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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  October 26, 2019 4:00am-5:00am PDT

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>> nbc news has learned lawyers for fired national security adviser john bolton have been in touch with house committee officials who want to interview him. given the way that based on my sources and reporting bolton left the white house, he may have some stories to tell. >> breaking news right now again a big piece of news, the chief judge for the d.c. district court has just issued an opinion ordering the release of quote all portions of the mueller report that were redacted, and any underlying transcripts or exhibits referenced in the portions of the mueller report that were redacted. >> this is a big victory for house democrats. >> we're going to follow the facts where they lead us. and that is important work that lays ahead before the congress. >> senator lindsey graham's resolution condemning the house impeachment inquiry has the support from 50 senate republicans. three gop senators have still not endorsed this resolution. mitt romney of utah, lisa merkowski, alaska, susan collins of maine. >> a crucial witness in the
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impeachment inquiry is set to testify, phillip reeker. >> we have a lot to bring you on impeachment and syria, with our team of reporters and analysts, the day's number one headline breaking overnight, a federal judge ruling the impeachment inquiry is legal. and dismissing claims from the white house that the investigation is illegitimate. because it hasn't been authorized in a formal house vote. the judge ordered the department of justice to turn over secret grand jury evidence in the mueller report. the doj has until wednesday to comply, but the administration is is expected to appeal. democrats are calling the ruling a victory. >> it's not a win for democrats, but ultimately a win for the american people. it was a major victory for the constitution and for the fundamental rule of law. >> the whole country can say that republicans are trying to obstruct justice.
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>> not only the redactions, but what did the witnesses say? that gives us some texture and details that might be related to some things we're finding out now. >> joining me now, white house reporter at axios and chief washington correspondent at bloomberg. good morning to both of you. starting with you, kevin, you got the key part of the decision made by the judge really affirms this impeachment process. explain the thinking in that. >> i think this was somewhat of a setback for the dmipgs, they tried to go through the courts in order to say the impeachment inquiry was not legitimate. it's been ruled that it is legitimate. it comes at a time in which there's been heightened intensity surrounding this over the past week and some key developments. you've got the administration through the department of justice actively looking into why the 2016 investigation began. i'm told based upon my sources that they really, republicans view this as an opportunity to
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really equalize the impeachment debate. then you have of course, a hearing that is set behind closed doors for later today, with mr. reeker, who is one of the top diplomatic officials with regards to europe affairs, testifying behind closed doors in the impeachment inquiry. so this thing is just continuing full speed ahead. >> you got the judge ruling when it comes to the grand jury, the secrets there. elana, anything outstanding that people might look for in the secret grand jury testimony, the evidence that will come out? >> a great opportunity for the house judiciary committee to get involved. right now all the attention on ukraine has been focused on the house intelligence committee. the house foreign affairs committee. and the judiciary is looking to piece some of the pieces together that robert mueller and the special counsel russia
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investigation had hinted at. but never came to a big conclusion in the mueller report. there was no indictment of the president or people within the white house. think a lot of the house judiciary committee is excited about this opportunity to dig into the grand jury testimony and able to see some details they didn't get to originally. >> what's the next move for the white house? what are they going to do? >> i think they'll appeal. as elena pointed out, i think behind the scenes, they're now starting to take this a bit more seriously in the sense they recognize this is going to be something that potentially will not be wrapped up by the end of the calendar year. the expectation was that this whole impeachment process would be something that would be quick, that it would be designed for cable news. they would be able to move on from it relatively quickly. now the working assumption in washington mass pushed this beyond christmas. beyond the holiday break. and really could head into the
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first quarter of next year. which obviously has implications into the election cycle as well. >> looking at iowa. >> and all this. >> while the president proclaims that i am the team in his words, no one else. elena and kevin, thank you so much. and the day's other big headline, president trump saying that i am the team. white house strategy shifting as evidence against the president is piling up with a clear portrait of a quid pro quo emerging. advisers to the president tell the "washington post" he's increasingly frustrated he's not been able to stop key witnesses from did he having. here's what the president said about beefing up his defense strategy. >> i don't have teams, everyone talking about teams, i'm the team. i did nothing wrong. >> you're back with me, not letting you go. so we're just talking about that. the first line of the "washington post" article is after weeks of dismissing the impeachment inquiry as a hollow partisan attack, president trump and his closest advisers
