Skip to main content

tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  July 9, 2019 9:00am-10:01am PDT

9:00 am
"andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. and right now on "andrea mitchell reports," under fire. labor secretary speaking out for the first time after calls for him to step down. >> it's now impossible for anyone to have confidence in secretary acosta's ability to lead the department of labor. guess who's not coming to dinner? hours after disinviting the british ambassador to a dinner for a visiting head of state, donald trump labels the veteran
9:01 am
diplomat wacky stupid and careless. moments from now we'll hear from president trump as he welcomes emere of quatar. after making his mission to try to impeach president trump. >> if you think there's something absolutely critical, try as hard as you can and let the chips fall where they may, and that's what i'm doing. coming up, we'll talk about that and a lot more with senator bernie sanders who wants to declare an emergency to battle climate change. and remembering a political legend of ross perot. and we have breaking news. good day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington where we expect president trump to be facing questions momentarily about his labor secretary alex acosta who just tweeted that the crimes committed by jeffrey epstein is
9:02 am
horrific. with the evidence available more than a decade ago, prosecutors insisted he go to jail and put the world on notice he was a sexual predator. now there is an opportunity for bring him more fully to justice. joining me now is kelly o'donnell. secretary acosta putting a very favorable gloss on what the so-called florida prosecutors -- he was the lead u.s. attorney did -- he had a lenient one year sentence with a lenient work release program. >> reporter: able to leave a county jail for as much as 12 hours a day to go to his office and spend the evenings there during his 13 month sentence. this is a statement that the -- certainly the white house has been watching to see what the sort of tempo of coverage would
9:03 am
be about alex acosta who was confirmed by the senate in 2017 and has been in many instances praised by the president for his work as labor secretary. earlier today, kellyanne conway tried to put focus back on jeffrey epstein. what's interesting, in many ways it appears to be evidence that has been brought to the attention of the southern district of new york that is in volume and scale bigger and more of what was known in miami. so the new evidence piece is sort of an interesting way to put a spin on this for the secretary to distance himself. he played a role as the u.s. attorney when he served there in miami. it's been several years since that occurred and now he's at the center in many ways of a political firestorm because of his association with jeffrey i
9:04 am
epste epstein. the white house pointing out that epitestein is the one who committed these crimes and the focus should be on him. there's a secondary argument about what is the role of power and access. should more have been done? secretary acosta went through that confirmation process where these facts from the 2008 situation were at least discussed as a part of his confirmation and the white house points to that as well. there were a number of democrats who voted to support him in that confirmation. now we've got many democrats saying it is time for alex acosta to resign his position in the trump cabinet. we're waiting for the emir of quatar to arrive here. the ceremony and pomp is ready on the lawn, but he's not yet arrived. the presidents, as we've seen many times is his own chief protocol officer, greeting foreign dignitaries when they arrive. cameras are positioned there. there's an opportunity to see the president and then in the oval office. one would expect this would be
9:05 am
the kind of question that be put to president trump in the oval office a short time from now. >> and kelly, just as you were mentioning, first the confirmation hearings, but again in april as a house budget committee hearing, secretary acosta was asked about what he had done as the u.s. attorney in floor abo florida. let's watch. >> 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 world was put on notice he was a sex offender. and the victims received restitution. >> 13 months in county jail, 12 hours a day, work release. you consider that justice for the -- >> congresswoman -- >> joining me now is now is the lead reporter on the epstein case.
