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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  April 1, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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and regulate some of these technology companies? or is this doomed to fail? >> i think lawmakers are beginning to wake up to this. it really had been a long time before lawmakers began to start asking questions of major tech company executives like zuckerburg when it comes to their business practices. it really took the sea of scandals we saw in 2018 to jump start interest on capitol hill. in some ways they are a little bit behind the curve. this should have happened a long time ago. i think lawmakers admit that they lack the expertise or folks on staff that can help them unpack the tech issues. lawmakers have to start somewhere. i think the political outrage is pushing members of congress to start looking at things like privacy and at companies like facebook. >> thank you, tony. that wraps up this hour of msnbc live. too close for comfort? just weeks before he is expected to jump into the 2020 race, joe
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biden faces an allegation from a former democratic candidate who says he touched her shoulders and kissed her head inappropriately five years ago. and just shocked that no one has ever told vice president biden stop interacting with women that way. you are making them feel uncomfortable. donald trump threatening to cut off foreign aid and close the southern border with mexico. >> close it. we'll keep it closed for a long time. i'm not playing games. mexico has to stop it. >> and a league of their own. president trump reportedly has plans for the supreme court seat currently held by ruth bader ginsberg. >> i have said many times that i will do this job as long as i can do it full steam. and when i can't, that will be
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the time that i will step down. >> with us today, historian evan thomas on the first to break that marble ceiling sandra day o'connor. g sandra day o'connor. and good day everyone. vice president joe biden facing a critical test as a new allegation clouds his political future. lucy flores, a former nevada assembly woman who vice president joe biden campaigned for in 2014 said biden made her feel uncomfortable with what she said was inappropriate, not sexual touching. she said she was mortified, shocked, embarrassed after biden allegedly inhaled her hair and kissed flores on the back of her
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head. >> this type of behavior while it doesn't rise to the level of sexual assault or the severity in which we are often times hearing about various violations to your body, we don't take oftentimes this lower level of invasion of space and touchings of your body, unwanted touchings of your body in the exact same kind of seriousness in which we do the other type of behaviors. it was unwanted. it was shocking because of the power difference. context is also important here. >> nbc news has not independently verified this incident. she did discuss the incident. biden is responding to the allegation in a statement saying in my many years on the campaign
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trail and in public life, i have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. and not once never did i believe i acted inappropriately. if it is suggested i did so, i will listen respectfully, but it was never my intention. sheila knicks is a former chief of staff to vice president biden and joins me now. it's good to see you. thanks very much for being with us today. let's drill down on this. is this a question about context and about the change in the way things might have been perceived by women and men before me too and since? >> it's really interesting. i travelled with vice president biden all around the country and the campaign. as his statement pointed out, he gives hugs and handshakes and calls people's parents. he's very friendly and personable. i think that's a positive and that's the way he has always operated.
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i think he did mention that he had no intention of making anyone feel uncomfortable and is willing to listen to what people have to say. what i really want to point out is in my years, he supports strong women. he supports women in senior positions. i travelled with him a lot on planes and cars and all over the country, and i never felt uncomfortable. and i never saw him make anyone else uncomfortable. and all the work he has done on behalf of women just makes me want to say my experience with him and what i observe is very positive. >> at the same time, do you think that he has to change his behavior? how does someone who has been in politics for so many decades change the hugging, the affection, the touching, the personal way that he interacts with people? >> i think what he said is he is
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willing to listen to what people have to say. if he is doing something that makes somebody uncomfortable that is certainlily not his intent and not what he wants to do. i think he has shown he really has learned a lot over the years and evolved in different positions. he was the first person to come out and support of gay marriage when he was running for reelection as vice president. so everybody learns and evolves as time goes by. i think vice president biden has always been a positive, friendly, really helping people out when they are feeling down. but if somebody is uncomfortable with certain behaviors, he is happy to listen to that and really wants to hear what people have to say and have a conversation about it. >> is he surprised that so many of the 2020 candidates have jumped into this when asked and said that they believe flores? >> i think we are in an era now where women need to have their voices heard and they should
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have their voices heard. that doesn't surprise me that people want to hear what others have to say. i think vice president biden has said that himself. >> and do you think it has more resonance this one accusation because of the controversy over the way he handled the chairmanship of the judiciary committee with anita hill still following him to this day? >> i think that he has had so many positive things over the 40 years he has been in office on behalf of women especially the violence against women's act. times and norms evolve. he has always been on the front end of progressive policies for women for minorities, for the lgbt unite. i think he will continue to do that. >> and will this in any way cause him to reconsider his plans for 2020? i have been reporting for quite a number of weeks that he is certainly leaning toward announcing and doing it this
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month because it is april 1. >> i hope he does because i think his level of experience and his commitment to the country over the last four years would make him just the ideal president for us especially in these times. so i don't know what his final decision is but i'm hopeful that this won't discourage him. >> flores believes that this should be disqualifying. >> well, you know, she should express her opinions and people can listen to what she has to say and the vice president said he is open to listening to anything that any conversations about all of these issues. but i personally don't believe it is disqualifying. >> thank you so much. thanks for joining us today. >> thanks. >> joining me now for more on this is nbc national political reporter and msnbc contributor, senior news correspondent and washington post chief correspondent dan balls.
