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tv   MSNBC Live With Katy Tur  MSNBC  February 20, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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accused of lying -- don't lie -- to the special counsel's team. more on that in just a few moments. but at the white house, sarah huckabee sanders is about to break a week of silence after a school massacre gave what one white house staffer told "the washington post" was a, quote, reprieve from the escalating pressure on the white house amid a flurry of scandals. the last briefing scheduled for that wednesday never happened. the white house kept pushing it back to get its story straight on rob porter. have they now? they ultimately canceled it as news to have the florida school shooting broke. we know that the tentative plan back then before it was canceled was to have chief of staff john kelly face reporters. you'll remember, it looked like his job was on the line last week for two reasons. one, he kept porter around despite the domestic abuse allegations and he and and even
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though he could have been subject to blackmail. even though he only an interim security clearance. does the president have confidence in kelly? does the white house staff? access to top-secret information. does that rule apply to jared kushner? then, there is gun control. what will this administration do for kids who say lawmakers value guns more than their lives? today, we're following busloads of students from parkland, florida, who are heading to tallahassee to confront governor rick scott. not to mention the president's response to robert mueller's 13-plus indictments against russians for interfering in the 2016 election. donald trump has been ranting on twitter that there was no collusion and any interference isn't his fault. so what will he do about it? so far, that answer is almost nothing. add to that, porn star stormy daniels.
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why did the president's personal lawyer facilitate a $130 grand payment to her right before the election? and the playboy playmate who now claims she had an affair with the president. all of these questions are leading us to our big question. how will this white house respond? before the briefing begins, let's get to our team of reporters. nbc's kristen welker is at the white house. nbc's ken dilanian is an intelligence and national security reporter. phil rucker is a white house bureau chief for "the washington post" and an nbc political analyst. and jake sherman is a senior writer for politico. kristen, as always, i'm going to start with you. this looks like it's going to be a briefing for the record books. where do we even start? >> where do we even start, katy? and it was just delayed an hour. so that is why you may see a little bit of movement around me. some of my colleagues are getting up from their chairs and going back to their work spaces. but you're absolutely right. there are a range of topics that we are going to press sarah huckabee sanders on.
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russia will likely be at the top of that list. we have not gotten to ask her questions since robert mueller handed down 13 indictments at the end of last week, the latest developments today with the new indictment that we learned about. and, of course, the president's tweet storm. over the weekend, he pointed fingers at just about everyone. the fbi, former president obama, even undercut his own national security adviser, but didn't have any harsh words for putin or russia. no indication of what next steps he's going to take in the wake of learning that russians and three businesses were indicted for meddling in the u.s. election. no word of any sanctions on the horizon. so we will start there with sarah sanders, i think, and then there are a number of other topics, obviously gun control now at the top of the list, as well, in the wake of the shooting in parkland, florida, over weekend. president trump visiting with some of the victims, their families, as well as first responders. but what is he going to do about that? the white house indicating that he will support a bipartisan
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piece of legislation that is coming forward, that would essentially strengthen background checks. it wouldn't expand background checks, it would strengthen them. this is a very narrow piece of legislation. if it gets through, it would be a very measured response. calls from democrats, senator dianne feinstein calling for a more robust response, including putting limits on weapons like ar-15s, the weapon used in that shooting. is that something the president would back? we'll ask sarah sanders about that. and then the rob porter scandal, which seems so long ago, but was really just last week as well, and it highlighted a broader issue here in the white house about security clearances, a number of top officials serving with interim security clearances. we know that the chief of staff, john kelly, is taking some steps to deal with that issue. so we'll press sarah sanders about all of that. and again, this briefing has now been delayed for about an hour. >> not to mention, credibility and how the white house responds to things like domestic abuse.
