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tv   MSNBC Live With David Gura  MSNBC  March 10, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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nearly a dozen highly-rated life insurance companies, and give you a choice of your five best rates. duncans wife cassie got a $750,000 policy for under $22 a month. give your family the security it needs at a price you can afford. that is a wrap for me. i'm alex witt. i'll see you tomorrow at 9:00 eastern. david gura is taking you through the next two hours. >> i'm david gura at msnbc headquarters in new york. the russian exchange. the president's lawyers are reportedly considering a deal to
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grant robert mueller an interview, but wait until you hear what they want for it. >> to be determined. the white house surprising the world this week after agreeing to a sitdown with north korea, but what are the conditions? >> the united states has made zero concessions. this meeting won't take place without concrete actions that match the promises that have been made by north korea. >> and caught in the storm. new questions about the $130,000 payment the president's lawyer made to the woman known as stormy daniels just before the 2016 elections. did it violate election laws? but let's start with the russia investigation. something president trump's legal team wants wrapped up in the next few months, according to the "wall street journal." the journal is reporting trump lawyers are seeking a deal with special counsel robert mueller to end that probe speedily, but the lawyers may say they will agree to the interview, but they want something in return. one idea, a 60-day deadline to complete the investigation. another idea, that bob mueller
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and his team would limit the scope and focus of their questions. well, kelly o'donnell covers the white house. she joins us from the north lawn outside the white house. obviously, this is front of mind for the administration as they prepare for the president to head to western pennsylvania later today. >> these sorts of issues have been at the heart of the president's concerns about the russia investigation and the white house's desire to see this wrapped up so they can move on. part of what our reporting has been saying at nbc news over the last several months is there have been conversations between the team of the special counsel and the president's outside lawyers who are, of course, representing him in this, and the lawyer inside the white house who does all the interface on issues related to the russia investigation. we know the president wants this to be over yesterday, and trying to leverage that with the special counsel is something they would seek. we know the special counsel would want to speak to the president, and also in investigations of this scope and size, typically, the last
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witnesses are those at the closest part of the center or in many other cases they are the target of an investigation. the president has always said he's not under investigation. there are sources who say he is being looked at for a range of things. the other thing we know the president wants is for the scope to be narrowed to not look into the trump business world, to simply look at the issue of russia interference. so the outlines of what you just discussed seem to be very much in line with what we are seeing from what the wish list of both sides in this. so will that happen? there will certainly be some negotiation before the president would consent to an interview. that we know for sure. the details, the time and place, all still to be worked out. one of the things that has bothered president trump so much, and he has been really unusually critical of a member of his own team in jeff sessions, the attorney general, at times complaining and at times berating him for recusing himself. the attorney general would otherwise have the oversight of the special counsel
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investigation. and he recused himself because of his role in the trump campaign. earlier today, sessions was asked about that after he gave a speech at georgetown university in a brief q&a. he was asked, does he regret recusing himself. >> i told the confirmation committee that i would consult with top officials in the department about any recusal issue. but there is a specific regulation that says if you participate in a campaign, it explicitly says that, then you can't investigate the campaign of which you were a part. >> so that's the outline that sessions has given before. that he felt compelled by the regulations within the department of justice to act. president trump has long been bothered by it, and of course, for the months that have followed, that opened up the door to the special counsel and all of the things that have come from that. that tension between the white
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house and sessions has been evident for some time. >> thank you very much. kelly o'donnell at the white house for us. >> the russia investigation is just one issue president trump is facing in this, his second year in office. there's a lot on his plate, and increasingly, he's staring at that plate alone. the associated press reporting top staffers are heading for the exits. the russia investigation continues to loom, and trump is facing growing questions about a lawsuit filed by a porn actress who claims her affair with the president was hushed up. jonathan lumere wrote that story. jennifer reuben is with me as well. she's an msnbc contributor who writes for "the washington post." let me start with a man you describe as increasingly flying solo. does he like being unfettered by staff telling him to do something he doesn't want to do? >> he enjoys that. he has been one to put chaos and conflict at his administration deliberately. he likes it when he has two different opposing views. >> a business tactic. >> dates back to his time
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running the trump organization. it worked that way in the campaign and in the white house. people like gary cohn, one of his chief economic advisers, peter navarro, he would have them battle it out about tariffs. navarro's side ended in winning. that's also been trump's long-held view about tariffs. gary cohn later resigned, mostly because of that decision made by the president. but he is someone who, in our reporting, shows in recent weeks he's grown more and more frustrated with some of the advice from his straf. he's also grown more and more frustrated more of his staff is leaving, but at the same time, he feels a little liberated, he's been telling people close to him that he wants to trust his instincts, trust his gut. he thinks that's what won him the election in 2016 and that's what he waunnts to rely on more and more in the white house, and we're seeing that this week in particular, the decision on tariffs and the surprising decision on north korea.
