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the things we do every single day that puts ourselves in harm's way, and to have a partner that is so skilled at what they do is indispensable, and i couldn't ask for a better partner. good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt here at msnbc word headquarters in new york at the half hour. here's what we're watching for you. democrats are ramping up their calls for legislation to protect special counsel bob mueller from being fired. this move follows news first reported by the "new york times" and confirmed by nbc news that president trump ordered the firing of mueller in june. he backed down from that order after white house counsel threatened to design. let's bring in professor at the lbj school of public affairs at the university of texas. and joe watkins, former aide to
george h.w. bush and author of "the new pc," practical
consideration. and msnbc political analyst rick tyler, former cruz campaign spokesman. good saturday morning to you all. let's get right to it here. >> good morning, alex. >> rick, there has been a mild response from republicans to this so far. how about you? what is your take. does this move the needle on possible obstruction by the president? >> i'm not sure it does in and of itself. it certainly would lend to a case preponderance of the evidence. he fired mueller. he said so very clearly on this network, on nbc that he did so because of the russia investigation. now we learn that he continued to fire mueller. and so that should be very concerning. they should move this week on protecting the mueller investigation. >> but victoria, let's look a lot what we have witnessed the last year. the president has made
all kinds of threats that he does not follow through on.
if it fair to make the case that it is just his actions or lack of actions that should matter here? >> well, let me back up a minute. the highlight of public opinion is really divided partisan wise in terms of whether there is something between the trump campaign and russia. about 50% is there is a there there and the other 50% doesn't. this week we again saw the majority of the country, a majority of republicans put country before party. even if half the country doesn't think there is collusion between the trump campaign and russia, close to 80% of the public thinks that donald trump should testify if robert mueller asks him to. so there is this respect for the process of the investigation. whatever it turns out, that's a different story. but i think that donald trump is very much aware of public opinion. if he does anything, he keeps
tabs of the news cycle and what people are feeling out in society. and so he knows he has to walk a fine line in terms of pushing against special counsel but not completely pushing off to the side. >> he definitely amends things based on the news cycle for sure. even if just by a little. >> this is the headline here. trump launched campaign to discredit potential fbi witnesses. specifically in this article it names andrew mccabe, former chief of staff james comey. and james baker. is is it hard to write off reports about president trump trying to write off bob mueller? >> no. i think republicans are smart to take it seriously. they have mulled over firing bob mueller. clearly that would create
crisis. some republicans said it already that they are going to make sure that bob mueller is protected and they will support legislation to protect them. i think it is the right thing to do. they have been going forward in these budget talks. and republicans ought to support them. you have cornyn and congressman ryan, graham, a bunch of them saying, indeed, no matter what we may think, we have to respect the rule of law and the mueller investigation has to be protected. so they're right to do that. and i hope that they continue to work with democrats to get that done this week. >> you know, rick, democrat senator mark warner is vice chair of the senate intel committee weighing in on the significance of the reports that came thursday night that the president wanted to fire bob mueller. let's listen to what he said. >> bob mueller should be allowed to finish his job. this president should not be allowed to fire him just on a
whim. i agree with the president's lawyer. if the president had carried through on that threat it would have created chaos. the actions of this president seemed to not help the case if there is no there there. these are not the actions of an individual who has got nothing to hide. >> do the president's actions suggest he is hiding something, so you would agree with warner, or is he just simply clueless? >> i've always thought, alex, it is really kind of the latter. the mueller investigation started because he fired james comey and rosen appointed him to look into russian interference in the election. if trump had just agreed with that. it is is clear that the russians interfered with the election. history will bear that out or
not. but through all his actions, it has turned to collusion. look, i think the campaign had a willingness to collude. it doesn't look like they planned to collude. they were bumbling and fumbling around. then you have all of these meetings. i think ltd russithe russians w ones who were aggressive and the campaign was unaware or ignorant to what was going on and why the russians were trying to interfere with the campaign or get access to the campaign. they didn't do themselves any favors. here we are now. the reason the president is in trouble and we have all of these is clearly because of the president's own behavior and actions. >> i want to get to the issue of immigration. first we turn to the accusations on of misconduct regarding casino mogul steve wynn. dozens of women came forward saying he acted inappropriately to them. matt bradley is outside the wynn hotel. with a good morning, what more
can you tell us? >> reporter: good morning, alex. wynn resort said they will be forming a special committee of their board in order to investigate these allegations. it is yet to be seen whether that will mark any real change. today, another king in the crosshairs. women accusing steve wynn of misconduct. in 2005, wynn forced a manicurist forced her to have sex in his office. >> after the manicure, he told her to lie down on a massage table and take her clothes off. and she said that she did not want to do that and that she was married and that he basically told her that she had to do that. >> reporter: the journal reported wynn paid the unnamed manicurist a secret $7.5 million settlement. it points to personal misconduct but do not state whether it was
of a sexual nature. wynn calling them preposterous. we find ourselves in a world where people can make allegations, regardless of the truth, and a person is left with the choice of weathering skwr t insulting publicity oren gauging in years of lawsuits. the journal article describes a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct and that wynn terrified his employees. >> people felt very intimidated by steve wynn. and they themselves felt at times they needed to apiece him. >> reporter: wynn said they have an anonymous tipline and not one complaint was made. the casino owner, who turned 76 today, built some of vegas's most famous casinos, mirage, bellagio, treasure island. titans allegedly abusing their positions for sex.