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recognize that the snowballing probe poses a serious threat to the president and they have little power to block it. according to multiple aides and advisers. any sense how serious the threat is to the president? >> the white house is definitely internally starting to recognize as kevin pointed out, how serious this is. originally they had no plans to create any type of war room or real serious response to the house's impeachment inquiry. they were denying it was an impeachment inquiry. now there's a lot of attention and emphasis on putting together some sort of real defense strategy here. my colleague jonathan swan reported this week that the white house has been having meetings around 10:00 a.m. every day trying to focus on messaging and how to respond to this and create some semblance of control back into their hands. acting chief of staff mick mulvaney and the white house
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counsel, pat sipoloni, there are some tensions on this. pat sipoloni has been left out of the discussions. >> frustration from the president, kevin as part of the i am the team and we'll hear from kellyanne conway when it talks about the faction you were talking about, elena and what the white house is going to do. but talk about that, kevin. what is the president and what's the level of frustration? >> well i think elena gave us the white house perspective of what's going on behind the scenes. if you juxtapose that with what's going on on capitol hill with the freedom caucus. there's an interesting thing going on with the freedom caucus and jockeying to support the administration. they view it as an opportunity to grab a microphone to get the
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president's ear on other issues, there's a coalition of support with the exception of some senators, but no republican senators are calling for the removal of the president right now to support the president. and you've seen this time and time again play out. they've supported him on impeachment, but then you take it as an opportunity to disagree with him on foreign policy. >> elena were you talking about needing to get on the same page when it comes to their response. do you think the pivotal moment came this week with the testimony if bill taylor? >> that was incredible. i'm still hoping to learn more from the testimony itself. but his opening statement alone, which i was able to obtain a copy of was definitely, seemed pretty damaging to the president. to the administration. he was definitely someone that i know the white house and republicans on the hill were extremely worried about. he was someone who after receiving some information about kurt volker's testimony, the former special envoy to ukraine,
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he was someone hesitant to accept the role, because he was worried about ukraine being undermined by the administration. i think he put together a much broader picture of who was involved. he introduced the acting chief of staff as another key player. john bolton who now the hill is hoping to bring in as well and have him testify. so i think the more witnesses that come in and speaking to kevin's point about it now, kind of getting punted to beyond december, the more witnesses come in, the more information and the hungrier i think democrats are to accelerate this impeachment inquiry. >> a chunk of meat when it comes to the taylor testimony. kevin let's talk about what kellyanne conway said yesterday. >> think intent matters, let's take a deep breath and stop pretending we know what's in somebody else's heart, mind or soul and wait to see where the facts take us. >> aren't the facts seemingly stacking up against the
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administration, kevin? >> i don't think there's been any formalized you know, conclusion right now. and to be honest, you know i was talking about this with some sources yesterday. there isn't a timeline, the notion of the timeline being ended by the end of the year has been busted through. and what we don't know is precisely, with the mueller investigation you knew you were going to get a mueller report. knew there was going to be a document released to the public. with this it's very different. on the one hand you're looking for articles of impeachment if the democrats ultimately decide to bring forward articles of impeachment. but we also get opening statements that are leaked and pieces of the puzzle of the narrative that are being conc t concoct concocted. that's why you're hearing the republicans say why isn't this being done in the open and why you hear democrats say they need
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to build for articles of impeachment. there doesn't appear to be a channel or lane or track that folks are following and that's made it difficult one for the media. but even more importantly, difficult i think for americans to try to understand this. you've seen in the polls that americans are supportive of the impeachment inquiry. there's also a lot of confusion around it. i think both parties are tapping into that confusion. republicans storm order i don't like to use the word stormed. they briskly walked into the building. >> before i let you go. elena, i want to ask you about alarm clocks going off this morning for a rare saturday session. what more are we going to hear from phil reeker in his testimony? we're just hours away from that. any particular expectations going in? >> yes. so phil reeker will be the sixth state department official to come before the committees, despite the efforts of the white house.
