tv Morning Joe MSNBC May 8, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT
season of axios on hbo, which premieres on june 2nd. >> one more question for you here. what else are you watching today? >> so we're watching the fight at both ends of pennsylvania avenue. the quote yesterday from speaker pelosi, when she said the president is daring them to impeach him. that's a change in her rhetoric. both sides getting hotter. >> mike allen, thanks so much. we'll be reading axios am in a little while. you can sign up at sign up.axios.com. >> that does it for us on this end morning. i'm yasmin vossoughian alongside geoff bennett. "morning joe" starts right now. you're not suggesting though that spying occurred? >> i don't -- well, i guess you could -- i think there's a spying that did occur. yes, i think spying did occur. >> do you believe they're
engaging in spying when they're following fbi investigative policies and procedures? >> well, that's not the term i would use. >> when it comes to the investigation into the trump campaign, the attorney general was quick to toss around terms like "spying." the fbi director wasn't so cavali cavalier. >> no. i mean, it is so interesting. we're seeing every day, confirmation of things we already knew, but it is nice to get that confirmation. you know, willie, a couple days ago, when the 500 prosecutors said, yeah, he committed obstruction of justice, and we'd like the president to be indicted. we knew that, but it sure was nice to hear it from 500 prosecutors, also republicans. same thing with the fbi director yesterday. yes, we knew barr was lying. we knew he wouldn't call it spying. he has an audience of one. if your job is to be joe
mcarthur's lawyer, that's what you're going to do. >> he dispassionately shoots holes in the things that the president of the administration says. fisa surveillance is not spying. >> that was bad. that was a bad moment for the president. >> yeah. >> at least he had good breaking news later on. his good friends at the "the new york times", who he's greatly admired and wanted to be loved by him. they finally gave him love yesterday. >> lots so. >> they gave me every newspaper here but "the new york times." >> every one. >> i have the "toronto star heastar" here. i have the "cleveland plain dealer." i'm going through it all. >> "sacramento b" is down there. >> amazing investigation. it shows -- well, i have to say -- >> we can do the short version. >> biggest loser. >> no one has lost as much
money, right? you have won. you are the number one. >> we have to practice something. we have to get into this, especially because we have somebody who broke the story. we have to practice a couple things before we bring you on. do you have the sound effects? i'm sure when "the new york times" sits there and writes something -- so when i say he lost $1 billion over the decade, and that was -- >> that's good. >> hold on. no, no, no. you remember "the price is right." that was perhaps the biggest loss by any individual over the entire decade. >> that's a lot. >> that's when you do it. it's all about timing, and you blew it. this is a serious news show. >> this has been a good rehearsal. >> what about wah-wah. >> alex, when do we go live? five minutes. >> we're on. >> live? what's that. >> we're on, right now. >> you need to do it every year
though, year by year. >> she would know. she broke the story. >> listen, here's the deal, we deal in generalities around here, okay? we don't like specific numbers. i'm not good there. why don't we introduce. let's go to the numbers. we want to go every year. >> we have mike barnicle here. >> we do. >> national security reporter for nbc news, julia ainsley. senior writer at "politico," jake sherman, msnbc political contributor. also with us, investigative reporter for "the new york times,". >> slow clap. >> susan craig, who wrote the report that's pulling back the curtain on president trump's finances, revealing his prior business struggles were far worse than previously thought. staggering. >> this was the second biggest story of the day. mike, what was the biggest story of the day? >> liverpool. >> liverpool coming back. >> corinne edibincredible. >> random highlights? i don't want to see them coming
out. we want to see -- >> the thing? >> we want to see -- >> anyway, we'll get to this later on. we have with it roger bennett, who is going to be coming. one of the greatest comebacks in the history of european football. yeah, not roger. that's a sad, sad story. that's not a great comeback. anyway, we're going to be talking about liverpool in a little bit. very excited to have julia here, too. >> really great to have you with us. >> thanks for having me up here. it is great to be off my corner at the justice department, seeing my colleagues in person again. >> once in a while, right? we have a get to get -- a lot to get to with you. >> anybody that walks behind you with signs will be dragged off. >> i'd love for my mother and second grade teacher who diagnosed me with a.d.d. to see me trying to read that with people heckling me behind.
i overcame that. >> that's long history of pain right there. >> no heckling. >> we can talk about it. >> except from mike barnicle. ferguson, the press secretary for clin new mexihill tweeted this math. to lose over $1 billion over ten years. trump lost $11,416 per hour. trump lost $274,000 every single day. trump lost $8.3 million every month. trump lost $100 million every year for a decade. >> see? that's how you do it. >> somehow, that sound doesn't even match how bad those numbers are. >> the price is wrong, [ bleep ]. >> a little "happy gilmorgilmor" >> how do you lose that much monday? >> documents show by the time
his best-selling memoir -- this is the part i love -- by the time "the art of the deal" came out, and everybody said, i want to be like trump -- because i knew a lot of people that read that and said, i want to be like trump. >> they did. >> no, you didn't, unless you already wanted to be in deep financial trouble. by that time, he was -- >> losing tens of millions of dollars on bad business deals. the paper says the figures show that in 1985, trump reported losses of just over $46 million from his core businesses, mostly casinos, hotels, and retail space and apartment buildings. those businesses continued to lose money every day for a total loss of $1.7 billion over the nearly ten-year span. the "times" goes on to say that year after -- year after year, trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other
individual american taxpayer, citing his results compared to information compiled by the irs on high income earnings. more than anybody, he lost more. in 1990 and 1991, his core business losses totaled more than $250 million each year. more than twice that of the nearest taxpayer in the irs' information in the two years. he's the biggest loser. >> the paper adds trump lost so much money that he avoided paying taxes for eight to ten years. the "times" says a lawyer for the president responded to the inquiries about the tax information by writing, it was demonstrably false, the paper's statements about the president's finances from 30 years ago are inaccurate, citing no error. what i thought was interesting, they sort of had this rolling statement. the first -- when it first
started, they were saying, well, you know -- >> we've been talking to them for a month or so. >> depreciation and, you know, he is a powerful businessman. he can do this. as the story got closer, and you all moved in closer, then they finally gave up and said, fake news. >> yeah. that the transcript we have was just not reliable. >> now -- >> wow. >> -- the information you got this from, you also said in the piece that this is not only highly accurate information, but it is actually information that the government has used before in trying to project forward. >> yeah. to guard against the idea that somebody may have typed in something wrong, we asked the source to provide us with several years of fred trump's tax information. because of a previous information, we have years of fred trump's tax returns, matched dollar for dollar. >> on twitter, in between my 87
liverpool tweets, we were debating what was more powerful, your lead -- because i thought the lead was extraordinary -- that is, by the time his massive universe memoir "the art of the deal" hit bookstores, trump was already in deep financial distre distress, losing tens of millions of dollars. we went through all of that. whether that was more powerful or whether it was more powerful at the end, when you all were saying donald trump was making excuses for his losses. this is such a terrible time. everybody is losing money. >> except. >> except donald trump may have lost a ton of money, what, 53 -- well, actually, he lost $274 million? >> core businesses did that year, yeah. >> that year. no, everybody wasn't losing. how did fred trump do? >> he did really well and would have done better but he took out money that year.
some of it to help his son. >> fred trump -- >> he lost money to his father. >> fred trump made about $54 million that year. >> yeah. >> his only significant loss, it was a $15 million investment in one of donald's businesses. >> that didn't do so well, yeah. >> yeah. so it seems that donald trump burst onto the scene, had a couple quick successes, and it wasn't the first wave of spending that got him, as much as it was you describe the second wave of acquisitions. one failure after another. >> i thought what was incredible when we saw the data, if there was one era in his life that you thought we would have done well, it would have been this. i wouldn't have predicted that every year would have had a loss. this is a guy who wrote a memoir about "art of the deal" in 1987 and lost tens of millions of
dollars that year. if i could have picked a decade, having followed his finances, there would have been at least one or two years in here i would have thought he was doing well. he said 1990 was the year he hit the rocks. now, we see that he was losing significant amounts of money. we now know through at least 1984, because we've got transparency into that thanks to the '85 return information we've now seen. >> again, that was on the heels of what should have been his biggest successes, whether it was trump tower, whether it was the hyatt. >> right. >> he built it in grand central. >> if those are your records, how do you get loans? who would lend you money? who would -- >> well, some of it was guaranteed by his father. >> right. >> it was just -- i mean, in other areas, it was a different era at the time. he had assets. >> properties. >> some was guaranteed, certainly, by his father.
>> his father gave him $415 million by 2019. i love that donald trump played corporate raider. >> it's great. >> the stocks would go up a little bit. after a while, wall street figured out faster than voters, this guy is full of it. he's not going to buy any company. >> he did well on some of the trades. ultimately, even those -- >> he lost money. >> he lost it. >> once wall street figured out it was a bluff -- >> for three or four years. >> you point out in the piece, when he was on the "forbes" list in 1985, which was a breakout moment, he was listed as having $600 million. most of that, you point out, was his father's, his inheritance. >> it was a lot of the assets. >> it is interesting to read this. we were talking about before we came on the air, in the 1980s, most people around new york sort of knew this or succe suspected
that he was a fraud. we didn't know the numbers, that he lost $1 billion over a decade. >> the losses are so huge. when you talk to his people, they're like, depreciation. this is not depreciation. >> no. >> these are massive business losses. we had access to a data bank where we could see other results of high-income earnings. he was at the top of it for the worst losses year in and year out. it is not, like, oh, a lot of people who are in real estate have these type of results. this is really bad business. >> mike, think about that. let's top for one second, for people that haven't real this story. donald trump, for the better part of the decade, lost more money than perhaps any other american taxpayer. >> for nearly a ten-year period. >> for nearly a decade, lost more money. it's not like, oh, well, he might not have been the
brilliant deal maker. >> he likes to win. >> you all had the great quote in this graph. i think it is on 14, of all his losses. there's a quote there that says, the way that i judge success is, unfortunately, by money. well, by that standard, let's see here, we want that, yes. look at those dollars. that alarm is the bankruptcy alarm going off. >> or i have to wake up my daughter. >> wrap your arms around that fact, that he lost more money than any individual in america for over a decade. >> you could read any biography that's ever been written about donald trump. it wouldn't come close to a portrayal of him as an individual better than this forensic autopsy of his money,
his lack of money. there is one element in here that jumped out at me, suzanne. it was the $52.9 million windfall in interest. >> jumped out at us, too. >> tell us why. >> well, every year, donald trump had pretty steady amount of interest income coming in. it'd be $8 million, $9 million, $10 million, going up and down. interest you're getting from mortgages or bonds. in 1989, it went to $52.9 million. we couldn't figure it out. it is interesting. this is a year where there are vagaries around donald trump's finances, and that year, the casino commissions were all over him in new jersey. we had a lot of transparency into how he was doing. there was a 1990 report that was written on his finances that was based on people who had seen his tax return. we can find no asset that would be throwing off that type of money. we did not have the schedules to understand what was behind that.
