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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 5, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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spent the day ducking question base how many troops -- how many troops when they'll arrive, where exactly they'll be deployed, and what they'll be expected to do there. all questions in administration ought to be able to answer. but they either can't or won't. then there is the president's insistence he wants to withdraw from syria in his words very soon. sources telling cnn a meeting between the president and top military brass turn tense when they argued against the immediate action. in spite of his annoyance the president held off on pulling troops from syria. but one source says he demanded the troops finish the mission against isis within six months. just the latest example of a president determined to go his own way, even if that puts him at odds with his own advisers. i want to bring in national security analyst, samantha vinegrad. evan mcmullin and. and mr. ken cuccinelli. good to have you on everyone.
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the president's cabinet spent the day on cleanup duty, sort of. in some case cases walking back what the president said, and in other cases scrambling to craft a policy around what he said as sort of fitting what he said. is there a disconnect between the president and his team? >> well, i think we have seen this sort of tumultuousness before. you started with syria. and if the president really rolled back the american presence in syria, which he would during the campaign, he would be the first president since george bush senior to keep foreign policy campaign promises. i mean, clinton didn't. bush junior didn't. obama didn't. frankly. >> so ken with all due respect the question was -- the question was. >> it would be nice to see that. >> the question was is there a disconnect between him and his advisers. i appreciate you touting what the president could be doing. >> they don't agree on everything but they never will. but the advisers and he is the
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decider trp. it sounds like if the introduction was accurate that they're convince him to slow down the time table. but he is still set a hard goal. and it's a good goal for america. >> thank you for answering the question go ahead see van. >> he also promised on the campaign trail he wasn't setting deadlines and publicly telegraph them to the enemy and that's what he has done. >> he criticized president obama for doing that. >> he criticized all kind of leaders for setting time tables and time lines for withdrawals. i also grow that that's a mistake. that's exactly what he has done here. look he is the decider, the commander in chief. all that is fine and dandy. but there has to be expertise at the table. and the reality is that president trump is an ignoramous on national security. he proves it every day. he is not listening to people with decades of experience. the truth is if we pull out of syria we only have 2,000 troops there about. if we pull out in six months you
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cede syria to iran, russia, and bashar al assad and putting israel's security at risk. you're putting our own security interests at risk. you're increasing the -- the strong likelihood that refugee flows will also increase into europe to further destabilize politics there. look, he is the commander in chief but he has responsibility to make wise decisions too. he can't do it without expertise that he doesn't have but his advisers do. >> okay. gosh who do i go to next sam or ken because she is nodding head yes or he is no. >> i think we are conflating two things. one is president trump should have policy views. >> true. >> and it's correct he has wanted to withdraw foreign forces from overseas. but we're reading way too much into it. his statements about drawing down in syria last week and earlier this woke were a result of him weigh up on the wrong side of the bed. i heard from multiple sources he is angry with the saudis and other arab countries for not doing more.
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okay. but that's when you go to the national security team and have a meeting. you talk to the intelligence community. and you say, okay, how can we get these guys to do more? you don't go in front of the press, make a statement that no one on the team has coordinated on on turn the national security team into a cleanup squad that wipes up your messes rather than actually doing any work. use the situation room. have a meeting and listen to experts. >> that was the answer to the question that i asked you at first, ken. was there a disconnect? so thank you for answering that, sam. >> here to help, don. >> why are you shaking your head though to, ken? >> well, i'm shaking my head no to your comment about me answering the question. and look, some of what i've heard here i agree with. but he set the marker. and whether he was cranky when he set the marker and whether he was more public in setting the marker. he set the marker. it's consistent with what he said in the campaign.
