tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC February 11, 2019 9:00am-10:01am PST
that wraps this hour of msnbc live. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today." "andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," talks stall. republicans and democrats fight the cost meeting the deal to get legislation passed in time to avoid another shutdown friday after secret talks hit a wall over the weekend. >> i think the talks have stalled right now. i'm hoping we can get on. >> we cannot rule out a government shutdown by the end of the week? >> you absolutely cannot. >> taking the lead. five women are now in the race for the democratic nomination to take on donald trump. >> we are tired of the shutdowns and the showdowns, of the gridlock and the grandstanding. we can't afford just to tinker around edges of tax credit here or regulation there. our fight is for big, structural
change. and state of chaos. virginia voters split over how it handle the racial and sexual scandals facing their top elected officials as the embattled governors attempt he has learned from history gets off to a rocky start. >> just 90 miles from here in 1619 the first indentured servants from africa landed on our shores in old point comfort what we call now. >> also known as slavery. >> yeah. ♪ ♪ good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitch kneell in washington where lawmakers are scream belling to to take the legislative steps needed to avoid a shutdown friday. now the democrats are objecting to how some of the border money that they'd agreed to would be spent even after a tentative agreement on fencing instead of
a wall. hanging over all of this how will the president respond to whatever they decide in he's already been sounding off on twitter writing this morning the democrats do not want us to detain or send back criminal aliens. this is a brand new demand. crazy. joining us now is msnbc correspondent casey hunt, nbc white house correspondent kristen welker in el paso and peter bake are, chief white house correspondent at "the new york times." casey, you've been tracking this all weekend. tell me where things stand. >> well, andrea, right now there is no guarantee that the government will not shut down at the end of the week and that is a significant shift from where things were at the end of last week and that was because the talks stalled and basically collapsed over the weekend over a new stand that democrats are taking on, a policy issue that has been part of this conversation all of the way along, but that has emerged as a
means only here at the 11th hour and the question is how many people should i.c.e. be able to detain at one time? right now they're looking to detain 48,000 people and that's what they've authorized to pay for for congress. democrats want to reduce the overall number to 34,000, but more critically, they want to cap the number of people that could be apprehended across the united states and being held to 16,500 people. so the administration is saying that that would effectively limit their ability to detain criminals because typically interior enforcement are focused on people with committed crimes in the united states who are then deported and those crimes can range from violent crimes, felonies to violations of immigration law. perhaps they crossed the border once illegally already. so this has really created an incredible tension, and i think the question is going to be,
have democrats overplayed their hand or not? are they still in a position of strength in these shutdown negotiations? clearly, the president lost the messaging war in the longest shutdown in american history, but this issue is one that's a little bit harder to get your head around than the wall which is, you know, a very clear, symbol and it's become a symbol. from a approximate from a policy perspective, it's possibly a bigger deal than the wall and something immigration advocates have been focused on for quite some time and it's the thing democrats are saying they should have in exchange for being able to spend more than $1.6 million on the physical barriers. we know the leaders are meeting this afternoon at 3:30 to try to start those talks. hopefully for those workers depending on the congress they will start talking again and for now its not clear how they will
get on, andrea. >> the president will try to make his appeal in el paso. when he mentioned the state of the union there was fact checking about what he said about el paso and there's also going to be a counter rally from beto o'rourke there that was his congressional district. tell me what you think the president will try to accomplish today. >> well, andrea, the president will make a hard sell for funding for his border wall and his initial request is $5.7 billion and he's accepted a willingness to accept less than that, but he will -- depending on where you're standing it's anywhere from 15 to 18 feet high and it runs about 40 miles long. president trump, as you mentioned, andrea, during the state of the union address pointed to the barrier and it's one of the reasons el paso is one of the safest cities.
the fact check heers had a lot say about that. the bottom line is the crime started dropping years before the barriers were built in 2008 and 2009. i am here at city hall, andrea, and i'll be interviewing the mayor and he sharply disagrees with the president as he makes the case that el paso, yes, is a state city and not only because that barrier was built. there are a range of other reasons and that backdrop which president trump will be miking his case and there's the counter rally that will be held by beto o'rourke. he is a former congressman here. this is his home district, so his turf, of course, he launched that failed bid to unseat ted cruz and he became a rising star. he will be talking against the wall tonight, the theme to his rally is no more lies, no wall. so a very strong split screen here in el paso, andrea.