we have the numbers but don't have where you have to itemize it. it goes, for us, the importance of seeing the modern tax returns, and not just the front pages, the 1040 we all fill out, but the schedules, where we can actually see where this money is coming from. it was just really frustrating. we spent months trying to sort out these numbers. >> incredible. i want to get julia ainsley and jake sherman in here. question for you both, and i know you're here to cover william barr and other things, and we have a lot to get to, but curious, what questions come to mind, based on what we're seeing here, over the course of ten years, and such huge losses, especially from a president of the united states who now is, historically, someone who lost more money. i mean, he's broken a record here, one that maybe he doesn't want anyone to know he broke. what questions does it raise, in terms of what the tax returns that we have yet to see look
like? >> exactly. i'm seeing this through the washington lens, the debate we're having with the treasury secretary refusing to hand over current tax returns. this graph jumped out at me. amazing reporting here. overall, mr. trump lost so much money, he was able to avoid paying income taxes for eight out of the ten years. if you think about what voters care about, the narrative they've seen behind trump, and the debate, the power that congress could have with that information, to say, we need to see more, i wondered what that meant to you, that he was able to avoid that. was that maneuvering, or was it simply, he was at such a loss? >> when you have that big of losses, you're able to avoid tax. the two years he hit, he was paying the alternative minimum tax. one of it was because he had a big payout on a salary from a deal he did, so it triggered it. the years we saw, they're not huge amounts of income tax he ended up paying. when you have the losses that big, you don't have to pay
taxes. >> i need to -- correction. i said that the biggest loss had been of any taxpayer. as jack pointed out in hi emy e he was a tax filer. >> not a payer. >> he was doing poor in business. >> he always says, i'm being audited. i can't show my tax returns. >> you can bet the principle reason he has fought so hard for so long to preclude anyone from seeing his taxes is he goes out to the country -- >> it's embarrassing. >> -- and it helps him get elected, the system is rigged against you. the betting is that he has paid very few, if any, taxes over the last ten years. >> he has a treasury secretary who is protecting his tax returns at the moment. >> yeah. >> sue, i want to ask you about your reporting. we know what's coming. i'm surprised we haven't seen a tweet yet from the president. he'll say, this is fake news. they didn't get the actual tax
returns, they got copies. >> we were up front, we don't have the tax returns. we have a copy of an irs document of his irs transcript. we were able to confirm it through a number of ways, including the individual who provided us that also provided us with fred trump's tax returns. we also were able to match the transcript that we have through actually a database that's kept by the irs. it is anonymous. because we had the taxes in the first instance, the tax information, we were able to match it into the database. we also had a lot of information from the other investigation we did on fred trump's tax returns, and things matched. we spent time engineering it and going out for confirmation in other ways. >> how is this going to move the debate forward as it pertains to the democrats getting ahold of donald trump's tax returns? they have the statutory right. some will say this was a
constitutional crisis. that was corrected. this is not a constitutional crisis, when the chairman of the ways and means committee asks for your tax returns, and the treasury department doesn't give it. that's a crime. how are they going to resolve that? >> i'll reverse a second. last night, when this great, amazing story popped, the house was voting. the reaction almost to a person among republicans was, wait, didn't we know he was losing a lot of money during those years? people weren't moved. republicans, obviously, weren't moved by this, which they should be, because this is stunning. >> they also were not moved by the fact we have an attorney general who committed perjury in the house of representatives and would have any of us thrown in jail. he nor the majority leader cares. >> in answering your more direct question, yes, the law is clear, that the treasury secretary has to hand over the individual's tax returns when the ways and
means committee chairman asks for it. not, as steven mnuchin says, if there is a legitimate legislative purpose. now, this is almost definitely going to court and is going to be a massive battle between the administration and capitol hill for the foreseeable future. i think from the president's allies, what i keep hearing is, let's get past 2020. republicans want to get past 2020 without these battles being resolved. it looks like, if it goes to court, if past is precedent, they'll get past 2020 without extracting the president's tax returns. >> i don't know why the supreme court wouldn't expedite it. i'd think the court would handle it very quickly. we'll see what happens. let's bring in "the new york times" reporter michael schmidt. thank you so much for being with us. you know, the president had said to you sometime ago that -- talk about his personal finances, it was crossing line. >> he's getting audited. >> that line has been crossed,
of course, and now democrats have even more reason, do they not, to try to get ahold of his tax returns, to try to figure out whether saudi arabia, russia, oligarchs from the countries were actually floating his business because he'd lost so much money. as we all knew in new york, no american bank would -- i've talked to several people who were the ones who had to go over and tell donald trump, one, even in the middle of the presidential campaign, no, donald, we can't loan you money. you know that. doesn't this just increase the democrats' need for seeing those tax returns? >> yeah. >> yeah, you're right. the funny thing about the mueller report when it came out is it said that there was no underlying crime that they could show. i sort of understood from a legal perspective why they were saying that, but the president always feared the mueller
investigation looking at his finances. he said to us in july of 2017 that if mueller looked at them, it was crossing a red line. then in december of 2017, after there was a wrong report out there, that mueller subpoenaed his bank records, he wanted to get rid of mueller again. what was it about his finances that he was so afraid about mueller looking at? i guess maybe we're learning about some of that today. at some point, people were pointing out overnight, they don't have a full picture. this is a small snapshot of it. we also don't know what mueller actually looked at on his finances. did mueller have his taxes? legal experts would say, yes, mueller probably did, and it wouldn't have been that hard for him to get them. how much of his money was really looked at? i wonder if mueller ever testifies, whether we'll get an answer to that. my guess is mueller will probably not be that helpful in
answering that, because it was not something in his report. i can't imagine deviating from that. it is still this giant question that hangs over. how much did mueller look at the money? >> suszannsuzanne, you've been at accessing documents. what's the chances an organization like "the new york times" gets their hands on the president's recent tax returns, say the last six years? >> i think as this continues to be talked about, i think there is going to be a break in this. we, so far, haven't seen any of the modern tax returns, and that's kind of 2005 going forward. i mean, i have to think it is going to happen. i mean, maybe i'm an optimistic person, but i think, eventually, this is going to break. >> suzanne craig, thank you so much. i know you've been working night and day. to come in for our sound effects. >> come in the in the morning, put up with the sound effects, put up with liverpool, put up with it all. this is -- >> next time, we can talk hockey. i'm canadian. >> are you really?
we shall do that. >> canadiens fan? >> i'm from calgary, so all the canadian teams are out though. >> little things we learn. >> how is the prime minister doing? >> he's having some trouble. >> yeah? in what way? >> you know, where do we start on that? >> you know, it is interesting. you don't want to talk about him right now, do you? >> that's okay. >> he likes to do push-ups and stuff. >> one-arm push-ups. >> i like to stay away from the politics when i can. >> you're lucky, sticking to the numbers. >> thank you. >> you brought us some staggering numbers. >> extraordinary job. suzanne craig, thank you very much. still ahead on "morning joe." >> and our country, needless to say, is doing fantastically well. we're setting records. over 100 days of stock market wins, meaning the highest in history. over 100 days we've had of stock
market wins. >> he likes to win, and he won overnight with this news. that was president trump on monday. on tuesday, a 473-point plunge on wall street. you can't talk about the markets without talking about china. the conversation is straight ahead. as we go to break, what a rollout for mika's book "earn it." she shot to 37 on amazon's new releases. it tops the charts in books about job hunting, resume, and the media. >> wonderful. >> get your copy at know your value.com. more importantly -- >> you have to earn it. it is for young women. >> earn it. >> oh, he didn't. >> donald, you're watching. "the art of the deal" thing didn't work out. >> we should send him one. >> we'll send it. >> complimentary. we know things could be tight. >> we'll send an autographed copy of mika's gold plated "earn it." >> there you go. >> you can get back into the black. >> we'll be right back.
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two years of exhaustive investigation and nothing to establish the fanciful conspiracy theory that democratic politics and tv talking heads had treated like a fo foregone conclusion. they told everyone there had been a conspiracy between russia and the trump campaign. yet, on this central question, the special counsel's finding is clear, case closed. case closed. >> well, you just wonder what mitch is getting out of this, to shame himself for history. i mean, mike, he knows that's a lie, first of all. he knows that the investigation proved what our intel community had said, and republicans had denied, and the president denied, that russia posed a threat to american democracy in
2016 and were going to try to do it again in 2020. mitch mcconnell, by the ways, kids, if you're keeping score at home, on what a partisan he is and how little he cares about the protection of american democracy, mitch was one who, in 2016, when told the russians were trying to interfere with american democracy, trying to steal your election from you, mitch mcconnell told everybody that they couldn't go out and say anything about it or else he would attack them as partisans. that's how much -- like he was warned by the intel community, the russians were trying to rig the american election for president. he fought that. now, we're on the other end of it. what have we found out? that the intel communities were right. donald trump believed putin, but the report shows the intel communities were right.
the united states military was right. putin was wrong. we also learned, mike, it wasn't case closed. what we learned was that robert mueller said, listen, i can't say that the president is not guilty. i cannot just wave my arm and say that he did not commit a crime. that is a question that is still open. it is a question that was answered by 500 former federal prosecutors, republicans and democrats alike, saying, yeah, yeah, he obstructed justice and would have been indicted. >> joe, in the anales of hypocrisy, mitch mcconnell is in the hall of fame, and has been there for quite some time. whatreferring to, and things last for two seconds and people remember nothing, but 12 essential members of congress, if there is such a
thing, met in the capitol. mitch mcconnell was one of them. they were given all of the intelligence. they were briefed on how russia had invaded, attacked our electoral system, and are still attacking. >> attacking american democracy. let's call it what it is. >> yes. >> russia had attacked american democracy. what did he do? >> what did mitch mcdconnell choose? the protection and security of the united states of america? >> nope. >> did he choose the republican party's candidate? well, we know. >> which is trump. >> and jake sherman, he is doing exactly what the president was hoping he'd do. the president tweeting this morning, case closed, all caps, exclamation point with a link to the video of the majority leader making the case closed speech yesterday. so the president, obviously, jake, in the republican party, has exactly what he needs up there on the hill. he has people who will protect him, ultimately from impeachment, but also from things like getting the tax returns, from things like william barr being held in contempt, on and on and on.
the president must be thrilled by what he sees out of republicans. >> mitch mcconnell is definitely the tip of the spear, but i think we can say, without a doubt, that he's representing almost every single senate republican and most every house republican. he's not taking a position, mcconnell is not, that is not supg po supported by the vast majority, if not all, of the house of representatives and the senate, republicans, that is. we're focusing in the media on capitol hill, a lot of contempt, impeachment, and that's appropriate. remember, all of this stuff is going absolutely nowhere while republicans hold the senate. it's interesting gossip and interesting trivia to know that the house is going to hold people in contempt, but it has very little actual meaning because the senate is still republican and controlled by mitch mcconnell, who believes that it's case closed. >> julie, there's a growing list of controversies.
many people would say growing list of abuses. you could talk about don mcgahn not being allowed to testify. you could talk about not sending the unredacted report to congress, which is another outrage. you could talk about an attorney general who committed perjury when testifying before the house. the list goes on and on and on. how do democrats move this ball forward in the house of representatives? how does this shake out between the judiciary committee in the house and the white house? >> today may be the tipping point. if they go forward with this vote on contempt. we've seen brinkbrinkmanship fr both sides. the white house, executive branch using executive privilege, and the democrats using contempt of congress. we've seen the counter offer from house dems to the offer by the justice department.
now, the justice department is threatening a wider blanket over executive privilege. that won't just matter with the version of the report democrats want to see. they also try to use executive privilege, as we've seen, to try to keep mueller from testifying. to try to keep don mcgahn from testifying. this is a broad stroke interpretation of this law. i think a lot of this investigation has sent us all to rudimentary law school, but exec fif impressi executive privilege isn't settled, when you talk about people who leave the administration, whether they can be reined in, and how far the president himself can go to protect this information. this administration, so far, is pushing that definition about as far as it can go. >> that's what nancy pelosi was saying. >> right. >> you know, the democrats are being pushed toward impeachment. he's goading. he's not complying on any level. >> well, these are, michael, these are legal questions. many of them are legal questions.
it's going to be up to the courts to decide them. i find it hard to believe the d.c. circuit and courts are going to wait until after 2020 to resolve these extraordinary important constitutional questions. based on your reporting, any projections on where this battle between the white house and the judiciary committee and the house goes? >> i mean, at the very least, it'll take months. i think on a more important level, what's gone on here is the democrats have failed time and time again here to build any real momentum coming out of the report. barr sort of -- you know, the delay between his four-page letter and the report coming out sort of dampened things. barr's testimony has been the last thing that we've heard publicly on this in a major way. we still haven't heard from mueller. democrats have struggled to build momentum coming out of the report. they keep on being stymied by the white house on executive privilege or on the justice department refusing to hand things over. the question is, will they be
able to get anything that helps build their argument? will they be able to get a witness up there to testify in a way that can lay this out for folks and, you know, the democrats can try and make their argument? they have not been able to do that yet. it seems like an uphill battle. you wonder where henry waxman is today and what he would be doing if he was around. >> julia, what happens if -- let's talk about what a contempt vote means as a practical matter. it is out of the judiciary committee. nancy pelosi can schedule a full house vote on the question of contempt. if the attorney general is voted in contempt, then what? is it a symbolic statement? >> we've seen it drag on. the most recent example would be with eric holder and the fast and furious. they wanted to get more information on that. that went on to a point where we didn't see a settlement on that until after obama left office. there are different things they can do in contempt. one can be a civil settlement, which i think would make a lot of people upset in the end. a fine, that's not enough.
