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tv   MSNBC Live With Katy Tur  MSNBC  August 27, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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everyone in the gulf is talking about how tense it is. >> this is the way tell goes, things get more tense before they explode or don't. >> thanks, ali. good afternoon, everyone, i'm ayman mohyeldin. it's 2:00 here on the east coast. today the clock is rapidly ticking down for the 2020 democratic contenders to qualify for the next debates. there's just a day left on that front. as of now, ten candidates have left the stage for what is gearing up for what is the first of primary season not to be split over two nights. the rest of the pack has until perform to reach at least 2% in four qualifying polls. they also have to have 130,000 unique donors. that's a tall order for the ruffle half of the field that has yet to qualify, especially in light of a new monmouth poll that shows essentially a three-way tie between bernie sanders, elizabeth warren and
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joe biden. today, i should say, biden's team is pushing back on assertion that he's weakening as a front-runner, especially in light of other polls showing biden with a commanding lead. >> polls show that he is still in the lead. >> most important thing is the reason why, which is not that voters know his name, but that they know him. they know his character. they know his values. and they know that he's offering plans. and ideas that capitalize on the urgency of now. >> while many watchers say that reports of joe biden's political demise are greatly exaggerated, the fact remains that in an increasingly competitive and narrowing field, the debates are do or die for any candidate who wants to face president trump in the general election. so, our big question for today is this, what happens to the 2020 field, once the debate stage begins to wind down? joining me now msnbc national political correspondent steve kornacki, "washington post" writer jonathan capehart, former senior advisor to jeb bush and
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former spokesman to john boehner michael steele. and joel payne. great all-star panel to break this down. steve, let's begin with you. today, you and i were speaking 24 hours ago, we were talking about the monmouth poll. today, you've got biden's camp saying that the poll itself is a bit of an outlier. how does this line up with the trend which the more important question? >> all of a sudden, the biedzen campaign, yesterday, we were casting doubt on the monmouth poll. today if you're a fan of joe biden you're a big fan of the morning consult poll, they came out with the weekly tracking poll, democratic race. online poll, larger sample, but a bit of different methodology that monmouth uses. biden has been leading in morning consult. they've been doing it all week. double digit advantage over sanders, basically 2 to 1, better than 2 to 1 advantage over elizabeth warren.
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that's what morning consult has been showing for a while. that's what it showed last night, certainly. that's what the biden campaign wants people looking at today. as you mentioned a few hours before that, we were talking about monmouth, sanders, warren and biden back down in the teens there in third place. what happens when you've got divergent results in polls like this? one thing you can do, you can check the average of all polls. you talk about the trend name. you put every poll out there, you keep a rolling average, kind of gives you a better sense where this thing is going right now, where this thing is right now. real clear politics does this. they basically update it every day. here's what it looks like, joe biden in the average 28%. not as good as that morning consult poll. certainly not as bad as the monmouth poll. about a ten-point advantage over bernie sanders with elizabeth warren right behind sanders. basic right now, three-way tie, not that morning consult, three
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registering, popping in this democratic race. amazing when you look at 20-plus candidates, ayman, all three of them in double digits. >> i want to keep that in on the screen. steve was saying let's take the advantage. let's take a look at real clear politics average that shows joe biden is in the lead 28%. but what i want to get at here is this, yeah, elizabeth warren and sanders at 17% and 16%. if you look at them ideologically, you can say those voters are split on those who represent the progressive wing. should that be a concern of the biden team that he's not able to expand or grow, or even take some of those who are polling with the rest of camp of the democratic party at 2, 3, 4, 5%? >> i think the biden team certainly wants a cut into that margin. particularly if he wants a winning coalition. that's a phrase i'm going to
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keep using. i think what's happened in the polls, it's not what's happened at the top, it's what's happened at the bottom. tom steyer has not qualifies. it behooves joe biden to have it over two nights. why? because it's less likely he's on the say stage as elizabeth warren, kamala harris. >> why is that good for him? >> i would argue, that's probably bad for him at the moment. as the front-runner, he's taking on so much oncoming. i think it's more advantageous for the former vice president to have this debate over two nights. another one, i think the party electorate will be preferring to have one night. the fact that steyer or gabbard has not qualified yet, makes it possible it's a one-night debate which is better for the other candidates, i'd argue. >> let me take that point and bring it to you, michael. is it better for joe biden and his camp to be the front-runner