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>> how much does that thrill you, that he wants to rely on his gut? >> that's a nightmare. this president is uniquely ignorant about the world and policy matters. he believes what he believes, and facts really do not enter into it. he's infamous for not reading anything. so when he watches a glad torial battle between aides on a policy matter, goodness knows what he uses to judge it because he has no independent basis of knowledge. in fact, he chose the viewpoint impose tariffs that 99.9% of economists say is disastrous. i think this chaos, yes, it's how he operates, but secondly, it's a bit of cover for anything that looks like a normal process. this president doesn't know very much. he hasn't made an effort to know very much. he doesn't like being criticized. i think creating this hullabaloo around him distracts people, confuses people, and he meanders
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through the scene, popping his head into the white house briefing room to say we're going to have an announcement on korea. and as a result, i think it's becoming more and more chaotic. when you talk to our allies overseas, when you talk to business, they are flummoxed. and listen, it's good to sort of keep them guessing on strategic matters. but on your overall policy views and your overall goals for the administration, for america, it's not a good idea to have everyone confused. >> jennifer, you wrote about the tariffs jonathan was talking about a moment ago, and the republican reaction to them. there's a line from your column, some members of congress are even considering gasp reclaiming their constitutional authority over tariffs. you talked about a rare show of spine from many republican members of the legislature. what's the long-term effects of this? you saw the backlash, the likes of which we haven't seen to the president making the policy decision like the one he did. what's the fallout from that going to be? do you expect there to be more of a show of spine, as you
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described it? >> i like to think they have woken up and now they're going to be their own men and women, but i sort of doubt it. they have been extremely comply nltd with this administration. and it is a little bit of a mystery that why on trade would they suddenly perk up. i thing it has a lot to do with republican donors, but more importantly, i think they know that a trade war puts at risk what has been a very good economy. really, the only thing trump and republicans have to run on is the economy. and if they screw that up, and they're not going to be able to blame barack obama for that bought it's their tariff bill, what are they going to run on? so i think they have tried to convince the president to somehow narrow this. unfortunately, you can try to narrow it all you like, but if the remaining parties that are subject to these sanctions desile to retaliate and you go into a full-scale trade war, that will be bad for the american economy. >> we talk about isolation in the context of the president being isolated from his staff or advisers. how about isolation from members
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of his party? are we seeing that play out that broadly. when you look at tariffs, you have see blowback like you haven seen before? >> that's true. he is someone who is not a traditional republican by any means. for much of his life, he wasn't a republican at all. while running that campaign, it was very much trumpism more than a republican orthodoxy that he really ran on. to this point, as was just said, he's covered those in the congress, republicans on the hill have not been particularly willing to stand up to him. he still remains more popular than most of them in their home districts. this does seem to be a moment, at least for now, where they're willing to push back. but we'll see how far it goes. >> jonathan, thank you. jennifer, thanks to you as well. as robert mueller's investigation continues to pick up steam, some house democrats are turning their focus to another potential scandal. pt. bt and his associates are facing. alleged hush money paid to former adult film star stormy daniels who claimed to have an
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affair with trump more than a decade ago. nine democrats sent a letter to his lawyers demanding answers about that payment. with me is steve cohen of tennessee. he's one of the nine democrats who signed that letter. i just want to ask you, first of all, what your chief concern is as you watch all of this unfold. there are so many layers. manifold layers to this story about stephanie clifford who goes by the name stormy daniels. what concerns you the most, what prompted you to sign your name to the letter? >> there's several factors. of course, the federal election campaign laws is the primary source of our jurisdiction and judiciary and whether they were violated and the payments were made over the limits and without notice and disclosure. and that's the major issue. beyond that, there's just the whole pan aplea of women that have been -- claimed to be attacked by, groped by, harassed by donald trump, which he's denied entirely. but now we see in the case of
