tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC July 3, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
"mtp daily." we wish you a happy holiday. "the beat" starts right now, and yasmin vossoughian is here in for ari melber. we have some news breaking, trump's justice department saying they were ordered to add a citizenship question to the census. despite that public rebuke by the supreme court. and heart breaking new drawings from children held at immigrant detention centers. but we begin with trump facing a backlash for his july 4th celebration tomorrow. critics saying he is politicizing the holiday and the united states military. here's what we know so far. the tanks are already on the national mall. you can see them in this video. the trump white house is under fire for issuing special vip tickets to the rnc while ignoring the democrats. a political move not typically seen with july 4th celebrations. also, the national park service
had to divert $2.5 million to cover the event. trump still owes d.c. $7.3 million for his inauguration. the district's mayor talked earlier about how unusual this is. watch. >> the city has not been repaid $7.3 million of the costs from the trump inaugural. >> right. and that's unusual. we don't know what our total local costs will be. if we have extraordinary police costs, for example, we will seek that reimbursement from the federal government. >> so trump has ordered the country's top military leaders to stand beside him during the celebration. flyovers by air force one and other jets will cause reagan national airport to ground flights for 1 1/2 hours. trump seems intent on mimicking the kind of military event favored by dictators like vladimir putin and kim jong-un. protests are expected and we might see an appearance from the trump baby blimp last seen during the protests in london.
finally, trump will give his speech on the steps of yes, the lincoln memorial. the very same steps where martin luther king jr. as you see right here delivered his iconic as we well know "i have a dream" speech over 50 years ago. yet, tomorrow it will be president trump on the same steps in front of the monument. in a moment i'm going to be joined by msnbc military analyst jack jacobs and tim o'ryan, but we'll start with congresswoman eleanor holmes norton who represents d.c. and who helped organize the march on washington as a young activist. thank you so much for joining us this evening, very much appreciate it. i want to start with your thoughts on trump giving his speech tomorrow in the same location as we just saw as mlk over 50 years ago. >> certainly the mall is any president can go there. no president has gone there
particularly on an occasion like july 4th or veterans day. that space is almost seen as sacred space in d.c. yes, martin luther king was there but it's hard to name anybody else who has been there and certainly no president. one thing we don't want to do is to politicize much less militarize that area. and i must tell you the march on washington did just the opposite. it brought everybody together. what the president is doing now on the mall is splitting us apart. i hope he will reconsider it when you see tanks on the mall, leave aside the damage it does. in this country we have been spared war. that's why there's no bastille-like celebration here. and essentially that's what he's trying to do here. he couldn't do anything for veterans day so he's trying again on memorial day. and all he's doing is attracting controversy. >> it's actually interesting because nixon actually made an
address from the steps of the lincoln memorial just seven years after the march on washington. so it seems that as if then president nixon made the decision to make a speech there before president trump. >> for that matter -- well, for that matter, there have been occasions and they have almost all been very special occasions where one of the holidays the president has spoken, for example, harry truman on the 175th anniversary of july 4th. clinton at the turning of the century. but there has always had to be a very special occasion and here they didn't dominate any holiday. they simply appeared and left the holiday to the american people. >> all right. i want to bring in colonel jack jacobs and tim o'ryan. colonel, i'll start with you,
one associates military parades with countries like north korea, like russia. and we know he was inspierped by the military parades he has seen in the country and he was inspired by the parade commemorating bastille day when he was there with president macron. what do you make of him celebrating the fourth of july the way he is? >> it's a bit ironic -- here's a guy who dodged service in vietnam. dodged service, period. to surround himself with the trappings of the military establishment. who are providing these things reluctantly, by the way, i might add. a number of people are really reluctantly providing these assets. the interesting thing about this is as you mentioned, there are tank countries, russia, china, north korea. and there are non-tank