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this early on when you have everyone kind of nipping at your heels? the morning consult poll biden camp but should there be good news for the front-runner? >> because o front-runner put a target on your point. i think you may exactly the right point, the fact that theo warren and bernie sanders is greater than for joe biden. eventually, voters are new engl come out of the new hampshire primary. one or the other of those two candidates is going to come out of that primary. only one ticket for a new england progressive. and you've got to assume, virtually, all of the support for the other candidate goes to -- i'm guessing it's going to be elizabeth warren coming outside of that new hampshire primary. >> joel, let me play you this ad from joe biden. it's a little bit more personal in a few way, it's less to do with his elect ability, something more personal to his
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heart. >> 20 years later, one of those little boys, my son beau was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only months to live. i can't fathom what would have happened if the insurance company had said for the last six months of his life you're on your own. the fact of the matter is, health care is personal to me. obamacare is personal to me. when i see the president try to tear it down and others try to replace it and start over, that's personal to me, too. >> up until now, he's mostly relied on the argument of electability, something that his wife has made, that's why you should vote for joe biden. it's about health care, something that democrats ran on in the midterm, what they say is the reason they want control of the white house. should we be seeing more of this joe biden? >> well, it's about health care and barack obama. it reminds you of former vice
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president biden's role in helping to pass obamacare. i think these are the two arguments that the biden camp is going to make. the electability argument and i'm part of the obama/biden years. i made these ads, they're very purposeful. and the imagery that they use, i think this is an effective spot. i imagine you'll see more appeals from the biden camp. >> steve, the deadline is tomorrow. break down the field, who's going to make it, who's not going to make it? >> yeah, every poll that comes in, not every poll is actually counted. this monmouth poll that you got right here, this one does count for qualifying for debates. that's why it's so important. as you were mentioning you got to get 2% in two polls. tom steyer came into the poll one poll short. you don't see his name here.
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he didn't get 2% in the monmouth poll. that means by midnight tomorrow, these are the ten candidates who have hit the donor threshold. who have hit the polling threshold. you've got tom steyer sitting one poll short. he would somehow need another poll to come out tonight, tomorrow morning. not one we know about, certainly, you never know, maybe something else drops, maybe it's something that the dnc recognizes if he's at 2%, he gets in. the only one remotely in the picture, tulsi gabbard, she's two polls away. she would need two to come out between now and tomorrow. otherwise, you got it, ten candidates, one stage, one debate, one night. >> jonathan, let me pick up on that point that steve just laid out for us. one, if in fact you got some of these candidates that don't qualify for the debate stage tomorrow, is that effectively the end of their campaign? >> well, you would kind of have to think so. a lot of them would have to take
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a step back and really think about whether it's worth it in terms of energy, time and money, to continue a campaign that's hovering below 2%. i mean, if you can't meet the threshold for september, how are you going to meet the thresholds coming down the road? so, you know, a lot of folks from gabbard on down are going to have to do a little -- do a little soul searching. but don't expect them to do it until after the debate performance, you know, later in september. mid-september. >> let me pick up on that point as well, jonathan. new york mayor bill de blasio explained why he plans to stay in the race even if he didn't make the debate. watch. >> i think any candidate who has something to say, with serious qualifications, i certainly think my colleagues that you mentioned fit in that category. because america is in the age of social media, you can go from
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obscure to famous in 24 to 48 hours. >> what do you make of that possible argument that the mayor is making there, that you can have a pop -- >> sure. >> -- if you're not on the debate stage, and that can turn things around for you? >> sure. in that case, in that regard, he does have a point. in the age of social media, you can go viral and you can try to ride that wave. but we haven't seen anyone really do that just yet. and when it comes to mayor de blasio, with all due respect when your own polling standing in your own city where you are the mayor is in the toilet, why do you think that democrats across the country are going to give you a higher polling rating than the people of new york city? i mean, for him to make that -- make that argument is fanciful, i'll leave it at that. >> and i was just going to say this, guys, while we were talking quinnipiac, announcing
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the result of a poll tomorrow, perhaps you there go, steve has those numbers for us. make sure you stay tuned right here. as soon as it comes out. steve kornacki, jonathan capehart, thank you. the president refuses millions of dollars to help fight the amazon, why he wants an apology from france first. plus, a new sign that critical background states aren't happy with donald trump even if his campaign looks to states he lost in 2016. but first, breaking news, alleged victims of jeffrey epstein are having their day in court. telling their stories to the judge for the first time since epstein's death. we'll go live to the courthouse. stay with us. for what you love most. >> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ whyou should be mad that airports are complicated...
