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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  October 4, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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find me any time on twitter. coming up, my dear friend, hallie jackson. >> stephanie ruhle, thank you very much. i am hallie jackson. on capitol hill you have all 51 republicans potentially getting their first chance to get a look at that fbi report. fbi's finding, who agents talk to and who was shut out. somebody who knows judge kavanaugh joins us live. as the senate barrels toward a vote four lawmakers hold the keys. we're live to show you what those four are saying. all of it, leading to what could be an october surprise. after two years of liberal s seething on the sidelines, has kavanaugh flipped the midterm enthusiasm factor to the republicans? every angle covered right now, democrats and republicans who have access to or are getting
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briefed on this new fbi supplemental background check on premium court nominee brett kavanaugh. capitol hill is where the action is this morning. garret, let's start with you. you are stationed in a hallway. i know you can't get too close to this secure facility where senators and staff have the opportunity to look at this report. tell me who you've seen in and out so far and how this goes, how this unfolds. >> reporter: sure, hallie. this is the only game in town in the u.s. senate today. everything has stopped while senators get a chance to review this report. committee hearings are canceled and delayed so that every senator, and we'll start with republicans, have a chance to go in and review what is in this fbi report. judiciary committee chairman chuck grassley had a chance to review it this morning. he just put out a statement saying there was nothing in there that changed his view on kavanaugh and looks forward to voting yes. dianne feinstein was in there earlier this morning and over the last ten minutes or so we've begun to see rank and file
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republican senators arrive for this briefing. i actually just watched bob corker come down this hallway behind me, surrounded by protesters urging him to keep an open mind and possibly reconsider his vote on this matter. right now we expect to see all these republican senators going in, get their briefing. some senators will spend additional time reviewing these individual documents, individual notes on individual interviews themselves and over the next eight to ten hours or so, this workday here in the u.s. senate, we'll start to see how some of these undecided senators break down. for now all the action is behind closed doors as the republicans are getting their first look at what the fbi reports. >> matching the white house, as kelly is going to tell us in a second, saying they see nothing in this report. this is the republicans' view, that would change their mind about brett kavanaugh.
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right? >> reporter: yeah. so there's two elements to keep in mind here. it is a purely partisan basis here. republicans have first crack at these documents. white house getting a chance to look the them overnight, chuck grassley getting a chance to look at them this morning. they're setting up the framing here. chuck grassley not discussing the specifics of what's in this report but saying after being briefed by staff and going over it, he doesn't see anything in there that changes his view of kavanaugh, essentially there's no smoking gun, no further corroborating evidence, nothing that would change his view that kavanaugh was being honest in that follow-up hearing and he is comfortable proceeding with a favorable vote on the judge's confirmation. that could happen as early as tomorrow. >> garrett haake, we'll keep you standing by as you talk to some of those folks coming in and out of this room. i want to go to kelly o'donnell at the white house. democrats are holding a press conference on the hill in 57 minutes. the white house is trying to frame this already, right? we're hearing from the officials
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and from the president, tweeting in the last 30 seconds, too. >> talking about due process and fairness being on trial and also talked about the fact that this process has made voters sort of turn out in addition because of what's been going on with judge kavanaugh. this is the moment recent tweet a couple of minutes ago. very important time in our country, says the president. due process, fairness and common sense are now on trial. there have been times where the president has taken a shot or two at due process. it's notable that he's including it now. we are told that the president was briefed on the subject matter of the fbi report and that will be true for a number of senators, too. i spoke with the senator who said that experts at the committee, there are lawyers and investigators on the staff, are sort of synthesizing everything in those 302 reports as they're known in the parlance of the fbi and if they want to be briefed on the overall impact, that's happening now.
