tv MSNBC Live MSNBC June 15, 2019 3:00am-4:00am PDT
the coldest fact, the young woman gone too soon. that's all for now. i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. good morning. i'm dara brown in new york at msnbc world headquarters. rising tensions making sense of claims and couldn't are claims as the u.s. blames iran . for attack on oil tankers in the middle east. where does the truth lie >> about-face. the president's remarks on accepting foreign election help with a new twist this morning. we'll examine the serious implications. the money trail. new financial disclosures shows how much jared kushner and ivanka trump made j in business last year. debate expectations. after the lineups are set hear whatar the candidates are sayin and why both nights could be
critical for some contenders. we begin with breaking news from the persian gulf.an u.s. officials are accusing iranian forces of proxies of firing on two u.s. drones destroying one. this as tension escalates over attacks on two tankers in the t region with both the u.s. and iran u pointing fingers at each other.ng we go to tehran for the latest. good morning. a lotst of accusations flying bk and nsforth. first, what do we know about this allegedow drone attack? >> reporter: good morning. that's right. in the hours prior to those two tankers being attacked in the gulfed of oman on thursday, apparently theay iranians spott a u.s. drone flying overhead and they tried to hit it with a surface-to-air missile. targeting that unmanned aircraft. now that missile missed the drone and fell into the sea.
now the officials that are talking about that drone attack also said days prior to that attack, another drone was spotted ande it was shot down the red sea by waters believed to be an iranian missile fired by houthi rebels. noun of this is established as fact, buts there's a lot of tensions building up and, of course, the u.s. military put out a video yesterday reporting to show the irgc removing a mine frommi the hull of one of those ships. let's take a recap of what's been going on yesterday and today. the u.s. military has put out a video that it says show the irgc removing a mine from the hull of one. of those tankers in order to covern up their tracks. president trump says this is irrefutable evidence that iran d is behind the attack. but at this point, there is no smoking gun. i the only evidence that's been
provided so far is that grainy video and at this point it's just not irrefutable. firstly, it doesn't show the mines being attached but being removed. iran could easily argue that they are removing mines attached by someone else. iran also has been arguing these attacks and the ones last month were false flag operations, designedat to flame iran and justify some sort of a conflict. the key now is to look for powerful clues to determine exactly what ando who caused t damage to thosese two tankers. the u.s. has a powerful naval presence in the region with a wide range of intelligence in assets on board. they will be collecting their brief on the attack in order to trace all the evidence back to itsid source. u.s.s officials say iranian fa boats are f preventing the tugboats from towing away the norwegian oil tanker in the gulf of oman.
and, dara, with all this absence of dialogue, all this finger pointing and counter accusations and quite freeze warningly very, very mystifying reports of what's goingti on this is bring us close to concliekt by accident. something that everybody is concerned about in this region and aware of. europeans aree calling for caution. they are saying we need a full investigation into exactly what's happened because they are very wary of stumbling into some sort of conflict based on information that's not credible or not entirely there. >> thank you so much. in a few minutes we'll talk to "daily beast" world news editor who to believe. also new today fallout from the alpresident's remarks on
accepting foreign campaign help. president trump clarifying his originalid comments on that. mike, what is the president sayingth now?ng >> reporter: good morning to oo you. because heto told an interviewe on wednesday over at abc, george stephanopoulos, that life doesn't work this way. you don'trk call the fbi when t foreign intelligence operatives or foreign government tries to give you dirt on an opposition, a political pony here in the united states during an election. after hes said that of course firestorm of criticism. the president appearing up the next morning ong "fox & friend. it was the president's birthday. that's how he chose to celebrate. here's a little bit of the back and forth l when the president first made his comments and then when he back tracked yesterday. >> if somebody called from a country, norway, we have information on your opponent.
