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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  March 19, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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craig melvin msnbc headquarters in new york. new investigation details with those search wearrants that launched michael cohen's investigation. one of the democratic contenders wants to dump the c electoral college. and family feud, how would you react if your boss called your spouse a loser? the attacks escalate between president trump and the husband of kellyanne conway. we start with the brreaking news, michael cohen, a short time ago a federal court released the warrant and affidavit investigators used today search the former trump fixer's home, office and hotel room last year.
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the information adds detail about the workings of the investigation itself. as well as insight into the minds of investigators as they plo probe the inner workings of president trump's finances. also on the investigation front this morning, rod rosenstein staying on. pete williams reports that the deputy attorney general overseeing the mueller investigation is staying on a little longer than he said. that has prompted people to speculate about what that means on the timing it of the mueller report. let's tackle the cohen news with tom winter. we've got new information on this part of the story. what do we know? >> a little bit of new detail here. we're kind of getting an understanding of how this investigation into the campaign finance crimes part of this, the payments to stormy daniels, how that came about. this came about in the course of the bank crimes investigation. so basically investigators were studying michael cohen's bank accounts and transactions, they
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were going through it and in the course of that, that's when they say they were able to find out about these campaign finance violations, the payments to stormy daniels. it was through the course of that investigation. the exact mechanics of that, what happened next, i can't tell you. because the next 19 pages and a paragraph are redacted. as far as new information, as far as what we're learning about how this investigation came to be into the campaign finance fraud -- excuse me, the campaign finance violations, that's something we're still wanting for details. as we know, prosecutors said to the judge, hey, we want to put redactions in here because we have ongoing investigations. this is clearly part of an ongoing investigation. the second point is is that michael cohen, when you apply for these search wearanarrants, have to list the possible crimes when you ask the judge.
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one of those crimes was acting as a foreign agent. michael cohen's not been charged would this, he hasn't bleed guil guilty to this. but the interest from a company owned by a russian oligarch and payment to korean aerospace industries, in the course of those payments, those may have been michael cohen acting on behalf of a foreign entity or country and lobbying for those. you have to disclose those. we've heard that as part of this investigation. that's what the investigation was there. as far as new specific details, and facts, we're not learning a lot about that. we're learning a little bit about the timeline of that. that's when robert mueller first started with the fbi in the summer of 2017, july of 2017 specifically. that does give us a little bit more new details as far as
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timeline. >> tom winter with that new information, thank you. nora rothman is the associate editor of commentary and an msnbc contributor as well. henry litman is also the creator and executive producer of the new podcast talking feds and a.b. stoddard with real clear politics. why blackout parts of that hush money scheme? it's pretty well reported by now. >> because the campaign finance violations, and this is news. it's the news you discern under the black lines there to protect, as the department said, mueller said, the rights of uncharged third parties. so things are still very much focused on some people in the campaign finance. it's not just about cohen. who could that be? elliott brody is one, donald trump jr., who apparently signed
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one of the checks paying out is another and the president of the united states, donald trump is the third. so that's big news there. and it's ongoing even as we hear about mueller leaving. it's a classic forensic path. start with the bank records, they got the search warrant for the e-mails. by the time they got to the search they had a wealth of information that was laid out. we know about that, the campaign finance stuff that's kept from public view. >> we're getting a better sense. just so we're clear, there's a heading. we'll put it up on the screen for our viewers and listeners on satellite radio. the heading is the illegal campaign contribution scheme. there's the document. page 38. it's followed by some 18 pages z of redacted content.