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we've heard that they believe the outcome will be favorable to the white house. here is raj shah a short time ago. >> we are fully confident, after reviewing this information, senators will be comfortable voting yes. >> only nine people -- why should senators up on capitol hill feel this was an all-encompassing process, that everything that should have been -- >> should have been, right? what critics want is a never-ending fishing expedition into high school drinking. that's not what the senators requested or where this investigation's scope went. it went to serious allegations and it tried to corroborate them with a set of interviews. >> reporter: through various attorneys some of the key players in this, debbie ramirez and christine blasey-ford, have expressed their dissatisfaction with this process, believing
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that there was more for investigators to pursue. mitch mcconnell late last night set a vote for friday for the first step of the process of a series of votes for the confirmation of brett kavanaugh and it is still five senators undecided, undeclared. hallie? >> this thing is coming to a head real quick. i hope none of you had fun plan this is weekend because i know where you will be, kelly o'donnell and garrett haake on capitol hill. former fbi supervisory special agent with me. also on set erin blake for the washington post, shannon pettipiece. advanced apologies for when i will inevitably need to interrupt you because we have a lot going on, on capitol hill today. we expect to see senators coming in and out. we'll bring that to you live the second that it happens. as we wait and watch that, john,
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talk me through what exactly is inside this report that senators are looking at right now. what kind of information? how is it laid out? bring us inside the room. >> it will be laid out within the limits of the scope and the time that the fbi had to do the investigation will be a portrait of the individual who is being investigated. that's in any background check. apparently in this case, those leads, which were available, were not run out by the fbi because of the limits of time and scope. that is very, very problematic because that limits the overall portrait. it's like taking the brush out of the hand of the painter midway through the portrait session. what will be in there will be corroborating or not statements, data, information, times, dates,
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et cetera, that may or may not corroborate specific allegations that were brought forward. >> we know that the fbi has spoken with nine people that have been interviewed. we know the names of six of them. we don't know who the other three people are. we know that they originally contacted ten people. it's not clear to us just yet, based on our sources, why that tenth person was actually interviewed. you can see who we know and who we don't know there. dr. ford's attorney sauce because she's not on this list -- you don't see christine blasey-ford on that screen right there. her lawyer says this can't be called an investigation. the fbi was not actually seeking the truth. do you agree? is this a comprehensive investigation or not? >> i actually agree that really this does not fall under the definition of a real authentic fbi investigation. it really is an investigation which is just limited in terms of targeting specific individuals and for reasons
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unknown, eliminating a vast majority of people who could have provided corroborating evidence, corroborating information, positive, negative, neutral, whatever. in an fbi investigation -- i've done these and supervised these. you encourage your agents to go out, cover all bases, run out all leads, develop that comprehensive luxe so whoever is looking at this is well versed and can make that judgment call. this is a judgment call. there's a lot of subjectivity if you don't have all the information. >> this report has gone into the hands of chuck grassley, dianne feinstein and others. each political side, republicans so far, trying to frame a narrative. the white house, republican leadership is saying nothing in this that changes our mind about brett kavanaugh. i imagine we'll hear a different story from democrats in about an hour from now when they speak.
