tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC July 9, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
yorker. >> sure. a great philanthropist. thank you, bill, for what you row and for recognizing alex. >> the book is called "four friends." how about that summer read. i'm stephanie ruhle. coming up more news with hallie jackson. >> i am hallie jackson in washington. right now looking ahead to a day of potentially fast-moving developments given the pressure building on a member of the president's cabinet. alex acosta, the labor secretary, facing more and more calls to resign this morning o over how he handled the jeffrey epstein's deal in 2008. when acosta, u.s. attorney at the time, struck up the non-prosecution agreement with epste epstein. we expect to hear from chuck schumer any minute on the senate floor. you can see that in the top left-hand side of your screen. he may talk about all of this any second. i'm told acosta is not considering stepping down. a top white house official is defending him for now. so far no word from the president himself on acosta's future. back in february, president
trump praised his labor secretary for doing a great job when asked about the handling of epstein's case. and in 2002, then private citizen donald trump told "new york" magazine, jeffrey epstein was a, quote, terrific guy. saying he likes beautiful women as much as i do and many of them are on the younger side, no doubt about it. jeffrey enjoys his social life. donald trump is not was implicated in epstein's alleged crimes. the president has seen or talked to him in more than a decade. epstein is waking up in jail after pleading not guilty to charges of sex trafficking. paying girls as young as 14 for sex between 2002 and 2005. we are talking with an attorney for three of epstein's alleged victims in this show. we have a team of reporters and analysts to get to covering this and top stories today. kelly o'donnell over at the white house. kasie hunt on capitol hill. and new reporting here on what you are hearing from the hill. >> reporter: that's right,
hallie. we now can report that we expect chuck schumer to join calls for mr. acosta to step down as labor secretary. . >> okay. >> reporter: we are waiting for him to go to the senate floor. this is the typical opening of the senate floor for the day. but it looks as though that is the direction that this is going. he of course joins house speaker nancy pelosi in making that resignation call. now, whether it makes any difference we have not typically seen, you know, democrats deciding they're unhappy with trump officials making any difference at all. our reporting team spoke yesterday with senator alexander who is close to republican leaders in the senate. there didn't seem to be any concern on his part about acosta continuing to serve. senator alexander pointed out, hey, this was addressed in his hearing. now obviously critics have watched that tape. and felt as though acosta came across perhaps as though he was not focused on the victims in
this case but rather considered it to be opened and closed already. the pressure on democrats to be removed. >> we should know senator mitch mcconnell is speaking on an unrelated topic. we expect chuck schumer to speak after he is done. we will bring you that live when it happens. and now to kelly o'donnell at the white house. >> amy klobuchar saying he should resign. what's the response from the white house? >> certainly the white house is standing by acosta and trying to shine a light back on the perpetrator, the charged man, jeffrey epstein who had been a social friend many years ago with the president. and you commented on some of the president's quotes about jeffrey epstein's social life. today we heard from kellyanne
conway who defended secretary acosta and described the president as not having spoken to epstein, the man charged in this case, for many years and having only met acosta a couple of years when he was e in consideration for the job he holds as secretary of labor. we have also heard this was an issue not related to his work as a member of the cabinet but something he did in his professional life before. and as casey mentioned, it was to some degree addressed during his senate confirmation hearing and he was confirmed by a republican-led senate. here is kellyanne conway a short time ago. >> does the labor secretary have the president's confidence. >> what i said is the president said he metal ex acosta two years ago when he applied for the job when he was up for senate confirmation, i believe this particular matter was discussed. he answered questions under oath about it. >> and acosta was confirmed
60-38 about a handful of democrats voting for him. amy klobuchar was not one of them. she is also now a candidate for president. today she was among the voices tweeting about this. since when do under-aged girls sex ring traffickers get to go to their office every day while they serve their time? the victims should have a say. that's what the law says. i didn't vote for the former florida u.s. attorney to begin with and he should step down. meaning alex acosta should step down, according to minnesota senator amy klobuchar. >> i want you to stay close to your cameras. we expect senator schumer to call on acosta to resign. and we are waiting to hear what president trump may say when he is scheduled to be in the oval office with a pool of reporters. federal prosecutors say he exploited this vast network of girls for sex. the alleged victims deserve
their day in court. here's how one of the women reacted. >> just to hear that they're standing up for the victims. you know what i mean? it is just like so overwhelmingly un -- it's past due. >> with me now is attorney spencer representing three of epstein's alleged victims from his 2008 non-prosecution agreement. thanks for being with us today. >> thank you for having me today. >> tell me how your clients are feeling these past 24 hours? >> i can tell you i've been in contact with them, and they are absolutely ecstatic that the attorney's office is taking this more seriously than they did back in 2007. they are very happy that they are actively prosecuting mr. epstein and they have always wanted to see him put behind bars. >> i want to share a little bit of how secretary acosta defended that non-prosecution agreement.
