tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC February 18, 2020 6:00am-7:00am PST
morning that we put major league baseball players speaking out in unison against what the houston astros did in terms of cheating. mike trout, best player in the world, formerly a mute, speaking out yesterday against the cheating scandal. i suggest we talk about that tomorrow when mr. geist is back. >> okay, fine. >> quick ten seconds. final thoughts. >> as a political junkie, i am going to stick with politics. you started the show with breaking news about bloomberg being part of the debate stage. i think it is a good thing. time for the american public to hear from him live and be held account for his record as mayor. >> that does it for us. stephanie ruhle picks up coverage now. hi there, i am stephanie ruhle. it is tuesday, february 18th. here is what's happening this morning. just one, one day away from the democratic debate in vegas, and there's a last minute addition to the big stage.
former mayor michael bloomberg qualifying after placing second in a marist poll out this morning. he is up 15 points since december, still trailing behind senator bernie sanders. i want to go to nbc's steve kornacki with more on this poll that propelled bloomberg to the debate stage. he is up a lot. but there are still a lot of people running. >> there's a lot of people, there's movement in the poll. december is the last time this poll was out there. some movement. things that jump out at you big picture, you have it with bloomberg there, becoming the second place candidate in the poll and qualifying to be on the debate stage. i think that's significant. sanders opening up a double digit lead nationally, being north of 30%, speaks to he has gotten a bounce from however you want to describe what happened in iowa and victory in new hampshire, he has gotten a bounce. it has given him a double digit lead and raises the question
with nevada coming up, south carolina after that, with bloomberg not running either of the states, if sanders can put together a strong win in nevada and possibly if he can do that in south carolina as well, would he rise further in the national polls. if new hampshire got him this, what might nevada get him, what might south carolina get him on top of that. start to consider that possibility. biden third place. the trajectory downward after the face plant in iowa and new hampshire, what if he doesn't bounce back in nevada, what if he doesn't bounce back in south carolina. warren down a few points from the poll in december, as significantly, klobuchar and buttigieg getting strong showings in new hampshire. buttigieg one in iowa as well, seeming to hit a wall nationally. neither despite strong new hampshire performance for them both able to break into double digits nationally. one other significant think, we talked about how ethnically diverse later states are
compared to iowa and new hampshire, we have been saying, what is the black vote in particular going to look like. check out this contrast. sanders leading, bloomberg second, warren, klobuchar, buttigieg, double digits. check out african-american voters. we talked about biden having 30, 40, even 50 point leads among black voters early in the race. now a three point advantage, that's what biden is down to. sanders moving up there, challenging biden for the lead with black voters. one out of four votes in primaries collectively will come from black voters. >> steve, stick around. senator sanders and mayor bloomberg lead that new polling, their kmcampaigns are going aft one another hard. it is a fight that could continue today and on the debate stage. josh letterman is in vegas with the latest. take us through how this played out in the last day. >> reporter: yeah, stephanie. i bet you wouldn't have guessed the 2020 race would come down to ancient agrarian policy, but
that's where we are. this started over the weekend, a video went viral of comments bloomberg made several years ago where he appeared to be demeaning farmers, saying he could teach anybody to put a seed in the ground, give it some water. turned out those comments were taken out of context. the video that was online had omitted the beginning of what he said where bloomberg was talking about agrarian societies over 3,000 years ago, wasn't talking about today's farmers. the bloomberg campaign quickly flipped this, turning it into an attack on bernie sanders, saying he is trump's new bro because they're using the same kinds of tactics in putting out out of context videos on social media. we have a statement from the manager saying the campaign is seeing a ground swell of support across the country, qualifying for the debate. and specifically on the video saying a shameful turn of events to see bernie sanders and donald trump deploy the same tactics against mike, but the reason is