it is hard -- we are past a point where congress has the power to arrest someone and haul them in front of congress. that hasn't been done since the '30s, to have that criminal justice power. so it is difficult to see where it goes. i think one answer is that it is a long haul, to see what happens after that. >> michael, some more reporting overnight from you. tell us why the mueller team were trying to keep comey's memos secret. >> so this is a transcript that came out from january of 2018. it was a closed door between the mueller team and a judge. the mueller team was trying to argue that the judge should keep comey's memos, those memos he wrote about all his interactions with trump, secret. what the mueller team said, this was one of mueller's top deputy lawyers there, basically saying that if these memos came out, it would give witnesses, and at
that time, the president was under investigation for obstruction of justice, it would give them a road map, essentially, to what they could testify to. in order to protect the investigation and stop witnesses from trying to get their testimony to line up with the detail, the accounts of comey's memos, these needed to be kept secret, needed to be confidential. what it is, it's interesting that we get this sort of window into what was going on inside of the mueller team. this is january of 2018. seven or eight months after they had been appointed. they're investigating the president. they're still calling in witnesses. they're trying to protect themselves. protect witnesses from tailoring their stories to line up. it was just a rare sort of look at what the mueller team was saying. acknowledging in court, it was in secret at the time, that the
president was being investigated. >> so there's so many different story lines we're following, julia ainsley. of course, there's the issue of the secret clearances, jared and ivanka. here's something interesting that john kelly said yesterday. take a listen. >> was it complicated to have the president's family in the government at the time? >> they're an influence that has to be dealt with. >> today, if you were -- >> i don't mean -- by no means mean mrs. trump. first lady is a wonderful person. >> who is he talking about? >> wow. fantastic. >> interesting on so many levels. first of all, we've had reporting at nbc news, my colleague carol lee talking about tension between john kelly and melania trump. i wonder if he's trying to smooth things over there. many in and out of the white house talk about the force that is jared and ivanka trump.
you know, from outside of the palace intrigue perspective, this matters because there are people who are close enough to the president because they're related to him, that they can influence policy, they can influence who comes and who goes. jared kushner had a big weigh-in on the firing of kirstjen nielsen and pushing for different immigration policies, just like steven miller. those could be different. but when it comes down to a security clearance, the fact these people are able to use their influence and get information when, in any other situation, they should not have that access, i think that's what calls it into question. >> julia, jake, michael, thank you, all. what a morning. appreciate your reporting. ahead, wall street ended yesterday's session deep in the red amid a trade deal stand-off between the trump administration and china. we'll bring in richard haas and cnbc's brian sullivan for that discussion. "morning joe" will be back in a moment.
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value during yesterday's massive market sell-off on fears that the white house is about to intensify president trump's trade war with china. while the chinese trade delegation is set to head to washington for talks on thursday and friday, yesterday's market meltdown is a sign that inves r investors don't believe the u.s. and china will find common ground to stave off another round of tariffs. the administration set a deadline for raising tariffs to 25% on $200 billion worth of chinese goods for friday. trump, who once labeled himself as tariff man, has always recently threatened multiple times to impose a 25% tariff on an additional 2$235 billion. it would be subject to duty taxes from china. >> the president will often talk about getting the money from
china when he imposes tariffs, calls himself tariff man. a tariff is a tax on you. he puts a tariff on products coming into the united states, going to walmart, going -- well, i mean, it is not just retail. of course, farmers right now getting absolutely hammered. a lot of sectors getting hammered because of this. let's bring in brian sullivan. negative reaction yesterday from the street. what is the attitude on the street about donald trump's increased threats of additional tariffs against china, a country that many of those same people have been saying for years, china has taken advantage of the united states on trade deals? >> well, they have. i mean, listen, the trade deficit, whatever you think about it, is large, a couple hundred billion dollars. we don't sell that much to them, but they sell a lot to us. i think the fear is this, that it is like brexit, right? british leaving the eu is that it is just going to continue on. there's been this belief that we're going to get some kind of
a deal, a hard and fast moment, at which pen to paper, some handshakes, photographs are taken, and everybody walks away. there is a growing fear on the street that perhaps this will not end that way. maybe this will kind of continue to stretch on. as you guys intimated in your intro there, we're about 42.5 hours away from the tariffs being inl plemplemented. 12:01 a.m. eastern time, it goes from 5% to 25% on 200 bl$200 bi. then the president has the option to raise tariffs on pretty much everything else that comes into the united states, about $550 billion in total product. the real fear, and what happened yesterday is the fear that this will just kind of go on, a slow drip, and we won't get a resolution any time soon. >> thank you so much, brian. >> thank you, brian. >> great talking to you. cnbc's brian sullivan.
richard, what is the attitude of the counsel when it comes to these tariffs, when it comes to china? you do have -- i was recounting yesterday with the sitting congressman, now 25 years ago, we were fighting mfn. china was guilty of intellectual property theft on a massive scale. that has continued. there's been american corporations that have gone over and made sweetheart deals with china, transferring technology to china down the road. i mean, this is a problem. it is a growing problem. china is not our enemy, but they're our main competitor. if not tariffs, what do we use to check the chinese? >> look, china has been in the world trade organization for nearly 20 years. they have taken advantage of it. trade imbalance is not quite as bad as everybody says. probably 30% less because everything out of china is really produced elsewhere. put that aside. the real question is will raising tariffs do something? the answer is the chinese will
agree to buy more american goods. they may reduce some of their tariffs against the united states. they're not going to stop subsidizing the large enterprises simply to please us. they'll say they'll stop stealing technology but they'll keep doing it. the question is whether we'll take a deal that won't solve the problem. there is no solving the problem. they're economic competitors. >> how do we stop them from stealing our technology? >> we can get them to stop requiring that we transfer it as a price of entry to the market, but we can't stop them stealing. >> isn't that really -- again, for people who don't know, you can have a ceo of a big corporation. he or she wants to get to china, so they agree, we'll transfer critical technology to you if you'll let us get into china. he's thinking of profits over the next three, four, five years, not caring about what's in the best interest of the united states. isn't that really more about a
law that we pass here in the united states for corporations that are based in the united states than anything we impose on china? >> there is that issue. there is the question of chinese access to american technology through investment here. we're beginning to shut that down. how do you maintain an economic relationship with a country that's competitive, that will at times steal your technology? we won't get a solution. the question is whether we can bound the loss of technology at the same time we compete with them, same time we maintain access to their market. that's the trick. that's what we're up to. >> national correspondent for the "atlantic" magazine, graham wood. his book, "the way of the strangers, encounters with the islamic state" is out in paperback. one year to the day after president trump withdrew the united states from the landmark iran nuclear agreement, iranian president rouhani says he's sent letters to the remaining five
signatories of the deal, saying tehran will keep its excess uranium rich oil and not sell it to other countries. in addition, he's giving the countries 60 days to help reach new terms for the deal and go through with promised purchases of iranian oil. rouhani says after the 60 days, iran will scale back more compliance with the nuclear deal, includining an increase i the uranium-enrichment level. the breaking news this morning is president rouhani says we're going to stop, right now, complying with two central parts of the agreement we have here, and start making this stuff again. what's the impact of all this? >> well, iran has known this was going to happen for quite some time now. the trump administration, john bolton, mike pompeo, they've made it very clear that this deal is one they want out of. they're going to move out of. i was traveling with bolton in the caucuses a few months ago. the purpose of his being there was to tell allies of the united states, like georgia, armenia,
you need to extricate yourself from economic tanglings with iran. it is moving a little closer toward direct confrontation with iran. >> wanted out of the iran deal. you did it. what was the strategy behind it? was there going to be a new deal? did you want a confrontation? what was the plan? >> the strategy was to try to bring about the end of the iranian regime. what we've done is put tremendous economic pressure on iran. we've told our allies and others, you have to choose. either have economic relationship with us or have an economic relationship with iran. you can't have both. we put tremendous pressure on iran. now, iran is beginning to push back. there was inevitable. the question is, now what? they're basically threatening in 60 days that they're going to start breaking out of this agreement. is that a red line for us, for the israelis, the saudis?
this was inevitable in u.s. policy when we turned up the heat on iran. we were going to bring about a confrontation with iran. >> ifs iran is crossing a red line in our president's mind, what happens next? >> that's the choice of the administration. do you negotiate a different nuclear agreement? do you consider using military force? that is going to be the issue. we've essentially said we're not going to live with the status quo. we got out of this nuclear agreement, which shelved the problem for another 12, 15 years. we've brought it up to the present. the question is, the iranians have said, we're simply not going to sit there and take sanction after sanction after sanction. you put pressure on us, we're going to put pressure on you. we can attack with u.s. forces in the region. we can do terrorism. we can break out of this nuclear game. we can break out of the non-proliferation commitment. ball back in your court, mr. president, mr. prime minister,
mr. saudi arabia. >> the immense groundwork went into the deal in the first place. there is no alternative that has been worked on in the back rooms that is going to -- we effectively have no deal alternative to the deal. >> what does that sound like? like the affordable care act. talking about repealing obamacare. >> no alternative. >> talking about getting rid of the iranian deal after we basically, you know -- >> destruction. >> -- have billions of dollars going their way. no alternative. >> given what everyone knows about the iranian regime, were we better off and safer, was the region safer and more calm with the nuclear deal we had or now that it is jump ball? >> the deal we had, we had one thing we could probably bank on, which is a stalling of the development of nuclear weapons. the time when the iran regime would be able to have nuclear
weapons in its hands was probably going to be later. that was kicked down the lane. now, there is one thing that we don't have though with that deal, which is, any kind of guarantee that iran would not project its force elsewhere, like in syria. i mean, we see iran acting badly all over the region. not a lot of control on that. now, we're going to see, of course, ratcheting up of iranian misbehavior in the region and no alternative to that. >> the deal shelled one area of iran and u.s. competition. iran continued to do what it was doing in lebanon, syria. now, we've reopened everything. that's where we are with iran. this is now going to dominate. >> graham, really quickly, isis. what's the state of it? with your paperback coming out that examines the mindset, the psychological makeup of members of isis, where are they right now? where's the organization right now? >> the territory of isis, of course, is such, up smaller.
there are little villages where they might have power at night. what we have is the culture of isis, which is still out there. remember, there's 45,000 children who were with isis and are in camps right now. these kids, you know, we grew up maybe worshipping superheros. they grew up worshipping their parents. we have this culture of terror that was built up around the regime. it inspires lots of people. >> thank you so much. we'll be following this developing story. back in 1991, nbc nightly news did this review of donald trump's problematic financial position. take a look. >> when you borrow as much money as donald trump did, nearly $2 billion, and the economy goes into a tail spin, and you can't pay the interest on your loans, the bankers move in. they have. here's what's in the works. donald's $100 million yacht goes to the boston safe deposit and
trust company. his half interest in the grand hyatt hotel goes to bankers trust. his interest in alexander's department store goes to city core. his trump shuttle goes to northwest airlines. what donald trump gets is a chance to start over. he probably won't have to declare bankruptcy. on the boardwalk in atlantic city, he keeps his casinos. in new york, he keeps the plaza hot hotel, which he hopes to convert into condominiums. he keeps the old pennsylvania railroad yards. he wants to turn them into a real estate development. what he doesn't keep is ivana. she divorced him and got $14 million. if donald wasn't so badly in hawk, she might have gotten $2.5 billion. donald is trying to put a good face on all this. i wasn't free to wheel and deal during my divorce, he say. now, i'm able to do what i do best. a lot of people think donald has
had his day. that his game of monopoly is almost over. the man who was the darling of the '80s is seen in the '90s as a man in trouble, and he knows it. i'm being put up there, says donald, with the kurbs. >> particularly interesting this morning, as "the new york times" is pulling back the curtain on president trump's finances, revealing his prior business struggles were far worse than previously thought. the paper says it has obtained tax information on very thin ic >> from 1985 to 1994. by the time his best-selling memoir "the art of the deal" hit stores in 1987, trump was already in deep financial trouble. deep. losing tens of millions of
dollars on bad business deals. the paper says the figures show in 1985, trump reported losses of just over $46 million from his core businesses. mostly casinos, hotels, and retail space and apartment buildings. those businesses continued to lose money every year for a total loss of $1.7 billion over the nearly ten-year span. the "times" goes on to say that year after year, trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual american taxpayer, citing his results compare to information compiled by the irs on high-income earnings. >> wait a second, mika. are you saying -- >> he's the biggest loser. >> -- of all the people that filed taxes in the united states of america over this decade, that donald trump lost more money than every other american?
