tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC July 11, 2019 6:00am-7:01am PDT
it also is -- a second credit agency upgraded your bond ratings. congratulations on that and on the balanced budget and come back very soon. >> you're great, joe. thank you very much. >> all right. governor ned lamont, thank you as well. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up our coverage right now. >> thanks so much. good morning. we start this morning with breaking news. president trump poised to announce that he will take executive action to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, despite the fact that the supreme court rejected his administration's rationale for doing exactly that. let's go straight to the white house where kelly o'donnell stands by and justice correspondent pete williams also in d.c. kelly, what exactly do we know about the president's motives and what he is going to say? >> reporter: well, we have limited information about what this will look like. the officials here are saying it will be an executive action and not to conflate that with
executive order or confused whether it is a presidential memorandum. so the details they're holding back at this point saying they don't want to get ahead of the president who announced on twitter and has told us as reporters interacting with him over several days this was the direction he was headed. this would in a broad stroke add legal authority to the commerce department to include a citizenship option, one of the different options would be that is something added on because the census forms are already being printed. so some of that is already under way. i'll leave it to pete to discuss the supreme court side of this. politically, for the president, he wants this question to be addressed. he believes it is important to know how many citizens versus noncitizens are in the united states. the census is intended to count all heads regardless of status, age, life, where you live, all of that. so citizenship is not a requirement for the census. but this is something that
really ties into the president's immigration policies. and those have been contentious to say the least. the president announced via twitter he will hold an event later today. given the threat of rain here in washington, he announced it would be rose garden, but be prepared for that to change if we get a downpour. but the president is saying this is an action he is prepared to take because he is unwilling to give up even in the face of a rebuke from the high court saying they want him to take another pass at explaining why this is even needed. steph? >> he is holding an event also known as turn the cameras on i've got something to say. help us understand this, pete. can executive action over ride a supreme court decision? >> reporter: no, but this wouldn't violate the supreme court's decision. the supreme court's decision is actually remarkably narrow. all it said is that you can't print the citizenship question on the census form based on the rationale that wilbur ross
offered which was that it was to better enforce the voting rights act. the supreme court said that was obviously a tall tale, a pretext -- >> hold on. you can put it on the census with different rationale? >> well, it left the door open to that, yes. well, first of all, i think legally for the census bureau to offer additional -- a different rationale than the commerce department, i don't think that would work because it would be the ultimate example of a pretext. we know what we want to do. we just haven't figured out why. so the justice department and the lawyers even realize that was a dead end and that is why you are seeing this fallback to an executive order. obviously it is going to invite legal challenges because there are rules about how questions get on the census form. they're supposed to be tested. there is an administrative procedures act. so i would say two things. number one, this action doesn't -- i wouldn't think -- violate the supreme court decision. secondly, i would be very surprised if it succeeds
legally. it is going to be subject to challenge. all right. kelly, pete, thank you both so much. let me bring in my lead-off team here joining the conversation, former spokesperson for the house oversight committee, a registered member of both parties. also with me jason johnson msnbc political contributor and politics editor at the root.com. help me out. this wouldn't work. these things are already being printed. there will be major legal challenges. is this anything more than a political show for the president? >> well, i think the danger here is that with donald trump we're not just playing with empty words. he will try to force the issue and do unprecedented things. i think it is important people realize where the question originated and when it came about. in march of last year the census bureau released a report saying that by 2045 white people would be the minority in this country. a few weeks later is when wilbur ross announced they were going to add this question to the census for the first time in 70
