tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC April 26, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks so much new hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle live from d.c. this morning with a little trump unleashed. the president calls into his friend sean hannity's fox news show, are you ready for this, for 45 minutes, blasting the investigation of his campaign team. >> this was a coup. this wasn't stealing information from an office in the watergate apartments. this was an attempted coup. >> now saying robert mueller was not an impartial investigator. >> i had a nasty transaction with him and all of a sudden he's my prosecutor. very, very unfair. >> and once again back to an old favorite, attacking hillary clinton. >> look at what she's done, how she's destroyed the lives of people that were on our campaign. she's destroyed their lives. >> and how about a privacy
payout? facebook says it expects to be fined $5 billion by the federal trade commission over consumer privacy violations. $5 billion sounds like a lot. for facebook it's pennies, a parking ticket. the united states announces a monster number for first quarter gdp. despite the government shutdown they are defying expectations to the upside. we'll begin with the stunning new attack president trump is unleashing in his first tv interview since the release of of the redacted mueller report. he's now claiming special counsel robert mueller's investigation into russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign was an attempted overthrow of the united states government. here's what he told fox news last night. >> i really say now we have to get down because this was a coup. this was an attempted overthrow of the united states government. these are sick people. these are sick, sick people.
let's see what happens with mccabe and comey and brennan and clapper. they were in on the act. and let's see what happens and let's see how high it goes up because it's inconceivable when it goes to clapper, brennan, comey, these people, i would imagine that some other people maybe a little higher up also knew about it and maybe a lot higher up. >> he's talking robert mueller, who's none of those people. he said the mueller report completely exonerated him. let's go to the white house and peter alexander. we know the president had a very busy night, which means you did, too. he's in full-blown attack mode. is he offering any sort of evidence for this incredible claim of a -- of a potential government overthrow? >> reporter: not surprisingly he is not, but as is familiar with president trump, there is plenty of hyperbole to the comments you played moments ago. the president saying this scandal is, in his words, far
bigger than watergate. possibly the biggest political scandal in u.s. history, he indicated here. in is just the latest in a series of angry comments and posts. more than 50 of them attacking the investigation and the days, now more than a week since the mueller report became public. the president's had counselless retweets on this issue as well. it goes against the advice of his own allies who told the. the to move on from this. this is the strategy of the president who is dictating the way things will take place going forward with his efforts to fight back against those congressional democrats, basically putting up the stop sign to a series of subpoenas being cast against his business, iz had financial records, including his aides and white house counsel don mcgahn. to the heart of your question, has he provided evidence? he has not. he has, however, lit into his attorney general william barr, as it were, saying hopefully he
will do what's right. i believe he will. again, trying to get a little help from his justice department. >> peter, i heard the same thing. i spoke to one of president trump's most senior advisers earlier this week who said it's just a couple more days but the president is absolutely moving on. we're not going to hear much more about this come friday, saturday. based on a 45-minute interview with sean hannity, i'm thinking that adviser is wrong. president trump also going after hillary clinton. tell me how he believes she hurt people on their team, ruined their lives. >> reporter: the president is explaining how he changed his view referring to hillary clinton. you know the lock her up phrase that was the refrain of the campaign. and in 2016 the president said he would not ask the department of justice to investigate hillary clinton. he changed his tune on that, of course. he explained it yesterday in part of his consideration, blaming her, in effect, for the
russian investigation and suggesting other people in the obama administration, people that were much higher up, a lot higher up, in his words, may have been responsible as well. here's part of what the president said to sean hannity last night. >> when i won, they were all saying, lock her up, lock her up. i said, no, no, let's get on with life. that was different. it was like right after the election you want to get a new page and turn -- turn over a new leaf. but now what happened is fairly shortly after that great evening, they started coming at us with the insurance policy and everything they did was so dishonest. then we really started looking into a lot of things like her deleted emails and acid washed emails, which is unheard of because of the expense of doing it. and how she got away with it, how her lawyer got away with it. in the meantime, look what she's done, how she destroyed the lives of people on our campaign. she's destroyed their lives.
