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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  March 28, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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democrats who say that the administration's budget is a reflection of its values. in this instance, the trump administration is telling the special needs community they're pretty much on their own, hallie. >> jeff bennett there on the hill. thank you much. a jam packed show here on this hour of "msnbc live." craig melvin, enjoy your 60 minutes coming up now. >> thank you. thank you as well for joining us. craig melvin here. power pitch. president trump heading to battleground michigan for his first rally since the end of the special counsel's investigation. can it help win back republican defections in the suburbs? also the mueller report, some new reporting gives better insight into just how long mueller's final report is, and it comes with new calls from every republican member of the house intelligence committee for chairman adam schiff to resign. facebook taking major steps
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to block white nationalists from using the social media giant to spread their message. but will it work? we'll dig into that in a bit. we start with president trump's opening day pitch to michigan voters. expectations are for another rousing campaign style speech. it's his first since the mueller investigation, yet this visit is also a canary in the coal mine for his reelection. the president barely won michigan. fewer than 12,000 votes separated him from hillary clinton. more importantly, the grand rapids area should be an easy pick up for the president next year. ce kent county consistently goes republican did until last year. it's one of the biggest problems that republicans face. let's start with nbc's kelly o'donnell. she's at the white house for us. tell us a little bit more about why the trump campaign decided
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to go specifically to this part of michigan. >> reporter: well, it's rarely a mystery when campaigns are planning their travel. you'll see big events that are tied to fundraising, especially in the year before the actual election year, or you see the targeted regional strategy. the midwest will be the hottest battleground for 2020 based on what was learned from 2016 and based on changes that have occurred in terms of the 2018 election, conditions on the ground with jobs and so forth. and where the president has worn well and not so well. when you look at michigan, that is a state that was an incredibly important pick up for the president in 2016 and one where there will be a fierce fight to defend that. so too for places like ohio, wisconsin and minnesota which the president didn't win but came close. look for them to invest a lot of time there. when we look at this particular
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town in this particular county, it tells us about some of those changes. when you look at this graphic about how did republicans fare, how did democrats fare. they have a democratic governor who won big. the president narrowly was able to produce a victory in michigan in 2016. you look at mitt romney who won this area, but did not carry the state. that gives you a sense of why this is such a critical batt battleground. the president has been to michigan pushing 20 times and it shows the focus. this is a place where the president will have his first chance to be in the presence of all his supporters whose have signed up and given their e-mail credentials to the campaign in a place where he'll feel a rally atmosphere and be able to talk about the findings of the mueller report as we've seen them through the barr letter. limited as they may be.
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findings the president will make a new bumper sticker for 2020. expect him to rail on that. he did so a bit in a phone interview last night on fox news. and expect him to pick up with that feeding off the audience. tonight is an important marker because the president's back on the campaign trail. important for geography and important because it gives him a chance to try to talk about these issues at the end of the russia investigation. craig? >> kelly o'donnell at the white house, thanks as always. kimberly adkins, senior washington news correspondent for wbur in boston joins me. so does jake sherman. and congressman david jolly is with me. congressman, how does president trump stop this erosion of support among suburban voters specifically there? >> this is where his cagculation
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is an increakitriguing one. he's going on a vindication tour. they're back to talking about investigating hillary and the fisa courts and james comey and repealing obamacare. they see value in that but what we learned in the november '18 elections, the midterms is that's not what we're sending voters to the polls in those critical areas. you're talking about a razor thin margin here. he doesn't have the policy proposals that showed us six months ago what voters want to hear from their candidates going into the next cycle. >> jake, it's his first big rally since the president claimed the mueller report exonerated him. can he sell the idea of vindication, jake, to sway voters? does that sell? >> every politician lives in the
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current moment and deals with the political reality that they are present in at that time. for the moment, he is somebody who laz been vindicated in his mind and party's mind. the attorney general has said there was no evidence of collusion. for the moment, yes, he can say that. that might or moiight not chang. for the moment it's a good political calculus. grand rapids michigan is represented by a republican from that city, that's where his political home base is. he's been an opponent of the president, very critical of the president on a lot of different issues. number three on healthcare. i want to bring up briefly, i'm in the capitol, talking to members of congress who think this is beyond stupid. republicans wrestled with this for eight or nine months in 2017 when they had all of congress. they were unable to do anything. they don't want to revisit this
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in any other administration would be practically unthinkable to return to the issue that cost you your majority in the house. here we are and that's what the president is indicating that's what he wants to do. >> the president has started a pitch to americans on healthcare. this is what president trump said on fox news last night. >> we'll become the party of really good healthcare. we're going to have great healthcare. the republican party will be the party of great healthcare. you watch. >> what do we know so far about the president's plan for healthcare? >> one thing we know is that there is no plan. this all stems from the decision to have the justice department seek to have, again, obamacare overturned in its entirety in the courts. a few problems with that. one, five justices currently on the supreme court have already upheld obamacare twice. it's likely not going to happen.
