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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  July 3, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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my thanks to heidi przybyla, ken vogel and mark leibovich. thank you very much. have a good fourth. that will do it for us this hour. "mtp daily" with steve kornacki in for chuck starts right now. if it's wednesday, president trump responds to criticism of the crisis at the border, lashing out at democrats and defending the conditions in those border facilities. meanwhile, the tanks are lining up for the president's july 4th parade, but what is it really about, celebrating america or celebrating trump? and harris and biden both on the trail in iowa for the first time since that game-changing debate. why this weekend could be
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critical in the post-debate push. and if it's wednesday, it's "meet the press daily." good evening, i'm steve kornacki in new york in for chuck todd. we begin with the growing outrage over the trump administration's handling of the migrant crisis at the southern border. scrutiny which just elicited this response from the president moments ago. he said that if undocumented immigrants are unhappy with the conditions, they shouldn't come. this afternoon he also painted the government's migrant facilities as, quote, far better and safer than the conditions those migrants fled. he rushed to the defense of his border patrol agents saying they are not doctors or nurses and blamed the crisis, as he has numerous times, on democrats. the president's comments defending the administration's border personnel come as his acting dhs chief directed an immediate investigation into disturbing social media activity involving some agents. it comes the day after an
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inspector general's report laid out in stark detail unsanitary conditions at the cbp's migrant facilities. spotlighting the conditions even more today, the american academy of pediatrics put out these images. they are drawings made by children recently released from cbp custody depicting themselves in cages. now the senate's top democrat, chuck schumer, is calling for the acting cbp chief to be fired. this just ten days before house democrats want him to testify before the oversight committee. so the big questions remain what happens next and what is going to fix this crisis. joining me now is one of the top members of the house oversight committee, democratic congressman jerry connolly from virginia. congressman, thank you for taking a few minutes with us. >> nice to be with you, steve. >> your committee has said it would like to hear from the acting dhs chief, would like to hear from the cbp chief, and today was the deadline that the chairman, elijah cummings, had set for responses from them.
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have you heard from them? >> not that i know of, steve. it is the day before the holiday, so it's possible that it may have been delayed, but i have not been informed that we have had a positive response. >> what is your view -- chuck schumer is out there calling for the cbp chief to be fired. what's your view of that, do you agree with that call? >> well, i'd like to have our hearing first and have him account for himself and then we can all determine for ourselves whether he is, frankly, up to the job and whether he needs to take responsibility for the inhumane conditions migrant families find themselves in. >> do you think that having chuck schumer or having potentially other democrats out there making that call before your hearings, making a demand for mark morgan to be fired, do you think that will affect his willingness to testify? >> hopefully it will inspire him to want to testify so that he can give his version of his
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management and defend himself. frankly if he just responds by in fact defying our request for hearing, i think he misses an opportunity to account for himself in public. >> the president this afternoon making some comments on twitter. he said if illegal immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detention centers, just tell them not to come. all problems solved. what's your reaction to that? >> i think that's one of the most wretched statements any president has ever issued. first of all, it is a matter of virtually all faiths that there's a standard set of moral behavior in terms of how we treat the stranger. we in america have a tradition that goes back to the founding of the republic welcoming those seeking asylum and refuge. for him to say what he said today is virtually to concede by
