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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  April 5, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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parents love their kids. when you are making 90 or $100,000. that's the job. we got to go to them for a real plan for resuscitating coal country and hear me lawrence, go to tim ryan for i need your help and ideas. >> you got it just in time. >> thank you congressman tim ryan of ohio, really appreciate it. >> thank you, lawrence. >> tim ryan gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" starts now. >> tonight is two weeks since robert mueller handed over his report. now the president is mounting a legal fight to keep congress from getting a hold of his tax returns. plus, as he checks out a repair border wall in california,
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donald trump declares the country full, migrants need to turn around. and, for a week of controversy, joe biden jokes about hugging but he declared his candidate for president. his potential rivals will be in critical states this weekend trying to stake their own territory. "the 11th hour" on a friday night starts right now. good evening once again from our msnbc headquarters, i am steve cornacki in for brian. we'll be back on wednesday. exactly two weeks since robert mueller turned in his 400-page report to attorney general william barr ending his investigation. the headlines of no collusion between the trump campaign and russia sent the president off on a victory tour of sorts. it complicated his effort to
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claim complete exoneration to the issue of potential obstruction of the investigation itself. a quick reminder of what has unfolded these past two weeks. mueller submitted his findings on march 22nd, two fridays ago. two days later barr sent to congress summarizing his principal conclusions. he told lawmakers he's expected to release a redacted version of that report by mid april. democrats are pushing to get it sooner. this week, the judiciary committ committ committ committ committ committee authorize for the full document. again, that according to reports that have emerged. barr and mueller had a long standing relationship and the men have known each other for
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three decades. barr served as attorney general under bush 41. mueller was his assistant attorney general. today trump made it clear that he's more than pleased of barr handling of the situation. >> he's a fantastic attorney general. he's so respected in the department of justice and by these people. that's what we need. he's a great gentleman. >> now barr has been promising to release the report with redactions by the middle of the month. house democrats say they are ready to try to force its release if need be. democrats are also using their congressional power to pursue the president on other fronts this week. democrats made it to six years of trump's tax returns. trump not only indicated he intends to fight that request but he i mplies that his attorny jonah help.
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>> they'll speak to my lawyer and to the attorney general. >> oh, i don't know. that's up to whoever hand ms handles it. from what i understand, the law has been 100% on my side. i am under audit. when you are under audit, you don't do it. when you are going through an audit. i always go through audits, they audit me all the time. trump has been using that audit claim ever since the campaign when he became the first party nominee in decades to refused to release his tax returns. his lawyers also weighed in on a letter to the treasury department, they asked that trump returns not be released. writing this about house democrats. the president is their political opponent, they want to use the
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information to damage him politically. they add the irs should reframe from divulging the request until it justice department's legal counsel. michael cohen suggests to congress that he has dirt on the president but he'll give it to the democrats. he regains access to files that the fbi seized last year. 14 million other documents. trump dismissed cohen saying he's not worried about any new potential revelations. >> he lied numerous times during his last testimonies. they had it for many months. >> cohen is scheduled to head to prison on may 6th.
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he pleaded guilty to several crimes including a campaign scheme. that scheme involved hush money payments during the 2016 campaign to two women who said they had affairs with mr. trump. exactly one year ago today, the katherine lucy is standing by to join us momentarily. she asked trump about the payments to one of those payments. >> did you know about the $130,000 for stormy daniels? >> why did michael make that statement? >> you have to ask michael cohen. >> he was my attorney. you have to ask michael cohen. >> do you know where he got the money to make that payment? >> no, i don't know. >> here is what cohen told congress back in february about that post-gaayment scheme. >> mr. trump directed me to use my fund to avoid any money being
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traced back to him that can negatively impact his campaign. the president of the united states thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws. let's bring in our lead-off panel, matthew miller, katherine lu lucy, white house reporter from the associate press and eliot williams, appointee during the obama administration. thank you all for being with us. katherine, let me start with you and ask you to take us inside the white house in your sense of how they view these last two weeks. with we lay out the major events since mueller turn in that report to the attorney general. we have seen the polling and we talked about this and despite those initial headlines and no bounce and no change in the
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president's public support. does the white house views this as a missed opportunity in any way or was this something they were expecting. >> everything of this white house, their feelings were mixed. there was a huge sense of relief when the findings, the initial summary came out. i think there was a lot -- a great feeling this is behind them and they can move forward. the general sense was positive. the president pivoted to other issues. he quickly moved onto healthcare fight and immigration and threatening to shut the border. those things and very quickly, i mean the sort of the victory lap or the football spiking o f the l early days quickly made way for series of policy battles which have been mixed successes.