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even if it did, the republicans don't have a plan. jake is right. republican lawmakers don't want this push for a repeal. they know healthcare is a tough issue for them, based on the 2018 elections. and so if a plan is going to happen, lawmakers are saying it would have to come from the white house. republicans are not going to try to jump on that ygrenade like that. michigan is my home state, it's the state that's full of suburban districts that will be crucial in this election. suburban women, lots of people of color living in the suburbs there. healthcare is a big issue and that is why the governor of michigan is a democrat. democrats did really well in michigan in 2018. it's going to be a tough state for donald trump who won it by 10,000 votes in 2016. >> kimberly, vice president mike pence's chief of staff claims the white house is going to be putting forth some sort of plan
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on healthcare before the end of the year. from a strategic assistastandpoy start talking about healthcare? why start that conversation before you actually have a plan to talk about? >> strategically, that's a very good question. i don't think that republicans know, not only does the president not have a plan as he's talking about this. he stepped on probably what was the best few days he's had in a while with the release of attorney general barr's letter. they were hoping to ride that victory through the end of this week and the president stepped on that and pivoted it to an issue that the democrats are happy to talk about because the democrats actually do have plans. they disagree on exactly what the solution is, but the democrats i talked to said the fact that they have these plans and they're having this robust discussion where the republicans don't have anything is a big win
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for them. >> congressman, president trump's acting chief of staff, mick mulvaney, former congressman for the great state of south carolina. he is the person that appears to be whispering in his ear. joining a lawsuit to overturn the aca will help him fulfill a campaign promise and could help lead to his reelection. congressional republicans worry he sent the president on a suicide mission. you served alongside mulvaney as a republican in congress. what do we know about what mick mulvaney thinks healthcare should look like in this country? >> i'm feeling the tremors of post traumatic stress with that question. when it comes to republicans replacing obamacare. there is no plan. there is no plan. there's no plan. when there is it will not be politically popular. they continue a fight -- listen i had reservations about obamacare. i opposed it because i thought
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the individual mandate was outside of the constitutional allowances and there were questions of cost. republicans are not interested in a healthcare plan. that's the reality. i think what's going on here is the reality is the supreme court did not get more conservative on this issue. kennedy and scalia voted to kill obamacare in '12. they were replaced by gorsuch and kavanaugh. because the individual mandate was overturned, he now has the liberty to say that tax has been repealed by congress. the law is, therefore, no longer constitutional. i think what may happen the supreme court may invalid obamacare based on the change of the mandate. it's perfectly trump, something
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that's already about to happen, he declares as his mission so he can declare victory when it does happen. >> that's the first time i've heard that theory. that actually makes sense to me. one last question, different topic all together here. the president's nominee for for the federal reserve is taking heat. apparently he owed more than $75,000 $75,000 in taxes according the irs. does the nomination survive? >> tough to say. this just broke in the last, you know, 20 hours. i will say in any normal white house this would be known. it's unconscionable the president would nominate somebody with baggage, not because it's bad for the republic, but why put your party through a nomination fight to put somebody on the federal reserve who has tax problems. it doesn't make sense. it's not strategically smart. it doesn't have any benefits to the white house or presidency or his party. that's what the president is.