clear. at this point the primary is bernie's to lose, ours to win. the fact we're talking sanders versus bloomberg, not bloomberg versus trump, another indication bloomberg surged into the top tier of the race, other candidates are taking him seriously, bloomberg campaign feeling they need to punch back as well. >> and shaq brewster is in reno, following the sanders campaign across the country. big rallies the past few days. >> reporter: that's right, stephanie. to be clear, a sanders surrogate did retweet the video joshua describing, but the campaign through jeff weaver saying they didn't create the video or have anything to do with the origin of the video. outside of this fight with the video, it is clear the sanders campaign is ready to lean into the fight with mayor michael bloomberg. in response to mayor bloomberg reaching the debate stage wednesday night, virginia state coordinator sent a statement to
nbc news saying essentially bring it on. he acknowledged the race is a dead heat, said the energy and excitement is on sanders' side. you listen to senator sanders on the stump, out on the campaign trail, it is clear who he wants to target, leaving some of the strongest attacks of the primary season directly targeted at mayor bloomberg. listen here. >> mr. bloomberg like anybody else has a right to run for president. he does not have a right to buy the presidency. especially after being mayor of new york, having a racist stop and frisk policy, especially after opposing, imagine a multi billionaire opposing a raise in minimum wage. >> reporter: sanders has been seeing some very large crowds. sunday, 11,000 in colorado, yesterday afternoon, 6,000 in the bay area. last night had about 17,000 in
seattle, washington area. this is a campaign feeling good, making clear it feels good in nevada, also feels good about the states beyond. stephanie? >> shaq, a busy night ahead. joining me to explain why all of this matters to you, professor at princeton university, jeremy peters, politics reporter from "new york times," and steve schmidt, former republican strategist, former adviser to president george w. bush. steve, to you first. what do you think of this? >> i think the race is becoming a two person race between bernie sanders and michael bloomberg and the dominant feature of the race is electability. who can beat donald trump. i think democrats, james cargill articulated this clearly. 78-year-old socialist from vermont, wants to take health insurance away from 150 million people, who has a program to give free stuff to everybody,
with a dishonest explanation about the cost of it all, i think my personal view is i think that donald trump will walk away with the presidency. he'll win the election decisively, which is why you see such enthusiasm on the part of trump voters in states like south carolina to participate in the first democratic primary to vote for bernie sanders, who they look at as the meadow lashing lem ons against the globetrotters for the general election. >> i love steve, but he's so wrong in so many different ways. >> all right then. good morning. >> i love eddie too. >> i think what's really important is that we're in a change election cycle. i think the democratic party, folks in the party are trying to make a decision. looks like it is becoming a two person race. i think folks are still
undecided. look at the recent poll in virginia, 52% of those polled are undecided, even though bloomberg jumped to the top. it is still fluid, but sanders is coming to the top. i think the base of the party, even though we may talk about the moderate ring, base of the party, a lot of them are deeply suspicious of bloomberg. so tomorrow night -- >> more suspicious than they are of donald trump? >> no, i don't think so, i don't think so. but i do know this, that tomorrow night will be important, how bloomberg performs on stage, how he answers direct questions about his policy agenda, his history over the course of being mayor for 12 years in new york city, how he responds will define how he moves moving forward. >> isn't tomorrow night what president trump wants to see? we know president trump and his allies would love to face off against a bernie sanders. tomorrow night, when and if all of the other candidates are
aiming their fire at mayor bloomberg, isn't that exactly the show the president is looking for? >> right. and the president has already been using some of the same lines of attacks that bloomberg's democratic rivals have, calling him a racist for these stop and frisk policing policies that bloomberg since apologized for. i think the trick, and one thing that i really observed as i traveled with bloomberg over the last couple of days is his apology is either going to be sufficient or it is not. i heard a lot of people, african-american voters, who were willing to accept that at face value. these were people at a bloomberg rally, so they're curious, inclined, at least willing to consider voting for him. but their primary objective selecting a candidate is can this person beat trump. they don't think bernie can do that, and they don't think biden can do it because of how his
