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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  April 28, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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super poligrip, helping you enjoy the foods you love. good morning, i'm alex whitt here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. right now on msnbc live, new twists today in the stormy daniels' saga for the president and for his one-time attorney michael cohen. a new threat from the porn star's representatives. another late tweet from the president on russia and collusion allegations. he's claiming victory of sorts after a gop report is released. but a leading democrat says not so fast. the investigation is nowhere near complete. religious war on capitol hill. or has the chaplain of the house of represent i have beens has been based on politics because of something he said during a prayer? on the border, a developing stand-off as hundreds of migrants await their fate.
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hoping to get into the u.s. they're with the trump administration is saying this morning in a live report next. a live picture of the white house where the president is reigniting his feud with yet another red state democrat this morning. this time montana senator john tester who the president says should resign. you'll recall tester was one of the chief critics of white house doctor ronny jackson, amid the various allegations during his bid for va secretary. nbc news white house correspondent kelly o'donnell has more on this. let's get to what the president is saying. >> the president is tweeting on this issue involving dr. ronny jackson. also taking a swipe at the former director of national intelligence. but on the issue of ronny jackson, who has served as physician at the white house to three presidents, including president trump, and he is now looking at the issue of senator john tester. a democrat of montana, up for re-election. that's a key fact. and the president often talks about how he won the state of
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montana by large margin. so here is what the president was tweeting today. ail compensations made by senator john tester against admiral dr. ron jackson are proving false. the secret service is unable to confirm, in fact they deny any of the phony democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful jackson family. tester should resign. that is a strong suggestion from the president. he says the great people of montana will not stand for this kind of slander. when talking about a great human being. he then goes on to say admiral jackson is the kind of man that those in montana would most respect and admire. and now for no reason whatsoever, his reputation has been shattered. not fair. testing with the exclamation point. the president has contributed to this by talking about how unfairly ronny jackson has been treated. and also say egg wouldn't go through the process of actually going through the confirmation hearings and vote to be veterans affairs secretary. a job the president nominated him for. putting him into the sphere of all of this scrutiny.
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president got a lot of things on his plate right now. some of that includes one of the legal cases that he's involved with, along with his private lawyer, personal lawyer, long-time friend, michael cohen. and on that issue, they're getting some more time. a new twist this morning in the president's legal troubles. with michael cohen. >> he represents me like with this crazy stormy daniels deal. >> stormy daniels' lawsuit against the president and his embattled personal lawyer, michael cohen, is on hold. for 90 days. in a nine-page ruling friday, a california judge delayed the civil case, at cohen's request. writing, this is no simple criminal investigation. it is an investigation into the personal attorney of a sitting president regarding documents that might be subject to the attorney-client privilege. adding that an indictment for cohen appears quote likely. daniels' lawyer reacted on
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twitter. justice delayed is justice denied. turning to the russia investigation, house republicans released their final declassified report friday. the president claimed victory. >> i was very honored by the report. it was totally conclusive. strong, powerful. >> but democrats scoffed. >> i think it's ju just a gloss on a very political report, a document that could have been written by the white house. >> friday, with the german chancellor at the white house. president trump put the fate of north korean nuclear talks on his own shoulders. >> i think i have a responsibility to see if i can do it. and if i can't do it, it will be a very tough time for a lot of countries. and a lot of people. >> the president says two locations are under consideration for a summit. but when asked if he had already spoken to kim jong un himself, he chose not to answer. >> i will be meeting with kim jong un in the coming weeks, we look forward to that. and hopefully it will be
