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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  September 19, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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for renovations. i actually am going to try to get tickets to go to the top. it's a view that people in d. v. haven't gotten to see in three years because of the renovations. it's a heck of a view down the national mall. >> i'm excited to see this, someone who spent a number of years in d.c. the monument was along my jogging route. i'm glad it's reopened. if you get tickets, let me know. >> i will. craig melvin here. msnbc headquarters in new york city. right now on capitol hill, not far from that mall here, closed door meeting between lawmakers fighting to get to the bottom of a stunning complaint from a whistle-blower in the intelligence community. it involvetios a phone call tha president trump made to an undisclosed foreign leader and some sort of promise. what we follow about that phone call and more importantly what we do not know. another high profile meeting on the hill between facebook ceo
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mark zuckerberg and his harshest critics. what lawmakers want to know now. as gun reform legislation hits another wall, activists and 2020 democrats aren't slowing down. msnbc is teaming up with two prominent gun safety groups for a presidential forum on gun safety reform. our big announcement coming up in just a few moments. right now, behind closed doors on the hill, a laerg on an urgent concern about a conversation that the president had with a foreign leader. that conversation was so troubling, apparently torques an intelligence official that they filed a whistle-blower complaint. here is where things stand at this hour. former u.s. intelligence official familiar with the matter told nbc news president trump spoke by phone to a world leader over the summer and made a promise. we do not know what the promise was. we do not know who the foreign leader is.
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by law congress is supposed to be notified of a complaint like this one. but the acting director of national intelligence didn't do it. top democrats suggest it could be because he's following the orders of president trump or the people around him. we get the latest now from ken dilanian covering national security and intelligence, jake sherman, senior writer for politico, also a political contributor for msnbc. he's on the hill right now where there's a lot of action. ken. let me start with you. the president tweeted just a few moments ago that he would never say anything inappropriate with a foreign leader while on a call that is, quote, potentially heavily populated. when you confirm the story, ken, you tweeted that we need to find a new word for unprecedented. what can you tell us? why is this such a departure from the norm? >> craig, this is extraordinary on two fronts. one, no one i talked to has ever heard of an intelligence official filing a whistle-blower complaint about the conduct of
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the president of the united states. intel officials detailed to the national security council in the white house privy to presidential phone calls, they are non-political career national security people who may disagree with one president or another, may see things they don't like. it's not their job to judge what the president is doing. the president has a right to promise foreign officials almost anything. he's conducting our national affairs. so for someone to have done this, to have filed this secret whistle-blower complaint, they must have heard something they thought was so sinister, so troubling, they felt they would launch this process. the second extraordinary thing, craig, as you described, the trump administration is withholding this complaint from congress even though there's a statute that says pretty clearly this kind of thing, this urgent concern should be passed on, must be passed on to the intelligence committees who are cleared to hear it. the dni and trump administration is making a legal argument. they're saying since the person, which we now no is trump, is not
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in the intelligence community, they or not covered by this law. adam schiff says that's a gross distortion. now they're hearing from the inspector general of the intelligence committee who also believes this complaint should be turned over to congress. >> jake, what are lawmakers on the hill saying about all of this? >> a few things to keep in mind. ken is right, that briefing is going on right now in the capitol. that's a very important briefing. if any information is shared at any point with lawmakers, you can be sure it's going to break into public view. next week joseph mcguire, the head of national intelligence is going to be in open testimony in front of the house intelligence committee. i think it's a week from today, but sometime in the middle of next week and will be under heavy questioning about all these things. now, i will say, as we watch oversight on capitol hill, especially among house democrats in the white house, the clashes continue, and this is almost guaranteed to be another clash. you have the trump
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administration withholding witnesses from the so-called impeachment hearings. now you have this issue. again, congressional oversight is a staple of our divided government, divided government system. the trump administration has made the determination it's not going to participate in a lot of this oversight. that's going to be a problem for house democrats. you can see this clash, you can already see it brewing and see more tensions rising here on capitol hill. >> ken, do we know how many people even have access to this kind of information, the contents of a president's phone call? >> i've been doing some reporting on that, craig. the answer is, of course, it varies varies. it depends. generally there's a note taker of whatever country or region that foreign leader comes from, would be taking notes and produce a memo of the conversation which would circulate to certain people and the size of that audience depends on the sensitivity. it could go to the secretary of state, cia director.