candidacy is. i think that explains the curiosity in bloomberg. >> we're talking about the way people feel. steve, let's talk about math and the actual delegate count and path. eddie said a moment ago, it is getting to be like a two person race, it is not a two person race literally. as far as delegate counts go, is bernie sanders in position that he's going to be too hard to catch with mike bloomberg, pete buttigieg, tom steyer, senator warren, amy klobuchar in the game. >> we move to super tuesday, we start to see accrual of real delegates, it could become insurmountable lead. mike bloomberg has to perform well outside the first four states if he is going to be the democratic nominee. at the end of the day for all of the candidates you have to win somewhere. you look and say well, amy klobuchar came in second place here, third place here, mayor
pete came in first place in iowa, came in second place in new hampshire, where do they win next. the question i think for democratic voters is, is donald trump a normal republican, if he is, then nominate anybody, if he is what a lot of us say he is, he is an emergency, that he's a threat to the entire system, to the fabric of the country, then the issue is who is the democratic candidate who best stacks up against him. who can beat him. and you look at the mess of the iowa caucus, failure of the technology platform, look at the cash advantage which is unprecedented in the history of american politics that donald trump has, it makes a compelling argument for one of the most successful leaders of government anywhere in the world over the last 25 years. i mean, should the united states of america run like new york
city, there's a compelling case to say it would be a good thing. the city runs well under 12 years of bloomberg. >> except for stop and frisk. >> he apologized. and don't accept it or not. somebody that grew up outside the city in the 1970s, new york city, 1978, 1988, versus 2008, one of the most successful philanthropic leaders in advancing a progressive agenda. i'm not up here saying he was inner ant. i didn't support the policies. i think the policies were wrong. the question is the elimination of consideration because of a policy here, a policy there, a disqualification. do you really think he is the same as donald trump when it
comes to racist policies? i mean, it doesn't compute with me. >> i don't think he is the same as donald trump, but i don't think there's a significant difference such that i can give him a pass on the question. i think i need to see clearly. just speaking for me, i need to see his criminal justice agenda. what is his position on bail reform, on decriminalization, what is his position with expansion of the state, i need to see something concrete. i want to say this quickly, stephanie. if donald trump is the emergency you say he is, if he is that emergency, and the democratic party puts forward bernie sanders and you tell me that you can't vote for him, seems to me donald trump isn't the emergency that you say he is. >> my question to you, quickly,
when you look at the 2018 midterms, the democratic basis far to the left, they weren't in the 2018 midterms. >> i don't like to use the language far to the left. what we saw is democratic voters across the board, whether progressive or moderate, understood that they had to turn out to flip the house. what we saw is that progressives in alabama voted for doug jones, progressives -- >> wouldn't you say doug jones is moderate? >> progressives in virginia. >> the broad coalition of progressive democrats and republicans were republican voters vote for a socialist who honeymooned in the soviet union, wants to take health care away from 150 million people, free college education, free student loan forgiveness, free stuff for everybody. >> it is not free income for everyone and free stuff for
everyone. we have to reign that in. >> $60 trillion of new spending. >> if you want to say $60 trillion, you can say it, but we can't just look at bernie sanders and say free stuff for everyone. >> keep in mind when assessing bloomberg's viability, there's a gulf between the way that bloomberg is talked about in elite media, on cable news show panels, and on twitter than the way he is talked about by voters. >> we're going to leave it there. this is cable news. there's more time to talk about this ahead. we need to take a quick break. next, former vice president joe biden pinned all his votes on winning minority voters. that strategy gets its first test this week in nevada. we'll speak with the state's only black congressman who has endorsed the vice president. if he thinks his state will be the turning point biden needs or if this could be the beginning of the end. flz u like to try our trashy back ribs? oh, that sounds great...
