tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC June 8, 2019 4:00am-5:01am PDT
welcome to "weekends with alex witt." deal reached. the new questions about the president's family and the benefits of the overseas trip. the iraqi sheik that spent 21 nights at the d.c. hotel. and plus, grocery wars. the strategy in the fight for your money. new this morning, a tariffs deal with the u.s. and mexico late yesterday averting an economic standoff with the allies. donald trump announced the tariffs late e slated to start are suspended. part of the deal includes a deal with mexico. mexico will deploy up to 6,000 national guard troops to the border with guatemala to reduce the central americans heading north. mexico agreed to expand the trump administration program allowing the u.s. to return immigrants to mexico while
awaiting for asylum claims to be decided. that has been challenged in courts as civil rights groups say it violates rights. mexico said it did not accept the provision furnipushed by th trump administration to apply for refugee status in mexico before reaching the united states. we have mike viqueira with more from the white house. good saturday morning, my friend. how and why? >> reporter: president trump and good morning to you, alex, has been frustrated over the situation with migrants coming from mexico through the southern border. a ten-year high in may of 144,000 individuals coming or trying to come to the country to seek asylum or enter the country legally or illegally. the president using a tool he discovered he can use with impunity without congressional approval. that is tariffs. nine days ago, a frustrated
president trump said 5% tariffs would start on june 10th. they go up to 25% by october if mexico did not do something. that kicked off three days of talks beginning here on wednesday with mexican officials. in the end, they came to agreement for now that you already outlined. the mexican ambassador to the united states had this response. >> the united states and mexico in working with regional and international partners to build a more secure central america and address underlining causes of migration so citizens of the region can build better lives for themselves and families at the country and home of origin. >> reporter: alex, the administration will keep a close eye on this. they are holding out the prospect or the threat, if you will, of going ahead with the sanctions if the situation doesn't change. the administration started in
january telling people to go and wait at the border. in mexico, these asylum seekers, mexico agreed to expand that program. one other reaction. this from the democrats. leader in the senate chuck schumer sarcastic. this is historic. he said nine hours ago. adds now the problem is solved, i'm sure we won't hear any more about it in the future. a sarcastic response from the senate democratic leader. whether or not this is all going to come to fruition, alex, is an open question. >> i had to laugh. we will not hear more about that for sure. one other thing i wanted to ask you about involving the rainbow pride flag and embassies. >> reporter: this is a big deal. the scoop by nbc news. this is gay pride month. embassies asked for permission to fly the gay pride flag at
embassies. the state department said no. the embassies included germany, brazil and latvia. this is not permitted to fly on the main flag pole, but display elsewhere on grounds. germany in particularly, the ambassador, a close ally of donald trump. the top gay official in the trump administration has been leading a fight to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. his reaction is fine. we will fly all over the compound in berlin. not on the flag pole. trying to put the most positive light possible. a controversy has this day begins. >> thank you, mike. joining me now is emily noe and kevin cirilli. thank you for joining me. the deal on tariffs with mexico.
