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tv   MSNBC Live With Katy Tur  MSNBC  July 30, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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thank you for watching this hour of "velshi & ruhle." i'll see you tomorrow back here at 9:00 a.m. eastern. right now i hand you off to kasie hunt in d.c. >> steph, great to see you. i'm kasie hunt in for katy tur. it's 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in detroit where the fight for the future of the democratic party is about to be relitigated. tonight's democratic primary features the stars of the party's left wing. bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. sanders trailing warren in the polls but both campaigns say they're planning on keeping things cordial. they'll face off against, among others, representatives from the party's center. the center right, including former colorado governor john hickenlooper and millionaire, former congressman john delaney. both men have made criticism of the party's, quote, democratic socialist flank, a key part of
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their campaigns. of course, the elephant not in the room will be joe biden. the former vice president who debates tomorrow night has regained nearly all of the ground he lost after his rocky performance in the first debate. it's going to be incumbent upon the other candidates to justify why they should be the first choice for primary voters eager to defeat president trump. and this is particularly true for candidates like sanders and warren who are decidedly to biden's left. so our big question today is, which version of the democratic party will prevail in tonight's debate? joining me now, nbc news rogue warriors, ali vitaly and shaquille brewster, jim messina and republican strategist and political analyst susan del persio. aly, let me start with you on the trail in detroit. you've been following these candidates closely. what's your sense of how this might unfold?
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do we think that elizabeth warren and bernie sanders are going to pull their punches at each other and instead face off against the rest of the stage? is that a strategy that can sustain? >> well, i think you're right on the first part of your question where the way i'm seeing it shake out, and shaq and i have a piece on nbc news.com out from yesterday previewing this debate. it's probably going to be elizabeth warren and bernie sanders against the rest of the stage versus elizabeth warren against bernie sanders because they have a lot of very similar policies. as you laid out in your intro, they are to the left of a lot of this field representing certain ideas, like medicare for all, the way in which they'd go about canceling student loan debt. and a lot of those ideas are at the center of the party's debate in this primary. i asked elizabeth warren over the weekend in new hampshire, are you ready to defend your agenda, which is sweeping progressive change? and she said, yeah, basically bring it on. one of the people she may be bringing it on against is john
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hickenlooper. he tweeted at her yesterday saying he wants to talk about her big ideas and the big cost associated with them. she's someone really ready to get on the debate stage and defend that record. one of the strategists shaq and i talked to for our story said he expects that elizabeth warren and bernie sanders will be something of a democratic progressive one-two punch in defense of that set of an agenda on the debate stage tonight. >> shaq, i'm curious. you've been covering bernie's campaign and there has been something of a reported truce between the two. they are said to get along in the senate. they held a meeting to talk to each other about how this was all going to unfold. but at the same time, bernie sanders sometimes, you know, he takes credit for where the party is now and warren has followed him on issues like medicare for all in the last debate. she stated very clearly i'm with bernie. is he going to be able to resist potentially punching at her if
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he feels as though she's taking credit for something hat he deserves credit for? >> that will really be the thing to watch. on the campaign trail, this is one of those things you hear from supporters saying they don't want him to be as nice as he was during that first debate. they want him to be out there reminding people, reminding voters and viewers that he came up with these ideas first. he brought many of these ideas that are now being adopted by the rest of the democratic party field. he brought them to the mainstream. we talk about medicare for all. he's not been shy about picking fights with other candidates about their medicare for all plans. think about kamala harris when she rolled out her plan. his campaign went and fired out against that. he's also been going up against vice president biden. the problem is vice president biden and kamala harris will not be on the stage. that's why his aides are telling me he'll be ready to engage in the fight with governor hickenlooper, or john delaney because those are candidates that have criticized his plans openly as being socialist or det
