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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  May 8, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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offer additional accommodations in exchange for the committee postponing the scheduled contempt vote including doj which significantly ease restrictions on the review of the last redacted report to allow designated members and staff to more easily we view the report and confer with each other. doj would bring the minimally redacted version of the confidential report to the house of representatives to facilitate the chairman's review. doj would meet next week to discuss the remainder of the committee's request including prioritized requests for documents. doj also signalled it was open to further discussions and accommodations. this was done by doj in good faith. just hours later democrats rejected these additional offers. they left doj with no choice in this matter. they left doj with the choice of complying with democratic leaders unreasonable demands or
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complying with the law. the attorney general elected to follow the law. i yield back. >> gentle lady yields back. for what purpose is the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> to speak out of order for five minutes. strike the last word. >> the last word is duly struck. the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i want to remind every one why we are here. we are here because a report chronicled an attack on america. we were attacked -- >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell where president trump is asserting executive privilege refusing to turn over the unredacted report to congress as the house judiciary committee is preparing to vote along party lines for the full house to hold the attorney general in contempt. they are still debating that. this has been going on for two hours with each side in their
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corners. this as a new bombshell report reveals mr. trump lost more than a billion dollar, that is billion from 1985 to 1994. joining me now is the life-supporter wreporter who broke that story. explain to us without getting a hold of his tax returns how you got records and other data from other official sources and other sources as well to validate the art of the deal maker lost more than a billion dollars from 1985 to '94. >> we don't have the tax returns but what we do have is a copy of official irs transcripts of his tax numbers. these are all of the main numbers that go on in what's known as the 1040, the main tax form. that's what we have and were able to confirm the numbers once we got it and it took us a long time. we were able to confirm them from various other sources.
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>> he paid very little income tax during eight of those ten years because of these declared losses. >> it's incredible. only two of the ten years did he pay income tax. that's because his losses were so massive. the one year he did pay it was because he had a large pay out. it was salary pay out from a deal he did. for the most part he paid no income tax and had massive losses in each year. >> he tweeted today that there was depreciation and it's the real estate business. i believe you have evidence there was no depreciation involved in this. >> there was definitely some. you're talking a billion plus in losses. even in the art of the deal the described how much depreciation he could get on a building. we're talking ten million over
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years. to get a billion plus dollars in losses is staggering. those are real losses. this is not depreciation. to give it just perspective on this, we compared him to other businessmen like him who structure their businesses the same way, high income earners and he was in america lost more money than pretty much anybody in a lot of the years that we looked at. he's an outlier. he just lost a lot of money because he's not a great businessman. >> this goes completely against his brand and how he has described himself. i believe you have a comparison with fred trump, his father, who was funding a lot of his operations and who had given him the inheritance that started his businesses. >> one of the interesting things is it came on the heels of an investigation in new york times did in late 2018 where we got a ahold of years of fred trump's
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tax returns. donald trump has said in 1990 was like the worst year for all real estate people. we know in that year fred trump did well and did quite well throughout the period that donald trump lost money. the other really important thing about this story is, donald trump was losing money starting in 1985, '86. this is when we thought he was doing well. 1987 is the year he wrote art of the deal. his master of the universe biography about deal making. his core businesses that year lost $42.2 million. like it's incredible when you go back and you think, wow, is there a period in his life he would have been doing well. a couple of these years i would have picked them without -- now i know it's not true but i would have said, '86, '85, '87, possibly really good years for donald trump. not so. >> it's another indication of why this tax battle between secretary mnuchin denying the
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tax returns to congress is really important. great reporting. thank you. i know you're very busy today. thanks for taking the time for us. >> thanks for having me. >> you bet. nbc news chief white house correspondent joins me with the exertion for executive privilege. big day. the president in a cabinet meeting. there was, we thought going to be a photo op. they cancelled that. they are pushing back against congress in this battle that's now drawn. executive privilege on one side. contempt of congress about to be declared as this continuing house meeting goes on. >> reporter: we're looking at that on the left side of our screens. it's an aggressive push back. not just in the letters that have been exchanged between the white house, the department of justice and house democrats but in person as well with sarah sanders, the press secretary briefly talking with reporters just blasting jerry nadler. saying he is trying to get bill
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barr to break the law. that does encapsulate the argument coming not just from the white house but republicans as well. legally, bill barr should not have to hand over the unredacted information to house democrats demanding it. the democrats have been making a very different argument that it is their legal right to be able to conduct oversight. as you heard, the chair put it, what good is him getting the report if the rest of the committee can't see it. if he can't talk about b it to assess how and where and in what way to move forward. you had that statement put out just about two hours ago from the press secretary indicating the president would assert this protective executive privilege as it's called. that was followed up with by letters from the department of justice. what does it mean to assert this executive privilege in a protective manner? it means -- i think people have this question.
