tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC April 25, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
compensation incentives. and by the way, since iger took over, to his defense the stock has quintupled. now, that doesn't mean it looks good for it to be 1400 times your median employee. their median wage is about $46,000 and that's going to come up in politics. but i would say in their defense that the stock price really has a lot to do with the story. >> i will also say, mika, really quickly that one movie, "the avengers," which disney took over after bob iger, one movie will make that entire salary tomorrow. so i understand the anger and the concern, but the world has changed since walt disney and roy disney were at the company. the stakes are much higher and they're making billions and billions more dollars today than they were even ten years ago. >> we'll book this out tomorrow and continue the conversation. cnbc's sara eisen, thank you.
that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle with a whole lot to cover this morning, starting with some breaking news. he is officially in. >> core values of this nation are standing in the world, our very democracy, everything that has made america, america is at stake. that's why today i'm announcing my candidacy for president of the united states. >> after months of speculation and front-runner status in the early polls, joe biden announces his run for president. and a new nbc news analysis of the mueller report revealing the shocking level to which the trump campaign left itself exposed to russian influence. but at the same time, president trump now insisting it's not worth looking into anymore, vowing to now stonewall any requests for his staff to testify. >> well, we're fighting all the subpoenas. these aren't like impartial
people. >> and we've got to get back to joe. joe biden is officially in. the former vice president and senator launching his presidential campaign this morning with this video announcement. >> we are in the battle for the soul of this nation. i believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an abhorrent moment in time. but if we give donald trump eight years in the white house, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are, and i cannot stand by and watch that happen. >> well, i don't have joe biden with me now but i have the next best thing. nbc news national reporter mike memoli, who has been covering joe biden for a decade when he was a first vice presidential candidate. you know this man well. how is he going to position himself in contrast to the other 16 democratic candidates? >> well, stephanie, first of
all, where better to start this day when joe biden launches his candidacy than in the rail station. this train station literally named after the former vice president. he's so closely associated with it, having ridden back and forth to washington during his time in the senate. how does joe biden separate himself from this huge field of candidates? he does it by raising the stakes of the election. this announcement video is in some ways surprising. remember, he was spotted filming some scenes in scranton. we thought maybe it would be a little more biographical. joe biden is signalling he wants to take the fight to donald trump immediately, talking about charlottesville, those images of the white nationalist rallies, talking about the president's response and warning about the risk if donald trump is given a second term. this is not joe biden needing to introduce himself to voters like other candidates need to do, this is about him taking the fight straight to donald trump. this idea that biden presented that we're in the battle for the soul of america, this is the first of what his team is
calling three pillars of his candidacy. we'll see him in pittsburgh talking about the economy, his plan to rebuild the middle class. then he's going to have a big rally in philadelphia on may 18th. that's going to be all about bridging the divides of this country. joe biden is seen as somebody who can reach across the aisle, work with republicans. that's the message of that campaign, which is now under way. >> reaching across the aisle is not what all democrats want, not with so many members of the resistance. joe biden is facing a very different party than the one he faced the last time he was running. >> that's absolutely right, stephanie. we've actually heard the vice president recently talking about the new left. he does say i'll put my progressive credentials up against anybody else in the party. but joe biden's definition of progressive and what that means, and i think you also saw how he'll make his appeal to democrats. it's close affiliation with the man he served for eight years in the white house with, president obama. we didn't get an endorsement from president obama today, but it is notable that his team came
out very quickly with a supportive statement, talking about how president obama always felt one of the best decisions he made was making joe biden his running mate. that he certainly supports him and considers his friendship something that's going forward at this point. obama's team saying that he wants to stay out of the primary. he knows that that primary battle he had against hillary clinton in 2008 was helpful to him as a candidate and he wants every candidate to have that chance to go through this as well. >> michael, thank you so much. mike memoli who will be covering joe biden even longer. biden's competition wasted absolutely no time today, and we've got our road warriors out in force this morning following them. nbc's shaquille brewster covering the bernie sanders campaign in texas, garrett haake on the trail with beto o'rourke in nevada. shaq, what's the sanders camp saying about biden now officially in the race? >> reporter: good morning, stephanie. i've been talking to advisers about this all week. one senior campaign official told me this morning that this
was expected. they were expecting vice president biden to jump into this race. he said -- this official framed it this way in the sense of they see it as biden is the establishment candidate. he's going to have party support. he's going to have endorsements. he's a known commodity. but sanders, they believe, has more of the voter support. they feel like sanders is more in line with party voters. so that's how they're framing it. they're seeing sanders just as electable as biden but just as influential in this race. >> well, he certainly has a whole lot of influence. let's go garrett haake. garrett, we've got to talk beto. when beto announced, there was huge enthusiasm, huge momentum and then pete buttigieg put a big dent in that. biden stepped in with another denting. what does this do to beto? does he pivot? what direction does he go in? >> reporter: i think he'll continue to plow ahead, based on what i've seen and heard from advisers to o'rourke.