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>> the extent of this investigation involving the southern district and the mueller probe, involving the president is highly sensitive. as far as the -- it is a political calculation because we're talking about impeachment. the notion that congress would move on a campaign finance violations is problematic is not likely. they happen all the time. cohen says this happens a lot. not just as a result of the campaign, but it happens in order to protect the president's wife and family from this embarrassment. establishing what we think is something akin to the john edwards standard. the jury said because this was done in order to protect his wife, not to influence the course of a campaign, it didn't constitute a violation. i think the speculation that it involves malice and illegal
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conduct on the part of the president isn't well-founded. >> is there more about the hush money scheme we don't know? >> it could be that there's more about the hush money scheme that involves other people who may not be under indictment, may never be under indictment or may soon be under indictment. it could mean that there are other things connected to the investigation that have yielded other investigations we're not allowed to know about. that's the most damaging thing to president trump. it's not that he's going to be brought down by stormy daniels and karen mcdougall and michael cohen. it's that michael cohen was potentially acting as a foreign agent. michael cohen knew exactly the kinds of deals the trump family was trying to do. not only in moscow but other places. and that allen weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the trump organization knows where all the paperwork is. that's why the president was always so worried about anyone
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talking to michael cohen in the raid on these three locations last april 9th. the fact that there are heavy redactions and the fact that the special counsel was interested in july 2017 and looking into michael cohen's paper and e-mail trail is of concern to the president and those around him. >> before we get to rosenstein, what do you make of noah's assertia comments? >> what he says about the law doesn't hold up. it's very different from edwards. there's no negligence here. cohen has already pleaded guilty to a felony, which involves knowing conduct. this is done as he's already pleaded to and the court found at the eve of the campaign in order to keep trump from having damage to his campaign. so the edwards president just
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is -- whether congress will go for it is one thing. the notion it's legally benign, doesn't fly. >> on rosenstein, what do you make of the news? if he's staying longer does that mean we should be reevaluating when the mueller report will drop? >> we reevaluate that every day. there's this perplexing context where we on the one hand are told it's any second and then it just keeps dragging on. i think that's the reason he's there, also to allow for the confirmation of his successor, jeff rosen, whose hearings take place next month. i think the bated breath frenzy of waiting for the mueller report any second should ease up a little and we should be thinking in terms of a week or two anyway rather than this afternoon. >> noah, if you're in the white house, how do you take this rosenstein news?
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>> i think we'll learn exactly how the president takes this news. he doesn't keep anything under his sleeve. he tends to emote. >> or that press conference, that news conference he's having this afternoon at 1:45. >> he likes to speak extemporaneously about his feelings. all signs point to the mueller probe ending relatively soon. it suggests that the chapter is coming to a close. >> the debate over documents. it seems to be perhaps a preview over what's going to happen when this mueller report does finally get released. there's reporting from cnn that is claiming the white house wants a first look at the mueller report and that maybe even redact parts of it. should they? >> i understand from the lawyers -- and i'm not one -- that they're entitled to some form of executive privilege about conversations that took place while the president was
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the president in office. not while he was campaigning for the presidency. so this is a question that could end up being litigated. it sounds like he has the right to do that so he can have candid conversations with people. he's not allowed to cover up a crime. we'll see what kind of redactions they're looking to do. congress is going to have to choose its battles carefully over which people to subpoena u which documents to fight over and which map they want they want to go all the way to. i think they should save their fire for the mueller report. >> what's the story on the podcast, in ten seconds? >> prosecutors round table. not 30 second sound bites. not give and take, but the way prosecutors really talk to each other. >> pretty good pitch. always good to have you, thank you. all about the base. one 2020 hopeful says scrap it.
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abolish the electoral college. is that a reality? family feud. a battle between president trump and one of the husband's of his closest advisors. and the politics of pot. legalizing marijuana. one thing that most democratic presidential hopefuls agree on, but not necessarily for the reason you might think. necessar reas yonou might think you still stressed about buying our first house, sweetie? yeah, i thought doing some hibachi grilling would help take my mind off it all. maybe you could relieve some stress by calling geico for help with our homeowners insurance. geico helps with homeowners insurance? they sure do. and they could save us a bundle of money too. i'm calling geico right now. cell phone? it's ringing. get to know geico and see how much you could save on homeowners and condo insurance.