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>> jake sherman, big thanks to you. kimberly, good to have you. david jolly, a big congratulations, my friend. carolina, absolutely adorable. she was born on saturday. >> i've waited my whole life to meet this little girl. thank you. >> david jolly, don't get me tearing up on kale necable news fireworks at the house intelligence committee as every republican member calls for chairman adam schiff to step down. also ahead this morning, the contenders, a new poll revealing the single most important factor democratic voters are looking for in their party's presidential pick. e looking for in their party's presidential pick. nooooo... nooooo... quick, the quicker picker upper! bounty picks up messes quicker and is 2x more absorbent than the leading ordinary brand. (son loudly clears throat) (mom and dad laugh) bounty, the quicker picker upper.
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developments right now on capitol hill. you're looking at a live picture there. this is the house intelligence committee. they're holding a hearing on russian interference in the 2016 election. they're calling this hearing putin's playbook. the former ambassador is being questioned. we should note that michael mcfall is the witness that's testifying right now. as this is happening, president trump and the republican house members are calling on congressman adam schiff to step aside. they want him to resign from making for a very contentious hearing there in washington. jeff bennett is on capitol hill.
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he is trying to follow all of this. what's the beef with schiff, jeff? >> reporter: here's the deal. republicans are hitting the release valve on all of his pent up frustration now that they feel vindicated by bill barr's summary of the mueller report that found no collusion. the republicans at the white house and here on the hill are running this victory lap of vindication and they're taking adam schiff who chairs the house intelligence committee, they're taking him to task for telling chuck todd in 2017 that there is evidence -- or as he says there is more than circumstantial evidence. now all the of the republicans on this committee are asking schiff to resign. to get a sense of what just took place earlier this morning, here's a bit of schiff and mike conaway from texas going back
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and forth. >> we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties consistent with your constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation. >> my colleagues may think it's okay that the russians offered dirt on a democratic candidate for president. you might think it's okay they concealed it from the public. you might think it's okay that their own disappointment after that meeting was the dirt they received on hillary clinton wasn't better. you might say that's just what you need to do to win. but i don't think it's okay. i think it's immoral. i think it's unethical. i think it's unpatriotic. yes, i think it's corrupt. and evidence of collusion. mr. ambassador -- >> chairman, i will -- >> i will not yield. >> all of us i think we -- >> i will not yield.
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>> reporter: spoiler alert. adam schiff is not going to resign, but republicans here on the hill and at the white house -- because president trump don't forget tweeted about this this morning. he said that adam schiff should be forced tod resign. republicans are in a score settling move and adam schiff at the moment is their number one target. >> what do you know a hearing room in washington, d.c. being used as political theater. >> reporter: wouldn't be the first time. >> jeff bennett, thank you. president trump heading to battleground michigan tonight. and msnbc road warrior ali vitale is already there. she's talking to some of mr. trump's supporters. >> reporter: yeah, craig after the break we've been working the line. we're going to bring you the latest we're hearing from trump supporters about mueller, healthcare, everything that's going on in washington, d.c. hea going on in washington, d.c. ♪
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president trump heading to michigan this afternoon for a campaign style rally. it will be his first major rally since the attorney general released his summary report of the mueller report. it comes days after the president called on republicans to kill the affordable care act.
