tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC March 15, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT
dissatisfied with. the state of florida has enacted serious new laws. it never goes quite far enough for some people. but you've got raising the age to 21 to buy weapons. some things have changed, at least in the state of florida. >> the nra with their inflammatory ads and threatening ads should be sued and forced to take them down. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks so much, mika. good morning, i'm stephanie ruhle with a lot to cover today. starting with the president. telling a fund-raiser crowd he made up, he lied, made up information on trade during a meeting with canadian prime minister justin trudeau. >> i said, wrong, justin, you do. i didn't even know. josh, i had no idea. i just said you're wrong. you know why? because we're so stupid. >> oh, my god. plus, the resolving door. trump taps cnbc commentator larry kudlow as his new chief economic adviser. as rumors swirl over who will be next to go.
>> there's just a sense of doom and gloom. you know, people are kind of looking behind then, wondering who it is. who is going to be next. wondering who they can trust. >> this as trump officials face spending like private jets and costly furniture all at the taxpayer expense. a medical company now in the cross hairs of the sec. the ceo charged with massive fraud. >> saying to these companies in silicon valley, we are still going to police you and we are still going to hold you accountable. >> we begin this morning with the president. listen to this. boasting to donors that he had actually, quote, no idea what he was talking about when confronting the canadian prime minister about trade deficits. that right there is humiliating for this country.
we got a lot to talk about. but i want to start with this. the event happened last night in st. louis. nbc obtained an audio reporting of president trump's remarks. here is the president recounting his meeting with justin trudeau. >> trudeau came to see me. he's a good guy. justin. he said, you know, we have no trade deficit with you. we have none. dona donald, please. nice guy, good looking guy. comes in, donald, we have no trade deficit. he's very proud. because everybody else, you know, we're getting killed. i said, wrong, justin. you do. i don't even know. josh, i had no idea. i just said you're wrong. you're wrong. because we're so stupid. and i said you're wrong, justin. he said no, we have no trade deficit. i said, well, in that case, i feel differently. but i don't believe it. i sent one of our guys out. his guy, they went out. said check, because i can't
believe it. well, sir, you're actually right. we have no deficit. but that doesn't include energy and timber. you know, timber. it was $17 billion a year. it's incredible. >> but here's the thing. according to the office of the u.s. trade representative, the u.s. does not have a trade deficit with canada at all. in fact, as of 2016, we were running a $12 billion surplus. nbc's kelly o'donnell is at the white house. kelly, this is pathetic. this is humiliating. what could the white house possibly say because trump being trump is a nonsense answer. if that's where trump is, he's a straight-up liar. >> well, good morning. i expect we'll hear more about this as the day unfolds. but at this hour of the morning, the first sort of description that i've been getting about how the president handled himself
here is that this was a part of a campaign event where he is entertaining the donors, where he is joking, where he is putting on a show, if you will, for those who have put up big bucks to support the republican party and a specific candidate in missouri. so that's how they're describing. they have not addressed the specifics about what the president said with a foreign leader. what his facts were at the time. they've put it in that bag of trump the entertainer, trump the jokester, in front of an audience. so that's how they're handling that at the moment. of course there are bigger sensitivities because canada is an important u.s. ally and the president is repeatedly talking about the fact that nafta negotiations with the u.s., canada and mexico, are under way to rework that deal. it raises questions about what the president's knowledge base was about the u.s. and canada as far as the trade relationship. because there are facts that the u.s. trade representatives
office that are in confront with what the president's saying. that on its face is unsettling and certainly it put justin trudeau as the president described it sort of back on his heel. it will be interesting to see how canada reacts to this as well. in terms, stef, also, of dealing with international partners, we've just had something come into us that the u.s., germany, france and the united kingdom are putting out a joint statement relating to that poisoning attack with stronger language. so we have heard from the u.n. secretary -- the ambassador to the united nations, nikki haley. we've heard from the press secretary. we haven't heard from the president in full voice but now the u.s. is commenting on that. we'll have more on that coming up. but a strong statement about the russian nerve agent used in that attack, stef. >> we're going to get into more of that later. i'm still reel, the explanation, this is part of his vaudeville act, not official from the president. while that is going on, this