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to keep them from complying with the deposition subpoenas, phil reeker is described by the state department as a straight shooter. he's been a career official and he doesn't want to throw away all of those years just to protect the president. so a lot of people are expecting him to really piece together what were these channels behind the scenes. we saw bill taylor talk about there was this regular channel and an irregular channel with regards to rudy giuliani, the president's personal attorney. so i think there's going to be a lot of attention on what was rudy's role here? people have been describing this as shadow foreign policy and who in the administration were the ones who were giving the orders? how involved with was mick mulvaney? how involved was john bolton? where did the president come into this. those are the answers that democrats are hoping to get out of him today. >> thank you. another big headline that's new today. more russian troops arrive on the border between turkey and
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syria to patrol formerly kurdish areas. with u.s. troops completely out of the picture now, and another apparent change of plan. president trump tweeting about bringing soldiers back home, his defense secretary saying they will be redirected to guard oil fields. nbc's erin mcloughlin is one of our reporters in the region and joins me from turkey. is there any more clarity on the plan for u.s. troops in syria? >> hey frances, well it's still in the planning stages, we understand from a u.s. defense officials, that it would be troops in the hundreds, deployed to eastern syria to guard oilfields and what the defense secretary says is the next phase of the operation against isis. take a listen. >> the united states will maintain and reduce presence in syria to deny isis access to oil revenue as a reposition of the these phase of the defeat isis
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campaign. we want to make sure they don't have access to the resources that may allow them to strike within the region to strike europe, to strike the united states. otherwise, all the other forces are intended to return home. >> meanwhile, clashes continue on the turkey/syria border between kurdish fighters and turkish-backed militia. we're seeing harrowing video emerge from the conflict as well of a young female kurdish fighter who was captured by turkish-backed militants, her name is 26-year-old chichi chichik kubani, you see the militants threatening her and mocking her. nbc reached out to her family and spoke to her uncle. he said they're extremely upset by this video. saying we fought against isis for the world and now the world has turned its back on us. he said chichik fought alongside
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u.s. soldiers. meanwhile the turkish-backed militia saying they're investigating the video. she will be treated according to the geneva conventions. but the family says they're very distressed and are appealing to the international community for help. >> thank you for keeping us up to date. accidental dial, some phone calls from rudy giuliani to an nbc reporter. >> you know, charles would have a hard time with a fraud case because he didn't do any due diligence. tomorrow i gotta get you to get on bahrain. your home at a great price, the way it works best for you, i'll take that. wait honey, no. when you want it. you get a delivery experience you can always count on. you get your perfect find at a price to match, on your own schedule. you get fast and free shipping on the things that make your home feel like you.
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special counsel robert mueller indicted 34 individuals and companies at least eight have been convicted or pled guilty. he found that russia systemically and sweepingly interfered in our u.s. elections. what bill barr is trying to do is tell american people none of that should have happened. it is deeply troubling what bill barr is doing. >> investigating the investigators, what the department of justice is doing at the direction of attorney general bill barr, his probe into the origins of the russia investigation has gone from an administrative review to a criminal investigation. the review is being conducted by connecticut u.s. attorney john durham. for more on the expansion of barr's review, i'm joined by white house reporter for the "washington post" ashley parker. great to hear your perspective
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here. just lay it out there. what is the motivation for barr's investigation? >> well on the one hand critics certainly say that it's play indicating the president. and looking into the president's conspiracy theories of how this russia investigation was started. there's also concern that the president is weaponizing his own justice department to do his political bidding, which is often how he's viewed his justice department. but the president and his allies would say that there's real questions about how the russia investigation got started. if there was any wrongdoing on the part of the fbi, his intelligence community and that he's trying to get to the bottom of that. so you have differing opinions on this investigation. >> when it comes to the democrats, what reason do they have in their argument against the probe? >> their concern is this is a president who treats his attorney general, views him as if he's a personal lawyer doing his own political bidding and they would sort of argue that
