tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC March 20, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
minutes. we'll see if he answers any questions, chris jansing. i know you will be eagerly watching to see. >> oh, will i ever, as will you. good morning, i am chris jansing here at msnbc headquarters in new york. craig melvin is in new york. in fact i just saw him with his suitcase heading out. run joe run, that's what his supporters scream when he takes the stage. the big question, will he? today new reporting that he's telling supporters he's in. husband from hell. president trump this morning escalating the personal attacks, getting in the middle of the marriage of one of his closest advisers. and john mccain's widow makes a heart-breaking case against hate-filled twitter messages. but where is the republican outrage? voice of the people. grassroots efforts that helped flip the house blue in the midterms now focused on the 2020 election. can these newly energized democratic voters swing the entire government to the left? let's start with that new reporting on joe biden. clearly the former vice
president wants to run for the white house. his people have spent the last few months kind of drip, drip, dripping those intentions to news outlets across america. now "the wall street journal" reports two big nuggets that make a run seem inevitable. one, they report biden has told half a dozen supporters that he does indeed intend to run. and two, he's got an early focus on making a big splash when he's officially getting in. how do you do that? well, you can show all the support that you have with an early haul of money. that's one of the things that got beto o'rourke a lot of attention and he is scheduled to appear at any moment at his next stop in plymouth, new hampshire. so far he has made the biggest splash in the money race, more than $6 million raised in just the first 24 hours. just moments ago he gave reporters more detail saying those millions came from about 128,000 individual users. pretty broad base of support
there. definitely not bernie sanders' level of support after his first 24 hours, but definitely better than everyone else who has reported. okay, we mentioned that to point out what the former vice president is up against. anything less for biden could set the punch out of his entry. here to discuss biden's intentions, emily glazer who helped break that story for "the wall street journal," eli stoke stokels. emily, let's start with your big scoop. tell me how this conversation came about. he's not just running into people and talking to them. i understand that he reached out, and it sounds then like maybe he wanted this story to get out. >> well, i think we can't share a whole lot about these conversations except that we do know they were not random. this was not joe biden bumping into people on the street. this was definitely very strategic. the former vice president is lining up supporters, especially folks who could potentially be big bundlers, and reached out to
at least half a dozen people yesterday. we're anticipating more this week, to line up support in anticipation of announcing his exploratory committee later in april. >> so you also write this, i'm quoting from your story. biden has expressed concern to these people that he wouldn't be able to raise millions of dollars in online donations immediately the way some other democratic candidates have. so is there a sense of what he would consider to be a win? >> well, i think he's trying to raise at least several million dollars and being able to say that in the first 24, 48 hours will be really important because so far what we're seeing in this very crowded democratic field for the 2020 election is that a lot of candidates are measured in how much money they can raise. as you mentioned before, beto o'rourke and bernie sanders each raised $5 million each in the first day. a number of other candidates have raised at least $1 million if not more. so that's going to be a really big number and something that a lot of folks are looking at,
especially when joe biden is already leading in a lot of the polls and is viewed as the establishment figure. >> certainly in the name recognition race, he's got that. eli, i want to show everyone where we are with the money primary. we said that beto has $6.1. sanders close behind, but you can see just how many more donors bernie sanders had, 223,000. then we drop down to kamala harris with 1.5 million and elizabeth warren with $300,000. if joe biden gets in, eli, and he's not at the top of that list, what's the headline? >> well, the headline is that he's been outraised by two people who were not vice president of the united states, including by a three-term congressman from el paso, texas, who just lost a senate race, which just tells you a lot about where the race is, where the enthusiasm is among grassroots supporters. i think what emily is talking about is exactly right. this is joe biden who's been ambivalent about whether or not
to run at this point. polling shows that he's got strong name i.d. and would be a leading candidate in the top tier of candidates. but the ambivalence reflects an uneasiness about what might happen, a lack of certainty that he would survive this primary. i can tell you here at the white house, the president is concerned about biden. there's more of a familiarity with him and also a concern that this is somebody who if he gets to a general election could be tough in a lot of those states like pennsylvania, wisconsin, michigan, minnesota, the states that the president's political team is looking at. there's a report that biden's ad maker was in front of his childhood home in scranton, pennsylvania, over the weekend scouting out the location perhaps to film an announcement video or future tv ads. it just tells you about the blue collar economic pitch that joe biden wants to make and that the president here at the white house understands that he's capable of making. but whether or not that's enough to get him through this democratic primary that's driven by increasingly progressive
