tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC March 26, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
of health care, they're worried about their kids' education, they're worried about whether there's a level playing field in getting their kids into college and we're not dealing with any of that. and i think we're letting the american people down, but i'm probably in a minority on that. >> all right, senator john kennedy, always great to have your opinion and to have you on the show. thank you very much. >> mika, are you getting any work out of joe? >> no, no. >> just a little bit. he's working hard. you should have heard him this morning. >> i know you have to carry him, but we all have our burdens. >> it could be worse. >> her shoulders are weary. her shoulders are weary. she carries me every day. >> good lord. thank you, senator, appreciate it. >> thank you, senator. >> it's really good to keep some thoughts unexpressed. >> i'll work on that. >> that does it for us this morning. we're done. chris jansing picks up the coverage right now. >> keep some thoughts unexpressed. mika, joe, thank you. hello there, i am chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle.
this morning, killing obamacare. the trump administration escalating its legal battle against the affordable care act, backing a lawsuit that would fully repeal the law with major implications for millions of americans and a risky position for republicans come 2020. >> we're going to take care of pre-existing conditions, folks. remember that. >> moving past mueller, major decisions for both republicans and democrats. congressional democrats demanding the full report a week from now. the president feeling emboldened as republicans seize the moment. >> when it comes to the fisa warrant, the clinton campaign, the counterintelligence investigation, it's pretty much been swept under the rug. those days are over. and michael avenatti indicted. the high-profile attorney in serious legal trouble this morning, accused of trying to extort millions from nike, facing charges that could carry prison terms totaling decades. what a difference a day
makes. 24 hours ago you could practically hear the champagne corks popping over at the west wing following the news about robert mueller's russia report, but after the administration's stunning decision to back a judge's ruling that would kill obamacare, it's democrats who believe they have reason to celebrate this morning. i've got a great team to help me break it all down, but first you may have missed this overnight. but the implications for you and your loved ones could be huge. late monday the trump administration's justice department said it would support a texas judge who ruled that when congress eliminated the individual mandate back in 2017, it essentially made the entire affordable care act unconstitutional. this is a huge change from the administration's previous position, which was to cut some aspects of obamacare, like coverage for pre-existing conditions, but support the rest of it. of course obamacare has been the law of the land for nine years now, and in that time it's become entrenched in millions of
americans' lives. according to the kaiser family foundation, at least 44 million people have taken advantage of some aspect of obamacare and it impacts millions more. the law includes protections for pre-existing conditions, the creation of insurance marketplaces, premium subsidies for lower income americans, expanded medicaid eligibility, expanded preventative services, and dependent coverage for adult children until they're 26. despite all that, republicans have been fighting obamacare for years, insisting costs were too high and calling the government -- on the government to stay out of health care. remember this? president trump back in 2017. >> obamacare all of a sudden the last couple of weeks is getting a false rap that maybe it's okay. it's not okay, it's a disaster. people understand that. it's failed. it's imploding. if we let it go another year, it will totally implode.
i told republicans why didn't you just let it go another year. that way everybody will understand how bad it is. >> now, obamacare is not perfect. even some democrats have admitted it could be tweaked. that's a far cry from the disaster the president describes. the kaiser family foundation's most recent tracking poll found that americans' views are 50% favorable, 37% unfavorable. more than 11 million people signed up for coverage for 2019. politically speaking, this may be the president trying to flex his muscles on behalf of his base, but it's also a fight the democrats are more than happy to have. if obamacare is skras scrapped, could eliminate protection for 52 million people with pre-existing conditions, despite promises the president made just a few months ago. >> on pre-existing conditions, a lot of people think it's not a very republican thing. it is now, and it has been for me. i want to take care of people with pre-existing conditions. we're doing well. we can do it.