>> yeah. >> i mean, back then, it is like 250 million people. >> than anyone. >> he is special. i mean, 1 out of 250 million. >> he won that one. >> wow. >> in 1990 and '91, his core business losses totaled more than $250 million. >> i'm sure a lot of other people were losing then. >> more than twice that of the nearest taxpayer in the irs' information for those two years. >> oh. he lost twice as much as the biggest loser underneath him. >> as anyone. >> twice as much. >> the paper adds that trump -- >> okay, that's
bad. >> -- lost so much money, he was able to avoid paying income taxes for eight of the ten years they examined. >> he doesn't pay income taxes. >> that's one way to get around taxes. >> you know, wait. this is all so confusing. >> i thought he was so successful. >> i read "the art of the deal" and wanted to get into real
estate. as you know,investments. that's why willie and i go to the dog track. >> that's why i handle the checkbook. >> long on the puppies. >> what's so interesting is, and why this actually is news -- republicans go, oh, that's not right. >> case closed. >> case closed. this doesn't mean anything. it actually does. willie, that nbc report from 1 '91, the belief was then that donald trump was flying high in the '80s, then crashed when the economy went down in '90/'91. they thinks went terribly wrong for him. what this "new york times" report shows us is it was ualwas a scam. even in the years leading up to "the art of the deal," he'd lost hundreds of millions of dollars. while he was losing money, his
father was making money. in fact, his fathers only losses were investments in his son, and he'd already given his son the equivalent in 2019, like $415 million to get him started. he lost all of that money. he lost all the $415 million and more. >> this is the second chapter in a story that began by the same group of reporters at "the new york times" in october, when they wrote the piece about fred trump, donald trump's father who gave donald trump all the money he squandered over the years. this is the next chapter in a story that, again, does more than poke a hole. it deflates the entire narrative around donald trump, which is that he made himself into this magnate in new york city. got on tv, wrote books about how to be a magnate. >> so rich. >> got a tv show that was based upon the fact that he was great at business and he could teach you to be great at business. >> this is the "wizard of oz."
>> eventually, it made him famous, in part, and put it into the white house. >> before "art of the deal," he was already losing hundreds of millions of dollars. >> yeah. >> wrote a book about how you could be a good deal maker. now, we know, he was losing hundreds of millions of dollars. people that were reading that book, it was written by one of the least successful business people in all of america. >> the president has responded this morning to the story. >> good. >> tweeting his response to "the new york times" piece. quote, real estate developers in the 1980s and '90s, more than 30 years
ago, were entitled to massive write-offs and depreciation, there's the word, that would, if one was actively building, show losses in tax losses in almost all cases. much was non-monetary. sometimes considered, quote, tax sheltered. you'd get it by building or even buying. you always wanted to show losses for tax purposes. almost all real estate developers did. >> yeah. >> often renegotiate with banks. it was sport, writes the
president. >> it was sport. it was sport. that's why -- >> losing money. >> i'm glad we played the piece from nbc. that's why he had to give up his 50% share in the hyatt, in midtown. that's why he had to give away trump airlines. that's why he had to give away his yacht. that's why -- this wasn't sport. this guy was struggling to, i mean, do everything he could not to go bankrupt. at the end of that piece, the bitter irony, but he got to keep his casinos. >> yes. >> which completely wiped him out. how many bankruptcies did he file? a to be n of bankruptcies. this guy went from the frying pan directly into the fire. >> the closing line of his tweet, which is important, so he defends everything that he did. >> yeah. >> he says, the very old information put out is a highly
inaccurate, fake news hit job, which is exactly why i asked suzanne craig of "the new york times" when she was here in the last hour, and i invite, if you weren't up that early, watch it online, to her explain the reporting and the documents she had, how she authorized them and authenticated them, where she got them and why they are, in fact, correct, and not fake news. it is funny that he goes through and explains the documents. >> right. >> at the end, says, but none of that is true. they're all fake. >> again, his own statement contradicts itself. not a surprise. mike? >> this is an important story. it is a big story, one he can talk his way out of. even with the enormous losses. one thing he gets to in part today in his tweets, reaction to the story, and it is something that will put a chill on all of his big rallies. it is this, he pays no taxes. >> no taxes. >> he's gone around the country. that's how partially he became
president of the united states, the system is rigged. elites are against you. the east coast, you know, blah, blah, blah. he pays no taxes. try that out when you're at a big rally. >> let's bring into the conversation professor of princeton university, eddie glad jr., and former columnist, ron fournier, now the president of a detroit-based pr firm, now opening a new office in washington, d.c. i may ask, ron, for a job by the end of this interview. >> you got it. >> ron, donald trump spends all of 2016 and beyond talking about how the system is rigged. we find out this morning that, first of all, he's the biggest loser when it comes to business. no individual over that decade lost as much money as he did. now, donald trump has just, basically, politically indicted himself. he's politically indicted himself by saying, no, no, no. i was just a scam artist.
even though you're paying 28% of your salary to the irs, i was going around with yachts, beauty queens, porn stars, playboy bunnies, flying my own 757, and i never had to pay any taxes. >> right. >> how does that work? >> how does all of this work? we now know what we've known all along, his entire career was built on a lie, right? you would think this would backfire on him. this is a guy who has been going around the country for two years, talking about -- for four years, talking about the system being rigged. we have this report from the mueller investigation that clearly shows he was obstructing justice in plain sight. that he was rigging the system in this case. here's a guy who has been rigging the system to benefit
him for years. hasn't affected him politically. he was elected president. even after the mueller report, numbers haven't changed. living now in the heart of trump country, the reason he is so bullet proof with his base, i think there's three. one, he's promised and brought disruption. people who just want things shaken up. even if it is not in a pretty way. two, he's channelling these people's grievances. he's not doing it constructively, but he's channelling their grievances. the third, in this tribal society, people wearing the red jersey want to see the people in the blue jersey squirm. i don't think this will affect his standing amongst his core at all, even though, in a sane world, it should. >> you know, let's be really clear here, donald trump had said before the system was rigged and, yeah, i got some
advantaging out of it, but i'm going to fix it when i become president. what he did, his major piece of legislation was a tax bill. >> right. >> that actually rigged the system even more. the donald trump of the '80s and '90s that used the write-offs could write-off more money. billionaires, people broke like donald trump, could write-off more money while flying around on their jumbo jets, while on their yachts, their 200 foot yachts, and not pay taxes. working class americans got hit with a tax bill every april 15th. >> absolutely. you turn the swamp into a septic tank. i'm an old country boy. remember the septic tanks? >> yeah, yeah. >> i wanted to add a fourth -- >> do they have septic tanks in princeton? i know they do in mississippi. >> in mississippi they do. >> okay. >> i want to add a fourth to
ron's point. i watched gordon, dusty rose, you know, wrestling, right? >> hold on a second. in mississippi, it was called rastling. >> i remember watching it with my great granddaddy. he knew it wasn't real, but he would complain about the bad guys, like the assassins, and he'd just complain over and over again about, how could they break the rules? they need to suspend them. he knew it all was fake. >> right. >> here, we have evidence that donald trump is a fraud. concrete evidence, once again, he is fraud. doesn't matter. we all know it's fake. we've known it's fake. just like i used to root for dusty rose, the cajun, hey, it doesn't matter. the second point i'd want to make outside of that, just the entertainment of it all, the fiction of it all, not that he is owning it, but the entertainment of it all. the second is there was a nugget in the report.
the windfall of $52.9 million of interest income. that they couldn't account for. beyond the fact it is evidence that is hard-wired, fake fraud, is the fact that, is he leveraged? can he be leveraged? where he is he getting the money from? the $52.9 million, the chair of the committee, those investing, oh, they have nuggets here. >> they have questions. >> by the way, i was a hulk hogan guy. beat the commis. the question eddie gets to is what about the recent tax returns? this is, as i said, if you grew up and lived in new york in the '80s, people sort of knew this, suspected this, but we have the numbers now, and they're bigger than we could have imagined. $1 billion over the course of a decade in losses.
what about the last six years, to eddie's point about being leveraged? who has he done business with? who has leverage over him? has he lost money, owe money? we need to know these things. the president has a trez sasury secretary, as with other positions in washington, protecting him from the information being made republican. >> can we recall trump's own boys, who they got their money from? the russians. trump's sons said in interviews, we get most of our way, the lon hide the documents, which they've been doing for four years, the more suspicious you get. >> documents will come out eventually. it is inevitable. you, joe, mentioned the key date in terms of politics, in terms of his re-election campaign. it is, indeed, april 15th. a day every american approaches with either fear, anger, where am i going to get the money, why
are we spending so much in taxes? april 15th to donald j trump is another spring day. >> it's a day he doesn't have to pay tax. other americans do. you were talking about trump supporters. there is a disconnect from reality. i talked to good friends who have been trump supporters forever. attorneys, professionals. you know, why did you vote for trump? all these years later, you know, they'll say, well, you know, i agree we needed to build the wall. he's going to get tough on illegal immigration. i would say, well, you do know when barack obama left office, illegal border crosses were at a 50-year low. we were playing t-ball the last time. they'd say, well, i don't know. i didn't know that.
well, he's going to get tough on crime. he's tough. you do know that crime is down at its lowest level, new york is for new york crime. they never had a reported year where crime was as low as it is now. there's silence on the other side of the line. then you just hear, i like how he's shaking up washington. i don't like nancy pelosi. again, these are not -- these are not uneducated people. these are doctors. they are lawyers. they are accountants. they have suspended belief. we always try to paint it as some uneducated dupe. no, no, no. there's very, very educated dupes who don't know the facts. >> yeah. voters don't know. most voters don't make decisions on an intellectual level.
it's in the gut. these people you're talking about, a lot of them voted for bill clinton because they wanted change and didn't get it. a lot voted for barack obama and wanted change and didn't get it. a lot of the same people voted for donald trump, especially in a state like michigan. they want change. they know the political system is really screwed up. they're looking for somebody to fix it. they're closing their mind off to any other form of reality, especially when a candidate comes along in times like this and channels grievances. some of them, the worst instincts human beings can possibly have, he's channelling the grievances. i think the scheming gets worse a year from now, when it is a binary choice. when it is donald trump versus whoever the democrats put up. if democrats put up somebody who is way to the left, very extreme, who is really disconnected from the heartland, it is going to make that even easier for the people you're talking about, those intellectual dupes to make a choice for donald trump again. he could get re-elected.
>> what's fascinating is, these people i'm talking about are, again, really smart people. really educated people. there's just this one area where they profess ignorance on stats from donald trump's own government. they're very good at what they do. again, i'm sure there are a lot of people that can sit there and rationalize, yes, i know this, i know that, but i'm voting for him anyway because i got a tax cut. i like how he is tough on iran. that's fine. if you're willing to accept the racist comments, willing to accept the bigoted comments, the xenophobia because taxes were lower, you live with that. i hear people professing ignorance. richard, are we going to war with iran? >> we've set in motion a dynamic where we could end up there. we've had a strategy of basically trying to get them to so fundamentally change the
policy, it is equivalent to regime change. it is not going to happen. we put more and more pain on them, economy will shrinking by 6% this year. they're not going to absorb that and do nothing. now, for the first time, we're seeing iran push back, thre threatening to break out of the constraints. do we take that, or do we respond? i think what's happening -- >> with iran, what iran is doing in yemen, what iran is doing in syria, is this part of a bigger plan? >> iran has been doing all these things. the nuclear agreement never dealt with those things. we decided not to push back against iran and syria. we're pushing back a little in yemen. again, the question for ourselves is, what are we prepared to tolerate? where are we prepared to push back? what are we prepared to do? >> what is bolton prepared to tolerate? what is trump prerapared to
tolerate from iran? >> rather than meet with the chancellor of germany, secretary of state went to iran. we're sending ships to the region. we're trying to give ourselves options. i'll be honest, joe, it is not thought through. i do not see a strategy. what we have done, it is like we've literally gone to the kitchen, we've turned up the heat, we're hoping the other side would fold. they're not going to fold. the iranian regime is not that vulnerable. now, they've reacted. i do not believe we have a strategy yet for escalation. i don't believe we have an end game. i don't think we've defined success. short of the regime falling, which isn't going to happen, i don't believe we understand what we've set in motion or where it is going. if this sounds similar, it is similar with china on trade. by the way, it is similar to venezuela. it is similar to north korea. in every situation, the administration articulates an ambitious set of goals but doesn't put in place policies
that are connected to the goals. either we have to climb down, or we have to escalate. that's where we're heading iran. >> richard, ron, thank you both. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> by the way, willie, as you know, richard's book -- >> change the grilling game. >> forever. >> he says, for this mother's day -- >> rack of lamb. >> do you recommend a certain glaze? it's in the book. i'll read it. >> that is, by the way, chapter 7 of "world in disarray." some of the best grilling tips. we have -- >> i have -- >> -- the apron. >> i use it when i cook. still ahead on "morning joe," the nra has long been among the most powerful lop bbi in the world. the gun group's finances are increasingly under the spotlight. we have new reporting on that
from the "new yorker." as we go to break, willie, you have a fun event planned tonight alongside your father. >> my dad and i will be at the barnes & noble on broadway and 86th street on the upper west side in new york city to talk about his book, "lake of the ozarks." getting favorable reviews from mike barnicle, john meacham, and jason bateman. >> no way. >> star of "ozark" on netflix. we'll be there tonight at 7:00, upper west side. >> join them there. yesterday, joe and i sat down with the lady on "the view" to talk about politics and my new book, "earn it." after just one day, it is doing quite well. it is a book for young women who are starting out. the first, second, and third jobs in their careers. i teamed up with "morning joe" producer daniela pierre-bravo to lay out tips for young women getting ahead in the job force. >> number one in job resumes,
meeting kmuncationcommunication. i don't see it as number one in grilling. >> perhaps someone might want to tell the president, potus, you can get a copy right now on know your value.com. tomorrow, i'll be across the street on nbc's "today" to talk about it. we'll be right back with much more on "morning joe." >> what advice do you have for women at that point in their life? >> it is a tough time. anybody starting out. what i found is no matter how many noes you get, closed doors, if you work hard and you continue to put yourself out there, in some shape or form, a yes will always follow. money mat seem the same, but some give their clients cookie cutter portfolios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better.