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productive. >> no date, time and place yet publicly disclosed for that. and expect the president to litigate a lot of these issues tonight, when he goes to a campaign rally in michigan. skipping the white house correspondents' association dinner for a second year in a row. alex? >> kelly o'donnell at the white house. thanks, kelly, see you again. joining me now, pam alevi, reporter for "mother jones." first your reaction to the president's tweets. is he going after senator john tester only because of jackson's failed nomination, what he brought to the research that put forward some news that was obviously detrimental to that? or do you think there's more to this? >> look, absolutely the president is aware that tester is a democrat. in a state that he won as he likes to point out, by about 20 points. so absolutely. he's aware that he can do damage there. you know another thing that we know about this president is that he is vengeful and he is spiteful and he sees someone whom he believes has gone after
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someone that he likes, one of his nominees. a setback to his policy goals and so he's, he's taking revenge. you know i think it's not 100% fair to target just tester here. what we've been hearing from his committee for a while now is that this was a bipartisan effort to vet this nominee and that both parties actually working together in this instance, in order to get to the truth of these allegations. whether they're true or not and whether or not they disqualified this nominee. so you know, it's probably political in a lot of ways, but the president sees someone he wants to attack and he's been on that attack now. >> i want to bring in jonathan l l leemere now. president won montana by 20 points, why go after john tester? is it all personal? is it revenge? >> the president can be vengeful at times. certainly politically. and i think you hit on point it is personal. and but larger than just ronny
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jackson, we're seeing the president is increasingly surrounding himself with people that he has a personal rapport with. he's very fond of the doctor who is his physician here at the white house and it must be said that people in the obama administration also spoke very highly of him. but the events of the last couple of days have obscured something else. there are real questions about jackson's qualifications to run that agency. much of course being made about these allegations in the last few days. but this is a person who has had no experience running a large bureaucracy and this isn't just any bureaucracy, the second largest in the federal government and the one could argue, the most challenging, the most broken. an agency that needs a strong leader. and as much as the president is personally fond of the white house doctor, there are real questions whether or not he was qualified to do this. and the challenges this president has had bringing in qualified people to work in his cabinet and in his white house. >> it's interesting, dr. ronny jackson has implied that the
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president is the most healthy person on the planet. that may be a lot of why the president has loyalty for him. let's go back to the president's legal troubles with michael cohen. i'm start with you, pema on this one. the developments in cohen's case, put this in perspective, given all that's happened this week. >> yeah look, i think that you know, michael cohen is facing a lot of different pulls and pushes here. the stories coming out that really detail some of his personal interactions with donald trump. sort of an isolation from donald trump, an alienation from the person, not ohm his boss, but his idol in a lot of ways. think is really interesting. it puts a lot of pressure on him, sort of from the outside, in order to save face. you know a lot of pressure to potentially turn on the president. you know and then in terms of the stormy daniels' new information here, that on some level is a reprieve for him. that takes a lot of pressure off of him. because you know again it doesn't look good to plead the fifth. and he definitely, i think wants
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some space to try to make sure he can dodge and indictment if possible over in manhattan. so there's a lot of pulls and pushes in terms of legally, whether or not he's going to fold here and then also on the personal side, whether or not there's enough of a relationship there to keep him loyal to trump. >> but i'm curious, jonathan, how the white house is looking at all of this. specifically you have the president's admission that cohen represented him. he used past tense there in the stormy daniels deal. he was calling it that. was that expected from the president? did he admit that for some reason? >> well there's definitely some nervousness here in the white house about the whole michael cohen affair. in part because so much of it is unknown. people around the president who work with him here don't know all the details of the business dealings that cohen has done for the donald trump for more than a decade. he was not just a lawyer, he was, he was part of the trump organization in terms of making international deals. he also very much was a fixer, and these very pay-offs that we're talking about.