>> reporter: a little contrast here. in november of 2016 the president had said he would not ask the department of justice to investigate. contrast that to what we saw in the mueller report suggesting that on multiple occasions, public and private, the president did attempt to get his then-attorney general jeff sessions to look into his former opponent, hillary clinton. stephanie, this appears to be in some way a response to clinton's comments earlier this week claiming that president trump would be indicted if he were not a sitting president. >> robert mueller's team was not able to get all of the information they wanted to get because of, in fact, deleted emails. thank you so much, nbc's peter alexander. also happening here in d.c. where i am this morning, maria will be sentenced after pleading guilty to conspireing against the u.s. as a russian agent. let's get the details from nbc news intelligence and national security reporter, ken delaney. what's going to happen in court, i guess, at 10:00 a.m.?
>> reporter: good morning, stephanie. this is a timely hearing as we digest the mueller report and the description of all the russian contacts with the trump campaign. what's going to happen in that courtroom behind me is a clash of views about this case. the government says maria butina was not a spy in the traditional sense but she's pleaded guilty to acting as access of russia, failing to register. she say she was trying to influence wealthy americans through the nra and republican party to try to create a positive view of the russian federation, particularly in the incoming trump administration. now, her legal team argues that the government has misunderstood her activities. while she did violate the law, they say she was a naive college student trying to improve relations between russia and the united states. the government has filed an affidavit from the former head of fbi counterintelligence who said this was a classic spot and assess operation. meaning she was looking for
people who could later be recruited by russian intelligence officers. people look at this case and say, this is exactly what the russians were trying to do with the trump campaign both before and after the election. so, the bottom line, stephanie, the government is asking for a substantial sentence of 18 months, even though they're giving her credit for cooperation. she's already served nine months in jail awaiting trial, including three months in solitary. the defense is asking for time served so that she can go back to russia. stephan stephanie. >> we should always remind our audience, maria butina was preselected to ask the first question at a trump event during the campaign. thank you so much. i want to go now to tammy leitner in west palm beach, florida, with another big court hearing. very, very different from maria butina. it's all about robert kraft. what's going on and where are we in this situation? >> reporter: good morning,
steph. today is all about the video. most likely robert kraft will not appear in court today but his attorneys will fight to have this video suppressed. this is video that allegedly shows robert kraft engaged in a sex act and paying cash in a florida massage parlor. let me cover the points that will most likely be covered today in court. the defense attorneys are going to argue that the warrant was too broad. also that this warrant likely did not allow for video recording, only for the police to observe what was going on inside the massage parlor. finally, that police overstated the facts that there was human trafficking going on. now, as far as the prosecution goes, prosecutors will likely argue that investigators watched this massage parlor for weeks before making the decision to use video surveillance. also that they stopped a customer leaving the massage parlor for a traffic stop and that customer admitted to
purchasing a sex act inside the massage parlor for $40. finally, police suspected there was human trafficking going on there, they just didn't have the evidence to prove it. back outside we're expecting court to get under way in about 20 minutes. there's a possibility it could stretch even beyond today into monday. >> goodness. thank you so much. nbc's tammy leitner. a video. let's head straight to the west coast where nbc's molly hunter is in l.a. you're not going to believe this. hundreds of people are now under quarantine amid this measles outbreak. what triggered officials to implement a quarantine? who exactly is it affecting? that sounds major. >> reporter: stephanie, it is major. it's unbelievable it's 2019 and nearly 300 people, mostly college students here at ucla and a nearby state, cal state l.a., are quarantined for 24 to 48 hours. they're looking at two exposures. one of the students was actually
in france hall, who was exposed. they know he was here. they know he was at a nearby building. the numbers are staggering. for ucla it's 76 students, 6 faculty members. they're looking at april 9th quarantine. for cal state it's 71 students and 127 employees. that's from an april 11th exposure. that is extraordinary. now, university officials are saying they need everyone inside who can't prove they've been vaccinated. the vaccinations we all got, you got, i got, was a one-two punch. it's a two-step process we got very young. when people couldn't actually provide proof of that, they were told to stay inside. now, here at ucla they're putting all of the students inside, saying, we'll care for them while here at cal state they're saying, stay in your apartments until you can actually provide proof or until that 21-day incubation period that measles has expires. >> all right. my gosh, this measles outbreak, it's extraordinary.