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a lot of this would be answered if the report was made public. right now there's no indication it's going to be. should it? >> yeah, i don't think as a general matter releasing raw fbi material is a good idea. i do think the public is entitled to know, you know, what information the bureau came up with that might bear on the various questions that have been raised about kavanaugh's nomination but i'm not a big fan of -- excuse me -- of releasing, you know, raw interview transcripts or 302s when it's not absolutely necessary to do so. >> so that's really interesting, ben. we actually heard from some people, including what was notable to me, ted cruz, republican, saying hey, maybe this should actually be public. not the raw underlying materials but the report itself. here is a sampling of what folks on the hill are saying about this. >> at this point, my presumption
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would be that the fbi report should be made public. >> these are not normal times and the public needs to know how extensive the fbi investigation was. >> if there was some way for us to be able to present this to the public. i just think it would be helpful to everyone. >> i think a summary of the report that doesn't identify specific individuals or allegations, i do think in the interest of transparency, would be appropriate for the fbi or senate to release a report like that. >> ben, i get your general point that you have concerns about this kind of thing being released but given that this is an exceptional and extraordinary situation, do you agree with those senators that this should get out there? >> to be clear, a summary of the report is different than the underlying information. as i say, i have no problem -- i think the public is entitled to know what's in there and what the findings are. i do think, you know, when people are interviewed by the
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fbi, i do want both for the integrity of the bureau but also privacy of the individual, i don't think dumping data in the public's lap is a good idea. should the public know what's in the report? absolutely. >> there's been a question, right? are we going to see leaks from this report as senators now look at this? some of their staffers look at this as well? >> it's not even a question. of course we're going to see leak leaks. >> that's literally our jobs. what are you hearing so far? >> if you get out ahead of things, if you know it's going to leak, put your version out before someone gets to make the narrative. the white house, very confident today. i think even before this investigation came back, they were confident. they knew that they have the ability and the senate had the
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availability to rein this in. they were told they could not interview ford that they were to rely on the transcripts, and focus in on very specific instances, not a broader pattern of drinking or anything look that. >> the idea that whether we get a summary or not, the idea that this was ever going to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt for senators at issue here was always unlikely. and it became even more unlikely when we learned, as it went on, that this was not going to address, necessarily, the denials that brett kavanaugh had offered, that it was not going to address what he wrote in that high school yearbook or address his claims about drinking back in the day. >> right. >> that would be something that would be disprovable. that would be something that was firm. so i think whether we get a
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summary or not, it's very bei unlikely anything would change here. >> we've been writing about your concerns of brett kavanaugh, not just this allegation of misconduct against him but his attitude essentially. explain that. >> i have grave concerns about christine blasey-ford's story. i tend to think the better part of the evidence weighs in her favor at this point i suppose the fbi's investigation could quens me otherwise. i see no reason not to believe her at this point. in addition, i have real concerns about the integrity of some of judge kavanaugh's testimony on matters related to the atmospherics of the culture of georgetown prep and the culture in which this took
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place. and i feel that his conduct was unbefitting the judiciary, unbefitting the supreme court and beneath him personally. >> ben wittis, thank you for that perspective, one that the white house would vehementally disagree with, as we heard from raj shah earlier in this broadcast. breaking news out of the justice department, unrelated to brett kavanaugh. new charges against russians. justice correspondence pete williams is joining us from the doj now. tell us what's been going on over the last little bit there. >> this is yet another accusation by the united states about russian hacking, stealing information and using it to try to influence public opinion about russia. this didn't have anything to do with the election, though. this is a very unusual coordinated effort by the u.s., the uk and canada to basically name and shame russian intelligence operatives. what they say is basically that russians did two things here.
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first, they hacked into anti-doping agency and basically sports referee organizations around the world, upset that the russians were caught doping their athletes in the olympics. they say the russians were trying to discredit these organizations and also released sensitive medical information about u.s. athletes, often wrongly accusing them of doping. and then the second part of this, the coordinated effort among other countries is to say that the russians were hacking into the organizations that were analyzing the chemical weapon that was used in the attempted assassination in the uk earlier this year. four of those operatives, they say, entered the hague and were caught red handed trying to hack into the orgs analyzing those weapons. once again, the u.s. is not generically naming the russians. they're individually naming them with wanted posters. the actual names of the seven operatives, including their
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pictures, hallie. >> pete williams live from the doj, thank you for that. >> you bet. >> appreciate that. the fbi report is under lock and key on capitol hill. how it will impact the final findings as we are now getting a breakdown of which senators have seen this report so far and which have not. we'll bring that to you right after the break. 'll bring that after the break. i can't believe it. that everything sticks to stefon diggs's hands? no, i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on my car insurance with geico. cool, huh?