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implication that, yeah, i deliberately made the conditions inhumane to discourage them from coming. the results, the consequences, the trauma, the actual deaths of people in our care be damned, and i think that's just a value no american should want to emulate or accept the day before our independence celebration. >> i want to put a poll result up here. this is from a cnn poll on the situation at the border. they put the numbers out yesterday. asked this basic question of is the situation at the border, does it amount to a crisis. there is now broad consensus that the answer to that is yes, that consensus cuts across party lines. the answer there is 74%. remember back in january this was a much more contested question. now there's broad agreement. the big change there is democrats now who were saying no in january are saying yes now. where it seems there's disagreement here, congressman, is the definition of that
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crisis. to hear what you're saying about the conditions at these detention facilities, you define this as a crisis when it comes to the treatment of these children and the conditions at these facilities. my question to you is do you also see the number, the volume of migrants trying to cross the border, 144,000 apprehensions in may, biggest number in 13 years. do you also think that that constitutes a crisis? >> well, i think it constitutes a challenge. i think this administration has hyped the situation at the border. remember the caravans that were the biggest crisis in the world? i think we have a crisis -- a humanitarian crisis in terms of how people are being treated. i think at the end of the day donald trump contradicts himself because the nature of this enlargement of flight is that in the triangle region in central
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america, we have endemic violence, gang activity, and instability in those societies. and so naturally people want to flee that to protect themselves and their families. that's the crisis. and he wants to cut off aid to those countries at precisely the moment they need it and, oh, by the way, it's beginning to take hold and work. >> one of the responses we have heard coming from your party on that debate stage last week, one of your colleagues -- one of your party's candidates for president, i could say, called for decriminalizing crossings of the border and then other candidates when asked about it the next night agreed with that. do you? do you agree that crossing the border without authorization should be decriminalized? >> i think we have to have a secure border. i don't know that we have to treat people crossing the border as criminals. and what gets confused here is
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we have a law that gives you rather strict guidelines in terms of how somebody is to be treated by our government when they formally go to a port of entry and ask for asylum. and this administration is treating that like it doesn't exist. together as people who have entered the country or tried to enter the country illegally. and so i think we have to sort that out. but criminalizing people for wanting a better life i don't think is a humane way of dealing with migrants who want to come to this country. yes, everybody should come here legally. we'll stipulate that. but we know that not everybody does. and that's been true throughout the history of our republic. >> so that's the question then on that idea of changing the approach to folks who try to cross the border without authorization, saying that is no longer going to be a criminal matter, that's going to be a civil matter.
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that's the call we're hearing on that stage last week in the democratic debate. do you agree with that? >> well, if that's my only choice, yes, i do. because looking at what happens with an administration that has decided to treat these folks like criminals, including children, is simply not to me an acceptable way to deal with fellow human beings who are simply seeking a better life. they may not have made good choices in how they seek that better life, but we have to get at the root cause of this, which is not criminal. these are people fleeing violence, fleeing desperate conditions, who want to make a better life for themselves and their families. that's not criminal. >> thank you, congressman, appreciate you taking a few minutes. >> my pleasure. for more i'm joined by some experts right here at the table. senior politics editor beth fuehy, noah rothman and msnbc political analyst and distinguished senior fellow at
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demos heather mcghee. thanks to all of you for being with us. let's start on the comments from the president this afternoon. just heard the congressman react. i think he said that was one of the more wretched statements that he'd heard a president make on a topic like this. given the vehemence with which people in the trump administration who say they are appalled by these conditions, it's not their fault, it's the democrats' fault, does the president's message undercut that? >> it's very consistent that the president will go after the people who are in the middle of this, the migrants, the folks that are coming. it's at the heart of his appeal to his voters, he's fighting back against these alien throngs. this is such a failure of governing, of policy, of politics. we have hundreds of thousands of people coming across the border our system is not equipped to handle.