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but again, delayed an hour, as you said, kristen, another hour to get the story straight on all of those questions. phil, let's talk about the last week. one white house staffer told you that the massacre, what happened in florida a week ago was a quote, reprieve. i'm sure that person was regretting their language, but the reality is, it did allow them to delay these questions. then again, because they've delayed, because it is this white house, there are more questions. on the indictments front and russia, talk to me about the 180 that donald trump and his supporters have made on interference. i feel like i have whiplash. first they were saying there was no interference. now, oh, there was, and it was all president obama's fault. >> yeah, for starters, katy, about that reprieve comment, for sure, the white house did feel horrible about the shooting in florida, but there was a coll t collective feeling inside the west wing that it gave them a break. they were under the hot lights
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there with the scandal with rob porter and a number of other scandals. and all of a sudden the questions stopped being asked and they stopped taking them. there were no press briefings for that whole week, which gave the white house time to collect their thoughts, gather their story line, and figure out how they're going to spin all of this. but the changing -- the president's 180 on russia has been really remarkable. this morning, he tweeted that he's been tougher than obama on russia, which is just not true. because president trump for the first 13 months of his presidency has been doubting the intelligence about the russian interference. he was trying to interfere with the investigation itself and diminish and undercut the investigation into the speemp interference. and he's blocked efforts in washington to try to hold moscow to account. for example, those sanctions th cess passed last year that trump did not like. he opposed and he's now tried to prevent from being enforced. it's just sort of a revisionist history here on russia. >> not to mention all the times where he's said, "i believe vladimir putin" when he said he didn't interfere, he's said those words. >> that's correct.
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>> and to be fair, there's a lot of blame to go around, phil. nobody is saying that the obama administration is getting a gold star for the way they treated russian interference back then. there's a lot of folks in that old administration who say they could have done a lot more, a lot sooner. >> that's exactly right. >> a reminder to our viewers that robert mueller's investigation is ongoing and we get news about it through drips and drabs, but today there was another charge. that lawyer that is associated with rick gates said mueller is accused of lying is in court as we speak. we'll get updates along with that. jake, let's talk to you a little bit, though, about one of the other big topics of the day. not necessarily russian indictments, but gun control. what is realistic when it comes -- you know what, hold gun control for a second. i want to ask you one other question. when it comes to russian sanctions, if the president doesn't want to act, and congress is taking this seriously. there were lots of folks who said that they were horrified
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with what robert mueller came out with, with the indictments. can congress act further, even though the president hasn't acted on the sanctions he already hasn't signed. >> yes and no. he hasn't vetoed anything, so he's just not put in place the sanctions that congress has basically unanimously passed. so there's not much more they could do. they could attach something to a must-pass bill, something that has to get to the president's desk and try to go after russia. but congress has really its hands tied on this issue. there isn't any daylight on capitol hill when it comes to russia. the daylight is between republicans and democrats and the president when it comes to punishing russia, which, by the way, the administration has said they want to take a firm line -- treasury secretary steven mnuchin said sanctions are coming, but we haven't seen any follow up from that. >> ken, just get me up to date on what exactly is going on with this court appearance and who this lawyer is, and how he loops into the mueller investigation. >> sure, katy.
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his name is alex van der zwaan. and you saw the image of him walking into that courtroom, and that is a reminder of the awesome power of federal law enforcement. he's walking in there to plead guilty to one count of making a false statement to investigators. and that's going to mean the end of his legal career in all likelihood. and it's a very significant day for him. the question is, what does it mean to the mueller investigation? he figures in the case against paul manafort and rick gates, it appears. he was doing some work with a prominent american law firm called skadden arps involving a ukrainian politician. this work had been commissioned by manafort and gates. and it appears, because he got a little bit of a deal here. he could have been charged with two counts of false statements and obstruction of justice. he's only charged with one. so there's rampant speculation today that he is offering some information that may strengthen the case against paul manafort and/or rick gates. why does that matter? because it's believed that robert mueller would like to secure guilty pleas from both of those men, particularly paul