years. now what we're seeing is this reverse engineering of, well, it turns out the rationale is probably illegal. the supreme court struck it down. they don't have the legal grounds to actually continue fighting that fight. now they are trying to create completely new grounds to justify a decision they already reached for a motivation that is already public. i think it is not going to stand up in court. >> kurt, we'll give you a free pass but when you say unprecedented on this show you have to give me $2. jason, let's share what the president said about this last week in terms of why the question needed to be there. >> well, you need it for many reasons. number one, you need it for congress. for districting. you need it for appropriations. where are the funds going? how many people are there? are they citizens? are they not citizens? you need it for many reasons. >> does the president really think he is going to get this thing added or is this just a play for his base? when he goes to run again all of
the things he didn't get done he'll say, i wanted to get it done. i fought for you. it's the system. >> stephanie, what we've seen so far is that people lie to president trump all the time and tell him he can get things he can't get. i'm sure he was angry when the supreme court said we don't really believe your reasons. it is just like with the muslim ban. you can't tell us it's this. we have a good idea it's that. william barr and everyone else will say, mr. president, we'll finda way to do it. i think the president believes he can get some of this nonsense done though you have entire legal teams saying this is impossible. that is the danger of how people coddle this president. he has crazy ideas that don't make any sense, that very possibly have racist motivations and everybody pretends they can make it happen even when legally, historically, structurally, it ain't going to work. >> how important is it for the president to have bill in his corner? if barr is providing legal cover isn't the president clear? >> i think bill barr has been
instrumental in allowing this president to completely destroy the pillars of our check-and-balance system. no showing congressional hearings, all the conflict between the oversight prerogative of congress and the executive branch has been spearheaded and masterminded by william barr. so i think that is why we are in the situation in the first place. i think it is also important to note that republicans have by and large stood by and allowed all of this to happen, completely contradicting everything they used to say they stood for before the 2010 census when barack obama was president republicans issued a resolution which the most conservative members like jim jordan voted for that said the census needs to include counting every single living person. didn't make a single mention of citizenship. >> my goodness. jason, i want to ask a question that came out in today's first read. by continuing to fight for the citizenship question, does president trump achieve his intended purpose here? a chilling effect on the communities responding to the census? >> completely. he does that by jailing babies at the border and threatening
i.c.e. raids every 15 minutes. all of this is part of the overall plan, overall hostility to nonwhite people in america. whether it is through the census, through threatening raids, the president's overall goal is to say, look. if you don't look like a certain kind of white person i don't necessarily want you to feel comfortable. if you are not a republican supporter, i don't want you to feel comfortable. my policies are not going to be driven by way of making america great or improving our economy. it is about changing the demographic dynamic of this entire country. he is accomplishing his goal. social scientists have already come out and said even talking about the citizenship question has frightened people. >> those communities are thinking about these raids. >> yes. >> we'll talk about that. kurt, jason, thank you both so much. those raids, it has been confirmed by nbc, long promised i.c.e. raids from the president. he postponed them. now we've heard they will begin this sunday. officials telling nbc news that agents will be targeting
families in ten major cities, including new york, miami, los angeles, and chicago. joining me now a woman who knows this story better than anyone, julia, what happens now and why this sunday? >> well, so it's been three weeks since the president called off these i.c.e. raids and said he would postpone them for two weeks barring democratic negotiations on immigration. we haven't had anything looking like negotiation since 2013 so that was wishful thinking. we knew that from the start. he pushed it off three weeks. apparently now they think they might be ready to do this but there are still a lot of questions, stephanie, especially what happens when they have babies or if they have -- are they having car seats in the i.c.e. vans coming to pick people up? some of the cities could change, we know there is bad weather headed to new orleans. there are a few things up in the air. as we know now they are keeping largely the same cities they planned three weeks ago and they are scheduled to start sunday.