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this is an inappropriate use of the federal government's resources, looking into what they claim are unfounded conspiracy theories with no evidence. >> i want to ask you about this book that's about to be released. penned by an anonymous senior trump administration official. we've heard from them before, the same person who wrote the op-ed in "the new york times" titled "i am part of the resistance inside the trump administration." what kind of reaction to the book are you hearing from people on the hill and the white house. >> that op-ed landed like a bombshell just about a year ago. and there's a lot of backlash actually now to this book. in the sense that there are critics say that if someone was so concerned they should have come forward as a whistleblower, come forward using their name. it's a striking juxtaposition between this anonymous book and this parade of testimony that yes while behind closed doors you've seen people coming up, testifying with their own name and their position and their
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title. and their career. and there's a sense that that's a lot more powerful and a lot less cowardly. that said, there's going to be a ton of interest in this book and what it has to say. >> i want to talk about rudy giuliani, the past 24 hours, these headlines. making what appeared to be an accidental call, the headline here butt-dials nbc reporter. and was overheard talking about needing cash, also trashing the bidens. let's take a listen. at one of, excuse me at what giuliani said there. >> you know charles would have a hard time with a fraud case because he didn't do any due diligence. tomorrow i gotta get you to get on bahrain. you gotta call, you got to call robert again tomorrow. is robert around? the problem is we need some money. we need a few hundred thousand. >> can we decode that at all, ashley? >> without the full context,
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it's difficult to know exactly what rudy giuliani is referring to in trying to do. but generally to decode it, it contributes to a growing sense that giuliani is not ready for primetime. that he is can sometimes seem erratic. who among us hasn't butt-dialed. but the president's personal attorney should not be butt-dialing attorneys and it's raised concern in the president's existing orbit that the president might be better served by having someone else represent him as the public face of this investigation. >> all right, "washington post's" ashley parker as always. thank you. we'll be watching you. saturday session, the new character about to appear for a questioning on capitol hill. will this testimony bring the president one step closer to impeachment? ted! goin' on a trip, huh?
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two massive wildfires are making their way through northern and southern california. burning thousands of acres with strong winds causing the flames to spread quickly. california governor gavin newsom declared a state of emergency. nbc's sam brock son the ground
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in geyserville, california. any progress made overnight? >> same containment numbers right now, frances, 5%. the kincaid fire at 23,000 acres, a slight uptick from earlier in the day. just to set the stage for you, some firefighters told me they're on pins and needles about what's going to happen this weekend. there have been 49 structures destroyed here so far. the goal is to stop preventing destruction that looks like this. but the windspeeds expected to be between 80-90 miles per hour. tonight. what some folks are calling historic. fires are feasting on the state of california. >> it's going to be fine. >> by 2:00 it was on top of us, in the back yard. the front yard, everything was burning. >> the tick fire tearing into neighborhoods and forcing 50,000 evacuations, some under extreme duress and later jumping a
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highway on the back of 60-mile-per-hour wind gusts, and in the bay area -- >> yoe call it fall any more, i call it fire season. >> a bad case of day gentleman you for some sonoma county residents. >> we got a bang on the door at 5:30 in the morning. >> a rude awakening. >> saying get out, quick, fire. >> you've been preparing for this moment for two years? >> right. >> this is the head of the fire that first responders have been trying to smother. a critical moment with strong winds. >> the kincaid fire flared up all afternoon forcing into a neighborhood at one point leading to a scare involving firefighters and local residents. >> responding to the pine flat road area with shelter deployment for civilians. >> the middle of the chaos, the second part of a double-whammy, the power about to be pulled for
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as many as two million people which the utility company has defended as necessary to save lives. >> this will be a long duration and potentially extreme historic event. across the north bay. >> the company's equipment has been linked to several previous devastating fires and is being investigated for this one. with columns of smoke still growing. a very unwelcome sight as residents hold their breath for the next batch of severe weather. and there might be an urge for some residents to return back to their properties to see what things look like. hoping it hasn't had this level of destruction. but frances, a warning as to why that is a bad idea. yesterday about 6:00 p.m. there were two people who returned to their home in the evacuation zone and what they found there were flames coming down the hill, firefighters had to be called in and one of them deployed a fire shelter covering the three of them for a period of time there until ambulances could arrive. thankfully and luckily all three