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he donate isn't telling anybody anything new except for the time line comment that evan mentioned and the president did criticize time lines by president obama. i think that was public and it shouldn't have been. but he set that marker with his own team. look, guys i'm compromise with you on how we do this. but i'm going to keep the goal. and i think that's where they are right now. that could change. that could evolve. but he is setting the tone and he is setting it consistent now with how he ran which isn't what happened in afghanistan. >> that's all well and good. listen. that's the president's prerogative. but i think sam is right on this point. it shouldn't surprise anyone or his national security team or any of his advisers or any of his press people, communications people, by saying something that they hadn't heard about, hadn't discussed, hasn't been, you know, meted out to everyone in the administration or at least people who should know. that catches people off guard,
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least of which is the person people. do you disagree with that. >> well we're talking about that like it's new. i don't disagree. >> right but he did it again with the deployment to the southern border didn't he. >> excuse me, this is part of how he has operated. and then they -- then they adjust if they want to adjust going forward. the introductory comments about the national guard troops, he stated a concept -- i don't think they know a number. because i don't think they know yet how many they can deploy consistent with the budget and the law. >> evan. >> but he said what he is going to do. and he is already doing it. they're talking about the possibility of troops start showing up in days. >> shouldn't that. >> it's about time. >> it's about time. >> i'll give that you, whatever. because president bush did it. president obama also did it in a limited which. they also told people what they were going to do. they told people it wasn't permanent. the people weren't like standing there armed -- arm in arm linked as if in some enemy territory.
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so it's a different situation. but, i mean, evan shouldn't they have figured this out or he have figured this out before he stood in front of people saying we're putting the military on the border. >> of course he should have. but this is the way president trump has operated even since his candidacy. i remember hearing from a policy team they would sit and wait for the president, the candidate at the time to make some statement off the cuff that would usually be outside of what any expert would advise. and then they would go try to back fill and explain the policy to try to demonstrate that it was indeed a reasonable policy. that works as a candidate i guess to some degree rhetorically it works. but when you're the commander in chief leading a country like ours when you should be the leader of the free world, your words matter. when you speak it has to matter. and you have to go through a process before hand. i'll tell you one of the underlying problems here is that the president seems to have this
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idea that our engagement -- that america's leadership in the world and engagement in the world is costing us in the macrosense. that we are on the losing end and being taken advantage of when we lead in the world. when in reality our leadership since the second world war enriched and empowered this nation greatly and more than not served the interests of the world. but most importantly ours. he seems to not buy that he seems to think we're cheated when we're not. that cause him to be angry at allies and partners and to do things not in our interest such as pull out of syria before it's time. >> that's more in his head. and that's an indication of how the president as you said -- that's of an indication about how the president feels about everything that everyone is being taken advantage of, and you would wonder, do we live in the greatest country on earth if you listen to the rhetoric? what do you feel about this, sam particularly what's happening on the border.
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>> this was not a carefully coordinated policy rollout. look, president bush, and osh made the decision after a process. consulted with dhs, dod. a mission identified and resources accurate alokate against a michigan. the president is angry that no one will pay for the wall. he tweeted about mexico and the democrat, then about the military funding the wall. coincidentally. >> not sure where in comes from. >> coincidentally we hear we are sending narnl guardman to the border for an undefined mission. i would like to ask sara sanders or the president was there a meeting about this? did anyone talk to each other before the president said this a few days ago or was the team trying to wipe up his mess. >> you said you agree with all of that because the president is upset about a number of different things. >> i think that's definitely where it came from. this began -- this began with the saying. >> hold on let me get the question i promise to let you
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respond. >> sure. >> should he be mad at himself by promising that the mexico would pay for the wall now the american people are being made to either -- to pay for the wall if they decide to do that? or at the wrath of his anger? over not being able to get it done. >> first of all, the -- the multiple efforts he has made to pursue american funding of the wall make -- make that not new. he is willing to pay for it whatever he said. >> it is new he said mexico was paying for the wall. >> i remember i was there, don. but we've seen since at least september he has been willing to and demanding of congress to fund this. so. >> that wasn't the campaign promise. >> i agree. i'm not arguing with you on that. >> yeah. >> but look, the national guard piece, i think, began -- is rooted in the failure of congress to address immigration, as president trump wanted it,
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when daca was live and the omnibus was floating and immigration was possibly wrapped up in that. when absolutely nothing happened combined with a couple of district judges essentially ordering this president to obey the last president's executive order, then he started to get really angry. we saw the weekend tweets. and here this is the outcome of it even if we don't know the number -- i think it's a good idea to put national guardman on the border it's about time. >> so listen. >> everything i say is honestly done. >> i'm asking you a an honest question. he said -- mexico is going to pay for the wall over and over and over again. the american people wouldn't have to worry about it. the mexico is not going to pay for the wall. and then now he is upset because mexico won't pay for the wall. he ended daca, blaming the democrats. he has a republican house and republican congress. and he is a republican president is sitting in the white house. shouldn't he be mad at himself? >> no, but i think he should be
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mad at the other republicans. of course he can't get 60 votes in the -- in the senate there is only 51 republicans. and that counts people likely is a murkowski and mitch mcconnell. >> stop right there. >> if there is a chance to solve this. >> if he reached out to republicans and democrats in the senate and in congress, don't you think -- instead of just appealing to his base, don't you think he may have been able to get some of this done? and he wouldn't be so angry, wouldn't have to angry tweet. >> i think he could have gotten some of this done if he v. he toed the omnibus but he didn't he signed itten a said i'll never do it again. >> let me just -- no that's trump's fault. >> he should have vetoed that bill that was his leverage. and he didn't do it. >> okay. >> the republicans in congress have had a hard time -- in fact they failed to do immigration reform for years. all right. tlfts an effort to do it years ago. and it failed.