this spring he was in front of members of congress. let me play a bit of that for you. >> the department of justice, for the past 12 years, has defended the actions of the office in this case. at the end of the day, mr. epstein went to jail. epstein was incarcerated. he registered as a sex offender. the victims received restitution. >> how do your clients respond to that? >> i mean, there are so many things wrong with that statement. number one, he didn't really go to jail. if being able to go back to your office during the day for most of the day, eight hours in the day, and then having to basically sleep in a private wing of the jail is going to jail, then i don't know how they define that. secondly, i can tell you mr. acosta's office categorically kept my clients in the dark despite repeated efforts by my office back in 2007 to find out what was going on and what deal
they were negotiating. we were kept in the dark and told it was private, secret, and they couldn't tell us. they even fought the disclosure of the non-prosecution agreement, made us go to court and get an order and make the court order that they turn over the agreement they were they are so embarrassed by it. >> so do you believe that alex a acosta is fit to serve in the president's cabinet? >> i can tell you my client would definitely like to see him step down. one of them is absolutely distraught at the deal that he brought. it is in explainable. when she spoke with the u.s. attorney's office just last month after the non-prosecution agreement was turned over by a federal judge, one of the things she asked that office to do was to turn over all of their work product, all of their attorney/client privilege information to show the victims why they entered into such a bad deal, and they refused to do it. >> given that, i'm interested in your reaction to what we have heard from the white house this morning. kellyanne conway, the only aide to the president that has been speaking about this since the developments happen said,
listen, the focus should not be on alex acosta but jeffrey epstein himself. yet here you are talking about how your client believes there could be should be a focus on acosta. what is the response from those you represent to the white house's position this morning? >> all my clients want the focus to be on everyone that was involved in this bad deal. obviously the perpetrator, mr. epstein, this fed file, should be behind bars. he should have been there since 2007. but, again, we need to focus on the process as well. how did he get let out? how is it that he got such a sweetheart deal? that's what needs to be investigated. and i believe, and i know my clients want, congressional hearings on this. >> what ultimately would be justice to your clients? >> certainly seeing epstein behind bars would be justice. and certainly seeing mr. on costa step down from a position
he never should have gone to begin with. >> thank you for coming on the show during a busy morning for you. senator dick durbin is speaking. at any moment we expect to see chuck schumer take to the floor and we are told to call on alex acosta to step down. we will bring you that live when it happens. we are talking about other stories of the day, including a new democrat jumping into the mix as another becomes the first to bough out of the 2020 race. we are talking to another 2020 contender, congressman tim ryan, about where things stand. >> plus, the new fight to take down the former marine fighter pilot announcing a run come 2020. massachusetts reason is joining us live later this hour. >> that's going to be my message. the things that kentuckyians voted for trump for are not being done. he is not able to get it done because of senator mcconnell. d because of senator mcconnell
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we are back with breaking news. we have learned that the house judiciary committee is planning to vote later this week to authorize a dozen subpoenas to a number of people, high-profile, in the donald trump orbit. let's get to kasie hunt who is live for us still on capitol hill. let's talk through some of the names including mike flynn, rick dearborn and others at the house judiciary committee is looking at. >> reporter: it's quite a list, hallie. and i would probably put jared kushner, the president's son-in-law at the top of that list. this is of course in connection with their obstruction of
justice probe related to the mueller report. those instances that were laid out there where special counsel suggested that it was possible that the president or his allies could have engaged in obstruction of justice. rick dearborn is an important figure in the white house. former top aide to jeff sessions. did a lot of work inside the white house on legislation. mike flynn, he is well-known to everyone who has followed this saga. john kelly is of course the former chief of staff, as i know you have covered him very closely. corey lewandowsky, the campaign manager. robert porter, who left the white house in disgrace amid domestic violence allegations. rod rosenstein, jeff sessions. you also have david pecker, who of course ran the nation"nation enquire enquirer", who was embroiled in some of this stuff as well. this potentially sets up a difficult set of decisions for some of these folks. some of them will obviously have