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how will that decision resonate among the president's core supporters? we wanted to find out so ali vitale went to grand rapids with an early look of what trump supporters hope to hear from the president this evening. a few hours before the event tonight. have you managed to talk to folks there along the rope line? >> reporter: yeah, craig, definitely. there have been people who have been here overnight lining up for the president. enthusiasm still really strong hours ahead of the president coming to grand rapids tonight. yes, there's a lot of conversation about the mueller report, or at least that summary that bill barr released of it. many of the supporters i've spoken to have reiterated over the course of several months they agree with president trump, that that report was a witch hunt. they see this barr summary as vindication. one of the women here used the word relieved to talk about how she's been feeling. but they're focused on healthcare and they're hoping the end of the mueller segment
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of the trump presidency, which is what they're hoping they're in right now can bring more talk about the issues. listen to what they had to say. >> immigration, healthcare, more jobs, taking care of the veterans. i'm a veteran. it's about time we started really taking care of our veterans. got more divided in the last couple of years. but hopefully, you know, both democrats and republicans, we can all come together and work as one and stop all this craziness. >> medicare for all is -- it's unsustainable from a financial standpoint. it only works on other people's money. it's going to run out. i think everyone should have the ability to make a living and provide for themselves. >> reporter: and, craig, i have to say if you've been looking at the president's twitterfeed
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yaels th usually that gives you a sense of what you can expect on stage. active twitterfeed means he's got a lot to say on stage and that's what these supporters are preparing for. >> thank you. as the president moves to cement that base, democrats are facing a bit of a different problem. how to narrow the field of some 20 announced and likely and potential candidates. how do whittle that list down into a viable nominee to take on the incumbent next year. let me bring in jamal simmons, always good to see you. thanks for coming on. there's this new quipoll out to and it's looking at the factors that democrats say they want in a candidate. 76% say electability is an important factor. more important than race, more important than age, more important than gender.
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define electability. >> you know, i think democrats are just rallying around an idea this early in the fight that they want somebody they think can take on president trump. they want to see what these candidates look like when they're on the stage. you know, we're going to have debates coming up. we'll see the candidates go back and forth against each other and you'll get a sense of who is tough enough, who has an aspirational vision. who is standing up for democratic values who can take a punch and give a punch. the danger is if democrats decide, well, you know, we want somebody that we think may be -- a republican might vote for one day or we think there's somebody who has experience and experience is going to sell. those are the kind of questions that ended up with a walter mondale in 1984 that didn't turn out very well or maybe john kerry in 2004 who was an
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american hero but wasn't able to beat president bush during that re-elect. now when we got bill clinton in 1992, which was the last time the democrats have beaten an incumbent president, he was somebody who democrats really rallied around. you saw energy, you saw excitement, you saw fire. that's what i think democrats will rally around. >> if you look at the field bill clinton was able to defeat in 1992, it was not, shall we say, a diverse group of men. i mean, they all came from different parts of the country, but by and large, they were white guys. >> for sure. >> this time around you've got, one could argue an accurate representation of the democratic party. women, black women, midwesterns, joe biden hasn't gotten in this thing. incumbents. hard to beat. only happened five of the 19 times a president has run for reelection since 1900. the most recent three, gerald
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ford losing to jimmy carter, jimmy carter losing to ronald reagan in 1980 and h.w. bush losing to bill clinton in 1992. can a newcomer overcome those odds? >> absolutely. i think a newcomer is actually more empowered to overcome those odds as a democrat than somebody who's been around for a while. when you see who the democrats tend to choose that win, bill clinton first time he ever ran for president. he was 46. barack obama. first time he ever ran for president, only two years as a senator, he was 47. jimmy carter, he was 52. he's only a one term governor from georgia, he was a peanut farmer. democrats tend to win when they think somebody who is an outsider coming at it with a fresh face, fresh voice. we have a few candidates that are out there, kamala harris, cory booker, beto o'rourke. a few candidates that are in the
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race and we'll see what happens. >> senator amy klobuchar lays out a trillion dollar plan to rebuild this country's infrastructure. the plan would create millions of jobs. cory booker at a town hall last night, he mentioned that black and brown people are disproportion disproportionately getting arrested. it would seem these candidates are focusing on issues. how important is for them to lay out specific policy points versus turning this thing into a popularity contest? >> everybody is playing for a different part of the elector e electorate. elizabeth warren is running the most impressive policy campaign of anybody on the campaign side. we know when you watch elizabeth warren, you know why she's running for president. one of the critiques of the hillary clinton campaign in 2016, you wasn't sure what she