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president trump ratcheting up one of the more bizarre fights. today he called the husband of one of his top aides a total loser. george conway is the husband of kellyanne conway. he's never made his disgust with the president secret. lately he's beaten the drum about the president's mental health. that's when trump called conway a loser. and when conway fired back, caught in the middle, kellyanne and the rest of the conway family. jeff bennett joins us now. also back with me a.b. stoddard. jeff, give us the back story here. how did we get to this point? >> where to begin on this one? this entire episodes sets up a split screen. you have kellyanne conway who is
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on cable news defending the president's actions and rhetoric. on the other side you have your husband who almost on a daily basis points out the way that donald trump is unfit for the office he holds. this whole thing came to a head over the weekend. president trump was locked in that twitter tirade, george conway responded to it by posting screenshots of the medical definition of narcissistic personality disorder. br brad parscale said that donald trump turned down mr. kellyanne conway for a job he desperately wanted. now he hurts his wife. potus doesn't even know him. george conway was up for a top job in trump's justice department, but george conway took his own name out of consideration.
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to this point that parscale makes that president trump doesn't know him. i'm told that george conway is the one that introduced kellyanne to president trump when he was a private citizen. "the washington post" has a letter that donald trump reported laly wrote in 2006 thanking him for his help. george conway responded to this because president trump retweeted brad parscale. george conway says congratulations you just guaranteed that millions of more people are going to learn about narcissistic personality disorder. great job. craig. >> kellyanne, caught in the middle of this. how has she been handling this publicly. we don't know how she's handling it privately. >> yeah, that's great point. because the two of them have sort been publicly civil about all of this. kellyanne and george conway have four young children together.
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that is a complicating factor and makes this a really awkward thing for kellyanne conway to talk about. yesterday we asked her about it, she was on the driveway here in the north lawn. she says, look, she doesn't share her husband's concerns about president trump's mental fitness. she said that george conway's criticism of the president doesn't really create a problem for her at all. >> a.b., the president has a full plate. so does his campaign manager. i assume kellyanne conway has a lot going on there at the white house. is there something that we're missing here? what's behind this? >> well, i know that kellyanne would like to be focused on other things. i did watch her response yesterday in the driveway that jeff referred to. i've watched her interview about this very issue. she is as smooth on this topic as she is on every other topic. she's nonplussed. i think they've worked out whatever conflict appears to exist here, awkward as it may be
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or she would not be working in the white house. but the president loves this stuff. no one sells anti-trump books like president trump. he tweets about them, the sales spike up. as conway points out, he's just made some people students of mul mulm narcissistic disorder. brad parscale's tweet would have been enough. of course. but president trump can't help himself. he's animated by grievances. he loves to fight. he loves to stay on offense. and although you are right, craig, he should have a very busy day ahead of him, he wants to engage in this type of stuff. it was -- i know we're not supposed to be laughing about mental disorders, but it was hilarious to see george conway's response. >> it's odd to me because it would seem as if kellyanne conway is in a position where she goes to work and can't really talk about her husband's tweets and then she goes home
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and she can't talk about her boss's twee boss' tweets. i'm sure it will go on. a.b. thank you. jeff, what's going on behind you, by the way? >> members of the military are getting in position here. they're going to present the colors ahead of the rose garden press conference later this afternoon with the president of brazil and president trump. >> he always knows what's happening at 1600 pennsylvania. thank you. elizabeth warren hoping to unseat president trump by appealing to the base. she says abolish the electoral college. it might sound good on the campaign trail, but could it really happen? campaign trail, but could it really happen? about 50% of people with evesevere asthma k? have too many cells called eosinophils in their lungs. eosinophils are a key cause of severe asthma. fasenra is designed to target and remove these cells.
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- the tech industry is supposed in invention and progress. but only 11% of its executives are women, and the quit rate is twice as high for them. here's a hack: make sure there's bandwidth for everyone. the more you know. the already crowded field of 2020 democrats is stirring up controversy playing straight to the base perhaps. they're rallying across the country today seeking popular support and the all important dollar as one bold proposal could lead to a change in the way we vote. elizabeth warren in a town hall last night calling for an abolition of the electoral college. >> you know, come a general election, presidential
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candidates don't come to places like mississippi. yeah. they also don't come to places like california and massachusetts, right? because we're not the battleground states. my view is that every vote matters. and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the electoral college. >> all right. we're going to talk more about that in a moment. let's start with garret haake, he's with beto o'rourke in state college, pennsylvania. there appears to be a live event happening there. what's happening behind you? >> reporter: i'm going to use my golf reporter voice because o'rourke is on stage behind me.