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ms. clifford and ms. mcdougle that in situations like this, he has used his money to get them to not disclose what he has apparently engaged in sex and how many other times he might have done this. it does bear to his credibility and to his propensities towards harassing and groping women as he said on the entertainment nightly or whatever. >> "access hollywood," excuse me. >> i'm looking at the letter, more than a dozen pages in length. you say, we can assure you we have no interest in mr. trump's personal relationships in and of themselves. what would you like from these two attorneys for president trump, and then you also have david picker here, the chairman of executive officer of american media, what do you hope to get from them in the next couple weeks. >> we hope they would come forward and give us the information about who paid for the -- ms. clifford. it's hard to believe that
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mr. cohen would have violated ethics laws that attorneys have to not inform his client of what went on and to pay an amount of money for his client. that's something that could be volitive of new york state ethics laws and something attorneys generally don't do. attorneys are not known to go into their own pockets. i won't go, as an attorney, i won't suggest whose pockets they might go into, but they don't go into their own. that's just bad business sense and bad legal ethics. we would like to know who made the payments and did mr. trump sign them, and david densis or john miller or john barren, or donald j. trump. >> help me with your oversight capacity, how much oversight do you have? what's your sense of what you're able to do? >> the judiciary committee should have oversight over this. in terms of election laws, in
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terms of justice and civil jurisdiction. i'm the ranking member on the constitution law committee. but we should also be exercising jurisdiction over gun laws, which are criminal laws, over the justice department and issues concerning mr. mueller and threats to fire mr. rosenstein to get at mr. mueller, but we have done nothing. we're the people's house and we're the relevant committee, not necessarily the intelligence committee, which has responsibilities, but not the same as judiciary, yet our committee because of the actions of our chairman, mr. goodlatte, we have done nothing to look into any of the abuses of the constitution, possible violations of the emoluments cause, obstruction of justice, attacks on the judiciary, and attacks on the press by this presidency and this president. and we should be looking at all of these. but they are in bed with this president, and i think that history will judge this committee and this chairman very harshly, and many republicans harshly, for staying in bed with what i think will be seen to be
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the most corrupt, mendacious president in the history of the united states. >> my last question to you is about this moment, and you and your colleagues close this letter by nodding to that. you wreet, in a time of ever increasing concern over sexual harassment and growing appreciation for offering support to victims of sexual assault, that's the impetus for doing in the in part. speak to that a little more. i read that quotation about how there isn't interest principally in the president's personal affairs, but there is a me too moment, the moment we're in right now. >> the letter was signed by several members of the judiciary committee, our chairman, and also lois frankel, who heads up the women's caucus. the women's clocks has been particularly interested in the allegations of trump and harassment of women and sexually overreaching. without acquiescence, without permission. and he's denied it all. and yet these are the type of
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instances, and we saw it with gary hart and we have seen it with bill clinton, to where politicians have been involved with sex, and it's become public issues. and it's caused gary hart to drop out of the presidential campaign. it caused bill clinton to be impeached. with this president, nothing is happening. i think there are similar issues, and you know, you saw al franken surrender his senate position for much less than what donald trump has been accused of. donald trump has denied everything, but donald trump would destroy any and all lie detectors that have ever been created. he would burn them all up. >> congressman cohen, we'll leave it there. thank you for the time. the gentleman from memphis, thank you. >> nice to be with you. >> international input. president trump making a number of calls to leaders about his meeting with kim jong-un. what is the plan, if there even is one?