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the president, what he said on thursday, we took some people by surprise here in his fox news interview. one white house adviser told me that the president had been chomping at the bit to do that for a while. not necessarily talk about michael cohen but to have a free-wheeling conversation with his favorite television show. he feels he needs that outlet. he's tired of the way he's represented so often in the media. he feels he is his best spokesman that is usually a very friendly forum for him and he wanted to do it. and now he's committed to doing it i believe you know once a month going forward. and he, you could hear it in his voice, he was revved up. he was sort of angered by a lot of different subjects and probably unplanned, said this about cohen. even as he was trying to minimize the actual work he did for him. >> i want to ask you both this regarding the russia investigation, in fact that the house intelligence committee released its final report saying no collusion for the president. obviously heavily republican endorsed and the democrats have their own opposing views. is it possible, pema for
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congress to get to the bottom of this investigation? >> what we've been hearing from the senate side is that the senate intelligence committee is towelly working together on a bipartisan basis, to put out a report that they really hope will get to the bottom of this. and so you know i think that there is a possibility of some significant things coming out of the senate. the house has clearly devolved into a partisan battle here with republicans deciding it is their job to defend the president. and democrats trying to point that out and then continuing an investigation, but without the subpoena powers they need to really do that. so on the house side this has completely broken down. and certainly i think you know from the perspective of the democrats in the house, they're looking to robert muler to ultimately issue findings and a report for them to get some clear conclusions on this. >> jonathan, your thoughts as well on this question. give me your thoughts on what you think is the greatest threat
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to the president, whether it's stormy daniels, whether it's the russia investigation, whether it's michael cohen. where is he most vulnerable? >> well first of all, exactly right. i think there is at least some suggestion that the senate is sort of conducting this investigation in a more bipartisan, more thorough way, there's no question that the house probe was far more politicized and has handed the president something he can wave around. we saw yesterday in his news conference with chancellor merkel of germany. he was asked about the house findings and he said look, this is sort of proof, a witch hunt, there's no collusion and there's certainly a fear among some democrats that he now has something that he's going to use to bludgeon the findings of the mueller probe. that he's going to try to say that's politicized, if it comes back negatively for him he can say the house said there's no wrongdoing here and he's trying to muddy the waters. we're seeing the attacks on the department of justice. it's connected in terms of his softening the ground to either perhaps move the deputy attorney general or the special counsel or at very least to soften the
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findings. in terms of what poses a bigger threat, that's a hard question to say. but certainly i could say this, people around the president are nervous, more nervous right now about cohen. again because there's so much they don't know. and there is a fear that as loyal as cohen has said he is to the president, if he does end up being indicted and facing a lengthy prison sentence, he has a family. he has told people around him that he's nervous about the future. there is a possibility that he may flip on the president. >> okay. jonathan lemire, pema levy, thank you. what was the president's theory to prompt president trump to do that phone interview this week. turns out the prints at the crime scene- awwwww...did mcgruffy wuffy get a tippy wippy? i'm serious! we gotta move fast before- who's a good boy? is him a good boy? erg...i'm just gonna go. oh, you wanna go outside? you gotta go tinky poo-poo? i already went, ok? in the bathroom! as long as people talk baby-talk to dogs,
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i have no doubt that the president was giving one marching order for his interview this morning and that was, you need it say that michael cohen was your lawyer on stormy daniels, we need that because you've contradicted that. michael cohen has contradicted that by saying that neither one of you discussed it. he wasn't in communication with you about it. we need you to do this. so he did that. >> congressman adam schiff on why he thinks the president called in to "fox & friends" to drop this bombshell about the stormy daniels case. let's bring in republican tom reed from new york. i want to start right there. might stormy daniels ultimately be this president's achilles heel? and do you think he needed it to do that, to identify michael cohen as his attorney publicly like that? >> i don't know the internal issues related to the litigation and we'll let that process take
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care of itself. i think this is not an achilles heel for the president as many are trying to describe it. this is kind of one of those issues that from my perspective, needs to be dealt with, about i'm focused on being part of the team to address the american people's needs, the more we do that the better off i think we're going to be as a country. >> i want to go to what my colleague joe scarbrough wrote in an op-ed. he says there's no one who can save trump from himself. he's afflicted instead by self-imo lags. >> were you concerned about his demeanor during that interview? towards the end even the anchors appeared to be thinking we have to try to save the president from himself. >> i know the president, i was one of the first to endorse him on the republican side, traveled with him. and i do believe he has a unique
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style. obviously we all see that. but at the end of the day, i do believe this president is putting the american people first. he's focusing on getting things done. and what you're see is just kind of a different style that a lot of people who are career politicians, just don't know how to react to it. because he clearly is not a politician. he's not worried about the short-term. he's looking long-term and he's looking to get things done and that to me is a positive thing that should be embraced by many people that can look at what he's doing for the people back home. >> and look there are people embracing it. can i ask, do you ever every once in a while think a little head-scratching moment with this president? >> i think that's an honest assessment and to be honest there are times when there's a difference in style between me and him and i would express some disagreement on that style but at the end of the day, i do believe in this president. that he is putting the people first and is trying to change d.c. for the good. that is a good thing. that is not a bad thing and you look at the results we have. low unemployment, good economy. look what's going on in korea
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right now. these are game-changing moments that bring stability to the world, not this armageddon that's been the campaign of so many people that are against him. >> there are mixed reviews, when you bring up north korea of the president's involvement there. is there a way to gauge how much this president is responsible for the developments? >> i just say you look at the actions. you look at the actions of kim jong un. you look at the of china with kim jong un meeting with china. the great pictures we saw at the demilitarized zone where north korea and south korean leaders came together. that's the first time that's ever happened. those are historic moments, i would say you look at what's changed. you have a new administration in president trump putting down a marker saying enough is enough. we're going to change the status quo. and let's make sure that we don't have a nuclearized north korea. >> i want to talk about the firing of house chop lan father patrick conrad. i know you're among two republicans who voted against the motion to table the resolution, to create a committee. to investigate his dismissal.