the beto folks genuinely believe that they have to run their campaign with their guy and trying not to respond to all the different people in the field and all the different things that folks on the outside want them to do. we're going to see o'rourke the next couple of days continue to campaign in nevada, one of the early states. he's making his first campaign appearance in california, which is of course a much more important early state this cycle than it used to be. i would be surprised to see him say anything other than welcome to the race to joe biden. as i've covered these o'rourke events, you don't see a lot of people looking at both beto and biden. you see the o'rourke voters tend to be looking for folks who are in that younger generation. his more direct competition is with people like mayor pete or with kamala harris. and that will be the thing that he may have to ultimately respond to. but as far as biden is concerned, i think you'll continue to see o'rourke try to present himself as somebody in a new generation, somebody who's a new face and somebody to the left of the obama administration on some key issues. you saw him talking about this
yesterday, criticizing the obama administration's policy on immigration, for example. they believe there are plenty of voters in this new democratic party who don't want to go backwards to the obama years, despite the pleasant contrast they pro vvide to the trump yea. they want to go forward to something new and that's what i think o'rourke will continue to bank on. >> shaq, you mentioned voter support. bernie's team seemed they confident with the support they have but last night it seemed like he was facing a tough crowd. >> reporter: it was a much different story yesterday. he was talking to she the people presidential forum. it was interesting to see because the forum was focused on issues and addressing issues for women of color. he was asked about how he is going to address these issues. >> as somebody who -- i know i date myself a little bit here, but i actually was at the march on washington with dr. king back in 1963.
and as somebody who actively supported jesse jackson's campaign as one of the few white elected officials to do so in '88, i have dedicated my life to the fight against racism and sexism and discrimination of all forms. >> reporter: i spoke to some attendees after that moment and there was a frustration because they didn't feel like he was addressing the issues that they were asking. there were a lot of yells out for him to just answer the question. so you see sanders is just addressing his time on the campaign trail. he's chugging along. >> all right, garrett, we've got to talk beto again just for a moment. at this point what does he see as his biggest challenge? it's a crowded race and he must break through. >> reporter: that crowd is the challenge right now, stephanie. 20 people in this field. we have, i think, five white men who are current or former members of the house. you have pete buttigieg in there
now taking up a lot of the oxygen that beto o'rourke had. how does he find a way to stand out in this field? remember, to the degree that most voters are familiar with o'rourke it's because he was that guy who ran an almost successful campaign against ted cruz, who democrats hate. ted cruz is not his foil anymore, so what can o'rourke do to maintain that excitement and to cut through the noise? they feel like it is in fact, and this is true, still april. it is still early. nobody wins or loses an election at this phase. but what do you do to get that momentum back? what do you do to get it back when it matters and what do you do to cut through? maybe that's something that happens during the debates, but that will ultimately be the challenge for beto o'rourke in this massive and maybe complete democratic field. >> well, you two gentlemen will keep plowing ahead as you follow these races. thank you. now we'll head to the white house where peter alexander joins us with the latest on president trump's all-out fight against congressional democrats.
peter, no way, no way jose, never seeing it, your subpoenas stink, i don't care. what is the president saying now? his tactic appears to be to simply block democrats and run out the clock and exhaust this narrative. >> reporter: repel, resist, reject all efforts by the democrats as some of the colleagues here at the white house describe it. this is the just say no campaign by the president, trying to put up stop signs everywhere, especially in the face of democratic investigators who are trying to subpoena all sorts of items, including the president's tax returns, his business financial records, and of course the testimony from some of his former senior aides. just yesterday the department of justice said that a civil rights division official would defy a subpoena to testify about its addition of a citizenship question to the census. the president detailed his defiance on the south lawn yesterday and here is how he cast it. >> we're fighting all the
subpoenas. look, these aren't like impartial people. the democrats are trying to win 2020. they're not going to win with the people that i see. and they're not going to win against me. >> reporter: and the president is not done expressing this frustration. again this morning on twitter, we'll post for you what he just said, again going after the
media and frankly one of his former aides saying as has been incorrectly reported by the fake news media, i never told then white house counsel don mcgahn to fire robert mueller, even though i had the legal right to do so. if i wanted to fire mueller, i didn't need mcgahn to do it, i could have done it myself. nevertheless, mueller was not fired and was respectfully allowed to finish his work on what i and many others say was an illegal investigation headed by a trump hater who was highly conflicted and a group of 18 very angry democrats. drain the swamp. there was a lot of that behavior detailed in the 448-page document.
