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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  July 10, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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a special shoutout today on a tough day news to my two wingmen for the hour. also to my friend jennifer palmieri but most of all to you for watching. that does it for us with my friend chuck todd starts now. ♪ if it's wednesday, labor secretary alex acosta resisting calls for his resignation defends his handling of the jeffrey epstein case. plus, exclusive new nbc news reporting showing the horrific conditions in border detention is much more widespread and a lot more disturbing. and pelosi versus progressives? the behind closed doors democratic divisions are spilling out into the open
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today. welcome to wednesday. it is "meet the press daily." good evening, i am chuck todd here in washington. we begin tonight with breaking news facing growing calls from democrats to resign facing the headlines from another epstein accuser and facing pressure from the president himself. this afternoon trump's embattled labor secretary, a former u.s. attorney, alex acosta, met the press seemingly on the president's orders to fight back or at least explain allegations made against him as u.s. attorney in 2007 that his plea deal with the admitted child tomorrow, jeffrey epstein was far too lenient. acosta did not apologize for his handling of the case. he was fighting for his job. he was defiant. >> standing here today, are you basically saying that you feel you did everything you could? you got the best deal you could get and you have no regrets? >> we believe that we proceeded
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appropriately. based on the evidence there was value to getting a guilty plea and having him register. look, no regrets is a very hard question. as you watch these victim interviews, it's very obvious that the victims feel that this was not a sufficient outcome. these victims were traumatized. we can't begin to understand what they went through. and they look at this and they say, but why? and so you always look back and you say what if? this was the view of the office. there is a value to a sure guilty plea because letting him walk, letting what the state attorney was ready to do go forward would have been absolutely awful. >> now a source told nbc news
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today that acosta held this press conference after being urged by the president to do so. to be sure acosta was pressed about both his relationship with mr. trump and whether he was basically speaking to an audience of one. >> my relationship with the president outstanding, he has i think very publicly made clear that i've got his support. i'm not about to talk about conversations with the president, and i'm not here to send any signal to the president. i think it's important a lot of questions were raised and this has reached the point that i think it's important to have a public hearing. >> moments before this press conference, democrats announced thepd acosta to testify about the epstein plea deal. all of these developments came over my colleague savannah guthrie spoke with a new epstein accuser who alleges he raped her when she was 14 years old. nbc news white house correspondent joins me.
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he was in that press conference with secretary acosta. so, peter, we know, let's talk about the audience of one. did he watch the whole thing or some of it, and what is the first round of assessments from the president? >> reporter: well, we can't say for certain that he watched the whole thing, but i do have a person familiar with the matter that it was the president yesterday afternoon who did urge acosta to have this news conference basically to take all of reporters' questions. i think that's why it lasted for 53 minutes. acosta's aides were encouraging him. what struck me though that secretary acosta was pretty measured. and i think less defiant perhaps, certainly not as defiant as brett kavanaugh under different circumstances when he testified. we know the president watched that from the beginning to its end this time. but what is notable here is that the president yesterday in his public compliments of acosta said that he's done an excellent job. he said that he's fantastic, in
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effect. but he didn't say that his job was safe. he said that they were going to look at a very close review. it's notable, chuck, that back in march sarah sanders told us it was under review then. we've heard nothing about that in the course of this time, obviously. but the question for the president is was he satisfied by what he saw, and not just by what he saw today but what he continues to see. does this continue to make headlines and overshadow what the president wants to be focused on, which, frankly is part of secretary acosta's job which is those job numbers and the focus of the economy right now. sources here say the president, you know, he hasn't concluded for sure, but at this point it he seems to be leaning on the side of secretary acosta. >> you brought up i think the most important factor. today he's fine with acosta because acosta took epstein out of the white house and took it on. and so it brought it out of the white house which is -- that was job number one of the president. he wanted it out of his kitchen, and he got it. but if this is lingering in a
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week, isn't he gone? because that's the way this president operates? if you're grabbing too many negative headlines, get out. >> yeah. if past is precedent, i think that's a pretty safe assessment here. when he was walking out of that conference room just down on the second floor of the labor department, i asked him if he would testify before congress. elijah cummings who was the democratic chair says he wants to bring acosta before congress. he ignored that question. but if you see him on camera again for the course of a long day of testimony, it could become yet more problematic i think for this secretary. >> i'll be very curious to see if acosta does testify before congress. peter alexander at the white house for us, thank you. let me bring in our political experts today. joined here from the set by nbc news correspondent heidi, james, msnbc contributor and former senior adviser to the clinton campaign, adrienne elrod and
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michael steel. heidi, right under the box here. it felt like the longer acosta went on, probably the better it got for him personally. but does this shut the door for his problems? >> no, because as you monitored the wires as i did, members started to issue statements saying this doesn't change anything, they still want him to resign including senator bloom that. you've already had it from the highest levels of the democratic party. there were a lot of questions that remain unanswered. acosta almost seemed to cast himself as the hero here who saved these women from basically watching jeffrey epstein walk free when, in fact, the reality was they had a lot of evidence, there was no statute of limitations. he had every reason to continue investigating this case and contrary to what he said about the women not wanting to come forward, that was probably true of some of the girls.