often these raids will start in the early morning hours. they think people are more likely to be home. but let's remember, immigrants have had a long time to prepare for this. if you are an undocumented immigrant and especially part of a family living in one of those cities, you have no doubt been contacted by advocates and people in your community already to tell you exactly what your rights are, that you do not have to open the door. in a lot of cases officials i talked to say that makes this job a lot harder for i.c.e. and they wish the president hadn't gotten ahead of them on this. >> because of that, because of this three-week head start and people in these communities are prepared, isn't there concern that these raids aren't going to work or at least work as planned? >> yeah. there is concern. you can also see that in local law enforcement in these cities because they are preparing for what could be public unrest as we see protests, when people are prepared for law enforcement to come, what if there is some sort of unrest? we're seeing a lot of preparation for that. a lot of times it becomes more dangerous when there is more
preparation. apart from that, even if these immigrants very willingly are apprehended by i.c.e. they have to be kept in detention centers. those are i.c.e. detention centers already pretty stretched thin because of the number of immigrants coming across the southern border that are being held there. if you're part of a family you have to be held in a family detention center and there is a far fewer number of beds for families. >> all right, julia, thank you so much. pretty clear, julia is going to be working this weekend. >> that's right. coming up next labor secretary alex acosta after much pressure holds an hour-long press conference defending his plea deal for registered sex offender jeffery epstein. the question was it an actual press conference or all a performance for one? if so, what did that one think about it? but next, thousands are evacuated from new orleans due to flooding with millions in the area bracing for a potential hurricane. we'll take you there live. one,
even though geico has been- ohhh. ooh ohh here we go, here we go. you got cut off there, what were you saying? oooo. oh no no. maybe that geico has been proudly serving the military for over 75 years? is that what you wanted to say? mhmmm. i have to say, you seemed a lot chattier on tv. geico. proudly serving the military for over 75 years. you ok back there, buddy?
this morning new orleans is bracing for a potentially catastrophic weather event. a massive storm system is churning up in the gulf already causing extreme flooding across the state of louisiana. it is expected to strengthen into the season's first official hurricane potentially making landfall this weekend. we'll go live to new orleans. how is the city bracing for a possible hurricane? when you think hurricane and new orleans, we all have terrible
memories. >> reporter: should i be hearing anything? >> we've actually just lost him. we'll take a quick break and get him on the other side. up next, did labor secretary alex acosta help or hurt his cause by answering questions for over an hour about his role in the jeffrey epstein scandal? let's get down to business. the business of family time... ...and downtime. ...and you time. ...and forgetting what time it is...altogether. modernized comfort inns and suites have been refreshed because when your business is making time, our business is you.
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fierce new reaction this norng the riveting news conference by labor secretary alex acosta where he repeatedly defends his actions more than a decade ago where he oversaw a nonprosecution agreement for registered sex offender jeffrey epstein. acosta telling reporters epstein would not have served any time behind bars if his office at the time had not stepped in. >> i'm here to say we did what we did because we wanted to see epstein go to jail. he needed to go to jail. >> as part of the 2008 deal epstein pleaded guilty to just state charges of soliciting prostitution in florida. in exchange for avoiding federal
prison. he was sentenced to just 13 months in a county jail and had to register as a sex offender. he was able to leave six days a week in a private chauffeur for a work release program to his private office. when reporters pressed secretary acosta yesterday, about why he agreed to such a deal, acosta placed blame squarely on local prosecutors in florida. >> the palm beach state attorney's office was ready to let epstein walk free, no jail time, nothing. the prosecutors in my former office found this to be completely unacceptable. they became involved. our office became involved. without the work of our prosecutors, epstein would have gotten away with just that state charge. >> in response, the former state's attorney for palm beach county at the time of the epstein plea deal is disputing acosta's account, saying acosta could have moved forward with a
53-page indictment that acosta's own office had drafted. barry krischer releasing this statement, in part, i can state that mr. acosta's recollection of this matter is completely wrong. federal prosecutors do not take a back seat to state prosecutors. several democrats also question acosta's version calling on acosta to appear at a congressional hearing in two weeks. lawyers for some of epstein's alleged victims are saying they're not satisfied with the explanation either. we'll analyze all of this in a moment but first, i'd like you to watch how former u.s. attorney and msnbc contributor chuck rosenberg fact checks more of acosta's claims. >> the palm beach state attorney's office was ready to let epstein walk free, no jail time, nothing. >> if alex acosta thought that the case was not being properly handled by the state he had the complete ability to bring charges federally.
