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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  January 27, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PST

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don't let another weekend pass you by. get the lowest price when you book at good day, everyone. a i'm alex witt at msnbc headquarters. here's what's happening. a new sense of urgency. democrats on capitol hill calling for a new law to protect special counsel robert mueller from president trump. >> mueller is in jeopardy. what does trump do but fire people? also today, we know the president is willing to speak to mueller under oath. but those close to him reportedly are terrified about what he might say. the buzz of what ifs intensifies. >> trump will be wading into an morass of facts and evidence.
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he better know his facts dead on. >> it will be the most perjured statements issued by a human being. can republicans and democrats find a daca compromise in time? and the long pause after a question to stormy daniels. >> have you signed a nondisclosure agreement? >> there was that pause. geoff bennett, stephanie hamill, and peter emerson. also in just a bit i'll speak with california democratic congressman john garamendi. geoff, let's talk about the latest reaction and the fallout of robert mueller. >> reporter: as you know, alex, president trump has dismissed
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the bombshell revelation that he attempted to fire the special counsel as fake news. but there are democrats and even some republicans who are not buying it. there are lawmakers on both sides who say the president's past firing the james comey, the fbi director, combined with his attempted ouster of the special counsel at the very least point to what they say is an ongoing plan to disrupt or derail the russia investigation. take a look at what two lawmakers had to say earlier today. it's john yarmouth, a democrat, and republican charlie dent of pennsylvania. >> 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 has not stood up and said this is inappropriate. >> it begs the question, why then interfere with the investigation? i'm not saying obstruct, but interfere. it just seems to, you know, contradict what the president has said publicly.
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he said he's done nothing wrong. well, then, it would be logical to let the investigation come to its natural conclusion. >> reporter: we should say attorneys for president trump say they've offered unprecedented cooperation to not only the special counsel but also the congressional russia investigations. but the levers that president trump could have pulled, the political and legal levers he could have pulled to fire mueller in the past are still available to him, alex. that's one reason why you see democrats and even some republicans acting with new urgency to put in place some legislation that would protect not only robert mueller but future special counsels. there is one effort in the senate, a democrat-led effort in the senate that would require a panel of three federal judges to agree if the president were to fire the special counsel, and there is also talk in the senate about trying to tie this legislation to the ongoing budget talks, those ongoing budget talks already complicated by a push, democrats' demands, really, to tie protections for
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young undocumented immigrants. so that really speaks to the urgency at play here, as democrats and even as some republicans, as we've said, see an all-out push to discredit or get rid of the special counsel. >> thank you for the great setup, we appreciate that, we'll see you again later today. stephanie hamill, an adviser to president trump, and peter emerson, a member of three democratic administrations. stephanie, why aren't more republicans expressing concern over the reports saying president trump ordered mueller's firing? >> because this is a fake news story. this is another "new york times" piece with anonymous sources. we've seen "the new york times" have to retract stories over and over again because of the anonymous sources. president trump did not fire mueller. mueller is still on the job. and -- >> that's not what has been alleged, stephanie. it's been alleged that he called
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for his firing, said i want him out, and that don mcgahn said, no, basically you're going to have to go through me if you want to fire him, i will resign. >> exactly. it was alleged. alleged. we don't know that for a fact. >> it's been independently confirmed. nbc news has confirmed it too. >> okay. well, a lot of these things have been independently confirmed and they end up having to be retracted and then we have all these news organizations apologizing for it. mueller is still on the job. if president trump had a private conversation, bouncing maybe these ideas, wondering if there was some sort of conflict with the mueller team, we know a lot of the mueller team had donated to the hillary clinton campaign, the full amount of donation than they possibly could. some of them were lifelong donors to the democrats. so there was question whether there was conflict. and we know one of the biggest scandals right now that is being ignored is the fisa abuse, a huge constitutional crisis on our hands, nobody wants to talk