executive privilege on their side for some of these issues. john kelly would be somebody that might come to mind. there has been a long tradition of, you know, officials that work in the white house in official capacity. that way being able to rely on that. tphoeurbgs core kwr hraou wanow lewandowsky spent amount of time on the campaign. whether they line up with obstruction of the special counsel investigation, which obviously launched in the wake of the firing of jim comey, that's another question. there are some people who are private citizens or who potentially have slightly more complicated or nuanced roles. rod rosenstein, of course, a long-time justice department lawyer. it will be interesting to see how he handles this kind of subpoena. we have seen of course blanket objections to it. but that is not traditionally how this is handled. if you look at how robert mueller is handling his subpoena, he is doing it by the books. i think it will be a real test
for many of these administration officials and potentially this is geared toward bolstering the court case. if in fact, they all turn around and take the same strategy many other aides have and say no way, no how, we're not showing up. . >> right. >> this is quite a list for democrats to take to a judge ask say, hey, this is quite frankly, outside the bounds of what the constitution intended. . >> kasie hunt live on the hill. we have reached out to the white house for their response. kasie, thank you much. we are continue to go watch what happens on the hill as it relates to the other big story of the morning. senator chuck schumer will take to the floor and call for the labor secretary to step down. we also have other breaking political news this morning, as if that wasn't enough. as one door closes, another one is opening. a 2020 shakeup. billionaire tom steyer jumping into the race. eric swalwell becomes the first big candidate to get out.
>> deeply disappointed and hurt by the way they're treated and by what they think is the power elite in washington, d.c. something absolute critical, try as hard as you can and let the chips fall where they may. and that's exactly what i'm doing. my name is tom steyer, and i'm running for president. >> that is not what tom said earlier this year. now the activist is jumping in. he has a ton of money in the bank. is his crusade to impeach donald trump going to with voters. we have a 2020 contender, congressman tim ryan will join us in a minute. garrett, what up? off the road, road warrior. good to see you. how and if this shakes it up. he is running on one thing it seems at this point, impeachment. not all democrats are. >> ironically he doesn't mention in his announcement video.
it is a standard issue out of the box announcement. he is a billionaire sitting in a barn talking about how he is going to make things better for american families. i think it will be tough for tom steyer to shake up the race. he brings unlimited resources he can spend to boost his campaign. delaney has been able to do that. he's been stuck at 1% as well. it is difficult to see how he opens up at this point. >> he said in january he is going to pass on 2020. he must see an opening now? . >> i guess. it's hard to imagine, when i go and talk to voters, especially after the debates. people are not clamoring for more. they want the opposite, they want less. they want a conversation among the six to eight people left in the field who are serious contenders. for steyer to elbow his way in, he is almost certainly not going the make the next debate, is extraordinarily tough.
>> a couple of things his rivals do not have, tons of money. and a pretty good political infrastructure at this point. is it possible he could end up qualifying for the debates down the road or at least gaining some traction? >> sure. he could fall for the debates in the fall, of course. he will miss out on the two debates in july. i feel so much of the narrative is already being shaped. we are already seeing candidates start to drop out. swalwell dropped out this week. the field will be much more called by late fall. i don't know if there is enough time for him to get in and make a dent. >> the debates are so critical in introducing yourself to people who haven't been paying attention to the debates so far. the one that just passed and the one coming up, it presents a real challenge for him. that said, even though he didn't mention impeachment in his rollout value, he could influence other candidates on. he could be putting that between to all of them. they will be formed in other places where they might be
interacting or seeing each other. it will be interesting to see. >> great to see you in american. we want to get to another 2020 contender, congressman tim ryan of ohio. congressman, thank you for being back on the show. >> hi. thanks for having me. . >> a lot of questions for you. i have to start there. do you welcome tom steyer into the field and do you feel his campaign will put pressure on you to talk more about impeachment? >> yeah, no, not at all. tom is a good phi. i welcome him to the race. i will keep focused on my agenda, which is talking about common sense solutions, about getting wages up and really, hallie, focusing on the economic insecurity that people around the country are feeling. 75% of the people are still living pray cheaycheck to paych the united states. the economy is not doing well for them. we have mental health issues, anxiety issues all over the country, addiction issues. i'm going to stay focused on that no matter who is in the race. >> congressman eric swalwell is out of the race.