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suffered minor injuries. >> hopefully mother nature will help them out. tough go, thank you, sam brock. now other headlines, take a look at this, new pictures of russian citizen and foreign agent maria butina arriving in moscow a short time ago. she was arrested pursuant to an official removal order. she pleaded guilty and was convicted of conspiracy to act as a foreign agent of a hostile government. actress felicity huffman was released from prison yesterday. in a college admissions scandal. and the houston astros locked up a much-needed victory against washington nationals in game three of the world series. astros logged four runs to washington's one. washington still leads the series 2-1 and the series continues with game four
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tonight. house impeachment testimony set to resume in a few hours. phillip reeker, a top state department official who oversees u.s. policy in europe and eurasia, this as house democrats welcome a legal victory in the impeachment inquiry. nbc's hans nichols has more. a major setback for the white house. >> you have the court ruling an indication that the president may get some legal challenges, basically you have a federal judge rejecting the republican complaint that impeachment is basically illegitimate because there hasn't been a full vote. all this comes as the president compares his impeachment ordeal to historic injustices faced by african-americans. >> president trump received a political blow on friday when a federal judge ruled the impeachment process was legal. a house resolution has never in fact been required to begin an
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impeachment inquiry. judge barrel howell wrote giving the juddishry committee the right to review the secret grand jury evidence from robert mueller's investigation. before the ruling the president insisting he didn't need a dedicated strategist to coordinate his impeachment message. >> i'm the team. >> then visiting an historically black college in south carolina where he compared his impeachment plight to the criminal injustice endured by african-americans. >> i have my own experience, see what's going on with the witch hunt. >> touting his record on sentencing reform while complaining he's being treated unfairly. >> america, you're innocent until proven guilty. we don't have investigations and search of that crime. >> the president on defense as his justice department goes on offense opening a criminal inquiry disclosed thursday night into the origins of the mueller investigation. >> somebody has nothing to hide about what they were doing leading up to the 2016 election,
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then they have nothing to worry about. >> with more congressional subpoenas issued, the "washington post" claimed in an op-ed, their client's identity is no longer relevant, as the white house braces for the publication of "anonymous" next moth. an insider's account by an unnamed trump official claims the truth about the president must be spoken. so look we've got a lot of other issues on the plate. we have this federal judge that will be sorting through this. the white house, the justice department has indicated they may be appealing it. then on this other matter, of the president's hotel, there is talk of potentially selling it as the trump down here in the old post office in washington. >> hans nichols, thank you. >> they're out of the conflict zone where turkey has been pushing back the kurds. apparently still very much in the mix.
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when president trump outlining one plan and his defense secretary floating another. one of the reporters in the region has more from iraq. courtney, good morning. talk about the plan for american troops now. >> that plan seems to be changing every couple of days. with the u.s. mission in syria unclear still. what is clear is that it's leaving u.s. troops in the region confused and wondering what's next for them. >> this morning more confusion about the future of u.s. troops in syria. president trump tweeting friday oil is secured, our soldiers have left and are leaving syria for other places, then coming home. we're bringing our soldiers home, isis secured. but minutes later, trump's secretary of defense mark esper said the u.s. will reduce its overall presence in syria. but some troops will stay behind. >> we're taking some actions, i'm not going to get into
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details to strengthen our position at dar ezar. to deny isis access. >> the u.s. is considering sending armored vehicles, including tanks to guard the oil fields, possibly a sign that military leaders are concerned about a confrontation with adversaries more heavily armed than isis. including russia or the syrian regime who hold the area bordering those oil fields. guarding oil is a departure from the longstanding u.s. mission in the region. which is partnering with syrian democratic forces to defeat isis. after the with withdrawal of most u.s. troops this month, the kurdish sdf are left to fight isis alone. the u.s. partnering with them, only to guard the oil fields in their region. >> frances, u.s. military officials here in the region insist their mission continues to be to defeat isis. but they're going about it a different way. with this new mission.