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about that, instead we're talking about anonymous sources independently verified by -- >> stephanie, how about fox news, which i'm sure you watch from time to time. fox shoes is saying trump did have conversations about fire mueller, it may not have amounted to an outright directive but did have conversations about having him fired and discussions ensued. do you believe that happened? >> fox news can report what they want. but we heard from the president, he said he never had that conversation where he said he wanted to fire mueller. like i said, even if the president did want to fire mueller, there is still that possibility that's something that he would the ability to go through the attorney general, in this case it would be the deputy attorney general that would make that call. it hasn't happened. again, this is a non-news-story. >> peter, how much credence do you give to stephanie's comments? the fact is mueller is still on the job. >> well, we have to remember the source of what was just spoken up by stephanie. first and foremost, the important thing that i would hope stephanie would want
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continuity, as she declared a few days ago in an interview, that people have a right to know about the house intelligence committee memo floating out. stephanie asked it be disclosed. i assume stephanie would like all of the facts, all of the truth, to be disclosed by whomever, whether it be mueller, the senate intelligence committee, or whomever. do i have that correct, stephanie? >> yes, absolutely. of course we want to have all the facts. i hope that you want the memo released too, it's democrats that, again, are obstructing the release of this memo. >> there's no democratic obstruction. we agree that we all want the facts. then i have a problem with you suggesting that nothing is true, "the new york times" has to constantly retract, none of that is true. remember, in an interview you gave on camera several months ago, actually a couple of years ago, you pushed this idea of the pizza gate, that somehow hillary clinton was involved with pedophiles in a pizza store in
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washington. it was so severe that the host of that show asked you to retract it. so i have no confidence in your facts. >> peter, i'm glad you did some research. if you actually watch the videos you would see i was questioning some of the language that was used in the e-mails by john podesta. i said nothing about the pizza shop. so don't start, that's absurd. >> let's stay on topic, that would be great. peter, we have congressman yarmouth who said this makes the case for obstruction of justice almost ironclad, if the president is guilty of obstruction, it would warrant an impeachment. do you think the changes -- this changes the equation for democratic leaders chuck schumer and nancy pelosi who recently said impeachment talks would be premature? >> i agree they would be premature. i don't agree with congressman yarmouth, even though i know him well. there's a state of mind required under the federal laws in terms
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of obstruction of justice, i'm not sure those have been proven. what's interesting to me is that representative brian fitzpatrick and congressman dent, as you pointed out earlier, have both suggested very strongly that mueller is a man of integrity, fitzpatrick worked for him, second, they should allow it to move forward, and if the president has nothing to hide, then there's nothing to worry about. >> what do you say to that, stephanie, if the president has nothing to hide, there's nothing to worry about? all this back and forth on the president, whether or not he wants to talk to mueller, he's going to talk to him, doesn't want to talk to to him. i mean, what do you think, why does the president behave this way? >> if the president wants to have that conversation with mueller, that would be, you know, up to his attorneys. they would have the best advice for him. even if you're under oath, not under oath, anything that you say could eventually come back to haunt you, in a legal sense, it could be obstruction if you mess up, if you say something, if you forget something. in a sense, is it the best advice to say go out there and
