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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  March 3, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PST

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good morning, i'm alex whitt here at msnbc world headquarters
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in new york. an exhaustive week of headlines from the white house. which events of the past seven days might have the most impact going forward? >> there will be a 25% for steel, it will be 10% for aluminium. >> steel wars -- new reaction to the president's tariff remarks and how other countries are ready to retaliate. >>i think it's a pretty inappropriate question to ask a daughter. if she believes the accusers of her father. >> ivanka trump's defense of her father. we'll play you parts of the interview you likely did not hear for the rest of the story. and losing hope, a member of the house intelligence committee who was in the room when hicks reportedly said she told white lies for the president. capping off a roller coaster week this morning, the three big stories we're following. an nbc news exclusive report on what may have prompted the
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president to launch a potential trade war. with a surprise announcement which sent republicans and the stock market reeling. officials say the president was angry and quote unglued about simmering issues when he proposed tariffs on steel imports. catching his white house completely off-guard. the "washington post" digging into whether anyone had direct knowledge the announcement was on the horizon. as the "post" studied an sec filing. former adviser and billionaire icon dumped millions in stocks. looking into whether jared kushner's foreign business ties have influenced the president's policy. at least one member of the intelligence committee is sounding alarms as a result of the president's behavior. which included renewed attacks against attorney general jeff sessions and his portrayal on "saturday night live," here's what john brennan said on msnbc. >> i'm worried. particularly the reports of the last couple of days, he must be
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feeling this pressure and there's a part of me that you know, had been very angry, donald trump for the things he saudi and the things he did. i'm now moving into the realm of deep worry and concern. if we have somebody in the oval office who is unstable, inept, inexperienced, and also unethical. we have rough waters ahead. >> for now let's go back to the president's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. nbc's correspondent kelly o'donnell is following the president in west palm beach. what's the latest on the fallout of this decision? >> good morning, alex. at this phase it's now the reaction around the world. and will u.s. allies or other nations retaliate, by setting up some of their own tariffs and other road blocks to american businesses and products overseas. we're seeing reaction coming from friendly nations from canada to europe to asia.
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questioning the president's decision and his timing and the fact that he did not alert partners around the world, even lawmakers, even some in his own white house staff, even key advisers about this in advance. now that's not to say the idea is a surprise. because the president has long talked about trade issues. and specifically ways to back up american steel and aluminium manufacturers. so the idea is not a shock. it's the way he has rolled it out in an abrupt fashion. without any of the policy work in place. the specifics of how would this work. would there be any exemptions. all of that means there could be expensive consequences. >> no outward sign of swirling crises as the president and first lady return to palm beach. >> the dow is going to close down about 50 points. >> from a whipsaw on wall street to shocked republicans predicting the president's surprise plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium will backfire.
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>> i think it's going to hurt jobs. >> commerce secretary wilbur ross claims that consumers will pay only a fraction more on things from soup to soda. >> all this hysteria, is a lot to do about nothing. >> fallout inflamed by potential harm in the global economy. for american businesses and workers. the president made his controversial position, sound simple on twitter. trade wars are good, and easy to win. friday, while the president was away for the billy graham funeral, chief of staff john kelly spoke to reporters off camera. trying to shore up his own power. >> i have absolutely nothing to even consider resigning over. kelly, who took heat over his management, revisited missteps around the scandal, that forced out top aide rob porter over spousal abuse allegations. kelly said, we didn't cover ourselves in glory in how we handled that. turning to the special counsel investigation, nbc news reports
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that investigators are looking at the president's son-in-law, jared kushner. and discussions he had with high-profile figures from several countries during the presidential transition. sources say the special counsel wants to know if those kushner discussions influenced u.s. policy. kushner has denied any improper contacts. from the serious to the silly. the president reengaged his battle with actor alec baldwin. whose dying mediocre career was saved by his terrible impersonation of me. baldwin gave it back. saying i'd like to hang in there for the impeachment hearings, the resignation speech, the farewell helicopter ride to mar-a-lago. and right now the president is at his trump international golf club in west palm beach. this is a different kind of weekend from all the times we have these conversations, alex. the whez president is here for short time. doing a campaign fundraiser and
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traveling back to washington later this afternoon. alex? >> thank you for the update. i know we'll see you again, kelly. thank you. the president's inner circle was rattle by the resignation of hope hicks, she quit just days after testifying before the house intelligence committee. joining me is congressman mike quigley, democrat from illinois and a member of that committee. congressman with, a welcome to you. i know it was a very long day for all of you on that committee. it was like nine hours of testimony. i know you were in that room. you specifically missed the part where hope was asked and then answered the question about telling white lies. but what can you tell us about that session overall? >> i think the white lies, episode or whatever anyone wants to call it, really overvladdos the more important aspect of her interview. and others. that are similar to it it's not what she talked about. it's what she refused to talk about. she joined mr. lewandoski and bannon and trump jr. and cohen