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and then in the last few years before trump became president there was another sort of silent -- or private effort to try to get it going again. that failed too. there is a reason why republicans can't do immigration reform. and that's because there is part of the base has become anti-immigration, become kpen ophobiaic and nativist. trufr made that worst since becoming president. he has made it worse. and it is the republicans in congress. but it's also his doing. >> okay. i'm overtime. sam finish up for me. last word. >> why are we conflating the immigration and lack of progress with sending national guardman to the southern border? are they will to solve a problem? or the president angry and sending perhaps thousands of people down to the border for no reason. >> where is my little chart? i had is here. look -- see this border crossings look how much they are down. >> exactly.
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>> since 2001 it started back in 2001. >> what is the mission they're doing. >> under bush -- under obama and guess what, my fact check says the drugs that are coming over don't come over the wall. they come through entry points and come by airplane, by boat, by car. they don't come -- and then over the wall -- you know they throw it over? shoot it over fax through tunnels. >> it doesn't matter when you're a populist. >> we're spending billions on a wall that will do nothing. okay thank you all. >> good night. >> good talk. good night. when we come back, think you've heard the last of stormy daniels. think again. aren'ten exclusive the attorney explains why he thinks the whole truth has not yet been told.
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a cnn exclusive, the attorney representing porn star stormy daniels and play mate karen mcdougal about stories that buried the sexual encounters with trump. now say the whole truth hasn't been told. the sarah sidener sat down with keith davidson. >> don keith davidson talked about whether his contracts did have affairs have donald trump and he talked about the numerous times he had conversation was michael cohen, donald trump's personal attorney. it turns out the conversations continued even after he stopped representing both of the women. keith davidson calls it a
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coincidence that just before the presidential election he was involved in the deals for not one but two women who claim to have had affairs with donald trump, effectively keeping the stories secret. >> do you believe what stormy daniels said about the sexual encounter with mr. trump? >> you know, i believe my client. >> and karen mcdougal. >> yes. >> for the first time davidson is speaking exclusively to cnn, saying he is constrained by attorney client privilege but still giving new details about how the deals came about. stormy daniels' confidentiality deal signed days before the election started with a phone call from donald trump's personal attorney michael cohen. >> and michael cohen calls you up and says what? about stormy daniels? >> he says, i'm hearing rumblings out there and you know the press is poking around about stormy daniels. do you have any information on that?
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>> did you at the time? >> no. >> so what did you say back. >> i'll call you back. >> and what happened in between that time? >> well, that's where really the communications, you know, get between my client and i and what i can and can't disclose and everything else. >> do you see how the phone call from michael cohen might seem nefarious and the fact that he called you? >> no, quite frankly i really don't. mr. cohen and i had a discussion in 2011. there was a website, the posted a story about miss daniels in 2011. i used my best efforts to get that story taken down purnts to my client's wishes. we were successful in doing that. five years later the store perk lates up again. it's a natural phone call for anyone to make in mr. cohen's position to circle back and say have circumstances changed? that was really what it was an inquiry. >> the inquiry led to daniels signing an agreements not to talk about the affair in exchange for $130,000. >> can you tell me about the payment?
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did michael cohen ever indicate to you that he was paying this $130 thousand thousand for stormy daniels out of his own personal finances? >> yes. >> and back then did he say to you, look i'm having to take a loan out on my house to get this done? >> this was never any conversation about that. >> and was one of a number of contacts between cohen and davidson. a few weeks earlier, davidson says he himself reached out to cohen after brokering an agreement between play boy play mate karen mcdougal who sold rights to ami, the parent company of the national inquirer for $150,000. >> i think i called him as a perceivingle courtesy to let him know that a matter was resolved. and that as professional courtesy it may or may not have involved his client. >> was he involved in the deal at all. >> certainly wasn't involved on our end.