countries. we're a non-tank country. we have got lots and lots of tanks, by the way. we have something like 1,300. >> what do you mean by that then? we're a non-tank country? >> if you're genuinely strong, you don't have to demonstrate that you're strong. and those who are weak generally speaking parade this stuff around. we don't have to do it. the fact that we're doing it is very troubling. >> yeah, it's such an interesting point, tim, because when you see a military march in north korea it is very transparent as to what they're trying to exhibit to the world. there are oftentimes that we question the military parades and i think i have been on with you, colonel, in which we don't know if the missiles are real in north korea because they want to show the breadth of their strength, right? they want to show to the world what they have. because what we know well about north korea they have basically no economy. they're closed off from the rest of the world so all they have it
seems is their military, right, that's where they gain their pride from. here we are with the strongest military in the world t leader of the free world, and yet, we are having a military parade just like a country like north korea. >> you know, trump tweeted earlier today, he said, you know, tune in tomorrow to the fourth of july it will be the greatest show ever. that's about as much of a key as you need to what his thinking about. donald trump does not think strategically. he have thinks theatrically. he had outfitted his guards in the early 1980s in military guard. he's loved the idea of projecting power through toys, through uniforms. through all the surface things of people who were actually confident with power. and know how to project real authority don't rely upon, including senior members of the u.s. military who are deeply uncomfortable with this event. i think the other thing to think about that and jack hit on it is
that that donald trump avoided service, he got five draft deferrals to keep from serving during the vietnam war. no one in his family who has ever served up and down the line, who ever served. didn't can cross his children's minds and i think there's something troubling when the commander in chief is enthralled with the projection of power and pomp and circumstance and doesn't associate wit the sacrifice with it. >> by the way, there are two bradley fighting vehicles and two m 1 abrams tanks in stationery exhibit. that's it. that's what he's doing. he's surrounding himself with the trappings. >> on the steps. it's interesting that you bring up some of the people you have spoken to in the military, colonel, because the defense department has actually put out this kind of message to many of
the service members serving tomorrow. we have not obtained this, but mother jones has obtained this. it says basically it's asking these service members to say they're proud to serve this nation, and proud to be a service member. meaning if someone walks up to you and says what are you doing here, what does this tank say next to you, then you say i'm proud to serve the nation, i'm proud to honor the nation and the armed services during the independence day celebration. it tells people to make positive statements. don't use acronyms or jargon or don't say anything you don't want to be heard or recorded. don't guess, lie, speculate. it is instructing people how to talk and what to say to individuals that are going to be encountering on the mall on july 4th. >> these are people isolated from their units standing around. >> encouraging them to be positive. if you're a service member of the united states on the fourth of july, why would you have to
encourage them on the positive unless they're reluctant to be in the first place? jumping off of what you said. >> if you approach any service member in any circumstance, you're right, nine times out of ten -- >> absolutely. they love what they do and they're happy to serve. and yet, why are they being encouraged to stay positive on a day like the fourth of july? >> because the trump administration's profoundly worried this won't go off properly. they're worried he's not getting enough rsvps from vip's to sit with him in front of the lincoln memorial. the numbers could have the inauguration day hangover where they didn't get a big turnout on the mall. they're worried -- the trump put this together at the last minute and everyone had to scramble to make it work. >> congresswoman, there's an idea that this could turn into the campaign rally type event
tomorrow. considering who the president has decided to surround himself with. considering that the invitations have been put out to members of the republican party. what do you make of that? >> well, you have special tickets for the rnc. what more you would you say? the president has to be scrupulous about his appearance at events. there are two events he's striving to appear at, veterans day and now memorial day which had been reserved as classic nonpartisan, nonpolitical events. he is turning them into political events and i'm sure disappointed in this district of maryland, virginia, remember where he is, he would have to almost surely attract people from this jurisdiction. they're not used to coming to this place. they're used to going to the foot of the capitol and seeing fireworks and my own prediction is that's what they'll do this time. but remember, this event starts in the middle of the day and goes for almost 12 hours.