he bowed out because he didn't raise enough money. how much did you raise? >> we did pretty good in our best days right after the debate. we are picking up momentum. we have had a good early july because of fund-raising because of the debate. we have really good news we will be announcing this week. >> let's talk numbers. what is that news? what you got? >> you're going to find out. but we're really excited about it. we're going on the ground, hallie. i think this obsession with money is overrated. you see people raise $20 million, $25 million. >> elizabeth warren, $19 million on small donors. that's good money. >> yeah. but if money was the answer, hillary clinton would be president right now. i'm trying to communicate to the american people that it's not about money. it's about focusing on the people and their anxiety and how tough it is for them every single day. and the candidate who has that message is the candidate who is
going to get the money and then be able to beat donald trump. >> let me ask you this this piece out in the atlantic that specifically names you, congressman. it is called the long-shot candidacy conundrum. the mere act of running for the pinnacle of american politics can be a steppingstone to higher office in and of itself. you are in the headline photo there. do you see this race as a steppingstone for you? and if so, what? >> no, not at all. this is about winning. you know, if you look at the history of the iowa caucus, the early primaries, almost everybody who ended up winning and being the nominee started out where i'm starting out. bill clinton didn't get into the race in 1992 until october. so looker we are in july. and so this is about winning. look, we've been waiting 40 years for somebody to actually do something about the working class in the united states. we've been struggling since then.
losing steel mills, tech tile mills. globalization and automation have killed us. and i think it's time for somebody who has come from one of these forgotten communities to actually be in the white house pulling the levers of power. this is not about some future race. you know, this is about the future for our kids. and i'm telling you, i come from an area -- we have addiction, depths of despair, economic anxiety. people losing their pensions. if somebody wants to get on board with a race and campaign that's doing that stuff go to tim ryan for america.com. we are trying to shift the discussion to the workers of the united states. we're going to continue to do that. >> i'm almost out of time, congressman. i have two quick questions that i want to get you on the record about. alex acosta. a number of democrats are calling for him to step down. do you believe he should? >> yeah. got to go. >> do you believe kentucky democrat can beat mitch mcconnell? does she have your endorsement as your fellow rivals have said?
>> yes. and i think i'm the best nominee to be at the top of the ticket to go to a place like kentucky. a working-class person. i only live three hours from kentucky. let's take out mitch mcconnell. in large measure, amy to run under the banner of who the nominee is. having someone from a forgotten community that can go into eastern kentucky and campaign around these blue-collar issues is a stonecold winner for us. we can knock out mitch mcconnell, about you we have to be smart with who we pick as the nomin nominee. >> i believe the third presidential candidate to call for the labor secretary to resign. we're going to hear from president trump on that in a bit. congressman, thank you. senator bernie sanders will be on in just about 90 minutes with andrea mitchell here on msnbc. we have breaking news. ross perot, the self-made billionaire and two-time independent candidate for president has died after a
five-month battle with leukemia. he was 89 years old. chuck todd has more on his life and his legacy. >> reporter: the self-made man from texarkana. >> the party is over and it's time for the clean-up crew. >> reporter: henry ross perot sold a company to general motors and becoming an early tech billionaire. in 1992, he catapulted sphinto national politics. >> i promise you this, between now and the convention, we'll get both parties' head straight. >> reporter: the most successful to this days. bush approximate clinton supporters debate who perot hurt more in 1992. >> and we don't care about anything but making money there will be a sucking sound in the south. >> reporter: at he appealed on