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manafort, and get him to say what he knows, if anything, about potential collusion between the trump campaign and that russian election interference. >> okay, let's put russia and interference in the indictments and all that stuff on hold for a moment and go back to the other big topic today, and that is guns. kristen, is the white house feeling pressure when it comes to guns, especially when they see kids saying what they have been saying on national television? here's a reminder for our viewers. >> my message for the people in office is, you're either with us or against us. we are losing our lives while the adults are playing around. >> there are funerals going on today, tomorrow, this entire weekend. and president donald trump right now is golfing. he'll be holding a listening session on wednesday. does anyone know where? does anyone know what time? has anyone been invited to this listening session? >> president trump, you control the house of representatives. you control the senate. and you control the executive. you haven't taken a single bill for mental health or gun control
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and passed it and that's pathetic. >> we know that they are claiming that there are mental health issues and i am not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this isn't just a mental health issue. he wouldn't have harmed that many students with a knife! >> kristen, we've been told the white house takes it seriously. the president has been moved by these children, but these teenagers. that's one thing. what is the likelihood, though, that they're actually going to do something about it? >> reporter: katy, it remains an open question. remember, after the las vegas shooting and there was a big discussion about bump stocks. president trump said he was open to having a discussion about that. well, that's a discussion that at least we never got an update on. we never heard about. and so the question does remain, will there be actual steps taken in the wake of this latest massacre? we'll have to wait and see. as you just heard there, he will be holding a listening session son wednesday and undoubtedly it
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will be one of the big topics at this briefing. we just got another update on the timing, katy, while you were talking to your other guests. it's now going to be at 2:50, so just about ten minutes before your hour wraps. >> well, we have a lot of questions that we'll lay out before then. it's fine. a lot of prep work for our viewers and for sarah huckabee sanders. jake, on guns, is congress going to do anything? >> the chances hover around zero. they've ignored every other massacre. and they say pretty consistently that there's nothing that could be done to stop deaths. there's enough guns in the marketplace, in the field, people are going to die, they don't think there's any legislative solution. >> jake. that's a sad, sad statement. jake sherman, appreciate your time. kristen welker, phil rucker, and ken dilanian, guys, appreciate it. again, in addition to the briefing, we're also watching this court appearance. let's bridng in chuck rosenberg a former msnbc contributor. when you heard about this new
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charge today, this charge of lying by van der zwaan, what was your reaction? >> well, katy, i'll tell you. eat your vegetables, make your bed, and don't lie to the fbi. i think bob mueller is sending a signal, even if this case is a one-off, and by that mean, not in the heartland of the russia interference portion of the investigation, if you go in front of the fbi, in you're talking to bob's prosecutors, tell the truth. >> is that really what this is? more than anything else, a big signal to everybody in this, if they're not coming to play, as in coming to tell the truth and coming to be fully honest and forthright with this special counsel, that they will face some serious repercussions? >> yes, but squb let me explain what the but is. yes, but, because there's a person "a" mentioned in the charging document, we don't know who that is. and moreover, it looks like mr. van der zwaan had some contact with gates and manafort and
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might be helpful in the prosecution of either of those two gentlemen, assuming that neither of them plead guilty. so, what a prosecutor is trying to do is really two things. they're sending a message to the person who broke the law. in this case, van der zwaan is being punished for lying to the fbi. that's specific deterrence. but there's another theory of deterrence that matters a lot, katy. that's general deterrence. it's the message to everyone else. look at what happened to this guy for lying. don't make that mistake. >> let's talk about the way that robert mueller is going about this whole investigation. and i'm really fascinated by the process of it. and how he seems to be building a case. first off, with the guilty pleas in the initial indictments and then last friday, with those indictments on the russians and the russian corporations for interference, really laying out how it was done. what do you think -- and if you were robert mueller, what do you think we are going to see next?