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right behind closed doors just down that hallway you're looking at that live shot. if you kept walking down that hall you would hit the room where republican senators are getting their first look at brett carve knauss's fbi background investigation. by our count 30 senators so far have walked into that room. democrats are getting the opportunity to look at this background investigation as well. we're expecting to hear from them in about 40 minutes from now. some concerns from some corners, senior u.s. official and two others briefed on this investigation tell us the fbi was limited in scope, significantly, even after the white house gave investigators the green light to interview whoever they wanted.
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remember, more than 40 people with potential information were not contacted, in addition to two of brett kavanaugh's accusers, dr. christine blasey-ford and julie swetnick. brett kavanaugh is on that list, too. they did both talk extensively publicly in that hearing last week. freshman roommate at yale says no one reached out to him even though he says he has information he wants to share about kavanaugh's college years. >> if i were looking to understand the facts i would look for people who had firsthand information about it and would try to determine what they know and didn't know. that hasn't happened. it surprised me a lot to hear him say he never blacked out. i would be in that room and he would come down and was slurring, yelling, making loud noises and, yeah, very drunk. >> so, still with us from san francisco, joining us on set. capitol hill reporter are back with us as well.
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leeann, we know that the fbi investigation has taken five days. that's how long it took to be completed. there are questions about the scope and who they talked to. they spoke with nine individuals. you feel there should have been more? >> ten individuals were contacted. they spoke to nine. you don't have to submit to an interview if you don't want to. these were related to kavanaugh and ramirez during their time at yale, people who lived in these suites and reached out to the fbi but they were not spoken to and there was a new one this morning that came out in the new yorker, kenneth appold, saying he could corroborate ramirez's claims. >> i want to bring john in on that. there's a question about that, right? he said he didn't actually hear
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about this from ramirez herself. he said that he heard about this from a third person, this person x eyewitness individual. that person was contacted by the new yorker, john, and said they didn't remember. raj shah talked about that this morni morning from the white house. >> there's an individual who claims to be able to corroborate her story that has spoken extensively to the new yorker. this individual says i can corroborate it, but he wasn't there. he has never spoken to debbie ramirez. he claims he heard the story secondhand. the new yorker spoke to that individual who supposedly told him. he doesn't know about this story. i'm not going out on a limb when a say that's basically an example of hearsay and that's not really worth the fbi's time. >> john, does the white house have a point? is that not worth the fbi's time, to go look into something that is that removed from the original source?
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>> it is absolutely the fbi's time to look into that investigation. it is a classic example of what the fbi does so well, to take things which are rather ambiguous and literally, in our terminology, run them out to the very end and determine from a series of interviews what may or may not be truthful, relevant, corroborated or not. this is the definition of what the fbi would like to be doing. the limits, which i'm hearing have been placed upon this investigation, are appalling. it truly limits the fbi into that i question what the senate is getting from the fbi is truly an investigation. they're getting situations, partisan to a degree, not from what the fbi did but what the fbi was prevented from doing. >> can you explain the disconnect here, leann?
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the president gave free rein, gave the green light. told the fbi, talk to whoever you want to talk to. we're also hearing about these concerns of limitations. what is this? is this selective storytelling so that the white house can paint the fbi as a villain and the fbi can paint the white house as a villain? >> that's the public message that the white house and republicans need to give, this is a very extensive investigation. that's what susan collins, jeff flake and lisa murkowski need to hear in order to say this is a legitimate investigation. they expanded the investigation a little bit and went beyond the four people. they talked to nine people. are those the nine people that could actually corroborate some of the claims made by these women? >> very quickly, shannon, you're reporting that fbi director christopher wray is documenting meticulously every single interaction with the white house that he can't then be -- >> do you think 18 months of
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tweets have taught him a lesson or two? the white house has painted the fbi as hillary clinton supporters. >> get back to the hill. we need you over there. thank you for coming out and hanging out on set. the senate is expected to start in 30 minutes. watch mitch mcconnell put things in motion for a final vote on brett kavanaugh. as that all starts a handful of senators are still on the fence. so, will this report get them over the line? get them over the le?in
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as the supreme court battle plays out on capitol hill, confirmation battle of judge kavanaugh, north dakota, democratic senator heidi heitkamp back behind her republican challenger kevin cramer 12 points. then tennessee, marsha blackburn is picking up steam in her lead over phil bredesen and in missouri, claire mccaskill is now tied with josh hawley. last month she was up three points. shannon pettypiece and aaron blake is here as well. sar sarah, let me start with you and the president's point online.