revoving door is spinning at the white house. larry kudlow is set to be the newest face of economic policy for president trump. of course he's a former reagan official and cnbc personality. kudlow said he is honored to be trump's top economic adviser. help does not foresee the kind of personality clashes that have doomed so many white house officials before. >> i've known the president a long time. we have a mutual admiration society. he is the president. so it's a different role. there may be agreements. there may be disagreements. once decisions are made, that's it, time to execute. >> but while kudlow is on his way in, others, they might be on their way out. there are multiple reports and articles out saying we should expect more upheaval in the coming day. the va secretary has been under fire for misusing taxpayer cash. but publicly, the white house says he's staying for now. so if it's not him, the national
security adviser, h.r. mcmaster, could be next on the chopping block. three sources told "vanity fair" trump has already met with ambassador john bolton about possibly taking over. no official has taken more heat than attorney general jeff sessions. now rumors he could be replaced by epa administrator scott pruitt. "vanity fair" says the thinking is pruitt will have a shot at being confirmed by the senate. >> you know, we have general kelly here, four star, and he's doing a great job in washington. i think he likes what you do better than he does but he's doing a great job. our administration is stacked with marines because marines are the kind of people you want at your side and, trust me, you don't ever want to be on the
other side of a fighting marine. >> you don't ever want to be on the other side of a fighting marine. like robert mueller. i want to bring my panel in. eli stockles, msnbc political analyst. ron insana, cnbc political contributor. larry kudlow you colleague from cnbc, he was giving you a shout-out yesterday when i saw hill on air. listen, he is simpatico with president trump. they've been friends for a very long time. >> larry and i have been friends for close to 30 years. the reason he gave me the shout-out, i was the first person to put him back on cnbc after his troubles in the middle of his career. he was quite gracious about dealing with it openly. larry is not going to make waves on the economic policy front. particularly since the signature piece of legislation he wanted passed, tax reform, which he helped design, has already passed. he'll execute the president's policy once it's decided.
my hope is he will be a balancing or provide some ballist when it comes to peter navarro who is this encorageable trade hawk. i think larry will be disinclined to do some of the things. i think in that regard, larry may provide some economic ballast. even though he and i disagreed on tax reform. but that's already -- that ship has sailed. >> eli stockles, tons of rumors. i've heard mcmaster is sort of safe for now because it was he and rex tillerson that did not get along. but whether you're talking the va secretary. we know the white house was massively disappointed in betsy devos's performance on 60 minutes earlier this week. ben carson remains in the hot seat, whether we're talking about his daughter-in-law getting a no bid consulting gig or the $30,000 dining room set
he and his wife denied having anything to do with ordering yet e-mails have showed up saying what date can we meet the designer? so whose head is going to roll next? >> that's what everybody in the white house is worrying about and so are people at a lot of these agencies. you didn't even name all the people who created bad press. scott pruitt, one of the things that may prevent him being named to replace jeff sessions, that he himself has stirred up a lot of bad stories about sort of living large on taxpayer dollars. the president is upset with all of these stories about his cabinet members. he basically gets upset when these folks create bad press for him. that's the thing. it's not about the misuse of taxpayer dollars, it's really about how bad this looks. that was the message john kelly sent last week when he met with some folks. i think one of the reasons the president is looking to replace people and looking to bring in more people like larry kudlow is
as kelly alluded to, he views not just the campaign events but all of this as a show. he's looking for people and he likes people as we know who come out of this world of television who are very capable of going on tv and carrying a message for him and he thinks that someone like larry kudlow will help in that regard. in sort of selling what the administration has done. as far as who goes next, inside the west wing, there is a sort of certainty that more heads are going to roll. it's just uncertainty as to who that will be. i think the fact there's so many problem areas makes it even more of a mystery at this point. >> well, he's right, after betsy devos and what she did on 60 minutes, you hate to say it, but the only way is up. the president does have the right, he can fire anyone he wants. but there's this knowing, well, he wants to get the cabinet he really likes. he chose the cabinet to begin with. it wasn't like they were holdovers and he got stuck with them. >> no, they weren't foisted upon him. the president can fire anyone he
wants for almost any reason he wants. that's his right as president. >> it's also his jam. >> yeah. well, not exactly. because he's not done it in person. he's done it over a tweet. i wasn't a fan of rex tillerson but the way he fired rex tillerson not only was inappropriate but it's going to create an enemy of rex tillerson. i wouldn't be surprised rex leaks more than the exxon valdez. >> suddenly everyone feels bad for rex tillerson. you could say the president and rex tillerson didn't get along but to fire him in the way he did makes no sense. >> he can't staff up the white house with these competent republican operatives and people who understand how the levers of power work. staffers relish the opportunity to work in the white house as much as a dog wants to fly on united now. that's what the white house is like. toxic environment. a president who undercuts himself. with the justin trudeau thing, he admitted he lies.
