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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  April 7, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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. good morning, everyone, i'm alex witt here in new york at msnbc world headquarters, 9:00 in the east. 6:00 a.m. out west. here's what's happening now, feeling the heat and fighting for his job -- reports about scott pruitt's oval office meeting amid questions about his ethics and spending. white house line one -- a new book reveals president trump is using a tactic from his past to deal with reporters now. plus a year ago it was just a joke -- this morning, the front-page parody that now looks like a prediction. but we begin with a live
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picture of the white house. where pressure is mounting on the president to fire his embattled epa chief. the "associated press" reports scott pruitt visited the white house yesterday to discuss the epa's recent steps to roll back obama-era fuel efficiency standards for cars. according to two administration officials, pruitt also fought for his job in his meeting with the president. this as white house chief of staff john kelly has reportedly been urging the president to fire pruitt. that is according to the "new york times," as well as "the wall street journal." but this morning, no clear direction from the white house on whether pruitt's job is safe. >> i'm not going to walk through hypotheticals until we have have time to go through a full review. that's what we're doing now. but again the president thinks he's done a good job on the purpose of carrying out the goals of the epa. >> will he have a job by midnight tonight? >> look, the president is the one who makes those decisions. i can't say we all serve at the president, and as you guys know, and america knows, if the president is displeased, you'll
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know it, you'll know it in a hurry. >> let's go to nbc news white house correspondent jeff bennett with a good saturday morning to you jeff. it seems to be all the buzz right now, what's the latest on this front? >> well good morning, alex. at the moment scott pruitt still has a job in the administration. and that's of course despite his ina ability to stay out of the headlines as these damaging ethics reports fire up. so top white house aides, including chief of staff john kelly are said to be encouraging the president to make a change atop the epa. but the president is apparently reluck tanlt to do it. in part because he likes scottp. now mr. trump sheer at the white house today with no events on his public schedule. so if recent history is a guide, we could hear from him on twitter on two main topics, the tariff battle with china and illegal immigration. now that texas is now the first state heeding the call of the president following his surprise
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announcement this past week to deploy troops to the southern border to fight illegal immigration. and drug trafficking. this morning, 250 members of the texas national guard are headed south to the u.s./mexico border. >> with the authorization and under the authority of governor abbott, this deployment has begun with the movement of equipment and troops today. >> this comes just days after president trump's surprise announcement to deploy up to 4,000 troops to police the southern border. critics of the move say fears of crime and illegal border crossings are unfounded. >> so we have to have strong borders. >> the president talking tough on immigration and trade. the u.s. and china teetering on the brink of a trade war. as the trump administration considers slapping another round of tariffs on $100 billion of chinese goods. while the president's aides downplayed the flare-up in trade tension -- >> there is the potential of a trade war. and let me just be clear. it's not a trade war. >> a tit-for-tat between the
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world's two biggest economies spooked skittish investors, sending the stock market tumbling for the second time this week. president trump in a radio interview saying while wall street may feel short-term pain, there's long-term gain for the american economy. >> i'm not saying there won't be a little pain. but the market has gone up 40%, 42%, so we might lose a little bit of it. but we are going to have a much stronger country when we are finished and that's what i'm all about. >> and that's if china is ultimately convinced to stop what the administration considers unfair trade practices. the president's top economic adviser, larry kudlow says the threat of these new tariffs may be nothing more than a tough negotiating tactic. that's as administration officials work to tampa down fears of full-out trade battle between the u.s. and china and officials tell us it could be months before the new tariffs are applied. >> jeff bennett at the white house, we'll see you again later today. joining me now, gabby
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rongiello. with the "washington examiner." let's talk about scott pruitt. the epa chief the latest cabinet member caught in scandals surrounding lavish purchases. you write about how this is a threat to the trump administration. how so? >> this isn't a good look for an administration who came in under a president who wanted to drain the swamp. scott pruitt is just one obviously of several cabinet member who is have become embroiled in the scandals. whether they're about wasting taxpayer dollars on significant travel, making lavish purchases, in his case, having the situation with the condominium being rented from an energy lobbyist in d.c., amid a series of other scandals, and it really goes against the message that president trump ran on. and it's a difficult thing optically for this administration to combat. >> i want to bring also into the conversation jonathan lamiere,
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white house reporter for the "associated press" and an msnbc political analyst. i know you have insight into the meeting with pruitt and the president on friday, what can you tell us about it? >> we reported this on the a.p. wire, scott pruitt was in the white house yesterday for a prescheduled meeting about fuel regulations, done dog one of those things that the president is so fond of him that he's sort of advancing president's agenda. rolling back some of the protections put in place by the obama administration. while pruitt was there, he made his case to president trump that he should keep his job. he pointed to the successes he's had at the epa. and to the support that he has outside the white house. and that's a key point here. pruitt has lost much of his backing within the west wing. the chief john kelly, has advocated he be dismissed. other senior white house aides feel like he has not been fully truthful about this sort of never-ending drip drip drip of scandals. this constant stream of headlines that he's not allowed them to get in front of this.