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it could go to various staffers within the nsc. if you remember, earlier in the trump administration there were leaks of phone calls and after that donald trump restricted the circulation of these transcripts of phone calls. it's not clear how many people see these. at least there should be, in a normal process, at least more than the president and the foreign leader. >> jake, we do not know to whom the president was talking. what's your sense there? who is it that intelligence committee members are really worried about being on the other end of this phone call? >> well, who knows? any foreign leader that the president is promising something to that is so untoward, as ken mentioned, that somebody is flagging for intergovernment investigation is noteworthy. obviously the president speaks to a lot of foreign leaders and trump said in his tweet, basically anything i'm doing is for the best of america.
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we know the president conducts himself differently than other foreign leaders and talks to other foreign leaders differently. the "wall street journal" had a report last week that he walked into the room with the leader of egypt and said it's my dictator, our favorite dictator. obviously he conducts himself differently, shared classified information with the russians in the oval office. there's a whole litany of things he's done that's been unconventional. i get the sense having covered these kind of issues for a long time, we will find out what the president said, who he said it to, and when it comes out, he'll deny it and say it was flip or glib or off-the-cuff and and i'm only doing what's best for america. >> jake sherman on the hill, thank you. ken dilanian, keep us posted. the inspector general testifying behind closed doors. another high profile on the hill today, mark zuckerberg, he's talking to lawmakers about future internet regulation. it's the first time zuckerberg
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has been in washington since being grilled by congress last year over facebook's privacy practices. anna palmer is the host of podcast women rule. and dylan buyer, senior media report for nbc news. what prompted mark zuckerberg's trip to d.c. and who is he meeting with? >> meeting with lawmakers across the hill. he met with senators last night at a dinner hosted by senator mark warner where they discussed, according to warner's office, the ways facebook can play a role in protecting american democracy, protecting consumer data and encouraging competition. if you look at the broad scope of all the meetings zuckerberg is having across the hill -- the meetings today are all private, behind closed doors, you see there's a wide swath of concerns that lawmakers have over facebook's role with everything from election integrity,
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consumer data, to antitrust issues. that highlights the fundamental tension that exists between washington, d.c. and silicon valley companies like facebook which is that lawmakers have so many issues they'd like to address, and yet it is proven to be such a challenge for them to go about the business of actually regulating facebook. obviously some form of regulation is coming. mark zuckerberg wants to have a seat at the table. he articulated as much six months ago in an op-ed in "the washington post." that's why he's here now in washington meeting with lawmakers. >> anna, as dylan just mentioned, last hour virginia senator mark warner talked to nbc's geoff bennett about the meeting. here is what the senator said. >> i've known mr. zuckerberg for close to 20 years. i've been a real critic and concerned that they've not been willing to step up more into how we put a regulatory regime in place, not only around privacy, but issues around data portability, what's collected
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from us, how much the data is world, questions around authentication of users. someone says they're mark from alexandria, but they're boris from st. petersburg, we have a right to know that. >> anna, do we expect the conversations to focus on issues like this or do we expect it to pivot towards problems like election security? >> i think he's going to face a whole raft of questions from these members. as dylan said, he's meeting with members who are super conservative and also someone on the more liberal side who has been very critical. josh holly is one of those. he met with a bunch of democratic senators last night. what's most notable to me is big tech for a long time has been frustrated with washington. they see themselves as the idea generators, the engines of the economy and all washington does is want to stop them. you often see people like mark zuckerberg shun washington and only come when they have to. this is a new strategy. this is him on his own deciding to do some of these private