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but there was evidence that there were other girls who did want to come forward and that they had something in the number of 30 of them including an entire racket there of schedulers and other accomplices who were in on this. >> james, the hardest part of this story is that there's acosta didn't act alone here in this decision-making process. this is the part of this that i'm just -- we're putting it all on him. it's like do we think a u.s. attorney made all of these decisions on his own? in a billionaire case that they're doing like this? >> no. and i think that's one of the reasons people have to fear congressional oversight is because some of those people are on the other side of the negotiating table with someone from bill barr's law firm who was negotiating the deal with acosta. barr wasn't involved in the case but he's recused himself from looking back at that decision that was made, not the current case. so i think there are a lot of people, separate from epstein's
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behavior, who have to worry about real scrutiny. remember, this is happening during the bush administration with the u.s. attorney scandal and a lot of those people who had gotten fired, were replaced by political folks. the so i think that congress really could start exploring these things. and the justice department watchdog is continuing to look, the office of professional responsibility looking at acosta. i expect something will come out of that. we don't know how damning it will be. >> there's not been a lot of republicans. but here he was, i want to play an excerpt of the interview that savannah did with the 14 -- well, she's now in her 30s. let me play an excerpt of that and ask you on the other side. >> reporter: did you ever tell him your age? >> i told the recruiter, i've mentioned it in front of him, yes. >> you're 14 years old. >> yeah. he knew very well my age.
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>> did jeffrey epstein rape you? >> yeah, he raped me, forcefully raped me, knew exactly what he was doing. and i don't think cared. what hurts even more so is that if i wasn't afraid to come forward sooner, then maybe he wouldn't have done it to other girls. i feel really guilty. to this day i feel really guilty. >> what do acosta's comments look like now after hearing that? >> you know, i think it's both socially -- >> and i do want to correct because 14 when she met epstein, 14 during the alleged rape. >> versus the political space which is how you let into this part of the conversation. they're two different worlds. and the political space is about protecting your flanks and making sure this doesn't become more of a problem, which is what
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you alluded to in the first place. >> he said, fine, you'll take it. >> you'll do the stand-up and i'm free of it. >> so that's the political. on the social side where we come and the rest of us come in, we are listening to this 30-year-old woman talk about something that happened to her when she was 14, 15 years old. that will resonate with a lot of 30-year-old women out there. and a lot of moms and dads who had to walk through that trying time with their daughter who was assaulted or raped in some fashion or who are finding out for the first time that this happened to their young child because of that sense of guilt, that sense of regret, that sense of this is my fault. so, the fact that you want to try to push this off as a ten-year-old story or that this was how adjudicated, those women don't feel that there was fair adjudication for them because they went through the process and asked for certain outcomes and certain information that they were denied. that's a narrative that i don't
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think that the secretary's going to be able to escape. >> adrienne, a bunch of congressional democrats have called for his resignation. >> uh-huh. >> okay. now what? sort of like you call for it. it's only one party. like i said, not a single republican has joined in. what do democrats do next if nothing comes of a resignation? >> well, i think as heidi was just mentioning there's going to be a lot of oversight and investigation in congress which will keep this story alive and which will keep the headlines going on this, which is something that the trump administration certainly doesn't want. i think the pressure's going to be on, and i think eventually a republican or two is going to have to come forward and say i don't want this guy serving as our labor secretary anymore, and i want him to resign. i don't see how he can stay in this position and not be forced to resign at some point because i think the story is going to keep going. >> go ahead, james. >> no one who voted for him has called for him to resign, including the democracy. i think the republicans to watch in that regard are people who
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are up in 2020. and they're all right now deferring to that justice department. >> what's martha mcsally saying? >> same thing. >> let's see what the justice department is going to say because it shows they're not reflexively coming to their position. susan collins also saying this is troubling and worrisome. >> she could be the first one too. and that wouldn't surprise me. >> ben sass is another person to watch. >> the republicans who didn't vote for trump in the first place. that's an interesting category of elected officials. >> i thought one of the most telling moments was when he was asked whether jeffrey epstein's wealth and power had anything to do with the sweetheart deal he got. >> had anything to do. had everything? >> but he would not deny that. >> how do you deny that though? >> there's just something more to this in terms of what could have been life in prison to essentially a work-study program that wasn't -- he said he had to go to jail. but he didn't go to jail. >> he wrote back in 2011 he