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we have been covering joe biden so closely for such a long time allegation. >> as you know from your own reporting, we have been hearing the percentages, how close to the line he is of been a sense among those closest to the vice president that those percentages only kprount it so much, that this will be a gut decision like every decision he has made. my conversations with his team lead me to believe this is not affecting the plans, it is certainly hard not to see that this is yet another factor that might weigh in against a potential run for him. >> you have been watching this for as long as i have, certainly, the biden story. he would emerge as a front runner last 24 to 48 hours certainly says a lot about the way he would be targeted. >> i think it says something about the times we are in. we are in the era of me too.
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and in that environment when someone comes forward with an allegation people take it quite seriously and i think the benefit of the doubt goes to the woman rather than the man in these situations. i think that's the reality that vice president biden will be dealing with if and when he becomes a candidate. i impressi the biden team feels that this is in any way slowing them down from what their plan seems to be which is a decision to announce a candidacy later this month. who knows in the end what might happen. everything that i have gathered over the last 24 hours is that they are taking this very seriously. they are trying to treat it in a serious and respectful way, but it does not seem to have deterred them from the larger plan of continuing with the idea that there will be a candidacy. >> do you think that they were in any way hampered by the lack of a formal campaign structure
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or is team biden really in place perhaps not as a fundraising vehicle, but in place enough that they were able to put a lot of people up to calling reporters and trying to vouj for him? >> i don't think they were surprised or that they are surprised that there are stories coming out not just this, but stories that have come out about the anita hill hearings or revisiting of that or his position on abortion or bussing back in the early '70s in wilmingt wilmington. i think they are aware of and i think that the core staff that they have around the vice president at this point is prepared to deal with them. until he is a formal candidate, you do not have quite as large a structure and it is a little more of a scramble. in looking at him as he stacks up against the other hopefuls, a lot of 2020 candidates are here in washington today. how does he stack up in terms of the ability to do the small
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online fundraising that is necessary in this day and age? >> there is something in politics when you are vetting these candidates that has to do about a moment and it seems that folks having a moment. they are sort of capturing the attention of a section of the democratic electorate at this point. it's still very early. i think the thing that is prublsome for joe biden about this is that this isn't new. there have been memes made about his closeness. i think rather than saying i didn't think that this is inkroept, i think he has to understand that when people hear lucy flor es's story women are reminded of when they were hugged or kissed by someone not close to them and how it made them feel. he has to address the fact that he understands how it makes them
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feel. it is about his recognition of where we are in this moment and for him to come up into this moment and maybe have this be his time. he has to recognize those realities. >> one of those women who was cited in the past as an example of that hugging and all was stefani carter, the wife of ash carter who was the defense nominee. she has written that that was completely misinterpreted, that that was not a me too moment. she had fallen on the ice. he was trying to thank her for letting her husband in the administration and reassure her. can those kinds of explanations work? >> i think if you have women who work with him closely and who speaks to where his heart is and his desire to help advance women, i think that doesn't hurt. i don't think that that is sufficient. i think you have to hear from him himself in his own words explain how he understands why
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people like ms. flores and other women have these stories that he understands for him to move past this. >> there is no shortage of pictures of joe biden at those senate ceremonial swearing ins with all the family of new senators and kids. that is who he is. that's how a lot of politicians behave. we have seen them men and women, in fact. it's often welcomed by people. what about the rest of the field? and you were writing that there were more google hits on pete buttigieg than any other candidate. >> he certainly is having a quote/unquote moment. i think the important thing about what is going on with him is he had a very good town hall meeting on cnn a few weeks ago. things like that can come and go
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quickly. what has been impressive is he has been able to build on that. with each successive appearance he has been able to build on that and tap into grass roots fundraising and put up an impressive number. i think if you had predicted how much money mayor pete buttigieg would have raised nobody would have guessed it would be close to $7 million. he is taking advantage of the environment. f he is trying to build and build and build. it's very early. we don't know how this is going to turn out, but he is taking full advantage of the tuntsz that he is making for himself. >> and mike, is joe biden equipped, prepared to do the kind of small dollar fundraising that is now really required? >> it's interesting you ask that question because one of the traps as biden has put it is concern about it. there is very real concern among his team about this new litmus test that has been created in
