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tv   MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle  MSNBC  January 4, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST

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it's a boogie board, not a sled, because it is south carolina. the south is getting record snowfalls. seven inches in this state. kids like finley have been taken advantage. i applaud you. as always, love to hear your thoughts on facebook, twitter, snapchat and instagram, or another busy news day. i'll see you later this afternoon. ms. ruhle, you got it. >> thanks so much, my friend, ms. jackson. i'm stephanie ruhle. my partner, ali velshi is off, and hopefully in better weather than this. it is thursday, january 4th. let's get started. >> explosive accusations from bannon in a controversial new tell-all book. >> there's zero chance trump junior didn't introduce his russian guest to his father. >> even if you thought this was not treasonous, unpatriotic or bad, expletive, and i think it's all of it, you should have called the authorities
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immediately. >> she adds fuel to questions about possible collusion between the trump campaign and russian operatives. >> he is an american patriot. he did absolutely nothing treasonous. >> a lawyer for president trump and his campaign saent a cease and desist letter. >> the president wasn't just stunned by bannon's claims. he was furious and disgusting. blasting bannon for breaching a non-disclosure agreement. warning legal action is imminent. the president delivering a stunning smackdown, writing in part, steve bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. when he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. >> there's nobody we think higher of than president trump and the agenda. don't worry about us. we're tight on this agenda, as we've ever been. >> i would like steve to knock it off and re-join the team. >> this morning, extreme winter weather is on its way. >> a nightmare on roads and bridges. officials warning everyone to stay home. >> conditions only getting worse out here. >> we're likely to see flight
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cancellations extending into tomorrow. >> this is a huge mountain of salt. >> 900 miles of costal advisories from maine all the way down to georgia. blizzard warnings into tomorrow morning for parts of new england. >> we could see wind chills at least 20 degrees below zero. >> right now, president trump's legal team is doing everything and anything they can to blast this explosive tell-all book about the white house. we've learned this morning trump's lawyers have sent cease and desist letters to the author, michael wolff. he wrote this controversial "fire and fury" book along with his publisher and steve bannon himself. bannon attempted to smooth things over last night and again this morning, but despite something of a tweet storm earlier today, the president has not responded to his one-time strategist. this morning, i spoke with a man who understands very well what it means to feud publicly with steve bannon. take a listen to what anthony scaramucci, former white house communications director for a total of 11 days, said to me
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right here on msnbc. do you feel vindicated? are you doing the re-run? >> it's not about vindication. right? when you run a business or you're trying to help a team, you don't need to feel vindicated. what you need to do is get the team working right. you need to create a level of functionality among the teammates. for me, i don't -- i don't feel vindicated as much as i'd like steve to knock it off and re-join the team, okay? >> hold on. >> shed the -- >> when you say re-join the team, what does that mean? >> i think that he has a voice in the republican party, and i think he needs to knock it off, okay? we -- the way this should work is the president won the election. he's effectively the head of the republican party. there are many different fangs s factions inside the republican party. some of us have different fill lo -- philosophical views toward
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each other. let's work for the president and knock it off. >> you said six months ago you think steve bannon tries to suck his own penis. now you're saying he should get on board, get on the team? >> let's talk about that. you want to bring that up. it is msnbc, my favorite network. you want to talk about it. let's talk about that. >> let's be honest about how you feel. >> well, first of all, i have never come on a show where i'm not honest about how i feel. if you want to go back to the interview, you want to take out the expletives and see what i said about steve and look at the president's declaration yesterday, they're fairly similar. i think i have the right read on the guy. so there's two things you can do with a guy like that. you can exile him and shun him, which i don't think is the best recommended strategy, or you can tell him to knock it off and bring himself back into the fold. what i said about the guy six months ago and what the president said about him yesterday, that he's focused on himself and his own brand. that's a foolish way to be if you're trying to create functionality and trying to help the president pursue his own
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agenda. >> donald trump jr. said that yesterday. he came to your defense on twitter and said, take the curse words out, anthony scaramucci was right. >> let's talk about him for a second, okay? so he is a great american. donald j. trump jr. if steve said -- because there's a lot of stuff in the book i don't believe is true. we can go over that. if steve said it was treasonous, he should have issued a retraction immediately and issue an apology to donald j. trump jr. he is an american patriot and did nothing treasonous. we the talk about the judgment of having the meetingmeeting. i'm sure he regrets the meeting. it is wrong to say about somebody whose family has put everything on the line for america. i think it is wrong. >> what does it mean to say someone is a great american patriot? i would think that if i was in donald trump jr.'s position and i was offered that kind of information about hillary clinton, being an american
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patriot, i would respect our federal government and i would have contacted the fbi. >> don't be a monday morning quarterback. >> i'm not being a monday morning quarterback. >> don't be. at the end of the day, we all say we're going to do certain things and certain other things happen. you brought up my interview. let's talk about my interview. i shouldn't have talked to somebody whose family knew my family for 50 years in a regular -- excuse me -- colloquial way. it was my mistake. i got fired for it. i own it. if he had a meeting he shouldn't have had, it is a mistake, not treason. let's talk about it for what it really is. let's not triple guess people and do the whole monday morning quarterback thing. i'll tell you something. people in certain high-stress decision-making situations, they sometimes make a mistake. >> guess what else? sometimes they lie. i've lied lots of times in my life. but after the fact -- >> when have you lied? trust me. my husband isn't here. >> when have you lied, steph?