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every day carries new revelations. while he's lost support in the building, he still has a lot outside the building. conservative groups, industry advocacy groups, republicans on capitol hill, who say look, this is our guy, he's getting the stuff done and encouraging the president to hold on to him. to let pruitt weather the storm. >> but jonathan, according to your reporting, there's dwindling influence by john kelly in this white house. i mean does the fact that he's advocating for him to go, how much does that mean? i mean? how much heft does that carry? >> these days, not as much as it used to. john kelly does not wield the clout in the building that he used to. when he first came in, of course, you recall he came in last summer, hired to sort of bring order to what had been a very chaotic west wing and he's done in some ways, that. he's streamlined the policy process, the paper process, he for a while there was successful keeping you know the president more on task and interlopers out
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of the oval office. in recent months the president has grown weary of these restrictions, he's grown weary of john kelly telling him no and he started sort of keeping the chief of staff out of major conversations. and decisions in the building. we in our reporting we know he told one confidante that he's stopped telling his chief of staff some of his key plans. we know that he was, kelly was not involved with the john bolton hiring, the new national security adviser. he opposed that move. he was not with the president last weekend at mar-a-lago when he ramped up his discussion on immigration and tariffs. and kelly, who is someone who has told confidantes he wants to make the year mark, this july, in recent weeks he's indicated to people around him, he doesn't think he's going to make it that far. >> that was the last line of that reporting, that's ominous right there. let's move on and talk about border control. start with you, gabby, on this, it's not the first time a u.s. president has deployed troops to the u.s./mexico border. what's different this time around? >> i think this request first of
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all is significantly different. the president is asking for 4,000 to 6,000 national guard troops to be stationed at the border to help with immigration enforcement. if you look at what's taken place with texas deciding to send 250 national guard members in arizona announcing that they plan to deploy 150, he's short of that number. you have 400 national guard members at the border right now. not 4,000. another big thing on this is the president has said that the purpose of this is to insure that the border is being protected while he can build his border wall. but we know that in many places, including southern california. where there are currently two different barriers and a road in between those barriers for immigration and customs enforcement, patrol officers to use to protect the border, there really isn't much that national guard troops can do on top of what i.c.e. and immigration officials are already doing to prevent illegal crossings while the construction or repair of
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some of these primary and secondary barriers takes place. >> okay, this is controversial. and i'm going to pose this to you, jonathan. the white house defended the president's comments that women in an immigrant caravan in mexico are quote raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before. at then here's what press secretary sarah huckabee sanders said when asked what the president was actually referring to. >> there was a story i believe it was the "l.a. times," i don't have it here in front of me that documented some of that. but there's also this is a well-documented fact that a lot of the people, i believe up to 80% in recent years of women that are making that journey have been raped in that process. the president saying that's simply unacceptable and this is something that should be looked at. >> a short while after sanders made that comment, raj shah tweeted this from the "washington post," 80% from of
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immigrant women are raped. >> the road from southern america to the united states can be dangerous. why did the president take issue with the remarks so vehemently. >> the president veered off script and left of the white house aides scrambling to defend it. this was at an event in west virginia the other day. meant to be about tax reform and he literally tossed his script away and suggested that it was boring. he didn't want to talk about that. he rambled on for quite some time about the trade war and about other things he's trying to get done here. in the white house. and as part of that, he invoked his campaign kick-off speech. famously at trump tower back in june of 2015, in which he suggested that a lot of immigrants from mexico were not the best people and suggested some of them were rapists coming across the border. he of course took a lot of heat for that at the time. and when he talked about this on thursday, he seemed to invoke
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that caravan of immigrants coming up from mexico. immediately afterwards, the white house pushed back on that, they tried to explain that no, no, he wasn't talking about that specific group of immigrants. but rather the larger point and then we saw sarah sanders yesterday try to explain that again and the white house press shop which is not always super quick to sort of press their message to get out there to reporters, to clarify the president's remarks. in this case do so. by sending that article around to say look this is the context, this is what the president meant. >> it's kind of like when the president went to ohio ten days ago to talk about infrastructure and he veers off and talks about military policy for syria. and withdrawing our troops and getting them out of there. so it is what it is. let's just say the president speaks and we all just sort of buckle up and listen. good to hear both of you as well this morning. gabby, jonathan, thank you so much. coming up, surprising revelations in a new book on the trump white house, why the president may regret having jared and ivanka in his inner circle and how the first lady may have a far more powerful