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was up to. elizabeth warren, you know from the bat she's up to changing the rules, trying to tilt the scales in favor of working people. is that enough to win? i don't know if it's enough to win. she's still lagging in the polls. she's going to have to prove that. but what we even if elizabeth warren doesn't win the nomination, a lot of the policies she comes up with end up being adopted by the ultimate nominee. >> when you say does she have enough to win, you mean win the primary? >> win the primary, yeah. >> that's something else you've got to wonder about at this point. it's so early. but the kind of position that a democratic candidate might have to take to win a primary versus the kinds of positions that are going to win over suburban voters in michigan. >> yeah. i don't want to engage in that conversation. if democrats don't do well when they try to figure out what a mythical voter is going to choose in a general election a year from now, democrats do well when they find a candidate they love and they're willing to be excited about. republicans didn't worry about
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general election voters. republicans picked donald trump because he was somebody that people could get behind. they showed up, rallied for him and then they sold him to other people in the country. democrats, i would advise you, pick somebody you love. we don't know who it is yet. >> you don't want to shape the candidate to the electorate. j jamal, thank you. senator kirsten gillibrand will be on tonight. facebook, making big changes to block white nationalist content, but after all this time, will it make a difference? time, will it make a difference? ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪ ♪ make u say oh my god my drop drop ♪
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new criticism and new information about robert mueller's report. nbc news just confirming a report in the "new york times" that mueller's confidential report is more than 300 pages long. also in a new exclusive interview with lester holt on nbc "nightly news," james comey questions mueller's decision to not issue a decision on the obstruction of justice. >> the purpose of the special counsel is to make sure that the politicals, in this case the attorney general, doesn't make
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the ultimate call on whether the subject of the investigation, the president of the united states, should be held criminally liable for activities that were under investigation. it doesn't make sense. >> president trump continues to claim full exoneration while attacking comey and his team at the fbi. all of this looming while the house democrats weigh their options on whether to subpoena special counsel robert mueller. i'm joined by former federal prosecutor elliott williams. let's start with the information on the length of the report. again, it's at least 300 pages from the special counsel's office. what does that tell you? >> well, to give you a sense about the comprehensiveness of the report, think about it. all of that legal analysis that must have gone into both conspiracy -- i'm not going to use the word collusion because it's not a legal term. conspiracy and obstruction of justice. look, they found evidence that's
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abundantly clear from even that four page summary, that it may not have met the standard it would take to convict an individual or the president, but there was clearly evidence there. whether they found probable cause to find a crime was committed or so on. we get a sense of the comprehensiveness. number two, it casts more doubt on the fact that after 42 hours the attorney general was able to come forward with that four-page summary. it's hard to summarize 300 pages of legal analysis. he might have been briefed all along, but, again, a lot of people, legal analysts, lawyers are concerned how quickly they turned around that summary. >> james comey telling lester that he thought that the firing itself and that interview he did where he admitted to the firing was potentially obstruction of justice.
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should house democrats, should they just subpoena robert mueller? >> well, someone's got to come and testify, whether it's robert mueller or william barr. a subpoena is pretty extreme. i worked for the senate judiciary committee for a while. they don't need to take that next legal step. you can -- either he says yes i'll come testify, yes, but i've got conditions, or no. now it's very rare that someone says no outright. if he says no then you subpoena him. most likely he says yes but i'll come testify in a limited fashion and then speak with members of the committee privately. or yes, but, you know, we have to do it in closed session or whatever. someone's going to testify, whether it's the attorney general or the special counsel. they ought to go there. both they, who, you know, they're a body that has the right to investigate this stuff and the american people need to find out what's there. >> politico is reporting that the mueller grand jury is
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continuing to review ongoing cases he handled -- excuse me that he handed off after concluding his investigation. why? >> well, again, the grand jury had been extended for six months. again, we know, at least based on that letter that came out a few days ago there aren't anymore major indictments coming from mueller. you're not going to see donald trump jr. getting indicted or something. he had the ability to investigate other matters. there may have been other cases that had been spun off to the d.c. attorney's office. it's related stuff, but nothing major, you know, no central figure related to the quote unquote russia inquiry is going to get indicted. i think that's what's on people's minds right now. >> thanks as always, sir. facebook banning white nationalist content. so how will it work?