who do you think is going to come out for all of that time? >> especially when it's about 90 degrees in the middle of the day. i have been in that heat, it's not comfortable. thank you guys. tim o'brio'brien, you're go to with me. one act told another agent happy hunting before a raid. heart breaking new images drawn by children inside of those detention facilities showing kids behind bars. also a dramatic reversal in the fight over adding a citizenship question to the census. it can lead to the showdown with the supreme court and a top republican identifying one democratic candidate as quote, the most dangerous political threat to the president. we'll tell you which one. i'm yasmin vossoughian in for ari melber and you're watching "the beat" on msnbc. watching "the beat" on msnbc. with the freestyle libre 14 day system just scan the sensor with your reader, iphone or android and manage your diabetes. with the freestyle libre 14 day system,
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welcome back. amid the border crisis, searing images surfacing today showing what detention facilities looked like through the eyes of the kids who are kept there. a social worker obtaining pictures drawn by a 10 and 11-year-old children. recently released from border patrol custody. this picture showing kids in cages lying under blankets without beds. another showing kids in a cage with sad faces. as people with what appear to be
guns standing nearby. so kids in cages with guns standing nearby. this is what these kids are drawing. a third drawing showing an empty cell with two toilets and then donald trump tweeting late today this. if illegal immigrants are unhappy with the questions in the quickly built or refitted detention centers, just tell them not to come. all problems solved. all this as newly released documents detail i.c.e. agents responses to plan nationwide immigration rates in 2017. the daily beast described them as excited, giddy anticipation by immigration agents. one emailing, happy hunting. with me now is melissa mark viv areto, and nbc news contributor raul reyes. let's bring the pictures back up, guys. i want you to comment on that. just think about the life long
implications of what is happening at these detention centers. if you had any question in mind that there weren't any, now you know the answer. >> look, this has been going on for over a year and the fact that we're responding in this visceral way, we should be. but where was that anger and frustration a year ago when we knew that these conditions were happening? we have leaders in the congress that were talking about the conditions -- >> but the anger and frustration has been there for a year because we here have been covering this story for over a year now, especially when the family separation policy began by why hasn't the solutions -- maybe that's what you're getting at. >> it's the inaction, right. what we're seeing is depraved indifference. this is terrorism that is occurring to these children that they're going to be living the consequences of this for deca
decades. the parents that are being ripped apart from their children, they have no idea where they are. this is something we cannot be witness to anymore and i feel personally a sense of frustration that every day that we wake up and we don't know what to do to stop it. that is what we need the leadership from our representatives in congress definitely the gop is complicit in this because they're not willing to put an end to this. but this is torture. this is state sponsored terrorism of these children. and that is the reality. we want to use tough language. it is hard to sit here calmly, but it is a very tough reality that we are bearing witness to and what are we going to do? we're going to continue to sit on the sidelines and watch it happen? or what we'll do to take action. obviously voting and elections do matter. but i believe that there's more that could be done at the moment. >> so the tweet that the president just sent out about an hour or so ago i believe that tweet gets the crux of the problem. >> exactly. >> i want to reiterate what he said.
he said if illegal immigrants are unhappy with the questions in the quickly built or refitted detention centers just tell them not to come. all problems solved. >> right. >> it seems as if there is a lack of understanding as to why these men, women, children, mothers, fathers are leaving these countries like honduras to come to the united states. i just want to put it simply like this. if you woke up tomorrow, you did not have a job, didn't have money to put food on the table for your children, recognize the safety of yourself and the safety of your children was at risk, and you didn't know if your wife would come home that night because her safety was at risk as well, would you stand by and wait for something to happen? >> exactly. >> or would you flee for the land of opportunity. >> not only would most people flee, but fleeing to apply for sanctuary, for asylum and other
forms of humanitarian relief. i think what you just described this president's tweet as a showing a type of indifference or unwillingness to understand the problem i think that's a very kind way of putting it because honestly, i feel like he has shown time and ago he has no compassion for the children. he has little compassion for brown people at the border. he has said repeatedly that these -- even the young people, you know, i'm not even talking about the parents that these young people, he has associated them with ms-13, being potential drug mules. and we should be disturbed about this inspector general report, but the fact is this is the ninth one in two years and every single one of their reports have fault -- this is coming from the government, have faulted their standards of care, the lack of access to medical -- you know, to doctors, medical facilities. so this has been an ongoing problem. it just resurfaces in the news periodically. >> the other tweets that you did not read are the ones where he's
talking about the cbp agents doing a good job, the secret facebook -- >> happy hunting. >> exactly. this is this president emboldening them saying you're doing a good job and there's a culture of violence where they don't see them as human. they see them as vile and that's something of grave concern. >> ari interviewed a border patrol agent last night. i want to take a listen to what he had to say. then i want your response to it. >> everybody knows about it. it's the dirty little secret of the border patrol. and every time one of their agents does something like this or somebody discovers a secret page or website or whatever, the management always says, well, this is just not like us. we're honorable. we want the most honorable people and yet it happens over and over again. >> so in a way, she is actually