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this is his largest event so far at penn state. at least 500 people in the room. o'rourke is taking questions for some of the people here, a mix of students and not. he's getting a crash course in what it looks like to be the man of the moment, if you will, of a democratic primary. difficult questions about things about his campaign, about his voting record in the past. his support for energy companies in texas and how that squares with his positions now on the environment. he's also making a pledge he'll reveal more information about his donors. their number and where they live. in part to show he's the grassroots candidate he says he is. this has wrapped up so i can use my regular reporter voice. i got fto tell you, his vow to continue to take only grassroots, not pac money, a promise he made again today, take a listen. >> we've got to get our democracy working.
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that is why we do not accept a single dime of political action committee money. no contributions from lobbyists and we campaign everywhere. >> reporter: and, craig, o'rourke is going to be taking questions from reporters in a little bit i hope to get his thoughts on the lelectoral college questions. he'll be campaigning in the midwest and trying to wide a wave of enthusiasm from young voters. this is joe biden can't. a lot of younger folks tell us they love joe biden and they're looking at o'rourke and kamala harris. just something to look ahead for the next couple of months.
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>> going from his golf voice to nascar voice in a spin. joining me is the senior advisor at moveon.org. on this electoral college issue we just heard from senator elizabeth warren there last night. we've seen the electoral college, and one of our producers did some research, they picked a loser five times throughout u.s. history. twice in the 2000s. hillary clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million vote. in 2000, al gore beat george bush. what were the founders thinking? why do we choose a president this way instead of the popular vote? >> there's no such thing as a national popular vote because there's no such thing as a national election. states hold elections. what this could require is a constitutional amendment to get
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rid of it, to alter the constitution. this is a pander because it's not going to happen. there is not going to be a two thirds vote in both chambers. there's not going to be small states essentially consenting to their own disenfranchisement. what elizabeth warren's suggestion, here, is that doing so would allow candidates to campaign in places that aren't competitive like california and texas, which, by the way were swing states and they could go to places like mississippi. they would not. they would localalize the election in densely populated visits and candidates would be loathe to visit new hampshire. >> and perhaps south carolina as well? kareem, we'll start there with you. this idea that this is something that sounds great on the stump, it sounds great in a town hall but not something that is really ever going to happen. it's not feasible politically.
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>> look, i think it is an uphill battle. we have to remember there are about 10 to 15 states right now who are pledging to make the electoral college match the popular vote. there's a movement out there. we shouldn't deny that. there's a reason why this is part of the conversation at the moment. we have to step back at how the electoral college came to be. the most powerful compromise was a 3/5 compromise. a slave was considered a 3/5 person which gave the power to slave states. we're at a time now as we're looking in modern times where we need to have the conversation about the electoral college. where we need to look at it and say, hey, it hurts our democracy in a big way. warren is right. it should be one person, one vote. you know, you have these candidates that spend a lot of time in about, you know, seven to a dozen states, but it
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shouldn't be about the zip code. it should be about the candidates telling their messages across the country. and so we do need to revisit this. >> would we be having this conversation if hillary clinton was president? >> i think that conversation has been around since 2000. and i think, yes, you're right. i think after 2016, there was a big -- much bigger push for it. so, yeah, you know, hillary clinton, her loss winning three million more votes for the popular vote clearly and losing the electoral college absolutely put this issue in the forefront. but you have states doing this on their own like i mentioned. more than a dozen states are actually taking this on. >> i mean, the electoral college is not popular. by definition it's designed today thwart popular ambition. it's not going to be especially well loved. to her point about the originate sin of slavery baked into the
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constitution, it was a compromise between slave states who wanted slaves counted as entire people. the northern states we don't want that. as a result they compromised on this in order to give northern states more political power. >> elizabeth warren also has endorsed this house bill calling for a congressional commission. to study reparations, cory booker, kamala harris, bernie sanders, amy klobuchar, they all have said they're open to the debate. however, sanders has ruled out the idea of direct payments. beto o'rourke has called for the country to recognize the ills of slavery without committing to any specifics. a former congressman john conyers, he first introduced this bill back in 1989. this seems to be something that comes up every, you know, two years, maybe every four years. why is this becoming a hot issue in 2020?