this is from volume 2, page 85. despite the president's comments, robert mueller wrote the following. he wrote on saturday, june 17, 2017, the president called mcgahn and directed him to have the special counsel removed. in fact william burke, the attorney, the counsel for don mcgahn in a statement that he provided to nbc news last week responding to some of the public criticism that rudy giuliani has been making said that it was accurately described, those episodes in the course of the mueller report. but it's clear what the president's strategy was here, stephanie, to keep pushing back, to try to stall this as best as he can and try to use this in effect as a campaign issue to demonstrate what he describes as presidential harassment. steph. >> or he could move on and focus on health care, infrastructure, the economy, education, removed, also known as let go or fired. thank you so much, nbc's peter alexander. now we have to turn to a health crisis. a stunning report from the cdc.
the number of measles cases has skyrocketed to a new record. the highest this century has ever seen for an entirely preventible disease. nbc's anne thompson covering all of the new developments. this blows me -- we've now been covering this for weeks. at this point how many cases are we up to and where are they? >> 695 across the country. and they're primarily in new york, washington state and california. they're in 22 states in all, stephanie, but those are the states where officials are concerned. why is it happening? because there are some anti-vaxxers who have taken hold and communities where kids have not gotten vaccinations. because of that, we are now seeing a disease that was said to be eliminated in 2000. it is back. and it is more than just a rash. health officials will tell you that measles can have very serious complications. it puts kids at risk for hearing
loss, it puts them at risk for something called sspe, which is a central nervous disorder which can ultimately cause death. this is a very serious disease. before the vaccine, it killed 400 to 500 americans a year. when the vaccine came along, they thought it was eliminated. now it's back. >> anti-vaxxers know the risk and made their decision. how do health officials at this point combat this? you've got an entire group of people who just see things differently. >> what they're doing here in new york city and the mandatory vaccination order that they have put out for those four zip codes in williamsburg, brooklyn, they have issued 12 summons and people can be fined up to $1,000 for not getting vaccinated. >> have they actually been fined? >> yes, they have issued 12 summonses. they have not gone all the way through court yet, but, yes,
that is happening. more than anything, it is the danger. and it's not just the danger you're putting your own child at risk, you're putting the community at risk. they're asking people to think not just of themselves but of the community. there are now two pregnant women in new york city who have contracted measles. that puts them at risk for miscarriage, early childbirth and low birth rates. that's crazy. >> pregnancy is difficult enough. please don't put your neighbors in this position. anne, thank you so much for covering this very important story. measles, it is back. right now in russia, two american adversaries are breaking bread together. vladimir putin hosting north korea's kim jong-un for their first summit. let's go live to russia where keir simmons is standing by. keir, why exactly are these two guys meeting, and what are the headlines so far? >> reporter: well, look, their aim is to send a message to america quite plainly.