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facebook taking a major step forward in blocking white nationalist content amid growing calls it does not do enough to curb hate speech. that criticism grew in the last two weeks after a gunman in new zealand used facebook to livestream his attacks on two mosques. the motherboard blog reports that facebook will treat white nationalism the same way as white supremacists. i want to bring in the chairman of the center for african-american studies at princeton and derrick thompson. derrick, i'll start with you. two big questions, will this work? what took so long? >> the second question is easier to answer. it is absurd it took this long. last year, motherboard reported on the fact that facebook had
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banned white nationalist speech. it took over a year for them to agree to meet with certain groups to agree that white nationalism and separatism was the same. if you decide you don't want your platform to be an accelerant for white supremacy you should make sure it's not accelerating explicit white nationalist and white supremacist speech. i think this is part of a formula we've seen over and over again with facebook. facebook says it's the kind of company that moves fast and breaks things. but we've seen a company that breaks things, gets caught and then moves slowly to respond. they have to move faster if they're going to earn public trust as a public square for
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conversation. >> eddie, one of the things i find most fascinating about this story is that users who are on facebook looking for white nationalist speech or white separatist speech will be redirected to this website, life after hate. this is actually an organization we profiled here on nbc news. but life after hate, they offer advice on how people can leave hate groups and lead a better life. does this sound to you like a policy that can work? if not, what else should facebook be doing? >> well, it sounds like a policy that's dripping with sentimentality. i don't know if it works, it will work. it reeks of a certain kind of charitable liberal, you know, cotton candy i suppose. i don't know whether or not it will work. what i do know is this, is that i think we need to ask questions about who is in these rooms making the decisions. who is in the room having these sorts of conversations. i suspect if those rooms were
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more diverse, craig, if you had a number of folks with different viewpoints and positions that facebook would have come to this decision, would have came to this decision much earlier. and in some ways would have offered a harsher judgment about these folks and their participation in the public domain. i understand they're walking a tightrope with regards to their view of free speech but we need to understand what hate speech does to the public square. how it distorts and disfigures our public conversation. on the one hand i think we need to ask how diverse are these rooms, how diverse are the rooms that are building or generating these algorithms that reinforce bias that deepen inequality in the country. how diverse are these rooms that are making decisions with regards to the kinds of punitive actions that facebook takes or corrective actions facebook might take on the fate of these people that are exploiting their platform. >> meanwhile, the federal
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government is suing facebook. the department of housing and urban development claims that facebook allowed employers and landlords to limit their audiences based on race, ethnicity, and gender. walk us through what happened here. what's the what's the claim and what's facebook's defense. >> facebook has spent a lot of the last year trying to work with certain activists to fix policies on the site that have allowed advertisers to discriminate in housing, credit, and employment. this is not legal. it is not supposed to be legal for people to be able to discriminate by race or gender on those issues. you can maybe discriminate if you're selling a shoe and say i want to sell this stiletto to a woman and not a man if you make that decision, but you're not supposed to make these gender or ethic-based decisions in housing or employment. facebook has been working with organizations like the aclu and now you have hud coming out and suing facebook directly. i think the bigger picture here
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is in fact this story was also broken by pro publica. so you have in both of these stories, both the facebook hate speech story and the facebook advertising discrimination story, the same sequence. you have a media company reporting on facebook's bad practices and then facebook slowly, over the course of months, responding to it. facebook should have a compliance department but they've effectively outsourced their compliance work to the media, which is simultaneously being undercut by facebook's business strategy. >> do we know that facebook has a compliance department? >> they have people working there who are. but they are relying on the media, investigative reporters, to do the work of making sure that facebook is up to snuff when it comes to regulatory and legal framework. so i just think that this goes to show once again that facebook is essentially relying on the media to figure out what's wrong with the platform and then
