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beach, who isofth is inmate w42. yes, really. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm natalie morales.of good morning. i'm>> phillip mena. it's 6:00 in the east, 3 out west. breaking ranks. the first republican congressman to bring up the "i" word and more to the story including thoughts on the attorney general. battle lines at democrats and white house go head to head over investigations. the five things to watch that could shape the rest of the th president's turn. >> reporter: promises made, promises not kept. why some who backed president trump say coal country got left behind. >> so you really think you're are the to be president? >> am i ready?
[ adspeaking foreign language ] >> what was the last one? >> a language i made up to spoke to gnomes. justin amash of michigan wrotef he reached the conclusi aftered carefully reading the mueller report. he wrote impeachment does not require probable cause has been committed that a finding an official has engaged in corrupt, abusive or dishonorable conduct. he's credited sized the attorney general. contrary to barr's pore trailer, it meets that.
rashida talib is inviting him to co-sponsor her petition. >> the he is an outlier within his own quack cumaverick. more of a libertarian we saw this during the snowdon era and pa pat rot. >> how bigpa of a deal is this d what does it mean? >> it's big deal and isn't. we have someone with an "r" next to their name. from grand rapids, came from wisconsin, he's been a side in
the side of leadership and republican. coming out specifically -- not specifically in favor of impeachment but he calls the president's conduct impeachable as it was sdrind in the mueller report. he said bill barr the attorney general, remember that controversial rafour-page quote/unquote summary barr released the report, some four weeks before, said bill barr and subsequent testimony as well to congress, that bill barr a intended to mislead the public about what bob mueller was trying to say in that report. justin amash beats to his own drum. sure,there are republican members of congress who cringe whenwh the president starts tweeting and some have had a hard time defending the president's conduct in office. can look at justin amash as a front runner in the vanguard of
any republican insurrection on the president. >> we heard from the president for the first time on the alabama abortion law. >> reporter: we've seen several states, in georgia and now alabama, very strict anti-abortion law passing there, no exceptions for the anti-abortion, the banning of abortion in alabama. the president has come out with a clarifying statement about his position. asme most people know i'm strony pro life life with three exceptions, rape, incest, taken by ronald reagan. and then his spokesperson had this to say. >> the president is for exceptions, i for rape, incest d the life of a mother. we're talk about a life of loss
life. democrats are losing on this issue. >> reporter: so, what the president and his spokeswoman aret essentially saying that ty are pro-life but the alabama law may go a little too far. and the president in tweets last night went so far to say, if we were foolish and we don't stay united then gains will disappear. remember, this is a republican argument in support ofs the president in that he is appointed a record number of federal judges who have a pro-life record or assumed to have ad pro-life record or assumed to be pro-life. this is a record the president hasre heading into 2020. he doesn't want to do anything to d jeopardize that. >> you joining me now, daniel lippman, reporter with politico and co-author of "the political playbook." good morning. let's begin with congress amash. he writes, when loyally to a
publicto party trumps loyalty t the t constitution, the rule of law, the foundation of liberty crumbles. he is the first, but will he be the last republican to declare the president committed impeachablemm offenses? >> yes, so this is out of character for the gop as a whole,th but it's not really ou of character forno justin amash. he has been critical of president trump repeatedly. he stood against him on things such as his national emergency for funding for the border wall. so, this isn't out of character for him. he has already been rebuked by the republican leadership for this.pu so, i thinkfo it's a bit early say if this is the sign of a big shift. yet, as i said, it's out of character for the gop but not so out of character for amash. he might be the first and he might be the only. >> daniel, what do you think. daniel amash is alone on this political island. do you think anyl other republican is going to join him? how much does his voice matter? >> well, most republicans don't
have the same base that justin amash has in that michigan district. they likemi the fact that he is outspoken in his mind. and that he is not going to take marching orders from republican leadership so he doesn't care what d ken mccarthy or mcdaniel think of his stance. and i think amash is pointing to very interesting issues in his tweets where he says most republicans and most democrats came out with statements on the mueller report before having even read it fully. that's why it's taken him weeks to come out with these tweets. he's read them with his report, discussed them with his experts, getting further analysis on it and then hett came to his conclusions. this was not a rash response to this report by amash, like you saw, from many other republica
who said, well, case closed, let's move on. and then democrats who were rushing to form their own political points on this. >> let's talk about former vice president joe biden and liz khi kickoff really he called for unity but took several jabs at the president. >> if americans want a president toan add to our division, spew hatred, they don't need me, they have donald trump. donald trumpp. in a hurt econom from obama/biden administration, that was given to him. just like he inherited everything else in his life. but every tool that donald trump uses is out of the past. >> what's the most important thing you want toth accomplish? >> beatu donald trump. >> is that a bit of a contradictory message, to demonizing opponents and then emphasizing an anti-trump message? >> i thinknt the message that biden is trying to present here
is that trump is not about unity and he wants to be the antithesis to trump. whether or not that will appeal to democratic vote certificates another thing.ca democratic anger in a large part is what catapulted an historic number of women and people of color in office to the 2018 mid-terms. will this message fall flat with voters? that's a big question. so far joe biden is a strong front o strong-runner. somehow this message seems to be appealing to a lot of w voters. >> he is extending that lead. what do you think about how biden is framing his opposition to the. in t president? >> he seems he's going to be the general election candidate already. he doesn't have to attack his rivals. he can stand above the fray. many democrats, their most important issue is electability.