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that makes me sick to my stomach that there's prepa perpetrators out there and obviously they're out there with no punishment. pretty upsetting to see how many lives he's devastated and to see how long this went on for, and nobody did anything about it. >> that is shawntay davies, an alleged victim of jeffrey epstein. in the city of new york. for the first time in the quest for justice, the alleged victims of jeffrey epstein today are getting their chance to speak up. prosecutors asked the u.s. district judge to dismiss
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epstein's case in light of the convicted sex offender's death. but instead, the judge had a hearing to allow epstein's accusers a chance to testify. today, 16 women shared their stories, some victims, this is the first time they get to discuss treatment with prosecutors. who arranged a me agreement. joining me now sarah fitzpatrick at that courthouse in new york. and msnbc legal analyst. let me bin wiegin with you, sar. we have testimony from women saying sigh had so much self-hatred and doubt and so much guilt for everything. i still don't feel like i can say i was a victim. i feel like any of us will ever heal from what happened to us. tell us how significant is this hearing for these alleged victims? >> reporter: you can't
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overestimate how big this hearing is for these victims. this was a day they thought would never come. particular once epstein died by suicide, they thought 93 opportunity they had was immediately extinguished. that did not happen. today, 16 women either spoke their statements directly or spoke anonymously. and six women had attorneys read statements on their behalf. they were truly emotional and angry. they called out really important things both to each other and to the public. most notably, they made clear just what impact this abuse has had on them for years and years. lost jobs, medical issues, just overwhelming anxiety. secondly, we heard them -- >> go ahead, sarah. finish your thoughts. >> reporter: sure. we heard them discuss just their anger at the fact that this day in some way came 13 years too late.