he's unlikely to be the last. of course steve wynn is a major donor to both political parties. he's the head of the finance committee for the rnc. it's unclear still today whether any of those politicians are going to be returning any of that money. alex? >> all right. matt, thank you very much from las vegas. a statement from michael khouw hen saying steve is a truly great man who has been the driving force behind the rnc finance committee. meanwhile, democrats are pushing back against the immigration proposal. nancy policy explaining her opposition to the proposal by saying this. >> that plan is a campaign to make america white again. it's a plan that says over 50% of the current legal immigration will be cut back. they want the ransom for these children to be $25 billion for a wall when we have all the needs
that we have for infrastructure in our own country. so this is the fight that we will be having not about people but about value. >> well, back with me victoria, joe watkins, rick tyler. victoria, are democrats staging for a fight that they are going to lose by writing this proposal off? is it worth the risk of losing a deal on daca? >> the ask that the trump white house has made is too big. back when we were looking at the straight trade for daca for the wall, even though unpopular, i think that had more legs to it. okay, we'll build that useless, expensive toy which is the wall. but if we can bring close to a million youth out of the shadows. but then in the latest iteration the white house said, okay, we want to do away with the diversity lottery. we want to completely revamp family reunification. and so those asks are too big. he's essentially calling for a
restrictive comprehensive immigration reform. and if there is one thing we know, alex, something i study very closely, is comprehensive immigration reform is very difficult. and quite frankly, i think that it's going to have to be something that is done in a piecemeal approach. so daca for a wall and the trump white house, again, it was too big. and the one thing that i did not see in this proposal was how do you address demand? because we can build all the walls we want in this world. but if we're not cracking down on employers who want to hire undocumented immigrants, what is the purpose of reforming our immigration system? so a lot of holes. and i think at this point the democrats say this is ridiculous. there is no way we're going to come to the table. >> okay. joe and rick, one word, a yes or no if you can, who won the last week the daca issue from the shutting down of the government to where we are today, republicans or democrats? rick, you first. >> i would say the benefit went
to the republicans. >> okay. what do you think, joe? >> i agree that everybody lost. i think republicans won't be hurt too badly by it. >> okay. that was good. thank you, guys. we'll have you back in just a little bit. we'll talk about morality, the president's situation with stormy daniels. don't go too far. and we maneuver to keep president trump from firing robert mueller. and congressman charlie dent with words of advice for fellow republicans attacking the integrity of the fbi.
alright, i brought in high protein to help get us moving. ...and help you feel more strength and energy in just two weeks! i'll take that. -yeeeeeah! ensure high protein. with 16 grams of protein and 4 grams of sugar. ensure. always be you. the senate democrats cut a deal with republicans this week to end the short-lived government shutdown. not all democrat lawmakers are happy. here's congressman gutierrez. >> i'm disillusioned. i think they're kaeucaving. you know democrats are pretty good at articulating values. but a little weak on defending
them. >> meanwhile, representative john yarmouth of the house budget committee considered the deal a major win for democrats calling it a huge tax bill advantage. joining me now is congressman yarmouth. a little good to see you, sir. >> good to see you, alex. >> democrats voted against the bill. you were the minority of your party. what do you say to the members of your party who did not vote for this deal? >> well, i certainly understand why they didn't vote for the deal. and i actually considered not voting for it too. i mean, i actually considered voting for the reopening of the government. but ultimately we were losing ground i think in the p.r. wars. republicans did a very good job of creating the image that we were shutting the government down for illegal immigrants. and that's not a good place to be. of course that's not really what was going on. the real reason the government was shut down was because of in
competent republican leadership that couldn't get a spending plan done for the rest of the year. but ultimately i think now the burden with mitch mcconnell pledging to have a vote on the daca solution on the floor of the senate, i think if something gets done, it will put enormous pressure on paul ryan to bring something to the floor. and ultimately it shifted back to us. i was not too upset because it was basically 17 days. we'll give them 17 days to correct this. and then we have another shot at it. >> okay. let's talk about the president who speak with cnbc this week who talked about his economic achievements in this way. here it is. >> hundreds of companies are giving thousands and thousands of dollars to their workers. and now you have almost three million workers receiving thousands of dollars. nobody ever thought -- that was,