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i have been the most scrutinized since i was number one. i had a target on my back. i'm not complaining. that goes with being number one. i have been scrubbed, dubbed, moved, survived it all, now they're just starting to look at bloomberg, just starting to zero in on bernie. >> former vice president joe biden talking about the fierce fight his campaign is currently waging for the democratic party's presidential nomination. brand new poll shows him sinking nationally down to third place. joining us, democratic congressman from nevada, the only black member of nevada's congressional delegation, has officially endorsed joe biden for president. good morning. former vice president does the best in a head to head matchup against president trump, but against other democrats, he is in third, down nine points from
december. if the number one goal for the democratic party is to defeat donald trump, why is he doing so poorly? >> stephanie, it is great to be on. you and your panel just covered some very important issues. i am one of the front line members that helped win back the house majority in 2018. it is not about being progressive or moderate, it is about being pragmatic. vice president biden has been vetted. he is trusted and he has delivered. he delivered because he was the vice president to the first african-american president in our nation's history. he stood shoulder to shoulder with president obama to deliver on the affordable care act, to help usu recover from the great recession, and a plan to move forward. most importantly, vice president biden is the best democrat to defeat donald trump. >> then why isn't he doing
better? >> you know, this election and every voter has to ask themselves this question, who is the best democrat to take on donald trump, is it a democratic socialist, self proclaimed democratic socialist, a former mayor from a city that's smaller than sparks, nevada, or billionaire that started to run as a democrat. i am with joe biden because he is a trusted public servant who has a life of dedication around key issues from voting rights act to violence against women, work to help the economy recover. under the obama, biden administration, we were able to get out of the great recession, had a decade of economic growth, and the best job creation we have seen in our nation's history. >> then why isn't he doing better? >> we need to give the vice president the opportunity to have voters in nevada and states that will follow to have their
say. iowa and new hampshire do not reflect the diversity of our country, nevada does. that's why this election here in nevada is so important. i have been on the ground with vice president biden this week. he has tremendous support here in our community. and nevada reflects the diversity of our country. i think as the voters in nevada and south carolina and super tuesday begin to vote, you will see vice president biden prevail. >> he does have a lot of support and friends in nevada as you say, the culinary union specifically said they consider vice president biden a friend and they're specifically against senator sanders' medicare for all plan. given those two things, why wouldn't they endorse the vice president? >> look, the culinary workers union said great things as you indicated about vice president biden. they know that he is fighting to protect their health care. he wants to build on obamacare and provide a public option rather than taking their health
care away as some of the other candidates want to do, and i have been at the voting sites, i was at the culinary worker site yesterday, people are turning out. vice president biden was at one of the back of the house meeting with voters and workers at one of the hotels, and he has had tremendous support. they love him and they're coming out to vote for him. >> congressman, thank you so much for joining me so early in the morning your time. i appreciate that. >> appreciate it. thank you. we turn to the state of mississippi which is experiencing severe flooding. look at the screen, after days of heavy rainfall, as many as a thousand homes have been effected, even more people may be forced to evacuate as more rain is expected in the next two days. so far there are no immediate reports of injuries, that's a big positive. right now, 10 million people are under flood warnings across 15 states.