policy debates and really by the celebrity of beto o'rourke, that's another question altogether. >> so, amy, you've previously reported that biden has already been talking to lawmakers as well. what can you tell us about that? >> so he has been making calls to various lawmakers as recently as last week to say, hey, i'm going to give this a shot, i'm going to officially do this. we've been doing reporting on this as you said for weeks now. where he has made the rounds, he has called donors for weeks at a time. he has called lawmakers. he has been crossing his ts and dotting his is in every way to make sure that his launch is effective and goes as smooth ly as possible because he sees what the competition is like. he knows he's in the lead in the polls and he wants to stay that way. i think he's doing what he can to kind of do what he can to come out strong. i think the fund-raising that has always been a little tricky for him. he has never been a great fund-raiser. his allies are very open and
they acknowledge that that is a weakness for him, so i think right now he is trying to do as much as he can on the fund-raising front. >> and the way of raising money has really changed, right? we saw that with bernie sanders. he got that big number because he has -- you know, he has far fewer -- far smaller average, i think $27 when he was running in 2016. they used to shout 27, 27, 27. having said that, eli, when you put all these things together, as you said, he's got the ad maker out there, he's talking to an extensive network of people. nobody in this race has the network of people that joe biden has accumulated over the last many decades. and you put that up against -- and his personality, but put it up against beto o'rourke who maybe is not as far along organizationally, how do you look at those different things?
personality versus money versus organization versus contacts. are all bets off? are all the things we thought we knew before different this year? >> yeah, i think it's hard to really look at politics these days and really base any sort of calculations or prognostications on how it's been before. it's being remade and changed so quickly. i think you're seeing that. a lot of people are surprised that beto o'rourke with a relatively thin resume has done so well and excited so many people simply for having run against ted cruz last year in texas and kind of captured the nation's attention. you see a lot of people projecting their hopes onto him. obviously there's a lot of affinity within the democratic base for vice president biden, given the fact that he served eight years alongside president obama. he's been in the party for a long time. but if you get to examining his voting record, that can be picked apart. it's really sort of a 20th century voting record in a 21st century primary. beto doesn't have the same baggage. he may not have the
accomplishments either. but if people are looking at those two san diecandidates sid side, they have very different tales of the tape in terms of what they bring. it's going to be fascinating to watch voters in some of these early states weigh those choices. obviously those are not the only choices. there are a record number of women running this year. there are a lot of voters out there who want to see a woman not just on the ticket but at the top of the ticket and there's a lot of other factors, interesting candidates like pete buttigieg who are getting attention not because people think they can win but they have been interesting and exceeded expectations. so we're a long way from knowing how this will turn out but there are a lot of different theories of the case in this democratic field. >> when you're looking at these things that are indeed fascinating, you can't ignore somebody like joe biden who wants to run as a centrist, which would argue for a good general election campaign in a year when a lot of democrats are saying my number one priority is somebody who can beat donald trump versus where the base, the
activist base of the party is, which is more progressive. >> right, and that's problematic for him. he needs to come out strong and say what do i support. do i support the new green deal? do i support medicare for all? these are questions that people wanting to know from him and he's been a little murky there. he is going to enter into a race that's far different from 2012 when he was in there with barack obama, so he needs to be the candidate for the moment. that's going to be the biggest test for him. >> emily glazer, eli stokels, amie parnes, thank you. one of biden's biggest opponents is in new hampshire right now about to speak. msnbc's garrett haake has been following the beto phenomenon from his senate to his presidential candidacy. you're on the road en route to his stop in plymouth, new hampshire. let's talk about this money, because i know you had a chance to talk to him about it. it's not just about what you bring in, but how many people, where are they from. give us your sense of what he
told you and a little analysis, if you will, about where we are in the money race. >> reporter: sure, chris. here's the context particularly as the o'rourke campaign views this. they're aware they're coming into this race thinner on policy and accomplishment than some of the other people. part of what o'rourke brings is this excitement factor that he can bring now people into the party and raise money. they know they had to prove that on a national stage when he's not just running against ted cruz, someone who all democrats were willing to get behind him and support him. they need to prove that he can raise this money on his own and they think they have done this with the $6.1 million top line number that they released on monday. today o'rourke outlined some of how they got there. more than 128,000 individual donations. that's significantly more than they had gotten in any given day during the senate campaign. and then also this number, $48 is the average donation. they believe this shows their