thank you so much, molly hunter. and welcome to the nbc family. one of our newest members. great to meet you. hope to have you back soon. we've got breaking news. my favorite kind. economic news just in. first quarter gdp numbers have just been released showing 3.2% growth for the first quarter. that is a beautiful number. better than estimates. a strong start to the fiscal year. joining me to break it down, my dearest friend, u.s. editor of the financial times, brendan greelly. let's remind our audience, the gdp number is different from the stock market. we often say the stock market is not a clear reflection of the economy. lots of people don't own stocks. gdp is a much closer picture. >> yeah. can you thing of stocks as hope for the future. gdp is data about the present. we're looking back over actual purchases made over the last quarter. >> so we're shopping. >> yes. businesses are shopping, governments are shopping, people are shopping. the first thing about this
number is that for a first quarter number it's incredible. i checked the first quarters for the last several years. 1.5%, 2.2%. this one was 3.2%. so, we have a lot of what they call, apologize for the jargon, seasonal. they're having a hard time figuring out how to take bad weather out of the first quarter data. this number is so good, we don't even need to have that conversation. it's an extraordinary number for a first quarter. >> we have to remember the government shutdown. we had a prolonged government shutdown in the first quarter. we had business leaders like jamie dimon worried the shutdown could wipe out the first quarter and there's no sign of any negative impact. >> there's a little bit of a sign. it did not -- not enough to affect the overall number. consumer spending was surprisingly weak. it's positive but weak. the number that jumped out at me when you look at actual people buying stuff, durable goods. this is cars, dish washers,
things like that. that's way down. that's down 5%. that could mean nothing. that could just be a one-off from this quarter or that means people are feeling more cautious. i don't want to pour water on this number. it's a really good number. >> fed policymakers meet next week. the president wants interest rates cut, jerry kudlow wants that. how can they do that? >> it's good news/bad news. we haven't seen any reason for them to change their policy. i think the fed is carefully watching the data. i don't think there's any reason given this number to do what larry kudlow and donald trump so desperately want them to do, lower rates. there's one thing -- you and i have had this conversation for two years, talking about the consequences of the tax cuts. i think sometimes when we talk about policy, we're talking about the wrong policy. what we see in this report is continued strong federal defense spending. right at the end of 2017 we got
a massive tax cut where we also got a massive bump in defense spending. it looks like the defense spending is having a much more durable consistent effect. this is a very keynesian fact from the government is writing checkings, buying airplanes. if we were going to say this was coming from the tax cuts, we should see continued strong, fixed business investment. we don't see it. >> when you say keynesian effect. you know what cut comes next? i cut you off. thank you so much. perfect person to have here with those gdp numbers. coming up up in second now, the president will depart the white house. i'm going to take a guess here. he's most likely going to stop to speak to reporters on his way out. we'll bring you his comments as soon as we get them. plus, we briefly dipped a toe into that vast ocean. president trump's phone interview on fox last night. no surprise he attacked robert mueller. you might be surprised with what deputy attorney general rod rosenstein had to say about the
special counsel. we'll dig into that. later, biden is in, but could his 40 years of public service actually hurt his campaign to be president? one thing people have always enjoyed about joe biden is that he commuted via train from delaware every day during his time in senate and "the daily show" drew the comparison to our current commander in chief. >> it's nice to see a politician riding public transportation. it is a weird thing to think about. amtrak makes sense but imagine running into trump in your uber pool. do you have an iphone charger? if i don't tweet for 15 minutes, i die. check out my uber rating. 2.1 stars, the highest of any passenger in this tree. some say it only goes to two stars but i got 0.1 extra.
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle live in d.c. covering the president, who is out with new attacks on the mueller report. the report he said that exonerated him. this time calling the probe an attempted overthrow of the united states government. in a 45-minute sprawling phone interview, really a venting session with fox's sean hannity, the president called for an investigation into the investigation. said he believes attorney general bill barr will, quote, do the right thing and look into the other side. >> the biggest problem with the
mueller report, he didn't mention any of this. he didn't mention strzok and page and mccabe and comey and the lies and the leaks and the overthrow and the whole thing with the hillary clinton gotta win 100 million to 1. why didn't they mention in the mueller report all of the horrible things we found out about the other side, including the fake dossier? >> he mentioned lies and leaks as it related to sarah sanders, who was pushing stories that were straight up lies. washington bureau chief at "the washington post" and an msnbc political analyst, phil rucker. this is amazing. the president is now calling the russia probe a coup. as time passes, he seems to be getting more angry, more enranged. a senior white house adviser told me a couple days ago, the president is going to talk about this a little. maybe by saturday night when he has a big rally, that's it.