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people will say the mueller is out. how can you put the toothpaste back in the tube? in is executive impressiprivile the unredacted and the underlying documents that was used to create the report. this is really important to this process to understand because that is what the white house is asserting privilege on. this has been in discussions for at least aday, couple of days as it got closer and closer to this hearing. you know that talks fell apart. whether they could avoid this hearing, this committee hearing to hold bill barr in contempt of congress. it may not ultimately have much teeth. we have seen that when past attorneys general, i'm thinking of eric holder have been held in contempt of congress before from a legal perspective or perspective where you might get penalized but it's a significant moment. you heard some members of congress talk about in this
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really explosive and escalating battle between this end of pennsylvania battle and the one just up the street. >> you have quite a story on your hands there. thank you so much. we are still going to wait for the president in the cabinet meeting and whatever is produced by that. the attorney general is in cabinet meeting. >> reporter: it means the next chance will be his departure from the white house south lawn later on this afternoon. that will be an interesting moment if the weather holds given the president will head to a rally down in florida. >> thank you very much. joining us now, elliot williams and a former counsel to the senate judiciary committee. elliot, first we'll go to the law.
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speaking of moral life and attorneys general and contempt. first of all, the contempt citation. we know it would have to be -- if it's criminal contempt, it would go to the justice department. is there a way civil contempt where they can go right to a judge? >> they can go right to a judge and spend months and months and years spending whether to fine or arrest. >> the election will be over. >> that's a long, complicated process. we were chatting about this a little bit before hand. the concern i have is it doesn't appear to be a sincere attempt to vindicate a legal right. the president started talking about harassment from the democrats and we're going to block every subpoena and not provide documents and not send people to testify. it seems this, what's couched as this attempt to exert a legal right is really a continuation of that. i was there in the justice
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department during -- in the administration during fast and furious. it doesn't look like they will win for a good number of reasons partly because it seems like they have waived. >> you were working for eric holder who was being held in contempt. >> sitting behind him at the hearing. we can disagree about legal findings but i think we reasonable minds can't disagree as to what are the parameters and is there a separation of powers and does one branch respect the other. it seems clear this president does not respect congress's authority as a co-equal branch of justice. >> a red line was so concerned that bob mueller would get the tax returns and now even though there is a 1924 law and other precedent for tax returns being available from the irs
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commissioner to the ways and means committee automatically. not going through the treasury secretary. mnuchin is refusing and saying there's no legislative justification. i'm not a lawyer but it's not up to the treasury secretary to say there's no legislative justification. >> he can assert it but it's up to a court to decide. what i was struck by in his letter this enforcement is lasting consequences for all taxpayers. that seems to be nonsense. the word it shall in the statute, it's not specific to a president of the united states. it's a little bit, i think they are being a bit cute here and stretching. the executive privilege thing is a little more discretionary. this is law that's not being come plplied with by the treasu department. >> ruth marcus, i thiyou're a l. as a lawyer, also, the whole issue of what is an appropriate
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legislative intent. one of the questions is where did donald trump get his money to bail him out? we now know that he was a billion dollars in the whole for a period of ten years. somehow money just started flowing in. presumably it wasn't from a trust fund. was there russian money? was there other money? there's enough suspicions to try to track back the sources. one thing that susan craig said last night on msnbc is they do not know the sources because they do not have the tax returns. they don't know where the money came in from. they just know where it went. >> i think it's important to remember, i don't even think the request for the president's tax return goes back to the incredible returns that the new york times uncovered. >> it's just the past six years. >> i think it's extremely important to focus on the bigger
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picture of the contemptous attitude this administration is showing toward the role of congress. not just with the tax return, the redacted report, not just in mueller's testimony, not just in mcgahn's testimony, but overall they think congress has no business doing a redo. i think was the word the other day. legitimate legislative purpose is not up to the executive branch to determine. whether we should be getting every single word of the report or every single person should have access, i think that's a different question. the overall contemptous attitude of this administration towards a co-equal branch is something really important not to let stand. >> pause for a moment. adam schiff has come to the camera. we want to ask him about not only this issue but related issues in his jurisdiction. thank you very much.