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taking months if not years to respond to the problem. that's not the way this organization should function. >> professor, the whole confidenti conversation, i think we've talked about this before, this idea that there's now a new frontier for discrimination, for racism on social media, how do you rein it in? >> well, first you have to i think offer a reasoned analysis of that frontier, craig. let's just be clear. as ai begins to become a much more important part, more integral part of our world, we need to understand that ai or artificial intelligence, or these algorithms or these social media platforms are not divide of biases, that they don't carry forward deep, structural inequalities. so we need to be very thoughtful about the relationship between technological advance and the sort of prejudices that animate our current world. the reporting in "the new york
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times" is spot on here, that these algorithms are not only exploited by white nationalists and white supremacists but they were supported by russians meddling in the election in 2016. and they can be supported by bad actors broadly. part of what we have to do have a thoughtful conversation on the front end as we're gathering this data, on the front end as we're building these platforms, as we're assessing these platforms. to be clear, i think derek is making clear, of the values that animate our world in which these platforms operate and not to allow facebook to do what it has been doing, right, that is to promote and i think in some ways perpetuate these differences, right, these bad actors. and only only adjust and react when they're caught, right? so i think we need to have a much more robust discussion on all of this. >> professor, thank you very much, i enjoyed the conversation. we'll be having a variation of
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right now "empire" actor jussie smollett's case is in court as news organizations demand more information about what exactly led to the charges against him being dropped. president trump weighing in this morning, tweeting that the fbi
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and doj will review his case, calling it an embarrassment to our nation. meanwhile chicago prosecutors dropped all of the felony charges, all 16 of them, against smollett, who had been accused of staging a hate crime. nbc's miguel almaguer has been following this story and joins me now from los angeles. fill us in first of all what's going on in court, miguel. >> reporter: craig, a couple of things are going on in court. essentially jussie smollett's case is sealed in it court right now which means the media and the public cannot access that case. we don't know what's happening in the case, we don't know exactly what evidence has been filed. the cook county prosecutor, the top prosecutor, says the case should have never been sealed but it still is. and the media does not have access to that case. if you look up jussie smollett in the legal system in cook county you won't find his name because all the documents are sealed. what the media was asking for in court today, there is an expungement hearing, the media
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is saying, before you expunge this case, which the smollett legal team was given the okay by the judge, the media is saying don't destroy any records, we would like to see these records. but the judge says an official expungement is not on the docket yet so he can't make a ruling on that. so we're basically in limbo here, craig. >> what's the latest on the federal charges? >> reporter: the way it stands right now, the fbi was initially investigating that jussie smollett allegedly mailed himself a fake death threat. from what we're being told by sources, part of the investigation, there simply may not be enough evidence in the case or it might be thrown out. that comes on the heels of the 16 felonies he was indicted on that were also dismissed. so jussie smollett's legal troubles may not all be over. interestingly, craig, since the last time we spoke on the "today" show, mayor rahm emanuel says he wants jussie smollett --
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he will send him a bill for all the time and costs it took their investigators to put a case together and he will send him a bail in the mail, he says he not only wants him to pay it but to acknowledge his guilt. >> miguel almaguer, following the smollett case for us, thank you, sir. that will wrap up this hour of "msnbc live." see you tomorrow morning on "today." for now, my colleague kasie hunt is picking things up. >> craig, great to see you. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," comey speaks. lester holt sat down with fired fbi director james comey for his first reaction to his long time colleague robert mueller's report and the fact that the special counsel didn't reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice. >> mr. mueller decides not to make a judgment on that particular issue. does that alone surprise you? >> it does. coming up, lester holt joins us with more on his exclusively interview with james comey. schools.

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