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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  August 16, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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that's going to wrap up this hour. coming up right now, more news with ayman. my friend phaeld me a compliment about your analysis of the story. >> a story that is changing by the minute. now congressman rashida tlaib is saying she's not going. i'm in for hallie jackson. we are following fast-moving developmen developments. already back and forth going down while you were sleeping. the state of israel saying early this morning that congresswoman rashida tlaib can come into the country but she is saying thanks, but no thanks. netanyahu announced israel would deny entry to congressman tlaib and ilhan omar, who also happened to be the first muslim
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women in congress. the president who publicly and privately campaigned for the move insists he had nothing to do with it. >> i don't encourage or discourage. the things they have said, omar, tlaib, what they have said is disgracef disgraceful. so i don't know why israel would let them in. >> prour team is standing by on all of this. kristen welker is with the president in new jersey. what the very latest on this? >> reporter: well, ayman, first,s the background. israel saying yesterday they were going to block entrance for the two congresswomen because they support a controversial boycott of israel, only to reverse today. they said they are on the grounds of humanitarian basis, allowing rashida tlaib to visit
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her grandmother who lives in the west bank. as you pointed out, tlaib saying thanks but no thanks. visiting my grandmother under oppressive conditions would great my grandmother's heart, silencing with me with treatment to make me feel less than is not what she wants for me. omar responding as well, retweeting that and saying sending you strength and solidarity. so that is the background to all of this. now, as you point out, israel's decision yesterday came amid pressure from president trump who tweeted yesterday that it would be a sign of weakness for israel is to allow the two lawmakers to enter because they have been critical of the israeli government. for president trump, he sees political gain in this as well. no doubt about that, ayman. this is something he uses to energize his base.
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pointing at omar trying to energize his base. for president trump, he does see some political gain. ayman, the big question is, is this going to backfire for president trump? yes, it may be something that energizes his base. but how does it play on other areas, the suburbs, the areas that he needs to win re-election. aym ayman. >> we are seeing some of that on capitol hill. thank you, as always. with me is the executive director of the u.s. campaign for palestinian rights and former state department senior adviser in the obama administration. husyus yusef, congresswoman rashida tlaib not going to the occupied territory to visit her grandmother.
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tell us about the significance of her statement and what this reflects in terms of ordinary reality for palestinians. >> thank you, ayman. this is so important. what this really gives us is a window into the kind of daily humiliating and torturous decisions that palestinians are forced to make every day that are imposed by israeli policies, pitting one piece of their humanitity against another. and there are so many examples. do i drop my pants at a military checkpoint if it means being able to make it to a hospital appointment that i need to get to. if it means i can't go with my brother whose permit was denied. do i post what i really think about the situation on the ground on social media if it means never being able to see my family again. do i allow my 5-year-old child
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to be taken away by israeli soldiers, if it means my pushing back might leave him an orphan. these are decisions that palestinians are being forced to wrestle with. what's important is for the first time, americans are getting to see a little bit of reality through the prism of a congresswoman. and this is why i think the israelis, to be honest with you, are so concerned about rashida tlaib. she is forced -- she has forced people to think about palestinians as human beings for the first time in a space like congress with when that very idea was taboo. >> how unprecedented is it to see an american president siding with a foreign government, albeitally, to punish those at home. . >> usually those are countries that don't want fact-finding missions to reveal the human