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and here's the prayer that father con roy thinks got him fired by house speaker paul ryan. take a listen, sir. >> as legislation on taxes continues to be debated this week and next, may all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success while others continue to struggle. may their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits, balanced and shared by all americans. >> now speaker ryan reportedly told the house republican conference yesterday that he fired conroy because gop members felt like their pastoral needs weren't being met. politics didn't play a part in this. is that the case? i know your colleague, republican colleague i should say in new york, peter king, he vehemently denies that. he said i get plenty of pastoral
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assessments from him and guidance from him. is there concern that there's hostility in washington, even the guy who is praying for everyone is getting fired? >> absolutely. i mean obviously i know father pat and i have counseled with him. i've gone to mass with him. and he's a good guy. and to see this happen to him, you know that's why i got up yesterday, walked from the republican side to the democratic side and took action to say -- i'm going to stand on this one and join the democrats to say this was not the right call. and at the end of the day, you know the truth will come out as to what happened. but right now i'm just very disappointed that this is being handled in the fashion it's being handled. >> do you think there's a political angle to this, sir, in that more conservative southern republicans, let's say were not in favor of having a jesuit member of the catholic faith, jesuits being a bit more liberal? was that behind it? >> i hope not. when we talk about religious guidance, each of us has their
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own personal journey when it comes to their relationship with god. at the end of the day what father pat represented was obviously a religion domination. but he also was a person and he was a person who cared about us. i know that firsthand. he cared about me, he cared about my family, he cared about the other members, when he expressed his opinion at times, yeah, sure, he had a political slant to it. just like everybody else does. but at the end of the day, it's about being a priest, it's about being a counsel and to be handled this way was just something i just felt i couldn't be part of just sitting there doing nothing. i wanted to show my support for father pat by standing and voting on the floor in his defense. >> i'm going to say an amen to that. which seems appropriate. thank you so much congressman tom reed, good to see you. a federal judge says he sees another indictment coming for one of president trump's associates, we're going to tell you who, next. helped put a roof over the heads
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a governor for all of california. happening right now, a stand-off on the mexican border, hundreds of migrants, women and children from central america. many say they're fleeing violence. the trump administration declaring they're not welcome here. nbc's gadi schwartz is standing by in san diego, california and
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watching the drama. it's a heck of a story. the people have travelled a long way, what's the latest? >> absolutely. alex this is the port of entry where the caravan is expected to come. this is likely the first place that these immigrants will see of the united states, if they are granted entry, it will likely be in detention. you can see over here that's the border wall, that's border patrol right there they are prepared to be detained for days, weeks, possibly even months and there's a chance that some of the families will be separated. by foot, by bus, by train. the caravan has arrived. once numbering over 1,000 now just uppnder 400. mothers like this one have lost almost all her belongings, crossed into guatemala she was robbed of her money, her papers and her phone. her daughter is all she has left. >> she has that all she has left
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is milk and diapers. >> we watched as 1-year-old ashley learned to walk during their journey north. she told us that in her home town she got caught between feuding gangs that threatened to kidnap her daughter and now what she reached the border, losing her baby daughter is still her billest fear. she said the thing that she fears the most is she'll lose her daughter and her daughter will be taken away from her. >> members of the caravan say that could happen during her plea for asylum. >> one of the tactics we've seen from the trump administration is the separation of children from their parents. where they place children in foster care situations under the office of refugee resettlement and they place the parents and in adult detention centers. >> situation made even more tense by the president's regular tweets targeting the caravan saying i've instructed the secretary of homeland security not to let these large caravans of people into our country. it's a disgrace. creating more uncertainty