you know, stephanie, whoever is elected president in 2020 in this city today has been two of the most difficult foreign leaders that that president will face. president putin and kim jong-un. they seemed warm. it was the first time they met. they even, steph, get this for symbolism, exchanged ceremonial swords at the end of the meeting. they met for one-to-one for an hour and a half, much more than the 50 minutes that were planned. from their point of view, it seemed to go well. what are they trying to get out of it? kim jong-un is trying to say to president trump i have more friends than just you in the world, you know, and he would like to see the sanctions weakened because there is millions of dollars worth of economic ties between this part of russia particularly and north korea. for president putin, of course, it's about putting himself at the center of world events so america is not able to bupush h out into the cold. at the end of the meeting,
president putin gave a news conference. in it he said that kim jong-un had asked him to take what they had talked about and send -- and talk to america about that, talk to president trump about that. that's perfect as far as president putin is concerned. he would love being in that position. >> without a doubt. think about this, russia's economy, a teeny tiny fraction compared to the size of ours. but when you look at that summit, you would start to think they're on the level with the united states. you know what? they're not. but keir, next time i see you, i think we'll exchange swords, a good tradition for us. >> reporter: you bet. coming up, a shocking new analysis showing just how vulnerable the trump campaign was to russian influence. it turns out, it is much worse than we thought. but first, much more on biden's decision to officially join the 2020 race. another candidate running for the democratic nomination joins me next on why biden getting in is a good thing. with a glow around them, so people watching will be like,
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. this morning, joe biden officially jumped into the 2020 race, warning that we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. biden has long been cast as a candidate who can appeal to working class voters in the midwest and he has made it clear that he believes not reaching out to these voters was democrats' biggest mistake in 2016. >> the truth of the matter is you didn't hear a single, solitary sentence in the last
campaign about that guy working on the assembly line making $60,000 a year and the wife making $32,000 as a hostess in a restaurant and they're making 90 grand and they have two kids and they can't make it and they're scared. they're frightened. >> that was joe biden in 2017. today he'll be facing some tough competition in the rust belt, maybe from our next guest who says he is the progressive who knows, quote, how to get elected in working class districts. 2020 presidential contender and ohio congressman tim ryan joins me now. tim, welcome this morning. congratulations, as you are one of the many in this race. >> thank you. >> you represent ohio, youngstown, ohio. the rust belt should be your stronghold, maybe it is. many wsay that's joe biden country. how do you plan to compete? >> well, talking about the issues that are important,
talking about the anxiety that the vice president just mentioned, but most importantly providing real solutions that are going to get us out of this mess. we've had these structural problems for a long time and need some innovative solutions around the economy, winning the future, competing against china. that's going to be who's going win this race, not just innovating around the economy, how do we resuscitate manufacturing in places like youngstown, ohio, or scranton, pennsylvania, but how are we going to reform education, steph, how are we going to bring social and emotional learning into our schools so we begin fundamentally shifting how you are kids can learn and dealing with the trauma that our kids are going to school with every day. how are we going to move the conversation from not health care, of course we want everybody to have health care, but how this is a disease care system that is broken and costing us boatloads of money. how do we move that conversation to a conversation about health, a conversation about our food system, and a conversation about shifting agriculture in the united states where farmers are getting killed today too. so it's not just going to be
about identifying with the anxiety, which of course we should and we do, but how are you going to solve the problem for them. >> well, how can you? i hear you on diagnosing these problems. i do share the same goals that you have. but do you have any policy ideas to solve for any of this? because they're massive issues. >> the first thing we need to do is create an industrial policy in the united states. i mean we're getting our clock cleaned right now by china in some of the fastest-growing industries in the country -- or in the world. so we have right now 1 to 2 million electric vehicles. that's just one example. by 2030 there's going to be 30 million electric vehicles made somewhere in the world. i want those made in the united states. i want the batteries made in the united states. i want the charging stations made in the united states. china now dominates 40% of the electric vehicle market. i will use the power of the presidency to organize this effort, same thing with solar. >> we don't educate for that. we have boatloads of kids
getting out of community college with marketing degrees. who's going to do that? >> well, that's part of the big problem. we don't have enough people to go to work. but we don't have the jobs either. i mean if you know that there are going to be 10 million or 30 million cars in the next few years, you need to have policies that both do the training piece, do the investment piece, and not just investments in silicon valley or some of the big towns, but how do you drive these investments into the old coal communities, cold steel, coold you use the tax code and opportunity zones, all of these things and the president of the united states wants to get this done, we can get it done. >> you can bring coal country back, just don't have to do it with coal. i want you to help me understand what does the democratic party look like today? you are out there touring the country. when you look at social media and the push to the left, is the
social media democrat actually what the party looks like? help me understand the electorate. when you look at the midterms it was more centrist democrats that actually forged ahead and flipped so many states. >> on social media, there's a conversation happening that is really important about really important issues. the main conversation i hear in ohio, in iowa, in new hampshire, i was in florida, i was just in chicago, is the economic anxiety facing working class families. not just around the job, they're working hard, they're playing by the rules but can barely keep their nose above water, but they're super concerned about their kids' schools. we need to have a national conversation again around education, and i'm pledging i will be the education president. that is a fundamental issue that's going to be good for our economy, but that's what people are concerned about. they're worried about health care and prescription drug costs. they're getting squeezed, steph. i mean it is unbelievable the