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do what you want, i don't know. that's something his attorneys will have to decide. >> and i want to say for the record, my recollection of the conversation with representative yarmouth earlier, he said anything to do with impeachment is not going to happen this year, he says this may bolster a case, but he does say for obvious reasons, the republicans control both houses of congress. stephanie, i want to turn to the reaction of adult film star stormy daniels to reports saying she was paid to keep quiet about a past sexual encounter with the president. here is a clip from a new interview from "inside edition." >> did you have a sexual relationship with donald trump? you can't answer that? did you have any relationship with donald trump? >> i think it's common, you know, by looking at photos that i've met him. >> how do you interpret that, stephanie? how do you explain the fact that these reports haven't been more damaging to the trump white house? >> this is a recycled, debunked
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news story. i don't even understand how the mainstream media is covering it, this is tabloid news. president trump has denied it, his attorney has denied it. stormy daniels, her attorney denied it. >> did you take her -- >> i don't understand why we're talking about this. >> did you take it that she was denying it, in her stone-faced nonreactive visage there when she was being asked about it? was that denial to you? >> a nondisclosure agreement, so she can't say anything. i don't know why she's going out there doing these interviews, maybe she's looking for attention, obviously. but she can't answer that question legally. >> look, peter, the president's evangelical base, holding pretty strong to these reports, amid the reports, i should say, not to them. let's look at what franklin graham, president and ceo of billy graham er r evan gelistic
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association. >> this is just a news story and i don't even know if it's accurate. i don't know if it's hypocri hypocritic hypocritical, because he's a flawed man, for me to support him and pray for him. >> how do you think the president maintains the support of evangelicals? what's behind that from the evangelicals' perspective? >> it's quite extraordinary to me that he does enjoy that support and that someone like reverend graham, who comes from an extraordinary heritage of moral and ethical, not just behavior but also preaching, would give, as many have suggested, a mulligan to trump. and on the stormy daniels front, that's really between trump and his wife and stormy daniels. of course the fact that they asked for a nondisclosure agreement suggests they don't want her to talk which raises the issue, what don't they want her to talk about. so that in itself is an indictment. but again, it's between those people. but what does bother me is that in the christian community, in
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the christian teachings that i'm very familiar with, there is a commitment to moral and ethical behavior. and that seems to somehow, as you suggested in your question, been given a total pass, for a man who on tape in his own words talked about assaulting women. >> stephanie, i mean, react to that. why do you think evangelicals are so quick to side with the president? >> because if you look at this, president trump took a picture with another person. stormy daniels, if she asked to take a picture with me, i would take a picture with her because it's the decent thing to do. >> why the nondisclosure agreement? >> i don't know about the nondisclosure agreement. >> the "access hollywood" tape, it's irrefutable, the president is talking about doing things to people of our gender, no thanks. >> this is selective outrage. we had hillary anded bill clin,
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we wanted to put this man who has all these rape allegations against him into office as first man. i'm kind of sick of it. i think what people care about today is the fact that their 401(k)'s are growing, that the economy is roaring. >> and wages are depressed, gmdp is way down. tourism is off. >> bonuses that by the way house minority leader nancy pelosi seems to think a thousand dollars isn't a lot of money because she'll probably spend that on a bottle of wine at dinner. >> i can speak for myself, i care about a lot more relative to this country than just the economy. it's a huge part of it but there's a lot more to what makes america great. >> that's a number one issue for americans that are trying to figure out if they have -- >> stephanie hamill and peter emerson, you guys, thank you so much for the conversation, i appreciate that. fate unknown. known deadline facing dreamers, while the washington divide grows over daca.
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activists say they can't even count on democrats to save them. i'll speak with democratic congressman john garamendi about that. ♪ are you reluctant to eat in public because of your denture? try super poligrip® it holds for 12 hours to reduce denture movement, helps provide better bite, seals out 74% more food particles, and enhances your denture fit. try super poligrip®.
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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. >> i'm disillusioned. i think they're caving.
