tv Kasie DC MSNBC December 16, 2018 4:00pm-6:00pm PST
, or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. join over 250,000 patients who have chosen humira. ask about the #1 prescribed biologic by dermatologists. humira... and go. ♪ welcome to "kasie dc." i'm kasie hunt. we're live every sunday from washington, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. eastern. michael cohen sentenced. michael flynn set to be sentenced. george papadopoulos, out of prison and ready to run for congress. but where are federal investigators going with all of these cases? michael cohen's spokesman lanny davis joins me live on set as cohen's former boss calls him a rat. later, senator bob corker on why this may not be his last chapter in politics. i talk to him exclusively about
why there may be a 2020 challenger in the republican party. and just a few minutes, we'll talk about a new report out about the lengths the russian-backed disinformation campaign went to tilt the election in favor of republicans. the draft report prepared for the senate intelligence committee found that russia used every major u.s. social media platform to try and elect president trump. we'll talk more about this new reporti ining that "the washing post" got their hands on in just a moment. first, the president himself is facing legal challenges on more fronts than ever before. "the washington post" writing today, quote, two years after donald trump won the presidency, nearly every organization he has led in the past decade is under investigation. among them -- >> the trump campaign. the transition. the inauguration. the trump foundation. the trump organization. great, great company. >> and according to brand-new polling, the sheer tonnage of those investigations may be taking a toll.
in our nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, 62% say the president has not been honest and truthful about the russia probe. and 50% say the investigation has given them doubts about his presidency. meanwhile, 43% say they approve of the job the president is doing. 54% say they disapprove. that is a negative swing of 9 points since october. and for this president who is who better to blame than his former attorney general. the president tweeting today, jeff sessions should be ashamed of himself for allowing this total hoax to get started in the first place. want to welcome my panel. joining me on set, intelligence and national security reporter ken dilanian. shawna thomas, former spokesperson for vice president mike pence, the national reporter for "the washington post," matt visor and former u.s. attorney and msnbc contributor joyce vance. thank you all for being here
tonight. joyce, i want to start with you. to try and put the weight of these investigations around the president into some context, there's been some conversations and quotes i've seen come up. john dean had a tweet suggesting that this was perhaps worse than what happened during watergate. is there any scenario where, if this wasn't the president of the united states, and you were just a businessperson or somebody in -- maybe even in public life who is facing the sheer number of investigations that the president is facing, that there wouldn't be one somewhere that would come up with something that was a major criminal offense? >> you know, as a prosecutor, i always like to wait and see what the evidence says when it's all in. but with that caveat, if the president was a businessman who wasn't protected from indictment by the doj's policy, his lawyers would be in the process of negotiating some kind of a
global settlement, global plea deal for him. just based on the publicly known information. there's good reason to believe that there are criminal charges against the president ranging from campaign finance to obstruction. we haven't seen all of the information about the foundation and inauguration yet but that looks problematic as well. and so the president's repeated cries of witch hunt or they're out to get me. at some point that wears very thin as layer upon layer of wrongdoing and misconduct is weighted down by the president's changing stories, his constantly shifting stories, which is such a hallmark of a guilty mind. >> shawna thomas, how is the president get anything work done that's not about this. there are some reports he's on key days sitting in the residence just watching television. >> and tweeting apparently. >> i don't really know how he's get anything work done especially because he has a chief of staff on the way out. that's the kind of person who helps make sure all of these
things run. he's trying to pick a new chief of staff. yes, mick mulvaney will be the acting chief of staff. he still has to pick one permanently. he still has to fill a lot of cabinet positions. ryan zinke is on his way out. doesn't seem like he's focused on his job that much. but he does still travel. he went to the g20 a month ago and talked to china. at least we have that. >> although that was consumed with everything happening here at home. mark lauder, how do republicans defend this? >> well, i think a couple things. what we've seen from "the washington post" report and what we've seen from others is it really reinforced what many already believe is that this is an investigation of a person in search of a crime. this is not how our justice system works. this is the entire weight of every justice agency, the acting -- or incoming attorney general for the state of new york and many others saying we are going to investigate donald trump until we find something that he did wrong. but as to how things get done -- >> so you're saying that the --
you're saying that the justice department is acting outside of the normal boundaries in order to pursue all of this? that all of this is simply a fraud? >> what we have seen is the bar keeps moving. it started off with alleged collusion, which -- >> the story keeps changing, though. the president -- every new fact we find out, we find out more information about what the president lied about. >> but every time we find something, there's another new investigation. they are finding something new to go after. we saw some reports that they are looking for his taxes going back decades. there are things -- they are looking and looking until they find something that they can try to pin to this man, which is also, i believe, one of the reason yes they have tightened the screws on just about everyone who knows him trying to get them to flip, trying to get them to say something that he did wrong. >> but they are apparently saying things. michael cohen is saying that he helped commit a crime on behalf of the president of the now president of the united states. >> what he admitted to was not
necessarily even a crime. and it has been proven by many times that this is a civil action. >> giuliani said that today, but it is not necessarily a civil action. i mean, if it is found -- we're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars two weeks ahead of an election. he's directing what michael cohen said were specifically dirty deeds. >> we've also seen in the past that campaign finance violations have been handed civilly. president obama took millions of dollars in misreported donations. he was fined $375,000. bernie sanders had illegal foreign assistance during his campaign in 2016. he was fined $14,500. >> i would just point out none of that was deliberate. it was discovered. >> but what we also know, and this was brought up in a very good piece this week on the hill is that to knowingly and willfully violate the law, you actually have to know that it's against the law. you have the fec commissioners and many campaign finance
lawyers say because of the john edwards case and many post-fec rulings that this was not even against the rule. >> if this was any of us normal americans, the justice department would be going after all of this. let's walk through the timeline. the president was first asked about the stormy daniels hush money payment ahead of air force one in april and denied having any knowledge of it whatsoever. >> did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. >> then why did michael cohen make it, if there was no truth to the allegations? >> you have to ask michael cohen? michael is my attorney. and you'll have to ask michael. >> this week, somebody did ask michael cohen. >> he directed me to make the payments. he directed me to become involved in these matters. including the one with mcdougal. >> and he knew it was wrong? >> of course. >> and he was doing that to help his election? >> he -- you have to remember at what point in time that this
matter came about. two weeks or so before the election. post the billy bush comments. so, yes, he was very concerned about how this would affect the election. >> this morning, the president's lawyer rudy giuliani called cohen a liar repeatedly and insisted the hush money payments were not illegal. >> it's not a crime. it's not a crime, george. paying $130,000 to stormy whatever and paying $130,000 to the is not a crime. the edwards case determined that. >> the edwards case is the precedent. it's the only time they've ever prosecuted campaign finance under this theory and john edwards was acquitted, but the judge did rule this is a crime, can be a crime, and the fact -- >> they just said he didn't commit it. >> the jury said he didn't commit it. the facts in this case were stronger. in the edwards case, there were no witnesses who said we paid
this money to influence the election. in the trump case we had two witnesses now saying that. michael cohen and david pecker. mark's got a point. if donald trump wasn't the president, if he was just donald trump the businessman, he wouldn't be under all this scrutiny and there's a relentless momentum when you have a special counsel who has one case and one target essentially. he's also the president of the united states. we hold him to a higher standard. and he hasn't released his tax return. the first president in modern history to have a lack of transparency. he has massive conflicts of interest, a giant business he hasn't divested from. the american people expect these will be investigated and if he's committing crimes, he'll be held to account. >> matt, is there a point at which -- our poll is showing movement on this. what people believe about what the president is saying about this. given how marc is talking tonight, i think you're seeing an example of how republicans may dig in and refuse to say that they are going to change their opinions. >> i mean, i can't imagine scenarios where republicans peel away en masse from donald trump.
i mean, he's proven again and again that this is his party more than any other. in the midterms, that proves that. but i do think the wider electorate. there is signs of people, you know, sort of having enough. of sort of the obfusication and the lies that he has. and so i think there is room to maneuver for mueller as he continues the investigation. >> and i think that's the question. it's about the lies. everyone keeps showing that clip of president trump on air force one talking about michael cohen because, it is one of the clearest versions of, okay, this is a story that changed. so does the american public get to the point they don't like being lied to? maybe this particular thing isn't the important thing the american public cares about being lied to. whether he paid on stormy daniels or whatever. but what is the thing that gets more people there? and i think it's a good question. like shouldn't be expect their president not to lie in public?