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now they will be denying isis revenue from the oil fields, money they could have used to attack the west but what remain as mystery is exactly how many u.s. troops will go in to protect the oil fields and what that will look like. a couple of weeks ago the u.s. had about 1,000 u.s. troops in syria. right now we don't know how many of those troops have left, how many of them may remain behind or how many more deploy in as part of this new mission. what is clear is any new troops that would move in, probably a few hundred of them, that would include those tanks and armored vehicles, those troops and vehicles will likely be brought in and deployed from here within the region. >> the question where does that leave the kurds? nbc's courtney qb, thank you. we're just getting started. coming up at the top of the hour, "up" with david gura. >> at the center of this impeachment story is the dual track. the official channel when it comes to foreign policy and
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there's this unofficial channel, president trump's personal lawyer freelancing as a diplomat. it's a theme that's bigger than the yukraine story. david shulkin will join us, he has a new book out in what is clear is the amount of pressure and scrutiny he was under by president trump's friends who took an outside interest in the way that the va was run when he was running it. we'll dig into that with him later this morning. >>. new polling is out, no the good news for the president. the tides of public sentiment are shifting when it comes to impeaching the president. but if you're also taking fish oil supplements, you should know, they are not fda-approved, they may have saturated fat and may even raise bad cholesterol. to treat very high triglycerides, discover the science of prescription vascepa. proven in multiple clinical trials,
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eastern europe. >> i think things would be very different. >> how do democrats navigate the impending mess before them in the disagreements over this? developing this hour, support for impeachment among americans keeps growing as the inquiry reaches day 33. a new quinnipiac university poll shows 55% of americans improve of house democrats impeachment inquiry into president trump. joining me is patrick murray. director of the monmouth university polling institute. the poll conducted at the end of september showing 44% of americans supporting trump's impeachment and removal from office. it's clear support has been growing. would you say that's reached its peak? >> i don't know whether it's reached its peak. we've been polling on impeachment for two years. we've seen it pop up periodically.
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a couple of times over the past two years. this is the third time it's increased. in any of the polling and it stayed there. unlike the other times so there, the inquiry as its going along is not turning people off to the idea of impeachment. which has been, has been holding a lot of folks back. who were opposed to trump. but felt that impeachment was not the way it go to oust him from office. so i don't know whether we've hit the peak yet. because it's holding pretty steady. >> when it comes along party lines, a new nbc news/survey monkey poll which shows people are split. the 89% of democrats while a poll showed 69% of americans feel they're greatly divided when it comes to their most important values. do you feel there could be a connection here? >> i think absolutely. i think we've seen this partisan tribalism separate us.
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so everybody on the sides are digging in. the number that i look at are the independents. the independents who have a softer opinion of donald trump, they might support him or they might oppose him. they might approve or disapprove of the job he's doing. those numbers seem to be the ones that are moving more towards supporting impeachment and holding there at least right now. but the other sides, there's nothing you're going to do with the core democrats and core republicans to change their mind. i don't think there's anything that could change their mind. it's the number in the middle. independents are a shrinking share of the electorate. true independents, but they seem to be the ones moving this needle. >> 22 and the presidential race new numbers from monmouth university poll shows joe biden leading the democratic field in the early voting state of north carolina. 17 points above the next candidate. is the state, does any candidate
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stand a chance to break it when it comes to that. >> i don't know if that's a firewall. who else are you considering. we've seen elizabeth warren in particular, make some inroads particularly among black voters in south carolina that suggests to me if joe biden does not do well in iowa and new hampshire and nevada that come right before south carolina, there's a possibility for those voters to swing. there's not a hard core level of support for joe biden there that suggests that it is necessarily a firewall. if he does not do well in the earlier contests. 34% of south carolina voters think reports of biden's involvement in ukraine have hurt his ability to defeat the president. president trump, while 44% say it has no impact and only 4% say it has helped. could biden take a hit in the polls over the ukraine situation? >> when biden's core appeal to
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many voters is his electability that he's the one that can beat donald trump and you have a third of democratic voters who are saying hmm, i don't believe the charges against him regarding ukraine, but i'm not sure that he's handled them all that well. i'm not sure he can take on donald trump. when these attacks start coming daily. that's something that could hold him back. this could start in iowa and new hampshire, by the time you get to south carolina all the support he sees there now could evaporate. >> is there a point you feel there may be impeachment fatigue factor in. some of the hearings and testimony may be made public? or do you think that may turn the tide to fuel it even more? >> it will be interesting to see. one of the reasons why the democrats are holding these initial inquiries behind closed doors is that so there isn't a constant sideshow, not a constant circus out there which could create fatigue. i think right now, that, and