that's not the case. what's the strategy? >> that adviser doesn't know president trump because he's probably going to continue talking about this investigation and clinton's eames until his last day on earth. look, he's using the term coup, which is a really big statement. potentially a dangerous statement to make in this country. he's saying this is like a third world takeover of the government. that's not what it was. it was an investigation into russian election interference. this was a foreign adversary interfering in our election in 2016 and the justice department was trying to get to the bottom of it. >> but he could take this as a win. he overstated things, as did bill barr, and said he was totally exonerated, which he wasn't. but there aren't charges coming out of the department of justice. you could say we looked into the investigation. now let's go after russia. why would the president take this takt? >> because he wants revenge? he feels like he was under the spotlight, under the scrutiny of these investigators for the last two years. he now wants to turn the tables
and he wants to investigate the people he sees as his enemies. you hear it from his mouth and we also hear it in our reporting from the advisers around him. he feels there was a conspiracy here to undermine him, take his presidency -- >> that's what do the right thing is, now investigate the investigation? >> that's what he wants to do. he's not going to let this go. >> any sign bill barr is going to do that? >> bill barr was testifying a couple weeks ago and he used that phrase spying on capitol hill. >> but then he cleaned it up. >> he cleaned it up. he has said a few things to make trump think he's going to investigate the investigators but we'll see if it actually has some legs. >> i must talk about one of his favorite topics. this one relates to you. he talked about the fake news. specifically your paper's coverage of the mueller investigation and he believes your pulitzer prize should be taken away and the media owes him an apology. i want you to watch this.
>> they do owe me an apology, a big one. we actually had a lot of support. i watch you and tucker and i watch laura, great guys in the morning with steve and ainsley and brian. brian came a long way. i kid him but he came a long way. and so many other people. not only on fox, in all fairness, but you look jesse has been so great. just so many people. but we had really a lot of support. >> are you going to hit him with a sorry, not sorry? >> there's no apology, steph. first of all, he's not a judge of the pulitzer prizes. second of all, the stories that "the washington post" and "the new york times" won this prize for in 2018 were all proven to be correct. we reported michael flynn, the national security adviser, was talking about russian sanctions with the russian ambassador. he did. he lied about it to the fbi. we reported that the president dictated that false statement on
behalf of his son on air force one. that turned out to be true. there was not any incorrect reporting there. he's upset with the reporting and he's upset it's been honored by the pulitzer prize jurors. that's something he'll have to work through. >> he also said he had been transparent through the process. he could have fired anyone at any time. and we both know, he wasn't transparent. he was unwilling to sit down with robert mueller. had he gone forward and fired everyone, many people say it could have been a constitutional crisis so he's not being honest there. rod rosenstein spoke public for the first time since the mueller report was released. he defended the report. it was interesting to me. he had harsh words for the obama administration. >> some critical decisions about that russia investigation were made before i got there. says when they ask him on the
fire started, he says, i don't know. it was on fire when i laid down on it. i know the feeling. >> so, you want to criticize the obama administration. how exactly does the president do that when he himself has still not even acknowledged or taken seriously russian interference and jared kushner called it a couple facebook ads? . >> he's rosenstein also said the scope of russian interference, the depth of what russia has been doing to undermine american democracy in our elections is far deeper and broader than what people realize. that's in conflict with what president trump has said. he's only sporadically acknowledged russia did anything to interfere in the 2016
election. when he was face-to-face with vladimir putin in helsinki last year said he took putin's word that it was a strong denial from the russian president. >> and reported earlier this week that nielsen tried to pull the cabinet secretaries together and tried to address this. mick mulvaney pushed back and said he couldn't remember telling her, no, don't bring that up in front of the president. he can't remember that conversation. thank you very much. pulitzer prize winning, didn't get it take taken away. great to see you. >> thanks. for those keeping track at home, we're just 283 days until the 2020 iowa caucus. with former vice president joe biden officially in the race, the democratic field is looking all but set. how are the other candidates responding to their newest competition? joining me from las vegas, nevada and tip ton, iowa, road warriors garrett haake.