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and there is no basis for me to believe that he was involved or had any communication with ami. >> do you see why karen mcdougal and her current representation might construe that as a conspiracy behind her back that there is something else going on that michael cohen was behind all this being a puppet master, if you will? >> well i think generally sfaeg a conspiracy would have to involve an act taking place before. and that wasn't the case. my conversation with michael cohen took place after miss mcdougal had already solidified the deal with ami. >> dachds says he and cohen met in person this year more than once to discuss violations of the non-disclosure contract. >> have you spoke ton michael cohen since? >> yes. >> and what did he say to you? >> the last conversation i had with michael cohen, he -- he called to offer his opinion as to whether or not miss daniels
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and miss mcdougal had breached the attorney client privilege and there by waived it. it was his assertion that each had. and he was encouraging me and informing me as to his opinion that they -- they in fact had waived the attorney client privilege and he suggested that it would be appropriate for me to go out into the media and spill my guts. >> are you here at the behest of michael cohen. >> no. no. no, not in any way shape or form. >> davidson was evenly fired by both women who then hired new attorneys and filed suit to get out of their deals. >> why are you here? >> you know, there's been certain things that have been you know written and said. and i'd like the truth to come out to the extent that i can assist in that endeavor that's why i'm here. >> is the whole truth out? yet?
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>> not, i don't believe so. i think most of it. not the whole truth. >> stormy daniels' current attorney had this to say about the comments davidson made saying mr. davidson shouldn't be making any comment to the press relating to a matter or a client that is terminated him, including miss daniels. he said with all that said obviously the facts of the case and all of them still have not come out. something that he has said for weeks now. as for mr. cohen, he has not made any comment on the story. don. >> sarah, thank you very much. and you just heard keith davidson talk about several conversations he had michael cohen. when we come back could either stormy daniels or karen mcdougal use the conversations in their suits?
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internet providers promise business owners a lot. let's see who delivers more. comcast business offers fast gig-speeds across our network. at&t doesn't. we offer more complete reliability with up to 8 hours of 4g wireless network backup. at&t, no way. we offer 35 voice features and solutions that grow with your business. at&t, not so much. we give you 75 mbps for $59.95. that's more speed than at&t's comparable bundle, for less. call today. a strange twist as we saw the former lawyer for stormy daniels and karen mcdougal. i want to talk about the author of make it rain. also defense attorney joe tacapino is here. thanks for dressing up, joe. >> after 11:00 no ties.
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>> listen, we heard from sarah side ner who spoke with keith davidson, the broker of the hush deals between stormy daniels and karen mcdougal. what stood out to you in the interview. >> that michael cohen once again seems to have skipped a day of law school, the day where they said what attorney client privilege means. the fact that he reached out to this lawyer and suggested this lawyer go on national tv and media and spill his guts about everything he learned from his clients because somehow he claims his clients broke the attorney client privilege when they went public with stories. one has absolutely nothing to do with the other. fortunately, davidson went and got advice from an ethics lawyers lawyer which clearly cohen is not and was told that's ridiculous. you do that you'll have real legal problems. but the fact that cohen is out there trying to get in lawyer to break attorney/client privilege is now become fodder foreadditional filings in this
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case. it's never ening. >> go ahead, arriva what do you think. >> it's ridiculous, cohen knows nothing about california law. he is telling this guy to do something that could get him disbarred. we know he has already had issues from the california state bar. fortunately as joe said he didn't take the advice. the clients didn't waive the privilege. the privilege belongs to the client and only the client has the power to allow the lawyer to speak publicly about their case. clearly in this case they have not given him the thereto to do so. i was concerned listening to the interview thinking he was getting dangerously close to violating the privilege. and we may see stormy daniels' lawyer file a complaint with the state bar, file something with the court, you know making the accusations that davidson is violating that privilege. i don't see any gain for davidson in this case. he can't tell anything that was said to him in confidence by the clients. so i don't see what he gains other than getting himself
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potentially in trouble with the state bar. >> um-hum. so stormy daniels current attorney. >> or arriva. >> quick joe because i want to get the sound bite in. >> go ahead, don. >> the current attorney michael avenatti he spoke to anderson a if you hours ago and had choice words about this guy. check this out. >> i've been very careful in what i've said about keith davidson, anderson over the last few woks. but i'm saying this. keith davidson is an absolute tool. he is an absolute tool. i'm say going on national television tonight. because what he has done by giving in interview is really unheard of in the legal profession. for him to go out and comment on two matters, one for mcdougal and one for my client after he was terminated in both cases, all in an effort i guess to get his name oh out there or face on television is outrageous. and it's unethical. there will be serious consequences resulting from it.