>> these cases are complex especially when they involve children, scared and traumatized. refusing to testify. >> they had more than 30 minor child victims in this case. even if a bunch of them didn't want to testify and i completely understand that, some number would. >> many today question the terms of the ultimatum. what is called the nonprosecution agreement. >> if they didn't feel they had the quantum of proof they needed they simply could have continued the investigation until they did. there was no sort of time stamp on this. there was no urgency to negotiate a nonprosecution agreement. >> based on the evidence there was value to getting a guilty plea. >> we don't normally, in fact, we don't routinely or almost ever end cases with a nonprosecution agreement. if we don't have the case, we simply don't bring it. >> or we'd roll the dice and bring a federal indictment. >> there were thousands of prosecutors and cops and agents around the country making
difficult sex crimes cases. the notion we couldn't bring such a case all the way back in 2007 is deeply wrong and deeply dangerous. by the way, deeply insulting to the men and women who are doing this kind of work. >> wrong, dangerous, and that's what we heard from barry krischner the former state's attorney who is saying that is not how it happened. jason, he was up there for an hour. in terms of the white house it has been reported that white house aides told the president acosta did a good job. maybe that is who acosta was performing for. but all in did that press conference hurt or help him? >> it didn't help acosta. it didn't help the president. and i want to step back from the politics for a second and talk about kids. you're talking about children being molested and abused. and the only people who are supposed to defend them are our government and they failed. >> you mean the children who then got categorized as
prostitutes. >> exactly. as prostitutes. being whisked off to an island. this is disgusting. and only -- one thing i know, i've done interviews with the foundation for sex trafficking. a lot of people i know have done this kind of work. pedophiles and child abusers are like roaches. you never find just one, right? they're roaches. they're rats. they're vermin. the idea of this administration under any circumstances finding themselves in a position where not just the president knows people like this but coddles them and encourages someone like jim acosta saying, all right. we'll come up with an explanation one way or another is absolutely morally abysmal. we shouldn't be surprised the same administration that can jail children and allow them to die at the border has no problem being associated with people who abuse and molest children and come up with excuses for them. >> let's bring in author of "the washington post" power up newsletter. a lot of talk about this this morning. yesterday the news conference was for all to see. but it really, many are saying, was for an audience of one. and here's what acosta had to
say about that. >> i am here to talk about this case. i am doing my job. if at some point the president decides that i am not the best person to do this job, i respect that. that is his choice. i serve at the pleasure of the president. i thought yesterday he was kind and he showed great support. >> kind and great support. not much talk about support for victims. i didn't hear much yesterday. what are people inside the white house telling you? >> well, i think it's not far fetched to say if you have to say out loud on live cable tv during a news conference that you have the support of the president, there is probably a question about whether or not that's true and that you're likely not to have the full support of him. vice president mike pence told reporters right after that conference he gave him a pretty tepid response saying everyone serves at the pleasure of the president, referring that we've heard time and time again, we've seen all of trump's embattled
cabinet secretaries from rex tillerson to scott pruitt to people like brett kavanaugh, administration officials and people trying out for high profile trump administration jobs go on tv and deliver their best performance and best shot for this president. you know, what i've heard from those in trump's orbit is while the president maintains they are not going to get rid of him, that it is a bit of too much of a headache and they'll stand by him, there were a lot who expressed doubts about acosta's performance yesterday. he wasn't quite aggressive enough for their liking. he didn't defend the president. he didn't make this about the president, praise the president, sort of change the narrative. he could have easily thrown in a bill clinton dagger there, you know, he did attack the press but he didn't do it in such a way where he criticized them for trying to tie trump into this narrative. there were numerous mistakes that acosta made that those who speak to trump regularly and
around trump and those who worked on the kavanaugh confirmation hearing told me they would have liked to have seen from acosta during his performance yesterday. i think the biggest thing here is the story is not going away. that is what is most problematic for the labor secretary right now. there is an internal doj investigation into whether or not acosta violated the civil -- the crime victim rights act. a federal judge ruled him and his team of prosecutors did violate the law by not notifying victims of whether or not -- of the plea bargain back in february. now the doj is looking into that. as long as that investigation is going on this is going to be hanging over his head and a topic of conversation along with if additional victims are coming forward with these really heart wrenching pretty terrible and gruesome interviews like the one we saw on your network, that is also going to continue to bring acosta into this news cycle and make the trump administration
