don't like out there is how the president treats other people, how the president has divided the country. when you say i'm going to be a uniter but not talk about the president, why is that a message
that works? it works because the president has divided the country. and you've got to talk about that. >> jim, let me ask you, if i can, again, there's some similarities between the last president of the united states, barack obama, and beto o'rourke. when it comes to that charisma, that energy, that sort of oratory. will this obama-ish campaign of hope and change, does that reignite the obama coalition when it comes to your friend beto o'rourke? >> the obama coalition i think is going to be supportive of not just him, but as heidi was indicating, senator heitkamp was indicating, they're looking for somebody to beat trump. even against cruz, o'rourke was not just charisma that led to him doing well, it was the fact that he had a real campaign out there. sometimes we focus too much on the candidates and not notice it's the worker bees down at the grassroots level who are doing the sort of organizing and
mobilizing that actually produces results. and i think that's going to be a test in this race. bernie sanders is going to have, you know, a horde of people as we're seeing, coming forward. a number of other candidates will as well. this will be a championship sort of mantle here. >> it's striking to see president trump on the steps of capitol hill alongside nancy pelosi given the fact that two hours ago he was writing with big exclamation points, don't vote with pelosi. the senate republicans will vote to rebuke him when it comes to a national declaration. in response to my question a few weeks back he said, this wasn't necessary, i didn't have to do it, i just wanted to get it done faster. that may be something that the states bring up in court feelings.
let me ask you about joe biden, no stranger to you or to washington, d.c. and to americans here. joe biden, if he enters this thing, does that challenge beto o'rourke, are they fighting for a middle ground on the democratic side? >> you know, i think biden is getting in, i don't think there's any doubt about it. >> is that based on conversations or gut? >> no, that's based on gut, that's watching it. everybody is waiting to see the air clear on each announcement as it comes, because you want your space and time. biden enters the race as a frontrunner, somebody who everybody knows. the question is once he gets in the competition, what happens with people's loyalties, past loyalties, do they find someone else who interests them more. and i think what's really missed in all of this is, this is a continuum of ideas. secretary hightower said it best, people are going to look at who is the candidate that reflects their values the most.
but the top priority is who can win. and when i'm talking to democrats across the country, biden's name repeatedly comes up because they believe that at the end of the day, he's the person who can beat the president. >> new polling out of iowa shows a lot of people in that state want him to get in the race. senator heitkamp, thank you for joining us. jim hightower in austin, thank you. and garrett haake, our man on the ground, thanks very much, my friend. coming up, grounded. why did it take the faa days to decide those boeing 737 max 8 jets should not be flying? this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. flying? this is "andrea mitchell this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc not cool. freezing away fat cells with coolsculpting? now that's cool! coolsculpting safely freezes and removes fat cells with little or no downtime. and no surgery. results and patient experience may vary. some common side effects include temporary numbness,
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reportedly appealed directly to president trump during a private phone call on tuesday, shortly after the president tweeted that flying airplanes has become too complicated. joining me now is ray lahood, former transportation secretary. secretary lahood, nice to see you, thanks for your time. >> hi, peter. >> did the faa act quickly enough in your estimation to address public safety? >> of course not. they should have been the first up to bat, the first out of the gate, however you want to characterize it. >> why didn't they? >> peter, i don't know. i really don't. i mean, it would just be speculation. i didn't talk to the acting administrator and i didn't talk to secretary chao, so i really don't know. but, you know, the fact is the planes are grounded, they're going to be inspected, and the american public's going to get the true story on the idea that these planes are the safest to fly or they won't be in the air.
>> the president said that we didn't have to make this decision. he was pressed on this in the oval office yesterday. he said it could have been delayed but then emphasized it was, to use his words, psychologically important to ground the planes, among other items he said. is fear factor, is that enough of a basis to ground planes? >> well, peter, look, there is the idea that, you know, if two planes go down and people are killed and people perish in these flights, that creates a kind of a fear factor in the flying public. and when that happened, we should have, as our country has always stood for the highest standards in safety, stepped up and said boom, we're going to ground them, and we're going to do the analysis. now, peter, i'm going to give the president his due on this, he made the decision to ground these planes and i thank him for that. and i say that because i
think -- and i haven't talked to the president about this, but he has his own plane and he wants the safest plane possible. and at one time he was thinking about buying a fleet of planes and starting an airline. he knows that the issue of safety is number one in the flying public's mind and he's a good enough politician to know these planes had to be grounded. so he made the decision. and it's a good decision. >> mr. secretary, part of this conversation is that the faa or the trump administration is simply too close to boeing, which is the nation's second largest defense contractor. is the administration too close? is the faa too close to boeing? >> the faa is not too close, peter. i want to stand up for the faa. 38,000 employees work at the faa. these are highly trained, highly professional people. they get up every day and care about safety. the acting administrator is a career employee. he's not even a political
employee, peter. he spent his whole career working on safety and working on making sure aviation is safe. and that's true of the 38,000, many of whom are air traffic controllers, but many of whom work in safety. the faa is a highly professional organization that cares about aviation safety. >> and we heard from the acting faa administrator this morning on the "today" show on nbc. i want to get your reaction to what he said, take a listen. >> you have to establish at least more than a gut feeling that the two crashes are related before you ground an entire fleet. >> of course. but did all those other countries go on gut feeling, not data? >> you would have to talk to the other countries. >> the president tweeted, quote, airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. pilots are no longer needed but rather computer scientists from
mit. often old and simpler is far better. he goes on to say, i don't know about you but i don't want albert einstein to be my pilot. >> i will tell you this, planes are far more complex, he is right about that. >> he says planes are far more complex right now. i guess that's a question for you, are airplanes too complex to fly nowadays? >> absolutely not. peter, i flew into chicago a couple of hours ago. it is very windy here. on my way out of the plane i thanked the pilot for landing safely. there must have been maybe 30, 40-mile-an-hour winds. he brought that plane in under those conditions very safely. that was not done by a computer. it was done by the pilot landing the plane. we have highly trained pilots. the planes are sophisticated but they're not too sophisticated that you can't have good training and good pilots with good experience landing planes and having planes take off and fly them safely.