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wrote something in 2011 that said the epstein lawyers were harassing my lawyers, they were investigating the other prosecutors on the case. they were trying to look for dirt on them to disqualify from them the case. he has spoken in the past about how the wealth and the power acosta has impacted the prosecution. >> it is a weird one-sided thing on acosta. and it's been just a striking amount of silence. >> i agree with adrienne. i don't think this goes away. this is not just a summer story. >> with this 15-year-old woman, i think more people are going to come out now. for some reason it didn't the first time with epstein, something tells me now the -- >> worried to come out so now they feel that they can. >> protection. >> so i think the story has got legs. it's not going to go away. >> justice has been investigating this since february. patty murray and tim kane have
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been investigating this since february. >> heidi, james, adrienne, and michael, you guys are all sticking up ahead. next, will acosta testify about the plea deal. and claims of mistreatment about migrants at a border detention. it's not just crowding and unsanitary conditions, and it's not just in texas. we are going to bring you an exclusive report out of arizona next. ♪ that a speaker is just a speaker. ♪ or - that the journey can't be the destination. most people haven't driven a lincoln. discover the lincoln approach to craftsmanship at the lincoln summer invitation. right now, get 0% apr on all 2019 lincoln vehicles plus no payments for up to 90 days. only at your lincoln dealer. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, plus no payments for uhmm. exactly. so you only pay for what you need. nice. but, uh...
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or reschedule an appointment, even on nights and weekends. today's xfinity service. simple. easy. awesome. i'd rather not. welcome back now to some exclusive new reporting by my msnbc news colleagues about the alleged mistreatment of migrant children that is getting a lot of reaction today in capitol hill. children at a migrant detention center in yuma are saying that they were kicked, had food thrown at them like wild animals and one 15-year-old girl alleges she was sexually assaulted by a cbp agent. now those accusations are cited in almost 30 accounts from case managers for the department of
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health and human services. my nbc colleagues write the following. kids who spent time in theuma border station repeatedly described poor conditions that are not pure by-products of overcrowding. sleeping on concrete or outside with only a blanket and feeling hungry before their 9:00 p.m. dinnertime. in a statement about the yuma allegations a cbp spokesperson told nbc news, quote, the allegations do not align with common practice at our facilities and will be fully investigated. well, the dhs acting secretary kevin mcaleenan will testify about this and the conditions at other facilities before the house oversight committee on thursday of next week. that's the day after bob mueller, by the way. and as i said my colleagues' reporting got a lot of reaction today on capitol hill. take a listen. >> the accounts made by dozens of children at these facilities
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are horrifying and are completely unacceptable. cbp needs to clean house. the top people at cbp ought to be fired now. >> the president's concerned about it, he'll do something. if the secretary is concerned about it, he'll do something. >> the reason this cruelty is occurring is because cruelty is the point. this president and his administration want to be cruel to this community. >> there is not enough money in the system to handle the flow. and i'm not going to vote for $4 billion every 90 days until we address cutting off the flow. >> there is a problem with overcrowding caused by the lack of support from congress. if we had support of our frontline agencies, these problems would go away. >> the state of the human condition that i observed in yuma was the worst state of the human condition i have ever seen in my life. and when we came back to washington and begged alongside the administration for the
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additional resources as summer was approaching not to have desperate people baking under tarps. we did not receive a whole lot of interest from our democratic colleagues. >> joining me now is congressman raja. she is a democrat of illinois. congressman, good to see you, sir. welcome back. >> thank you, chuck. >> let me -- i'll tell you what, nothing struck me louder today than hearing matt gaetz describe the conditions frankly in ways that i've heard many democrats describe the conditions of many border facilities. and so now we have universal agreement that these conditions are totally unacceptable. but it still seems to me that it's finger-pointing first. i guess my question is what can we do right now? >> well, thank you for the question. i think right now we have to spend the money that was appropriated last week or a week before, the $4.6 billion in the
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way that it was intended, namely, to alleviate the situation of overcrowding and improving facilities on the border, and secondly, and very important, beef up the money that's given to hhs so that they can place these children in long-term suitable shelters and get them the heck out of these temporary detention facilities on the border. they have no business being there in the first place. >> in fairness to these border patrol agents are not trained to do child welfare. >> and that's why we've provided them money to hhs to get these children out of those places into long-term shelters. >> what comes -- i mean, how could we fix this yuma shelter now? we have the money appropriated. you know, this is the part where the disconnect i think is frustrating to watch. >> yes. for starters, i think that none of needs people should be treated the way that they're treated. i didn't like the comment that