he admitted he lied to another world leader. that creates a problem with every world leader. how are you as a diplomat or an aide to president trump going to be able to explain, oh, yeah, the president's telling the truth? >> he lies to world leaders that matter to us. >> our largest trading partner, canada. >> when you think about those who like him, it's dictator flavored leaders. >> i would argue the president doesn't have a messaging problem in as much as he is attracted to -- >> he's a great salesman. >> no, no, one, i don't think so, and two, i think it's a policy problem. you can put larry up and talk about economic policy. if it's policies going in the wrong way and larry supports it, larry's a dear friend. if he supports the wrong policy, that's still a problem for this white house, it's still a problem for the country more broadly. i think, you know, the president may be attracted to the weekend host of fox and friends as well to go over to va. that's been in the paper this morning as well. so you're hearing all this type of, you know, can we get
somebody who's on tv? and larry happens to be an economist so that helps. but, again, i don't think purely messaging and presentation is a problem. larry's been arguing the president's case for quite some time. i've argued against tax reform in its current construction because it's ill timed and poorly thought out. >> but in order to get to governing, eli, and you've pointed this out on twitter, if you're going to replace all these people, they have to get confirmed. does that not hold us up months and months? >> right it does. if the white house was at all serious about infrastructure and we joke every week is infrastructure week now. if they wanted to do something else, now the senate is just going to be bogged down with confirmation hearings and these are not a slam dunk. rand paul out yesterday basically saying that he's not a yes on mike pompeo to be secretary of state or the replacement at the cia. so in a senate that's 51-49 right now, mike pence may have
to come in and cast the deciding vote. but this is sort of on the head of a pin right now for the white house. that may be one of the things that inhibits the president from making more changes. i say it may inhibit him because obviously he's not afraid to stir things up and he loves creating the sort of dramas around the palace intrigue and the white house personnel. to sort of just satisfy the media's craving for news -- >> but hold on, that might distract the media for a moment, but it doesn't change the underlying truths that eventually have to get faced. whether it's the robert mueller investigation. whether it's stormy daniels. those stories aren't going away. they may be temporarily put on hold. guess what, we get back to them. >> you know what is happening is deregulation has happened without much coverage. >> great point. >> they're going to roll back dodd frank. >> excellent point. >> there is some concern however they roll back this financial crisis regulation that was put in place in the wake of what
happened in 2008 and 2009 could be very serious and if it does pass in such a way that banks go back to their very, you know, in some ways bad behavior that we've seen in the past. we could have another crisis within the last two years. >> you get what you get and you don't get upset. people voted -- >> you count like my wife. >> people are having this deregulation jamboree forgetting that regulation is put in place to protect the most vulnerable people and there might be ineffective regulation. but right now we talk about regulation like it's poison. it's put there for a reason. >> now i have to defend my party. that's a position in this administration i'm not used to. i think that yes, there are regulations that are overburden some. we need to have smart regulation. so businesses can thrive. but still have regulations that do protect the most vulnerable and make sure people are treated fairly. that's my position. but the president himself i
think what we're getting to is he thinks it's all messaging. ron says the president's good at messaging. he's good at messaging when he's trying to get to page six of the tabloids. he's saying we've done so much. america is now great again because of what i've done. i was actually a resident of a trump building long before trump was even on the apprentice. it's not a well-made building. it's actually the cheapest parts. they put it together. it falls apart very easily. >> he always said you put the shiniest stuff where it shows. >> he sells it very well and he makes you believe. when it comes to governing, that's a very different thing. people may believe. we are seeing polls where 20% of republicans don't even believe stormy daniels got a payout from gary cohen, despite gary cohen admitting -- >> not only did she get a payout, it was trump's other lawyer that signed off on it. they cannot believe it all day long.