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the harsh and unfair treatment of judge brett kavanaugh is having an incredible upward impact on voters. do you agree? >> absolutely. it's playing out across the country. republicans, who were sleepy in this election cycle, are now energized and they're energized because they believe democrats are trying to steal a supreme court seat away from them in a very unfair and unjust way. and so people like heidi heitkampf, joe mansion, claire mccaskill have a political calculus to make. >> claire has already said she's going to vote against him. >> for conservatives it's not just a confirmation -- i was on the campaign trail for a long time. >> yeah. >> court battles motivate voters, period, on the right. that is something that i have heard from every spectrum of folks i spoke to on the campaign trail. the other piece of it is anger against democrats and the media
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that is seeming to mobilize republicans here. >> that's right. and certainly donald trump has done a lot -- >> fanned those flames. >> fanned those flames and i don't agree with him when he attacks the fake news but i think a lot of journalists have had a lot of difficulty hiding their stripes on this issue and the american voters see that and they're seeing through it. it's another part of -- it's fed right into what donald trump has said for two years. >> you have a little bit of a take on it here. your piece out in "time," you spent the last year talking to women all around the country and say this is like watching the 2016 election all over again. your piece starts with this striking anecdote of the calm silver blond woman and then the angry man accused of sexual misconduct allegations. this time there are no hacked e-mails or immigration debates to distort the central question.
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when she says one thing and he says another, whom does america believe? >> i spent the last year talking to women voters and women organizers. one of -- there are two big things that have changed. one is the me too movement, which has sort of made the male impunity that allowed donald trump to get elected, sort of crumble a little bit. and the other is that there is a new and incredibly angry base of women voters who are super energized around this election. 71% of democratic women said they were extremely motivated around the mid term election. now the question is, are those voters -- you know, are the democratic women who would be motivated by kavanaugh, are they the same ones that were motivated a month ago and a year ago and have been marching in the women's marches? that's possible. so, what you might see happening now is a base of republican
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voters, specifically republican wom women, who are suddenly kind of waking up to this and also beginning to pay more attention. >> charlotte, as you were posing that question, is this the same base, are these the same women who have been angry, sara, you were nodding your head. you think it is? >> that group of voters was angered the day that donald trump won the election and have been motivated to vote ever since. it's one reason you see the generic ballot for democrats, plus ten for most of the cycle, both the enthusiasm all signs have been pointed to a very big democratic win in part because many of these democratic women and people who only vote in presidential elections, young women, minority voters, college-educated women in some counties, they're voting and democrats will do well because of it. the difference now is that all of a sudden a very sleepy republican base has woken up. >> i heard the same thing from
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the white house. i said isn't this kavanaugh fight just energizing democrats? they said democrats were already at an 11. we weren't going to upset them any more by this. that they're tracking the same calculus. >> there is a turnout. so i'll say the most cliche thing, so apologies. it all comes down to turnout. it really does. you look at turnout, 35 to 40% in midterm elections the last three elections. do you see that number getting higher based on the women you're talking to? as we look at this showdown between the angry white conservative man and the furious democratic woman? >> absolutely. so, look, i have been talking to mostly reporting on these angry women. and what i'm seeing from them is essentially a personal transformation from ordinary person who votes sometimes, not
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always, to person who is marching in the women's march to person who is organizing all of her friends and neighbors to write postcards and donate money and knock on doors. i think what this will really depend on is not only whether those individual angry women turn out to vote themselves but whether they also get everybody else on their pta to vote, whether they bring a lot of their community around with them. and that's -- again, it's impossible to know. i don't have a crystal ball. you're absolutely right that sleepy republicans are being woken up by this. one other thing to consider, though, is that there's also a generational aspect to this, right? so younger voters, voters under 35 oppose kavanaugh by 2-1. we're seeing enormous efforts being made on the democratic side to energize these younger voters to register voters on college campuses, to get young voters, particularly in florida and texas to get to the polls. young voters are typically pretty bad at showing up.