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the democratic party about being able to demonstrate that you raised x millions. he hasn't had his own fundraising list for more than a decade. i know one of the things that are very much working on now and tied to the decision to delay an announcement is being able to work, do creativethenings as they put it to try to build that list in a hurry and attract a real viral moment to raise money quickly. >> always great to see you. thank you all so very much. coming up, over the border. president trump slashes aid to three key countries while threatening to completely shut down the border with mexico. details coming up next. bordew. details coming up next. billions of mouths.
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i have ended payments to guatemala, to honduras and vudoor. we are not paying them anymore of his most aggressive moves yet onid to three central american countries including fbi antigang funds, threatening to shut down the border also as early as this week blaming mexico from not doing enough.
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homeland security secretary issues a memo ordering a surge of more personnel to the southern border and increasing the number of undocumented migrants returning to mexico. joining me now is julia ansly. bring us up to date on what is happening on the border front. >> so today she put out a statement that she has ordered customs and border protections to surge agents to the border. this is not part of a plan to seal the border but it is to send back more asylum seekers and have them wait in mexico. right now the policy is already in place in the san diego sector and el paso sector. now she wants to say hundreds more migrants should start returning every day. what happens here is a migrant comes to the border, claims asylum and then they have to go back into mexico. it ends up sending a lot of
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asylum seekers back into more dangerous areas and these northern mexico towns. a lot of people have concerns that you are putting asylum seekers back into dangerous situations. the secretary said that this is necessary in order to fight an influx. we have seen a sharp increase in border crossings. some of the daily numbers now are past what they were. they are high and it is mainly families coming. they are doing everything they can to try to crack down on families and children who are coming. we know last week the secretary threatened to send back unaccompanied children more quickly. she has asked congress for that authority. >> when you talk about shutting down the border we are talking about a huge economic impact just to be totally selfish and american centric, we are talking about almost all the fruits and vegetables, 40% of fruits and vegetables come from mexico.
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a huge amount of parts in prefabricated cars going back and forth within the nafta countries before they are sold here in the u.s. so a big economic impact if he shuts the border. a lot of american companies will be very unhappy. >> to the tune of $1.7 billion a day for how many goods and services cross that southern border every day. hundreds of thousands of people cross over. i think when people think about sealing the border, they picture an impact on those border communities on places like san diego, el paso and texas cities. it's a supply chain that runs the entirety of mexico and the united states. and you are talking about the big ticket items. there are countless contracts that american companies have with mexican suppliers that rely on those people coming over and
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those goods coming over. it's one of those things because nobody has really done this before, it is really hard to gauge what the impact would be. but just off the top we can assume that there is close to $2 billion a day in lost revenue if he does follow through and seal the entire southern border. >> why do you think the president is making these threats now when he is likely to hear from the industries from the chambers of commerce and the farmers and others who would be affected? >> he has shown that he is not exactly going to listen to other folks when it comes to immigration. there has been a lot of outcry for some of his other moves to crack down on immigration whether it is the travel ban or things like that. so now basically it's campaign season. he is going back to that play book that worked for him so well leading into 2016. the administration would argue rightfully that there are record breaking numbers of people that are coming over, but this is very different from what illegal
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immigration was when it was predominantly males coming from mexico trying to evade border security to get into this country to work. now it is family units actively seeking out border patrol agents to turn in to request asylum. what they are doing, closing the ports of entry, i don't know how that stops people from illegally crossing over to request asylum. we are waiting to hear more of a strategy from the white house on why they are making the moves. until then, you can be sure it is popping up on campaign ads. >> i'm waiting to hear more from the diplomatic community. i don't know of any veterans who have served in that region who think it is a good idea to cut off funding to the northern triangle. thanks both to you. and coming up, open bar. how will attorney general respond to democrats' demands to release the special counsel's full report by tomorrow? release full report by tomorrow?