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the presidentor some of those threats. he has not followed through. and so i think overall now, there is a sense of chunk of this behind them. the top line stuff they felt good about but like the rest of washington, people are waiting to see what's left. what is in the rest of the report and what's going to be in the redacted version. >> the two questions i guess when the public will get a chance to see that full report and how substantial and how significant those redactions will be when that report assuming it is released publicly somehow. how much of that report will actually be readable by the public? >> i would think it is a significant amount of it. look, this all gets back to the fundamental question, we just need to see what's in the report. all of this sort of the windooee president have seen stems from the failure of the attorney general to handle the roll-out
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when the report was complete. legal analysis does not lend itself well to cliff notes and the four page summary that barr put together really did the american people an enormous disservice. some of the information will be redacted from it. there is a lot of legal analysis. what provided the ultimate conclusions because they always saw where we have summarized the shorthand version. in law school you learn some of the most important information is in the footnote that provides the bases of the legal analysis. when you are talking about was there obstruction of justice and even if it is not criminally chargeable. what kind of facts were there. we need to know more. again, it is just perplexing. i know matt has written about this the last couple of days. it is perplexing how bar handled this. why he made the determination he did and could have left the
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determination to congress whether obstruction is a fact. i have been scratching my head. there is not a tear on it. i have been scratching it all week. i think we need to get this report out, steve. >> along those lines, you have been critical of the attorney general handling of this. it seems to me there is ultimately likely to be a fairly public test of his initial assessment and his four-page assessment that we read over the last couple of weeks and what the report says. at some point it seems likely that we'll be able to compare those two. >> we'll be able to compare something in relatively short order. the attorney general says he'll make it available by mid april, that would put us the end of next week to get the following. i still think there is a big question hanging over what we are going to see and what congress is going to see at that time and whether we'll see the full unredacted report months or a year later if he insisted on taking it to court. the thing that's been troubling
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of the way he handled it among other things. some of the redactions where he moved the gulf coast on them, he outlined two categories of the redactions and other redactions and redacting information consistently in the past made available to congress. he knew it is been withheld. his action and a lot of cases have looked suspicious. there is no other way to explain them other than him trying to put the scale for the president. he had the most respected prosecutors of his generation of bob mueller working for him managing the investigation. the best thing he could have done for the justice department, the justice department haves be battered by the president. the fact that he has not done that leads to serious questions to why he has not.