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meetings. it's straight out of the playbook that lobbying, a lot of older, bigger companies do. they know they need relationships here because they're going to be under attack and it's not going to stop any time soon. >> anna, zuckerberg's appearance today notwithstanding, how robust by someone who coffers the hill, how robust is their lobbying team? do we know? >> absolutely. facebook has a massive lobbying operation. i think ever since the antitrust battles that microsoft had with the department of justice, a lot of tech companies, as they get larger, have to beef up. they have a big washington office here. they host events around political celebrations. they also host members and staff in their offices. they want to try to figure out that relationship. i think what happens is in washington those companies try to have a relationship, but back at the headquarters in silicon valley there's often a destain
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for the political process, government trying to sometime many the new things they're trying to do with technology. >> dylan, i want to pivot to other tech news. i saw this article this morning. apparently amazon alexa is going to start accepting campaign donations for 2020 presidential candidates. is this going to climate change the game for how candidates raise money? what are the privacy concerns here? >> well, look, how many people are going to start donating to campaigns they might not have otherwise donated to because now they can do it through alexa, i don't know. i think that's an open question. are there privacy concerns? there are always privacy concerns when it comes to the changes taking place in technology right now. but ultimately what i think jeff bezos and amazon are doing here is just trying to improve a product that they have and give users one more way to be involved in the political
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process. i would say another big item coming out of amazon today is jeff bezos also announcing that his company, amazon, is going to reach the paris agreement climate accord ten years ahead of schedule despite the fact that president trump pulled the united states out of that deal last year. so there's a lot of tech news happening in washington today. i think what's interesting, like anna said, the nature of the relationship between washington and silicon valley is sort of changing. you're seeing these tech leaders step up and take a more active role in trying to get ahead of some of the changes that are coming, that they're aware of in terms of regulation and other issues. >> dylan byers, anna palmer, thank you. emergency rescue crews are working right now to get people out of harm's way in the houston area as it faces flash flooding. a number of tornadoes have reportedly touched down as well.
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all of this from the remnants of tropical storm i'm mel da. some areas hit with more than a foot of rainfall overnight. this was the scene in beaumont, texas. officials warning things could get worse with more than ten inches of rain expected by noon today. nbc's gabe gutierrez is in win any, texas, about 60 miles east of luis ton. gabe, it sounds and looks like it's still raining there. >> reporter: craig, this is an unfolding disaster at this point. as you can see behind me -- it may be tough to see from that angle. all that behind me is normally a road. it is completely under water. many roads in this area are shut down. we're talking about beaumont, texas. that is where we're seeing some of the water rescues now as well as winnie, texas. beaumont is cut off. parts of i-10 are shut down, parts of i-10 towards houston
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are shut down. there are communities that have seen an incredible amount of rain. for some areas, craig, this is approaching hurricane harvey levels. you'll remember hurricane harvey back in 2017 claimed dozens of lives, cost billions of dollars in damage in the houston area as well as louisiana. this is the situation for several communities where they're experiencing on going water rescues. there are resources coming in from around the area as well. we had been speaking with the cajun navy as well. they're coming to this area to lend some assistance. what we can tell you is we saw an incredible amount of rain overnight. as you mentioned, these were the remnants of the tropical storm. in harris county, texas, near houston, there was also a tornado that touched down yesterday, did damage to several homes there. but then the deluge started overnight. here in winnie, texas, emergency responders say they got about a thousand calls for rescue overnight. we're hearing in beaumont
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hundreds of water rescues have happened there. in the beaumont area about 30 inch of rain -- hurricane harvey had more than 40 inches. but if you can imagine just how much water is here now. we're expecting to get more water in the coming hours. the good news is there's a break in the severe stuff. we had been seeing lightning overnight. he had to take shelter at a nearby gas station. that seems to be letting up. right nouf it's a light rain. the concern is for those people that may be trapped in those water rescue, they're under way right now. >> gabe gutierrez in winnie, texas. gabe, do stay safe and keep us posted, please, sir. tackling one of the most urgent issues in this country. a live look in washington, d.c. that's thoo my friend and colleague ali velshi. he's co-hosting msnbc's climate forum. a number of candidates are expected to take the stage over the course of the day.