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we have these detention centers which are clearly inadequate and in fact far worse for treating them, for caring for them. there's no good process for getting people in and out of those facilities. and everybody is now just yelling at each other, blaming everyone else. meanwhile people are sitting there in these dire conditions. it's a terrible failure. and what we've been trying to get at from the white house but also from the presidential candidates is what will they do? what is the right way to handle this situation? is it a crisis, is it a challenge, is it humanitarian? what is it? let's get this done. let's figure out some way to get people out of these conditions. nobody has an answer so it all comes back to casting aspersions. >> we can put this on the screen too, another poll number about the administration's handling of the situation at the border. you can see it's basically 2-1 opposition. 31% say they aproprove of how t administration has been handling this. government's treatment of
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migrants. i thought it was 31-62. it is 31-62, okay. noah, let me ask you, the president now stepping out and saying effectively with that tweet, it seems he's making the case it's a deterrence measure. does that help those numbers? does it make people say maybe there's a point to this or does it make it worse? >> it helps with people who are predisposed to believe what the president says about immigration. the congressman was correct to give a little slap on the wrist for overhyping an immigration threat that did not exist prior to february, march. however, the change in the poll numbers is reflective of the change of the situation on the grounding. you mentioned the amount of people coming across being detained is of a scale we have not seen over the course almost of the century. the distinction eludes only severe partisans. americans get it. they seem to understand there is a situation that is untenable
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and it is a policy crisis. even the most dovish immigration approach understand people who are detanld need to be heard first. most of them come back for their second hearing but that first hearing is necessary. and we have a backlog of over 850,000 cases. there simply aren't enough judges. the detention of minors, releasing them from dhs custody to hhs custody is a policy issue. this needs to be addressed in law and the president can't do it all himself. >> heather, there are 144,000 apprehensions in may. that was a 13-year high. that was a 182% jump over the previous may. there have been 600,000 apprehensions since the start of the fiscal year, that's october to may. 600,000 apprehensions at the border. do you think of that says a crisis, just the volume of those numbers? >> i think the congressman was extremely thoughtful in his response by saying this is a challenge. this is a great country that was built from welcoming people from
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other countries that were in crisis themselves. it's a challenge for us, but let's also assume back a little bit and realize this is in the context of record falling birth rates among americans, of a place where we're losing population in rural areas, where this actually isn't contrary to what the president has tweeted, our country is not full. i know this isn't popular, but i just want to say this issue, the issue of people who for no -- through no effort of their own have ended up in a place that is untenable is only going to get worse. i think that the next 20 years will see mass movements of people. we have more refugees globally around the world than we've had at any point in our history. we're going to have to get smarter and fairer about this and recognize the fact that there are people who want to come here. right now i think what the congressman said about people being moved from legal ports of entry, people wanting to come,
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knock on the door and say let me please state my case. this administration because it wants no more people from latin america in this country, this administration has been turning them away. that's how we ended up with the father and the daughter dead on the banks of the rio grande. they tried to come into legal ports of entry. this obviously is part of the administration's vision of zero tolerance, making this as terrible as possible. this is stephen miller's vision. making this whole process as terrible as possible for people from countries that are not norway, for example. i don't think that's americans' visions and those poll numbers show the same. ahead, tanks on the ground, military planes in the air. is tomorrow's fourth of july celebration in washington about america or is it about president trump? and later, democrats descend on iowa. how kamala harris is trying to build momentum coming off that debate and how joe biden is trying to get it back. iden is tryingo tget it back. maria ra? hi. maria ramirez!
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welcome back. final preparations are under way right now for the july 4th celebration in washington, d.c. in a move derided by his critics, president trump is adding to the traditional festivities to include flyovers by u.s. fighter jets, tanks on the national mall and a presidential speech at the lincoln memorial. the white house is downplaying the concerns that the president is turning a patriotic event into a political one despite the trump campaign and rnc handing out tickets. they're also downplaying the cost, which according to "the washington post" is being offset by the national park service diverting $2.5 million from entry fees to help pay for the event. the president tweeting today the cost of our great salute to america tomorrow will be very little compared to what it is worth. president trump has had his heart set on a military-focused extravaganza for nearly two years, ever since he attended the 2017 bastille day parade in france. >> it was a tremendous thing.
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to a large extent because of what i witnessed we may do something like that on july 4th in washington down pennsylvania avenue. >> and joining me now, someone who knows a thing or two about shows of military force and a guy with one of the best titles in the world, former nato supreme allied commander admiral james davridis. sir, you have a very cool title. thank you for joining us. look, i know you've been expressing concerns, objections to what's going to take place tomorrow. you saw the president saying this was a way to honor the military. he was inspired by what he saw on bastille day in france. what's your argument against it? >> kind of three things, steve. one is the resources of this.
