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tv   The Place for Politics 2016  MSNBC  March 18, 2016 6:00am-7:01am PDT

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good friday morning. i'm erika hill. first up this morning republican leaders admit their nominee may not be named until we get to the convention this summer. the odds are still on donald trump to be that nominee. with four months to go before the convention begins the anti-trump movement is having trouble gaining steam. on thursday two meetings were held, the first among a group of conservative activists led by erick erickson. >> we find donald trump and hillary clinton both unacceptable and want to call for a unity ticket within the republican party now. have those conservative republican candidates who have already dropped out to hold their delegates on the first ballot so donald trump can't get to 1,237 delegates and then after the first ballot try to shape the party wount trump.
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>> there was a decidedly different tone coming out of a meeting in florida where some of the parties biggest donors are talking with high profile republicans like paul ryan and nikki haley, both critics of donald trump. according to pit co, quite, while some republicans insist on standing firm against the businessman more and more are contending it's time to reach a point of acceptance. the other alternative as ericsson mentioned is that floor fight in cleveland, something speaker ryan dismissed as ridiculous just two months ago. not anymore. >> nothing has changed other than the perception that this is more likely to become an open convention than we thought before. so we're getting our minds around the idea that this could very well become a reality and therefore those are of us who are involved in the convention need to respect that. >> we have it all covered for you. katy tur has been on the road with the trump campaign, hallie jackson is in tucson arizona following the cruz campaign. katie, one of the things that's
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stood out in the last 24 hours or so donald trump has been really quiet on social media. what's going on there? >> i think the campaign took a couple days off after super tuesday. sturp tuesday part 2 we should say. they tried to relax and disconnect for a couple days. he was tweeting a little bit, insults against his opponents, ted cruz and megyn kelly but for the most part as you said he was pretty quiet. i think that's because they've been going nonstop for ten months. >> that is there been much rumbling about these growing anti-trump movement? >> from the trump campaign, no, and they've taken the same path they've been taking this entire time which is the more you hit us the stronger we get and that's what his supporters have said to us on the road as well. the more the establishment attacks him the more it makes donald trump look like somebody who is fighting for the little guy, fighting against the status quo. so the establishment attacked all of the money that's been spent, millions and millions of dollars, all the establishment campaigns that have gone up
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against him have fallen to the wayside. the trump campaign is basically saying bring it on. whatever you're going to do so far doesn't work, although club for growth is a group that has gotten under the campaign's skin. donald trump still talks about club for growth quite a bit saying that they tried to get a million dollars out of him and when he refused they turned on him, basically accusing him of extortion but not using that very strong language. but the club for growth is spending money in utah, spending money in arizona, they did see some success in iowa and oklahoma to close primaries with -- and a caucus with conservative voters. it's unclear if that's going to be helpful for them going forward in arizona and utah, potential more so in utah than arizona, but donald trump has had a very warm reception for the most part in arizona for his supporters, large rallies, it's one of the first places he went where he got a very big rally, although there are a lot of protesters there as well, especially when it comes to his immigration message.