joe biden with his roots in scranton, pennsylvania, and his ability toia get some of those voters who voted for trump last time from places like pennsylvania, wisconsin, michigan,si those blue-collar voters, they think joe biden is going to be on their side. so, the fact that he isn't having to worry about squabbles in his democratic primary, he can kind of position himself anti-trump when that is the overridingth theme in the democratic party, everyone just wants toev defeat donald trump, that seems to be a winning message. and he's dispelled a lot of doubters that he would start early and he could be a not very campaigner. heno seems to have held that po position lead. biden is d joe ignoring the other democrats,
but when do you think the other democrats will starthe attackin joe biden? >> i think you're already seeing some of that in the shadow boxing that takes place in the media where you have people pitching opposition research on joe biden and hunter biden and his dealings in china and ukraine. that's been helped by president trump and his allies, who have dished on this as well. trump called -- said it was appropriate for him to intervene and bill barr to launch investigations again joe biden and hunterat biden. once the debates start kicking up in june, you'll see people throwyo more mud at biden and s, well, are you liberal enough? whatra about your climate chang plan? yesterday hecl said the most important part of his climate change plan was to defeat trump but that doesn't actually solve the global warming concerns. >> not as far as we can tell.
i also want to discuss a new analysis a bit largest democrat super pac, priorities usa. it says if the election was held today, the president will not have enough electoral votes but ohio is less likely to go for democrats than texas. what do you make of this early in the race? >> it's veryly early in the rac. trumpn won by a landslide in oo in 2016. this isn't that surprising. i think betting on too much polling this early in t the rac can be e dangerous. as we were talking about with biden,bo he has a strong lead right now overall, but after the debates when voters learn more about where candidates stand specifically on policy, things can alshift. the same can be true for trump. it's veryue early right for you. banking in on any early polling at this stage, i think, would be a mistake. >> the analysis warns republicans have erased an enthusiasm gap that bolster democrats in the 2018 midterm elections.