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click, call, or visit an xfinity store today. a lot of criticism this week aimed at the president from across the aisle. former first lady, michelle obama comparing the president's leadership style to bad parenting. former secretary of state madeline albright criticizing president trump. and senator dianne feinstein calling him erratic. but as my next guest points out
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in his new book, the trump white house changing the rules of the game, trump's approach to the presidency may be unorthodox, but that is why it works. joining me now is the author of the book, ronald kesler. ronald, nice to have you back on the broadcast and a good morning to you. >> thank you. >> so in your book you write never before has an american president had so much impact on the country and the world in so short a time as donald trump. do you have concerns at all that at a certain point this approach reaches diminishing returns? >> well if you look at the results, they're pretty clear, on the economy, the stock market, the record low unemployment rate. record low black unemployment rate, foreign affairs, isis almost totally defeated. saudi arabia -- >> all of which, ronald, there, but he cannot single-handedly take credit for these things. in politics, you do, but the fact is record low unemployment
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and black unemployment. that was all building, he was handed a pretty good situation when he took office, right? >> i don't agree. if you look at the statistics, there's a tremendous improvement after he took office. a lot of it is just psychological. because companies realized that they won't be overregulated. they feel they can expand and hire more workers. but trump also just hates to have any personal details of what he's like, made public. and that's what this book does. he puts a mask over his face, and wants to project as a tough guy image. and i reveal things like he hands out $100 to workmen while they're moving furniture. when i asked him about that at mara laga, when i interviewed him. he said where did you get that? how did you know that? he obfuscated. he didn't want that to be made public. so this book you know explains how he thinks, why he makes these outrageous comments.
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which are not you know, are often not true. and -- >> ron, i want to get to some of the nuggets here. the outrageous comments that are often not true. i'm going to believe that you think his behavior is unconventional. would you have tolerated this type of impulsive behavior from any other president? >> well if you look at other presidents, there's, it's quite a track record. johnson lied about the vietnam war, jfk ran around with women. >> but it's not the same, ronald. it's not the same as what we see on a daily basis from this president. he says one thing, he backtracks, he tweets, come on. unconventional to say the least. would you have tolerated it from another president? >> well i don't know about tolerate. but he, it is part of a strategy. i interviewed a former reporter, who was his top aide for 26 years and she said he purposely makes these outrageous comments on tv to get attention for his
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brand, now for his presidency. and actually when people meet with him, they realize he's quite different. he's thoughtful, he listens. so it's all part of a shtick. and it enhances his power. >> do you worry at all that it's a dangerous shtick, though? not everybody gets to meet with him one-on-one and develop their own personal interpretation of him. >> well, if you look at the rut, there's nothing dangerous about it. we're safer with isis being defeated because he removed the restrictions on the military. >> you're not concerned about north korea and the upcoming meeting with these two? >> i think it's a good sign that he's about to meet. that's another good result. so if you look at these results, as in the case of ronald reagan who got rid of the soviet union, who boosted the economy, but was also reviled by the press, that is what counts. so years from now we're going to remember that. as opposed to the tweets and the outrageous comments. >> so speaking of the press, you
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have said most interestingly, that kellyanne conway is the number one leaker in the white house. so why does the president still keep her around? >> well i don't think he was aware of it until now. and hopefully he's read my book, i sent to him autographed with an asterisk to the last page which says he will be seen as one of the greatest presidents. but when i interviewed kellyanne at the white house and it was recorded, she apparently forgot that she was on the record. she started lashing into reince priebus, into jared and ivanka. making these obviously untrue statements about reince. saying that jared and ivanka are leakers. i interviewed aides who say that they had seen text messages that she has sent to reporters, in which she leaks. so it's something that you know gets around. but i don't think trump knows about it. >> another thing that you allege is that rather you write, i want to get to an allegation in just a moment. you write that first lady melania trump has a tremendous