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it feels like he's trying to show the american public why this is such a big deal, why this is not fake news or a hoax, as the president has claimed it is. >> i think the russian indictment does quite well. it's an extraordinary document, katy. and you see the amount of work that went into it. this is not your run of the mil bank robbery where you have, you know, fingerprints and a couple of surveillance tapes. this is an extraordinarily detailed, complicated, nuanced, layered investigation. and i have said this before and i'll say it again. i urge people to read that indictment. the 37 pages are worth your time. where does it go next? one of the things you're also seeing is the team approach to investigations. that there are within the mueller operation, groups of prosecutors and groups of agents, each working on different aspects of the case. my guess is that the folk who is did the manafort and gates indictment are not the same folks who did the russian
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indictment. so you will continue to see different pieces of the case pop up from time to time. >> chuck, quick question, is donald trump and his campaign in the clear, so far? >> nobody has been vindicated. it's amazing to me that we would think that these documents, these charging instruments have vindicated anyone. there's nothing in the russian indictment that was issued last week that contains a list of those vindicated. indictments charge people. they don't vindicate people. >> chuck rosenberg, thank you so much. >> my pleasure. and coming up, kids or guns? what do you value more? students from south florida head north to confront governor rick scott. we're on the bus with them. plus, i'll introduce you to a man from colorado who says he almost became a school shooter. >> i didn't carry out anything. i didn't hurt anyone. but in 1996, i almost did the worst possible thing. if you get told you're worthless enough, you will believe it. >> he joins me next with his powerful story. it's unscented!
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could this time be different? students from the florida high school targeted by a gunman last week are trying to make sure that it is. >> we have stared down the barrel of an ar-15 ourselves. don't tell us that we don't know what we're talking about. >> right now students are driving more than 400 miles to tallahassee to meet with state lawmakers and demand stricter gun laws so no other student or
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teacher has to see what they saw. dara haas' english class was the first room that nikolas cruz targeted. >> i turned and saw my student. he was bleeding. and 911 said, he's coming back. and i just prepared to die. and i figured, if i have to go, aisle going to hug any students closer and i kissed my students on the head and tried to comfort them. >> nbc's tammy leitner is on a bus with students heading to tallahassee. tammy, it's an emotional time. it is an angry time. these kids are saying that you need to value our lives more than you value guns. same thing with the teachers. what are you hearing from them? >> reporter: katy, these kids are holding it together remarkably well. we've been on the bus for a short while with them now and
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they are headed to the state capitol. i want to actually speak with a few of them here. this is 17-year-old arvin gear. and arvin, the white house press briefing is getting ready to start very shortly. if you can speak directly to donald trump, what would you say to him? >> i would say that it's like really sad how, like, we have to be this change, why is it us? like, us the students have to make this change. and he's not -- quite frankly, he's not doing enough. that's why we're on this bus and we want to speak to these legislatures and we want to speak and get our voice heard. >> do you -- are you expecting him to step up and bring some change and do the right thing, if your eyes? >> of course. like, that's why we're all here. like, we want change. we all stepped out of our comfort zone for this. and it's so sad how, like, we knew these kids and we experienced this personally. and now we have to make the change. and it's us.
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we're the future. >> and arvind, you knew some of the kids that were gunned down. you told me. and you're really hoping to take that grief and turn this into something positive. tell me what you're hoping to kind of force lawmakers to do. >> we want lawmakers to make this change with gunfire -- gun reform, school safety, and not want this to happen again. everyone knows that we're resilient. we would not stop for this. like, this will be going and going and going, until we see change happen. so this will -- this will be big. >> reporter: katy, i think he said one of the things that is probably the most interesting thing and that resonates with people. kids are resilient. and that is one of the reasons that six days after 17 of their classmates and their teachers were gunned down, they're on a
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bus, traveling for eight hours to the state capitol to hopefully bring some change. katy? >> kids are resilient and a lot of them are old enough to make a difference at the ballot box. nbc's tammy leitner with students in florida. tammy, thank you very much. and a man in colorado has written a powerful confession in response to the school shooting in florida. quote, i was almost a school shooter, he says. i didn't carry out anything. i didn't hurt anyone, but in 1996, i almost did the worst possible thing. people say mental health is the issue, and that's true. a bigger issue was love. i had a severe lack of love. and i really think this kid did, too. some people blame this violence on the media or video games or music. we call those people morons. but there is one thing that would have made it all different. i didn't have access to an assault rifle. i was almost a school shooter. i am not a school shooter because i didn't have access to
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guns. guns don't kill people. people kill people. but people with guns c s kill l of people. that man is aaron stark and he joins me now. aaron, first of all, thank you very much for being here. it's such a brave thing to put into words, to put down on paper. i condensed it a little bit so we could read it on the air. but you boil your point down to, you didn't have access to guns. what do you think should happen when it comes to guns? >> i think we really need to look hard at it. first, i would like to say, thank you for having me on. i'm a huge fan. i've watched you forever. i think we really need to have a hard look at the effect that guns have. do we really need to have assault weapons? do we really need to be able to have people go buy an ar-15 when they're not even able to buy a pistol because they won't pass the background checks? but the thing about my post was, it's more than just guns.