one issue, the deficit. selling his message with folksy charisma. tv appearances. >> look out george bush, here comes h. ross perot. >> and infomercials. >> that's what we could have done with $4 trillion. >> he can be combative. >> you said $80 million. >> yes. . may i finish. >> may i finish. it's a simple question. >> you have already finished. finish again. it's your program. you can do anything you want to with it. >> he won nearly 20 million votes and became a pop culture icon. >> she is just getting ornerier and stinkier. >> reporter: he finished third in 1992 and 1996, his ability to appeal to political outsiders, personal wealth and populus
campaigns, particularly on the issue of trade, was a forerunner to trump u. >> i'm putting up my own money. i don't know if it's happened. i guess ross perot put up his own money. . >> he was honored for distinguished public service for his work on behalf of pows. his life defined by his favorite motto inspired by winston churchill. >> never give in, never give in, never, never, never. >> reporter: and his love for the lone star state. >> texas born, texas bred, texarkana raised and when i die i'll be texas dead. >> with us now is kelly o'donnell who covered perot's 1996 presidential campaign. incident was a memorable one for sure. >> reporter: one of the things that is really so striking in the era of trump u is to look back in that way on who ross perot was and the impact that he had on our popular political
culture at the time. he really spoke to the kind of voter that often felt left behind by the process. he did it in a way that had certainly very telegenic charge. he was a fun person to be around in terms of those of us who got to cover him. i covered him in 96 not '92, his big breakout year. he helped to elect bill clinton. there is argument about that. he got no electoral votes but nearly 20 million votes from americans who thought he was speaking to something that was needed. he spoke out very much against the north american free trade agreement, something still in the news today as this president is trying to have a reboot of that. he calls it the new nafta. . >> yeah. >> ross perot made a mark in texas. one big difference between perot and this president is he did
have military service and a very strong bond with pows. although this president talks about veterans a lot, it was a different time and different circumstance. ross perot made a big impact, and he will be remembered. >> kelly, we are just hearing from his family who says he will be deeply missed and lived a long and honorable life. kelly o'donnell who covered his '96 campaign. kel, thank you. >> other news happening today, including obamacare back on trial. the law, along with health care coverage forum to 20 million americans, now in jeopardy. this is a story that may be flying under your radar. here's what's going down in a couple of hours. oral arguments will be heard in which a group of republican-led states and the trump administration will make the case to uphold that the affordable care act is unconstitutional. that would, in effect, strike down the entire law. we want to bring in one of the
democratic attorneys general to talk about that. with me now virginia ag. sir, thanks for being with us. let me start here. make your case. what are you going to do to try to defend this law today? >> well, there's a big hearing in new orleans today, and the stakes could not be higher. the trump administration and republican attorneys general are going to be in court trying to take health care away, argue to go a court that there should no longer be coverage for pre-existing conditions, that millions of americans should lose their health care, and the affordable care act should be ruled unconstitutional. now, we're going to be in there saying, no, the supreme court has already ruled not once but twice that the affordable care act is constitutional. and just to give you the compact of what could happen in virginia, 642,000 virginians could lose their health care if this decision is allowed to stand. millions of virginians suffer from some kind of pre-existing
conditions. the protections they currently have all would go away. prescription drug coverage for seniors would go up. and all of that is at risk. so this has maybe because of some of the -- not some, a lot of the chaos of the white house, has flown under the radar screen. but americans need to know from the is trying to take your health care away. >> a panel of three skwreupblju. the third appointed by jimmy carter, a democrat. so two questions. number one, what is your level of confidence that your side will succeed today? >> well, i think the legal arguments that the republicans and the trump administration are really flimsy. first really what they're saying when congressional republicans pass their tax bill in 2017, that that made the affordable care act unconstitutional. and that's nonsense.