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>> we will be focusing on arizona heavily the next couple days. hallie jackson, as we mentioned is of course also covering the other side of this and let's talk about ted cruz. ted cruz may get some big name help if he tries to position himself as the primary alternative to of course donald trump. according to "politico" marco rubio is close to endorsing his one time rival. nbc has not confirmed those reports. earlier this week saying cruz was the only conservative left in the race although as of yesterday rubio wasn't willing to go any further than that. >> are you going to support him? >> i don't have any announcement on that today. i'm still talking it through with our folks. clearly ted's positions on issues are conservative, but i don't have anything further to elaborate. >> and as we mentioned hallie jackson is following all of this from tucson. good morning. >> hi, erika. good morning. >> what are you hearing at this point? any more from the rubio campaign this morning on a possible cruz endorsement? >> so the rubio campaign nothing
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yet there, erika. the cruz campaign would certainly welcome that endorsement. it's interesting when you talk to folks who go to these cruz events and cruz rallies a lot of them do like marco rubio. i had one woman say to me i really like him after he dropped out, she said, but i think the gang of eight position hurt him. she supports ted cruz but would be willing to see rubio on a ticket. now, marco rubio flatly ruling that out, you heard him say, hey, i'm not going to be the vp, i'm not going to be florida governor i'm going to be a private citizen after my senate term ends but an endorsement from rubio would potentially really help ted cruz with some of those republicans, maybe more in the establishment lane that like the idea of having an outsider running. you talk about the establishment, erika, lindsey graham now announcing he is going to be raising money for ted cruz. not just backing him, but activity helping him to try to take down donald trump. this is stunning because remember this is a guy who just last month a couple of months ago said choosing between donald trump and ted cruz was like getting shot or getting poisoned. now lindsey graham is ready to
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get out there and solidify support for cruz. here is what he had to say about all of this. >> john kasich i think is the most viable general election candidate. i just don't see how john gets through the primary. this is an outsider year, he's seen as an insider, i think the best alternative to donald trump to stop him from getting 1,237 is ted cruz. >> reporter: so for cruz the challenge here, erika, is he is so disliked in congress. it's no secret that he has not made a ton of friends inside the belt way and that is a needle that cruz will have to thread moving forward because he needs the establishment support to beat donald trump if there is a contested convention. the cruz campaign ak najs that that may be difficult. i had a campaign aid tell me who do we call? at this point when you have the relationships that ted cruz doesn't have it can be tough to make those connections. that said the cruz campaign feels like it is seeing some of these establishment republicans come to them. for example, nikki haley coming out publicly supporting ted cruz, i'm told the campaign
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didn't even know that was happening until it was talked about in the newspaper. same thing when lindsey graham starting softening his position on cruz. that is a story line to watch moving forward when it comes to how ted cruz will coalesce the rest of the part. republicans have to decide are they more concerned with donald trump or ted cruz as the eventual nominee because there's some discussion about who actually has a better shot in a general election. >> reporter: that's right. cruz campaign will point to head to head polls showing that it is ted cruz who could do better against hillary clinton. that said, those polls coming off of a two man race it's obviously not a two man race with john kasich still here. let's not forget that kasich is going to be in utah. why is that important? well, you know that if any candidate gets above 50% they get all of utah's delegates. that's what cruz's campaign is aiming for but with kasich making a hard push in utah that could keep cruz below that 50% line that means everybody could
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split delegates and that's not the ideal scenario for ted cruz. >> hallie, thank you. joining know now republican strategic rick tyler. he also previously served as communications director for the cruz campaign. good to have you with us this morning. >> good morning. >> so as we were just talking about with hallie there is this question of whether or not a rubio endorsement of ted cruz is imminent. what would be the impact of that and are you hearing any numb blngs on your end? >> it would also help. here is what would also help. look, what we know doesn't work is going negative on donald trump, everybody has tried it every week. look, donald trump is his own gaffe master, he makes his own anti-trump ads just by speaking and every week all the analysts say this is going to be the week. they are not saying that anymore because none of these negative ads seem to work. so his base support is going to is that i with him. he also has a low ceiling, there is a lot of anti-trump voters out there and if they could -- those people could coalesce as you just reported they are having a hard time coalescing.