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one of the things that was said, i believe, by chairman nadler is this will go to full house if the other committee chairs, you, maxine waters and others agree. assuming they will vote to recommend that the full house vote contempt, do you think the full house should proceed? >> i do. if the administration continues this across the board refusal to comply with any legal process from the congress, any oversight by the congress then we have no choice that we're going to have to prosecute this through contempt. there's a lot at stake here that goes well beyond our ability to look into the serious allegations that bob mueller levelled against the president of the united states. this affected the balance of powers in perpetuity. if donald trump is successful in saying if house is controlled by the other party, they are the enemy.
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i don't have to comply. i can't do their oversight. it means that any president, any corrupt president cannot be held to account. any fraud, any waste that congress is powerless to look into this. that cannot be maintained. if administration continues this stone walling, we're going to have to prosecute and that includes contempt. we're moving forward in our own committee because we have a separate basis for getting all the counter intelligence information in the report. they are equally stone walling us. >> you have a bipartisan request for those documents for the counter intelligence documents with devin nunes who has been your adversary rather than your partner in the past. why is devin nunes going along with you in this? is it because you as the intelligence committee have
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oversight over counselter intelligence issues? >> i think the law is require. it requires the intelligence community and the department of justice to keep us fully and currently informed of any significant counter intelligence activity. it's hard to imagine a more significant counter intelligence investigation in our history. this began not as a criminal investigation but as a counter intelligence investigation to determine whether individuals were acting as w witting or unwitting agents of a foreign power and that includes the president. i think we both recognize they must comply. it's going to be a lot more difficult in respect to our request for the administration to say this just a democratic partisan thing. when you do have both members who are otherwise in strong disagreement about the russia investigation uniting around this demand for information. >> just to nail this down, so for they have refused you and
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devin nunes request? >> they have. we have got nothing in terms of documentation, no in terms of a briefing. we were getting briefed up until the point comey was fired. that's when the briefings came to an end and went into a black hole. we know from the mueller report there were counter intelligence agents that were sending their findings back to headquarters. what those findings are though, we still don't know and that means we can't take steps necessary to protect the country. >> what are your next steps for your committee? >> our next steps will be the issue of a subpoena and if necessary to move forward with contempt also. it now appears even more likely given that the president is making this a blanket assertion of executive privilege that if they will do it to one committee, we have to anticipate
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they will do that to our committee as well. >> do you know if devin nunes will back down when it comes to a contempt citation? >> i think that he is pretty determined to get the underlying information as well. he thinks the underlying information will show one thing. i think it will show something very different. we are united in the belief that congress ought to have that both parties ought to have that to do their oversight. i would hope we can maintain this unity. >> chairman nadler mentioned a recent precedent of the 302s, the fbi binterviews be shared. there's precedent of this administration sharing information. >> and the intelligence committee. this is a point i've been making now for over two years. as the reasons in the last congress were demanding thousands of pages of documents
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in the clinton e-mail investigation and thousands of pages of documents in the mueller investigation including classified information like fisa applications and private information about people not indicted. like the private text messages of peter strzk and lisa page. they ended up producing a million pages of discovery and so the letter from bill barr is so hypocrite and saying we're prohibited from giving congress information that's classified or information that pertains to an ongoing investigation. they gave a million pages of that information to a gop congress in answer to subpoenas. they are adopting a double standard which is all of this we can give to a gop congress about
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a democratic can't but we can't give you 450 pages of a report when it pertains to a republican president. that is what they will have to defend in court. i don't think any court will look favorably on that. >> finally, you all along, along with the speaker pelosi wanted to take your time and see what the evidence showed and were not eager to go to impeachment. do you believe now given this assertion of executive privilege and the opposition of sharing the underlying data that you are going to -- they'll take so long and slow walk this that you should go ahead and call these impeachment hearings and then you have a new legal mandate to get the information you're looking for. >> i do think the degree to which the administration is now obstructing congress after what may be criminal acts of
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obstruction of justice adds weight to the argument of those who are urging impeachment. now, i think that the legal basis we have for getting this information is very strong, even the absence of a formal impeachment proceedings. by any definition these efforts to be considered preliminary. the department of justice cannot maintain that you can't indict a sitting president but we're not going to give you the evidence that you would need to consider whether to initiate impeachment until you initiated impeachment. that's a nonsensical standard that amounts so some form of immunity. that would add weight to the argument that we should move forward with a formal impeachment proceeding. the administration is not helping their own cause here unless itch peachment is what the president wants. p. >> that's what pelosi had suggested that their building a trap for democrats to walk into.