grassroots support. here's how o'rourke explained part of that to me earlier this morning. >> all of it came from people, not a dime from pacs or lobbyists. it helps us on our way to becoming the largest grassroots campaign this country has ever seen. >> reporter: and that's the reality for o'rourke. they have to still build this grassroots campaign. they are very much putting this together as they go, hitting not just the early states but some of the states in the midwest where they hope they can be competitive in a general election or in some of those later primaries. and so those money numbers will continue to be interesting. and as you compare them to o'rourke -- or to bernie sanders, who i think is somebody who the o'rourke campaign is targeting against here in terms of just the pure money side of it, yes, the average contribution number is higher. that's something that some folks are paying attention to. the total number of donors is lower. but compared to someone who's been a presidential candidate before and has the bigger name
i.d., i think the o'rourke folks will be happy with how those numbers stack up, particularly when you look at kamala harris. a lot of his supporters say they really like her. if that's the competitive comparison, i think they'll be satisfied with those numbers so far. >> i think the other thing we'll obviously be watching because what then you see is when that money goes away, are those same donors willing to go back for $27 or $48 again and again and again. so much to watch for. safe travels on the road there, garrett haake. thank you for that. we've got so much to talk about today including the bully pulpit. president trump publicly inserting himself into a top advisor's marriage and relentlessly attacking a war hero who died seven months ago. who will hold him accountable? republicans? plus dangerous collusion. that's what the president said about social media giants accusing them of anti-conservative bias. let that sink in for a minute. and voice of the people. in 2018, they filmed the house.
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his wife's success and angry that i with her help didn't give him the job he so desperately wanted. i barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold loser and husband from hell. the other target of his ongoing tweet storm is repeatedly the late senator john mccain. he was far from apologetic during a q & a during a photo op with brazil's president. >> mr. president, why are you attacking john mccain seven months after his death? >> very unhappy that he didn't repeal and replace obamacare. i think that's disgraceful. plus there are other things. i was never a fan of john mccain and i never will be. >> that was nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker asking that question. so, kristen, i think you got to the heart of what a lot of people, including many republicans, find puzzling about this. john mccain died almost seven months ago, but the president can't stop going after him. so what else did he tell you about this? >> reporter: well, chris, i
tried to follow up with the president there and i asked him if it is beneath the dignity of the office to be attacking a senator who passed away nearly seven months ago. he didn't answer that question. there was a lot of shouting as we were ushered out of the room. i tried to ask it several times, not entire lly clear he heard exactly what i was saying but that is the question we need answered from him. i can tell you that meghan mccain is defending her father yet again today. she spoke out moments ago making it very clear while her father is not here to defend himself, she will be doing that for him. >> thank you, all of you, for real. and the staff and everyone back. i think if i had told my dad seven months after you're dead, you're going to be dominating the news and all over twitter. he would think it was hilarious that our president was so jealous of him that he was dominating the news cycle in death as well. do not feel bad for me and my
family. we are blessed, we are a family of privilege. feel bad for people out there who are being bullied that don't have support. >> reporter: chris, that was one of the key themes that they were discussing there, this idea that the president is essentially promoting bullying. cindy mccain, the widow of the late senator john mccain, saying she has been getting bullying messages. one of them saying i'm glad he's dead, just to give you a sense of some of the reaction that they have been getting in the wake of president trump escalating his attacks. now, you started this conversation talking about george conway. the fact that president trump is escalating his feud with the husband of kellyanne conway, george conway responding to that today saying simply you. are. nuts. so these personal grievances continue, chris, and the question becomes is this
overshadowing the president's policy. yesterday he was meeting with the president of brazil. today he leaves for ohio where he's going to be talking about jobs and the economy, and yet this, this is the headline. so a muddled message here at the white house, but it may be a preview of his strategy and things to come in 2020. one thing i'll also underscore, there's been a lot of criticism of the fact there haven't been a whole lot of republicans who have come out to speak against the president and his tweets and his comments about the late senator john mccain. just a few, senator isaacson and senator mitt romney saying it is not acceptable, chris. >> kristen welker, thank you for that. i want to bring in charlie sykes and jennifer rubin, both msnbc contributors. charlie, what is going on here? this isn't new. certainly the attacks on john mccain, the fight with conway aren't new, but it just seems to escalate, escalate, escalate. what is happening here? >> you know, there's always a temptation to see some sort of a