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we'll see if this election -- >> if this changes that. >> there's a real generational thing here. this is a generation that's been raised thinking about consent, thinking about sexual assault. they were young people during the clinton years. they have a different social attitude towards these sexual questions and we'll see if this is something that motivates them. >> aaron, extremely quickly here, 548 has new forecasts out today showing that the chance of democrats retaking the house seems to be slipping. is that because of kavanaugh? >> yes, in a word, because of north dakota, because of the polls that you showed before. at the same time i would say that their odds of holding the house becomes perhaps less so because that's a very different battleground. this is being fought in the suburbs where we could have conservative-leaning women who could potentially be alienated
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by all of this, too. >> "time" magazine christine blasey-ford, her image created by the words she used to describe her experience in her testimony. >> we are going literally to the other side of the world. first lady melania trump on her trip to africa. hans nichols is live. you see him there. give me a wink. see you in a second. [ beep ]u in a seco. first man is "the best movie of the year." [ dramatic music playing ] that's unbelievable. [ alarms blaring ] [ grunting ] [ heavy breathing ] what's going on neil? we have serious problems. we're tumbling end over end up here. [ grunting ] [ heavy breathing ] [ heavy breathing continues ] first man. experience the moon in imax.
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first lady melania trump is landing in malawi. she has been warmly received so far, even after her husband made the controversial comments about the continent earlier this year. the message from mrs. trump? less s-hole. more be best. say it. wait. we'll play that sound bite coming up in a second. nbc's hans nichols is live in malawi with more.
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and author of "on behalf of the president" joins me as well. hans, let's start with you. we had a tape snafu there. the first lady has been talking about the importance of education, trying to bring her be best campaign to an international audience. right? >> reporter: her message is clear. thank you, thank you, thank you. she said that in numerous ways. the u.s. ambassador says malawi is small, poor and welcoming. the welcoming is certainly true. we see that on the faces of the children greeting melania trump. she touched down a couple of hours ago. the messages she's sending are where she goes, the gestures. she went to a school. the brutal math of the school shows you how difficult it is to generate, to educate the next generation of malawians. a student to teacher ratio of 111-1. these are class sizes they're dealing with.
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they have outdoor classes. when it rains, they have to dismiss the students we spoke to the head teacher there a few hours ago. she spoke about how incredibly proud, touched and honored she was to have the first lady come all this way to visit her. let's listen, hallie, to what we heard from melania. this was earlier. e? >> thank you for having me here and thank you for a beautiful, warm welcome. i wanted to be here to see the successful programs that the united states is providing to the children. and thank you for educating them to be best, be their best and to grow up being educated adults for generations to come. thank you very much. >> reporter: now, hallie, she is touting the amount of aid that the u.s. gives through usaid. they're very grateful and thankful of that here in malawi.