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north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> remember that? president trump's infamous warning to north korea that happened just seven months ago this week. that fire has apparently flamed out and the president has agreed to meet face to face with kim jong-un. the white house now scrambling, trying to figure out who will be in the room for the talks. where they'll happen, and when
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those two men will meet. with me now is msnbc national security analyst, ambassador michael mcfaul. great to speak with you once again. i want to start by playing an exchange that occurred between hallie jackson and sarah huckabee sanders. let's take a listen. >> is there a possibility that these talks with north korea, with kim jong-un, may not happen? >> look, they've got to folalol through on the promises they have made. we want to see concrete and verifiable action on that front. >> it's possible that could not happen? >> there are a lot of things possible. i'm not going to sit here and walk through every hupthetical that could exist in the world. >> i want to get your reaction, first of all, to this announcement and the way it came about, and your sense of the odds that we'll see a meeting between these two world leaders, that this will be made good on, that these two men will get together in the coming months. >> with respect to the way the announcement was made, let me put it diplomatically, it was
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highly unorthodox. obviously, they did this on the fly. his team did not discuss it. it's clear there wasn't a national security council meeting where they sat in the white house situation room and said, should we meet with kim jong-un to try to achieve nuclear disarm ament? they didn't do that. he walked into the room and made a decision. the second thing i want to say, i want to be clear, though. i hope president trump can achieve permanent denuclearization by this strategy. i just fear that he doesn't have a strategy to achieve that objective. if he can, i'll be the first to write one of his letters nominating him to the nobel peace prize. >> that would be extraordinary. i was looking at the column by nick los christophe. he said the pressure he has applied through sanctions maybe got us to this time. the president tweeting, north korea has not conducted a missal test since november 28th, 2017. and has promised not to do so through our meetings. i believe they'll have to honor that commitment. you talk about how unorthodox
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this is. i wonder how sure you are of the offer that's been made here. we learned about it through a third party. what has to be done between now and the meeting to insure that all of the grounds are met, or to the liking of the u.s. and north korea? >> well, that's exactly the point. and that's why i think the press secretary was hedging there whether or not this meeting will take place. because president trump said the goal of these negotiations are permanent denuclearization in north korea. i have never heard of a north korean leader ever agreeing that that should be the goal of negotiations. so maybe there's a garble here, maybe they're hinting at that for the future, but that creates a big disconnect between what president trump wants and what the north koreans are desiring from this meeting. and there's one other piece here, when the press secretary sanders said, we haven't given up any concessions. that's not true. agreeing to meet with kim
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jong-un, that's a concession. that is giving up something for nothing. so if the president has this summit and nothing is achieved, that's a win for the north koreans, and that is not in america's national interests. >> last question here is just about how handicapped we are diplomatically at this point. we do not have a u.s. ambassador to south korea at this point. the point person for north korea issues stepped down recently as well. how much of a handicap is it not having that personnel in place? able to help lay the groundwork for these negotiations. >> i think it's a huge handicap. you know, i worked at the white house for the first three years of the obama administration when we negotiated the new start treaty with russia to limit nuclear weapons. we had a full team. we had dozens of people in the government at the secretary of state level, undersecretary, at the national security council. all experts on nuclear weapons. and people like me, experts on russia. they don't have either of those two categories. they don't have the north korean
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experts, as you talked about, but they also don't have the nuclear weapons experts. they haven't named any of those people in the state department. that, i think, is a big constraint. diplomacy is a team sport. it's not tennis. and for the president just to roll in without having that team in place, i think, puts him at a big disadvantage. >> mr. ambassador, always a pleasure. thank you very much. michael mcfaul, now at stanford university joining me. >> next, an enticing letter. details of an invitation president trump sent to vladimir putin in 2013. r: as you grow ol, your brain naturally begins to change which may cause trouble with recall. - learning from him is great... when i can keep up! - anncr: thankfully, prevagen helps your brain and improves memory. - dad's got all the answers. - anncr: prevagen is now the number-one-selling brain health supplement in drug stores nationwide. - she outsmarts me every single time. - checkmate! you wanna play again?
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and i couldn't ask for a better partner. welcome back. i'm david gura. this afternoon, women and the cloud being cast over the trump white house. "the washington post" reporting on a personal letter president trump wrote to vladimir putin back in 2013 asking him to attend the 2013 miss universe pageant in moscow. evidently, in a handwritten post script, he said he looked forward to seeing beautiful women on the trip. it comes as the plot thickens as we learn more about the alleged extramarital affair between the president and the porn star. his personal attorney used trump organization e-mail to make hush payment arrangements with stormy daniels. that contradict what he said about how that $130,000 payment went down. joining me is an msnbc analyst, danny cevallos, and a political reporter with the daily beast. let me start with you and the
quote