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>> months later when they're on air force one coming home from the g-20 meeting and they craft a story, saying the meeting was about adopting russian babies, that's lying on top of lying. >> okay. so let's talk about the book then, right? >> no. just answer the question. >> i don't know because i don't know the facts of the situation. i wasn't on air force one. i don't know the facts of the situation. but what i would say to everybody in the media about that book, why are we taking it at face value ? pick up the phone. people are referencing the book. say, hey, did you say this? did you not say this? get those people an opportunity to speak for themselves. what's happening is, that book is being lifted. all the great, juicy excerpts are lifted to promote the book. a lot is non-sense. michael wolff, in many ways, wrote a non-sense cal book. he's trying to say the president didn't want to win the american presidency? we all thought he was going to lose and we thought losing was winning. stephanie, that is a bunch of total and complete nonsense. i was on the campaign. how about the night the
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president flew from pennsylvania to michigan and got to michigan at 12:50 in the morning, 24 hours before the election was over? he was putting everything on the field, okay, to win the american presidency. so when this guy, okay, who is a particularly unattractive human being intellectually -- >> talking about his looks? >> intellectually. you cut in. he is an unattractive human being intellectually should knock it off himself. it is a dishonest portrayal of everything. see, i got you there. you stepped in there with the looks. i didn't talk about his looks. unattractive intellectually. >> if he is unattractive intellectually -- >> very much so. >> you said call people. i called people inside the white house who said there are things that aren't true but the spirit is true. >> what spirit about it is true? >> the absolute chaos. >> what's the spirit inside the book that's true? >> the intellectual unattractiveness, what do you think -- >> he's repeatedly dishonest.
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>> it says the president doesn't read and doesn't like to read, brags about the fact he never bought a textbook in college. if you try to give him too much information, he says, no, no, don't ask like a professor. you can hate barack obama or love him but he is a constitutional scholar. george w. bush and bill clinton were vor ricious readers. >> the president is a best selling author and reads. people get information in a different way. the richard branson is a reader of people. >> he is dyslexic. >> okay. i'm saying to you, trying to explain, people have different skill sets. you're not going to tell me if barack obama read more than president trump, that he's necessarily smarter than him. you're not making that statement. >> you said, michael wolff is intellectually unattractive.
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it is unattractive for the president no brag not never buying a textbook in college. >> michael woeflff is writing dishonest things in a book. the president wears his heart on the sleeve, has a good judge of people, had good instincts commercially. he did an amazing job branding himself and making himself into a great american success story. he went from being a business executive in 15, 16 short months to the american presidency. no one has ever done that in history. we'll say he's not smart? i don't buy it. it is a bunch of nonsense. >> want to go back and join the white house? >> listen, people are saying that because i came out to support the president. we've been friends a long time. i'm loyal to the president. i'm loyal to the president's agenda. i have never had a conversation with anybody about that. i have never boasted to anybody that they want me back or any of that nonsense. >> but would you like to? >> i find that level of journalism dishonest. >> i'm just asking you a
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question. >> would i like to? i'd like to focus on my house, okay, and not the white house right now at this point in my life. having said that, i'm friends with a lot of people inside the administration. i'm here to help because it is a great agenda for the american people. wages are rising. you started as a business journalist, right? >> i did. >> wages are rising. stock market is booming. corporate profitability is at an all-time high. >> dow is crossing a record right now. >> america is feeling better about itself flt. i think he has good judgment about letting our adversaries know about how he feels. my guess is when you bring the might of the american presidency to the table and people take him seriously at his word, good things will happen as it relates to peace and prosperity. all of those things i'm a proponent of and a huge fan. and the family members happen to be friends of mine. donald j. trump jr. is a friend of mine. i have respect for him and i have no problem vouching for his character and integrity.