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this is expensive and takes equipment and troops away from other things they should be doing so it fails the common sensory sources check because we're the united states of america. we're the best military in the world. we are the most lethal and professional military. we don't need a big parade the way the north koreans do or the russians or even the french who have a long tradition of doing this. that's not us, so resources. number two is the polarization of this. a lot of senior military that i'm talking to are quite queasy about a fear they have that president trump will, as he often does, give a campaign-style speech that really denigrates the democrats and talks about divisions in the country. i hope he doesn't do that. if he gives a unifying, uplifting speech, i'll be pleasantly surprised. but if he doesn't, it kind of politicizes the military in ways that concern me. and then third and finally is
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really prosaic but i'll mention it. i was in the military for 37 years, i've been in a lot of parades. nobody in the military wakes up in the morning wanting to be in a parade. the military would much rather have the day off like every other american, do a barbecue, have a beer in the backyard, be with their family. instead they're going to be part of this strextravaganza. it's not how they want to spend the holiday, and i don't think that's the right way to honor them. >> so the concern you're expressing about the president's speech, how he would use that occasion, what he might say. there's also this issue that's out there about the rnc and tickets to the event. this is from david french, a conservative writer at "national review," a veteran and he argued that the military aspect of this might be positive essentially. he says the use of tanks in an independence day celebration is simply no big deal. there's nothing ominous about
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their presence given the fact our military is rightly one of the last trusted institutions in america. it does not threaten our constitution, it protects our founding principles. i guess the question i'd ask to respond to that, if the president does not get explicitly partisan, if he doesn't, could there be value on the grounds that david french is arguing here? >> i think i'd say that it would be neutral at best. i certainly agree there's nothing ominous about tanks on the mall as static displays that people look at. our military is resolutely apolitical. there are few things in life i would bet my life on, but one of them is that our military is not political. what i'm concerned about is the appearance, the optics of it. i think that's concerning. and, you know, maybe we can split the difference and say a flyover is fine, but let's kind
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of try and reduce that military footprint on the ground because we don't want to do anything that shifts our tradition away from that apolitical stance that the military strives to achieve at all times, steve. >> let me bring the panel in and put some numbers up here. two interesting questions here. monmouth polled this question. first of all, they just asked about this. are you aware of the controversy, have you heard about the president's plan to give a speech on july 4th instead of taping a video message for independence day. 80% have not heard about this. only 20% have. then they asked the follow-up question. okay, now you know about it, do you approve or disapprove of trump giving the speech? 52% approve. beth, there's certainly been a lot of noise in the media on this one. is this one that's a media-driven thing that exists only in the media world or is it spilling over at all in any way? >> i have a slightly different view of this because i grew up in washington, d.c., and went down to the mall to the fourth
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of july celebration every year with my family for quite some time. even though washington wasn't always as partisan as it is now, it was plenty partisan. people would go down there and have a great time, no matter who you were, no matter republican or democrat, worked in government, outside of government, families, kids, everybody watched the fireworks and had a great time. suddenly because president trump has put himself in the middle of this, suddenly the decision about whether to go or not to go becomes a political act. that's not what anybody who traditionally atends this thing wants it to be. it's supposed to be a fun gathering for families to celebrate the forth. suddenly they have to decide if i go, does it look like i'm supporting trump? it's an unfortunate position to put people in that really wanting to be there. >> what do you think about, noah? >> it doesn't seem like there's a whole lot of conflict between what admiral stavridis said and
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david french. the presence of a bradley fighting vehicle on the mall isn't going to move us any closer toward a militaristic society. i am deeply concerned about the precedent being set on the pl politicalization of this event. and it not being about the founding ideals at the heart of the american idea. the valuable men and women who deserve to be celebrated every single day. but because this day is reserved for the celebration of the founding, it is explicitly nonpartisan. what's going to happen on that mall is going to be very partisan, whether the president sticks to the script or not. it's already a circus. no matter what, it's going to look bad and detract from the moment. the moment should be a unifying one and it will be divisive no matter what. >> does it set a precedent do you think for the next democratic president will then say trump did it, i want to? or is this a trump-only
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innovation? >> i think in trump's head, this is getting him closer to the men that he respects, right? it's getting him closer to the men who are leading that he has already said are the people that he thinks are strong and that he envies, people who are leading north korea and turkey and saudi arabia and russia. i will say the best thing we can do is basically just ignore this. i think if donald trump wanted to salute this country and salute the veterans, he might have served when it was his chance and his calling when the draft happened. i just don't buy the idea that this is a man who truly respects the sacrifice that the men waenand women in uniform are taking only because of the way he's been so careless about our foreign policy and the way that he did not serve when his time was up. i think the media is paying more attention than the american people are. hopefully this will be a blip of someone's ego. him realizing that he can play with toy trucks on the lawn and
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that we don't have this precedent set of exactly what you're saying, beth, of this moment being made more partisan than it should be. >> admiral, thank you for joining us. beth, noah and heather are staying around. ahead, we are heading into a critical few days of campaigning for the 2020 democrats. we've got more new polls coming out after that debate. the race has definitely had a big shake-up. we head to the big board, next. t -keep it down there. i have a system. -keith used to be great to road-trip with. but since he bought his house... are you going 45?