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>> it's true the president has been among the biggest champions of his own impeachment. >> congressman thank you very much. >> thank you. coming up, more with our panel. we'll talk to david about the stunning revelations from the new york times about the president's taxes. stay with us. you're watching andrea mitchell reports on msnbc. g andrea mitch reports on msnbc introducing zero account fees for brokerage accounts. and zero minimums to open an account. we have fidelity mutual funds with zero minimum investment. and now only fidelity offers four zero expense ratio index funds directly to investors. because when you invest with fidelity, all those zeros really add up. ♪ so maybe i'll win ♪ saved by zero ♪ so maybe i'll win bleech! aww! awww! ♪
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back with us, elliot willia williams, ruth marcus and david brooks. david, the tax reporting from the new york times is so detailed. it's so explicit. they don't have the tax returns but federal he continued to lose money for every year totaling $1.7 billion from 1985 to 1994. then year after year, he appears to have lost more money than any other individual in the united states. this is the guy who trumped, pun intentional, that he was the art of the deal maker, book he didn't write. he was going to the aspirational king of gold. >> he is the greatest con man in
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american history. this is before he became president. he conned us all into thinking he was a successful businessman and when people realized he was not, he conned people into electing him president. he did it through a lot of nefarious ways. some ways he raised capital by threatening to take over companies. until people realized pfs another trump hoax he would make some money. the price could go up. there's one little element of the times story i'm curious about. he had interest payments that were low and one year they balloon up and they go back down again. what's that all about. you don't have a big explosion of interest payments. there's a lot underlying there that we need to prove and that's why we need the tax returns. >> we don't know where his money was coming from. we do know that many american bankers refused to bank with him. that's been declared. they had close connections to russia.
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>> the thing that sticks in my mind through all of this and getting back to the legal things we're talking about today is the norms that the president has violated. let's go back to this initial tax returns question. over ere candidate for the past 40 years have released their tax return. this candidate and president chose not to. we're seeing the effect of that. obviously, these are from 1984. these wouldn't have been disclosed any way. the fact that this is now a norm, a fundamental norm of government that's been violated or politics that's been violated and there he is, he's president. >> his objecting to the subpoenas that deutsche bank and the accounting firm were willing to comply with. >> he's allowed to vindicate his
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legal rights but to some extent he could have avoided some of this drama with congress by having released his tax returns the first time around. p congress would have found all ku kinds of things and pushed him on it. >> i love his defense is not that he was losing enormous sums of money but this was a brilliant tactic in order to avoid paying the taxes that the rest of us pay. it's your first instinct when you heard is it's another trump way to avoid paying taxes that would ordinarily be due. he's manipulating the system. what makes the story wonderful is he's not manipulating the system. he does that too and did that later. he's just a bad businessman. >> how does that effect his brand? his brand is he was great businessman and he was going to run the government better than anyone has ever done.
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that he makes better iran deals, better deals with china. >> david described him as the best con man in american history. if you want to have known that about donald trump, you would have known that before you voted for him. it's not going to affect his brand of people who are believers in the brand. >> i don't think people who voted for him voted because they thought he was a good businessman. a lot of the racial demagogue is why they were willing to pull the lever for donald trump. he continues the give them the red meat on immigration. >> i meet a lot of people who vote because they thought he was a good businessman. they believed the reality tv. >> are they going to pull back now? >> now it's he's our team. the republican donor class, two or three years ago they knew he was a bad businessman. now they have migrated over. they are more pro-trump than two or three years because he's on our team.