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whether there's strength in numbers or whether the caravan will come this far just to be turned away. now katherine tells us she has spoken to members of that caravan that have separated from the caravan that are already in the united states. she's also said that she has, not heard from others who try to make the crossing, so she's not exactly sure what happened to them. but she at this point is still trying to decide whether she should cross with the caravan on sunday or try to go at it alone. alex? >> a pivotal weekend for these 400 migrants making their way. new developments this morning in the stormy daniels saga after a judge puts a hold on her lawsuit against trump's personal attorney. now a federal judge says the porn star's lawsuit against michael cohen will have to be delayed by 90 days because quote it appeared likely cohen will be indicted in a related criminal investigation. here with more, msnbc legal analyst katie phang. let's get into the judge's decision here, which is really
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tying together these two separate cases against cohen. the criminal investigation and the lawsuit brought by stormy daniels. how do they affect each other. do they? >> they do. they're on both sides of the coast of the united states. you wouldn't think they would be related, but they are. michael cohen has said to the judge and the judge has agreed that a 90-day stay is appropriate because michael cohen said if he had to he would invoke the fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. the judges found there's significant factual overlap between what's happening to michael cohen in the southern district of new york case and what's happening in the civil lawsuit that's revolving around stormy daniels, basically the judge has said because michael cohen would have to protect himself from making any statements that would incriminate himself in the southern district of new york case he's going to allow michael cohen 90 days or three months to see if an indictment is going to come. but you said alex that the judge wrote in his written findings and his rulings, that an indictment is imminent. i don't know how much more freaked out you could be if you were michael cohen at this
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point. >> cohen has said i did the amendment right, i'm not going to incriminate myself. if there's nothing to incriminate yourself about, why do you need to invoke the fifth amendment? >> that's a great common sense question. the reality is the fifth amendment is part of the constitution, it's there for people to be able to invoke whether they have been charged or maybe they will be charged. that protection is afforded michael cohen. he could not take the fifth this is a civil lawsuit. but we know the civil lawsuit brought by stormy daniels has to do with the $130,000 payment that michael cohen raid and we know that the raid that happened in new york at his hotel, office and home includes documents and materials relevant to the $130,000 pay-off. >> if there's nothing to take the fifth about, why not get it out there, get this done. walk away, we're not talking about it any more? >> that's the michael avenatti kind of stormy daniels approach. that's their strategy. that's telling the judge, look, you need to get this out in the public. not only the stormy daniels deserve it and does she merit
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it. but the american public deserves to know as well. the judge said look this indictment is imminent. it's lukely and frankly, alex, i tend to degree, i think in less than 90 days michael cohen will be indicted by the southern district of new york. that's the southern district of new york. that's not mueller. there's a separate mueller investigation that's going on that does include michael cohen. so michael cohen is looking at least a few criminal fronts in terms of having exposure. >> michael avenatti has a point i want to play that he made here. but the president was calling in to fox news, he admitted cohen representing him in the stormy daniels matter. let's take a listen to what he said. >> as a percentage of my overall legal work, a tiny, tiny little fraction. but michael would represent me and represent me on some things. he represents me like with this crazy stormy daniels deal. he represented me. >> hugely damaging admission by the president. because according to what he said on air force one a few weeks ago he didn't know anything about the agreement.
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he didn't know anything about the payment. michael cohen went off and did this on a lark and mr. trump knew nothing about it we now find out that that's bogus. >> so do you agree, katie, was this a damaging slip? or can you see something that would make you think no, this was calculated? >> oh, no, it was the worst thing that trump could have done is go ogen that tirade on fox and friends on thursday morning. he admitted that not only did michael cohen represent him in that quote crazy stormy daniels deal but he was aware of the fact that the money was paid. we all know that trump's been denying any knowledge of it, until now. so now he's walked himself into a deposition. unfortunately because of the stay in the stormy daniels case in california we won't see a deposition of donald trump happening for at least 90 days. >> thank you so much. kanye and the president, could the unexpected support have an affect on african-americans' approval of trump? that's next.