and the president look like they're defending a person who went easy on a serial child abuser. >> yes, a high school girl who was recruited to become one of epstein's girls. kurt, secretary acosta kept saying over and over, that we live in a different time now, compared to when he oversaw the epstein deal over a decade ago. please watch this. >> we now have 12 years of knowledge and hindsight and we live in a very different world. today's world treats victims very, very differently. today's world does not allow some of the victims shaming that would have taken place at trial 12 years ago. >> we live in a very different world? we're not talking about corporate culture and what went down at an office christmas party in 1988 isn't cool in 2019. we are talking about the
recruiting, the molesting, and possibly the rain of minors. . what do you make of this response, kurt? >> i don't know what world he's talking about where it was ever okay or acceptable to rape children. that is what's happening here. the idea that there is a time differential that explains why he went easy on epstein is ridiculous. it's absurd. any time you have a press conference like he had and we're all left with more questions, we're all left with more people coming forward saying that's not what happened. your recollection of this is completely wrong. there are more people coming forward adding more context to this and it just ensures the story continues and if there is one goal epstein had yesterday in terms of the eyes of the president and keeping his job -- >> acosta not epstein you mean. >> it was to end the question, end the narrative, to try to see a conclusion. you guarantee it is going to extend and that is one more reason why congress and the oversight committee has said in two weeks they'll have a
hearing. they've invited the secretary to attend and answer questions about why he made the decisions he made back then and relitigate this whole thing in the public eye. the next question the white house and acosta has to answer is are they going to accept that invitation to appear before congress or not? >> okay. if we look at what the white house has done historically or even in the last month they take congressional requests and subpoenas and blow their nose with them. do you believe, jason, we're going to see acosta appear? >> no, he is not going to appear publicly or privately. look, you had congressional committees ask for all sorts of people and they basically say no. hope hicks decides i'll take some photos and might talk to you possibly occasionally and slip you some notes. they don't listen and they don't care. >> they're allowed to not care, jason. >> but they are only allowed to not care because the public doesn't scream and yell and demand greater moral accountability from this administration. that's the problem. look, i can look at my own life. i know maybe a couple people who have been to jail and been duis. i don't know pedophiles. this administration is full of
presidents and people who know pedophiles and wife abusers. when is that too much for this country? when do the republicans say this is too far. at this point it is abundantly clear there is almost a war on young people, war on women, war on children, that this administration engages in policy and we should be disgusted as a country. >> around the horn quickly will acosta be keeping his job? when we are talking one month from now, will he be the labor secretary? jackie? >> there are clearly holes in his story as evidenced yesterday and from the intrepid reporting of julie brown at the "miami herald." the predictions i got from my sources in and oust the white house are he is going to have to resign. >> kurt? >> you know, here is where i'll take a different take than jason on this. i think it is possible trump orders acosta to appear before the committee to try to save his job. i don't think he'll be successful. >> hold on. one more time. you think trump is going to order acosta to appear even
though trump knew epstein at the time? i'm not saying the president is guilty of anything. but this is not a story that he can completely disassociate himself from. right? there were examples. the former head of the epa, scott pruitt, he could let him dangle because it didn't touch trump. this one does. >> i think we're seeing this death by a thousand cuts with more victims coming forward, more prosecutors coming forward. as the story continues and isn't put to bed trump is going to get continually upset and go to acosta and say you can either resign or try to save your job just as the way brett kavanaugh really saved his position, his nomination through the confirmation hearing. >> okay. four weeks from now does acosta have his job, jason? >> of course. i don't think this administration has that kind of back bone. if he finally stems down it is because acosta finds it difficult to do his job not because he lacks support. this is an administration who supported tons of people with allegations. i don't think trump will force him out. he may eventually drop out on his own. >> jackie, the grand dame
of "power up" from "the washington post." thanks for joining us. kurt, jason, stick around. we have more to cover. coming up despite the last two years showing little to no economic growth in the reddest states in america, most voters there remain optimistic, overwhelmingly, and see president trump and his policies as their way to financial security. alabama's democratic senator doug jones will join me on the disconnect. and if democrats can change the narrative. the narrative. hmm. exactly.