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i am submitting these 385 pages. >> i am writing almost four pages. >> i am reading zero pages. >> in conclusion it is my hope that this report will be made public with a few redactions. >> >> i'm going to black out everything except the words no and collusion. out everything except the words no and collusion. >> tech: at safelite autoglass, we really pride ourselves on making it easy to get your windshield fixed. with safelite, you can see exactly when we'll be there. saving you time for what you love most. >> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪
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house judiciary chairman jerry nadler says he will move quickly to compel the attorney general to hand over bob mueller's russia report. if he does doont it by tomorrow, if bill barr does not comply nadler says the committee will vote wednesday on subpoenas to attempt to force the attorney general to act. barr had previously said he would make the report available by mid april but only a redacted version. instead the chairman is demanding the full report. so joining me now kristin welker from the white house and jeff mason, white house correspondent for reuters. what leverage does nadler if
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william barr says no? >> reporter: that's the big question, andrea. if you ask white house officials they don't think he does. having said that, a subpoena is a serious matter. you would anticipate a response from william barr. he is saying he needs to go through the report. i can tell you the white house firing back at this letter from chairman nadler saying this is political theater. chairman nadler is demanding the release of classified material. he should allow the attorney general to complete his work and stop playing game. of course, president trump has been declaring that he is completely vindicated ever since the summary of the report came out. democrats say the reality is we haven't seen the full report or why mueller couldn't come to a conclusion when it came to the
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obstruction issue. they want to make their own determination. this is a battle that will continue to escalate here as we wait to see what happens tomorrow and through the rest of the week. >> the senior official is saying it is against the law to have grand jury material sent over. jeff mason, there is a procedure for that. it was followed with ken star. you just go to a judge in charge of the grand jury and ask for it and see whether the judge agrees. >> that will no doubt be the argument that nadler and others on the democratic side will make. this is obviously going to be the next piece of the debate over this report. the democrats pushing for as much as they can get and republicans pushing back, the white house pushing back. if we look and stand back and look at the political ramifications, there is a risk on both sides of going too far. and i think that's the question as the coming weeks come and as we watch opinion polls of americans, how much of them
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really are getting fatigued with this at all. we will see. i think the white house is probably eager to see the democrats overplay their hand if that's what they think they are doing. >> are the democrats better off talking about health care given that the president against the advice of top republican leaders seems to be following mick mullvaney's advice and pushing assault on obamacare? >> they may very well be better served to be focussing on health care. it's part of the reason why they took back the house in the mid term elections. this is a critical issue for voters. it's the number one issue for a lot of voters. and president trump was taking that victory lap and some would say step on his own messaging by saying he wants republicans to be the party of health care. he doesn't have a plan in place. while he has said he has directed some top republicans on capitol hill to try to get a plan going, i pressed him how
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quickly, what the timeline looks like for this plan. the president said he is not in a big rush because of course there are still a number of court battles that are playing out. so this is potentially problematic. coverage of preexisting conditions is critical to a lot of folks. the white house insists that any plan will continue to cover preexisting conditions. they don't have a plan in place. they don't have a plan to show the american public. politically speaking this is very risky for this president particularly as he heads into a tough reelection battle. >> mick mulvaney kept saying they have plans. why push forward with repeal before you have replace? >> that's the question. and depending on how far it gets in the courts, that's something that they will have to answer. right now the reporting matches mine. the white house officials don't have anymore details than the
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president when asked about what the health care plan is and what the next steps are. they will have to get there eventually. in general, it is a gift for the democrats. and the democrats no doubt will push that. we're seeing that on the campaign trail and on the hill. >> thanks both. and today the hip hop world is mourning a big loss of grammy nominated rapper nipsey hustle who was shot and killed outside his clothing shop. he grew up in southern los angeles and publically acknowledged his long-time association with one of the city's largest gangs but in recent years he became an outspoken community leader backing numerous projects including an african-american history museum. today he was scheduled to meet
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with l.a.'s police leaders to discuss ways to stop gang violence. nipsey hustle leaves behind two children and his long-time girlfriend actress lauren lundb. president trump is declaring victory over isis in syria. but the president's former point man has a different view. brett mcgurk joins me next. brett mcgurk joins me next.