backing up what you're saying. this is a systemic problem that's been ongoing an yet the president of the united states is applauding these border patrol agents. >> right. organization -- >> of course there are many people inside of border patrol that are very good people, well meaning people. but there are also bad actors as well. >> well, as congresswoman ocasio-cortez tweeted when you have half of the agents part of this secret group, there is a per vasive and real systemic issue and all organizations have a culture. this organization has a culture of violence. and again, as we were saying, where now the agents are being told by the chief executive they're doing a good job when we see how the children are being treated and how the families are being dehumanized day in and day out, it's emboldening it. >> and it comes directly from the president. this is the fact that our border patrol, our i.c.e., i.c.e., our detention system it is broken. one of the reasons that the
systems are broken is because they operate largely in secrecy. >> we're running out of time. we can sit here and we can talk about how aghast how it is, disturbing it is, how much it will affect the kids for years to come. what is the solution? who is responsible and that's i think the biggest issue is nobody really knows to a certain extent. i mean, how things can get done. >> that was part of the debate when the bill about funding and the internal conversations that happened at the democratic caucus. those who were vehemently opposed, yeah, we'll give you money to keep doing what you're doing, but how do you -- >> but even at the basic level to provide necessities for the children like toothbrushes, the stories that we were talking about last week. >> yes. >> they didn't have soap and toothbrushes. basic necessities. >> i think the international community needs to weigh in. i think that we should be demanding the united nations to somehow be involved and somehow
step in. this to me -- >> because the united states would be doing it if this were happening in a different country. i think you're right. it's time for more international organizations to step in and for right now the reality on the ground, the only hope that we have is more journalists continue to shine light on these type of conditions as well as advocates and, you know, members of congress should go there. >> we have some great congressional reps like debby powell in homestead, florida. and right there they have been shedding light and they have been talking about the deplorable conditions. that's why representation matters that's why election matters. we need more representatives to step up to the plate. >> you're sticking with me. raul, thank you for joining us. ahead, trump's alleies revel on who is the biggest person to worry about in 2020. we're back in 30 seconds. worry about in 2020. we're back in 30 seconds
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concerns emerge as elizabeth warren and kamala harris makes herself a top contender. some of trump's allies are taking notice. >> one thing i'll say about kamala harris, she's got game. she is very talented. she's very smart. and she'll be a force to be reckoned with. >> kamala harris who i think i sort -- a piece for "newsweek" she's probably the most dangerous of the democrats. >> back with me, melissa mark viverito, susan del percio. and basil smikle. what do you make of the debate, asking themselves the question can a woman actually win the white house? >> to me as a feminist, as someone who believes in women, representation that we need to
increase women's representation in power, we only have 24% of women in the u.s. congress. there's a lot of work to do i think it's reflective of in a way a moment in time where we continue to live in a paternalist and sexist society. that we do in some ways -- not myself, but other women that may somehow -- you know, might manifest in doubting themselves and their ability to lead. and so i think that we have to push against that narrative. you know, as someone that's advocating as strongly in -- we endorse the candidates. we last year was the year of the latina. we saw a record number of latinas running and getting elected and we have to continue to build a bench and show the capacity and capability of women to lead. i think between the candidates we have there in the democrating party right now, we have a future president and i would like to see a woman obviously be represented. and also obviously a latino at some point in time. but we have the self-doubt and
i'm hoping to overcome it. and i think we can. >> much of the concerns centers not on what democratic voters themselves say they want but a prediction of what they believe others will support. ie, if they were to ask their neighbors if they would -- or predict if their neighbors would vote for a woman they would say no. however i would. i would vote for a woman. this is them saying it. yet i don't believe my neighbor would necessarily. >> i think the numbers in the story were two-thirds of the people said i would vote for a woman. and yet only one-third believe that their neighbor would which is just a weird way of looking at things because i mean, maybe it's because i'm from new york and i see all of the things that women are achieving. i don't think it's an -- it's an issue in that there will always be this right -- at least right now the paternal and yes, sexist side of our society which dominates in government as well. but when i looked at that debate the two debates, especially
kamala harris, i didn't see a woman of color. i didn't see a democrat frankly. i just saw a woman who looked like she was ready to be -- >> for the white house. >> yeah. we happened to be using she, but that person was ready to take on donald trump and could easily i could see her as president. >> you have even republicans in this piece dismissing this idea. a direct quote from a republican strategist saying this. i don't believe gender plays a role in their ability to win. are democrats their own worst enemy here? you think back to karl rove some people say he was a genius or evil genius, right? think about who people supported in the 2016 election. they got behind the most despised candidate donald trump to run for president and he won and they're still behind him. >> right. >> democrats are asking the question within their own party, can a woman become president? >> actually they don't think it's a democratic or a
republican issue. i think it's an across the board. i debated a number of folks when i was supporting hillary clinton for years -- i remember somebody saying she won't run for office because she wants to be with the family. you don't say that about john mccain running for office. there's all of this real submerged sexism and misogyny that's more pervasive than we want to give credence to. i think the same is true for race. we have to confront the race issue with barack obama. i think we have had to confront gender with hillary clinton. there are a lot of voters that will tell you i'll vote for a woman but i don't want gender issues to dominate the conversation. and that's also an interesting problem make generational also in the sense that now we're dealing a lot more with race openly. i expect we'll deal with gender a lot more openly. i think that's a good thing for the party.