>> and american people have got to be confused because they were told, we were all told that there was no way that republicans in the senate would go for another shutdown. peter baker, that said, they are now hitting a wall, a different wall in their negotiations with democrats. they claim that the democrats are bringing up an extraneous issue, something that had not been one of the breaking points before. >> well, yeah. the one bipartisan thing that is going in capitol hill right now is that neither side does actually want a shutdown and that's something that you'll hear across the aisle. the last one didn't work out so well for anyone, particularly the president. the new issue in the sense that the last shutdown seems to have singularly focused on the money for the wall and suddenly we're talking about beds for detainees. the case is right. the question is not whether or not the democrats will look like they're the ones who are now becoming the impediment to a deal. that's the danger for them.
that's something obviously, the leadership is worried about, and you have a situation with nancy pelosi that faces the same sort of dynamic in some ways that her two predecessors did, ted boehner who had to strike a deal with a democratic president that were not particularly popular on their flank and in their case on the right and the question whether nancy pelosi is going to make a deal that might or might not be popular with her flank on the left and it's a test early in her speakership about how she's planning to go forwarder that. >> kristen welker, casey hunt, thank you so much. >> mattal rin is the deputy executive director of i.c.e. and joins me now. because we want to get some clarity. you've been in the agency for 24 years. you are not some trump person coming in here. i want to try to understand the
complexity of what the democrats are now objecting to. we're talking about mostly interior, detention facilities that i.c.e. runs across the country and not at the border. these are people who have been caughtor come over and have gone through the capture and release already? >> it depends. the majority of individuals that i.c.e. arrests are individuals who come to us from the criminal justice system. 90% of the people have been convicted of a crime, have been charged with a crime and have illegally re-entered the country which is a federal felony. >> is the president misstating the fact when he talks about murderers? are most of these people people who were arrested for duis. >> we made 150,000 arrests and there aren't 150,000 murderers around the country. we've arrested individuals and 12,000 individuals with weapons offenses and 12,000 sex
offenders and we do have dangerous individual within the communities. >> you do go after dangerous criminals and the president seems to be focusing on the most dangerous and that's 26th on your list. >> again, we prioritize limited resources and those that have the greatest amount of danger to society. however, i'm not sure when duis stopped becoming a heinous offense, if you talked to a dui victim they would think it's a very heinous offense. >> why so many billions of dollars needed? as we understand it, apprehensions are down because border crossings are down historically. >> well, i think you have to look at the type of border apprehensions and that changes the dynamic. when i started in 1994 most of the individuals coming across the border were single, male adults who if we arrested that day they were back across the border the following day. today we have family units and unaccompanied children and we do
not have the individuals and most have to be released into the country. we released 48,000 family units directly into the country since december 31st. >> how much of this is because of the policy changes and the separation of children as well as the zero tolerance policies under jeff sessions? >> they'rer relevant. congress has failed to act to change the outdated laws. the threshold is so low that individuals, these families coming across the border are turning themselves into the border patrol and saying they want to claim fear from returning to their country. and the threshold is so low they pass the threshold and must be released into the country. we had a court ruling which prevents us from holding the individuals more than 20 days. >> correct. >> as a result of that we have no choice, but to release the people back into the community and further problematic with that and these individuals don't
appear for hearings. we set up a process for the department of justice to accelerate the families and the dockets and the 2600 cases which have been concluded, 2500 of them are orders of removal, and 97% of the family units we released don't show up for the hearings? >> are you holding up now more people authorized by congress? >> we have the funds to hold them. >> but are they more than have been authorized by congress in terms of the numbers? >> congress has not authorized a number of beds and they authorize an amount and we hold up what we can afford. >> why are these additional beds needed now? >> why we are asking for additional beds and when the president is asking for 52,000 beds which is really what we need to get the job done. congress doesn't seem to fund us on that which is what we asked for before. we are releasing 10,000 criminals back into the