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r rimental to the democratic party. he wants to talk about gradual incrementalism. that's where he feels he's the strongest. >> joe biden is not on the stage tonight. he'll be on the stage tomorrow night. you, obviously, know him and all of the advisers who have worked around him very well and for a long time. what is your sense of the stakes for him in this debate? obviously, we saw a lot of questions raised after that first performance. but he does seem to have bounced back in the polls. if it's a second rough go for him, what is the ultimate impact in your view on his campaign? >> yeah, look, joe biden is a very good debater. his first debate in 2012 against paul ryan was crucial for the obama campaign. and i expect you'll see a very strong vice president. i think his challenge is to -- he's been talking a lot about his relationship with president
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obama who is the most popular figure in the democratic party. but he's got to lay out a very clear vision of the future. and where he wants to take both the party and the country. i think that's his challenge. and he's going to have to do it while other people are taking shots at him. and that kind of one-two punch is sometimes difficult for a candidate. but certainly the vice president's challenge tomorrow night. >> jim, do you have any concerns about his ability to pivot and attack donald trump in a general election? >> none. he's a very strong debater. he speaks very forcefully and really connects with swing voters. and i think as you look at all of our candidates, he's someone who has already proven on a national stage that he can be a very good debater and some of the other folks you're going to see tonight and tomorrow night still have to prove that. and that's part of what we're going to see tonight and tomorrow night. that i'm really interested in seeing. because 69% of democrats say the most important issue is who can beat donald trump? and so they are looking at this
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saying, who is tough enough to stand up to him? and i think that's one of the things we're going to get answers to tonight and tomorrow. >> susan, to that very point, what's your -- having watched all of the republican debates with so many people on stage, there's a little bit of that same challenge at work here in the democratic debates. and there have been some reporting that some of these candidates are watching the old gop tape to figure out exactly how to approach this evening. who here absolutely needs to stand out in order to keep going in this race? >> i think it's two people, kasie. i think you have to look at beto o'rourke and pete buttigieg. and the reason i say that is because even though they're going to be able to qualify for the next debates, they need a moment. both of them do. they came on as front-runners and they're just kind of sitting there. so people who especially establishment party folks who kind of got behind them at
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first, they may be looking other places now if they can't deliver and deliver in a big way. the other thing i'm just going to be looking at is, elizabeth warren compared to bernie sanders, there's one thing that i think out of the 20 candidates, elizabeth warren has on everybody, and she comes off as, she likes what she's doing. she likes campaigning. she likes talking to people. she doesn't mind it whereas bernie sanders comes off a little angry and i think he will try and make his points off of some of the other candidates. >> i did have somebody say to me once that bernie loves the people but not any particular person, which i think a lot of voters have found charming in his personality, but i do take your point about how this is unfolding a little bit. jim messina, what's your view of the bottom half, or the bottom -- it's not even half. it's more than half. the bottom chunk of the card here. who has the most at stake?
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>> i think governor steve bullock of montana. it's his first debate. if you can't get in the third debate where we're going to put the field in half and only have 8 or 10 candidates, you can't move here. he and hickenlooper really need moments tonight where they can move. i agree with susan that pete and beto need better moments than last time. but i think if you are a candidate not polling in the 2% threshold, you've got to have one moment that has the party look at you and say, hey, they are interesting. and i think, especially for governor hickenlooper, this is sort of his last chance here. if he can't move tonight, i think you'll see -- be seeing a hickenlooper for senate sign in colorado. >> if i could just add to that really quickly. the other person to what jim said, and i agree, is amy klobuchar because she's in a unique position. she's qualifying on the poll numbers, but not on the individual donations. so she needs a wide audience to appeal to. so she has a lot at stake as well.
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>> absolutely great point. jim, as we kind of wrap up here, do you expect that these candidates who don't stand out, who don't make the next debate stage who have a rough night is it better for the democratic party if they start to drop out? >> it is. and they're going to just because of money, right? money is oxygen in this race for 24 candidates. and if you can't get in the september debates, your money is going to dry out very quickly. and the party is going to start to say, hey, iowa is coming up in february. we've got to start looking at some of these candidates. and if you aren't on that debate stage in september, you are going to be putting a for sale sign on your campaign headquarters. >> all right, jim messina, susan del persio, ali vitaly and shaquille brewster. a day after president trump posted another trio of tweets attacking congressman elijah cummings, he's declared himself the least racist person anywhere in the world.