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>> it was ivanka and president trump who brought you into the white house last summer. when you left the white house, ivanka was silent. when i read a quote from the book talking about ivanka's relationship with her father, it said, it was opportunistic and transactional. it actually made me think of you. i thought to myself, is that what happened to anthony here? >> hold on a second. i talked to a reporter in a colloquial way on a recorded phone line that i didn't know was being recorded. i was quote, unquote, the white house communications director. i should have known that and been more careful with the reporter. i put the president and the staff in a rough position. when general kelly joined, him and the president made a decision to fire me because of actions that i took. so let's leave ivanka out of it. it's not her fault i got fired. >> i'm not saying that. i'm asking, have you maintained a relationship with her? >> very much so. >> we didn't hear from her after the fact. >> i maintained a relationship with her, but what i think is
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unfair is i did something regrettable and i did an unforced error and a mistake. general kelly and the president thought it was better to remove me from the situation. can't blame that on ivanka or anybody else. >> not blaming it on her. >> i take full accountability for what happened. i will say this, it's not going to detract me from helping and sup moporting the president ands family. not going to happen. >> is general kelly the right person to be chief of staff? you had a contentious relationship with reince priebus. >> i don't know the general. i had a four-minute conversation with him. i met him at steve mnuchin's wedding. seemed like a regular guy's guy at that moment. i met him for four minutes in his office the day he fired me. i don't know him. here's what i think about him, i think he is an american patriot. i think he's doing a great job serving the president. the white house seems to be functioning way better than it did, let's say, post july 31st.
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>> let me tell you, from what i understand, the last 24 hours, it's not functioning that well. the one and only anthony scaramucci. another question raised in "fire and fury," did trump meet with the russians at trump tower back in june of 2016? trump and others deny it. steve bannon suggests otherwise. next, we're breaking down the timeline around that infamous meeting. and the dow already breaking records this year. traded above 25,000 points for the first time. this morning, here's a look right now. the markets certainly like tax reform. remember, the markets and the economy, those are two different things. and a monster storm hitting the east coast. you can see it there. you can hear my kids cheering right there with a shot of times square. governor cuomo declared a state of emergency this morning for downstate new york, and all flights at new york's jfk airport have been temporarily suspended due to winds and whiteout conditions. stick around. you're home. it's a snow day.
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welcome back to "velshi & ruhle." i'm stephanie ruhle. happening now, the virginia department of elections selected the winner of a tied race that will determine control of the state legislature. nbc's vaughn hilliard is live. what happened? >> just walked out of the room if i guess you can call it unprecedented. this election, the 94th house
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district in virginia. as it presently stood, a half hour ago, republicans had 50 of the seats. democrats had 49. in the 94th district, the two candidates, republican david yansy and democrat shelly se simmonds, they had the same amount of votes. what the board of elections did was put both candidates names in the film canisters, placed them in a bowl and, at random, swirled it around and pulled out a name to determine who the winner of the final seat was going to be. really at play is the entire virginia house in the majority party. the elections director pulled out the name. it was republican yansy. the interesting part of this race was it was just two weeks ago that the democrat was announced as the winner. i think you'll remember, it got a lot of online viral play as being, every vote counts. the democrat was announced as the winner by a one-vote margin.
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the day after the re-count, those results were announced, and it's when the re-count team said they actually previously contested ballots that they decided to count. on the ballot, both individuals names were circled in, but it was the democrat that had a line through the filled in bubble, which threw this into chaos. democrats believe the ballot shouldn't have counted. suddenly, democrats are staring down, particularly in virginia, there's been a focus on trying to expand medicaid. their concern is having republicans in a majority in the senate and now the house, what extent can they get enough republican crossover voters in the legislature to do that? there is a cdemocrat in control of the virginia governorship. but 200 people were in this room here in richmond. it's really the majority party at stake here for the state legislature, just one week before they go into session.