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and many, many others refusing to answer critical questions about critical times. >> the republicans have refused to subpoena others, refused to press mr. bannon and others to answer questions. and miss hicks' time in the white house. the fact is they're going along with the white house on a gag order. which makes finding out what the russians did and who helped them almost impossible. >> but congressman, given the litany of those you said have behaved in this manner, how was that received? was it expected? and how frustrating is that? >> it's extraordinarily frustrating. i believe what's happening now is the republicans want to shut down this investigation. when you team it with the nunes white house midnight excursion, the memo which wasted five weeks. and many other episodes, couple that with the president's firing comey, trying to fire mueller several times and now clearly
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shooting up efforts to get rid plaintiff sessions. there's a full-blown effort to shut down the investigations as to what the russians did, and how we responded. today's message must be the one person i think who can stop this is speaker ryan. this is his committee. he has control over that. he appoints mr. nunes to be the chairman of that committee. right now, i would ask the speaker of the house -- do you want to be part of obstructing the most important investigation of our lifetime? do you want that as part of your legacy? or will you help us find out exactly what happened? >> you mentioned congressman devin nunes, the chairman of the committee. when anyone in the past, including hope hicks has said they won't say, they're not going to tep, privilege, you know, white house confidentiality, whatever it is. does he press them at all? or is it okay, next. >> well he hasn't himself sat in a lot of these meetings lately.
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he's supposed to have recused himself. in the final analysis, he's the one that's initiated the rogue investigations and the memo and clearly he is controlling the subpoenas and how testimony goes. so to answer your question, there are no republicans pressing anybody other than steve bannon. they laid a subpoena on steve bannon, because apparently nobody likes him, he's a man without a country. the problem with that is when steve bannon held his ground, i guess trying to curry favor again with the white house, the republicans, there were no republicans who pressed him when he held his ground and refused to answer questions about his time in the white house. i think he, mr. lewandoski, miss hicks, can answer critical questions that we're missing now. the republicans have taken this cue to say it's time to end the investigation. >> so the interviews are privileged as you know, yet, the details of the private testimony were leaked, including the
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tidbit that her work for the president occasionally required her to tell some white lies. it's my understanding from those leaks that when posed with that question, she had to lean over to her attorney two times to consult with how she was to answer that question. granted, i know you weren't in the room. but have you heard any details of how that was delivered by hope hicks? >> i would say just this -- there are several times in which witnesses confer with their attorneys. i think what you're seeing there is that is happening when they want to exert this gag order. no one has asserted a privilege, officially from the white house. but they're following orders from the white house not to answer questions. when our witnesses lean over and ask the attorneys questions, it is assuming the fact that they don't want to answer anything that would really help us find out what took place. that's very common, to answer your question. >> what about republican congressman tom rooney who is
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out defending her saying this particular line of questioning, it was a set-up to force her to make the white lies comment. do you agree with that? >> again, i have been called into an appropriations meeting at that point. my job at that exact moment was to help us try to buy new election voting machines. which fit into this problem. and that is, the russians hacked into 36 states, boards of election. mr. comey said they'll be back. 12 years ago, we bought new voting equipment, because of hanging chads and election disaster, which ended up in the supreme court. we face that same threat, we're not in the position to defend it because of the same obstruction. to mr. rooney's point, look, none of us would like to see this process go the way it has. it's taken too long. largely because of this obstruction. so do i wish we could go quicker? it would go a lot quicker if we weren't facing problems from the
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white house and from mr. nunes' leadership. >> do you anticipate wanting to recall hope hicks once she departs the white house, which is supposedly happening in just a matter of a few weeks? >> i think we need ms. hicks back, mr. bannon back, mr. lewandoski, mr. sessions, eric prince, they all refuse to answer critical questions. most of them were not under subpoena. so we need help, again, from the speaker of the house, to compel the leadership of this committee to subpoena witnesses, and to press them and to force them. and when they don't answer questions, they're going to have to face contempt proceedings. >> democrat from illinois, congressman mike quigley, thank you so much. appreciate your insight. coming up, asking ivanka -- in an exclusive nbc interview, the first daughter answering for her father about his regard for victims of domestic violence. >> what do you say to those who
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say your father routinely chooses to empathize with the accused over the accusers? rob porter, roy moore and other circumstances? how do you explain that? >> ivanka's answer to that question, next. i feel chronic, widespread pain. fibromyalgia may be invisible to others, but my pain is real. fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. i'm glad my doctor prescribed lyrica. for some, lyrica delivers effective relief for moderate to even severe fibromyalgia pain. and improves function. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions, suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worse depression, unusual changes in mood or behavior, swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effects: dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain, swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica.