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the only good answer is he wants to help the president that appointed him to the extent he can. >> there is this renewed issue of the president's tax returns with democrats using that power they now have in the house of representatives to demand six years of his tax returns. as we said there at the top there, matthew, you have trump's private lawyer, personal lawyer there telling the treasury department under you have the irs, telling the treasury department, don't do this and don't comply with congressional democrats. this is private attorney, how would the treasury department and how would the doj and how would they regard a communication like that? >> it is a very strange thing for someone outside the government to ask for one government agency to seek an opinion from the office of counsel. that decides the law inside the executive branch and tells other agencies what they can and can't
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do under the law. it is weird for someone outside the government to inserts themselves and leads the question whether the president's outside attorney have some hits how they ought to rule. sometime these questions are complicated. this one is not. the arrest shall turn over the tax returns if they get a request from the ways and means committee. there is no discretion. no reason for them to delay or deny or fight it in court. it is fairly straightforward just as it is straightforward decision by the irs. the thing that's concerning and you see these remarks coming from the white house, they're going to resist this request. it is another sign that the president have had this 14th view of the government. i am the state, this is me. this is his view of the justice department. the irs exists to protect his personal interests and not to
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carry out the law. >> to take those steps further. the president has a misunderstanding of what the role of the attorney general is. he sort of seems to think of the attorney general by extension of legal counsel as his personal attorney. we ran into this with him and jeff sessions where he believed that sessions needed to be looking out for his personal interest and not the interest of the justice department or the united states. what's particularly troubling here -- a challenge to this statue which what matt said, they will lose. his personal attorneys could have brought that constitution challenge running to the justice department and as if the attorney general having some obligation to protect the president's personal interest. it is foolish and contrary to what the plain language of what the law says. >> katherine, we mentioned at the top of michael cohen reemerging and essentially
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putting an offer out there for congressional democrats looking for them. i think he wanted a letter from them that may help him in terms of the looming imprisonment that he faces. any indication democrats are going to take that bait? >> here is a little bit like a bad penny. he keeps on popping up when he does not need him. i am not clear if this latest offer is going to go anywhere of the materials he's talking about providing anything new. i think it is a reminder of his sort of looming presence and the fact that trump can't quite get pass these legal questions of what happened to these payments and the still ongoing investigation that this stuff still hangs over him even if the mueller investigation is not completely behind him certainly wrapping up. >> all right, katherine lucy,
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eliot williams and matt miller, thank you for being with us. the president tries out a new argument during his border visit today. he tells migrants to turnarounds because his country is full. the first public hearing since the country broke about his unwanted touching. joe biden responds. "the 11th hour" is just getting started on a friday night. frid. on a john deere x300 series mower. because seasons change but true character doesn't. wow, you've outdone yourself this time. hey, what're neighbors for? it's beautiful. run with us.
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pretty sharp on top, too. if you want to climb that, you deserve whatever you can get. it is a very, very hard. it is an anti-climb. >> president trump in the southern border today. he told i mmigrants to turn around because the country is full. it is mere lyanly an upgrade o fencing. trump warned mexico that he'll give them a one-year warning.
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before leaving to california, trump says he never changed his mind about shutting down the border. >> i never change my mind at all. i may shut it down at some point. i rather do tariffs. mexico, i have to say it has been very, very good. you know over the last four days since i talked about shutting down the border. if they continue that everything will be fine. with us tonight, phillip eliot and gabby orr, thank you both of you for being with us. phil, is there a relationship and maybe you can describe the relationship between the president's decision not to close the border as he's threaten to do and the message today on this tour of the border. >> this is red meat for the president. this is something that's a guarantee at his rallies for people watching at home who live
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stream every event he has. this is where he feels comfortable in communicating the base. it is not persuading any voters to come aboard and support him. this is not a moment of persuasion. as we get closer to 2020. we'll see much more of this type of campaign rhetoric. >> as we mentioned a new variation on his message when it comes to immigration. the president is talking about the idea of the country being full. let's take a listen to that. >> so as i say this is our new statement. the system is full. we can't take you anymore. whether it is asylum or anything you want it. we can't take you anymore. our country is full. our area is full. the sectors are full. can't take you anymore, turn around. that's the way it is. >> gabby, i think we saw this week in terms of the tension between trump and sort of
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republicans in washington who get uneasy about this hard line rhetoric on immigration. you have a president there who believes thises one of the key issues that got him into the white house. hey, it was the president taking that hard line stance on immigration in october, early november, 2018 that led him part to that democratic surge in the midterm elections. >> right, steve, what we are seeing is eerily similar to what happened to the midterm elections. everybody is urging president trump to focus on tax reforms and the economic and we just had new jobs today which is a positive for this administration. here he's in calexico, california, talking about immigration. the issue he goes back to is the one he feels most comfortable talking about and as we approach
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the height of the 2020 presidential election where he's going to be making the case for reelection. he's talking about immigration, much to these and frustration of a lot of these republican leaders who wish he would focus on other issues the last time around and worry there may be the same consequences if he continues down the path. >> phil, the president abruptly withdrawing the nominees to lead i.c.e. he wanted to go in a tougher direction. he does seem to have that appreciation that fond this i guess for what you say a dramatic gesture. he had the idea of shutting down the border. it is not happening now for the moment. is this one attempt of the dramatic gesture replacing another? >> you see this with the president all the time. when he enters a place where he has perceive threats. he knows how to change the headlines.