9:06 am
she's been credited for her reporting. and elliott williams, assistant attorney general at the justice department. tell us your take away -- we see the president by the way, he's standing at the west wing door. he's about to greet the emir of quatar, which is an irony in itself. because back in 2017, he joined the saudis and the uae in basically blackballing quatar. he supported his close allies in riyadh against this emir, and to the consternation of then secretary of state rex tillerson, then defensive secretary mattis, they both circled the globe trying to put this back together. for a long time they could not handle it. we'll have more on that later. we're about to see the emir getting out of his car. i want to pause for a moment, everyone. this is the young emir of one of
9:07 am
the wealthiest countries in the world. based on natural gas. neighbors, of course, of iran, so they're critical players. dinner last night at the treasury department. we'll talk more about that later. they're going inside. we expect to hear from them. julie, to you, now, are you surprised that acosta got through the vetting process? got into the cabinet? you've been pursuing this for years and years. >> right. and, you know, this evidence, he's saying new evidence is there. they had plenty of evidence when this -- the records show that they knew that he was doing this in new york at the time years ago when they were investigating this. they had fbi agents who were flying to new york and new mexico and other places because they had gotten tips that he was doing this. it wouldn't be a surprise given this kind of operation that he was doing it in palm beach he wasn't confining this behavior
9:08 am
to preliminaalm beach. to say new york has uncovered new evidence is really not true because they had this evidence back then. >> and in fact, the new york prosecutors said that this involved some of the previous cases as well. they do have jurisdictions because of the new york mansion. that's where they found a lot of this evidence. >> the tweets -- it can both be true that they found new evidence, but also that there was plenty ten years ago and so what's missing from those tweets is some indication of the very wonderful deal that epstein got. remember, he only pled to a year of state prostoous charges. setting aside all the sexual assaults, all the misconduct and trafficking that he engaged in. yes, this is a technically true tweet. it's only a portion of the story. you know, it's a little bit cute to say the least. and a little bit defensive. >> might have been better not to tweet at all than to do it in a
9:09 am
strange way. julie, did you ever understand fully why this u.s. attorney, alex acosta, made the deal he approved? >> no. i don't think we really know the answer to that. and that's kind of why i set out to do the investigation. because it just seemed such an unusually lenient deal. i couldn't understand how or why it was made. i don't think -- like i said, i don't think we know the answer. here's another question that nobody has asked him or he has certainly not answered. if this was the best they could do and this was a deal he felt he could stand behind, then why did he seal the deal? it was kept secret from everybody. if, you know -- why? why unless there was something nefarious about it? >> and why the victims were never notified.
9:10 am
you, of course, your team interviewed the victims who wanted to play some of those accounts. >> by the time i was 16 i brought in up to 75 girls, all the ages of 14, 15, 16, people going from 8th grade to 9th grade at just school parties. >> he came in with his white towel on around him. >> he just laid down in his towel on his stomach and he was just talking to people on the phone. when he flipped over, that's when he said, okay, you can go ahead and take off your shirt and pants. >> julie, he had friends in high places, we know that at least kellyanne conway said it's been 10 to 15 years since the president had contact with him. bill clinton said there were only four trips or four flights he was on and it was on clinton
9:11 am
foundation business. was his post presidency, but with his secret service unit. he was apparently very well plugged in in florida circles, bipartisan and national circles. >> yeah, and, you know, certainly the federal authorities knew about his plane records. they were part of this investigation. the other mystery about this is why they didn't try to put pressure on some of the people that worked for him? i mean, he had recruiters, pilots, schedulers, secretaries, grounds keepers, housemen. the computers, they never seized the computers. they knew where they were. they didn't do a search warrant to get them. it was almost like they didn't want to look at who was involved and how this whole thing was operating. >> and we should point out also
9:12 am
that the attorney general william barr recused himself from the current prosecution because the firm he later joined had at one point been one of the firms involved in this defense. it seems as if he's going out of his way to recuse himself because he was not even a member of the firm at the time the firm was representing epstein if i have the chronology correct. >> you and i have talked a lot. there are many reasons to be concerned and suspicious of the attorney general 's behavior and this was not one of them. this was the right call. what we want is when attorneys, they or their law firms have conflicts perceived or actual to step out. this was what sunk jeff sessions. >> i was going to say. >> doing the right thing and stepping out of a case. one more point, piggybacking on julie's point. let's not forget the senate confirmed acosta 60-38. a lot of people, all this
9:13 am
evidence was there. they had the access to it. there was an fbi background check. the senate investigates but they still chose to proceed. we shouldn't give them a free pass. i'm not accusing anybody of giving him a free pass, but there's so much conversation about the attorney general and acosta. but the senate rolled over here and confirmed an individual who probably shouldn't have been confirmed in the first place. >> you know how that system works, being a former justice department employee. fair point about the attorney general. kudos to you and your team for being persistent and tenacious. as the federal prosecutor said -- the emir of quatar has arrived at the white house. you saw that live. he's having an oval office meeting. there may be questioned asked of the president, about disinvitation to the british
9:14 am
ambassador to that dinner, glitzy dinner for the emir last night at the treasury department. it was attended by a who's who of american industry. the focus was on the man taken off the guest list. a white house official confirming that the british ambassador was disinvited after those cables to london higher ups over the years criticizing the president were leaked to the tabloid press here. who was sitting at a press of honor? long time trump friend robert kraft, the new england patriots own or, n owner. now fighting charges of prostitution in florida. a lot in play here. do you think that alex acosta should step down, chuck schumer the democratic leader called for that today? >> what we hear today reported the charges from ten years ago are horrific as those new ones are as well.