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waves. nbc's peter alexander has the full report. >> it's what makes ivanka trump's job so difficult. when she speaks, is she first daughter or senior adviser to the president. that question coming into renewed focus this week. >> do you believe your father's accusers? >> i think it's a pretty inappropriate question. >> that response igniting a nationwide debate. even john mccain's daughter diving in. >> you've been your father's surrogate at times, were there any topics that you felt would be off-limit. >> no, when you're in, you're in. nothing is off-limits. >> during our exclusive conversation in south korea where ms. trump led the delegation to the winter games' closing ceremony. here's how she navigated her dual roles when asked about allegation of sexual misconduct against the president. >> your father has been accused of sexual misconduct by roughly 19 women. do you believe your father's accusers?
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>> i think it's a pretty inappropriate question to ask a daughter. if she believes the accusers of her father when he's affirmatively stated that there's no truth to it. i don't think that's a question you would ask many other daughters. >> these are unusual circumstances, obviously, there hasn't been a situation where the accusations have numbered this many. >> there have been some similar parallels and i don't think you would be asking the same questions. >> you think all the women are making it up? >> i believe my father. i know my father. i think i have that right as a daughter. to believe my father. >> what do you say to those who say that your father routinely chooses to empathize with the accused over the accusers? rob porter, roy moore and other circumstances? how do you explain that? >> well i don't think that's true. i think that when there are cases of domestic violence, as
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we saw recently, that cannot be condoned, nobody would condone that. and i think there is a vast spectrum and i think this is actually a really important conversation for us to be having as a society. about what is unacceptable. unconditionally. what has to, we have to be able to talk about and resolve moving forward. i actually think this is a really exciting and important moment in time. and i think many people are being exposed. for doing some really awful things. and i'm proud of the women who have standing up in the face of accusers with credible evidence and credible stories. and we've seen a lot of those. a lot of them recently. >> should your father do more to
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sort of lead in this moment, i guess, broadly speaking? >> i think the whole country is having the conversation. >> including ms. trump, a proud advocate for women who sided with voices in a me, too, movement. but exercised caution when the issue hit close to home. peter alexander, nbc news, the white house. let's bring in msnbc political analyst jonathan alter, a journalist with the "daily beast." >> what is your take on ivanka's response, is he she right to put her role as daughter, first? >> when i was listening to the interview i, my heart went out for her. i don't care who it was. i don't care if it was chelsea clinton talking about her father, bill clinton. i don't care, i think that that was a, that was kind of a, it was a mean question to ask somebody, you know what i mean? it put her on the spot. i think the question was intended to put her on the spot. i think she handled it with class and with grace. it's very hard. i mean to take my republican
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strategist hat off and look at a, a woman who is also a daughter, having to answer a question, about her dad. whether he was the president of the united states or anything, it's her dad, that's her dad, that's who raised her, you know? that's what the interviewer felt that they were going to gain by trying to pit her against her dad in the sexual accusers, i mean i thought that was kind of an unfair game. and then they turned around and they you know, put in roy moore and rob porter and i did like the way that she answered that. she doesn't know roy moore and do you remember the tweet she said? you know there's a special place in hell for people that i a b abuse children. because roy moore was accused of playing around with underage children and scoping the malls out to try to get 15-year-old girls or what-not. and that outraged her because