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>> vaughn hilliard from richmond, virginia, with the results of that. the republican is the winner. new revelations from hundreds of on the record -- i'll say it again -- on the record interviews in michael wolff's tell-all book have us going back and forth, taking another look at critical moments in the campaign. a big one, june 9th, 2016. a little after 12:30 p.m. that day, then-candidate donald trump left trump tower on 5th avenue on a short jaunt down 57th street to the four seasons hotel, where he attended a fundraiser. the affair was quick, and he was on his way back to trump tower shortly after 1:00 p.m. at 4:00, the infamous meeting between senior members of the trump campaign and a russian lawyer with alleged links to the kremlin, alleged ex-kgb agent and russians started. steve bannon talked about the meeting saying, quote, even if you thought this was not treasonous or unpatriotic or bad, curse word, and i happen to
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think it's all of that, you should have called the fbi immediately. end quote. while the russian lawyer involved in the meetings denies she met then-candidate trump, bannon weighed in on the possibility, telling wolff, quote, the chance don junior did not walk the participants, and there he uses a dirty slang word, up to his father's office on the 26th floor is zero. end quote. joining me now, nbc news national security and intelligence reporter ken. mark, political editor. richard davis, former assistant u.s. attorney on the watergate. and rick, co-founder of str eer political strategist. do we know if any of bannon's claims are backed up my facts? i'm sure since you saw this in the last 24 hours, you've been pounding your sources to get to the bottom of this. >> yeah, in fact, stephanie, while it seems logical that don junior would have walked these russians up to meet his father,
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it actually does not appear to have happened, at least according to the russian lawyer, who attended the meeting. veselnitskaya. she told us on the record it didn't happen. we went to other sources, including one with knowledge of the story told to the mueller grand jury about this meeting. our sense is that that did not occ occur. now, what that doesn't address though is the question of when did donald trump learn about this meeting? it is logical that, in fact, it is hard to believe that his son and his top campaign aides didn't mention to him or brief him on a meeting where a group of russians was purporting to offer dirt on his opponent, hillary clinton. that's going to be a crucial question in the mueller investigation. one of the things robert mueller is looking at is why donald trump crafted that misleading statement on air force one, suggesting the meeting was about russian adoptions. we're learning from the book he was really a firm and really, you know, sort of really wanted to put the message forward that
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this meeting was a nothing burger over the objections of his aides, who wanted to be more forthcoming. >> even if the meeting was, like all the things our kids do wrong, it was the coverup on top of the coverup on top of the coverup. we want to remind our audience that while steve bannon on the radio last night and this morning is trying to say, don't let the left blow this out of proportion, there's nothing that needs to be blown out of proportion. what i've read so far are direct, on the record statements steve bannon made, like the next one, where he also seems to be throwing jared kushner, in particular, under the bus. we know he doesn't like jared. he said, quote, this is all about money laundering. mueller chose senior prosecutor andr andrew weissman. their path to, nasty word, trump goes through paul manafort, don junior and jared kushner. plain as a hair on your face. steve bannon has never been in business with jared kushner and is not a real estate guy.
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if an insider was saying, this is money laundering, they could know something. could steve bannon know something that is helping mueller or is this palace intrigue? >> i don't know that bannon knows something specific but he is reflecting things other people said, as well. that is, seeing the links between the trump family, the kushner family and russia, how are those links made? were they made through loan arrangements, to what extent the russian banks own interest in trump loans? who was buying apartments? what investments did they want? a lot of what you're seeing if you're mueller is, okay, what are the connections? it doesn't have to be quote, unquote, money laundering. just as it didn't have to be quote, unquote, treason. sometimes we get caught up in some of these words, as opposed to focusing, as you were saying before, this is a meeting that was set up in order to give dirt by a foreign power.
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that in and of itself is a bad thing. so i think what mueller trying to do is look at, okay, russian connections, what are they? what was -- even if it is not an expressed agreement, what is it that trump, who is talking favorably about, you know, putin and russia and what he wants to do, and the russians are signaling, you know, we can be helpful here, even if they don't sit down and sign an agreement. >> rick, bannon goes on to say that jared or don junior, these guys are going to get rolled by mueller. they're going to follow the money. they're going to say, play me or trade me here. does this show the naivety of putting your family members in office and the mistake? there was a "politico" piece earlier this week talking about jared saying, i'm a businessman. history isn't important to me. jared kushner is not a businessman. he's a business heir. those are two different things. if you don't know history, you know, it's doomed to repeat
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itself on your head. if you go through this book, whether you believe the whole book or 10% of it, there are clear arguments that jared kushner was in over his skis. for ann colter to say to the president, listen, you don't want to have your kids in there, and now we're learning more and more. what does this tell us about the decision the president made to have someone like his son-in-law, jared kushner, as a senior adviser? >> the president is uncomfortable having competent people around him. >> uncomfortable. >> very uncomfortable. which is why mitt romney makes him nervous. when you juxtapose mitt romney and donald trump, there is a huge chasm of comp tetency betwn the two. he doesn't want him within 5,000 miles of the white house. what donald trump spends his time doing is tries to diminish people. even though he looks foolish in the process of diminishing others, he doesn't care, as long as he looks better than the next guy. that's the way he compares himself. that's what business people, frankly, do. donald trump is not a particularly good businessman.