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impact on policy and strategy. what did you see, ronald, that made you come to that conclusion? >> well that's another thing that trump doesn't want out. he just doesn't want anything personal out. and i quote on the record people like reince priebus, and others, describing how she sits in on meetings, she summarizes what others have said and she comes up with her own strategy and they say that her judgment is just remarkable, impeccable. political savvy. she will also give articles to trump, including ones that are negative. that she thinks he should read and she's not afraid to disagree with him. when they were at mar-a-lago and martha stewart showed up at the door, and asked it take a tour, the mar-a-lago butler said sure, we'll set it up for 3:00 the next day. he told trump about it. he said great. but then later in day, tony went to check on donald in the
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private quarters and donald started screaming at him. out of control, you dumb-ass, you should have scheduled it for noon the next day when the club member was see martha and martha would see them. at that moment melania walked in and said to trump, i don't think you should be talking to tony in that tone. and the next morning, trump gave tony $2,000 in $20 bills, would you believe and tony says, melania rules the roost. >> very interesting. the allegation i do want to ask you before i let you go, you say that the president calls reporters directly posting as a senior white house official. because he wants to leak information. how does this work? can you walk us through this process? >> he recognizes that if something is attributed to a white house source, it's going to have much more impact. it's going to be picked up, it's going to be exclusive story and so that's why he does that. but of course, it also creates the impression that the white house leaks even more than it
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does. it certainly doesn't set a good example for people who may or may not want to leak. but that is part of his way of operating. >> shtick, maybe, perhaps. >> shtick is the word. >> i got to tell new terms of the words of the title here, "the trump white house: changing the rules of the game" i was like, yup, that's for sure. ronald kesler, thank you so much for your time. coming up next, reaction to the new trump white house book from the author of "gate keepers." chris whipple and why stormy daniels' attorney thinks that he might be able to depose the president. after my dvt blood clot, i had a lot on my mind. could this happen again? was my warfarin treatment right for me? my doctor told me about eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. not only does eliquis treat dvt and pe blood clots...
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joining me to discuss it, msnbc legal analyst katie phang. let's get to how avenatti and the daniels team uses these comments to their advantage. how do you see it? >> in the court of public opinion and maybe potentially your jury pool if this goes to a jury trial, alex, you're definitely winning if you are michael avenatti and stormy daniels. i mean this is the 30,000-foot view analysis. this is why nobody wants to represent donald trump. think about the fact that this guy may have to sit with a depot with michael avenatti, who is a total bull dog, he may be sitting soon for an interview with robert mueller and his team. donald trump is impetuous, arrogant, undisciplined and he won't listen to counsel. because this is what he did. on air force one. and instead of on twitter. which would have been just as
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bad. he denies knowing about the $130,000 payment and then he says, ask my lawyer, michael cohen. everybody wants to talk to michael cohen these days. robert mueller wants to, michael avenatti wants to depose michael cohen. the fact that trump denies knowledge of this $130,000 payment means maybe just maybe he didn't even know about this contract for the nondisclosure agreement with stormy daniels. so this raises a lot of questions that avenatti is going to ask a judge in california to allow him to force answers from trump and cohen as to whether or not there was a binding contract. >> right because if he doesn't even know about something, then how can he agree to it? that makes a point right there. you know moments ago michael avenatti tweeted. here it is, expect a major announcement in the coming days regarding our efforts to identify the thug who threatened miss clifford in las vegas in 2011 to leave trump alone while making reference to her little girl. can you run, but you can't hide. what's your reaction to that tweet? is this legit, is this a tactic? >> that was a big bombshell that
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came out in the 6 "60 minutes" interview that stormy daniels did. if there was a threat of physical harm that intimidated stormy daniels into signing any contract, that can be grounds to invalidate the contract. because you're not allowed to force, coerce, intimidate or harass somebody into signing a contract. and that could be a challenge that is raised by michael avenatti. i would note if you look at the amended complaint that was filed by stormy daniels, there is no mention of that threat of physical harm. which i found to be kind of odd. the amended complaint did come out after the "60 minutes" interview occurred. but if there is some information, then everybody going to know about it, that will further bolster i think the credibility of stormy daniels and again in the court of public opinion, make her case that much stronger against trump and the white house. >> the point you make, which avenatti has said, that he plans to refile a motion to depose the president as well as michael cohen. this new information, does it make a judge more likely to say