9:15 am
every cabinet member, he was confirmed in a bipartisan vote. every cabinet member serves at the pleasure of the president. i think the president is going to speak to it later today. i'll leave it at that. >> senator, the president hasn't spoken on this yet but would your advice be this is toxic and cabinet secretaries have to be beyond reproach? t >> the president is going to have to make the decision as well as the secretary to make a decision whether he wants to resign or not. i'm not calling for that today. clearly all this information as well as the old information continues to be troubling. >> you've been talking about the environment as well and about the -- you were present at the president's initiative yesterday. but what about the president's rollbacks of environmental protections including in the coal industry, which is big in your state, wyoming. you're a man of science, a
9:16 am
medical doctor. you know the effects of greenhouse gases. you know the science that is actually being ignored by many of the departments interior, energy, epa. >> you know, today bernie sanders and others are going to reintroduce or come out with a new green new deal, which to me would be a green bomb in terms of blowing a hole in our strong and healthy and growing economy. there are things we're working on in a bipartisan way to deal with the impact of carbon dioxide on the environment. but i am not one of these climate alarmists. i'm a realist, saying there's things we need to do long term and they have to be done globally. what bernie sanders and others are promoting, really, are unaffordable, unworkable. they want us to act dramatically, unilaterally and immediately and the united states is only about 13% of global emissions. so we need solutions, scientific
9:17 am
solutions that we can have deployed in places that are really making so much of the greenhouse gases. china. india. because if they don't adopt them, no matter what we do in the united states, we'll make no difference at all. >> but it will make a difference in the united states country show some leadership. we've stepped out of the paris accords. the others have stayed in. and i mean, you've lived through the smoke and the wildfires and a lot of the changes that have made the environment so fragile in the country you love. >> well, what the -- what i have said repeatedly is that the climate is changing. man has a responsibility. there are solutions that we're adopting in the senate that the president has signed to make a difference there. new age nuclear power, which we're working on. in terms of the research that can be done,th the investigatio
9:18 am
and finding ways to make carbon dioxide into products that can be sold. we need to do that, not regulation and taxation. that's why i'm working with a bipartisan group of senators toto advance those issues. what the democrats are proposing, and they're doing it again today is unaffordable for the american public. it would add to the cost of families about $65,000 per family per year. no one can afford that. and it's unpopular even with the unions who say this would cost millions of american jobs and ultimately would ship the lifeblood of our economy to china. so the answer is innovation. working, research, to come up with a way to find solutions that we can have deployed around the world and that will be used around the world. otherwise, we're not being able to be effective. >> i want to finally ask you
9:19 am
about the british ambassador. the prime minister said she has full faith in him to do his job, reporting his take. he says -- people around him say that the memos were cherry picked to only show the negative things he said, not the positive things he said. but that he's paid to report back to london. do you think that it's a little petty to disinvite him from a diplomatic dinner and say you're not going to work with him any longer? >> i don't think so. the president has a right to make those decisions. any country can send the ambassador that they choose and then the way they're received is up to thei receiving country. there's lots of changes happening in britain now, with brexit, the change of the prime minister. i imagine there will be a change in the ambassador as well. >> thank you, so much for being with us today. david ignatius, an msnbc
9:20 am
political contributor joins me now. the british ambassador and this whole issue and acosta, just another potential scandal, jeff mason, our friend and colleague from reuters is in the oval office and is tweeting that the president said the labor secretary acosta has been an excellent labor secretary. at least what we're hearing now -- that tape will be played back -- he's right now defending acosta. i want to ask you about the british ambassador. you know him well, you know the job of ambassadors. this leak they're investigating, but somebody, some country or somebody internally. somebody most likely who has their own ax to grind had it in for him. >> the knives were out in whi whitehall. i find it many things that are ironic.