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they could do it by having republican leadership in the house and the senate, so paul ryan, mitch mcconnell, the senators and the members of congress to look at and agree with -- because if you look at what ted cruz talks about on the campaign trail, we hear all this talk that he can't get along with the senate and can't get along with the house or members of his own party. well, if you look at his agenda items, there's not a member of congress or on the republican side that i believe would not -- would disagree with anything that ted cruz says he wants to do. in other words, he wants a 10% flat tax, he wants lower business tax, he wants to simplify the tax system, wants to eliminate the irs, wants to repeal obamacare, wants to move the embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem, none of the republicans will disagree with that. if he could get the leadership to talk about the agenda the cruz administration would have saying, look, i would support and work with a president cruz
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on those things, then you would have sort of the inverse of what's going on. ted cruz does get along and can get along in passing the agenda with congress and donald trump who everybody seems to now be working against, the establishment in particular, can't get along and we don't know what a trump administration would look like. on the one side you would have cruz with a positive agenda, united agenda working with the leadership and house and senate to get things done and show people what they can get done and then you have trump on the other side where we are not quite sure what would happen. >> to your point that's one avenue, right, but not disagreeing with a candidate on several points is not at all the same as publicly supporting them or even publicly agreeing with them. so we go back to the issue of ted cruz, why is it so hard for him to find support. why is it so hard to get people as you point out to focus on maybe those things that they could work together on and support? >> well, that's what i'm articulating is when people say that ted cruz can't get along and work with the republican members, i simply look at the agenda, not the personalities, not the things that have been
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said in the past. ted cruz has always campaigned or governed as he has campaigned, a lot of members didn't do that and he stuck with that and that didn't earn him a lot of friends in washington, but when it comes to the actual issues that he's campaigning on, there isn't a republican in the house or senate that i know of that would disagree with him literally on one thing or i would say 98 to -- 98 to 99% of his agenda all the republicans in the house would agree on. they should focus on those things and give people a vision for what they would accomplish in a cruz add stra igs. >> i think we're both saying the same thing. i'm trying to get you to tell me how they're going to do it. i want to listen so some sound from sean spicer who spoke on cnn about the rnc and where they're at. >> our job is to wait until the voters decide, our republican voters decide who that nominee will be, embrace them, provide for them the resources and the outreach and the tools that we have been building on the last four years and ensure that they
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have the capabilities to win. >> if he's the nominee, donald trump, will the republican party rally around him? >> 100%. >> realistically, rick, can the rnc just let this play out? >> i think they have to and i think they will. look, donald trump has a -- probably a 50/50 clans of getting to the nomination with the requisite amount of delegates, i still believe that today. it's still wide open. if he doesn't have the requisite amount of delegates on the opening ballot then all -- most of the delegates would become unbound, in fact, pennsylvania most of their delegates are unbound from the first ballot, marco rubio's most of his delegates and the other camp's candidates their delegates will become unbound on the first ballot. there will be a lot of horse trading. i totally believe what sean spicer said but here is the problem, the problem is there is a lot of establishment donors who have supported the rnc and rents preeb is has done a great job raising money for the rnc.
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the question is will those same donors support a trump rnc. it is going to cost nearly a billion dollars. so who are the donors who are going to pay for that? is donald trump going to pay for that. >> i'm not sure he can pay for that. we would know more if he would release his tax forms but he hasn't done that. there is a question of who is going to finance these campaigns. >> rick tyler, thanks again. there is much more ahead in this hour. up next we turn to the democrats. bernie sanders signaling he has no plans to get out of the race. as president obama says sanders' time is nearly up. so will sanders take his campaign all the way to the convention? plus as the stop trump effort heats up talk of a contested convention grows, what do rnc insiders say about that possibility? ari melber has the answer ahead. >> we're way ahead of everybody. i don't think you can say that we don't get it automatically. is it becoming a better professor
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we are following big developments from the democratic presidential race. in an exclusive with msnbc's rachel maddow bernie sanders signaled he is in this for the long haul straight through to july's convention. kasie hunt is in flagstaff, arizona, and we will have more reaction from the sanders campaign coming up. first, though, we want to get to that msnbc exclusive. senator senator sanders telling rachel maddow he plans to take his campaign to the end. >> i wonder if you can imagine a scenario if which you're still behind secretary clinton in terms of delegates but you went all the way to the convention this summer and tried to make a case for yourself by basically persuading the super delegates to support you instead of her. is that something you can imagine doing?