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andrew yang should be taking the stage any moment now. we will head to washington coming up. also president trump wrapping up his california trip by escalating his feud with the state's democratic leadership. he also paid a visit to the border wall where he may have gotten a little ahead of his own team. >> one thing we haven't mentioned is technology. they're wired so we'll know if someone is trying to break through. you may want to discuss that. >> there could be some merit in not discussing that. >> i like that. that was a great answer. try great-tasting boost glucose control. the patented blend of protein, fat, and carbs is part of a balanced formula that's clinically shown to help manage blood sugar levels. in fact, it provides 60% more protein than the leading diabetes nutrition shake and contains only 1 carb choice. enjoy the balanced nutrition of boost glucose control as part of a healthy diet.
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president trump back in washington this morning. his feud with california continues. he attacked california's cities, leaders, even threatened to have the federal government get involved. >> los angeles is a disaster. if you look at san francisco it's a disaster. they're going to ruin those cities. we're going to get involved very soon on a federal basis if they don't keep up their act. if the democratic liberal politicians don't straighten it out, the federal government will have to come in. >> that was, of course, wednesday. joining me former u.s. senator from california barbara boxer, she also hosts the boxer podcast. matt gorman is a former aid to jeb bush and mitt romney. senator, let me start with you. the associated press reporting this about the president's feud
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with your state. it's not just the president's agenda the president has gone after. the state passed a law that requires candidates for president and governor to release five years' worth of tax returns to appear on the state's primary ballot. a pointed slant. is this calculated from the democrats and the president that the other is a safe target. >> first of all, i served with five presidents. it goes way back to ronald reagan through barack obama and i never saw a president -- again, across party lines -- who didn't try to expand his base and reach out to all the people. here you have a president who comes into california. we are the fifth largest economy in the world. we are thriving. we have not only a balanced budget, we have a surplus, unlike trump's budget which has
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trillion dollar a year deficits as far as the eye can see. he comes in, pulls out $15 million from our state. he's got a lot of friends here, by the way. we're 40 million people. a lot of them like him. most don't. the bottom line is what is his thank you to california? he's going to say that he's going to take over setting the air pollution from cars, those standards which california and 13 other states have set their own standards to clean up the air. right now we have 30,000 people a year dying prematurely because of smog and soot and the rest. so this president, it's not that he's in a fight with california. he's in a fight with the people of america because what happens when you have dirty air -- by the way, the car companies follow our lead on fuel economy. now you're going to see more asthma, more cancer, more heart disease. that is the scientific fact.
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so the sooner he can leave -- and i'm glad he's gone -- the better for us. >> matt, to that point, the white house did announce yesterday they'll be revoking california's right to set their own requirements for auto emissions and put that power in the hands of the federal government. matt, that would seem to run counter to the republican party that i've always understood it to be. the republican party, as i understood it, was a big fan of allowing the states to dictate what the states would do. what happened? >> that's a good point. again, i think it's a smart thing. i think the automakers are following along. hopefully there isn't too much of a climate change. i think it's smart to have the states do their own development. but i think both sides, as you said, smart for picking the fight. certainly president trump in 2016, we saw he's best when he has an enemy. he's picked a lot of fights in
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the intervening years since he's been in office. we see a state very far left of the mainstream. so what he can do, bolstering his argument as he saw in the clip, you have things that are visual, flaws of the state that are very visual, homelessness, needles in public places, feces in the street, skyrocketing housing costs. these are things people can see and feel. when i was at the nrcc last cycle, immigration and border control were fairly abstract issues. however, when you started seeing families at the border being separated, videos and photos, it resounded much more across the country than it would have than it would if it were just in the abstract. in that similar vein, when you have visuals, it bolsters the argument and seems to resound around the country in a way it wouldn't otherwise. >> parts of the country one could argue. "the l.a. times" points out,