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>> pointing out the tremendous corruption that's taken place in baltimore and other democratic-run cities. the white house and myself in letters and emails and phone calls have received more phone calls than i think on any other subject of people from baltimore and other cities corruptly run by democrats thanking me for getting involved. those people are living in hell in baltimore. they're largely african-american. a large african-american population. and they really appreciate what i'm doing. i'm the least racist person there is anywhere in the world. >> but a new poll from quinnipiac proves that not everyone is on board with that self-characterization. 86% of democratic voters and 56% of independents say that they think the president is racist. meanwhile, the republican party is standing by their man. only 8% believe that trump is racist and 91% say that he is
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not. joining me now chief correspondent hallie jackson and associate professor of public policy at harvard university's kennedy school of government, leah wright rigor. i want to warn you. we're about to hear from president trump here in just a handful of seconds because he has been speaking again. but, hallie, forgive me if i interrupt you. what did we hear earlier from the president and what are we expecting here this afternoon? >> i can tell you what he said. in a tape you're about to play out in the next two minutes or so. i was on the south lawn as the president returned from the speech in jamestown, virginia. he spoke for about ten minutes. much of it related to what you're talking about. his relentless attacks on elijah cummings. i asked the president why he seems so angry at cummings. cummings isn't the mayor of baltimore. wasn't about the subpoenas he is issuing and he said he's not angry. he also called that poll you just showed fake news and linked his attacks on cummings to his hearing with the acting homeland
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security secretary just a couple of weeks ago. we're close now, kasie, to what the president had to say just moments ago on the south lawn. >> yeah, hallie, that's right. we'll watch the tape right now. here we go. >> so jamestown was amazing. i very much appreciate that the democrats were so respectful because it is what it is. it's a very important moment. 400 years. so i appreciate very much the democrats. we had great receptivity. i guess i saw you. you only covered the protester, the one protester. but jamestown, i thought, was fantastic and was treated really -- and i have to -- i obviously thank the republicans, but i also thank the democrats. we had one person. and other than that, it was really fantastic. >> [ inaudible ].
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>> well, i know his son. i find his son to be outstanding. he's a brilliant, wonderful young man. i'm very happy he appointed him. i think it's a great appointment. i know his son. that's probably why they did it. he's outstanding. i'm very happy with that appointment. >> [ inaudible ]. >> no, i don't think it's nepotism because his son helped him very much in the campaign. his son is outstanding. it's a great appointment. >> [ inaudible ]. >> what? >> could you be more specific on who is reaching out to the white house -- >> a lot of people. many, many people. and you see it also in the press and you see it on watching television just coming back. people living in baltimore are very happy that i'm bringing out the fact that it's like living in hell. what do you want, john? >> [ inaudible ]. >> mr. president --
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[ inaudible ]. >> no, the only problem, john -- you gave the protester 100% of the time, and it's -- i don't care about coverage. the last thing i need is coverage, but, listen. hey, john. 100%. not one word of the speech. and we were there about the speech. the protester didn't look so good to me. i'm going to be very nice. but you gave him 100%. but that's okay. you often do that. that's okay. go ahead. >> [ inaudible ]. >> what are you talking about by political strategy? are you talk with respect to elijah cummings? >> your attack against elijah cummings -- >> there's no strategy. i have no strategy. there's zero strategy. all it is is i'm pointing out facts. the most unsafe city in the country, in our country, is
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baltimore. it's received as much money -- it receives top of the line, billions of dollars. somebody said $15 billion over a short period of time. all of this money goes there and take a look at it. i don't have to describe it. take a look at it. so there's no strategy. it's very simple. and elijah cummings is in charge of it. and he ought to take his oversight committee and park them in baltimore and find out what happened to the $15 billion and a lot of other money. >> [ inaudible ]. >> we'll see what happens with china. i think we'll do very well with china. we're already doing very well with china. china has had the worst year they've had in 27 years, and we're having the best year we've ever had. the stock market just hit an all-time high. we're doing the best we've ever done. all three indexes, if you look at it, indices or indexes, depending on what you want to call, all three are hitting
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brand-new highs. we're doing the best we've ever done as a country, and i'm very happy about it. unemployment, the best numbers we've ever had. by the way, african-american unemployment, the lowest in history. criminal justice reform. obama couldn't do it. i got it done. he could not do it. he didn't even come close. that's great for the african-american population who is very thankful about it. if you look at all of the opportunity zones, the inner city opportunity zones, almost all of them, african-american. the african-american people don't listen to fake news. they know what's going on. >> mr. president you know that elijah cummings is not the mayor of baltimore. so why are you so angry at him -- >> elijah cummings -- i'm not angry. i'm just telling you the facts. i'm not angry at anybody. i'm just saying elijah cummings has been there for 26 years.