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>> well, here is the scenario, secretary clinton has done phenomenally well in the deep south and she has picked up a whole lot of delegates there. we are now moving beyond the south. we're moving west where we think the terrain favors us, west coast is probably most progressive region of the united states of america. we think we have a good shot, can't guarantee of, of winning a whole lot of states, of winning a whole lot of delegates, of perhaps winning california, state of washington, oregon, many of the smaller states and winning new york state. we think if we come into the convention in july in philadelphia having won a whole lot of delegates, having a whole lot of momentum behind us and most importantly perhaps being the candidate who is most likely to defeat donald trump, we think that some of these super delegates who have now supported hillary clinton can come over to
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us. rachel, in almost every poll, not every poll, but almost every national match up poll between sanders and trump, clinton and trump, we do better than hillary clinton and sometimes by large numbers. we get a lot more of the independent vote than she gets and frankly and very honestly i think i am a stronger candidate to defeat trump than secretary clinton is and i think many of the super delegates understand that. >> i just want to be super clear with you about that just to make sure that i understand. are you saying that even if you were behind in pledged delegates, i know you think you won't be, but if you were behind in pledged delegates you would still take that case all the way to the convention and try to convince the soupers? >> well, we're going to do the best that we be in every and any way to win. i think when you have states, for example, in new hampshire where we won by 22 points, in other states where we've won by
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25 or even 30 points, i think it is not unreasonable for the people of those states to say to their super delegates, hey, how about representing the people of our state in the outcome of the caucus or the primary. >> i'm just going to push you just ask you one more time. if -- i will actually ask you from the other direction. if one of you -- one of you -- presumably there won't be a tie. one of you presumably will be behind in pledged delegates heading to that convention. should the person who is behind concede to the person who is ahead in pledged delegates in philadelphia? >> you know, i don't want to speculate about the future and i think there are other factors involved. i think it is probably the case that the candidate whos had a the most pledged delegates is going to be the candidate, but there are other factors and the other factors will be the strength of each of us in taking on the republican candidate. what i think is most important
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to all of the delegates, including the super delegates, is that we have a candidate who will win and not allow donald trump to end up in the white house. >> bernie sanders there speaking exclusively with of course rachel maddow. kasie hunt is in flagstaff, arizona, covering the sanders campaign. kasie, good morning. >> we saw this very interesting -- >> good morning. >> very interesting comments and also this interesting tweet from the other side which we are going to get to, jennifer pal mary tweeting out this picture yesterday and saying exhausting filling in all those blue squares, it seems almost insurmountable but the sanders campaign doesn't see it that way. how do they see it going to the convention? we just heard bernie sanders talk being that but it's getting a little more heated it would seem in some ways. what are you hearing from the sanders campaign? what is that path that they have looked at to move forward? >> reporter: well, erika, look, i think you heard him kind of
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lay it out there. i think rachel did a great job pushing him on this question of super delegates and whether or not he would concede in the event that he doesn't come up with the pledged delegates that he needs and i can tell you the clinton campaign is paying very close attention to this as well. there has been this ongoing fight over these super delegates, especially on the sanders team that the super delegates are undemocratic in a way because they aren't as he kind of outlines pledged with the delegates who have to abide by what the voters in their states are saying, but he went further there than i have ever heard him go in saying, you know -- leaving this door open that he could fight on the convention floor regardless of the outcome. now, i think some of this will depend on how these later states play out, but i do think that this is the next level of bernie sanders showing a commitment to staying in this race potentially all the way until june. they do really feel like this map is favorable to them on the back half and of course you have
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some of these big states traditionally democratic states like new york and california where sanders feels like he can perform very well. the reality is he will have to keep performing, he will have to keep raising money as well. so i think there is an element of what do these supporters decide to do. this is very much powered by these thousands of people that show up at his rallies that give him small amounts of money that's who they are looking to. if they get to the point where they feel disillusioned and they want to let hillary clinton run against trump i think you will start to see that reflected in the campaign, but i also think you're starting to hear a campaign that's increasingly resentful of efforts to push bernie sanders out of this race and i think that's one of the reasons why the clinton campaign is a little bit careful privately when they talk about whether or not he should leave this race. >> kasie hunt for us in flagstaff this morning. thanks. still ahead, do republicans actually want a contested convention? msnbc's chief legal cress month end ari melber spoke with more
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the republican party now facing a very real question, what does it do if there is no clear nominee by the time the convention starts this summer? unless someone reaches a majority of delegates before july a small group of party insiders will have a major influence over deciding the winner. msnbc chief legal correspondent ari melber got intact with more than a third of those insiders. you did reach out to they will of them. what did you learn. >> that's right. my legal unit, myself, we called every member of the standing committee on rules for the rnc, as you mentioned a third of them got back to us. it's the largest basic representation we have heard from this very important group of insiders. what do they do? they write the first graft draft