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matt, the president has a history of attacking cities. most of these cities have a few things in common. while over halfway through his presidency trump continues to portray urban america in terms of carnage, baltimore, chicago, atlanta each taken turns being portrayed as bastions of crime and dysfunction. he's campaigning at fund-raisers a week after his administration dispatched a busload of officials to scrutinize homelessness in the city. here is the thing, matt, politically speaking, is there no risk to continue going after major metropolitan areas in the way the president has gone after them? >> i think frankly when it comes to california, basically los angeles and san francisco, it does renight republicans in a way that going after baltimore and other cities didn't. again, because there is a series of problems within the city, even mayor london breed or eric
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garcetti or gavin newsom admit is a problem. like i said, it's very visual. i think california, not only unites republicans around it, but also you can get some independents in there. again, when it comes to president trump, he likes to rev up his base. this is certainly something that will do that. it also juxtapose as well, the president has tried to portray himself as a law and order president. the contrast in miss mind, in his campaign and in the white house, is pretty solid and clear. >> senator, he also visited a fence along the u.s.-mexico border as you saw on wednesday in your state. he talked about where things stand on his plans to expand his border wall. here is what he said. >> we had mountain climbers. we had in a couple of cases championship mountain climbers tested various walls. you have to have the see through ability, otherwise you don't know what's on the other side. >> his first visit to this
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specific section of border fencing. it would seem that he likes to use the wall as a backdrop to push a campaign promise. >> you know something? i started out in california. we were a bright red state. remember richard nixon, who as your other guest said, signed the clean air act. we had ronald reagan, pete wilson. here is what happened to the republican party. they turned against immigrants in our state. it was so over-the-top awful. everyone knew -- our state is very diverse. we're thriving. i love when your guest says we're a left wing state. yeah, with our surplus in our budget, with our amazing economy and job creation and tourism and everything else. do we have our problems? yes. but this border wall, this is trump trying to take our mind off the fact that he said mexico
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would pay for it. now, when i was in the congress, i voted to build a barrier in certain areas of the state where it made sense. now all the experts say it is a waste of money. so to me the wall represents a broken promise and a kind of vanity project for a president who just hasn't gotten it together. his fight with california is going to backfire. we have such a thriving state. so good luck with that. >> we'll leave it there. senator barbara boxer, thank you so much. matt gorman, thank you as well. at the border yesterday, president trump appears to have his trusty sharpie on hand. as he wrapped up his visit, he took a few moments to, as you can see, sign part of the wall. back in washington, new steps by his administration to pass some sort of gun reform legislation may have hit a wall.
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go safely, california. face buried in your phone. stop! look up. look both ways. let's start looking out for each other again. it's a busy world out there. and we're all in it together. go safely, california. ed. the latest efforts to pass
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meaningful gun reform legislation may be in jeopardy today. "the washington post" reports a leaked draft plan on expanding background checks is already drawing opposition. quote, many republicans who reviewed the specifics of the background checks measure remained lukewarm about it, and a handful of gop senators who had been directly briefed by attorney general william barr on the plan acknowledged that the proposal was incomplete at best. msnbc will exclusively host the top ten democratic presidential candidates at a forum on gun safety. it's presented by march for our lives, an advocacy group founded after last year's deadly shooting at marjory stoneman douglas hospital and giffords, advocacy group started by former congresswoman gabby giffords and her husband mark kelly. i want to bring in david chit man, senior policy adviser at giffords group and former atf