trumpian strategy here but i don't think this is a strategy. this is a president who is behaving in an unhinged manner. you know, the man's insecurities are on full display. here's the president of the united states and he is small and he is petty. and the attacks on john mccain i do think cross a line even for some of his supporters. i think you're going to see that when senator johnny isaacson takes to the senate floor later today. he is the chairman of the senate veteran affairs committee and he's been a strong trump supporter. but the vileness of the attack on john mccain i think just apaulz peopa appalls people. it's not just on john mccain but the attacks on the mccain family by many trump supporters. this is donald trump at his absolute worst. >> yeah. about the republicans, jennifer, you wrote that's beyond the moral capacity of nearly all elected republicans these days, meaning standing up for john mccain, standing against the president. kristen mentioned that isaacson,
as charlie just did, mitt romney has tweeted about this. but you do wonder like where is the line that sparks enough outrage that more than a handful of republicans have something to say about this, jennifer? >> i think we've learned, sadly, there is no line. these people have completely debased themselves intellectually, morally. they have for whatever reason decided that they're in with trump 100%. they are so fearful of losing their jobs that they worry constantly that there be any distance between him and them. and that's exactly why he can get away with this. he exploits this. and what he does is he makes everyone around him look that much weaker. he says to kellyanne conway, me or your husband? and if she stays, she's in essence siding with him over the husband. if he insults john mccain, he's saying to the entire congress, the entire military, me or the memory of a great american war hero? they will continue to support him so he feels like he's won
that battle. so he continually pushes and pushes, making people further debase themselves, making people further betray their own values, even their family members. and this is the noxious quality of john mccain. it was entirely foreseeable to people like charlie and me, but it is nevertheless so very sad to see it played out. >> and striking, i thought yesterday, as i was watching all of this and reading all of this as it unfolded, charlie, to see that the president's bad mouthing a great patriot. >> right. >> he's bad mouthing the husband of a senior aide who has stood with him through the campaign, through his presidency, but praising brazil's president who has made racist, homophobic, misogynistic comments repeatedly. is the contrast, again, another thing that has just sort of gone by the wayside? it's something we shrug our shoulders at and say more of the same? >> it was certainly on display, though. when you saw this authoritarian thug sitting next to the
president being praised while he is demeaning an american hero. but again, this is -- this is who donald trump is. jennifer is absolutely right, it is remarkable the way in which i think particularly republicans have debased their standards. look, donald trump has no shame. and i think this was on display when he's asked about john mccain. maybe his shamelessness is his superpower. but does lindsey graham have no shame? do other members of the senate have no shame? are other members of the military watching an american hero, a genuine american hero, whatever you thought of his politics, being insulted in this way, aren't they a little bit ashamed? and by the way, i know that irony has been beaten to death with hammers, but donald trump accusing someone else of being the husband from hell. i mean really? >> jennifer, i'm going to let that remark just stand for what charlie wants it to be. but i want to go back to cindy mccain's tweet and the disgusting comments that she has been receiving. i think, you know, meghan took
the high road and said don't feel sorry for me, i've got this great family. but she's also been very open about responding to this president. do you think it is coincidental that on the same day and, you know, following a series of tweets that the president once again goes after john mccain that you have this kind of vitriol aimed at the widow of a u.s. senator? >> well, i will say this. this is absolutely nothing new. if you are on twitter, if you're on facebook, any of the social media platforms, you see this all the time from trump followers. we get it who are critical or who are trying to report in some fashion in a way they don't like about trump. anyone who breaks with trump gets this. the democrats get this. this is how many of his followers behave. now, i don't want to generalize because a fraction of a fraction of people are actually on social media, so it's very easy to get in the mode of saying, well, this is what his followers are like. >> but a fraction of those
misuse it in that way. >> correct. but of those people there is a core band, and we don't know who they are, who behave this way. they engage in anti-semitism, in racism, in base personal attacks. the only thing that i think elected officials can do is denounce it. they have to be better than this. otherwise they're just enabling it, they're just part of the mob. maybe that's what they are at this point. >> waiting to see what johnny isaacson has to say on the floor today. jennifer rubin, charlie sykes, thanks very much to both of you. after what a lot of democrats say has been a completely exhausting two years of president trump, will they give up or fire up? we've got a couple of big early indicators of which way that's going, money and volunteers. so we'll talk to a guy who's stunningly successful grassroots effort helped swing the house in 2018. we'll talk about what's already happening for 2020. ha ppening fo20r 20