communities. when the law enforcement agency arrests someone for domestic violence. we don't have money to detain them. >> in the previous administration the focus was placed on arresting criminal immigrants and the president, president trump changed that to be everybody who has crossed. so that has that change in focus taken the focus away from the most dangerous people rather than -- >> absolutely not. in 2017 we arrested 11,000 more criminal aliens than in 2016. we arrested more than that -- almost the same level again this year. so we can do strong, interior immigration enforcement while doing strong enforcement against individuals preying on our society. >> does the wall alone change any of this? >> the wall alone will not change any of this by itself. as the border patrol has said
all along and they're the ones raising the president on what is needed and you need a wall and technology. you need a strong interior enforcement component. if you only have a wall and there is no one in the interior of the united states and they're looking for people, not just those involved in criminal activity and people who cross the border illegally and know if they can get by the border patrol and make a false claim for asylum and they come over for a visa, there will be no one to remove it by a judge then you would never have to reverse true border security because you always have the pull factor. >> there is a one-year continuing resolution. how would that affect your fbiancing and your ability at law enforcement? >> unfortunately, the funding levels in that continuing resolution are lower than what we had in having custody now. so we would be in a position that we would have to reduce the number of people that we have in custody. that coupled with an artificial
cap of interior enforcement in which basically congress would be through this funding bill, directing us not to enforce the laws that they themselves have passed is problematic. certainly the public safety and certainly the border security. >> thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. >> thanks for being here. and coming up, cool running. amy klobuchar braving the elements to announce her presidential run, breaking down the expanding field of democratic candidates next here on "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us on msnbc. reports. stay with us on msnbc. ts. and how many patients saw clear or almost clear skin in just 4 months - the kind of clearance that can last. humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to symptoms. numbers are great. and seeing clearer skin is pretty awesome, too. that's what i call a body of proof. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma,
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i don't have a political machine. i don't come from money, but what i do have is this, i have grit. [ cheers and applause ] i -- i have family, i have friends, i have neighbors and i have all of you who are willing to come out in the middle of winter. >> they sure were. minnesota senator amy klobuchar kicking off her campaign despite the deep freeze in her home state. our friends at nbc's first read break it down this way as the unite or fight with klobuchar and cory booker portraying themselves as bridge builders. elizabeth warren and bernie sanders lining up as fighters
and reformers and kamala harris and krifrten are both wings. beto o'rourke on his home turf staging an el paso, texas, rally at the same time of the president's trip to el paso to promote his border wall. rick tyler, former democratic congressman and kimberly at kuns senior correspondent for wbfm in boston. great to have you here on your new title switching over to wbur. rick tyler, let's talk first of all about the array of candidates from your perspective and especially with what's going to happen down in texas today? >> well, so andrea a year from today will be the new hampshire primary and that will come on the heels of the iowa caucuses and you just saw amy klobuchar who is awe good retail politician. in person she can go hand to hand with the best of them and
that will benefit those who do the retail politics in iowa and new hampshire, and south carolina and nevada and then you get to march 3rd and you have nine states going and four of the states are expensive. california, tks teex as, massachusetts and, and beto o'rourke if he can get into the race was also a good retail politician and kamala harris who california is also on that day and elizabeth warren who can raise a lot of money and she has the benefit of massachusetts and oklahoma both going that same march 3rd. so i don't want to make predictions this far out in advance, but look for a good retail candidate, at least one to come out of the first four states and look for someone who has money and staying power coming out of march 3rd and hopefully for the democrats they'd want to narrow it down fairly quickly. >> it's not only the women serving with this candidacy. michael bennett on "meet the press," here you have a colorado
senator and you also have a colorado former governor hickenlooper thinking about getting into this. this is bennett on "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> now what democrats are saying is if you like your insurance we'll take it away from you from 180 million people that get their insurance from their employer and like it. where 20 million americans are on medicare and love it. that seems like a bad open offer for me. >> joe crowley, he is objecting to medicare for all which has been the picture of some of the more progressive candidates in the race. he says that is basically saying to people give up what you have rather than add on which is what he's proposing. who has the best message from the democrats? >> think we're headed toward a medicare fall at should point in the future. he's an interesting candidate. he was born in connecticut and out of colorado and a former head of education in colorado