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you know, democrats are pretty good at articulating values but a little weak on defending them. >> stinging rebuke there from key congressional democrats responding to the deal that ended the government shutdown. joining me now, congressman john garamendi, democrat from california. as always, sir, thank you for joining us. i want to look at your voting record, sir. i know you were one of 45 democrats voting to end the shutdown, but you had 144 of your colleagues that voted against. why were you disagreeing with your majority on this? >> time to move on. we'll be fighting this battle again, on february 8th we'll be rejoining it. the shutdown was not good for america and it was time to get beyond that and get back to underlying issues. the fact of the matter is, why do we have crs to begin with? the reason we have crs is there's no money. the tax scam cut that the republicans pushed forward ripped a $150 billion out of the
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treasury this year. and so the republicans can't figure out how to fund the government. so we do crs. obviously the dreamer issue is very much a part of the ongoing debate. and we've actually seen some progress made here. the president has most recently said that he wants 1.8 million of those dreamers on a path to citizenship. that's good. >> that's good, but it comes at quite a price. what is it about february 8th, a magic number, do you think it will get done by then? >> let's be optimistic. although the discussion you just had prior to my coming on would indicate that we have a government in chaos. >> a ways to go. >> it's in chaos. so let's be hopeful, there has been progress in the negotiations, no doubt about it. my colleagues are quite correct, the proposal the white house put out is just a nonstarter. nonetheless we have made progress with regard to the
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dreamers and the daca issue. can we drive that forward and get it done in the next, what, 12 days? i'm hopeful. >> well, i love optimism. but i'm going to ask, and i don't want to rain on your parade here, but do you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, you and your democratic colleagues? because if you do not get a deal on daca, you lose with your base. if you do get a deal on daca, you give a win to the president. has the president managed to turn this whole daca issue into a lose/lose proposition for democrats? >> i don't think we keep score on a day by day basis here. we'll have take a look at this he's ye last year. the president is going to do a state of the union address in a couple of days. what is the state of the union? there is massive chaos in the u.s. government. there is no doubt about that. and there is a government under the trump administration that's trying to deny climate change, trying to roll back environmental protections, drill for oil off virtually every mile of the coast of the united
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states, except in florida where he has his own resort, mar-a-lago. and we have our allies going, what in the world is going on in america? we've got a, what, a nuclear standoff with north korea. the trump administration in one year has managed to turn the entire world upside down. and it is a very serious problem, not only domestically, but take a look at that tax bill. what did it do? trump said very clearly, when he met all of his pollulutocatic gs at a party at mar-a-lago, his words were, i've made you all richer. yes, he's managed to give american corporations hundreds of billions of dollars more. and they give a one-time bonus, they don't bother to raise their wages except in those states that have minimum wage law increases.
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you go, this is just terrible public policy, and it's all donald trump's doing. >> you mentioned the state of the union, i understand, sir, that you plan to wear black there to the state of the union on tuesday. this is in solidarity with women who are protesting sexual harassment and sexual misconduct as well. what tangible steps are democrats taking in congress to try to address the internal complaints of harassment and hush money payouts? >> well, my colleague, jackie speier from california, and many women, including men, myself included, will be supporting legislation that will change the way in which congress deals with sexual harassment, and harassment generally beyond sexual harassment, workplace harassment. that new policy is very, very tough. and it eliminates the use of government money to settle a case. wi all the members of congress will be responsible themselves.
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it's a whole new process, at least for the house of representatives. and i think it will become the standard for congress and quite possibly for other workplaces around the nation. >> before i let you go, i want to ask you about the president having dismissed as fake news, as you heard there from davos yesterday, the reports that he ordered the firing of special counsel bob mueller. but nbc news, "the new york times" and others have confirmed it. can legislators get protections for mueller as part of the ongoing budget negotiations? >> i don't think so, it will be tough enough without going into that issue. but what we must do as democrats and as republicans, there are republicans, you heard charlie dent is one, who have integrity, who are very concerned about what's going on. we need to push back. we need to push back on shows like this. we need to push back in our own communities, back in our districts, and make it very clear that the rule of law is fundamental to the long term wellbeing of this nation, as it
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has been in the past. and none of us, members of congress, myself, and senators, and the president, and the other advisers in the white house, are above the law. we are answerable to the law. a special counsel, mr. mueller, is investigating. let it go where it's going to go. let him have whatever he needs in time and resources. and we will see what the outcome is. the president cannot just say fake news fake news with everything that he doesn't like, and neither can his supporters. the fact of the matter is, there is an investigation under way. it has to take its natural course. if that course leads to an impeachment, so be it. >> all right, congressman john garamendi from california, thank you so much, sir. on the heels of that conversation, what to expect if president trump does indeed speak to robert mueller. how close could the president fall into what some are calling the perjury trap? that's next.