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i'm shock. >> joe what do you think? >> well, i'm going to say what i was about to say this time with more juice. i disagree with that at the same time completely. yes it's unorthodox he went out and spoke. but understand he has been asailed without being able to respond and still can't respond. if you look at that brf and i watched it and read it, he didn't violate any privileges. all he simply said was i believe my clients. he said there are other things no one knows about. he talked about what cohen did. what cohen said. i don't think -- he certainly didn't harm both mculg dowling and daniels. he said he credited their stories. i don't know what the big brouhaha. but don't forget this guy has been beaten and called incompetent and called a tool all these other things. it's almost unfair to attack him. because he can't tell his side of the story at this point of the proceedings so. >> arriva. >> i disagree with you, joe you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen.
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he knew what he signed up for as a lawyer. we all sign up for the same thing as attorneys. we agree to keep the confidences of clients. we don't get to go out and spill the beans because our clients call us nasty names. how many times have our client clients asailed it happens all the time. you don't get to go out on the attack to protect the represent indication. >> he didn't though. >> if it's dangerously close to violating the attorney client privilege. >> arriva site in the interview where he violated the privilege one word. >> listen what i said. i said he is dangerously close and nothing he can say of substance without violating it. all he does is get to come on tv say i can't tell you anything. that's all he can say. i think there is no value in that. >> i agree with you arriva, i wouldn't do it you wouldn't do it. you i wouldn't you wouldn't. but he is being asailed. he didn't violate. >> he is a big boy grow up. >> got to go. >> put your big boy pants on and take it that's what he winnow we sign up for as lawyers. >> he just wants to punch back
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with his big boy pants. >> do it when the bar calls him. >> you too. >> he'll have a chance to strike back. >> you know what people say when people say get a room. you two get a show. all right we'll be right back. >> don.
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so the white house is making it clear today that president trump is not okay with the deal epa chief scott pruitt got to rent a cut rate condo from a couple of lobbyists. let's discuss now richard painter is a o an ethics lawyer. and amanda carpenter and scott jennings. richard i want to start with you being that you know ethics. epa chief embroiled in multiple controversies. notably the rental agreement he signed with two lobbyists for $50 a night. the top ethics watch dog is clarifying his analysis from last week. which appeared to clear prurt of wrong doing. he is now saying he didn't have all the facts when evaluating the lease according to the campaign legal center.
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his conclusion was based on the assumption that pruitt followed the lease terms as written. in case pruitt is watching, i mean, do you want to give him a little guidance on this? >> well, what happens from time to time is that people go get the ethics opinion from the ethics lawyer and give the ethics lawyer about half the facts. and if the ethics lawyer doesn't bother to ask and find out the other half of the facts, there is a rush to an opinion. and then that's used to justify all sorts of stuff. you know, and that's what happened here. this is basic though. it's not rocket science. $50 a night for a room in washington, d.c. that is a steal. nobody is going to find a room for $50 a night. middle class family goes to washington, d.c. they want to find a two-star hotel maybe $200 if they're lucky. foreign governments pay 500 or $600 a night the at the trump
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hotel so they give the president emoluments. but nobody get something $50 a night for a room or condo in the washington, d.c. unless you are the secretary of the environmental protection agency. unless it's a lobbyist's wife. he should be fired for this. this is unacceptable. never would have happened -- i ner saw that kind of thing in the bush white house. >> the white house was asked about the epa chief scott pruitt and his apartment deal today. watch this. >> confidence in the epa administrator at this point. >> the president thinks he is doing a good job particular on the deregulation front. but we are taking it serious lyn a and looking into it we'll let you know. >> richard just said he should be fired, when you hear that you think fire friday? or fire day as we call it? is pruitt gone by the end of the week? >> no, i don't think so. i think as the press secretary
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there said, the president must be happy with what skroot scott pruitt is doing with the ep. a because he has been one of the most effective cabinet officers as rolling back the obama regulatory regime. this is the core difference between pruitt and say shulkin at the v.a. pruitt delivered results to the trump white house whereas vulgen was failing at the v.a. i think the president has to weigh the effectiveness of pruitt versus the optics of this. no one ha has been found to be doing anything illegal or unethical. richard accused him. there iss unfolding the investigation. but nobody has ultimately concluded he has done anything wrong no matter how bat bad the optics. scott do you have a maren -- amanda's mouth was just hit the floor when you said that. go ahead, amanda. >> well, like, here i worked in government probably under the rules that rich helped craft. ethics rules are not hard to follow. basically you can't accept gifts
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or favors can't misuse taxpayer resources for personal or political purposes. this isn't just a scott pruitt problem. remember health and human services secretary tom price resigned because he had a plane problem. treasury secretary went on date night with his wife to go visit and kiss his money on the eclipse day. and that's never been fully investigated. this key happening and the fact that pruitt thought he can get a $50 a night rental from his buddy. and then go to italy earlier this year -- go tour the vatican with high-end security detail on the promise of like i'm stopping at a conference for five minutes. none of this passes the smell test. and it happens systemwide with kellyanne conway violating the hatch act. it's frustrating during the confirmation hearings it kim out that omb director mick mulvaney didn't pay the nanny tax. when i had a nanny i paid my taxes.