kevin, are there concessions to declare it a win to some degree, but not a full-blown win? >> the details are still being reached. from the political standpoint, the president has faced pressure with tariffs not just against mexico from republicans, but republicans pressing him not to have tariffs against china because of the impact on agriculture states. the bottom line is the president has faced intense, intense political pressure from republicans within his party. >> for sure. what about republicans to that point, emily? also major corporations were opposed to the tariffs threat. if it had gone on further, it could have been problematic for the president. do you feel the deal came around because of the pressure? >> it is hard to tell at this point. this is a high stakes gamble on part of the president. he had a lot of people nervous. corporations and some senate republicans, of course, stepping up and standing up against them and condemning the threat of the
tariffs. this mexico, of course, is united states' largest trading partner at this point. not many people are willing to call his bluff. in the end, he did step away from it. to what effect? we sort of are divided on what the u.s. got from mexico in securing the border. they agreed to reinforce the policies in place, specifically having migrants wait in mexico while asylum procerequest is processed. what is the win? >> we have seen that in tijuana. let's talk about the impeachment debate. house speaker nancy pelosi reportedly told democrats she wants to see the president in prison, not impeached. that made the argument that it is better to beat him at the ballot box and prosecute him later for alleged crimes. is there an indication she said
that with a purpose? she must have known this would leak. >> it is hard to look at the speaker's office and not think this is a strategic leak. it was a great story by politico. i think this is indicative of how speaker pelosi is having to walk that narrow, narrow political tightrope to navigate cries from her base to begin impeachment proceedings. other democrats who are more concerned about the longevity of the argument. as you play this forward, however, i spoke with the congress member from new york. he is a member of the democratic leadership. what he told me this week is that they are trying to walk down a path here and to go through a process. now where precisely that process will take them is still unknown. the pressure is very loud. especially from the 2020 presidential candidates who are all calling for impeachment with the exception of biden. >> emily, with regard to the
issue of this political versus something political. do you think nancy pelosi is pushing this because she believes principle accountability will happen through the ballot box and whatever happens to the president legally afterwards when he returns to being a private citizen. is that her focus here? >> to some degree. she is trying very much and she said it herself she wants this tried in the court of public opinion. she is gathering the evidence. we had it. they are playing into her hands with the numbers of the trump administration. the more they refuse and push back against subpoenas. subpoenas give her grounds for impeachment articles. it is very much to some degree. >> as expected, the president certainly reacted to her comments while overseas. here's what he said. >> i think she's a disgrace.
i actually don't sthink she is talented person. i was actually nice to her because i wanted to get deals done. she is a nasty and horrible vicious person. she made a vicious statement while i'm overseas. >> he made that statement at the american military cemetery in normandy. critics are saying the speaker should not have brought up prison, kevin. although the president was pushing that for hillary clinton. the lock her up chants. do the president's words ring a bit hollow? >> i think it is an illustration to see the domestic politization on hollow ground.
whether it is speaker pelosi or a republican or whether it is lock her up chants at trump campaign rallies or reports that the speaker saying she wants to see him in jail. all of that, you know, i think it illustrates the current political climate. >> where does the current political climate lead us, emily? you have 60 democrats pushing for impeachment. one republican as well. it is a bipartisan effort to some degree. what happens next? >> it means so much it is part of the conversation now so much more than a couple of weeks ago. as i said earlier, speaker pelosi and others of the house democratic leadership are starting to gather evidence and have grounds to move forward to some degree. the more they see him and a.g. barr resist subpoenas and more return to citations and contempt of coee where it leads.
the president calling speaker pelosi names and using nasty and saying nervous. it shows he very much is concerned his political future may be in her hands. >> okay. emily and kevin, thank you both. >> thank you. groceries delivered straight to your fridge. even when you are out of the house. how walmart is planning to compete with amazon raises questions about privacy. s about. ] exactly, nothing. they're completely different people, that's why they need customized car insurance from liberty mutual. they'll only pay for what they need! [ gargling ] [ coins hitting the desk ] yes, and they could save a ton. you've done it again, limu. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
numbers. ex-ppectations in the cut of interest rates. 75,000 jobs added in may. fewer than 180,000 jobs expected. the unemployment rate remains at 3.6%. we have reporter from yahoo! finance with me now. >> good morning, alex. >> why didn't the job growth live up to the expectation? >> the jobs growth was not great. 75,000 jobs added in may. economists were expected 180,000 jobs. this is the first evidence that the u.s. economy is slowing. many economists are blaming the trade war because it is fought on multiple fronts with multiple countries. tariffs in place with china having to deal with 25% tariffs on $200 billion of chinese goods. a threat of additional tariffs on $300 billion in chinese