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of that $4.6 million came from the grassroots effort online via phone or mail. online donors gave nearly $3 million at an average contribution of $18. republican numbers are due out sometime today. here's our question, is this a sign the democratic base is not resting on its victory in 2018 but is more fired up than ever to win in 2020? joining me now is somebody who knows a lot of about this, the founder of another group that helped the democrats take the house, swing left. it's good to have you here. swing left was your reaction to donald trump getting elected. straightforward goal, get people who live in blue areas to go over to competitive areas, either give their time or their money. obviously tremendously successful in 2018. my question has been would they be exhausted or would they just be fired up by the successes? are you surprised by the dccc's
numbers? what are you seeing? >> i'm not surprised at all. there's tremendous excitement out there. i mean these groups, they are just raring to go. the house is just the appetizer. the white house, the senate, redistricting, that's the main course. they're ready to go. >> you have 600,000 people plus. i think when i was doing an initial story on you guys just in july, it was 400,000, so it's building. >> yeah, we had a tremendous boost of energy around the 2018 midterm but what we're seeing is the groups that form in response to trump in the 2016 election, that form to try to take back the house. they are now turning their attention to the main course, the presidency, the senate and redistricting. >> so what's motivating them now? what are they telling you? what are you hearing about what's having them doing their meetings still, even though this is normally a fallow period before the presidential election? >> right. they got a taste of what it's like to work on elections starting really early and they saw the impact they had building these campaigns in waiting for these key house races, how they
were able to deliver them a large check and a grassroots army ready to go. they want to do that again for 2020. >> we're showing a picture of katie hill, who was a long shot in california 25. she's one of the people who helped swing that whole area of california. you have just posted live this morning on swingleft.org an interactive map of a lot of what you're going to be looking at this year. 11 states, you're calling this the superstates strategy. what are we looking at here? >> the superstates is our attempt to help people focus on what matters for 2020. it turns out if you're focused on not just the presidency but also winning the senate and the key state houses necessary to have redistricting, you're looking at basically the same 11 states over and over again. that's what we're calling the super states. key battlegrounds for more than one of those fights and top battlegrounds for at least one. >> a lot of people wouldn't be surprised by the focus on presidential or senate. they might be surprised that you
added in gerrymandering. why do you see that as so important, and what's your message to the 600,000 people plus you already have? >> well, we have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to redraw the maps. that depends on who controls the statehouses in 2020. and so our map reflects the ndrc, the national democratic redistricting committee's targets for redistricting. basically our message to volunteers is what you just did over the last two years made a huge difference in terms of who controls the house for two years. what we do in the state houses over the next two years will determine who controls the house of representatives for ten years. >> can we put that map up again, because one of the big things that helped swing left initially was a huge chunk of people in blue districts were within a 50-mile drive of a competitive district. obviously you're looking at this map. people can't necessarily drive from the pacific northwest to any place where there might be a
competitive race, for example, colorado or arizona. what do you say to those folks, besides give money? >> obviously you can donate but there's effective work you can do from afar. there's voter turnout, there's voter registration that can be done by mail. there's phone banking. there's lots of stuff going on that people can do. activist groups around the country are realizing that and getting to work on these super states from wherever they are. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> we'll check back in with you to see how things are going with all those folks. appreciate it. we've got a new poll suggesting support for democratic congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez is on the decline. of course aoc is the undeniebl star of this big freshman class in the house but apparently at a price, both in her home state of new york and within her party. as of march 31% of registered voters viewed her favorably. 44% have an unfavorable view according to the siena college
survey. that unfavorability rating up 15% from a quinnipiac poll conducted in january. it follows amazon cancelling its office building plan in queens. there was a lot of backlash to that, one that would have brought thousands of jobs to the area. president trump slamming twitter, alleging that the social media giant is biased against him, even though he used it to propel himself to the white house and still uses it as his go-to for attacking perceived enemies and rallying his base. so what's going on here? and robert mueller's team reveals they're battling other work. what that means for the long awaited report. hat means for thg awaited report (danny)t me get t. after a long day of hard work... ...you have to do more work? every day you're nearly fried to a crisp, professionally! can someone turn on the ac?! no? oh right... ...'cause there isn't any. here- (vo) automatically sort your expenses and save over 40 hours a month. without you, we wouldn't have electricity.