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president trump on friday was bragging that the last territory in syria held by isis fighters has been liberated. >> we knocked out the caliphate. we have now if you look at syria what happened in a very, very short period of time, far shorter than people said it was even possible. >> but is president trump claiming victory too soon? joining me now is former special presidential envoy for the coalition to fight isis. joining us today in this moment, his first appearance as nbc news senior foreign affairs analyst after leaving the administration along with defense secretary james mattis when the president tweeted his decision to withdraw all u.s. troops from syria. i can't tell you what a pleasure it is to have you here. this is very exciting for us. when you left the administration, you wrote an op-ed significantly which said during that december call t was a call with erdogan mike pompeo
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had informed you of what had happened there had been a sudden change in forces to withdraw from syria. my counter parts were bewilderedoc and then denial ho trump would change his mind. that was your immediate reaction. jim mattis tried to talk him out of it. i talked to leaders in n.a.t.o. countries who were engaged on the ground in syria who were completely blind sided, as well. >> some good news. president trump has changed his mind a little bit. it's not going to be a full withdrawal. i think my successor, the team trying to hold this together. i was in tampa just the end of last week with the change of command and our commanders and our military personnel doing the best they can. the problem is when you announce you are leaving it is kind of a
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nonbio degradable event. it changed the calilations. i think our diplomats have a very difficult challenge y. advise the president to do given the dynamic situation throughout the middle east which just had elections in turkey, we had about 80,000 displaced people in these camps. it is a very difficult situation. just halt the withdrawal and let commanders figure out what to do next and give them time and space. as we are withdrawing in the middle of this it just makes it even more difficult. but it is good news that he changed his mind and we have good people managing. >> he has changed his mind because there is all sorts of first 200 and then 400 and then a thousand. nobody is making the point that he changed his mind. i think if we emphasize it too much he might back track again. >> this is the problem of doing foreign policy announcements by tweet without much deliberation
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and without much process. it just causes chaos. the first quarter of this year has really been dealt with at least on this file dealt with managing the fallout of this and figuring out what to do. it is unfortunate. it is good we will keep forces on the ground. we are pretty small now. having a couple thousand troops is not that much. we have done a terrific job against isis. nobody can overstate what has been achieved since 2014. but part of the campaign plan we designed in 2014 always assumed this would be a very long term effort. you can't just declare victory and then say it is over and leave. that would be a big mistake. i'm hoping we stay engaged and stay put and we see this through. >> one of the things the president keeps saying is pointing to acting defense secretary shanahan said it would take years and now it is only weeks and we have beaten the caliphate as though it happened
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overnight. >> that's not true. we actually always in terms of the timeline that we were on is when we thought we would defeat the physical caliphate. we would shift into a new phase. we trained a force in syria of 60,000 syrians, a very small number of americans trained a force of 60,000 syrians. these syrians have fought and died in large numbers and have done a great job. we told them we will be here for a period of time to help work on the ultimate political solution in syria. the minute the president announced we were leaving it changed the calculation of pretty big actors in that theater, turkey, russia, iran, syria, not to mention isis which will look for vacuums to reemerge. it is dynamic, difficult. we have 80,000 people in these camps. these people are still very indoctrinated in the isis ideology. our diplomats need time and
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space. >> and by leaving of course we lose intelligence on the ground. >> if we pick up and leave it will be catastrophic. i think now the president recognizes that which is good. drawing down to a force of 200 to 400 is probably making the situation even worse. you can't do that much with that level of force. halt the withdrawal. let diplomats work out the situation. i think what is happening is we are withdrawing. number is to determined. that changes the calculations of everybody and increases the risk which we don't want to do. >> to be continued. i hope this is the first of many conversations. and coming up, first how sandra day o'connor paved the way for other women to sit on the supreme court. author and historian evan thomas with the portrait of a trailblazer. omas with the portraioft a trailblazer.