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of the rules for this convention. we have heard about maybe paul ryan can come in, he's saying he not going to do that. mitt romney might be open to doing that. that reflects an assumption that anyone can run. these committee members who write the first draft of these rules that ultimately are validated by the convention rules committee and go to the floor, they are telling us these 56 people total that's not true and that's not how it's going to work. first of all, this is one who spoke to us on the record, diana orak, says reens priebus bus not come up and denounced high level operatives trying to sabotage donald trump's campaign. it's shameful. >> here is another view from henry barber, a big name in republican politics. he said, look, trump doesn't get a pass just because he has 100 more delegates than anyone else. if he can't convince a majority of delegates to vote for him he is not going to be the nominee,
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the process is fair, it's been around for decades and we shouldn't change if for the head of trump university, a little political dig in there as well. >> a little did i go. >> and that goes to the argument i heard from most of the people that we did reach. there was disagreement about donald trump and whether to stop him, there was disagreement about how much delegates should be seen as overriding the will of the voters in the primaries. >> this is a major issue. >> you were talk being that with super delegates, rachel's i wish interview with bernie. but the larger idea that you might wut in a candidate that hasn't run in cycle, not trump, cruz or kasich, almost all of them. 16 of the 19 said that is doa. here is what someone warned about if you tries tried to do that, you want to have a world war 3 and destroy the party? then you change the rules drastically, you will have a problem, it will be a hotly contested convention. >> that the only change that leads to world war 3 within the party. there are these other scenarios which could also insight a real
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war within the party. >> from what we learned in our new reporting that we're debuting today that is the biggest fall line. that's a meltdown, the idea that you bring someone in. according to the insiders we talked to don't like mitt romney that much right now so that doesn't help but they said as a matter of how this runs they don't like the idea of a noncandidate getting in at all. other things that come up, look, in '76 it's not just the names on the ballot, in '76 the people trying to stop ford wanted to pass a rule that would make him name the running mate before the first ballot. why? because that might be a way to get people angry or riled up if their person didn't get picked or someone they disliked was picked. that was beaten back in the convention rules committee as a way to protect ford and that's goes to where a lot of this debate is headed. do you think there is a fair fight over rules, they are not laws, they can be reshaped at the convention or do you think this turns into a battle where every rule is analyzed for what stops trump, what helps cruz and goat back to a bare knuckles
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brawl. we heard from people who said they don't like that idea and it could be bad for the party. >> always good reporting. thank you. right now i want to bring in jamie small. you guys just heard a little bit of what ari found. ely, i know you wrote about the possibility of a contested convention. questioning whether many stream republicans have the stomach for it. why do you believe they don't? >> i think that what ari was talking about isn't just disagreement it's paralysis and it's plagued the republican side of this nomination fight for months now. ever since trump has gotten into the race. there's no obvious answer for what to do with him and you see that reflected everywhere. you so he that in the establishment now print ring over how to go after trump, they've spent millions of dollars it hasn't worked and now all they're left with is this idea of a contested convention, open convention and fighting this out on the floor and you see it in ari's piece and i see it in everybody that i talk to,
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you hear it, there's just no good option. a lot of people will never let trump, will never give the keys of the castle to donald trump and just let him become the party's nominee and yet there are others who really understand at this point that there is not a whole lot that can be done to stop them. you fight it out, you do risk blowing up the party even more if you try to take this away from him on the floor and yet some people are committed to doing that, other rnc rules committee members are committed to the rules and not going to change them because they don't like the outcome that the voters have arrived at. this is a situation where there are no good answers, there hasn't been a good answer to trump for months and isn't one now. >> there is a risk that you point out, the risk of upsetting the party. there is a very real risk of upsetting the voters and essentially sending the message that we will pick and choose which votes matter and fit to our liking. how damaging is that for the party as a whole, jay? >> it's really damaging and, you
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know, i've spoken to paul ryan about this and spoken to republicans on the hill and there is just not a really great scenario where if you have a contested convention or even a boek erred convention and the party frankly fractures, you have donald trump saying it would cause riots this week and he could potentially walk away from the republican party and so a lot of the establishment republicans on the hill were saying if you do have this happen the fear is that it would take more than a month to heal the party. i mean, literally you have to spend a month bringing the party together, make sure donald trump doesn't leave, make sure there aren't riots and that's crucial time that you have wasted campaigning against hillary clinton who is essentially the de facto nominee on the democratic side. she has a huge leg up already as republicans continue to try to figure out who is going to be their nominee and that just hobbles them going into elections.