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her husband, the president of the united states, has reportedly suggesting cutting back u.s. aid and making it align with other interests. malawi is desperately poor, 77% of the population living on less than $2 a day. chinese are here, scouting out mining opportunities. it's not obvious what a strategic interest is in a country like this. her message is be best and try to grow the next generation of leaders and have females that are more empowered, stay in school longer and don't get pregnant so quickly. that's her message here. she will be heading up and going to kenya on her next stop. you have two choices of beer here, cucci cucci and chill. chill has 4%. i hate to disappointment you, it's not always chilled. hallie? >> you would, hans. i know. all right. do it. have fun. thank you very much for that report. hans nichols there. lauren wright, let me bring you
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into that conversation. prior to his beer rundown, he was talking about this needle that melania trump needs to thread, the president threatening to pull aid from many of the countries that she is now visiting or pulling aid generally. how does she walk that line and navigate that? >> it's not clear to me whether this trip will have any sort of politic political impact, hallee. you know, my research shows that when first ladies go abroad and explicitly vouch for the president's foreign policy agenda, that can have a tremendous impact. when they go to the american public and talk about the president's character, say he does care about people, that can have an impact. but this trip doesn't really fall into one or the other category, if there is a strategic purpose, it's being very well hidden. i'll just say it is important for the u.s. to have a sober, compassionate, highly visible, nonpartisan representative
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abro abroad, and that person is not donald trump, not mike pompeo, not ivanka trump. it's the first lady. >> how is she doing overall in your view? you talk about her not having much of a political impact. is she having a soft diplomacy impact? >> the big impact is the media coverage. it's positive, happy and her interaction with these kids is positive. people like to see that personal side of the white house. that's what the first lady does. what we've seen is that first ladies have an unmatched ability to garner attention. people are just fascinated with them. and so when you do have very poor countries like malawi where only 40% of the population -- or 40% is illiterate, rather, you couldn't have a better spokesperson than someone so popular with so much international interest. that's the real impact, i think,
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right there. >> lauren wright, thank you very much for joining us to talk through that. appreciate you coming on the show. >> thanks. >> live look back here at home on capitol hill. democrats in about 12 minutes from now are going to be at that podium to talk about the fbi report on brett kavanaugh. the ranking member of the judiciary, dianne feinstein, along with democratic leader chuck schumer are briefing members of their party. we'll hear from them shortly. another story we're watching comes from south carolina. ambush from police officers overnight. one of them was killed. six others hurt. investigators say somebody opened fire on the officers while they were serving a search warrant. the shooter then barricaded himself inside a home, taking some kids hostage for two agonizing hours. he is now under arrest and in custody. he is now under arrest custody.
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right now senate republicans are behind closed doors getting their private briefing on the fbi's findings. at the top of the hour, about seven minutes from now, all senate democrats will have their chance to talk about and to review that fbi report as we hear from them. as the vote on brett kavanaugh gets closer, let's talk about winners and losers here, if they are any politically we're talking about. let's get to nbc's kasie hunt on capitol hill. bring us up to speed here. i imagine there's been some developments. what are you hearing, what are you seeing as we take a look at these live shots from the hill? >> reporter: well, hallie, actually right now it sort of feels like we're walking on a wire, and we haven't really seen
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anything break open yet. the republicans are still huddled looking through this fbi investigation. we did hear from chuck grassley, which i think you reported earlier saying there's nothing new here. that is potentially, you know, the response that we expected considering that the white house also seemed to say before this was sent up here they didn't think there was any corroborating evidence, that this wouldn't change the game. you talk about political winners and losers, and our great team at -- wrote a little bit about this this morning. this is kind of a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. the people at the very center of this, susan collins, lisa murkowski, jeff flake are under enormous pressure. they were under pressure before, but the way that this has unfolded has made it so much worse. frankly, even these hallways they're sort of thick with tension. there's quite a bit of rancor back and forth among protesters, the senators, the reporters in the hallways. i think, you know, clearly
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everything is really balanced on a knife's edge here, and we, again, want to underscore that the only people that matter are jeff flake, susan collins, lisa murkows murkowski, potentially joe mansion depending on how this breaks. those are also people who have been trying to basically avoid the cameras. senator collins has dealt with threats as of late. she had to be escorted from the capitol in a police car. we are waiting and watching. we're going to hear from the democrats at 11:00 at a press conference. down here is where jeff flake normally walks through. we haven't seen as much of him lately. we will keep you posted with any new developments. >> i understand senator menendez was out here talking about this as well. i think we can play that. >> in fact, the reports that dr. ford has not been interviewed and judge kavanaugh has not been interviewed, and the individual that dr. ford might have offered as corroboration for some of her
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testimony, it is an incomplete report by any stretch of the imagination. >> it seems like that's kind of a preview of what we might hear from that podium on the left side of our screen as democrats come up to react to this report. sarah sanders is actually gaggling on the white house lawn. we're going to listen in. >> so when the fbi didn't follow up on those things, i don't think we're going out on a limb to say -- >> have the votes for confirmation at this point? >> we hope so. we feel we didn't learn anything new and based on what we knew before, we felt very confident. >> read the letter signed by the 1,500 law professors encouraging the senate vote to confirm kavanaugh? >> in case you missed my apology at the beginning of the show for interrupting inevitably. we wanted to listen to sarah sanders. getting the white house's perspective on this which is this report changes nothing.