>> let me tell you a little secret about the republican party. >> do tell. >> they will -- >> i love secrets. >> we're all aware of it. they'll put a woman as a candidate that they think in the state or in a congressional district that they think may not even be as qualified as their male counterpart or that -- because they want to show that they're -- they will use women to show they support women. to kind of break out of that -- yeah. it's something that when people talk about waiting their turn, waiting their turn, if you're a republican, if you're a person of color, you're a woman, you will leapfrog ahead of in the party apparatus of people who have been waiting longer. >> it seems like people are getting on board. if you see the quinnipiac poll that came out post debates and i thought it was incredible. it came out last night. we have kamala harris at 20%. >> right. >> just within the margin of error, joe biden at 22% and then
elizabeth warren at 14% who many people believe won the first night of the debates. that is a huge jump from kamala harris. i mean, she really did an incredible job on that night too. >> and some poll that was done looking at latinos and within those two kamala harris and castro came out on top. so she's making headway with other groups. i think that's right. as a feminist again when i saw the debates i did not see -- i saw qualified woman, i saw someone who wasn't going to be bullied and someone who was holding her own. that's definitely what we need to keep pushing. i think the issue of electing more women up and down the ballot across this country is critically important to continue to show. i mean in the city of new york yes, call us a progressive city. you know, less than 20, 22% of the city council is women. at the state level, 20, 24% of the state legislature is women. it's a problem and a pervasive
problem where the parties have to be very vigilant. we can't sit on the sidelines and say, well, things are great. we're living in the hunky dory society and we have to be vigilant because gender and rate does matter. we need government to be reflective of those it governs and it's grossly negligent right now at all levels of government. >> what's so great with what you just referred to in the polls is that the biggest leap for her was just not in those numbers but in can you see her -- who is best to take on donald trump. she really dug in to biden's lead there. >> yeah. that's always been a big question this entire time. who is going to be best to take on trump. thank you. i apologize for my phone. that was neither of theirs, it was mine, everybody. apologies. i don't want you to take the blame. i am taking the blame. i'm taking it. still ahead, a sudden reversal in the legal fight over
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breaking news tonight, trump's justice department ordered to try to add the citizenship question back to the census. despite that stinging rebuke by the supreme court that dramatic reversal coming in a hastily convened hearing this afternoon. the government lawyer said, quote, we have been instruntioned to examine if that's a path forward. consistent with the supreme court that would allow us to include the citizenship question on the census. and instructed by whom though? the lawyer did not say. just yesterday, two separate agencies in the trump administration said in writing that they were printing the census without that question,
but this morning trump called those reports fake and said we are absolutely moving forward. the larger context to all of this trump has suffered one legal defeat after another, all related to the immigration judge. a federal judge blobbed barr from blocking those immigrants from being detained indefinitely and a different judge ordered the trump administration to let doctors into the detention centers to care for immigrant children. joining me now is barrett burger, former prosecutor in the southern district of new york. thank you so much for joining me this evening. what do you make of this sudden reversal of the census? >> yeah, i mean, it's odd to say the least. here you have these lawyers that went out and said yesterday we're not going to be coming forward with adding this question. it's -- the questionnaire is going to print without the question in there and then you have the stunning change of course which seems to be based almost entirely on the president's tweet.