oh, i think i would want to hear it. >> you want that kind of interference in ourth elections. >> it's not interference. >> first of all, i don't think anybody would present me with anything badme because they kno how much i love thisec country. nobody's going to present me with anything bad. number thtwo, if i was, and of course you w have to look at it because if you don't look at it you don't know if it's bad. but, of course you give it to the fbi or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that. >> reporter: like so much that happens ate this white house, this controversy swirling around, rlunclear if it has any legs. we dos know the chair of the federal election commission telling msnbc yesterday that this is not a novel concept. taking helpl from a foreign government, a foreign entity is illegal, and has been for years and, of course, democrats have been jumping all over president trump, joe biden, the presidential hopeful, of course, putting out a video criticizing
the president. senate democrats trying to move legislation in the senate ov yesterday to put this into law, to clarify the law about foreign contacts. republicans blocked that. they called it a political stun. soit on it goes now into the weekend. certainly a busy day ahead. thank you. k joining me now is senior reporter withor business inside and deputy news editor with the "washington examiner". youas spoke with intelligence officials and a former justice official who told you quote this is the single most damaging statement trump has made since taking office. does the fact that the president back tracked on statement blunt the fact or is it too late? >> it seems it's too late and it's worthat noting this is not the first statement of this kind he's ofmade. he and his allies have defended the campaign's contacts with, for example, two russian lobbyists in june 2016 who were offering dirt on the clinton campaign as part of russia's
help with the trump campaign. but this is especially outrageous, as one former fbi veteran told me because this is the president openly admitting that he would potentially flout u.s. lawsnt and the u.s. constitution when he's theth person in charge of faithfully administering that and executing the law. thexe fact that it's coming fro trump's mouthha and it's worth noting his 2020 press secretary said one day after his comments that his staff members should take his words as quota directive, as for how they should approach offers of foreign dirt to the campaign. so this is potentially opening them up to criminal prosecution as well. >> one of the president's republicans top allies, lindsey graham heli rebuked the preside but two republicans ind the hoe and senates did not. let's listen. >> i think it's a mistake. it's not okay for any public official to receive assistance
fromal a foreign government. >> i watched f the president. i believe the president would always doli the right action. >> if a foreign adversary called you would you call the fbi. >> i would send it to the authorities. >> heth gets picked at every da over every aspect. the fundamental point is that they are tryingt to keep the 26 election alive and the a investigation alive when the american people have heard enough. >> david, does public pressure o have a role in the president back tracking his comment? >> the president does not like to back track at all. he doesn't like to admit he's it wrong, he's done anything untoward that he needs to change. so when he n does do that you kw it's significant.it it broke through for whatever reason and the president felt he needed to reverse course, if you want to call it that. he didn't exactly apologize. he just tried to explain it. it's notable he felt he had to clean it hup. usually he goes full board ahead
and says i'm right all the time. >> abc news has obtained polling data from the president's campaign that showse him losin by wide margins to former vice president joe biden in key battle groundbi states. abc news asked the president about it. >> i think your own polls show you'ren behind? >>re no. my polls show i'm winning every where. >> we've seen these reports 15 out of 17 states you're behind. >> nobody showed you those polls because those polls don't exist. >> why does it bother you so much? >>yo because it's untrue. i like the truth. i'm actually a very honest guy. >> the president's campaign manager confirmed that the internal polling data does exist but call the numbers exist. the campaign said since march they've seen few swings in the president's favor. is there any indication the president is doing better against biden since march?
>> it's pretty unlikely especially because it seems as "the washington post" reported, it seemsst that the polling dat that trump campaign is setting, the trump campaign manager confirmed exists, likely relied on something called an informed ballot in which people who are doing the polling pretty much tell potential voters what the democrats are runnings on and frame these issues in a certain way in order to swing support towardspp their candidate. and if these polling numbers used that kind of methodology and still showed the president trailing biden in key states and only leading biden in two states like texas that doesn't bode well for the president. >> do you think his campaign is keeping negative pollsca away fm him orls is he in denial? >> the president and his campaign team there have a kernel a of a point and those numbers from much do exist, clearly. not a lot of doubt about that.
they would say and the pollsters would argue that was the low point, all pollsters take the best to the worst case scenario. whether or not that's true is an open kwaquestion, and it does s unlikely that the numbers moveda up that much in a three month period. >> thank youa e both for that. stay withh us because we have more to discuss. right now we'll follow the money. just how many millions the president's daughter and son-in-law mades during the second year asng aides to the president trump. plus this t article on how much the first daughter made from the trump washington hotel.ug trump washington hotel
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2020 and the official lineup for each night of the first democratic presidential debates here on msnbc, nbc and telemundo. night one is on wednesday, june 26th. taking the miami stage, cory booker, julio castro, amy klobuchar, beto o'rourke, tim ryan and elizabeth warren. the second night thursday the 27th features michael bennet, joe biden, pete buttigieg, kirsten gillebrand, kamala harris, and andrew yang.