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>> yeah, i have to tell you, i think it's amazing that this issue is coming up in a presidential election. i don't think we've ever had this conversation as a real issue in a presidential -- look, you know, reparations is a social justice issue. it's about time that we acknowledge that this country was built by people for free. you know, they did this on their backs, you know, working really hard for free. and it's about time that we acknowledge the descendants of slaves. we made a mistake. the legacy of slavery has such an economic impact today. there is a social economic injustice today. it goes back to this country's original sins and how we mistreated native people. it's important to have this conversation. i don't have the answer on how we move forward with it. but to have a conversation is critical and it's important. like i said, reparations is a social justice issue.
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>> noah if a democrat is elected in 2020, do you foresee a climate where reparations actually happen in the united states of america? do you think this is another example of a candidate pandering to a base? >> it's possible. it depends on what the -- >> do you really believe that? >> it depends on the makeup of the congress. this idea comes up every so often. my concern is -- >> people endorse this notion the same way people call for taxing the wealthy. >> this is part of the problem here. a one time wealth transfer will have very little impact on conventional and constitutional racial discrimination. there will not be satisfaction there. it will be a forever fight. my concern is that white americans will see this as a panacea. this is a payment they're purchasing. when they do not get anything out of the deal, when everybody realizes this is only a one time wealth transfer that's changed no conditions on the ground, that there is a fuel for a
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backlash. >> what do you say to that? this idea that even if the government were to give people that look like me and you 40 acres and a mule that people look like noah would sort of see that as, okay, we've made the payment. we're all good now. >> it really actually frustrates me. because we have to understand what's happening today. there is institutional economic structural inequality. it's for a reason. because of how this country was started. and we're talking about native peoples, the way they were mistreated. we're talking about slavery. the country is set up in a way that it doesn't benefit people like me and you. it's a problem and we have to deal with it. you know? just like i said, this country was built for free by people who look like me and you. and we have to have this conversation. it's important to have this conversation. i do not know how we fix it, but to have a conversation is clearly important. and just like people like
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elizabeth warren, many others in this -- the progressive voices of this presidential democratic primary, they've been really talking about how do we talk about economic inequality for everyone? poor people, white people, people of color. we have to level the playing field. because it is disenfranchising people, poor people and people of color. >> this is why i enjoy cable news. we've talked about the original sin, lelectoral college and reparations as well. vice president pence is heading to nebraska to survey the damage left by the flooding in the midwest. it's left more than ten million people under flood waters.
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the politics of pot. democrats see legalizing marijuana as a winning strategy. senator cory booker hoping it will give him a bit of an edge over his opponents. a bit of an e overis h opponents it's tough to quit smoking cold turkey. so chantix can help you quit "slow turkey." along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting so when the day arrives, you'll be more ready to kiss cigarettes goodbye. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix. you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. stop chantix and get help right away if you have changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions, seizures, new or worse heart or blood vessel problems, sleepwalking, or life- threatening allergic and skin reactions. decrease alcohol use. use caution driving or operating machinery. tell your doctor if you've had mental health problems. the most common side effect is nausea. talk to your doctor about chantix.