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was made by dhs that this behavior that was reported, whether it was sexual abuse or these unsafe and unsanitary conditions which are already illegal under the flores decision, somehow these decisions don't align, quote on quote with their principles. how about saying they're wrong and unethical and should be prosecuted to the extent that people are actually committing these wrongful acts in those facilities. that's got to stop today. and then the money has to be used in the future to improve those facilities long-term. >> look, and i know where you are on this issue. but given the fact that we see what these migrants are willing to put up with to get here. >> yeah. >> do we now realize how bad the situation is in central america and pulling out of central america was the bigger mistake? >> yes, sir. i'm an immigrant myself.
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i came here as a 3 month old boy. and i look at these people and i say but for the grace of god. they are fleeing economic deprivation and violence in these northern lateral countries in central america, namely, honduras, el salvador and guatemala. and we are cutting off humanitarian assistance to these countries at the same time that we are trying to deal with these people on the border. and so we should be resuming assistance. we should be trying to help these countries right now at the source of the problem, not making conditions worse by cutting off humanitarian assistance. >> what's the biggest question mcaleenan needs to answer to your committee next week? >> well, i think first thing, he somehow denied that the conditions were as bad as they are. and does he now change his hints or in light of what we learned.
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and then secondly, what is he going to do right now to improve those conditions and how is he going to make sure that the money that was appropriated is spent wisely? what's the timeline for spending that money, what are the metrics for success, how are things going to improve in ten days, two weeks, a month, two months and so forth? >> let me move to another oversight issue. jeffrey epstein. i know that alex acosta has been invited to testify before the oversight committee. do you think you'll get him? >> well, perhaps he will resign before that. i've called for his resignation along a lot of my cleegz. perhaps if he does, maybe then he won't show up. but if he's still in office at that time he has to show up. he has to answer for his conduct. one of the things that one of my colleagues pointed out today, catherine clark who questioned him at an appropriations sup committee hearing was why did he cut the human sex trafficking program within the department of
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labor by 80%? why did he do that? now we're starting to have data points on this -- >> ouch. >> on this person. >> do you think it's fair to connect those two dots on him? >> well, i think it's fair and it's something that unfortunately is a pattern with this administration. and donald trump, i find that his own comments with regard to acosta's behavior are troubling, reprehensible. his general comments on women are reprehensible. this is something that i hope others including republicans take another look at to decide whether this is the direction we should be going in. >> very quickly, it's our understanding that the speaker in a closed door meeting with the democratic caucus gave a little lecture about tweeting about fellow colleagues. what can you tell us about that? >> um, what happens in caucus stays in caucus, i guess. all i can say is -- >> did she issue a warning to stop tweeting about a fellow
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democrat in a negative way? >> well, i think that she would prefer to hear complaints or comments or, um, you know, constructive criticism personally. i'm not going to judge other people's communication style. i just think that to effectively deal with a source of concern, it might be good to engage with that person or persons directly and see how to improve the situation. >> congressman raja, democrat from illinois, thanks, good to see you. up next, amy mcgrath's record fundraising. in her effort to unseat mitch mcconnell in kentucky. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
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new senate candidate sets a record that some presidentials would be jealous of. >> i'm running for senate because it shouldn't be like this. we can become, once again, the moral and economic leader of a world in disarray. but to do that we have to win this. >> 24 hours after that announcement, amy mcgrath's senate campaign had another big announcement. the kentucky democrat raised a record amount of cash in the first 24 hours of her campaign against mitch mcconnell. $2.5 million. over 1 million of that in just
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the first five and a half hours after she announced. this massive money haul is less indicative about whether mcgrath can beat mcconnell in a pro-trump state. >> i actually enjoy campaign. as you know, i've had a few of them. and it'll be a spirited race, and i look forward to the contest and laying out our differences to the people of kentucky. >> he's going for a seventh term, folks. anyway, this promises to be one of the most expensive senate races of the 2020 cycle. but no matter how much money she raises it's still an uphill battle for mcgrath. rand paul even lost a congressional there in 2016. he won the state by double digits. we'll be back with more "mtp daily" right after this. es. ♪ being lost ain't never really been my style. ♪ but i told ya...