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he was seeing some of the support for him that hey maybe this border wall is not being built and we are not getting as tough as we want it. last night he thinks he's going soft. he booted the i.c.e. director nominee and started doubling down on the type of rhetoric that we see from those around policy advisers, steven miller. >> is there any sense of any indication. is there a next, the president started getting into healthcare about a week ago seemed to back off that moment. now the immigration, is there another theme he wants to hit after this or any indication? >> we'll see a large focus on the trade negotiations with china. it is something that we heard the white house since senior officials talked about behind
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the scenes and how they are inching closer and closer and trade negotiations with china and the deal can be well imminent that a signing ceremony can take place a month or so down in marg dou-a-lagomar-a-la. i think immigration is an issue that president trump plays up right now especially in the midst of what's happening on capitol hill and reaction to the mueller, the conclusion of the mueller investigation and this onslaught of investigation that congressional democrats are leading against this president. he wants to talk about immigration and something he knows plays well with his base. it is an issue he's comfortable talking about. he's highlighting these new areas of border construction whether they are initiated by his add main straministration o administration. he can be down there and having opportunities and in front of improved or updated border infrastructure. he knows it plays well with
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those borders who backed him in 2015 and again in 2020. >> gabby and phil, thank you for both of you being with us. joe biden faces reporters. his first in-person response in the controversy over a person's physical space. it may not be what anyone is expecting. we will continue. smaller portion sizes, clear calorie labels and reminders to think balance. because we know mom wants what's best. more beverage choices, smaller portions, less sugar.
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are you running in the 2020 race? >> i am told by lawyers that i got to be careful of what i say so that i don't start the clock ticking and change my status. my intention from the beginning to run will be the last in the round. so i will gaet a shot and we ar off to the races. >> joe biden is not leaving any room that he's ready to join the race. >> i just want you to know that i have permission to hug lanni. i don't want you to have to stand. >> by the way, he gave me
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permission to touch him. now biden's jokes did not sit well with his accuser, lucy flores. flores tweeted ", it is clear joe biden has not reflected at all on how his inappropriate action." >> i am sorry i did not understand that. i am not sorry for any of my attentions or anything that i have done. i never meant to disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman. and here with us to talk about it, jonathan allen, our national reporter and lonnie chen, john,
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we have seen this former vice president facing the press today. we see the video and a couple of statements as this story plays out. how has this landed inside biden's world. are they nervous of the long-term impact or feeling this thing as minimal. what are they thinking inside? >> i have talked to people who have talked to the inner circle and you know i think and i have talked to some democrats who are looking at supporting biden. t it is also the handle of this by biden's campaign. does he understand how to handle personal crisis, rather than a national crisis. a lot of the response looked a bit like 1975 and not 2019. he did not come out and talk to
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camera immediately or reporters immediately. he put out a statement for a spokesperson, all of that was sort of handling and took a week to get this sort of behind him. today after he went out and said he was very sorry and taking it all seriously in the first video and he goes out and makes jokes and talks to reporters. i am sorry that i joked about it. the message is totally dishonest and he may took the opportunity to turn the conner arner and ma announce his presidential run but he backs away from it and said the lawyers said i can't say that. it is unclear of his message and mission. from the sources that i talked to, there is a lot of concerns whether he's ready for primetime. >> what you are describing is it reminds me in his political career, joe biden w, was the ga
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machine. joe biden can blow them up of something completely unexpected. this tendency that biden has to go off scripts and going in directions that people were not expecting. it can cut one or two ways, a sign of lack of discipline or problems for his campaign or refreshingly human. >> i think how biden has handled it is the best way to handle it while being true of who joe biden is. whatever you think of his style, it will be his style uniquely. the challenge in my mind has always been, you got a 20th century candidate running in the 21st century cycle. the nature of the response, he's an old fashion paul. it is a different democratic party. it is not even the democratic party of barack obama. it is not the democratic party the last time he ran for president. it is a different party of a
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different set of party now. how is he going to adapt to that? >> it is the party of obama. he called himself, obama/biden democratic. john and lonnie are going to stay with us. coming up, the one place you can find most of the top democratic contenders when "the 11th hour" continues. " continues. i have a vision correction number,
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the candidates used the opportunity to talk about race and other issues that are important to black voters. >> we have a president today who is a racist, who is a sexist, who is a homophobe and who's a religious bigot. >> in america, justice has not been applied equally for all. so let's talk about that. let's speak troo ut thuth that two years, it had gotten worse. >> still with us, jonathan and lonnie chen. bernie sanders, he was getting cles close to clinton. he could not get overwhelming support for clinton among black voters. i think it was 72 margin that clinton beat sanders by.