9:21 am
one of them is he was invited to this white house treasury dinner for the visiting -- >> most ambassadors are not. >> most ambassadors were not. if he was doing such a bad job, if he was such a terrible person as president trump has been saying, why was he invited? >> he's a player. >> it's the misfortune that he got caught by this leak saying to his government what every ambassador i talk to around washington feels, which is that this administration is very difficult to deal with. the president is impulsive. his own people are often either afraid of crossing him or don't know what his policies are. when derrick talked about the inept nature of the white house, what he's talking about is you can't get a reading on their policies. it's not as if he's unique in having this criticism, he just got caught saying it. >> there's some speculation that
9:22 am
the pro brexit faction, the boris johnson team, might be well-positioned for this, had it in for him because he was previously the ambassador to the e.u. and had cautioned in some of these cables about the impact of a no deal brexit on whatever trade relationship the next prime minister -- >> as you know, it was widely expected that he would be leaving soon. there was going to be a new prime minister. derrick is known to have been supportive of europe, somewhat opposed to brexit. what's interesting is that this leak seems designed to not get him out, but to condition the choice of who secedes him and make sure it's a hard brexit supporter. i have a feeling people are running scared in whitehall now that they'll probably get what they want. >> in fact, this could be the first time that someone more political, not one of the top civil servants would be a
9:23 am
complete change -- >> anyone who covers washington knows the british embassy historically has been a unique place for gathering people from different parties, the british are wired into things. if you read derrick's memos, they were very frank, thinking that they were private. but they reflected a good deal of knowledge, meet ing with people in and out of the administration. >> david ignatius, thank you very much. the president has finished his conversation with reporters. we'll bring you that tape momentarily. we'll take a quick break. we'll be right back. arily. we'll take a quick break we'll be right back. [alarm beeping] {tires screeching} {truck honking} (avo) life doesn't give you many second chances.
9:24 am
but a subaru can. (dad) you guys ok? you alright? wow. (avo) eyesight with pre-collision braking. standard on the subaru ascent. presenting the three-row subaru ascent. love is now bigger than ever.
9:25 am
9:26 am
for a restless night's sleep. pain settle there's a better choice. aleve pm. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid and the 12-hour pain-relieving strength of aleve that dares to last into the morning. so you feel refreshed. aleve pm. there's a better choice. mno kidding.rd. but moving your internet and tv? that's easy. easy?! easy? easy. because now xfinity lets you transfer your service online in just about a minute with a few simple steps. really? really. that was easy. yup. plus, with two-hour appointment windows, it's all on your schedule. awesome. now all you have to do is move...that thing. [ sigh ] introducing an easier way to move with xfinity. it's just another way we're working to make your life simple, easy, awesome. go to to get started. i felt completely helpless. trashed online. my entire career and business were in jeopardy. i called reputation defender. they were able to restore my good name.
9:27 am
if you are under attack, i recommend calling reputation defender. vo: there's more negativity online than ever. reputation defender ensures that when people check you out, they'll find more of the truth, not trash. if you have search results that are wrong or unfair, visit or call 1-877-866-8555. and we have breaking news. the president defending secretary acosta. this was the president welcoming the emir of quatar. let's listen. >> a real leader in a large part of the world, a very important part of the world. and we have known each other a long time. we've been friends for a long time. and we're doing a lot of work now. they're investing very heavily in our country. they're creating a lot of jobs,
9:28 am
they're buying tremendous amounts of military equipment, including planes. that you are buying commercial planes as you know. very large numbers of commercial planes from boeing. we very much appreciate it. we're going to be signing a document today, a very large transaction. you're going to be invited to the signing. it's a transaction that will be purchasing a lot of jets, a lot of money spent in our country. that means a lot of jobs. we just appreciate everything. we have a great operation, military operation right now in quatar. they built one of the great military bases i would say anywhere in the world. it's just been expanded with runways and everything else. it's been really a great honor to work with my friend, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you, sir. mr. president, i'm very happy and honored to be here and thank you very much for your hospitality. as you mentioned, we enjoy a great relationship between quatar and the united states of america. we're doing a lot together. as you mentioned, the president,
9:29 am
we're signing a few documents today. we are economic partnership, minori more than $185 million. we trust the economy here. we do a lot in the infrastructure. we're planning to do more investments. yes, we host -- and we're working very close together. you're invited to come and visit quatar and the base anytime. i enjoy the personal friendship with you, thank you very much. >> thank you very much. i will say the base is incredible. it's -- what they've done there is absolutely -- a great place to have it, right in the middle of the middle east. it's, obviously, a very important location. so thank you all very much. >> do you have reaction to the subpoenas of jared kushner? >> i don't know anything about
9:30 am
it. >> how long are you going to wait until the iranian -- >> we'll see what happens with iran. iran is doing a lot of very bad things right now and they better be very careful. >> secretary acosta, right now and in the future -- >> i met secretary acosta, his first time when i made the deal to bring him into the administration, i can tell you that for two and a half years he's been just an excellent secretary of labor. he's done a fantastic job. part of it is our economy is so good, our unemployment numbers are at record lows. so many good things are wa happening. he's been a good secretary of labor. what happened 12 or 13 years ago with respect when he was an attorney in miami, was it miami? >> yes. >> you go back and look at everybody else's decisions, whether it's an u.s. attorney or a judge, you go back 12 or 15 years ago or 20 years ago and look at their past decisions.