>> and you even see it with this argument where it's gone from -- he didn't do it to, if he did it it's not breaking the law. so even the terms of argument from trump on air force one to trump now is different. now he's conseeding, yeah, so i paid her, but so what. so i think that having truth from the white house is an important on this one. >> i get the sense to the point about republicans that the shift may come if there is actually a shoe in the russia collusion question. that's when they may start to lose senators. i want to get your take on something rudy giuliani said this morning. take a look. >> did donald trump know that michael cohen was pursuing the trump tower in moscow into the summer of 2016? >> according to the answer that he gave, it would have covered all the way up to november of -- november 2016. he said he had conversations
about them -- >> earlier they said those conversations stopped in january 2016. >> the date -- until you actually sit down and answer the questions and you go back and look at the papers and the -- you're not going to know what happened. >> did giuliani make a mistake there or did he indicate that, in fact, like the president knew more about this until a later date because before we'd not known this happened all the way up to the election. >> you never know with giuliani but my read is he knew what he was saying. november 2016, which is news, by the way. and this goes to the lies shawna was talking about. we know from the michael cohen plea that he lied to congress about the timing of this trump tower moscow deal which means that donald trump lied when he said during the campaign and then became president, i had no deals with russia, no investments in russia. if they were negotiating this not only through the primaries but the general election and -- they did hide it from the public, trecontrary to what giuliani said. this was a business deal that needed vladimir putin's
approval, by the way. in the cohen court documents they describe a meeting between donald trump and michael cohen about approaching the russian government. so that clearly contradicts what trump is saying about, i didn't have any dealings with russia. >> joyce vance, can you weigh in on the significance of this from a legal perspective, if we do know the president lied about this during the election? >> i think ken makes a really important point when he talks about the john edwards case and reminds us it was a jury that ultimately decided john edwards hadn't violated campaign finance law. here the jury is maybe not a jury inside of a courtroom. trump and giuliani, they are playing to the american people because their jury is folks who will talk with their congressional officials about whether or not impeachment should take place. and that's why we repeatedly see giuliani as the guy who fronts out bad evidence before it can come to light some place else. that's why i think we're learning from giuliani today that the relationship with moscow went on up into november. so that the public is
desensitized to it. they are numb to it. there's no outrage calling for senators to take action. and that, i think, has been the legal strategy that trump has played to all along knowing that it's very unlikely that there will be an indictment. that mueller will seek a formal grand jury indictment against him because of the longstanding doj policy that we've talked about. so this notion that it's the american people sitting as a jury and that the mounting lies, the question becomes whether at some point there's a tipping point where people understand if you are lied to repeatedly, and if you have to lie about all of your contacts with russia, and if you have to lie about the contacts of so many people in your campaign with russia, that there's an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. we haven't reached that point yet, but i think the american people are a very savvy jury, and they'll get there. >> it's certainly a political strategy that they're running. some people are starting to have conversations about whether the founders intended for, if, in
fact, the crime was committed in the course of winning the election that the precedent should stand. we've got more to come. republicans run for cover as the president's legal challenges mount. and later, senator bob corker says the intelligence is so clear, it would take a jury just 30 minutes to convict the crown prince of saudi arabia for his role in the death jof jamal khashoggi. "kasie dc" back after this. that's why i switched to liberty mutual. they customized my car insurance, so i only pay for what i need. and as a man... uh... or a woman... with very specific needs that i can't tell you about- say cheese. mr. landry? oh no. hi mr. landry! liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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a new report out tonight is shedding new light on how extensive russia's disinformation campaign was during the 2016 presidential cycle. "the washington post" obtained a draft for the senate intelligence committee that analyzed millions of posts provided by the major tech companies. it found the operation used most every major social media platform to deliver message s tailored specifically to voters' interests in order to help gete. ken, we're still working on obtaining this report but what stuck out to me in "the post's" reporting is this idea that it was all aimed at helping republicans and then donald trump specifically, and it was over quite a period of time. >> because the intelligence assessment on the entire russian effort which included the hacking of social media stuff was a little more equivocal. it said, yes, the russians -- >> took longer to come up with -- >> this is very definitive, this report by a unit of oxford
university. this is one of two prepared for the senate. and the other one is even more damning and elaborate. and they analyzed millions of social media posts across twitter, facebook and google and readit and saw a massive campaign in favor of trump that continued after he was elected president and is continuing for all we know to this day. >> i want to talk also about republicans, though, in all these investigations because there's an excellent piece in "the washington post" about the awkward position that rank and file republicans continue to find themselves in when it comes to these investigations into the president. oh, i don't do interviews on any of that stuff, senator james risch said when questioned about trump's shifting explanations on efforts to silence women's claims of affairs with him. i don't know anything about that, shelby shed. stop, senator grassley said. i have not heard what you told me. until i read what the president
said, i won't comment on it. honestly, i don't think that's a fair question senator kennedy said when asked if he believes trump's explanation. here's orrin hatch earlier this week. >> i think the democrats will do anything to hurt this president, anything. >> this is the southern district of new york, the u.s. attorney that's making this allegation. >> you think he's a republican, do you? >> he's employed by the president. employed by this president. >> okay, but i -- i don't care. all i can say is he's doing a good job as president. >> he later said in a statement in part, i made comments about allegations against the president that were irresponsible and a poor reflection on my lengthy record of dedication to the rule of law. he said he's confident in bob mueller's investigation. this goes back to the question we were discussing earlier which is, at what point -- i mean,
it's like patently absurd on its face. you walk around to talk to these republicans. paul ryan has become the champion of this. the president tweeted today. the president has legal troubles? i'm sorry. i haven't seen that tweet. >> to be fair if you'll look at this from a political standpoint, what do they gain in what do those republican senators gain or paul ryan gain by calling out the president or calling out an investigation or talking about something they don't totally know what's going on. as all of us have some issues in knowing what mueller is doing because we don't have all the information. from a pr perspective, you don't want to end up in the orrin hatch clip so you say nothing. is that fair to the american public or to the media? does anyone care if it's fair to the media? probably not. it's self-preg preservation to an extent. >> mark pence's -- vice president pence's top aide in the white house, someone we all at this table, i think know,
decided he didn't want to be a white house chief of staff. there's been a lot of suggestion that's because nobody wants to be at the helm of a sinking ship as it's going down into the ocean. do you agree with that assessment? >> absolutely disagree. i talk to nick on a regular basis. he's one of my closest friends and a colleague. i worked with him through the campaign, even when vice president pence was running for re-election as governor of indiana. it was widely known in the vice president's circles that nick was planning to leave at the end of the year and go back to georgia. he'd been chief of staff for about 18 months to the vice president. it's a long job that takes you away from 6-year-old triplets, and he wanted to go home. the opportunity, he was honored to be considered for it and gave it a lot of thought. >> why was the president under such an assumption he was going to take it? >> i'm sure he was giving it serious consideration. he was probably very close. when it came to signing on the dotted line and the thought of not looking into those 3-year-old kids for the next two
years, into their faces, waking them up or tucking them into bed, i know nick. he's very successful, but at the center of his life is his faith and his family. it always has been. >> i'm not going to question his family man credentials. however, he has historically been an ambitious operative. >> i would agree with that. i don't think he could do that for two years. >> joyce vance, i'm curious for you, i mean one of the big questions we've always been asking and there was some pressure over the summer. republicans started saying, hey, it's time for robert mueller to wrap it up. i'm wondering, from your perspective as somebody who has seen at least -- i'm not sure we've seen anything like this, but for someone who has worked in this arena, are there any signs that tell you this investigation is on its way to coming to a close or should we expect this to drag out for six months, a year? >> people forget how incredibly quick the mueller investigation has been. a typical public corruption case, just a domestic one, can take years.