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it would be a worse situation than what we already have. >> ely, there's also talk about the reality of who has actually got a better shot in a general election, is it donald trump or is it ted cruz and there is not consensus on that point. >> right. don't forget john kasich still there and there are a lot of establishment republicans who even though he has no mathematical path to get to the delegates they say he is far more electable than trump or cruz. the hillary clinton people if you talk to them i think they would much prefer to run against ted cruz than donald trump just because trump is so unconventional, he is so slippery, he is not tied to the far right wing ideology that ted cruz is. attack ads don't work against trump. he has been confounding to the republicans who have tried to take him on, i think democrats worry a little bit about whether they will have success in a general election even though the electorate will be far more diverse than what you're seeing in some of these republican contests but i think there are some republicans who also are not convinced that ted cruz is
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going to give them any better chance in november than donald trump. so you see division on this, too, as far as who is really the party's best option in november of 2016. >> and, jay, i know you tackled that, you touched on this earlier but you tackled that in your piece about all the reasons why paul ryan won't run even though there is this ground swell of we are not so happy with the guys we have at the moment. >> the democrats would prefer frankly and ely is right that ted cruz runs because he doesn't redraw the map. he would have the same republican states, the same sort of electoral map that we've seen in the last two elections and that's something that they feel confident that they could win. the problem with donald trump is he could redraw the map and guessing how that's going to happen, whether he would pull pennsylvania where the alabama pennsylvania is very strongly for trump which is the center conservative part of pennsylvania, whether he could swing some even more liberal states like oregon or wisconsin and so there is a lot of if
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factors that they are not sure how to play out, including big turn out on the republican side where donald trump has driven enormous amounts of turn out and democrats turn out has been depressed so far. so there's a lot of questions that donald trump brings which ted cruz wouldn't and they would prefer it, but it's hard to take that away from trump given the enormous amounts of turn out that he has and given the big amount of support that he has. >> i appreciate you both being with us this morning. thank you. >> thank you. up next an american described as an isis defector now speaking out. why did he leave virginia to join the terror group? richard engel joins us live with the latest. i take pictures of sunrises,
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i couldn't sleep and get up in time. then i found aleve pm. aleve pm is the only one to combine a safe sleep aid plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. i'm back. aleve pm for a better am. an american who traveled overseas to allegedly fight for isis is now in iraq after fleeing the terrorists when he had second thoughts. richard engel joins us live from istanbul. what's the latest you're hearing on this. >> reporter: the latest we're hearing is that u.s. officials have yet to meet with mohamed
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jamal khweis, 26-year-old virginia yan who is still being held by kurdish authorities. although the americans haven't met with him in person he work closely with the kurds who are holding the isis member and the kurds are passing intelligence, whatever intelligence they're receiving, back to the americans and i've been told by one american official he does have intelligence. he's the first alleged american isis fighter to surrender to kurdish troops in iraq. >> my name is mohamed jamal khweis, i'm from the united states. i've studied criminal justice in college in virginia. >> in a taped confessional aired on kurdistan 24 tv the virginiaen describes how he traveled through turkey, linked up with isis in syria and was transferred to the iraqi city of mosul, an isis strong hold. >> my message to the american
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people is the life in mosul, it's really, really bad. the people were controlling mosul don't represent the religion. >> these statements were made as khweis was held in captivity. >> i didn't really support their ideology and that's -- at that point that's when i decided i needed to escape. >> to escape from isis khweis said he crossed battle lines in search of kurdish fighters, knowing they are close allies of the united states. >> at the time i made the decision to go because i wasn't thinking straight and on the way there i regretted -- i didn't see myself living in that environment. you know, i wanted to go back
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to -- to america. >> a u.s. official told nbc news isis is facing a growing problem of desertions as the group comes under mounting military pressure and now a rare accusation of genocide by the united states, but the charge is mainly a moral condemnation and because the u.s. is already fighting isis, it's unclear if the rhetoric will change u.s. policy. >> isis has recently been losing territory, documents identifying the names, blood types, phone numbers of relatives and other personal data of isis members have been leaking out. we have been reporting on them over the last several days and now this american deserter. so some u.s. officials are encouraged that all of this leads to one place and it is an indication that isis, this