and we will always protect americans with pre-existing conditions. that's a major part of what i'm all about. >> well, apparently not anymore. and if democrats want proof this is a winning issue for them. go back to the midterms in 2018. exit polling founding that health care was the single most important issue, number one for voters in 2018, and they backed democrats by more than 20 points. i want to bring in nbc's kristen welker at the white house for us. so, kristen, here you have a huge messaging win for the president and the white house with this mueller summary in the barr letter. why now? why do this? is there any thought that they're stepping on their own big victory? >> i think there is some concern within the administration that this could step on the president's victory. no indication about the timing yet, chris. but to just flesh out what you were saying, i was on the campaign trail in 2018, spoke to voters. they were talking about health
care. and of course our reporters who are on the campaign trail right now with some of those 2020 hopefuls say that's really what voters are talking about, the issues like health care, like taxes, that they're not really talking about the mueller report. so this is potentially a political problem for president trump because obamacare has become more popular and also because of the popular components of obamacare, protecting pre-existing conditions is at the top of the list, bar none. so this is going to potentially be politically problematic for president trump. you already have some of the democratic hopefuls weighing in. kamala harris saying trump and his administration are trying to take health care away from tens of millions of americans again. president trump was taking aim at the late senator john mccain last week, chris, for his vote over health care, voting no because there was no replacement component at the time that the
legislation was being put on the senate floor. and that remains the problem for the trump administration. they have talked about tearing it down. they have taken steps to tear it down. and yet there is still no replacement component. that's why this becomes politically tricky. so this is going to put a lot of pressure on the president, on the republican party if in fact this were to go through to try to figure out what are the next steps. but right now the legal battle escalates, chris. >> kristen, thank you for that. let me bring in my panel. susan del percio, christine quinn is vice chair of the new york state democratic party, sam baker, health care editor for axios and that's where i want to start, sam. what does this mean is obviously the key question. let's put aside the paolitics fr a minute. you wrote if the justice department ultimately gets its way, the ripple effects would be cataclysmic for health care in america. explain what you mean. >> yeah. i mean you're looking at obviously getting rid of -- you would still be getting rid of protections for people with
pre-existing conditions. that's a big deal. you'd be getting rid of the insurance exchanges where about 12 million people are buying health insurance right now. you'd be getting rid of the medicaid expansion, which covers roughly another 12 million people. so now you're looking at somewhere close to 25 million people losing their coverage if doj gets its way here. and then on top of that, obamacare just sort of contained a lot of other stuff that wasn't really necessarily directly related to the sort of big ticket coverage expansion. it created a new class of drugs that the fda could approve and it's been using that authority. it did a lot of stuff under the hood to try to make medicare more efficient. those are tools that the trump administration is using just as much as the obama administration did. all those things go away. and because it has been the law of the land so long, a lot has really been built up around those parts of the law. >> and i can tell you that internal polling among the democrats has shown this to be
this kind of rare singular issue that people have responded to in an ongoing way. this isn't going away. so susan, what are republicans thinking? did they have some polling we haven't seen? do they think that the trump base is going to come out and democrats are going to stay home in 2020? what's going on here? >> i can tell you my first thought was look for repeal and revolt. people will up in arms about losing their health care coverage. >> people meaning voters or people meaning members of congress who have to run for re-election? >> well, both. members of congress follow their voters and what they want. and the president obviously did this on his own. he's not consulting with anyone. there is no replace, which has just been said over and over. without a replace, everyone loses all the benefits that they have gotten used to and expect from their health care insurance. and that is the fundamental problem. not just their actual health care, but it's an economic issue, it's a pocketbook issue.