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it's a multi-faceted issue. and if you focus on just the guns, then you'll ignore the rest. but if you focus on just the mental health, then you'll have missed the gun part, also. >> so what do you want to focus on? what do you think is the holistic approach? >> love. i think the love is what we should focus on. focus on communicating with the people who we think need it the most. one of the most disturbing things i keep on hearing everybody saying during all this time is we need to watch for the people who are -- who might be dabl dangerous and look out for them. what does that actually mean? does that mean we're going to lock people up before they do a crime because we think they're going to? or does that mean we're going to reach out to them and tell them that they're worth it, when they think that they're not and do we show our kids that they already have the whole world. they already have everything that they need. they just need -- can enjoy it. we have this culture now where everybody is attacking everybody else all the time. we have a political culture where both sides are constantly attacking -- it's in all aspects
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of our culture from our sports to our music to we like this show and i don't like that show. every aspect of our culture, we have this kind of contest. the only thing that's really going to stop this is love. >> i'm sorry to interrupt. let me ask you, when you were that age and you were going through this and you felt ostracized and you felt bullied and you felt like an outsider and as you say in this post, you were hiding weapons all over, if somebody in your class just walked up to you and i don't know, gave you a hug or said, you know, hey, you're worth it or just something nice, would that alone have changed the way you felt? >> it literally did. that is literally what happened. that stopped me from carrying out my plan. it was that i couldn't find a gun. that is true. that's what caused -- that's the -- the difficulties back in the day with the assault weapons ban and the fact that i was an insane teenager who was chaotic, that's another element to remember, is that people who are crazy and are going to go kill people aren't necessarily the most logical people.
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and when people say that, well, they could have done it another way, maybe that way just didn't exist to that person. but, i'm sorry, i kind of lost track there. >> you were saying that that's what happened to you, somebody walked up to you and said you are worth it. >> yes, that's exactly what happened to me. in fact, on at least two occasions, i was suicidal and/or homicidal. one particular one, i'll share with you, i've shared it before. i was extremely suicidal one evening and a friend of mine, without having any idea what was going on, what state i was in, invited me over for a party that i didn't know was existing. she had baked me a blueberry peach pie and i got there and everybody had the pie and it was all for me. and i didn't even know it was going to be for me. and that literally saved my life that night. i wasn't going to survive that night if that hadn't happened. people reach out and sometimes they don't even know the effect they're going to have. a kind word, a hug, saying, hey,
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how are you? do you want to come have food with me? do you want to come watch a movie could literally save someone's life. when you're in the worst state and you think that no one cares, having someone actually care can make an entire world of difference. >> well, who doesn't like a blueberry peach pie. >> yeah! >> aaron stark -- >> and i think the most important thing is having that one friend who never will leave you in your worst space. >> listen, you're worth it, you were worth it, and you're proving that you're worth it right now by coming on and sh e sharing your story. we appreciate it. and i can't say no to a good endorsement for a blueberry peach pie. pie is better than cake in my opinion. on a lighter note. aaron stark, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you very much. >> and we'll be right back. ♪ if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla.