new voters taking part over the weekend. 26,000 attended caucuses, over half participating for the first time. let's dig deeper into this. megan masterly and robert costa join me. and charlie sykes, founder and editor of the bull work, a conservative publication. megan, you're on the ground. what's the buzz there? >> yeah, folks are heading to the polls, they're obviously excited. we have seen 26,000 people turn out. the majority of those are brand new voters, they never participated before in a caucus. so we're seeing interest in the election. we're still seeing an open field, folks are still deciding who they're voting for. bernie sanders obviously has the wind in his sales out of iowa and new hampshire, hearing support for him at the polls, support for joe biden, too. tom steyer hasn't done well in
iowa and new hampshire, hearing that he has support here as well. we're waiting to see how things shake out. a lot of enthusiasm on the ground. >> let's talk about the process. we saw a number of articles this week saying some campaigns were worried they did not have enough information about the caucus process, and things could be messy saturday. could this be an iowa snafu part two? >> it's looking like a possibility. "the washington post" had a big weekend story by halle bailey, looking at how so many campaigns are confused with not only what nevada democrats are doing in terms of the apps used for volt cou -- vote count, they're turning to tom perez and asking questions ahead of caucuses. >> charlie, who has the most to gain and lose here? >> i want to focus on the debate. this is the first debate i am
looking forward to, i am usually anti-debate. is michael bloomberg ready for his close up. he is about to get a closeup. there are huge stakes, whether he can take the incoming. he has a mountain of oppo research coming at him. everybody is looking at bernie and bloomberg. that will suck all of the oxygen out of the room for both of them. >> except when you get to delegate count, it is not just bernie and bloomberg, there are a lot of people scooping up delegates that could make the path for bernie to get to 1991 easier. >> it is. >> he knows the math. >> i said yesterday, i made a ptsd, thinking about the 2016 race, nobody was going to coalesce, drop out to unite the party against donald trump. i think the same is happening with the centrists, even though obviously most democrats are focused on electability, and yet
the more they fight with each other, the more, the longer it goes on, more likely bernie rolls into milwaukee with a plurality. he walks in there with that, he is unstoppable. rick wilson thinks that bernie sanders would lose 44 states. i think he is wrong. i think it is 40 states. this is why a lot of democrats are looking over their shoulder, saying how did we get to this moment when we have a relatively strong field. >> bob, nevada is the first state where african-american and latino voters will play a significant role. is biden still best suited to win them over or is it somebody new? again, bloomberg is not even part of nevada. >> he's not, though his advertising bleeds into many of these states because he's spending so much on super tuesday states, so he's getting his message out there. vice president biden has a lot of strength in south carolina because he served with president
obama, he has a relationship with african-american voters in that state going back decades. at the same time, you look at the latest polls in south carolina, biden has acknowledged this privately to me, and tom steyer, because of television advertising, his liberalism, essay peeling to voters there, african-american voters. on the front page of "the washington post," my colleagues and i look at how it is changing the entire map. you go from two very white states in iowa and new hampshire and now latino voters in nevada, african-american voters in south carolina, and also african-american voters in particular, african-american women in the south on super tuesday in early march will be significant players in deciding who the nominee will be. >> charlie, south carolina is also a different state. republicans can vote. we know the president and his allies would love to face off against senator sanders rather than vice president biden or mike bloomberg. how much could that play a role? if you have a bunch of
republicans show up and vote -- >> it is hard to measure, operation chaos that we got from rush limbaugh a few years ago, but it is a tell when you have people like hue hewitt saying they voted for bernie sanders when republicans are organizing a vote for bernie sanders. but i would say this, there's a certain unpredictability in this. that's a small window for joe biden possibly to snap back. imagine how the narrative we're discussing today changes if biden shocks the conventional wisdom, makes a come back in south carolina because if he doesn't do it, we're in for this bernie and bloomberg up to milwaukee. >> megan, night before the caucuses president trump is making his way to town. same thing we saw in new hampshire. how big of a deal is that? what are people expecting? >> yeah. obviously it is a big deal, it
will energize republicans that have already been on the ground here, trump's campaign landed on the ground here pretty early, preparing for the general election. obviously i think republicans are excited about that. the democrats are too, right? i talked to folks, i think it energizes them to get to the polls more, get involved to the polls more, standing in line talking to people in early voting. that's the biggest concern. we heard the democrats' biggest priority is getting president trump out of office. so it will only be extra incentive to get them to the polls, and we've seen people make the calculation of who is the best democratic candidate to defeat donald trump in the general election, and people are thinking through that calculus, making their decision. thinking is joe biden electable, is bernie sanders electable. that's influencing how they make decisions here. >> thank you all so much. we'll leave it there. before we go to break, how about a fact check. i like economic ones. strongest economy ever. greatest economic come back, and