there's a lot of information you have to go through and assess. but i think in many ways, mueller spoiled the country by indicting so quickly. he also, i think, understood how important it was for the country to get closure. if this was any other investigation, i would say that we're not close. there's a lot left to be done. but mueller has worked at a fast pace, and it's also increasingly apparent that mark's comments, not to the contrary, that the goal posts keep moving in this investigation. what's happened is that mueller has followed the jurisdiction that rod rosenstein gave him very carefully. he's clearly looking at whether or not there's collusion with the russians, whether or not there's obstruction, and anything else that arises from that investigation, he seems to be sending to other u.s. attorneys' offices to handle. that's why cohen is in the southern district of new york. i suspect that's why we're seeing other cases in the district of columbia. so mueller's been efficient. whether he can wind this up in
six months seems improbable to my prosecutor sensibility, but maybe he's getting close. >> joyce vance, ken dilanian, thanks for being here. when we come back -- he has called you little bob corker. you've earned a nickname from this president. does that get under your skin? >> no. i mean, i am little. i'm only 5'7". so, no. >> i'm short. once mentioned as a running mate or even secretary of state, he leaves the senate as one of the president's most outspoken critics. just ahead, my interview with senate foreign relations chairman bob corker. don't go anywhere.
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as we approach the end of 2018, a long list of lawmakers are preparing to leave the chambers on capitol hill. senator bob corker is among the most prominent republicans who have openly criticized the president. it's an open question now whether corker or other republicans like jeff flake might challenge the president as a candidate in 2020. i sat down with the chair of the foreign relations committee to talk about whether a run for the
white house is in his future and whether the current president is in serious jeopardy. the michael cohen sentencing memo that was laid out last week. it outlined payments that were made to women right before the 2016 election that were designed to help the president get elected, to cover up his affairs. and those memos indicate the president was involved in directing michael cohen to do that. potentially directing him to commit a felly. do you think there's an impeachable offense? >> so, impeachable, that's a big step. i think the first part, the first time we talked about it, is it illegal, improper? i don't know. i mean, i truly do not know. i'm not -- i'm not a judiciary person. that's something that i think will obviously be litigated, but i just don't know. and i can see on one hand somebody coming into a campaign and feeling like they're being extorted, potentially, you know, wanting something to go away.
on the other hand, i understand if it was done to influence a campaign, i can understand the argument on the other side. so i don't really feel qualified to weigh in. i just don't. >> should donald trump junior be prosecuted if he lied to congress? >> look, i don't want to -- again, you know, i have no real knowledge of what's happening inside these committees. let me say something much more broad. and that is anybody that's lied to congress should be prosecuted. anybody. >> on khashoggi, do you think that saudi arabia has been punished enough for what happened in the killing of jamal khashoggi? >> no. and so we have a difficult situation here. we have a relationship with a country. i think blow out of proportion it's important, but it say relationship that we've had for decades. we've got a crown prince that's out of control. i was in the most recent intelligence briefing, the most
crisp and clear intelligence briefing i've been a part of in 12 years, by far. if he was before a jury, the crown prince, he would be convicted in my opinion in 30 minutes. okay. i've never seen such compelling evidence in an intelligence briefing. never. so you cannot have a crown prince who is 33 years old feeling that he's able to get away with murdering a journalist inside a consulate. you cannot let that stand. now there's also a legislation that menendez is working on. he's going to bring it up this next year. i support the thrust of it. some of it operationally. needs to be worked on, in my opinion. i think then making the country, yes, pay a price for his behavior is the appropriate thing to happen. and i hope that in my absence that the house and senate next year will move toward that end. >> a lot has changed over the course of the last couple of years in your republican party.
you, during the campaign, were out with the president, considered for his secretary of state. now you're leaving washington as one of his most vocal critics. what happened over that arc? >> i donts know. i've served with three difference presidents and worked in different ways with each. certainly when things have happened that i felt like needed to be spoken out against, i've done so but we've also worked very closely with him on so many other things. i came here as a very independent person. i was a business guy in a rough and tumble world, and i've always been that way. i've always been independent. i challenged president bush. i challenged president obama. >> in fairness, you never said either of them were in an adult day care center. >> well, i was trying to be funny and, as it turned out, maybe it was. but i received an incoming tweet over something. and i just responded in my
normal way. so -- yeah. >> he has called you little bob corker. you are somebody who has earned a nickname from this president. does that get under your skin? >> no. i am little. i'm only 5'7". so, no, that's -- i mean, if that's -- you ought to see our social feed from people elsewhere. so, no, it doesn't bother me in the least. >> what do you say to people who are concerned that you're leaving washington at a time when critics of the president are important to have in the republican party. >> look, i do think it's important for people to come here with significant independence. i think there will probably be fewer voices after this last race. there still will be some, but, look, it's very important that our politics not be about tribalism but about what is good for our country. and to strongly support those
things that are, but to strongly oppose those things that aren't. and i've cherished my role here. you know, you build up a lot of political capital in these jobs, and to me, the important thing to do is to use it in a manner that enhances our nation. and i have tried to do that every single day that i've been here. >> what are your plans to keep trying to do that after you leave office in the senate? >> i have absolutely no idea what i'm going to do january 3rd. i will walk my successor down the aisle at about noon on january 3rd. i'll catch a flight back to tennessee, and i have no idea what the future holds. i was fortunate to have two really good runs in business, and so, you know, i don't have any economic pressures. i love business and may well likely throw myself into that. what kind of job would you need to have if you wanted to have a bigger impact than the one you hold right now in the senate? >> this is a very important job, and i'm glad to have done it.
for me, to do it the way i wanted to do it was to serve two terms. as far as other jobs, i don't know. obviously, the most important job, there's one that changes the whole context of our country and just -- it's amazing how each president comes in and how things change so dramatically based on that person's views and personality and conduct. you know, the same time, doing something like that, you know, is a huge step and very few people take that step. >> are you actively thinking about running for president? >> you know, i -- i'm not one of those people. i never have been. you know, the old adage is there's 100 senators who wake up every morning and when they look in the mirror, they feel they're looking at the next president. i've never been that way. i'm not obsessed with it. i do understand the role it plays, the magnificent role it plays in our country. so sometimes i think about it. obviously, the question comes up, whenever i'm going home from
here or coming up here, going through the airports, it never fails that someone asks about that. but that's not something that this moment, as you and i are talking, that i'm focused on. at some point, maybe. >> do you think that president trump should be primaried? >> i do think that we've got to remember what the republican party is. >> that's not a yes or no answer. >> so i don't know that -- i want to get away from here and think about it. this isn't an everyday in the hallway question. i want to get away from here and think about that. what is happening right now is not the standard republicanism that we've had in our country for many, many years. and it's very different. so is it important for someone to get out there and at least remind people in the republican primary what republicans
generally speaking have been about for generations? which i think is important to remind people that we're going through an anomaly right now as it relates to much of the standard republican focus that's been around for a long time. at the same time, a lot of good things are happening. as a republican, i love the fact that we have so many judges that are being confirmed. i love the fact that the animal spirits are being even more so released in the economy. i do. i love all that. >> animal spirits? >> i've had those animal spirits and perspiration on the upper lip when something is getting ready to happen. it's exciting to be in business when things are happening. so i love all those things. the tariffs just willy nilly throwing tariffs around the world. destroying institutions that have served or trying to destroy institutions that have served our country so well, that's a little different. >> is there a world in which you
think a democratic president would be better for the country than a re-elected president trump? >> i don't think the democrats yet are capable of electing a centrist. it just feels like they're being pulled to the side. but i think, for some, you know, someone like that might be appealing. but i don't know. i don't want to speak to that yet. let's see what happens a year from now. let's look at it a year from now. >> refusing to totally rule out voting for a democrat over president trump in 2020. my thanks to senator bob corker. listen to the entire interview on the kasie dc podcast. subscribe wherever you download your favorite podcasts. still to come -- i'm going to talk live with michael cohen's spokesman lanny davis. but first, in the midterms, health care was the top issue according to voters in texas. now a federal judge there has struck down obamacare. we'll talk about what could be a very consequential ruling up next. (burke) parking splat. and we covered it.