you're following beto o'rourke's lane look like. some of the wind was taken out of his sails by pete. >> reporter: he looked confident on the trail, he talked about how this state reminds him of home in el paso. he was more specific about his record in el paso than u.s. congress. when it came to joe biden, he only had nice things to say. he was asked about him several times. said he was happy to see him in the race. he was happy to have someone with joe biden's experience in this race, raising his voice in this time for the democratic party. when you talk to some of beto's supporters, easy to see why he feels this way. his supporters say, thank you,
next. >> i think biden's a good guy, but i don't think he can actually take it. he's way over the threshold of the technology and everything elsewhere he's back in our era. >> he's a retread. i hate to say it. i like him, but he is a retread. he is of our generation and our thoughts, our processes are different from these young kids. >> it's not that biden is a bad guy. i have issues with some of his policies. i know he's already going to a big fund-raiser for some of the big donors and stuff. and i like that beto is all people and no pacs, stuff like that. >> reporter: when it comes to lanes, the way i see this starting to develop from voters across the country, you have bernie sanders doing bernie sanders' think, you have biden
going back to obama and biden and everybody else trying to compete for that space of being the fresh, new person leading the party. i think that's where o'rourke sees himself. i would be shocked if we heard him say anything negative about joe biden, at least for the next couple of months until we see what this field really looks like in those 283, oh, my god, days until the iowa caucuses. >> you are in iowa following senator elizabeth warren. what is her strategy, what's her approach as it relates to joe biden? remember, she's the small dollar donation mom and pop type of kaeb candidate. >> reporter: if o'rourke is not going after biden, elizabeth warren is doing the exact opposite. last night in cedar rapids she touched on joe biden and her long history of debate over how financial institutions in this country are run. they have sparred on bankruptcy reform and how consumer versus
the banks are adjudicated by the government. she touched on that by going after biden on policy yesterday. >> at a time when the biggest financial institutions in this country were trying to put the squeeze on millions of hard-working families, there was nobody to stand up for them. i got in that fight because they just didn't have anyone. and joe biden is on the side of the credit card companies. >> reporter: elizabeth warren is not the only person who went after biden. bernie sanders did, and he put out this fund-raising email where he attacked joe biden for holding that fund-raiser. the idea some candidates in this race have disavowed pac, when joe biden's first stop out is to go to a fund-raiser.
that's percolating among voters. i talked to some here and asked them what they thought about biden. i heard similar things to what garrett was saying. they like him, they respect him but maybe he's the old face of the party. they're definitely looking for someone fresher. >> i want to dig into that even more. thank you. joining me now, lucky me, former deputy director of speech wrirgt-e writing in the george w. bush administration. and former campaign manager for hillary clinton, robby mook. robby, to you first. we keep talking fund-raising, fund-raising. joe biden needs to meet o'rourke's first day which was $6.1 million. is the first day fund-raising numbers the most important thing? we know joe biden went straight to a fund-raiser and elizabeth warren and bernie sanders went after that that fund-raiser was hosted by a big donor, parent
company of -- comcast, parent company of nbc. what matters more? >> i think what you're really hitting on from my standpoint is all these other candidates, their name recognition is small. they have to get out there and communicate on television, digital advertising to spruce who they are. everybody knows who joe biden is, so his real challenge here is to survive the scrutiny, survive the spotlight. and in presidential campaigns where the spotlight is the brightest, it's more about earned media when everybody already knows who you are. to his point -- this is just one thing, by the way. he'll have all these hurdles to get over. he'll be vetted. he faces a dilemma that all front-runners do which is it's never glowing news. you never have a good day. you have better days and worse days. this is one of those tests. >> i want to talk about the spotlight and who it shines brighter on. joe biden reached out to anita
hill and apologized. she says, sorry, not enough. a lot of people have said, he's making the effort. you've never heard president trump apologize to anyone. are you concerned that the standards are so remarkably different in both parties? president trump has dozens of women who have accused him of inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment. joe biden hasn't been accused of that, anywhere near. is it a risk democrats are going after one another, in a way president trump, i won't say given a free pass, but voted into office after on tape laughed about grabbing a woman's genitals? >> look, if it's a moral match-up between joe biden and donald trump, that's easy. joe biden is a man of integrity. he hasn't done everything right in his life but there's no comparison to donald trump. i think his problem, joe biden's problem, is that he has to win the democratic nomination first and this issue of anita hill and
what happened and how biden conducted those hearings, that's not going to go away. that's going to get more intense. he has to figure out a way to try and answer those charges. >> but is that not a gift to president trump? if it's joe biden against president trump in terms of morality, biden has it all day long. if the democrats go after one another, when they need to unite to beat president trump, isn't that a tremendous gift to trump? >> well, yeah. what i'm concerned about here is that, you know, we saw in 2016 with hillary's emails. all of a sudden you had this false equivalence where something that she had done was somehow compared to donald trump and there was never any comparison there. i worry about that. i think the purpose of the democratic primary is to find the best person to go up against trump and that's part of the question voters have to evaluate. let's be real about how this stuff happens these days. voters are not reading a bunch