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he's really, by far, the highest ranking politician. he has seen these mayors get thrown out, thrown out, thrown out. they're all friends of his. the corruption in baltimore is probably the greatest in our country, or one of them. wait. now, he's in charge of an oversight committee. all i'm saying is, take your oversight committee and go to baltimore. you'll learn a lot. >> mr. president -- >> [ inaudible ]. >> say again? >> what are you going to do on your trip to poland? are you going anywhere else? >> we have a really great with poland. i really have a great relationship with most countries that the news doesn't like talking about, but i have a very good relationship with poland. and we've been invited by the leadership of poland, and i look forward to it. i like the people. i gave a speech in poland which i know you don't like to say, but it was considered to be a
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great speech. and the reason is that i really feel strongly. i think poland is -- i think they're great people. >> are you going somewhere else? >> we may go to denmark. we're looking at it. >> [ inaudible ]. >> what? >> [ inaudible ]. >> we haven't named the acting yet, but we're very happy with the fact that dan coats -- i like dan. he's a friend of mine. i think he's a terrific person. i like him a lot. and there really wasn't conflict. i think it was confusion more than conflict. dan made statements, and they were a little confused. but that was not conflict. dan is a friend of mine. he's a good man. but i think that john ratcliffe is going to do an incredible job, if he gets approved. he's got to get approved, but i think he'll do a great job. i hope he gets approved. i think whe need somebody like that that's strong and can really rein it in. as you've all learned, the
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intelligence agencies have run amok. they've run amok. >> -- for african-americans than any other president. a new quinnipiac poll came out saying that -- >> you know why? because the fake news doesn't report it properly. people like you. fake news does not report it properly. if the news reported it prop are -- properly -- >> what's properly? >> like the statement you just made. if the news reported it properly of all the things i've done for african-americans, of all the things -- like criminal justice reform, like opportunity zones. >> talk about that. >> i think i do very well with the african-americans. and i think i'm doing very well right now and, frankly, if i didn't do very well, relatively speaking, as a republican, i mean, we should be way, way over 50%. but if you look back over 40 years, it just doesn't work that way. if i didn't do well, relatively
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speaking, i wouldn't be president right now. but if you look at what i've done for african-americans, it's more than almost all presidents. >> [ inaudible ]. >> all right. joining me now nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson, anne gerren and associate professor from harvard university's kennedy school of government, leah wright rigor. thank you for being here. hallie, let me start with you for what you heard. i couldn't help but -- that last line that the president was saying there, that he's done more for african-americans than any other president in history. i think -- i'm struggling to come up with the evidence for that. >> yeah, and i think that that is probably a fair struggle, kasie. the president is clearly, i think, based on what you heard and saw, deeply aggrieved by what he perceives as a lack of
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accurate reporting you could say on what he has done, in his words, for the african-american community. that's why he's dismissed poll numbers like the ones out today that show the vast majority of african-american voters think president trump is racist. that is -- those are numbers. that's the facts of that poll, whether the president likes it or not. he clearly does not like it. he had a few defenders. members of the african-american community, iner city pastors who were in some ways defending the president but even some of those folks had their concerns about the way the president was sort of fanning the flames of those racial grievances. i will say this. the president insisted he is not angry. clearly, though, elijah cummings is under his skin. and the video we're playing right now, the president is specifically asked why elijah cummings? and he's alluded to this in his tweets, this is the first time he said it on camera. he cited the homeland security energy which elijah cummings, an oversight hearing, in which
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elijah cummings was vocal with kevin mcaleenan talking about -- you know the clip i'm referencing, talking about why children are sitting in their own feces, why that was okay essentially. that was very upsetting to the president as he talked about the things he believes democrats are not doing in order to help protect the border. i'll also say this. the president is making unsubstantiated claims about his support within the african-american community, but again, the numbers tell the story here. the president simply does not have widespread support among african-american voters. those are just the numbers. that's how it is. one other thing, kasie. i asked about a story you have some interest in with your coverage of capitol hill and that's the confirmation for general hyten who is nominated to become the number two on the joint chiefs of staff. i asked the president whether he believed the accuser should testify publicly. there's been some concern and criticism from some democrats over that. the president said he'd leave it up to the senate to decide but reiterated his support of
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general hyten. >> we had some dramatic and emotional testimony on capitol hill today. leah, let me get your take on how this latest twist has unfolded with the president and elijah cummings. the president seemed to be direct in explaining why it was that he was so frustrated here targeting cummings, of course. he does chair a committee that has incredible power and is looking into the president's finances in a myriad of other things. but again, still making these assertions that, frankly, his standing with african-americans is in a place that, as hallie points out, it simply isn't. >> sure. the president has never allowed reality to get in the way of his own set of facts. so that's exactly what we're seeing here. this is all of the data does not support the fact that african-americans, you know, love donald trump as he says over and over again. i think at one point he may have referenced something like he