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a federal judge in texas ruled the affordable care act unconstitutional in what is just the latest blow to obamacare. the health care law has been systematically chipped away since the president took office and the ruling came on the eve of the open enrollment deadline. the white house anticipates the decision will be taken up eventually by the supreme court which voted to uphold obamacare in 2012. after the confirmation of 12 trump appointees, the court looks much different now than it did then. joining the conversation now, chief white house correspondent for kaiser health news, julie. she helped me when i first -- how long ago did we start covering this? ten years ago at least. and our conversation off camera has already been pretty spirited. what do we think this is going to mean for people who are worried about making sure if they don't have full-time employment that their kids will get covered if they have a
health care problem? >> immediately it should mean nothing. the judge didn't actually issue an injunction to the law. the law goes pop we'll on. we'll be watching the trump administration. they said they'd continue to enforce the law as it stands, and a lot of things the trump administration is doing on drug prices, on medicare and other things all come from authority from the affordable care act. so they'd basically blow up their own health agenda if they agreed with this ruling that the entire law had to be eliminated. >> so we know that congress, at least democrats in congress, plan to try to intervene in this case. can you explain why that's possible based on how this ruling was crafted? >> it's a very strange case. 18 republican attorneys general and two republican governors. and suing the trump administration because they are in charge. and the trump administration said last summer that they didn't agree with the suit but they didn't want to defend the law because they thought maybe just the pre-existing condition provision should be struck down now that the tax is gone. it's not so much the mandate is gone but the tax penalty for not having insurance was taken out
by last year's tax bill. because the trump administration was not defending the case, we had 16 democratic attorneys general step up, and they are defending the law in the case. they are interveners. congress could also intervene and that's -- it's an important question in this lawsuit because the question is what was congress' intent last year when in the tax bill they got rid of the tax penalty. did they mean to leave the rest of the law intact which is what most lawyers said because that's what they did? this judge is reading it that without that tax, the whole rest of the law has to fall. >> if congress were to actually vote to say, no, this is what we meant, that would have some sway with an appeals court. >> interesting. marc lotter, i can't find a republican on capitol hill who will say that they want to take away coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. it's part of why they couldn't get their obamacare repeal across the finish line. we heard it over and over again in the campaign. scott walker in wisconsin was out there running ads about members of his family, even though he was on this lawsuit. how do republicans defend this?
>> well, very easily. we want to protect people with pre-existing conditions. we want to be able to protect children who are 26 years old to stay on there, but you don't need to create government-run health care to do that. >> if you strike all of this down in this lawsuit, where does that leave the american people? >> hopefully it will allow us to start over again and go back to the free market principles and put in the guidelines -- >> health care legislation is like impossible to pass on capitol hill. >> unfortunately it is and it's not going to get any easier with democrats taking control of the house and republicans even the senate. we can craft ideas and come together and do this. there are areas. i believe we saw vermont that had a high risk pool that protected people who had pre-existing conditions that was eliminated when obamacare went into effect. we saw how businesses used to pool their resources together to be able to provide more coverage to people that got eliminated -- >> if you had a pre-existing condition you paid way more
money in health care premium costs. often times uninsurable. that went away. i'm unclear how you'd propose to put it back if -- >> you had states already taking the lead on that. i believe it was vermont. >> there were actually -- florida had a high risk pool closed for 13 years to new entrants. they said we'll give you insurance but won't cover you for the thing you need it for. i did a story about a woman who had breast cancer and was a high risk pool. we'll take you but won't cover your breast cancer. >> we can work together to find ways to do it. i know republicans have wanted to do this. they will continue to do it. they'll want to protect people with pre-existing conditions. let's keep the best part of the law and get rid of the bad parts of the law and get rid of the basic fundamental concept that the government is going to tell the citizens you must buy a consumer product or else. >> i just go back to the reality that you can't have both of those things. >> the reality is, after the affordable care act was
passed -- there are certain things that probably needed to be done to the law. there are still things that need to be done. they didn't have the votes and no one wanted to make a deal on that until they tried to help people. you had republicans trying to repeal and replace for the last two years. and they didn't have a good enough replacement to get enough votes to even peel off a couple of democratic votes to get that through. so i don't know how, especially, if we have 2020 coming up, an election cycle, you are going to get these disparate parts to come together to do something that's incredibly complicated. >> but this is an opportunity, and we know congress prefers to have deadlines. we are going to have a deadline. >> it would be a major crisis. >> we should note that one's coverage -- >> that deadline might not be until 2020. >> and it's important to know that if the entire law went down, it wouldn't just be the things in the law, the whole rest of the health care system is intertwined with this law. it would actually take down a whole lot of the whole health care system beyond just the government stuff >> we'll let julie have the last
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we want to update you on a pair of stories that could have played a role in two of the most closely watched governors races in the country. first, remember this looming question about andrew gillum, the democratic candidate for governor in florida? >> so the gillum race seems interesting, especially interesting, because there's this edition of apparently an fbi corruption investigation in the middle of it, what is that, exactly? >> well, based on a newly released fbi indictment, we now know that the probe implicates another former tallahassee mayor, not gillum. in fact, gillum's name doesn't appear once in all 66 pages of that indictment. you may recall that gillum's republican opponent, ron desantis, who went on to win that race, repeatedly tied gillum to the probe. and republicans spent at least $7 million on tv ads that did the same. and then, of course, there was the claim by george's governor-elect, brian kemp, that the state democratic party tried to hack into the state's voter
database. that charge came just days before he faced off against democrat stacey abrams. "the atlanta journal-constitution" reports that the claim stemmed from a tip by a georgia voter who found two significant security flaws on the secretary of state's website. that voter then reportedly sent an e-mail to the democratic party in georgia and apparently that was the extent of the democrats' involvement. more than a month later, state democratic officials say they still haven't heard anything from law enforcement about the alleged crime. when we come back, sam stein, clint watts, kimberly watkins, and julia ainsley joins me live. plus, my conversation with lany davis. his client, michael cohen, says he feels like he has his freedom back. a quick programming note, at 9:00 tonight right after "kc
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a federal judge strikes down obamacare. >> striking down the whole law, creating uncertainty for millions. >> the ruling was absurd. >> it's an awful ruling. an awful, awful, awful, awful decision. let's make no mistake about it. >> it has no immediate impact. >> there's no change immediately in obamacare. >> we're going fight this tooth and nail. >> and we haven't even mentioned the chances of a government
shutdown. the president says he wants to see $5 billion in funding for his border wall. >> are americans going to see a shutdown over christmas? >> i would certainly hope not. >> there's absolutely no excuse to shut down government. >> we're going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall and stop this ongoing crisis of illegal immigration. this is a very -- >> does that mean a shutdown? >> if it comes to it, absolutely. >> he is not going to get the wall in any form. >> cohen told me that the campaign finance violations he committed were ordered by donald trump. >> clearly, this was not a good week for president trump. >> the evidence is certainly piling up. >> you see what we're talking about? it's not a crime. it's not a crime, george. even if it were true, it's not a crime. >> paying $130,000 to stormy whatever and whatever to the other one is not a crime. this is a witch hunt. i'm telling you, george, they'll go try to look for unpaid parking tickets. they're a joke over my undead body, but you know, i could be dead. >> stormy whatever. >> not stormy whatever.