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agent. full disclosure for our viewers and listeners on sirius satellite radio, i'll be moderating that forum on october 2nd in las vegas. eve, first of all, how did this event come about? >> this event came about because giffords and march for our lives work very closely with our advocacy. we believe we need a forum in which we can hear the comprehensive and bold plans which our presidential candidates are putting forward so voters truly know who is going to be taking action to save our lives. >> david the significance of having this event in las vegas on that particular date is what? >> the day following the worst mass shooting in american history was not lost on us when we scheduled this. this is a very exciting announcement for everyone in the gun violence prevention movement and in particular the courage we've seen from gibb by giffords and the tenacity and that demand
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for change from march for our lives. is a partnership that together we now have ten presidential candidates who are going to make commitments to the american people about how they're going to prevent gun violence if they become president. >> what do we know at this point, eve, about who is going to be in the audience in las vegas? >> the audience is going to be full of many partners in the advocacy and gun violence space with an emphasis on making sure we have a lot of survivors and students who need to continue to be at the forefront of this fight. >> senator majority leader mitch mcconnell says he's waiting to see what president trump will support before asking the senate to react. what are your thoughts? >> i think it's really unknown what will happen. we'll continue to push for background checks and extreme risk protection orders among other policies in the senate and
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the house. the reality is both of these are important policies, but they're incremental steps towards the comprehensive bold change we would need to truly be able to reduce the gun death rate in our country. >> you used a phrase there i'm not sure everyone understands there. extremist protection orders. clarify that for us? >> extreme risk protection orders is a piece of legislation that allows for the temporary removal of a gun from an individual in a moment of crisis. this is one of the pieces of legislation that lindsey graham indicated that the republicans might be willing to consider. >> similar to reg flag law. >> yes. >> that's an interchangeable term. david, congressional democrats compiled the toll of gun violence in this country, details reported by nbc news finding that 2017 nearly 40,000 people died from gun related injuries including 2,500 schoolchildren. two of the measures being talked about, background checks and the
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so-called red flag laws that eve just mentioned there. are those two things enough to turn things around? >> it's got to be. i'm a parent. i was on the phone yesterday with my daughter going to college. she went to a grocery store and there was a man parading around the store with a tutu of a rifle on his forehead and she ran from the store. these are conversations parents are having with their children every day. this is exactly why we need a government to take action. we have a bipartisan background check bill that was already passed in the house, and because we have not moved forward with that, we have the odessa shooting, where someone can circumvent the law. people are dying every day unnecessarily because congressional and senate leaders and our president are failing to act. >> david, as you know, giffords recently released this video with a number of the
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presidential candidates talking about ways to make us safer from gun violence. this is just an excerpt of the video here. how difficult is it to come up with a coherent policy to make this country safer from gun violence, especially considering the fact that there are already 300 million-plus guns in circulation? >> it's a tall order, but that does not mean that we cannot act. first and foremost, 90% of americans understand that before you buy an ar-15, the same gun i carried on atf s.w.a.t. team, you should be required to at a minimum pass a background check. americans understand that, if police learn information that someone is in imminent danger to hurt themselves or perhaps go into a school, they should have the tools and power necessary to temporarily remove those guns. we want our police to be able to
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prevent violent crime, not just solve them like on tv after the fact. i think we can do this. we need honest conversations and leaders who have the kurj and urgency. we need kids like march for our lives demanding action and holding their politicians and often their parents accountable. >> i look forward in continuing the conversation. big thanks to both of you. david and eve, thank you for your time. again, we'd like to encourage you to join us on october 2nd as msnbc, march for our lives and giffords, as we team up to host this 2020 gun safety forum with the ten most recent democratic candidates to qualify to the debate stage. we'll be spending a lot of time with these candidates to talk about this particular issue in las vegas. gun reform one of the two big issues we're seeing kids especially take the lead on. my apologies, not kids. young leaders. one of the other issues, climate change.