if it sounds flimsy, it is because it is. the truth is, the supreme court upheld the affordable care act twice. congress did not repeal the affordable care act. and this is an attempt by the trump administration and the republican attorneys general to try to get what they couldn't get done in congress, which is to repeal the affordable care act. >> will you appeal to the supreme court if you're not successful here. >> we will do everything we can to protect americans' health care. if that means going to the supreme court again, we will do it. . >> thank you very much for being on the show on this critical day to that case. i want to go right to capitol hill where senator chuck schumer is on the floor speaking about jeffrey epstein and alex what costa. let's listen. >> but unfortunately secretary of labor, alex acosta, cut epstein a sweetheart deal while a kwos ta was attorney general in florida in 2008. while a federal prosecutor, acosta signed a non-prosecution
agreement that allowed epstein and kwo conspirators are he remain free and evade justice despite overwhelming evidence. mr. acosta hit this agreement from epstein's victims. no one can figure out why mr. epstein was able to persuade u.s. attorney acosta not to prosecute. other than epstein could afford high-priced attorneys. as the "miami herald" editorial board wrote this morning, it was not just that acosta failed to get it right in 2008, the evidence suggests he didn't care to. accordingly, i am asking three things. first, i am calling on secretary acosta to resign. it is now impossible for anyone to have confidence in secretary
acosta's ability to lead the department of labor. if you refuses to resign, president trump should fire him. instead of prosecuting a predator and serial sex trafficker of children, acosta chose to let him off easy. this is not acceptable. we cannot have as one of the leading appointed officials in america someone who has done this. plain and simple. second, i am calling on the department of justice office of professional responsibility to make public the results of its review of aacosta's handling of the epstein's case. the justice department so far has stonewalled, has refused to make them public. this rebuke cannot be kept in the dark particularly given the
new revelations and there should be hearings. and, third, the president needs to answer for his statements he has made about his relationship with mr. epstein. in 2002, he said he had known epstein for 15 years and he was, quote, a terrific guy who enjoyed women, quote, on the younger side. unquote. epstein was also reportedly a regular at the mar-a-lago club for years. the president needs to answer for this. and i don't recall is not an acceptable answer in this case. particularly since president trump appointed mr. acosta to such a powerful position. now, on health care, today oral arguments begin in the texas versus united states and the fate of our -- >> so you have been listening to senator chuck schumer calling on the labor secretary, alex
acosta, to step down. schumer had been expected to make the remarks. he now joins house speaker nancy pelosi and other democrats in making that call. i can tell you that the department of labor, a spokesperson there told me that acosta has no intention, is not considering stepping down despite the growing calls. and the white house is defending acosta's a appointment as labor secretary. let me bring in capitol hill reporter kasie hunt live on the hill. kasie, i think we heard a kind of unified front with nancy pelosi on this issue. >> reporter: that's right, hallie. he went a little bit further, not just calling for the resignation of acosta but also calling for an accounting from both the president of the united states and the department of justice for what happened here. and i think the one thing that could potentially move the needle on this and that, you know, i'm not a lawyer so i don't want to, you know, speculate too far as to what these documents might show. but he is looking for the information about the decisions
that were made in that non-prosecution agreement. there is the investigation by the department of justice and other senators have asked for that material to see why it was that acosta was willing to make this deal for jeffrey epstein. we obviously had a lot of about his connections to weighty and powerful people across the globe. and of course his access to a top-notch defense team that ultimately led him to only spend a year in county jail and allowed him to work six days a week while serving that time. soules wants the president to explain the comments that he made over the years when he was a private citizen about epstein who, as we pointed out, has rubbed elbows with not just donald trump but bill clinton, prince andrew over in britain, a number of very powerful and wealthy figures across the globe. so these calls escalating. hallie, i know you and the white house team have been doing more
reporting on this. we touched on it at the top of your show. i'm not sure that democrats calling for this resignation moves the needle in terms of this president. >> right. >> reporter: if anything, it perhaps will make him dig in a little bit harder. but i am interested to see if the reports that the president was growing unhappy with him for other reasons is potentially leading to some movement. >> in 90 minutes we will hear from the president in the oval office. he may or may not take questions from reporters. kasie hunt, thank you very much for all of your reporting here this morning. you also heard senator chuck schumer talk about the health care case we just discussed. and straight ahead, the former marine and mother of three who just announced she will challenge mitch mcconnell in 2020. he is getting endorsements from several presidential contenders. . across the country, we walk.
but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. back now to health care and that major court case happening today in new orleans. the fifth circuit hearing a challenge to the legality. the president over the last minute or two, is clearly having his eye on it.