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you've heard it from the vast majority of democratic candidates the economy is only working for a relative handful of americans. while millions of working people are left out. if you remember when president trump was running we heard the exact same message from him. a new study shows a ton of the very same working people now believe they'll be okay even if the odds are against them. in fact, research from harvard shows that a huge number of southern americans including those in states with the highest poverty rates in the nation tend to be the most confident when they are now asked if they think they can make the jump from the bottom of the economic ladder to the top. in states like arkansas, alabama, georgia, tennessee, and mississippi the number of people that think they can achieve the american dream is double oar even triple the number that actually can. why does that matter? it means even voters strug olg to make ends meet may not be
swayed by the democratic case for reshaping the economy. we have the perfect guest to lend insight into the situation. alabama's democratic senator doug jones who is running for re-election in 2020. thank you for joining me. this study is amazing to me because many of these americans, voters in your state, are the ones who said i am getting screwed by the system. i've been forgotten. i've been left out. they voted for president trump. but the data doesn't show their situation has changed in any way. so does the make america great slogan mantra, is that the one thing working for them and are they believing it? >> look, i think you have to understand a little bit about the culture of the south. this is a very proud people, a hard working people. they believe in the american dream. it is going to take a lot to shake their confidence in the american dream. the american dream is that you work hard, you have grit, you have determination, and you pull yourself up. and despite the fact that they've got policies that are
not always helping them, they see an overall picture, too. they see an economy that has got low unemployment, they see businesses coming into the state of alabama. and so you like for people to be optimistic. now, at some point i think that could catch up and they'll become a little more realistic about things, where things are. but i don't fault anybody for trying to have an optimistic view. if you can't reach for the dream then you lose everything. >> absolutely. optimism is everything. how do democrats play this, those who are running for office? the president went to those voters and said you are getting screwed by the system. i am going to fix it for you. and they're giving him the time. >> i think you have to look on a state by state and region by region basis. when you say democrats it is one thing for a presidential candidate trying to win pennsylvania or wisconsin or minnesota versus alabama. you know, from my standpoint, democrats can give that message but it isn't about president trump. the message is you got to have somebody that's got your back. you know, we need to be one
alabama. we need to be for everyone. you've got to have somebody there that is realistic. we want you to grab hold of the american dream. democrats are going to be there to try to help you. it is a big difference when you talk about generic democrats across the country as to what we deal with on a local basis. remember what tip o'neil said. all politics is local and that's how democrats have to folk ouns this. >> let's go national for a moment. have democrats, particularly candidates running for office, spending too much time and energy reaching out to people on the margins to help them and not enough time talking to the bulk of the middle class people? not that they shouldn't but when people of the state of alabama watch the debates and so much content talking about people at the southern border and healthcare there, does it affect them? do they start to say who is paying attention to me? >> i don't think there is any question about that. they do at some point. but make no mistake. we care about people at the
border. we care about both illegal immigration but we also care about the families on the border. everybody's heart bled when they saw the picture of the man and his daughter in the river the other day. they are going to want to focus on the issues that face them and i think there are democratic candidates trying to talk about the middle class. it's not just protecting the middle class but building up that middle class. that's the real problem here. the middle class has shrunk to a point we've got to have the good manufacturing jobs like we've got in bam bm balabama but we h change the mindset to get people into those manufacturing jobs. people see and what i saw in my campaign and across the state now, people in alabama