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one young activist will join me ahead fresh off her testimony on capitol hill pressing lawmakers to act. climate change also dominating the conversation on the 2020 trail. right now several democratic canned at that time taking part in the msnbc climate forum. andrew yang, a live look at the candidates speaking right now. up next, we'll take a look at how yang's thousand dollar a month giveaway is working for one particular family who is already receiving the money. ing. aetna takes a total approach to your health and wellness
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on the whistle-blower complaint we told you about at the top of the hour. this complaint filed by a member of the intelligence community about president trump's phone call with an unidentified foreign leader. let's go right to ken dilanian who coffers national security and intelligence. ken, what have you learned? >> our colleague julia ainsley heard from a department of justice official that the doj's office of legal counsel was involved in and consulted with director of national intelligence on its decision to withhold this complaint from congress and to make the legal argument that the facts of this case do not fit the intelligence whistle-blower statute that congressional democrats believe they do. specifically, this hinges on the question of whether this was an urgent concern, craig. an urgent concern involves a serious allegation involving classified information related to the funding, administration or operation of an intelligence activity. what the doj lawyers and the dni
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lawyers are arguing is since the person this complaint involves which we know is president trump, is not in the intelligence community, then the intelligence committee has no right to the information. right now the inspector general of the intelligence committee is behind close doors before the house intelligence committee briefing them. we're told he's not allowed to discuss the substance of the complaint, not allowed to say it's about president trump and a phone call with a foreign leader as "the washington post" and we are reported. >> attorney general william barr, do we know whether he was personally involved in this opinion from the office of legal counsel? >> when julia asked that official that very important question, the official had no comment. i think we can read into that what we will. >> ken dilanian, keep us posted. presidential candidate andrew yang's big idea, give every american adult a thousand dollars a month. our garrett haake has been looking into the so-called
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freedom dividend and spoke to a family who is already getting it. >> reporter: for the fassy family, freedom tastes like garlic and lemon baked scallops. their grocery bill a bit more manageable with an extra thousand dollars every month, courtesy of presidential candidate andrew yang. >> we don't have to eat baloney and ramen noodles and maybe go out to dinner and a movie once a month. >> reporter: they were pakd as part of the test plan. chuck recently lost his job. >> today we would be struggling. >> or dependent on -- >> it would definitely be a different environment. >> i was in shock. every time i cash a check, i
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still like to pinch myself that i get to cash this check. >> yang dismisses criticism that the cash giveaways or the campaigns amounts to paying for votes. >> anyone who receives a freedom dividend can do whatever they like. i believe some people that receive it are not going to end up voting for me. that's completely fine. >> reporter: the candidate's lawyers are confident they're within the bounds of campaign finance law, given away money donated to yang 2020 is a legitimate campaign expense, very unlikely to be tested in court before election day. >> he didn't say we needed to vote for him. >> reporter: seeing a permanent freedom dividend as the ultimate stimulus plan and safety net. >> it's make america feel safe again. it's like having a livelihood is just as important as being protected from terrorists. >> reporter: craig, i asked the family what they could do if they knew they could count on
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this money every day for the rest of their lives, chuck said he would quit his job and start his own business. that's the kind of activity that yang said this dividend was designed to pure if this should ever become law. >> garrett haake in manchester, new hampshire. andrew yang is speaking right now, one of several 2020 democratic contenders taking part in our climate forum there at georgetown university. we'll head there live next. also, one of the young activists leading the charge on climate change who just testified on the hill, she's going to join me next. ♪
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right now climate change is center stage for the 2020 democratic contenders. this is a live look at day one of msnbc's two-day climate change forum in washington, d.c. the candidates right now taking questions from my colleagues ali velshi and chris hayes, and youth voters as well. the candidates are talking about their plans to combat an undeniable growing crisis. nbc's ali vitali is live at georgetown university. ali, take us inside the room there. what are we hearing so far?