9:31 am
i would think you'd probably find they were -- wish they maybe did it a different way. i do hear that there were a lot of people involved in that decision, not just him. i can only say this from what i know and what i do know is that he's been a great -- really great secretary of labor. the rest of it we'll have to look at it very carefully. it was a decision made, not by him, but by a lot of people. we'll be looking at that very carefully. anybody else? >> epstein is a terrific guy? >> knew him like everybody in palm beach knew him. he was a fixture in palm beach. i had a falling out with him long time ago. i don't think i've spoken to him for 15 years. i wasn't a fan. i was not -- a long time ago. maybe 15 years. i was not a fan of his, that i can tell you. i was not a fan of his. i feel very badly actually for
9:32 am
secretary acosta. i've known him for being someone who has worked so hard. i feel badly about that whole situation. we're going to be looking at that and looking at it very closely. we're also going to be signing a big contract in a little while. so we're going to see you in a little while in a different room, in a different part of the white house where we're going to be signing a big deal with boeing. thank you very much. we'll see you in a couple minutes. >> as you just heard, the president very strongly endorsing his labor secretary acosta as an excellent labor secretary, but saying he didn't know him before. there's a little bit of distancing there, they're going to be taking a close look at it. saying he was not a fan of jeffrey epstein, even though he previously in 2002 at least told the press that they were good friends and that he -- they shared a like for beautiful women. that's a strange introduction of
9:33 am
democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders. my apologies, senator. secretary acosta was the u.s. attorney. it was his final decision. lots of questions have been raised by lots of reporting from the miami ha herald. victims were never notified about the deal, and he got a generous work release program. >> what i think that verdict, and the treatment of mr. epstein indicates is the ugly two tier criminal justice system we have in america. if you're a billionaire charged with sex trafficking with young girls, you do your time, short time in jail and you get off to go to work. virtually no punishment at all. think about for a minute if you're a working class person in
9:34 am
this country, if you were a person of color and those same charges were levied against you, think about where you would be today. and it's not just mr. epstein and it's how we dealt with the wall street bailout, wall street firms were billed billions. somehow or another, it ended up no ceo went to jail for their crimes which destroyed the american economy. this speaks to the need to have real criminal justice in this country. equal justice under the law, whether you're a billionaire or whether you're poor. >> at this stage, do you think he should resign or the president should fire him? there's a lot on the record already. >> i think so. look, i do think so. i mean, i think he should be asked to resign because of his role in the process with epstein. but above and beyond that, i find it amazing that trump talks about acosta being a great
9:35 am
secretary of labor. this is not a great secretary of labor. if you're a great secretary of labor, you'll be supporting my legislation and other legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. you'll be supporting efforts for working people to have universal healthcare so everybody in this country, every working person in this country can go to a doctor when he or she is sick. that's what great secretary of labor does. that's not what mr. acosta is doing. >> we have a new candidate in the race, tom stire, the billionaire who has made a cause of impeachment. what do you think about him entering the race with all of his money? >> well, you know, i have known tom for a number of years. i like tom personally. but i do have to say as somebody who in this campaign has receiv received two million contributions, averaging $19 a person, i'm a bit tired of seeing billionaires trying to buy political power.