look-it, peter, we have one of best aviation safety records in the world, the united states does. to have it be besmirched these last few days by not stepping up, you know, is just not right. and i'm glad the president stepped in and said ground the planes and let's inspect 'em. >> ray lahood is the former transportation secretary, mr. lahood, nice to see you, thanks for your time. >> thank you, peter, thanks so much. coming up, varsity blues. top universities implicated in the massive college entrance cheating scam, now served with class actions lawsuits by college students, next on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. ts" only on msnbc where is gate 87? you should be mad at non-seasoned travelers. and they took my toothpaste away. and you should be mad at people who take unnecessary risks. how dare you, he's my emotional support snake. but you're not mad, because you have e*trade, whose tech helps you understand the risk and reward potential on an options trade it's a paste. it's not liquid or a gel. and even explore what-if scenarios.
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while i clean. - [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans, now cleans itself. we're back now on "andrea mitchell reports." i'm peter alexander in today for andrea. there is growing fallout in the alleged nationwide college admissions cheating scandal that has swept up dozens of wealthy parents, including a pair of hollywood actresses. two stanford university students now mounting the first legal fight in the case, suing eight universities. they say they were denied a fair opportunity for admission to their choice of a top college and that their stanford degrees were devalued because of the scandal. nbc's steve patterson joins me now from the campus of usc, one of those schools where it's alleged that some of these payments went to one of the coaches there. steve, walk us through what more we know about this new legal challenge, this time from
students. >> reporter: well, peter, i think in some ways we all expected this, in what feels like a sort of tip of the iceberg moment. these first few lawsuits against people alleged to be involved in this cheating scandal, basically all of the universities listed in that indictment. we're actually looking at two cases here. one lawsuit, a civil suit filed by a parent in california, her name is jennifer katori, claiming her son was not admitted because the parents involved in this cheating scandal thought it was, quote, okay to lie, cheat, steal, bribe their child's way into college. she claims her son had a 4.2 average and wasn't accepted into several of these schools. the second, as you mentioned, two students, both of them at stanford university. obviously these were students that were enrolled, admitted into the university. their filing suit against their school, claiming their degrees won't be worth as much anymore because of this cheating
scandal. not only that, but also suits against all the other universities, claiming that, you know, they've applied there, all the time it took to apply those universities, all the effort, all the money that it takes in the application process, claiming damages there, because of all of that, denied by what they say is this cheating scandal. also all the suits against william rick singer, the guy at the center of this from the very beginning, claiming in those indictments that he found side doors both athletically and academically for these wealthy folks who wanted to get their kids into college. the stanford students, in the suits it claimed they did very well academically, in some cases very well 8 lathletically, had great test scores, had great
grades. they're bringing the suits on behalf of students that applied in that time frame, 2012 to 2018, took the time to apply, paid the fee to apply, and were rejected. we've reached out to all the universities, all the attorneys in this case. we're still waiting for comment. stanford said they're looking into it at this point. but obviously it's the very tip of the iceberg here. >> steve patterson on the gorgeous grounds of the university of southern california this morning, one of those schools all tied up in the middle of this controversy. steve, thank you very much. coming up next here, last ditch effort. can republicans protect the president's emergency declaration against a vote in the senate? 2020 presidential candidate and california senator kamala harris is here next. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. al with . so, we re-imagined the razor with the new gillette skinguard. it has a unique guard between the blades.