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she's a mother. i thought the interviewer, i didn't think that was a great use of his time to try to pin her on sexual abuse and what she thought maybe her dad, the accusers against her father. >> it's definitely a challenging position to put her in. >> does ivanka have a point, when she says, this is inappropriate. i'm trying to recall a time when chelsea clinton was asked about her father on the campaign trail, granted she was much younger. she did not, when the accusations against her father erupted. she also did not have an official white house role. is that where the difference lies and why it might be appropriate to ask ivanka, you're a white house official, ivanka. >> i think it's all very much inbounds, i thought it was a very good interview by peter alexander. when you are working in the white house as ivanka trump is it's a very different situation than being a teenager, a high school student. she was trying to use the
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chelsea clinton defense. and that really didn't, didn't play. and also i thought it was fascinating, that she kept going to this question of well i'm his daughter. so i, you know shouldn't be asked about this. rather than saying you know, full-throated way, no. he didn't do this. he's being wrongly accused. you did not hear her say that. >> well she said she believed him. >> she said she believed him. he said all of hess accusers are li liars. she did not echo that. she did not say yes these are all a bunch of fraudulent accusers. she didn't go down that particular road. which was very interesting. as for roy moore, yes, it was very nice that she spoke out against roy moore. but her father was supporting roy moore fully. so for peter alexander to have not asked her about roy moore, and the difference between her view on that. and her father's, would have been to ignore an important
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question. so i thought the interview was entirely appropriate. megan mccain said if you're in, you're in. >> ivanka is getting it from both sides. because nbc news has reported that special counsel robert mueller's team is looking into whether her husband has foreign ties. >> how seriously do you think republicans are taking this development, noelle. >> with the kushner deal, that's a whole different ball game. i think a lot of this has been centered around originally the kushner's practice of the eb 5 financing. i think a lot of people were concerned, it's a government program you know, you used to have foreign investors, putting money over the united states, and the eb 5 program. i think there was an article months back where jared kushner's sister was in china giving what they call a road show to raise money. i think she had posters or
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something that had like trump and kushner and what-not kind of you know, maybe misleading the fact that what her position was or what not. i don't remember the full scope of the article. what she did was the fact that she was alluding to we're tied into the white house or what-not. i think that that's where a lot of sticky things came from. i think it was centered mainly around this eb 5 financing. a lot of people when it's done right, a lot of people take advantage of the eb 5 financing and it's fantastic and it's been proven really good for different businesses. to be able to start up and fund and thrive in the united states. so there's nothing wrong with the program. i think that they were looking at maybe abuse practices with the eb 5 financing program. centered around the kushner family. i think that he's walking kind of a thin line. you know with, with what his business practices are and his
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role in the white house so maybe that's why you're seeing him kind of step down from some of his duties. >> can you comment on the eb 5 issue, jonathan and also reports that jared kushner's family has gotten over half a billion dollars in loans after certain white house meet sngs. >> look when most people go in and have lunch with somebody in the white house, they're not even allowed to buy them a $20 lunch. millions of dollars in loans to help bail him out on this bad real estate deal at 666 fifth avenue? and then when the qataris won't come through with the money, for the fifth avenue building, what do trump and kushner do? they go to saudi arabia, side with the saudis in blockading qatar? which is a strong ally of the united states, getting involved in this middle eastern dispute against the the people who have just turned them down in terms of giving them money.