so the nation's biggest tech giants are again on defense following more accusations of bias from the president. trump criticizing twitter, of course the very same platform that's his preferred method of communication, as skrujust one the social media giants that he quotes, side with radical left democrats. this comes after facebook blocked white house social media director dan scavino on monday. he claims he was temporarily unable to apply to comments on the site for a few hours. facebook said the move was caused by automated systems that mistook him for a bot. but president trump thinks there was a different reason. >> i tell you, i have many, many millions of followers on
twitter, and it's different than it used to be. things are happening, names are taken off, people aren't getting through. you've heard the same complaints. and it seems to be if they're conservative, if they're republicans, if they're in a certain group, there's discrimination and big discrimination. we use the word "collusion" very loosely all the time. i will tell you there is collusion with respect to that because something has to be going on. collousive and it's very, very fair to say that we have to do something about it. >> joining me now, msnbc media reporter dylan byers and charlie sykes. dylan, are these legit concerns or is this platform abiding by rules and regulations and they're imperfect. >> it's absolutely not a legitimate complaint from the white house. it's basically with all due respect to the president and to dan scavino, it's basically the equivalent of when your crazy
uncle calls and tells you there's a conspiracy theory against him because his computer isn't working. it's effectively the equivalent of opening too many browsers on your screen and then your computer crashes. the appropriate response is not to keep trying to open browsers on your screen but rather to just step away for an hour and then reboot it. that's effectively what happened here. you know, in this day and age in 2019, tech has become such a great scapegoat and such a great target for myriad reasons. some of them legitimate having to do with issues like data privacy, hate speech, fake news, and for some of them that are illegitimate having to do with conspiracy theories about anti-conservative bias, which i can assure you at global companies operating at the scale of a company like facebook just quite honestly do not exist. >> can we go back to the irony here, charlie. the president has come out, for example, in defense of
republican congressman devin nunes who is suing twitter after there were some joke parody accounts insulting him. but trump literally called george conway a loser. he's insulted john mccain. he also, by the way, in just the last few days has gone after hillary clinton, joe biden, general motors, the uaw, even fox news shepard smith. what am i missing here? i know i keep asking you this question, but there is no irony here? >> oh, i don't want to overuse the word "iron re"but here's the most powerful man in the world to take time out to go after twitter. there's some legitimate criticisms about facebook and the live streaming of the massacre in new zealand, a variety of things. these are not legitimate criticism. but donald trump always needs to have a boogieman and he always needs to play the victim card. and i think you're seeing that again. playing to people's paranoia. look, donald trump is a creature. he and his movement are creatures of social media.
s he swims in this sea of paranoia and conspiracy theories that never would have gotten traction if not for the social media platforms. he uses twitter against all of his enemies. his desire to find some target, and it plays well with the conservative base and you see that with devin nunes -- >> i have to talk about this because, yes, one of the parody accounts is called @devincow and@devin nunes mom. one called him a treasonous cowpoke and said his boots are full of manure. we can laugh about that but there's a serious point aaron blake makes in "the washington post." if these are subject to damages, the impact would be massive. the number of twitter users who could be successfully sued would
be almost impossible to quantify. what do you make of this whole devin nunes thing, dylan? >> well, i think aaron blake's post in "the post" is right and it's the reason why you are not going to see representative nunes win this case. look, if scavino basically overloaded the system and then cried foul, the allegory for nunes is somebody who opened up web browsers and started shouting every single one of them he didn't like was evidence of a conspiracy theory. this is how twitter works. there are parody accounts. there are accounts that will be critical of you. there are accounts that make jokes at your expense. we can spend a long time debating whether or not that's positive or negative for society, but the idea that somehow nunes or conservatives are being targeted by what is very much a content agnostic platform is just sort of comical on its face. i think it makes you have to wonder like what world does representative nunes live in where he believes this stuff.