and elsewhere are focusing on the kitchen table issues. they're focusing on healthcare in particular. i think that is more important than just the state of the economy. that is connected to their health care. because if you don't have good health care it really doesn't matter whether you've got a job or not. >> let's talk about that,
specifically about the aca obama care. it is the focus of a lawsuit backed by the trump administration. what are residents there telling you about aca. is it working for them or not? are they afraid they'll lose healthcare completely? >> they're concerned about it everywhere i go. not just the people that have ha healthcare but the hospitals, the doctors, all the stakeholders in the healthcare industry are concerned about this. this is going to -- if this lawsuit is successful it will throw chaos into that marketplace and into our healthcare system. we have almost a million people in alabama with pre-existing conditions. people under the age of 65 with pre-existing conditions. they don't know what to expect. they
have -- most of them have healthcare now, almost all of them, but if this goes out the window there are hundreds of thousands likely to lose that healthcare. they are concerned about that. they want to make sure they have good, successful healthcare and in areas where they can get to
it, rural areas where hospitals are closing left and right. it is a driving force more so than the jobs. we have low unemployment in alabama but our wages aren't growing as fast as they should be either and people are concerned. at the end of the day we still have single moms having to take their kids to emergency rooms for routine healthcare. that is totally unacceptable. >> i want your reaction to the news that the president will use some sort of executive action to add a citizenship question to the census. what, if anything, should cess cells do about that? >> i don't think it should be congress but the courts. he is in effect i think just flouting a court order that happened the other day. the courts gave him some authority to try to come back with a reason but they didn't say go ahead and do it by yourself. obviously this is an issue that congress will take up but, more importantly, i think it is contempt of the court system. it is a continuing pattern in this administration that, you know, i'll just get what i want
and it doesn't matter what congress says or what the courts say. where this needs to be addressed is in the court system because they addressed it first. there is an order out there, a decision out there, and he needs to abide by it. >> all right. senator, thank you so much for joining me today, senator doug jones. >> my pleasure. up next two leading democratic candidates out with new plans today, one highlighting the candidates' strength and the other highlighting the candidates' weakness. andidates' weakness n. there's everything from happy to extremely happy. there's also angry. i'm really angry clive! actually, really angry. thank you. but what if your business could understand what your customers are feeling... and then do something about it. turn problems into opportunities. thanks drone. customers into fanatics change the whole experience. alright who wants to go again? i do! i do! i have a really good feeling about this.
today about half of the 2020 democrats are campaigning across the nation. some are in milwaukee, wisconsin, to make their pitch to the oldest latino civil rights group in the nation. mayor pete buttigieg is out with his new plan that he hopes will drum up support among african-american voters. front-runner joe biden is in new york where he plans to go after president trump in a foreign policy speech. our nbc team covering the latest on these stories, vaughn hillyard in milwaukee. we have a number of candidates and dr. jill biden expected to address this group in milwaukee. what are you looking out for?
>> reporter: there are six presidential candidates here, stephanie. you've got marianne williamson, beto o'rourke, elizabeth warren, bernie candidates will be speaking later tonight as well as jill biden who is about to take the stage. joe biden is not here. one year he was the keynote speaker at the convention. as a reference point he into at a convention in 2003. there's about 20,000 folks affiliated with the convention. this is interesting. literally people are walking into the convention hall in milwaukee as the news is reporting that not only are i.c.e. raids beginning on sunday in 10 major american cities but also -- >> i just lost. >> we just lost our sound with vaughn. let's turn to josh. can i hear you. >> i can hear you.