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>> he's deregulated. >> the taxes. >> they say you have a problem with 3.2% growth. that's the argument. it's interesting the were publicly supporting him and privately disgusted by him. they can't maintain that psychological posture so now they just support him. >> he was bragging about his business acumen. >> i really go by instinct and my gut feel. it's worked out well for me. >> now we know from these tax reports. a word about the new york times reporting team because it seems from watching and reading everything they have done, they did an extraordinary detailed, very time consuming and labor intensive job. >> i'm not connected but it follows another astounding report on tax fraud. this came out several months ago. >> october. >> on the massive tax fraud. that would have been an administration seeking story. it was gone in like a day.
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we have become ininured. that's the problem with norm breaking. he's been living a cherade his entire life. imagine i'm failing, i'm failing. i'm going to write a book. he's been doing it his whole life. >> i try to read the piece thinking i'm not wealthy. i don't know if any of you are. >> david is. >> congratulations on the book. is this perhaps a norm of extraordinarily wealthy people. maybe they lose a lot of money. you read the piece and it's astonishing. no, it's a fraud. >> we'll have to leave it there for today. thank you so much. coming up, block the vote. how the kremlin targeted african-american voters in particular in 2016. astounding report coming up. tou. mornings were made for better things than
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covert social media operation was a targeted effort to suppress the black vote. russian trolls aiming to exploit racial division to discourage black voters from going to the polls. now ahead of 2020, one of the most prominent civil rights groups in our country is calling for action. in its annual state of black america report, the national urban league is calling out russia's interference. the president and ceo joins me now. thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me. >> this was intriguing. we talked about this a couple of weeks ago. you told me you were going to have this report. i'm very interested in why you're focusing on this which goes beyond your usual focus on unemployment, education, housing and other key metrics of how african-americans, people of color are held back in our country. >> without the right vote, there is no voice on education policy
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or jobs policy or tax policy, on anti-poverty policy. our community has no seat at the table without the right to vote. no representatives in the process. the right to vote is a basic fundamental american right and we were stunned by the breadth, scope of russia's efforts to suppress the african-american vote. i call it the third component. anti-democratic decisions in citizens united. the over 40 state legislatives across the country that's been on tear since 2013 in the shelby decision in seeking to enact voter suppression efforts. now a foreign actor acted
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involved reaching over 173 million on facebook. posting phony memes and ads that suggested to african-americans that they could vote from home. it continues to go on. hijacking the identity of black lives matter activists and using the voice of those trolls posing as black lives matter activists to suggest to people that they should not vote. this was sweeping and it's the same as russia's involvement in brexit or the french election. this is a clear and present danger to american democracy and focus on race is simply something that i don't think the congress on the mueller report or anyone has really, really focused on. we're highlighting it because we mean to stop it. >> the other counterpoint to this was not also part of the russian trolls to exacerbate racial feelings in some white
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communities, to stir the pot by having false voices, false flags and representing themselves as black organizations. >> they had phony effort called blacktivits a blackt blacktivist and phony blue lives matter. they sought to stoke division. they created fake rallies so online organizing is something that's popular today. what these trolls did is send out messages saying there's going to be an anti-police brutality rally. no activist organized it. it was being organized by the russian fed ratieration through internet research agency. this was to manipulate the american mind set and exacerbate and pour gas on racial divisions in our country.
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our intelligence agencies need to place this at the top o of the list of things that have to be thwarted. social media companies have to be on guard. whatever it takes, this is b a threat to american democracy. >> how do you feel when the president last friday talks to vladmir putin and gives him pass on interfering in the election? >> he shouldn't have done it. he should have been very forceful. he should have done as reagan did and said tear down that wall. he should have said, mr. putin, hands off american democracy. if you want to have a relationship with us, if you want to have a trading relationship with us, stay out of our politics. stay out of our business. do not exacerbate the tensions with have in our country. i expect that of an american president. reagan did it. kennedy did it.