goods. the u.s. companies and the industry right now is basically focused and bracing because of the trade war. they are limiting hiring and investment because of the cost of tariffs. they have to figure out how to deal with it. you have u.s. importers switching supplies from china to other asian countries. vietnam and south korea a and taiwan to avoid the cost of tariffs. not everybody can do that. small businesses are stuck and faced with the tariffs and they have to pass on to consumers. >> we will see what happens with mexico. whether the president's threats are delivered if mexico does not deliver what they promise to do with immigration. that said, with regard to interest rates. fed is considering to make a cut. why? >> because of the indications that the u.s. economy is slowing. the jobs report was weaker than expected is a big red flag for
the fed. they indicated they are looking at the current situation and current economic climate and they would consider a rate cut. economists were thinking by july. we will keep looking at that. >> okay. the stock market seems to be looking ahead to the lower interest rates. do you think consumers should be concerned at all about an economic slowdown not only here in the states, but globally? >> yes. consumers should be aware and it will affect them. let's remember, u.s. gdp. 75% of it is driven by consumers. it is important for consumers to have purchasing power. if the price of goods is really too high because of the cost of tariffs and the trade war, then consumers can't buy goods. those companies are going to be in the red if goods stay on the store shelves. >> in terms of volatility here and the measures taken by the
fed potentially. long-term fix or temporary? >> it looks like temporary fixes. if the fed were to cut interest rates, there is no guarantee that would stop the effect that we are seeing from the trade war. the u.s. economy is already slowing down. so the fed could cut rates, but it may be too late. >> okay, sibile, thank you very much. >> thanks, alex. a strategy as stores are fighting for your money. walmart taking on amazon. preparing to offer grocery deliveries right to your fridge. gadi schwartz has more. >> reporter: here we are. in the home grocery wars. promising robots and drones and self driving cars. a move by walmart that may push past your curb and frontrefrige. the idea is if you are not home, you can watch the employee stock
your shelves. now experimenting with drones and leaving packages in the garage or truck of the car or past the front door. for walmart, it is capitalizing on the stores. >> from the cost perspective, not different from delivering it direct to somebody's door because we're able to batch the orders. >> reporter: the biggest hurdle is privacy and security. >> will it be perfect? it takes one incident to make it a weird or scary experience. >> reporter: employees will be trained extensively. ready to start the pilot program to nearly 1 million of the customers. gadi schwartz, nbc news. >> okay. the story of the wealthy iraqi sheik has hardy d ideas o
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facing federal charges for allegedly plotting to shoot up times square. the suspect is a 22-year-old bangladeshi from queens. he was arrested after trying to buy two handguns from undercover agents. in the minine months they kept watch on him, he surveilled many locations. nasa announcing it is making the orbiting station available to tourism. visitors can stay up to 30 days at $35,000 a night. two only two can go up each year. trips start as early as next year. it is like a scene from the super natural movie "the fog." you can barely see the top of the sydney harbor bridge on
friday due to the fog. the landmarks were concealed. that poor visibility created delays and diversions to flights and made more hazardous road conditions. the fog lifted by midday. details in the under cutting of women's rights in missouri. the first in the country to provide no legal abortion services since roe v. wade. as it fights to renew its license, missouri is requiring doctors to perform an intrusive and unnecessary pelvic exam before getting an abortion. joining me now is the state representative sara unsicer. what are your thoughts? >> it is horrifying. they are requiring a pelvic exam before somebody can consent to
abortion 72 hours before. >> these kinds of requirements. they are having a traumatic affect on patients and doctors as well. listen to this. >> we do not want to make you do unnecessary invasive procedure that we would not do at this moment. and most women are quite disturbed at that. they are remarkable. they apologizing to my doctor. i'm sorry you have to do this to me. that's shameful. >> the doctor at the clinic tweeting saying it broke her as a physician. is this the goal potentially? is this the state that hopes doctors give up and stop providing abortions all together? >> i think so. the special session law we passed two years ago, there were several planned parenthoods planning on offering abortion and that became impossible after
the law we passed under the governor two years ago. now, i think they are trying to chase doctors out of the state which is harmful for all women. not just women seeking abortions. >> for sure. with regard to the last clinic that remains open. i know a reprieve if you will. the court said we will not close its license which that was the big sticking point. that was effective monday. how long is that going to stay in effect? is there any clue how long it will extend and stay open? >> i don't know. right now they are waiting for a court decision on whether that will continue. that reprieve or if they shutdown the planned parenthood clinic abortion facility. >> you know, looking at the series of tweets that you posted. there was one we want to talk with it. it is how you started. can we talk about how far behind