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president trump's attempts to enhance his image among black voters has taken another kind of awkward turn. he seized on comments from rapper kanye west who fired off a series of tweets this week ahead of his album's release. >> kanye looks and he sees black unemployment at the lowest it's been in the history of our country. he sees that stuff and he's smart and he says you know what, trump is doing a much better job
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than the democrats did. remember i was going to get no black votes? i was going to get none? well i got a lot. i've got a lot of support you know, and i should have gotten much more. now they voted for me. crime is way down. and really importantly, the unemployment picture is the best it's been in the history of our country for african-americans. >> joining me now, eddie blog, chairman of the center for african-american studies at princeton university and an msnbc contributor. i've got to get right into it. look there's so much going on here. was kanye tweeting about the unemployment numbers? >> no. and in some ways kanye was trying to, to establish his own kind of independence and from the political process. i don't think the tweet was specifically about the unemployment rate. he has been critical, as i think many of us have been. of the democratic party's position with regards to black communities, often taking black
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communities for granted. he identified with trump in ways that were, that were troubling. so he found himself in a sea of controversy. and rightly so. i think he had to respond to it. >> chance the rapper who weighed in on all this, he was defending kanye first on twitter. saying all black people don't have to be democrats. but then the president gets involved tweeting thanks to chance, and then chance was immediately shoots back saying that ain't it. chance gave a detailed explanation of why he supported kanye but not the president, saying i would never support anyone who has made a career out of hatred, racism and discrimination and he goes on to talk about what's happening in chicago. the president's somewhat feeble response to that city. how do you interpret all of this? >> i take it that chance was defending his friend. you can defend your friend and disagree with your friend at the same time. so what we saw was donald trump
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trying to take advantage of a particular moment in popular culture. to misrepresent his policies. unemployment is at 6.8, 6.9% in african-american communities, we need to understand that that's low and it's a result of economic policies that in fact come out of the obama administration. begin with the obama administration, and the aftermath of the great recession. but when you look at it, the underlying, the underlying dynamics, are still at work. white unemployment is at 3.6%. in some places, 3.3%, we're still twice that of white unemployment. which suggests that inequality is still in the labor market. plus president trump is not taking into account all of the folks who dropped out of the labor market. he's not taking into account the full, full swath of folks who are, who are trying to work, and those numbers look very different. particularly when you account for folks who are locked up. so i think what chance the rapper is doing, is trying to, trying to create a little distance and nuance, so we can
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understand what president trump is doing. the mistake that kanye made and his attempt to kind of treat black folk as if we're this big blob that we all think alike that we're all democrats, that we all hate trump that none of us are republicans. as if we're just one you know, kind of homogenous group. who engages in group-think. that's not us, we're complex human beings like everybody else. >> absolutely. on the issue of race relations, there does tend to be more unanimity on this with regard to this president and his perception in how he handles things. this according to the "associated press" and an orc poll, 91% of african-americans disapprove of the way the president handles race relations. just 8% approve there, eddie. i mean the president won election, essentially with that level of african-american support. even though he said he got a lot of votes, about 8%, do you think he thinks he doesn't need to reach out to the community?
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>> i think he is basically an extension of a strategy of the republican party. before president trump took over and metastasized. thought that the basic strategy was to get a certain pesage of black voters to jeopardize the chance of the democratic party. they had no interest in appealing to black voters, policiwise they engaged in dog whistles, coded racial speech in order to mobilize white fears, the proceedings of the national academy of sciences released a statement saying it wasn't economic insecurity driving the trump voter, it was a status threat. the sense that the america is becoming a majority/minority nation. that in some ways white america was losing ground, particularly white men. and so you know, this idea of donald trump being concerned about black folk, is just simply ridiculous to my mind. and what we see, i think, is in
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black communities, a real demand for serious policy. just because we disagree with donald trump, just because we think, i think he is a bigot, doesn't mean that i'm going to run with my hands wide open to a democratic party. who in some instances takes advantage of black voters. >> eddie, it always makes sense, plrly coming from you. i do wish i could have more time with you, i could chat with you all day. but we'll do it again, i promise, eddie, thank you so much. have a great day. coming up, what to make of the house intel committee's final report on russia, whether republicans tried to explain away some inconvenient truths. then at the top of the hour, the controversial firing of the house chaplain. "a.m. joy" has the latest on this uproar.
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president trump is wrapping up his push for an end to the russia probe following the release of the final assessment by the republican house intel members. he tweeted that house intelligence committee rules there was no collusion between the trump campaign and russia. as i've been saying it's a big hoax by the democrats, based on payments and lies there should never have been a special counsel appointed. witch hunt. let's bring in msnbc political analyst, jonathan alter.