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believed he got something over 50% of african-american support, even though there is no information, there is no data, there is no public opinion to support that in any way, shape or form past or present. but this is what the president does. he throws ideas out there. he throws, you know, his version of facts out there and waits for someone else to rationalize it and engages in debate. why does this matter? the president is trying to appeal to his base. that's who he is speaking to. he knows his audience. he's not speaking to african-americans, although any african-americans he happens to pick up, benefit for him but he won't pick up many. he's also trying to move past what elijah cummings was talking about, which is an investigation for all kinds of questions around, you know, issues on the border, corruption, investigations around donald trump's children and son-in-law
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and, in particular, you know, donald trump is going to be really sensitive about this, given that jared kushner is involved in his own set of messes in baltimore. so all of this is coming up and we saw that and heard that today in today's brief press conference. >> and one thing about elijah cummings, too, i've been privileged to cover him on the hill. he is one of the more compelling messengers for the democrats and he has, you know, the experience that he brings, the history behind his career is really compelling in a way that is -- it seems to be threatening to the president. >> the president is an excellent judge of messaging and political skill. he's identified over and over again people who he says have it. that political frizon, that ability to get a message across. he understands representative cummings is one of those people. and you heard the president on the lawn saying there's no
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strategy behind this. and my "washington post" colleagues have an extensive story out last night that details that. the president sees attacks on cummings and drawing attention to poorer, less, you know, visually appealing areas of baltimore as good. politically good for him. and there is a way that a broader republican audience can hear that and try to tune out some of the more overtly racially charged aspects of it and say, look, the president has tried to draw attention to parts of the country that need help. why wouldn't democrats want to listen to that? and democrats run all those cities. and that's something that i expect to hear the white house and the president's supporters beyond it begin to try to amplify. >> i think for sure we have already seen that. in some ways the campaign reacting to what the president
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is doing and trying to figure out a strategy around what they see on twitter along with us. anne gearan, leah wright, thank you for your time and insights. former special counsel robert mueller's testimony on the hill might have marked a turning point in the debate over impeachment. over 100,000 democrats are now calling for an inquiry against president trump, and this includes more than a dozen lawmakers who came forward after hearing testimony from mueller last wednesday. the latest wave of converts includes congressman emmanuel cleaver of missouri and congresswoman dina titus of nevada. and democratic senators have begun voicing their support for impeachment hearings with washington's patty murray and michigan's debbie stabenow adding their name to the list. this as the first political ad featuring mueller's testimony has hit the air waves courtesy of tom steyer's group "need to impeach." >> did you actually totally exonerate the president? >> no.
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>> isn't it fair to say the president's written answers showed that he wasn't always being truthful? >> generally. >> you believe that you could charge the president of the united states with obstruction of justice after he left office? >> yes, sir. >> the campaign welcomed the russian help, did they not? >> yes. >> and then lied to cover it up? >> generally, that's true. >> joining me now, msnbc contributor, former u.s. attorney and former senior fbi official chuck rosenberg and senior writer for politico, jake sherman. jake, let me start with you on the politics of this. a colleague of yours over at politico writes this. pelosi's resistance to an impeachment inquiry is not likely to be vulnerable to the math of the democratic caucus. jake, do you think that's the case? i mean, you know, i understand where she is in this, but i also am kind of the sense that, you know, should this get to the point where it would pass on the house floor, she might have some trouble resisting it. >> yeah, i mean, your guess is
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as good as mine, kasie. we've been watching her for a very long time and what we know about nancy pelosi is she has an incredibly good read on the mood of the democratic caucus, meaning she knows who is truly worked up about impeachment, who is saying they are for impeachment because their home state or home district politics requires it and who is not really interested. but i would guess -- i don't know how she's going to survive the next whatever it is, 16 months, until election day. that doesn't mean i doubt her. just means i don't know how she's going to do it. by the time congress gets back in september, six weeks from now or so, i would have to guess that most democrats, the majority, or more than half of the democratic caucus will be for impeachment. that's just a guess based on where the trend lines are heading. how does she avoid it then? i don't know. we'll get into september. it's going to be government funding time. funding runs out at the end of the month. then we're into the fall and then into an election year. >> then we're in iowa. >> yeah. iowa.