the 8 ball we are with women's health care in missouri and we consider the court's decisions wins. >> legally i don't think these are wins. legally it is a stay. it's just a status quo holding on to what there is until the court can really weigh the evidence and look at everything and make a decision whether to keep the clinic open. every day that the court doesn't make a decision, i'm increasingly optimistic that the court will allow planned parenthood to stay open. legally i don't think it is a win. legally i think it is -- it is not a win for either side. >> looking long term here. what are your expectations? you tweeted women's health care is in a dire situation. do you have hope that you think things can turn around for women in your state? how do you plan to fight back
against this? >> i hope so. we passed a law this year to establish infant mortality review board and why women are dying from pregnancy and child birth in missouri this year. that was a bill i introduced. we have high mortality infant rates already. i believe closing down abortion facilities and making abortion illegal in missouri is going to push the numbers higher. >> the state representative sarah unsicker. best of luck. >> thank you. the president is faces criticism after iraqi sheik who urged the tougher stance toward iran spent thousands of dollars for a 26-night stay at the trump hotel in washington, d.c. in 2019. he was considered a vip arrival.
joining me now is danny cevallos. danny, good morning. in april, we all recall the president trying to throw out a lawsuit alleging he violated the emoluments clause. how does this fit? >> the emoluments clause is whether or not the president receives any benefit or profit from a foreign government and the key is how we define emoluments. the founders had a couple of definitions. one dictionary defined it as any profit. very broadly. on the other hand, another dictionary took a narrow view. emoluments had to be related from the person's office. something like selling pardons out of the white house might be something directly related to the office. a more narrow reading of the emoluments clause means that sheik staying 26 nights at the trump hotel doesn't violate the emoluments clause because it is
a profit from trump to the hotel. not the sale of something coming from the office or out of the white house. >> okay. how about this. what kind of challenges are there to connect this kind of activity and patronage of the president's businesses, particularly from foreign actors and the way the president benefits financially? can you do that? >> these are cases of first impression. arguably the closest analogy could be if yjimmy carter was selling peanuts to foreign governments and profiting from it. in this case, he puts it in a trust. this is first impression. it is if the courts view the emoluments clause and those are gifts as broadly or narrowly. if they view it broadly, any profit from the foreign government, trump is in trouble. if the court views emoluments as coming from the office of the presidency and not profit based
on private enterprise, then trump is in the clear. as we have seen, reasonable legal minds, wearing robes or not, can address the conditions. emoluments may be one of them. >> i want take it a step further. the president visited the golf club. the golf club promoted a video showing the president on marine i and teeing up on the golf links. some are saying he is promoting his club through this. by the way, the videos were taken out of commission. they were dropped. so, what does that say about this? is this too peripheral to consider it violation or the fact that these videos were put up and removed? >> i think you have a stronger argument for the violation of the emoluments clause there because it could be said the president like a celebrity athlete or something is lending the presidency name to the golf course which is the trump golf
course. because it is in ireland, you have the foreign factor. foreign emoluments clause is implicated. you may have stronger violation of the clause. if the president, person lending his name and presidency, to benefit a trump facility or trump property in ireland which is a foreign country. you may have a stronger connection there. again, it all comes down to how do we interpret the emoluments clause as enacted by the founders years ago. >> danny, we are figuring this out as we go along. no president in modern history has had this association by owning businesses and taking a political position here. is it inevitable you will cross wires? >> absolutely. we are as you said figuring it out for the first time. especially because most modern presidents were not business tycoons. even those with some business success were able to cabin that businesslike jimmy carter and
place his businesses in a trust. we have never been here before. we have never been here with the president who was a celebrity before he was a president and a celebrity for owning businesses. this emoluments clause is essential. we need to see what he profits from and whether or not a foreign government putting money in the president's pocket is a violation of the emoluments clause or not necessarily a violation if the profit doesn't flow through the white house. >> danny cevallos. thank you so much. meanwhile the questions of the president's family and just how they may have benefitted from the overseas trip this week. let's go to the number ones where we highlight a city which is a source of pride. not this time. bedbugs and just in time for the vacation season. te terminex unveiled the most bedbug invefested cities.