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why do i have to pay my taxes to go have them sent to washington so people can go on the high-end trips and not apologize. i don't care if it's republican or exact. this isn't hard. to say here they didn't -- there is no ethics violation there plainly is all over the place. what makes it somewhat acceptable is that we can't keep track of it because trump can't get hold of it. >> maybe you should work for the administration gloo i would be a good ethics czar. >> you wouldn't have oh pay the nanny income tax tax. >> nobody would have any fun. is pushing back the assertion he by passed the wlous granting a >> why did you go around the white house. >> i did not my staff did and i found out about that change it. >> somebody fired for it. >> that has not been done. >> a career person or political person. >> i don't know. >> you don't know you run the
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agency you don't know who did this. >> i found out about it and corrected the axe o action. >> he is blaming staff. do you believe him, richard. >> no, people do that all the time when there is a rcu up, blame the staff. but we know where he is coming from. quite frankly back to this lobbyist, what he is doing is deregulating the -- a lot of the environmental regulations that the energy industry wants deregulated. he is doing what the lobbyist wants. and that's the rest of the rent. is $50 plus the deregulation that the white house praises him for that the energy lobbyist wants. and so he runs the environment pollution agency. that's what he is turning it into. we got to face facts. this is about more than just nanny taxes. >> i got. >> we're not talking about dotting the i's and crossing the t's. it's corruption opinion destroying our government and the environment in the. >> i'll give you the the last word scott if you will. >> yeah, look, i mean i think
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that's a bridge too far. he is not doing what lobbyist wants. he does what donald trump ran on and wants. i'm not decline -- or deny, sorry this stuff looks terrible. it does. and it needs to be fully investigated but at the end of the day he has done more i think for trump than shulkin which is why he has a longer leash. >> out of time we'll be right back. helped put a roof over the heads of hundreds of families, he's most proud of the one he's kept over his own. brand vo: get paid twice as fast with quickbooks smart invoicing. quickbooks. backing you.