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letter getting a lot of attention. shane harrison's colleagues reporting on the letter sent by donald trump to president putin. what's the significance of it, having the postscript written in sharpie at the bottom of the lett letter. they haven't seen the letter, but it's been described to the reporters. >> it could substantiate the claims made in the steele dossier, that trump was provided russian prostitutes that he denied. that tidbit saying he's looking forward to seeing beautiful women, is he talking about possibly getting prostitutes come to his hotel, or referring to the women involved in the pagea pageant? who knows, but it could substantiate those claims. my question is how did mueller get this letter? mueller is so far ahead of the game, more than we can even realize, in order to -- he got this letter in his hand. we know it didn't come from trump. we know it didn't come from putin. that in and of itself is so fascinating to me. it just goes to show trump's obsession with putin when he's publicly made it known that he
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doesn't know putin. he doesn't have that kind of a relationship with him. senting a personal letter to him inviting him to the pageant says something otherwise. >> i want to spend some time on the $130,000 payment. i read the piece in the times this morning. she wrote as the drama unfolds, it's becoming clear for all its sordid details, it's not a sex scandal. it's a campaign finance scandal, a transparency scandal, and potentially part of an ongoing national security scandal. what's changed in the last couple days? what have we learned in recent days that contributed to our understanding of what may have transpired between the two of them? >> we learned of the countersuit from stormy daniels and her attorney, braking the fact she's not going to apply with this nda because the president, she contended, did not sign on to the document, which she had assumed he would have, being involved in the scenario. secondarily, we also learned that michael cohen, despite saying different things about where the source of the money
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was coming from, exactly how he had informed trump or if the president was aware at all he was doing this, that he was using his trump organization e-mail to actually coordinate some of the transactions from this bank, which raises tons of red flags in terms of how the money is being funneled and if it can count as some kind of in-kind contribution for a campaign given the timing of the arrival of the money, which was in october, right before the election. >> just want to read here that initial statement from michael cohen, neither the trump organization nor the trump campaign was party to the tranls action with ms. clifford and neither reimbursed me for the payment either directly or indirectly. let me ask you about the case made by stephanie clifford and her attorney. what's the strongest facet of it? there's this election law case being made. the case about the nondisclosure agreement, the signature, how much that matters. hot is your sense of the strength of the case? >> clifford's case and her attorneys don't care so much about the campaign fnls issues. her strongest argument is that this agreement is no good
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because trump was never a party to it. and the more words that come out of michael cohen's mouth, the more problematic this becomes because in looking at the contract, you can infer that there was an intentional effort to cloud who the parties were. if you look at the signature line, michael cohen signed on behalf not of trump, but e.c., or essential consultant. when you look at the rest of the contract, each page is initialled. here, the plot thickens because in the line where you should initial for d.d., it's not initialled d.d. it's initialled e.c. not m.c. for michael cohen, but e.c. for the entity essential consultants. this further clouds the question of who was a party to the contract, and the more the defends in the case cloud the issue, the more a judge is likely to resolve it in their favor. however, the trump team has some solid arguments because they built a very strong arbitration clause, one that clearly favors
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team e.c., team trump, team michael cohen. it's very strongly worded in their favor. and the law tends to favor the arbitration of disputes rather than resolving them in court where the parties have agreed to arbitrate. and nothing can get away from the fact that ms. clifford, stormy daniels, did originally sign an agreement that contained that arbitration provision. >> took the money. i want you to respond to that. i'm also curious what the risks are as you see them if it gets out of arbitration, if she's able to keep it in court. is there any lueke hood that happens given what we have now? >> first, i think michael cohen should be disbarred. that mob mentality doesn't belong in a court of law. irrespective of all that, what stormy daniels is doing right now is essentially obtaining her goal. however this may resolve itself in court, there are obviously issues that need to be rezauchbled. there's a disputed issue there, but what she's trying to do is get her narrative out there and
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get her story out there. all the while, she's making millions. she's getting the goal attained from the perspective of her career. she's making millions for appearances all over the country. but michael cohen making this payment from the extent that he went through, to get a home equity line in order to make this payment, you don't make that kind of payment unless you know you're being paid back. and these alleged complaints he's making that he hasn't been reimbursed, if your think you're reimbursed, clearly, trump made a promise to reimburse you. whether he paid this out of his own pocket for trump, the intent is important. did you make this payment in order to influence the campaign results or the election results? well, if the answer is yes, then that is an excessive contribution to a campaign. if trump paid the money out of his own pockets, which he can actually do, it's not illegal to pay for someone's silence, but if he did that, he failed to disclose that. so either way you slice it, something is wrong. i mean, there's suspicion,
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obviously, there should be. there should be anfession, whether the fec is going to make a criminal reference to the doj, we don't know, but the real mvp right now is stormy daniels. she's making her millions just like trump used the system to make his. >> thank you very much. >> campaign deja vu. president trump appearing to rally up supporters tonight in pennsylvania month after the roy jones loss, can he drum up enough support to drum up rick saccone.