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welcome back. president donald trump's oldest son is in india to promote a luxury apartment project, but he's also delving into international politics while he's there. donald trump jr. met today with people who bought units in the complex near the capital, new delhi. the units sell for up to $1.5
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million. more than 300 times as much money as the average person living in that area earns a year. these are trump-branded properties. the president's son told a cnbc affiliate that the poverty-stricken people in india can teach some of the world's richest a lesson. >> i think there is something about the spirit of the indian people that's unique here to other parts of the emerging world. you go through a town and you, you know -- i don't mean to be glib about it, but you can see the poorest of the poor, and there's still a smile on a face. you say hello. it's a different spirit that you don't see in other parts of the world. >> there was that. and donald trump jr. also met with indian prime minister or will meet with indian prime minister, narendra modi and give a speech on indian pacific relations, both of which are raising questions about whether he's uncomfortably wading too close to politics as he is running his father's business. remember, there was supposed to be a big, impenetrable wall
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between the two. joining us is ely stoeckel and elizabeth parker. he teaches -- i'm sorry, not parker, clark. i'm used to saying ashley parker and you got caught up in that, kathleen. she also teaches at the washington university school of law. ely, let's start with you. what is going on here? was this deal done before donald trump became president? and wlhat are the optics of his son wading into foreign policy while he's on a business trip? >> well, the optics are not good, but this is a different kind of administration. they have so many controversies swirling around, i don't know if this even makes the top five right now. that said, this is a project, the trump condominiums in several cities around india. these projects were underway before trump took office, so they sort of are exempt from the new ethical arrangement that trump entered into, where they said there would be no new foreign projects.
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but it's clear what's happening here. the son of the president is traveling around meeting with the leaders of the country, meeting with narendra modi, and also meeting with anybody who is willing to pony up the cash to a trump property. on the front page of the hindu times, is basically saying, put a deposit down on this $1.5 million condo and you'll get to have dinner with the son of the president of the united states. whether that's -- it's not illegal, but it certainly doesn't look ethical and it certainly looks like a sort of pay-to-play thing that is happening in a foreign country, where anybody with some money has access to the son of the u.s. president. >> kathleen, is that how you see it? >> it is. there are several problems with this arrangement. one is that there are countless new deals going on, countless new real estate transactions where the trump administration is literally selling access to the first family.
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in addition, there's this blurring of the line between the trump organization's business and our foreign policy. that is donald junior giving a speech on foreign policy issues. so i think this trip really shows the lie that the trump organization told a bit more than a year ago when it said that there would be no new foreign deals. there are countless foreign deals, as these condominiums are up for sale. >> well, kathleen, who holds his feet to the fire on that? if they say there's no new foreign deals and you're still seeing them, what's the recourse? >> well, the no new foreign deals was a promise that president-elect trump made and as it happens, it turns out that he was not telling the truth. so what we have to count on is some sort of public accountability. so we need journalists to pay attention, to investigate the foreign partners of the trump administration in india, because some of them are under investigation for corruption.
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and to hold trump accountable for asserting that there wouldn't be any new foreign deals? >> and eli, on the other hand, why is the president's son, who's a real estate developer, being called on to give a speech on indian pacific relations? >> well, it's either because some people in india believe he's an expert on the matter or because they believe that something good will happen from inviting the son of the president to give a talk and from bringing him and treating him kind of like american royalty and perhaps something will come to their benefit from that sort of access to donald trump jr. we know that this is a family that is susceptible to flattery. and so, you know, don junior is not all that different from his father, and this is, you know, you heard the way he was talking about the indian -- the poor people in india. clearly, this is sort of a goodwill tour and the trump brand, it is obviously still more marketable in a lot of these foreign countries, compared to what's happened in a lot of places in the u.s. where
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they have had to take the trump name off of a lot of apartment buildings in a lot of places. e eli stoeckel and kathleen clark, thank you very much. americans are divided on how to stop mass shootings. is the problem guns? mental health? a man who literally wrote the book on this debate will join me live, next.