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the prospects of sanders reversing black voters in 2020. >> it is a huge x factor here. a lot of us talking about joe biden being the candidate. bernie sanders is the same age as joe biden but he has shown of adaptability and he's talking about racial justice. this is someone who has learned and adaptive. when they're starting to go for g delicates, it he's going to be e to pull delegates from everybody in the country and win some state. that's huge as he tries to win a majority and plurality.
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kamala harris, can she consolidated the way barack obama did or hillary clinton did or anything close to that. if she can do that, she's in that good kind of position like sanders did with delegates all over the country. >> if you look at the polls of democratic voters, favorable, or unfavorab unfavorable. he's popular like biden is. if we think of 2016, there were these ceilings that voters would not do it. he may be more voter second choice. >> a lot of people are saying bernie sanders, old hat, i don't get it. he has adapted in the cycle in a depth way. the other issue is we know he's going to have fund raising problems. some of these folks are untested. kamala harris, we don't know what her fund raisiing prow les
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is going to be like. we don't know about other candidates in the way we know bernie sanders is going to have that liability. i think the race will narrow to two or three by the time we get pass super tuesday. the question is going to be one-on-o one-on-one matchup. who's going to perform better for the cycle and who's going to perform better and speaking for issues that people care about. >> how seriously when you talk to democrats, okay, sanders will be a factor. how seriously did the democrats take responsibility. >> i think it is a big display. i think if you talk to voters, there is a different perspective on that. it is important what the professional democrats think because if nobody gets the majority going into the democratic convention and we are a long way into that if somebody gets the majority, you basically end upbringing in duper delic e
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delicates -- delegates. professional democrat matters. bernie sanders does not have a lot of allies. elizabeth warren is the person who can maybe bring some delegates. everybody else would try to stop bernie sanders from getting the nomination. a long way for all of this to play out. i think democratic voters are a lot less against bernie sanders than professional democrats are. >> i am wondering and it is too soon and so it is theoretically, i wonder because i have seen some talk already that this may be the dream scenario for trump to get alexandsanders. trump is proof that you never know in a general election. with trump, you had so many people in his own party who did not like him. i wonder if it gave him a certain measure of credibility
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with non-republican voters. if the system is this scared of him. i wonder if democrats end up ga ganging up on sanders. >> the challenge, sanders and trump are similar. they sort of thrive off of that conflict and that negativity. i think you are not going to out trump. you are not going to run a campaign that's going to be on his wavelength but do it better. i think you got to have a different kind of contrast. >> i don't believe bernie sanders brings that. the question is at what point the primary voters say. we are thinking of the general election, is bernie sanders the kind of candidate we want to put up against donald trump or do we want to go in a different direction. donald trump was able to take advantage of the winner take
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all. by having a 30% or ma40% republicans, it allows him to get in front and be unbeatable. with sanders of 30% or 40%, that may not be enough in the primary system to actually end up winning the delegates. >> his unfavorable or democratic voters of 12 or 13%. it is not much. the question like you are saying if he starts to get real traction and there is an effort to start, how successfu successful -- that's a long way from now but i want to talk abo about. jonathan and lonnie chen. thank you very much for being with us. coming up, the age of trump when "the 11th hour" continues. of tn "the 11th hour" continues. so no matter what, you're guaranteed to have a perfect drive. [laughter]
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you suggesting the party is moving too far to the left? >> we will find out if i can win in a primary. if you look at the polling data