>> and going back to trump, i'll just point out for people who missed this when it was revealed a couple of days ago, for all of his complaints against facebook, the president's re-elect is spending more on facebook ads than all the democratic candidates combined. charlie sykes, dylan byers, great talking to both of you. thank you. >> thanks, chris. here's an interesting new numbers fact. robert mueller's team, 17 lawyers, is soon going to be whittled down to just 10. so what does that tell us about how close we might be to a final report? repo rt
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prosecutors with special counsel robert mueller's team want more time to hand over documents relating to donald trump's campaign chair, paul manafort. yesterday they cited the press of other work, asking the judge for an extension until april 21st to respond to "the washington post"'s request to unseal documents in the manafort case. this all comes on the same day that outgoing deputy attorney general rod rosenstein announced he's staying on the job just a little bit longer. joining me now, a former
prosecutor with the southern district of new york. should we read anything into this asked-for delay but at the same time downsizing of the number of lawyers, or is this just regular stuff? >> so i think for a large extent, this is just regular stuff. asking for more time, additional time for things, is kind of what lawyers do best. so this is very much a normal thing. however, this is not a normal case. so we are looking at all of these different developments, different data points, trying to make the predictions of which we're ultimately going to see a report here. look, i do think it is significant that you're starting to see people leaving the team. that definitely means something. and it is significant that they're, you know, trying to be strategic about what they're redacting, how they're responding to the court's order here. >> but as a nonlawyer, maybe i would think, okay, yeah, they're downsizing the team because they've already had a lot of guilty pleas and prosecution.
that doesn't mean they're any closer to the big enchilada or whatever this report is going to be. but do you see it as an indication that it's winding down? >> yes and no. in the grand scheme of special counsel operations, two years, we're at about 22 months now, isn't that long. if you look at whitewater, it started in 1994 and ended in 2001. if we're talking about the difference of a couple of weeks of a report coming out today versus mid-april or may or whatever, again, these kinds of requests for delay aren't uncommon in the practice of law. a lot of times when people have a trial coming up or a major event, they'll ask for more time. these are busy folks, working on high profile government stuff. they needed more time. lawyers leaving might suggest we're getting closer but we're just not that far in. >> it was interesting to see congressman elijah cummings writing in "the washington post"
today that the white house hasn't handed over a single piece of paper to the committee in response to investigations of everything from security clearances, hush money payments, the russia investigation. what could happen here, where could this go? >> this has been the first step of what undoubtedly will be a very long process. the first step is congress asking nicely, we would really like it if you gave us these documents. when the house says no, we're not going to do this, the next step is for them to consider whether to issue subpoenas. it's not a slam dunk that if they issue a subpoena, they'll get the records they want. this will be a hard-fought battle that will play out in the courts. >> can we guess that they'll get better than they have now, which is nothing? >> yes. going across administrations, bush, clinton, everybody, there's a long tradition of accommodation between the congress and the white house over handing over documents. this level of -- i'll use the
word stonewalli ining by the administration, is remarkable. >> our last 30 seconds or so, berit, we saw after paul manafort was sentenced in the federal case, new york prosecutors came forward with charges against him. the big deal here is state convictions can't be pardoned by the president. how long might we see this drag on? >> this case is not going to play out that quickly for the sole reason that there are really complicated double jeopardy issues that are going to have to be litigated here. i don't know that any of these issues are a slam dunk one way or the other. they'll have to be getting in the weeds of the facts of the federal case, the specific facts of the charges being brought here in the state. so i don't see a quick resolution to this. i think we can imagine this going on for a number of months. >> berit, elliott, both went to columbia law school at the same
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my colleague kasie hunt takes over from here. >> thanks so much, chris. coming up on "andrea mitchell reports," the president enters a second round in his twitter battle with the husband of his senior adviser kellyanne conway, calling him "the husband from hell" after taking another opportunity to slam the late senator john mccain seven months after his death. >> i do think this is a new bizarre low. i will say, attacking someone who isn't here is a bizarre low. the next generation. a new younger crop of democrats make their case for change in 2020. >> my face is my message. a lot of this is simply the idea that we need generational change, that we knead more voices stepping up from a generation that has so much at stake in the decisions that are being made right now. >> coming up, former san antonio mayor and presidential candidate julian castro joins us. and sneak