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americans across the nation today honoring dr. martin luther king jr. on the 50th anniversary of his assassination. a large crowd gathering at the lorraine motel in memphis for a day of prayer, remembrance and tributes. reverend dr. william barber calling on americans to continue dr. king's fight for equality and justice. >> before he ever said anything about the mountaintop, he said we must give ourselves to this struggle because nothing would be more tragic than for us to turn back now. he said that we must rise up with the greater readiness, and what he said then is what we must do now because you dishonor the movement and dishonor a
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prophet if you just remember the prophet without having a revival of the movement that the prophet stood for. >> reverend dr. william barber joins me now. dr. barber, thank you so much. you gave a powerful speech this morning in memphis. it was a call to action. you honored dr. king's last speech on the eve of his assassination by saying nothing would be more tragic than to turn back now. tell me about that. >> well, don, i really believe that we've got to be careful that we don't have consecrations without recommitment, remembrances without revival. oftentimes we name these speeches like "i have a dream." that was 17 minutes about the nightmare before he talked about the dream. we say the mountaintop speech, but before that he was talking about racism. he actually said the nation is sick. when we look at today, 50 years later, we have a voting rights act that's been gutted for 1,745 days the congress has refused to fix it. that's systemic racism. when you add to that 140 million
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are working poor people in this country, 14 million children in poverty, 37 million people without health care, ecological devastation where you can go in a city and can't buy unleaded gas. 63 cents of every discretionary dollar being given to the military and to war. then this false christian nationalism that says if i hate gay people and you're against abortion and for prayer in the school and gun rights and you're for tax cuts, then you're engaging in the christian position when in fact the deepest moral positions tell us we ought to be concerned about the stranger, the immigrant, and the least of these. in this time we dishonor dr. king, don, if we do not rekindle the poor people's campaign and bring together people black, white, brown, red, yellow and all different colors to deal with these five interlocking injustices that are still with us. >> there's so much going on
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right now in this day and age. people feeling divided and marching on the streets. you know, there was thousands gathered today. it wasn't a protest, but it was a march to commemorate the 50th anniversary of dr. king's assassination. tell me what it was like, dr. barber. >> well, i actually was humbled to be asked to speak from the balcony this evening where he fell, and it was poignant. it was powerful. it was penetrating. actually, you know, i kind of went inside and teared up to think 50 years later we have to deal with these issues. but then as a christian perspective, we learn there's power in the blood and that what you should do for a prophet or prophetic movement is reach down in the blood, pick up the baton, and carry it the next mile of the way. i believe america is in the middle of a third reconstruction. the southern strategy was designed to last 50 year.
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this is the 50th year. it produced donald trump, but now we're seeing these birth pains of a third reconstruction. when i go to kentucky and west virginia with white people there and black people in alabama who are joining the poor people's campaign, i'm with people in chicago who are building. i see the possibility of us having a season of non-violent moral fusion resistance, a season of mass voter mobilization, and a season of poor people being empowered from the bottom up that can begin to shift the narrative. if we can shift this narrative, don, and not just talk about this on a king day or on a king remembrance, but put it before the nation's mind and conscience so that never again will we have a presidential election where we have 26 debates and not one hour on poverty, not one hour on the voting rights. we can begin to turn this nation, but we must shift the narrative, and that's what we're going to be committed to starting mother's day of this year. >> let me ask you this since you're talking about that. you are the co-chair of the poor
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people's campaign. it's a national call for moral revival, which you've been speaking about just a second ago. this is work that dr. king started, but it really sort of fell apart after he was gunned down, and you've picked up where he left off. tell me about this campaign and tell me what your goals are. >> well, on april the 10th, we are releasing a study called the souls of poor folk, auditing america 50 years later, to make sure america knows what dr. king said. we have legitimate discontent. for two years under the radar we've been going around organizing people in 39 states now, almost 40, where we have poor person, clergy, and an advocate who are pulling people together that are going to do simultaneous, non-violent, moral, direct action in 30 states and the district of columbia, putting our bodies on the line. also they will be doing massive voter mobilization. this is a launch, don, not an ending. we are launching this campaign
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because we have a moral malady and such a moral deficit in this country right now that we have to reshape this narrative. you know, since dr. king, we had the defunding of the war on poverty. we had a diminishing narrative, and we've had a deconstruction of voting rights. when you put those three things together, you end up with what we have now, a broken democracy. but it's not that it can't be fixed. so people are joining from everywhere. we have people from the apache nation in arizona to el paso, texas, to new york, to california, and it's people who have decided, don, we're not going to just be mad and depressed. but we're going to stand together and put our bodies on the line to drive this narrative and to change the direction of the nation. dr. king was killed trying to do it. we would dishonor him not trying to live and finish it. >> i know you live your life by helping the least of these. i know the collar around your neck says jesus was a poor man. i think it's important for folks to remember that.
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dr. barber, thank you so much. >> thank you so much. god bless you. take care. >> you as well. thank you. that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. i'll see you right back here tomorrow. you won't see these folks at the post office they have businesses to run they have passions to pursue how do they avoid trips to the post office? mail letters ship packages all the amazing services of the post office right on your computer get a 4 week trial plus $100 in extras including postage and a digital scale go to and never go to the post office again . .
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president trump follows through officially ordering national guard troops to the u.s./mexico border. and downplaying the talk of the trade war after china retaliating with more tariffs. and robert mueller's team questions more to see if they illegally funneled cash to the trump campaign. good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm rene marsh.


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