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he's a real estate heir. i'd say he is a branding genius. >> he is. >> no question about that. you have to look at this presidency and this administration through the lens of which wasn't supposed to happen. they were not supposed to win. >> ding, ding, ding. >> if you look through that prism, everything makes sense. general flynn can be making all the deals with russians and the turkish government that he wants as long as donald trump doesn't win. he doesn't have to expose his taxes because he wasn't supposed to win. if he didn't win, he would have never exposed his taxes. they'd have this huge, multi-media business right now, where is where they were supposed to go. according to michael and, look, maybe 10% of this is true, you know. i've talked to a lot of reporters who don't like michael wolff. he doesn't really do reporting. he seems to do a lot of conversations that were supposedly off the record and
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they turn out to be on the record. he's willing to burn his sources because he probably feels none of these people are going anywhere. they're not worth a damn anymore. >> i've spoken to people in the white house who said there was things that aren't true in the book but a lot is. >> bannon has a nuclear button on his desk, too, and he pushed it. you know, now his funding is questionable, where he's coming from. he clearly wants to hasten the demise of this president, despite what he said today, because he's implicated the president. >> how can he possibly go back and say he is the greatest. i just want him to win and succeed, when you know the most important thing to the president is himself and his family. he said don junior is going to get his head cracked like an egg on national tv. come on. >> you can't go back after that. he accused the president's son of treason. while i don't think it's treason, it certainly was poor judgment. it's a bad thing. i think it'd be right to call it unpatriotic. it was a stupid move to meet with russians, but that's what they did. so here we are. but again, i go back to, if you
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look at it through this wasn't supposed to happen, in fact, i think melania was promised, like a blood oath, this will not happen. i will not be president. we'll go back to life the way we used to have it. their world was blown up, and so was ours. >> mark murray, do you think in their heart of hearts, they would have been better off had president trump not won? had he not won, he'd built a massive fan base. we know they'd already been extraordinarily successful on facebook live. it'd been reported in the "new york times" jared kushner floated this trump tv idea to a star media banker, who denied and said, i would have nothing to do with trump starting a tv network. if they lost and would have had that opportunity, president trump would be one of the most famous people on planet earth. he wouldn't be asked to show his taxes. he could continue to throw this tweet and that tweet and make all these claims but not have to have policy or any legislature behind it. would that have been the grand win they truly wanted?
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>> stephanie, if you gave truth serum to many political operatives, democratic or republican, they'd admit they were better off had hillary clinton ended up winning. i think it was true for a lot of republicans. you look at the 2018 mid-term map right now, which looks really rough for republicans. had hillary clinton been president, all of a sudden, the map would be really good for republicans. someone like joe manchin in west virginia would be vulnerable. talking about how jon tester seems to be in big trouble. all of a sudden, we're talking about republicans. the reason is, you have the trump white house in place. we'd be talking about hillary clinton's e-mails, jason chaffetz would still be chairman over the government reform committee. i think the supposition, that hillary clinton was going to win, was shared by democrats and republicans, as rick was telling you about. >> you know, the portrait of president trump in the book is that he is a paranoid guy. when you look at the name
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calling, it's not just steve bannon, and graphic language in the book. the "daily beast" compiled a list. wolff quotes rupert murdoch calling president an idiot. steve bannon saying not to give trump too much to think about. katie walsh thought the white house was incompetently run. treasury secretary steve mnuchin and reince priebus believe trump to be an idiot. the top economic adviser says trump is dumb as curse word. and h.r. mcmaster considers him a dope. we know from our own reporting last year, whether you want to say f-ing moron or moron, those were the words of rex tillerson. rick, i can talk to anthony scaramucci all day and he can say, look at the beautiful stock market. stock market doesn't matter to the people in the white house. how do they go back to work the
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next day and into their morning meeting and look mr. president in the eye when he knows full well they called him a flaming jackass? >> look, a lot of the leaks come from the president himself. >> there you go. >> he talks to people, you know, loosely and doesn't -- so you can get all that information. i mean, first thing, they're going to take their cell phons s away. it was funny. >> take them away. the president has been a leaker for decades. >> of course. look, you live by the tabloid media and die by the tabloid media, right? so this is sort of like it's all coming around again. so the president -- look, this book is like utterance. there's nothing new. was there anything you read that surprised you, other than the fact that bannon was willing to go as far as he did? >> there's nothing new, except the president could say -- >> katie walsh called the president a baby. oh, my gosh, really? we didn't know that? >> the president could say, this is the left wing media out to get me. none of it is true. this is not the left wing media. it's the president's team. >> this is inside the west wing. we documented all that.
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we've documented idiocy on this program. we documented the antics on this program and this network. we all knew this. it is written in one place. it'll be a thrilling read. can't wait to get through it. >> i read it last night. it is a thrilling read. guess what? we have geopolitical risks. this is a scary time in this world. you have a president who doesn't like to read, who brags about the fact he doesn't read, never bought a textbook and is wildly paranoid. it is unsettling for a lot of people. ken, mark, richard, rick, thank you so much. we'll leave it there. next, the divorce. this is what i want to talk about. what is the trump/bannon breakup mean? where do conservatives go? where does conservative media go, donors go? who gets custody of the trump's base? the mercers are out when it comes to bannon. without the money, is he just a blogger? right now on a different cold front, it might be hot in the white house but it is officially a blizzard territory at new york's jfk airport. as this storm reaches peak
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intensity, there are no flights leaving this town. the worst of the storm just arriving in southern new england. the new forecast is next. you're watching "velshi & ruhle ruhle." where else? msn msnbc. my experience with usaa has been excellent. they always refer to me as master sergeant. they really appreciate the military family, and it really shows. we've got auto insurance, homeowners insurance. had an accident with a vehicle, i actually called usaa before we called the police. usaa was there hands-on very quick very prompt. i feel like we're being handled as people that actually have a genuine need. we're the webber family and we are usaa members for life. usaa, get your insurance quote today.