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and the calculus changes politically. substantively. it changes altogether. so i am not entirely sure how she does that, but the politics are quickly moving. and she is leaning on a series of court cases. we don't know when they'll wrap up. she doesn't know when they'll wrap up, but i imagine some of them will take some period of time. >> chuck rosenberg, you have, obviously, worked with robert mueller. you've been a careful student of this throughout the entire process. there were so many clues in the report that basically said that robert mueller was telling congress, hey, these are questions you need to decide and most likely in the context of an impeachment inquiry. one thing i think jake and i probably both heard from house democrats is that there is an increasing idea that this shouldn't be about politics. that this is more about history and how they're going to answer questions from their grandkids about what they did in this moment. what would you say to members of the house of representatives about that imperative? >> well, a couple of things. first, i was lucky to be in a world in which politics didn't
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matter at all and what mattered was facts and law. so given that, i think my view of this whole thing is rather circumscribed. i look at the report. i look at what mueller said. same thing, by the way. and the case for impeachment or indictment or what have you is overwhelming, kasie. it's not a close call. and if you just read volume two of the mueller report on obstruction, right, everything that members of congress need is right there. and so while others will make the political calculation, i think there is an imperative. it's to do the right thing. it's to take the facts, apply the law. congress has all the authority it needs. it now has all the facts it needs. and to move forward with a bit of courage and a stiffer spine than they've shown so far. >> what's your view of how important it is to launch an actual impeachment proceeding as opposed to proceeding in the courts the way they are so far? >> i don't know that they're mutually exclusive, but, by the way, if you launch an
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impeachment inquiry, it strengthens your position in court to the extent that the white house is claiming absolute immunity or executive privilege. things that can be overcome. they are more likely to be overcome in court if congress is proceeding with impeachment. look, i'm not telling congress how to do its job. i'm just telling them that they have everything they need. there's nothing else they need other than the 448 pages that bob mueller and his team produced. >> all right. chuck rosenberg, jake sherman, thank you both very much. joining me now, congressman dan kilde of michigan who is at the site of the democratic debate in detroit. congressman, always great to see you. sorry not to be in the motor city with you. >> thanks. >> it's a top-notch place in america. but congressman, last month you tweeted this. i've been very reluctant to use the tool of impeachment and have always viewed it as a tool of last resort. i've come to the conclusion that the president's actions have
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brought us to a moment where congress must open an impeachment inquiry to defend the rule of law. so at what point do you think your colleagues start to say en masse what you said there. and the last time you and i spoke about this, this was, for you, about a history -- the history-making moment of it, the nature of it, what to tell your children. what have you learned since the mueller testimony and how does that fit with what you've said before? >> well, of course, the testimony only confirmed the conclusion that i had already come to. and i think confirmed the thinking of a lot of members. members of congress are really going to come to their own conclusions on their own timeline. but for me, i was a reluctant visitor to the conversation but it became increasingly clear after reading the second volume of the mueller report that we have a lawless president. and the politics are hard to determine, but as your previous guests said, i really think, in
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some ways, there are moments we just have to ignore the politics on one hand, try to create the right politics on the other, i suppose, but just do the right thing. so for me, ultimately it was a matter of conscience. and as you and i once talked in studio, in 10 or 15 years, i'm going to answer questions from my grandchildren about what i did in this moment, this turning point in american history. and i sure want to have the right answer. >> what's the turning point for the house speaker nancy pelosi? our nbc news count shows coming up on 110, but over 100 members of the democratic caucus who say that these impeachment proceedings should be launched. what number -- what number does that have to be for her to change course here? >> yeah, i don't know that it's a precise number, but, clearly, if a mairjority of the caucus h this view, that changes the conversation when we get back in september. and i do suspect that more members are going to be coming to this conclusion. not just because of the
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president's obvious recent racist rants, but it's hard to ignore those in the context of a president who clearly ignores the law, has tried to obstruct justice, was contemplating ignoring a supreme court decision. you put that all together and we have a much better understanding of the threat we face through this presidency. and i think more and more members are going to come to the conclusion. when we get back in september, there's going to be a real serious conversation, i'm sure of that. >> very interesting. all right. let me ask you before i let you go about the debate that's going to unfold where you are in detroit. the first night featuring bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. the progressive wing of the party. both of them say they support medicare for all and taking away private health insurance for most americans. do you think a candidate, a democratic candidate with that position can win a general election in michigan? >> yeah, i mean, i think any one of the 20 candidates or 23 or 24
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potentially could win michigan. i'm looking for someone who can address that subject in a way that's not just about a theoretical position but will be committed to getting health care to all americans. and if that is the goal and they articulate it in that fashion, they'll be fine. michigan voters are looking for people to lay out a vision, looking for a candidate to lay out a vision that includes them in the conversation. often the communities i represent feel like they've being left behind. if we have candidates who can speak to the kitchen table concerns which include health care, access to prescription drugs, increasing the minimum wage, all those,s that are so important, security for pensions, that will get the attention of michigan voters. the specific technical path to get everyone health care is, i think, significantly less important than a commitment to get it done and not just have a talking point. >> all right, congressman dan kildee, always great to have you and talk to you. have fun at the debate tonight.