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rights abuses they're committing, right? north korea, syria. those are places members of congress have not been able to get into. but for the president of the united states to tell another democracy, the only democracy in the middle east that we have known for 50 years, a strong ally, they should deny his political opponents access is the part that's dangerous for national security and dangerous for democracy at large. it sends a signal that the president of the united states will not stand up for american citizens if he is not standing up for the people that elected to do their job for them. >> there has been widespread condemnation from the democratic party and some of the members of the republican party. apec breaking ranks with the prime minister of israel to condemn his decision to not allow the two members of congress into israel. this has been building up for some time. you believe, correct me if i'm
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wrong, this has been able to enabled enabled. >> they are marginalizing their own, including representatives tlaib and omar. they have responded to these attacks from the right. for all of that, all the cooperation with a pack, they were thrown under the bus. democrats have shown they are not willing to stand up. the question is how much longer are they going to put up with this? or are they going to start taking action to hold israel accountable? i think it's way past due. >> i think it is important to make a distinction between public and culture and the current leadership. the same way we ask people to do, to recognize all of us in
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america and donald trump. this is not the first time that netanya netanyahu, plays on national sentiment, similar to donald trump, not the first time he sought to divide democrats and have democrats choose between wanting relationships with israel and defending democrat policy, right? so he is no holds barred. i found that people in israel welcome debate. they value the fact that they're a democracy. so they are colluding to silence freedom of speech cannot be sitting well for folks who value democracy in the region. >> stick around for us. yusef, thank you for your insights as always. the "washington post" reports that privately he's alarmed by new signs of economic distress and worry that a
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recession could tank his re-election chances in 2020. one republican close to the administration tells the "post" he is rattled as he's been calling a number of business leaders and financial executives from his golf club in new jersey to get their analysis on the situation. resting his case for re-election on his economic record at a rally in new hampshire late last evening. >> the bottom line is i know you love me. you have no choice but to vote for me. everything is going to be down the tubes. so whether you love me or hate me, you've got to vote for me. >> joining me now white house correspondent anita, jonathan la mere, white house reporter for "the associated press", and former republican congressman carlos core sraeur row. what have you hearing in terms
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of how concerned the president is about the economic situation and especially that message he is sending to voters, which is if you don't vote for me, your financial future and retirement is uncertain. >> he often paints his election pitch in very phraoebg terms. if you don't vote for me, whether it's economic or national security, it would be such a disaster. love me or hate me, as he just said that. there is concern in the white house. is it a great economy for every american? no. but fundamentals have been good and good for a while. he inherited it from president obama and he is doing largely fine. he tied his "fortune"s to the stock market where he takes credit when things are good, which is a risky proposition. when it's not going well, he shifts it elsewhere, most notably the federal reserve.
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but there are a couple things at play here. the markets have been very volatile. there is unnerve in the west wing. and real concern about the ongoing trade war with china. that is a big part of this. he doesn't want to upset getting a deal. there is concern if the economy does falter, some republicans who maybe are willing to look the other way. if the economy starts to be bad, they may change their mind. >> other reporters describing it as everything but me. let me get your thoughts on this. the latest polling shows 53% of voters approve of trump's handling of the economy. 41% disapprove. it seeps he is basing it on the economy. does that sphal his kignal the g
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could collapse. . >> we have seen poll after poll showing it's the number one issues that voters trust him on. they are happy with the economy or have been with how things are doing, with the job numbers and those sorts of things. yes, it is the things his aides, that republicans, his campaign, people close to him have been saying to him for the last two years, two and a half years. which is talk about the economy. don't talk about these other things. it's the economy you want to base everything on. and in the midterms last year in 2018, it was the economy that aides wanted him to talk about when he got sidetracked on other issues. they feel if the economy stays the way it has been the last couple of years, and pretty strong, things -- you know, we will win re-election. but if there's any, you know, change to that, it really does, you know, it's really a serious problem for him.