here are some reactions from the candidates. >> i'm just looking forward to having a chance to talk about what i've been asked about. >> we have to support the 22 people who don't become the nominee has to support the one who does. >> i'm grateful i get a chance to run. >> i'll go out and do what our families do which is to work hard and to scrap and to not take anything for granted. >> i'm on the record to say i'm thrilled to be standing next to joe biden or bernie sanders and be the contrast. my ideas and energy with theirs. >> these candidates did not meet the requirements. steve bullock, seth moulton and wayne nissam. we just heard some of the kinds being polite about their
debate plans. can some of them break out while keeping it friendly? do you expect the tone to change? >> it's difficult to say. i think it will be a lot easier for somebody like senator elizabeth warren to keep her messaging positive and to maintain an easy tone when she's on the debate stage because the contenders who she is up against are people who have been polling -- who have been trailing home run in virtually every poll since the 2020 campaign season kicked off. the same can be said for people like vermont senator bernie sanders and former vice president joe biden who are two people going not only at each other but also facing off against three other people who have been very close to them in term of polling and who are also going to be gunning for their front-runner status. >> david, do you think it benefits any cane in particular? who do you think can more easily break out or solidify their place here? >> it might actually hope to have the higher profiled
candidates on at the same time say joe biden with bernie sanders along with pete buttigieg and a couple of others. they will be able to provide a stark contrast to each other, essentially use each other as policies to. bernie sanders has gone after joe biden, the former vice president, and biden will be able to say hey i'm not a socialist i'm a middle of the road classic democrat. in theory it can happen them. you never know what will happen in a ten person debate. >> elizabeth warren, she's the biggest draw of the first debate. do you think that's good for her? >> i think it goes both ways. it's good because it allows her to stay positive. a big part of her campaign so far has been to tout her own plans and vision for the country as opposed to trashing the other candidates and taking a combative stance.
it helps her because she can stay on message. at the same time it could make it more difficult for her to break through when it comes to trailing behind former vice president joe biden in the polling, in some cases trailing behind bernie sanders because she's not going to be facing off against them on stage. it will be difficult for her to set herself apart and to show voters why they should pick her over sanders and biden. >> and former vice president joe biden so far has avoided the gathering of any multiple candidates. how would he fair against bernie sanders and pete buttigieg. >> biden has this reputation for somebody who is talkative, but he is quite sprinted. if you look back to 2008 when he came up short but running against the likes of hillary clinton and barack obama, actually did pretty well in the debates. then again sarah palin in 2008
and the vice presidential debate. paul ryan four years later he was on script. i expect something like that going forward in his debate. but we'll see. >> stay with me because i want to get your reaction to new documents released by the white house late friday that revealed how much money jared kushner and ivanka trump made from their business ins last year. ivanka trump holding almost $4 million in revenue from the family hotel near the white house. she and jared kushner took in between $29 and $135 million last year and that's less than they made in 2017. the financial disclosures show that. kushner and ivanka trump work as un. paid advisors in the white house. ivanka made almost 4 million from the trump international hotel in washington, d.c. and there are lawsuits saying the hotel violate the emolient
"claws". >> this seems like the new normal when we think about trump white house and especially the trump family. no matter what kind of legal or ethical mine fields they face they haven't seen any consequences from it. especially ivanka trump's case, it's very fascinating because in cases where she's addressing diplomats or when she travels with the president abroad during his trips, she touts herself as an assistant in the white house. when it comes to these controversies how she's profited from the presidency and how she potentially could be crossing ethical lines she says i'm just his daughter, i'm just doing my duty as a daughter. it's very interesting to see that kind of juxtaposition based on the type of controversy she's facing. >> david, what's your reaction to that? >> i agree with that. people, the american voters kind of had an idea what the family was about during the campaign.
that's not at all to justify it. i would add this is one of the reasons why nepotish laws are on the book. but as was said, there's been no consequences of it so until that happens, we can expect it to continue good or bad, fair or not. >> thanks so much for joining me this morning. great to have you. tainted alcohol or something else? the big questions after yet another american tourist dies while vacationing in the dominican republic. and now, in late night laugh lines, president trump's attack on polling that shows him trailing democratic candidates. we are winning in every single state we polled. >> yes, they are winning in every single state they have polled. delouisiana. chaos massachusetts.