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>> reporter: craig, you laid it out right there. we've heard from senator michael bennet, we're here to talk about climate change which is the top issue i hear about from voters on the campaign trail. this is an issue second in some cases to health care, democrats' key issue in 2018, something they're talking about out there a lot and something that voters also want to hear about. with the focus on climate change also comes the reality that if you look at the obama administration, they were able to make gains on a climate agenda that we have only just seen the trump administration continue to roll back. i caught up with michael bennet backstage just a few minutes ago, to ask him, how do you prevent those kind of rollbacks? >> getting a climate agenda done one year at a time or two years at a time is not a victory. we need a generational commitment to this issue. that's going to require to us
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overcome the toxic politics that mcconnell has created in washington and that trump has inherited. we should never have lost a race for the presidency to a climate denier. donald trump should be the last climate denier in the white house. >> reporter: and craig, we know that donald trump has talked about climate change, in some cases calling it a hoax. if you look at what his administration has actually done, i remember when i covered the white house, there were consistent rollbacks, not just pulling out of the paris climate agreements but pulling back regulations on things like methane. today they put out a national fuel standard which basically said to states that they can't set their own standards, they have to let the federal government do it. this has actually been one of the issues where the trump administration has undone a lot of what the obama administration has done. you heard michael bennet there echoing what several contenders in the field have said to us in the last few months, which is that we have to get together on this and make progress that can't get undone in future years. we'll see if that's something
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that comes to fruition in the next several weeks. >> ali vitali in washington, thank you. a new generation is taking the future of the planet into their own hands. teenaged climate activists, including 16-year-old greta thunberg, pressed lawmakers on capitol hill yesterday to take some action. >> my generation has been committed to a planet that is collapsing. the fact that you are staring at a panel of young people testifying before you today, pleading for livable earth, should not fill you with pride. it should fill you with shame. >> that was jamie margolin. well done yesterday, first of all. >> thank you so much. >> you spoke passionately about why you're involved in fighting climate change. what was the reaction you got from lawmakers? >> there was actually a very violent reaction from one of the lawmakers, he was pretty much saying that, you know, we can't
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take climate action in the united states because china isn't taking climate action and just all of these random excuses to be denying taking action on the climate crisis. but greta and i quickly clapped back, that's a ridiculous argument, how can you look at your kids in the eye and say i couldn't save our climate because china wouldn't. >> thank you for clapping back and keeping us hip and cool. who was the lawmaker? >> i don't remember his name. >> the kaiser foundation put out a poll this week, teenagers weighed in on what they thought about climate change. the poll found a majority felt afraid and angry but also motivated. why are we seeing such a movement? >> for me it was always a movement. i've been doing this since i was 14 years old, a freshman in high
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school. now i'm a senior. we have young people who are doing this since they were 9. it's not that a movement has sprung up, it's that we've been doing this for years and the media is finally paying attention. it's not that it's new, it's thank you for finally listening to us. the reason young people are so motivated is because we're tired of feeling hopeless. the climb crisis usually makes people feel hopeless and in despair. whether sick of that. >> so you guys were already at the party and we just showed up. >> yeah, welcome. >> tens of thousands of high school students, as i understand it, tomorrow are planning to skip class. >> yeah. >> for global climate strike marches. what are those and what's the thinking here? >> the climate strikes are a movement where every friday young people are striking school to demand climate action. the logic behind this is that adults are not holding up the bargain of the deal but kids are. the deal is that kids study for our featuuture and we work hard
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school and study, and we trust the adults will work to protect our future and that once we graduate, there will be a future there for us. lately they haven't been holding up their bargain of the deal. we're studying for future that doesn't really exist. i've been really behind on my college applications because i'm too busy fighting to make sure i'm even going to have a future that i'm applying to study for. because with, as you see, with hurricane dorian and all these massive climate disasters, people are dying, climate refugees are coming out of this, climate change increases violence and instability. this is the future we're being left with. we're tired of just playing by the rules. a climate strike is also a way to say that we're breaking the rules. and it's not a fun thing, cutting class as a high schooler is not fun. i'm already so behind on homework. this isn't like a lets skip school and party and use climate change as an excuse. this is a, i'm willing to get behind on my grades and make
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some sacrifices. >> you are an inspiration, as it relates to college i think you'll be just fine. where do you want to go? >> columbia, my parents are colombian so i'll be a colombian at columbia. >> thank you so much. that wraps up this hour of "msnbc live." "andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. what did the president say in a call with foreign leader to prompt a whistleblower to file a complaint with the intelligence community's watchdog inspector gener general? the president just now tweeting, is anybody dumb enough to believe it? today the intelligence community inspector general was summoned to the house intelligence committee. did they get any answers? >> whatever this was, was of such a gravity that this person if he would compelled to come


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