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so, you know, jonathan mentioned the trade war. you can't overestimate what's going on with china. it is something he feels very strongly about. he campaigned on this. he talked about this long before he got into office that he needed to do this. he feels he needs to keep at it and not give in. >> the poll was taken before all of this recent fluctuation in the stock market back in july. it will be interesting to see what the new poll reflects. congressman, the "post" is reporting that despite the gyrations in the u.s. stock market and some of the economic slowdowns in other countries, officials in the white house at the treasury department and throughout the administration are planning no new steps to attempt to stave off a recession. rather, trump's economic advisers have been delivering the president upbeat assessments when they argue that the domestic economy is stronger
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than many forecasters are making out to be. we saw the president tweet out yesterday or the day before about walmart having great record numbers as an indication, hey, don't be worried. walmart is doing good. that is an indication that the economy is doing good. are you concerned that the president is not getting the most accurate information. . >> well, the irony here is it's true. unemployment is low. this president has presided over economic expansion. however, what is most stressing the economy at this time is the president's trade policy. "the wall street journal" signaled out peter navarro, the architect of the trade policy, and other countries throughout the world not just china. the same official who advocated and successful live convinced the president to withdraw from the transpacific partnership. so, yes, the economy is still strong. amount of economists are saying they don't expect a recession in
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the near term. however, the major stress being caused in the economy and disrupting the markets is a direct result of the president's policies. and i can see how some white house officials would be showing other good economic data because they don't want to contradict him, telling him this approach to trade has been highly disruptive and could, could trigger an economic recession. >> to that point, jonathan, as we talk about 2020 going ahead in the political calculation for the president, do you get a sense beyond his administration, inner circle, the re-election team, the campaign are going to be concerned if the numbers begin to dive? how might they alter their messaging if in fact, the numbers don't reflect an updeath assessment. >> it is violately important for the campaign team as well. they do think this is the number one argument he has to get a second term. he is overseeing this economic growth, the good number numbers. the numbers are still very good.
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there is concern this week about the markets. if the economy were to falter, there is real trouble there. polling suggests american voters think he is doing a good job. they might be open to other ideas. when there is a recession, no one is saying there is necessarily going to be but there could be. they want a bear government approach. it could lend to liberal democrats to juice the economy. i think you see in that case this might become a campaign fought on culture wars, congresswomen going to israel, plastic or paper straws, race. it dominated for a few weeks. the attacks on elijah cummings and american cities. that's where the campaign wants to focus. we will see a run to that. >> and the central issue that the president has been campaigning since day one, immigration. >> yes. >> all right. jonathan, stick around for us.
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congressman carlos, thank you. and anita as well. hiding in plain sight, the madam of jeffrey epstein, maxwell, spotted for the first time since his death. where she was seen and what impact the scandal could have on her as well. >> the president wants to make greenland great again. greenland great again. who's dog is this? it's my special friend, antonio. his luxurious fur calms my nerves when i'm worried about moving into our new apartment. why don't we just ask geico for help with renters insurance? i didn't know geico helps with renters insurance. yeah, and we could save a bunch too. antonio! fetch computer! antonio? i'll get it. get to know geico and see how much you could save on renters insurance. about the colonial penn program. here to tell you if you're age 50 to 85
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this morning we may have gone an answer to one of the questions generated by the scandal of jeffrey epstein and his suicide. where is his close friend? there have been plenty of rumors about her whereabouts. it turns out she may be not on the run or even hiding overseas. stephanie gosk has the latest. . >> reporter: dressed casually and seemingly unfazed by someone taking her picture, this photo on the cover of today's new york post shows jeffrey epstein's lesson-time friend reportedly grabbing lunch at in and out in l.a. according to the tabloid, the photo was taken monday. nbc news has not been able to verify when it was taken or why. a manager at the burger joint telling us they don't remember maxwell eating there and declining to share security camera footage. the photo was allegedly taken the same day william barr issued a stark warning to epstein's associates.