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steyer: the president's national security adviser -- guilty. his campaign chairman -- under indictment. his son-in-law -- secret talks with russians. the director of the fbi -- fired. special counsel robert mueller's criminal investigation has already shown why the president should be impeached. you can send a message to your representatives at and demand they finally take a stand. this president is not above the law.
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welcome back to "velshi & ruhle." i'm stephanie ruhle. the powerful winter storm pummelling the east coast is at its peak intensity right now. jfk airport officially experiencing blizzard conditions. all flights there have been suspended. now the worst of the storm is arriving in southern new england. nbc meteorologist bill karins is here with more. give us an update. >> the long island railroad is no longer going. we have big-time impacts on travel as we expected with the winds and the snow. now we'll get into what was the critical portion of the storm. when it heads up to southern portions of new eng lanland. the snow was piling up. the million dollar question is how many people will lose power and be in sub zero temperatures and wind chills in their homes or having to evacuate and go to shelters? that's the big question. snow is ending in richmond.
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it has been prolonged here along the mid-atlantic. light snow continues from philadelphia. heavy snow continues into areas of new york city. on this map, the blue is the snow. the white bands are the heavy snow. a band comes down the new york border, overtop of new york city and down the jersey shore. we had a report of 9 inches of snow in long island. also 7 inches of snow in southeast portions of massachusetts. this is intense snow in this area. if you watch closely, near boston, thunder snow reported in the last hour. they're hearing thunder. this is so much convection in the air with the clouds, so much energy, we're getting some reports of thunderstorms. because it is cold, it produces heavy snow. additional accumulations from here on out, only going to pick up another 1 to 2 inches, new york city. as much as 4 out of long island. areas to the north, this is where the storm is getting going. another 6 to 12 inch os possies
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from boston to maine. as i inconvenience. what is different with this storm is the winds. all afternoon, 50-mile-per-hour range. there's no leaves on the trees but if you get enough heavy, wet snow and it cakes, especially areas that were rained on earlier, like the cape, that's where you fworry about the branches knocking down power. by the time we get to this evening, the winds die off a little bit. as i advertised, it gets very cold. polar air comes in right behind the storm. coldest air of the season is on its way. international falls, negative 24. it is coming to the east behind this storm in the next couple days. >> i'm making no rush to international falls. thank you, bill. we're going from the cold to the hot. the hottest story around today, fire and fury. president trump telling a former top adviser, cease and desist, saying he is disgusted with the reporting finding in "fire and
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fury" by michael wolff. he seems to be taking it out on the man who is the source of much of the information, his formest strategist and breitbart executive chairman steve bannon. the president responded with a harsh statement, writing in part, quote, it was a clever and concise line. steve bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. when he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. that sounds very clever. except president trump continued to speak to steve bannon. some in the white house told me he spoke to steve bannon more once he left the white house than when he was inside the white house. steve bannon had the opportunity to have more impact because he was controlling breitbart. this obviously comes from a president who has been quick to praise bannon during his tenure at the white house and after. just listen to this. >> i like mr. bannon. he's a friend of mine. but mr. bannon came on very late, you know that. i went through 17 senators, governors, and i won all the primaries. mr. bannon came on very much later than that.