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kabul earlier today, killing at least 95 people, wounding more than 150. that blast occurred near foreign embassies, government buildings and shops. the taliban is reportedly claiming responsibility. new fallout today from the bombshell reports that president trump tried to fire robert mueller last june but backed down when his legal counsel threatened to resign if he went through with it. joining me now, former special counsel to the department of defense, ryan goodman. ryan, good afternoon to you. i want to get to what you wrote in in an op-ed for "the new york times" in which you say, "in short, if you block out much of the noise that has surrounded the russia investigation, you can see the outline of a concerted effort to mislead federal officials." elaborate on this. >> i think any reasonable analysis would show that the trump circle has lied over time since july 2016 about their
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contacts with russian actors, russian agents to the public and the media. i tried to look at all the instances when trump or his inner circle have lied to federal authorities. it's actually six people, by a conservative count, five of which are senior trump campaign officials, you can even expand that to eight if you include paul manafort and rick gates. they have been indicted for lying to the fbi about kremlin-linked -- their links to kremlin-linked ukrainian party members. what i tried to do is go through it the way a federal prosecutor would to try to see whether we could infer from that a concerted activity on their part and i think there's strong evidence of it. >> okay. so the president's attempt to fire robert mueller, do you see that as hard evidence of obstruction of justice? if so, do you think that this news has now shifted the focus of mueller's investigation at all? >> i don't think it's shifted the focus.
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i actually think mueller has been focusing on this probably like a laser beam, as he's also focusing on the russia collusion investigation. and we can see this also from all four of the people who have either been indicted or pled guilty. in each of those four cases mueller has thrown the book at them for making false statements. i do think the recent bombshell from "the new york times," confirmed by other news outlets, that the president did go through with ordering his white house counsel to get mueller fired, added significantly to it. on its own it wouldn't stand independently as obstruction of justice but it adds to a pattern of behavior. >> when the president was asked whether he thought robert mueller would be fair to him, let's listen to what he said about that. >> reporter: do you think robert mueller will be fair to you in this larger investigation? >> we're going to find out. because here's what they'll say,
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and everybody says, no collusion. there's no collusion. now they're saying, oh, well, did he fight back? [ simultaneous speaking ] if you fight back, oh, it's obstruction. so here's the thing. i hope so. >> from the president's perspective, is he within his rights to, as he put it, fight back against the special counsel? >> it all depends on what he means. he can fight back by speaking his mind in the media and other things like that. but he certainly cannot fight back through an abuse of power. if he is trying to fire the heads of these investigations because he's worried that they will find out wrongdoing on the part of himself or his family or other inner circle members, that's a deep problem. that was in fact the first article of impeachment for nixon, was abuse of power and interference with an ongoing fbi investigation of watergate. that kind of fighting back would be a big mistake and patently illegal, actually. >> former special counsel to the
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department of defense, thank you so much, ryan goodman, appreciate that. coming up next, what to make of the president's immigration plan. is it really an amnesty bonanza? we've got some answers next on that. i'm sorry, leo. i know i'm late. traffic on the ponte vecchio on a monday. always late. oh! my wallet! un momento. card lock from capital one. instantly lock your card. in case your card goes... arrivederci. mona! that smile. technology this convenient... could make history. what's in your wallet?