of policy treatuses. and people want people to embody change. that's biden's biggest challenge. he can say, i'm taking you back 30 years or back to the obama administration. this has to be about the future and i think that will be interesting to see over the next few days, how does he grapple with that? i'm sure there are very smart people around him. >> no doubt. peter, evangelicals have been extraordinarily forgiving of president trump and his indiscretions. they -- despite all of it because of the appointments of those federal judges, because of the two supreme court justices. shouldn't democratic voters look at joe biden in terms of the same way like let's put policy forward? i say matt schlapp saying, i wouldn't want any of my five daughters working anywhere near joe biden when his wife works
for the. the. >> i think evangelicals made a mistake. i think they compromised themselves when it comes to donald trump and how they've been. >> their president is in office. don't democrats have to notice that? >> yeah. look, i think if this turns into a shooting match among the democrats, they're going to pay for it, but that's the way these things work out. you can't -- if you're interested in defeating donald trump, you can say the democrats shouldn't tear into each other, but each of those candidates wants to be the nominee and they're going to do just about everything they can to try and win it. the other thing about joe biden, he's the front-runner but not by much. he has the worst of all worlds. he's not strong enough to dominate the field but he is going to be the target of all these other candidates. he has a record that is a target-rich environment. he has 40 years, almost 50 years in congress. the democratic party is increasingly angry and
increasingly progressive. i don't think joe biden fits that profile. i think he's an admirable person but i have a feeling this is not his moment. he may be able to overcome it but there will be real challenges for him. >> what about the issue -- if you've been in office for 40 years or in the public eye, all of that is going to be scrutinized. but then if you haven't been office, that's a free pass? now we're going to look at experience as a negative and if you've come from left field, hey, guess what, home run? >> well, we've seen this in our politics the last few years. barack obama had only been in the state senate -- >> is it going to repeat itself? >> barack obama was a terrific president. he was only in state senate for two years before he was sworn in as president. i think the person who is benefiting is bernie sanders. he was sworn into congress in 1991. he wasn't there as long as joe biden but been there a long time. i will argue he's the fron
front-runner or co-front-runner. because joe biden was vice president, that spotlight is all on biden. i think biden in a race may in a strange race be a real advantage for sanders. >> he also has a similar message trump did a couple years ago. it is that economic populism message to those voters. he can grab those hard core trump voters. i want to bring peter alexander live back to the white house. as predicted, the president leaving the white house spoke to some reporters on the lawn, did he not? >> reporter: he did, spoke for seven minutes on a variety of topics. the gdp, spoke about north korea and otto warmbier. >> i'm not allowed to comment on the new gdp numbers until about 10 or 15 minutes from now, so i will not comment on them. the country, though, is doing very well in every respect.
i think we're just doing well. we're knocking it out of the park, as they say. and we're very happy about that. we did not pay money for our great otto, there was no money paid. there was a fake news report that money was paid. i haven't paid for any hostage and i've gotten approximately -- i think it's 20 or 21 out. we don't pay money for hostages. the otto case was a very unusual case. but i just want to let you know, no money was paid for otto. i never told don mcgahn to fire mueller. if i wanted to fire mueller, i would have done it myself. it's very simple. i had the right to. and, frankly, whether i did or he did, we had the absolute right to fire mueller. in the meantime, i didn't do it. i'm a student of history. i see what you get when you fire
people. and it's not good. but there would have been nothing wrong with firing him. legally i had every right to fire him but i never told don mcgahn to fire mueller. by the way, and mueller finished out his report, no collusion and no obstruction. >> president, how do you beat joe biden? >> i think we beat him easily. up, up. [ inaudible question ] >> on the meeflsz, the measles. >> they have to get the shot, the vaccinations are so important. this is really going around now. they have to get their shots. >> mr. president, how old is too old to be president? >> well, i think that -- i just feel like a young man. i'm so young. i can't believe it. i'm the youngest person -- i am
a young, vibrant man. i look at joe, i don't know about him. i don't know. >> what's too old? >> i would never say anyone's too old. i know they're all making me look very young, both in terms of age and i think in terms of energy. i think you people know that better than anybody. yeah? [ inaudible question ] >> i've answered that question. if you look at what i said, you will see that question was answered perfectly. and i was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to robert e. lee, a great general. whether you like it or not, he was one of the great generals. i've spoken to many generals here at the white house, and many people thought of the generals, they think he was maybe their favorite general. people were there protesting the taking down of the monument of robert e. lee. everybody knows that.