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welcome back. the polls have been coming in left and right after that democratic debate last week measuring what was the fallout. what was it for joe biden, what was it for kamala harris, elizabeth warren, all those other candidates. yesterday we showed you one of several polls after that debate that showed biden fall to the low 20s, still leading but barely in those polls, and showing kamala harris rising and getting close to him. there's another new one out today and i've got to say it looks a little bit different than what we've seen in the other polls. this is the abc news/"washington post" post-debate poll. they have biden a little higher than we're seeing in the other polls. first place with 29%. but the big difference here, second place bernie sanders in this poll, 23%. only 6 points behind biden. they have sanders much stronger than we're seeing in the other
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post-debate polls. kamala harris, they have her moving into double digits. that's an improvement for her in this poll but it is not what wee seen in the other polls. the extent of her improvement much less in this abc news/"washington post" poll than we've seen elsewhere. so we always say when you start getting multiple polls, you can start averaging them together. you can see what the overall trending, the overall trajectory looks like. keeping in mind this is the new abc one, we have some others we've been showing you, when you merge them altogether, what does the race look like then? i can show you that. this is through real clear politics. biden sitting there right now at 27% on average in first place. sanders and harris basically tied at about 15%, a tenth of a point separating them, warren right behind them and pete buttigieg. we've seen his number fallen off a little bit recently and don't seem to have improved after that debate. i think the most interesting thing from the standpoint of biden, though, this number obviously a little bit more
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comforting than some of the polls we were showing you yesterday. the trend for biden. the trend for biden. let me show you what i mean. when he got in the race, this was where his average poll support was, 41.4%. that's when he got into the race. basically you're talking early may here. then fast forward about a month into his campaign. june 1st it had fallen from 41.4 to 35%. you play it out to basically the eve of the debate. he had fallen three more points to 32. now as we say, post-debate, down basically 5 points from this, 27.2. go from 41 to 27, basically a third of biden's support from when he entered the race has been shaved off so far. so for biden, that might be the most concerning. not one of these individual polls we've been hiding, the trend. right now the trend is not the friend for joe biden. oh, one piece of news -- that was supposed to be my big dramatic ending but i had one
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more slide left. this is probably the best news for biden that does exist. it is the question of who do you think the most electable is and biden is still finishing first on that question. we've seen this on a few others as well so biden, his campaign can still point to that as well. that will be the big dramatic ending to this board. anyway, we'll be right back. what all this means for the 2020 democrats as they hit the trail in the critical first in the nation caucus state of iowa. stay with us. stay with us ou get old but prevagen helps y ainth an t originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. introducing zero account fees for brokerage accounts. and zero minimums to open an account. at fidelity, those zeros really add up. ♪ maybe i'll win, saved by zero ♪
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welcome back. as we just showed you over at the big board, there was a big shake-up in the national race on the democratic side after that debate last week, but the same is also true in the early states. that's where most candidates are spending their time around the fourth of july. 12 candidates, count them, 12 candidates are going to be in the three states that will cast ballots first in 2020. 7 of them are out in iowa, that
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includes joe biden and kamala harris. they are both making their first stops in iowa since those debates and their first stops since a poll had them leading the field in iowa. let's bring in our political experts, beth, noah and heather are back with us. that iowa poll, post-debate biden in first place 24%, kamala harris, huge jump in iowa for her moving into second place, 16%. heather, it's interesting to me from harris' standpoint, her campaign has focused so much on south carolina in terms of her time. there's been 61% black electorate in 2016. this can be a big state for her potentially. but she may need iowa or new hampshire to establish she's a contender, the same way obama did in 2008. this poll tells me there might be opportunity for her in iowa. >> i think there's certainly opportunity. i think we are really far ahead of the actual polling and caucusing in iowa. in many ways, last week was the first day of the campaign for people who are not political junkies.