daniel, others may argue the president's behavior has been giving democrats a strong-running platform. what do you make of that? >> i think any time that trump does something democrats think is crazy, they get more enthusiastic about voting in 2020. i was with some people yesterday who supported sanders in 2016 and then didn't vote in the general election for hillary clinton. some regret that decision. if you're a democrat who doesn't show up in 2020 because your favorite candidate in the primaryte lost, that's a tacit vote for donald trump's second term.on i don't think most democrats want to see that so there's going to be a ground swell of people voting on election day. even if their favorite candidate
didn't win. a lot of people assume hillary clinton is going to win in 2016. they're not going to make that same mistake. >> daniel, we'll talk with you about the president's twitter guru. it new today, more evacuatio amid tensions in the persian gulf. exxonmobil is the latest to remove ststaff, 60 from their active oil fields and the government of bahrain is ordering citizens to leave iraq and c iran. iran's top didn't is disminutesing the conflict saying, they do not want war. ali, where do we stand today? are there obvious signs the tensions are de-deescalating? >> reporter: good morning. tensions in the middle east, ebbs and flows on a moment to moment basis. in the last day or two
circumstances seem to be calmer with president trump saying he doesn't want war with iran. iran's foreign minister also say tehran is not looking for a conflict. de-escalation seems to have taken placede with iran apparena offloading missiles that were placed on small boats in the persian gulf. one of the reasons washington gave for this heightened threat level from iran. and part of the u.s. carrier strike group has entered the persian gulf without incident. the strain between all of those involved in this standoff, in this dangerous game of brinksmanship is palpable. the head of the revolutionary guard has been making very anti-american statements over the last few days. those precautionary measures you mentioned are being taken. those on exxonmobil in iraq, bahrain telling their citizens
to leave. a badly battle scarred country recently trying to get back on its feet but it's caught between iran andca america's feud. today iraq's oil minimumster is angry about those ee vauvacuati saying it has nothing to do with security reasons but politically motivated. iraq is worried it's going to get caught between these tensions between iran and america and that would damage at the very least its economy. at worst it would become a battleground where the united states and iran are settling scores. there is aar ratcheting down of tensions but you can still feel the strain very much in this region, as we still remain in very uncertain times between the u.s. and iran. >> a very complex situation there. ali,er thank you.
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the trump administration is hiding information from american people and stonewalling congress at every turn. >> we're fighting all the subpoenas. >> donald trump is now obstructing congress. they're violating the statute. >> they knew they're not going to get these taxes. they know what the law is. >> the tax returns of the
presidential be provided. congress is going to litigate this and we will win that court case. >> the idea there are going to be these ongoing congressional oversight hearings is a waste of money, it's political. >> the white house seeks to prevent more than 20 congressional investigations into the president. democrats are escalating their threats against officials refusing to comply with subpoenas, including imprisonments and fines. what to look for in this standoff. joining me to discuss is nbc legal analyst danny. >> good morning. >> what do you think is the better idea for democrats, the idea of jailing has been proposed. would that work? >> ethat's not. you're essentially asking the executive branch to police the executive branch. historically that has resulted in a presentation to a grand jury exactly zero times in the
past few decades. the other option is the sergeant of arms option which literally means sending someone out from congress, the sash geergeant of to grab someone and bring them to congress testify. also a difficult proposition. maybe not as realistic in the modern age, to send someone out to fuelphysically arrest people. we're learning congress has this tremendous subpoena power, this investigative power. ultimately, without the help of other branches, very little power to actually enforce. >> they're waiting, the democrat i'm speaking of, they're waiting on whether president trump executes executive privilege. >> that's the argument. by releasing so much of the
mueller report, the executive privilege, which preserves or protects communications between a president ands his or her advisers, that's arguably waved because so much has been released from the executive branch. beyond that, as to employees who left the justice department or executive branch and are private citizens, this becomes virtually impossible to prevent their testimony. a private citizen may be able to come back and testify at his or her own will. that includes robert mueller, when he eventually leaves the doj. >> a report in "the wall street journal" says mueller's testimony is being stalled by executive privilege claims and congressman nadler told politico they're delaying his testify to june. are executive orders enough to keep robert mueller from testifying? >> they may not be enough, but as we can see this playing out, they could be enough to stal testimony.
most of us are familiar with the subpoenas in the judicial sense. a judicial subpoena can be enforced by law enforcement and you can be brought right into jail if you're in contempt. what we're learning about congress is, again, they require the judicial branch, they require the executive branch to help them enforce this subpoena power so this is why you often see in the case of congress appear subpoenas negotiation, discussion, attempts to work things out before it gets to that criminal contempt or inherent contempt level. >> you discussed stalling as a kind of tactic. how long can the white house stall? is this all moot if the president loses in 2020 or parts of this go on for quite a long time? >> yes to all. these battles go on for years and years and years. there are some battles that go on from two, three administrations ago. this is something the trump administration knows it can stall for years if necessary.
and the other significant thing is that if they stall long enough and a new congress comes in, well, then those prior subpoenas, they essentially dissipate into legal air. they no longer exist. they're in the ether. the trump administration has every incentive to stall as long as possible. yes, it's mooted if the trump administration is voted out of office but it's mooted on congress's end if a new congress gets voted in before the issue is resolved. >> thank you for your expertise. now to battleground 2020 and a look at working class stronghold that voted for donald trump in 2016. now in luzerne county, pennsylvania, south of scranton, some say the president has not kept his promise to the struggling community. kal p cal perry has more. >> reporter:.