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i like him. he's a good man. he is not a racist, i can tell you that. he is a good person. we'll have a very good relationship with steve bannon. steve has been a friend of mine for a long time. i like steve a lot. steve is doing what steve thinks is the right thing. >> so right there, when president trump was complimenting steve bannon, that was a day after steve bannon had lit up and torched mitch mcconnell all weekend long. mitch mcconnell, of course, who is standing next to the president in that shot. the president also tweeted his support of bannon last summer, writing, quote, i want to thank steve bannon for his service. he came to the campaign during my run against crooked hillary clinton. it was great. thanks. and steve bannon will be tough and smart new voice at breitbart. maybe even better than before. fake news needs the competition. for his part, bannon was defensive of trump and his agenda on his sirius xm radio show this morning, which is
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stunning. don't worry about us in the maga agenda. president trump, we're tight on this agenda as we've ever been. there will be no daylight between the agenda, donald trump and the folks at breitbart, this show and the website. >> i'm confused by this. trump's lawyer is threatening to suban non, sending a cease and desist letter for disparaging the president. it seems unlikely the president will return the favor any time soon. we have to take this with a grain of salt. guess what? nbc has not verified the book, but i have two people who know breitbart, who know steve bannon and followed the president quite well. kirk, former breitbart spokesman, and gabe, "vanity fair" correspondent and msnbc contributor. you spent a lot of time with steve bannon. walk us through the calculus of what steve bannon is doing here. >> really, stephanie, this is a fight over who controls what
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people refer to as the trump base or the breitbart base. now unlike a lot of trump advisers, you know, steve bannon thinks of himself as a peer to trump nm trump. he's not a yes person. these are two 800-pound gorillas, thinking they want to be the leader of this movement that propelled trump to the white house. both are claiming credit for the victory. basically, these are two men who are sort of fundamentally at odds and cannot work together because they don't -- these are two alpha males. put them in a room, no one wants to back down. that's what's going on here. there's also a feeling from bannon and people in that world that trump sold out, what bannon referred to as the maga agenda, by courting people like jared kushner and other democrats. this is a personality fight. >> democrats, if you believe what the book says, dumped all over the president. how does that leave president trump? i mean, even in the book, you know fox news. president trump has such a high
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opinion of rupert murdoch, and he seems to think the president is a dope. hey, steve, don't give the president too much information. >> the conventional wisdom over the last 24 hours is bannon is being taken down, that trump's statement really took him down a peg. i read it differently. i think donald trump is more isolated than he's ever been. really the breitbart base is the last support that donald trump has. the people around him, like you mentioned, gary cohn and own ot, have no respect for him. he can trash on steve bannon but he can't run into the arms of the establishment republicans. they don't respect him. the democrats, chuck schumer and nancy pelosi, we know, have no interest in working for him. maybe on infrastructure. to me, i read it as, donald trump is more isolated than ever. he's really on an island with maybe himself and his famichild >> okay. kirk, where does breitbart go from here? on one hand, i look at breitbart and think, if steve bannon had
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all of this extraordinary content, why didn't he give to his own platform? instead, he sits with gabe sherman and "vanity fair." he gives michael wolff the best seller of best sellers. why didn't he give this pure fire to his own platform? >> well, i think, much like his former boss, donald trump, steve bannon wants the acceptance and the coverage of the mainstream media, of the elite media. it is important to him. >> he uses the word jumo. >> as these guys like to bash on the media, they still want it. when they don't get it, they complain about it. i think it's part of what's going on here. the other thing that is important about the fallout from this, there's a lot of question right now about whether the funding structure for steve bannon and breitbart, the mercers, are still on team bannon. there's even right now speculation that there might be an effort to kick bannon out of breitbart. there's some major reverberations from this. bannon can end up being on an island by himself. >> you think it'll happen?
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nicolle wallace put it best. where do the kids go in this divorce? where does the breitbart base go? where do journalists at breitbart go? fox news, sean hannity, where do they land here? >> there are still people at breitbart who were there at the beginning with andrew breitbart. the ceo on paper, and the editor in chief, who was the first hire andrew breitbart made when he started the platform, those are the two that could guide the flat fo platform going forward without steve bannon. i think they'd relish the opportunity to take breitbart into a different place, away from the bannonism a little bit. so the audience itself, they're still going to be behind trump. where else are they going to go? they've already rejected the establishment republicans. they already distrust the leadership in the house and the senate. they're still going to be behind trump, and they'll still be breitbart readers. there's nowhere else for them to go. >> who is going to finance steve bannon and his destroy the world crusade? if he's lost the support of
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rebecca and robert mercer, steve bannon loves to talk anti-establishment and anti-wall street, when his dirty little secret is all the big dough comes from a new york hedge fund. what is he going to do, gabe, without the mercer money? >> i think it is a good question. when i traveled with him, he was meeting with donors in florida, and part of his campaign style program he's been on has been traveling the country, meeting with right-wing billionaires and millionaires. he's trying to broaden his base of support. yes, as you mentioned, the mercers have been the core of funding both breitbart and his non-profits that funded clinton cash, the book that was influential in the last presidential election. clearly, steve bannon is trying to drum up more sources of money if the mercers follow through and yank their funding from his breitbart and other programs. >> before we go, knowing what you know about steve bannon, we can look at this book and all day long say, my god, even if 20% of it is true, the president looks like an absolute buffoon.