>> kim jong-un has said he wants to not be part of the negotiations and -- u.s. attitude. what do you think about that and what is the prospect -- >> i think we're doing very well with north korea. a lot of progress is being made. i appreciated president putin's statement yesterday. he wants to see it done also. i think there's a lot of excitement for getting a done deal with north korea. in the meantime, when i came here, there were nuclear tests, missile tests, rocket tests. we got our hostages back. we got remains back and continue to come back from the war, our great heroes, the remains. there's been no test, there's been no nothing. at some point you'll report the facts. i have a great relationship with kim jong-un. i appreciate that russia and china is helping us. and china's helping us because i think they want to.
they don't need nuclear weapons right next to their country but i also think they're helping us because of the fact that we're in a trade deal, which by the way is going very well. >> will you let -- >> what we're doing is executive -- so, what we're doing, in the history of our country, there has never been a president that's been more transparent than me or the trump administration. i let white house counsel mcgahn testify. i let everybody testify. i think mcgahn -- excuse me. i think mcgahn was in there for 30 hours. whoever heard of such a thing? but i said, i want everybody to testify. obviously, mcgahn thought he testified fine because he was with the administration for a long time after that. and i think he said he was just joining up with respect to the appointment of judges by the administration.
but i let everybody testify. there has never, ever been transparency like this. just so you understand, so we got a great -- excuse me. we get the ruling. which i knew we were going to get because i have nothing to do with russia and the campaign. we get a ruling. no collusion. we essentially get a ruling, no obstruction based on the facts, our great attorney general made an immediate decision there was no obstruction. so, we have no collusion, no obstruction. we had total transparency. we gave 1.4 million documents, if you can believe such a ridiculous thing. 500 people testified. we had 18 people that were trump haters. that includes mr. mueller. he was a trump hater. wait a minute. wait, wait, wait. >> can he -- >> with all of this, with all of this, with all of this
transparency, we finish, no collusion, no obstruction, right? then i get out the first day they're saying, let's do it again. i said, that's enough. we have to run a country. we have a very great country to run. frankly, when i go through it with the house and the senate and we have no collusion, no collusion, no obstruction, no obstruction. then we have -- again we have to go through it? this is a pure political witch hunt. we did nothing wrong and the only thing i did is make our country stronger, give it numbers like people haven't seen before. what we're doing in this country financially, with the military, with our veterans, you look at veterans. we now have veterans choice. nobody's ever done what i've done in their first two years. so, if i'm guilty of anything, it's that i've been a great president and the democrats don't like it. which is a shame.
i'm going to indianapolis. we're going to the nra. and we look forward to it. >> how do you beat biden -- >> i would say easily. >> reporter: that was president trump just moments ago. you see him boarding marine one en route to indianapolis for an nra convention that he will address today. three major headlines he made there as it related to the u.s. economy posting 3.2% growth in its first quarter. the president said, we're knocking it out of the park. he again said that he did not tell don mcgahn, his former white house counsel, to fire robert mueller. in fact, the report says that he, quote, called mcgahn and directed him to have the special counsel removed. those are the facts as it relates to that topic. and on his potential match-up with joe biden, he said he would beat him easily. said age was his advantage, describing himself as a young, vibrant man. steph? >> my goodness, peter, there's a
lot for us to get through here. president trump saying that the unite the right rally was just a bunch of historians. i need to remind our audience that heather heyer was plowed down and killed. es convicted of first-degree murder. he was a nazi sympathizer who looked up to hitler. it was not just historians. defi. ...when a plan stops being a plan and gets set into motion. today's merrill can help you get there with the people, tools, and personalized advice to help turn your ambitions into action. what would you like the power to do? we see two travelers so at a comfort innal with a glow around them,
so people watching will be like, "wow, maybe i'll glow too if i book direct at choicehotels.com". who glows? just say, badda book. badda boom. book now at choicehotels.com we are back. president trump speaking moments ago about gdp. he had already said we knocked it out of the park. in that regard, he is right. over 3% is a big positive.