>> welcome back to "kc d.c.." joining me, kimberly atkins, politics editor for the daily beast, sam stein, nbc news national security and justice reporter, julia ainsley. and with me from new york, former fbi special agent and msnbc national security analyst, clint watts. sam stein, can we talk about rudy giuliani for a second? because we've gone a few -- a little while without a performance like today's. >> yeah. >> what did you kind of take away from, he's essentially gone from saying, no, the president didn't know anything about this, like, nothing to see here, to saying, well, if something did happen here, it was definitely not illegal. >> well, what i took away from it is that the president needs a better legal team, honestly. of course, rudy is not a traditional lawyer. >> he's more of a pr strategist. >> he's a pr strategist who's winging it and seeing what happens. and sometimes, i guess it works, but sometimes you end up with flailing appearances on cable news shows. and from the beginning, he has
been hurt by the fact that donald trump has told different stories and different iterations of this process. so we started where he had no -- filler, they were lying, there was no payment, he had nothing to do with it. and then it was, well, if something happened, cohen was involved, had no knowledge of it. and now, you know, maybe i paid it, but it certainly wasn't illegal, certainly by campaign finance laws. and you know, that's a really hard fact set to work, when you have a client who's constantly changing his story, you, too, then have to constantly change your story. so part of me feels a little bit bad for rudy, but part of me recognizes that these are the clients he's chosen. >> and let's think about the timing, too, here. let's think about the week he has chosen to come out and start making these comments after he had been quiet for a little while. you had three court hearings this week, all people who could be key cooperators against the president in the russia probe, starting with paul manafort, who has not been cooperating well. so the judge and prosecutors are dropping the handle on him. you have the cohen sentencing and you have maria butina, who
isn't even being charged by mueller, but her cooperation could be key in all of this. so i think the heat -- it's wherever that heat kind of turns up a little bit that giuliani has his moments where he kind of snaps, and sometimes ends up sharing a little news with us, like he did today about how far into 2016 there were actually conversations with the russians. >> right, about a moscow trump tower. >> and it's always difficult to know if they're just sort of winging it and saying things that they'll then retract and how much is a fact-based conversation. >> he seemed to be saying that that was exactly what they put and the president told raobert mueller in those filings. so as we were taught during the funeral of president george h.w. bush, humility is not a common affliction here in the nation's capital. >> those who travel the high road of humility in washington, d.c. are not bothered by heavy traffic. >> this week and next, we are witnessing an unusual effect. the humbling of the once proud.
>> uh, michael cohen, you told me day one, he's going to win. >> i did. >> day one. you never had a doubt. >> because i know mr. trump. i've stood by him, shoulder to shoulder, for the past decade. i've seen him in action. i know when donald trump wants something. there's nothing that's going to stop him from achieving his goal. >> their goal is to malign a very good man. a man who i truly believe will go down in history, if they leave him alone as the best president -- >> michael, they're not going to leave him alone. >> well, i'm going to do whatever it is that i can do to ensure that they leave him alone. i'll do anything to protect mr. trump. >> this week, michael cohen asked for leniency in court, saying that he has been living in a, quote, personal and mental incarceration ever since he went to work for donald trump. and then, there's maria butina. >> after 18 months, they appear to have one picture of her with a russian, who's head of the russian cultural center, who shows russian movies to russian who is live in washington.
so, to me, i think it's an overblown case. >> that was her lawyer. this week, she pleaded guilty to conspireing to act as a foreign agent. next week, it will be one-time national security adviser, mike flynn's turn. >> the very last thing that john podesta just said is, no individual too big to jail, that should include people like hillary clinton. i mean, five people around her have been given immunity, to include her former chief of staff, when you are given immunity, that means that you've probably committed a crime. >> so who's going to find that winter chill of humility next? the trump organization is being investigated. the trump foundation is being investigated. the trump campaign, the trump transition, the trump inaugural committee, and of course, the trump administration, they are all being investigated. so, kimberly atkins, it seems like, possibly, the next place this all goes may be donald trump jr. something that we know is causing quite a bit of
consternation among, you know, for the president and those closest to him. how does he, the president navigate that? >> it's going to be difficult. because it's going to -- we've seen in the past, the president, when someone who is close to his orbit, while they're in his orbit, he defends them. and, you know, tries his best to denounce the investigation and the minute they get caught up, they plead guilty, they start cooperating, then he's never heard of them before, right? they played minor roles in his campaign. they were just a coffee boy. >> michael who? >> you can't really do that. >> stormy who? >> don jr. was just a -- >> great point. >> you can't really do that with a family member. so that's where this investigation gets close to donald trump jr., who obviously was at that crucial trump tower meeting. so he has always been a central figure in this investigation. two other areas of investigation with the inaugural committee for example, might implicate vaccine trump or jared kushner. these were his family members. so he's going to have to take an
approach. he can't say, these people weren't involved. >> we know what his approach is. he's said, he's just a boy and he's never been in politics before. and this was all foreign to him. and of course he'd make mistakes. that's why he agreed to the meeting. but he's just a boy. of course, this is the same person that he let run his business -- >> right, he was a top executive in the trump organization. >> there is some contradiction there, yes. >> the other really tricky thing about it being his son is, i was thinking about this this week with manafort, who got in trouble for talking with white house officials. it would have been okay if manafort's lawyer had, but not manafort himself. what happens if that's your son. you can't cut off that line of communication like you would with someone else who's going out and cooperating and you're no longer legally allowed to talk to them. it's pretty tough to put up that wall between a father and son. >> indeed. clint watts, can i get you to weigh in on something sam was mentioning. we were just talking about rudy giuliani, suddenly acknowledging, it seems, that there were conversations about this trump tower in moscow, all the way up to november of 2016. so that means all of those times the president said he had no business dealings with russia,
no interests in russia, that perhaps that was actually not true for a much longer period of time than we had potentially originally known. what kind of impact does having a relationship like that make on a person, particularly someone who, frankly, who would have need vladimir putin to get that done? >> yeah, it's pretty funny. we went from no contact at all to just the entire time, right? we went -- from none to all, very quickly. and so, yeah, this is how it works. trump was a target for the russians and whether it was online, them supporting him or behind the tables, trying to wo work out some business deals, of course, they knew about all of these levers. which is frightening, because in the last two years, they've really had the president in a position of compromise, which has always been the question. did the russians know more than the rest of the american government and american people know about what that relationship was? and what's really going to be frightening as it continues to
unravel is when will or whether not the republicans kind of come to grips with the fact that this was going on the entire time. i would imagine the president didn't think he was going to win. and because he likes money, he kept trying to keep those relationships maybe in play, so that after the election, he could exploit them. so he's put himself into a terrible trap here. and it's nothing the mueller investigation has done to him. he's done it to himself, by playing both sides, trying to be both a profiteer and a competitive politician, he's, you know, had the worst-case scenario. he won the presidency and maybe didn't want to do it. and has all of these business ties that have left him exposed. >> it's a great point. clint, i also want to talk with you about this new report out tonight. it shows just how extensive russia's disinformation campaign was during the 2016 presidential cycle. "the washington post" obtained a draft of a report prepared for the senate intelligence committee. it analyzed millions of posts provided by the major tech companies. and it found that the operation used most every major social media platform to deliver messages that were tailored
specifically to voters' interests and specifically to get donald trump elected. clint, you actually testified before that very same senate panel back in march of 2017, and stressed then how this russian influence back earlier than we previously thought, potentially dashing the chances of candidates during the primary season. >> the end of 2016 and start of 2016, the russian influence system started pushing themes and messages, seeking to influence the outcome of the u.s. presidential election. they were in full swing during both the democratic and republican primary season and may have helped to sink the hopes of candidates long before the field narrowed. senator rubio, in my opinion, you anecdotae tallal senator rubio, in my opinion, you anecdotae tallaly suffered these efforts. >> how much credit should we give the russians for donald trump's position in the white house? >> you know, i think there are a couple of things to look at. when i was writing my book, there were two states that i
thought just if i had my own estimate of it, wisconsin and michigan, were two states that i thought the russians probably had a heavy impact in. overall, it's very hafrd to tak away the comey letter in that last week and dismiss it from the russian social media influence effort. but i can also say there were certain narratives that were completely driven by the russians. the hacking of the d.c., that led to the sort of narrative bernie sanders got a raw deal was entirely driven by them. without the russian play, you don't have that. and when you look at the social media manipulation, it was a two-plus year effort. and the third year. this report, what will be interesting about it is it won't really touch on those accounts that have been shut down since the election. if you remember, just in the last succession months, facebook and instagram have done large shutdowns again. we've seen twitter come through with more account closures. and this has continued on. that was the troll farm accountant that you heard about that came out in a separate criminal complaint early on. this effort has continued. it's broad scale and across
every platform. and there's no reason to believe that it's been completely stocked, even at this point. so it will continue on. i'm really interested, not just to see this report come out, but what the senate committee recommends done in response to this. >> so for the table, the political implications here of what clint just laid out. i mean, is there a point where the people who have been trump's staunchest supporters become concerned that he had all of this help from russia? or do we just simply never get there? >> i don't think we ever get there. i think they would dismiss the idea that they were manipulated. it's inherently human to think that some outside influence had that effect on how you voted. i think the bigger question is, what do we do going forward? full disclosure, wife works for facebook, yada yada yada. >> which has been get mrg and more fun for you as the stories keep on -- >> oh, a joy. >> obviously, the social media companies have a heavy load to lift.