and now u.s. senator. i think what he's saying is democrats haven't really taken credit for what we've done and that is to enrich the lives of millions of americans by expanding the opportunity to have and to own the health insurance of the united states and that's a good thing to be saying that the affordable care act actually made tremendous progress for america and i think that's also a message that democrats need to drive home. >> and that's already talk about the way the president is trolling these women that have renounced, kimberly, amy klobuchar in the storm, the president tweeting on sunday, where it happened again, amy klobuchar announced she's running for president talking about fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures bad timing. by the end of the speech she looked like a snowman, woman. >> the science is on my side, donald trump, on many other
issues and i wonder how your hair would fare in a blizzard. which is a fair comment given that he didn't go to the american cemetery in france. >> right. >> some said because he was afraid of a little rain. >> and it shows that she is not afraid to mix it up with him in terms of policy with a little bit of jabbing, too. i think that was a statement that was trying to be carefully made to enter this race because at the end of the day, yes, the democrats are going to, we're going to see a policy debate on things like health care and immigration, but at the end of the day donald trump is looming over this entire primary and what we're going to see is each of these candidates simultaneously proving i can be the person at the end of this race who can go toe to toe with the president and they have to be able to do this to win. >> kimberly, what do you think about how the president went after elizabeth warren again, she announced on saturday. he went after her on twitter saying elizabeth warren sometimes referred to me as pock
hant pocahontas, and she decided after 32 years this is not playing so well anymore. see you on the campaign trail, liz. and this, of course, capitalized trail. kimberly, this is another racial slur. >> look. elizabeth warren did not do herself a lot of favors with how she handled this entire situation, but the one big benefit she has is the more donald trump makes insensitive, racist comments about native americans with references to things like the trail of tears, the more it turned off people on that issue and they go to elizabeth warren's side or they say, look, this is donald trump trying to create a nasty smear and we're not going to deal with that. i think that actually helps her in the long run, if i was on her campaign i'd just let him do what he's doing and try to turn the conversation to other things like she has. she's been talking a lot about people of color because in an
effort to appeal to them after this really, really bad gaffe that she did in the beginning of the campaign. >> looking at the democratic field, incredibly diverse both politically and ethnically. what do the republicans, who do the republicans fear most? joe biden? >> i think the republicans will fear the candidate most, i don't want to predict who that is, but it's the one who will bring out the base that can also attract the middle and some republicans who just can't vote for donald trump. i raise elizabeth warren in this regard because her from file, her popularity profile is similar to that in donald trump in that she electrifies the base, the progressive base. they like her a lot in the same way that donald trump is well liked by the republicans, but she doesn't -- her polling numbers for the middle aren't so good and she's probably not going to attract as many republicans. so you want someone who can bring out the base of the party and attract the independents and
some republicans and you'll win and the democrats will win been. >> joe crowley, what about beto o'rourke? he's going to be appearing in el paso tonight going head to head with the president, but is there too much of a -- a newcomer, yes, electrifying in the campaign trail, but he's never won for president, from that standpoint. >> first let me say i love amy klobuchar, i think the snow melted on my head to tell the truth. >> your hair would not been the subject. >> my hair would not have been the subject. that was an interesting character coming out and the talk in the president's state of the union speech about el paso and its crime rate and the lies that he said about it makes this a very interesting kind of event that will take place and beto will have a rival speech tonight. it would be interesting to see protesting past the trump speech as well and it will be interesting to see how it all
develops and that's a very interesting individual here. my daughter who is 18, she's in love with beto o'rourke and i'll get in trouble for having said that, he has that appeal in many ways and he has self-imposed term limits and running a strong race against the incumbent republican in texas and nearly beat him. he has an enormous ability to raise money in the future, as well. so if you're beto o'rourke you feel pretty good about what you've accomplished and where you're heading. >> interesting take. you are going to be in trouble at home. thanks for weighing in, rick tyler and kimberly atkins. >> thanks, andrea. >> thanks to all. >> coming up next, will they stay or will they go? virginia's embattled leaders refusing to leave congress despite scandals surrounding them all. this up next on "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. a mitchell reports" on msnbc.