>> "new york times" reported after being briefed on a devastating 17-state poll, trump told aides to deny that his internal polling showed him trailing joe biden in many states he needs to win. i wouldn't surprise if they make up new states just to cheer him up. trump's behind everybody, actually i just heard he's losing to the thailand women soccer team. >> really? soccer team. >> really? plants capture co2. what if other kinds of plants captured it too? if these industrial plants had technology that captured carbon like trees we could help lower emissions. carbon capture is important technology -
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now to the morning headlines. u.s. officials are accusing iranian forces of firing on two u.s. drones destroying one. that as president trump says this recognized video released by the u.s. military proves that iran is to blame for the attack 2011 oil tankers in the gulf of oman this week. u.s. officials say it shows iranian sailors removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers an accusation the iranian republic denies. controversial china extradition bill is suspended indefinitely. hong kong official made the announcement today saying the move is in response to
widespread public unrest over the measure. mass demonstrations were held throughout the city this week on fears of sending residents to mainland china for politic or inadvertent business offenses. >> the teenager that survived a shark attack less than two weeks ago is sharing her ordeal. >> i was praying, i'm 17, i got so much to do. >> the 17-year-old's father quick thinking is being credited for saving her life. charlie winter a paramedic pulled his daughter from the water and beat off the shark. doctors say he used a belt as a tourniquet to help stop the bleeding. another tourist death in the dominican republic is raising questions about the safety of the resorts in that country as some relatives ask whether tainted alcohol may have played a role in their deaths. . >> reporter: lila cox came to these blue waters to celebrate
her 53rd birthday. but she never made it home. >> i believe in some way, shape or form the dominican republic is responsible for my mother's death. >> reporter: the day after cox's birthday her body was discovered inside her hotel room. the cause of death, an apparent heart attack according to her son. cox now the eighth american to die at dominican republic resorts in the past year, half of them falling violently illinois. jerry curran died in january. he became sick after a niefgt dinner and drinks. the fbi is assisting dominican authorities with toxicology exams. their deaths have not been connected and officials are calling these incidents tragic but isolated. still the mysterious deaths are raising questions about the whole in the country. in 2017 five locals died in the dominican republic after consuming bad alcohol. authorities there conducted several raids shutting down five
illegal labs producing alcohol not safe for public consumption. that same year 20-year-old abby connor died in mexico. her parents sued the resort. >> it's for everybody else behind us. >> reporter: authorities seized 10,000 gallons of tainted alcohol from more than 30 popular tourist spots. back in the dominican republic -- >> i want to know how my mom died. >> reporter: a search for answers. these family may never find. now to politics. president trump starting new controversy with his statements in a wide ranging interview with abc news. the president going after his former white house counsel don mcgahn over his account of potential obstruction attempts laid out in the mueller report. >> i was never going to fire mueller. i never suggested firing mueller. >> that's what he says. >> i don't care what he says. it doesn't matter.
that shows everybody what a good counsel he was. >> why would eli under oath. >> he wants to make himself look like a good lawyer or i would constantly tell anybody who would listen you or anybody that robert mueller was conflicted. joining me now is democratic strategist, former senior adviser to hillary clinton's campaign in south carolina and "boston herald" radio host, also a nationally syndicated columnist. thank you both for joining me this morning. adrian, i want to start with you, do you believe don mcgahn is lying about this and not president trump? >> look, i think that president trump, what he was trying to clarify is that bob mueller did have conflict of interest and should not have led the special counsel investigation because he had a long standing relationship
with james comey and bob mueller interviewed to be fbi director and not given the job by president trump. he could have even been bitter. president trump was trying to convey. he never said he wanted to fire bob mueller or stop the investigation, he simply may have highlighted that there could be potentially conflicts of interest here. >> what do you make of this. will house democrats ever hear from don mcgahn? >> this administration and this president has no interest in having a relationship with truth. we all heard it. we all seen it. we all seen it on repeat. the president wanted to do everything he can to discredit and undermine the investigation that the special prosecutor was conducting. he wanted to do everything he can if he could have, fire the special prosecutor. in fact there were republicans who called him out for the possibility of hinting at firing
the special prosecutor. at the end of the day those who would defend the president and his continued lies like in the interview clip we saw is no better off than he is and in fact it's disappointing because there are some things you should not dispute and that's when the truth is loud and clear in front of your house. >> there was an exchange about president trump's refusing to sit for an interview with mueller's team. >> you didn't answer questions on obstruction. >> wait a minute. i did answer questions. i answered them in writing. i answered a lot of questions. they gave me questions. i answered them in writing. >> not on obstruction. >> look, george, you're being a little wise guy which is typical for you. so you one. very simple. it's very simple. there was no crime. no collusion. >> how do you interpret that response? >> i laugh because we all know that at the end of the day there were certain things in the special prosecutor's report that
were redacted. that's why we want, democrats want him to testify before congress. and also we know that this report did not exonerate him. i am certain that if the president would have had to testify in public, or before the special prosecutor, we would very likely be in a different scenario than we are now instead of him having to play hide and go seek or having some line of cover in order to get away with not having to justify some of the things that happened as it relates to the 2016 election and russia and what went on with his campaign. >> to that, adrianna there's another point of contention the potential of accepting dirt from foreign governments and handling of email that led to 2016 trump tower meeting. >> should you have gotten to fbi. >> put yourself in position, you're a congressman. someone comes up say i have information on your pony. do you call the fbi?