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on the immigrant visas, you've got not just eb 5 violations, but eb 1, the so-called einstein visa that melania trump got, which she should not have gotten. she's not an einstein. and that's -- >> i want to ask you details about all that. >> i'm going to definitely get to details about that but unfortunately i know that noelle has to leave. before she goes i want to ask you, noelle with regard to jared kushner, whether or not there's truth to the suspicions, where the truth lies being irrelevant honestly at this point. is jared kushner a liability? should he go? >> you know -- i think he should and the reason why he should is because if you're starting to center pretty heavy investigation on somebody's business practices, especially when you deal with something like eb 5, which is you know a government-backed program, i think that guilty or not, i think step aside. because what you don't want is you don't want an investigation ongoing, clouding up what the president is going to you know
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put forth with his policies. and that gets in the way of the president and the white house message when you have all of these cloud around jared kushner. >> noelle thanks so much. sorry you have to take off. but i'm going to talk with jonathan and have him elaborate more on when whole einstein visa. we're going to ask the questions and delve into it further with jonathan alter after a break. i'm ginny and i quit smoking with chantix. i had tried to quit before, i had tried the patch. i tried to go cold turkey; it didn't work for me. i didn't think i could quit until i used chantix. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke.
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during storm season we want our customers to be ready and stay safe. learn how you can be prepared at together, we're building a better california. welcome back. i'm alex witt here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. there's new questions regarding the green card that melania trump received in march of 2001. at the time she was a model who was dating donald trump. now the "washington post" reports melania was granted her green card in the elite eb 1 program, which some lawmakers are referring to as the einstein visa. because it's granted to people who demonstrate sustained national and international acclaim and it's usually in the fields of arts, business or an academic research. now only 3,376 eb 1 green cards were issued that year. five went to people from slovenia. you were getting to it earlier.
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does it add up to you or not, jonathan? >> i mean, come on. she was on the cover of british "gq" grabbing a plastic whale i think was the cover shoot. she was not even a super model. she was a working model. but not even an einstein of the modeling class. and look, these, these visas are hotly sought after by academics. you're talking about people who can make a real contribution to this country. arguably there should be many more visas, we should staple green cards to people get ph.d.s, because we want those people. right? instead, what are we getting? we're getting people who are using favoritism, clearly the fix was in. for melania to get this visa. and so these elite programs, like the one with the jared's family is using.
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the one that melania used, meanwhile, other immigrants are what the president of the united states calls snakes. who are coming into our country to hurt us. >> it's a real class distinction that the president is on the wrong side. >> when you say the fix was in. are you pointing to donald trump helping this? i mean was he, we know he has a reputation for and the ability to just embellish a lot of things. did he do you think lobby on her behalf and embellish the significance of that british "gq" magazine with her holding the whale on the cover? >> we don't have evidence of that, yet, alex. it's important we not get ahead of ourselves on the facts. this story is just beginning to come out. but it's very, very suspicious. it's a tiny number of these particular visas that are granted every year and it's, it's a little unusual that she got one. >> again, her parents have
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gotten green cards, it's unclear, would she be the one to have sponsored them for that? >> i guess. but you got to remember, these family unification programs, i don't think it's right to call them chain migration, that's a word that republicans began to use to try to tear into these family unification ideas. i'm not at all sure that under the president's current view of family unification, chain migration, that his in-law was even qualify. so more hypocrisy. rank hipg okypocrisy. the problem is we get so much of it every day, it's hard to keep track of it. there's so many other stories that are competing for our attention that relate to the president's dereliction of duty and defending our country and many other things we 0 could talk about. that in some ways these visa
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matters which in another administration would be a huge story, are pretty far down the list. >> jonathan alter, thanks. coming up next, power and politics, big money, the sticky legal entanglements that could spell doom for jared kushner. ♪ [screaming & crying] [phone ping] with esurance photo claims, you could have money for repairs within a day... wow! that was really fast. huh. it doesn't have to hurt for long. hmm. that's insurance for the modern world. esurance. an allstate company. click or call. discover card. i justis this for real?match, yep. we match all the cash back new cardmembers earn at the end of their first year, automatically. whoo! i got my money! hard to contain yourself, isn't it? uh huh! let it go! whoo! get a dollar-for-dollar match at the end of your first year. only from discover.