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i want to solve the daca problem. i will consider that a great achievement, to solve the daca problem. but we need a strong border. and to do that you need a wall. and they did agree to a $25 billion wall of which i'll have a lot of money left over,
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because i don't need $25 billion to build a wall. >> president trump on his immigration proposal which would provide 1.8 million people eligible for daca a path to citizenship. henry cisneros, the former mayor of san antonio, texas, and a co-share for the bipartisan policy center's immigration task force. mr. mayor, thank you for joining us. the democrats have largely signaled opposition to the immigration proposal but i'm curious about your take. is this the best offer that they're going to get on daca? >> first of all, the problem of daca is real. i happen to know a lot of the daca young people. several close, because i've actually helped them in terms of getting through college and having the great accomplishments that they have, i'm proud of this group of motivated, contributing young people. you know the story, they came as children, in this case 6 years
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old, real family trauma in getting settled into the united states. they do not know anyone back in their home country, mexico, wherever it might be. they've done extraordinary things in leadership, in academic performance. and they're contributors to the country. this is just something that ought to be resolved, and democrats and republicans ought to resolve it together. in the best case, you would say, let's fix the problem, period. but washington being what it is, it's turned into a kind of a bargaining, so that the president wants the wall, and others want change migration addressed, and others want visa lottery questions dressaddresse. the truth of the matter is those things ought to be addressed in the normal course of an immigration reform, not the knicks to dafix to daca. my guess is democrats will go with some of these measures because it's unconscionable to
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leave 700,000 young people who will lose their status, they'll lose their jobs because companies can't keep them hired illegally, and then be subject to deportation for the slightest reason. a broken taillight, a traffic violation. it's just a really bad episode in american history. so had i hope is that the negotiations will be real. on the question of the wall, there will have to be some funding for some kind of wall. it may not be a wall for 2,000 miles, hopefully some of it is virtual, some of it is radar, some of it is fencing, and yes, there will be some places where a wall makes sense. others, it doesn't, because we're talking about cliffs along the river and very rugged territory. >> right. >> so -- i think democrats will probably do that. senator schumer actually agreed to that in the negotiations at the white house. and some of these other measures, some portion of them will be addressed. but the real answer is
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immigration reform on a broad scale. and the hope is that forward progress on daca then gives people confidence that we can take the next step and deal with some more serious issues of immigration reform. >> the democrats' reaction to all this has been political certainly in nature, which is not a surprise. but ultimately, do they not want to give president trump a victory? has he managed to spin this, the president i'm talking about, so it's virtually a lose/lose for democrats? >> he's positioned himself in a very strong position as a result of the episode with the closure and now in a position where basically he says you want daca, this is what i want. now, is it possible that this will all break down and nothing will happen? yes. and that would be a tragedy. is it possible the democrats agree to some of these things and daca is resolved? i certainly hope so for the good of those 700,000 young people and their families.
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and i hope that it happens as soon as possible, because every day, more of these young people are being put in jeopardy. the president i think could actually make himself the hero in this and say, i have a solution for daca, just as he did the other day when he said we're not talking about 700,000, we're talking about 1.8 million if you expand the definition of daca and provide a pathway to citizenship for a larger number. >> he has done to to a degree with opposition of hard liners on the right, breitbart has labeled this as an amnesty bonanza. are you willing to give the president credit for -- >> i think the issue ought to be focused on these young people and the need. the issue is not who will win, who will get credit for a solution. the problem is failure hurts 700,000 of these young people in a profound way. imagine being pulled out of a
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job, being pulled out of school, sent back to a country where you know no one, and have your life disrupted in that way. it's a kind of an odd glitch in the way our immigration policy evolved. but it requires as an imperative, please, america, understand this is not right, we've got to solve it. >> i want to ask you about infrastructure, because it's my understanding the president is gearing up to reveal more details about what he has in terms of a plan for that during the state of the union speech on tuesday. so far he's saying it's probably going to end up being $1.7 trillion. >> well, the original discussion was about $1 trillion, $200 billion of which was going to be governmental money from the federal government. and then $800 billion in incentives to the private sector to bring capital to infrastructure, to state and local governments, to do it with bond financing. this week there were some leaks of what the essence of that plan might be. frankly i thought it was pretty encouraging and something the democrats ought to work with the
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president to pass. >> even $1.7 trillion, that price tag, are you comfortable with that? >> i have no idea whether or not it will be 1.7. this may have been another instance of the president spouting a number, because his people are talking about a trillion, not 1.7 trillion. whatever it is, there were positive things, for example, they had set asides for rural areas, i think that's very important. they had set asides for real needs of safety and life safety, for example the toxic water in flint where existing programs would be expanded to have that. and not subject them to the need to generate capital through the private sector, which wires higher returns and the modernization of those streams of revenues. not every bridge that's deteriorated, 65,000 of them, by the way, can be tolled, put on tolls in order to fix it. so the federal government has to
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step up to a degree. i thought the plan leaks that we saw this week were at least positive in that regard. this is a massive national need, the 65,000 bridges, the toxic water, the congested roadways, the deteriorated airports, the congested seaports. this is a matter of national competitiveness and there's a lot at stake, jobs and opportunity for communities to be competitive economically. we've got to get this done. >> okay. >> i'm pleased that the administration is advancing and the democrats are -- will be negotiating a good plan. that's my hope. >> former hud secretary henry cisneros, thank you for your time, much appreciated, sir. nikki haley having to answer questions she probably never imagined she would get as u.s. ambassador to the united nations, that's next. then khizr khan weighing in on the president's travel ban.