like, not in the plan. >> starbucks. >> starbucks yesterday and disney and others. >> the dow has reached record highs. unemployment is low. companies are giving out bonuses. would democrats concede they may have had an impact or it has nothing to do with him. >> you know, i talked to a guy yesterday that runs a billion dollar business. he said he was going to make $5 million extra because of this deal and they weren't going to hire one more person. i'm really happy for all the people who are getting $1,000 bonus. i haven't heard the thousands the president talked about. this is a really good p.r. move for a lot of these companies to say, yeah, we got the bonus on our taxes and we're returning it to our employees. meanwhile, they are also buying back billions and billions of dollars of their own stock, increasing their dividends. ultimately the people who will benefit most from corporate tax cuts are the shareholders of the
corporations and not the employees. >> and the stock market, the benefit of the rising stock market, what percentage would you a problems mate is involved in that? >> about half. of course those are the half that need the least help. so you have a significant percentage of the population, the lowest income earners in the country not benefiting at all from this. the corporate tax side. they will benefit a few dollars on the income tax side. but that's only a few years, and then they will pay the price. ultimately again, this exacerbates the disparity of wealth and income in the country. >> let's get to the russia investigation. the "new york times" reporting that the president tried to fire robert mueller last summer in june but then backed off when white house counsel threatened to quit as a result of that. you were on board already for
impeachment. does this make your case any stronger? >> i certainly think it makes the case for obstruction of is intent for the obstruction of criminal justice charge. i don't think there's much doubt now that the president was guilty of obstruction of justice, certainly that would warrant impeachment. we're not going to get impeachment, we're not going to push for it because we're never get it through a republican congress. if it gets to the point where the president is charged with a crime and the republicans would take a different look at it in congress, then we might have some movement on impeachment. unless that happens, i don't think we're going anywhere. but clearly the threat or the order to fire the special counsel is evidence of obstruction of justice. and i'm really amazed that not every one of the republicans in congress is not been stood up and said this sin appropriate.
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have you been paid to keep quiet. have you signed a nondisclosure agreement? did you have a sexual relationship with donald trump? you can't answer that. did you have any relationship with donald trump? >> well i think it's common by looking at photos that i've met him. >> adult film star stormy daniels on reports she received hush money from a lawyer for president trump in exchange for silence about a sexual encounter back in 2006. let's bring in victoria defrancesco, rick watkins and richard tyler. could letting the president off the hook on this issue relative
to morality, could that hurt your party in the long run? >> well i would think so. frankly disgusted with the revelations that keep coming on with my party and steve wynn yesterday, the finance chair for the rnc, a big contributor to the republican party. and it just goes on and on. and but, donald trump has this weird inoculation with his base. every time he says something, it seems like you know, he's, it's somehow five-dimensional chess when it's more like cheating at checkers. >> joe, since you're a reverend, i want to play for you what reverend franklin graham, president and ceo of the billy graham evangelical association told me about these reports, here it is. >> did he have an affair with this woman? i have no clue. but i believe that 70 years of age, the president is a much different person today than he was four years ago, five years
ago, ten years ago, whatever. and we just have to give the man the benefit of the doubt. he says he didn't do it, so okay, let's say he didn't do it. >> why do evangelicals keep giving the president a pass? >> i do not know. i think at the end of the day most evangelicals know, believe that they will have to give accounts to the almighty for whatever they've done here on the planet. so i would be very careful about what i said. just i wouldn't say things just to placate folks, i would be more interested in saying what's right and true and certainly stormy daniels probably has a story to tell, she's going to make a lot of money, she's had a row surgeance in fame. >> victoria, the president manages to remain unscathed here, to rick's point. you've got sexual misconduct allegations from a number of women. you have the "access hollywood" tape and now you have stormy daniels. how does this happen? >> what he said is, if we
remember back to the campaign, oh, it was locker room talk. so he has this very blase attitude about the sexual misconduct. and that allows him to recast the conversation and say these are false allegations. i think ultimately the pressure is building, alex. and with all of these women coming out of the woodwork there's going to be a pressure to do something. >> okay. victoria, joe, rick, good to see all three of you. coming up, possible new urgency to pass a law to keep the president from firing robert mueller, will enough republicans back the effort? my hygienist told me to try...
what's so wrong with what you can and cannot say on a billboard. good morning, everyone, i'm alex witt on msnbc world headquarters in new york, here's what's happening, the plot thickens -- new reaction to the report that president trump wanted to fire robert mueller, with the white house pushing back. >> did you want to fire robert mueller? >> fake news,
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