it's not going to go away. in the state of pennsylvania, you saw republicans didn't even campaign in the last week on the tax cuts anymore because it is not working for trump's space. >> not in the least. in effect, he can do surveys right now and see how much money from the tax cut is going to stock buybacks. about 16%. how much is going to employees, about 15%. so it is, as we discussed when it was first being contemplated, going to corporations and others, not to the president's base or to middle class people broadly. >> 40% of the voters in the pennsylvania 18th district or nationally believe their economic situation has not changed for the better or worse and that's the plurality of all voters. >> voting for conor lamb because they thought he was like president trump? are you kidding me with that, president trump? that's just so silly. up next, tough talk from both russia and american officials over the poisoning of a former russian spy. could we see a reigniting of the
cold war? first, gina haspel faces an uphill battle for confirmation. if she is confirmed, she will be the first woman to lead the cia. a feat not lost on jordan cleper. >> there's an old saying behind every great woman in the trump administration, there was three men who was hired for her job first but committed treason or domestic abuse and ineptitude and after a long period of public outcry they were gently asked to submit their resignations. who was left standing there? a woman. older, 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? - anncr: prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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some very sharp words from the united states aimed directly at russia. the statement echoes comments from ambassador nikki haley at an emergency meeting of the u.n. security council yesterday. backed britain's conclusion that russia was behind that attempted assassination of an ex-spy living in the uk using an extremely toxic nerve agent. >> this is a defining moment. time and time again, member states say they oppose the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance. now one member stands accused of using chemical weapons on the sovereign soil of another member. the credibility of this council will not survive if we fail to hold russia accountable. >> let's go live to london and
nbc's keir simmons. tell us more about this joint statement that was just released because the white house often gets criticized for not going tough on russia but nikki haley, she was serious there. >> that's right. in this case, there have been questions raised about how long it's taken the white house to respond to what happened here in the uk. perhaps it's taken a while for the british prime minister here in downing street to explain to britain's allies the importance of all of this. but let me just read you some more of that statement which is a joint statement as you mention. it says, this use of military grade nerve agent, of a type developed by russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in europe since the second world war. it is an assault on uk sovereignty and any such use by a state party is a clear violation of the chemical weapons convention and a breach of international law. it threatens the security of us
all. this is what i think is happening here, stephanie. on the one hand, you have the russians trying to discredit britain's claim that russia is likely to be behind this. and trying to turn it all into a joke. on the other hand, you have the west, led by the british prime minister here trying to say no, no, no, no, this is very serious, this is potentially the use of a chemical weapon, this is an attack on the uk and by implication an attack on the uk allies. >> this is stunning. all right, thank you so much. very scary story. we're going to leave it there. we're going to take a break. comie ing up, markets set t open any moment now. how will the appointment of larry kudlow affect wall street? but first, this one blows my mind. please look at this. riders at a six flag in texas were stranded are you ready for this, upside down for almost an hour on a roller coaster. a park spokesman says a safety
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. wall street kicking off the day right now with the opening bell. after the dow closed lower, more than 200 points, yesterday. shares of boeing fell on fears of a u.s. trade war with china. let's take a look at how the markets are doing. they are up to start the morning. joining us, dom chu of cnbc. walk us through these fears. they're starting to impact markets. >> if you talk about the reason, this will be the third day the markets have started off higher. so a lot of traders are trying to figure out whether those looming trade issues will have an impact.
boeing's one of the biggest drivers of the dow's decline. if there is a possible trade retaliation from china in response to targeted trade policy from the united states, one of the big losers could be boeing. the reason why is folks might recall that last year president trump and a whole delegation of ceos went to china. one of the big companies that benefited from that trip was boeing. they inked $37 billion worth of orders. the reason people are worried is because if china decides to retaliate against targeted tariffs against them, could boeing be one of those companies? i would also say it's not just industries. soy bean farmers ship about half of their exports to china. about a third of all beans grown in the uk according to the american soy bean association go towards china. if china starts to target agricultural exports as well that trade policy could have an
impact really on middle america, stephanie. >> you think it could hit sort of the broader economy? >> it could hit the broader economy if things escalate. now, the concern right now is whether or not this policy that's being stated is just a negotiating tactic or whether or not we become more aggressive as a nation with regard to our trade policies. we talked at length over the course of the past day or two about the idea that larry kudlow is now going to be the president's chief economic adviser. larry kudlow is a guy who promotes free trade. so whether or not he's a guy in the ear of the president who can kind of maybe bring a little bit more calmness to the trade talk, that remains to be seen. but in the end, if all of this starts to play out in the u.s. economy, it's going to be about whether or not u.s. consumers are impacted. whether they still have money in their wallets. stephanie, you and i both know that the single biggest driving force behind the u.s. economy is nothing else but you and i and the rest of the viewers out there opening up their wallets. consumer spending makes up an
estimated 70% of us gdp. as long as people have spending power and the optimism to do so, that's going to keep the american economy going. if trade policy leads to higher prices, that could be the real tipping point for the u.s. economy. >> we know business, while a large segment, is up. i want to go back to trade and trade deficits. i argue the president does not understand the difference between a trade deficit and a budget deficit. but seconds ago, the president tweeted, we do have a trade deficit with canada. as we do with almost all countries. some of them massive. pm justin trudeau of canada, a very good guy, doesn't like saying that canada has a surplus versus the u.s. negotiating but they do. they almost all do. and that's how i know. what is he talking about? >> so this idea -- so first of all, trade deficits and budget deficits are both deficits. on the budget side of things, it's pretty easy to comprehend.