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the united states, mike, out with a new report, co-published by the "new yorker," on the internal financial dealings at the nra. what a report it is. thanks for being with us. >> mike, shocking. just shocking, the mismanagement. great we have you here on the same day as trump tax returns. you can call it fake news, it is all numbers. >> right. >> it is all math. >> on paper. >> it is all on paper. >> right. >> it is all in black and white. it's the same thing with your -- you know, because i heard you worked for a group thatviolence. i said, how slanted is this going to be? halfway through, i said, oh, my god, this is all in black and white. the financial mismanagement inside the nra is staggering. the self-dealing. >> right. >> it is just really sleazy. >> right. >> explain it. >> tell us about it. >> it is a cultural that's marked by self-dealing, greed,
secrecy, bloated payments, lavish pay packages to vendors, something that's been going on for, i don't know, a couple decades, basically since wayne la pierre rose to power in the nra in the early '90s. >> who benefits off these deals? who is making millions off these internal self-dealing episodes? >> nra's senior management and the vendors and contractors who are very close to them. also, people who -- what tends to happen is folks who worked for the nra for a long time at a high level, when they stop working for the nra, they continue on, despite being retired, with lucrative contracts that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. >> give us specifics on the self-dealing. >> it is hard to -- i guess we can pick -- one place to start without with mcqueen, the nra's long-time public relations firm. basically created wayne la pierre. all the messaging you're
familiar with comes from ack ackerman mcqueen. they have a revolving door. 25% of employees are managed by former ackerman folks. former ackerman folks work for the nra. nra people work for ackerman. people who hold executive positions at the nra also have stakes in ackerman affiliated companies. >> how much money was ackerman make? >> 2017, the most full accounting we know of, that came to more than $40 million. >> they make more than $40 million. they also pushed nra tv. >> they kree create it, produce. they pay people you're familiar with, north, the nra's president was getting paid some million dollars a year through ackerman. >> i was wondering, because i know a lot of nra members. i grew up with nra members. in fact, i grew up in mississippi and alabama, georgia and northwest florida. i was surrounded. in the pews of first baptist
churches, they were all nra members. >> right. >> then i see people coming on and threatening journalists. >> right. >> one actually said to us, your time is running out. they turned over an hourglass. i sat there thinking -- >> why? >> i understand why lobbyists in d.c. would do that, but what about all the people sitting in the pews? do they want death threats against journalists? what your report showed was actually, this approach offended a lot of nra members. they're like, talk about guns. don't threaten people's lives. >> there is a -- people look at nra membership as a monolith, and it is not. there are members concerned with gun education, safety, training, hunting. those are the people, em empirically, on paper, being neglected. >> let's say it, gun rights. >> right. >> they don't want what the nra tv has been delivering, for the most part, and making, what, $40
million a year doing it. >> right. >> a lot of people getting rich off of something that's actually driving away members. >> that's right. i don't think their primary concern is being at the vanguard of the culture wars. i think they care about gun rights, in as much as they want firearms to hunt, go to the range sometimes, but that's not really what they -- that's not what gun culture is about for them. they're not interested, necessarily, in carrying their handgun in public, being able to bring their handgun to a government building, a bar, wherever it is you can carry it now, on college campuses. >> there has been a narrative that the nra may be losing some of its power because of what you report here, but also what's happening at the top of that organization and the disconnect with a lot of its membership. is that an accurate and a fair narrative that the nra is perhaps not as powerful as it used to be? >> i think that is true. i think that the gun violence prevention groups on the other side have built up fr
infrastructure that's not quite there but it is on pace to match what the nra has been building over a number of years. >> you say match, but they outspent the nra in 2018, right? >> that's correct. >> significantly. >> very significantly. that was the other thing i was going to say actually, which is because the nra put itself in this dire financial state, with its spending, self-dealing, et cetera, it can't afford to spend on elections the way it was, especially how it did in 2016. >> if i'm a member of the nra, ackerman mcqueen gets $40 million a year. >> that was one year to account for. more than $40 million was paid. >> how much of my dues goes to them in. >> i guess it is hard to -- i don't have the exact -- but to be very clear, the nra is very bad at cultivating big money single donors. the vast majority of its revenue is coming from its small dues paying members. >> they're increasing dues
because of the financial self-dealing and mismanagement? >> they've had to do it a couple years in a row after not having done it for some 20 years. they're reliant on that group. it is important for them to keep them involved and continue to buy their memberships and other products. >> i'm going to go to sam, but i've always tried to explain this to people. you hear about the nra. the nra. you're really talking about wayne la pierre, cox, and maybe one other people in washington, d.c. you're talking about d.c. lobbyists. >> right. >> then you take a poll of nra members, and you'll see 60%, 70% of nra members support increased background checks. >> right. >> almost a majority, a ban on military style assault weapons. there is this massive disconnect between the three washington lobbyists w s who are getting r preaching gun rights, and the millions of members who are the nra. >> i think that is basically true. i think one of the issues, coming back to ackerman mcqueen,
and to be clear, this is just the moment prominent example of the issues that the nra has. there's a number of vendors and contractors and other arrangements beyond what ackerman mcqueen provides, but messaging forces the lobbyists into positions they might not otherwise take, which is interesting. which is why nra lobbyists, the ones you don't know, frequently complain about the extreme messaging, that it doesn't really have -- there is no oversight, basically. it happens. it goes out into the world. people think dana lash is a lobbyist, which is interesting. >> got paid $1 million. >> right. >> by them to do that. >> something near that, yeah. close to $1 million. >> affecting people's lives. >> ours. >> at least it looks like she's threatening people's lives. >> hourglass. >> your time is running out. >> i'll take that as a threat. >> get paid $1 million to threaten people's lives. by the way, that not only hurts membership, that hurts them on capitol hill. i've heard it specifically, that instead of worrying about gun
culture, threatening journalists' lives, not a good marketing move. sam stein? >> well, thoughts and prayers to the nra. secondarily, i do agree with the general consensus here, which is that the group, essentially, has left its roots. we had someone at the recent convention in indianapolis doing some reporting, talking to people who drove four hours, five hours just to be there, and watch this drama unfold, as all of this spending was brought to the surface, and wonder what exactly the nra was doing. they want them to focus on gun rights. they feel they've become a cultural institution. this started in the '90s and accelerated in the obama era, when the group was focused on the knockout game. as one example of what a cultural force it became, the nra in 2016 did a $2 million television advertisement on bengha benghazi. i get that benghazi was an important lelectoral issue, buti have problem figuring out what the tie is to gun rights. when you watch this happen, what
is taking place is the nra essentially raises money by becoming an institution, a vanguard of the culture wars. it has all this money and spends it in insane ways. now, it is coming back to bite them. >> it is. the nra's newly elected president has decided to continue the tradition of washington lobbyists, gun lob lobbyi lobbyists, and say stupid things that hurt the group's members politically. taken a hard line on the political debate in our backy d backyard. long-time georgia resident meadows set the focus on flipping her home congressional district from blue to woman. democratic congresswoman from the 6th district, mcbath, won her victory in last year's elections. she is an african-american who campaigned on gun violence reform in a majority white district after her son, jordan, was shot to death. in an interview, meadows said
that it was wrong to say, quote, the reason mcbath won was because of her anti-gun stance. that didn't have anything to do with it. it was because she was a minority female. >> wow. >> congresswoman mcbath has since pushed back in a series of tweets laced with photos of her dead son. mcbath wrote, i won the race because, after my son was senselessly murdered in 2012, i stood up to do something about it. in a statement to the "washington post," meadows apologized to mcbath for her comments. >> yeah. >> it just seems, again, these lobbyists in washington, d.c. are all getting incredibly wealthy, running the nra into the ground, and sticking the bill to rank and file members. >> that sounds exactly what mike's reporting says. i will say very quickly, on the idea the nra president was
talking about mcbath, saying she was only elected because she was a minority female, i've known mcbath for many years. interviewed her several times. in the death of her son jordan, it was really something that changed, obviously changed her life, but really spurred her into action. she talked about her story on the campaign trail. she was someone who was very clear about her message, that guns needed to be really looked at, and gun issues needed to be looked at. i think just to say that that, the nra president, going into the cultural wars, that the organization has been known for, she's embracing this idea that the nra can go past guns and ask people, what do you want america to be? this this case, she's almost saying, if you're a minority female, you're getting something you don't deserve. adding to this reporting by mike, it is breathtaking. >> it is. >> one of the things that's really important is the idea that there are people close to nra executives making money off of the organization. they're someone's father, someone's wife, someone's
significant other. they're all making money. it is not even just the executives, but they're bringing in people close to them and saying, here's money from the nra, too. >> yeah. you know, eddie, it is interesting. on social issues like gay marriage, abortion, gun rights, sometimes people act like those are static debates. >> right. >> that they don't move. same-sex marriage began moving when the culture was starting to change. it was not just what we saw on tv. it was that more and more people were actually coming out and telling their friends that they had a significant other they'd like to marry. culture changed radically, just like that. the same thing with abortion. a lot of americans have become more conservative on abortion, support limits at 20 weeks. that's because 3d imagery. that's because you can go into the womb and you can see at 20
weeks, you know -- i could see, as i've always said, i could see jack's profile at 20 weeks. you see the similarities between him now and how he was at 20 weeks. he was a premie, so we saw a lot of him actually while he was still in the womb. it is the same thing with guns. >> right. >> you know, i changed my view on background checks. wanted far more aggressive background checks. military style assault weapons. a lot of other things. not just after newtown. that was after virginia tech. it have a after aurora. it continued. maybe it took me too long, but at that point, i said, this is a national epidemic. i'm not alone. what i'm saying is there's a lot of people like many that might score 100% on nra scorecards back in the 1990s, who today are
saying, yup, i'm glad heller was decided the way it was. americans have a right to keep and bear arms, but there have to be limits. there is a growing crisis. >> joe, you're right. human beings are dynamic. we can take in information, and our views can change and evolve. doesn't make us flip-floppers. it makes us thoughtful people. i want to say, in light of the backdrop to mike's reporting, it's just what happened in colorado. >> right. >> there is a child dead, 18-year-old boy dead. eight injuries. >> school traumatized. >> community of children traumati traumatized. >> the outside influence. >> what about the young man in north carolina that saved people in his classroom? >> paexactly. >> dead, today, forever. >> outside influence of what seems to be corrupt people, who seem to be corrupt people. the outside influence on the culture. what sam said, how they've leveraged in interesting sorts of ways the culture wars for their own financial gain, right?