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action on gun control after last weak's school shooting in florida. there are also deep divisions over what's behind the violence and what should be done in it. case in point, a new abc/"washington post" poll finds by a two to one margin, americans believe that mass shootings more reflect mental health problems than gun control laws. but americans do not believe that congress and president trump are doing enough to prevent mass shootings. it also falls on party lines a lot in that poll. joining us now to talk about this is adam winkler, a professor of law at ucla, also the author of "gunfight: the battle over the right to bear arms in america." so adam, you're the expert on this. is it a mental health issue or a gun issue or as my guest a moment ago said more of a holistic approach, it's guns, mental health, and also just showing people that you care about them and that you love them? >> like any major public health problem, and gun violence is a public health problem, that takes 30,000 plus lives every
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year, we have to do everything we can. we should focus on, if there are better gun laws that we can enact to keep the criminals and the mentally ill from keeping their hands on guns, we should do it. we should have better mental health protections and services for people in need. unfortunately, i think that mass shooting has also become a copy cat phenomenon, where everyone who wants to make headlines and is willing to commit suicide or die in the event tries to make a bigger and more high-profile mass shooting than has ever been done before. i don't think there's any other way to understand what happened in las vegas than that. >> why do you think this breaks down on party lines? >> well, the gun issue has really fallen on party lines, especially among the extremes. the democratic party has become very, very pro-gun control and the republican party as become closely aligned with the nra. we're seeing a strong partisan divide, but not just partisanship, it's how people
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think about the world. many people in the gun control community believe the answer is more restrictive laws. but in the gun community, the answer is more guns, not more laws. >> cnbc's andrew ross sorkin had an interesting op-ed today and he wondered if maybe the solution is to have credit card companies make it really difficult to buy a gun with a credit card. have it difficult for banks to give financing for guns. were you able to form an opinion on that? >> well, it's a very interesting idea and it shows that for many gun control advocates, they're sick of trying to wait for congress to do something. that the nra's stranglehold on congress is too tight. so you have to look at other avenues for reform, including going to the private sector, like going to businesses and trying to see what you can do on that front. in fact, we've seen in other major issues, such as tran gender rights, office businesses are willing to lead the way. perhaps there'll be a real push to get private businesses either
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to keep guns out of their stores like starbucks, but also to try to come up with other kind of creative boycotts to affect the gun industry. >> the pressure is on right now and a lot of politicians say they're going to do something. but we often hear this right after any sort of mass shooting or massacre, especially one that involves children. i had our white house reporter on a little bit earlier and the capitol hill reporter from politico who both kind of threw cold water on the idea of anything actually happening, saying that with this congress and with politics right now and with the gun lobby as it is and how partisan and how divided america has become, that there's very little chance that anything's going to be done. >> and ironically, it may be the democratic leadership that helps prevent anything from being done. many in the democratic leadership don't want to be talking about guns right now, because they want to win swing state elections in november to get that majority in congress. so the leadership of the democratic party isn't really at the forefront of this movement right now. i will say that, yeah, it's true that we're not going to get a lot out of this congress, but
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the mobilization we're seeing is important for gun control advocates. it's the only way gun laws are going to change is if gun politics changes, and that's going to happen when people take to the streets and mobilize in favor of gun control the way they have over last 40 years in favor of gun rights. >> i'm totally out of time, but is this time going to be different? >> we'll have to see. we certainly are seeing a different mobilization and that could have a big impact on america's gun debate. >> author adam winkler, adam, thank you very much. >> thank you. up next, steve kornacki is firing up the big board to explain what happened in pennsylvania while you weren't looking. pssst. what? i switched to geico and got more. more savings on car insurance? a-ha. and an award-winning mobile app. that is more. oh, there's more. mobile id cards, emergency roadside service... more technology. i can even add a new driver...