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following the financier's death in federal custody. >> let me assure you this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with epstein. >> reporter: one of the main architects of what prosecutors call a sex trafficking ring. something the british socialite has publicly denied for years. >> i made a statement. thank you. >> reporter: just this week, a woman who said she was raped, named in a new lawsuit. and in a 2015 defamation suit, maxwell and epstein coerced her into having sex with powerful men. . >> it started with one. it trickled into two and so on and so forth. before you know it, i'm being lent out to politicians and academics and people that -- royalty. >> reporter: in that same suit,
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attorneys say maxwell reported joanna schubert under the guise of a legitimate position but asked her to perform massages. a stark contrast to the glam our shots of her high society life. life has taken a very different turn. >> stephanie gosk reporting. let's bring in tom winter from nbc news investigations. tom, just to focus on her for a quick second, where does she fit? she has been in the inner world of jeffrey epstein for many years. now that he is dead, what do investigators want to find out potentially involving her? >> you keyed on it perfectly. this is someone who is definitely in his inner circle, his top associate, deputy assistant, however you want to phrase it. so when you listen to the attorney general, when you listen to the u.s. attorney here
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in new york, jeffrey berman on saturday when he put out a statement he said very clearly, the conspiracy portion of this, we're still going to pursue our investigation. if you're going to look into this, this is the exact person that you would want to focus on from a law enforcement perspective. and you're thinking this is somebody this close to epstein, the time period in between of their case, 2002 to five. we know from court documents. we know from actual evidence and records, not just statements from lawyers, she is very much in his inner circle around there. i would say this is somebody, if you're going to put together a top five list of the people that we know in his inner circle that law enforcement would want to look at, federal investigators want to look at, she is definitely in that group, if not at the top of that. >> all right. to that point, the next threat of questions being are starting to tug on is the autopsy and what could possibly be determined from that, when we possibly might expect it. have we learned anything more about the direction in which that autopsy is going? >> sure. it is certainly possible we
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could get it today. the examination was complete on sunday. as far as that portion of it, that is complete. the m.e.'s office stated they are waiting for a little bit more information. this is where the fbi investigation that's looking into his death as well as their examination of epstein's body, any information flows may be going back and forth. pete williams has reported, according to somebody familiar with the investigation, that right now the bop union hasn't made people at mcc available to talk to federal investigators. that is slowing down the picture. it is certainly possible we could get the m.e.'s determination today. we believe it is going to be suicide to date. nobody told us there is any foul play involved in this at all. but they may want a little more time to get any additional
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information they want. >> do we know why those officials have not been made available for questioning or interviews at this point or what has been inside the mcc facility, the warden, the people that were working that night? >> it's a good question. basically what happens here is you do have the ability, even though you're a government employee, somebody who has to speak to investigators on. you can insert the fifth amendment rights. in addition they have a union that's unusual. the fbi doesn't have a union. when they come calling and asking what you did as an fbi agent, you must answer. that's why mccabe is in trouble. the ig answered with a lack of candor, as a for instance. here you have a union that represents these guards and these b.o.p. people working there. so they can say, whoa, wait a minute, we're going to put up -- we want representation for these people. we want to -- you know, they
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have representation already. you have to go through lawyers. it slows the process as far as getting those answers. that's one of the reasons we're waiting here. >> keep an eye on the document if it comes out. . >> of course. >> 2020 hopeful also are sending on atlanta. stay with us. atlanta stay with us
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starting today, five democratic presidential candidates are focusing on reaching black voters. senators bernie sanders, elizabeth warren, hewell yann kos tro astro, cory booker. on thursday, senator booker released a plan to confront hate crimes and white supremacist violence, including improving policies and response empowering communities, and victims and addressing online hate. joining me from atlanta, political reporter shaquille brewster. shaquille, good to have you with us. what are voters down there tell you they want from these candidates ahead of this weekend? >> reporter: they want a targeted push to get their vote.
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this is a conference of 5,000 black millennials from all across the country. in the conversations that i'm having, one theme that i continue to hear is they want these candidates not only to focus on what's wrong, be it the country or within the black community, but they want to focus what they are going to do about it. they want to hear specific policies and plans. and as you mentioned, these are candidates who will be speaking here this afternoon who are laying out plans targeted to the black community. you have senator cory booker, who is going to be talking about his plan to combat white supremacy and white supremacist violence. mayor pete buttigieg talks about his douglas plan for black america. and you have julian castro, who focusing on police reform in this country. we can expect to hear a lot of that conversation on the stage later today. i spoke to the founder of this event, reverend mark moore jr. and what he expects to hear. listen to what he told me. >> why do you think these candidates are having these specific policies for african-americans in this cycle seemingly more than before?