i've seen a lot of things over my life. i don't think in my whole life i ever called the fbi. you don't call the fbi. you throw somebody out of your office. >> al gore got a stolen briefing book he called the fbi. >> that's different. this is somebody that said we have information on your opponent. oh, let me call the fbi. give me a break. life done work that way. >> the fbi director says that should what happen. >> the fbi director is wrong. >> the fbi director is wrong. do you take -- >> hillary clinton listened to dirt on donald trump. they paid for russia disinformation what's known as the dirty dossier. they maid millions of dollars from that. that was information sourced by a foreigner, christopher steele, an ex-spy who got this
information from russian informants. look at the hypocrisy here. why is it okay for democrats to get foreign information to use against a political opponent to launch counter intelligence investigations against donald trump and go after him using the justice system but donald trump is not allowed to listen to information from a friend leadership ally like norway. americans see huge hypocrisy there. >> i'm going to call you out. number one, let's be clear. the fact the federal election commission put out a statement saying that what donald trump hinted at is fundamentally against the law. number two what happened with the dnc is totally different. they contracted an american firm, an american firm. not receiving -- >> they laundered it. they laundered that information. >> when it was found out they went to the fbi. there's a big difference. you all want to pivot and try to distract the american people
from what happened and what the president heard. what he's saying in 2020, same information i'll repeat it again because i'm above the law. >> the president did back track on that so does that change anything? >> it doesn't change a damn thing for me because what we all know is that when he spit it out the first time he's giving people, i.e. foreign governments the hint like bring it to me, i'll use it, and i'll attempt to apologize for it later. that's what we saw in '16 and very likely see in '20 and what i'm so frustrated about if this was barack hussein obama women would be falling out of their cheer, doing everything they can to impeachment because of statements like that. >> he also reacted to senator harbor because she's a 2020 contender here and she said that her justice department would have no choice but to pursue
criminal charges against president trump after his term ends. let's take a quick listen. >> she's running for president, she's doing horribly, she's way down in the polls. pocahontas is cleaning her clock. if i were running in her position i would make the same statement. >> he goes on to say that there was no crime. but what do you make of him validating her position? >> well, look, kamala harris is showing how biassed she is and she should not be trusted to have positions of power. she wants to go after president trump for obstruction of justice despite no crime was committed. special counsel found no collusion with russia. secondly, if we're talking about obstruction of justice and prosecuting an american for that, kamala harris should divert her attention to hillary clinton because she destroyed 30,000 emails, wiemd her server,
she lost a laptop, this was all under while she was one fbi investigation for mishandling classified information. so clearly she obstructed justice in the 2016 election. so would kamala harris be targeting her? >> the special prosecutor laid it out very clearly before the american people in a press conference, if the president did not commit a crime, the report would have said so. he said that. that's on error for fact. . number to work thank god for the most consequential race. they are doing the work to haul these people in to highlight for the american people the corruption that continue to overflow from this administration. >> great to have you both.