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okay, i approve this motion? >> it does. because now there's even further unanswered questions. and the only people who can provide those answers is not the federal judge, and frankly it's not the lawyers, it's the actual players in this case. and so someone like donald trump who needs to answer what do you mean, your lawyer negotiated a $130,000 personal payment from his he look to be able that pay off a porn star and you had no idea? if that's the case, mr. trump, why are you joining in the motion to compel arbitration that's been filed by essential consultants llc, which is a delaware llc in a state that favors secrecy, why are you joining that? these are the types of questions that avenatti is going to want to pose to not only donald trump, but michael cohen. >> katie phang with a big preview. let's go to reaction of the author from the new book on the trump white house, why he thinks that kellyanne conway is responsible for most of the leaks coming out of the west wing. here's what he told me just before the commercial break. >> when i interviewed kellyanne
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at the white house and it was recorded, she apparently forgot that she was on the record and she started lashing into reince priebus, into jared and ivanka. making these obviously untrue statements about reince, saying that jared and ivanka are leakers. in addition i interviewed aides who said they had seen text messages that she's sent to reporters in which she leaks. so it's something that you know gets around. but i don't think trump knows about it. >> joining me now, chris whipple, author of "the gatekeepers." with a welcome to you, chris, always good to see you. what's your reaction to that? and whether kellyanne conway being the chief leaker matters in the inner workings of the white house. >> i'm not sure it matters. in the end it may well be true if kellyanne conway you know, the truth is actually that donald trump is himself perhaps the greatest leaker in the white house. he has as i reported in my book. he has a phone that's
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unmonitored by kelly. he calls his friends all the time. his friends talk to reporters. i'm not sure it matters much. who the biggest leaker is. so much as the fact that this is a white house that i was listening to ron kesler and with respect, i would have to say the truth is the opposite of his argument, this has been a broken white house during the first year that couldn't do anything right. it couldn't pass legislation. it couldn't issue executive orders that were enforceable. it couldn't get anybody on the same page. can't prioritize the president's agenda. so full disclosure, i haven't read his book and i look forward to doing so. but i have to say that my take is exactly the opposite. >> when you bring up john kelly and for weeks we've been talking about the president's relationship with him as the chief of staff. there's a new "associated press" report that says describes kelly as having lost his clout.
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he was tired of being told no by kelly and the president has decided to not tell kelly things at all. chris, how does he just not tell kelly about things? you mention the phone that he has that kelly can't monitor, but kelly knows his schedule, right? >> he does seem to be the incredible shrinking white house chief of staff. at best, trump seems to be reporting to, according to reporting lately, ignoring his advice, at worst he's bypassing him almost completely. i think it's a real problem. as i've said before. the only thing worse than a white house with a flawed chief of staff is a white house with no chief of staff. and if, if the notion of trump unchained or unplugged is exactly, it's exactly the opposite of the lesson trump should have learned from the first year in the white house. which is, that he needs an empowered chief of staff to tell him what he doesn't want to hear
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and to help him govern. >> so -- why is the president holding back? why is he not fired kelly yet? >> well again, we know it's a fool's errand to try to predict exactly when donald trump will do anything. as we learned in his firing of reince priebus and his hiring of kelly in the first place. both of them learned about it by tweet. so it's hard to predict what trump is going to do. he may feel that he can keep kelly in place. simply ignore him and, and try to govern the way he ran the 26th floor of trump tower. but every previous president will tell him -- would tell him, that that's a prescription for disaster. >> all right. chris whipple author of "the gatekeepers." good to talk to you. the prying eyes of robert mueller, why he's looking at the president's overseas business wheeling and dealing?
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new today a report that the mueller investigation is looking at president trump's overseas business deals, and zeroing in on the roles played by mr. trump's personal attorney, michael cohen. joining me is natasha bertrand, covering the russia investigation for the "atlantic." natasha, i want toe get to what you're hearing about this development. >> it's not exactly surprising, it is a big development. but robert mueller was as you going to follow the money when trying to determine whether or not the russians or anyone connected to the russian government had some kind of leverage over the president when he launched his campaign.