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welcome back. did house
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speaker nancy pelosi just scold members of the progressive left wing of the democratic party? that depends on whom you ask. during a closed-door meeting today, pelosi reportedly told fellow democrats, you got a complaint? you come and talk to me about it. but do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just okay. the comments have largely been seen as a swipe at democrats who are outspoken in their disapproval over a border funding relief bill, the one we were talking about earlier. but a spokesperson tweeted back saying this was a general comment not aimed at any particular member. let's get to the bottom of this. experts are back. nbc news correspondent heidi przybyla, james hohmann, adrienne elrod and. it is one of those things. i think the four progressives
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who are very upset at pelosi for the comments she made to maureen dowd are, like, you took a swipe at us and we swiped back and we're in trouble? what's going on here? >> well, i think first of all drew hamel, die take him at his word -- i do take him at his word. but i also think this is, like, very manufactured. let's be honest here because i worked in congress for a long time. there's always been disagreements among the democrats and the caucus just as the same there are among republicans. we just didn't hear about it as much because twitter and social media were not as amplified as they are today. so when you do see a disagreement, sure, a member can go out there and tweet something. i think what pelosi is trying to say, if you have an issue, let's not tweet something else that the media talks about for a day or two. let's actually have an internal discussion. >> let me put a little meat on that. one of our reporters caught up with speaker pelosi.
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sort of acknowledging that something along these lines happened in that meeting. take a listen. >> i say our diversity is our strength, our unity is our power. the value of every member to our caucus and a recognition of an opposition across the aisle and across pennsylvania, down pennsylvania avenue that does not share our values. >> that sounded like the speaker basically saying, look, you might not medicare for all versus the public option, but, good grief, keep your eyes on the prize. >> i think that's primarily it. and there are a couple of things that i find fascinating in this whole nancy pelosi new era here is just how locked in she is. this is a woman who understands. this is a leader who understand exactly what the political moment is giving her. and she's trying to corral her troops around that moment to understand completely how we play the game in this moment,
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how we move forward to get these pieces in place. she saw what happened in the republican caucus when she talks about our diversity is our strength, our power -- she saw the republicans didn't have diversity nor power, nor strength. their power was kind of diffused because they had a raukous caulkous that fought the leadership. she also remembers that before she became an actual member of the house that alexandria ocasio-cortez stood outside her office and protested her before she took that gavel. so this speaker also knows, okay, i see what i got going on here, let me check it now so it doesn't become a problem later. >> she's trying to teach them the ropes. that may sound condescending to them. but she's trying to say, hey, guess what, we don't control the senate, and we don't control the presidency. here's how we do it. we get as much as we can and call it a success. and we protect our majoritymakers. we don't force them to take votes that aren't going to go anywhere in the senate or be
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vetoed just to hurt our own chances of retaining power. >> pelosi's power is her ability to keep unity. and that so many times democrats when they were in the minority in the house were able to abstract concessions from republicans because pelosi held the moderates and the liberals together. i think that's part of what she's saying. certainly i do think the undertone is the maureen dowd tone. and it's a test. pelosi is saying, look, if democrats stick together and we iron these differences out behind closed doors, we can do a hard bargain with mitch mcconnell. and she knows that because she rolled republicans several times because of the unity for caucus. >> there were a lot of people skeptical. could she do this? i think now there's an acknowledgment. there is nobody else in that democratic caucus, not a single soul that could manage aoc in all of this in a way that she has done. speaking of aoc, she gives a
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very interesting interview to the new yorker. it's about age. and the age of presidential candidates. i'm going to let it play out here a little bit because i believe we have this all on audio. take a listen. >> i should say this, michael steele, none other than bob