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today's tense confirmation hearing for the president's pick for vice chair of the joint chiefs of staff. general john hyten accused of sexual misconduct. what happened today in that hearing that left his accuser saying this to me just a short time ago. >> as a victim, i felt like i got sandbagged in there. not jus. this is not just the flu. it's meningitis b... and you're not there to help. while meningitis b is uncommon... once symptoms appear, they can progress quickly and can be fatal... sometimes within 24 hours. before you send your teen to college... make sure you help protect them. talk to your teen's doctor... about meningitis b vaccination.
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{tires screeching} {truck honking} [alarm beeping] (avo) life doesn't give you many second chances. but a subaru can. (dad) you guys ok? you alright? wow. (avo) eyesight with pre-collision braking. standard on the subaru ascent. the three-row subaru ascent. love. it's what makes a subaru a subaru. i'm intensely aware of the allegations made against me concern one of the most serious
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problems we have in the military, sexual assault. it's been a painful time for me and my family. but i want to state to you and to the american people in the strongest possible terms that these allegations are false. >> that was air force general john hyten on capitol hill today in his confirmation hearing to be vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. the nominee for the military's second highest post denies sexual assault allegations from army colonel catherine splitstaser who sat silently in the hearing before she spoke to reporters outside. >> as a victim, i felt like i got sandbagged in there. if you want to know how the investigation was done, it investigated the victim. its approach was to blame, shame and discredit the victim. it did not investigate the subject thoroughly. >> as soon who had almost been raped that evening --
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i was just devastated as a human being, and i was scared. >> joining me now, nbc news national security and pentagon correspondent courtney kube. you've been following this story very closely for weeks now. and the reality was, you know, we showed a little bit of what the general said. but there were quite a few senators who seemed very skeptical of the colonel's story, including republican senator martha mcsalley who, of course, has also said that she was assaulted when she was a cadet. here's what mcsalley told me about the allegations that you just heard. let's watch. >> general hyten should be our vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. these are false charges. >> what do you say to his accuser? >> i pray she finds the peace that she is looking for, but you cannot do it by destroying another person. >> and courtney, she said this
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in public as well during the hearing. and that's pretty impactful to be coming from somebody who has said that she was assaulted. what is your sense of why there are questions about the evidence that she brought to the table in this investigation and where this goes from here. >> so, i mean, where this goes from here is nowhere as far as the investigation goes. i've talked to a number of defense officials. at this point, there's still no momentum towards another investigation. this was -- there was a criminal investigation into the allegations from this active duty army colonel. she served as general hyten's cag director. that's essentially the commander's action group. it's one of his number one aides and top advisers when he served at u.s. strategic command. the job that he's still in now. so there seems to be no incentive after this osi investigation, which is a criminal investigation into her
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allegations of what she said happened while she was serving as the director of his action group. i think that one of the reasons -- last week, there were two closed door hearings. she had one on tuesday with the senate armed services. on thursday, general hyten went up. they went through detail after detail. i spoke with a number of people, both members and officials who were in there watching this interaction and they said that they went through numerous details in depth that were found in this osi investigation, and ultimately, they decided to go forward with his confirmation hearing. that in and of itself gave us an indication of where many of these senators were going to come down on the allegations. on the fact that they had been investigated fully and thoroughly. but senator martha mcsally, a self-proclaimed victim of military sexual assault when she was in uniform, she has become an outspoken person for victims. the fact that she came out very forcefully and emotionally and
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defended general hyten today, that spoke volumes about where this is going and where his confirmation hearing is likely going, kasie. >> yeah, i think that's a great point. and as often happens in congress, had there actually been deep concern across the committee about this, we never would have gotten to this hearing today. nbc's courtney kube, thank you for your reporting on this very tough subject. coming up -- nbc news getting an exclusive first look at a congressional investigation finding officials across the country turned a blind eye to allegations of assault from young athletes. who will be held accountable? that's next.