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it was the first time there was national news coverage that people sat there and looked at all the candidates, all 150 of them in a row. near record ratings for the show. 18 million on thursday night, more than on wednesday night, right, so about 3 million more people watched thursday night and saw kamala harris' big moment in joe biden. i think it is fascinating that her standout performance, her ability to confront joe biden directly on his record on race, one of the more popular democrats with african-americans except for young people and that is what has gotten on people's radar, including in iowa. that is a fascinating dynamic. what it says is that contrary to what a lot of democratic sort of pollsters and consultants like to say, people are ready for a frank conversation about race. donald trump has blown the lid off of the racial conversation and democrats being mealy-mouthed about what it means to be an american, who's
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included, all of that, it's not going to cut it in iowa, which is an extraordinarily white state, is rewarding kamala harris for being frank about it. >> that is fascinating. we've talked about this before. there's all sorts of polling data out there, beth, specifically white voters, white liberals, have moved on questions of race and culture dramatically to the left in response to donald trump. to see kamala harris with that moment on busing moving up in iowa, a state with white liberals, from joe biden's stands poi standpoint, though, how important is it if he's supposed to be the front-runner and the most electable, does he have to win the first one? >> the conventional wisdom goes there's three tickets out of iowa. maybe this year with the larger field we want to say four. but being the former vice president, i mean the pressure really is on him to finish number one. if not number one, then a very close number two. any candidate, and especially joe biden, will need that lift
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to say, yes, this person really does have the potential to go all the way. if he looks like he has a glass jaw in that regard, he's going to sink. that could happen even before the voting gets under way in iowa. we've got six months to go. he's obviously been thrown off his stride a little bit after the debate. he announced his second quarter fund-raising numbers today, $21.5 million for the quarter. pretty good. it's a little less than pete buttigieg raised, the mayor of south bend, indiana, that nobody had heard of. >> you normally say $21 million is good but the mayor of south bend took in 24. >> but by comparison sake, looking back at 12 years ago, hillary clinton and barack obama at this stage, obama raised $33 million in the second quarter. hillary clinton 27. so our candidates that we're looking at this time are way behind the front-runners of 12 years ago. so you've got to figure out what's going on there? what is joe biden not quite doing yet or what's the reason that a lot of donors are holding back not only from him but some
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of the other candidates. it's just a very interesting dynamic. >> we talked also about the money bernie sanders raised, noah, $18 million in the second quarter for him. i'm looking at the poll for sanders. 9% from this suffolk iowa poll. single digits for sanders in a state he nearly won three years ago in 2016. i'm trying to think if there's a scenario for bernie sanders to win the nomination n my minding it almost requires you win iowa, you get the momentum, you go to new hampshire where you won in 2016, your next-door neighbor state, you win there and then the democratic party has to make a decision that it's time to get on board. but if he flubs in iowa, i don't see how it can happen. >> i think that's a fair assessment. his strategy is probably to stay in all the way, to make ig to the convention with as many delegates as possible. kamala harris' strategy to go into south carolina was always terrible. by then the momentum shifts to
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who won iowa and new hampshire. florida was going to rescue your campaign and it never rescues your campaign. >> you can never jump start it. >> yeah, so bernie sanders really probably does have to make it or break it in iowa. i don't think joe biden does but he probably has to make it or break it in new hampshire. you have to demonstrate to the democratic electorate there. you can't expect it to be saved by nevada, south carolina or super tuesday. >> heather, what do you think -- there's so much attention now on kamala harris. why is he now connecting. you pointed to some of the reasons there. for democratic voters, with democratic voters, what's her vulnerability right now? >> criminal justice. the young people, millenials and younger who are extremely civically agitated who see trump as an existential threat to their future, a lot of them are calling her copala. she's a cop. that's what she's been. when you are talking about white
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liberals moving to the left on race, white lives matter. she has done a very good job of billing herself as a progressive prosecutor, but there is a lot of opposition research that says it's the exact opposite. so it's going to be tough for a candidate who should be getting young people and african-americans to get over that hurdle. >> i'm sorry to cut you short. we have some breaking news right here i want to get to. the justice department is apparently reversing course. it is now looking for a way to add that controversial citizenship question on the census based on orders from the president. this despite the administration saying just yesterday that in the wake of the supreme court's ruling it would begin printing the census forms without the question. kelly o'donnell is standing by at the white house. let's go her. kelly, just take us through what's happening. what you're learning. >> reporter: the fallout from a presidential tweet. that's what got this ball rolling today, steve. we know president trump has wanted to see a citizenship question added to the 2020 census.