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they named in their statements what they call alleged co-conspirators, adults that they believed -- hold on one moment, we're getting some noise. so they really called out by name -- >> sarah, hold on one second. you brought up really good points. i just want to get cynthia's reaction to this quickly. cynthia, this is the kind of hearing that you would almost expect at the end of a trial, the sentencing phase, for example, where the judge allows victims to speak in court. what's interesting and powerful about this, given the fact that he killed himself, jeffrey epstein, these women were allowed to speak openly in court. is this a symbolic shift? is there any practical significance in the way a court treats alleged victims of sexual abuse? >> well, we're obviously seeing a shift in the country about the way they're treated. it's very unusual, ordinarily you're correct, this kind of impact statement would only happen at sentencing. and happen with coordination with prosecutors, so the judge
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has the information prior to sentencing. it's very unusual. and i think it's cathartic for them. they obviously have not healed. it's part of the healing process. but you can tell from the way the statements went, these women had a long way to go before they get better. for me, what i'm looking for is that information about the conspiracy, because if the indictment, right on the second page, paragraph 4, the prosecutors were talking about there, there were other people involved in this conspiracy that they charged jeffrey epstein with. so, for those of us who are watching, even though the prosecutors knew exactly what was in the statements, they were part of the preparation, i'm convinced. and they had interviewed all of these victims. for the rest of us, we really want to know what is going on with that conspiracy charge. are there going to be more charges? because he was emboldened and assisted by many people over the last 25 years. >> to that point, cynthia,
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that's a really important question, can the federal authorities use what was said in court today as part of their ongoing investigations into c co-conspirators? >> sure, but most likely, they have already interviewed these vict women, and they have statements from them. from the lawyer point of view, it's important that these statements were tight and structured. because not only are they can be used in part of building a case against people, if they made statements that are contradictory, otherwise, they can be used to cross examine them. these are record statements and they're important for prosecution going forward for both sides. >> and finally, i know some of the abuse allegation, sarah, they date back more than a decade. but how important is it for these claims to finally be validated in a courtroom? >> reporter: it's huge. it's absolutely huge. we know from our reporting that
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sdny have contacted many of these victims. they've asked for participation and guidance as they continue to build a criminal case against potential co-conspirators. many victims brought this up today. maxwell has not been charged. other co-conspirators have not been charged. there's no indication that that's happened yet. for these victims, it's a very frustrating and painful experience, knowing that these people have been out on the street walking -- and have faced what they call justice. >> we'll see if they do in fact get their day in court. thank you both for joining us this hour. up next, a new sign that president trump could have an uphill battle to re-election, even if his campaign tends to target states that he lost in 2016. 2016 dawn is for more than just dishes. with 3x more grease cleaning power per drop,
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a new morning consult poll shows president trump losing support until key battleground states. in fact, his net approval rating is actually down in every key battleground. but even as his pathway to a second term has now narrowed, the president's team has zeroed
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in on four states it thinks could be the key to another victory. minnesota, nevada, new hampshire and new mexico, states that trump actually lost in 2016. but according to axios, they are areas the trump campaign are set are on winning this time around. the trump campaign will be flooding states that don't get attention. a story on trump's work on opioids and the u.s./mexico/canada trade deal. joining me now, the former senior adviser michael steele and democratic strategic joel payne. steph, let me begin with you a moment. it begs the question why the trump campaign would want to focus on states he lost in 2016, in particular, those four. >> well, of course, both democrats and republicans have a few state that they're fighting for. states like wisconsin, pennsylvania and michigan, states that trump won closely in 2016. and republicans are deciding to
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move beyond that, in the case that they lose one of these states that trump won narrowly in 2016, they decided to focus on other states that trump lost in 2016. and a lot of this is because of the rnc's great data capacity. this is something that republicans just told axios, they're really depending on it. they're hoping to use the rnc's data mechanisms to really target voters and encourage them to come out and vote for trump. encourage republicans already in these states who they think can be won over and encourage them to come out. and they think by using the state and strategy, they may be able to flip the states even though trump lost in 2016. >> so, michael, to that point, the net trump approval, it's important to realize that we're a year out from the election. if you're in the rnc, if you're in the trump campaign, are you starting to see some signs to be worried about? >> absolutely. i think this is why the campaign is trying to buy a little insurance on the cheap. if they are going to be dropping double digits in wisconsin, in
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michigan, in iowa, dropping substantial numbers in ohio and pennsylvania and surprisingly, arizona, a state that the president won pretty easily in 2016, you're going to want to make the argument that you'll expand the field. you're going to make the argument that there are other states that you didn't win in 2016 that are realistic targets in 2020. plus, the rnc has a massive fundraising advantage right now. the president has a massive fund raving advantage over whoever is the democratic nominee. they might as well use that money now, see if there are opportunities to expand that field. and we should bear in mind, though, that none of this is really real until we have a democratic candidate. the generic is always better. the candidates matter. campaigns matter. what we're looking at in the fall of 2020 could be very different than the numbers we're seeing today which are pretty bad for the president and his team. >> so, joel, let me ask you about some of these other states in play a little bit. georgia and texas, while the
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president is still ahead in both of those states, he's dropping a little bit. and there are some signs that in some states like georgia i think in congresswoman's mcbeth's district, i think it's the sixth district, it presents an opportunity here for the democrats, beyond the four states the president lost. >> sure, democrats are trying to be bullish about the map. even when you go back to states like arizona and nevada, that's where republicans lost senate seats. i don't know why the president would be focusing on those seats. but as michael points out, they have a lot of money to spend. i think what democrats have to focus on is insuring up the mess. if democrats are going to win back the white house, they've got to win pennsylvania, they've got to win wisconsin. they've got to win michigan. this is all interesting conjecture but at the end of the day, it comes down to the upper midwest corridor.