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rick is a great guy. and special. he's a special person. >> you won this district by 20 points. >> right. >> can he do as well as you? >> i hope so. i said to him, i hope you do as well. we're here. we're going to be helping. i'll be back for rick. and we're going to fill up the stadium and do something really special for rick. i look forward to it. >> he's going to be back. that was president trump earlier this year promising to campaign for rick saccone in pennsylvania's 18th congressional district. he'll hold a campaign in the keystone state in an airplane hangar days before the critical election on tuesday. conor lamb, the democratic candidate, will battle sucone for a house seat in a district donald trump won by 20 points in the coun 16 election. geoff bennett is live in moon township, pennsylvania, with the latest. as you talk to voters in the 18th, what are they saying they think they're going to hear from the president tonight?
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>> hey, david. they expect to hear a free wheeling speech, as many of the campaign style rallies tend to be, the ones the president has done. one of the things the president says he'll do is try to rev up the republican base ahead of this special election for this open congressional seat here in pennsylvania's 18th district. the president in just the last hour or so sent a tweet giving some indication of what he might say tonight. the president posting this on twitter. heading to moon township, pennsylvania, to be with a really good person. state representative rick saccone, who is running for congress. big and happy crowd. why not. some of the best economic numbers ever. rick will help me a lot. also tough on crime and borders. loves second amendment and vets. the challenge for the president is trying to make sure that enough voters in this district feel the same way about rick saccone as he does. at the moment, it appears rick saccone is running neck and neck with the democratic challenger in this race. conor lamb. in a district that is tailor made for republicans. you mentioned the fact donald trump won this district in 2016 by some 20 points. the reason why is because there
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are a lot of white working-class voters who make up the core of the trump base. the question is, can the president transfer his base of support to rick saccone? just yesterday, i was at a campaign event for conor lamb, and i spoke with a steel worker, the steel workers union is supporting lamb's candidacy. i spoke with jim watt, in the steel industry for about as long as i have been alive. i asked him if he thinks a democrat can win in this district. here's a bit of what he said. >> is it unusual for a democrat to be doing so well in this district? >> no, not at all. not at all. >> why not? >> it's a strong democratic registration area. allegheny county, in the 18th district, is heavily democrat. and the people are seeing through the rhetoric that the republicans are putting out there, the false ads they're putting on tv. >> so it's a heavily democratic district on paper, but those registered democrats have been voting republican for years. so it's a razor thin race with
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both sides looking for clues about what it might mean for the 2017 midterm, 2018 midterm. >> we'll check in with you throughout the afternoon. thank you very much. geoff bennett joining us from moon township. >> joining me now, adrienne elrod, and jen kearns with me as well. former spokesperson for the california republican party. let me start by asking you, jen, about the ramifications of this race. we had a number of these special elections. you look at the tea leaves. you try to see what it might tell you about the midterms going ahead. with you look at this race in particular, and geoff talking about the pukuehl arties about it, what is it going to tell you about how it turns out on tuesday? >> the most interesting story is regardless of whether the democrat lamb wins or not, there will be one loser in this, regardless, and that's nancy pelosi. i know some people don't like to hear that, but if the democrat loses tonight, pelosi loses that seat. but if she -- if he wins, pelosi also loses. if you look at how lamb, the democrat, has campaigned, he has
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said that he will not support nancy pelosi for speaker of the house. should the democrats take the house back. i think that is very key. i think that sends a message across the country to other races and to other democrats that they don't need nancy pelosi's support to win. and the threat of not supporting nancy pelosi no longer exists in the democratic party. it's quite telling. tonight, i think you'll see president trump try to whip people into a frenzy, get that enthusiasm gap shortened a bit. i will concede this, as a republican, i am concerned about this enthusiasm gap. 63% of the voters who are backing lamb are democrats. shea say they're very excited to get to the polls. compare that to only 53% of republicans. i think that is something that the gop really has to be mindful of heading into had midterms. >> adrienne, i want to get your response to that. nancy pelosi, i talked to many members in the last few months, and some are less enthusiastic about her than they have been in the past. what's your sense of how much