and if there is any tickdown in the economy, you add rising costs and less care and more expensive health care to the mix, it's going to be big problems for the house and senate. >> compared to people not having insurance, this may seem like a small thing. but republicans who want to say they're business friendly, certainly can't say all of the insurance companies, all of the hospitals that have changed their systems to adapt to this and now they're going to have to go back. i don't know, what did you think when you heard this, christine? >> well, i thought two things. as a totally political person i thought thank you, this is great. >> here's a gift. >> for 2020. but more from a human being's perspective, i'm very concerned because what if the court -- if the court moves forward to kill obamacare, yes, it will get appealed to the supreme court. but i don't go to sleep at night with great confidence in the supreme court anymore since trump appointees are on it and we're talking about millions and millions of people who rely --
>> tens of millions. >> absolutely. >> who are affected by it. >> and look, if you polled some of the people, if you polled people on obamacare, there's going to be people who complain about it. and i'm not saying it can't be made better. but those very same people who complain about it are going to be outraged when it's gone and they don't have coverage for themselves or their children. a lot of these people went through all of the stress about pre-existing conditions and all of that trauma we put them through and their children. and we're just going to hang them out to dry now? >> and those are extremely popular provisions, when you look at it provision by proes , provision. you may not remember this but the day before president obama signed this into law, the republicans introduced a bill to get rid of obamacare. since then they have literally voted more than 100 times for repeal it. without a replacement, susan, what's the argument? >> there is plenty to fix within
obamacare -- >> they had nine years to figure out what they want to do. >> but they have not put forward a solution. let's not forget there were a lot of republicans running in 2018, whether it be for a statewide office or congress that said, oh, i'm for keeping pre-existing conditions. i'm for all of the things that people like about obamacare. >> even the president said that. >> even the president, that's right. and what happened is that now they're going to have to go back to their constituency, and that really scares them. there's no question this is a trump centric idea. i mean perhaps knowing that this was coming down the pike is why donald trump railed against john mccain last week. it's just crazy. >> what went on behind the scenes that led to this? >> i think donald trump said i want to repeal obamacare. i want that for my base. make it happen, mr. attorney general. and that's what it came down to. >> he's a very kind of black and white guy if you think about it, the president. this whole repeal and replace, that was a spin that came in late in the game, clearly in
response to some poll numbers. how he sees things is i win or lose. it's alive or dead. he just said kill it, get rid of it. that's the way he thinks. >> sam, is this a done deal? where does this go from here? >> sure. so there's been one ruling, as you mentioned, that that judge said throw out the entire affordable care act. that is being appealed to the fifth circuit court of appeals, which is the most conservative circuit court in the country. that process is still relatively early. depending on how it goes there, it would go on up to the supreme court. >> do either of you think this is about the president looking at what he sees as a total exoneration and a huge political win and saying, okay, and we know the people are telling him he's got the wind at his back. this is part of that. okay, let's get rid of obamacare. let's think of all the things i don't like, obamacare. >> this had to be in the works. it's not like they just woke up
yesterday morning to make this push or this morning. >> no, it was premised on this ruling, but nevertheless -- >> but i do think you're right in that they were maybe holding it until the mueller report came out, until they did feel there was some wind at their back. but at the same time we know donald trump. he will do anything to play to his base. and that's where he is ginning it up. wait until we hear it on thursday in michigan. this is going to be a big part of his campaign. >> the start of what a lot of republicans think is a victory tour. but hold those thoughts because president trump obviously feeling emboldened by the mueller report, as democrats demand the full release of that report, giving the attorney general a deadline to hand it over. how both sides are planning to use that report in the 2020 election. we're going to dig deeper into that. but first, some of the president's staunchest supporters calling the mueller report a gift for the president, which has late-night stephen colbert comparing the report to christmas.
>> this is, shall we say, anti-climactic. it's like saying guess what, kids, santa came, and he brought mostly nothing. in fact santa took his sack of presents and handed them over to some guy named bill. bill is like i'll give you a summary of the gifts. oh, and by the way, this bill guy got his job by writing a 19-page memo about how christmas is illegal. is illegal weakening of enamel. now is the perfect time for a toothpaste like the new pronamel repair. this toothpaste takes it to the next level. it takes minerals and it drives it deep into the tooth surface so that we can actively help repair weakened enamel. i do think dentists are going to want to recommend the new pronamel repair toothpaste. it's such an easy answer and it will do exactly what their patients need.