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what we will likely hear from democrats is this report wasn't a report at all. it was too limited. is that a fair assessment? >> reporter: because judge kavanaugh and dr. ford were not interviewed by the fbi, that means that this investigation is not credible, and i think you're going to hear more and more democrats making that argument, but of course i think the question is how do senators flake, murkowski and collins feel? do they feel this was a credible investigation. do they feel that the public understands it to be an fbi investigation? i do think that's a real question here. do people, do their constituents feel as though this actually represents having an fbi investigation? that was kind of the working theory on how these senators might get to yes is that they could say, well, look, we had the investigation. it didn't corroborate the allegations. we believe her, but you know, we're still going to vote for him. a lot of those questions swirling. >> kasie hunt, good luck with senator jeff flake if he does walk down that hallway.
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we want to get to our sources say segment. you've been working on stories related to this, exactly what we're talking about here. >> on this topic of the kavanaugh impact. the white house thinks it's going to help them in the senate. they now see picking up four senate seats in missouri, north dakota, indiana, and florida, which is kind of an interesting one. they also think new jersey they might have a shot at. >> do they think this enthusiasm can sustain for the next month? >> obviously there's so much that could happen between now and then. what i was told was it lit a fire, it sparked republicans. maybe they're not talking about kavanaugh on election day. it's gotten them looking into their candidates and these issues a bit more. >> what are you working on? what do your sources say? >> keep this name in your back pocket, marianne trump berry. yesterday "new york times," the big report about the trump finances, they used the term fraud objectively saying this was a conclusively a fraudulent scheme for fred trump to pass
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his wealth to his children: president trump's sister is a federal judge and an active federal judge who according to a great story could potentially be impeached. there could be some repercussions given her role as a judge. if democrats feel they can't necessarily go at the president with this, we could see some kind of an effort to bring up marianne trump berry's role in this as a means of having a proxy battle over this whole thing, which of course has gone beyond the statute of limitations in almost all of these cases. >> criminal penalties probably would be out. democrats do want to go after the president on this based on my conversation yesterday on this broadcast. >> it's a way to keep it in the news for sure. >> and civil penalties, too. >> you mean he could still face a fine? >> civil penalties. >> exactly. if the new york state tax department does decide it wants to move forward on that, it seems as though they're looking into it. >> thank you for coming on on another very busy news day. i'm going to turn it over to my friend craig melvin, who is back at headquarters in new york. all the action is down here in
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d.c. today? >> as it usually is, hallie jackson. thank you so much. catch your breath. craig melvin here on a busy, busy, busy thursday morning here at msnbc headquarters in new york city. we start with that breaking news. vote countdown, the fbi report is in. right now senators are feverishly going through what investigators found about the allegations against supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. any moment now democrats will be speaking publicly about the findings. we also expect to be hearing through lawmakers throughout the hour. plus, a new report says this entire confirmation saga may be just what the republicans needed to fight back against the blue wave they expect in november. how it's giving them hope and energy for the upcoming midterms. more on that in just a moment. we start with that breaking news, the dramatic tug of war surrounding the kavanaugh fbi report is heating up right now on capitol hill. senators are getting their first look at that

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