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the white house briefing is supposed to start or was supposed to start a minute ago. it's now late, again. in the meantime, though, let's talk about gerrymandering. the 2018 midterms may be a bit more blue now, all because of this sequential development that happened while you weren't looking. in an historic ruling monday, pennsylvania's supreme court released a new congressional map. it overhauls a gop-drawn map, widely viewed as among the nation's most gerrymandered. and it is considered a big win for democrats. today, the president encouraged republicans to fight the new map, all the way to the supreme
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court, if necessary. msnbc national political correspondent, steve kornacki, is here with me to explain. steve, what happened? >> so it is a big deal. remember, the fight for control of the house we're all talking about, can democrats pick up 24 seats nationally? let's just look at pennsylvania, where there's 18 districts now. right now, there are 13 republicans and five democrats. this is the partisan balance in the house, in pennsylvania right now. now, this is the new map. this is what that state supreme court has drawn. and we can take you through this. when democrats say they're excited about this, here's why. start right here. the first district, the sixth district. you have two republican incumbents, two republican members of congress who are running for re-election. fitzpatrick in the first, costello in the sixth. each of these districts, they were already going to be competitive races. well, each of these districts got more democratic. this one with costello, significantly so. so these are two prime pickup opportunities right there for democrats. there's more. the fifth and the seventh, you have republicans who represent
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these districts who are retiring. charlie dent, pat meehan. pat meehan's in particular, the fifth, a very democratic district. just demographically, if you look at it right now, the seventh, this is the one the democrats could very well win. it's a competitive district. so right in this part of the state already, you have four districts here controlled by republicans now. the democrats have an opportunity to win, especially if they get that wave kind of election they're thinking about. go out to the western part of the state. here's another one. we've been talking about the 18th district. that's where there's a special election in a few weeks. this 17th district is sort of a newly created district. there's a republican incumbent there now, but this is a district demographically that democrats could win. so that's five right there, katy, they could pick up under this new map. that 13-5 could change substantially. >> politicians will say, this is a win for democrats. the courts would say that this is just fair. remember, the supreme court is deciding on whether or not to look at a case, steve, when it comes to gerrymandering and partisan gerrymandering, in particular. we'll find out what happens with
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that, the supreme court of the country, not just of pennsylvania. steve, thank you very much. >> sure. appreciate it. coming up right after the break, we have one more thing. but first, because i'm forced to remind you of this, i have social media. all of those things are social in their media. so do the things you do with social media. we'll be right back. thank you so much. thank you! so we're a go? yes! we got a yes! what does that mean for purchasing? purchase. let's do this. got it. book the flights! hai! si! si! ya! ya! ya! what does that mean for us? we can get stuff.
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one more thing before we go, a stand against the nra in perhaps the unlikeliest of
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places. texas. former dallas mayor, dwaine caraway, who now sits on the city council, is telling the national rifle association to take its annual meeting and exhibition elsewhere. it is currently scheduled for may. to be clear, caraway says he is a gun owner, but says he believes it's time to demand the nra stop worrying about profits and start focusing on saving lives. >> i am saying to the nra, reconsider yourselves coming to dallas. there will be marches and demonstrations should they come to dallas. we must and i as an elected official will stand up and say to the nra, come to the table now. begin to solve the problem. it's time for mr. trump and every elected official in washington and in the united states of america on every level to stand up and begin to sound up and speak out against this type of violence. >> dallas has a particularly painful history with gun
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violence. it's where president kennedy was assassinated and it's recently where five officers were ambushed and ikilled back in 2016. the nra has not yet responded to this call to move their annual meeting. we'll keep you updated if they do. that'll wrap things up for me this hour. ali velshi, we are now nine minutes late for the pushed back briefing. >> interesting. i wonder whether they're trying to shorten it or something like that because the president apparently, 3:30, is supposed to be giving out awards. >> i also think that my eps are lying about timing in my ear, because i still have a minute left. >> i've been paying them. let me ask you a question about that thing you put up to contact you on social media, the katy tur, this is how you contact me, board. it's much more interesting than mine. mine has a picture of me standing here very straight. you look like you're having fun. >> i'm always having fun. >> it's that one where i'm like -- >> yeah, you're sort of -- i've been like, can i have a more fun one like katy tur's?
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>> no, because you're not fun like me. >> that's exactly what they said. you back at 5:00? >> no, i'm done. >> okay, have a great rest of your day. good afternoon, as katy says, the white house press briefing is late, but it is expected to start. it had been a week since the white house held its last press briefing. so there's a lot to talk about. a lot has happened since last tuesday, as you know. first, there's special counsel robert mueller's russia investigation, from his recent indictment of 13 russians and three companies on friday to today's very important charges against the son-in-law of the ukrainian russian oligarch tied to paul manafort and rick gates. and at last school shooting in parkland, florida. the president says he supports improving the background check system, but the furor over gun control is growing. there's also the report of changes to the white house security clearance policy that were made by the chief of staff, general john kelly. and we cannot involve the -- forget the ever-evolving travel scandal surrounding david schulkin and epa


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