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and look at the actual results, the party has moved to way -- i don't want to characterize it. whatever characterization you just made. the fact of the matter is the vast majority of the members of the democratic party are still basically liberal to moderate democrats in the traditional sense. i'm an obama-biden democrat. >> that was joe biden today. that's the question you have been hearing. one of the questions about biden and a lot of the candidates is the idea that the democratic party you think of as alexandria ocasio-cortez moving hard and fast to the left. is a candidate like that going to be left behind? let's look at if joe biden does as we expect he will enter the race, how would he stack up and
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where is the party in terms of ideological direction? this is the average of all the polls out there on the democratic side. biden has been running in first place, high 20s and getting close to 30%. sanders behind him and a bunch of candidates and kamala harris into single digits. and plenty who are not even listed here. how about this in terms of popularity. everybody who is a democratic voter know who is biden is and almost all have a positive view of him. he has a lot of good will. he talked about being an obama-biden democrat. here we go. this one got here sooner than i expected. this is the question. the idea origin of the democratic party. it's still a traditionally liberal party. if you ask liberal, moderate and conservative, 46% call themselves liberal.
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go back just over a decade when they asked this question before. there has been significant movement in the democratic party to the left. to the liberal sidement. a 14-point jump. now up to 46%. if you went back to 2006 here, moderate was the number one answer with democrats. now it's liberal. by far liberal. the party has been moving in a more liberal direction. if you went further, you would see it as a particular movement with college educated white voters. the more conservative voters are moderate and conservative are nonwhite. tend to be hispanic and black. the party is changing and there is a lot of good will towards biden and a lot of choices democrats will have when we get around to the primaries. coming up, he is independent and
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the last thing before we go, former starbucks ceo howard schultz who was exploring a run for the white house sat down with us this afternoon. the conversation grew spirit and pointed so much that we thought
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it would be worth presenting some of it. >> we have a bifurcated economy. 42% of americans today, their families don't have $400 in case of emergency. you have five million kids ages 18 to 24 not in school and not at work. >> i don't mean to interrupt, but you said ray said something about that. a lot of americans knew this a long time before you really rich guys started talking about how bifurcated american is. do you get why you rich guys don't have all the answers. if somebody told you it was a problem. >> i appreciate you calling me a rich guy. >> i am self made and i built a company and cave health care ownership and free tuition.
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>> but you get how the rest of us have been having this conversation for decades. >> this is a lack of conversation who are unwilling to face the issues and solve america's problems. >> you are saying that the economic bifurcation and not agreeing on policies? >> this is the lack of leadingship and understanding of the fiscal responsibility of elected officials to do the right thing for the american people. how you can disagree with that? >> because that's not the answer. the world is bifurcated. you are saying bifurcated because republican and democrat policies. it's a global issue of wealth concentration and not political disagreement on policies. >> i didn't create the policies that we are now under. i am looking at the current situation economically in this country and if you want to solve the problems, you have to have the kind of leadership that
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cooperates with one another and not steeped in ideology. >> that's our broadcast for this friday night and this week. brian will be back on monday. thank you for being with us. good night from nbc headquarters in new york. quarters in new york. rachel is off tonight but she will be back monday. it's friday night, which these days means we should be bracing for just about anything to happen at any moment. friday seems to be the day when everything happens all at once, so we are ready for anything. but in the meantime, consider the week we have just had. consider the week the president has just had. we are used to the news cycle moving fast now. how quickly one narrative can be replaced by other. but it was just one week ago that donald trump was in the midst of probably the best news cycle of his candidacy. now, in normal times, not being explicitly charged with a crime


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