disconnect between the conversation in washington, d.c. i just heard some clips that you were talking about president trump. oh, it's about winning and i'm winning and they want to win. well, how about getting the american people to win. that's who we need to win, the american people. it's not about donald trump, it's not about the democrats, it's about the american people who are struggling every single day to make ends meet and have a certain quality of life that we used to have for a lot of people in america that they don't have anymore. and we're having a conversation about raising the minimum wage, of which of course we're all for. people want to make $40 an hour. they want to make $50 an hour. they want to have benefits, they want to have retirement security. you hear that every single day. they're worried about violence in the neighborhoods and communities falling apart and blight. i mean this is ridiculous. this is the united states of america and we're running around like a banana republic here having conversations that are completely irrelevant to the needs of the american people. i mean that's what frustrates me, and i think that's what frustrates the vast majority of people who stopped watching
about politics because it's not connecting to their life at all. >> let's talk about the american people. what they need and what they want. right now the president is at a stand-off with democrats around white house aides testifying before congress, the president and the white house is not respecting the subpoenas. you have already said that congress should not start the impeachment process. why is that, and have you changed your mind? >> no. i think we're taking the proper steps here. i think that chairman nadler is doing a good job. i think he needs to keep investigating. i think we're actually coming to a constitutional crisis here with this president. i mean not obeying the subpoenas of the house of representatives. we need to just look at the constitution. article 1 creates the congress. the first article of the constitution leaves the power with the people. we left a king and started this democratic republic and the president is now acting like a king. so we are going to have a
constitutional crisis. now, maybe it will come to geech impeachment especially if he goes down this road of obstruction. but right now i think we need to further the investigations, let the american people know what's going on with this investigation. let's all understand in every community in america the severity of what russia is trying to do to us. they are trying to keep us divided as a country. and then china is coming in behind them economically. they love the fact that we're divided because a divided country is a weak country. the best thing we can to in this country is start beginning the process of coming together. the president doesn't want to do that, you can clearly tell he wants to have a fight. but i think nadler needs to keep going and we need to support him fully. i do, and i trust him. >> the best thing we can do is unite. congressman, thank you so much for joining me this morning. mindfulness in schools. i'd sign up for that. up next, could democrats who are talking about capitalism actually do something about it?
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politics. there is one word that is plaguing the democratic party and could play a major role in the 2020 election. it is a word some candidates avoid and other candidates embrace. it is a word senator bernie sanders was asked about in a town hall this week. >> so my question is how do you rectify your notion of democratic socialism with the failures of socialism in nearly every country that has tried it. >> is it your assumption that i supported or believe in authoritarian communism that existed in the soviet union? i don't and never have and i opposed it. what do i mean when i talk about democratic socialism? it certainly is not the authoritarian communism that existed in the soviet union and other communist countries. >> so how do the democrats address the problems associated with capitalism without being branded socialists. hear to weigh in, anan dchd, an
dear friend bret stephens, an msnbc political contributor. anand, i go to you first. whether we're talking jamie dimon, ray dalio, even warren buffett, some of the richest people out there who have won the defame are saying capitalism is broken. is our answer let's look at our system and improve it or completely tear it up? the completely tear it up idea is exactly what president trump and fox news love. >> i actually think before we get to the who do you elect, we have to take note of just the moment that you described there. i think there's a cultural moment right now that feels incredibly good to me, which is this question of capitalism, who it works for, the different flavors of capitalism out there, the best kind of relationship between society and state and the market, we are having that conversation in a way that in my
lifetime i don't think we've had at this level with this variety of people offering, you know, from a very extreme capitalist view, from donald trump, like i should be able to profit from being president view of capitalism. i should be president because i built some failed businesses. all the way to democratic socialism. i think what's probably more called social democracy as it actually exists in other countries. then you have someone like elizabeth warren whose policies are similar to bernie's but does not call herself a socialist, says she's a capitalist. you have someone like pete buttigieg who talks about i'm a democratic capitalist. what's exciting, first of all, and i just spent a bunch of time on the road talking to voters. what is really interesting is you have people in this country who are not hippy-dippies who are actually themselves in their lives i think thinking anew about capitalism. it's something we have been sort of supposed to not question. i spoke to a carfax executive in
madison, wisconsin, the other day. the guy is i'm a capitalist, i'm an executive at carfax. but i see that capitalism isn't working in my community. it's actually not helping people the way i thought it would or it should. and so i think actually nobody here is actually talking about socialism that the question was asking. what we're talking about is frankly a spectrum that runs somewhere between norway and the united states. and like what's the right place to be on that spectrum. >> you're talking about a sophisticated spectrum of solutions. and president trump won with three-word slogans and no nuance. so should democrats who are looking across this spectrum of solutions get themselves away from the word "socialism" because that's exactly what the president wants to say and it sows fear in people's minds who say, hold on a second, i don't want to turn into communist russia. even if that's a false narrative, it's a real one and democrats have to be aware of it.