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because that would be a big part of the potential collusion that occurred between the trump campaign and russia. did the president feel compelled to coordinate with russia? was russia boosting trump's candidacy because of a history of cooperation between the president's company and russian entities? so this is obviously a huge part of mueller's investigation now as we saw a few months ago when it was revealed that he had actually issued subpoenas to the trump organization. >> i want to take a look at this week and the president's response to questions about stormy daniels. the "post" headline as we bring it up says it here, michael cohen's view from under the bus, should cohen expect to be on his own natasha, if mueller goes after him? >> well this is a potentially significant way that mueller could get him to flip. it's really interesting that the president has said he knew nothing about this deal, nothing about this $130,000 payment to stormy daniels. just days before the election.
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that michael cohen essentially did it all on his own. which of course would break all kinds of ethics rules and potentially get michael cohen disbarred. the idea that he could get in serious trouble because of this payment could give mueller leverage to figure out whether or not trump did enter into any kind of significant business dealings with the russians. because of course, michael cohen being trump's right-hand man for the last couple decades, would know about any kind of significant business dealings that he entered into as part of the trump organization. >> so back to these overseas business deals, one of them under scrutiny reportedly involves an abandoned plan for a trump-branded hotel in moscow. is it possible that this deal had an impact on the president's attitude towards vladimir putin? >> absolutely. so the president himself actually signed a letter of intent to pursue this deal in moscow. and that was in december of 2015. well after he had already launched his campaign for the presidency. so this is something that trump
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has been wanting for a very long time. he's wanted to pursue a massive trump tower in moscow, in the very heart of moscow, because he saw russia as very lucrative. he saw it as a really good investment. he's been trying since the '80s to develop a business there. so the fact that just after he launched his candidacy for, for president, he signed this letter of intent to pursue this deal in moscow. and actually started to secure funding for from a sanctioned russian bank. it's really going to be of interest to bob mueller whether or not throughout his campaign, the president was courting perhaps president vladimir putin's approval in order to get this deal sealed. >> but in terms of the new sanctions, telling nbc news, the sanctions on wealthy russian businessmen are unlikely to seriously impact putin. is it surprising at all that putin has not been sanctioned? >> it is and it isn't.
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so experts that i speak to say that sanctioning putin obviously would be a monumental stab. it would be very strong signal that would be sent to him. but this also, the sanctions that we saw implemented on friday, sent a strong signal to russia's ruling class. sends a strong signal to the oligarchs that surround putin and in many ways are his kind of storing his money, are his arms of power throughout the world and throughout russia itself. it was a significant move. it's going to hurt vladimir putin, it's already angered the russian as lot. they're furious about this. but in terms of sanctioning vladimir putin himself, because the president is still trying to pursue a better relationship with the president of russia for better or for worse, it's not something that's going to happen any time soon. it's become clear that the president does not want to be the face of any of these major policy moves, when it comes to russia. >> natasha bertrand, always good to talk to you. next, funny at first sight,
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scary at last glance, the 2-year-old front page parody that appears to be becoming reality. and coming up on "a.m. joy" the attorney for stormy daniels. our thinnest longest lasting blades on the market. precision machinery and high-quality materials from around the world. nobody else even comes close. it's about delivering a more comfortable shave every time. invented in boston, made and sold around the world. now starting at $7.99. gillette. the best a man can get. need a change of scenery? the kayak price forecast tool tells you whether to wait or book your flight now. so you can be confident you're getting the best price. giddyup! kayak. search one and done. a trip back to the dthe doctor's office, mean just for a shot. but why go back there, when you can stay home,
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to arrive at the u.s./mexico board they are weekend. after both texas and arizona announced they were beginning deployments. u.s. defense secretary jim mattis approved the deployment of 4,000 national guard troops in all according to a new pentagon memo. let's bring in jonathan alter, a columnist for the "daily beast" and an msnbc political analyst and charlie sites, host of the "daily standard" podcast and an msnbc contributor. gentlemen, good to see you both. here on a saturday morning, i'll start with you, jonathan, the president said he wants these troops positioned at the border until he gets a wall. so what is this all about? is this posturing? because goodness knows how long that could go. >> first of all, national guard troops at the border is not new. so before everybody panics that this is some new things. it has been done in the past. but it is totally posturing, what nobody noticed in the budget debate was that president trump lost his wall.