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when his own administration through the department of commerce and the department of justice said no, they were going ahead with printing the census without that question, today president trump tweeted his displeasure and then we learned from some court transcripts that have just come out that a federal judge saw the president's tweet and felt that the justice department had represented a different position in court. so now we understand the justice department based on this transcript is saying they are looking at a way to find a way to do the citizenship question and at the same time proceed in a timely way, even though the supreme court has sent it back to a lower court. so there are some fast-moving developments here. what this says politically is the president will not give up on his effort to have the citizenship question. there is a practical problem in that the census questionnaire
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must be printed and distributed, and so the commerce department had said it would move forward. and then you've got all the different court steps involved, including the supreme court, which rebuffed the administration wanting a better explanation for why this question would be needed and urging it to send it back to a lower court. so from we're just gleaning from this just-released transcript, the justice department is looking for a way to navigate all of that. so this is not an over situation as we thought yesterday, steve, and it is, again, the power of the president's tweet to turn things around and defy his own administration even in the case of a constitutional question and all the practical implications here. steve. >> all right, kelly o'donnell there at the white house. we're going to work on kelly's microphone and go back to her in a minute to learn a little bit more about this. but beth, what kelly was just saying at the end there, so the sequence of events here is that the administration through the commerce department and the justice department is ready to move on and print these census
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forms without the citizenship question. the president tweets his displeasure with this and now apparently in court a judge basically looks at this and says, okay, the position officially expressed by the justice department is at odds with the president's tweet? >> yeah. i mean i wish i were a lawyer to understand this a little better. what kelly laid out seemed to belie the notion that anything could be changed at this point. the supreme court turned away the question of whether to add that census -- that citizenship demarcation. it would have to go through all the other courts to get it back to the supreme court. meanwhile, there are some deadlines around getting the census out to americans to fill out. so it's hard for me to understand how this would change anything, but obviously president trump believes that the justice department should do what he wants it to do and perhaps there's a method. >> this is illustrative of why it's a problem to govern by tweet and not just pick up the phone and tell the doj what you want them to do.
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it was rather strange that the administration dropped this position as abruptly as they did. the supreme court affirmed that the president exists for the president to include this question, they just didn't like how the evidence was presented and the intentionality around it. you can marshal some evidence in defense of your position. >> the supreme court was saying come back with a different argument. y >> and they had months to do this. was the president out of that loop? it doesn't make any sense to me. none of this really adds up. >> let's be clear. the reason why the supreme court rejected what was an unprecedented amount of dishonesty, a warehouse of files, i mean the commerce secretary basically lying under oath. this is really, really ugly behavior boy a hyperpartisan faction moving through the white house to try to suppress the count of people in this country who are on their path to citizenship, wherever that might be, and the communities in which they live because they are
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historically or right now bluer, right? this is not about the point of the united states census. so that's why the supreme court ruled the way it did and that's why you've got experts from across the ideological ideological spectrum who are demographers people who care about straight up and down public policy who say it's a bad idea to have this partisan citizenship question on here when a very naked attempt to try to scare people into not representing themselves and their communities. that said, i completely agree with you that we shouldn't be governing by presidential tweet. that this is -- i'm an attorney and i do think that what's going to happen is that the courts are going to have to, you know, expedite this and that as all of the other things that have been happening in the census, not just about the citizenship question, there are a bunch of different reasons that people who are involved in the census are terrified about what will happen. i think there will be a delay in the printing of the forms. i think they have done a bunch of other things.