>> well, i don't think a lot of people want to turn into france, quite frankly, where you have about 50% of the economy is state directed. it's sort of what bernie is talking about in terms of their health care system, in terms of their social solidarity system. they have got chronically high unemployment, extremely high youth unemployment. you've got protests -- protesters that have come out into streets because they can't afford even small increases in gas taxes ostensibly for the purpose of doing something about the climate. so this is a fantastic issue for someone like donald trump who, by the way, isn't himself a real capitalist. donald trump is a corporatist, a mercantilist. one of his first acts was to start strong arming businesses about where they can and cannot put their factories. let's not think about donald trump as an example -- >> he also inherited all of his wealth. >> exactly. >> imagine how rich he would be
if he actually held on to that real estate portfolio. >> the cato institute must be -- its head must be exploding with trump being described that way. there's no question within the structure of capitalism, there's a huge range of policy options, which are all viable and sensible, and they're great arguments to be made that we now have an economy not so much characterized by inequality but characterized by failing mobility. the difficulty of people who are on the lower rungs to move into higher rungs. and something that anand speaks about, which is the way in which our system favors not only the concentration of capitalism but sort of rewards the same people over and over again. i think those are real issues that democrats ought to be talking about. if they do so in the context of socialism, you don't have to just turn to venezuela and scare mongering. normal people will say, look, we had a century in which we tried those alternatives along a broad range and none of them really
worked, so let's try something else. let's start thinking fresh. >> that broken system is how we ended up with president trump. all of these issues, that status quo not working for a large portion of this country, voters said i need something different. joe biden is now jumping in the race and based on that message, it seems that he's saying, listen, donald trump is this moment in time, we don't want to have this moment go on any longer, let's go back to the way things were. is joe biden taking the wrong approach? because going back to the way things were is what got us to donald trump. >> that's so profoundly true. you know, on your computer -- >> wow, profoundly, he just came with profoundly. >> i know. you know on your computer there's an undo function, you can edit undo. i felt like that video, he's only been in the race like seven minutes, but that video was an edit undo campaign. >> why? >> the whole entirety of it was trump is the problem, trump is the problem. and i think trump is a really
big problem. that said, i think trump is the kind of problem that is a symptom. trump is a boil on your body that is actually a clue that you have a really big problem. you have some disease that you haven't gotten diagnosed. and if you say that the premise seemed to be things weren't great in america and then trump got in and besmirched the character of our country -- >> except things were broken in america and that's why we ended up with trump. >> the only person who can't say that is joe biden because he was vice president for the proceeding eight years that launched us into trump. so he is the person least able to tell the truth in this democratic primary about the fact that there were conditions of inequality, of anger, of dispossession, of rising racial -- >> but joe biden and barack obama don't own that. inequality is a massive problem around the world. >> you're absolutely right but here's one way in which they do. part of which is happening, the subtext of democratic primaries,
there's a reappraisal of the obama years and there's a realization that barack obama was an extraordinary man, a person of great character, a person who did a lot of great things and a person who wassin kredsab -- incredibly ham strung, but in terms of changing capitalism -- >> but he had a healthy economy. he was taking us out of a car fire. >> barack obama is not as politically aggressive as many of the people running for the democratic primary. i think by his own admission. and i don't think barack obama made it his point to fundamentally change power equations in this country in eight years. and i think we're going to have a referendum on maybe joe biden continuing that approach and others saying we're going to keep getting trump-like figures over the next 30 to 40 years if we don't fundamentally change how america is working and who's working for. the next time we may get a donald trump, it actually may be someone who can read. >> look, what joe biden was
doing, appealing to that couple that's making $93,000 a year and still not able to make ends meet i think is exactly his sweet spot. that's his brand. that's who he is, and that's who the democratic party really needs to appeal to. if the democratic party becomes the park slope party, it's going to lose. and it's going to wake up the day after the election and say how did that happen, did russia steal the election again? no, russia didn't steal the election again, a lot of suburban voters looked at a party and said too extreme for me, i'll go with the devil i know. >> all right, anand and bret, thank you very much. president trump does know how hto read. he uses twitter all the time. >> well, i'm talking about something longer than a sentence. up next, president trump plans to stonewall congress over any and all requests for testimony. a former presidential candidate has a plan for how democrats need to move forward with both the investigation and governing. trump's plan to run out the