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>> i think that they're aware that there is no path to the white house that does not go through the african-american community. and i think if they want to connect and appear to be relevant and in tune, which of course they certainly want to do, they have to have something designed for really every demographic in this country and certainly you cannot tell the story of america without telling the story of the black church, the african-american community. >> reporter: and the candidates will have 20 minutes to make their pitch on stage later today. i spoke to one lady from north carolina, and she said she values the fact that you have candidates coming to events like these. she said it is important to not only go to traditional events that have the black community or members of the black community there, but to come to places like this with young leaders who are mobilized in their community. she said it's a sign that democrats are taking the black vote seriously. that's definitely something that the candidates are hoping is received when they talk and make their pitch to the voters later today. >> all right. shaquille, break this down a little bit. we want to look at the numbers and we look at joe biden, who
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has tremendous amount of support right now from the african-american community, it tends to skew with the older african-american community. how do young black millennials feel about the candidates and, more importantly, are they skewing toward one candidate over the other or one issue over the other? what is it for young black millennials that draw them to a candidate when the older ones are drawn slightly to joe biden? >> reporter: that's exactly right. many people are saying it's early right now. they are still feeling the candidates out. that's why people here are paying close attention to what the candidates have to say and hoping to interact with them if not when they're on stage it will be a moderated discussion on stage. but hoping they stick around so they can have these conversations with them. one point that was made to me is the issues affecting black americans are issues affecting all americans. pastor mark, he mentioned that on issues like iimmigration. not just so-called black issues
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that affect the community. they want to hear the wide variety and specific plans and policies. it's been a lot of rhetoric they are hearing, a lot of talk. one person said this is happy land for what you hear for what these candidates have to say. they want to hear what the candidates are going to do and how they will skhaoef theachiev goals. >> enjoy it, my friend. take care, bud. >> reporter: thank you. swamp watch in d.c. disloyal state department employees, the findings from the inspector general's report, next. memory support brand. you can find it in the vitamin aisle in stores everywhere. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. trust us. us kids are ready to take things into our own hands.
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(clapping) always there in crunch time. all right. this morning's edition of swamp watch focusing on the state department today. top officials there under fire after a new report from the department's inspector general. they find officials, quote, engaged in disrespectful and months file treatment over suspicions they are disloyal on their perceived political reviews. it looks into allegations that president trump's political appointees retaliated against career employees. the second report has not yet been completed. i am joined now by former deputy assistant secretary of state and co-host of the unredacted podcast. once again, former state department senior adviser is back with us. philippe, i want to read you a little bit of this. i will outline some of the main findings from the report. it includes they found that the
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assistant secretary of state for the pure of international organization affairs, that is kevin maloney, and mari stall, engaged in, quote, disrespectful and hostile treatment of employees, made accusations of disloyalty and harassment based auto perceived political views, and retaliated based on conflicts of interests. what is the long-term impact of these findings when you find political appointees are tko this kind of behavior against career employees? >> well, it's terrible. both long term and short-term. we are seeing this be done by the white house to the entire state department. it's important i think for the viewers to understand that when you say bureau of international organizations,s that's actually code for, among other things, united nations. and it's no coincidence, part of this hostile actions and intimidation techniques are happening on the part of the state department that handles
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the u.n. when josh bolton and steve bannon and trump himself who be littled and flat out hate the u.n. they would be happy if it was dismantled. irrespective of your politics, i was political appointee for years, the department is unique in that it has two sets of people. it has civil servants and foreign service. foreign service officers are what you typically imagine as tints. and we send them overseas for two to three-year stint. it is pretty akin to the military. there is no one more loyal to america than these foreign service officers. this is not fun and games. they're not all going to london and paris and rome. they are being deployed to places like yemen, dangerous parts of iraq, of afghanistan, pakistan. they are going to places in africa where they can't anything not cooked to death because otherwise they'll get sick and