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brett kavanaugh, he said he had big plans for amy koemy barrett, he said, i'm saving her for ginsburg. barrett would be controversial because she's young and her writing -- and the first woman justice, subject of his "new york times" best seller, sandra day o'connor. it's great to see you. you made headlines before the book came out with your revelation about her dating relationship in law school at stanford with -- >> he proposed, will you marry me sandy. >> and how he flunked the test by going to the ranch. >> it was hard for a city slicker to show up. her father gave him a roasted bull testicle to eat.
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tough introduction. >> and so she ended up with john o'connor and that wonderful romance and the support he gave her, i was assigned by nbc news when president reagan nominated her to go out, young press aide was guiding her around, we could walk up to the gate with our cameras, back in those days, and she was shy, very much i think tentative as she was introduced to all of us in the press and of course -- >> that was one thing about her. she became this dominant figure and she could be a little brassy and bossy, but she was actually quite shy. she learned to overcome her fears. being brave is not walking out, it's being fearful and overcoming it. she was a very tough person who
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had to overcome her own shyness and fear. >> i remember when her first memoir came out about her childhood and trying to get that first job and her incredible career at stanford and then being told -- >> 40 law firms -- the only law firm to interview her after -- asked her about her typing skills. >> and whether she could sit outside with the clerical staff even if they hired her. >> she couldn't get an interview. she was at the top of her class -- or near the top of her class. couldn't get an interview as a lawyer. obviously times have changed. >> i was fascinated by her relationship with ruth bader ginsburg. and i once heard ginsburg, two weeks after her husband had died, there was a birthday dinner for sandra day o'connor, i think it was her 80th birthday, and let me play a little bit of a public comment
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that ruth bader ginsburg made. >> in an era when women had trouble getting employment and weren't expected to hold any kind of a significant job, we both had trouble getting our first jobs as lawyers. we both married men we met in law school who were fabulous and were very happy to see their wives compete in the legal profession. >> and i remember at that dinner, ginsburg saying when she was facing her first assignment on the court and she didn't know what to do, and sandra day said, just do it. >> just do it. and justice ginsberg told me that story. they were not intimate pals, they were no cozy, but they were a pair. they turned each other when justice ginsburg, got cancer,
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she went to justice o'connor, and she said, have your chemo friday, get sick on the weekends and be ready for oral argument on monday. >> there's an excerpt about bush v. gore because o'connor was the divisive vote. and she came behind ann hoops and said, ann, everybody hates me. i felt like saying you deserved it. i really don't want to talk about this. >> very controversial case, five republicans line up with the five republicans on the court line up with bush, looks political. justice o'conner, she was a republican, but the reason she voted the way she did, was she saw a car crash coming, if you let the recount go on in florida, it might produce a gore slight, you already had a bush slight, it goes back to congress. the tie ultimately in this case
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would have been broken by the governor in florida who's name was bush. she was trying to avoid that car wreck. it's not to say that she had some regrets that the court took the case. she said that publicly, hard cases can make bad law. >> what about reactions as someone who was a leader for women and not -- she was a country club republican woman but she became such a path breaker and during the testimony and the confirmation hearing of clarence thomas, her discomfort. >> she was very uncomfortable. but when thomas came to the court and he was feeling hammered, she walked with him every day, first, she said, those hearings did a lot of damage and she was -- he didn't know what to say. day after day, she said, clarence, you have to come to lunch. she understood that even though you may not love somebody, you still have to work with them and thomas told me it was -- it
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changed everything for him, that he joined the group. he told me she was the glue. idealogically they're very different. but she was the glue who kept the court together. >> it's a fascinating book. i hope you can come back. there's so much rich detail and great reporting. we'll be right back.
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thanks for being with us.
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here is stephanie ruhle and ali velshi. >> it's april fool's day, i had to come back for that. >> hello, everyone. >> it is monday, as i just said, april 1st, let's get smarter. >> new information on some big questions about the white house and how it gives out its security clearances. a white house whistleblower told congress that the trump administration overturned 25 security clearance denials, believe it or not. >> president trump renewing his immigration fight now threatening to shut down the southern border as he orders his administration to suspend aid to three central american countries. >> and the department of homeland security, they're


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