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>> to that point, to that corridor you're talking about, is it about energizing the base or appealing to voters you didn't win, mainly white men who didn't go to trump, who went to hillary clinton? >> it depends on who you ask. i think conventional wisdom says you have to pull over the good voters while you certainly have to do a lot of that, people like elizabeth warren and bernie sanders and cory booker, getting democrats to vote. there's probably a hidden democratic vote that didn't come because you assumed donald trump wouldn't win or that excited about hillary clinton. i think there's a photo opportunity to pull in a lot of voters who either stayed home again or either felt like donald trump wasn't going to win so it wasn't worth their time. >> michael, republicans are nervous on focusing on protecting the senate. should they be doing that, or do you get a sense that democrats are not competing enough for the senate? >> the senate map certainly favors republicans. i think we've got -- even in states that could be problematic, we've got grade
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candidates, like cory gardner and thom tillis, i think there's a huge opportunity to win another term for president trump. that's probably where the bulk of republican efforts and money are going to go. but there's no question that we need to do a lot of work to make sure that senate majority remains in place. and we do everything possible to improve our standing in the house. >> stef, you have a reporting that the president and his campaign are going after the house. is there any evidence that the president is working to shore up the support in key battleground state where is his approval numbers are actually down? >> well, absolutely, they're going to be targeting the same battleground states that he won in 2016 that are going to be a close call. both sides agree this is going to be another close call in 2020. we're going to see many states narrowly leaning to the democratic candidate or the republican candidate, just like we saw in 2016. while they are, of course, focusing on the battleground
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states that trump won, they have to focus on other states to ensure victory. >> thank you all very much for joining us this hour. next, putin on the praise. why didn't the president use his g7 spotlight to promote russia's leader? hmm. exactly. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. nice. but, uh... what's up with your... partner? not again. limu that's your reflection. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪
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visit to the g7 summit in france a success. and he claimed any suggestion to the contrary it fake news. yet today, the fred faces increasing yeses about why he chose to use his own moment on the world stage to promote vladimir putin. the president repeatedly pushed for russia's re-entry into the group both in public and private. as they sat for dinner. but trump's interest in the group ousted for annexing crimea was met with resistance. trump signaled that he wasn't done playing putin's cheerleader. >> would you consider inviting vladimir putin -- >> i don't know -- those are tough circumstances. would i invite him? i would certainly invite him. having him in i think is more of an advantage. i think it's a positive for the world. i think it's a positive for russia. i think it's a big positive for russia. >> joining me hans nickels, and
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david ignatius, he's also an msnbc contributor. hans, let me begin with you. tell me straight up, what tangible accomplishments can the white house point to that the g7 summit was a success the way the president has been touting. >> well, tangible, in principle, as you say in principle, this isn't fully done, as they say they have done in japan that will be papered over and formalized when they have the united nations general assembly summit later in september. the bigger thing the president is getting at here, he just seems to think there's a lot of positive energy, a lot of positive vibes. his gut felt as though this was a successful summit. in general, it's difficult to measure the success of summits without a communique. without a formal document at the end of it, having all of the countries come together and pledge to do something. they didn't have a formal communique. they had a declaration or
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statement. but they didn't come together in any sort of way that's provable that says they accomplished the following things. however, white house will say that the president had good blau bilateral meetings. >> what is the argument that they made both in public and behind closed-doors? >> behind closed doors, according to "the washington post," the president was doing very much what he was saying publicly. and that is that he thinks it makes more sense to have vladimir putin's russia in inside of the tent, as part of the conversation, as opposed to outside of the tent. the history in this, 2014, russia was ejected from the g-8, which is now g7, in what they're doing in annexing crimea. the g7, before it became the g8 was basically a way to have a security conversation. david's going to know the history of this conversation before it was the g6 and they added canada.