the backdrop of what they're doing, how cynical and indid sidiosi insidious, is a culture where guns can do this damage. when we talk about the state of the nra, we need to understand the damage that has been done and is being done, and keep in mind what has happened at the s.t.e.m. school in colorado. my heart goes out to the parents of the child who died. >> middle school. >> unc charlotte. >> exactly. >> we see this in hot-button issues, where extremists get control and will make money. profits. here again, i want to keep underlining it, and tell me if i'm wrong, when we talk about the, quote, nra, that most people talk about, they're not talking about the millions of members. they're talking about three lobbyists who have taken millions of people's dollars, and they and their families have gotten incredibly rich, and they've run this organization into the ground financially. >> right. you use the word "cynical" and "insidious," which is basically the perfect way to describe it.
it is some of the people you've mentioned. it is a larger pool than that. most of the nra's executives. someone was mentioning before, talking about one executive in particular who is giving payouts to his dad, to his former business partner, to other people who are related to him, others giving payouts to friends, family. i mean, there's an endless amount of benefits that seem to come along with being connected to a top nra official. the question you have to ask yourself, when we're talking about these horrible incidents, what is this whole debate about? what is it all for? the worst possible answer is that it could be for self-enrichment. that is what it starts to feel like as you examine documents that were created by the nra's own accountants specifically. this isn't like my opinion. it is not anonymous sources. this is paper created by the nra's own accountants, saying here are all of these problems
that have to do with our venues, contractors, executives, who are finding ways to pad their pockets. we don't understand it. we don't get how the cash flows. we're the ones who are supposed to know how the cash flows. >> sam, people inside the nra are saying this. there's something rotten in denmark. >> right. >> there is a real problem here. >> well, joe, to your point, people don't remember the early years of the obama administration, but he was incredibly, incredibly reluctant to do anything on guns for years and years. really took to newtown for him to weigh in on the issue. now, you see in the democratic party, virtually no one, with a few exceptions, having any hesitation whatsoever embracing gun reform laws. that's because, in part, of the change in political dynamics, the cultural dynamics, but it is also a reaction to the nra's decision to align itself so much with one political party, to get so in bed president trump campaign, it made a historic expenditure for trump's
election, that democrats no longer -- they used to feel like they had to at least feign interest in gun rights. they no longer feel that way. i think that's problematic for the institution itself in the long term. >> sam stein. >> you actually had jack mertha, pro-gun guy. john dzingel, pro-gun guy. i mean, there were democrats that, again, proudly, when the position wasn't extreme, yeah, i can do that and go back to the constituencies. >> bernie sanders. >> plenty. >> sam stein, thank you. mike, we'll be reading the new reporting on the nra at new yorker.com. thank you very much for being on. >> thanks for having me. coming up, a stunning chart from "the new york times," detailing donald trump's financial losses over the course of -- >> is that a roller coaster? >> -- a decade. no, a roller coaster goes up and down. >> exactly. >> steve ratner knows a thing or two about charts and joins us
ahead. a real-life story that sounds like the plot of a movie, and it might become one. >> have you seen this? >> incredible. "new york" magazine is detailing how a grown man moved onto a college campus and began manipulating a group of his daughter's classmates. unbelievable story. >> he shattered their lives. >> next on "morning joe."
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because i kept reading this and really quickly, for our viewers, a guy gets out of prison. a student says, hey, my dad is going to come live with us. he just got out of prison. he's going to hang here for a while. basically, i'm simplify it for everybody. he started his own cult and destroyed the lives of these like eight, nine kids. my question is, where were the administrators when a 50-something-year-olds former convict came to live in a dorm? >> or maybe it was -- >> that's a great question. >> was it in a dorm? >> it was in a dorm. >> like on-campus? >> yeah it was like a -- eight students were living in one dorm with like a living room and he was sleeping in the living room or in his daughter's room. and parents complained. multiple parents complained to the administration, and the administrator they complained to said nothing could be done. >> what? >> and this guy would go in and he would lie about his background.
he lied about being a war hero. but then he'd have these sessions, and he did, as you all describe very well, what every cult leader does. cuts them off from the outside world. divides them from the parents. tells them fantastical tales about how they were molested or abused when they were children and how they can't trust their parents or family members anymore. >> years before larry ray moved in to this dorm room, he was described by the fbi as a master manipulator. so it was sort of open season as far as having a captive audience on this small liberal arts campus. these children were, you know -- children? young adults. >> no, no, no. i've got four kids. they were children. they were children. >> right. yeah. and they're open-minded, they're looking for guidance, and he saw an opportunity. he wedged himself between the family, these families and their children and the kids looked up
to them. so, you know, with somebody with larry's background, he worked with the cia. he was an fbi informant. it's not hard to imagine how he was able to really put these kids under a spell. >> i have to go back to the genesis of the story. so a 55-year-old man is released from prison and moves in to a women's dorm at sarah lawrence college. and that raises no red flags, even after parents begin to complain? the administration said, boy, we can't have that? that seems like day one you throw the guy out. >> it was a co-ed dorm. >> okay. well -- >> and basically what the -- >> is that better? >> what the administrator, the dean who the mother of one of the students -- she complained to him. he said, well, you know, parents have a right to visit their children on campus. >> not to live with them. >> what did he go to jail for? >> it was a probation violation. he was convicted of securities fraud seven or eight years
earlier, and then did a number of things to violate his probation. >> i cannot imagine that princeton or alabama, i mean -- any school, nyu -- >> sarah lawrence. >> where my kids went to school. no! no administration would allow this to happen. would they? would princeton? >> i'm baffled. when i read this story, i was baffled. to my knowledge, given particularly the expansive nature of student services that this makes no sense to me at all. so two quick questions. how is sarah lawrence responding to this story now in realtime? and two, give us -- give us a sense of what the students, the young folk are doing now in the aftermath of this. >> well, as far as the school's response, we went to them for comment, and we gave them a laundry list of things we were going to put in our story and they said we have no record himp living there and we can't
comment on a student's academic or personal records. when i reached out to the administrator in question who we've named in our story, he did not respond but he resigned quietly two weeks later. draw your own conclusions about that. as far as what the school's response has been since, they sent an email to all students from the dean and it said, we are sure by now many of you have read the story in new york magazine. we want to encourage you all to check your student handbook for rules regarding overnight guests. >> we just have to underline, this isn't just weird. it was abusive, right? sexually in a physical way. he was abusive to these girls. these young women. and he continued to live in the dorm. >> and the kids now, where are they? >> right. well, a number have gotten away and have gone through extensive therapy and deprogramming, which -- >> by the way, we don't have time. we want you guys to come back. he moved them into the city and actually took locks off of all the doors, including bathrooms
so he could walk in any time. >> no privacy at all. >> some escaped. >> some escaped. there are two women who continue to live with larry. and last week, their families went to try to stage some sort of rescue. >> intervention. >> and it was unsuccessful from their standpoint. they did not create any separation. their hope is that it was sort of an opportunity to say, hey, these kids now know that there's families out there who love them and, you know, they'll have an alternative. >> girls, go home. ezra and james, thank you. the piece is the cover story for "new york" magazine. it's staggering. we'll continue to follow. back in 2012, donald trump tweeted, quote, half of americans don't pay income tax despite crippling government debt. well, now the debt is soaring under president trump while new reporting shows he didn't pay
taxes for at least eight years. we talk to one of the authors of that "new york times" investigation showing trump lost more than $1 billion over the course of a decade. >> is that bad? >> plus, democrats are standing firm on their subpoena demands to the justice department. the house judiciary committee is preparing to hold attorney general william barr in contempt of congress. the latest on that standoff is ahead. "morning joe" is back in two minutes.
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cancer treatment centers of america. can't see what it is yet.re? what is that? that's a blazer? that's a chevy blazer? aww, this is dope. this thing is beautiful. i love the lights. oh man, it's got a mean face on it. it looks like a piece of candy. look at the interior. this is nice. this is my sexy mom car. i would feel like a cool dad. it's just really chic. i love this thing. it's gorgeous. i would pull up in this in a heartbeat. i want one of these. that is sharp. the all-new chevy blazer. speaks for itself. i don't know who they got to design this but give them a cookie and a star. so you're not suggesting, though, that spying occurred? >> i don't -- well, i guess you could -- i think spying did occur, yes. i think spying did occur. >> do you believe they're engaging in spying when they're following fbi investigative policies and procedures?
>> well, that's not the term i would use. >> when it comes to the investigation into the trump campaign, the attorney general was quick to toss around terms like spying. the fbi director wasn't quite so cavalier, though. >> it's so interesting that -- we're seeing every day confirmation of things we already knew, but it's nice to get that confirmation. like, willie, a couple days ago when the 500 prosecutors said, oh, yeah, he committed obstruction of justice. if he wasn't the president, he'd be indicted. we all knew that, but it would be nice to hear it from 500 prosecutors. a lot of republicans. same thing with the fbi director yesterday. yes, we knew barr was lying. we knew he wouldn't call that spying, but he's got an audience of one, and, i mean, if your whole job is to be joe mccarthy's lawyer, then you're just going to lie as much as you can and that's exactly what barr did in his testimony. >> director wray has a
reputation for dispassionately shooting holes in things the president and the administration says. in this case saying plainly that fisa approved surveillance is not spying. >> that was bad. that was a bad moment for the president, but at least he had good breaking news later on. his good friends at "the new york times," who he's always greatly admired and wanted to be loved by them. well, they finally gave him some love yesterday and -- >> oh, lotso. >> every paper but "the new york times." >> i've got the "toronto star," the "cleveland plain dealer." right? right? i'm going through all of this. >> the "sacramento bee" is down there. >> the "bee" is amazing. >> amazing investigation. and it shows that -- well, i've got to say -- >> we'll do the short version. >> "biggest loser." >> no one has lost as much money. that's just a real, like you have won. you are the number one.
>> we've got to practice something. >> oh, sorry. >> so we're going to get into this. especially since we have somebody that wrote the story. >> broke it. >> we have to practice a couple of things before we bring you on. do you have the sound effects because i'm sure when "the new york times" sits there and writes something. so if i say that he lost a billion dollars over the decade and that was -- ♪ >> that's good. >> no, remember "the price is right." and that was perhaps the biggest loss of an individual over the entire decade -- ♪ that's when you do it. it's all about timing, and you blew it. this is a serious news show. >> it's been a good rehearsal. when we do it live. >> alex, when do we go live? >> five minutes. >> we're on. >> live? what's that? >> we're on right now. >> you need to do it every year, though, not just -- >> oh, true. >> and she would -- she broke the story.
>> okay. listen. here's the deal. we deal in generalities around here, okay? we don't like specific numbers. why don't we introduce them. let's go to the numbers. we want to go every year. >> we've got mike barnicle here. national security reporter for nbc news, julia ainsley, co-author of the playbook jake sherman is here with us. an msnbc political contributor. also with us, investigative reporter for "the new york times," suzanne craig who co-wrote the stunning new report that's pulling back the curtain on president trump's finances. revealing his prior business struggles were far worse than previously thought. they are staggering. >> so this was the second biggest story of the day. mike, what was the biggest story of the day? >> liverpool. >> liverpool coming back. >> screaming at the top of his lungs. >> randam highlights. we'll get into this later on. we have with us roger bennett is
going to be coming. and one of the greatest comebacks in the history of european football. not roger. that's a sad, sad story. that's not a great comeback. but, anyway, we'll be talking about liverpool in a little bit. very excited to have julie here, too. >> yes, really great to have you. >> you came to the mother ship. >> thanks for having me up here. it's great to be off my corner at the justice department and seeing my colleagues in person again once in a while. >> the dude behind you with the sign. we have some tough guys from albania. but who walks behind you with signs, they'll be dragged off. >> i'd love for my mother and second grade teacher who diagnosed me with a.d.d. to see -- to see me trying to read that with people heckling me behind. i think that should -- >> that's long like history of pain right there. >> no heckling. >> we can talk. >> except for barnacle.