part of the reason is pause the government hasn't stepped in in a heavy way. but part of it's their platforms. so now that they're on notice, i'm curious to see how aggressive they will act in the 2020 elections. the other thing i want to see, the nrfc and dnccc tried to create a compact. >> it didn't go well. >> the reason they never found an agreement is the republican side, what are we supposed to do if a publication writes a story on stolen materials? should we just ignore it? how could we possibly ignore it? i think there'll be a renewed pressure on the committees to try to come to some sort of agreement. i don't think they'll get there, but that's the kind of thing i'm looking for. >> and it's something with news organizations have to reckon, too. >> i remember having these conversations around the hacks in 2016 by a previous news organization. and a lot of this, too, i was what struck by clint's testimony back in march, him talking about
how they were trying to figure out who was on their side. russians clearly were going to go against even republicans who had anti-russian platforms and we're seeing that in this report. i understand my colleague, ken dilanian, there'll be one that's even more detailed coming soon. but when i was sitting in court hearing the statement of offense against maria butina, that's exactly what she was doing. she would meet with these republicans at these friendship dinners and she would gauge their level of support for russia and report that back. she was a pretty low-level player, but it shows that that was the -- >> she did manage to get in, akds to some access to some of the highest levels for sure. clint watt, thank you so much, sir. clint is the author of "messing with the enemy." still to come, stephen miller says the president is willing to shut down the government over the border wall. plus, congressman adam smith about to become the chairman of the house armed services committee. we'll talk to him about whether there will be ramifications for sending american troops down to
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tell his side soof the story on camera, something that's pretty unusual for someone who's just been sentenced to prison. why'd he do it? >> president trump decided to attack his family, on top of all the other personal attacks on michael by the president of the united states. he gets that. but to attack his wife, her father, his uncle, whatever else mr. trump does, michael thought that he had to defend his family. >> does michael cohen think that the president is a bully? >> yes. and partly, the transformation that he's undergone, some of those clips that i've saw are cringing, knowing him the way i know him now, that he evolved once he became president and saw somebody that he thought was dangerous to the country, and that's the process that he went through that i actually call a transformation that led him to this moment, to tell the truth about donald trump.
>> and you believe that that's genuine? it's not out of convenience? >> yes. >> because the president called him a rat. >> the president called him a rat. i did put my own message up on twitter today that, let's get this straight, the president is the top law enforcement officer in the country. he calls somebody who tells the truth to the prosecutors a rat and someone who stonewalls prosecutors sympathetic. that sounds more like the rule of the mob than it does the rule of law under a president. so, going back to your question, michael, over a long period of time, convinced me that it was real. i've seen other transformations in people's lives. but his willingness to publicly stand up to the president of the united states, be attacked personally, have his life virtually destroyed at this point, going to prison for three years, refuses to accept a pardon, told me to say that publicly, all other ways of testing sincerity, i think to me, he's met, but the ultimate
test is what he says. is it corroborated and mr. mueller, i can assure you, has corroborated everything that michael has told him over 70 hours. >> let's talk about that for a second. i want to play a little bit of michael cohen's interview, where he talks about whether he's still cooperating with robert mueller. take a look. >> are you still cooperating? >> if they want me, i'm here. and i'm willing to answer whatever additional questions that they may have for me. >> right. so you're saying there are certain areas that you can't get into, because you're still cooperating with them? >> correct. and out of respect for process. >> who are the issues that the special counsel's office still needs michael cohen's help with? >> so i'm in the same ground rules that we have such respect for mr. mueller. and i've known mr. mueller off and on through the years, that to interfere or be in front of him on any issue is just inappropriate. and michael, from the very beginning, said, even the
southern district of new york were much more hostile to him. >> would you describe his cooperation with the special counsel as without limit? >> yes. >> okay. >> now, in the beginning, he had a stutter-step or a mistaken answer that was ambiguous and they weren't sure that he was telling them the truth. he went back, cleared it up, and from that point on, you read what will mueller said about him. and read the issue, core issues. mr. mueller said that michael cohen has provided information that addresses the core issues of -- i'm paraphrasing, of this investigation. and you can be sure that those core issues does involve the issue of russia and the issue of influencing our election by russians. >> and you address what that issue was, where there was some ambiguity, or not? >> i can't. even if i knew, and i'm not sure i knew everything myself, i can't, because we've both agreed, i'm no longer his lawyer, i'm just a friend or an adviser, whatever you want to call me, that doing anything in
front of mr. mueller would be inappropriate. >> okay, i also want to play for you that rudy giuliani was on this morning talking a little bit about exactly how long the communication around the trump tower moscow continued. take a look. >> did donald trump know that michael cohen was pursuing the trump tower in moscow into the summer in 2016? >> according to the answer that he gave, it would have covered all the way up to november of -- covered up to november 2016. said he had conversations about this. >> earlier, they said those conversations stopped in january 2016. >> i mean the date, i mean, until you actually sit down and answer the questions, and you go back and look at the papers and look at the, you're not going to know what happened. >> so, setting aside some of the confusion and factual errors in that statement, let's focus in on the fact that he said in the president's answers, the president said that communication around trump tower moscow continued to november of 2016. that's different from what your
former client has said. are you aware, is rudy giuliani correct that those conversation continued longer? >> so i don't know -- i know that michael has said june '16 that he had conversations. giuliani may be referring to other facts that are beyond michael's. but i don't if you noticed, when you mentioned giuliani, i half-frowned. >> yes, as you are now. >> i know he has a tough job as a lawyer, but this is the man who caused me to go on a rival network called cnn with a tape and mr. giuliani said, it was michael cohen who used the word "cash," who brought up the mcdougal hush money payoffs. and i listened to the tape. and i said to my colleagues, wait a minute, this is the opposite of what giuliani is saying. he must have listened to the same tapes. does he think he's going to get away with it? let's play the tape pip had such
fun that night, don't believe, i'm a hillary clinton biased democrat. believe your own ears, mr. giuliani. the tape contradicts what you're saying. and giuliani has had problems with the facts, because his client has had problem with the facts. and in a funny way, i have sympathy for mr. giuliani, even though he knows he's not telling the truth, but he's reflecting his client who doesn't tell the truth. >> i also want to ask you about one kind of key fact in the steele dossier or perhaps not a fact but one key assertion. and they say that cohen traveled to prague to arrange secret payments to russian hackers. did that trip ever happen? >> no. no. everybody, america, we all love kasie's show. no, no prague, ever, never. he posted it on the internet when his lawyers from mcdermott, will, and emory answered that question and he actually instructed me when i was serving as his lawyer, don't answer it anymore, because it's one of these silly things that constantly gets repeated.