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the party, legalizing pot. senator cory booker championed this not long after joining the race. he introduced the marijuana justice act, which would remove the drug from the federal list of controlled substances and expunge past convictions. african-americans are almost four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites. even though rates of use are similar. >> there are more marijuana possession arrests in 2017 than all the violent crime arrests. the privileged can break law and don't have to worry about it. there's no difference between blacks and whites using or selling marijuana. blacks are more likely to be convicted. we have senators bragging about their pot use while kids can't get a job because they have non-violate offenses for doing
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things the past two presidents did. >> virtually every democratic presidential candidate has announced their support for decriminalization of marijuana and erase past convictions for the use of it. ten years ago, politically, the climate was very different. what's changed? >> well, this is one of the moments, and it happens every now and then, when the politicians are leery of getting out ahead of public opinion and they don't realize that public opinion is way ahead of them. i compare this too legalization of a lot of state lotteries back in the 80s and 90s. and the legalization of same-sex marriage that happened in the 2000s and the 2010s. politicians didn't want to get over their skis on some issues they thought might be controversial. they didn't quite realize voters were already there. we've seen survey after survey that shows a majority of americans approve of the l legalization of marijuana, including republicans. this isn't just a point about
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leg legalizing marijuana, expunging past convictions is key to this. this is how democrats are talking about criminal justice reforms. >> i don't think folks appreciate how much of a game changer that would be. millions of people who, like that, would be able to go and get that job or would be able to secure some affordable housing. i want to play some of what senator kamala harris said a wi while back. >> they say you oppose legalizing weed. >> that's not true. half my family is from jamaica, are you killing me? >> have you smoked? >> yes, and i did inhale. >> was cory booker referring to that when he was talking about senators bragging about using pot? >> well, it certainly is a see change from previous democratic
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candidates. remember, bill clinton said he didn't inhale. even president obama who admitted to smoking marijuana in the past was kind of leery about even expanding medical marijuana in some cases. he's had an evolution. a lot of these candidates have had evolutions too. the two governors that are in the race, they both opposed marijuana legalization when it was on the ballots in their space, now they both support it. >> that's because marijuana has made the state of colorado a ton of money, too. >> yeah, it's been a boon, a revenue boon for a lot of states. we're starting to hear governors talk about it from the revenue perspective. that's the fascinating evolution of the conversation here. it's no longer just about whether or not it's legitimate to legalize to a controlled substance. it's a little bit about state review, criminal justice reform. the leaders are racing to get
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ahead of thaeir followers. >> it's a fascinating conversation that is certainly going to continue as we approach the 2020 election. thank you. overcoming addiction. the president and the first lady today getting an update on the opioid crisis in this country. millions of americans continue to struggle with addiction. we're going to introduce you to a guy who beat it. y who beat it) it's open! hey. this is amazing. with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, are you okay? even when i was there, i never knew when my symptoms would keep us apart. so i talked to my doctor about humira. i learned humira can help get, and keep uc under control when other medications haven't worked well enough. and it helps people achieve control that lasts. so you can experience few or no symptoms. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened;
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during the fall, everyone who has medicare may be eligible to choose a new medicare health plan. but you may be able to choose a new plan right now. if you answer 'yes' to any of these questions: are you turning 65? do you have both medicare and medicaid? do you have medicare? and are you losing employer health coverage? if you answered yes just once, you may be able to choose a new medicare health plan right now. call humana at the number on your screen to see if you qualify. and we'll send you this helpful medicare decision guide. the call is free, and there's no obligation. humana has over 30 years of medicare experience and offers a wide range of all-in-one medicare advantage health plans that include medical and prescription drug coverage and valuable extras like: a 24-hour nurse advice line. the silver
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sneakers fitness program. and mail order prescription coverage. all for an affordable monthly plan premium. and, in some areas, no plan premium. with humana, you'll get more than original medicare alone and have the peace of mind of knowing you're covered for doctor visits and hospital stays. plus, routine physicals and preventive screenings. and when it comes to prescriptions, in 2017, humana's medicare advantage prescription drug plan members saved an estimated $6900 on average on their prescription costs. so call a licensed humana sales agent today at the number on your screen, to see if you're eligible to enroll today. and say yes to getting the right health care coverage without having to wait for it. - [woman] with my shark, i deep clean messes like this. this and even this. but i don't have to clean this, because the self-cleaning brush roll removes hair, while i clean. - [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans, now cleans itself.
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later this afternoon president trump and the first lady will get an update on the initiative to stop this country's ongoing opioid epidemic. the president declared it a national emergency back in october '17. more than 40,000 americans died from opioid overdoses in that same year. there are an estimated 2.1 million people suffering from opioid abuse across the united states. a rising star in the d.c. area food scene used to be one of them. now he's sharing his story of recovery to help others see there is more to life than
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addiction. is it fair to say this is one of those spots you'll always remember? >> me and my dentist will always remember this spot. i got really high in my apartment. i thought i was running and i fell on my face really hard and i spit out a bunch of teeth. >> a bunch of your teeth? >> like five. >> if you were to meet him today, what you would see is the intensity, passion and focus required of a rising culinary star, owner of not one but three celebrated restaurants. a man beloved by his family and friends. but just five years ago he almost threw it all away, including his own life. >> the straw that broke the camel's back was when i broke in here and took $4,000 out of the safe, went home, got high. >> he was an addict.