this idea that the treasury department takes in a certain amount of revenue from its constituents and spends money on things like defense or social security or everything else. if those things get out of whack, you have a budget deficit. trade deficits are about whether or not a country bilaterally, if china and the u.s. have exports and imports between each other, who ends up faring, quote/unquote, better, right? if the u.s. exports more stuff to china than it imports from china, then all of a sudden we have our trade surplus. we are actually doing more in terms of promoting our economic agenda because people are buy morgue of our stuff. if it's the other way around, there could be a sense of unfairness developing. so it is a matter of it's a gray area. trade deficits and surpluses are about misogyny and making sure everybody wins. >> indeed, it is. all, dom chew, thank you so much. i appreciate your time this
morning. up next, we talk money, power, politics. my favorite part of the show. you will not believe some of the rampant spending by members of the trump administration. or maybe you will. but first, march is women's history month. and today, i want to highlight our #onegreatwoman. mart y marcy kaptur. honored as the longsest serving female of congress. serving 35 years, 2 months and 15 days surpassing the record of the late edith norris rogers. congratulations, congresswoman kaptur. let us know who you would like features on one great woman. we'll be back. you know what they say about the early bird...
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welcome back. time for money, power, politics. today, we're talking about spending scandals involving members of president trump's administration. first, "the washington post" reports the sound proof phone booth that epa administrator scott pruitt spent 25 grand on for his office. it actually cost nearly twice that, $43,000. that addition, he's getting hit with criticism for spending $90,000 in taxpayer dollars on first class air travel. then there's this. newly discovered e-mails show hud secretary ben carson actually selected, they did it
themselves that $31,000 dining set that he so vehemently denied knowing anything about. but wait, there's more. cnbc says va secretary david shulkin is in the hot seat after an inspector general report found he improperly accepted tickets to a wimbledon tennis match. also using taxpayer money to pay for his wife's trip to europe. now ryan zinke. "washington post" reporting zinke has been defending himself against allegations about his use of a private jet. >> you took a private jet home from las vegas. do you think that was a mistake? >> well, first, insults, innuendos are misleading. i fever tonever took a private anywhere. >> and then there's kellyanne conway. according to salon, democrats are blasting the counselor to the president for reportedly taking private jet flights too, on the taxpayer's dime. all of this, well, they're
basically damning headlines and coming as members of trump's cabinet went before congress to make their case to get more money on infrastructure. commerce committee chairman republican senator john thune told reporters he does not know where the funds are going to come from. >> unless somebody's ready to bite the bullet and come up with a new funding source, there are limitations to what we will be able to do. to get the big really robust package the president's talking about, you have to come up with a significant source of revenues and so far those haven't been identified. >> cnbc's ron insana back with me. ron, think about this, you've got cabinet secretaries testifying because they're trying to get money for inf infrastructure and this is what they get side lined with. how big of a deal is it? >> i think it's a big enough deal, you know, in other eras these would be fireable offenses. i'm old enough to remember the late chairman of the house ways and means committee who was a democrat who got in trouble for abusing his franking privileges, being able to use government
mail for free, among other alleged corrupt acts. that he spent time in jail for. now, spending public money without prior approval, violating spending limits, should be a big deal. i wouldn't call it unprecedented, but i would say, you know, this has become somewhat endemic in this administration. and it's a problem that needs to be dealt with forthrightly. >> are these scandals caused by lack of knowledge? i mean, this is -- >> i doubt it. >> even in corporate america at this point, you can't do things like this. >> so what's the biggest gift you can get as a full-time average der. >> 100 bucks. >> as journalists we can't take anything. we can't accept dinners that are expensive. we can't accept gifts. i invited some people i knew on wall street to our wedding. we had to give the gifts back. >> really? >> yes. we abide by quite frankly much tougher rules than this particular cabinet and certainly i think that if this were to persist, it would, again, smack of the type of dealings that, you know, would suggest at least in this case petty corruption