so the answer is, no, he's never been to prague, and a reporter asked me, what about the suburbs of prague, no. >> anywhere nearby. okay. well, thank you for putting that on the record here on "kasie dc." and also, one other detail here. in february of 2017, "the new york times" reports that cohen and felix sater are pushing a proposal to relieve u.s. sanctions on russia. they reported that cohen hand-delivered this proposal to michael flynn's office, the week before flynn resigned. and of course, that resignation to do with conversations with the russian ambassador, sergey kislyak. has the special counsel's office asked cohen about this at all? is this a line of thinking or discussion that you've been involved in with michael cohen? >> i hate to come on your show and constantly say, i can't answer your question, but i actually can't answer your question and don't know the answer to your question, so sorry to disappoint you. >> you're not disappointing at all, sir. thank you so much for coming on today. lanny davis, really appreciate it. we will be right back after this. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance
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while in border control custody. jakelin caal and her father crossed the border and turned themselves in. now her father refutes the border patrol story that the young girl hadn't eaten or drank water for several days before her death. ca cal perry is just back from new york. what have you lander? >> as you said, this tragedy happening on the moderarning of october 8th. originally, customs and border patrol said the family hadn't provided the little girl with food or water in several days. the father is pushing back through lawyers, saying to the news nororganizations that ther was water, there was food available on that journey. the bigger question is in the aftermath of this tragedy, how is the u.s. government handling it. dhs put out a statement in which they talked about parents not bringing their children through the desert, really laying the blame on parents. i had a chance to talk to congressman beto o'rourke. it is his district nearby in el
paso. take a listen to what he had to say. >> a 7-year-old girl died yesterday and dhs said as part of their statement, look, parents shouldn't be doing this. what is your reaction to that? >> you do not travel 2,000 miles with your 7-year-old child for kicks, to take advantage of another country. you do it because you're desperate. what would cause you to take your child and make that journey, unless it was the only thing you could do to save your child's life. so our responsibility, once those parents arrive here with their children is to make sure that those kids are okay and that they fully survive that journey. and that we follow our own asylum laws, and the best traditions and promise of this country. >> so you have there congressman beto o'rourke, of course, emotionally reacting to that statement from the department of homeland security. he was visiting a migrant center
in juarez. this is where a number of migrants are now waiting before they go to the border, to apply for asylum. it's a bit of a new development down there. usually, people can present themselves with asylum at the border, but recently, it's been worked out with local groups on the ground that they'll wait here in that center. it's worth noting that these numbers on the arms, there's been a lot of attention paid there. the u.s. government asked mexican authorities to sign numbers to people. the u.s. government did not say, necessarily, to write them on the arms. that's being done in large parts by grassroots groups in mexico who, of course, are trying to bring more attention to this issue, kasie. >> julia ainsley, you cover the department of homeland security regularly. i mean, this seems like a pretty, i mean, astonishing thing for them to say, you know, she hadn't eaten or consumed water, it's your fault, compared to what we've learning from the other side of the story. >> the conversation that we want to have out of this is that somehow these parents aren't like parents we see here. these are parents who are doing things to their children that
don't make them good parents. and really the conversation that we should be having is the fact that we should actually be talking about this with the wall. if trump builds a border wall and puts up more barriers, more parents will be forced to go around the regular places where they normally would and make more dangerous journeys. we saw that when you built barriers in san diego, under the clinton administration. there were more deaths in the desert. a lot of times, there are ngos that go out and try to provide hydration, they'll provide water, they'll try to provide something, some kind of medical help, but sometimes it's useless. and we've even seen videos of border patrol agents kicking over this water bottle. so it's hard to get beyond those images and to take them at their word, this narrative, especially when we find out that a big part of it's false. and the main thing is that not only could this happen again, as we put up more barriers, it could happen again because the border patrol allowed her to go on an hour and a half bus ride before they eventually airlifted her and gave her medical attention. her father said, she has symptoms, she's throwing up, and they still had to ride on a bus
for an hour and a half before something was done. >> and eventually he said, she's not breathing. >> at the end of breathing. >> incredibly tragic story. joining me, adam smith, currently the ranking member on the house armed services committee and will become its chairman in january. sir, thank you so much for coming on the show tonight. good to see you. >> thank you, appreciate the chance. let's start where we were just talking about what is going on the border and this 7-year-old girl who died in border patrol custody. what is your reaction to this? do you think what the department of homeland security said about this is acceptable? >> absolutely not. i mean, this is a preventable death. and it comes from a very clear policy mistake that i think the administration is making. president trump is basically trying to, in his mind, discourage people to try to come to the border, by making it as difficult as possible. you referenced the border patrol agents pouring out water that was put out for migrants. and that is just an inhumane, a
terrible way to treat this problem. look, this is a huge challenge with the number of people seeking asylum. but the solution isn't that hard. we need to get more administrative law judges down there and more people down there to process the asylum requests quickly. because keep in mind, this 7-year-old, they weren't trying to sneak into our country. this isn't the invasion that donald trump describes. they turned themselves in to the border patrol, to seek asylum. we should treat it that way, and we should take a responsibility to protect the health of these migrants, to the extent we can. and as congressman o'rourke said, they're not making this journey, just because they're bad parents. they're making this journey, because they don't think they can survive where they are. they don't think their child can survive. and u.s., i think, could have a much better policy in terms of how we handle this crisis. i'm not denying it's difficult. but to look at it and say, look, we just need to put up as much block as possible. if they die, they die, that will
discourage them? that's not the values our country should have. >> i want to ask you also about the ongoing fight about money to build the border wall. julia ainsley referenced that these kinds of barriers can frankly contribute sometimes to an kpaexacerbation of these tra events. here's stephen miller, the president's adviser, on these types of issues, talking on cbs "face the nation" this morning. take a look. >> what is the president's plan and will he shut it down to get this $5 billion in border wall funding? >> we're going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall, to stop the ongoing crisis of illegal immigration. >> and that means a shutdown? >> if it comes to it, absolutely. this is a very fundamental issue. the democrat party has a simple choice. they can either choose to fight for america's working class or to promote illegal immigration. you can't do both. >> your response, sir? >> those statements idiotic and they totally misrepresent what's going on at the border.