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>> yeah. >> laying in his bed eating cheeseburgers, yelling at housekeepers. i mean, buffoon city. >> yeah. >> you can't bet against president trump. he won the election. >> yeah. >> he is president staffers. but he has won. he is president of the united states. it's tough to bet on steve bannon, because there is a guy who, with all his flaws, made it to be with the superpower, so who wins this battle? >> fundamentally, i don't know. i think these are both formidable guys. i think the thing working in bannon's favor is people around trump think this is not the donald trump who necessarily won the election or the donald trump of "the apprentice" years. trump is really going to need to bring it if he wants to win this battle. >> well, when you read the details of the book, if they're true, i'm not sure if he's got a
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fastball. kurt, gage, thank you so much. when you read the book, whether there is a big nuclear button or not, it's unsettling that someone with all that power conducts himself the way he sdch does. >> we're go to hear from president trump about the development of the book "fire and fury." the new state taking on marijuana and the states defying federal law. thank you so much. thank you! so we're a go? yes! we got a yes! what does that mean for purchasing? purchase.
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welcome back to "velshi & ruhle." this just in. nbc news has learned the trump administration is now going after legalized marijuana. a senior justice department official tells nbc news attorney general jeff sessions is preparing to rescind the obama-era policy that paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country. jason sokoloff has been reporting all week long on the booming recreational marijuana business now that california is legal. danny savales. danny, two days ago, you told me, you better hold off on your pot party. this is illegal. >> whether you're for pot or against it, when the obama administration issued what's now called the coal memorandum, saying essentially they would lay off federal law, they were essentially saying -- >> i have to interrupt, we have
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breaking news. i'm so sorry. at the white house, president trump meeting with the senate on illegal immigration and also about the book "fire and fury." let's listen. >> thank you very much. hopefully everything is going to work out very well. we really want it to work out. i can tell you the republicans want to see it work out very well. if we have support from the democrats, i think daca is going to be terrific. we have people that have been working on this issue for a long time, as lindsey said, as others have said. we really are at a point where i think we can do something spectacular for the people on the border, people coming through. we have to be careful because this dris a drug epidemic the likes of which we've never seen in this country. we need protection, we need all those things, and i think democrats agree with us when they shee what's happening. when they see the kind of
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problems happening at the border, they understand it. whether they'll vote for it is another question, but they really understand it. we want to thank you for being here. we have a great spirit going in the republican party. i think it can be bipartisan. i hope it's going to be bipartisan, and we can take care of a lot of problems, take care of a lot of problems. it would be really nice to do it in a bipartisan way. okay? thank you all very much. [ reporters talking at once ] >> he obviously changed his tune pretty quick. thank you all very much. i don't talk to him. i don't talk to him. that's just a misnomer. thank you. >> hmm. it is true, steve bannon did call him a great man last night, but in this book he goes after jared, he goes after ivanka. he says don jr. is going to get his head cracked open like an
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egg on national tv and really gave legitimacy to this russia investigation, saying it's all about money laundering and robert mueller and his team are going to go after jared kushner, his business, don jr. through deutsche bank, paul manafort and flip them all to get to donald trump. so yes, it is true, steve bannon did say he supports the president. he is a great man. there is no divide between bannon and president trump on the agenda. but he said a lot of other things as well. kristen welker at the white house. kristen, what did you think about the president's remarks? >> reporter: i think it's striking to hear him talk about this book for the very first time, steph. you saw his frustration there, the fact he changed his tune pretty quickly. you could see the simmering anger behind the president's eyes. we are being told the president has been fuming about bannon's quotes in this book, and of course, that statement yesterday in which he said steve bannon is losing his mind. but again, today putting the
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focus on the fact that he has changed his tune and really wanting to stress the fact, he says, that he is not in communication with steve bannon. i can tell you the two have been in communications since bannon left the white house. in fact, they spoke after that defeat that steve bannon's candidate roy moore suffered in alabama, but bottom line, i was told by a senior administration official, don't expect that communication to continue. essentially the president's relationship with steve bannon is finished. there are broader implications here. steve bannon, one of the president's former closest advisers, and widely seen as a touch tone to the president's base. and, of course, in recent months he waged that war against the establishment, something that steve bannon is not letting up on. so the question becomes how might this impact the president's relationship with his base. moving forward he continues to be the head of the gop party, but steve bannon continues to
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have his own political influence, steph. >> we should remember, the book wasn't just steve bannon. he went after others. over 200 interviews conducted. a lot might not be true in the book, but boy, even if some of it is, it's a wow. we have to wrap this up. that ends this hour of "velshi & ruhle." my partner gets back next week. now i hand it back to my colleague andrea mitchell on "andrea mitchell reports." right now, cease and desist. the president's lawyers planning to take steve bannon in a tell-all book to court in a furious siege against the president and his family. bannon talks on his breitbart radio show. >> there is no one we think higher of than president trump and the agenda, so let's not let the left wing media stir that up. don't worry about us and the


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