on -- >> we saw ryan zinke say this is innuendo, this is untrue. in the case of ben carson, the hud official claims after she raised a red flag about carson's spending, she was demoted. if that proves to be true, does that not have to be damning for ben cars and his wife? >> it should be. in fact, why does he need -- you can talk about refurbishing your offices in government because some are old, but spending $31,000 on a dining room table is certainly most families don't do that, if -- unless they are of means. this is taxpayer money they're spending. i think it's unconscionable this is happening almost across the board. private travel, first class travel, should not come at the taxpayer dime. it's difficult to travel officially -- >> especially with the country divided as it is. >> it's still abuse of power, it's still abuse of privilege. >> is it going to get in the way of this administration sort of
getting to their game plan? you have zinke asking for an $11 billion budget for fiscal year 2018. like, that's a whole lot of money and he's sitting there having to answer questions about private flights. is it going to get in the way of actually governing? >> i'm not sure about that. it will if it leads to more departures in the president's cabinet. it's altogether possible because this sheds a rather dim light on this administration and its adherence to norms and expected behavior that it becomes a big enough distraction to interfere with the process. you could see a wholesale turnover again in the cabinet if we haven't already. >> it all depends on weather president trump says do as i say, not do as i do. because if it's do as i do, they're all following suit. >> i believe rachel maddow made a reference that would suggest the president himself was talking to a sanctioned russian bank about financing a moscow hotel, if i read my information correctly this morning, and
that's something that's also, again, you know, not the best example to set when you're running the most important office in the land. >> fair point, fair point, ron insana. we're going to leave it there. up next, this story blows my little mind. a massive medical start-up, i can't even believe we call it a start-up, once dubbed the future of health care. elizabeth holm, who many said was the new steve jobs, now in the cross hairs of the sec. a massive fraud suit. you will not believe some of the very high-profile political figures well connected to this company. founder charged with massive fraud. guess who's on the board? charles schulz, henry kissinger, james mattis used to be on it. ip number spring clearance event'
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the last four years overall. switch into a new chevy now. current qualified competitive owners and lessees can get this 2018 chevy equinox for around $199 a month. chevrolet. find new roads. a serious fall from grace for the silicon valley start-up once promised to revolutionize the health care industry by making blood tests quicker with just
a prick of the finger. the securities and exchange commission, the sec, has charged the company's founder elizabeth holmes with massive fraud. once billled as the next steve jobs, officials say holmes, along with her coo, deceived
investors, raising more than $700 million bucks by exaggerating and even straight-up lying about the company's blood testing technology. now, neither theranos nor have denied any wrongdoing. i want to bring in a woman who certainly knows this space, kara swisher, executive editor at recode. take us back. because elizabeth holmes was this 34-year-old silicon valley wonder kid, on the cover, "fortune," "forbes," next steve jobs. the world wanted her to be the next big thing. >> let's be honest, we didn't cover that much because it was medical stuff and we don't cover medical stuff. and it really is a medical device. it's not a tech story. it was medical devices. but she was there in silicon valley, had these high-profile investors, larry ellis and a bunch of other people and that's why it got the attention. she had a board stuffed with famous, older men, really. >> george schultz, james mattis.
how did she get a lineup like that? two senators? >> you get one, you get the others. they come like a string of dolls. i don't know. i don't know how she got it. but it was super impressive to a lot of people. and the investors were -- huge. it was a whole bunch of people in there. so that's why it was a silicon valley story. and she had this compelling story of she wore the turtle neck, you know what i mean. and people are looking for women to succeed and it was a great story, i guess. >> wouldn't you think investors of this caliber would know if she was lying to them? >> apparently not. no. i don't -- i don't think there's a lot of due diligence that goes on in companies. look at uber, look at some others. all this stuff was going on and the investors took a pass on it until they couldn't any more. when the press -- in this case, the "wall street journal" did an amazing story about her. >> but in uber's case, yes, they may have had cultural problems inside the company. but every day, when i look -- when i need a car to show up that uber shows up.