>> you've got operators you've seen go by with the trucks and the guys with the loaders here pushing the material are very similar to what's happening in the coal industry. if there was a transition from coal into reclaim, this is it. >> reporter: donald trump promised coal jobs would come back to pennsylvania. they're not underground in mines, we found them here on the surface where the land is being reclaimed and converted for future business use. projects like this one may help lessen the below for former coal workers. >> we're seeing a layoff situation going on in the coal fields. we need experienced people to do these remediation projects rather than displacing somebody, cleaning up what our great grandfathers did. >> because this area swung so wildly from reliably democrat to trump, it's time to look at
lessons learned for local party leadership. >> there are many theories why he turned in that 2016 election. my theory is because hillary clinton really didn't have a strong presence here. donald trump visited the area many times, built up enthusiasm. hillary took this for granted, this is her home ground and didn't need to spend time here. >> reporter: we called a small quorum, three democrats, members of the machinist union and a trump supporter, grabbing a drink after work. some people in the union voted for trump. how big a part of that and will it factor in two years ago? >> a lot of people union in our plant voted for trump and told us the reason they voted for trump is because of the promises he made. and they thought because he came off as i'm not a politician, he
was going to be truthful and fulfill his promises. >> i watched his rallies, and you said you were at them. >> i was at them. >> he stated he was bringing manufacturing back to the state of pennsylvania. in 2 1/2 years he's brought zero manufacturing back in this area. he only brought low income warehousing into this area. >> reporter: interstate 81, which runs south from scranton through these hills is dotted with warehouses built on former coal mining sites. major companies use this area because nonunion labor is so cheap. >> the problem with these warehouses is they're paying 8 to 12 bucks an hour, bringing in temporary workers. >> reporter: what's minimum wage in pennsylvania? >> $7.75. >> that's awful. >> these warehouses there are ads in the paper every day, they can't keep them, people can't sustain a family on $8 an hour. >> that was cal perry from pennsylvania where trump is
trailing joe biden by eight points in the latest polling. can a horse without a rider win a race? no, but that didn't keep one from trying. we'll show you what happened at the preakness. first, "saturday night live" having fun with the ladies on the view talking to south bend mayor pete buttigieg about his campaign. >> so you really thing you're ready to president? >> am i ready? [ speaking foreign languages ] >> and what was that last one? >> a language i made up to speak to gnomes. >> i've got to ask because i'm sure it's come up. you gay? >> that's want a question but i do want to say i wouldn't be running for president if i didn't believe america was ready to accept not only a gay man but a boring gay man in the public eye. gay man in the public eye. -that's how a home and auto bundle is made.
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(laughing) beyond despair... there is hope. ♪ ♪ stay safe. i love you mom. i love you too, sweetheart. ♪ ♪ beyond treatment... ♪ ♪ there is care. say hi to grandma and grandpa. ♪ ♪ beyond technology... there is human ingenuity. every day, comcast business is helping businesses big and small go beyond the expected, to do the extraordinary. take your business beyond. now to the morning headlines, dangerous weather still making its way across the country today. after dozens of tornadoes ripped through nebraska, kansas, oklahoma and texas yesterday. there's widespread damage in abilene where rooftops were were torn off, cars toppled and debris scattered everywhere.