return from decades of economic decay. that's how president trump regularly describes his economy. yesterday after president obama tweeted about signing the economic recovery act back in 2009, president trump responded on twitter calling it a con job, claiming obama was trying to take credit for his success. here's the fact check. president trump is long. there was no turnaround under president trump. we are in the 11th year of economic expansion. much of this fueled by corporate tax cuts, deregulation, keeping interest rates low which president trump argued against during the obama administration. the gdp in trump's first three years is actually better than obama's last three years, but not by much. four, five, six percent gdp growth trump promised, he never got there. obama hit 4% four times. what about the jobs number that president trump likes to tout. we're at historic lows of
unemployment. since taking office, however, trump's economy added an average of 189,000 jobs a month. obama's last three years in office, 224,000 jobs a month were created. last i checked, 224,000 is bigger than 189,000. that's a fact check. ♪you got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive♪ ♪ e-lim-i-nate the negative ♪ and latch on to the affirmative ♪
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amazon. what started as an online bookstore has grown into a trillion dollar company that touches every aspect of american retail life. but jeff bezos is not happy with just making money, he has announced creation of a global initiative that will commit 10 billion, that's right, i said billion bucks, to fight climate change. with that success comes major scrutiny, political blow back, with politicians and voters having big concerns about the online giant, and how little they pay in taxes. a pbs special called "amazon
empire" rise and reign of jeff bezos explores his rise to power and amazon's growing global impact. >> now they're going to know more about you than anyone knows. they're trying to move as intimately as possible, as quietly as possible into everyday life, all these intimacies, all this insight is being integrated, analyzed, integrated. that's an extraordinary kind of power that has never before existed. >> joining us, pbs front line director james jacoby, and stern business school professor, scott gallon a way. i want to get into the round taubl you had with a group of former amazon employees. what stood out most, what did you learn? >> what i learned is basically the employees are -- amazon is at the cutting edge of using
technology to work its work force to the endth degree, they have this data operation about workers that's unprecedented. you could say what's unique about amazon, any warehouse looking to push workers extremely hard, but in the case of amazon, they're at the cutting edge, have more than a half million in warehouses, and it is incredible in terms of how they set rates for workers and the level of productivity they expect from them. >> scott, you wrote about amazon in the 2017 book, the four. how is this different from a giant major company if you took former employees, asked them what they didn't like about their jobs. why is this different? >> what's different with amazon, we have a company that reshaped the compact between the company and markets. they're the third most valuable without acheechg meaningful profitability. a company like walmart paid $100
million, amazon paid less than two. at the same time, amazon added value of walmart in the 90 day period in 2017. we are faced with a difficult question what does it mean when the most successful company doesn't pay taxes and we rely on his benevolence to solve climate change, is that what we want? do we want elon musk putting us on mars or nasa. do we want the governments going after climate change or do we want to hope that jeff bezos in the most massive tax avoidance, mother of welfare queens never pays taxes, hoping one day he will wake up, decide to address climate change. we have never seen a company avoid tax like this and as successful. >> why have they been able to do it, because our government is defunct? >> there's a guess talt in america, people are out there mid morning drinking. >> gestalt, throw it down.
>> it is happy hour somewhere. essentially you have eye doll tree of innovators, technology, put a man on the moon, the aids virus, they have 88 full time lobbyists. 88 full time lobbyists, convincing people when amazon gets subsidies, they get growth. they invested in lobbying. we have general admiration, they're the new jesus christ of the innovation economy, as a result not subject to the same scrutiny every other company including comcast is subject to every day. >> i want to go into product safety. you looked into product safety and third party sellers. >> if someone buys something that causes harm at walmart or target, a consumer can sue. >> no one is forcing you to enter the doors of walmart. you sign away your rights. >> when do you sign that with amazon.com? >> when you create the account,
accept terms and conditions. >> amazon can sell what they want, not be accountable for safety? >> they would claim they're not selling it, it is sold on amazon. that's what they say. like all platforms, same excuse that facebook takes when it comes to people posting misinformation or disinformation on the site, amazon relies on some of the same laws to say if you're selling on amazon and you're a third party seller, they are not on the hook for safety of the products. 60% of sales on amazon.com are third party sellers, they're not amazon itself. >> that's a wow. that's jarring. that's upsetting. knowing that, do you think, scott, that will change anyone's behavior? we became amazon addicted, we love cheap stuff quickly delivered. >> waiting on a consumer led revolution, don't hold your breath. we talk a big game about supply ethics, but we want that little black dress from h and m.