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is there anything in this report by the house intel committee republicans that moves this ball forward on trying to wrap up the russia no. it's a complete whitewash report as everybody has expected all along. it does give president trump a talking point and he can say he was cleared by this puppet committee on capitol hill but there's actually something very important that is buried in the democratic response to this. they complained that when this was being investigated there was a call that came into donald trump junior on june 6th, 2016 from a blocked number and it was inbetween calls that he made setting up this meeting, this important meeting that there's been a lot of focus on on june
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9th when russians came to quote dirt. and real indications that that might have been donald trump jr. checking with his father about this meeting, giving him a heads up about this meeting which is the crux of the collusion. the crux of the conspiracy. the events of june of 2016 are critically important in this investigation. the same way it all came down to the events of june 1972. at a certain point investigators focus on the crux of what appears to be collusion in this meeting. >> so add to that that yesterday we learned the russian lawyer from this meeting admits to being an informant for the kremlin. so put that together. was this woefully premature for house republicans?
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>> i think that he is 100% correct that this is something that will allow him to talk to his base and will allow republicans, particularly those up for re-election that this is a complete scam. democrats don't like the president. you guys have to turn out in order to keep us there in the house but at the end of the day i think robert mueller will be the determining factor where this goes so while i think the house is trying to get ahead of this for political reasons i think at the end of the dailey gally speaking our eyes should remain on robert mueller and allow the chips to fall where they may. >> okay. we have former democratic congressman in the house steve israel who is writing about all of this on the hill and we'll put up what he said here. this is a political document written by republican members of congress that fear losing a midterm election. should we be sceptical about
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whatever conclusions the other congressional investigations reach for that very same reason? look it's a midterm election year. >> yeah but the senate intelligence committee is doing it's own investigation and that one has gone forth on much more of a bipartisan basis between them. so there's some possibility that in addition to the mueller investigation, we might get some new credible information out of the senate report and that will come out before the election. it's not clear if it's going to help the republicans this fall. >> okay. i want to get to what joe scarborough did. he wrote in the washington post and reports on the president's increasing reliance on his own instincts and he writes one of the many tragedies of donald trump's life is that there is no
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one on this earth who can save this tortured man from himself. but that hasn't worked for president trump so far. it's brought him where he is today. is it possible he is his own best strategist, spokesperson, deal maker, all of that? >> i think as it pertains to running for office and i have worked for three presidential candidates and governing are two different things. donald trump's personality and i'm just merely analyzing here works very very well when a candidate is trying to run for political office and win and appeal to certain demographics but when you're governing you have to turn that off some what and behave and act a little bit differently and one of the most critical and fundamental issues for president trump is when it mattered most he hasn't been able to do that. he hasn't been able to show that discipline and level of gatt
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discipli discipline and that level of disearnment and i also think that's why republicans are going to be hurt a little more than what they should come november although historical precedent does say we should indeed lose the house. >> does shermichael have a point there? it all worked for the president as a campaigner but is it just not working for him in terms of coming to policy and governing the country? is that where he should have had the change? a lot of people expected he would. many people thought he might change. that's why we're going to vote for him. >> well, they were wrong in thinking that because 70-year-old men don't change. women either at advanced age. he is who he is. a nasty narsicist and proven liar. if you dig into the approval numbers and the disapproval numbers you find an intensity gap. so while 41% of the majority of
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americans who disapprove of ton donald trump feel very intense disapproval like i do, only 19% of those who approve of donald trump feel intense approval. so this base that you've heard so much about is pretty shaky. they're not very intensely committed and that's why republicans are so worried about the midterms. there 19% that he could shoot somebody on 5th avenue and they would still vote for him but there's not a lot more than that that really strongly approve. >> real quick i'll out of time. >> historically speaking i disagree. since the end of world war ii the president who has been in office his party typically does lose around 26 seats in the house. democrats only need 24 seats to
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win. there's nothing new under the sun here. there's precedent for us to lose this year. >> sure. >> good to see you both. >> that's a wrap for me this hour. i'll see you at noon eastern. am joy is next with the latest on the president's plan to be a no-show at a big washington event tonight. managing blood sugar is not a marathon. it's a series of smart choices. and when you replace one meal or snack a day with glucerna made with carbsteady to help minimize blood sugar spikes you can really feel it. glucerna. everyday progress.
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