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this morning democrats are ramping up efforts to get the complete mueller report and get it fast. six committee chairs sent a letter to attorney general barr demanding to see that report by april 2nd. that's a week from now. the politics of all this in full view on the senate floor. mitch mcconnell and chuck schumer squared off over a measure that would make the report public. >> whether or not you're supporter of president trump or not, whatever you feel, there is no good reason not to make the report public. >> apparently my friend from new york is not for allowing the special counsel to complete his work with the justice department according to his best professional and legal judgment. >> now, remember, the president has said that releasing the report would not bother him at all. but so far, of course, we've only seen that four-page summary that he claims, incorrectly, is a total exoneration. nbc's geoff bennett is on
capitol hill. geoff, fill us in on the fight to make this report public. where do we stand right now? >> reporter: the bottom line is democrats believe the longer the delay, the worse it is for them both on the substance and the politics. because with this four-page summary you have the attorney general, bill barr, already framing the debate. already framing the narrative before we actually know what the relevant facts are. as you mentioned, house democrats sent a letter to barr formally requesting the full release, and they're giving him until next tuesday, april 2nd, to do it. put that kadate on your calenda. the democrats, the six chairs of the relevant house committees, did not say what they would do if barr misses the deadline or straight-up refuses to comply. democrats feel as if they're in firm footing here largely due to the precedent. just last year when republicans controlled the house and controlled those relevant committees, they requested and received from the doj all sorts of information related to the
fbi's investigation of hillary clinton's e-mail use. so as that was happening on the house side late yesterday, over here on the senate side you had mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader, blocking this effort that the senate democratic leader, chuck schumer, brought up. he was trying to bring to the senate floor the resolution that the house passed a couple of weeks ago, that overwhelming vote by house members calling on mueller to make his report public. mcconnell blocked it, in part because there's this view among him and other republicans who say this sort of resolution, which by the way is nonbinding, they say it's a solution in search of a problem since mueller and barr, mcconnell says, are already working to figure out what parts of this report they can make public, chris. >> geoff, thank you for that. joining me now to weigh in is robert costa, national political reporter for "the washington post" and an msnbc political analyst and moderator of "washington week" on pbs. susan and christine are back with me. robert, let me start with you. you write that wrapping this all
up could be a win for democrats and i think there are a lot of progressives out there who haven't felt like this since maybe after the election in 2016. so what's your take on this? >> on today's front page of "the washington post," my colleague shawn sullivan and i report on how many democratic presidential contenders are eager to turn the page and focus on kitchen table issues like health care and jobs. they have been talking to voters about those issues for months on the campaign trail in states like iowa and new hampshire, but the shadow of the mueller investigation has always hovered over that 2020 race. now they feel like they can mount different sorts of arguments, take a different tone against president trump. >> can you separate the two, christine, as a democrat? on one hand you have what we know is going to happen in congress. you're going to have the fight over the mueller report. we don't know how long that will go on. you'll have these various investigations going none six different excommittees. and then on the 2020 trail a lot
of the candidates would like to talk about the issues. can one be separated from the other? you know if something is coming up, they're going to get asked about it. if something is happening in congress, a presidential candidate will be asked the question. >> i have great confidence in our elected leaders in congress and in our presidential candidates that they can walk and chew gum at the same time. and if you don't want somebody to be president who can't handle two issues at the same time or even work two messages. i think it's critical that speaker pelosi and leader schumer with their colleagues, republican and democrat, push for the full release of the report, because although there's things in the summary, in the cliff notes that are good for the president, there's also not a kprecomplete exoneration, so really need to know all of the information. and don't spike the football until you've really gotten over the goal line there because the southern district is hovering and the new york state attorney
general, tish james, hovering over all of this. now that said, if democrats get mired in the weeds of mueller and don't talk about the issues, because we don't win just by attacking trump, we win by having a vision and ideas that are compelling. so we have to do both. i think you'll hear more of that part from the presidential candidates. >> well, i think one of the things that we can say and have always acknowledged about donald trump is that he's great at marketing. >> yes. >> he's marketed himself, he's marketed certain messages. his main message may be total exoneration, but there's a secondary message here and it's essentially i'm going to put it in nice terms, susan, that the democrats, that his enemies overplayed their hand. and so walking and chewing gum at the same time is one thing. but is there a danger for democrats in looking as though they're overplaying their hand here? >> there is a danger and that's coming more from washington. i agree with chris, on the campaign trail those candidates need to focus in the next year or so on where they are