her company is fraudulent, is it not? >> but uber did a lot of things. there was a lawsuit from google, there was all kinds of stuff. stuff in asia they still haven't unwound. even -- there's all kinds of things there. so lots of companies -- lots of startups are a little bit of a fabulous. they sometimes -- they sort of are trying to sell themselves. in this case, it was the revenue issue, i think, more than anything. whether the product works or not, a lot of companies say their product is going to get bigger and they make promises. i think it was more the revenue that they said they had $100 million in revenue and it was really $100,000. that to me was really astonishing that they lied outright about that. >> okay.
they lied outright, and the punishment -- she's got to pay 500 grand, and she will not be eligible to serve as a director or officer of a publicly traded company for ten years. >> right. >> that kind of sounds like a slap on the wrist in the black turtle neck. >> it does to a lot of people. it sounds like it, yeah. i think a lot of people online were discussing that last night. was it fair? should she have gone to jail for
doing that? something was clearly agreed to behind the scenes. maybe the investors didn't want all this stuff to get out in court, i don't know. >> but do the investors control it? wouldn't the s.e.c.? i mean, martin shkreli, like him or not, and there's loads of reasons to hate the guy, he's in jail for seven years. she's got to give 500 grand back? >> ask the s.e.c. i don't cover the s.e.c. i don't know why she got off. i think probably just admitting guilt and moving on kind of thing is -- martin went to court with them and -- >> is this embarrassing for silicon valley? >> it's embarrassing for those investors that seem to have fallen for this. and i think that, you know -- i think a lot of stuff -- most startups in silicon valley don't work. you know that. there's one giant hit, like an airbnb out of dozens and dozens that don't work. so a lot of stuff gets, you know, shoved under the carpet, essentially. and most of them aren't fraudulent, just don't work. promises made, promises broken kind of thing. so i think it just -- in this
case, it was a very elaborate ruse, it seems like. and that's slightly different, but in general startups are, you know -- they're risky. >> is it going to be over and done with here, or are we going to look closer at the board, their involvement? i mean, theranos -- >> i always think the boards are culpable. another secret, which you know, covering business. these boards are mostly out to lunch, as far as i can tell. i've covered so many boards over the years. the yahoo! board, over the years there's been -- they just don't know what's going on. the uber board. all kinds of stuff. and so you have to wonder what the point of boards is if they're not there to police the ceo and know what's going on. >> you know what they're there for. they're there to get hooked up. >> i know. i don't know. hooked up with henry kissinger? >> hooked up as in doing really well. >> okay, i don't know, stephanie. what do you want? boards just don't seem to --
really good boards are few and far between. and i think that's another issue is governance and governance is critically important with these companies, especially because they're risky. >> hey, co corporate america, iw some great women you can put on those boards. kara swisher of recode. coming up, a new link between the stormy daniels payoff and guess who, president trump. also this week, get your cowboy hat out. ali velshi and i will be at south by southwest this weekend for a special live edition of our weekend show, "velshi & rhule." you are not going to want to miss it. it's time for your business of the week. the unclaimed baggage center. the scotts boro, alabama business, is the only store in the u.s. that sells luggage lost by the airlines. you just never know what you'll find here after all of the bags have been unpacked. for more, watch "your business"
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before we go, no matter what, there is always good news somewhere, and we think good news rules. today we feature a campaign to get more kids to see ava due avert's new movie, "a wrinkle in time." they teamed up with local schools and organization to hold special showings of the movie so that more kids can see a film with a diverse superstar cast. screenings have already been held for kids in detroit, flint, michigan, and right here in new york city. and celebrities are stepping up big to donate tickets. quest love started the hash tag wrinkle challenge on twitter, asking stars like oprah and anthony anderson to join in. quest has even asked little old me and questlove, i accept.
i believe my friend craig melvin is getting in the game, too. and i hope you do, as well. that wraps up this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. i'll be back here at 11:00 with my partner, ali velshi. right now, you're in luck because you're about to get more news with my friend and colleague, chris jansing. >> it makes me think of that picture of the little girl looking up at the portrait of michelle obama and the idea that that could be me one day. >> you've got to see it to be it. >> thank you so much. stephanie ruhle. and good morning. we're following new developments today in the russia investigation. former trump campaign manager, paul manafort, is making it clear, he is ready for a fight. his lawyer is asking a judge to throw out the indictment against him, claiming special counsel, robert mueller, exceeded his authority by charging him with crimes unrelated to russian meddling. that's happening as attorney general jeff sessions considers whether to fire former fbi director, andrew mccabe, just days before his planned