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brutal terrorist group may finally be showing some cracks. >> richard, thank you. up next, the gop taking its immigration battle to arizona. donald trump and ted cruz both campaigning there today ahead of tuesday's winner take all primary. just how will their fiery rhetoric on immigration play with the state's republicans? we will speak with the arizona republican party chair next. our cosmetics line was a hit. the orders were rushing in. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us. we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding fast. building 18 homes in 4 ½ months? that was a leap. but i knew i could rely on american express to help me buy those building materials.
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on a national level? >> no, we actually have -- we have 15 counties and 30 districts and i would tell you any given time this is the most unified the party has been in trying to build a network and build the resources in order to make sure that we can support the nominee when they get chosen as the nominee in july. >> you say it's the most unified the party has been. what has been the unifying factor there? why do you feel it's more unified now than ever? >> we have taken a position we have gone out and started becoming a community party. you've talked about all the engagement with latinos, the african-american, asian communities, we have 22 tribal communities and the republican party is showing up in these communities and what we've done is we're serving rather than telling people and we're engaging people on what's happening now you're seeing people in our state switch parties, you're seeing people get nor involved, active participants within the republican party are much more volunteer-based. inferring of warring factions we
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have people rolling in the same direction, doing id work, meeting voters and encouraging people to participate. it's an unusual dynamic, but other states are starting to engage like this but in arizona specifically we have a remarkable last few years and this year is no different. we just have more momentum going into this presidential cycle. >> when we talk about arizona we also tend to often talk about immigration. >> right. >> is that a misconception in some ways? as you're going out there, doing this -- working on in community party, what are you hearing back from folks in your state in terms of which issue is the most important to them? >> well, i would tell you that immigration is definitely one of the biggest issues because it's up close and wernl. we have hundreds of miles of border and people feel it every single day from southern arizona all the way to the northern part of arizona that's one of the biggest issues, but jobs and the economy are really the one. people really want jobs, opportunity, prosperity, safety and they want the opportunity to have as much financial security as they possibly can, but we have areas in southern sarz that
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still have 25% unemployment. you see a governor engaging, doing all he possibly can to shift the momentum, but you also have somebody that's been kind of a nonstarter for the arizona economy in the white house. president obama hasn't done much to help and so people are really looking for the person that's saying, hey, this is how we're going to bring jobs to arizona. >> so much talk about a contested convention, would you want to see one? >> i wouldn't want to see one. what i want to see it as much harmony as we can go into the general election. when you have people warring for different candidates, doing all they can to support their person of course you are going to have people that are uncomfortable after the nomination happens, but if it's contested that may bring people's dander up and anxiety up and we want to avoid that as best as we can. the goal is the wish of the voter. that's ultimately -- we trust the voters in arizona and believe they will pick who they think is the best person to win. >> robert graham, appreciate your time. going to be a busy few days for
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you. >> thank you. up next, bernie sanders banking on the west being best for his campaign making stops in idaho, utah and arizona today. will he find a warmer
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but joe arpaio is doing is an outrage. my wife went to look at the so-called tent city, which is something that should not exist. the fact he crashed her meeting is, to me, very, very wrong. not something that he should have done. thank you very much. >> would you accept a spot as vice president? >> thank you very much. >> bernie sanders there, clearly done with his interview with nbc affiliate 12 news in phoenix telling the reporter his allotted time was up. sanders in a western state swing ahead of tuesday's cane test in arizona, utah, and idaho. now trailing hillary clinton by some 300 delegates. in the latest polling in all three states, sanders looked competitive in idaho, up by two. perhaps in utah, down by seven.