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>> that's my question here. do you think legally this is going to get to a point where there is a yes/no ruling that affects the census that goes out for 2020 or do you think there's a chance the clock just runs out on this? >> i think there will be a yes/no ruling because i think what will end up happening is that the supreme court invited it back in. i think it was very political sadly which where this court is now. they gave us a terrible redistricting decision and then the incredible amount of dishonesty and a cover-up they had to say you know what, we don't like this, but come back to us. so i think it's very possible that the -- that the census will get delayed. and that will be bad for, you know, that causes ripple effects throughout the entire process. >> okay. kelly, at the white house, thank you again. beth, noah, thank you for joining us. it's about to be mueller time again. he is scheduled to testify before congress and we have a preview.
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welcome back. as democrats and republicans on capitol hill prepare for robert mueller's upcoming testimony the white house is making a plan too. the president what hold a rally july 17th in greenville, north carolina, a rally that could start just as mueller's testimony before the house judiciary and intel committees wraps up. the now former special counsel was clearly on the president's mind hours before the rally was
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announced when he tweeted this, quote, robert mueller is being asked to testify yet again. he said he can only stick to the report and that's what he would and must do after so much testimony and total transparency this witch hunt must now end. with me is glenn kirschner, a former federal prosecutor who worked under robert mueller and he's an msnbc legal analyst. glenn, thank you for joining us. looking ahead to robert mueller's testimony, i think folks think back to the only other time they heard him, eight to ten minute briefing he gave a couple of weeks ago on the contents of his report. seemed to make clear then that if congress called hem he would repeat the same things he did that day. do you expect him under questioning before the committees to say anything more expansive? to say anything different than he did in his press conference? >> you know, steve, bob mueller
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is the king of sir cup specktion and that tends to frustrate people, but if he sticks to the corners of the 400 page report there's so much in there so i think his goal should be two fold. one, expose to public view the information in volume one that shows overwhelmingly that trump and his campaign coordinated, cooperated and yes, colluded with the russians. then move on to volume two and talk about the evidence. >> glenn, i don't mean to interrupt you there. but the report specifically said that they could not reach that determination so how would he do what you're suggesting? >> here's how. i think i would ask him a question and these questions are going to have to be precise if you're going to want to draw information out that can be used to combat the disinformation that we get from the president. i would ask him, you know, special counsel mueller, you have heard the president say over and over again your investigation found no obstruction, no collusion. is it true or false that your
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investigation found no collusion? reading volume one and based on the fact that he didn't make that finding he would have to say, that's false. we did not make a finding of no collusion. moving on to obstruction, true or false when the president says your investigation found no obstruction, true or false, he's going to have to say that's false. and you know i don't want to get too cute but you could ask him -- ask special counsel mueller a question about the dictionary definition of the word collusion. the word collusion is knock more than -- nothing more than working with especially -- somebody especially in secret to gain an advantage over another. given that dictionary definition, what bob mueller laid out in volume one is collusion in the layman's sense. it doesn't rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy. but it is certainly collusion. >> that's your interpretation. do you think that's his interpretation? >> i think if he's asked the
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dictionary definition of the word collusion and whether the evidence that he established as reported out in volume one fits that definition i think the only accurate answer is yes, it does. but we weren't in the business of going about trying to find collusion. but steve i believe there has been an epic disinformation campaign by the president and by bill barr and by others on this no obstruction, no collusion nonsense. so i do think the questioning will need on the precise to combat that disinformation campaign. not just to also affirmatively bring to the public's attention all of the information that's contained in the report. >> okay. glenn kirschner, again, worked with robert mueller. you have a view of him that a lot of folks certainly myself included don't. we'll see what he does when he appears before the committee again. thank you for joining us. that's going to do it for
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"mtp daily." we wish you a happy holiday. "the beat" starts right now, and yasmin vossoughian is here in for ari melber. we have some news breaking, trump's justice department saying they were ordered to add a citizenship question to the census. despite that public rebuke by the supreme court. and heart breaking new drawings from children held at immigrant detention centers. but we begin with trump facing a backlash for his july 4th celebration tomorrow. critics saying he is politicizing the holiday and the united states military. here's what we know so far. the tanks are already on the national mall. you can see them in this video. the trump white house is under fire for issuing special vip tickets to the rnc while ignoring the democrats. a political move not typically seen with july 4th celebrations. also, the

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