robby, peter and philip back with me. peter, to you first, the president again basically calling don mcgahn a liar. saying he never told don mcgahn anything. why would don mcgahn who has wh record of dishonesty, why would he lie to mueller, which, by the way, would by a crime? >> well, he didn't lie to mueller. if you read the mueller report they give testimony to what a reliable witness don mcgahn was. no reason don mcgahn would lie. so, it's not surprising that this is what he's doing. just saying in terms of seeing him out there before going on air force one this is a bonfire of grievances and resentment and anger. great numbers on the gdp and it doesn't matter because you can see this mueller report and all of his corruptions are eating him inside. and if you ever thought, what would it be like to see a person with narcissistic and you would
look at that tape and the entire trump presidency. the isis a man who is just burning up inside with the grievances and resentments that he harbors. >> a week ago they looked at the mueller report and said this was a grand slam home run. what was your take away here? >> we saw the election campaign in brief. the economy is doing well. telegraphs to his supporters that it's okay to be a racist and he as president would protect you. and he's on the way to the nra and kick up and stir up the dirt on the mueller report. and that's the re-election strategy and brief. you're doing fine. let's keep going. your pocketbook is good. it's okay to be racist and, oh, look, they are attacking me every day and the system is trying to get them with theist ism or against the system. that's the election. >> i have to go back to republicans. everyone saw the charlottesville video and charlottesville was
about historians. i remember the video. one of the organizers looking in the camera saying it's just so unfortunate that the president let his beautiful daughter, ivanka, we all saw it, republicans, too. >> i understand the exasperation. i think what they did is they made a decision early on republicans which is we're going to hitch our wagon to him and we're going to defend him no matter what. i don't think that they fully understood at the time where it has led them. it led them into all sorts of dark places. they made that deal with the devil early on and this is what happens. if you say we are going to defend this man no matter what and that man happens to be a person with the manifest corruptions of donald trump, then those corruptions become your own and i think they spread throughout the republican party and somebody who has been a life-long republican and i say that with a lot of regret and sadness.
that is where we are. >> the president now refuting this story when "washington post" accurately reported on it. >> my colleague anna reported yesterday that college student who was detained in north korea, the north korea government billed the united states $2 million to pay for warmbier's hospital care and instructed the envoy. trump said the u.s. didn't follow through and pay that $2 million, but he did authorize the signing of the paper. >> robby, when democrats watch this, when democrats who are running in this 2020 election, what is their strategy? we know that the president loves to talk about the great economy. that is a very good gdp number. but the economy we have today is the same economy trump won on and he won on driving home the point that it was a broken, a
bifurcated broken economy with a huge portion of this country suffering. is that where democrats need to focus? is the president calling it a great economy? i think he is forgetting he won the opposite message. >> a lot of discussion around joe biden's video. that shows this tension. joe biden was very focused on trump and what we are all so angry about and the moral outrage of his presidency. what was not there is here is what i am going to do for you. i recognize you're angry and the system isn't working for you and i'm going to go make it right. im sure he will do that later in the week. i've been told by his folks that he's going to. this will be the central tension of this race, i think, for democrats. in the prime era, those activists are going to want you to go in the direction of the video and the general election is probably to go to talk more about the kitchen table. and the nominee, the eventual nominee when they wake up in march, april with that nomination effectively, that their candidacy is defined
around both. that is really, really hard. >> but is it even more than that because, yes, joe biden's message about the soul of america and return and most americans want that. the fact that he's saying, let's go back to the way we were. people don't want the status quo. they voted for an outsider because they said the system is not working and joe biden said, remember that good system, come on back. >> that's the problem i am reminded of bob dole against bill clinton in '96 when they said they want to build a bridge to the past. there is a danger with joe biden essentially doing that. i think he has to do two things and i don't think it's necessarily easy to do. he has to capture this decency than we are a better country and he has to be forward looking and position himself as an agent of change. >> we can be better every single day. we have the opportunity to. just matter of opening up your heart and mind. thank you, all. really good conversation. much more reaction to president
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young, vineerant wombrant woman. president trump on his way to indiana and talking russia, the economy, north korea, the special counsel and much more. watch. >> i never told don mcgahn to fire mueller. if i wanted to fire mueller, i would have done it myself. it's very simple. i have the right to. frankly, whether i did or he did, we have the absolute right to fire mueller. in the meantime, i didn't do it. i'm a student of history. i see what you get when you fire people and it's not good. but there would have been nothing wrong with firing him. legally i had absolute right to fire, but i never told don mcgahn to fire mueller. >> we've got our team here covering that story and the many others that we're going to bring you over the next hour. our team covering the story and i want to start at the white house with my colleague kristen welker on set. along with nbc national reporter carol