9:36 am
so i like tom. he's a good guy. he's a friend of mine, but i'm not a great fan of billionaires getting involved in the political process. >> so he should not be taken seriously as a candidate, do you think? >> no, i didn't say that. if you're a billionaire by definition, you are taken seriously. but i think the american people understand that one of the great problems facing american society today is that we have a billionaire class which is getting richer and richer while the working class of this country has been decimated over the past 45 years. people are sick and tired of big money in politics. people want to overturn citizens united, we've got to move the public funding of elections. billionaires should not be able to spend unlimited sums of money trying to buy elections. >> you have a solution, you've joined with aoc on a resolution
9:37 am
on climate change. the president had an environmental proposal yesterday. why this resolution for an emergency on climate change, why do you think it's needed? >> andrea, the reason why it's so important is, in fact, we are facing not only a national emergency, we're facing a global emergency. and it is really painful and embarrassing that we have a president of the united states who considering climate change to be a hoax when the scientific community tells us that this is an existential threat to our entire planet. and what the president of the united states should be doing instead of denying the reality of climate change, he should be leading the entire world working with russia and india and china and brazil and the entire planet. and tell them that instead of spending $1.5 trillion on weapons of destruction, maybe we should use those resources and
9:38 am
work together to fight our common enemy, which is climate change. i have four kids and seven grandchildren. i'm going to do everything i can to make sure that the planet we live -- we leave to future generations is a planet that is healthy and a planet that is habitable. this is a national emergency and we have got to respond accordingly. >> this resolution and the green new deal, is there going to be specific legislation we can look at it. >> this particular legislation just demands that the congress vote to understand that climate change is a national emergency and then we go from there. and where we obviously have got to go is to tell the fossil fuel industry that they cannot continue to make billions and billions of dollars as they lie every single day about the damage they are doing to our climate. what we obviously have got to do and the scientists understand
9:39 am
this clearly, what we have got to do is transform our energy system away from fossil fuel into energy efficiency, a new transportation system and sustainable energy. we have made some progress over the last number of years in terms of the growth of wind energy, the growth of solar energy. but we are just touching the surface. we have got to do an enormous amount more if we're going to save this planet and we've got to lead the world. and by the way, andrea, when we do this, we're going to create millions and millions of good paying jobs. >> now, joe biden is still in the latest washington post abc poll still leading all of you in the race against donald trump in that matchup. is his apology this weekend in south carolina good enough on the subject of his description
9:40 am
of the segregationist senators he had worked with and the bussing issue? >> let me just say this, in poll after poll, we are also defeating donald trump. i think most importantly in the battleground states of michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania, i think all of the polls i've seen have shown us to be ahead of trump. i think that says that we have got to take the lead. this campaign can beat trump. that's an important point i think most americans know. in terms of joe biden, look, i think that joe biden, joe has talked about his early days in the senate when things were civil. but underneath that so-called civili civility, there was an incredible oppression and ugliness and attacks against the
9:41 am
african-american community. you see this when your congress people are so nice, how are you, how is your family. yet, they are supporting efforts that literally terrorized 30, 40 years ago the african-american community. it's one thing to work with people, i do, of all political differences. but it's another thing to boast about a civility which really masks some very ugly policies. >> senator bernie sanders, as always, it's a pleasure, sir. thank you for being with us. good luck out there. >> thank you. >> be safe on the trail. joining me nfirst to you, t watcher -- >> that was not accepting of the vice president's apology it sounds like. the vice president's speech this weekend was a fascinating one. the headline was that apology, but it was a much more folsom defense of how he has viewed public service, what brought him to get into public service in the first place. he said civil rights, primarily. his desire to shift the
9:42 am
democratic party to a more progression direction. and also the idea you need to work across the aisle. he's been in congress, you know for decades as well and he's making a different point. civility for the sake of civility is not enough. you have to fight these people more aggressively. >> how does tom stire shake up the race? >> the way he could shake it up is by crushing everyone else in television advertising. the money he's talking about putting forward, $100 million, it's about half the total amount that hillary clinton spent. he could really without any kind of assistance go rogue and blanket the air waves. what we're seeing from other candidates like elizabeth warren is that they, too, are able to generate of money. but that amount of money this early in the race, you know, he's talking about a lot of the same things that bernie sanders
9:43 am
is, that elizabeth warren is in terms of anti-corruption agenda. but he's kind of had these different pet issues that, you know, kind of cross with what other candidates have been talking about. >> climate as well. >> yeah. what we'll distinguishes him other than his money. you saw breaking news try to put him in that billionaire's box which is not a popular place to be these days when we're talking about outsider billionaires. reminiscent of somebody we have right now in the white house. >> one thing we've seen with the money, just because you have a lot of money doesn't mean you'll be at the top of the polls. pete buttigieg led the last quarter but is polling about the same now. stire could spend quite a bit of money and not get the results you want, especially considering he doesn't have the name recognition of these other people who have been running for a while now. >> he's been flooding the zone with his pro impeachment, which all feature himself on camera. i want to point out that the acosta defense from the
9:44 am