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other american leaders have been very direct and i think we want our president and intelligence agencies and secretary of state to be very direct and transparent. it continues. >> thank you so much. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. coming up, a survivor speaks. a high school senior who escaped yesterday's school shooting in colorado opens up about her classmate who died protecting his peers. saving countless lives. you're watching andrea mitchell reports on msnbc. you're watching andrea mitchell reports on msnbc names you'll never know. the bright-eyed, the brave, the visionaries. where challenges exist, you'll find them. at citi, we empower people who are out to change the world. because tomorrow belongs to
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and i said yesss to linzess for help with belly pain and recurring constipation. ask your doctor. it's happened again. another school shooting. one person is dead and two suspected students opened fire at a k through 12 stem school in the denver suburb. eight students were injured. three remain in the hospital in intensive care. 18-year-old ken tridrick costel was shot and killed after tackling the shooter while allowing other students to run to safety. a survivor recalls the heroic actions. >> the next thing i know, he's pulling a gun and telling nobody to move. that's when kendrick lunged at him and he shot kendrick giving
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all of us enough time to get underneath our desks, to get ourselves safe and to run across the room to escape. i want to thank brendan bailey, jackson gregory and lucas albertony. these were some of the kids brave enough to bring him down so that all of us could escape and all of us could be reunited with our families. >> an emotional interview on the today show. we will couldn't ntinue to monis tragic situation. turning overseas to news today. one year after president trump with drew from a landmark multilateral nuke her agreement, iranian president announced his country will stop complying with some sections of deal. telling the remaining five
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signatories that tea rhran will resume high level uranium if they don't ignore u.s. sanctions. russia and china part of that deal. they were given 60s days for iran will break out of the deal. the deal that trump disavowed. here comes the son. introducing the newest royal baby and revealing his name. details coming up next right here on msnbc. up next right here on msc.nb - [woman] with my shark, i deep clean messes like this.
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this and even this. but i don't have to clean this, because the self-cleaning brush roll removes hair, while i clean.
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- [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans, now cleans itself. prince harry and meghan markle have announced the name of the newest member of the royal family, their son archie harrison mountbatten-windsor. in a photo posted on the royal instagram page. harry and meghan are showing off archie to queen elizabeth, prince phillip and meghan's mother. earlier today they spoke to the press at windsor castle. >> it's magic. it's pretty amazing. i have the two best guys in the world. so i'm really happy.
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>> parenting is amazing. it's only been, what, 2 1/2 days, but we're thrilled to have our own little bundle of joy and get to spend some times with him as he starts to grow up. >> ker simmons has the latest. you have been so excited through all this coverage. i think you should be an honorary god parent. >> reporter: thank you. i think there is zero chance of that, andrea, but i appreciate the vote of confidence. there's so much in a name, isn't there. archie harrison mountbatten-windsor. we can unpick it a little bit. it's interesting, archie harrison sounds fairly america. and mountbatten-windsor is the named used by modern male royals like charles and his father.
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it's particularly used if you don't have a title and that's another interesting point about this, andrea, meghan and harry have chosen not to give their little boy a title and perhaps that gives us some kind of insight into the way they want to raise him. it makes me think about diana in the way she was determined to raise harry and william as ordinary kids and try and shield them from the challenges of royal life for as long as possible. they'll be lots of conversations and i suspect over time, we'll find out why they've chosen that name. look at that picture. isn't it just the cutest? that little boys just two days old. and i thought the parents quite nervous, andrea? >> you can imagine. they're facing the world with their new child and holding the baby. i don't understand archie myself, but i'm relying on you,
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our royal watcher. we're going to have to leave it there for now. >> reporter: strong and brave i'm told it means. >> wonderful to talk to you. thank you. and coming up, the house judiciary committee heading into a third hour of debate before maybe they will vote to hold attorney general bill barr in contempt. we'll bring you the latest. we'll brin g you the latest♪ ♪ like a drifter i was-- ♪ born to walk alone! keep goin' man! you got it! if you ride, you get it. ♪ here i go again geico motorcycle. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more. >> tech: you think this chip is well sooner or later... every chip will crack.
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thank you very being with us. tomorrow on the show mark warner, senator warner joining us. and here is ali velshi from "velshi & ruhle." >> thank you so much. i'm ali velshi. stephanie is on assignment. it is wednesday, may 8th. let's get smarter. >> a decade in the red. the "new york times" gets a look at the irs tax records for president trump from 1985 to 1994. >> i like to say i'm not covered but my developments are. they're the things that people really are reading about. >> according to a "new york times" analysis of trump's tax transcripts from 1985 to 1984, the president lost more than $1 billion. >> my casinos are doing v