let's launch into the big news. >> jesse ferguson, former deputy press secretary for hillary clinton tweeted this math. to lose over $1 billion over ten years, trump lost $11,416 per hour? trump lost $274,000 every single day? trump lost $8.3 million every month. trump lost $100 million every year for a decade. ♪ >> see, that's how you do it. >> how do you lose that much money? >> tax information on trump from 85 to '94 and says the documents show by the time his best-selling memire this is the part i love. by the time "art of the deal" came out and people said, i want to be just like trump. i know a lot of people that read that and said they want to be just like trump. no, you didn't unless you already wanted to be in deep financial trouble. by that time, he's losing --
>> tens of millions of dollars on bad business deals. the paper says the figures show that in 1985, trump reported losses of just over $46 million from his core businesses. mostly casinos, hotels and retail space and apartment buildings. those businesses continued to lose money every day for a total loss of $1.7 billion over the nearly ten-year span. the times goes on to say that year after year, trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual american taxpayer. citing his results compared to information compiled by the irs on high-income earners. more than anybody, he lost more. in 1990 and 1991, his core business losses totaled more than $250 million each year,
more than twice that of the nearest taxpayer in the irs' information for the two years. >> twice as much? >> the biggest loser. >> the paper adds trump lost so much money that he avoided paying taxes for eight to ten years. they examined -- the times says they responded by writing it was demonstrably false and that the paper's statements about the president's actions from 30 years ago are highly inaccurate, cited no specific errors. what i thought was so interesting is they sort of had this rolling -- this rolling statement. the first, when it first started, they were saying to you all well -- >> not talking to them for a month. >> depreciation and he's such a powerful businessman, he can do -- and as the story got closer and you all moved in closer, then they finally gave up and just said fake news. >> the transcript we have was
just not reliable. >> wow. >> now the information you got this from, you also said in the piece that this is not only highly accurate information, but it is actually information that the government has used before in trying to project forward. >> and to guard against the idea that there may be -- somebody may have typed in something wrong, we asked the source to provide us with several years of fred trump's tax information because of a previous investigation we did, we have years of fred trump's tax returns, matched it dollar for dollar. >> wow. >> so we were on twitter in between my 87 liverpool tweets, we were debating what was more powerful. your lead -- because i thought the lead was extraordinary -- and that is by the time his master of the universe memoir trump "the art of the deal" hit bookstores, he was already in deep financial distress, losing tens of millions of dollars, and
we already went through all of that. whether that was more powerful or whether it was more powerful at the end when you all were saying donald trump was making excuses for his losses. and so this is such a terrible time. everybody is losing money. >> except -- >> except donald trump may have lost a ton of money, what, 53 -- well, actually, he lost $274 million? >> his core businesses did that year. >> that year. everybody was -- no, everybody wasn't losing. how did fred trump do? >> he did really well and would have done even better but he took out money that year, some of it to help his son. >> so fred trump made about $54 million that year. his only significant loss -- it was a $15 million investment in one of donald's businesses.
>> that didn't do so well. >> so it seems that donald trump burst onto the scene. had a couple of quick successes. and it wasn't really much -- the first wave of spending that got him as much as you describe the second wave of acquisitions that just one failure after another. >> i thought what was incredible when we saw the data if there was one era in his life you thought he would have done well, it would have been this. i wouldn't have predicted that every year would have had a loss. this guy wrote a memoir about "art of the deal" and lost tens of millions of dollars that year. if i could have picked a decade having followed his finances there would have been one or two years in here i thought he was doing well prior to -- he's always said 1990 was the year he hit the rocks. now we see he was losing significant amounts of money. and we now know through at least
1984, because we've got transparency into that thanks to the '85 returns. the return information we've now seen. >> and that was on the heels of what should have been his biggest successes, whether it was trump tower, whether it was the hyatt that he built in grand central. >> how do you get loans? where -- who would lend you money? who would -- >> well, some of it was guaranteed by his father. >> right. >> and it was just -- in other areas, a different era at the time and he also had assets at the point he could get money against. >> properties? >> yeah, properties. but some of it was guaranteed certainly by his father. >> his father in 2019 dollars had gave him $415 million. also, i love the part of this where donald trump played corporate raider. i'm going to come in and -- the stocks would go up a little bit. and after a while, wall street figured out, this guy is just full of it. he's not going to buy any
company. he's just trying to pass himself -- >> he did well on some of those trades but ultimately, even those were -- >> he lost some money. >> once wall street figured out it was all a bluff -- >> it went on for three or four years. >> when he was on the "forbes" in 1985, they listed him as having $600 million. most of that you point out was his father's. the inheritance. >> it was still a lot of the assets. >> it's interesting to read this because we're talking about before we came on the air in the 1980s, most people around new york sort of knew this or suspected this, that he was something of a fraud and that it was a charlotton in some sense but we didn't know the extent of it. he lost more than a billion dollars over a decade. >> those losses are so huge. when you talk to his people they're like, oh, depreciation. this is not depreciation. these are massive business losses. and we had access to data bank
where we could see other results of high-income earners. he was at the top of it for like the worst losses year in and year out. like this is not like, oh, a lot of people who are in real estate have these type of results. this is really bad business. >> suzanne craig, thank you very much. still ahead on "morning joe," you can't get much further apart than mitch mcconnell and elizabeth warren right now. he says the whole russia thing is case closed, finished. while she says it's time to impeach. two moments from two powerful senators just ahead on "morning joe." the matters.ar... introducing the all-new 2019 ford ranger, it's the right gear. with a terrain management system for... this. a bash plate for... that. an electronic locking rear differential for... yeah... this. heading to the supermarket?
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the -- and serve the constitution of the united states of america. and the way we do that is we begin impeachment proceedings now against this president. >> two years of exhaustive investigation, and nothing to establish the fanciful conspiracy theory that democratic politicians and tv talking heads had treated like a foregone conclusion. they told everyone there had been a conspiracy between russia and the trump campaign. yet on this central question, the special counsel's finding is clear. case closed. case closed. >> you just wonder what mitch is getting out of this to shame himself for history. mike, he knows that's a lie. first of all, he knows that the investigation proved what our
intel community had said and republicans have denied and the president denied that russia posed a threat to american democracy in 2016. and we're going to try to do it again in 2020. mitch mcconnell, by the way, kids, if you're just keeping score at home on what a partisan he is and how little he cares about the protection of american democracy. mitch was one who in 2016, when told the russians were trying to interfere with american democracy and trying to steal your election from you, mitch mcconnell told everybody that they couldn't go out and say anything about it or else he would attack them as partisans. that's how much -- like he was warned by the intel community. the russians were trying to rig the american election for president. and he fought that. now we're on the other end of it, and what have we found out?
that the intel communities were right. donald trump believed putin, but the report shows the intel communities were right. the united states military was right. putin was wrong. we also learned, mike, it wasn't case closed. what we learned was that robert mueller said, listen, i can't say that the president is not guilty. i cannot just wave my arm and say that he did not commit a crime. that is a question that is still open. and it's a question that was answered by 500 former federal prosecutors, republicans and democrats alike saying, yeah, yeah, he obstructed justice and would have been indicted. >> joe in the annals of hypocrisy, mike mcconnell has been there for quite some time. i understand in our culture today, everything lasts about
ten seconds and people remember nothing, but in early september 2016, 12 very essential members of congress, if there is such a thing, met in the capitol. mitch mcconnell was one of them. and they were given all of the intelligence. they were briefed on how russia had invaded, attacked our electoral system and was still attacking it. >> attacked american democracy. let's just call it what it is. russia had attacked american democracy. and what did he do? >> what did mitch mcconnell do? what did he choose? did he choose the protection and security of the united states of america? >> nope. >> or the republican party's candidate? well, i think we know. >> he chose trump. >> and jake sherman, he's doing exactly what he hoped the president would do. the president tweeting, case closed, exclamation point with a link to the video of him making the speech yesterday. in the republican party, it has exactly what he needs up there on the hill. he has people who will protect him ultimately from impeachment
but also from things like getting the tax returns, from things like william barr being held in contempt. on and on and on or perhaps being impeached even. the president must be thrilled by what he sees out of republicans. >> mitch mcconnell is definitely the tip of the spear here. i think we can say without a douc doubt that he's representing almost every single senate republican and house republican. he's not taking a position, mitch mcconnell is not, that's not supported by the vast number, the vast majority if not all, elected members of the house of representatives and the senate. republicans that is. and i will say, we're focusing in the media and on capitol hill a lot on contempt and on impeachment and everything like that. and that's appropriate. but, remember, all of this stuff is going absolutely nowhere while republicans hold the senate. so it's interesting -- it's interesting gossip and interesting trivia to note the house is going to hold people in contempt. but it has very little actual meaning because the senate is
still republican, controlled by mitch mcconnell who believes that the -- it's case closed. coming up on "morning joe," donald trump isn't just running against 20-some democrats. he also seems to be running against china. how his trade fight factors into the presidential election next on "morning joe." everyone's got to listen to mom. when it comes to reducing the sugar in your family's diet, coke, dr pepper and pepsi hear you. we're working together to do just that. bringing you more great tasting beverages with less sugar or no sugar at all. 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. balanceus.org brushing only reaches 25% of your mouth.
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roughly 90% of stocks lost value during yesterday's massive market sell-off on fears the white house is about to intensify president trump's trade war with china. while the chinese trade delegation is set to head to washington for talks on thursday and friday, yesterday's market meltdown is a sign that investors don't believe the u.s. and china will find common ground to stave off trump's latest threat of another round of tariffs. the trump administration has set a friday deadline for raising tariffs to 25% on $200 billion worth of chinese goods. trump, who once labeled himself
as tariff man has also recently threatened multiple times to impose a 25% tariff on an additional $235 billion worth of chinese goods, which would mean that essentially all goods imported from china would be subject to some sort of duty tax. >> that's the important thing to remember here. the president will often talk about getting the money from china when he imposes tariffs. calls himself tariff man. a tariff is a tax on you. so he puts a tariff on products coming into the united states, going to walmart, going -- it's not just retail. of course farmers right now getting absolutely hammered. a lot of sectors getting hammered because of this. let's bring in cnbc's brian sullivan. negative reaction yesterday from the street. what is the attitude on the street about donald trump's increased threats of additional tariffs against china? a country that many of those same people have been saying for
years have take -- china's taken advantage of the united states on trade deals. >> well, they have. listen, the trade deficit, whatever you think about it, is large. a couple hundred billion dollars. we don't sell that much to them but they sell a lot to us. the fear is this. it's like brexit. british leaving the eu. it's just going to continue on. there's been this belief that we're going to get some kind of -- a deal. a hard and fast moment in which pen to paper, some handshakes, photographs are taken and everybody walks away. there's a growing fear on the street that perhaps this will not end that way. that maybe this will continue to stretch on. now as you guys intimated in your intro there, we're about 42 1/2 hours away from those tariffs being implemented. 12:01 a.m. friday morning, eastern time. those tariffs go from 10% to 5% on $200 billion and then the -- president trump has the option to raise tariffs to 25% on, as you correctly noted, pretty much
everything else that comes into the united states. about $550 billion in total product. so the real fear and what happened yesterday is the fear that this will just kind of go on, a slow drip and that we won't get a resolution any time soon. >> all right, thank you so much, brian. coming up -- from collusion to obstruction to contempt, there's a new buzzword dominating the conversation on capitol hill. we'll talk to msnbc's chief legal correspondent ari melber about the plan to hold trump mshl officials accountable. you can do this!
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great to have an expert on right now because there's a legal question that i have. it's a bit technical. it's -- what the hell is going on right now? house judiciary votes tomorrow to see if barr should be held in contempt because barr said i'm not going to come testify. they subpoenaed him and he said,
subpoena-shmena, i'm not coming. what happens if they told him in contempt? >> when normal people are held in contempt, they go to jail immediately, like in "my cousin vinny" where the lawyer, same lawyer. >> very similar circumstances here. >> very good, ari. joining us now, msnbc chief legal correspondent and host of "the beat" on msnbc, ari melber and morning joe economic analyst steve ratner is with us. princeton university's eddie jr. >> where they don't allow convicts to hang out in -- >> not that we know of. >> and white house correspondent for pbs newshour yamish. >> i'm still shocked, sarah lawrence allowed this convict -- >> we're going to continue to follow that story. >> two things happening right now. board of trustees called the president. president called the head of communications. they're going to respond to that. >> they just have to.