president had a little wiggle room saying he didn't know him that well, but he's been good on the job. they're leaving their options open. >> that's the bare minimum the president could do in terms of defending his labor secretary. the president is not shy about discarding his cabinet secretaries if they cause political problems for him. what's another acting secretary at this point in this term? i think he's -- by saying we want to look into this is making a clear signal that unless acosta can get himself out of the doghouse soon -- >> he's got a little bit to hang on here with the department of justice having an open investigation. he can say i'm going to wait until we know the results -- >> the kaulit's a firewall betw white house and justice department. irony alert. >> he has that to hang it on o. it could get very uncomfortable for him and depending on how the house handles this, what if they start doing hearings with the victims? this whole history that trump is trying to minimize of him being,
9:45 am
you know, buddies with epstein, you know, calling him a terrific guy, having him down to mar-a-lago could come forward. plus, here's the ugly truth. trump knew about the sweetheart deal when he appointed him. there was only one person, senator kaine who asked him about it. that was when acosta said that went to other prosecutors and it was out of my hands. there really just was not much scrutiny either by congress or the president. they all knew about it. >> he got 60 votes. >> absolutely. one thing we didn't hear the president express is concern for the victims. a lot of people are going to pay attention to that considering this moment we're having where there's quite a bit of attention being paid to victims of abuse, people in positions of power and business. even if allegedly, there's a level of compassion i think people would have liked to have seen the president display. they're not surprised he didn't but it's notable as we head into the election. >> he had robert kraft at dinner
9:46 am
last night, who is facing charges for soliciting prostitution in that florida sting operation. had him seated next to christine lagarde, the imf director. >> best party. >> thank you so much on a busy day. coming up, louisville slugger. the kentucky democratic and former marine pilot who announced she is challenging senator mitch mcconnell for his seat. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us on msnbc. g "andreal reports. stay with us on msnbc. hi i'm joan lunden. today's senior living communities have never been better, with amazing amenities like movie theaters, exercise rooms and swimming pools, public cafes, bars and bistros even pet care services. and there's never been an easier way to get great advice.
9:47 am
a place for mom is a free service that pairs you with a local advisor to help you sort through your options and find a perfect place. a place for mom. you know your family we know senior living. together we'll make the right choice.
9:48 am
9:49 am
9:50 am
former majority leader -- excuse me -- majority leader mitch mcconnell's fight to hold the senate in 2020 is going to now include a challenge in his home state. former marine fighter pilot amy mcgrath announcing this morning she is ready to take on mcconnell, blaming the long-time leader for the dysfunction on capitol hill. >> everything that's wrong in washington had to start someplace. how did it come to this? that even within our own families we can't talk to ooeac other about the leaders of our country anymore without anger and blame. well, it started with this man
9:51 am
who was elected a lifetime ago and who has bit by bit, year by year, turned washington into something we all despise. >> joining me now "new york times" editorial board member mara gay and jeremy peters. mara, she's taking on an institution, the strongest majority leader in anyone's memory if she gets the nomination, what are her chances? >> well, first of all, this is a case that reminds me so much of alexandria ocasio-cortez in new york that we had here. nobody expected that she would be long-time congressman joe crowley and she did. now, i will leave it to the local reporters on the ground in kentucky to look at what her actual odds are, i think it's fair to say that she's, you know -- it's going to be a tough race for her. he's really got a major advantage here. but what's so interesting to me is i've been reading the local coverage out of kentucky this
9:52 am
morning and, you know, it sounds to me like she's actually casting her campaign not as anti-trump, but as actually trying to go after mcconnell using the trump playbook of, hey, listen, you know, my constituents, the people of kentucky tried to elect donald trump to drain the swamp and he failed and mitch mcconnell is a part of that. so she's using the trump playbook against mcconnell and i think that is absolutely fascinating. she's talking about bread and butter, kitchen table issues, jobs, and i also think it will be interesting generationally to see since she's talking about student debt what comes out this have campaign. she's really got her work cut out for her, but i think it's a new kind of politics that work. >> jeremy, this is a whole new ball game. >> it absolutely is because the mitch mcconnell who ran and won in 2014 is not the same mitch mcconnell who will be running for reelection. he won by double digits when
9:53 am
people thought he would be vulnerable in 2014. you know, as a caveat here, he is still going to be a very, very strong candidate, but he embodies that swamp that donald trump ran against. he is also the least popular senator. he has the lowest approval ratings by far of any senator. that's a huge vulnerability. he's also got to appreciate the irony here, that he is going to have to tether himself to donald trump in order to win by effectively saying, from what i'm hearing from republicans on the ground, look, if it weren't for me donald trump's agenda wouldn't be going through. donald trump's judges wouldn't be getting confirmed. so reelect me, i'm just best hope for preserving the trump agenda. trump and mcconnell are not exactly on the same page on most things. >> thank you both to both of you. coming up, remembering self--made billionaire and presidential candidate ross perot. stay with us on' dran rachel reports only on msnbc. on' dranl reports only on msnbc. i switched to liberty mutual,
9:54 am
because they let me customize my insurance. and as a fitness junkie, i customize everything, like my bike, and my calves. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
9:55 am
the business of road trips... ...adventure... ...and reconnecting. modernized comfort inn's and suites have been refreshed because our business is you. get the lowest price guaranteed on all choice hotels when you book direct at i have one kid in each branch of the military, but i'm command central. it's so important to us that verizon is supporting military families.