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their hair gets brittle. i was lucky to meet hundreds if not thousands of phoenix around the world working for senator clinton. i'm not sure they were. that's not why they signed up for this. and you mentioned the second report, which we'll focus on the staff, the people who work directly for the secretary. the s staff. and i think that will be much more devastating. and it's going to come down to these people are nothing but vin particular difficult and paranoia. >> so the question comes to a current created and inside the state department. it has to stop senior. should secretary of state mike pompeo ultimately be held responsible for the findings that or not culture that exists in the state department that he is ahead of >> reporter: absolutely. but the fish rots at the head. this is about the president who made the presidency about himself. and he's appointed people who are continuing that idea that it's about them and their
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ideology. the state department, the pentagon, the outward facing external looking plates are ones where traditionally people rise above partisan ship. they are serving their country, public good. and that's why they are there. this is the in ability of any political appointees in the trump administration, including the ones at the top, to realize that it is about more than just their own financial interests. it's about more than just their own ideology. it is about the safety and security of americans abroad. even prior to secretary pompeo. you had a hiring freeze instilled by tillerson. they tried to re-do the entire state department along business lines not realize they ended up spending more money because of people who are there have to work overtime and travel more. so they are trying to apply these principles of their own egos and own business experience. it just doesn't work in national security. >> one more for you. this is the accusation that employees reported in particular that i wanted to focus on, which
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is this. the report finds that career employees told the office of inspector general that ms. stall accused them of being part of the, quote, deep state and that the assistant secretary also accused of of, quote, undermining the president's agenda. how do you draw the line between what is rightfully an agenda of a president, which he is allowed to implement in foreign policy, and then making that accusation that you are undermining -- you're part of a deep state undermining that agenda? what is your reaction to that? >> two things to make clear. first, there is no deep state. there is just the state. we see what they do for better or for worse. two, the only person undermining donald trump's foreign policy agenda is donald trump. this has nothing to do with the people the state department. you have people who have been there for six or seven presidents. people who started under nixon or regan or carter or bush or clinton. and they served condi rice as
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much as they served madeline albright. because they joined to carry out the american foreign policy. it's disgusting. it is causing a huge brain drain at the state department. you have people by the hundreds not renewing after being there for years. they're leaving. and you have the applications to foreign services has absolutely plummeted. >> thank you both very much. and president trump has his eyes on a new piece of real estate. the story behind the president's efforts to buy the world's biggest island and what that island's government is actually saying in response this morning. t about switching to geico, frankly, you're missing out. uh... the mobile app makes it easy to manage your policy, even way out here. your marshmallow's... get digital id cards, emergency roadside service, even file a... whoa. whoa. whoa. whoa. whoa. whoa! oops, that cheeky little thing got away from me.
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all in one place. because when it's decision time... you need decision tech. only from fidelity. president trump wants to buy green land. yep. you heard that right. nbc news. >> corrected he wants to put in a bid for the self-ruling danish territory. it is the world's largest island. maybe there's a reason it is the least densely populated island in the world. the average annual temperature is 39.7 fahrenheit, which explains by 21% is not covered by ice. fish is 90% of its exports,
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budgeted at about $535 million in 2017. still, according to the wall street journal, in meetings, at dinners, and in passing conversations, mr. trump asked advisers whether the u.s. whether the u.s. can acquire greenland. listen with interest when they discussed it's abundant resources and geopolitical importance. kristen welker is back with us from new jersey. and the associated press white house reportered and political analyst jonathan la mere joins the conversation. chris it, greenland owned by denmark is apparently not for sale. the greenland foreign affairs ministry tweeted the out green sland rich in valuable resources such as minerals, purest water and ice, and is a new frontier for adventure tourism. we are open for business, not for sale. what do you make of his interest in buying greenland? what's the president's rational on why he wanted it? >> this is certainly a big talker, ayman, there's no doubt about that. look, i think that on the one
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hand president trump sees a strategic value for the united states in the arctic. on the other hand, it's something that some past presidents have looked into, former president truman, for example. but it's hard to know how seriously he's really considering this, ayman. this is a president who likes to spitball, who likes to throw around ideas. so we know that so far he has tossed out this idea to aides, the white house counsel looking at whether or not it would even be legal or possible. but as you point out, greenland very insistent it's not for sale. he's going to visit denmark in september. so big question swirling around whether or not this will actually come up. we just tried to get answers about that. so far no response, but we will get back to you as soon as we get an answer on it. >> jonathan, i think you may have had the quote of the day when you say the dream has died for purchasing greenland. why would the president want to