so you have a situation where it really seems like the left hand and the right hand are not communicating with each other and not working towards the same goal here. but essentially where we are now is back where we were when the supreme court issued the decision. that they have to come back with a new rationale for why they're going to want the citizenship question. and if they can't come back with a rationale that passes muster they're going to be in the same position that they are now. >> okay. so a coupling -- couple things out of that. they have to come back with the new rationale, so how long could that process could take if that's their way forward? >> it depends. they have to go back before the lower court and it will take some time to gather the evidence together and convince the district court judge that the previously offered explanation, that wasn't the only rationale. there's a new rationale that will appease the supreme court. but they're in a little bit of a
hard spot here because they really put their eggs completely in this voting rights act basket which both the district court and the supreme court both flatly rejected as purely pretext churl. >> and they were instructed to do this and instructed by whom? >> presumably the first time the lawyers heard about it was from the president's twitter account. the reports that they're not adding the question are fake news, but the reports were from his own department of justice and only commerce secretary. so i think that they had not gotten the memo that they were going to be pushing forward. and so, you know, this probably came as news to them as they had already told the court a different thing. >> one of the arguments against adding this citizenship question -- one of the arguments against adding the citizenship question is basically because it can intimidate people from answering the census in general. if you have immigrants in general, families of illegal
immigrants they could be intimidated because they don't want to be then the focus of possibly a raid by i.c.e. or something like that. right? i mean, that is generally been the defense of why people don't want the citizenship question to be added to the census. >> absolutely. there's a huge fear that if even this idea that this will be -- i mean, first of all, let me be clear. they are not allowed to share this data. right? so federal law prohibits anybody who's collecting the census data from actually sharing it. the real fear is not it will be shared with i.c.e. or with other agencies but that this idea that people will be scared, that -- >> targeted. >> exactly. they won't have faith in the system to answer these questions. so that's the real threat here. i mean, the worry is that regardless of what happens with adding the question or not adding it that the damage may actually have been done. that there is so much swirling an perhaps misinformation swirling around you'll have many communities that even if the
citizen question is not on the census they may be fearful and refuse to even, you know, answer the door for a census taker to take those questionnaires in the first place. >> what is the likelihood the trump administration can make headway with this after the supreme court decision? >> i think it's an uphill battle. first of all it's a timing issue. they made representations that they have to have this, you know, final draft, they have to get it out by october. so that gives them only a few months to have to make their case before the district court and then presumably go up before the supreme court again. that's quick turn around. that could happen, but even beyond the specific timing issues i think it's a substance issue. they have to come up with a rationale for why it is appropriate to have this question on there. that the court will not find to be a pretext. i think that's a challenge. >> you don't think they can turn it around and come up with other rationale in which the supreme court went against? >> that's the question. if they had a great rationale perhaps they already would have used that in the proceedings.
>> right. they had it they would have used. >> it what they're left with -- what they're left with now is the more naked explanation and perhaps that would convince the supreme court. but i think it's going to be a challenge. >> while i have you, i know this is going to be quick, but it should be quick. is the mueller testimony. we know he's testifying in just a couple of weeks, two weeks or so. what are you expecting to hear from bob mueller despite the fact when he made the nine minute statement, look, if i'm going to testify, i'll say what is in the report which is what some would argue he should stay. if he read the mueller report that would suffice. >> i think he's going to stick very closely to the four corners of the report and expect very few fireworks at least on mueller's behalf. he will be very rhett sent to go beyond that and he'll push back on questions that are trying to get too far into sort of the prosecutorial process.
he'll be loathe to talk about. >> all right. thank you very much. coming up democrats turning up the pressure on trump to reveal his taxes. what's he hiding? i'm going to talk to the journalist who has seen some of them. and some big news about marianne williamson who made a lot of headlines in first debate. we'll tell you what it is when we come back. tell you what it in we come back with the freestyle libre 14 day system just scan the sensor with your reader, iphone or android and manage your diabetes. with the freestyle libre 14 day system, a continuous glucose monitor, you can check your glucose levels any time, without fingersticks. ask your doctor to write a prescription for the freestyle libre 14 day system. you can do it without fingersticks. learn more at freestylelibre.us you might or joints.hing withoutfor your heart... but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish, prevagen has been shown in clinical trials to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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who else could he be? there is the moment. beyond technology... there is human ingenuity. ♪ ♪ every day, comcast business is helping businesses go beyond the expected, to do the extraordinary. take your business beyond. welcome back. it is one of the central mysteries surrounding donald trump. what is in those tax returns?