the reason we pay the government, we hope they'll think long term for us. >> we decided we didn't care about made in america. >> we decided, companies putting mercury in the river might be a better business model, we elected people that put in place fda and epa. for some reason we are unable to elect people, 4% of the elected body has background in engineering and technology that has the will or domain expertise to understand the companies and regulate them like we regulated tobacco and the auto industry. for some reason we decided to let these guys go unfettered, they play by a different set of rules. >> thank you so much. watch this. it is a good one. amazon empire, rise and reign of jeff bezos tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on pbs. before we move on, china has reported more than 1800 new cases of coronavirus along with 98 more deaths. and we learned the director of a
top hospital in wuhan has died of the virus. but the world health organization says it appears the number of cases is on the decline. meanwhile, the virus is taking a toll on businesses. apple warning it is unlikely to meet revenue expectations because the virus, pretty sure they'll still be okay, london based bank warned the outbreak is a threat to business, and nike says half their stores are closed in china, lower traffic in stores that are open due to the virus. most global businesses out there, you ask the growth strategy, one answer, china.
turn up the volume for this. why? because it is not normal. the criminal case surrounding president trump's long time ally roger stone is getting a lot more interesting today. first, the judge handling the trial has ordered both sides to take part in a phone hearing today ahead of thursday's sentencing to discuss the case. with politico pointing out this. u.s. district court judge amy berman jackson issued the unusual order after the entire four person prosecution team withdrew from the case following
attorney general bill barr's intervention to rescind their recommendation of a seven to nine year sentence for stone. also today a group of independent federal judges is planning an emergency meeting to discuss barr's intervention in the case. what does this all mean? joining us no tow tell us is nbc news ken dilanian. what is going on? >> well, the sentencing is set and it's widely assumed that judge jackson will plan on grilling the justice department and perhaps the u.s. attorney in washington, tim shea, about this dramatic change of position where they filed the document one day, urging a seven to nine year sentence and then the next day it's a different document. that was because the attorney general of the united states intervened and it's coming against a back drop of president trump tweeting again this morning about the case, criticizing the mueller investigation, criticizing alleged bias on the part of the jury foreperson. these are exactly the kind of
tweets that the attorney general said last week made it impossible to do his job. i contacted the justice department and they have no comment. >> we know that amy berman jackson has a job to do, but explain this emergency meeting of federal judges. what is that all about? >> well, people who have looked at this have not found any precedent for this group of federal judges convening in emergency meeting and the head of the organization said that it was in response to this appearance of the attorney general and the president politically interfering in the justice system. the president of the united states is criticizing federal judges that has not happened before in modern history. it compromises the independence of the judiciary and we'll have to say whether this group issues a formal statement or somehow pushes back. what we do know is that some 2,000 former justice department officials are now calling on william barr to resign. >> thank you. we'll leave it there. coming up, john bolton
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thank you, stephanie ruhle. i'm ayman mohyeldin in for hallie jackson who is getting ready for the big democratic debate on nbc and msnbc and the stakes are rising. a new poll shaking up the stage and the democratic primary. for the first time michael bloomberg will participate in a presidential debate. the former new york mayor qualifying just within the last few hours. those hundreds of millions of dollars on national campaign ads apparently they're paying off with 19% in that poll. bloomberg is leapfrogging over the front-runner, joe biden and bernie sanders continues to surge. opening up a double digit lead over the entire field. we are getting ready for what is shaping up to be a political fight night in las vegas. >> mr. bloomberg, you're certainly not going to win when you have a record in new york city that included racist policies like stop and frisk.