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>> embattled virginia governor ralph northam with a flatly incorrect version of how slavery started years ago as we commemorate, despite photos of his yearbook page showing black face and another in a ku klux klan robe. during a resent event at fort monroe i spoke about the arrival of the first africans in virginia and referred to them in my remarks as enslaved. a historian advised me that the use of indentured was more historically accurate and the fact is i'm still learning and committed to getting it right. i'm not sure what historian he was talking to. joining me now, jack bennett who has been covering story and kimberly atkins remains from
boston's npr and msnbc contributor. i don't know who he was talking to when he was talking about the recent event he went to, but they were not indentured people. they were slaves brought in 1619 to jamestown and they were the first brought from africa. end. where do you start? this is the man who says he will remain in office to lead a conversation on race and that he also said in that interview he's the best person to do that because he's a doctor and he can heal. >> right. he's healing a wound that you can argue he caused since it was his yearbook page that this racist photo was on. of course, he says he's not one of the two men in that photo and he has no idea how that picture ended up on his yearbook, but look, there's no denying that this is a new racial awakening for governor ralph northam. before he gave that interview to gayle king he talked to "the washington post" and he's also reading some of the works of
tanahasse coates. when we last talked last week the governor was talking to people about doing just this. he has the publicly interview and that was the last time he would speak in that forum in talking to a tv interviewer and now he will speak privately and publicly to virginiians and there have been faith leaders who said if you want to say you want to own up to this, back it up with policy. so now he's going to do that work. the governor, though, as you rightly say is not stepping down despite the fact that democrats at the state and national level have been reiterating their calls for him to do just that. he says and he feels he is backed up by polling and that is the case that there is room for him to be redeemed in the public so that's where we are, andrea. >> let's talk about it justin fairfax, the lieutenant governor. this is disturbing and
complicated, two credible accusations from two women who now say that they are prepared to testify against him. one was sexual assault and the other was rape when they were in college, and he is saying he's not stepping down. he'sing c he's asking for an fbi investigation. where does this put him. until then a rising star in the democratic party and also the leadership in virginia. >> it's not good. it's a very terrible situation for democrats at this moment and not only because of the seriousness of these allegations, but the fact that democrats had positioned themselves as the party of zero tolerance in a me too movement and the resistance for him to step down seems to be flying in the face of that. you have the additional layer which is brought on by governor northam and his comments and you have the racial element that some people are pulling back on efforts to -- the effort to possibly impeach him has pulled back in part because of the optics of perhaps ousting a black lawmaker while the
governor is feeling so poorly with the revelation of this racist photograph. so it's a big mess that's happening right now in virginia. >> and i think, jeff, that you spoke with justin fairfax today? >> yeah. on my way out here to talk with you in the last 20 minutes or so ago, as he was making his way into the capital i asked him about next steps. here's what he said. >> excuse me. >> we've called for an independent investigation and i am still very confident in the truth. thank you all so much. >> reporter: so he calls for an independent investigation. of course, he's urging the fbi to look into this. although it's true that these allegations would fall outside the jurisdiction of what the fbi would normally investigate and the fbi doesn't just open an investigation because someone asks it to. there's also this inconvenient truth. the lieutenant governor is asking for an investigation.
you know how he can get an investigation? through an impeachment process. we know dr. vanessa tyson and meredith watton said they would now publicly participate in testify in any impeachment proceeding, but the politics of it are fraught. there are democrats who say this session ends at the end of the month and they don't want to gum up the works of legislating with an impeachment process and you have people close to the lieutenant governor who say they could not get a fair hearing in a ltegislative body that have called him to resign. there is no plan to remove him or governor northam from office and he handled his issue better than the other two and he has a lot of friends in democratic pol six here so he's probably safe, but it's shockingly, after all of this as we enter week two of this spiraling scandal, it would appear that these three leaders are safe for now. they're staying on the job and no way to oust any one of the three of them from office, at least not easily.