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probably for good. he got $1.5 billion between $1.2 and $1.5 billion out of $25 that it's going to cost to actually build this wall or part of the wall. a democratic congress will likely come in at least in the house. so it's quite possible that this is the end of the line for the trump wall. he didn't get the money. he needs to cover for that by sounding really tough on immigration and sending troops to the border to hold off kids that are coming from central america, desperate kids. but he'll do anything now to get himself right or try to get himself right with his basins he lost his wall. >> how much, charlie, do you agree with what jonathan's assessment is here? >> 100%. there's no question about it. there's no crisis at the border. border crossings are down.
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the president has realized belatedly that he was rolled on the wall. he got nothing. he's hearing from a lot of folks saying you can't go squishy on this. this is what you ran on. this has been the one constant in this presidency. donald trump when he feels the base thinks he's getting squishy or weak, he'll throw them something. this is symbolic for him. >> but, charlie, anne coulter reacted to the announcement with these very controversial statements. >> he announced he'll put the military on the border. is that a start in the right direction? >> i don't think so what are they going to do? shoot the illegals? both obama and bush did this, too unless they're going to shoot one and send a message to the mess as voltaire's line in
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candide is, we hang one to encourage the others, if you shoot one to encourage the others, maybe they'll learn. but we'll see. >> ann coulter at least knows where she stands. she was -- she knew all along that donald trump was a shallow, lazy, ignoramus. at one point she said he would be okay with him performing abortions in the oval office as long as he would build the wall. who is he listening to? the far edges of the swamp like anne koulter who coulter who is fringes. one of the telling moments this week is when he was in west virginia, supposed to be talking about tax cuts, throws the away
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the paper, throws away talking points on the tax cuts and goes back to that original argument about the slur about the mexican rapists, which he borrowed from anne coulter. this was the secret sauce from the beginning when he came down the golden escalator and said we'll build that wall, because these mexicans are coming in. that's what people like anne coulter are demanding that he do. and quite frankly, going into the midterms, what you have is donald trump is acting as if sean hannity, lou dobbs and anne coulter are his base rather than reaching out to other republicans or independents or democrats. >> can i say something about that last anne coulter bite before we left that drift into memory? she was using ccandide for makig an argument to shoot a child at the border as an example of would-be immigrants.
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this is the level of the dialogue in the country. it was one thing when she was mouthing off all those years, writing those best sellers, she's now in the oval office, talking to the president, planting these ideas in his head. even if it's facetious, they don't really want to shoot a child at the border, this is what it's come to. it's a sad moment. i think it's especially sad for people in charlie's party or the republicans, they all face a character test now. do they continue to put up with this? many of them were pro immigration going into the debate. >> guys, i do want to throw up something here, which is "the boston globe." jonathan, you can react first. they made a mock newspaper front page in 2016, envisioning a day in the trump presidency. the headlines talking about the president wrapping up deportations, the market sinking as a trade war looms. are you surprised by how close
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to the truth that was that is, that pair rody two year s ago? >> no, we were saying this during the campaign. we were shouting as loud as we could that there would be a trade war and these deportations and the rest if they elected this clown as president of the united states. people cannot say they were not warned. >> charlie, the fact this mock front page, it's two years old, what does that say about where we are today in the trump presidency? >> as jonathan points out, donald trump is turning out to be who we thought he would be. donald trump ran very clearly -- he's a man who lied about a lot of things. exaggerated and hyped a lot of different positions. but he was clear that he wanted to spark a trade war. he was clear that he wanted to make deporting mexican illegal immigrants a priority. he was clear on all of that. you know, no one should be
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surprised that these are his core beliefs. and this is what he's acting on. now that he apparently is feeling unleashed, empowered, no longer listening to the grown-ups in the room, this is the presidency we'll get. i would think congressional republicans ought to be setting bullets about what that means for the next few months, whether or not he will push this hard line immigration stance to the point of shutting down the government in september. >> thank you, guys. good to see you both. the next step after the march for our lives. what student organizers are doing at events across the country today. that's coming your way on "am joy." - 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.
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it's a drone! i know. find your phone easily with the xfinity voice remote. one more way comcast is working to fit into your life, not the other way around. msnbc live. i'll see you at noon eastern. right now it's time for "am joy." she's hanging out in l.a. today. >> i appreciate you doing that. he were kind enough to offer this interview because of our shared interest in baseball. a lot of other issues we want to get to. you ran a minor league baseball team. how did that prepare you for this job? >> baseball is a great business. they have a lot of revenue streams, but not the payroll. it's a great business model. >> good morning. welcome to


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