he is tweeting about this in the last few minutes, framing it in the context what it could mean come 2020. justice correspondent pete williams is with us now. the outcome might have a big impact on health care as we heard from the virginia attorney general minutes ago. >> reporter: after the lawyer was passed, it was challenged as unconstitutional because the challenger said the federal government cannot force people to buy something in the commercial market, namely, health insurance. but the supreme court upheld the law and said, yes, by itself that would be unconstitutional. if you didn't buy insurance you had to pay a tax penalty. it was a legitimate use of the taxing power. the republican-controlled congress said we will set the tax at zero. they said, therefore, the law can't be salvaged as the use of taxing power and a federal judge in texas agreed. now, the states supporting the law say, well, with no tax penalty it is not mandatory to
buy insurance in him because there is no penalty if you don't. so there is nothing unconstitutional about it. that is the heart of the case. now there are other issues the judges will ask about given the trump administration's change in position. initially they said they partly agreed with the texas judge's ruling. but he said not only is that part of the law unconstitutional, but the entire law, because it's all interwoven, has to collapse. and that's the other big question. >> pete williams watching it all from washington. appreciate it. >> reporter: you bet. the newest candidate for senate is four hours into her race but getting endorsements from top democrats. amy mcgrath, a former fighter pilot going after mitch mcconnell in kentucky. that prompted kirsten jill gillibrand to tweet this. at the debates last month, the candidates were asked how we'd
deal with mitch mcconnell if we're elected president. here's one solution, we replace him. thank you very much e for being with us. >> good to be here. . >> let me start here. what is your reaction to the endorsements you are receiving from senator gillibrand and what do you see as your path to victory? >> well, i'm very thankful for the endorsements of all of these folks. it shows you folks are tired of a lot of what has been happening in washington and want some change. you know, i never sat out to be a politician. i just wanted to serve my country and the marine corps. and fly fighter jets. and i did that. along the way i met my husband. we have three kids. we, like many americans and many kentucky kwrapbs, loot at each other and said we need better leaders in your country. and we need to stand up because we're worried about where our country is going, where can kentucky is going. that is why i am in this race. and i think the path to victory
in a place like kentucky, which is pro-trump, yeah, it's -- and it is a red state. but we voted overwhelmingly for trump. but you have to think about waikiki voted for donald trump. many believed they could drain the swamp. many of them voted for him to bring back jobs, to bring down drug crisis. who is stopping him from doing these things? senator mitch mcconnell. drug prices, as an example. president trump has talked about fixing thing like reimporting drugs from canada. and making sure that medicare can negotiate for drug prices. these are all very reasonable measures to get down prices for regular kentuckyians. and senator mcconnell stops that every time. >> i want to put up numbers to back this up. you talk about how kentucky is a pro donald trump state, and it is. you ran for congress during a
blue wave, by the way. you lost by a few percentage points. president trump will be on the ballot in 2020. the things that you are talking about that you believe voters will respond to. you thought he wasn't doing enough to lower preparation drug prices. why is 2020 going to be different with donald trump at the top of the ticket for republicans? >> many kentucky kwrapbs give donald trump the benefit of the doubt. as i mentioned drug prices. he said this is one of his number one priorities. who stops him is senator mcconnell. you have to ask why is that? it's not rocket science. senator mcconnell gets $1.2 million, at least in his last campaign, from big pharma. he is not looking for the interest of fellow kentucky
yanns. they voted to drain the swamp. the swamp was really built by mitch mcconnell. >> senator mcconnell's campaign is already out this morning, as i'm sure you have seen going after your record, framing you as being too progressive essentially and tweeted out video from team mitch saying, hey, welcome to the race, kentucky senate. i don't think you ran a single negative attack ad. are you going to rethink that this time around? >> well, i think i'm going to definitely contrast the way i believe, what i believe and what i think kentucky kwrapbs believe with senator mcconnell's record. in that sense, yes, i will take it to senator mcconnell and make sure kentucky kwrapbs know he has been around 34 years and here are all the things we needed had imto work on. instead, he has worked on giving massive tax breaks to millionaires and the wealthiest 1% and really just doing the interest of the special
interests of the corporations. >> a fine line seems you may need to walk of course related to appealing to people who are more moderate pro-trump democrats in your state, as well as more progressives in the state of kentucky as well. jake as progressives as well. jake sherman points out that the dccc endorsed somebody else, supported another candidate over you in the primary back last cycle. how do you plan to try to walk that line? >> well, you know, i was not a very partisan person. you're right, the democratic national party didn't endors dors me or want me in the last cycle. and that didn't seem to matter. i won in the primary. and so, you know, i look at this, my core message that i ran on two years ago is still the same today. and that's let's put our country above our political party. my husband's a registered republican, i'm a democrat. i was an independent for 12 years.