>> donald trump is responding to the front page story. what can you tell us, not only about your reading of the story and what those numbers mean but also you are a new york finance guy and have been for most of these years that trump has been in new york in the business community. what any personal experiences that confirm what you're reading? >> well, i have one personal experience involving his activities but maybe we'll come to that in a second. what we learned yesterday is that trump is, obviously, as we suspected, not the businessman we thought. he had massive, massive losses from all the projects we're familiar with. the plaza hotel, and the famous casinos. so these losses, though, are divided into a couple of pieces. there's money he actually lost, and there's also all the gimmicks, all the deductions,
all the loopholes that the real estate guys get to take to minimize their income. it's really the greatest set of tax loopholes that exists today. and donald trump took every advantage of all of them. and then some. and the other thing about donald trump is that he was using a lot of other people's money. and that created more tax losses he could use and it probably indirectly anyway helped fund his lifestyle. and, remember one other thing, joe. we knew before from david fahrenholt's reporting from the reporting of what trump did trying to get wealth down to his kids. the family is guilty of tax evasion. and it goes back to your 500 u.s. attorneys who say if he weren't president, he'd be indicted for obstruction. donald trump, if he weren't president, he'd be indicted for tax evasion among other things. >> are you surprised by the extent of the losses "the times"
after comparing to other taxpayers said perhaps more than any other individual in the united states, he lost more money over that decade. >> it was a staggering amount of money. what we don't know yet is how much of the losses were actual cash losses he incurred? how much of the losses came from these loopholes and deductions? and there's also a crazy provision where if you have investors and they lose money you can sometimes take their losses and call them your losses to avoid paying taxes. for then years, donald trump, except for two years, did not pay any taxes because a combination of his -- being a terrible businessman and also using every tool in the book to avoid paying taxes. >> so, steve, i want to get your smart financial brain to take a crack at president trump's defense of this story this morning. he writes in part, real estate developers, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write-offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax
losses in almost all cases. he goes on to say, you always wanted to show losses for tax purposes and often to renegotiate with banks. it was sport. what do you make of that defense? >> well, first of all, he's basically acknowledging and bragging about the fact that real estate guys have this set of loopholes that allows them to play by a different set of rules. americans believe that some wealthy people, and real estate guys at the top of the well, play by a different set of rules than the rest of americans. but secondly, the magnitude of the losses and the way some of them are categorized in the reporting by "the new york times" in terms of which line they appear in your tax returns, there's absolutely no question that he lost a massive amount of real money. some of it his. a lot of it belonged to other investors. but when you have an eastern shuttle that completely fails, a plaza hotel that you lose money on, when you have casinos that go bankrupt, you lose some of your -- you lose your own money. no question about that. >> in his defense, he
acknowledges he was using all these loopholes, but his defense seemed to be, everybody was doing it back then. is that fair to say? >> i think it's fair to say everybody is still doing it today to the extent it's legal. and there are more legal loopholes for real estate folks than for any other group of income earners i'm aware of. the question, which we can't answer, based on what we know is what donald trump is -- was he on the wrong side of legal or right side of legal? with respect to estate taxes, he was on the wrong side of legal. with respect to the foundation, he was on the wrong side of legal. any other american would have been under severe examination by the irs for these practices. no question about that. >> okay. so let's turn to ari melber. ari, i ask you, what kinds of questions does this all raise, especially with this pressure, this pushback that those who are trying to get access to the president's tax returns and other questions and subpoenas, this pushback to this -- it
seems to be explaining along with these tax returns something very interesting. what would that question be? >> one of the questions is basically, why did you feel the need to lie about your business, your work, your entire career for so long? and i think it's fascinating. the reporting is really excellent. steve gave us the full tax expert breakdown. and one of the lines was, when "the new york times" says that over the period they have, and this is extensive material they have, he lost more than any other high net individual they could find in the country. >> my god. like what -- >> so we have a ways and means committee now -- >> let that breathe. >> trying to get tax returns. we have a judiciary committee trying to fight the white house to try to get the mueller report which taxpayers paid for. we've got all of these battles going on. the white house counsel's office fighting judiciary also about the testimony of don mcgahn.
we have the white house trying to obstruct investigations that elijah cummings is trying to run to let the american people know what's going on. where does all of this end? >> well, as of now, the white house is basically saying we're not going to play ball. you'll have to take us to court. even then, we can slow walk this thing. there is some precedent for that. you think of eric holder and the fact he was held in contempt and it took a long while for that to move through the courts and he provided some documents republicans wanted but not all. the trump white house is in a different place because there are so many things the president -- so many documents the president is withholding from congress. and add to that this idea, thus stunning reporting in "the new york times" the president built his brand on this businessman who was so successful. i'm thinking of all the interviews i did with people in pennsylvania, in las vegas, who said the first time i heard the trump name it was associated with money. and as a result, i believe he could be a leader for our country. we now know that he is likely
one of the -- at least if "the new york times" reporting is correct, he's one of the people who may have lost the most money in the country. but the thing that is going to be interesting here is the president might be able to weather this because, as his supporters have told me, when they touched down in cities like las vegas, in new york, in florida, they are still reminded the trump name, even if he doesn't own the building, the trump name still was on buildings. so people see him as a symbol of health, even as he's fighting all these things and refusing to release his tax returns. so i think it's going to be a fight going forward, but i think the president in some ways isn't worried about it because he thinks his brand will withstand all of this. >> so -- >> who would lend him money? >> republicans are trying to run out the clock and get things released after 2020, whether it's the mueller report or tax returns, whatever it is. wouldn't congress be able to file an emergency are petition
or injunction or something? i don't know exactly what the proper legal approach would be, the proper procedure would be. but to the d.c. circuit and then to the united states supreme court since there's so many constitutional questions that are hanging out there? >> i think we're steaming ahead towards that. one of the big questions it's easy to forget. we've had a new congress only for coming on about four-plus months here. after two years of united government. so what we are seeing here if it feels like a lot of this is happening right now issue that's because it is, to your point, joe. the question was always going to be, what is the vehicle for speaker pelosi to take some of this stuff to court? and what we're seeing this week, although the tax returns thing is hitting a fever pitch -- >> is it going to take two years? >> i don't think so, no. i can't predict for you. i can't say exactly what the docket will be, but i think the courts have an interest in taking these kinds of cases. yamiche mentioned the last time the congress held a contmpempt
case it was very different. what should scare bill barr is the doj lost that fight and had to fork over the material. >> it was a five-year battle. >> that one took a long time for a number of reasons. but i think here this contempt vote combined with the urgency of the mueller report and bob mueller coming in to testify in person creates more leverage and a court battle for them to lose. and so then you say, oh, mr. barr put up a big fight in a way the democrats argued was much more as the kind of personal defender of the president than any other institutional thing in his late night statement last night. it was all in that direction. and then you lose in court and then have to turn over the material. and then this is the connective tissue. not unlike the taxes that have been hidden, the question becomes, why did you hide allis? is it worse to reveal it than whatever negative hit you took from looking secret? >> that's not a constitutional question. that's just breaking the law. >> the law. >> which is what steve mnuchin, the treasury secretary is doing now. there's a statute.
it's clear. they are breaking the law. >> that's probably what donald trump fears the most is the fact he probably more likely than not has not paid taxes for the good part of the last ten years. and so that's what he doesn't want out in the public. >> but since he's broken the law, how does one get him not to break the law? how does one get those tax returns? >> steve rattner, you're famous for thinking the big thoughts, and everything we've been talking about here are the huge thoughts, as is the "times" story. >> is that what rattner is famous for? and the deep thought. >> one thing that occurred and ari referenced it is this blanket no that the trump administration has pretty much articulated to congress. we're not going to respond to any subpoenas whatsoever. so basically, are we not talking about a moment that is fast arriving when a legal case either brought by the house of representatives or whatever against the trump administration in response to their negativity about responding to anything is
eerk either going to change the nature of the presidency or change the nature of congress. >> uh-huh. >> well, look. first of all, i have always been of the school of thought that donald trump would never release his tax returns for at least two reasons. one, as you alluded a second ago, because he doesn't pay taxes. i suspect we find he almost never paid taxes. and the second, which you might have mentioned was briefly in "the new york times" story. he gives nothing away. and so in the eyes of the public, this guy becomes a pretty low life character. so i think he's never going to return these. i think it becomes a battle between congress and the executive branch. and there's nobody better than donald trump at stalling for as long as possible. and i think that's what's going to happen, whether it gets resolved during this congress, before the presidential election, i don't know. can i tell you one fun fact i have or fun anecdote about
donald trump. back in the '80s when companies were being green mailed, donald trump got in the business. i was representing one of the companies that was being green mailed by somebody else. donald trump decided this was a fun thing to do. let's green mail companies. so he sent out a bunch of letters to different companies saying, unless you do so and so, i'm going to launch a hostile bid for your help. well, he got the letters in the wrong envelopes and my company got a letter for a different company and the other company got the letter for our company. so even mailing letters proved to be challenging for donald trump in the 1980s. >> wow. >> that's wonderful. steve rattner, yamiche. ari melber, we'll be watching you tonight on "the beat." the story we should have led the show with. >> the loudest scream i ever heard. >> liverpool's comeback. roger bennett, poetic as always, said the team's win over
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anfield stadium last night following liverpool's 4-0 win against barcelona, overturning a three-goal deficit that advances the redsed to champions league final with a 4-3 aggregate victory. joining us now nbc socks analyst and also with us legendary former liverpool goalkeeper, bruce gobbler. >> so, you know, i became a liverpool fan in '96. look at that. oh, my god. in '06 actually, right before the world cup. i always wand erld while i was watching horrible matches, ugliest football i have ever seen, i said what was it like when liverpool ruled europe? and last night i said oh, my god, as they were knocking around, beating up the best players in the world, i said this is what it was like, it was
magic. >> that's true. it's like trying to describe what it was like when i had hair. >> you can do it! >> let's look at it. barcelona led by lionel messi, michael jordan, tom brady stuffed into a body of a 5'6" argentinean. riddled with injuries, 3-0 down. in the south, right in the net. >> at this point there was hope. >> yes. in the final 45 barcelona had the worst last-second collapse. it's wolf blitzer in the situation room! >> oh, my god! >> this next one. >> unbelievable. to do this with those injuries. massive passion. >> what? >> whoa! >> oh, my god. >> what happened? >> look at this, walks away.
>> he has no sneaker. >> that was unbelievable. >> there will be a million liverpool babies. there will be no brexit. it's the most i have ever seen outside of donald trump's tax returns. a miracle, they destroyed lionel messi and barcelona. they will be sung for centuries about that night. the manager a giant carebear, he said before the game, so this is football. we will either win or we will fail beautifully. and ultimately that word still on point. >> it's hard to explain to americans how big that victory was. >> it was hard to tell the fans
how big it was. when i came over here from liverpool to promote the game at yankee stadium on the 24th of july, i said yes, why not? we're three down. people said to me, can we do it? i said yes, of course we can. look at 2005 istanbul. we had 45 minutes to get three goals. turned it around. couple years later to cardiff city, f.a. cup. got it down. here we had 10 minutes and even without the -- >> saleh. our two best players. >> to be put out to the side and we came back. we needed the goal before halftime, we got it. >> yep. >> and it's not the first time this season that barcelona and messier had met in the second leg. it happened against psg in the
opening rounds. it could happen and it did. >> roger, people are if they don't follow closely, when did things turn around? >> actually i remember people mocking liverpool for paying $75 million for van dyke. you saw two weeks after that the backline. of course, allison, the combination of allison and van dyke basically has made all of the difference in the world. everybody talks about the guys up front. those two guys made such an incredible difference. >> what they did, celebrity and incredible good looks that never hurts a team. more importantly this team was written off. they were run by oligarchs, fueled investments. they are run by the boston red sox owners who can't compete financially. and there's an remarkable american story that's part of this. they took an owner heavy with
the boston red sox, taken it to world football, this leader that's like jim harbaugh at his best, the jim harbaugh we used to know, passion, belief, manager, infused it with incredible players, yes. but remarkable ultimately young people watching, the greatest human value is tenacity. i'm a horrible person, i was for liverpool's rivals but even i have to take my hat off to them. >> tell us about liverpool and america. >> liverpool and america, we've been to america many, many times. i just found out they came here in 1946 for a seven-game tour. and then again in 1953 and played against -- they played at yankee stadium and drew with man city and won on penalties. so they've come over here to grow the brand.
i'm going to go back to the boston red sox ownership. we have a home. it's not fenway stadium but it's the same as fenway park. it's a home. they want to keep that place iconic for the rest of the time they own it. >> roger bennett, bruce, thank you both. tickets now for liverpool, they go on sale tomorrow. that does it for us this morning. chris jansing picks up the coverage. this is yours. >> joe and mika, thank you both very much. hello, i'm chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle. this morning it's happened again in america. two students, one of them a girl, stands accused of opening firearm on their classmates in a colorado school, killing one and injuring eight others. >> it's been so, so hard. but i got to hold my babies last
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