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washington today after the trip to europe. that trip sparking controversy mixing politics with business interest as his family tagged along for the trip. melania and ivanka and don junior along with eric. a pub crawl with the boys in ireland. the washington post breaks it down. these boys were on a holiday. promoting themselves and others on the business trip. joining me now is joel payne and lauren claffey. she worked with the department of homeland security. joel, what is your reaction? >> more of the same. if you go back to reporting about how businesses have been patr
patronizing the trump hotels. trump views this as an extension of the business. he has never drawn the line between business and government business. even the first controversy of the presidency if you remember. jared kushner being given the floating advisory role with no real accountability within the white house. this president has never really had any regard for the conventions of the office and any respect for all of the norms that we have taken time to carefully establish. >> do you think, lauren, there should be a division with family vacations and state business? especially when the trump family is trying to promote their brand at the same time. yes, i know we are in uncharted waters. you heard me talking to danny cevallos that we never have had a president as a business tycoon stepping into the oval office. do you think things should be better defined? >> we have to answer that as we go along. we have not had a president in
modern history with adult children unless you go back to george w. bush and george h.w. bush. >> we did not have these issues with george h.w. bush and george w. bush. i do recall calling out president obama and his wife taking his children on the trip to spain. that costs taxpayers $467,000. he said they are out spending money. really? >> you know, minor children, it is common for presidents to take them on foreign trips and be there for major moments. the trump administration said the adult children paid their own way for the trip. >> they have the security. they did not fly on air force i. we do not know where they stayed. they have to have security. all those individuals is going to add up to more than $467,000
he called out for protecting sasha and malia. >> we pay for the security anyway. they guard the trump children. that comes with having this many children with president trump. >> i think we can all agree the president and his family deserve the safety of the secret service. the issue is about donald trump never respecting the norms of the office and his family not respecting it. it has been a stay one story and never been addressed. republicans never held them to account. the media have never been able to hold them to account as well. >> i just want to reiterate from what the hill was saying, lauren, about the white house officials said the president's children who are not in the administration that being tiffany and donald junior and eric did pay to get there on their own. they paid their own money on the
state visit. additional costs have to have been incurred beyond what we're talking about with security issues. is it fair for taxpayers to pay that? what about hotels? do you think that is something they personally paid for. will we ever know that? >> i don't have the answer to that question. that is a question for the trump administration. they said they paid their way which i'll take as hotels and air fare. i don't know this is a cost we will know. you know, the bigger question is how comfortable is trump supporters with the trump children being around during these major moments and the trump children are inter betwtw with the campaign and presidency. they like that the children are around. they think it is a value add for the president. so i don't think he will get political push back from his base that the children were there. >> do you think he scored
political points on this trip, joel? >> i don't think it was a particularly successful trip to be honest with you. ending with the embarrassment of the mexico tariff deback tle. i don't think the president does these things well. the part of the job he likes is to golf on the weekend and go and pick fights with people on twitter. governing is hard and the president has never shown the propensity to do that. >> lauren, can you determine how it went with the royals? a different demeanor with the communication with the royal household and the presidereside behaves. it was said that harry, william, kate, they denied a photo op to show he was with the cool and
popular royals. they did not go anywhere near him. >> i don't think for the most part the royals are good about not entertaining any political activities whatsoever. their role is supposed to be ceremonial head of state. they have to stay far away from that stuff. it is not surprising they denied the president a photo op like that. i think it was good for the president to hear from the queen about the importance of alliances. she subtly was telegraphing that this is important for everyone to work together. she remembers world war ii and the devastating effects of that. overall, you know, they have their ways of communicating matters of state. that would not be surprising they didn't want to do photo ops. >> joel, the white house blocked a state department staffer written testimony saying human cause climate change could be possibly catastrophic.