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the permanent economic forum is the g20, that's where when you talk about global slowdown takes place, because china's involved in that one. it's clear the president wants to have some sort of increase s diplomatic relationship with russia. and he's dangling out the possibility of russia, as he said, to go ahead and make that formal. >> david, you wrote an incredible piece that cyberhas gone on the offensive. you write if trump wants to invite vladimir putin to the 2020 version of the g8, there's an obvious price he should demand from putin. and verifiable commitment to stop russia's cyberinterference in the elections of the united states. i personally haven't heard a fight for russia, at least not in the public statements. what do you make of that? has the president insisted in any comments, either in your reporting or behind closed doors
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on russia's readmission into the g7, based on some kind of verifiable commitment that they won't do that again? >> so, i'm not aware of any public or private discussion with russia that would include what seems to me to be the essential, which is russia takes steps to reassure the world community that the behavior that disrupted our election in 2016, 2018, has disrupted european elections is going to be curbed. and second, that russia responded. the reason it was thrown out of the g8 in the first place was that it invaded a european country. little green men run across the border of ukraine. and that behavior is seen by european allies as intolerable. if the conversations are taking place behind the scenes about what russia will do as the price of re-entering this global community, so much the better. as i've said, on msnbc and in my
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columns, i don't think it's a crazy idea to think about bringing russia back into the global conversation. i think trump's basically right in saying it's better to have them inside the tent than outside. the point is, they shouldn't get to come back inside the tent unless they have made amends for the egregious behavior that led to their expulsion in the first place. and for trump not even to mention that, to me, is astonishing. i can only imagine what john bolden, the national security adviser, one of the all-time hawks on the question of russia, not to mention secretary of state mike pompeo think when they hear trump kind of drop the handkerchief with putin without measuring that pressure. >> and speaking of john bolden, he is in ukraine as we speak. hans nichols, david, thank you very much. we have breaking news that we want to get to, purdue pharma
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and its owners, the sackler family are offering $10 billion to $20 billion to settle opioid claims in 2,000 suits across the country. this comes in yesterday's landmark ruling where a oklahoma judge ordered johnson & johnson to pay $5 million for its role in the opioid crisis. let's bring in nbc investigative reporter laura strickler. and danny cevallos. >> what more are we learning about this? >> we're learning that this 10 to $20 billion deal on the table. it's not been agreed to. we'll know potentially on friday when all. parties are going to be discussing it again. the company would use bankruptcy as a tool to transform the company into what's called the
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public benefit trust. and that trust would be valued between 7 to $8 billion. $4.4 billion of that would be drugs available to the cities, counties and states.n particular, that has not been approved by the fda but fast-tracked. and that would be a drug that would be used to help people suffering from an overdose, in an emergency situation. and then in addition to this, the sackler family, separately, would be offering $3 billion. and some of that would come from -- well, all of it would come from the sale of mundi pharma which is the global network of independently associated drug companies. it's possible that $3 billion could actually go up to $4.5 billion but that remains to be seen. so, again, the deal is -- the
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potential deal on the table is between $10 billion and $12 billion. >> do you know how the process works in how it possibly could be accepted yet? you said it isn't off the table. how does the process play out from here as a possible acceptance of this? >> so, as of friday, it's our understanding that the parties will be discussing, you know, whether or not all of the plaintiffs, and we're talking 2,000 lawsuits. and we have many state attorneys, almost all of them are involved with this. so, they all need to come together in a massive effort to get all on the same page. and if they do, then we may see something come of it. it's possible it might not even work out. we'll have to wait and see. >> laura, thank you for that incredible reporting. stay with us. danny, i want your perspective. 24 hours after that bombshell or landmark ruling in oklahoma. what does this mean, when you