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purchase this island? what are the women fits for the u.s.? >> this is my favorite story in a long time. it's one way for the trump campaign to expand the electoral college map, add green zbland we don't know if he was buying it for the u.s. or him personally. >> i guess that's also true. we're on this 24-7, this story. there are a few reasons here. it's an island abundant in natural resources which is what is captured the president's attention. because of where it's located has strategic value. it's been looked at as a place for a military installation. the u.s. has a base there. there are reasons why one would consider buying greenland, and you can buy countries, that does happen from time to time. but certainly does not seem like that's going to happen here. we will watch carefully when the president does venture to denmark and perhaps makes a stop in greenland on the way back, plants the u.s. flak ag and we from there. >> kristen welker, thank you. see if you can find out if it
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was for the u.s. or president trump's personal use. >> i'm on it. >> thanks. coming up in the next hour, 2020 presidential candidate julian castro joins craig melvin. we'll be right back with what our sources or saying. right ba our sources or saying. i'm alex trebek here to tell you
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from accidentally visiting sites that aren't secure. and if someone trys we'll let you know. xfi advanced security. if it's connected, it's protected. call, click, or visit a store today. all right. welcome back, everyone. we continue to following the breaking news out of israel and occupied palestinian territories involving israel's decision to ban congresswomen's rashida
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tlaib and ilhan omar from entering israel as well as the west bank. we know now that "the washington post" has managed to interviewer and speak to congresswoman tlaib's grandmother. and the reporter who did that interview joins us now on the phone. he's a "washington post" foreign reporter james mccauley. good to have you with us. i want to get to your reporting in a moment, but i want to read a statement that was just tweeted out by israel's minister interior saying i approved her request on a humanitarian basis. apparently her hate for israel overcomes her love for her grandmother. you just spoke to her grandmother, what did she have to tell you? >> reporter: yes, thank you so much for having me. the truth is, congresswoman -- sorry, the truthsy think
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congresswoman tlaib's grandmother had no interest in politics. everything that she told me this morning suggested that she just wanted to see her granddaughter whom she hasn't seen since 2007 and she wasn't interested in discussing anything about the kind of recent spat between her granddaughter and israeli officials. and, in fact, when asked to comment on president trump and his involvement in this entire affair, she -- she laughed and said, who? i don't -- i don't know who that is and don't care to comment. so this is a woman who i think was just looking forward to a family reunion and had little else to weigh in on besides that. >> and to that point, can you tell us a little bit about what it was like just going to visit her, the conditions in which she lives in and more importantly what it's like that a grandmother will not be able to see her granddaughter regardless of the politics, as you mentioned, but what does this reflect on the lives of ordinary palestinians living that reality every day? >> i think that's a very
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complicated question and, you know, it's difficult to say. and what i can tell you is that her grandmother lives in the same house that she's lived in since the mid-1970s. it is the sort of locust of the family and the family's life. and i think, you know, she was really hoping that her granddaughter would be able to join her. as the congresswoman wrote the other day, it may very well have been for the last time. her grandmother mentioned that she doesn't know exactly how old she is, but it's at least 85 and maybe in her mid-90s, as old as in her mid-90s. so i think that this was -- this is ultimately for politics aside and, you know, there are interpretations on both sides as to who quote unquote wins this spat, what each interpretation means, i think the person who loses here is -- is the grandmother who was really looking forward to seeing her
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grandchild. and who doesn't really seem to understand why it is that she cannot come. like, the structural factors at play. >> right. and couldn't have been said any better, it is a grand moshlg who is not able to see her granddaughter. "washington post" james mccauley, thank you so much for joining us this hour. that does it for me on this hour of msnbc live. right now more news with my colleague craig medical skrin rig melvin here in studio. he's rattled, that is how one republican close to president trump reportedly described his mood amid concerns of an economic downturn as he faces the possibility of losing his greatest election advantage, the president once again lashing out and fanning the flames of a culture war. plus, thanks but no thanks as the president's culture war plays out overseas. israel reversing

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