>> let's talk with mayor pete. we know race issues have been a big hurdle for the mayor. he continues to poll extremely low among black voters. he's got a new plan out. what is it? >> an 18-page plan his team hopes will be the most comprehensive of all the democrats competing in the primary. it covers a lot of different areas including offering free tuition for universities, low income students, directing a quarter of federal contracting to underserved businesses, investing in banks owned by minorities, overhaul of criminal justice system, health equity zones to address areas in terms of health. also access to voting rights, automatic voter registration. the key question for pete buttigieg is whether this is going to be enough to get black voters who have been skeptical
about him until now to take him seriously or looking for something more visceral, emotional to show he gets it as opposed to a wonky policy plan. >> let's talk joe biden. joe biden is talking foreign policy. it appears he's going after the president. >> a rough few weeks, really getting back to strength, core arguments for joe biden. one of his biggest perceived strengths, which is foreign policy. the other is reminding democrats about the stakes of this election, what would happen if trump is elected to another four years. he is going to it had the president hard. we got a little in a tweet. trump doctrine embracing dictators, threatening war, embarrassing u.s. he claims it's time for this. the general sem ply laughed at the president when he talked about how much he had achieved. of course i had a chance to travel with the vice president several times when he was in
office. this is -- he has relationships with world leaders. we're going to hear for him call for a summit of global democracies first year in office. one of the pillars of foreign policy for middle class, globalization. it will be interesting to hear details especially as it relates to trade. >> no doubt. i want to bring curtained jason johnson back. curt, let's talk joe biden for a second. this idea of foreign policy nostalgia. he's going to talk about reinstating relationships and standing we had with our foreign allies before president trump took office. what's your thought? >> well, we've seen since trump has taken office a withdrawal from the u.s. from the global community that left us vulnerable and allowed other nations like china to step in and supplant us as a leader on the world stage. >> hold on a second. china was taking huge strides before president trump took office. yes, things have changed with our allies in the last two years
but as far as world powers go, china didn't wake up two years ago. >> no, but i think the vacuum trump has created by withdraw from certain partnership agreements, pulling out of even the paris climate agreement has allowed other people to step in and accelerate the path they were on before. trump has made it easier for them to succeed. the normal norms of not having relationships with dictators like north korea, russia, that's what biden is going to talk about. he's going to talk about a time where we didn't hold up and give legitimacy to brutal dictators who act against american interests, attack our process, look at them as idols, people he wants to be like, which is what trump has beening to since he's been president. i think for biden this is about, as was just reported, returning to his strength, his core, looking presidential, going beyond just the other 24 or 23 other candidates running for president but going to a place where he's comfortable and can get back on offense. >> other candidates arguing against joe biden saying we don't want to return.
america wants a change. that's what pete buttigieg wants voters to say. is his new plan, which appears to be addressing not so much incoming equality, is it going to make a difference to african-american voters he's pulling about 2% support for. >> that's improvement. he was at 0% for three separate polls. >> 2 up from 0. what's this new -- >> i don't know that this plan is going to work. i had a long conversation with members about this new plan. some parts of it are really innovative, the idea future a pell grant in school, hire employees first three years of your business will wipe away the loan. incentivizes, turns your grant into a loan to start your business. that's a good idea. what i always question about mayor pete is why should i believe you can do this. i don't see any examples of this when you were mayor. why should i believe you have the skills to do this if you
become president of the united states. it's similar to c.j. walker, all plans sound wonderful. if you can't tell me how you're going to pay for it, i don't think black folks -- >> could you say the same to elizabeth warren or bernie sanders. >> these are wonderful plans, medicare for all, free school for all, how are you going to pay for this stuff. i think when it comes to black voters, there's legitimate scepticism when people throw out plans and say i'm going to pay for everything, fix racism, the immediate question we ask is what did you do at home? >> that's the question, what did you do at home. we'll be right back. you do at home we'll be right back. but we're also a company that controls hiv, fights cancer, repairs shattered bones, relieves depression, restores heart rhythms, helps you back from strokes, and keeps you healthy your whole life. from the day you're born we never stop taking care of you.
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that wraps up this hour. i'm stephanie rule. i'll see you at 1:00 p.m. more news with hallie jackson. >> thank you. we start with breaking news in washington. let's get to it. on the right side of your screen coming up, house judiciary committee is poised for a big vote that would expand the investigation into potential obstruction of justice by the president. you can see there, they are getting ready to authorize a whole bunch of subpoenas. the targets, names you know, inside and outside the administration. people like the president's son in law and senior adviser jared kushner, attorney general jeff sessions. all 12 of these people on the screen key to the mueller report. we're live at that vote. plus trump administration's immigration policy in the cross-hairs this morning as we learn more about the high-profile i.c.e.ai