as if you needed a reminder we're just 11 days away from the first democratic debate in miami and we're taking this show on the road ahead on june 26th and 27th. moderators, lester holt, savannah guthrie, chuck todd and rachel maddow. pete buttigieg is backing a proposal he says would make elections more democratic. why he wants to get rid of the electoral college but not for at least a decade. in celebration of pride month, nbc presents the pride 50 a salute to 50 change makers, rising stars and pioneers of the lgbtq movement. that includes ryan o'connell creator and star of the netflix series "special." to read more about ryan o'connell and other pride trail blazers go to
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now to the nbc news series "my big idea" highlighting proposals from the 2020 presidential candidates and this morning pete buttigieg tells harry smith his big idea to change our democracy. >> what's your big idea? >> my big idea is to strengthen american democracy. i'm afraid we're take our democracy for granted. >> he's young. he's openly gay. >> this is where the renewal
began. >> he's the mayor of south bend, indiana, population 102,000. >> i recognize the audacity of dhoi doing this as a midwestern millennial mayor. >> we sat down with mayor pete at peg's restaurant. that's peg. >> sometimes we've taken steps backwards and i'm afraid rear living through one of those periods. >> pete buttigieg wants same day voter registration nationwide. wants to grant statehood to puerto rico and washington, d.c. and he says, the electoral college has outlived its usefulness. >> twice in my young lifetime i've seen the american people overruled by the electoral college. it's time for that to go because it's undemocratic. >> the presidency decided by popular vote. easy to embrace for democrats but republicans defended red
states and rural states will recoil. >> when we make this reform we set it to take effect in 2030s when it's not clear which party will benefit. at the end of the day most americans of any party ought to get on board with the idea that one person, one vote, counting equally is the fairest way to choose our president. >> he said it would strengthen our democracy. pete buttigieg big idea. harry mitt, nbc news, south bend, indiana. president trump blames iran for attacks on those two oil tankers but there's one key word that casts doubt on that claim. that's next. t. scoffs ] if you say so. ♪ -i'm sorry? -what teach here isn't telling you is that snapshot rewards safe drivers with discounts on car insurance. -what? ♪ -or maybe he didn't know. ♪ [ chuckles ] i'm done with this class. -you're not even enrolled in this class. -i know. i'm supposed to be in ceramics.
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cardiologist-prescribed blood thinner. ask your doctor if eliquis is what's next for you. back now with breaking news on escalating tension with the u.s. and iran. president trump says there is no date in his mind that iran was behind the apparent attacks on two tankers in the gulf of oman. >> iran did do it. you know they did it because you saw the boat. i guess one of the mines didn't explode. it's probably got iran written all over it. >> he may have trouble convincing the public. according to analysis from "the new york times. joi joining me now is christopher
dickey. christopher, you are raising questions about this in your recent article. why aren't they buying what the u.s. has presented? >> reporter: i think the problem is people don't buy what the u.s. tells them anymore. especially if donald trump is telling them. he is unequivocal. that doesn't matter. the fact is that the statements coming from secretary of state mike pompeo and other intelligence sources leave a hint of doubt about who did this. they assume based on the evidence they have, historically, cultualulture ral guess, it must have been iran. iran is the only country with the motive or ability to do that. maybe. personally, i think it was iran. there's also a substantial chance a false flag operation
that another country or another group of players that wants a war with iran or united states would have carried out a provocative action like this. >> how will we arrive at the truth? what should the process look like? >> reporter: i think the first thing that has to happen is people have to calm down. we have to quit escalating the situation. that's will be hard to do. there are a number of deadlines coming up to raise the level of tensions again. in early july, for instance, iranians will start producing more uranium and storing more uranium than previously under the famous nuclear accord that president trump pulled out of. there will be a flash point. the problem is the iranians need to show and this is why if you want to pursue deductive reasoning, this is why the iranians would do something like this. they need to show there is a
cost for the united states exerting maximum pressure against them economically. right now, they haven't been able to show that very effectively in any other way, shape or form. diplomatically or economically. what they have done in the past is to turn to covert warfare or in some cases terrorism. this would seem to be that kind of action. something to calculate carefully not to cross a red line to provoke war, but will show that they can cause a lot of damage if it does come to an open confli conflict. >> chris cover, what would iran gain from attacking a japanese attacker when prime minister abe is in iran meeting with the supreme leader? >> reporter: that was an issue raised by zarif, the foreign minister of iran. it would be an unseemly action. on the other hand, those tankers were leaving the port of the
united arab emirates and leaving the port in saudi arabia. they were carrying refined products. these are all things that might have made them a target because iran, what's happened since a couple of months ago, there are no more waivers issued by the united states to allow iran to export oil to anyone. it's basically being choked to death because obviously oil is its main income. so are refined products. it is essentially saying if we can't export these things, then others are not going to be exporting either. i think the japanese connection is not nearly as important as those considerations. >> christopher dickey, thanks for your input. she is getting ready to talk to congress and coming up why testimony from former white house aide hope hicks could be a real threat to president trump.
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witt." the president's backtrack. what prompted the about face after explosive comments? i'm sorry if i sound angry and undiplomatic, but i'm angry and you should be too. >> jon stewart on the fight for funding for 9/11 victims. a congress member from new york will weigh in on the battle. the expectations for hope hicks to break the silence and testify on capitol hill. we begin with breaking news as the tankers on the persian gulf. the u.s. is also now accusing iran of firing at u.s. drones. nbc's ali arouzi joins us from tee ran. tehran. what is the latest from there? >> reporter: good morning, alex. the latest is in the hours before the attacks on the