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gates has questioned whether anybody should run for president in their 70s. i don't want to just pin this on aoc here. she is asked this question. but in fairness, robert gates has said this. this is not just coming from aoc. >> but aoc is not robert gates in this moment. she occupies the bigger space, not robert gates. so as a sitting member of congress, as a very vocal member of her caucus and certainly even beyond her caucus in the social media space, her words carry weight. and if on the biden campaign i feel that weight of what she said and how they respond, they may just slough it off and goes that's no big deal. but it goes back to nancy pelosi's point. don't go out there creating tensions and unnecessary fights among democrats at this point in time. >> but, adrienne, she didn't say anything that a lot of other democrats and a lot of people watching that were saying, oh, i thought he'd be ready for this. so he does have to prove he's
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more ready for this. >> but just to say what michael steele says. aoc has a ton of influence. and people listen to her. so it's a little bit different when bob gates who's a little bit older than aoc is making those comments. >> you know, former head of the cia, dude, you've got no juice. we've got this six-month member of congress much more juice than you do, sorry. [ laughter ] >> and she gets us talking about it. and i think that's why leader pelosi is really trying to corral her caucus and saying it's not back in the olden days when we didn't have social media and twitter. your words carry a lot more weight now. >> can i bring up the donkey in the room? >> biden? >> no. it's connected to the busing conversation. it's connected to is he -- he has got to perform at a different level in july, james. >> he has to look like he can still swing at that fastball.
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other candidates have faced this problem before when they were younger. ronald reagan seemed really old in he was in his 60s. he had to kind of put on a show to show people that he was physically vibrant, whether that's going out into the woods and biden's going to have to do that. wujts thing that the four of us are not going to hold against you is your youth and inexperience. >> thank you. [ laughter ] >> i got to pause here a minute. >> we are seeing a recalibration already in the biden campaign. he was not talking to the media. now he's giving interviews, and i think he's being told by everyone around him, u to come out with i think the word was "sizzle." in the next debate. all up ahead, president trump's many, many legal battles. plus, why i'm obsessed with my own big bang theory. back then, we checked our smartphones zero times a day. times change. eyes haven't. that's why we created new ocuvite eye performance. between screen light... sunlight...
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well, exloegd mannequins. look, i get, visual storytelling. it's important to see the damage fireworks can do. but why does the government feel the need to blow up mannequins the same way each and every year? we went back and looked through the archives. they've done this video the same way ten times in the last decade, new videos each time. it's not like these are crashtest dummies testing the safety equipment in updated vehicles. it is clear if a mannequin stands directly over a firework, its mannequin head will be blown to mannequin smitherines. do we really need to prove that point over and over and over again yearly? maybe every five years you just do a new one. just saying. but we do want to say thank you to the product consumer safety commission for raising awareness, but maybe we can save
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the mannequins and a few federal dollars by scaling back how many times we blow them up with pyrotechnics? we will stand by the idea mannequins will be blown up by fireworks and we'reg you as they get more deadly, the mannequins will explode bigger and in more pieces. anyway, we'll be right back. and in more pieces yway, we'll be right back. think all premium fuels are the same? new shell v-power nitro+ premium gasoline is engineered with four levels of defense against gunk, wear, corrosion and friction. that helps keep your engine running like new. so, maybe it's time to unthink what you think you think about premium fuel. shell v-power nitro+ premium gasoline... it's fuel for thought. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown
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still contemplating its next move in the night over a citizens question on the census but just received a major legal victory. a federal peas court threw out a lawsuit that claimed the president's d.c. hotel violated the so-called oh mol upts is clause in the united states constitution. well, if we're talking legal, pete william and robert cy a law professor at american university. good to see you both. mr. williams, this lawsuit was tossed out not on the merits but on standing. >> right, they said they don't have a good case for this reason. the clause says a president can't take benefits, gifts cash from either state governments or foreign governments and the claim of d.c. and maryland was when the officials stay at the hotel, this benefits the president. that's an emolument and takes business away from their convention centers. what the three-judge panel said