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joining us now, peter, chair of the utah democratic party. good to have you with us. >> good morning. >> give us a sense, we showed the polling there. sanders down by seven. is it your sense on the ground there in utah that that accurately reflects how voters are feeling? >> bernie sanders does have a lot of momentum, so does hillary clinton. bernie sanders tends to get support from the younger voters. hillary clinton probably from the more established democrats. but we're seeing a lot of people interested in this election that we traditionally may not have seen in prior years. >> the people were interested and haven't been before, do they tend to be people more in the bernie sanders camp or the hik hick camp you're finding? >> well, we're seeing honestly, the bernie sanders camp has gault a lot of young people we haven't seen involved in the process. as a matter of fact, yesterday, it was our filing deadline to run for office. we saw some of their younger voters actually running for office as well. >> we have been seeing a little bit more pop up in termsoffs
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rhetoric. hillary clinton's communication director tweeting, i want to bring up the tweet, a photo yesterday. of a clinton staffer updating their big board there, tallying delegates. the caption reads, exhausting filling in all those blue squares. seems almost insurmountable. how long do you think bernie sanders should stay in this race? >> that's up to each individual candidate. and you know, bernie sanders certainly has a lot of support from people, and so you know, we want a competitive race. as somebody who runs a political party, we want to see an engaged race with multiple candidates to make it excitement, to get voters out to the polls. that's really at the end of the day, we want democracy in action, and having a lot of people and having multiple candidates does help us do that. >> you want to see multiple candidates stay in and there's this report in the "new york times" about the president now saying, hey, maybe it's time for us to start supporting hillary clinton for donors to start. supporting hillary clinton. telling them that privately.
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what's your reaction to that? >> you know, i'll let each camp do what it needs to do. my job as a party chair is to get people out to the polls, get people to actually vote and get them excited about the election. the candidate's job is to get their candidates to win the race. it's a totally separate issue for us. we just want people to get out and vote and be excited about the election. >> what are you finding is the number one issue for utah democrats as they head to the polls. what are they most concerned about? >> we have a lot of local issues here. we have environmental issues. we have education is an important issue to our democrats. obviously, good jobs. the things you would see in the rest of the nation as well. >> peter, appreciate your time. thanks very much. >> thank you. that wraps up this hour of msnbc live. i'll see you right back here at 11:00 a.m. eastern. jose diaz-balart is up next live from miami. tics help companies provide a better
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you. i'm jose diaz-balart. right now, the republican rift is growing. party leaders are openly talking about an open convention and the option of a third-party kapd dt. that stop trump effort we have been reporting on is revving up. the question is, is it going to go anywhere? after a secret meeting in washington, top conservatives now want to form a so-called unity ticket. this would be a third party conservative to run against trump. but no one knows who that would be. right be a former candidate or someone who didn't run at all. >> we find donald trump and hillary clinton both unacceptable. and want to call for unity ticket within the republican party now. have those conservative republican candidates who have already dropped out to hold their delegates on the first ballot so donald trump can't get to 1,237 delegates, and

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