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constitutionally check the president. meanwhile, impeachment talks are ramping up, as 2020 democrats remain divided on whether to impeach trump following the mueller report. but the president says he will turn to the supreme court if the process begins. joining me now, maya wiley senior vice president for social justice and an msnbc legal analyst and bret stephens back with me. maya, take me out of the ideal and take me to the real. the president has now set up a legal battle. is stonewalling going to work or at least buy him enough time that it works for him politically? >> i think that depends in part on two things we don't know, which is how fast and aggressive the democrats will move and how quickly the courts will respond. because what will happen is it will be a court fight. it is very hard for me to imagine based on the case law that the white house will be successful in blocking all of these subpoenas. but the question becomes how
long that process will take. and that depends in part, as i say, on how quickly and aggressively the democrats move and then how the courts respond and whether they fast track the. i think the problem that we have here goes back to your original statement which is there is a process, there is a rule of law and you have a legitimate set of actions that congress is trying to take simply to bring facts forward to the american public, and if our process doesn't work, if it just becomes a constant partisan standstill, the only people that lose at the end of the day are the american people. >> brett, take me to the rule of law republicans. where are they on this? it's not just about the mueller report. you've got the president trying to stop mid-level administration officials from testifying to congress about the census. what kind of precedent does this
send and where are the rule of law republicans? >> that's actually sort of standard issue conservism that there's long been a believe that pre taets trump's arrival. >> that there aren't three separate and' kwael brawn chs of government. >> that the executive has its constitutional powers, that it can block all sorts of figures from testifying to congress, that all kinds of conversations between a president and white house counsel. >> except on the overreach that they claimed when obama was in office. >> i'm not disputing this. i'm saying when you're asking about house and senate republicans, this is the view that they're going to take. i just want to say something about the legal analysis. i think you're exactly right. the question is the politics of this. here i think the president is playing from his point of view a really smart game, because what the president wants more than anything is for democrats to keep talking about impeachment, keep talking about obstruction,
keep talking about the mueller report for as long as is humanly possible. all of this in the long term benefits trump -- not going to say republicans -- benefits trump at the expense of democrats. this is like a drug for democrats that they want to talk about this, they want to move towards impeachment, that they're not -- it's what -- it will take them away from talking about things that actual americans care about which is not the mueller report. it's how to increase their salaries. >> maya, what if people want to testify? president trump today said i never told don mcgahn to fire robert mueller. couldn't don mcgahn say, you know what? i would like to testify, because if don mcgahn lied to mueller, that would be criminal. he could face ethics sanctions, and the president is calling don mcgahn a liar, the president who is unwilling to sit down with robert mueller. >> mr. mcgahn can testify if he chooses to. i think what we have to -- as a
matter of law, what we have to remember is the president very explicitly said i told mcgahn he could go talk to robert mueller to the extent he had privileges, he waived them. as mcgahn recognized, his job as an attorney was to represent the office, not the person of the president. that's why the president has personal lawyers. so the attorney-client privilege is between the attorney and the government and the people. so trump doesn't get to use don mcgahn as a personal attorney. so that's a really important distinction that gets lost in the public conversation as a matter of the legal analysis here. so absolutely don mcgahn could choose to. my guess is he will be in consultation with the white house and the president's lawyers and he will hold off and hold back. but i do want to go back to bret's point about how this
plays politically because i think this goes back to hillary clinton's op-ed. >> i have a quote. her op-ed, she's saying let's not rush to impeach. she wrote, congress should hold hearings that build on the mueller report and fill in its gaps, but not jump straight to an up or down vote in impeachment. in 1998 the republican-led house rushed to judgment. that was a mistake then and it would be a mistake now. to exactly his point. >> part of what i think gets lost in the focus on the word impeachment is many of the democrats have been saying this all along. representative nadler who has been saying we are not making a decision on impeachment. we're trying to get all the facts. i think the bigger question becomes how do you do that in the context of a white house. it's essentially saying we're going to fight your ability to exercise your constitutional responsibilities and your constitutional powers. and that's why i say it's a loss