different and why they think they will be a better person to take on donald trump because they all are in agreement that they want him to go. i think down in washington, we're creating a lot of noise that is -- the danger is that there's so much noise about different investigations that it's hard for everyday people to follow, and that allows the president to keep his narrative strong, because he does have the bully pulpit of the presidency. and that makes a big difference. personally i don't think i am not a russian asset is a great campaign slogan, but that's just me. but he will go there and he will continue to basically lie like he has. he will say i'm building the wall and mexico is paying for it, even though the nafta 2.0 deal hasn't even been ratified. he will continue to say whatever he feels like and it is going to be upon the democrats to basically come up with a strategy to fight that. >> i think part of this for him, and part of why it can be good for him is that he likes people,
even though he's this rich guy from new york, people identify with him, right, that he was a fighter for them. and he becomes the aggrieved party. they understand what it feels like to be the aggrieved party and they relate to that. but having said that, there are some folks who are frankly mocked by the left when they said before the mueller report came out the president is owed an apology. well, now david brooks writes this. it's clear many democrats made grievous accusations against the president that are not supported by the evidence. it's clear that people like beto o'rourke and john brennan owe donald trump a public apology. if you call someone a traitor and it turns out you lacked the evidence for that charge, then the only decent thing to do is apologize. does he have a point, chris? >> well, first of all, if anyone in the united states of america owes people apologies for all he's said and done and all the libellous charges he's made, it's donald trump. but they don't owe the president
an apology. all we have to do is think back to the democratic national convention when donald trump stood on national tv when the issue was breaking over the dnc e-mails and russia and said, and i'm paraphrasing, russia, please come and find out more. i know our press would love that. that to me was a treasonous statement, asking a foreign entity who is our enemy whether the president believes that or not to come in and further mess in an election and further hack the democratic national committee's e-mails. that to me was the beginning -- >> you wish some of the democrats hadn't said what thesdthey said? >> i wish people to always say what they feel. and i think that's when you have true authentic candidates and you see who you think is too out there. >> and with all respect to david brooks, no one has read the report. >> therein lies the key here. robert, i want to go back to the
fact that the president, his messaging, i think his actions shows that he does feel embol n embolden emboldened. we haven't talked a lot about the question of pardons. senator lindsey graham was asked what he thought about potential pardons yesterday. here's what he said. >> no. i think -- i think president trump pardoned anybody in his orbit, it would not play well. >> would not play well is different from, because whether or not it played well wasn't always affecting what the president does. are you hearing anything about this? is there any rumbling at all that he's thinking about pardons again? >> there are certainly rumblings based on my reporting that the president has sympathy for paul manafort, his former campaign chairman. at the same time, his lawyers, his political advisers, allies like senator graham, are urging the president even if he has that sympathy to stay away from any sort of pardon because the republican party does not want to have to defend that decision and to talk about paul manafort,
who has been convicted of various crimes and is going to prison as someone that deserves a pardon. the republicans would like to move on. they like that the president is celebrating the summary from the attorney general. but when i last spoke to mayor giuliani, the president's lawyer, he insisted the president wasn't moving toward any pardons. but the president hasn't ruled anything out. >> so, in other words, maybe if he shows some patience after the election, we'll see. robert costa, always great to talk to you. his story is on the front page of "the post" today. coming up, michael avenatti getting hit with coast-to-coast indictments, charged with trying to extort more than $20 million from nike. that's not the only charge he's facing. not the only charge he' facing 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.
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michael avenatti, the lawyer who shot to fame as stormy daniels' lawyer in her case against the president this morning is facing charges himself. charges that could carry penalties totaling decades in prison if convicted. as "the new york times" details, yesterday avenatti walked into a meeting with nike, a meeting he believed could result in a multimillion dollar payout. but instead, he left the meeting in fbi custody.
he's charged with trying to extort more than $20 million from nike, a move the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york called an old-fashioned shakedown. >> when lawyers use their law licenses as weapons, as a guise to extort payments for themselves, they are no longer acting as attorneys, they are acting as criminals. >> that's not all. there's a separate case in california. avenatti charged with bank and wire fraud there. last night following his court hearing in new york, avenatti weighed in on the charges saying that due process will exonerate him. nbc investigations reporter tom winter joins us with the latest. tom, what exactly happened here? >> yeah, this was really a -- just a total stunning change for michael avenatti. he was in court -- i was in court with him last night. it was a late initial appearance for avenatti. you see him coming out there. but, you know, he used to be the life of the court, chris. and now he was sitting by himself at his table with the
marshals sitting behind him. it was just a very weird scene. what happened was michael avenatti was under investigation for a long time out in california. as you suggested, he faces charges there. and they were ready to arrest him on friday night. as a matter of fact, my colleague, julia ainsley, we were getting whispers there was something that was going to happen in california but we weren't quite sure. then all of a sudden that seemed to have gone away. we didn't hear much more about it. this kind of came out of nowhere yesterday afternoon. avenatti was, like i said, already in trouble and then he started to begin this extortion scheme with nike. and they have him on tape, that meeting that you referenced earlier, they set up cameras and audio equipment in the room where the meeting occurred. so michael avenatti is on tape essentially saying, look, just give me $22.5 million and i'll just ride off into the sunset. that's what he actually said. so it no longer becomes advocating for your client, it becomes just trying to enrich