the national weather service warns severe weather will spread east as the weekend comes to a close. former president jimmy carter will not be teaching sunday school as planned. the 94-year-old is recovering from recent hip replacement. he's sought several classes in his hometown of georgia. war of will won the preakness! >> war of will won the preakness stakes saturday, the second leg of the triple crown. no dispute about this victory after the controversial kentucky derby ending. the main players in the derby mess did not run, ensuring there will not be a triple crown contender. bodie express dumped his jockey out of the gate, finishing the late on his own. velasquez walked away without injury. a fiery kickoff rally by joe
biden, pushing a message of unity as hammering president trump as the divider of chief. >> some say democrats don't want to hear about you. they say democrats are so angry that the angrier a candidate can be, the better chance he or she has to win the democratic nomination. well, i don't believe it. i really don't. >> turashad richie joins us and adrianna, national columnist. >> what was your takeaway? >> i think he has a unifying tone. it's important to highlight during that speech biden said specifically that he will not
talk negative of the democrats. he's the first democrat to say something like that and it made that crowd go wild. i think he's ready to fine-tune his message and methodology as far as delivering his message to people. right now you have a joe biden who's up in the polls by double digits. the guy seems to be untouchable at the moment but we'll see what happens after the first presidential debate in june. >> after that first presidential debate, and it gets a little tighter, let's say, do you think then he might have something negative to say about the other con tebders? >> i had a conversation with my friend this morning, and i said, we'll see what happens after that first debate. people tend to start tar ggetin individuals at that first presidential debate. i'm sure bernie sanders is coming in guns blazing, so we'll see if vice president biden is able to remain above the fray
even with people specifically attacking him and his policy. >> do you see a candidate that puts forth a clear presence to president trump? >> no, he's delivered on the economy which is soaring, he's delivered on low unemployment, isis, prison reform, immigration reform. the american people see how much -- he's a man of his word and how much he's accomplished, which is benefiting all americans, especially with the booming economy and historically low unemployment. that's going to be very difficult for any candidate to go up against. president trump will present how strong the economy is. and i think he's untouchable at this point given the strong gdp. and the numbers were staying on wall street. >> "rolling stone" has a new piece on biden entitled, biden misses the point.
political anger can be constructtive. he says anyone that's not angry has been missing the message. will the unifying message resonate with democrats or is he out of touch? >> it is resonating with democrats. biden is still leading the pack with democratic voters. even a large percentage of progressive voters. when you look at the cross-tabs of the data, you see progressive voters are choosing biden because of electability. that's them playing chess, not checkers. that's progressive saying we'd rather have a guy who can actually defeat trump rather than someone who can articulate our ideology. something similar when republicans decided to vote for trump as president. they didn't go with president because he was a ideaolog. they went with trump because they felt he could be strong against hillary clinton. >> president trump will hold his
own rally tomorrow in pennsylvania. that comes on the heels of a new analysis by priorities usa has that democrats rebuilding the blue wall in the mid-west by winning back michigan, wisconsin and pennsylvania. why is president trump losing some of those states? >> i think president trump knows he has to be strong in the battleground states assist does his democratic opponents. let's talk about pennsylvania. that's a state where president trump has created thousands of manufacturing jobs and in contrast if we look at the obama/biden years, that's a state that bled so many manufacturing jobs. that's something joe biden will have to be held to account, blue collar americans are benefiting under the trump economy. it will be interesting to see what biden is going to present differently to some of these states like pennsylvania. >> another factor that could reshape the 2020 race, new restrictions and bans on abortion. a growing number of states,
alabama signing the strict esteban yet this past week with no exceptions for rape or incest but president trump broke from alabama saying he's in favor of those exceptions and called on republicans to be united on this. do you think it's too late now that alabama's ban has been signed into law? >> i don't think it's too late because many other states are watching this issue. four other states have passed similar heart beat laws. and are moving forward with that. i agree with president trump. i think banning abortion for victims of rape and inside goes too far but on the other extreme democrats in new york are going too far allowing late-term abortion where the baby can live outside the womb. people consider that immoral, they don't support partial birth abortions. i think more moderates are more
moderate in the middle. i think it's good president trump is taking the same position as ronald reagan. ronald reagan is pro-life but he didn't -- he had carveouts for a rape and insist or the life of the mother and that's the path president trump supports. >> all of this has brought roe v. wade center stage for 2020. who do you think benefits from that, democrats or republicans? >> democrats benefit there it. roe v. wade was a landmark amendment saying women have a right to privacy and a right to due process. let's talk about alabama law. while some say this is somewhat of a fringe law, many states have passed similar versions of this law. in alabama, it is more illegal or people can get more time for seeking an abortion of a rain victim than the actual rainist himself. the rainist won't get as much time as a woman who tries to abort the fetus from the
rapeist. it's insane. the numbers suggest under democratic presidents you have the sharpest decline of abortions throughout this country. why? because there's a real cause and effect relationship to programs that are in place to help a mother bear their child, bring their child into full term. right now a study was conducted that says 92% of all pregnancies that are aborted come because of unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. that is something that should be debated and policy should be made about it if you're truly pro life. >> the debate will rage on. as always, thank you. roe v. wade, climate change, a couple presidential hopefuls were talking about this week. we want to remind you, msnbc is live every saturday and sunday at 6:00 eastern. sunday at 6:00 eastern this is the ocean.