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first alcohol, then cocaine, then heroin. his rock bottom, stealing from his own restaurant. you wanted to commit suicide? >> oh, yes. >> why? >> because why stick around? i was failing everyone around me. i had lost the respect of anybody close to me. the one person who i did really care about, my mother, she at one point couldn't stand the sight of me. >> his mother and father, an alcoholic himself, emigrated from india. were you bullied? >> yes. >> because you were from india? >> for a lot of reasons. i was small. i came off as insecure because i felt insecure at home. >> at 13 he discovered alcohol as a way to fit in. when does the drinking become drugs? >> probably around 15 or 16.
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i had fallen in with a group of guys. the more violent i could act when i was around them, the more accepted i would be into that group. cocaine came quick. cocaine came around 17. >> how did it make you feel? >> i felt on top of the world. it gave me a sense of confidence i didn't find before then. >> did your parents suspect anything? >> no. >> barely graduating high school, he convinced his parents to send him to new york city, to the french culinary institute. >> i got settled into my apartment and that night went out and got hammered. my mother bought me a cross. and i sold it for cocaine. >> despite his addictions, he excelled in culinary school. he moved back to bethesda, maryland and opened his first restaurant. >> 25-ish-year-old chef, two years out of culinary school, has no business opening a
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restaurant. it was kind of my addict's ego telling me, you got this, hold my beer. >> two years later, the same day he stole from his restaurant safe, his 67-year-old mother showed up at his door. >> i said a, you will go to reh or you will not see me again, i'm not your mother, you're not my son. >> the next day he checked into a 28-day rehab program. sober for the first time in a decade, he returned to his bethesda neighborhood to rebuild his restaurant and reputation. >> i was not going to be sober and her then spend the rest of my life walking on eggshells. for me my sobriety had to mean i would go where i wanted to go, do what i wanted to do. but i wouldn't drink or use. and that's how i live my life today. >> butter, butter. >> he's been clean and sober
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five years now, recently cooking at new york's famed james beard house. he's hoping his story can help other addicts get to the other side. what did you discover about yourself? >> i discovered that it's okay to not always feel okay. i have bad days. i mean, my worst day sober is still better than my best day messed up. >> get in there, camera guy. there you go. >> i can tell you, by the way, that his food is as remarkable as his story. beto o'rourke just talked about senator warren's suggestion that we do away with the electoral college. nbc road warrior garrett haake back with us. garrett, what did mr. o'rourke have to say about the idea? >> reporter: craig, i would call this a soft endorsement. o'rourke told me this was something he was kicking around during his senate race and he thinks there's a lot of wisdom in the idea. take a listen. >> i think there's a lot to that, because you had an
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election in 2016 where the loser got 3 million more votes than the victor. it puts some states out of play a altogether, they don't feel like their votes really count. if we really want every person to vote and give them every reason to vote, we have to make sure their votes count and go to the candidate of their choosing. so i think there's a lot of wisdom in that. >> reporter: craig, kind of a classic answer from o'rourke, he's supportive of the idea, not a hard yes, but something he says there's a lot of wisdom to it and bears further discussion. and on we go to new hampshire. >> thanks for getting the question to him, garrett, appreciate it. safe travels. we're keeping our eye on the white house, where president trump is getting ready to welcome brazil's president. in just a few hours from now the two leaders will hold a joint news conference later this afternoon. joint news conference later this afternoon. ♪
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it's nice. ♪ you got this! ♪ woo! ♪ ♪ ♪
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that wraps up this hour of "msnbc live." i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today." kasie hunt in for andrea mitchell, hey, kasie. >> hi, craig, thank you so much. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," star search. is it style or substance that will help democrats stand out in a crowded field? >> you, if you so choose, can be part of the largest grassroots effort this country has ever seen. >> we can have national voting. and that means get ready of the electoral college. >> let's just take the

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