yourself. we know avenatti has had financial issues and now he's got very serious legal issues. >> he got so famous so fast. he actually toyed with running for president. edward isaac dovere tweeted this. last bring michael avenatti sat in a starbucks on 16th street with me, looking forward the white house, and told me he had already started to envision himself sitting behind the desk in the oval office as president. i mean he had said that he wasn't going to run. so what's next for him? where does this case go, the new york one? >> what's next for him is a lot of time being spent in a courtroom and certainly not in the oval office. he's got a trial here in new york, he'll have a trial in los angeles. and, chris, he faces real jail time here. the maximum on the extortion charge in new york is 20 years alone. he faces significant jail time of equal or even greater amounts in california. so as far as michael avenatti is concerned, his only focus is probably going to be on his own
legal troubles. he needs to get representation here in new york. he was represented by public defenders last night. that's primarily just because of how quickly this all came together. so he'll have to have attorneys in los angeles. he has his travel restricted, his passports, his italian and u.s. passport, they'll have to be turned over. he has to report any financial transactions over $5,000 incoming or outgoing to accounts that he controls. chris, he's got a long way from the white house now. he's much closer to prison. >> tom, thanks so much. we want to talk more about this. former u.s. attorney paul charleston is here along with criminal defense attorney robert bianchi. bob, i think the question for a lot of people is when does threatening a lawsuit cross over into extortion. >> great question. avenatti is going to say i was trying to zealously advocate for a client. he put himself in a box when he said my client's damages are $1.6 million and i want to be paid for that. but when he went to personally
advantage himself by saying i need $15 to $20 million either to investigate and write a report for you or just give me $22.5 million and i'll walk away. he has broken the law, according to the u.s. attorney, because he's no longer advocating for a legitimate claim of a client as opposed to enrichment for himself. and these facts are locked and loaded. these are not a good thing for him to do. it's improper to do as an attorney. i don't think that you're going to find an attorney in the world that's going to get up on the witness stand for him as an expert to say this is a legitimate exercise in pursuing a client's case. last point, what you do is you pursue the client's case for their damages and you take your fee from the client. you don't extort it from the company. >> so, paul, the line that robert mentioned as a nonlawyer is one, though, that struck me because he asked, apparently, reportedly, for that $22.5 million he said, and then full confidentiality. we ride off into the sunset.
against that backdrop, is it at all common to see lawyers mistakenly cross this line? is it unclear where the line is? >> the u.s. attorney's position and if these charges are proven true, chris, is that that line was a red line and a very clear line. remember, the context here in which michael avenatti did these acts and took these actions is one in which the southern district of new york has an ongoing criminal prosecution that relates to the subject area that michael avenatti was talking about. another clothing manufacturer, other sports individuals, other ncaa individuals tried and convicted of crimes. you cannot threaten a criminal prosecution to gain a civil benefit. that is the very definition of extortion. chris, you don't have to look too far in our recent history to learn about the sentencing guide lines and what, if again these charges are proven to be true, a possible conviction in the central district of california
and a possible conviction in the southern district of new york means. that means, as happened with paul manafort, that if mr. avenatti is found guilty, he may be facing a accesentence in california and then a consecutive and additional accept tense in the southern strict of new yo district of new york. >> i think i know the answer to this but i want to make sure i'm clear on it, robert. avenatti claimed that he knew of nike employees who funneled money into college basketball recruits. we've seen this case before elsewhere. yesterday the sdny prosecutor said if -- we're now investigating that, right? they're looking at that. if it turns out that that's true, does that have any impact at all on what happens to avenatti? if he can go to court and say i was actually right about this. >> this is going to be what his defense is. i'm a zealous advocate, advocating on behalf of my client. and the law is clear, just the
filing of lawsuits is not extortion. however, it has to be exclusively done for purposes of advantaging the client. when you are saying line my pockets with money, that to me is where he went over the line and clearly they indicate there if it's not done exclusively for the benefit of the client, then it can be considered extortive. he's basically saying i'm going to knock your market cap down by billions of dollars. i'm going to do it right before the ncaa tournaments, and that's maybe okay. but when he says i will basically whitewash the whole thing if you pay me money, that's where the extortion -- that's where you no longer become a lawyer and you become a shakedown artist. >> i've only got 30 seconds left and this really isn't a legal question, paul, but i'll ask you anyway. we all know that judges are the range of personalities the way they sentence, the whole thing. but generally would a judge look at a lawyer differently and say you knew better, you're a
lawyer, you passed the bar, are you kidding me? >> and here's where a judge would most certainly do that. again, chris, if these charges are proven to be true, if you embezzle your client's money, that is such an extraordinary abuse of your trust relationship between the lawyer and the client. and remember these judges are lawyers themselves. i think you will very much risk seeing the anger of a judge as he accesentences you for that offense. >> paul, bobby, thank you so much. i'm sure we'll be talking more about this in the days and weeks to come. coming up, the supreme court hearing cases today with potentially huge ramifications for elections over the next decade. msnbc's steve kornacki is here to break it all down for us, next. l down for us, next of your investments. key portfolio events. all in one place. because when it's decision time... you need decision tech. only from fidelity.