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lack of foreign policy experience. here's what congressman reuben gallego told me the last hour. >> kushner is there to push for trump inc. the idea is they send this man like they send ivanka trump around the world to all of these countries where he's trying to strike deals for the future of donald trump inc. once he leaves office. that's why you see him going to places that are rich, but not necessarily areas that we should only be focusing on. >> and "the new york times" editorial board sums it up this way saying bad advice, shady deals and incompetence define the presidential son-in-law's tenure at the white house. joining me natasha ber trard, staff writer for the "atlantic" magazine. what are you hearing about the latest in the mueller investigation. >> jared kushner came into this administration with virtually no relevant experience and a whole lot of baggage from his role as
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head of kushner companies. he came in when his building on fifth avenue, 666 fifth avenue was struggling to find investors, wealthy investors to give them $1 billion in loans in order to shore up this very, very dilapidated building that they had bought a decade ago. so he met with the former prime minister of qatar during the transition, he met with the ceo of a sanctioned russian bank. sergey gorkov and was meeting with wealthy chinese investors, including investors from a shady chinese company with ties to the chinese government if you're a foreign government and looking at jared kushner and seeking a point of leverage, he's it. >> you mentioned qatar. investigators seem to be interested right now in all of these transition talks that kushner had with qatari government officials and what happened after the subsequent
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white house support for an economic blockade against qatar, and supported by the saudis and the uae. what can you tell us about that? and any other role he could have played while in charge of middle east policy? >> right so jared kushner pushed very hard for this economic blockade of qatar last year. he sided with the saudis and united arab emirates in imposing this punishing, these punishing economic blockades against qatar. it came at a tight that qatar pulled out of a major investment deal with kushner companies. if you're qatar and looking at this from that perspective, you obviously think it has something to do with perhaps the fact that you chose not to invest in kushner's companies. so the qataris are very angry and they've considered cooperating with mueller. but at the last minute they say they decided not to. but the fact that they are even considering or that they even, that foreign countries are even considering cooperating with the
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fbi, cooperating with mueller. on this investigation, into jared kushner adds a completely new dimension to this investigation we have not seen before. >> they claim the economic blockade is because of human rights allegations by qatar. i want to be clear on that. but kushner divested from his family's real estate business before he took this job at the white house. does this mean he would not benefit by deals with kushner companies or is it just a term of waiting. >> he vested a very small important of his stake in kushner companies, he retained the vast majority of his interests in the company and altogether his stakes in the company and real estate holdings and assets, he holds nearly $1 billion, over $700 million. all of this means that this trouble has come to kushner because precisely he did not fully divest himself from his real estate empire. and the same can be said of donald trump. you know it's why democrats especially have kind of raised a
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lot of questions about the blurring of the lines between their government service and their brand. and it seems now that with the fact that now we see that kushner took meetings with big investment firms, big financial institutions in the united states, like apollo and citigroup and his company received loans of nearly $500 million subsequent to those meetings. so he has created a lot of problems for himself by not fully divesting himself. >> can you comment on the timing of hope hicks' resignation on heels of her testimony. >> you know, she said that she, the president had forced her to tell white lies over the course of her tenure as communications director. but it is very suspicious. and of course she is a prime target in the mueller investigation. just because of how close she has been to the president. >> what she knows. natasha bertrand, always good to
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see you, thanks so much. coming up, if jared kushner is forced out of the white house, will ivanka go with him. next hour on "a.m. joy" did the president know about the hacked democratic remails before they were released? causing a lack of sharpness, or even trouble with recall. thankfully, the breakthrough in prevagen helps your brain and actually improves memory. the secret is an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. the name to remember. like you do sometimes, grandpa? and puffed...
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it will be 25% for steel, it will be 10% for aluminium. >> that's president trump on thursday with a proclamation on tariffs and this morning, there's new morning there's ne backlash in reaction to that. joining me now is john harwood and the white house correspondent for the washington examiner. good morning to you both. john, how much did this just come out of the blue? >> we had expected since the commerce department came up with a set of recommendations that this was possible, but the drama was whether or not people like gary ko ga gary cohn would be able to talk him out of it. wall street expected they would be able to talk him out of it. they didn't. that's why there was turbulence at the end of the week. economists except for those on the far fripg fringes say this hurt the economy.