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is number one you can't prove that the reason people stay at the hotel is to curry favor with the president and even if you could prove it, how would we fix that? even if we say as a court the president can't get any money from this hotel, people might still stay there and take business away from you because it is the trump hotel, it benefits his family, they know he would like it. for two reasons they say you don't have any legal reason to bring this case. >> robert, what did you make of the constitutional argument? >> i'm not surprised. the moment these particular judges were drawn, there was a collective groene heard across the potomac. >> the draw they got. >> these are the three most conservative judges that the plaintiffs could have drawn. this is reflected in the oral argument. i'm not completely surprised they lost. there is a section in the opinion talking about how the judges found it speculative in terms of the plaintiff's
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injuries. it's sort of remarkable because in this section of the opinion, this is the part that will get more attention, this said we don't know why people stay at the trump hotel, especially foreign governments. maybe they're overpaying because it's a lovely place to stay. >> it's a nice location. good views. >> they've got to have their heads in the sand to see how many hundreds of thousands of dollars the saudis have dropped there. >> pete, what happens next? this is not the only emoluments based lawsuit. are we starting to learn the judiciary -- >> no-man's land. we've never been in this position before where a president has these sorts of business arrangements. the emoluments claus has never gotten much of a workout. >> the founders had it in there. they thought of almost everything to their credit. >> this is one a dusty corner of the constitution that the supreme court has never said what it means. in the short term, the attorneys
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general of maryland and d.c. say they will appeal. >> what do they appeal? >> this is a three-judge panel, they can go to the full-court of appeals. >> they're stuck with the fourth. why aren't they in the d.c. circuit? >> because the suit was filed in maryland. i don't know why. whether they thought they would do better there or not. there are other emoluments cases pending. there's one filed by members of congress. they say the constitution says the president can't fake an emolument without permission of congress and he's not asking our permission. there are other cases like the onified by krew on appeal, as well. the record so far on these cases is they have flown well. >> robert, i brought new before to explain the emoluments case a few times. i struggled to see how d.c. had standing. i kind of understood maryland.
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to me it's still marriott or a major hotel, marriott is head carry theed in the area and they have a lot of properties. they could make a case that this is hurting their business. >> if you accept the theory what they call the competition theory of injury that. >> which these judges said you couldn't prove. >> yeah, so they don't embrace the theory. they sort of say even if we did, we don't see enough factual predicate for that sort of injury here. and again, what they say is that we think it's too speculative. that's how you would go forward with that sort of argument. >> pete, it goes back to, how it would congress be able to figure out if he's take agemolument or not? he says any foreign profit they've been returning to. >> first of all, it's no secret about the relationship with the trump hotel. this they know about that one. i this what the founders were worried about here is that the french would be back channeling
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thomas jefferson some coin to get a good deal on some treaty. that's what they were worried about. they wanted presidents to get congressional approval before they did this sort of thing. but with the trump business, that's one of the problems here. by the way, the attorneys general in this case were sort of hoping when they got to discovery that they would be able to get trump's tax returns. so that's obviously not going to happen. >> you think discovery, you think these other emolument suits will head to the same dust bin as the one from d.c. >> the first thing the government lawyer is going to do is run over to the d.c. circuit and second circuit and demand that the appellate judge put a stop to any discovery on the basis of the decision. >> i think that the magic word. it's all about preventing discovery. we know in many cases is what trump fights the hardest. robert tsai, pete williams. before we go, exciting news. the "meet the press" family keeps ongoing. meet andruw hudson, the newborn
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son of our director richard and his wife alexis. andrew was born friday afternoon coming in at eight pounds seven ounces. we've got a linebacker. mom, dad and big sister ariel are doing great. that's all we have for tonight. we'll be back tomorrow. the beat with ari melber" starts right now. >> we have a big show tonight. new clashes with a week to going from bob mueller's public testimony. trump's border chief under fire for denying reported facts about conditions at trump administration migrant facilities. he will also testify next week. and democrats rallying around this new challenger to mitch mcconnell. wait till you hear how much money she just raised. we have all that in the show. but begin with new clashes over the mueller hearings. one week away as of tonight. for months, trump and his attorney general claimed they were fine with mueller testifying and if he does, it wouldn't be a big deal. that are bluster though is already giving away to some


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