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support she enjoys from democratic members of the caucus right now? >> she enjoys a lot of support from democratic caucus members. look, this is not a race about nancy pelosi. this is a referendum against donald trump. he won this district by 20 points, which is hard to really, you know, underestimate the fact that you can swing from 20 points to potentially a five or six-point loss. 26-point spread, if you will, over a 14, 15-month period. again, this is more of a referendum on donald trump, if conor lamb, especially if he wins or even if he doesn't win and comes up two or three points short, this is a dramatic swing in this district. >> i want to get a sense of how you're processing the latest news about stephanie clifford, about stormy daniels. this story getting new legs in the last few days. it has become one that centers on campaign finance in particular. are we going to see democrats talking about this more, do you think? >> i don't know. there's so many other things to talk about right now. you have the mueller investigation, you have senior staff leaving the white house,
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this controversial tariff issue. i mean, there's so many issues to talk about. i think, frankly, a lot of democrats and republicans would like to not talk about this issue. yet it is significant. i think in the most recent development here that is significant is the fact there may have been an illegal corporate contribution made to cover this up. so i think we will continue to talk about it, but i think both parties would probably prefer not to continue to talk about stormy daniels. >> jen, i'm going to have you weigh in on that as well. it seems like this was something many republicans were content to say this was in president trump's private life, allegedly. now it becomes a campaign finance issue. does it become more worrisome to you as something that might be talked about? >> i it might. i don't think it is as significant as, say, the lewinsky scandal during the president bill clinton era where you had, you know, if this affair did happen, it was between two consenting adults. you look at that, compare that to the lewinsky scandal. you had someone in the employ of a president, you had someone who was a young girl at the time, a
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president lying under oath for which he got impeached. there are some differences here. it will be interesting to see how it plays out, but so far, a lot of liberal attorneys saying there might not be much there. >> has the notion of family values changed for republicans. you would expect republicans to be speaking out more about this happening in the first place? >> look, during the campaign, and this is what campaign seasons are for, you saw donald trump on the campaign trail talking about how he was an imperfect person, he had sinned. this was a man who has been married three times, so you wouldn't think that would be the poster boy for the republican party, but here he is. also changed his mind on pro-life issues over the years. he used to be very pro-abortion, now he's very pro-life. so i think republicans do give donald trump a bit of leeway here because he has shown some authenticity on the issues and he's been honest with the voters about it. >> i know you have experience in working in california politics. the president announced he's headed there next week. jeff sessions came out strongly
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against sanctuary cities last week. what does the political landscape in california look like to you as we go to the 2018 midterms? >> california has always been one of the most progressive states in the country, and it's only becoming more and more progressive there are quite a few republicans, as you know, who are in very tight races. republican incumbents in congress who are in tight races. so look, i don't think he's going to have a friendly reception at all. i want to applaud xavier becerra, the attorney general, for really going forward on some of these resistance policies that california has always been the state to sort of push forward on some of these progressive policies. again, a.g. becerra has done an excellent job of pushing back against doj's action on trying to remove sanctuary cities. >> jen, quickly, why is he doing that? why is he choosing to go to california in light of all that? >> president trump is not afraid to back away from controversy. i think he feels he has a good legal case here. legal scholars also believe that. it may take a couple years.
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it may even go to the u.s. supreme court, i believe it will. but look, it's ironic to hear adrienne mention the attorney general is doing such a great job and he ought to be commended. this is the chief person who is supposed to make sure laws are being followed in california, yet they're breaking federal law. article i of the constitution clearly states the federal government has complete authority to enact immigration laws over any state. the tenth amendment also says that the federal government can revoke funding of those cities. so i think this is the first shot in a very long battle that's to come over the next couple years. >> thanks to both of you. appreciate both of your perspectives here. >> new details emerging in the stormy daniels saga, revealing the president's personal lawyer used trump company e-mail in an alleged payment of hush money to the porn star, which may have violated campaign finance law. the issue is whether there's evidence that $130,000 to daniels was sent just before the 2016 election made to silence her because the story could hurt trump's presidential candidacy.