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let's do this. got it. book the flights! hai! si! si! ya! ya! ya! what does that mean for us? we can get stuff. what's it mean for shipping? ship the goods. you're a go! you got the green light. that means go! oh, yeah. start saying yes to your company's best ideas. we're gonna hit our launch date! (scream) thank you! goodbye! we help all types of businesses with money, tools and know-how to get business done. american express open. the president has said he has done nothing wrong. then fine, let mueller do his work uninterrupted, and then we'll judge his work product at the end of the process. if mueller were to be fired, and i don't think he will be, but if
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he were to be fired, that would set off a political firestorm like this country hasn't seen since watergate. >> republican charlie dent this counsel robert mueller one month after his appointment. it happened in june. joining me, political reporter for "the new york times" and msnbc contributor, also political reporter for the "los angeles times." with a big welcome to you both. nick, i'm curious what you're hearing on how the white house is grappling with all this. >> look, what they're trying to do is contain it and contain a president who seems determined to get in the way of this prosecution. it's clear from the timeline that the president has been boiled over repeatedly about this investigation. and finally one day he decided he would try and fire the special counsel. he was pushed back from that, but it goes to show how sensitive this whole investigation has been for this white house from the very beginning that started. >> yeah, and the facts seem that
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the president was willing to fire mueller -- i mean, short-term memory loss or something? i mean, all the fallout from firing comey. what does that tell you? >> i think. >> sorry. no, i think it's what nick said, how the president has been obsessed with the investigation. you see him saying two very different things, like, oh, we're corroborating, i'm willing to talk to him, and this is a witch hunt. the president has been obviously fixated on this, and we've seen his members of his administration, members of his campaign face charges, plead guilty. it seems like it's getting closer and closer. you have to wonders is this going to flare up once again. >> nick, you've answered this to a degree, but this happened just a month in to mueller. and no one could talk about anything but comey for quite some time. it's remarkable actually. >> it's important -- the president seems to have a feeling that his law enforcement apparatus is his law enforcement apparatus. he doesn't seem to recognize
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sometimes that there are limits on what he's allowed to do and limits on his authority and power, and that the fbi and department of the justice are not his private security team at trump tower. he's often seemed to have a problem understanding that that's the way government works. and what you saw here is him kind of lashing out and being -- i can fire this guy, i should fire this guy, i should do everything i can to stop the investigation. >> all right. i want to get to the allegations of sexual misconduct facing steve winn. i want to read what my colleague tweeted. "the steve wynn scandal could not put republicans in a more awkward position. if he pushed out, how does the party justify standing by donald trump who has 19 harassment accusers, and do republicans give back money that wynn donated?" all important questions joy raised. nick, how do you see republicans delivering on any of these questions? >> you know, it's fascinating. this is a huge problem for the
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rnc especially because the rnc had made a point of calling out democrats who had gotten money or had money raised by harvey weinstein. they went out on a limb in a big way publicly. they're clamping down now and aren't responding. he is the guy who is in charge of the entire fund-raising apparatus of the republican party. he's the main guy. he's the one calling all the other donors and organizing the events. he's the front man. if he is guilty of this, pretty much all the money they're bringing is tainted by association. and you can bet they're not going to give that back. >> right. so how do they react to all of this? >> i think they're trying to going it out. the dnc has been interesting. they're basically reading the statements after the harvey weinstein scandal broke. there's so much money at stake. it raises questions about -- it's easier for candidates if they have to give back a certain amount of money. for the larger groups, dnc,