for the american people. nancy pelosi has said what we need is the american people to decide in a sense, right, politically. politically that's part of the role that hearings play, is americans can hear it for themselves and get past william barr's attempts to define the narrative and the way that people should understand the facts. in fact, obfuscate some of the facts and let the american people decide how big of a problem is this. congress' standard is not mueller's. mueller's standard was whether or not we can establish and indict on a crime. congress' standard -- we can debate this. it's really about whether or not he's abused his authority in a way that makes it too dangerous for the country for him to remain. >> or maybe they need to keep asking questions because we need to know more about what russia did so we can stop it. i want to bring in nbc's
intelligence and national security reporter, ken dilanian. you went through the mueller report line by line to walk us through just how vulnerable the trump campaign was to russian influence. explain this. >> good morning, stephanie. a lot of people are hung up on the fact that mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy. but what my intelligence sources are saying is what he did find was outrageous and unprecedented in american history. you had a campaign that opened itself to exploitation by a sophisticated russian information operation. in fairness, most of the contacts that mueller describes in volume one of the report had been previously reported. what was surprising to me was the new information about how putin directly dispatched oligarchs to meet with officials after the campaign. you had the head of the russia sovereign wealth fund having secret meetings with a friends of jared kushner who ran a hedge
fund, a guy named rick gerson and the russian is offering sweeteners, talking about investing in the hedge fund. working on a russia-u.s. reconciliation plan. they come up with a document. the friend hands it to kushner and he gives it to the incoming secretary of state. these are secret back channels between the trump transition team and a foreign adversary. what intel officials say, this is exactly what the russians want. they can manipulate people, going around the state department, cia and normal channels. yes, there was no conspiracy. another way to look at it, the trump team were dupes of a sophisticated russian intelligence operation. >> maybe they still are. jared kushner saying a couple days ago, oh, just a couple facebook ads. you know who loved that? putin. what's your thought? >> it's not crazy that teams that are having a transition reach out to foreign countries especially because trump made the point that he wanted better relations with russia. >> it wasn't a transition team.
friend of jared's. >> well, it's all in the tutor family. ken's core point is absolutely right, that this administration, this president willingly and publicly made himself a dupe of putin when it was -- the evidence was incontrovertible that putin wasn't simply a testy foreign leader, he was a hostile foreign power. >> i think this is why i go back to the point of these hearings being broader than what mueller was -- not just his charge because his charge was criminal. but there are all kinds of offshoots of the identification of problems that are of deep concern over the potential for how foreign governments are influencing policy from the white house in ways that are self-serving for the president and his family. that clearly should fall under
congress's oversight authority to determine whether or not we have serious national security concerns because of what might be -- i'm not accusing. i'm just saying there are reasons to examine the question of petty corruption. >> this is exactly it. there used to be a category in politics, somewhere between innocent and impeach which was called dangerous and disgusting. that's where i think this behavior falls squarely. >> we're going to end on dangerous and disgusting on this fine thursday. ken, maya, bret, thank you so much. ken, that is an amazing report. if you haven't read it yet, go to nbcnews.com. that wraps us up. i'm stephanie ruhle. i'll see you again at 1:00 p.m. with my partner ali velshi. coming up, more news right now with hallie jackson. >> stephanie, thank you. live tv all morning long. i'm hallie jackson in washington where this morning we're watching live as the 2020 field gets a new front-runner. now that joe biden is in, and
coming in hot. putting president trump squarely at the center of his launch and him squarely in the president's crosshairs. in his opening message biden frames this race on a referendum on how president trump is ripping apart the character of the country. >> the core values of this nation a nation, our standing in the world, our very democracy, everything that has made america america is at stake. that's why today i'm announcing my candidacy for president of the united states. >> so bottom line, the democratic field is mostly set. look at that, with biden, big on name recognition, short on campaign cash and already racking up the endorsements. we have a big team covering this and all the day's news. this hour we'll be talking with deputy campaign manager for the newest campaign, kate bedingfield is joining us