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today there's a really important case before the supreme court. they're hearing arguments on redistricting and gerrymandering. of course those are the kind of things that don't sound sexy, but they end up having huge implications for elections and for which party ends up in power. steve kornacki, nbc's national political correspondent is here. we're talking specifically about maryland and north carolina. what's going on? >> yeah, chris. gerrymandering, redrawing those district lines, congressional district lines in a way that gives an advantage to one party, a disadvantage to the other. what the supreme court is looking at, as you say, two different states here. take a look at one of them. maryland, you can see already lines everywhere on this screen right here. it looks like a maze.
what you basically have, though, in maryland right now, there are eight congressional districts in the state. seven of them are represented by democrats, one my republicans. and republicans in maryland are the ones saying, hey, this map is a gerrymander, specifically they are looking at this one. that's the number six there, the sixth district of maryland. they say democrats control maryland. what they essentially did with this map, the democrats controlled it and essentially added in the d.c. suburbs, scattered out republican votes elsewhere, guaranteed a pickup for the party. this had been a republican district for a while. so that's the contention there in maryland. it's republicans saying hey, the democrats did. now, it's opposite in north carolina. that's the other state we're talking about here. remember, north carolina pretty competitive state in presidential politics. hillary clinton came close to winning it, didn't, though, in 2016, but dloclose to a 50-50 state. it's republicans who had the power in carolina and went and redrew the maps. what you see here is and there's a blank one here.
you got that disputed election we've been talking about in north carolina. but when this map went into effect, republicans got a 10-3 advantage in north carolina's congressional districting. again, even though in the state it's close to 50-50 right there in terms of the divide between the parties. so here it is democrats saying blatantly this is a jerry manldemanld -- gerrymander. you've got folks who drew these maps on the record saying this was a consideration. that partisan gerrymandering was a consideration. will the supreme court step in, say this is unconstitutional and will the supreme court if it does that say, okay, we're going to create some guidelines here. we are going to create some quantitative standards for north carolina, for maryland, for every other state that after the 2020 census is going to redraw its maps. is the supreme court going to say this counts as a gerrymander, this doesn't count
as a gerrymander. if they start weighing into this territory, it could have profound implications for the congressional maps when they're redrawn in the future. >> there are lots of states when you've looked at these, and i know you have, where these districts meander even more. something to watch, steve. thank you so much. up next, political fireworks on full display at the apac gathering with republicans unleashing a new attack line against democrats. for your brain. but do you tg with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish, prevagen has been shown in clinical trials to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. look limu. a civilian buying a new car.ug let's go. limu's right. liberty mutual can save you money by customizing your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh... yeah, i've been a customer for years.