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senatorial groups, congressional committees, those are such large chunks of money and right as we go into a midterm election. it would be difficult to imagine them returning all of it. >> yeah. a step further, sema, how does the party justify standing by donald trump? joy puts that out. 19 accusations of sexual harassment against him. >> right. the party has a conflicted history recently in terms of dealing with the allegations. at the same time donald trump was calling on senator al franken to resign because of allegations against him, he was endorsing roy moore, accused of going after young girls in alabama when he was younger. this is a question for the party officials -- it's kind -- it confound me hs me honestly. >> here's a reaction -- nikki haley found herself defending herself against rumors of an affair with the president sparked by the book "fire and fury." how unusual is it, nick, that you have the u.s. ambassador to the united nations having to address allegations of this sort with no proof at all?
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>> look, it's not unusual, it's unprecedented. it's ridiculous. look, that book does not have a lot of credibility in my eyes. there are a lot of mistakes in it, holes in it, the sourcing is questionable. i don't think she has anything to apologize for or explain. i think it's a shame she had to rebut it. look, a powerful woman who is successful often faces these kind of rumors. i think we're seeing that here now with nikki haley, unfortunately. >> yeah. on the powerful woman point, eliminaty haley -- nikki haley was asked about this in the podcast "women rule," she calls the rumors, understandably, disgusting, offensive. >> at every point in my life i've noticed that if you are speak your mind and you're strong about it and you say what you believe, there is a small percentage of people that resent that. and the way they deal with it is to try and throw arrows, lies or not, to diminish you. >> she's seeing that clearly as
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an effort to smear a powerful female voice. is this what it's all about, you think? >> i mean, she's faced these types of innuendo and rumors, falsehoods, before in south carolina. i think if you speak with women, whether it's in politics, business, media, it's not uncommon. if you have some measure of success, there are questions raised. the other thing i think that was interesting in the book, the author went on bill maher and said i couldn't put this in the book because i don't have enough reporting, but i'm going to say it on the show. that's like me saying i believe something, i don't have the proof, but i'll go on your show and announce it. i don't get it. >> i saw the clip with bill maher. he kept calling the book entertaining and left it at that. not to really try to support it from a factual perspective. awful of you great with -- all of you great with the facts. thank you very much. >> thank you. in the next hour, the trump travel ban one year later. where it stands and what the future -- what future it could face this spring. me,
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it was never enough. my dentist suggested biotene. my mouth felt more lubricated. i use the biotene rinse and then i use the spray. biotene did make a difference. [heartbeat]
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my visitors should be the ones we know life can be hectic. that's why, at xfinity, we've been working hard
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to simplify your experiences with us. now, with instant text and email updates, you'll always be up to date. you can easily add premium channels, so you don't miss your favorite show. and with just a single word, find all the answers you're looking for - because getting what you need should be simple, fast, and easy. download the xfinity my account app or go online today. that's a wrap for me this hour. thank you very much for watching. i'll see you tomorrow at 9:00 eastern. meantime, my colleague will take it away with more, david? >> thank you very much. see you tomorrow, as well. hello, everybody. on this saturday, i'm david gura at msnbc headquarters in new york. you're fired -- almost. fallout from reports president trump tried to get hill of special counsel robert mueller. how the latest revelations could affect the russia investigation as president trump pushes


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