and why is he hiding them? this week, house democrats they're turning up the heat, suing the trump administration in federal court for six years of returns. in a moment, i'm going to talk to one of the few people who have actually people who have actually seen some of trump's returns, reporter tim o'brien. tim says they reveal a lot. the lawsuit accuses the treasury department of defying the 1924 law that says the secretary shall furnish the committee with any return or return information specified in such a request. treasury secretary steve mnuchin argues that the subpoena for trump's taxes serves, quote, no legitimate legislative purpose. >> so do you think the american people have a right to know what's in those tax forms? >> no, i don't. >> do you know what he is hiding? he doesn't want anybody to see them. >> i don't think he is hiding anything. >> okay. so you don't know. >> i don't know anything about his tax returns. >> all right. >> and with me now, the man, the
myth, the legend, tim o'brien, the man we've been waiting for, who has seen his taxes. his book "trump nation" drew a lawsuit from trump claiming he was not a millionaire that lawsuit was dismissed in court. good to see you. >> good to see you, yes. >> i want to talk about the terminology, how they lay this out which the secretary shall furnish the committee with any return or return information specified in such a request. and the key word here is shall, ie, must. >> this stems from the teapot dome scandal in the 1920s when the federal government decided it was time to keep an eye on the executive branch because of scandals around financial self-dealing in the warren harding administration. it dates back to that, and it is purely about congressional oversight of the executive branch. and it's well within not only the constitutional guidelines about the way that the congress should act with regard to the executive branch, it's been instituted in some of the law that came out of the teapot dome scandal.
so i think when neil asks for this, he is well within his rights. the chairman of the house ways and means committee, they're trying to monitor, he has made a technical argument, they're monitoring the annual audit of the presidential tax returns, and they can only make sure that the irs is doing that in a clear and clean way, if they can access themselves the tax returns. the argument is white house is making is it's a fishing expedition, that the only reason democrats are after this is to embarrass the president, and therefore there is no legitimate legislative purpose associated with it, so therefore no. >> so you are one of the few people who has seen these tax returns. i know you're under court order not to reveal some of the details you've seen. what can you tell us what's inside of these returns? what is the president trying to hide? >> well, he clearly is trying to hide a number of things. i think his business has never been as robust or as profitable and the wealth he has generated out of that business as he said
it has. he has never been as generous a philanthropist as he has said he was. the tax returns would reveal those kinds of things. i think what's germane now for a president trump as opposed to a citizen trump is the tax records would also show his sources of foreign income, and that gets to the issue of whether or not foreign entities from places like russia, for example, or saudi arabia, for example, could have traction or a hold on the president's decision making and policy making apparatus because of financial relationships he has with them. having said that, i also think the tax returns are going to have a fairly limited amount of information as well. it's not going to be -- >> why? >> well, because neal has only asked for six years. he is looking for a period 2013ish to the president, 2012 to the president. i don't think those are the years that are consequential if you want to understand all of the financial relations trump
had prior to becoming president, and those that may be compromising. there is this very interesting period in the mid 2000s when a lot of cash came into the trump organization that's never been very well explained. those are the tax returns they need to get their hands on. but there is no chance they could ever get their hands on tax returns from that time period, that they could justify wanting to get their hands on those taxes unless they found a reason, a legislative reason. >> well, it's been a tradition. >> a tradition? >> it's a tradition. it's not a law. it's because the president is not subject to conflict of interest laws that other members of the federal government are. there is a constitutional read the framers believe you would hamstring the president too much if you did that so the president has a lot of leeway, but every president prior to this has given years and years of returns. they could go back that far if they wanted. they just have to have the back fwoen do it. >> thank you. >> thank you. news about marianne williamson and the next democratic debate. stay with us, everybody.
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and finally tonight, self-help guru marianne williamson was not included in that splashy vogue photo spread of women running for president, but "the new york times" reporting says she will make the next debate, which means millions of people will see more of this. >> we don't have a health care system in the united states. we have a sickness care system in the united states. this man has reached into the psyche of the american people
and he has harnessed fear for political purposes. i'm going to harness love for political purposes. i will meet you on that field. and sir, love will win. just because you have a younger body, doesn't mean you have old ideas. >> it's all about love. that does it for me. enjoy your foouurth of july holiday. you can catch me mornings. "hardball" with chris matthews starts now. . showoff. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. tomorrow we celebrate the high human standards of our founders. we hold these truths to be self of evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their create were certain unalienable rights, tha