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at the alzheimer's association walk to end alzheimer's, we carry flowers that signify why we want to end the disease. and we walk so that one day, there will be a white flower for alzheimer's first survivor. join the fight at alz.org/walk. to deal with the problem.icians but they wouldn't. so we took it to the voters and forced big tobacco to pay its share of healthcare costs. we fought oil companies for new clean air laws and closed a billion dollar corporate tax loophole to fund public schools. by going directly to the people we got results. that's not something you see a lot of from washington these days. i'm tom steyer and
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i approve this message. let's make change happen. a an investigation determined that the committee all received reports about nassar's abuse more than a year before anything was done. the sub committee behind the investigation that is ran by bloomenthat will found that for more than a year the fbi failed to act and did not stop nassar from seeing patients or protect those in harm's way. tom costello has the details. >> reporter: good day.
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congressional investigators tell us that for more than a year these powerful institution, these organizations failed to act to prevent abuse of their own athletes inspite of having information that nassar abused kids. somebody and some people need to be held accountable. this morning 12 months before the tokyo 2020 opening ceremony, the scathing results of a congressional investigation into the u.s. olympic committee and usa gymnastics. team doctor larry nassar serving up to 175-year sentence for sexually abusing minors in his care. the number of victims beloved to -- believed to be in hundreds. she told savannah nothing happened. >> were you wondering how come the fbi hasn't contacted us? >> i think me and my mom were
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calling trying to get information and like what's going on here. why are thing stalling? >> reporter: now the investigation has found that for 421 days, a year and two months, the fbi, olympic committee and gymnastics failed to act or even warn michigan university that he was sexually abusing athletes. >> there are profiles in cowardice because people put the other way. they put medals above people. >> reporter: the organization knowingly concealed reports. >> was this massive cover up at all levels of uag, usoc and even the fbi? >> there wit was a criminal covr up, remains to be proved but it was a cover up in spirit. >> reporter: in april of 2018,
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some accuse rs appeared on capitol hill. >> they failed to speak up and they let nassar assault children. >> reporter: the ceo of the u.s. olympic committee resigned. athletes accused him of failing to act. the congressional investigation alleges he misrepresented the truth under oath. chief of sport, allen ashley was fired. steve penny refused to answer congress' questions. >> most respectfully decline to answer your question. >> reporter: he's pleaded not guilty to charges of evidence tampering, ordering the removal of documents from the team training center. his attorney told nbc much of it was not true. >> it's hard to find instances where what should have happened happened. >> should people go to prison in this case? >> if these allegations are s
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substantiated by evidence and conviction, people should serve time in prison. >> reporter: former national team gymnast says the senators work gives her hope. >> to see it get to this point already feels like a huge, to me, feels like a huge victory. >> reporter: we reached out to usag and usoc for comment. usa gymnastics says it looks forward to working with congressional investigators and already made changes designed to prevent the opportunity for abuse. in an open letter to athletes back in december, the usoc acknowledged institutional failures and said it's implementing reforms. the fbi referred us to the justice department of ongoing internal investigations. the inspector general said it does not comment. back to you. >> thanks so much.
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one more thing before we go, if there is one thing that no one can deny about this president, it's that when he has a message, he knows how to sell it. as we get closer and closer to the 2020 campaign, the president's keep america great campaign is raising the stakes one straw at a time. no, seriously. if you want a trump straw, you
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can buy one. 15 bucks for plastic straw that you can sip from and likely lose. trump straws have soaked up some $400,000 since going on sale late this month. that's not all. maga merch is way more than those trucker hats made famous in 2016. politico has a piece out highlighting the president's brilliant and sinister merchant operation. unlike we have seen from a presidential campaign, trump's team is offering pencil neck adam schiff t-shirts. a clear stautaunt. it shows him as a clown. there are eye spy shirts being snooped on by barack obama. there's more. we're not showing you all of it but we tell you to provide another example of a significant norm broken in the trump era.
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that wraps things up for us this hour. good seeing you. have a good rest of your day. it's tuesday, july 30th. democrats are fine tuning their messaging. sharpening their attacks ahead of tonight and tomorrow's debate. in five hours these ten candidates will be on the stage. south bend indiana mayor pete buttigieg, ber mi sanie sanders o'rourke, elizabeth warren, john hickenlooper and montana governor, steve bullock. if many of the candidates it's make or break night. this could be the last opportunity for anybody polling at

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