andrea. >> jeff bennett, thank you so much and kimberly atkins, as well. thank you. coming up, remembering john dingle, a lion of the congress. you are watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. . take your razor, yup. alright, up and down, never side to side, shaquem. you got it? come on, get back. quem, you a second behind your brother, stay focused. can't nobody beat you, can't nobody beat you. hard work baby, it gonna pay off. you got this. with the one hundred and forty-first pick, the seattle seahawks select. alright, you got it, shaquem. alright, let me see. to most, he's phil..pro golfer. to me, he's... ...well, dad. so when his joint pain from psoriatic arthritis got really bad, it scared me. and what could that pain mean? joint pain could mean joint damage. enbrel helps relieve joint pain... ...helps stop irreversible joint damage... and helps skin get clearer.
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have come to visit her husband john dingell. two funerals will be held for the longest serving member of american history. celebrating his lifelong commitment to bipartisanship. tomorrow in deerborne, the speakers will include former vice president joe biden. john lewis and his close friend, republican congressman fred upton of virginia. on thursday in washington, former president bill clinton and steny hoyer and former republican house speaker john boehner. dingell himself had replaced his father in congress and as a young paige was first on the house floor to listen to fdr speaking after pearl harbor to a joint session of congress and hours before he died george w. bush called dingell to salute the democrats' years of public service. tributes are pouring in. his wife wrote he will be remembered for his razor-sharp
wit and a lifetime of dedication to improving those on earth. >> we remember him for his humor, his charm, his unshakeable integrity and of course, his fantastic twitter account. >> may john's legacy guide us forward as we seek to make this house all he believed it could be. >> john dingell leaves a towering legacy of unshakeable strength, boundless energy and transform ti transformative leadership. >> dubbed big john, for years dingell wielded a powerful dwafel. in retirement, his wit and twitter trolling of president trump turned him into a social phenom. he passed legislation for the health care, the environment and the auto industry in his district.
he was proudest of his votes of the 1964 civil rights act. dingell dictated a final message the day he died, writing, as i prepare to leave this all behind i now leave you in control of the greatest nation of mankind and pray god gives you the wisdom to understand the responsibility you hold in your hands and another loss over the weekend in the house. north carolina congressman republican walter jones died at the age of 76. he was also a veteran house member. we'll be right back. house member we'll be right back. let's take a look at some numbers: 4 out of 5 people who have a stroke, their first symptom... is a stroke. 80 percent of all strokes and heart disease? preventable. and 149 dollars is all it takes to get screened and help take control of your health. we're life line screening... and if you're over 50... call this number, to schedule an appointment... for five painless screenings that go beyond regular check-ups. we use ultrasound technology to literally look inside your arteries... for plaque which builds up as you age-
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the attorney for david pegger, the ceo of the national enquirer's public publisher is on the defense after the world's richest man, amazon chief and washington post owner jeff bezos accused the owner of extortion and trying to blackmail him to stop the investigation into how the enquirer obtained messages between he and lauren sanchez. sanchez's brother could have been the leak and he's denied
that. >> it absolutely is not extortion and not blackmail. what happened was the story was given to the national enquirer by a reliable source that had given information to the national for seven years prior to this story. it was a source that was well known to both mr. bezos and miss sanchez. >> was it michael sanchez? >> i can't discuss who the source was. i can tell you it's not saudi arabia. it's not president trump. it's not roger stone. >> joining me now with the inside scoop, reporter for the daily beast and elliott williams, former deputy assistant attorney general at the department of justice. lauchlin, your reporting goes to the source, i have to say michael sanchez, the brother of lauren sanchez has denied it as the attorney just said. you have reported that you have other information based on your sources. a yeah, it's interesting because we've been talking or trying to talk to michael sanchez for about two weeks now and he has steadfastly refused to deny that
he was the source. but we do have multiple sources both within ami and within -- among folks who have spoken with ami leadership who have told us definitively that he is the source. obviously that still leaves many unanswered questions, why he did it, if his sister lauren had any involvement with it. these are things we're going to continue reporting out. but we are confident reporting at this point that he was the source of the text messages. >> we still don't know how these photos and texts were illegally obtained, whether it was a hack, or some other way at it. >> we've been speaking with gavin de becker, bezos security consultant leading the inquiry. he's confident he has not seen evidence of a hack. it doesn't look like that was how they were obtained. there is also no definitive evidence to date that some sort of foreign state actor or government agency was involved. points towards the brother and that's what our source is telling us as well. >> the reason why foreign sources and government agency