i voted for republicans in the past. i think we need to get back to doing what's best for the people of kentucky and for our country and stop playing these partisan games. so, you know, they're not going to be able to put me in a box. >> colonel amy mcgrath, i appreciate you joining us here on the show. appreciate that. coming up after the break, we're talking about a big miner problem where they're not so happy with president trump and the reality they could shift loyalty maybe, in 2020. it's an msnbc exclusive we've got it here next. clusive we've got it here next booking.com offers free so bookers can book now... and ask their boss later. [do you want breakfast or no?] free cancellations! [definitely breakfast.] how good is that? be a booker at booking.com. today's senior living communities have never been better,
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we have break news to report right now. it means that be president trump is going to have to put his block button down on twitter. that's because a federal appeals court is just today ruling that the president cannot block critics from his twitter account, according to the associated press. this three-judge panel agreed with the lower court judge who said president trump violates the first amendment when he blocks people who he doesn't want to see on his account. the appeals court says the first amendment does not permit a public official using his social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude people from an otherwise open line dialogue. not sure what it says about the mute button. we'll find out more on that. we're also reporting an exclusive today. the united mine workers doing something it has never done before. putting ought an all call to every democrat running for president, for the first time inviting them all to tour a cool
mi coal mine and talk about their thoughts on the future for energy in the future. why does this matter? president trump made restoring coal jobs a huge part of his 2016 campaign. it helped him look down a couple of key states on his way to the white house. and when he took office, the steepest decline in coal mines stopped. but last year was a run one for miners, especially those in kentucky, west virginia, and ohio. is this a sign they're ready for someone new? heidi, great piece out this morning on nbcnews.com. talk through what you found and why it's so critical. >> just to put this in perspective, the last time you saw a democratic presidential candidate do this was in 2004. now we're talking about these coal miners who are loyal trump
council constituency. as you said, we're expecting a record high number of coal mine retirements in 2019. we saw the same thing in 2018. so what is this? this is basically a crack open in the door here for democrats. these coal miners are saying, look, we have been in the past your natural constituency. you, the democratic party, has in the past represented and been the party of the working man and woman. and so we want you to come and meet with us on our turf under ground to talk about ideas for how we can be part of the energy future. of course in 2016, hallie, one of the most devastating blows to hillary clinton's campaign was when she said she was going to put the coal miners out of business. what she was really saying at that point was that she want continued to investigate in those communities to put some of these new renubling technologies in those communities. i don't know that that message
has changed much in terms of the democrats saying this is the solution. however, it does seem that the miners today are more open to hearing about it. >> fascinating stuff. thank you very much for joining us. appreciate? >> it time to get a look at what our sources have been saying. nan, what are you hearing, what are you reporting on and digging into? >> i'm looking at what's going to happen with the labor secretary. >> you and me both, girl. >> and it's interesting because it remiebds nds me of the situa that scott pruitt was in. most people in the white house do not like secretary acosta and that includes the acting chief of staff, mitch mulvaney. they've clashed a lot in the past. and the only person whose holding out the support at this point is president trump. i think it will be interesting to see how the media coverage unfolds. the president generally reacts to the media coverage and depending on what's happening with that and what station he's watching, i feel like we could -- that's where we'll need
to look for the question as to whether or not he'll keep his job. >> i got to tell you, i'm curious to see what happens in about an hour when the president meets with the leader of qatar and has an opportunity there to be in the oval office with the reporter shouting questions. i know that he sfeen is goiepsto get asked about and so is acosta. what are you look at? >> i'm looking at the fact that there are both democratic donors and consultants who are looking at whether they're going too far left when it comes to immigration. the idea of decriminalizing the border is something they find too close to calling for open borders. they say that democrats really should focus on the mistreatment of children, the conditions at the detention facilities, family separation, those are athings that they can agree but on but they think the party is going too far to the left. >> thank you. that does it for us on a very
busy rock and roll hour of msnbc. craig melvin, all yours. >> thank you, hallie jackson. enjoyed your conversation there with ms. mcgrath. good morning to you. craig melvin here msnbc headquarters here in new york city. quote, he must step down. that's nancy pelosi's demand to labor secretary alex acosta as she and chuck schumer add their name to the growing list of people calling for his resignation over how he handled the jeffrey epstein case. so, what are we hearing from the white house? we'll look at that. also, the future of obamacare. just a few hours from now, federal judges will take up a challenge backed by the trump administration that could very well decide the fate of the affordable care act. and running to ditch mitch. marine fighter pilot amy mcgrath announcing her run against senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. and it is poised to become one of the most contentious and expensive races in 2020. we'll dig into that in jus