that was following demand by the white house testimony edited because it clashed with the trump administration's position. what do you make of it? >> it is off the story line that they are trying to tell. it is very on brand for them to deny anything about climate change. they have to chase the ridiculous narrative that climate change is a hoax. if you start there, the baseline point, any evidence that does not suggest that, you can't allow to be in the public spectrum and part of the white house discussion. of course, listen it is keeping information away from the president. the same reason he had a staffer decide to cover up a sign of "the uss john mccain." he doesn't like seeing things makes him unhappy. >> is this okay in your book, lauren? >> i think all facts need to be debated. each administration has the
right to look at what information they want. i'll chop this up as one of the things that is slightly surprising given the workings of government and the different viewpoints within the agencies. we need to look at all of the facts. >> lauren and joel. thank you. happy saturday. it is gun violence awareness month. coming up, the strive for the nra and what it could mean for the changing gun laws.
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mmhm, that was weird. oh sister it's gonna get way weirder. not thoughts and prayers. >> i will summon the members of the senate and house of delegates to meet in special session for the purpose of passing common sense laws. >> it is time for laws not prayers. this is big. according to the governor of the state of virginia who in a tweet announced a special session will take place tomorrow to introduce measures presently killed by republicans. that would include universal background checks.
the recall comes after the shooting in virginia beach which led 12 people dead. joining me now is chris from brady. we are just going with brady now. chris, welcome. a big month. it is national gun violence awareness month all of june. acting white house chief of staffgreedisagrees. listen to him. >> there are things the government can do and this government is doing. we will never protect against everybody deranged or insane. you will never make everything perfectly safe. we are doing better on enforcement. you have laws on the books that make murder illegal and people still do it. laws will not fix everything. >> what are your thoughts on what he said? do you think proposed legislation could have saved lives in virginia beach? >> yes, i do. i do think proposed legislation
could save lives in virginia beach. we know a few things about the shooter of virginia beach. we know he used extended magazines and he used a silencer. often you see extended magazines used at mass shootings because you can shoot more bullets more quickly and take many more lives. the kinds of proposals that governor northam is proposing with a ban on extended magazines and assault weapons and background check before any gun sale. and extreme risk law to remove guns from individuals at risk. these are the laws adopted in other states and actually reduce gun violence when enacted. >> by the way, i said that special session was tomorrow. it is actually july 9th. do you think this reform would pass in the state's
republican-led general assembly? you have 2017 exit polls from the state from the gubernatorial race found that the gun policy was the second most important issue there. nationally not so much. >> i think that i just saw fox news poll that indicated 71% of americans across the country believe the government should do more to address gun violence in the country. that is because if gun violence seems like an every day occurrence, it is because it is. we are losing 100 people a day to gun violence. you are right. governor northam was elected and one of the top two issues driving voters to the poll was gun violence. virginia legislators have to ask are they virginians first protecting the public safety or are too many of them still beholden to the national rifle association. that's the issue. >> that's what i want to pick up
on here with regard to the nra at this point. there have been recent that reveal the organization is facing financial struggles after wracking up $24 million in legal bills. and that can that translate into a decline in power and influence. >> i think signs of a decline. it's signs of an organization that has been focused on greed, it's been focused on misinformation and focused on lies. very sadly the bottom line is the nra has been much more focused on getting fancy clothes for wayne lapierre, about $300,000 is what he spent total at beverly hills boutiques and not focused enough on what its membership wants.
if you look at the polling information around the issues we're talking about, things like expanded brady background check, what we find is the vast majority of gun owners and nra members support these proposals. the nra instead doubled down on a initiative which is really all guns for all americans at any cost. that's not the kind of agenda nra members want and not the kind of agenda that's going to keep them long term to stay as an organization. >> chris brown, president of brady. thank you. come see me again any time, chris. appreciate it. >> thank you. $500 million pledge and what it could mean for the coal industry. that's ahead on "up." ♪
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