was even indicated was that bezos, in his initial post, referred to the saudis and there was a suggestion that some of the tools that were given to the saudis by our own government could have been used. and the saudis had a vanity -- a vanity piece brochure, published by ami about the crown prince at a point where he needed a lot of publicity. >> right. washington post was running sources on it. back to lauchlin's point, auckland's razor, the most obvious explanation is the explanation that goes. and you have a president of the united states that is sort of at least accused of perhaps engaging -- being soft on saudi arabia, a newspaper that the president of the united states believes is, you know, the newspaper -- president of the united states believes is too critical of him. and i think it just doesn't defy logic that the "national
enquirer," which is also -- would kill stories related. it seems to fit together in an ugly way. none of this, as we look at the conduct of the president and the "national enquirer" -- i don't know, it's just too crazy -- >> the whole thing. and the saudis have denied it, lauchlin. the saudis categorically deny they have anything to do with this. that said, there's no conceivable explanation as to why all of a sudden the "national enquirer" would put this major brochure out on the market about the crown prince of saudi arabia. >> right. and i think there are two questions here in terms of potential political motives. one is the actual leak itself. michael sanchez's leak to the enquirer and the other is the enquirer's decision to not just publish the story, but pursue it with the vehemence and
resources. michael speculated in documents seen by the washington post and the daily beast that this was david pecker's attempt to sort of get back into the president's good graces after he reached a cooperation deal with federal prosecutors in december. ami has vehemently denied that, but it's not the craziest theory. >> speaking of crazy theories, what about the fact that ami might lose their cooperation agreement if it can be established, elliott, that there was a crime committed here. because blackmail and extortion, by definition, not necessarily, even though it seems to be obvious to the layperson, such as myself, you have to have a certain requirement. >> sure. extortion is the umbrella over all of it. when you're talking about threats to get someone to do something, extortion involving violence, blackmail involving someone's image. an degree a i'm going to really publish and dark information about you if you don't give me
$50,000. >> please don't. >> i'd rather not. now, the question is what's the thing of value here that's being transferred. if ami traffics in information, rumors about people are valuable. they're a thing that sort of has a value to them. if they're seen to have done that, they will have violated their plea agreement or their immunity agreement and can be prosecuted. it's not a slam dunk, but it could certainly happen. let's buckle up and wait and see. >> elliott and lauchlin, thank you so much. to be continued. the biggest encore last night did not go to a musician, but the former first lady. the special moment coming up ahead on msnbc. ake excuses for e things we don't want to do. but when it comes to colon cancer screening... i'm not doin' that. i eat plenty of kale. ahem, as i was saying... ...with cologuard, you don't need an excuse... all that prep? no thanks. that drink tastes horrible!
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former first lady michelle obama surprised the grammy audience when she opened the awards show alongside the music industry's biggest stars. after receiving a long-standing ovation, the former first lady and best selling author joined lady gaga, alicia keys and jennifer lopez to share the impact of music on her life. >> from the motown records i wore out on the south side to the who run the world songs that fuelled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story. and i know that's true for everybody here. music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our
hopes and joys. it allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in. music shows us that all of it matters. >> indeed it does. and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." here is ali velshi and stephanie ruhle for "velshi & ruhle." >> have a great afternoon. i am ali velshi. >> i am stephanie ruhle. it is monday, february 11. let's get smarter. >> you cannot rule out a shutdown at the end of this week? >> you can't rule it out and you can't rule out 5.7. >> the president is not part of these negotiations. he's wait fogger a bill to come to his desk that he can sign into law and you now have the confer es, bipartisan confrees arguing over beds and barriers. >> they're people who know how to work together and get a deal. >> i say 50/50 we get a deal. >> reporter: this is president trump's first campaign-style rally of the new year. he's going to be