and look, i'm all for border security. as a country, we should have a right to control who comes into our country and when. and we have spent an enormous amount of money on border security. in fact, we've had zero net migration from mexico in the last five years, for a variety of different reasons. we have, you know, quadrupled the number of border agents. we've brought in drones. we've brought in the national guard. if you're talking about people trying to sneak across the border, we have more than put the money up to try to stop that. and this is the fundamental misunderstanding, or i don't know if it's a misunderstanding or if they're simply trying to demagogue the issue for xenophobic and racist reasons. these people coming to the border now, they're seeking asylum. you don't need to build a wall. they're turning themselves in. the question is, how do we process this increase in asylum seekers, because of the violence and poverty that exists in central america. so, to say that building a wall is going to protect us is just unbelievably ignorant of what is
happening down there. now, we've had a significant increase in asylum seekers. and a policy response is needed. there's no question about that. but instead, they want to demagogue the issue and make it about illegal immigration. that's not what it's about. you could build a wall, they'll still show up and turn themselves in, and we'll still have to deal with that problem. >> quickly, sir, before i let you go, while this fight plays out and we worry about whether there's going to be a christmas shutdown, there have been some conversations behind the scenes, from the administration we've seen reporting about, that perhaps they could repurpose money that's been allocated to the department of defense to do some of the border wall building. the president has vowed in tweets that he'll have the military do it if congress won't pay fittor it. you'll be in charge next year of allocating that funding for the department of defense. what's your reaction to the president's suggestions that they can do that. >> there was strong opposition to spending this out of the department of defense dollars. we have many needs in national security. we can't steal money from there. number one.
number two, he can't do it without a reprogramming request to congress. so he cannot do it on his own, legally. and congress, both prrepublican and democrats, do not think the dod money should go towards building a wall on the border. we have many other national security priorities that are vastly more important. >> all right. congressman and future chairman, adam smith. thank you so much for being here. cal perry, julia ainsley, thank you both for your reporting, as well. when we come back, the curtain rises on 2020. more "kasie dc" in just a moment.
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it's almost 2019. which means, it's 2020. at least, if you work in politics. this week, two texans addressed 2020 rumors. well, three texans. and over in iowa, "the des moines register" has a new poll out on democrats, who might run in 2020. former vice president joe biden leads among iowans, with 32%, followed closely by -- i guess, not so closely -- senator bernie sanders with 19% and beto o'rourke with 11%. all right, guys, are we ready for this? >> no, we're not. >> this is obviously very early, to the point of potentially being meaningless, in terms of polls of iowa. someone was saying that, you know, many of the contender who is actually won in iowa were not even listed in some of these early polls. what can we take from this, sam? >> nothing. no, fine. i think to a certain degree,
obviously, a million things will happen between now and then. and we don't even know if any of these people are actually running. i think there's two things you can take from it. one is that biden starts -- well, we expected him to start, which is strength, but not great strength. someone who 35% of the democratic party would support. you can moua thve that ball up little bit, but you know, he has his problems, too. and the second thing that i noticed with respect to beto o'rourke is sort of fundamentally, he's in the position that obama was in 2008. obviously, there's huge differences. but it's that sort of third place, under the radar, room to grow position. the difference, of course, is obama was an historic once in a generation figure. we don't know that about beto. he lost his senatorial race. >> can we talk for a second, too, act the fact that kirsten gillibrand was on fox news and she was asked whether it was a good idea to have the person that was most exciting the progressive base be a white dude. and she essentially said, no, i
don't believe that, because this has been the year of the woman and minority voters have been, you know, obviously the president says repeatedly offensive things constantly. what's your take? >> yeah, she's not the only democrat saying that. look, there are a lot of people saying that democrats have to take a look walk and chew gum o too in this election. it's not about talking about the economy or talking about racial injustice. they have to do both. they have to connect and bring people together across the political spectrum to be a really qualified candidate. i think that's one reason that people -- that's something that people do think that joe biden will be able to do, although i think a lot of his popularity is name recognition, frankly. but i think people have a different vision for what they want the democratic party to be, especially given trump policies and things that have been done, that have been seen as racist, frankly. and that's one check that the democratic nominee has to be able to do and is a white male the right harbinger for that message? i think a lot of people are worried that it's not. >> and there's already a concern
about making sure that for these potential candidates, that they are getting square with many key voting constituencies, including african-american voters. here was elizabeth warren speaking at historically black college. >> as a country, we need to stop pretending that the same doors open for everyone, because they don't. i'm not a person of color and i haven't lived your life or experienced anything like the subtle prejudice or more overt harm that you may have experienced just because of the color of your skin. but, rules matter. >> so that's some cleanup on aisle 6 for what she did with the dna testing. >> yeah, definitely that's the context, although i will offer the fact that i think that basically every white candidate who is running in the democratic primary will give a version of that speech. and they have to and they should. i think one of the prevailing lessons from 2016, and this is no fault of bernie's.
i mean, this is who he was, but bernie did not connect those dots that you were talking about. he presented the racial elements of his policy through a strictly economic lens. everything was about economic justice. >> even though he actually had a personal story around civil rights, he almost refused to tell it. >> of course. he was arrested, of course, as a demonstrator in the civil rights movement. and for some reason, he never used that biographical detail to the fullest extent that he could. i will add one other component here, that i think that we shouldn't fall into an iowa-centric view of things. the poll was obviously done in iowa. but in this cycle, californians will be voting around the same times as iowans through early mail vote. and there happens to be a senator from california who seems to be thinking of running and is already compiling a big e-mail list and it's not dianne feinstein. >> and it's a woman of color. >> for sure. all right, coming up, a problem that has plagued capitol hill for decades finally gets some bipartisan attention. legs of lur and arms of steel ♪ ♪ he eats a bowl of hammers at every meal ♪
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egregious inequity is sexual harassment. >> when i was working in congress in the '90s for congressman wolf, just a few years after dorina, there were members like goodtime charlie wilson, who is hearty heaar-har who openly bragged about hiring women based on their looks and breast size. >> 13 months after the me too movement came to capitol hill, new legislation on sexual harassment in congress is now heading to president trump's desk. it holds members of congress, not taxpayers, personally liable to pay sexual harassment settlements pinpoint requires a public report of any settlements and the members of congress involved. it offers advocates and legal representation to victims of sexual misconduct. and it removes the mandatory cooling off and counseling periods, those were forced, and they often dissuaded people from coming forward with their claims. it also expands protections to interns and to fellows, who
previously had no recourse, if they were harassed. we have covered about a half dozen members of congress who resigned, following a variety of sexual-related allegations. and we will continue to follow all of these stories, hold members accountable, and cover any of these developments, as they come. when we return, what to watch for in the week ahead. ke . liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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coaster year in the year's "ten most." join them for an in-depth look at the year's top ten people and movements that have dominated the news and people and culture in 2018. i want to take this opportunity to do a little self-promotion. we have two stories coming out that i'm really proud of. the low-brow one is written by will summer and he interviewed witches about what they feel about trump constantly talking about a witch hunt. surprisingly, they're a little upset. >> surprising. >> the high-brow one, which is, you know, and it dpets togets t conversation we were having earlier, about a community pediatrician and looks at what happened at the border, but looks at it through a medical lens and what shock and dehydration does to the system. it's horrifying. his conclusion is, one of the big problems is we didn't have medical professionals on site. >> kimberly? sam has taken all your time. >> we'll see what happens with the shutdown. shutdowns have become common in washington, but this time it
seems like "a," it's really going to happen, "b," it's really going to happen right before christmas, making people lose their paychecks, and "c," it's going to happen over immigration. that's going to be the last fight that the president has before he flies off to mar-a-lago. >> merry christmas, happy holida holidays. that does it for us tonight on "kasie dc." we'll be back on december 30th at 7:00 p.m. eastern. for now, good night from washington. this is an msnbc special presentation. very consistent. i'm a very stable genius. touchdown confirmed! so [ bleep ] proud of you guys! >> 2018 has been a wild ride. >> bipartisan. >> irrational. >> obstruction. >> the whole thing is ridiculous. >> paul manafort -- >> michael cohen -- >> rick gates. >> all the president's men are guilty! >> everybody gets a vote! >> this is the fight of our lives. >> we're going to wash