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a partisan wedge, sometimes it feels more like a chasm on full display at aipac. republicans attacking democrats as anti-semitic. clearly the gop thinks it can take political advantage of the close relationship between the president and benjamin netanyahu who cut his visit short because of violence in israel. ali is live in d.c. from what i'm hering pelosi is trying not to make this a wedge
issue. right? >> reporter: exactly. you've seen two things unfolding at aipac. democrats are dealing with their own. there's been differences between pelosi dealt with representative omar's spring of anti-semitic comments recent and how other democrats have dealt with it. of course, republicans as you mention also trying to take advantage of the issue. first i want to play for you how pelosi dealt with the issue and then we'll talk about the republicans. listen. >> we are joined this week by leaders on both sides of the aisle, both sides of the capital because support for israel in america is bipartisan and bicameral. israel and america are connected now and forever. we will never allow anyone to make israel a wedge issue. >> reporter: and yet, it has sort of become a wedge issue because of representative omar's comments and the coverage they're gotten.
speakers ranging from benjamin netanyahu, and others have mentioned her comments about the benjamins. benjamin netanyahu said from this benjamin, it's not about the benjamins. that's something that republicans are certainly trying to take advantage of while democrats try to make the point that there are more freshman democrats than just the two or three that are making these kinds of comments and getting this kind of coverage. >> ali, thank you for that. join megato talk more about it is josh letterman and joel reuben. joel, you've got the president calling democrats the anti-j anti-jewish party and now we've just heard from liz cheney who claims democrats are enabling anti-semitism. take a listen to that. >> we know anti-semitism begins
with words and ends with things that are far worse than that, and we all have an obligation to call it evil and the democrats today aren't going that. they're cowering. they're enabling the anti-semitism in their party, and frankly, it's dangerous for the nation and they ought to stop it. >> and then you have ted cruz planning to introduce a measure today that would condemn all forms of anti-semitism. what do you make of the messaging here, joel? >> shameful that republicans are using anti-semitism as a kujl for political benefit. i didn't hear them call out moe brooks yesterday for reciting lines by hitler. this is over the line. american jews voted 80% for democrats in the last election. 32 of 34 members of congress are jewish. i as a jewish american am a democrat and proud to be connected to the state of israel and really, it's despicable that members of congress believe that this is somehow a way to get a
couple seats or maybe raise some more money, and i do think that is a cold calculation here in that they're attempting to wedge out as the discussion has been moving jews away from the democratic party by using israel as a political nonas a football, but as a political land mine. >> where does this go, josh? i mean, you do see this big difference. you see nancy pelosi standing there like the person she is, somebody who has been around the block for more than a few years, saying listen, we are both bicameral and bipartisan in our support of israel, but then things are coming from the white house that are the opposite. where is this going, and is this an argument that has legs going into 2020? >> it certainly seems like it has legs. it's being talked about quite a bit. but the dirty secret here as both parties are pointing fingers over politicizing israel is both parties are in on it. both parties are doing this now.
which is why we see republicans from the top levels, the president, mitch mcconnell just a few minutes ago at aipac chiding some of the democratic candidates for not appearing at aipac trying to use this to basically split away jewish volters who traditionally have been a pretty reliable group of voters for democrats hoping they can maybe change that in this cycle and democrats essentially in damage control mode from pelosi's comments that ali just played to hoyer saying we have more than of 60 house democratic freshman. not all of them are making these comments. and then they pushed legislation. democrats trying to show they are not anti-israel. that they are still a supportive party of israel realizing there could be a political liability for them if they are purr sooer as a party criticizing israel
and portrayed as anti-semitic. >> 30 seconds joel, did it help bb netanyahu in his reelection bid to be seen with the president in the white house. >> it's a political give away with no enhancement for israeli security. maybe a consolation prize. the president couldn't push iran out of syria so he's giving netanyahu a little wind at his sails. it's american meddling in an israeli election to get netanyahu reelected. >> great to see you both. thank you. that's going to wrap up this hour. i'm chris jansing. coming up right now, more news with hallie jackson. >> thank you. great to see you. i'm hallie jaxen ckson on capit hill. republicans are roaring to investigate the investigators. democrats demanding to see the full russia report while president trump and his allies declare war. they're plan for political payback after what they call total vindication today. plus the headline today on obama
care. the trump administration asking a court to throw out the whole thing with 11.5 million americans signed up and rates going down, why now? we're talking about it with republican senator mike brawn to joins us later in the show. plus two exclusive reports including one about the cab gnat member considering quitting and the v.p. talking him off the ledge. and michael avenatti a free man but for how long? the lawyer's new comments after getting charged with extortion and why president trump's team may be having their best week ever. our team is covering it all. the congress is back. any minute we're going to hear from house republicans and then in 15 minutes how democrats are up facing questions about the podium including our top throw. will the department of justice meet democrat's deadline to give them the full mueller? that's one week from today, aprise