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raise prices for consumers. might help a small number of steel workers and aluminum workers but hurt many more people and industries that use those projects. the question is does the president follow up next week and actually do this? he has indicated he will. there's another trade case later in the year. it's not certain but possible we could have significant trade conflict in ways that will hurt the economy, could even tip us into recession. >> do you think gary cohn will quit over this? >> he has been the subject of speculation about his departure for quite a long time, since last summer with the charlottesville stuff. he got the tax cuts through, his top priority. it was only a matter of time before he left any way. will he leave because of this battle? i'm not sure. wouldn't surprise me if he left. >> okay. gabby, who knew inside the white
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house, who didn't know? there was no position paper on this at meeting on wednesday when the president went in and met with representatives of the steel industry. this >> this is an interesting leadup to the announcement. the chief of staff was left in the dark about this. he had some idea that the president was receptive to the proposal, that he wanted to raise tariffs but that gary cohn and rob porter had been pushing him not to pursue that. when he made that announcement this week, chief of staff kelly was not aware he would do it. neither was gary cohn. wilbur ross and robert lig litehouser were in on this. when he made the announcement,
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not only was the room shocked but so were many of the senior staff. >> what is the percentage of thinking that the president will stay with this statement? where does he stand on this one? >> we've seen with a number of issues, immigration, guns this past week, that words don't mean much to this president. he says stuff in the moment. says different stuff later, there may be no connection between the two. however this is a situation where he's not just musing about stuff he wants congress to do that congress may not do. that's what happened on guns. he threw out a bunch of ideas, republicans rolled their eyes and later said we're not doing that. this is a case where it's within the authority of the president to impose here tariffs. having said off the cuff but on the record, on camera, i'm going to do it, it will be 25% and 10%, it's hard to see how he steps away from that without badly embarrassing himself and undercutting all of the
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potential gain or benefit he wanted to get from that position. >> can i ask you to comment on what gabby said when she said that our commerce secretary, us trade representative working for weeks on this position with the president. there's the "washington post" report that carl icahn sold off millions of related stocks to steel in just the week before. is that a coincidence? but he had not touched this part of his portfolio until january of 2015. all of a sudden gone. >> i think we have to know more before we can link carl icahn sales to this position. as gabby was indicating, this discussion was going on for some time. if you believe that president trump was serious all along -- he talked about tariffs during the campaign. that was one of the most prominent things he said over
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and over and over. it would not be logical for anyone in the public to conclude that this might happen. not the illogical that is to say. i think we have to know more. it would be stunning and incredibly dangerous if carl icahn actually had inside knowledge of a forthcoming decision and made a move in his portfolio in response to that. i can't imagine he would do it. we are will see if the s.e.c. or others get involved. >> yeah. gabby, i'm curious, does the white house have concerns that other countries will follow through with threats to boycott jeans, bourbon, harley davidson, u.s. exports? >> sarah sanders was asked about this yesterday. she did not say whether or not they're doing anything to combat that or to look at what they would do in response to a situation like that. was she did say that was interesting on the permanence of
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some tariffs like the ones president trump proposed is that we should never say never on his commitment to imposing this 25% and 10% tariff. i think that goes back to john's point earlier when he was saying president trump vacillated between intense gun control, proposed certain things on immigration that he has not followed through on. when it comes to tariffs, this is a campaign promise he has made, something he's been considering for some time no especially as he watched congressional races in places like pennsylvania that have been hurt by steel manufacturing. but the press secretary at the white house is saying never say never, he might back down on this. there's some questions as to how committed he is. >> really quick, john. i'm out of time. >> the president likes to call for certain things and then blame others if they don't do them. oh, the democrats are idiots. republicans are idiots. he can't blame anybody else if
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he doesn't impose these tariffs because he can do it with the stroke of his pen. >> john and gabby, i'm out of time, but it was worth that point. how long will the attorney gem ta general take the bullies from president trump? that's on "am joy." ight away, il his priorities were a little unorthodox. -keep going. stop. a little bit down. stop. back up again. is this adequate sunlight for a komodo dragon? -yeah. -sure, i want that discount on car insurance just for owning a home, but i'm not compromising. -you're taking a shower? -water pressure's crucial, scott! it's like they say -- location, location, koi pond. -they don't say that. it's like they say -- location, location, koi pond. at planters, we put fresh roawhich has its, guys, know anything about this missing inventory? wasn't me! the cheeks don't lie, chet... irresistibly planters. if yor crohn's symptoms are holding you back,
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that's a wrap of this hour of "msnbc live." i'll see you at noon. stay where you are, because joy reid is taking off right now with "am joy."


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