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take the big picture approach for the way companies could potentially be liable for opioid crisis in this country? what does it mean going forward? >> on the one hand, this decision in oklahoma could be narrowly construed because of nuisance law. traditionally, this is a law that says if you play your music too loud on your property or there there's noxious fumes, you're interfering with someone else's use of their property. but oklahoma is somewhat unique in that its nuisance law does not contain any property restriction. under oklahoma law, anyone who has any health hazard to be liable for nuisance. so this decision which is huge might not be viable in another state with a slightly different law. but in that sense it could be narrowly construed good but let's get real. when you look at some of the findings that the judge made, she were so egregious, they
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would have to go before a judge or jury with these facts because these are not good facts for these defendants. >> i assume if something like the sackler family made yesterday would have been made in the last two days. >> it's not something they easily make. this case is hardly over. there's a large number of plaintiffs that have to decide whether or not they're even interested in accepting that offer. and that's a lot of folks whose needs need to be satisfied. it may lead to nothing but may be an effort to try and avoid any future liability and globally set all of the lawsuits. danny cevallos thank you very much. laura strikeler, thank you for reporting. as the amazon burns, world leaders look to save the firefight. but the president of brazil says no thanks. that's next. no thanks. that's next. aser. just wet, squeeze and erase tough messes like bathtub soap scum
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brazilian president jair bolsonaro is playing politics with the fate of the amazon rainforest. despite the g7 pledging more than $20 million to help fight the fires sweeping across the amazon, bolsonaro isn't sure he wants the help. as the "washington post" reports, bolsonaro told reporters that he'll only consider taking action if french president emmanuel macron apologizes to him. bolsonaro took issue with comments the french president made about his commitment, i should say, to the environment as well as threats to block a trade deal. now, this even after bolsonaro reportedly mocked the appearance of macron's wife on his official facebook page. for his part president trump apparently supports the brazilian president's standoff, tweeting "i have gotten to know president jair bolsonaro well in our dealings with brazil. he is working very hard on the amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of brazil.
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not easy. he and his country have the full and complete support of the usa." joining me now "new york" magazine deputy editor david wallace wells. he's also the author of "uninhabitable earth: life after warming." david, good off you with us. let's talk about the consequences of these fires taking place in amazon. put it in perspective for us. >> well, actually, the fires themselves are not all that important. these are mostly being burnt by farmers who are clearing their land on rainforest acreage that has already been cleared. the problem is the bigger picture perspective, which is that jair bolsonaro would like to develop much more of the amazon than has been developed already. and that would mean both that the rainforests would be able to absorb considerably less carbon than it does now, which is at the moment it's one of our best tools in fighting climate change, and anytime any tree is burned or cut down it releases carbon into the atmosphere, almost like it's a piece of coal. so it's a kind of double whammy impact on climate. that's the big picture. these fires are relatively small. they're not dramatically out of line with the historical
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average. and because they were set by these farmers they're not wild. they can be controlled relatively easily. which means that the $20 million, first of all, that's a very little amount of money. but brazil doesn't actually need all that much help. the more interesting dynamic here is that the leaders of the g7 are essentially trying to bully jair bolsonaro into reversing his broader policy about deforesting the amazon and it seems like they're not having much luck. that a central point of his policy. does brazil need that? is it a populist message he ran on to win the votes of these farmers or is there something important for brazil at play here? >> there's a huge economic incentive. i think brazil earns about $6 billion a year in meat exports and most of that meat is grown on soil that's farmed in the amazon. and those markets are quite healthy and they're exporting a lot of that meat to china but there's also a significant market in europe and indeed in the u.s. so at the same time that these countries are trying to pressure brazil to stop this deforestation we're economically