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that's what democrats, republicans are trying to do is to create this. this circus that will make people upset and distrust that process. right now i don't think it's going to happen. we keep hearing new revelations to keep people intrigued. we'll see what happens when this starts to turn into a public process. patrick murray, thank you so much. the investigation into president trump's personal attorney, rudy giuliani is accelerating and broadening. a look at how serious the investigation has become and what it means for giuliani and the president. performance comes in lots of flavors. there's the amped-up, over-tuned,
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associates, lev parnas, tied the case to the president himself. a lawyer for parnas saying some of the evidence gathered in the investigation could be subject to executive privilege. how significant is that? >> as a criminal defense attorney you have to raise every possible defense that will or can help your client. that being said, this is a stretch. these are not members of the executive branch, not by a long shot. the mere fact that there may be some co mingled communications between giuliani and the executive branch doesn't fly, either, because giuliani himself is not a member of the executive branch. these folks, these two defendants, cannot claim executive privilege because they are not in the executive garabr. it's a long shot but strategically it might be clever because it brings trump into the fold, it raises the stakes for trump and they man able to get trump thinking, hey a prosecution of these two defendants could implicate me, maybe the enemy of my enemy is
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my friend. >> i want to get your reaction to the reporting from "politico" that the criminal division of the justice department is taking an interest in the case. what does that tell you? >> it could be a couple different things. on the one hand the criminal division's involvement could signify that attorney general barr is subtly getting involved, or it could mean there is evidence of serious criminal activity and the criminal division is just lending its resources to the southern district of new york, however, the southern district of new york has considerable resources of its own. >> danny, giuliani has made no prime time tv network appearances over the past two weeks, his only public comments was a cryptic wednesday evening tweet. he said everything i did was to discover evidence and defend my client against false charges. is that a solid defense? >> of course, that is the defense that would exonerate him if he's saying impacting as a lawyer, but the challenge with rudy is that he's wearing too
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much different hats. he is a lawyer, a private lobbyist, he's essentially claiming to be a member of the state department who is not a member of the state department conducting diplomacy. the problem with wearing these different hats is that you will end up with none of the benefits of any one hat. you will not get the benefits of attorney/client privilege if he's not acting as an attorney, for example. that in the future poses the biggest threat to rudy giuliani is that he's trying to be a master of all and maybe he's really master of none. >> i want to touch more on that when it comes to the information that these two associates potentially know, how critical they are to the prosecutors in this case, what it could mean for giuliani. also you said that it raises the stakes for president trump as well. >> it's concerning because rudy giuliani is apparently associated with or arguably even representing these two defendants who are charged essentially with election crimes and then he's also the personal
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attorney to the president of the united states. arguably putting the doj within the executive branch in direct conflict with rudy giuliani at the center, the fulcrum of this. >> let's pull a back on that when it comes to the big picture because you have the president in throes of the impeachment inquiry, that whole -- that in itself, you know, is a beast, then you have his personal lawyer the subject of an active investigation. so, you know, good for trump, bad for trump, all of the above? >> all bad for trump. an impeachment inquiry is not a good thing for any president, but at the same time whatever executive branch presidential immunity the president enjoys, his private attorney absolutely does not enjoy that same immunity. in fact, there are many privileges he arguably can't claim at all including executive
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privilege, maybe attorney/client privilege to the extent he wasn't giving legal advice and services or a third-party heard it. so the rudy giuliani investigation directly implicates trump and is a major concern for him. >> danny cevallos, thank you. coming up my colleague david gura speaks with david shulkin who will talk about the shadow government in the trump administration that undermined him. that's next. ministration that ud him. that's next. uh oh! what? i think i forgot to lock my buick. got it. i bet you lunch you can't make it in there. i'm thinkin' sushi. alexa, ask buick to start my suv. you can do that? you can do that? you can do that? yeah, with a buick. what? at the heart of every buick suv... is you. or current eligible non-gm owners get 14 to 20 percent below msrp on most of these buick models. text and data is just 30 bucks a line for 4 lines. and now you can get it on our newest, most powerful signal.
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we're out of time for this hour of "msnbc live." i'm frances rivera, now it's time for "up" with david gura. ♪ this is "up," i'm david gura and on this saturday morning lawmakers are preparing for a rare day of testimony on the weekend. a deposition from another career diplomate who raised concerns about the administration's ukraine policy, that is scheduled to start in just a few hours and it's happening as another would be witness sues to find out if he is obligated to testify. the white house has said he should not be obligated to testify and a federal judge says the impeachment inquiry is legitimate and she allows the release of grand jury testimony that underpins the mueller report. mean while, the gop struggles to respond, rudy giuliani butt dials one of my