9:56 am
when i have a child deployed, having a reliable network means everything. so, when i get a video chat, and i get to see their face, it's the best thing in the world. and i've earned every one of these gray hairs. military moms, we serve too. (vo) the network more people rely on, gives you more. like military plans with a special price on unlimited, $100 per line, and big savings on our best phones when you switch.
9:57 am
passing of a political original, billionaire entrepreneur and 1992 independent presidential candidate ross perot who at one point was ahead of republican president bush 41 and democratic challenger bill clinton in the polls in june of 1992, even after dropping out of the race later and reentering in a storm of controversy he won nearly 20% of the vote in november. nbc's chuck todd has his remarkable story.
9:58 am
>> at a time when public trust in government was lower than during watergate perot appealed to a group of disenchanted voters on one issue, the deficit. selling his message with folksy charisma. >> as i've said before, it's time to take out the trash and clean out the barn. >> tv appearances. >> look out, george bush, here comes h. ross perot. >> and infomercials. >> that's what we could have done with $4 trillion in we hadn't wasted it. >> perot could be combative. >> you have said that part of your -- >> i've also told your program -- >> is $180 billion. >> yes, may i finish. >> >> may i finish. it was a simple question. >> you have already finished. go ahead, finish again. it's your program, you can do anything you want to with it. >> but his message stuck, he won nearly 20 million votes and became a pop culture phenomenon. >> see, the deficit is like a crazy aunt down the basement, no one paying attention to her. and she is just getting stink yer, do you catch me. >> although he finished third in '92 and in 1996, perot's ability
9:59 am
to appeal to political outsiders, his personal wealth and populous campaigns particularly on the issue of trade was a forerunner to donald trump. >> i'm putting up my own money. i don't know if it's ever happened, i guess ross perot put up his money. >> a graduate of the naval academy perot was honored with the medal for distinguished public service for his work on behalf of pows. >> these men have great value to their wives, their children and their parents. >> his life defined by his favorite motto, inspired by winston churchill. >> never give in. never give in. never, never, never. >> and his love for the lone star state. >> i was texas born, texas bred and texarkana raised and when i die i will be texas dead. >> chuck todd, nbc news, washington. president trump george w. bush released a statement saying in part texas and america have lost a strong patriot. ross perot a pipt mized the entrepreneurial spirit and the american creed. he gave selflessly of his time
10:00 am
and resources to help others in our community, across our country around around the world. he is survived by his wife and a large family, he was 89 years old. that does it for us for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports," here is ali velshi and stephanie ruhle. >> andrea, have yourself an excellent afternoon. thank you. hello, it's tuesday, july 9th. >> president trump is defending his labor secretary today, alexander acosta. acosta is under intense scrutiny for a deal he gave sex offender and multi-millionaire jeffrey epstein back in 2008. here is what the president said while in the oval office just moments ago. >> i met secretary acosta, this is the first time i know when i made the deal to bring him on into the administration. i can tell you that for two and a half years he's been just an excellent secretary of labor. he's done a fantastic job. now, part of it is our economy is so good, our unemployment numbers are at record lows, you know, so many good things are
10:01 am