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joining me now, richard painter, former white house ethics lawyer under george w. bush. great to have you with us here. we'll talk about your potential candidacy for senate in a moment, but i want to get your reaction to this case involving stormy daniels. involving stephanie daniels, stephanie clifford,nd election law in particular. how strong do you think that case is? >> well, i don't know all the facts. we need to find out the facts. john edwards, senator in north carolina, was indicted and tried criminally because payoff money was used with a mistress of his by a campaign supporter. he was acquitted, but the person who made the donation was 100 years old and not able really to testify. i don't know what would happen in this case, but it appears to be a campaign contribution. also there was no disclosure of
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this either to the federal election commission or on the president's candidate's financial disclosure form where he is supposed to be doing closing everything he has an interest in. so certainly things need to be looked into, but i wouldn't want to pre-judge the facts here. >> we've talked about conflict of interest in the context of president trump. if this were to remain in open court, what could we learn potentially? bearing in mind you don't know all the facts, but if we were to see this advance further, what questions would you have that could be answered by this going forward in open court? >> well, i don't know, there are two sides of this. there is the civil dispute between president trump and stormy daniels. that is one side. but the side i've been talking about is the potential prosecution for an illegal campaign contribution or for msz
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representation on the financial disclosure forms. that won't be arbitrated at all. either there is a violation of the law as was alleged in the john edwards case or there is not. with respect to the stormy daniels lawsuit, we'll just see where that goes. i don't know whether that is really going to disclose anything that we didn't already know about donald trump before we went into this election. >> you're weighing a run for senate in minnesota. professor painter goes to washington wanting to crack down on corruption and problems in government. what are you thinking about as you lead to that decision, what will make up your mind whether or not to run? >> well, i want to have a constructive role in the debate with the other candidates over issues that voters in minnesota care about. and one of the things we're very worried about in this state is corruption in politics. the amount of money that is coming in through pacs and super pac s and dark many
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organizations. and the fact that this race and other on races in this state are viewed as a competition between donald trump and mitch mcconnell and all the big gop fundraisers on the one hand and chuck schumer, nancy pelosi and the democrat fundraisers on the other. and that the whole blue way versus red tsunami really ignores the interests of voters. we need senators and congress members to represent us and our interests. and a lot of issues will be decided in the senate including the infrastructure proposals made by the president. and a lot of people out here are worried about any of that money will come to minnesota as opposed to going to the states with the most powerful senators and swing states. and we're tired of politics as usual. so i'm thinking about it race. i don't know whether to enter the democrat or republican primary. i've been a republican for 30 years. but the republican party certainly moved very sharply to the right compared with my
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views. or to run as an independent. a lot of people are encouraging me to look at the independent route. >> as you look to stay dry here amid the blue wave and that red tsunami, how big an issue is money as you try to make up your mind here? you look at the money involved in running for office. how big a hurdle is that to you? you said you don't want to take money from pacs, just voters. that is difficult in this day and age. >> well, that may be. we'll find out. but i'm not interested in being a senator and being beholden to money interests and super pacs and all these organizations. they run attack ads just attacking the other candidate. what is shocking to me is voters even listen to those ads because they don't say anything helpful about the candidate they are supporting, they just attack the other candidate usually with a bunch of lies. and that of course undermines voters' confidence in government. and here in minnesota, we have good candidates. we already have several good
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candidates for that senate seat. and i don't want money to be used attacking other candidates. that is not dignified, that is not what voters really want. i want to talk about ideas. and i don't need a lot of money to talk about ideas and talk about the issues. and then we'll let the voters decide. >> in the last 10 ekd seconds, is your deadline for deciding? >> sometime in april i'll be making a decision about which way to go forward. maybe sooner than that. either way we go, we need to select some signatures to get on the ballot. so we're looking at trying to figure out what is going on certainly within the next month or so. >> all right. thanks as always. in the next hour, rules of engagement, possible risks of a historic meeting between donald trump and kim jung-un and who in the white house doubts testimit ever happen.
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hey, everybody. i'm gafddavid gura. we'll have a live report from pennsylvania where it is all going down, but which president trump will show up tonight? and plus quid pro quo, what the president's lawyers allegedly want in exchange for an interview with special counsel robert mueller and what does a porn star and payoffs have in common? house democrats are eager to know. but let's start in western pennsylvania where president
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trump will arrive about 3 1/2 hours from now where voters will elect their next congressman three days from now. that race a toss up according to real clear politics in a district in a that hasn't elected a democrat in more than 15 years. jeff bennett is in moon township, pennsylvania where the president is scheduled to speak tonight. tariffs are on everybody's mind. how much are voters you are talking about talking about the tariffs that the president promised? >> reporter: well, you know what is interesting, speaking to people close to the president, he timed the rollout we're told to this special election race thinking that it would help boost the standing of rick saccone the republican running for what is an open seat here in the 18th district in pennsylvania. the thing is, as you well know, trade policy is so often a regional issue more than it is an ideological issue. it really depends on where you live. this is steel country. so you have the democrat in

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