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incentivizing them to continue to deforest the rainforest by buying their meat. >> you talked about how important the amazon is for the global status of the climate, if you will. should there be more of a global intervention or effort at least to intervene in brazil to reverse course, to kind of make the argument that the amazon although it is largely property of brazil has a greater impact on the world? >> that's the story we're watching unfold with this g7 story. never before have nations of the world tried to leverage the kind of sanction power that used to be used against, say, genocide or territorial incursion to punish bad behavior on climate, and emmanuel macron has promised to spike this big trade deal that's pending between brazil and the eu if bolsonaro doesn't change course. this is a major step forward in terms of international involvement. i think it's also produce aid backlash in brazil. a lot of brazilians, bolsonaro himself in particular, are citing national sovereignty now as a main reason to resist this
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sort of initiative by the g7. my hope is that in the near future we have more of this kind of action, more leverage applied to bad actors on climate, but it's not yet clear whether this one will work out or whether it will push bolsonaro even more aggressively into his corner. >> i was going to say all indications suggest that the sides are further apart than they were just a couple weeks ago. david wallace-wells, thank you very much. appreciate your reporting on all this. instead of starting school, a harvard freshman was deported. we're going to tell you about that. one more thing, next. that one more thing, next this is not just the flu. it's meningitis b... and you're not there to help. while meningitis b is uncommon... once symptoms appear, they can progress quickly and can be fatal... sometimes within 24 hours. before you send your teen to college... make sure you help protect them. talk to your teen's doctor... about meningitis b vaccination.
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all right. one more thing before we go. harvard university student newspaper "the crimson" reports that an incoming freshman who thought that he would be settling into his dorm today was deported because of political posts by his friends online. according to the "crimson" u.s. officials refused to allow 17-year-old ismail ajawi from entering the country shortly after he arrived friday at boston's logan airport. he's a palestinian resident of lebanon. now, according to a written statement, ajawi gave to the crimson, an immigration officer spent hours questioning him. at one point leaving for hours to search his phone and computer. ajawi writes, "after the five hours ended she called me into a room and she started screaming at me. she said she found people posting political points of view that oppose the u.s. on my friends list. i responded that i have no business with such posts and that i didn't like, share, or comment on them and told her that i shouldn't be held responsible for what others
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post." well, ajjawi's visa was canceled. he was deported. he is now fighting to come back. a spokesman for harvard tells nbc news the university is working closely with the student's family and appropriate authorities to resolve this matter so that he can join his classmates in the coming days. as the "crimson" points out, ajjawi's situation is rare but it is not isolated. in fact, four graduate students faced similar challenges back in 2017 when the trump administration instituted its so-called muslim ban. those students were eventually allowed to enter the u.s., but after weeks, even months of negotiations. that wraps up things up for me this hour. ali velshi picks things up right now. >> thank you, my friend. have a good rest of your day. >> thank you. you too. >> all right. it is tuesday august the 27th. presenting a united front against the government's baseless accusations. that's what actress lori loughlin and her husband mossimo giannulli say they were doing ate federal hearing happening right now to address possible conflicts of interest with their lawyers. this is the first time the couple has appeared in boston
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federal court since pleading not guilty to felony charges in an historic college admissions scandal back in april. they're accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters into the university of california -- southern california. the alleged payment went to college consultant, this guy here, william rick singer. the mastermind behind the admissions scam, which exposed the extent to which wealthy parents paid millions to get their underperforming children accepted into the -- some of the country's most elite colleges. loughlin and giannulli are among the 51 people charged in the scandal. the investigation remains ongoing. joining me now with the latest from outside the courthouse in boston is nbc news national correspondent miguel almaguer. miguel, what's the latest? >> ali, good afternoon. this conflict of interest hearing for lori loughlin and her husband mossimo giannulli is expected to take about an hour inside the


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