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>> our politics have become so mean, so petty, so negative, so partisan, so angry. and so unproductive. so unproductive. instead of debating our opponents we demonize them. instead of questioning judgment, we question their motives. >> it's nothing short of an attack on women's basic human rights and civil rights. >> women's health care is under attack and we will not stand for it. >> and you're not free if an over bearing government is telling you what your reproductive health issues ought to be. >> we've seen women's rights issues shrink and shrink. i think it's now time to fight back. when i say fight back, if we have a problem in the courts, then we need to be going to the legislators. >> in a warren administration, we'll have a secretary of education who is committed to
public education. in fact, i'll double down on that. i will only point for secretary of education someone who has been a public school teacher. >> i know for most parents out there, their hangup is not about, oh, is this something from the local school district or the state government or federal government. no. they want to know that when their kid walks into that school, that kid is going to be able to get a good education. >> school district after school district is getting harder and harder to find qualified teachers because the wages for teachers are so low that young people are no longer going into the teaching profession. >> there's no one who's been stronger, more respective, i would suggest to you, on the climate more than me. and we need to invest more as well in what we can do there in
terms of climate. we don't to to change everything. >> joe will talk the way he'll talk about climate. in my view, we're talking about an existential threat to the climate. we have a moral imperative to make sure this planet is healthy and habitable for our children, for our grandchildren and future generations. >> on the trail today, multiple candidates holding events in new hampshire while bernie sanders is in alabama. and newly declared candidate bill de blasio makes an appearance in south carolina. the president's twitter guru and the critical role he plays in the oval office. we'll talk about article next. e. with all that usaa offers
you ever wonder who the caretaker of trump's explosive twitter feed is? his name is dan scavino. and he's helped come up with some of the most memorable posts. according to a new politico article, he turns to him for his policies on immigration, to troop levels in syria. back to discuss. daniel lippman with politico. you co-wrote this article.
what did you learn about scavino's role in the president's tweets? and how much influence does he have in views and policy? >> he's the only white house aide who has trump's twitter password. and he has pretty free reign to post stuff that he thinks that trump would approve of on his twitter feed. we open the article with an anecdote, that hadn't been previously reported, of all of the republican senators in the oval office, with trump, to try to persuade him to back down on his withdrawal threat from u.s. troops in area. they were saying this is not a good move for u.s. strategy and to keep isis at bay. in the middle of the meeting he says, get dan scavino in here. and he tells dan, tell them how popular my policy is. and he talks about how trump's
tweets and facebook messages, that a lot of his base approved him getting out there. that bewildered senators because they're not used to meeting with the president and then saying, well, this policy is correct because it did well on twitter. >> how do the other president's aides feel about scavino? are they concerned about his influence on the president? >> he is seen as someone who puts his head down and does the work. he's not in it for personal gain. he's the rare white house senior aide who doesn't leak to reporters and talk to the media much. he declined our repeated request to interview him for this story. so, he's well-liked. there are some people who think that he's too much of a yes man and enabler to trump's twitter habit. that will be tough for 2020, when he might need to moderate some of his posts.
he's also seen as someone who can capture the loyalty, the bond between the supporters online and the president himself. he has a good ear for what the president will say and what he will say on twitter. and he's one of the last campaign aides in the white house. hope hicks, keith schiller, john mcaty, they have all left. and so scavino is indispensable for what trump needs for social media. trump joked that he would like scavino to stay around for another two, four -- another four years. and then, he admitted that he just likes to say that he wants to extend his term to drive the media and democrats crazy. >> that, it does. daniel lippman, thank you so much. ahead in our next hour, why the anticipation for tonight's final episode of "game of
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