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right now it appears there are more than enough votes certainly among republicans to get the simple majority that it needs to pass, sending it to the president's desk for what would be the first veto of his term. pat toomey, republican from sae that way as well. joining me now is senator kamala harris, who serves on the intelligence and judiciary committee, also notably a candidate for president of the united states. nice to see you. thanks for your time. >> good to be with you. thank you, peter. >> several republicans now set to join democrats, including yourself, delivering this rebuke, an embarrassing rejection of the president today with this vote, but he says he's going to veto it, so what do you do then? >> well, you know, listen, we're going to keep, i think, sticking to the point that we cannot afford to put taxpayer dollars into what is essentially a vanity project for this president. we're talking about peter $8 billion that's going to be drawn from the pentagon, from military construction projects.
we're talking about a wall for construction that will require taking private landowner's land, especially in new mexico and texas, and there are so many other issues that are pressing issues where american families and working people need resources and need attention. this is a waste of a lot of resources, and it's frankly irresponsible and it's a political game the president is playing. >> senator harris, not sure you've had a chance to check your phone or look at a television screen. you likely saw the name beto o'rourke, he announced he's running for president. you sent out a fundraising letter naming o'rourke, saying you look forward to debating him. do you see him as your main competition? this crowded field? >> i think the voters will decide. as far as i'm concerned, peter, the more the merrier. it will be a good race. >> what do you make of his candidacy? what do you make of beto
o'rourke, his strength, his charisma? >> i probably have not studied him as much as you have, but i will tell you that i think we have an embarrassment of riches among the democrats who are running. we have incredible public servants who are smart, whose voices are important, and i think it's going to a robust and healthy process and i'm looking forward to it. >> he spoke to vanity fair and told them the following. he said i totally understand people who make a decision based on the fact that almost every single one of our presidents has been a white man and they want something different for this country, and i think that's a very legitimate basis, he said, upon which to make a decision. what's your response to that, senator? >> listen, i think that we all need to understand that the american public is smart enough to make decisions based on who speaks their truth, who has a proven record of producing, who knows how to fight for americans and working people, and it is on
that basis that our country will elect its next president. >> on this show on tuesday, the head of the firefighters union, a big biden, joe biden backer, seemed to be the 2020 election will be decided in the midwest. here's what he had to say. i want to get your reaction to it. >> this is going to be decided quite frankly in the midwest. this is going to be decided by those voters as we say, when they come home from work, they have to wash their hands or take a shower. those are the voters that are going to decide pennsylvania and ohio and wisconsin, and michigan and beyond. >> seems to be talking about white working class voters. given the last election, 2016 was decided by what a hundred thousand votes over three states, wisconsin, michigan and pennsylvania. is he wrong? >> listen, i think that there is no question, everybody in our country has a lot at stake in the outcome of this race, and everyone is going to be paying
attention and will step up. what i have been seeing as i have been traveling the country both in connection with the m m midterms in 2018, and my race, traveling in states like iowa and new hampshire and nevada and south carolina is that people care about the issues that wake them up in the middle of the night, and they want to know that we have a plan for it. for example, i'm proposing that we restructure the tax code in the united states to lift up families making less than $100,000 a year. my middle class tax cut has been described by economists as what would be one of the most significant tax cuts for middle class families in generations. those are the things people want to hear about and regardless of where they live, they want to know the people who are running have them in mind. >> senator, california's governor, your home state, gavin newsom announced a moratorium on the death penalty. the president responded calling those on death row, stone cold killers. you said you would support a nationwide moratorium. what do you say to the americans
who believe the death penalty is justified? >> listen, in my entire life have been opposed and personally opposed to the death penalty. i believe it to be a very flawed system. dna has proven that there have been people convicted and sentenced to the death penalty who turned out to be innocent. in fact, the numbers i know tell me that one in nine people who have been prosecuted under the death penalty led to an exoneration. this is a sentence that has been disproportionately applied against people of color and in particular black and brown men in this country, and it is also not a deterrent to the extent that people would argue. i'm a career prosecutor, and i'm going to tell you, i have never seen somebody before they were going to pull the trigger on a gun, determine maybe i will or won't depend on whether i get life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. i'm personally opposed to the death penalty and i applaud what the governor did. >> a couple last thoughts, joe biden called vice president pence a decent guy. elizabeth warren said that pence
is not an honorable person. where do you stand on that debate? >> well, i disagree with most of what the vice president stands for when he makes decisions about our lgbtq community in a way that doesn't understand that they should be entitled to full equality and rights under the law. i disagree when he suggests it's not possible to have meetings with women alone by himself. i think that's ridiculous, the idea that you would deny a professional woman the opportunity to have a meeting with the vice president of the united states is outrageous. so i have many points of disagreement with the vice president. >> senator kamala harris of california, candidate for president of the united states, senator, nice to see you. thanks very much. >> nice to see you. take care. >> all right. we're going to be right back. c. >> all right we're going to be right back - [woman] with my shark, i deep clean messes like this.
and here now, ali velshi and stephanie ruhle. feeling a lot like 2020 today, doesn't it, guys? >> it absolutely is. new candidates, you just had a great interview with kamala harris. we'll keep it going. have a great afternoon. hello, everyone. i'm ali velshi. >> and i'm stephanie ruhler. let's get smarter. after months of speculation, beto o'rourke announces he's running for president. >> i could care less your party persuasion, anything less than